Coronavirus LIVE: India's vaccination coverage crosses milestone of 490 mn

Coronavirus updates: India on Thursday reported 42,982 new Covid-19 cases and 533 deaths from the disease, marking a slight increase in infections logged yesterday.

The health ministry said the new infections pushed the total to 318,121,14 and overall deaths due to the disease stood at 426,290. On Wednesday, the country reported 42,625 new cases of Covid-19 and 562 deaths from the disease in 24 hours.

India may cut the number of Covid-19 vaccines reserved for private sector healthcare, saying utilisation was poor. The government told Rajya Sabha it had taken over 7-9 per cent of the private sector’s 25 per cent quota.  

World coronavirus updates: The World Health Organization called for a moratorium on booster shots to enable poorer countries to catch up in vaccination rates. Florida hospitals are struggling to get oxygen due to a rise in Covid-19 cases attributable to the delta variant and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s decision not to declare another state of emergency, Bloomberg reported. 


Covid 3rd wave may pull GDP growth down to 7 pc: economist Abhijit Banerjee

Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee on Thursday apprehended that the impending third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic might adversely impact the GDP, and its growth rate might go down to 7 per cent, even below the IMF's recent projection of 9.5 per cent.
Banerjee, who heads West Bengal's Global Advisory Board (GAB) and advises the state government on issues related to the pandemic, said that boosting the state's economy is directly related to the revival of the country's economy as it is under stress due to the ongoing pandemic situation.
"The economy is going slow due to the COVID situation. Earlier the IMF had said GDP growth would be 12.5 per cent. Now it is saying it would be 9.5 per cent. I apprehend it might go down to 7 per cent. Another wave will decrease it further. If the country's economy does not improve, the state will not be able to move forward alone," he said.

Africa's Covid cases surpass 6.85 million

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa reached 6,857,642 as of Thursday afternoon, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, said the death toll from the pandemic stands at 173,836 while 6,004,395 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease, Xinhua news agency reported.
South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Ethiopia are the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the Africa CDC. South Africa has recorded the highest Covid-19 cases in Africa at 2,484,009 while the northern African country Morocco reported 653,286 cases as of Thursday.

Bengal reports 812 new COVID-19 cases, 13 more deaths

The COVID-19 toll rose to 18,193 after 13 more succumbed to the disease on Thursday, the health department said in its bulletin. The tally mounted to 15,31,662 with 812 fresh cases of the infection, it added.
North 24 Parganas district accounted for 114 new cases while in the city there were 79 new cases of the contagion, it said.
In the last 24 hours, 823 recoveries were registered in the state and the discharge rate remained at 98.11 per cent. Till date, 15,02,748 people have recovered from the disease, the bulletin said. The number of active cases further slipped to 10,721, it added. Since Thursday, 48,869 samples have been tested in West Bengal taking the total number of such tests to 1,59,52,188.

Moderna says its COVID-19 shot maintains high efficacy through 6 months

Moderna Inc said on Thursday its COVID-19 vaccine was about 93% effective through six months after the second dose, showing hardly any change from the 94% efficacy reported in its original clinical trial. However, the company said it still expects booster shots to be necessary ahead of the winter season as antibody levels are expected to wane.
It and Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE, which make a similar messenger RNA-based vaccine, have been advocating for a third shot to maintain a high level of protection against COVID-19, especially as more contagious variants of the virus spread widely.
Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said during a conference call that the company would not be able to produce more than the 800 million to 1 billion doses of the vaccine it has already targeted for this year.

Kerala gets 3.61 lakh additional COVID-19 vaccine doses

Kerala has received 3.61 lakh more doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the state government said here on Thursday.
The state on Wednesday received two lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 1,61,440 Covaxin jabs at the regional vaccine stores in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode, Health Minister Veena George said in a release.
Kerala has now administered 2,13,01,782 Covid vaccine cumulatively in first and second doses (1,50,32,333 first doses and 62,69,449 second doses) even as the state inoculated a total of 1,87,504 people on Thursday, the government said.

Over 49 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has gone past 49 crore, the Union health ministry said on Thursday. More than 50.29 lakh (50,29,573) vaccine doses were administered on Thursday, according to a provisional report compiled at 7 pm.
The ministry said 27,26,494 beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years received the first dose, while 4,81,823 were administered the second dose of the vaccine on Thursday.
Cumulatively, 16,92,68,754 people in the 18-44 age group have received the first dose and 1,07,72,537 have been administered the second dose of the vaccine since the start of the third phase of the nationwide inoculation drive, the ministry said.

