Covid LIVE: Karnataka sees 7,345 new cases in a day; 880 in Mumbai

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Corona updates: India reported 62,224 new cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the country's total coronavirus caseload has reached 29,633,105. The country reported 2,542 deaths yesterday, taking the death toll to 379,573. Covid-19 test positivity rate has fallen to 3.2%.

Meanwhile, making it clear that pre-registration for vaccination through online registration and prior booking of appointment is not mandatory to avail Covid vaccination services, the health ministry on Tuesday said anyone aged 18 and above can go directly to the nearest vaccination centre where the vaccinator performs the onsite registration and provides vaccination at the same visit.

Coronavirus upate city-wise: Delhi (228 cases), Mumbai (575 cases), Kolkata (370 cases), Bengaluru (985 cases), Chennai (793 cases).

Tamil Nadu reported 12,772 new infections, followed by Maharashtra (9,350), Kerala (7,719), Karnataka (5,041), Andhra Pradesh (4,549), Delhi (131) and West Bengal (3,519).

The five most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (5,917,121), Karnataka (2,771,969), Kerala (2,735,958), Tamil Nadu (2,366,493), Andhra Pradesh (1,814,393).

World coronavirus update: Covid-19 is continuing to spread around the world, with more than 177,393,230 confirmed cases and 3,837,600 deaths across nearly 200 countries recorded since China reported its first cases in December 2019. The US remains the worst-hit country with 34,334,181, followed by India, Brazil, France and Turkey.

To read updates from our yesterday's blog, click here


Kolkata malls get mixed reactions on reopening after over a month

The malls in Kolkata received a mixed reaction on Wednesday when the facilities reopened after being closed for 45 days due to restrictions imposed by the West Bengal government to check the spread of coronavirus.
As the Covid situation improved, the state administration allowed malls to operate with 25 per cent staff and a maximum of 30 per cent footfall capacity from 11 am to 6 pm for stores and 8 pm for restaurants.
Mall managers said all employees deployed on Wednesday are vaccinated and the premises have been sanitised.
"About 90 per cent of stores opened. Vibes are positive but footfall is not very high due to lack of public transport and restriction on movement of private cars," Acropolis Mall head K Vijayan said.
South City mall management said they received a better response this time than the first day of the reopening after lockdown 1.
"We had a footfall of around 10,000 today which is higher in comparison with the first day of previous unlock when we had received about 7,000 footfalls. Sales were also higher by 15-18 per cent than the previous unlock. The trend is very positive," South City head Manmohan Bagree said.
A few managers said that malls that have good catchment of visitors did well compared to standalone malls due to curbs on transport facilities.
Malls do not foresee footfall restriction hurting their business at least for now as actual footfall is far lower than respective permitted numbers.
"We encourage the visit of only serious shoppers. All new malls have footfall scanners so managing 30 per cent of capacity will not be difficult," Bagree said.

Vaccine effort turns into slog as infectious variant spreads

As cases tumble and states reopen, the potential final stage in the US campaign to vanquish Covid-19 is turning into a slog, with a worrisome variant gaining a bigger foothold and lotteries and other prizes failing to persuade some Americans to get vaccinated.
“The last half, the last mile, the last quarter-mile always requires more effort,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.
While two of the states slammed hardest by the disaster, California and New York, celebrated their reopenings this week with fireworks and a multimillion-dollar drawing, hospitalizations in parts of Missouri are surging and cases are rising sharply in Texas, illustrating the challenges the country faces this summer.
One major concern is the highly contagious and potentially more severe delta variant of the coronavirus that originated in India. While health officials say the vaccines are effective against it, the fear is that it will lead to outbreaks in states with lower vaccination rates.
The delta variant has increased from 2.7% of all cases in May to 9.7% this month, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a call for governors on Monday, according to details provided by the Washington governor's office.
At the same time, states are convening focus groups to better understand who is declining to get vaccinated, why, and how to convince them that getting the shot is the right thing to do.

Portugal's surge in cases highest since February

Portugal is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, with the government set to review its pandemic rules on Thursday.
The European Union country reported 1,350 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily total since February. Experts say the delta variant first identified in India may be driving the spread. The Lisbon region has accounted for almost 1,000 of the new cases.
Portugal was the worst-hit country in the world in January, when daily cases peaked at more than 16,000. Nearly 7,000 Covid-19 patients were in the hospital and close to 1,000 were in ICUs. Now, hospitals have 351 virus patients, with 83 in intensive care.
A nation of 10.3 million people, Portugal has inoculated 42% of its population with a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 25% have had both shots. 

