The easing of Covid-related lockdown norms has led to crowding in some markets and other places, the centre said today, as it urged states to ensure the "extremely important" five-fold strategy of Covid-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination to prevent the spread of the disease.
Vaccination against COVID-19 is critical to break the chain of transmission, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in a communication to all states.
India's total tally of COVID-19 cases surged to 2,98,23,546 with 60,753 new infections, while the recoveries have surged to 2,86,78,390, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
Meanwhile, a third Covid wave in India is "inevitable", and it may hit the country in the next six-eight weeks, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria told NDTV this morning amid unlocking in various states after weeks of strict restrictions.
Here are the Live Updates on India Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases:
Mizoram and Manipur are the two states where the Delta variant of coronavirus was detected for the first time in the north-east region, sources have said. After testing 20 samples from Manipur in a laboratory in Hyderabad, 18 were found to be of Delta variant, sources said. Read here
Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray has reacted sharply against the alleged fraudulent Covid vaccination drive scam conducted at Hiranandani Heritage Club in Mumbai's Kandivali, stating that housing societies should take NOCs from BMC to ensure vaccination drive are legitimate. Read here
Close to 75,000 people died in Bihar of unexplained causes in the first five months of 2021, which coincided with the deadly second Covid wave, new data shows. This is almost 10 times the state's official pandemic death figure, raising the question of whether the state is undercounting its Covid deaths. Read here
Nagaland on Saturday reported 94 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally in the state to 24,191, a health department official said, according to news agency PTI. At least 171 people were cured of the disease during the day, taking the total number of recoveries to 21,058, said State Nodal Officer for Integrated Disease Surveillance Project Dr Nyanthung Kikon in a bulletin.
The recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state stands at 87.05 per cent, he said. One more fatality due to the infection was reported in Kiphire district, raising the death toll to 468, the official said. Nagaland currently has 1,979 active cases, and 686 COVID-19 patients have migrated to other states so far.
In a first, the Delhi government has started the system of foster care and invited applications from people who can temporarily care for children, a situation necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Delhi government's Women and Child Development has issued a Standard Operating Procedure for foster care.
Children, who have been orphaned or surrendered by their parents as they are either unfit or economically weak to take care of their wards, will be considered for foster care. The coronavirus pandemic gave birth to this idea but other children who might be in a similar situation will also be eligible for foster care.
According to an official, it is for the first time that they are initiating the system of foster care. While group foster care has been there with certain NGOs being part of it, the concept of a foster family is being started for the first time. The situation has been necessitated by the current pandemic as many children have been affected by it.
The UK is undergoing a third wave of coronavirus infections as a result of the highly transmissible Delta variant, an expert who advises the government on its vaccination programme said on Saturday.
Professor Adam Finn, who advises on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told the BBC that the country is now in a firm race between the vaccines and the Delta variant - first identified in India.
"It's going up, perhaps we can be a little bit optimistic it's not going up any faster, but nevertheless it's going up, so this third wave is definitely underway," said Prof. Finn.
"We can conclude that the race is firmly on between the vaccine programme, particularly getting older people's second doses done, and the Delta variant third wave," he said.
The Delta variant of coronavirus has been detected for the first time in two states in the north-east - Manipur and Mizoram, sources have said.
After testing 20 samples from Manipur in a laboratory in Hyderabad, 18 were found to be of Delta variant, sources said.
Mizoram reported four cases of the highly infectious variant, also known as B.1.617.2. The Delta variant has been detected in four COVID-19 patients in Aizawl district. Their samples were sent along with others to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal.
AAP MLA Atishi said Delhi now has 2,58,000 doses of Covishield and 37,000 doses of Covaxin for the 18-44 age group.
"We have seen that the speed of the vaccination drive goes up with the availability of vaccines for the 18-44 age group and goes down as soon as they are on the verge of running out of stock. Here, we are happy to share that Delhi on Friday received 1,67,000 Covishield doses for the age group," she was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Saturday.
She said for those aged above 45, Delhi has 7,65,000 Covishield and 80,000 Covaxin doses.
Delhi registered seven deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday, the lowest in over two months (since April 1). The national capital also saw 135 fresh cases of coronavirus infection as the positivity rate dipped to 0.18 per cent, data released by the state government said.
The death count dipped to single digit for the first time since April 1, taking the number of total fatalities to 24,907.
Delhi has been witnessing a fall in Covid numbers for the past few days. The city, on Friday, recorded 165 cases with a positivity rate of 0.22 per cent, while the death count had stood at 14.
On Thursday, 158 cases with a positivity rate of 0.20 per cent, and 10 deaths were reported, indicating a significant fall in the count of daily fatalities due to the virus.
Coinciding with the centre's rollout of COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to all the states from Monday, the Assam government will launch an "Enhanced Covid Vaccination" drive that targets to inoculate 3 lakh people daily.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the drive will go on for 10 days starting June 21 and the target age group has been merged into all adults -- those between 18 to 44 years-old and above.
"Over 2,000 vaccination centres has been set up keeping in mind the remote locations and the backward areas," Mr Sarma said.
"Every tea garden will have a centre," he added.
With Nashik district in Maharashtra falling under the level-2 category of the five-level ''unlock'' plan of the Maharashtra government, the local administration has decided to allow the reopening of malls with a 50 per cent capacity on weekdays from June 21, district guardian minister Chhagan Bhujbal said on Saturday.
However, the administration has decided to continue with the level-3 restrictions considering the previous experience of crowding and various other factors.
The malls will be allowed to operate from 7 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday.
The Telangana government has decided to reopen the state completely as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic showed strong signs of receding. The government has ordered "all branches to lift all types of regulations imposed during the lockdown in full extent."
"The state cabinet has decided to lift the lockdown completely. The decision has been taken to lift the lockdown by examining the reports given by medical authorities that the number of corona cases, positivity percentage has decreased significantly, corona have come into full control," the Chief Minister's Office posted on Facebook.
Telangana, one of the worst-hit states in the country, on Friday reported a case positivity of just 1.14 per cent. The number of daily cases was just over 1,400 in 24 hours, whereas the number of Covid-linked deaths was 12.
Amid concerns that children may get affected by the third wave, NITI Aayog's Dr VK Paul on Friday answered questions about the reopening of schools. "As vaccination coverage widens, teachers get vaccinated, we change habits and implement social distancing in everyday lives... there should come a time when this can happen," said Dr Paul. Read here
A new software Covid Severity Score (CSS) can now identify patients likely to require ventilator support in an ICU and referral in time, the Ministry of Science and Technology informed today.
The software consists of an algorithm that measures a set of parameters and scores against a pre-set dynamic algorithm multiple times for each patient and allocates a Covid Severity Score (CSS) mapping in a graphical trend.
The easing of Covid-related lockdown norms has led to crowding in some markets and other places, the centre said today, as it urged states to ensure the "extremely important" five-fold strategy of Covid-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination to prevent the spread of the disease. Read here
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state is looking to inoculate 3-lakh people daily against Covid from June 21, reported news agency PTI.
The daily positivity rate stands at 2.98 per cent. It has been less than five per cent for 12 straight days, the Health Ministry said, adding that the weekly positivity rate has declined to 3.58 per cent.
Recoveries outnumbered daily cases for the 37th consecutive day and the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has increased to 2,86,78,390. The case fatality rate stands at 1.29 per cent, the data said.