The Union health ministry has accepted the recommendations of the expert group on COVID-19 vaccination, suggesting that those infected with the virus defer their vaccination for three months after recovery.
If infected with the virus after taking the first dose, the second dose has to be deferred by three months after clinical recovery from the infection, according to the recommendation made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).
India saw record 4,529 fatalities due to coronavirus in a single day pushing the COVID-19 death count to 2,83,248, while 2,67,334 fresh infections were recorded taking the total tally of cases to 2,54,96,330, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The active cases have further reduced to 32,26,719 comprising 12.66 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 86.23 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 2,19,86,363 while the case fatality rate has increased to 1.11 per cent, the data stated.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.India crossed the grim milestone of 2 crore on May 4.
Meanwhile, Mumbai's daily coronavirus case figure has dropped below the 1,000-mark after over 10 weeks. The Maharashtra capital, which had been ravaged by the dangerous second wave of Covid infections in April, on Tuesday logged just 953 cases, lowest since March 2. However, testing has sharply declined compared to the April levels.
The city on Tuesday reported 44 deaths in a day. The positivity rate in Mumbai was 5.31 per cent - way lower than the April figures. Its recovery rate has also improved to 93 per cent; the doubling rate rests at 255 days.
Mumbai had reported 849 cases on March 2. The next few weeks, however, were extremely challenging as it was hit by an unprecedented surge, which took the city's health infrastructure to the verge of collapse.
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Vaccination for coronavirus can be taken three months after recovery, the Centre said today. The second dose of Covid vaccine should also be delayed by three months for anyone contracting the disease after the first dose. So far, there was no fixed gap for taking a vaccine in such situations. Individual physicians recommended a gap of two or four weeks depending on the condition of the patient.
A few days ago, Dr Randeep Guleria -- chief of Delhi's Al-India Institute of Medical Sciences and a member of the Centre's Covid task force -- had held a press conference where he suggested a gap of four weeks in such cases.
The fresh rules are part of the recommendations by NEGVAC -- the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 led by NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul --- which have been accepted by the Union health ministry.
The new expert group has also recommended vaccination for lactating women.
The changes come less than a week after the government expanded the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine from six to eight weeks to 12 to 16 weeks, saying it pushed up the efficacy of the vaccine.
Rapid Antigen Kits to conduct Covid test at home got a green signal today and the Indian Council of Medical Research -- the nodal body in the fight against the virus -- issued detailed guidelines on who can use it and how.
The ICMR has made it clear that only symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of people who tested positive in the laboratory should use the home test. "Indiscriminate testing is not advised," the top medical body said.
"All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required... All symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RTPCR," the ICMR said.
The foundation started by Dr K K Aggarwal announced on Wednesday it will run free online consultation services on COVID-19 for 12 hours everyday in keeping with the late cardiologist's spirit of "the show must go on". Dr Aggarwal, 62, died on Monday after a prolonged battle with COVID-19.
The announcement was made through Dr Aggarwal's Twitter handle: "Dr KK Aggarwal always believed that the show must go on, hence HCFI Dr KK Research Fund will carry on his legacy and continue to help those in need #onlineopd 10:00 am-10:00 pm, everyday!"
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Centre and the Delhi government to apprise them on the issue of shortage of medicine used for treating black fungus, a rare infection that's primarily affecting those recovering from COVID-19. "Tomorrow you tell us about your stock, your supply and how you are distributing it and what is the rationale behind it," said a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh.
West Bengal reported 19,006 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. However, the state also reported the highest (157) deaths in a single day. The current tally now stands at 11,90,867 cases and 13,733 deaths. Currently, there are 1,31,491 active cases in the state. The cumulative Test Positivity Rate stands at 10.23 per cent.
A thousand "corona health consultants" will be appointed by the Rajasthan government to speed up the door-to-door survey process and also for delivering drug and providing treatment to patients across the state. "Corona health assistants" will also be appointed by the State Civil Defence Department. The appointments will be made by July 31.
Medical Department Principal Secretary Akhil Arora, while issuing the guidelines, said that the minimum qualification to be a consultant is an MBBS degree and being a registered practitioner under the Rajasthan Medical Council.
Sikkim recorded 266 more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, pushing its total caseload to 11,955, according to a health bulletin. Two new deaths were also reported and the small Himalayan state's total death count now stands at 214. There are 3,092 active cases in the state. The total recoveries has gone up to 8,439 while 210 others have migrated out, according to the bulletin.
Kerala recorded 32,762 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 112 more related deaths on Wednesday. Its total tally now stands at 22,03,413 cases and 6,724 deaths, according to the state government.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 48,413 persons have been cured, adding which the total recoveries now stand at 18,94,518. He said 3,31,860 people are currently undergoing treatment for the infection.
Of the 1,40,545 samples tested in the last 24 hours, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) was 23.3 per cent.
