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Coronavirus India February 24 Highlights: Fliers from 4 states required to produce -ve Covid report, Bengal govt announces

Coronavirus India February 24 Highlights: India reported 13,742 new Covid-19 cases and 104 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 25, 2021 10:03:19 am
Maharashtra government, central government, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccination, mumbai news, indian expressDuring a vaccination drive at a hospital in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. (Express Photo)

Coronavirus India Highlights: The Bengal govt has made it mandatory for passengers travelling in flights from Maharashtra, Kerala and 2 other states to produce a negative Covid-19 report, PTI reported.

Earlier today, announcing the next phase of India’s vaccination drive, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar Wednesday said that people above the age of 60 and those above 45 years with co-morbidities will be vaccinated from March 01 at 10,000 government and over 20,000 private vaccination centres. The vaccine will be given free of cost at govt centres, he said.

India reported 13,742 new Covid-19 cases and 104 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry. With this, the country’s total caseload has risen to 1,10,30,176, while the death toll has surged to 1,56,567. The total number of active cases is now at 1,46,907, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease is now over 1,07,26,702, the Ministry said.

Live Blog

Coronavirus live updates: Centre rushes high-level teams to states witnessing Covid surge; Delhi likely to ask people from 5 states for negative report on arrival; India reports 13,742 new Covid-19 cases and 104 deaths in the last 24 hours; Follow this space for the latest updates.

01:32 (IST)25 Feb 2021
Kerala-born scientist plays key role in testing for Covid-19 in sewage in Australia

All day in his lab, Sudhi Payyappat leads a team of 20 in carefully examining dozens of sewage samples collected from wastewater treatment plants across New South Wales (NSW) state in Australia. It’s certainly not the most appealing job in the world, but the results he churns out on a daily basis hold significant ramifications: they help millions across Australia in steering clear of the coronavirus.

A methodology developed by Payyappat, a Kerala-born microbiologist settled in Sydney, in March last year has been adopted across Australia for its testing of waste-water to locate fragments of SARS-CoV-2 and thus detect hidden cases within the broader community. Read More

00:56 (IST)25 Feb 2021
Karnataka Covid-19 wrap: Dakshina Kannada temporarily lifts curbs on Kerala border; state reports 334 new cases, 6 deaths

Following protests in neighbouring Kerala’s Kasaragod district after Karnataka made negative RT-PCR test reports mandatory for travellers from Kerala, the Dakshina Kannada district administration announced the temporary suspension of the order.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr KV Rajendra said, “The order has been temporarily taken back for three days. After this, people have to produce the negative certificate at the border before entering Karnataka. Students and employees will be allowed to come to Karnataka without restrictions.” Read More

00:24 (IST)25 Feb 2021
Kerala Covid-19 wrap: 4,106 new cases, 17 deaths; mutant strains not behind surge, says Centre

Kerala recorded 4,106 new cases of Covid-19 and 17 fatalities on Wednesday.

A total of 5,885 patients recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours. The test positivity rate stood at 5.82 per cent with today being the third consecutive day where it stood below 6 per cent.

Pathanamthitta reported the highest number of cases (512) today, followed by Kozhikode (483) and Ernakulam (473). Read More

23:59 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Covid-19 guidelines at airports: What are the revised state-wise protocols

With the emergence of two new strains of Covid-19 in three states, guidelines for domestic air travel in India have been revised. States like Maharashtra, which has registered an uptick in Covid-19 cases, has made it compulsory for passengers travelling from select states to produce a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report on arrival.

The Centre said on Tuesday that two new Covid-19 strains have been detected in three states — Maharashtra, Kerala and Telangana — but there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the recent surge being reported by the first two states is linked to these variants. Read More

23:26 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Covid-19 cases rise in parts of MMR; testing to increase to detect more patients

Several parts of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) still remain unaffected by the surge in coronavirus infection. Following Mumbai, cases in Thane corporation, Kalyan Dombivali, Navi Mumbai and Panvel corporation have increased, but no worrying spike is noticeable yet in Bhiwandi, Mira Bhayander, Vasai-Virar or Ulhasnagar corporations.

Overall the low caseload in MMR, except Mumbai, could be due to low testing numbers or poor contact tracing. Read More

22:57 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Two-day janata curfew in Latur

As cases go up in Maharashtra, Latur district to see 'Janata curfew' on February 27-28, according to news agency PTI. 

21:23 (IST)24 Feb 2021
New analyses show Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine works well

The one-shot coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson provides strong protection against severe disease and death from COVID-19 and may reduce the spread of the virus by vaccinated people, according to new analyses posted online by the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. More details here.

21:16 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Mumbai records 1,167 new coronavirus cases, 04 deaths

Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 1,167 new Covid- 19 cases, the highest daily spike in about four months, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

The tally of cases in the country's financial capital thus rose to 3,21,698, while the death toll reached 11,453 with four new fatalities. On Tuesday, the city had reported 643 new cases and three fatalities.

21:13 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Woman dies hours after receiving vaccine, post-mortem to find exact cause

A woman died hours after receiving the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Madhya Pradesh's Barwani district. A post-mortem will be conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death, an official told PTI.

21:09 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Covid report mandatory for passengers travelling to Bengal from Kerala, 3 other states

The Bengal govt has made it mandatory for passengers travelling in flights from Maharashtra, Kerala and 2 other states to produce a negative Covid-19 report, PTI reported.

