Covid LIVE: Kerala sees 19,682 new cases, 152 deaths in last 24 hrs

A medic, in PPE suit, collects nasal swab for Covid-19 test, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, Kochi (Photo: PTI)
Coronavirus updates: India recorded a spike of 31,923 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The country also witnessed 282 deaths, taking the death toll to 446,050. So far, India has recorded 33,563,421 corona cases in total. Delhi reported 30 Covid-19 cases and no fatality. Kerala recorded 26,964 new Covid-19 cases and Maharashtra 3,608 cases. 

India would be able to vaccinate its entire adult population by November this year with at least one dose of the Covid vaccine if it keeps up with an average pace of 5.6 million doses administered daily. This average was achieved for the week ended September 17, when a record 25 million doses were administered in the country.

World coronavirus update: Covid-19 is continuing to spread around the world, with 230,835,399 confirmed cases and 4,731,615 deaths across nearly 200 countries recorded since China reported its first cases in December 2019. The US remains the worst-hit country with 43,402,126 cases, followed by India, Brazil, UK and Russia.


Bengal logs 746 new COVID cases, 12 more fatalities

West Bengal on Thursday reported 746 fresh COVID-19 cases, 63 more than the previous day, with the tally increasing to 15,64,139, according to a health department bulletin.
Twelve more fatalities due to the infection raised the toll to 18,703, it said.
Nadia district recorded four new deaths, followed by two each in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas and one each in Hooghly, Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Jalpaiguri. At least 754 people were cured of the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 15,37,732.

Punjab sees 25 more cases

One coronavirus-related death was reported in Punjab on Thursday while 25 fresh infections raised the tally to 6,01,422, according to a medical bulletin.
The death toll stood at 16,503.
Among new COVID-19 cases, Pathankot reported eight cases, followed by three cases each in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Jalandhar.

US approves third Pfizer dose for people above 65, at-risk Americans

People over age 65 and adults at high risk of severe Covid-19 who have previously taken the Pfizer-BioNTech SE vaccine can receive a booster dose, the Food and Drug Administration said, opening a new and more controversial phase of the US immunisation campaign.
The emergency-use authorization also allows boosters for people 18 and older whose occupational exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus puts them at elevated risk of serious complications. Booster doses can be given any time at least six months after a person received their second Pfizer shot, the FDA said in a statement.
The decision applies only to the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, the agency said. Booster shots for recipients of the Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson vaccines haven’t yet been cleared. READ MORE...

836 new cases, 15 deaths in Karnataka

Karnataka has reported 836 fresh cases of coronavirus and 15 fatalities, taking the total infection count to 29,71,044 and toll to 37,683, the health department said on Thursday.
The day also saw 852 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 29,19,742. Out of 836 new cases reported on Thursday, 310 were from Bengaluru Urban, as the city saw 239 discharges and 7 deaths. Total number of active cases in the state is at 13,590. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.57 per cent, case fatality rate (CFR) was at 1.79 per cent.

Out of 15 deaths reported on Thursday, 7 are from Bengaluru Urban; Dakshina Kannada 3, followed by others. Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 310, Dakshina Kannada 106, Mysuru 78, Udupi 69, followed by others. Cumulatively a total of 4.67 crore samples have been tested in the state so far, out of which 1,45,085 were tested on Thursday alone.

Novavax, SII apply to WHO for emergency use listing of COVID vaccine

Biotechnology firm Novavax Inc and its partner Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday said they have submitted an application to the World Health Organization for emergency use listing (EUL) of Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine.
The application to WHO is based on the companies' previous regulatory submission to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Novavax Inc said in a statement.
"Today's submission of our protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to WHO for emergency use listing is a significant step on the path to accelerating access and more equitable distribution to countries in great need around the world," Novavax President and Chief Executive Officer Stanley C Erck said.

