Covid LIVE: Karnataka sees below 6,000 cases in a day; 9,118 in Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus live updates: India reported 67,208 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total to 2,97,00,313. The death count climbed to 3,81,903 with 2,330 fresh fatalities. 

The government has defended its decision to double the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine to up to 16 weeks, after three scientific advisers said there was no agreement on such a wide interval. The pilot launch of Russian vaccine Sputnik V, which was initiated in Hyderabad, has now been extended to nine other cities, media reports said.

The government is considering offering as much as Rs 50,000 crore of credit incentives to boost health care infrastructure in the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported quoting sources. The programme will allow companies to access funds for ramping up hospital capacity or medical supplies with the government acting as a guarantor. 


Odisha constitutes panel to study cause of Covid infection despite vaccination

As part of its planning to tackle the possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Odisha government on Thursday constituted an eight-member technical committee to study the cause of coronavirus infections among people even after complete vaccination.
The technical committee headed by Institute of Life Science, Bhubaneswar Director Dr Ajay Parida will have experts as its members.
"The technical committee will report its observation to the state for guidance and further action," Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, P K Mohapatra said.
The state government set up the panel after noticing that a number of coronavirus infections are being reported among people who have completed the full vaccination schedule.
"This needs further epidemiological, microbiological, immunological, genome and clinical studies for planning/preparedness of the state for possible future waves of Covid-19," a notification issued by the Health Department said.
Meanwhile, the state government has also decided to vaccinate People Living with HIV (PLHIV) on a priority basis.

Russian regions make vaccines mandatory for many workers

Authorities in four Russian regions have made coronavirus vaccines mandatory this week for workers in retail, education and other service sectors, part of an effort to boost the country's low immunisation rates as Covid-19 infections continue to soar.
Moscow, where infection tallies spiked sharply this month, first announced the requirement Wednesday, and the surrounding Moscow region, the Siberian region of Kemerovo and the Far East region of Sakhalin promptly followed.
Officials in the four regions ordered businesses and institutions involved in retail, education, health care, public transportation, beauty, entertainment and other industries that serve a large number of people to ensure that at least 60% of their staffs are fully vaccinated.

AAP govt again sends file on doorstep delivery of ration scheme to L-G: CMO

The AAP dispensation has again sent the file on its doorstep delivery of ration scheme to Lt Governor Anil Baijal, according to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office on Thursday, amid a tug of war between the Centre and the Delhi government over it.
According to the statement, the chief minister said the scheme had attained finality and required no further approval for its implementation, and questioned the L-G's earlier observations on it.
Earlier this month, the Arvind Kejriwal government had claimed that the scheme was rejected by the L-G contending that the Centre's approval was not sought for it and there was a pending case in the court.
"The CM said that the instant matter before the L-G is not the approval of the scheme as the scheme has already attained finality. CM wrote in the note that it was unfortunate that the scheme has been put on hold due to L-G's observations," the statement said.
Kejriwal has again sent the file to the L-G and said that it was according to the law and the objections raised by the Centre earlier have been addressed, the statement said.

Push for US commission to investigate virus

There's a push on Capitol Hill and beyond for a full-blown investigation of the coronavirus outbreak by a national commission like the one that looked into 9/11.
The proposal comes amid lingering questions over the government's response to the crisis and the origin of the virus that has killed more than 600,000 Americans.
A bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine would establish such a commission.
“The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic is more than 200 times that of the 9/11 attacks — but Congress has yet to establish a similar blue ribbon commission to investigate the vulnerabilities of our public health system and issue guidance for how we as a nation can better protect the American people from future pandemics,” Menendez and Collins wrote in an essay this week in The New York Times.
The inquiry could include a look at the origins of the virus; early warnings and other communication with foreign governments; coordination among federal, state and local agencies; the availability of medical supplies; testing and public health surveillance; vaccination development and distribution; the uneven effect on minorities; and government relief policies.
However, its prospects are unclear. Many are concerned politics will get in the way of any inquiry, as happened when Republicans came out against a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump. 

