Covid LIVE: PM Modi asks EU to back India, SA on patent waiver for vaccines

Photo: Twitter/@vonderleyen
Coronavirus live updates: India has recorded over 400,000 fresh Covid-19 cases for the third consecutive day, taking its cumulative caseload to 21,892,676. On Saturday, the country recorded 401,326 cases, according to MoHFW. 4,187 fatalities, highest yet, were also registered, taking the death toll to 238,270. India now has 3.73 million active cases. 

Coronavirus cases are surging rapidly in states like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Friday evening announced a complete lockdown across the state to arrest the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown is imposed from 6 am on May 10, Monday, till 6 am on May 24.

Maharashtra reported 54,022  new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases and 920 deaths, followed by Karnataka (48,781), Kerala (38,460), Uttar Pradesh (26,780), Tamil Nadu (26,465), Delhi (19,832) in the past 24 hours.

The six most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (4,996,758), Karnataka (1,838,885), Kerala (1,824,856), Uttar Pradesh (1,453,679), Tamil Nadu (1,323,965), Delhi (1,292,867), and Andhra Pradesh (1,245,374).

World coronavirus update: Coronavirus cases rise unabated across the globe with 157,519,805 infected by the deadly contagion. While 135,618,336 have recovered, 3,283,084 have died so far. The US remains the worst-hit country with 33,416,342, followed by India, Brazil, France and Turkey. However, in the past seven days, India has added the highest number of fresh cases at 2,730,301, followed by the Brazil (416,137) and US (324,154).

LIVE UPDATES

Assam reports record 5,756 fresh cases, 50 deaths

Covid-19 infections in Assam rose to 2,89,069 on Saturday as the state reported its highest single-day spike of 5,756 new cases, according to a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission in Guwahati. The death toll rose to 1,628 after 50 more people succumbed to the disease, PTI reported quoting the bulletin.

EU tells Biden to export vaccines now and worry about IP later

European Union leaders urged US President Joe Biden to lift restrictions on exports of Covid-19 vaccines to address the desperate needs of developing countries before embarking on complex discussions about whether patent waivers might also boost supply in the longer term, reported Bloomberg on Saturday.
 
Gathering in Porto, Portugal on Friday and Saturday shortly after the U.S. suggested suspending intellectual property rights to boost the supply of Covid shots, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Mario Draghi appealed in unison to the US president to follow the EU example and start shipping significant numbers of vaccines. They argued that any patent waiver will only increase supply in the long term and the world needs a faster solution.

Maharashtra sees dip in daily cases

MEA briefing on India-EU leaders' meet

At India-EU leaders' meet, PM Modi invited EU to support proposal by India and South Africa to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines, said Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday.  
 
"As you'd recall, India had kept its supply chains open during first wave of COVID19 last year & supplied essential drugs & masks to several EU countries. EU's current assistance is example of trusted partners supporting each other in times of need," said Vikas Swarup, MEA Secy (West).

Coronavirus LIVE: Maharashtra reports 53,605 new cases

Maharashtra reports 53,605 new coronavirus cases, 82,266 recoveries and 864 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Maharashtra reports 53,605 new cases

Maharashtra reports 53,605 new coronavirus cases, 82,266 recoveries and 864 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the statement

Coronavirus LIVE: Madhya Pradesh reports 11,598 new cases

Madhya Pradesh reports 11,598 new coronavirus cases, 4445 recoveries and 90 deaths, according to the health department

Coronavirus LIVE: US CDC acknowledges virus is airborne

Coronavirus LIVE: US CDC acknowledges virus is airborne. It revised the guidelines, saying the principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is through exposure to respiratory fluids carrying infectious virus. Exposure occurs in three principal ways: (1) inhalation of very fine respiratory droplets and aerosol particles, (2) deposition of respiratory droplets and particles on exposed mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, or eye by direct splashes and sprays, and (3) touching mucous membranes with hands that have been soiled either directly by virus-containing respiratory fluids or indirectly by touching surfaces with virus on them. Read full guidelines here

Coronavirus LIVE: Goa sees 3,751 new cases, 55 deaths, 3,025 recoveries

Goa's Covid-19 tally went up by 3,751 on Saturday to reach 1,16,213, while the toll increased by 55 and the recovery count by 3,025 during the day, an official said.
 