14 new Covid cases in Haryana

Haryana reported no new coronavirus-linked death even as the state added 14 fresh cases on Thursday, pushing the infection count to 7,70,784, according to an official bulletin.
According to the health department's daily bulletin, the death toll remained unchanged at 9,809.
Among the districts, Gurugram and Panchkula reported seven and four cases, respectively.
The number of active cases in the state stands at 106, while the overall recoveries have reached 7,60,039.
Haryana has a COVID-19 recovery rate of 98.68 per cent, the bulletin said.

Mumbai reports 497 new Covid-19 cases, 5 deaths, 395 recoveries

Mumbai reported 497 new coronavirus cases and five fresh deaths on Thursday, taking the infection count to 7,39,861 and the toll to 16,068, a civic official said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said 395 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, pushing the number of recovered cases to 7,16,511. The financial capital is left with 4,801 active COVID-19 cases.

The city reported a marginal rise in new cases and fatalities as compared to Wednesday, when it witnessed 488 infections and four deaths. Mumbai registered more than 400 cases for the second straight day.

Telangana records 247 new Covid-19 cases, one death

Telangana on Thursday logged 247 new COVID-19 cases, taking the caseload to 6,64,411, while the death toll rose to 3,909 with one more fatality.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 71, followed by Karimnagar (21) and Khammam (17) districts, a state government bulletin said, providing details as of 5.30 PM today.

Mandaviya releases guidelines on treatment of long-term health conditions post Covid

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Thursday released guidelines on dealing with post-Covid health challenges which will help doctors and healthcare workers to deal with long-term effects of the coronavirus infection among patients.

According to a Health Ministry statement, the minister said these "post-COVID Sequelae modules" will help in building the capacity of doctors, nurses, paramedics and community health workers across the country.

In medical parlance, sequelae refer to a condition caused by a previous disease or injury.

Aurangabad hospital ramps up bed capacity in anticipation of Covid-19 third wave

The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Maharashtra's Aurangabad has increased its bed capacity by five folds as part of its preparedness for a probable third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Thursday.

The largest health facility in Marathwada, the GMCH had earlier reserved 208 beds for COVID-19 patients, and the number has now increased to 1,000, of which 60 beds are reserved for children, the official said.

Goa reports 80 new Covid-19 cases, 54 recoveries; no fresh death

Goa's coronavirus caseload rose by 80 and reached 1,75,872 on Thursday, while no fresh death due to the infection was reported in the state, a health department official said.

The death toll remained unchanged at 3,297, he said. The number of recovered cases in the state rose to 1,71,599 after 54 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, the official said.

1,171 fresh cases and 11 Covid-19 deaths in Andhra Pradesh

The cumulative Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh climbed to 20,43,244 as 1,171 were added afresh in 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday.

The total recoveries increased to 20,15,387 with 1,207 more getting cured of the infection, the latest bulletin said. The overall toll touched 14,108 with 11 fresh fatalities in a day. 

Sikkim reports 62 new Covid-19 cases, one more fatality

Sikkim on Thursday reported 62 new COVID-19 cases, two more than the previous day, with the tally increasing to 31,136, a health department bulletin said.

One more fatality due to the infection raised the death toll in the state to 382, it said.

Of the fresh cases, 30 were reported from East Sikkim, 18 from West Sikkim,13 from South Sikkim and one from North Sikkim.

Hero MotoCorp launches welfare package for 50 Covid-19 affected families in Rajasthan

Two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp on Thursday said it has launched a welfare package for 50 COVID-19 affected families in Rajasthan in association with Nath Sanskirti Seva Santhan (NSSS).

Women of affected families will be supported under the initiative by creating supportive conditions to maintain their livelihoods, providing them essential services such as food security and nutrition along with education for their children, Hero MotoCorp said in a statement.

UK envoy holds discussion over Covid vaccine certification with National Health Authority CEO

Amid concerns in India about UK's new travel rules, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis on Thursday held discussions with National Health Authority CEO RS Sharma and said neither side raised concerns about each other's COVID-19 certification process.

Ellis said the "excellent discussions" were an important step forward in "our joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect the public health of UK and India".