Coronavirus LIVE: 726 new cases in Punjab

Case against firm, two private labs for fake test reports during Kumbh

The Uttarakhand government on Thursday lodged a case against a company and two private labs for fudging coronavirus test reports during the Haridwar Kumbh Mela in April.
The firm, Max Corporate Service, Nalwa Laboratories Private Limited of Hisar and Delhi-based Dr Lalchandani Lab have been accused of issuing fake negative test reports.
The Uttarakhand High Court had directed the state government to test 50,000 samples daily to control the spread of Covid during the religious congregation, for which the Health Department awarded the contract to Max Corporate Service, who further hired the two labs. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Mumbai sees 666 fresh cases in a day

India to favour talks on 'vaccine passports' with focus on vaccine equity

While countries like Japan deciding to issue "vaccine passports" as proof of immunisation for its citizens travelling abroad, India on Thursday said that it will favour discussion with a greater focus on vaccine equity, since many developing nations are yet to inoculate a large per cent of their population.
At his daily press briefing, ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: "As you are aware, there is an ongoing global debate on this issue of so-called vaccine passports. We feel that this has to be linked to the larger issue of vaccine equity given that many developing countries have not yet been able to vaccinate a large per cent of their population."
"We would favour discussions on the subject of vaccine passports with greater focus on vaccine equity," he added. Read here

Pfizer's arthritis drug can cut death risk in patients with severe Covid

An arthritis drug -- Tofacitinib -- developed by US biopharmaceutical Pfizer has shown to be effective in reducing the risk of death or respiratory failure in hospitalised adult patients with Covid-19 pneumonia who were not on ventilation, according to a study.
Tofacitinib belongs to a class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. It is approved in the US to treat conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis.
The efficacy of Tofacitinib was tested on 289 patients hospitalised with severe Covid across 15 locations in Brazil. Half of these patients received 10 mg twice daily plus standard of care which includes glucocorticoids, while the other half were prescribed placebo twice daily plus standard of care for up to 14 days. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Telangana sees 1,492 new cases in a day

Coronavirus LIVE: 9,118 new cases in Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus LIVE: Karnataka sees 5,983 new cases

MP: 20,000 security guards to be inoculated in special vaccination drive in Indore

A special vaccination drive will be launched to inoculate 20,000 private security guards against Covid-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh minister Tulsiram Silawat said on Thursday.
Along with policemen, private security guards have also played an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will also vaccinate them against the infection on priority, said Silawat, who is the minister in-charge of Indore district.
Special camps will be organised at different places in the city to vaccinate 20,000 private security guards, additional superintendent of police (ASP) Manisha Pathak Soni said. (ANI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Himachal Pradesh reports 292 new cases

69 deaths, 336 fresh virus cases in UP

Sixty-nine more people died from coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday as 336 fresh cases surfaced, taking the state's infection count 17,03,733, according to a health bulletin.
So far, the infection has killed 22,030 people in the state.
Of the 69 fresh deaths, 11 were reported from Lucknow, seven from Kanpur Nagar, six from Shahjahanpur, five from Fatehpur, three from Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Jalaun and two each from Varanasi, Gonda, Pilibhit, Basti, Hathras, Kannauj, Banda, Kanpur Dehat and Chitrakoot. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Sputnik V says it will soon offer a booster shot

US unemployment claims tick up to 412,000 from a Covid pandemic low

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April despite widespread evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding steadily from the pandemic recession.
The Labour Department said Thursday that jobless claims rose 37,000 from the week before. As the job market has strengthened, the number of weekly applications for unemployment aid has fallen for most of the year. The number of jobless claims generally reflects the pace of layoffs.
With vaccinations up and more consumers venturing out to spend on restaurant meals, airline fares, movie tickets and store purchases the economy is rapidly recovering from the recession. All that renewed spending has fuelled customer demand and led many companies to seek new workers, often at higher wages, and avoid layoffs. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Bharat Biotech says reports on submission of Phase-3 data to WHO are incorrect

Coronavirus LIVE: Seropositivity rate among children high compared to adults, says AIIMS study

Coronavirus LIVE: Third wave unlikely to affect children much, says WHO-AIIMS survey

Coronavirus LIVE: Uttarakhand reports 264 fresh cases

Centre's welfare measures for children orphaned by Covid 'defective': Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday termed the Centre's welfare measures for children who lost their parents to Covid-19 "defective" and demanded that they be revised as they did not provide immediate relief.
He also claimed the Centre did not announce any scheme to help women whose husbands succumbed to the disease.
Gehlot was speaking during a video conference on Covid vaccination.
On May 29, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a number of welfare measures, including providing financial assistance, for children who lost their parents to Covid-19. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Dharavi sees one new cases, active count at 6, says BMC