US: Millions fear eviction as housing crisis worsens

More than 4 million people in the US say they fear being evicted or foreclosed upon in the coming months just as two studies released found that the nation's housing availability and affordability crisis is expected to worsen significantly following the pandemic.
The studies released on Wednesday come as a federal eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of the month. The moratorium has kept many tenants owing back rent housed. Making matters worse, the tens of billions of dollars in federal emergency rental assistance that was supposed to solve the problem has not reached most tenants.
The housing crisis, the studies found, risk widening the housing gap between Black, Latino and white households, as well as putting homeownership out of the reach of lower class Americans.
“The unprecedented events of 2020 both exposed and amplified the impacts of unequal access to decent, affordable housing,” wrote researchers at Joint Centre for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
“These disparities are likely to persist even as the economy recovers, with many lower-income households slow to regain their financial footing and facing possible eviction or foreclosure.” The reports were released on the same day as Census Bureau's biweekly Household Pulse Survey came out. It showed that nearly 4.2 million people nationwide report that it was likely or somewhat likely that they will be evicted or foreclosed upon in the next two months.

White House: Markets showing little worry about inflation

The White House believes it has an ally in the bond markets to make the case that inflation isn't an economic threat.
Republican lawmakers have interpreted the jump in consumer and producer prices as a sign that inflation is spiking at levels that will hurt growth, and they say President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package has overcooked the economy. But the financial markets appear to be backing Biden's case that any price increases are the fleeting result of the United States restarting after the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The White House points to charts that dig into two key market-based measures of inflation and show no cause for alarm in the medium to long term. The charts look at the interest rate on the five-year US Treasury note and a measure of expected inflation known as 5y5y, which looks forward five years to investors' five-year inflation expectations.
As of Monday, the 5y5y was trading at 2.28%, an indication that annual inflation will be close to the Federal Reserve's 2% target. The charts suggest that inflation expectations — despite the recent bump in prices — are within the realm of expectations over the past 15 years. They also show that market expectations of coming inflation have essentially been flat in recent months.

Tamil Nadu CM rolls out scheme to help children who lost parents to Covid-19

Rolling out a welfare scheme to help fulfill the future needs of children who lost both their parents to COVID-19, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday handed over certificates of Rs five lakh fixed deposit in favour of each of five such children.
The deposits made in the state-run Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation was given by the Chief Minister to their guardians at the Secretariat.
Also, Stalin gave away cheques for Rs three lakh to each of five other children who had lost one of their parents to the virus. Top government officials, led by Chief Secretary V Iraianbu participated.

Bangladesh reports 3,956 new Covid cases, 60 deaths

Bangladesh has reported 3,956 new Covid-19 cases and 60 deaths, the highest daily death toll since May 4, taking the total tally to 837,247 and the toll to 13,282, according to health authorities on Wednesday.
Data from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) showed that 23,807 samples were tested in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh, Xinhua reported.
The total number of recovered patients in the country stood at 773,752 including 2,679 new recoveries on Wednesday, said the DGHS. According to the DGHS, the fatality rate in Bangladesh is 1.59 per cent and the current recovery rate 92.42 per cent.

Covid Impact: Manipur govt cancels Class 10 and 12 board examinations

Class 10 and 12 Board Examinations have been cancelled in state-run schools in Manipur, in wake of prevailing Covid condition in the state

Over 23% people to have lasting post-Covid symptoms, finds study

Among all patients infected with the coronavirus disease, more than 23 per cent continued to suffer from one or more health issues even a month after being diagnosed with Covid-19, according to a large study.
Many patients recover from Covid-19 within a few weeks, but some exhibit persistent or new symptoms more than four weeks after first being diagnosed. Patients with such post-Covid conditions are variously referred to as having long-haul Covid, long Covid or post-acute sequelae of Covid-19 (PASC).
The study by health care nonprofit FAIR Health analysed private health care claim records for nearly 2 million people diagnosed with Covid in 2020. The people in the study ranged in age from babies to the elderly; some 53 per cent were female and 47 per cent were male. The study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. READ ON...

Pregnant, postpartum women more severely affected during second Covid wave than first: ICMR study

Pregnant and postpartum women were more severely affected during the second wave of COVID-19 as compared to the first with symptomatic cases and the case fatality rate being significantly higher among this category this year, according to a study by ICMR.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday said cases related to pregnant and postpartum women during the first wave (April 1, 2020 - January 31, 2021) and during the second wave (February 1, 2021 to May 14) of the pandemic in India were compared.
"Symptomatic cases were significantly higher at 28.7 per cent in the second wave (111/387), compared to the first wave (162/1143) when the proportion was 14.2 per cent," the apex research body said.