Kerala logs 19,682 fresh Covid cases, 152 deaths

Kerala on Thursday reported 19,682 fresh COVID-19 cases and 152 deaths, which took the caseload to 45,79,310 and fatalities to 24,191.
The number of people who recovered from the infection since Wednesday was 20,510 which brought the total recoveries to 43,94,476 and the number of active cases to 1,60,046, an official press release said.
As many as 1,21,945 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, the release said.

Govt directs to make special arrangements for differently-abled persons get Covid services

Delhi reports 48 new Covid-19 cases

Advisory issued to make arrangements for 'vaccination at home': Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog

About 2/3rd of the adult population vaccinated with one dose: Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog

Six states/UTs have covered 100% of the first doses: Govt

66% of the 18+ population has received at least one dose of Covid vaccine: Health secy Rajesh Bhushan

Mass gatherings to be avoided in containment zones, districts with over 5% positivity rate: Govt

Positivity rate continues to decline, recovery rate 97.8% in the country: Health Secy

62.73% of the total cases last week reported from Kerala: Health Secy

SC to recall its order on extending limitation period for filing court cases due to Covid

Taking note of the improved pandemic situation, the Supreme Court Thursday observed that it will recall its April 27 order by which it had extended the operation of an earlier direction under which the limitation period for filing court cases has ceased to run statutorily against litigants since March 15, 2020, due to COVID.

In the wake of the onset of the second COVID wave, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, on April 27, 2021, had relaxed the statutory period for filing petitions, including the election petitions.

The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant, said that the suo motu extension of limitation period will be stand withdrawn on October one and after that, the usual limitation period of 90 days for filing cases in courts will come into effect once again.

SC considers Centre's guidelines on Rs 50,000 ex-gratia payment, to pass order on Oct 4

World Bank agrees to give $100mn to Sri Lanka for Covid battle

The World Bank has agreed to give a $100 million loan to support Sri Lanka's efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, local media reported on Thursday.

The island nation's government said the funding would be to procure 14 million doses of the Pfizer vaccines as well as for financing other costs pertaining to the inoculation program, reports Xinhua news agency.

20% beds in govt hospitals will be reserved for children to fight third wave: K'taka Min

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Thursday said as part of its preparation to fight the possible third wave of COVID-19, the state government has taken several measures, including reserving 20 per cent of beds in district and taluk hospitals and community health centres for children.

He was responding to a question raised by Congress MLA from Vijayanagar constituency M Krishnappa during question hour, on the issue of preparations made to tackle the possible third wave of COVID-19, especially concerning children.

Mumbai Mayor on re-opening schools

Odisha logs 644 new Covid-19 cases, 7 fresh fatalities

Odisha Thursday reported 644 new Covid-19 cases, including 72 children, taking the tally to 10,22,594 while seven fresh fatalities pushed the coronavirus death toll to 8,157, a health department official said.
The new cases were detected in 24 of the state's 30 districts, with 375 reported from different quarantine centres while the remaining 269 were local contact cases.
Khurda district of which the state capital Bhubaneswar is a part reported the highest 283 new cases followed by Cuttack (77) and Balasore (34). The new cases included 72 children and adolescents whose rate of infection stands at 11.18 per cent, he said.

Young children's diets could get worse under Covid, says UNICEF

Children under the age of two are not getting adequate food or nutrients they need to thrive and grow well, leading to irreversible developmental harm, according to a new UNICEF report which warned that Covid-19 pandemic could worsen the situation.
The report titled 'Fed to Fail? The Crisis of Children's Diets in Early Life' was released by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit this week. Read on...

No need for surviving certificate for Covid relief scheme if one of spouses alive

Delhi Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot chaired on Wednesday held a high-level meeting with other department officials to review the "Mukhyamantri Covid-19 Parivar Arthik Sahayata Yojna", and said "Surviving Member Certificate" (SMC) is no longer require from the applicant for Covid relief scheme where one of the spouses is alive.
The meeting was attended by Divisional Commissioner, District Magistrate (HQ), and all the District Magistrates (DMs).
However, the requirement of an SMC will remain in force for the grant of ex-gratia for other applicants. In cases where the deceased was a single parent, the surviving children are entitled to the ex-gratia equally distributed among all children but for that, the name of the applicant should be reflected in SMC.
Similarly if the deceased is unmarried or is a minor son/daughter, the father/mother of the deceased will get relief under the scheme subject to their name appearing in SMC.