Coronavirus LIVE: Kerala sees 12,469 new cases

US to buy 200 million more doses of Moderna's coronavirus shot

The US will buy an additional 200 million doses of Moderna's Covid vaccine in anticipation that its citizens may require booster shots, media reports said.
The vaccine doses' delivery is expected to begin this fall and continue till next year and will help the Biden administration to inoculate children under 12, once the US Food and Drug Administration approves, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing officials familiar with the plan.
The new doses bring the total amount of Moderna vaccine ordered by the US government to 500 million doses, of which 217 million doses had already been delivered as of June 14, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Read here

Third wave may come as early as in 2-4 weeks, says Maharashtra task force

Third wave may come as early as in 2-4 weeks, according to the Maharashtra's coronavirus task force, Times of India reported.

Coronavirus LIVE: 6,151 new cases in Andhra Pradesh

Fortis Healthcare says jabs protected 92% fully vaccinated health workers

A leading hospital chain, Fortis Healthcare on Thursday said 92 per cent of the fully vaccinated healthcare workers developed only mild Covid-19 infections.
"The evidence-based study highlights that 92 per cent of the fully vaccinated healthcare workers amongst those who acquired infection post-vaccination developed only mild Covid-19 infection, largely recovering under home care, despite a surge in serious infections during the second wave of the pandemic," Fortis said.
The study was to understand the role of vaccines and severity of Covid-19 infection post-vaccination. Read here

Sikkim logs 90 new cases, 2 fresh fatalities

Sikkim's Covid-19 tally rose to 18,896 on Thursday as 90 more people tested positive for the infection, while two fresh fatalities pushed the Himalayan state's coronavirus death toll to 287, a health bulletin said.
East Sikkim district registered the highest number of new cases at 51, followed by 23 in South, 15 in West and one in North Sikkim districts, it said. (PTI)

Jharkhand reports 190 new cases, 3 fresh fatalities

Jharkhand's Covid-19 tally rose to 343,983 on Thursday as 190 more people tested positive for the infection, while three fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 5,092, a health bulletin said.
East Singhbhum district reported the highest number of new cases at 35, followed by Ranchi (20) and Hazaribag (18), it said.
One death each was reported in Ranchi, Godda and Deoghar districts. (PTI)

Domestic air traffic plunges 63% MoM in May due to second wave: DGCA

Around 21.15 lakh domestic passengers travelled by air in May, which is 63 per cent lower than the 57.25 lakh who travelled in April, the country's aviation regulator said on Thursday.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 78.22 lakh people travelled within the country by air in March.
The drop in domestic air traffic in May was due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that had badly hit the country and its aviation sector.
While IndiGo carried 11.69 lakh passengers in May, a 55.3-per cent share of the domestic market, SpiceJet flew 1.99 lakh passengers, accounting for a 9.4-per cent share of the market, according to data shared by the DGCA. Read here

ICC launches fundraiser to support UNICEF'S Covid relief efforts in South Asia

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday launched a fundraising campaign to support UNICEF's emergency Covid-19 response in South Asia.
The campaign was launched through ICC's Cricket for Good initiative at the inaugural World Test Championship Final being played in Southampton between India and New Zealand from June 18.
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on South Asia, which is home to nearly two billion people, and more than a quarter of the world's children.
The sheer scale and speed of the latest surge of Covid-19 across the region has outstripped countries' abilities to provide life-saving treatment and essential services. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Serum plans to launch Covavax in India by September

Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi sees 158 new cases

CII pitches for Rs 3 trillion fiscal stimulus to push economic growth

The Indian economy requires a Rs 3 lakh crore (Rs 3 trillion) fiscal stimulus, including cash transfer to households through Jan Dhan accounts to spur economic growth amid the pandemic, industry chamber CII said on Thursday and pitched for appointment of a 'Vaccine Czar' for speedy vaccination coverage.
CII President T V Narendran also said the chamber expects GDP to grow at 9.5 per cent in 2021-22 as the strong growth in the second half of the fiscal year will be supported by robust external demand and large-scale coverage of vaccination, allowing resumption of economic activity. Read here

Experts term CBSE's class 12 evaluation formula 'time-bound' but 'far from fair'

