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Coronavirus India Live Updates: 48,698 new Covid-19 cases, 1,183 deaths in last 24 hours – The Indian Express

A woman gets vaccinated at Kalavati Mavale Hospital in Pune. (Express photo: Pavan Khengre)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: India reported 48,698 new Covid-19 cases and 1,183 deaths on Saturday, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stand at 3,01,83,143 while the overall death toll has touched 3,94,493. There are 5,95,565 active cases in the country at present while as many as 2,91,93,085 people have recovered from the disease, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry Friday said that the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is present in at least 174 districts of the country — and its sub-lineage, Delta plus, has been detected in 48 samples in 10 states.

The Delta variant was a major contributor to the second wave of infections that peaked in April-May, the government said. Data released by the Ministry showed that the variant was present in 52 districts across the country in March, and had spread to 174 districts by June.

ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava warned that even though more than 500 districts were now reporting less than 5 per cent test positivity, the second wave of the epidemic should not be assumed to have ended.

The Delta variant of COVID-19, identified in at least 85 countries, is the “most transmissible” of the variants identified so far and is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned.

“I know that globally there is currently a lot of concern about the Delta variant, and the WHO is concerned about it too,” Director-General Ghebreyesus said at a WHO press briefing on Friday. The Delta variant was first identified in India.

“Delta is the most transmissible of the variants identified so far, has been identified in at least 85 countries, and is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations,” he said in Geneva.

With Maharashtra reporting at least 20 cases of Delta plus variant of the coronavirus, including a death in Ratnagiri, the state government announced stricter unlocking rules on Friday.

On June 4, the government had announced a five-level unlock plan based on positivity rate and occupancy of oxygen beds – with Level-1 having the most relaxations, and Level-5 the most restrictions.

But according to the new order, the first two levels, which allowed shops to remain open till night, have been scrapped. All districts will have to implement at least Level-3 or above restrictions. The new rules will come into effect from Monday.

Weeks after the second Covid-19 wave led to a surge in demand for medical oxygen, an infrastructure of oxygen plants, deep inside districts and remote locations, is fast emerging across states.

The Centre is aiming at 1500 such plants by August-end, more or less translating to two such plants in every district of the country, officials said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was entrusted the task of building the civil infrastructure (the rooms) for the plants, and two other agencies, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), too were brought in for the works.

Weeks after the second Covid-19 wave led to a surge in demand for medical oxygen, an infrastructure of oxygen plants, deep inside districts and remote locations, is fast emerging across states.

The Centre is aiming at 1500 such plants by August-end, more or less translating to two such plants in every district of the country, officials said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was entrusted the task of building the civil infrastructure (the rooms) for the plants, and two other agencies, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), too were brought in for the works.

The highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is present in at least 174 districts of the country — and its sub-lineage, Delta plus, has been detected in 48 samples in 10 states, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

The Delta variant was a major contributor to the second wave of infections that peaked in April-May, the government said. Data released by the Ministry showed that the variant was present in 52 districts across the country in March, and had spread to 174 districts by June.

ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava warned that even though more than 500 districts were now reporting less than 5 per cent test positivity, the second wave of the epidemic should not be assumed to have ended.

ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bharagava on Friday said that pregnant women can be vaccinated against COVID-19, but more data needs to be available to decide whether children can be inoculated against the disease.

“The health ministry has given guidelines that they (anti-Covid vaccine) can be given to pregnant women. We have also demonstrated from our ICMR PregCovid registry that vaccination is useful in pregnant women and it should be given,” Bharagava was quoted as saying by PTI.  

Delhi recorded four more COVID-19-related deaths, the lowest since March 21, and 115 new cases on Friday with a positivity rate of 0.15 per cent, according to a health bulletin issued. The new fatalities pushed the death toll due to the infection to 24,952, it said. 

On Thursday, Delhi had recorded 8 deaths and 109 fresh cases of coronavirus as the city’s positivity rate dipped to 0.14 per cent.

Maharashtra on Friday reported the first death from the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of Covid-19, with an octogenarian woman succumbing in Ratnagiri civil hospital. The woman hails from Sangameswar and was admitted to the hospital,  over 330 kilometres from Mumbai, a few days ago, Sanjay Shinde, Additional Collector, Ratnagiri told PTI. He also said the woman’s death was being audited to see if she suffered from comorbidities.

Israel, a world leader in vaccinations, is once again requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces amid a coronavirus outbreak driven by the arrival of a new variant.

Israel rolled out one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, inoculating some 85% of its adult population. In recent months, nearly all restrictions were lifted as the number of active cases plummeted.

But there has been a spike in recent days after weeks in which the number of new daily cases was in the single or low double digits. Dr. Nachman Ash, who is leading the coronavirus response, said 227 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, according to Israeli media. More details here.

Israel masks

In an unprecedented observation, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru reported a decline in passenger traffic by 66 per cent during the financial year 2020-21, especially due to the travel curbs and lockdown-related crises that arose since the Covid-19 pandemic set in.