Sikkim registers 60 new Covid-19 cases, 1 fresh fatality

Sikkim's Covid-19 tally rose to 31,074 on Wednesday as 60 more people tested positive for the infection, while one fresh fatality pushed the Himalayan state's coronavirus death toll to 381, a health bulletin said.
East Sikkim registered the highest number of new cases at 30, followed by 20 in West Sikkim and 10 in South Sikkim, it said.
The Himalayan state now has 642 active cases, while 29,741 people have been cured of the disease, and 310 patients have migrated to other states so far. The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state stood at 96.7 per cent.

Incorrect date, venue in vaccination certificate: Kerala HC directs enquiry by DMO

Incorrect date and venue of second vaccine dose in a COVID vaccination certificate prompted the Kerala High Court on Thursday to order an enquiry to ascertain whether it was a genuine mistake or some mischief.
Justice P V Kunhikrishnan said if the incorrect details in the certificate were due to a mischief, then stringent action needs to be taken against the officials involved.
The court directed the District Medical Officer of Ernakulam to carry out the enquiry as the venue of the second jab was a vaccination centre there according to the certificate.
It said that if it was a mistake, then it was understandable and a new certificate can be issued with corrections.

Smriti Irani hails J-K police for their work during Covid-19 pandemic

Union minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday interacted with senior police officers of Jammu and Kashmir as part of the Centre's outreach programme.
The women and child development minister hailed the role of Jammu and Kashmir Police in maintaining peace and rendering their services despite challenging circumstances, a police spokesman said.
She also lauded the police force for their work amid COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, especially in implementing government directives and extending a helping hand to the people in need.

Coronavirus update: Haryana reports one Covid death, 16 new cases

Haryana reported one coronavirus-related fatality and 16 fresh cases on Wednesday, pushing the death toll to 9,809 and the infection count to 7,70,770, according to an official bulletin.
The new death was reported from Jhajjar district, the health department's daily bulletin said.
Gurugram and Panchkula districts reported five and three fresh cases, respectively. The number of active cases stands at 102, while a total of 7,60,629 people have recovered from the infection in Haryana.

Australian state of Victoria has pandemic high in new cases

The Australian state of Victoria is reporting its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began as an outbreak in the city of Melbourne continues to grow.
Police in Melbourne are preparing for more protests against the pandemic lockdown, although the situation remains relatively calm Thursday afternoon.
Victoria reported a record 766 cases as well as four deaths from Covid-19.
The city of Sydney in New South Wales state is also dealing with a large outbreak. Officials report more than 1,000 new daily cases in the state and six Covid-19 deaths.

Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?

Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?
No, experts say there's no strong evidence yet that it makes children and teens sicker than earlier versions of the virus, although delta has led to a surge in infections among kids because it's more contagious.
Delta's ability to spread more easily makes it more of a risk to children and underscores the need for masks in schools and vaccinations for those who are old enough, said Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Weekly infection rates among U.S. children earlier this month topped 250,000, surpassing the wintertime peak, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association. Since the pandemic began, more than 5 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19.

Vaccine certification for travel must meet minimum criteria', says UK

The UK government has said that Covid-19 vaccine certification from all countries must meet a minimum criteria and that it is working with India on a phased approach to its international travel norms.
It follows Covishield, the Serum Institute of India manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, being added as eligible to an expanded UK travel advisory on Wednesday.
But with India's vaccine certification not on a list of 18 approved countries, Indian travellers to the UK will continue to be treated as non-vaccinated and therefore required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

Maharashtra coronavirus update: Thane logs 284 new Covid-19 cases, 6 more deaths

With the addition of 284 new cases of coronavirus, the infection count in Maharashtra's Thane district has gone up to 5,57,139, an official said on Thursday.
These new cases were reported on Wednesday, he said.
Six more people also died of the viral infection, which pushed the fatality toll in the district to 11,386, he said, adding that the Covid-19 mortality rate in Thane stood at 2.04 per cent.
In neighbouring Palghar district, the Covid-19 case count has gone up to 1,35,526, while the death toll stands at 3,273, another official said.