Jammu and Kashmir records 128 fresh Covid cases, two deaths

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 128 fresh cases of coronavirus on Thursday, raising its tally to 3,22,142, while the death toll reached 4,386 with one more fatality, officials said. Of the fresh cases, 38 were reported from the Jammu division and 90 from the Kashmir division of the union territory, the officials said.
They said Srinagar district recorded the highest number of 42 cases, followed by 10 in Jammu district.
The number of active cases rose slightly to 1,358 in the union territory, while 3,16,398 patients have recovered so far, the officials said. The death toll in the union territory climbed to 4,386 as one fresh fatality was reported in the past 24 hours, they said. Meanwhile, the officials said there were 37 confirmed cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) in the union territory as two fresh cases were reported since Wednesday evening.

Coronavirus LIVE: India’s vaccination coverage crosses milestone of 49 mn

Coronavirus LIVE: India’s vaccination coverage crosses milestone of 49 mn

India in talks with countries for mutual recognition of vax certifications

India is in talks with various nations for a mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certifications, the government informed Parliament on Thursday. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also said there is no plan currently to introduce vaccine passports. He said normal international travel remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read here

Preparing for worst-case scenario, setting up 37,000 Covid beds: Jain

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said the city government was preparing for the worst-case scenario in anticipation of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and working on setting up 37,000 dedicated beds for Covid-19 patients. Read here

Karnataka reports 1,785 new coronavirus cases

Karnataka reports 1,785 new coronavirus cases, 1,651 recoveries, and 25 deaths today, according to the state health department

24 fresh cases in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand reports 24 new coronavirus cases, 67 recoveries, and zero deaths today, according to the state health department

Covid LIVE: Serum CEO expected to meet Union Health Minister tomorrow

Covid LIVE: Serum CEO expected to meet Union Health Minister tomorrow

Sri Lankan hospitals prepare for surge in Covid-19 cases: Top health official

Hospitals in Sri Lanka have started preparations to face the current surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, deputy director general of health Dr Hemantha Herath said on Thursday. Most hospitals in the country have exceeded their capacity even as some patients are forced to sleep on floors, according to social media reports. Herath, responding to reports that hospitals have exceeded their capacities, said that urgent steps are being taken to expand the number of Covid-19 wards and beds. (PTI)

AP logs 2,145 new Covid-19 cases, 24 deaths

The number of active coronavirus cases increased by 118 as Andhra Pradesh reported 2,145 afresh, 2,003 recoveries and 24 deaths in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday. The active caseload increased to 20,302 after a total of 19,42,371 recoveries and 13,468 deaths. (PTI)

Mulling reopening schools, colleges after Dura Puja vacation: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her government is weighing options for reopening schools and colleges on alternate days after the Durga Puja vacation in November. Educational institutions have been closed in the state since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year. Read here

PVR eyes business reaching pre-pandemic level by FY22-end

Leading multiplex chain operator PVR Ltd expects its business to return to pre-pandemic level by the end of the ongoing fiscal year, hoping there is a consistent supply of good films and no third wave and further lockdowns in the country, its chairman and managing director Ajay Bijli has said. Over the expansion of screens, Bijli said PVR is "slightly cautious" and would add around 19 screens by September, most of which were capitalised pre-pandemic and post then, it would pause up to next year till the business progresses and watch cash flow generation.

Covid: China imposes restrictions as Delta reaches nearly half the country

China imposed new restrictions on travel in a bid to slow a delta-driven outbreak that’s grown to more than 500 cases scattered across half the country, as the government stuck to an aggressive containment playbook rather than rely on its high vaccination rate. Read here

Moderna says its Covid-19 shot remains 93% effective 4-6 months after second dose

Moderna Inc said on Thursday its Covid-19 shot was about 93% effective four to six months after the second dose, showing hardly any change from the 94% efficacy reported in its original clinical trial. That compares favorably to data released by rivals Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE last week in which they suggested their vaccine's efficacy waned around 6% every two months, declining to around 84% six months after the second shot. Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

Healthcare workers at high risk of burn-out

Healthcare staff handling the Covid pandemic since the last 18 months are experiencing high levels of depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and burn-out, a global review of such studies has found. The review, conducted by the University of York and the Mental Health Foundation, also revealed that Covid-19 patients with other physical health problems, and children and adolescents are struggling with a host of mental health issues during the pandemic.

India's Panacea Biotec to make up to 25 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine

India's Panacea Biotec Ltd said on Thursday it had agreed to produce up to 25 million doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine using the drug substance made by Russia's Generium. Panacea will then supply the doses to drugmaker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories for distribution in India. (Reuters)

Sikkim reports 184 new Covid-19 cases, 2 fatalities

Sikkim's Covid-19 tally rose to 27,526 as 184 more people tested positive for the virus while two new fatalities pushed the death toll to 351, a health department bulletin said on Thursday. West Sikkim district registered 76 new cases followed by South Sikkim (50), East Sikkim (46) and North Sikkim district (12), the bulletin said. The Himalayan state now has 3,370 active Covid-19 cases, while 23,527 people have recovered from the disease, it said.