About 26 per cent of Tripura's population of around 40 lakh have been inoculated with either the first or both the doses of COVID-19, the state government said on Wednesday. While the state currently has 40,000 doses in stock, it is set to receive 66,000 more by the end of this month, according to senior minister Ratan Lal Nath.
"As of now, 9.6 lakh people, who form 26 per cent of the total population, have been administered the vaccine. Of them, 5.04 lakh have received the second dose," Mr Nath said, adding that 17,038 people in the 18-44 years age category have received the vaccines so far. He said 96 per cent of healthcare and frontline workers in the state have been inoculated.
The COVID-19 tally of Meghalaya increased to 25,744 with the state recording 872 new cases on Wednesday, according to an official. The state also reported 24 fatalities that raised its death count to 379, said Health Services director Aman War. Since Tuesday, 411 patients have recovered from the disease, he said, adding that so far 19,596 people have recovered in the state. There are currently has 5,769 active cases in Meghalaya. The official said that altogether 5.98 lakh tests have been conducted in the state while 4.15 lakh have been inoculated with both the doses of Covishield vaccine.
Telangana has invited global tenders for the procurement of 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMSIDC) said in a tender document on Tuesday that the goods to be supplied must be as per the guidelines issued by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
TSMSIDC said it requires at least 15 lakh (1.5 million) to 20 lakh (2 million) doses of the vaccine to be supplied every month. The date for the submission of tender documents is June 4.
The Delhi government will form a special task force to protect children from the third wave of COVID-19, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday. Besides the task force, which will comprise paediatricians and senior IAS officers, a committee of officials will also be formed to overlook the availability of medicines, oxygen and beds in the national capital, according to a statement issued by the government. The decision came following a meeting convened by the chief minister with officials to review the current COVID situation in Delhi and deliberate on measures to be taken to prevent the third wave of the pandemic.
Delhi Police said Wednesday they have arrested a 47-year-old businessman for allegedly selling oxygen concentrators, originally meant for distribution among the needy, for Rs 1 lakh each. They said they have seized six oxygen concentrators and as many stabilisers from him. The accused, Harminder Singh of Tilak Nagar, was arrested near Hotel Radisson, Paschim Vihar, in outer Delhi on Tuesday, they added.
The Khalsa Centre North East (KCNE) has been providing free oxygen concentrators to those in need for four days in Guwahati. The initiative, named "Free Oxygen Langar", was launched Monday, said KCNE chairman Capt PP Singh. He said the concentrators after four days with a patient will be circulated amongst other needy COVID-19 patients. Mr Singh said the oxygen concentrators are given to people for a maximum of seven days by keeping a security deposit of Rs 11,000 which is refunded after the safe return of the machine that costs almost Rs 90,000.
Odisha has escorted 919 tankers and containers containing 16,809 metric tonnes of medical oxygen to 14 deficit states and Union territories in the last 27 days, said the state police. This comes amid a shortage in oxygen in wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A special package of more than Rs 1200 crores announced. Flower growers and vegetable & fruit farmers will be given Rs 10,000 per hectare per month. Auto, taxi, cab drivers will get Rs 3,000 per month. Streets vendors will be given Rs 2000 per month: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa pic.twitter.com/DYqauH4Vbv- ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2021
We've placed orders for 2 cr vaccine doses with SII and 1 crore with Bharat Biotech. They have started supplying, around 10 lakh vaccines have been supplied by the SII, around 1.5 lakh doses supplied by Bharat Biotech. We're requesting them to scale up the supply: Karnataka Dy CM pic.twitter.com/rffSSTCrx0- ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2021
Punjab: People of Ludhiana's Ladian Kalan complains lack of medical infrastructure in the village amid #COVID19 pandemic- ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2021
"Nobody from govt came to inquire about our health. We're taking home remedies to tackle any disease. There's no dispensary in our village," says Sarpanch pic.twitter.com/OHVqEAHSDX
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visits Safdarjung Hospital to review #COVID19 preparedness.- ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2021
He says, "With the help of DRDO a new PSA plant has been installed in record time here. Another plant of 2 MT capacity will be installed here within 1 month." pic.twitter.com/Uh9uyvsiRm
Karnataka | 2 girls from Bengaluru join a volunteer group for burying #COVID19 patients- ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2021
"Our families have been doing COVID relief work, so we got inspired from them. It feels good to help in some way. Risk is everywhere but sitting idle at home is even worse," they said (18.05) pic.twitter.com/JP9nJEFfM8
Tripura | Agartala Municipal Corporation uses graffiti to convey awareness on COVID-19- ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2021
"As part of city beautification project, we are refurbishing old walls with social messages. Our latest paintings highlight COVID appropriate behaviour," Municipal Commissioner said (18.05) pic.twitter.com/QVa8AQrcHe