Vaccine inequity comes into stark focus during UN gathering

The inequity of Covid-19 vaccine distribution will come into sharper focus Thursday as many of the African countries whose populations have little to no access to the life-saving shots step to the podium to speak at the UN's annual meeting of world leaders.
Already, the struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic has featured prominently in leaders' speeches many of them delivered remotely exactly because of the virus. Country after country acknowledged the wide disparity in accessing the vaccine, painting a picture so bleak that a solution has at times seemed impossibly out of reach.
Some countries have vaccinated their populations, and are on the path to recovery. For others, the lack of vaccines and weak health systems pose a serious problem, Norway's Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, said in a prerecorded speech Wednesday. In Africa, fewer than 1 in 20 people are fully vaccinated. In Europe, one in two are fully vaccinated. This inequity is clearly unfair.

US FDA okays Covid booster shot for people above 65, or at high-risk

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised booster shots of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and older or at high-risk.
In a statement late Wednesday, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said: "After considering the totality of the available scientific evidence and the deliberations of our advisory committee of independent, external experts, the FDA amended the EUA (emergency use authorization) for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to allow for a booster dose in certain populations such as health care workers, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons, among others.
"This pandemic is dynamic and evolving, with new data about vaccine safety and effectiveness becoming available every day.
"As we learn more about the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, including the use of a booster dose, we will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing science and keep the public informed," said Woodcock.

Daily Covid deaths in US rise to highest level since March

The average number of daily Covid-19 deaths in the US has increased to its highest level since early March 2021 amid the ongoing Delta variant-fueled resurgence, a media report said.
"The country is once again at a point where an average of more than 2,000 people are dying of Covid-19 every day," Xinhua news agency quoted the CNN report as saying on Wednesday, citing data from the Johns Hopkins University.
Most of the recent Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths in the country have been among unvaccinated individuals.
Over the past week, with some eight people out of every 100,000 residents dying from the disease, the average death rate in the 10 least vaccinated states was about four times higher than the rate in the 10 most vaccinated states, according to a CNN analysis.

Over 4.29 cr unutilized Covid-19 vaccine doses available with states, UTs: Centre

More than 4.29 crore unutilized Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories to be administered, informed Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
"More than 80.67crore (80,67,26,335) vaccine doses have been provided to States/UTs so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category," the ministry said while mentioning that the Central government is committed to accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of Covid-19 vaccination throughout the country.
It said that further, 64 lakh doses (64,00,000) are in the pipeline.
The ministry further said that more than 4,29,03,090 balance and unutilized Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and union territories to be administered.

8 new Covid-19 cases push Andamans tally to 7,615

Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported eight new Covid-19 infections, three more than the previous day's count, which pushed the number of active cases in the union territory to 20, a health official said on Thursday.
All the eight new cases were detected during testing at the Veer Savarkar Airport here, he said.
Passengers arriving by flight have to undergo a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport before they are allowed entry into the islands.

Ladakh reports seven new cases of Covid-19

Ladakh recorded seven fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 20,750 while the active cases in the union territory climbed to 148, officials said.
Ladakh has registered 207 Covid-related deaths -- 149 in Leh and 58 in Kargil -- since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
All the fresh cases were reported in Leh, they said.
A total of 1,927 samples in Ladakh, including 925 from Leh and 995 from Kargil, were found negative, they said.

Vaccine shot from China’s Clover found 79% effective against delta

A vaccine developed by Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc. was found to prevent 79% of Covid-19 cases caused by the delta strain in late-stage trials, making it the first Chinese shot to offer clear efficacy data against the variant causing resurgent virus waves around the world. The Clover candidate deploys protein on the coronavirus to stimulate immunity against Covid, an approach also used by the shot developed by Novavax Inc. Bloomberg reported this. 

