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While the US and China race to vaccinate their populations, tens of millions of doses prepared for India are sitting in storage despite having been authorised for use. New Delhi and Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine maker by volume and AstraZeneca Plc's local partner, have engaged in months of haggling behind closed doors and are yet to sign a formal supply agreement. That has left at least 70 million vaccine doses in limbo despite the urgent need in a country facing the world's second-largest outbreak.
Hundred per cent occupancy in movie theatres cannot be allowed yet, the Union home ministry has told Tamil Nadu today. The state's AIADMK government, which lifted the restrictions on cinema halls last week, was told to scrap this particular allowance. The ministry has so far allowed 50 per cent occupancy outside containment zones as part of the phased unlock process.
A second dry run for COVID-19 vaccination will be held in all states on Friday. The first was held on January 2, checking the best way to vaccinate people and plug loopholes in logistics and training. Friday's drive will again test the feasibility of Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network, a digital platform to roll out and scale up the vaccination drive.
The COVID-19 vaccine is likely to arrive in Delhi by early next week and robust preparations are on to stock it in the required thermal environment and ensure effective roll-out of the inoculation exercise, agency reports said on Wednesday. The city government is creating a massive storage facility at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and the police have been informed about it.
Surveillance of untreated wastewater can warn officials about an impending spike or decrease in COVID-19 cases up to two weeks in advance, according to a study conducted by scientists at IIT Gandhinagar. The researchers, including those from Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC), explored the association between the SARS-CoV-2 genetic load in wastewater and the number of COVID-19 cases at the district level in Gandhinagar, to establish if wastewater surveillance can be an effective tool to warn about the disease early.
Mumbai Police on Wednesday lifted the night curfew impose from December 22 to January 5 between 11 pm and 6 am in view of the threat of the new UK variant of coronavirus and in a bid to prevent crowding during Christmas and New Year celebrations in Mumbai and other municipal areas in the state.
The Delhi Government has directed schools here to submit the innovations done by teachers and management committees to ensure education in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools in the national capital are closed since March last year. Though several states have partially reopened schools, Delhi will schools will reopen only after a vaccine is available. Teaching and learning activities moved online since the closure of schools, prompting teachers to innovate with teaching methods.
Schools in Punjab reopen today only for students from Class 5 to 12. The schools will function from 10 am to 3 pm. The reopening follows persistent demand by parents, Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said in the statement on Wednesday.
Britain on Wednesday reported 1,041 fatalities due to coronavirus, the first time the daily death count has topped 1,000 since April. The latest figure means 77,346 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test - among the highest in Europe alongside Italy.
Amid the coronavirus restrictions in the UK, all consular services have been suspended till February 20, said the Indian High Commission in the UK. "All Consular Services by @HCI_London will remain suspended till 20.02.2021 due to #COVID19 #Tier5 restrictions imposed by the Government of the UK and in light of health threat to the service seekers posed by fast spreading of the new COVID-19 variant," the High Commission said in a tweet.