The evaluation formula decided by CBSE for class 12 students has evoked mixed reaction from experts with some hailing it as an "unbiased and time-bound" method and others terming it "far from being fair", saying students showing progress over a period of time will be at disadvantage.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that it will be adopting a 30:30:40 formula for evaluation of marks for class 12 students based on results of class 10, 11 and 12 respectively.
Thirty per cent marks will be based on class 10 board exam, another 30 per cent from class 11 and 40 per cent marks based on the performance in the unit, mid-term and pre-board tests of class 12.
The exams for class 12 were cancelled by CBSE on June 1 in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Uttarakhand CM says strict action will be taken against those involved in Kumbh fake testing

Coronavirus LIVE: Serum plans Novavax vaccine trials for children in July, says report

Kerala: Lockdown curbs eased in restricted manner, public transport opens

After 40 days of Covid-19 induced lockdown, Kerala on Thursday limped back to normal as the government eased the curbs allowing shops to open in a restricted manner andpermitting public transport on a limited basis.
In the major towns, where the Test Positivity rate (TPR) was less, people could be seen venturing out as the state was under lockdown since May 8. Read here

Japan set to ease its coronavirus emergency ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Japan is set to announce a decision Thursday to ease a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas this weekend, with new daily cases falling just as the country begins making final preparations for the Olympics starting in just over a month.
Japan has been struggling since late March to slow a wave of infections propelled by more contagious variants, with new daily cases soaring above 7,000 at one point and seriously ill patients straining hospitals in Tokyo, Osaka and other metropolitan areas.
Daily cases have since subsided significantly and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to downgrade the state of emergency when it expires on Sunday to less stringent measures. Read here

No relook at decision to cancel CBSE, CISCE class 12 exams, says SC

There will be no roll back of the decision to cancel class 12 board exams, the Supreme Court said on Thursday and approved the CBSE and CISCE assessment schemes of a 30:30:40 formula for evaluation of marks for students based on results of class 10, 11 and 12 respectively.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) said however that it would consider the performance of students for last six classes, unlike CBSE which is taking note of performance in class 10, 11 and 12 exams, in finalising the final board results. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Students not content with marks can appear for physical exams, says CBSE official

DATA STORY: India adds fewer than 100,000 cases for 10th day straight

India on Thursday reported a net reduction of 38,692 in active coronavirus cases to take its count to 826,740. India’s share of global active coronavirus cases now stands at 7.10 per cent (one in 13). The country is second among the most affected countries by active cases. On Tuesday, it added 67,208 cases to take its total caseload to 29,700,313. And, with 2,330 new fatalities, its Covid-19 death toll reached 381,903, or 1.29 per cent of total confirmed infections.
With 3,463,961 more Covid-19 vaccine doses being administered on Wednesday, India’s total count of vaccine shots so far reached 265,519,251. The count of recovered coronavirus cases across India, meanwhile, reached 28,491,670 – or 95.93 per cent of total caseload – with 103,570 new cured cases being reported on Thursday. Read here

WHO warns of fresh Indonesia surge fed by virus variants

Indonesia's president ordered authorities to speed up the country's vaccination campaign as the World Health Organisation warned Thursday of the need to increase social restrictions in the country amid a fresh surge of coronavirus infections caused by worrisome variants.
We need vaccination acceleration in order to achieve communal immunity, which we hope can stop the Covid-19 spread, President Joko Widodo said in a remarks while visiting a vaccination center just outside the capital, Jakarta.
Widodo said he ordered his cabinet ministers and local governments to increase the number of people vaccinated each day to 1 million by next month. He said Indonesia is currently vaccinating half a million people a day. (AP)

India unlikely to see a V-shaped economic recovery in Q1: Report

Lockdowns imposed by the states in April and May to contain the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic has likely led to the economy contracting 12 per cent in the June quarter as against 23.9 per cent contraction in the same quarter in 2020, says a brokerage report.
The economy had its worst contraction on record in FY21 at 7.3 per cent as the 2.5 months of unplanned lockdown announced by the centre with just a four-hour notice had crippled the economy in the first quarter with a massive 23.9 per cent contraction, which improved to -17.5 per cent in the second quarter. Read here