The airport, which managed to record 32.3 million passengers in the previous financial year (2019-20), could welcome only 10.91 million passengers since domestic air travel resumed in India on May 25, 2020, following a two-month suspension.

As many as 48 coronavirus cases of Delta Plus variant have been detected from 45,000 samples sequenced so far in the country, with Maharashtra reporting the highest number of such cases at 20, the Centre said on Friday.

It said nine cases of Delta Plus variant were found in Tamil Nadu, seven cases in Madhya Pradesh, three in Kerala, two each in Punjab and Gujarat, and one case each in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jammu and Karnataka.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) Friday said that it has started production of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax. “A new milestone has been reached; this week we began our first batch of Covovax (a COVID-19 vaccine developed by @Novavax) at our facility, here in Pune,” the company said in a tweet.

Developed by the American biotechnology firm Novavax, Inc., the recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine — NVX-CoV2373 — will be known by the name Covovax in India.

“In the week of 4th May, 531 districts of the country were reporting more than 100 cases. In the week of 2nd June, it fell down to 262 districts. Right now only 125 districts in the country are reporting more than 100 cases,” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said in a press briefing. 

As inoculation drive continues across the country for people above 18 years old, a shocking video of a nurse administering an empty dose of Covid -19 vaccine in haste is going viral. The clip shows the nurse in question busy talking to people in the vaccination hall and taking out the disposable syringe from the wrapper and pushing it on the man’s arm. She is never seen filling the syringe from a vial of Covid-19 vaccine. More details here.

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More than 1.50 crore balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs and over 47 lakh doses are in the pipeline, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

Over 30.54 crore vaccine doses have been provided by the Centre to states and UTs so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through the direct state procurement category.

Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 29,04,04,264 doses, the ministry said in a statement.

For 60+ population, 45+ with co-morbidities: Next round of vaccination begins today, slots can be booked online | India News,The Indian Express

Arunachal Pradesh’s Covid-19 tally rose to 34,214 as 298 more people tested positive for the infection while two new fatalities pushed the death toll to 162, a senior health official said here on Friday. The two new Covid-19 deaths were reported from Lohit district, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.

The Capital Complex Region reported the highest number of fresh cases at 68, followed by West Kameng (29), Namsai (22), Upper Subansiri (20), Lohit and Lower Subansiri at 19 each, Papumpare (16), East Kameng (14), Changlang (13), East Siang (12) and Longding (11). New cases were also reported from Pakke Kessang, Leparada, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Tawang, West Siang, Anjaw, Kurung Kumey, Lower Siang, Tirap and Siang, Kra Daadi, Kamle, Shi-Yomi and Upper Siang district, the SSO said. (PTI)

West Bengal BJP on Friday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the fake vaccination drive case that has come to light in Kolkata. “Probe is underway but the matter requires CBI inquiry as it involves officials. We also want the Centre to look into it,” Sayantan Basu, West Bengal BJP General Secretary, said. (ANI)

In a bid to decongest Covid-19 vaccination centres, the Greater Chennai Corporation has launched a dedicated portal for residents to book slots. Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru inaugurated the website on Thursday in the presence of civic body officials. Read More

The Goa government on Friday said it will ensure “stringent monitoring” along the borders of the state so that it continues to remain free from the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus. Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has directed the authorities to take the necessary measures.

Delta plus has already been declared a variant of concern by the Centre. On Monday, Rajesh Tope, who is the health minister of neighbouring Maharashtra, had said that 21 cases of the Delta Plus variant have been found in the state till then – nine in Ratnagiri, seven in Jalgaon, two in Mumbai, and one case each in Palghar, Thane and Sindhudurg districts. In a tweet, Rane said, “In view of the Delta Plus Variant cases found in the neighbouring states, we shall ensure that stringent monitoring is taking place at the borders. Hon’ble CM @DrPramodPSawant has already issued instructions on this matter.” (PTI) 

Jharkhand’s Covid-19 tally rose to 3,45,028 on Friday as 114 more people tested positive for the infection, while two fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 5,106, a health bulletin said. Ranchi district reported the highest number of new cases at 15, followed by Simdega (10) and Deoghar (nine), it said.

The fresh fatalities were recorded in East Singhbhum and Dumka districts. The state now has 1,224 active cases, while 3,38,698 people have recovered from the disease so far, including 252 in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said. (PTI)

A beneficiary gets a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Weeks after the second Covid-19 wave led to a surge in demand for medical oxygen, an infrastructure of oxygen plants, deep inside districts and remote locations, is fast emerging across states.

The Centre is aiming at 1500 such plants by August-end, more or less translating to two such plants in every district of the country, officials said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was entrusted the task of building the civil infrastructure (the rooms) for the plants, and two other agencies, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), too were brought in for the works.

The money has been sanctioned from the PM-CARES Fund and there is scope for additional sanction for laying pipelines from the oxygen plants to hospitals

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