The state's toll stands at 1,612 and the number of people discharged is 82,214, leaving it with 32,387 active cases, he added.
 
With 8,115 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in Goa went up to 7,06,644. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Mumbai reports 2,678 cases in last 24 hours

Fungal infection cases rising in second phase of pandemic, warn health officials

Cases of mucormycosis, a fungal infection, are rising among Covid-19 survivors, causing blindness or serious illness and even death in some cases, health officials in Maharashtra and Gujarat said on Saturday.
 
The cost of treatment for this disease is also a matter of concern, some doctors said.
 
Mathur Savani, chairman of Surat-based Kiran Super Multi-speciality Hospital, said mucormycosis patients are coming to his hospital from Surat district as well as other parts of Gujarat.
 
"Fifty mucormycosis patients are being treated at our hospital and 60 more are awaiting (treatment). They all came to our hospital in the last three weeks and have recovered from Covid-19 recently," Savani told PTI.

Seven such patients lost eyesight, he said.
 
The civil hospital in Surat has set up a separate facility for such patients, said in-charge Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Ketan Naik. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Andhra Pradesh logs 20,065 new cases

Andhra Pradesh reported 20,065 fresh cases of Covid-19, 19,272 recoveries and 96 deaths in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Saturday.
 
Saturday's toll was the highest after the 97 during the first wave on August 22 last year.
 
The latest health bulletin said the gross coronavirus positives touched 12,65,439 from 1.72 crore tests. (PTI)

Covid care coaches deployed at 17 stations across seven states: Railways

The Railways on Saturday said its isolation coaches to treat mild Covid-19 cases have been deployed at 17 stations across seven states of the country.
 
At present, 298 coaches have been handed over to various states for Covid care with a capacity of over 4,700 beds, it said.
 
A total of 60 coaches have been deployed in Maharashtra where at Nandrubar, 116 admissions were registered with 93 subsequent discharges by state health authorities. A total of 23 patients are utilising the facility, the Railways said. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Former India hockey player M K Kaushik passes away

Coronavirus LIVE: Manipur sees 442 new cases

Coronavirus LIVE: Rajasthan reports 17,987 new cases

Rajasthan reports 17,987 new coronavirus cases, 160 deaths and 17,667 discharges in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Govt's 'Vaccine Maitri' appreciated at India-EU summit

The EU invited India to work towards an international treaty on pandemics within the framework of the WHO. In this context, we look forward to a successful Global Health Summit in Rome on 21 May 2021, co-hosted by the EU and Italy in the framework of the G20. Read the joint statement here

Coronavirus LIVE: Telangana reports 5,186 new cases

Telangana reports 5,186 new coronavirus cases, 7994 recoveries and 38 deaths today, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Bihar govt caps price of CT Scan in private labs

Coronavirus LIVE: Puducherry sees 1,703 new cases

1,703 new coronavirus cases, 1,177 recoveries and 19 deaths reported in Puducherry in the past 24 hours; active cases at 13,585, according to the health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Ahead of India-EU summit, Jaishankar thanks Europe

Coronavirus LIVE: Uttar Pradesh records 26,847 new cases

Uttar Pradesh records 26,847 new cases, 34,721 recoveries and 298 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: NHAI exempts tankers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen from toll fee

In order to provide uninterrupted passage for tankers and containers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) across National Highways, the user fee for such vehicles at Toll Plazas has been exempted. Keeping in view the current unprecedented demand of the Medical Oxygen across the country due to Covid-19 Pandemic, containers carrying Liquid Medical Oxygen will be treated at par with other emergency vehicles such as ambulances for a period of two months or till further orders. Read full govt release here

Smriti Irani makes surprise visit to Amethi, reviews Covid situation

Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday made a surprise visit to her parliamentary constituency Amethi and reviewed the coronavirus situation in the district.
 
At the district Covid control room, she directed officials to ensure that patients face no inconvenience and that there is no shortage of oxygen.
 
District Magistrate Arun Kumar and Chief Medical Officer Dr Ashutosh Dubey were present in the control room during the review meeting. (PTI)

Coronavirus Latest: Haryana CM announces special screening drive in villages

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday announced to launch a special Covid screening drive in all the villages by constituting 8,000 multidisciplinary teams.
 