Registration on CoWIN for Sputnik V vaccine will be open at time of commercial launch: Dr Reddy's

635 new Covid cases, 1,649 recoveries in Jammu and Kashmir

Recoveries remained ahead of new cases in J&K on Wednesday as 1,649 patients were discharged after recovery and 635 new cases were reported in the Union Territory during the last 24 hours.
Officials said 193 cases and six deaths came to light in the Jammu division, and 442 cases and six deaths in the Kashmir division.
So far, 309,361 people have been infected with coronavirus out of which 293,763 have recovered, while 4,217 have succumbed. The number of active cases is 11,381 out of which 4190 are from Jammu and 7,191 from the Kashmir division.

Tamil Nadu reports 10,448 new Covid cases and 270 deaths today

Uttar Pradesh reports 310 new Covid-19 infections, 50 fatalities

With 50 fresh COVID-19 fatalities in the state, the death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 21,963, while the tally climbed to 17,03,458 with 310 fresh cases, according to a health department bulletin on Wednesday.
Of the 50 fresh deaths, 10 have been reported from Lucknow, four from Shahjahanpur, three each from Lakhimpur Kheri, Jhansi, Ghazipur, two each in Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Sonbhadra, Ayodhya, Sant Kabirnagar, Basti, one each in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur Nagar, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Pilibhit, Mathura, Pratapgarh, Hardoi, Gonda, Etawah, Aligarh, Amroha, Kannauj and Banda, it said. READ MORE...

Covid LIVE: Fatality rate for pregnant women higher in 2nd wave, says ICMR

Mumbai reports 830 new Covid cases, 11 deaths in last 24 hours

After lioness, 12-year-old Lion dies of Covid at Tamil Nadu zoo

An Asiatic male lion being treated for COVID-19 succumbed on Wednesday, becoming the second carnivore to fall victim to the virus at the zoo near here in two weeks, the first being a lioness.
The 12-year old lion, housed in the safari area of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at suburban Vandalur, succumbed in the morning, a senior official said.
The animal was under intensive treatment for COVID-19 after it tested positive, Deputy Director of AAZP said in a statement. On June 3, the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal sent a report to the zoo stating that the lion's sample tested positive for the virus.

West Bengal reports 3,187 new Covid cases and 69 deaths in last 24 hours

Kerala reports 13,270 new Covid cases, 147 deaths

Kerala reported 13,270 new COVID-19 cases and 147 related deaths on Tuesday taking the total infected so far to 27,61,474 and the fatalities to 11,655.
State Health Minister Veena George said 1,12,521 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 11.79 per cent.
Till now, 2,15,06,139 samples have been tested in the State. Among the districts, Ernakulam recorded the highest number of positive cases today --1,793, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 1,678 and Malappuram with 1,350 cases.

Total number of maternal deaths during both waves of pandemic were 2%: ICMR

Symptomatic cases were significantly higher at 28.7% during second wave: ICMR

Andhra Pradesh reports 6,617 new Covid cases, 57 deaths in last 24 hours

Andhra Pradesh's coronavirus caseload increased to 18,29,751 as 6,617 fresh cases were added in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Wednesday. Recoveries rose to 17,43,176 after 10,228 patients got cured during the period, the latest bulletin said.
With 57 more succumbing in a day, the overall Covid-19 toll climbed to 12,109, the bulletin said.
The state now has 71,466 active cases.

India will revisit Covishield dosage gap based on emerging data: Official

India is considering the emerging evidence on the efficacy of partial versus full immunisation with discussions on since mid-May on whether the country should revert to four or eight weeks gaps between two doses of Covishield vaccine, said Chairman of India's COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI, Dr N K Arora.
These discussions started after the reports from the UK showed that a single dose of AstraZeneca, which is the same as Covishield, gave only 33 per cent protection while two doses gave 60 per cent protection. This data emerged 2-3 days after India took the decision to increase the dose gap to 12-16 weeks. READ ON...

Kerala reports 13,270 new Covid positive cases and 147 deaths in a day

Kerala reports 13,270 new Covid positive cases, 15,689 recoveries and 147 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Active cases: 1,09,794
Death toll: 11,655

Covishield, Covaxin cut infection risk in 95% healthcare workers in India: Study

Covid vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin -- prevented the risk of infection in more than 95 per cent of healthcare workers in India, according to a study by Apollo Hospitals released on Wednesday.
The study covered 31,621 healthcare workers who had received either both doses or the first dose of only Covishield or Covaxin vaccines between January 16 and May 30, IANS reported.
The findings showed that post-vaccination, infection occurred in 1,355 people or 4.28 per cent among the vaccinated healthcare workers, while 294 or 5.14 per cent of the partly vaccinated workers tested positive.

