Coronavirus News highlights: India recorded 38,949 new COVID-19 cases, which took the infection tally to 3,10,26,829, while the death toll reached 4,12,531 with 542 more fatalities, according to Union health ministry data updated on Friday. The active cases have declined to 4,30,422 and comprise 1.39 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.28 percent, the data updated at 8 am showed. It said that a decrease of 1,619 has been recorded in the number of active cases in a span of 24 hours.
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China to donate 1.6 million more doses of COVID19 vaccines to Nepal
China will donate an additional 1.6 million doses of COVID19 vaccines to Nepal, the foreign ministry here said on Friday. The announcement was made by Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi, who paid a courtesy call to newly-appointed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
UK Delta variant infections high but hospitalisations in check, study finds
UK health officials said the Delta variant of COVID19 continues its rise in the UK with a further 36,800 cases logged on Friday, which marks a 17 percent increase over the previous week. Public Health England (PHE) said that while the infections continue to be high and rising, there has not been a corresponding rise in the number of hospitalisations with COVID19, indicating that the vaccinations are effective against the highly transmissible variant first identified in India.
Urban men lost more jobs than women in second wave of COVID-19: CMIE
Urban men lost more jobs than women during the second wave of COVID19, implying a complete loss of livelihood for millions of households, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The most disproportionate loss of jobs because of the first wave of COVID19 was among urban women, CMIE's MD and CEO Mahesh Vyas said in his analysis.
COVID-19 prohibitory orders extended in Nepal's Kathmandu valley till July 25
Nepal's capital Kathmandu and two surrounding districts have extended the coronavirus prohibitory period which was set to end on July 15 by another 10 days as the authorities continue to view Kathmandu Valley as a high risk zone for virus transmission, according to a media report on Friday. In a joint statement, the district administration offices of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur said the prohibitory period will be extended till July 25, The Himalayan Times reported.
Take back unused Covid vaccine stocks from pvt hospitals and reallot them to State for use: AP CM tells Centre
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday again demanded that the Centre take back unused Covid19 vaccine stocks from private hospitals and reallot them to the state for better use. Taking part in the videoconference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Covid19 situation, along with other Chief Ministers, Jagan said the private hospitals in AP could so far administer only 4,20,209 doses of the vaccine against their allotment of over 17.71 lakh doses.
Sikkim reports 151 new COVID-19 cases, one more death
Sikkim's COVID19 tally rose to 23,080 on Friday as 151 more people tested positive for the infection, while one fresh fatality pushed the Himalayan states coronavirus death toll to 319, a health department bulletin said. Of the 151 new cases, East Sikkim registered 92, followed by West Sikkim (44), South Sikkim (14), and North Sikkim (1).
Russia hits another record daily virus deaths
Daily coronavirus deaths in Russia have hit another record, with the authorities reporting 799 deaths. It's the fourth straight day of a record number of deaths. On Friday, officials reported 25,704 new coronavirus cases. Daily new infections in Russia have soared from around 9,000 in early June to more than 25,000 last week.
COVID-19: Maha CM urges PM to frame national policy to stop public gatherings
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to formulate a national policy to stop public gatherings for social, political and religious purposes, in a bid to curb the spread of COVID19. He sought three crore anticoronavirus vaccine doses per month for Maharashtra, saying it would expedite the vaccination process in the state. Thackeray was speaking during the prime minister's video interaction with the chief ministers of six states over the coronavirus situation.
Remote Arunachal circle people impose self-lockdown as Covid cases rise
The people of a remote administrative circle in Arunachal Pradesh have decided to impose 'selflockdown' in the area for a week in view of the spurt in COVID19 cases, an official said on Friday. The administration did not issue any order but the people of Yomcha circle in West Siang district themselves decided to observe lockdown from Friday to July 22, the District Information and Public Relation Officer (DIPRO), Gijum Tali, said.
COVID-19: HC asks Maha govt to frame guidelines for home vaccination
The Bombay High Court on Friday said it was not satisfied with the Maharashtra government's progress on framing guidelines for door-to-door vaccination against COVID19 for senior citizens and bedridden persons. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said it expects the government to frame the guidelines by July 20.
Yediyurappa urges PM to provide 1.5 crore doses of COVID vaccine every month
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide at least 1.5 crore doses of Covid vaccine to the state every month. Yediyurappa put forth the demand for vaccines during a virtual meeting chaired by Modi with the chief ministers of various states to review the COVID19 situation, said a statement issued by his office.