Presiding over a review meeting here, he said proactive strategies like conducting door-to-door health screening camps covering each house, constituting special dedicated multidisciplinary teams for screening and converting 'dharamshalas', government schools, Ayush centres into isolation centres to contain the virus.
 
"We have to protect rural areas from this deadly infection at any cost. Officers should ensure that special vigilance is kept on every village and for this a massive Covid-19 screening campaign should be conducted in all villages of the state," the Chief Minister said. (IANS)

Coronavirus LIVE: Govt permits Telangana to use drone flights for vaccine delivery

The Government is providing conditional exemption for experimental drone flights for vaccine delivery as part of constant endeavour to enhance the scope of drone usage in the country and assist the nation to fight Covid-19 pandemic.Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) & Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)have granted conditional exemption to the Government of Telangana for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights for delivery of vaccines.Exemption has been grantedfrom Unmanned Aircraft System {UAS) Rules, 2021. Read full govt release here

Coronavirus LIVE: Shivraj Singh Chouhan inspects 300 bed Covid facility in Sehore

Coronavirus LIVE: Uttarakhand reports 8,390 cases

Uttarakhand reports 8,390 coronavirus cases, 118 deaths and 4,771 recoveries in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

LIVE: PM Modi virtually participates in the meeting of European Council

Allocate 500 ton medical oxygen to Tamil Nadu: Stalin to Modi

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for increasing the medical oxygen allocation to 500 ton.
 
Stalin and Modi had a telecon on Saturday, said a state government statement.
 
According to the statement, Stalin had sought the central government's cooperation in the state government's action to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
 
Stalin also sought an allocation of 500 ton of medical oxygen to which Modi replied that the request will be processed. (IANS)

Delhi received 487 MT oxygen on Friday, says Deputy CM Sisodia

Delhi on Friday received 487 metric tonnes (MT) oxygen against its requirement of around 700 MT per day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday.
 
Sisodia, who is also the nodal minister of Delhi government for Covid management, said, "We need around 700 MT oxygen per day to meet the requirements of the growing number of Covid patients getting admitted to the several hospitals.
 
"However, Delhi on Friday received only 487 MT oxygen. The requirement is likely to go up to around 976 MT a day in the coming days." Read here

Decision on lockdown should have been taken by Centre: Rajasthan CM Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said a decision regarding the coronavirus lockdown should have been made by the Centre for better coordination among states.
 
In a statement, the chief minister said several states have imposed a lockdown to tackle the problem and prohibited the entry of people from other states.
 
"A lockdown is more needed than ever to prevent the infection spread. It is my opinion, on the basis of previous experience, the decision should have been made at the level of the Centre so that the common people, including the labourers, face minimum hardships and at the same time, there is better coordination among the states," Gehlot said. Read on....

Haryana to launch Covid vaccination drive for journalists: CM

Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar on Saturday announced the launch of a vaccination drive for all media personnel in the state, noting that it is the government's responsibility to ensure the well-being of every journalist who is "dedicatedly rendering their services" in this hour of crisis.
 
The chief minister, while presiding over a review meeting with top officials regarding the ongoing Covid-19 situation in the state, said that during this massive vaccination drive the Covid-19 vaccines would be administered to every media person, an official statement said.
 
"Every journalist will be given priority during the vaccination drive and preparations for vaccination administration would be made at media centres in all districts," Khattar was quoted as saying in the statement. (PTI)

Harsh Vardhan urges citizens to not skip second dose of Covid vaccine

Reiterating the importance of full protection through two Covid Vaccine doses, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday appealed to all citizens to get the second dose which boosts the immunity against Covid manifold, adding that 53,25,000 doses will be supplied to the states soon.
 
A total of 17,49,57,770 doses have been delivered to the states, out of which 16,65,49,583 doses have been consumed and 84,08,187 doses are still available with the states," he said.
 
He further added that a total of 53,25,000 doses are on the pipeline and will be supplied to the states soon. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Kerala reports 41,971 new cases

Kerala reports 41,971 new cases, 27,456 recoveries and 64 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Manipur govt imposes curfew in seven districts till May 17

Manipur govt has imposed curfew in seven districts till May 17 to check the spread of coronavirus. 

Decision on lockdown should have been taken by Centre: Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said a decision regarding the coronavirus lockdown should have been made by the Centre for better coordination among states.
 