Covid pandemic: Gurugram soon to begin Sputnik V vaccine trials

The Gurugram health department will start trials of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine within 2-3 days at a private hospital. After the trial, Sputnik V will be officially launched by the Haryana government, a senior official of the district health department told IANS.
With this initiative, the Gurugram district will be among the first ones in Haryana, where the Russian-made vaccine trial will begin. A senior health official requesting anonymity said that the Sputnik V vaccine first trial will be conducted on at least 400 staffers of a private hospital. READ MORE...

730 doctors died during second wave of Covid pandemic: IMA

As many as 730 doctors died during the second wave of the COVID pandemic, said the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday, adding that the maximum fatalities have been reported in Bihar.
Bihar reported 115 doctor deaths, followed by Delhi which recorded 109 fatalities, and Uttar Pradesh with 79. In southern states, Andhra Pradesh reported 38, Telangana 37, Karnataka 9, Kerala 24, and Odisha 31. Twenty-three doctors died in Maharashtra.
Today, India reported 62,224 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, while the daily positivity rate further dropped to 3.22 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoFHW).

Covaxin's final product has no calf serum, Bharat Biotech and govt clarify

The Government on Wednesday clarified that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin does not contain newborn calf serum at all and that the calf serum is not an ingredient of the final vaccine product. Amid the controversy, Bharat Biotech also clarified that new born calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines.
A Health ministry statement explained that the newborn calf serum is used for preparation and growth of vero cells which are used in production of vaccines. This technique has been used for decades in Polio, Rabies, and Influenza vaccines. READ MORE...

Centre rejects reports of dissent by experts about increasing gap between Covishield doses

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday dismissed media reports claiming there was dissent from technical experts about increasing the gap between two Covishield doses and said the decision was based on scientific reason about the behaviour of adenovector vaccines.
The Centre on May 13 had approved extending the gap between the two doses of the Covishield vaccine from six to eight weeks to 12 to 16 weeks following a recommendation from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).
The 22nd meeting of COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI was held on May 10. There, a proposal for a change in dose interval for Covishield, used under the National Vaccination Policy, was considered.

730 doctors died during second wave of Covid pandemic: IMA

Andhra Pradesh reports 6,617 new Covid cases, 57 deaths in last 24 hours

Andhra Pradesh reports 6,617 new Covid positive cases, 57 deaths, and 10,228 recoveries in the last 24 hours

India will revisit Covishield dosage interval based on emerging data

India will revisit the dosage interval for Covishield vaccine and take appropriate action based on emerging data, N K Arora, chairperson of the working group of immunisation advisory body NTAGI, said.
Describing the Covid and vaccination situation as "very dynamic", he said in a statement that the emerging evidence and reports regarding efficacy of partial versus full immunisation are also under consideration. READ MORE...

More 'Made in India' vaccines in development, trial stage: PM Modi

"Two Covid vaccines are made in India and more are in development, trial stage, says PM Narendra Modi at VivaTech conference. I invite the world to invest in India based on five pillars of talent, market, capital, ecosystem and culture of openness: PM Modi. We have to continue repair and prepare healthcare and economy after disruption due to pandemic. Start-ups must explore healthcare, eco-friendly technology, agriculture, new-age tool for learning", said PM Narendra Modi at start-up conference.

Calf serum used in manufacturing of viral vaccines: Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech on Wednesday clarified that while new born calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines, the final formulation of its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin is free from all impurities.
"New born calf serum is used in the manufacturing of viral vaccines. It is used for the growth of cells, but neither used in growth of SARS CoV2 virus nor in the final formulation," the company said in a statement.
"Covaxin is is highly purified to contain only the inactivated virus components by removing all other impurities," it added. READ ON...

Uttar Pradesh overcoming second Covid wave with active cases at 6,496

Uttar Pradesh is finally overcoming the second wave of the pandemic. The state has recorded merely 310 fresh Covid cases -- the lowest daily count in over two-and-a-half months -- with positivity rate down to just 0.1 per cent.
Additional chief secretary, information, Navneet Sehgal, said that this was a result of numerous proactive measures adopted by chief minister Yogi Adityanath in limiting the transmission of the virus in the densely populated state. READ MORE...

