Covid LIVE: Lockdown in TN extended till July 12 with further relaxations

A health worker administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to a person at a drive-in vaccination centre, at MGM Hospital, in Chennai (Photo: PTI)
Corona updates: India today recorded 46,617 infections and 853 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The total coronavirus caseload stands at 30,458,251, while Covid-19 deaths in India have crossed 400,000. In just over five weeks, from May 23 to July 1, the country reported 100,000 deaths from Covid even as the second wave waned. The World Health Organization has said the Delta variant of Covid-19 is now present in nearly 100 countries as per conservative estimates, and warned that in the coming months the highly transmissible strain will become the dominant variant of the coronavirus globally.

Kerala reported 12,868 new infections, followed by Maharashtra (9,195), Tamil Nadu (4,481), Andhra Pradesh (3,841), Karnataka (3,203), Delhi (93) and West Bengal (1,478).

The five most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (6,070,599), Kerala (29,937,033), Karnataka (2,847,013), Tamil Nadu (2,484,177), and Andhra Pradesh (1,893,354).

World coronavirus update: Covid-19 is continuing to spread around the world, with 183,389,411 confirmed cases and 3,970,616 deaths across nearly 200 countries recorded since China reported its first cases in December 2019. The US remains the worst-hit country with 34,560,716 cases, followed by India, Brazil, France and Russia. 

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


Thai virus surge prompts concern over ICUs, vaccine supply

Health authorities in Thailand reported 6,087 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, setting a record for a second straight day, as concerns mounted over shortages of treatment facilities and vaccine supplies.
Officials also reported 61 deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 2,141.
Around 90% of Thailand's 270,921 reported coronavirus cases and 95% of the deaths have been recorded during a surge that began in early April. There were 992 deaths in June, more than 15 times Thailand's total for all of 2020.
The number of patients in ICUs and on ventilators has risen nationwide over the past two weeks.
The government's Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration said 39% of the new cases reported Friday were in Bangkok, 25% in neighbouring provinces and 36% in the other 71 provinces. Center deputy spokesperson Apisamai Srirangsan said Bangkok authorities must urgently set up isolation stations to separate infected people in their local communities and add beds for treatment of serious cases.
Critics since the beginning of the year have charged that the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has failed to secure timely and adequate vaccine supplies, and efforts to obtain more have proceeded slowly.

27 Covid-19 deaths, 2,453 new positive cases in Assam

Assam reported 27 Covid-19 deaths and 2,453 new cases on Friday, pushing the coronavirus caseload to 5,13,606, according to the bulletin of the National Health Mission.
The death toll increased to 4,604 while the number of active cases in the state currently is 23,914.
Four deaths each were reported from Jorhat, Nagaon, Sonitpur and Tinsukia while two each were reported from Golaghat and Karbi Anglong.
Barpeta, Charaideo, Hojai, Kamrup Metro, Majuli, Nalbari and Udalguri reported one death each.
The current death rate is 0.90 per cent and the number of Covid-19 positive patients dying due to other causes is 1,347.
Of the new cases, 312 were reported from Golaghat, 186 from Kamrup Metro, 181 from Lakhimpur and 173 from Sonitpur.
The fresh cases were detected out of 1,53,981 tests conducted Friday with the daily positivity rate at 1.59 per cent while Covid-19 tests conducted in the state so far is 1,51,40,437.
The number of recovered patients discharged during the day is 2,902 and the total recoveries so far is 4,83,741 with the recovery rate being 94.19 per cent.
The total beneficiaries inoculated with Covid-19 vaccines in the state so far is 74,27,360, of whom 12,74,564 had received both doses.

Lockdown in Tamil Nadu extended for one more week

Coronavirus LIVE: Telangana reports 858 fresh cases

Pakistan gets 2.5 mn doses of Moderna vaccine from US

Pakistan received 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine from the United States on Friday, easing pressure on Islamabad in overcoming the shortage of Covid-19 vaccines.
According to a US embassy statement, the vaccines were delivered to the Pakistani people in partnership with the Covax global vaccine initiative, UNICEF, and the government of Pakistan.
It says this donation was part of the 80 million doses the United States was sharing with the world, “delivering on our pledge to facilitate equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines, which are essential to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.” The latest development comes days after hundreds of Pakistani expatriate workers rallied in Islamabad, demanding they should be quickly vaccinated with the Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines so they can travel abroad. Read here

Germany recommends combination of AstraZeneca, mRNA shots

Germany is recommending that all people who get a first shot of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine switch to a different type of vaccine for their second shot. The aim is to increase the speed and effectiveness of vaccinations as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
Health Minister Jens Spahn conferred with his colleagues from Germany's 16 states on Friday, the day after the country's standing committee on vaccination issued a draft recommendation. In a statement, the committee said that “according to current study results,” the immune response from a mixture of AstraZeneca with an mRNA vaccine was “significantly superior” to that from two doses of AstraZeneca. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Maharashtra sees 8,753 fresh cases

Decision on Zydus Cov-D vaccine expected soon: V K Paul

A decision on the approval of Zydus Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine Zydus Cov-D is expected soon, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of the NITI Aayog said on Friday, adding that the data and evaluation would determine the outcome.
"The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has Zydus Cadila's application. It is undergoing a process of evaluation by the Subject Expert Committee. We are hoping to hear a swift and positive decision," Dr Paul told ANI. Read here

J&K sees 331 new Covid cases, 6 deaths

Recoveries continued to outnumber new Covid cases in J&K on Friday where 437 patients recovered while 331 new cases and 6 deaths were reported during the last 24 hours.
Officials said that 77 cases and five deaths were reported from the Jammu division and 254 cases and one death from the Kashmir division.
A total of 29 cases of black fungus have also been reported here so far. (IANS)

Andhra's Covid-19 tally inching towards 1.9 million mark

Andhra Pradeshs Covid-19 tally inched closer to the 19-lakh mark, reaching 18,96,818 on Friday with the addition of 3,464 in the last 24 hours.
As 4,284 more patients got cured, the total recoveries climbed to 18,46,716.
With 35 fresh fatalities, the gross toll touched 12,779, the latest bulletin said.
The number of active cases came down to 37,323, it said. (IANS)

Both pregnant woman and child can be saved by Covid vaccine: N K Arora

Dr. N.K. Arora, Chairperson of the Covid-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) spoke to DD News, on the vaccination guidelines for pregnant women, issued by the Health Ministry today. Read full government release here

Delta variant cases rise by 50,824 in UK, hospitalisations remain low

The Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to spread in the UK with a further 50,824 cases logged on Friday, marking a 46 per cent increase over the previous week, according to health officials.
While the infections are rising, there has not been a corresponding rise in the number of hospitalisations with COVID-19, indicating that the vaccinations are effective against the highly transmissible variant first identified in India, Public Health England (PHE) said.
Of the 50,824 cases of Delta B1.617.2 variant over the past week, 42 are from the Delta AY.1 sub lineage with the mutation K417N which is feared to be more vaccine resistant. (PTI)

Cong, BJP allege mismatch in Kerala Covid deaths

The opposition Congress and BJP on Friday continued to allege mismatch in the Covid-19 deaths reported in Kerala and accused the state governmentof projecting a 'fabricated' figure to save its face in the fight against the pandemic.
The opposition reiterated the charges a day after Health Minister Veena George had said the state government has nothing to hide with regard to pandemic-related casualties. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi sees 93 cases

Daily toll collection via FASTag reaches level recorded before second wave

With easing of lockdown in most states and increase in the movement of traffic on the Highways, the toll collection through FASTag is reaching the level recorded before the 2nd wave of Covid pandemic.  The toll collection across the country through FASTag touched Rs. 103.54 crore with 63.09 lakh transactions on 01st July 2021.   Electronic toll collection through FASTag is operational at 780 active toll plazas across the country. Read full government release here