In a statement, the chief minister said several states have imposed a lockdown to tackle the problem and prohibited the entry of people from other states.
 
"A lockdown is more needed than ever to prevent the infection spread. It is my opinion, on the basis of previous experience, the decision should have been made at the level of the Centre so that the common people, including the labourers, face minimum hardships and at the same time, there is better coordination among the states," Gehlot said. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Supreme Court sets up a national task force to streamline oxygen allocation

Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, in its order, constituted a National Task Force (NTF) to assess, recommend the need and distribution of oxygen for the entire country, Bar and Bench reported.

Maharashtra CM urges Centre to allow states to develop own apps for vaccination programme

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray urges Centre to allow states to develop own apps for vaccination programme or CoWIN app for each state

Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi reports 17,364 new cases

Delhi reports 17,364 new coronavirus cases, 20,160 recoveries and 332 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: EU seals deal with Pfizer for up to 1.8 bn extra vaccine doses

Coronavirus LIVE: Haryana CM says seeing upsurge in covid cases in rural areas

Positive test now not mandatory for admission to a Covid facility: Govt

In a relief to patients, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday revised the national policy for admission of Covid patients to various categories of Covid facilities. "This patient-centric measure aims to ensure prompt, effective and comprehensive treatment of patients suffering from Covid-19," the ministry said. According to the revised policy, requirement of a positive test for Covid-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a Covid health facility. A suspect case must be admitted to the suspect ward of Covid Care Center (CCC), Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) or Dedicated Covid Hospital (DHC) as the case may be. Read full govt release here

Coronavirus LIVE: PM speaks to Madhya Pradesh CM to review Covid situation

Coronavirus LIVE: PM says Maharashtra is fighting a good battle against second wave

Coronavirus LIVE: PM speaks to Tamil Nadu CM over Covid situation

Coronavirus LIVE: AAP appeals to Centre to bring vaccine for children

Coronavirus LIVE: DCGI gives nod to 2-DG therapy to treat moderate patients

Coronavirus LIVE: Harsh Vardhan reviews Covid situation at GoM meeting

Avoid over-reliance on foreign drugs in Covid-19 treatment: Bombay HC

Stating that over-reliance on imported drugs must be avoided, the Bombay High Court has asked the Centre and the Maharashtra government to create awareness about suitable alternatives to foreign-manufactured medicines, such as Tocilizumab, that can be used for treating Covid-19 patients.
 
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said that in light of the shortage of Tocilizumab, the government must tell the citizens about other locally- manufactured, cheaper, and widely-available drugs that can be used instead. Read on...

PM Modi speaks to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Covid situation in state, reports PTI

PM Modi speaks to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Covid situation in state, reports PTI quoting government sources

Bihar: JD(U) leader and Legislative Council member Tanveer Akhtar dies of Covid-19

Bihar: JD(U) leader and Legislative Council member Tanveer Akhtar dies of Covid-19

For last 7 days, 180 districts in the country have not seen a single new case of Covid-19: Health minister

18 districts have not recorded any cases in last 14 days. 54 districts have not witnessed any new case in last 21 days: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

IMA lashes out at Health Ministry for 'extreme lethargy' in handling Covid

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Saturday lashed out at the Centre for its handling of the Covid-19 situation in the country saying that the medical body is astonished to see "extreme lethargy and inappropriate actions" from the Union Health Ministry in combatting the pandemic.
 
"IMA is astonished to see the extreme lethargy and inappropriate actions from the Ministry of health in combatting the agonising crisis born out of the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic," read an official statement by the IMA.
 
"The collective consciousness, proactive cognisance, and requests made by the IMA and other professional learned colleagues are put into the dust bin, and often without realizing the ground realities the decisions are taken," the statement added. Read on...