PM Modi to launch customised crash course for Covid frontline workers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a customised crash course programme for COVID-19 frontline workers on Friday through video conferencing, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
The launch will commence the programme in 111 training centres spread over 26 states, the PMO said. Prime Minister Modi will launch 'Customized Crash Course programme for COVID-19 Frontline workers' on June 18 at 11 am through video conferencing, it said.
The launch will be followed by the prime minister's address. the Union minister of skill development and entrepreneurship will also be present on the occasion. The programme aims to skill and upskill over one lakh "Covid warriors" across the country, the PMO said. READ ON...

212 fresh Covid cases in Delhi, 25 deaths; positivity rate at 0.27%

Delhi recorded 212 fresh COVID-19 cases and 25 fatalities on Wednesday, while the positivity rate dipped to 0.27 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.
According to the latest health bulletin, these new fatalities pushed the death toll due to COVID-19 here to 24,876.
On Tuesday, 228 cases with 0.32 per cent positivity rate, and 12 deaths were recorded. On March 8, Delhi had recorded 239 cases and on March 9, the tally was 320, according to official data.

212 fresh Covid cases in Delhi, 25 deaths; positivity rate at 0.27

Delhi recorded 212 fresh COVID-19 cases and 25 fatalities on Wednesday, while the positivity rate dipped to 0.27 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.
According to the latest health bulletin, these new fatalities pushed the death toll due to COVID-19 here to 24,876.
On Tuesday, 228 cases with 0.32 per cent positivity rate, and 12 deaths were recorded. On March 8, Delhi had recorded 239 cases and on March 9, the tally was 320, according to official data.

Covid LIVE: 212 new coronavirus cases in Delhi

'Based on scientific data': Harsh Vardhan on Covishield dose gap decision

Discussions are underway whether India should revert to four or eight weeks interval for Covishield vaccine and the emerging evidence regarding efficacy of partial versus full immunisation is also being considered, Chairman of India's COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI, Dr N K, Arora said.
He stressed that the decision to increase the gap between two doses of Covishield from 4-6 weeks to 12-16 weeks was based on scientific decision and there was no dissenting voice among the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) members. READ MORE...

Contract worker at Chennai hospital arrested for murdering Covid patient

A contract worker of Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital was arrested for allegedly killing a COVID-19 patient for her cellphone and cash, informed the police on Wednesday.
According to the police, Sunitha, a 41-year-old-woman was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital on May 23 after she tested positive for Covid. On May 24 her husband Mouli visited the hospital and found his wife missing from the corona ward. He filed a police complaint. Sunitha's decomposed body was found on June 8.
The reason for her death was unknown and on the complaint of Sunitha's husband, Chennai police started an investigation, said the police. The police stated that it solved the case after hospital staff members and patients told them that they had last seen Sunitha with Rathi Devi, who had taken her in a wheelchair.

Odisha extends partial lockdown till July 1, opens borders with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand

Odisha extends partial lockdown till July 1, opens borders with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand: Official

Centre gave over 270 million Covid vaccine doses to states, UTs

The Centre has provided more than 27 crores COVID vaccine doses to the states and Union Territories (UTs) so far, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) informed on Wednesday.
"As many as 27,28,31,900 vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far, through Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 25,45,45,692 doses," reads the official statement.
According to Union Health Ministry, more than 1,82,86,208 COVID Vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. READ ON...

LIVE: Cabinet briefing by Union Minsters Prakash Javadekar and Mansukh Mandaviya

UK expands Covid vaccination drive to cover all over-21s

Around 1 million people in the UK aged 21 and 22 will begin to be called forward on Wednesday to book their coronavirus vaccine, as the National Health Service (NHS) led COVID-19 vaccination programme expanded the age-based rollout to cover further younger categories., PTI reported.
The latest expansion leaves only 18 to 20 year olds yet to be contacted for their first doses, even as the second doses for all those aged 40 and over and being encouraged to be brought forward as part of efforts to control the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19. The NHS has said that by the end of this week it is expected that all those aged 18 or over would also be able to book their jabs.

PM Modi will launch ‘Customized Crash Course' programme for Covid Frontline workers’ on June 18: PMO

US CDC reclassifies Delta Covid-19 strain 'variant of concern'

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reclassified the Delta strain of Covid-19 as a variant of concern, based on "mounting evidence" of it being more transmissible, the media reported. The CDC's classifications define three classes of variants of COVID-19 -- variants of interest, variants of concern, and variants of high consequence.
Other variants, circulating in the US, classified by CDC as variants of concern include the B117 (Alpha), B1351 (Beta), P1 (Gamma), B1427 (Epsilon), B1429 (Epsilon), and B16172 (Delta).
"CDC and SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group continually review the available scientific evidence and the genomic surveillance data to assess the classification of variants," Fox news quoted the CDC as saying.