More than 230.05 million people infected by Covid: Reuters tally

More than 230.05 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 4,921,713 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

Bharat Biotech injects pace into Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin supply

India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vacc­ine to be approved, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, has barely contributed 11-12 per cent to the country’s national immunisation programme against the coronavirus virus. The bulk of the vaccines for the programme have come from its peer, Serum Institute of India (SII), which is making a licensed version of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Vaxzevria, which is known as Covishield in India.
More than 720 million Covishield vaccines have been administered to Indians, while only 94.6 million Covaxin doses, or about 10 million a month, have been given so far, according to the government’s vaccine-tracking site CoWin. Read on...

Coronavirus in India: Latest update by MoHFW

Summary of MoHFW data (September 23)
Active cases: 301,640 (Net decrease: 349)
Deaths: 446,050 (Net increase: 282)
Cured: 32,815,731 (Net increase: 31,990)
Total cases: 33,563,421 (Net increase: 31,923)
Total vaccination: 833,990,049 (Increase over previous day: 7,138,205)

Chhattisgarh records 26 Covid-19 cases, no deaths

Chhattisgarh recorded 26 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday which took its infection tally to 10,05,146, the state health department said.
No new fatalities on account of the pandemic were reported during the day, so the state's death toll remained unchanged at 13,563.
The number of recoveries rose to 9,91,283 after 10 people were discharged from hospitals while 13 others completed their home isolation.

Covid-19 recoveries surpass fresh cases in West Bengal

Single-day recoveries in West Bengal on Wednesday outnumbered fresh Covid-19 cases by four, as the coronavirus tally in the state increased to 15,63,393, a health department bulletin said.
The state now has 7,724 active cases, while 15,36,978 people have recovered from the disease, including 687 since Tuesday.
Thirteen more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the state, as the toll mounted to 18,691.

Goa CM sanctions Covid-19 relief to affected people from unorganised sectors

Goa's Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant on Wednesday distributed COVID-19 relief to marginalised and unorganised sectors and ex-gratia financial assistance to the family of the victims of COVID-19.
Taking to Twitter, the CM said that the Goa government stands with the people who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commending the efforts of the Goa government, Sawant said that, this COVID relief package will help more than 50,000 people employed in unorganised sectors.

CDC panel grapples with who needs a Covid-19 booster shot

An influential panel of advisers to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention grappled with the question of which Americans should get COVID-19 booster shots, with some members wondering if the decision should be put off for a month in hopes of more evidence.
The doubts and uncertainties suggested yet again that the matter of whether to dispense extra doses to shore up Americans' protection against the coronavirus is more complicated scientifically than the Biden administration may have realised when it outlined plans a month ago for an across-the-board rollout of boosters.
Much of the discussion at the meeting of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices Wednesday focused on the possibility of a scaled-back booster programme targeted to older people or perhaps health care workers. But even then, some of the experts said that the data on whether boosters are actually needed, precisely who should get them and when was not clear-cut.

Assam reports 407 new Covid-19 cases, 4 deaths

Assam on Wednesday registered a total of 407 new Covid-19 cases, 604 recoveries and four deaths over a span of 24 hours, said the state's health department.
From a total of 5,99,271 cases reported since the onset of the pandemic, Assam has 3,533 active cases.
A media bulletin issued by the department stated that Assam's positivity rate on Wednesday was recorded at 0.67 per cent. With new recoveries, the cumulative recoveries in the state mounted to 5,88,574 while the recovery rate stood at 98.21 per cent. The death toll is 5,817.
So far, 2,31,51,046 tests have been conducted to detect the presence of Covid-19 virus in the population. Out of this, 61,076 tests were conducted yesterday.