Urge Centre to give us adequate vaccine doses. Need 30 million doses, got 4 million till now: Delhi CM

Urge Centre to give us adequate vaccine doses. Need 30 million doses, got 4 million till now: CM Arvind Kejriwal

People worried about third wave of Covid-19: Kejriwal

People worried about third wave of Covid-19; vaccination needed to safeguard against third wave: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

If Delhi is given 8.0-8.5 mn Covid vaccine doses/month, we can complete vaccination within 3 months: Kejriwal

If Delhi govt is given 8.0-8.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine per month, we can complete vaccination within three months: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

70% of Covishield stock will be used to vaccinate 45+ who are due for 2nd dose: Karnataka health minister

70% of Covishield stock will be used to vaccinate 45+ who are due for 2nd dose and rest 30% will be used to vaccinate 45+ seeking 1st dose. While Covaxin will be administered only to 45+ who are due for 2nd dose after 6 weeks of 1st dose: Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka Health Minister

To overcome shortage of ambulances, we have provided eight service ambulances in Polyclinics across NCR: Army

To overcome shortage of ambulances, we have provided eight service ambulances in Polyclinics across the National Capital Region (NCR) for use by our veterans: Western Command, Indian Army

Active Covid-19 cases in country recorded at 3,723,446: Union health ministry

Active Covid-19 cases in country recorded at 3,723,446: Union health ministry

Centre did no work in last six months, ministers came to Bengal every day to capture it: CM Mamata Banerjee

Centre did no work in last six months, ministers came to Bengal every day to capture it: CM Mamata Banerjee

Only vaccination can save us from third coronavirus wave, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Only vaccination can save us from third coronavirus wave, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Coronavirus LIVE: Need 20.6 mn vaccines for all Delhiites, says Kejriwal

Coronavirus LIVE: Need 20.6 mn vaccines for all Delhiites, says Kejriwal

Delhi coronavirus update: 100,000 does of vaccines being administered everyday, says Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi coronavirus update: 100,000 does of vaccines being administered everyday, says Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's presser underway

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's presser underway

Delhi coronavirus update: Arvind Kejriwal will address an important digital press conference today at 12 noon

BCCI's WTC plan: 8-day bubble in India, 10-day quarantine in UK from June 2, families to travel

BCCI's WTC plan: 8-day bubble in India, 10-day quarantine in UK from June 2, families to travel

Congress likely to hold CWC meet on May 10 over Covid-19 situation in India

As the second wave of Covid-19 continues to ravage the country, Congress is likely to hold a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on May 10 to discuss the pandemic situation in India.
 
On Friday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre has "failed the people of country", and "abdicated its fundamental responsibilities and duties towards the people" in the Covid-19 crisis and demanded that it should urgently call an all-party meeting to discuss the pandemic situation. Read on...

Actor Kangana Ranaut says she has tested positive for Covid-19

Actor Kangana Ranaut says she has tested positive for Covid-19

Maharashtra coronavirus update: Pune police enforce complete weekend lockdown in the city

Only pharmaceutical shops are allowed to function during the weekend lockdown.

Coronavirus in India: Summary of MoHFW data (May 8)

Active cases: 3,723,446 (Net addition: 78,282)
Deaths: 238,270 (Net increase: 4,187)
Cured: 17,930,960 (Net increase: 318,609)
Total cases: 21,892,676 (Net increase: 401,078)
Total vaccination: 167,346,544 (Increase over previous day: 2,370,298)
 

Haryana coronavirus update: 13,867 new Covid-19 cases recorded

Haryana records 13,867 new Covid-19 cases, 13,584 recoveries and 162 deaths in the last 24 hours
 
Active cases: 1,15,963
Total cases: 5,87,682
Total recoveries: 4,66,420
Death toll: 5,299

Tamil Nadu government announces complete lockdown for two weeks starting May 10

Tamil Nadu government announces complete lockdown for two weeks starting May 10 to control the spread of Covid-19

Shekhar Gupta: Flailing state in Covid storm

Is India a failed state? Certainly news magazine India Today thinks so. I would humbly disagree. We aren’t a failed state yet. For, if we were, the publication wouldn’t have said so on its cover, and I wouldn’t be writing this article.
 
If India was a failed state already, we might not have known how badly we were failing. As long as a nation’s own media, civil society, even individual citizens are free to bring the bad news to all, hold the mirror to the most powerful ruler in at least four decades, we are not a failed state yet.
 
What are we then? I might have a more apt description, a flailing state. Writhing in pain, tossing about in desperation, confused, chaotic, poorly-led, on the verge of a disaster. But still looking for answers.
 
Flailing state, therefore, is a better characterisation for India today, writes Shekhar Gupta. Read on...