India's Cumulative Vaccination Coverage exceeds 26.19 crore

UK trial finds Regeneron anti-viral therapy saves lives from COVID-19

A new, experimental anti-viral treatment used for some worst-affected COVID-19 patients has been found to save lives, according to the results of a UK trial on Wednesday.
In the ongoing Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' combination of drugs was found to benefit patients with severe symptoms of the virus who had not mounted a natural antibody response of their own.
It not only cut down the numbers requiring a ventilator, among the 9,875 people who took part in the trial between September 2020 and May this year, but also reduced the duration of their hospital stay.

Ladakh records 38 fresh Covid cases, one more death

Ladakh's COVID-19 caseload surged to 19,649 on Wednesday with 38 fresh infections while the death toll climbed to 199 as one more person succumbed to the viral disease, officials said.
Of the fresh cases, 21 were reported from Leh district and 17 from Kargil district, they said.
The latest fatality was reported from Kargil, the officials said. Of the total 199 deaths in the union territory, 143 were reported from Leh and 56 from Kargil, they said. According to the officials, the number of active cases in Ladakh came down to 552 -- 410 in Leh and 142 in Kargil.

A special vaccination session underway for mothers of newborn children at a govt hospital in Chennai

India Coronavirus Dispatch: Scientists say didn't back doubling vaccine gap

We didn’t back doubling of vaccine dosing gap: Scientists at top advisory group
The Modi government okayed doubling the interval between two shots of the Covishield vaccine without the agreement of the scientific group that it said recommended the change, said a report in Reuters that cited three members of the advisory body. The ministry of health announced a move to alter the interval from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks in May, at a time when Covid cases were soaring across the country and supplies of the vaccine were falling short. READ MORE...

COVAXIN is highly purified to contain only inactivated virus components by removing other impurities: Biotech

Puducherry adds 430 new Covid cases, tally touches 113,622

Puducherry logged 430 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday raising the overall infection count to 1.13 lakh. The new cases were identified at the end of examination of 9190 swabs. While Puducherry region accounted for 340 cases, Karaikal reported 69, Yanam 11 and Mahe region 10.
Six more persons succumbed to the infection raising the toll to 1702. The test positivity rate today was 4.68 percent, while fatality and recovery rates were 1.5 percent and 84.55 percent, Director of Health and Family Welfare Services S Mohan Kumar said.

Covishield dose interval under discussion: NTAGI working group chairman

Discussions are underway whether India should revert to four or eight weeks interval for Covishield vaccine and the emerging evidence regarding efficacy of partial versus full immunisation is also being considered, Chairman of India's Covid-19 Working Group of NTAGI, Dr N K, Arora said.
He stressed that the decision to increase the gap between two doses of Covishield from 4-6 weeks to 12-16 weeks was based on scientific decision and there was no dissenting voice among the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) members.
"Covid-19 and the vaccination are very dynamic. Tomorrow, if the vaccine platform tells us that a narrower interval is better for our people, even if the benefit is 5%-10%, the Committee will take the decision on the basis of merit and its wisdom.On the other hand, if it turns out that the current decision is fine, we will continue with it," Arora said. Read on...

Third wave preparation: Delhi govt to train 5K youths as health assistants

The Delhi government will train 5,000 youths to assist doctors and nurses as part of preparations for a possible third wave of Covid-19, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday.
The health assistants or community nursing assistants will be imparted two weeks' basic training in nursing and lifecare. The training will start from June 28 in batches of 500 candidates.
Training applicants need to have cleared Class 12 and be at least 18 years old. Online applications for training will be received on a first come, first served basis from June 17, Kejriwal said. Read on...

Women's hockey team wants to win medal in Olympics for Covid warriors: Rani

The Indian women's hockey captain Ritu Rani on Tuesday vowed that her team would leave no stone unturned to win a historic medal in the upcoming Olympics and dedicate it to the frontline workers who risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rani also informed that the core probables training at the Sports Authority of India Center here will undergo selection trials this week to pick the team for the Tokyo Games, which opens on July 23.
"Winning for our countrymen and women who have made many sacrifices in order to save lives during this pandemic will make it a truly special outing in Tokyo for the team," Rani said in a release. Read on...