Tamil Nadu reports fresh 1,682 Covid-19 cases, 21 deaths

Tamil Nadu reported 1,682 fresh Covid-19 cases and 21 deaths on Wednesday, as per the health bulletin released by the state government.
This southern state of India has logged a total of 26,50,370 cases to date with 17,027 active cases.
With 1,627 fresh recoveries, the cumulative number of recoveries in Tamil Nadu has gone up to 25,97,943 while the death toll mounted to 35,400.

US Prez Biden doubles US global donation of Covid-19 vaccine shots

President Joe Biden has announced that the United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to share with the world to 1 billion doses as he embraces the goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of the global population within the next year.
The stepped-up US commitment marks the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit Biden convened virtually on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where he encouraged well-off nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control.
It comes as world leaders, aid groups and global health organisations have growing increasingly vocal about the slow pace of global vaccinations and the inequity of access to shots between residents of wealthier and poorer nations.
Global health security until now has failed, to the tune of 4.5 million lives, and counting, UN Secretary General Antnio Guterres told the summit, referring to the confirmed global death toll from the coronavirus.

Turkey reports 28,168 daily Covid-19 cases

Turkey on Wednesday confirmed 28,168 new Covid-19 cases, raising its tally of infections to 6,932,453, according to its health ministry.
The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose by 242 to 62,307, while 23,096 more people recovered in the last 24 hours.
A total of 351,655 tests were conducted over the past day, it said.
Turkey started mass Covid-19 vaccination on Jan. 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.

Covid-19 pandemic 'warning bell' exposed inequalities, governance gaps: Vietnam President

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten lives and livelihoods globally, Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that his nation is "vigorously" combating the virus, protecting its people, sustaining economic growth and leaving no one behind.
Noting that no statistical figures can truly measure the grief and loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the contagion has sounded "a warning bell of shocking destruction", exposing global governance shortcomings and increasing inequality among nations.
Acknowledging that COVID-19 was not the only global challenge, the Vietnamese President painted a gloomy picture of wars, territory and resource disputes, and a disregard for international law.

Covid-19 pandemic 'warning bell' exposed inequalities, governance gaps: Vietnam President

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten lives and livelihoods globally, Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that his nation is "vigorously" combating the virus, protecting its people, sustaining economic growth and leaving no one behind.
Noting that no statistical figures can truly measure the grief and loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the contagion has sounded "a warning bell of shocking destruction", exposing global governance shortcomings and increasing inequality among nations.
Acknowledging that COVID-19 was not the only global challenge, the Vietnamese President painted a gloomy picture of wars, territory and resource disputes, and a disregard for international law.

US FDA authorizes Pfizer's Covid booster shots for elderly, high-risk Americans

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday (local time) authorized booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 65 and older and adults at high risk.
People over 65 who had received Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine will get a booster shot at least six months after their second injection, said the US FDA, reported The New York Times (NYT).
Regulators said that people over 65 or at high risk of severe COVID-19 were eligible for an extra shot, setting up a staggering national booster campaign.

UN releases funds to save Afghanistan health system from collapse

The United Nations aid chief said Wednesday he had released $45 million in emergency funds to help prevent Afghanistan's battered healthcare system from collapsing, news agency AFP reported.
Martin Griffiths, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coord­inator, warned in a statement that “medicines, medical supplies and fuel are running out in Afghanistan.”
“Cold chains are compromised. Essential health-care workers are not being paid,” he said. In a bid to avert catastrophe, Griffiths said he was releasing funds from the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund to boost life-saving support in Afghanistan, AFP said. Read on...

Covid-19 pandemic: India may fully vaccinate all adults by April next year

India would be able to vaccinate its entire adult population by November this year with at least one dose of the Covid vaccine if it keeps up with an average pace of 5.6 million doses administered daily. This average was achieved for the week ended September 17, which was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, when a record 25 million doses were administered in the country.
However, excluding the exceptional day, the weekly average number of first doses being given daily till a day before — September 16 — was around 4.3 million. At this pace, vaccination with double dose can extend up to April 2022. At this rate, single-dose vaccination for the eligible population would be completed by early December. Read on...

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