Coronavirus: The death count increased to 3,79,573 with 2,542 new fatalities. (File)
India has reported 62,224 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, slightly higher that yesterday's figures. The death count climbed to 3,79,573 with 2,542 fresh fatalities. The dip comes amid warnings of a resurgence in cases with the easing of curbs. With the fresh Covid cases, the country's tally of cases has climbed to over 2.96 crore, as per Union Health Ministry.
The daily positivity rate further dropped to 3.22 per cent. It for the ninth straight day that India is seeing a positivity rate below 5 per cent.
Meanwhile, anyone over the age of 18 can walk in to the nearest vaccination centre to get registered on the CoWIN digital platform and be inoculated against COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said Tuesday afternoon.
It is not mandatory to pre-register online or book an appointment to get the vaccine, the government said, as it seeks to increase the pace of vaccinations and tackle the 'vaccine hesitancy' it has blamed for the slow rollout of vaccines in parts of the country, including rural areas.
'Vaccine hesitancy', the government said last week, is "a globally accepted phenomenon and should be addressed by scientifically studying the issue at the community level". It said it was sharing a 'COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy' with state/UT governments.
Here are the Live Updates on India Coronavirus (Covid-19 Cases) Cases:
Sputnik V Jabs In 9 More Cities Now, Pilot Launch In "Final Leg"
The pilot launch of Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik V, which was initiated in Hyderabad, has now been extended to nine other cities. These cities are Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Baddi, Kolhapur and Miryalaguda.
However, people cannot register for the Russian vaccine through the CoWIN portal yet and that facility will be available only when it is commercially launched, local distribution partner Dr Reddy's said in a statement. The statement added that the pilot launch is in its final leg and necessary arrangements are being made to ensure availability of both doses.
The pilot programme for Sputnik V, which received clearance from the drug regulator for emergency use in April, was launched on May 17 by Dr Reddy's in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals. In India, the first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad on May 15 under the pilot launch.
The statement by Dr Reddy's said the pilot launch has allowed them to test cold storage arrangements in these cities, the integration with CoWIN portal and other logistical aspects before the vaccine is launched commercially.
Antibody Drug Cuts Deaths From Some Severe Covid Patients: Study
A cocktail of synthetic antibodies reduces deaths among severe Covid patients who are unable to mount a strong immune response, results from a major clinical trial showed Wednesday.
The therapy, developed by the US biotech firm Regeneron and given to former US President Donald Trump during his brush with the coronavirus, had previously only been used to treat patients in the early stages of the disease.
But the Recovery trial based in Britain has found the drug is effective in treating some patients with more acute cases of the virus.
The treatment, called REGN-COV2, "reduces the risk of death when given to patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 who have not mounted a natural antibody response of their own", the researchers said in a press release.
The drug uses two synthetic antibodies to bind to sites on the virus's spike proteins, preventing it from infecting cells.
How Vaccines Work Against The Delta Variant
The Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, is a cause for global concern with studies showing it is more contagious and resistant to vaccines than other forms of Covid.
But there is also evidence vaccines retain important effectiveness against Delta after two doses.
COVID-19: Partial Lockdown To Continue In Odisha Till July 1
Owing to the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the Odisha government has decided to continue partial lockdown in the state till 5 AM of July 1.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra informed that shops for essential goods will be allowed to open from 6 AM to 5 PM in 17 Districts of the southern and western part of the state where the positivity rate is 5 per cent or less.
For the 13 coastal districts and the districts with a higher positivity rate, the shops for essential goods will open from 6 AM to 1 PM, he said.
The street vendors have also been allowed to operate with take-away only, in 17 districts with a positivity rate of 5 per cent or less.
Essential services, transportation of goods, industrial activities, and construction activities will be allowed. However, the public bus service will not be running.
All restrictions regarding marriage, cremation, meetings, and social gatherings remain, and the opening of temples is prohibited.
Mr Mahapatra also informed that while the parks and gyms will remain closed, morning walks and jogging will be allowed.
France To Lift Outdoor Mask Mandate Tomorrow, Covid Curbs To End Sunday
France on Wednesday said it was ending the obligation to wear masks outside and would bring forwards by 10 days the lifting of a nighttime curfew, as Covid infections fall and the country's vaccine drive picks up.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the requirement for people to wear masks outdoors would be lifted from Thursday, with some exceptions, while an unpopular Covid curfew will be scrapped on June 20.
The 11:00 pm curfew will be lifted 10 days earlier than initially planned as the number of coronavirus infections continues to fall, Castex said.
"The health situation of our country is improving faster than we expected," Castex told a press conference after cabinet meeting.
Masks would still be required outdoors in crowded places and in stadiums.
'Calf Serum' Used But Not Present In Covaxin: Government's 'Fact-Check'
Coming out strongly against social media posts that claimed Bharat Biotech's Covaxin contains calf serum, the Union Health Ministry stressed that "facts have been twisted and misrepresented".