Coronavirus LIVE: Will train 5,000 health assistants, says Delhi CM on 3rd wave

In 1st and 2nd waves, we saw shortage of medical & paramedical staff. So, govt has an ambitious plan-to prepare 5,000 health assistants. 5,000 youth will be trained by IP University for 2 weeks each. They'll be given basic training at Delhi's 9 major medical institutes: CM Arvind Kejriwal

UP schools to reopen on July 1 for teachers and academic staff

Over 150,000 schools, recognized by the Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Board (UPBEB), which were closed till June 30 due to the pandemic, will now reopen on July 1 for teachers and academic staff.
According to an order issued on Tuesday night by secretary, UPBEB, Pratap Singh Baghel, students will not attend schools till further orders. "Schools may call teachers and employees based on requirement," the order said.
For schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the respective school management committees (SMCs) will decide on calling teachers and administrative staff from July 1.
"SMCs will be authorized to take any decision for schools other than UPBEB," said Baghel. Read on...

Beset with nil revenue, Covid, Chennai zoo seeks help from govt

With its revenue, mainly through ticket sales, touching rock bottom owing to Covid lockdown and the death of a lioness due to the infection causing concern, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) here is in dire need for funds to feed thousands of animals besides their upkeep.
A senior official at the zoo said the park has pinned hopes on the state government to provide funds also to meet the salaries of casual labourers apart from meeting the administrative costs and other increasing requirement for precautionary measures and medicines to contain the spread of Covid-19 among the animals.
"It's crisis time. Revenue became zero. Zoo depended last year on the government and CSR funds. The government provided Rs 6 crores towards meeting the cost for animal feed last year.
This year, a proposal sent to the government is under process," a deputy director of AAZP said when asked if the zoo adoption could help tide over the crisis.

Global Covid-19 caseload tops 176.5 mn; deaths surge to more than 3.81 mn

The overall global Covid-19 caseload has topped 176.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 3.81 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
In its latest update on Wednesday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 176,559,700 and 3,819,109, respectively.
The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 33,485,557 and 600,265, respectively, according to the CSSE. Read on...

Ocugen selects Jubilant HollisterStier as manufacturer for Covaxin in US

Ocugen Inc, Bharat Biotech's US and Canada partner for its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, said it has chosen Jubilant HollisterStier of Spokane, Washington as its manufacturing partner for the vaccine for the North American countries.
"We are fully committed to bringing Covaxin to the US and Canadian markets because we believe it has the potential to save lives by adding a weapon to the arsenal in the fight against emerging variants, J P Gabriel, Ocugen's Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain said in a release on Tuesday.
Bharat Biotech has entered into a definitive agreement with OcugenInc, a US-based biopharmaceutical company, to co-develop, supply, and commercialise, its Covaxin for the American and Canadian markets.

UP unlock: Shopkeepers near Taj Mahal express hope with the reopening of the monument

A shopkeeper says, "We will now be able to breath a sigh of relief as tourists have started coming. We will be able to run our household properly now."

South Korea logs over 500 new Covid cases amid accelerating vaccine drive

South Korea's daily new Covid cases bounced back to over 500 on Wednesday as health authorities ramped up the country's vaccination drive with a quarter of the population receiving one jab.
The country reported 545 fresh coronavirus cases, including 522 local infections, pushing the total caseload to 149,191, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The latest tally is sharply up from 399 on Monday and 374 cases on Tuesday. The country added one more death, raising the death toll to 1,993, Yonhap reported. Read on...

India reports 62,224 fresh Covid-19 cases, 2,542 deaths in last 24 hours

A single day rise of 62,224 new coronavirus infections were reported taking India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,96,33,105, while the active cases were recorded below nine lakh after 70 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The Covid-19 death toll climbed to 3,79,573 with 2,542 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed
The active cases further declined to 8,65,432 comprising 2.92 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 95.80 per cent. Read on...

Denmark coach steps up UEFA criticism over game resumption

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand stepped up his criticism of UEFA on Tuesday for not giving his players the option to postpone the game against Finland in the wake of Christian Eriksen's collapse.
Hjulmand said UEFA failed to lead with compassion and that his players were put in a hugely difficult situation after the incident on Saturday at the European Championship.
The Euro 2020 game resumed following a suspension of about 90 minutes after Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator. Read on...

Covid-19 crisis: Nearly 10,000 mobile retail stores shut in the past year

In the past year, thousands of handset retail stores – about 8 per cent of the total of 120,000 - have shut as a result of lockdowns and e-commerce giants enticing consumers with discounted phones.
The north India region, the largest market among all four zones of the country, has seen the worst, according to market analytics platform PredictiVu, with close to 10 per cent of outlets closing. North India typically contributes over 35 per cent of the total handset sales.
The western region, contributing nearly 30 per cent of sales, has seen 9 per cent of shops shut, followed by 6 per cent in the south and 3 per cent in the east, the smallest region in terms of sales.