MP: Indore records single COVID-19 case for first time in 16 months
For the first time in 16 months, Madhya Pradesh's Indore has recorded just one case of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, an official said on Friday. Amid preparations for the third wave of the COVID19 pandemic and the ongoing vaccination drive, the daily count of infections has gradually declined in Madhya Pradesh.
Five or more symptoms in first week of infection linked to long COVID: Study
People who exhibit over five symptoms of SARSCoV2 infection in the first week are more likely to develop long COVID, irrespective of their age or gender, according to a review of studies. In long COVID, patients experience prolonged symptoms extending sometimes for months.
UK not out of the woods with COVID yet, hospital numbers scary', warns top medic
The UK is "not out of the woods yet" with the coronavirus pandemic and the number of people hospitalised with the deadly virus could reach quite scary numbers" if the trend is sustained, England's Chief Medical Officer has warned. Professor Chris Whitty also said that people should approach the end of most restrictions from Monday with caution. Whitty said that the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is doubling around every three weeks and could hit "quite scary numbers" if that trend is sustained. He urged the public to take things incredibly slowly as the so-called July 19 Freedom Day from legal lockdown restrictions approaches. "I don't think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast," he told a webinar hosted by the Science Museum on Thursday. "We are not by any means out of the woods yet on this, we are in much better shape due to the vaccine programme, and drugs and a variety of other things. But this has got a long way to run in the UK, and it's got even further to run globally," he said.
Hockey in Tokyo 2020: Gold for both finalists in case of no title clash due to COVID
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Friday said if the finalists at the Tokyo Olympics are ruled of the title clash due to COVID-19 positive cases, then both teams will be awarded the gold medal. FIH chief executive officer Thierry Weil also said the discretion to withdraw from hockey events in Tokyo due to positive COVID cases within a team lies with the respective competing nations.
Jharkhand reports 54 new COVID-19 cases; zero virus-induced deaths
Jharkhand reported 54 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, which pushed the tally to 3,46,533, a health department bulletin said on Friday. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 5,120 as no new fatality due to the contagion was reported in the last 24 hours, it said. Of the 54 new cases, Bokaro reported 14 cases followed by eight cases from East Singhbhum and six cases from Lohardaga. No new COVID-19 case was reported from Chatra, Garhwa, Giridih, Godda, Jamtara, Khunti, Pakur, Simdega and West Singhbhum districts.
Assam withdraws exemption of COVID testing for vaccinated people
The Assam government has withdrawn its earlier order exempting mandatory COVID-19 testing for air and train passengers who have received both doses of the vaccine, an official order said. The decision to withdraw the exemption was taken after cases of persons testing positive for COVID-19 even after having taken both doses of the vaccine were detected in the state. The notification issued on Thursday by the Health and Family Welfare department said the earlier order of June 25, 2021, stands withdrawn with immediate effect.
The states reporting high new cases need to take proactive measures to stop the possibility of a third wave of COVID19. We need to move ahead with a focus on 'Test-Track-Treat- Vaccinate' approach: PM Modi to CMs of 6 states with a high positivity rate
Clinical trial for Covid vaccines for children on verge of completion: Centre to HC
The Centre on Friday told the Delhi High Court that clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines for children under 18 years of age are going on and on the verge of completion. A policy will be formed by the government and children will be vaccinated when experts give permission, the Centre said. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh observed, Let the trials be done, otherwise, it would be a disaster if vaccines are administered without trials that too in case of children. Once trials are over, you quickly apply to children. The whole country is waiting, it added. The court listed the matter for further hearing on September 6. The high court was hearing a PIL filed on behalf of a minor. It sought directions for the immediate vaccination of those in the 12-17 age group on the ground that there were fears a likely third wave of COVID-19 could affect them more.
PM asks states with rising COVID-19 cases to take proactive steps to prevent the third wave
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged states where COVID-19 cases are rising to take proactive measures to prevent a third wave and stressed on moving forward with the strategy of test, track, treat and 'tika (vaccine)'. Modi said apprehensions about a third wave of the coronavirus are being expressed with the number of cases in some states a matter of concern. During an interaction with chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra and Kerala, he said that 80 percent of the new Covid cases last week were from these states.