"There have been some social media posts regarding composition of the Covaxin vaccine where it has been suggested that Covaxin vaccine contains the newborn calf serum. Facts have been twisted and misrepresented in these posts," the Union Health Ministry said.
The ministry clarified that the newborn calf serum is used only for the preparation and growth of vero cells, adding that this technique has been used for decades in Polio, Rabies, and Influenza vaccines.
How India's Most Crowded City Mumbai Beat The Odds, And Covid
When COVID-19 arrived in India, few places looked as vulnerable as Mumbai. But a year on, South Asia's most crowded city has surprised many by tackling a vicious second wave with considerable success.
Gaurav Awasthi even travelled hundreds of kilometres from his home on the outskirts of Delhi to get his ailing wife a hospital bed there, paying an ambulance more than a thousand dollars to drive 24 hours straight.
"I cannot ever repay my debt to this city," the 29-year-old told AFP, recounting an ordeal that saw him spend five days fruitlessly searching for a bed across several cities, including Delhi.
Health Ministry Shares Facts On Covaxin
"Ambitious" Plan To Prepare 5000 Health Assistants: Delhi CM Kejriwal Didn't Back Doubling Dose Gap, Say Scientists; Government Counters Claim
The government doubled the gap between the two doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without the agreement of the scientific group that it said recommended the increase, three members of the advisory body told Reuters. The ministry of health announced the decision to change the gap from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks on May 13, at a time when supplies of the shot were falling short of demand and infections were surging across the country.
Deaths After Vaccination 0.0002% Of 23.5 Crore Doses Administered: Centre
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday clarified that any death or hospitalisation following COVID-19 vaccination cannot be automatically assumed to be due to vaccination. As per the official release by the ministry, there have been some media reports suggesting an increase in the cases of severe Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI), which have also resulted in 'succumbing of patients' post-vaccination. As per the media reports, 488 deaths following vaccination are linked to post-COVID complications during January 16, 2021 and June 7, 2021 period where the total vaccination coverage was 23.5 crore.
Maharashtra: Bhiwandi Town Reports Its First Death Due To Black Fungus
Bhiwandi town in Maharashtra's Thane district has reported its first fatality due to mucormycosis or black fungus with the death of a woman conservancy staffer of the local civic body, a medical officer said. However, the deceased had not tested positive for the coronavirus infection and she was suffering from diabetes and hypertension, Dr K R Kharat, medical officer of Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation (BNCMC), said on Tuesday. The 44-year-old deceased had developed black fungus symptoms recently. She was first admitted to Thane Civil Hospital and was later transferred to J J Hospital in Mumbai, he said.
Coronavirus: 11 New Cases Push COVID-19 Tally Of Andamans To 7,280
The COVID-19 tally of Andaman and Nicobar Islands rose to 7,280 on Wednesday as 11 more people tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said. Four new patients have travel history, while seven fresh infections were detected during contact tracing, it said. Fifteen more people have been cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 7,049, the bulletin said.
Coronavirus: India Reports 62,224 New COVID-19 Cases, 2,542 Deaths In Last 24 Hours
India's total tally of COVID-19 cases surged to 2,96,33,105 with 62,224 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries have crossed 2.83 crores, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. The death count increased to 3,79,573 with 2,542 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Covishield Interval Extended On Scientific Evidence: Central Panel Chief
The decision regarding enhancing interval between two doses of Covishield was based on scientific evidence and taken in a transparent manner, NTAGI Chair N K Arora said on Tuesday. There was no dissenting voice among the members of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI ), he said, according to a tweet by the Union Health Ministry.
A Fifth Of Asymptomatic Covid Patients Develop Long Covid: Study
Almost a fifth of Covid patients without symptoms went on to experience conditions consistent with long Covid a month after their initial diagnosis, according to a huge study published Tuesday. The analysis by non-profit FAIR Health encompassed insurance claims from 1.96 million Americans -- the largest population of patients ever studied for long Covid -- from February 2020 to February 2021.
Coronavirus News: Delhi Defies Social Distancing, Doctors Say Brace For COVID-19 'Explosion'
In national capital Delhi, thousands of commuters crowded into underground train stations and shopping malls on Tuesday, prompting some doctors to warn it could lead to a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. Major Indian cities have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections has dropped to its lowest level in more than two months.
Coronavirus News: Decision of Covishield interval taken transparently based on scientific evidence, says NTAGI chief
The decision regarding enhancing interval between two doses of Covishield was based on scientific evidence and taken in a transparent manner, NTAGI Chair NK Arora said on Tuesday.
There was no dissenting voice among the members of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI ), he said, according to a tweet by the Union Health Ministry.
Coronavirus News: Maharashtra should become self-reliant in oxygen generation, Says Rajesh Tope
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said the state, worst hit by COVID-19, should become self-reliant in oxygen generation, PTI reported.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event at the Vasantdada Sugar Institute here, Tope said following instructions from NCP president Sharad Pawar, people from the sugar industry are coming forward to set up oxygen generating plants.