Delta variant infections doubling every 11 days in England, study finds

The number of people infected with the coronavirus is increasing rapidly in England, doubling every 11 days, which coincides with the Delta variant of Covid-19 becoming dominant in the country, a new study reports on Thursday.
The Imperial College London led Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) analysis, based on over 100,000 home swab tests taken between May 20 and June 7, estimates that 0.15 per cent of people have the deadly virus, or roughly 1 in 670.
It found that the link between infections, hospitalisations and deaths had been weakening since February, but since late April, the trend has been reversing for hospitalisations. (PTI)

CureVac loses over $9 bn in market value as vaccine disappoints

CureVac NV lost more than half its value after a preliminary analysis of a large study found its Covid-19 vaccine fell short of the high efficacy bar set by other messenger RNA shots.
The shares plunged more than 52% in German trading, wiping out almost $9.6 billion in market value.
The findings, though preliminary, throw the future of the vaccine into question as wealthy nations around the world move swiftly to inoculate their populations with shots already available. The spread of virus variants muddied the research, but other vaccines have shown they offer protection against those as well. Read here

Sonia Gandhi got both jabs, govt should stop creating non-issues: Congress

Sonia Gandhi has taken both doses of the Covishield vaccine, the Congress said on Thursday following questions from the BJP and asked the government to follow the raj dharma' of vaccinating all Indians instead of creating non-issues.
The Congress president's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken her first dose of the vaccine and her son and Rahul Gandhi will take his shot post Covid recovery as advised by doctors, party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said while hitting out at the BJP for raising doubts on whether the Gandhis had got their jabs.
Several BJP leaders have raised questions over the Gandhis' vaccinations and accused them and the party of creating "vaccine hesitancy" in the country. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: New variant found in a positive case in Bhopal, says MP minister

Coronavirus LIVE: Goa CM says no tourism reopening until first dose given across the state

Ladakh records 33 new cases

Ladakh recorded 33 fresh Covid-19 cases taking its total to 19,682. The union territory has registered 199 Covid deaths since last year, with Leh accounting for 143 fatalities and Kargil district 56. As many as 18,945 people have recovered from the disease, PTI reported.

Sonia Gandhi has taken vaccine: Congress

Sonia Gandhi has taken both doses of Covishield, the Congress said on Thursday, rejecting allegations by the BJP that the veteran politician and her children were creating "vaccine hesitancy" Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken her first dose and Rahul Gandhi, who had contracted Covid, will take his shot on doctors' advice, party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Govt extends validity of motor vehicle documents till Sept 30

The government extended the validity of motor vehicle documents like driving licence, registration certificate (RC) and permits till September 30 due to the pandemic. The road ministry said it has advised enforcement authorities that the validity of fitness, permit, licence, registration or any other concerned documents)may be treated to be valid till that date.

Committee will hear Class 12 students concerns: Attorney General

Attorney General K K Venugopal tell Supreme Court that CBSE students who are not satisfied with the evaluation formula will be given an opportunity to take up Class 12 examination when the coronavirus pandemic eases. Venugopal said a committee will be constituted for redressing students' concern, if any.

Performance in Class 11 and Class 10 exams

The performance of the students in Class 11 and Class 10 exams will also be factored in while making the assessments, said CBSE.

Assessment criteria

The CBSE told the Supreme Court that it plans for the assessment criteria for Class 12 students will be factored on Class 11 and Class 10 results. Total marks will be based on the school's past performance in Class 12 exams, it said. About 40 per cent of the marks will be based on Class 12 pre-board, the Board told the court while submitting its assessment criteria for Class 12 exams, reported.

CBSE to declare Class 12 results by July 31, says NDTV

CBSE to declare Class 12 results by July 31

CBSE submits evaluation criteria for school board exams

The Central Board of Secondary Education gave the Supreme Court its parameters to assess the students of Class 12 after the cancellation of exams, multiple media reports said. It proposed that the assessment for Class 12 will also include the weightage of students' performance in Class 10 (30%) and Class 11 (30%), Live Mint reported.

Bengal to mark out 'micro containment zones'

West Bengal will again mark out micro containment zones to slow down the spread of Covid-19, Hindustan Times reported quoting a civil servant. In the first wave of infections last year, a place was declared a containment zone if it had more than five active cases. Later, even individual houses were declared as containment zones.