Majority of clinical cases of COVID-19 breakthrough infection due to Delta variant: Study
The Delta variant of SARS-COV-2 was behind majority of clinical cases of breakthrough infection of COVID-19 but only 9.8 percent cases required hospitalisation and fatality were observed in only 0.4 percent cases, according to a new ICMR study. Breakthrough infection is if one gets infected even after immunisation. The study, the largest and first nation-wide study of post-vaccination breakthrough infections from India, said its analysis shows that the vaccination does provide reduction in hospital admission and mortality. "Therefore, enhancing the vaccination drive and immunising the populations quickly would be the most important strategy to prevent further deadly waves of the COVID-19 and would reduce the burden on the health care system," the study said. Two new SARS-CoV-2 variants Delta AY.1 and AY.2 were also identified in these study samples.
COVID-19: Puducherry adds 104 new cases; test positivity rate below 2%
Puducherry reported 104 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, a senior official of the Health and Family Welfare Services department said on Friday. The test positivity rate was less than two percent in the union territory, Director of Health and Family Welfare Services S Mohan Kumar said. The 104 new cases saw the overall tally rise to 1,19,509. He said 6,119 samples were tested during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM Friday and the test positivity rate was 1.69 percent.
WHO chief says it was ''premature'' to rule out COVID lab leak
The head of the World Health Organisation acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said Thursday he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus. In a rare departure from his usual deference to powerful member countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that traveled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of COVID-19. The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Tedros told reporters that the UN health agency based in Geneva is asking actually China to be transparent, open and cooperate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic. He said there had been a premature push to rule out the theory that the virus might have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan - undermining WHO's own March report, which concluded that a laboratory leak was extremely unlikely. I was a lab technician myself, I'm an immunologist, and I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen, Tedros said. It's common.
2 new COVID-19 cases in Andamans
The union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported only two new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 7,501, a health department official said on Friday. The two cases were detected during contact tracing, the official said. The COVID-19 death toll in the archipelago remained at 129 as no fresh fatality due to the contagion was reported in the last 24 hours, the official said.
US Surgeon General Murthy says he lost 10 family members to Covid; urges Americans to shed vaccine hesitancy
US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy has revealed that he lost as many as 10 family members, both here and in India, to the COVID-19 pandemic, making a strong case for Americans to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the deadly virus. Launching a campaign against misinformation, the top Indian-American physician urged people to raise the bar for sharing health information by checking sources before they share it with others to ensure that the information is backed by credible scientific sources. So far, 160 million Americans have been vaccinated, Murthy said, adding that is all good news. But we are not out of the woods yet. Millions of Americans are still not protected against COVID-19, and we are seeing more infections among those who are unvaccinated, he said at a White House briefing on Thursday.
Nashik adds 162 COVID-19 cases; six die
The COVID-19 tally in the Nashik district of Maharashtra rose to 3,96,878 with the single-day addition of 162 cases, health officials have said. These cases were added on Thursday. The virus claimed the lives of six patients during the day, which pushed the death toll in the district to 8,450, they said. A total of 157 patients were discharged from hospitals on Thursday, taking the recovery count of the district to 3,86,767. With 9,128 samples getting tested during the day, the overall test count has now reached 21,14,268, the officials said.
Bharat Biotech's partner Ocugen seeks approval for Covaxin in Canada
Ocugen Inc., Bharat Biotech's partner for the USA and Canada for COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has initiated a rolling submission to Health Canada for the jab, the US company said in a regulatory filing. The move follows the release by Bharat Biotech of Phase 3 clinical trial results, which demonstrated efficacy and safety in nearly 25,800 adults, it said on Thursday. Often referred to as a rolling review, this allows Health Canada to start its review right away, as information continues to come in, to accelerate the overall review process. Ocugen initiated the rolling submission through its affiliate, Vaccigen, Ltd.
Most COVID deaths in England now are in the vaccinated here's why that shouldn't alarm you
More vaccinated people are dying of COVID than unvaccinated people, according to a recent report from Public Health England (PHE). The report shows that 163 of the 257 people (63.4%) who died of the delta variant within 28 days of a positive COVID test between February 1 and June 21, had received at least one dose of the vaccine. At first glance, this may seem alarming, but it is exactly as would be expected. Here's a simple thought experiment: imagine everyone is now fully vaccinated with COVID vaccines which are excellent but can't save all lives. Some people who get infected with COVID will still die. All of these people will be fully vaccinated 100%. That doesn't mean vaccines aren't effective at reducing death.