Surge of Covid-19 infections and deaths in India is nothing short of heartbreaking, says Kamala Harris

The surge of Covid-19 infections & deaths in India is nothing short of heartbreaking. To those of you who have lost loved ones, I send my deepest condolences. As soon as the dire nature of situation became apparent, our Administration took action: US Vice President Kamala Harris

Punjab coronavirus update: 8,367 new Covid-19 cases reported

Punjab reports 8,367 new Covid-19 cases, 4,976 discharges and 165 deaths in the last 24 hours.
 
Total cases 4,24,647
Total recoveries 3,44,779
Death toll 10,144
Active cases 69,724
 

Madras HC asks Centre why Covaxin being manufactured only at pvt institute?

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday questioned the Central government why Covaxin, the vaccine against Covid-19 which was developed with the assistance of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), has been manufactured only at a private institute.
 
The court asked the Centre to explain the amount incurred by the government to procure Covid vaccines and what steps have been taken to revive the vaccine institutes.
 
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court was also hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to manufacture Covaxin in the Chengalpet HLL unit.

Chhattisgarh coronavirus update: 13,628 new Covid-19 cases reported

Chhattisgarh reports 13,628 new Covid-19 cases, 414 discharges and 208 deaths in the last 24 hours.
 
Total cases 8,30,117
Total recoveries 1,31,552
Death toll 10,158
Active cases 1,31,041
 

Maharashtra coronavirus update: 54,022 new Covid-19 cases recorded; 898 deaths

Maharashtra reports 54,022 new Covid-19 cases, 37,386 recoveries and 898 deaths in the last 24 hours.
 
Total cases 49,96,758
Total recoveries 42,65,326
Death toll 74,413
Active cases 6,54,788

WHO approves emergency use of China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday approved the Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, paving the way for it to be rolled out globally.
 
The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
 
"The addition of this vaccine has the potential to rapidly accelerate Covid-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk," said Dr Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Health Products, in a statement. Read on...

Uttar pradesh coronavirus news: UP reports 28,076 new Covid-19 cases

Uttar Pradesh reports 28,076 new Covid-19 cases, 33,117 discharges and 372 deaths in the past 24 hours
 
Total cases: 14,53,679
Active cases: 2,54,118

Third Covid-19 wave may not happen if strong steps taken, says govt

If strong measures are taken, then a third wave of Covid-19 may not happen in "all parts of the country or anywhere at all", Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan said on Friday, two days after he sounded the alarm that a third wave was inevitable. On Wednesday, Raghavan had said, "We should prepare for the new waves."
 
He said new opportunities for infections could arise if people became complacent and did not protect themselves. “The frequency and sizes of such ups and downs must be reduced. This is in our hands,” Raghavan said. Read on...

Covid-19 vaccines must be given to states for free: Bengal to Supreme Court

The West Bengal government on Friday told the Supreme Court that there should be a uniform vaccination policy and the new differential pricing mechanism in the latest phase of inoculations must be scrapped, according to media reports.
 
It said the Centre must take immediate steps to ensure vaccines are made available and given to states free of cost.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking increased supply of medical oxygen for Covid-19 treatment. READ ON...

Decoded: Why Supreme Court wants oxygen policy revised amid Covid-19

Before the pandemic, the total demand for medical oxygen in the country was 700 tonne per day (tpd). Given the Covid crisis and the consequent requirement for oxygen, today Delhi alone is asking the Union government for 700 tpd. During the first wave of Covid-19 last year, the overall demand for liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in India had increased four times, to 2,800 tpd. But how is oxygen quota set and why does the Supreme Court want the government’s oxygen policy revised? Read on to find out.

Coronavirus crisis: On a rebound, Customs clears relief aid in minutes

As the government swung into action to facilitate faster clearance of Covid-19 relief aid shipments arriving from several countries earlier this week, real time customs data indicates a sharp improvement in air cargo approval time across key airports in the country. About 75 per cent of air cargo was cleared within 48 hours on Thursday, compared to just 55 per cent on Monday, according to ICEDASH, an interactive visual dashboard.
 
Facing criticism over slow clearance of relief shipments, the government on Monday put in place a customs support framework, which includes round-the-clock clearance of relief shipments, designating 24 nodal officers to expedite release of goods, integrated goods and services tax (IGST) and customs duty waivers, etc. Read on...

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel