Coronavirus LIVE: Maharashtra sees 9,798 fresh cases; 5,783 in Karnataka

Photo: Bloomberg

Coronavirus live updates: India reported on Friday 62,480 new Covid-19 infections and 1,587 deaths over the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry.

The country’s total case load stands at 29,762,793 and fatalities at 383,490. Daily recoveries continue to outnumber the daily new cases for the 36th day straight. The daily test positivity rate--positive cases identified for every 100 tests - continues to decline. It stood at 3.24 per cent - below 5 per cent for the eleventh straight day.

It’s highly unlikely that a future wave of Covid-19 infections will disproportionately affect children aged two years or older, a serosurvey conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, has found.

The Delhi High Court cautioned against violation of safety protocols in Delhi markets, saying such breaches will cause a third wave of infections. The national capital last week announced more unlock measures, allowing shops to open till late evening. Major Indian cities have begun lifting strict lockdowns as the nationwide tally of new infections has dropped to its lowest level in more than two months.

World coronavirus update: The Japanese government and Olympic organizers are making final arrangements to set a cap of 10,000 spectators for the Tokyo games, the Yomiuri newspaper reports, citing several unidentified officials. 

 


LIVE UPDATES

Bengal reports 2,788 new Covid-19 cases, 58 fresh fatalities

West Bengal's Covid-19 tally rose to 14,77,037 on Friday as 2,788 more people tested positive for the infection, while 58 fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 17,240, a health bulletin said.
 
North 24 Parganas district registered the highest number of fresh cases at 388 followed by Kolkata (287), Purba Medinipur (265) and Darjeeling (240).
 
North 24 Parganas also recorded the highest number of fresh fatalities at 15, followed by Kolkata (11) and Nadia and Jalpaiguri (six each).
 
As many as 2,112 more people have been cured of the disease, taking the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state to 97.30 per cent.
 
The state now has 22,691 active cases.
 
A total of 1.35 crore samples have been tested in the state so far, in which the positivity rate was 5.04 per cent, it said.
 
The state has thus far vaccinated over 1.86 crore people, including 2.02 lakh on Friday.
 

Indian sprint icon Milkha Singh dies after a month-long battle with Covid

Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh died on Friday after a month-long battle with Covid-19, during which he lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment.
 
The Padma Shri awardee was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
 
"He breathed his last at 11.30 pm," a family spokesperson told PTI.
 
His condition turned critical this evening as he developed complications, including fever and dipping oxygen saturation levels, after a bout with Covid-19, in the Intensive Care Unit of the PGIMER hospital here.
 
He had contracted Covid-19 last month and tested negative for the virus on Wednesday when he was shifted to general ICU in another block of the hospital.
 
Milkha had been "stable" before Thursday evening.
 
Milkha's 85-year-old wife Nirmal, who had also been infected by the virus, passed away at a private hospital in Mohali on Sunday.
 
Milkha was admitted to PGIMER on June 3 after his oxygen levels dipped at home following treatment at the Fortis hospital in Mohali for a week.

File photo of Milkha Singh | Photo: @ANI
 
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance remains the fourth-place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics.
 
He also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.

Maharashtra easing of curbs: Most of Thane in level 2, Palghar in level 3

Palghar district on Friday fell from category two to category three as part of the Maharashtra government's five-level plan to ease curbs as per positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy levels.
 
An order issued by Palghar collector Manik Gursal said this category three notification includes Vasai Virar municipal limits.
 
Meanwhile, Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar, in a notification issued during the day, said Thane, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivali have been placed under category two, while all other regions of the district have been kept in category three, which means the extent of relaxation of coronavirus-induced restrictions would be lesser in the latter than others.
 
Under the state government's plan to bring back normalcy amid a fall in cases, cities and districts in category one will see the highest degree of relaxation from curbs, while those in category five will see almost all 'break the chain' restrictions in place.
 
The categorisation of areas, and resultant lifting or reimposing of curbs, is reviewed on a weekly basis. 
 

Brazil still debating dubious virus drug amid 500,000 deaths

As Brazil hurtles toward an official Covid-19 death toll of 500,000 — second-highest in the world — science is on trial inside the country and the truth is up for grabs.
 
With the milestone likely to be reached this weekend, Brazil's Senate is publicly investigating how the toll got so high, focusing on why President Jair Bolsonaro's far-right government ignored opportunities to buy vaccines for months while it relentlessly pushed hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that rigorous studies have shown to be ineffective in treating Covid-19.
 
The nationally televised hearings have contained enough scientific claims, counterclaims and outright falsehoods to keep fact-checkers busy.
 
The skepticism has extended to the death toll itself, with Bolsonaro arguing the official tally from his own Health Ministry is greatly exaggerated and some epidemiologists saying the real figure is significantly higher — perhaps hundreds of thousands higher.
 
Dr. Abdel Latif, who oversees an intensive care unit an hour from Sao Paulo, said the fear and desperation caused by the coronavirus have been compounded by misinformation and opinions from self-styled specialists and a lack of proper guidance from the government.
 
“We need real humane public health policy, far from the political fight and based on science and evidence," he said.
 
Brazil's reported death toll is second only to that of the US, where the number of lives lost has topped 600,000. Brazil's population of 213 million is two-thirds that of the US.
 

Covid: Delhi Police issues over 1,650 challans for not wearing face masks

Over 1,650 challans were issued to people across the city on Thursday for not wearing face masks, police said.
 
On Thursday, 1,848 challans were issued for various Covid-19-related violations, they said.
 
Of these, 1,676 were for not wearing face masks and 172 for violating social distancing norms, said Anil Mittal, Additional PRO (Delhi Police).
 
According to the data shared from April 19 to June 17, a total of 1,38,348 challans have been issued across the city.
 
Of them, 1,16,800 people were issued challans for not wearing face masks, 19,823 for violating social distancing norms, 1,532 for holding large public gatherings and congregations, 72 for spitting and 121 for consumption of liquor, pan, gutkha, tobacco etc, the data showed.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a lockdown in the national capital on April 19 in view of an exponential rise in coronavirus cases in the city.
 
Delhi recorded 165 new Covid-19 cases and 14 deaths on Friday, while its positivity rate stood at 0.22 per cent, data shared by the Health department here showed.
 
These new fatalities have pushed the death toll in the city to 24,900, it stated.
 

165 new Covid-19 cases, 14 more deaths in Delhi; positivity rate 0.22%

The national capital on Friday recorded 165 fresh Covid-19 cases and 14 more deaths due to the disease while the positivity rate stood at 0.22 per cent, according to health department data.
 
With the fresh cases, Delhi's caseload has increased to 14,32,033. The latest fatalities pushed the death toll to 24,900, the bulletin stated.
 
The number of active cases dropped to 2,444 on Friday from 2,554 the day before, it said.
 
Delhi is reeling from a brutal second wave of the pandemic that swept the country. Daily cases and deaths began spiralling upwards from April 19 onwards.
 
The city recorded the biggest single-day jump of over 28,000 cases on April 20. It registered a record 448 deaths on May 3.
 
The number of cases has shown a downward trend over the last several days and the positivity rate, too, has been shrinking. The number of daily deaths has also shown a declining trend.
 
The infection rate, which had surged to 36 per cent in the last week of April, has fallen below 0.50 per cent now.
 
A total of 76,480 tests, including 53,724 RT-PCR tests, were conducted the previous day, the bulletin said.
 
Over 14 lakh patients have recovered from coronavirus, it said.
 
The number of people under home isolation dropped to 698 on Friday from 733 the previous day while the number of containment zones fell to 5,452 from 5,799 on Thursday, it said.
 

Brazil to hit 500K deaths, 2nd highest globally

The official Covid-19 death toll in Brazil is about to hit 500,000, the second highest in the world behind the United States.
 
Official data showed some 2,000 Covid-19 deaths per day in Brazil in the past week, representing one-fifth the global total. Only 11 per cent of Brazil's population is fully vaccinated.
 
Brazil's Senate is investigating how the toll got so high, focusing on why President Jair Bolsonaro's far-right government ignored opportunities to buy vaccines for months while it relentlessly pushed hydroxychloroquine.
 
That's a malaria drug that rigorous studies have shown to be ineffective in treating Covid-19.
 
The nationally televised hearings have contained scientific claims, counterclaims and outright falsehoods.
 
The skepticism has extended to the death toll itself, with Bolsonaro arguing the official tally from his own Health Ministry is greatly exaggerated.
 
However, some epidemiologists saying the real death number is significantly higher — perhaps hundreds of thousands higher.
 
Bolsonaro has waged a 15-month campaign to downplay the coronavirus and keep the economy humming. He dismissed the scourge early on as “a little flu” and scorned masks. He tested positive for Covid-19 last year.
 
The U.S. recently surpassed 600,000 confirmed deaths.
 

Italy reports 35 coronavirus deaths on Friday, 1,147 new cases

Italy reported 35 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday against 37 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 1,147 from 1,325.
 
Italy has registered 127,225 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eight-highest in the world.
 
The country has reported 4.25 million cases to date.
 
Patients in hospital with Covid-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 2,680 on Friday, down from 2,888 a day earlier.
 
There were 11 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 15 on Thursday. The total number of intensive care patients fell to 416 from a previous 444.
 
Some 216,026 tests for Covid-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 200,315, the health ministry said.
 

Maharashtra records 9,798 Covid-19 cases, 198 deaths

Maharashtra on Friday recorded 9,798 new Covid-19 cases, taking its case tally to 59,54,508, while 198 fatalities raised the death toll to 1,16,674, the health department said.
 
Of 198 deaths, 133 occurred in the last 48 hours while 65 took place in the last week. Another 450 deaths which had taken place earlier were added after reconciliation of records. The death toll, overall, went up by 648.
 
Discharged patients outnumbered new infections. With 14,347 patients getting discharged during the day, the total of recoveries reached 56,99,983.
There are 1,34,747 active cases in the state.
 
The recovery rate of Maharashtra is now 95.73 per cent, while fatality rate is 1.96 per cent.
 
With 2,20,897 tests conducted during the day, the number of samples tested for coronavirus so far rose to 3,90,78,541.
 
There are 8,54,461 people in home quarantine while 4,831 are in institutional quarantine.
 
Mumbai city added 758 cases which increased its caseload to 7,18,590, while 19 deaths took the fatality count to 15,266.
 
The larger Mumbai division including neighbouring satellite towns reported 2,051 Covid-19 cases and 52 deaths, taking the region's caseload to 15,71,515, and death toll to 31,129. Palghar district in the division reported 18 deaths on Friday.
 

WHO warns of rising Covid cases, deaths in Africa

Top World Health Organization officials warned Friday about rising numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Africa, saying a “huge number” of countries have been forced to suspend giving second doses of coronavirus vaccines because of short supplies.
 
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cited a 52 per cent rise in coronavirus cases and a 32 per cent rise in deaths in Africa related to the pandemic in the last week, “and we expect things only to get worse.” A growing number of wealthy countries have pledged to share billions of doses, but WHO officials say time is of the essence.
 
Dr. Bruce Aylward, a top adviser to the WHO chief, estimated more than 30 or 40 countries initially set to receive second doses of AstraZeneca doses won't be getting them right away. He says the UN health agency was working with manufacturers for more doses.
 
Aylward says countries in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia “have all been hit hard by this.” 
 

Coronavirus LIVE: 762 cases in Mumbai in a day

Haryana govt says all offices in state secretariat will resume working with full staff strength

Haryana government says all offices in state secretariat will resume working with full staff strength

Decision on pending entrance exams JEE, NEET soon: Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education is expected to soon decide on conducting the two remaining editions of the engineering entrance examination JEE-Mains and the medical entrance test NEET in August, according to officials.
 
"The situation is being reviewed to decide on the schedule of the pending editions of JEE-Mains and whether NEET-UG can be conducted on August 1," a senior official said.
 
From the current academic session, JEE-Mains is being conducted four times a year to offer flexibility to students and a chance to improve their scores. The first phase in February was followed by the second phase in March, while the next phases were scheduled for April and May. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: 5,783 new cases in Karnataka

Coronavirus LIVE: Maharashtra sees 9,798 new cases

Coronavirus LIVE: Tamil Nadu reports 8,633 fresh cases

Covid LIVE: Delta variant becoming globally dominant, says WHO official

The World Health Organization's chief scientist said on Friday that the Delta variant of Covid-19, first identified in India, is becoming the globally dominant variant of the disease."The Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissability," WHO's Soumya Swaminathan told a news conference. Reuters
 

Second wave may worsen stressed assets in financial system: Rakesh Mohan

The second wave of Covid-19 may worsen stressed assets in the banking system, adding pressure on the financial stability, said former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan.
 
He said the Indian banking system has been reeling under the pressure of non-performing assets (NPAs) since 2015.
 
Various resolution measures including Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code were undertaken to bring down NPAs and then Covid-19 hit in 2020 impacting the growth process, he said during a virtual conference organised by India International Centre and Research & Information System for Developing Countries. Read here

Uttar Pradesh records 53 coronavirus deaths, 291 new infections

Uttar Pradesh recorded 53 Covid-19 deaths and 291 fresh cases on Friday, taking the total number of fatalities and positive cases to 22,081 and 17,03,882 respectively.
 
The maximum of nine deaths were reported in Lucknow, followed by seven in Shahjahanpur; five in Ayodhya; four in Lakhimpur Kheri; three in Meerut; two each in Mathura, Azamgarh,Ghazipur, Gonda, Pilibhit and Jalaun; and one each in Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Deoria, Mahrajganj, Moradabad, Unnao, Mirzapur, Bahraich, Sant Kabirnagar, Chandauli, Bijnor, Shrawasti and Chitrakoot, a Health Department bulletin said.
 
Of the 291 fresh cases, Lucknow reported the highest at 30, followed by Prayagraj (22), Meerut (13), Mathura (12), Muzaffarnagar and Lakhimpur Kheri (11 each) and Gautam Budhnagar (10) among others, the bulletin said. (PTI)

Decision on further relaxing Covid curbs in Karnataka on Saturday: CM

A decision on further relaxing lockdown restrictions in the state after June 21 when the current curbs come to an end, will be taken on Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said.
 
"The situation is improving. There is also a possibility of a third wave in the future, but despite that we will have to give some relaxations. We will discuss it at a meeting tomorrow evening, and take a decision," Yediyurappa told reporters on Friday.
 
According to official sources, the government may announce relaxations in 11 districts where lockdown measures have continued, while further relaxations in terms of movement of people and opening of businesses may be announced in the remaining 19 districts from June 21. Read here

Private sector engagement crucial for success of vaccination drive: Health Ministry

Private sector engagement is critical for the success of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program to reach the largest possible number of people, the health ministry said in a briefing on Friday.
 
Dr VK Paul, Member, Health of the Niti Aayog, in the briefing said that private sector procurement of Covid-19 vaccines would also be a systematic process and state governments would play an important role when the Centre's new vaccination program commences on June 21.
 
"75 per cent of domestically produced vaccines will be procured by the Centre and distributed to the state for free for implementation. 25 per cent will be done by the private sector. States will see the demand and vaccination capabilities of private hospitals in the state, aggregate it and share with the Centre," Paul said. (ANI)

Kerala registers 11,361 new coronavirus infections, 90 fatalities

Kerala on Friday reported 11,361 new coronavirus cases and 90 more deaths, taking the caseload to 27,85,304 and the death toll to 11,833.
 
A total of 12,147 persons recuperated from the disease, taking the number of those cured to 26,65,354.
 
Currently, there are 1,07,682 persons under treatment, and 4,69,522 under observation of which 27,905 are in isolation wards of various hospitals. Read here

Zydus Cadila likely to seek EUA for its ZyCoV-D vaccine in 7-8 days

Pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila has told the Centre that it could apply for emergency use authorisation (EUA) for ZyCoV-D vaccine in the next seven-eight days.
 
It will be the second indigenous Covid-19 vaccine to apply for such authorisation. It will also be the world's first DNA vaccine against coronavirus.
 
"Zydus Cadila has told the government that it could apply for emergency use authorisation for ZyCoV-D vaccine in the next seven-eight days," a government source said.
 
ZyCoV-D is a DNA Covid vaccine, which carries the genetic code for that part of a virus that triggers the immune system of the body. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: 603 fresh cases recorded in Manipur today

Coronavirus LIVE: 222 fresh cases in Uttarakhand

Coronavirus LIVE: Goa sees 315 new cases

Confirmed Covid cases in Moscow hit daily record

Confirmed Covid cases in Moscow hit a daily record Friday and increased nearly 30 per cent from the day before.
 
Authorities reported 9,056 new cases in Russia's capital, the city's highest daily surge since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
In all of Russia, 17,262 new infections were registered Friday, the highest daily tally since early February.
 
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said this week that Moscow was seeing the effects of new virus variant that is more aggressive, more difficult to tolerate, spreads faster. (AP)

Lockdowns have taken some toll on the economy, altered outlook: Shaktikanta Das

The lockdown restrictions and containment measures undertaken by the states have led to a significant moderation of new infections and active cases; at the same time, it has taken some toll on the economy, as reflected in high-frequency economic and mobility indicators, said Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das during the latest monetary policy meeting.
 
According to the minutes of the meeting released by RBI, Das sees a normalised activity across the country from the beginning of July if downward infection trend continues.
 
"Overall, the second wave of Covid-19 has altered the near-term outlook, and policy support from all sides – fiscal, monetary and sectoral – is required to nurture recovery and expedite return to normalcy. The dent on economic activity due to the second wave of the virus has necessitated the continuation of monetary measures to support the process of economic recovery to make it durable," Das added.
 
The MPC has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent and vowed to continue with the accommodative stance as long as necessary to "revive and sustain growth on a durable basis and continue to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy." Read full RBI release here

AstraZeneca claims victory in tussle with EU over deliveries

AstraZeneca is claiming victory in a court tussle with the European Union over allegations that the coronavirus vaccine-maker was not producing shots fast enough.
 
AstraZeneca said in a statement Friday that the EU's executive branch, the European Commission, had requested that the drug-maker deliver 120 million vaccine doses in total by the end of June 2021, but that a judge in Brussels ordered delivery of 80.2 million doses by 27 September 2021. (AP)

Coronavirus LIVE: Uttarakhand govt forms SIT to probe fake testing during Kumbh

Meghalaya reports 650 new cases, 9 more deaths

Meghalaya on Friday recorded nine fresh Covid-19 fatalities and 650 new cases pushing the death toll to 771 and the tally to 44,382, a senior health department official said.
 
Of the nine deaths, three were reported from East Khasi Hills district and one each from East Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi, South West Garo Hills, West Jaintia Hills, West Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills district respectively, Health Services, Director, Aman War said.
 
The state now has 4,819 active Covid-19 cases, while 38,792 people have recovered from the disease, including 431 on Friday, War said. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Andhra Pradesh reports 6,341 new cases

Coronavirus LIVE: Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia to release report on Delta Plus variant soon

UN: Millions driven from homes in 2020 despite Covid crisis

War, violence, persecution, human rights violations and other factors caused nearly 3 million people to flee their homes last year, even though the Covid-19 crisis restricted movement worldwide, the U.N. refugee agency said in a report Friday.
 
In its latest Global Trends report, UNHCR said the world's cumulative number of displaced people rose to 82.4 million roughly the population of Germany and a new post-World War II record.
 
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations' high commissioner for refugees, said conflict and the fallout from climate change in places such as Mozambique, Ethiopia's Tigray region and Africa's Sahel area were key drivers of refugees and internally displaced people in 2020.
 
Such factors added hundreds of thousands to the overall count, the ninth consecutive annual increase in the number of forcibly displaced people. The millions who have fled countries such as Syria and Afghanistan due to protracted wars or fighting have dominated the U.N. agency's tally for years. (AP)

Coronavirus LIVE: No lockdown on Sundays, says Chandigarh Administration

Coronavirus LIVE: Leaving no stone unturned to prepare for third wave, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Leaving no stone unturned to prepare for third wave, says govt

Euro 2020: Sergio Busquets to rejoin Spain squad after negative Covid result

Sergio Busquets is now available to join the Spain squad in the Euro 2020 after he tested negative for the Covid-19, having missed their opener against Sweden.
 
Spain captain Busquets tested positive on June 6 at Spain's training camp in Madrid and was sent back home to Barcelona to quarantine.
 
A statement on the Spanish national team website read: "The captain of the national team, Sergio Busquets, will join the Spain camp this Friday and will travel with the team to Seville once Covid-19 has been overcome. (ANI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Tripura extends Covid curfew till June 25

The Tripura government has extended the Covid curfew from 2 pm to 5 am in Agartala and 11 other urban local bodies (ULBs) till June 25, a notification said.
 
However, night curfew from 6 pm to 5 am has been lifted from the villages.
 
The restrictions, first imposed on May 16 and then repeatedly extended, were scheduled to end on June 18.
 
The Covid curfew will remain in force in the jurisdiction of Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 11 other ULBs from June 19 to 25, the notification issued by Chief Secretary Kumar Alok said. (PTI)

Delhi L-G, CM discuss action plan to tackle possible 3rd wave of Covid

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting on Friday to discuss the roadmap and an action plan to tackle a possible third wave of Covid-19 infection in the national capital.
 
A state-level task force, more healthcare staff and a special task force for treatment or children are part of the Delhi government's action plan to deal with the third wave, the chief minister's office tweeted. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Almost 85% decline noted in daily new cases since highest reported peak on May 7, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Almost 85% decline noted in daily new cases since highest reported peak on May 7, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Studies show vaccines cut hospitalisations by almost 80%, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Studies show vaccines cut hospitalisations by almost 80%, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Positivity rate less than 5% in 513 districts between June 11-17, says govt

Watch: Health Ministry officials speak on coronavirus situation in the country


Delta variant infections jump by 33,630 in a week, making up nearly all cases in UK

The number of Delta variant infections has jumped by 33,630 in a week to hit a total of 75,953 in the UK, with the highly transmissible variant first identified in India now making up 99 per cent of all Covid-19 cases in the country, health officials said on Friday.
 
Public Health England (PHE), which has been tracking variant of concerns (VOCs) on a weekly basis, said its data shows an increased risk of hospitalisation with Delta VOC compared to Alpha the VOC first detected in the Kent region of England.
 
It also pointed to its previous findings that two doses of a Covid vaccine gives a "high degree of protection" against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.
 
"PHE's weekly Covid-19 variant cases data show that numbers of the Delta variant in the UK have risen by 33,630 since last week to a total of 75,953," PHE reports. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi sees 165 new cases

CSIR, Tata MD partner to ramp up Covid testing capacity across tier 2, 3 towns and rural areas

The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India's apex scientific research organisation, and Tata MD, the new healthcare venture from the Tata Group, have announced a partnership to ramp up Covid-19 testing capacity across tier 2 and 3 towns as well as rural areas across India.
 
The CSIR and Tata MD are developing this capacity to manage any future surge in the Covid-19 testing requirements, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.
 
The initiative will utilise CSIR's network of labs across India and help increase testing capacity in smaller locations in the country. The CSIR and Tata MD will jointly develop the testing capacity and the RT-PCR CRISPR test will be done using the Tata MD CHECK SARS-CoV-2 test kits that are powered by FELUDA technology from CSIR-IGIB.
 
"Apart from vaccination, rapid testing and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 positive persons has emerged as the best strategy in combating Covid. This initiative in partnership with Tata MD, to deploy the RT-PCR CRISPR test across multiple CSIR labs spread across the country is an important step. This will augment the national capacity to test for Covid and detect it locally," said Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director General, CSIR. (PTI)

Amid Covid, foreign carmakers in India face tough investment choices

Foreign automakers' hopes of a booming Indian car market are fading fast as a brutal second wave of Covid-19 infections and limited government room for more stimulus spending suggest a recovery could lag far behind China and the United States.
 
Carmakers that saw nearly a decade of Indian sales growth wiped out in 2020 are expecting a bounce back in demand this year. But it is likely to be led by small, affordable cars - a sector dominated by homegrown leader Maruti Suzuki and rival Hyundai - rather than the premium models churned out by most foreign manufacturers, industry executives and analysts say.
 
With their Indian factories running well below capacity and sales far behind original hopes, firms like Ford, Honda , Nissan, Skoda and Volkswagen face difficult decisions about future investments. Read here

As Covid funeral pyres burn, gloom gathers over India's rural economy

Having watched his father's funeral pyre burn by a river bank close to their farm last month, Indian sugarcane grower Dattatray Bagal and his brothers had to set aside grief to count the financial cost of the coronavirus's impact on their family.
 
They had hoped to buy a tractor for the small farm in western Maharashtra state, but the brothers spent all their savings on hospital treatment for their father and three other family members who survived.
 
"We can't think about any big ticket purchases this year," Bagal said as he irrigated the fields in the farm below the mountains of the Western Ghats. Read here

Bharat Biotech's pre-submission meeting for Covaxin EUL with WHO on June 23

In a major boost for Bharat Biotech, the World health Organisation (WHO) has accepted its Expression of Interest (EoI) for Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin and scheduled a pre-submission meeting on June 23.
 
Though the meeting will not be a detailed review on the product, the vaccine maker will have an opportunity to submit a summary on overall quality of the jab, according to the WHO.
 
The information was provided in the WHO website in the Status of Covid-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL-PQ evaluation process document.
 
Bharat Biotech had said last month that it expects approval for its Covid-19 vaccineCovaxinfrom the World Health Organisation for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) during July-September. (PTI)

Israel to send 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses to Palestinians

Israel says it will transfer around 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority.
 
Under the agreement announced Friday, the PA will transfer doses to Israel once it receives them from a U.N.-backed programme to supply vaccines to needy countries.
 
Israel, which has vaccinated some 85 per cent of its adult population, has faced criticism for not sharing its vaccines with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. (PTI)

DATA STORY: India sees lowest spike in daily deaths since April 18

India on Friday reported a net reduction of 28,084 in active coronavirus cases to take its count to 798,656. India’s share of global active coronavirus cases now stands at 6.86 per cent (one in 14). The country is second among the most affected countries by active cases. On Thursday, it added 62,480 cases to take its total caseload to 29,762,793. And, with 1,587 new fatalities, its Covid-19 death toll reached 383,490, or 1.29 per cent of total confirmed infections.
 
With 3,259,003 more Covid-19 vaccine doses being administered on Thursday, India’s total count of vaccine shots so far reached 268,960,399. The count of recovered coronavirus cases across India, meanwhile, reached 28,580,647 – or 96.03 per cent of total caseload – with 88,977 new cured cases being reported on Friday. Read here

India should brace for third coronavirus wave by Oct, say experts

A third wave of coronavirus infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the latest outbreak the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, according to a Reuters poll of medical experts.
 
The June 3-17 snap survey of 40 healthcare specialists, doctors, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists and professors from around the world showed a significant pickup in vaccinations will likely provide some cover to a fresh outbreak.
 
Of those who ventured a prediction, over 85 per cent of respondents, or 21 of 24, said the next wave will hit by October, including three who forecast it as early as August and 12 in September. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Harsh Vardhan warns of risks in not following Covid norms

UK opens up vaccines to all adults in final push' for protection

The UK's health officials on Friday opened up the country's vaccination programme to all adults, in what has been dubbed as the final push to offer protection against the deadly virus.
 
The National Health Service (NHS) said everyone aged 18 and over is being urged to arrange a jab if they have not had one as it begins sending around 1.5 million texts to people aged 18-20.
 
It said the latest milestone in the NHS Covid Vaccination Programme comes fewer than 200 days since the health service made history by delivering the first COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial on December 8, 2020. (PTI)

Coronavirus Latest: Curfew extended in AP till June 30

The Covid curfew in Andhra Pradesh has been further extended till June 30 but with a four-hour additional relaxation in timings.
 
Accordingly, curfew will be in force from 6 pm to 6 am daily from June 21.
 
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy announced this at a high-level review meeting on Covid-19 here on Friday.
 
The Covid curfew, first imposed on May 5 this year, has so far been extended in phases till June 20. (PTI)

Odisha registers 3,806 new coronavirus infections, 37 more deaths

Odisha reported 3,806 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, taking the tally to 8,70,498, a Health Department official said.
 
Thirty-seven more fatalities pushed the toll to 3,508, he said.
 
There are 43,338 active cases in the state at present, and 8,23,599 people have recovered.
 
Of the new infections, 2,172 were detected at quarantine centres, while the rest 1,634 were local contact cases. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Caseload in Andaman rises to 7,335

Coronavirus LIVE: Will discuss about relaxing curbs at core committee meeting, says Karnataka CM

Coronavirus LIVE: No hike in Property tax in Mumbai till the virus situation continues, says Mumbai Mayor

Thailand to waive quarantine for vaccinated tourists in Phuket: Report

Thailand has finalised a plan to reopen Phuket on July 1 to allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit the island without having to quarantine, Bloomberg reported. It’s the first time in more than a year that foreign visitors would be able to travel to Thailand’s most-famous resort-destination without being subjected to 14 days of hotel isolation, provided they are inoculated against Covid-19 and aren’t coming from what the government deemed “high-risk” nations.

SC refuses to cancel, defer PG final year medical exams

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to direct medical universities to cancel or defer final year postgraduate exams (PG). The court noted that the National Medical Council (NMC) had in April issued an advisory asking the universities in the country to take Covid-19 into consideration as they announce dates for final year exams, PTI reported.

Karan Johar sets up foundation to help film industry professionals

Filmmaker Karan Johar on Friday announced a foundation named after his late father, Yash Johar, to help the entertainment industry in the pandemic. Karan said the foundation will people in the industry with their financial well-being, health and education.

 

Kerala doctors join IMA protest

Doctors in Kerala on Friday joined a nationwide protest against assaults on medical professionals in states. Doctors stood outside the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, at various district headquarters and hospitals to support the protest organised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), PTI reported.

Mayawati fears third wave of Covid-19

Mayawati, leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), on Friday asked states to make preparations in advance, especially in rural areas, to effectively deal with a possible third wave of Covid-19.

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Columbia nears 100,000 deaths

Protest-wracked Colombia is fast on track to surpass 100,000 deaths from Covid-19 as the government tries to balance letting citizens work with protecting them from the pandemic by reopening large swathes of the economy. A slow vaccination rollout and social upheaval have meant that infections and mortality in Colombia continue to rise, Bloomberg reported.

Coronavirus still among us: Modi

"We have to further enhance the preparedness of the country to meet the challenges ahead--(the coronavirus) is still amongst us"," Modi said.
 

Modi launces training programme for 'Covid-19 warriors'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a programme to train more than 100,000 "Covid-19 warriors". "In the second wave of coronavirus, we saw what kind of challenges the ever-changing form of this virus can bring before us," he said.

Arunachal reports 295 new cases

Arunachal Pradesh reported 295 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, taking the tally to 32,483. Fatalities rose to 158 after three women succumbed to the disease in two days, PTI reported quoting a civil servant.

Puducherry logs 353 new cases

Puducherry added 353 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours raising the overall tally to 1,14,301. Four more people succumbed to the virus as the death toll rose to 1,714, PTI reported quoting a civil servant.

Delhi High Court flags safety violations

The Delhi High Court Friday took note of the violation of Covid-19 protocols in markets in Delhi, warning that such breaches may cause a third wave of infections. The court asked the Centre and Delhi government to take strict measures hold meetings with markets and vendors associations, PTI reported.

Fuel prices increased again

Fuel prices increased again across India on Friday as states ease lockdowns and restrictions meant to contain Covid-19 cases. Petrol prices are close to hitting the century mark all across the country extending the scope of historic high prices that had already made the fuel rate cross the Rs 100 per-litre-mark in certain cities and towns of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, news agency IANS reported.

Millions driven from homes in 2020 despite Covid: UN

Thee UN refugee agency says war, violence, persecution and human rights violations caused nearly 3 million people to flee their homes last year, even though the COVID-19 crisis restricted movement worldwide as countries shut borders and ordered lockdowns. UNHCR's report on Friday said the cumulative total of displaced people has risen to 82.4 million--roughly the population of Germany. It marks the ninth straight annual increase in the number of people forcibly displaced, according to the Associated Press.

Jharkhand says it is preparing for third wave

The Jharkhand government fears a third wave of the pandemic and has issued a document for to deal with it. Infected children may not show any symptoms or may exhibit very mild symptoms, according to the document, PTI reported.
 

Recoveries better than daily cases for 36th day straight

Recoveries outnumbered daily new cases for the 36th day straight in India. The number of people who have recovered from the disease increased to 2,85,80,647, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.29 per cent, the data showed.
 

India's recovery rate improves, active cases fall

Active Covid-19 cases—infections still being treated--have declined to 7,98,656 and comprise 2.68 per cent of the total infections. The national recovery rate has improved to 96.03 per cent, data posted this morning by the health ministry showed.

India reports 62,480 new cases

India reports 62,480 new Covid-19 cases and 1,587 deaths in 24 hours, says health ministry in its daily update.

Pfizer, Moderna preferred 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: Canada

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Thursday people who got the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose should get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot. On June 1, committee had said AstraZeneca recipients “could" get Pfizer or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but Thursday went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the ”preferred" choice.
 

Covid-19 disrupts normal modes of working, socialising, travelling among youth in US: Report

Study shows that the Covid-19 has disrupted normal modes of working, socialising, dining, and travelling among youth in the United States.
 
According to a survey published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Thursday (local time), the potential behaviour of US adults have changed after the coronavirus pandemic hit the world.
 
The pandemic has disrupted normal modes of working, socialising, dining, and travelling, but the degree to which reinvented modes of living and working would persist after the pandemic subsides remains unclear.

Covid-19: Odisha Mining Corporation contributes 500 crore to CM's Relief Fund

To support the state during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Odisha Mining Corporation contributed an amount of Rs 500 Crore to Odisha Chief Minister's Relief Fund, Odisha Chief Minister Office (CMO) said on Thursday.
 
In a statement, CMO said Odisha Agro Industries Corporation and Odisha Cashew Development Corporation paid also a dividend of Rs 3.76 crore to State Government.
 
"Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik thanked all the three corporations for this support during the pandemic," the CMO said.

UK reports over 11,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hrs, first time In four months

United Kingdom has recorded 11,007 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, with the emergence of the Delta variant pushing the figure above 10,000 for the first time since late February.
 
NHK World reported that Britain has confirmed the highest number of new cases of coronavirus infection since late February due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant first detected in India.
 
The number of admissions to medical institutions has also been rising, with more than 1,000 people currently hospitalised. Officials estimate that the Delta variant, which they believe is more transmissible than the Alpha strain first identified in the UK, accounts for more than 90 per cent of recent new cases.

Athletes brace for 'lifeless Olympics'

For the aspiring athletes, the road to this year’s Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo has been long, uncertain and arduous. And the event itself is likely to be strangely lifeless — no pomp and splendor, no revelry after victories and no families to offer support. Read here about these the 'strange Games'.

Serum Institute to begin trials for children's vaccine: Report

Serum Institute is likely to begin clinical trials of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate on children in July, the Indian Express reported quoting sources at the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer. The vaccine developed by the American biotechnology firm has been branded Covovax in India. Serum, which is partnering with Novavax, expects to launch Covovax in India by September. Novavax, earlier this week, announced results from 3 trials in the US and Mexico, reporting an overall efficacy of 90.4 per cent.

Mercedes Benz sees India sales rising as second wave recedes

Mercedes Benz India expects its sales to go up by 50 per cent in the first half of this calendar year, on the back of a healthy first quarter and clear signs of recovery in bookings and showroom footfalls in June. The German luxury car maker expects boo­kings to pick up even more in the coming months.
 

Domestic air traffic plunges 63% MoM in May

A second wave of Covid-19 infections hurt India's aviation sector, data shows. Around 21.15 lakh domestic passengers travelled by air in May, which is 63 per cent lower than the 57.25 lakh who travelled in April, the country's aviation regulator said on Thursday.
 
 
 

US locks down embassy in Afghanistan

The US Embassy in Afghanistan has ordered a near-complete lockdown because of a massive spike in coronavirus cases among employees, the Associated Press reported. Already on uncertain footing due to the imminent withdrawal of American forces from the country, the embassy in Kabul Thursday ordered remaining staffers into virtual isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has already killed at least one person, sent 114 into quarantine and forced several people to be medically evacuated.

Children not at greater risk: AIIMS study

Prevailing variants of coronavirus may not disproportionately affect children aged two years or older, a serosurvey conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, has found. AIIMS collected data between March 15 and June 10, 2021, from 4,509 participants across four states, of which 700 were less than 18 years of age and 3,809 were above it.
 
The interim study found seroprevalence (the prevalence of Covid antibodies) in 55.7 per cent of those between 2 and 17 years of age, and in 63.5 per cent of those above 18. “There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence between adults and children,” the study said.
 

Global Covid-19 death toll exceeds 4 million: Reuters

Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide passed a grim milestone of 4 million on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, as many countries struggle to procure enough vaccines to inoculate their populations. The top five countries by total number of deaths--the United States, Brazil, India, Russia and Mexico--represent about 50% of all deaths in the world, while Peru, Hungary, Bosnia, the Czech Republic and Gibraltar have the highest death rates when adjusted for population

Olympic organisers reach deal on capping spectator number

Bloomberg reports, while quoting the Yomiuri newspaper, that the Japanese government and Olympic organizers are making final arrangements to set a cap of 10,000 spectators for the Tokyo games.

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