India recorded more than 40,000 fresh COVID-19 cases, while its active caseload is more than 4,00,000 today, according to Union health ministry data.
India recorded 42,625 new coronavirus infections that pushed its tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,17,69,132 while the number of deaths climbed to 4,25,757 with 562 deaths in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The active cases have increased to 4,04,958 and comprise 1.29 per cent of the total infections. The national COVID-19 recovery rate is 97.37 per cent, it stated. The daily positivity rate is 2.31 per cent. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.36 per cent, the ministry data stated.
Meanwhile, the pandemic is "still raging" in the country and eight states have shown a rise in the R-factor, the government said today, calling it a "significant problem".
As many as 44 districts have reported a high case positivity and the Delta-driven second wave is still not over, warned VK Paul, who heads the government's Covid task force. Eighteen districts showed an increasing trend in cases in the last four weeks, according to the government.
"Delta variant is a dominant problem. The pandemic is still raging and the second wave is persisting in our own country," Dr Paul said, expressing concern about the R-factor or the reproductive rate of a virus, which indicates how fast it is spreading.
Here are the LIVE updates on India coronavirus (COVID-19) cases:
Amid the ongoing pandemic, the government has decided to give free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh to children up to the age of 18 years, who were orphaned due to the pandemic, said Union Minister Anurag Thakur, according to news agency ANI. The premium will be paid by the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-Cares), he added. "As part of the steps taken to take care of children affected by COVID-19, children up to 18 years will be provided free health insurance of Rs 5 lakhs under Ayushman Bharat and its premium will be paid by PM CARES," Mr Thakur tweeted on Wednesday.
Tamil Nadu reported 1,949 new COVID-19 cases, 2,011 recoveries, and 38 deaths on Wednesday, said the state's Health Department in a media bulletin, according to news agency ANI. There are a total of 20,117 active cases in Tamil Nadu. The cumulative number of cases registered in the state has risen to 25,67,401. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, 25,13,087 persons have recovered from the infection while 34,197 died due to the virus.
Japan warned on Wednesday that coronavirus infections were surging at an unprecedented pace as new cases hit a record high in Tokyo, overshadowing the Olympics and adding to doubts over the government's handling of the pandemic.
The Delta variant was leading to a spread of infections "unseen in the past", Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said as he defended a new policy of asking patients with milder symptoms to isolate at home rather than going to hospital.
Delhi government slashed the price of RT-PCR tests - the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 - from Rs 800 to Rs 500 in the city today, according to an order issued by the health department. Earlier, people were required to pay Rs 800 for these tests.
These tests are, however, conducted for free in Delhi's government hospitals.
A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has found that Covid-19-recovered individuals with both doses of Covishield have higher immunity against the Delta variant.
The study titled ''Neutralization Of Delta Variant With Sera of Covishield Vaccines And Covid-19 Recovered Vaccinated Individuals'' have assessed the neutralising antibody (NAb) response of individuals immunised with Covishield vaccine (first dose and second dose), COVID-19 recovered individuals who were vaccinated (first dose and second dose) and breakthrough infections (due to Kappa and the Delta variant).
Delta variant has further mutated to Delta plus also known as AY.1.
Beijing announced tighter restrictions on overseas travel for its citizens Wednesday in response to rising coronavirus cases in China.
Immigration authorities said they would temporarily "not be issuing ordinary passports and other entry-exit documents" for non-essential reasons.
The Kerala government on Wednesday announced an easing of the lockdown curbs, imposed in the state in view of the spread of COVID-19.
Health Minister Veena George, who made a statement in this regard in the state Assembly, said it would be a triple lockdown for shops located in an area, where over 10 of the 1000 people of the population are infected in a week.
The Central multi-disciplinary teams that recently visited Kerala to review the COVID-19 situation in the state emphasised the need for enhancing testing, contact tracing, enforcing containment measures and establishment of adequate healthcare infrastructure to overcome the crisis.
"Proper hospital infrastructure like ICU and ventilator beds need to be augmented on an urgent basis. Paediatric Care facilities especially paediatric ICU beds also need to be augmented," they pointed out.
The Kerala government is following the ICMR and WHO guidelines to report covid deaths in the state, Veena George Kerala Health Minister said on Tuesday in the Assembly over the allegations of discrepancies in covid related deaths across the state.
A total of 13,325 covid deaths has been reported in the state till June 15, 2021, said Kerala health minister while replying to the questions of MLAs' in the Assembly.
RT-PCR test result is mandatory to record COVID-19 deaths and it is upon the doctor concerned who treated the covid patient to decide whether the death is due to COVID-19 or not, the health minister told the Assembly.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office today said a record 26,03,631 people had been vaccinated against Covid today. Citing CO-WIN data, it tweeted that the state had by now inoculated over 5.13 crore people overall.
Tweeting a screen shot of the Co-WIN dashboard with the data, Yogi Adityanath's office said, "Under the guidance of the Respected Prime Minister and the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Maharaj, the mega Covid vaccination drive was actively continuing."
Vaccines targeting the highly transmissible delta variant may now be needed, given its ability to infect people with fading immunity and potentially increased severity, researchers leading a large English study of Covid shots said.
A third wave of English cases has been driven by the delta strain among both unvaccinated people -- especially those aged 12 to 24 -- as well as some people who had received Covid shots, according to authors of a study of samples from about 98,000 people in England. The effectiveness of vaccines at stopping infection during the study period fell to 49%, the researchers estimated, down from 64% in a month earlier. Vaccines' protection against development of Covid symptoms was 59%, down from 83%.
"Development of vaccines against delta may be warranted," in the light of evidence that the strain's spike protein has mutated to a point where antibodies raised by current shots are becoming less effective, the researchers said.
Health officials in France on Tuesday activated an emergency plan on the Mediterranean island of Corsica as a fourth wave of Covid infections spread across the country. Read more
Tokyo on Tuesday reported 3,709 new cases of coronavirus amid Olympics 2020 in the city while 18 more people associated with Tokyo Olympics have been tested positive, reported news agency ANI. New cases had topped 3,000 for five consecutive days in Tokyo and doctors have criticised the government's response to the increasing cases, Kyodo News reported. Overall 12,017 new cases have been reported in the country, which is the second-highest single-day record.
The pandemic is "still raging" in the country and eight states have shown a rise in the R-factor, the government said today, calling it a "significant problem". Read here.