Coronavirus in India: Recovery rate increases to 95.80%

Recovery rate increases to 95.80%, Weekly positivity rate drops to less than 5%, currently at 4.17%. Daily positivity rate at 3.22%, less than 5% for 9 consecutive days: Ministry of Health

Coronavirus in India: Latest update by MoHFW

Summary of MoHFW data (June 16)
Active cases: 865,432 (Net reduction: 47,946)
Deaths: 379,573 (Net increase: 2,542)
Cured: 28,388,100 (Net increase: 107,628)
Total cases: 29,633,105 (Net increase: 62,224)
Total vaccination: 261,972,014 (Increase over previous day: 2,800,458)

US CDC calls coronavirus Delta variant a 'variant of concern'

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now called the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, also known as B.1.617.2, a "variant of concern".
According to the agency there is 'mounting evidence' that the Delta variant, which was first reported in India, shows increased transmissibility, potential reduction in neutralisation by some monoclonal antibody treatments under emergency authorisation and potential reduction in neutralisation from sera after vaccination in lab tests.
Earlier, the CDC had considered the Delta variant to be a variant of interest. It also underscore delta to be 50 per cent faster than the Alpha variant, thus making it two times faster than original Covid-19 strain.

Uttarakhand corona cases: 18 deaths recorded in a day

Uttarakhand reports 274 new cases, 18 deaths and 515 recoveries today; case tally reaches 337,449

Karnataka coronavirus update LIVE: 5,041 new cases, 115 deaths recorded in 24 hours

Karnataka records 5,041 new Covid-19 cases, 115 deaths, and 14,785 recoveries today; active cases at 162,282

Uttar Pradesh coronavirus updates: 340 fresh virus cases in UP

Tamil Nadu coronavirus update: State reports 11,805 new Covid cases

Tamil Nadu reports 11,805 new Covid-19 cases, 23,207 recoveries, and 267 deaths today; active cases at 125,215

Guj coronaivrus update :Gujarat sees 352 fresh coronavirus cases, 4 more deaths

Gujarat on Tuesday reported 352 Covid-19 cases, taking its tally to 8,21,078, while the day also saw 1,006 people getting discharged and four patients succumbing to the infection, an official said.
The state's toll is 10,007 and the recovery rate is 8,02,187, which is 97.70 per cent of the tally, leaving the state with 8,884 active cases, including 219 on ventilator support, the official said.
"Surat led with 71 cases, followed by 50 in Vadodara, 49 in Ahmedabad, 25 in Rajkot among other districts. Two deaths took place in Ahmedabad and one each in Surat and Junagadh," the official said. (

GIMS begins workshop to train doctors, staff for Covid 3rd wave

Preparing for a possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Greater Noida has started special training for its doctors and support staff in dealing with cases of children, officials said on Tuesday.
A two-day workshop for 30 doctors and nurses on 'Basic Skills in Pediatrics' was held on Monday and Tuesday, GIMS Director Dr (Brig) Rakesh Gupta said.
The GIMS, which functions as an autonomous body under the Uttar Pradesh government, has treated over 4,500 patients during the two waves of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, he said, adding the hospital is preparing for the third wave, which is expected to chiefly affect children.
"Lectures and hands on training were given to these participants in basic skills to identify and manage a sick child by eminent faculties. Special case scenarios were created, especially Covid-related. Hands on training for operating ventilators, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), HFNC (high flow nasal cannula), intravenous line, basic life support and advanced cardiovascular life support in pediatric perspective were also given," Gupta said.

Assam coronavirus update: Assam reported 3,415 new Covid-19 cases and 34 fresh fatalities

Assam reported 3,415 new Covid-19 cases and 34 fresh fatalities on Tuesday pushing the caseload to 4,66,590, National Health Mission (NHM) said.
Five deaths were reported from Tinsukia, four from Lakhimpur, three each in Jorhat and Nagaon, two each in Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Kamrup Metropolitan, Karbi Anglong, and Sivasagar, and one each in Baksa, Cachar, Hojai, Kamrup, Karimganj, Sonitpur and Udalguri in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,028.
NHM said, 1,347 more Covid-19 patients have died till now, but the government's Death Audit Board has not included them in the tally of deaths caused by the Covid-19 virus as they had other ailments too.
With detection of 3,415 patients against testing of 1,32,929 samples on Tuesday, Assam has reported a positivity rate of 2.57 per cent for the day, the NHM daily bulletin said.
The state had reported 3,678 coronavirus positive cases on Monday against testing of 1,46,046 samples.
Currently, the state has a total of 39,837 active cases and they are being treated at different hospitals and Covid Care Centres (CCCs). Some of the Covid-19 affected people are in home isolation.

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