Arunachal's Covid-19 tally stands at 32,188

As many 250 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Arunachal Pradesh in 24 hours, pushing the tally the state's total to 32,188. The death toll remained at 155 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported in the past 24 hours, PTI reported quoting a civil servant.

Japan may recomment state of emergency in Tokyo

The Japanese government recommended ending a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and other areas on Sunday as planned, because infections have fallen about a month before the country is due to host the Summer Olympics. A formal decision will be made by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who will have a news conference later Thursday on the issue, Bloomberg reported.

Brazil detects 53 with Covid in relation to Copa America

Brazil's health ministry raised the number of Covid-19 cases related to the Copa America to 53, one more than the previous day, after a total of 5,082 tests.
It also adjusted the figures of infected players or staffers from 33 to 27. The ministry also said on Wednesday that 26 workers hired for the tournament had tested positive, the Associated Press reported.

India reports 67,208 new cases and 2,330 deaths

India reports 67,208 new cases and 2,330 deaths, according to health ministry data Thursday. The total cases are now 2,97,00,313 and fatalities 3,81,903.

Kerala unlocks

S Africa records over 13,000 Covid-19 cases in a day

Cases of the coronavirus in South Africa continued surging as 13,246 new cases were registered over the past 24 hours, the highest number since January this year, said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Wednesday night.
NICD, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, said the percent testing positive increased to 21.7 percent nationally.
Gauteng was again at the forefront of the growing number of cases, with 7,859 of the infections recorded there. The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases nationwide increased to 1,774,312.

US, China trade war costs global value chains 3-5 years of growth: UN

Trade shocks fueled by unilateral tariffs between the U.S. and China have undone three to five years worth of growth among global value chains in affected countries, according to a UN policy brief. The report looking at the post-pandemic future of global value chains found that trade within those supply lines shrank in absolute terms along with other types of trade, Bloomberg reported.

Thailand sets mid-October to reopen to vaccinated visitors

Thailand plans to fully reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors by mid-October as the government seeks to restart the crucial coronavirus-devastated tourism industry, the prime minister announced Wednesday. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said fully inoculated foreign visitors and returning Thai citizens must be allowed entry “without quarantine or other inconvenient restrictions,” and that his goal is to open up the country within 120 days, according to the Associated Press.

Covishield single shot 61% effective against Delta strain: Covid committee chief

Amid a heated debate over the required gap between the two doses of Covishield vaccine, Covid Working Group chief Dr NK Arora has said that according to research in India, a single shot had up to 61 per cent effectiveness against the Delta strain. India's Covid immunisation programme began with an interval of four weeks. The immune response is very good, data showed, according to Dr Arora.

Biological E, the dark horse in India's Covid-19 vaccine race

Hyderabad-based Biological E hit headlines by becoming the second created-in-India vaccine player with the government announcing an advance of Rs 1,500 crore for 300 million doses of its candidate Corbevax, which is awaiting the drug regulator’s approval. This order is part of a larger vaccine plan by this 73-year-old company, currently the world’s largest producer of tetanus vaccines. The sheer volumes could make Biological E, considered a dark horse in the business, a game-changer, reports Business Standard's Sohini Das.

Interim trial data shows low effectiveness for German CureVac shot

German vaccine maker CureVac has said that interim data from late-stage testing of its coronavirus shot show a comparatively low effectiveness in protecting people against Covid-19. The results on Wednesday appear to be a significant setback for CureVac''s efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and the company's stock value tumbled in after-hours trading, reported the Associated Press.

Beijing hits 80% vaccination

More than 80% of the adult population in Beijing, or 15.6 million people, were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Wednesday, the Beijing Daily reported. China has administered 924 million vaccine doses in total, said Bloomberg.

Delhi receives fresh vaccine stocks

New Delhi on Wednesday received fresh stocks of Covid-19 vaccines for those in the 18-45 age group, said the ruling Aam Aadmi Party. The city reopened bookings on the Co-WIN portal for all its inoculation centres a day after shutting over half of them owing to a shortage of doses.

Maharashtra braces for third wave

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked doctors and civil servants to ensure medicines and health equipment were available across urban and rural areas, reacting after a task force expressing apprehension that a third wave of the pandemic could hit the state. Thackeray was informed that a highly virulent “Delta plus” variant of the coronavirus could stoke a third wave in Maharashtra, the 'Indian Express' reported.

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