Odisha reports 1,342 new Covid-19 cases, 68 fresh fatalities

Odisha's Covid-19 tally soared to 9,83,523 on Thursday as 1,342 more people tested positive for the infection, while 68 fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 6,236, a health official said. As many as 775 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 567 infections were detected during contact tracing, he said, adding that the daily test positivity rate stood at 2.02 per cent.

Tokyo logs record 5,042 cases as infections surge amid Games

Tokyo reported 5,042 new daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, hitting a record since the pandemic began as the infections surge in the Japanese capital hosting the Olympics. The additional cases brought the total for Tokyo to 236,138. Nationwide, Japan reported more than 14,000 cases on Wednesday for a total of 970,000. (PTI)

EU announces pre-sale deal with Novavax for Covid jab

The European Commission announced it has approved a deal that allows European Union (EU) member states to buy up to 200 million doses of Novavax's Covid-19 jab, once the European Medicines Agency (EMA) deems it safe and effective for use. In a statement on Weednesday, the Commission said that through the agreement with the US pharmaceutical firm, EU countries will be able to purchase 100 million Novavax vaccine doses, with the option to purchase a further 100 million over the course of 2021, 2022, and 2023, reports Xinhua news agency. Read here

India Coronavirus Dispatch: Too soon to declare third wave, say experts

Experts say the rise in fresh cases and the R value in many states are worrying but people should not panic, PTI reported. The R value is a key measure of how quickly the virus is spreading. In simple terms, it is the average number of people who become infected by an infected individual.  Read here

Suggestions being made for seperate local train pass in Mumbai for fully vaccinated

Mizoram reports 1,088 new cases of Covid-19

Mizoram on Thursday reported 1,088 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 42,083. One death from the disease overnight took total fatalities to 157.

Maharashtra should allow malls to open: Association

A business association on Thursday asked Maharashtra’s government to open malls, saying lakhs of jobs were at stake. "All other states in the country except Maharashtra have allowed malls to open along with other formats of retail," said the Retailers Association of India in a statement, PTI reported.

Arunachal's cases rise by 319

Arunachal Pradesh's total Covid-19 cases rose to 49,203 when 319 people tested positive for the infection, PTI reported quoting the health department. Death toll in the state increased to 236 after two more persons died of the disease in the past two days.

602 vaccinated at home in Mumbai: Agency tells court

Mumbai's civic agency told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that 4,715 bed-ridden people in the city have so far registered for home vaccination against Covid-19 and out of them 602 have been inoculated.

Delta variant spread to 135 countries: WHO

The Delta variant has spread to 135 countries, said the World Health Organization, which estimate the number of total coronavirus cases globally could exceed 200 million by next week. The global number of new cases has been increasing for more than a month, with over 4 million cases reported in the past week, PTI reported.

India's recovery rate for Covid-19 cases at 97.37%: Health Ministry

India's active cases—those under treatment--comprise 1.29 per cent of the total infections and the national recovery is at 97.37 per cent, said the country’s health ministry on Thursday.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands logs one case in 24 hours

Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported a single case of Covid-19 case in 24 hours, keeping the total at 7,541. The archipelago has just four active 19 cases, PTI reported quoting a civil servant. Deaths due to Covid remained at 129, as no fresh fatality was reported in 24 hours.

India reports 42,982 new cases

India reports 42,982 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, slightly higher than yesterday's 42,625 infections.

China imposes new restrictions

China imposed new travel and movement restrictions across the nation, including in its highly protected capital of Beijing, as a delta-driven outbreak grew to over 500 symptomatic cases scattered across 15 provinces and municipalities, Bloomberg reported.

Japan to expand emergency restrictions

Japan was set on Thursday to expand emergency restrictions to eight more prefectures to fight a surge in Covid-19 cases, as worries deepen about strains on the nation's medical system in Olympics host Tokyo and around the country, Reuters reported.

Govt considering cutting Covishield dosage gap: Report

The government is considering narrowing the gap between two Covishield doses for those 45 years or older on increased availability of the vaccine, the Mint business daily reported. The gap now between two doses of the vaccine is 12-16 weeks for all adults.

31 new Olympic Games-related Covid cases reported

Tokyo Olympics organisers on Thursday reported 31 new Games-related Covid-19 cases, bringing the total since July 1 to 353. Reuters reported this.

New York auto show cancelled

Organizers of the 2021 New York International Automobile Show have canceled the event for the second year in a row, citing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 delta variant, Bloomberg reported.

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