20:27 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Covid-19 guidelines at airports: What are the revised state-wise protocols

With the emergence of two new strains of Covid-19 in three states, guidelines for domestic air travel in India have been revised. States like Maharashtra, which has registered an uptick in Covid-19 cases, has made it compulsory for passengers travelling from select states to produce a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report on arrival. Several other states have also revise protocols. Read the full report here.

18:24 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Mamata wants COVID vaccine for all before Bengal polls, seeks PM’s help'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his help in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the upcoming assembly elections.

Stating that it is worrying that the general public will go to the polling stations without any vaccination coverage in the upcoming April-May election, the Chief Minister said the West Bengal government has decided to procure adequate number of Covid-19 vaccines and inoculate the people of the state free of cost. More details here.

Mamata Banerjee, Narendra Modi, Covid vaccine

18:18 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Most Union ministers want to pay to get vaccinated against COVID: Prasad

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday said that most of the Union Ministers would want to pay to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19. Prasad's comments came after the government announced that everyone above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities will be able to get the Covid-19 vaccine from March 1 for free at government facilities and for a charge at many private hospitals.

Asked whether ministers and the prime minister, who would be in the category of those who can take the vaccination, will get inoculated, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, at a post-Cabinet media briefing, said those who want to take the vaccination will take it at the place of their choosing from March 1. 

18:06 (IST)24 Feb 2021
COVID-19: Hotels, eateries to stay shut in Nagpur on weekends

Considering the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, the civic body in Maharashtra's Nagpur city on Wednesday directed that restaurants, hotels and eateries will remain closed on weekends till further orders, an official said.

This comes after the district administration on Monday ordered the shutting of schools and colleges till March 7.

In a revised order, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has informed that restaurants, hotels and eateries along with shops will remain closed on weekends till further orders, the official said.

However, kitchens of hotels, restaurants and eateries can continue to function for online food delivery, he said.

The order further stated that swimming pools and libraries will also remain closed till March 7, the official said. (PTI)

16:57 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Next round of vaccination from March 1: Do you qualify?

The Centre on Wednesday (February 24) announced that the country will begin on March 1 the second phase of vaccination of the next priority group: persons above the age of 60 years, as well as those above the age of 45 years with associated comorbidities. So, how do you register for vaccination? Read our explainer here

16:21 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Ghana is first nation in world to receive COVAX vaccine

Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery Wednesday of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India in Pune. 

The vaccines, delivered by UNICEF, arrived at Accra's Kotoka International Airport early Wednesday and are part of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX is sending to several low- and middle-income countries. Ghana is among 92 countries that have signed onto the COVAX programme, according to a statement by Ghana's acting Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. (AP)

COVID-19: Global alliance comes to Africa's rescue in vaccine rush | World  News,The Indian Express

15:43 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Vaccination will be done at private hospitals also, cost to be announced later: Govt

Centre on Wednesday said that vaccination against Covid-19 will also be done across private hospitals and centres but at some cost. The details of the cost will be announced by the health ministry within the next 2-3 days.

15:27 (IST)24 Feb 2021
People above 60 years of age to be vaccinated from March 1: Centre

People above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated at 10,000 govt centre from March 01. The vaccine will be given free of cost, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday. 

15:25 (IST)24 Feb 2021

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14:23 (IST)24 Feb 2021
Hong Kong to spend $15.4B to stabilize virus-ravaged economy

Hong Kong will introduce 120 billion Hong Kong dollars (USD 15.4 billion) in fiscal measures to help businesses and residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as it looks towards economic growth later this year following a recession in 2020. The measures, which include tax relief, loans for the unemployed and consumption vouchers, are aimed at stabilizing the economy, Hong Kong Finance Minister Paul Chan said in a budget speech Wednesday.

He forecast the economy is set to grow 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent this year, compared to the economic contraction of 6.1 per cent in 2020. "The budget for 2021 aims to alleviate the hardship and pressure caused by the economic downturn and the epidemic," Chan said.

Unemployed residents can get loans capped at 80,000 Hong Kong dollars (USD 10,300) in a programme that postpones payments for the first year and charges 1 per cent interest. The measures come after Hong Kong last week reported a 7 per cent jobless rate between November and January, the highest since April 2004.

Vouchers worth 5,000 Hong Kong dollars (USD 645) will also be issued in installments to residents to boost consumption. Businesses and individuals will also receive tax relief. Chan said that Hong Kong's fiscal deficit is at a record high, after the government last year spent 300 billion Hong Kong dollars (USD 38.7 billion) on supporting measures, including a cash handout to residents and wage subsidies for businesses. (AP)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Active cases drop to 1.47 lakh A health worker takes a sample of the RT-PCR swab test for diagnosis of Covid-19 at Katraj center in Pune on Monday. (Express photo by Pavan Khengre)

Yesterday, the Union Health Ministry has said that to date, there have been 187 individuals detected with UK coronavirus strain, six people with South African strain and one with Brazilian strain. However, there has been no evidence to back that these new variants are responsible for the upsurge of Covid-19 cases in Kerala and Maharashtra, Dr VK Paul, Member of the NITI Aayog, said.

Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry said the cumulative positivity rate is 5.19 per cent in the country and is declining rapidly. Kerala and Maharashtra still have 75 per cent active Covid-19 cases. Kerala has 38 per cent of the total active cases of the country while Maharashtra has 37 per cent of the total active cases, he said.

Concerned over the rising coronavirus cases, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Tuesday ordered fresh guidelines in the state to contain the spread of virus. The CM said the capacity of indoor gatherings would be restricted to 100 and outdoor gatherings to 200 from March 1, along with strict enforcement on wearing of mask and social distancing. Coronavirus testing would also to be ramped to 30,000 a day.

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