Coronavirus LIVE: Goa extends curfew till July 12

Bangladesh records highest single-day Covid deaths at 143

Bangladesh has recorded its highest single-day virus-related deaths at 143 on Thursday, according to media reports on Friday.
The Directorate General of Health Services, in its medical bulletin said 143 coronavirus-related deaths and 8,301 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
Now, the Covid-19 death toll stands at 14,646, The Daily Star newspaper reported.
Before Thursday, Bangladesh recorded the highest Covid-19-related deaths on June 27 at 119 fatalities. Since then, the daily death toll has exceeded 100 everyday, indicating increased transmission. (PTI)

Amid Covid, India Inc's foreign borrowings plunge by 51% in May

India companies' foreign borrowings plunged by nearly 51 per cent to $738.45 million in May this year amid the second wave of Covid-19, according to the RBI data.
Indian businesses had raised $1.49 billion by way of external commercial borrowings (ECB) in May 2020.

The entire fund raised in May 2021 came through the automatic route of the ECB. Read here

Coronavirus Latest: Indonesia records daily spike of 25,830 cases

Indonesia recorded 25,830 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours on Friday, a fresh record of the daily spike, bringing the total tally to 2,228,938, the Health Ministry said.
The Covid-19-related death toll added by 539 to 59,534, the ministry reported.Additional 11,578 recovered patients were discharged from hospitals, raising the total number of recoveries from the pandemic in the Southeast Asian country to 1,901,865.
The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.
Specifically, within the past 24 hours, Jakarta recorded 9,399 new cases, West Java 4,920, Central Java 2,538, East Java 1,388 and Yogyakarta 922. (ANI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Govt approves vaccination for pregnant women

CWG archery, shooting championships cancelled due to Covid-19

The 2022 Commonwealth archery and shooting championships, which were scheduled to take place in Chandigarh in January next year, have been cancelled due to the problems posed by Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision, taken by the Commonwealth Games India (CGI) Executive Board "with the support" of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), was made "after careful consideration of several factors, including the continued uncertainty created by the ongoing global pandemic".
CGF president Dame Louise Martin said in a statement on Friday that, "We are disappointed that the 2022 Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships will no longer take place, however, this is the right decision to take in the current climate." (IANS)

Nepal yet to receive 1 million vaccine doses purchased from India: Envoy

Nepal on Friday said it is yet to receive a million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from India, for which the advance payment has already been done.
Nepali Ambassador to India, Nilambar Acharya expressed concern over the shortage of vaccines in the Himalayan nation.
"We are in touch with the Indian government and vaccine manufacturer SII (Serum Institute of India) for about one million more vaccines that are pending, the Nepal government had already paid for two million vaccines in advance. Nepal has received one million vaccines so far," the Nepali envoy told ANI. (ANI)

71 districts reported Covid case positivity rate of more than 10 per cent in the week from June 23 to 29: Govt

71 districts reported Covid case positivity rate of more than 10 per cent in the week from June 23 to 29: Govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Andhra Pradesh reports 3,464 new cases in last 24 hours

Andhra Pradesh reports 3,464 new coronavirus cases and 25 deaths in the past 24 hours; active caseload at 37,323

Health Ministry joins ShareChat, Moj to spread Covid vax awareness

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHWF) partnered with Indic language social media platform, ShareChat and short video app Moj to organise a webinar to spread awareness about Covid appropriate behaviour and the world's largest vaccination drive.
The webinar aimed to make influencers act as catalysts, and to educate and share reliable information with their community of followers. It was held on the occasion of World Social Media Day, celebrated on June 30 each year.
During the webinar, an actionable Toolkit was also shared, which listed out the steps that social influencers can take to encourage Covid appropriate behaviour and taking the vaccine. The webinar encouraged the social influencers to act as advocates to amplify and share accurate and credible information on Covid-19, counter vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. (IANS)

Coronavirus LIVE: Second wave not over, can't let down guard, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: Second wave not over, can't let down guard, says govt

Uttar Pradesh to reopen multiplexes, gyms, stadiums from July 5

With the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic under control in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government on Friday said from July 5, cinema halls, multiplexes, gyms and sports stadiums will be allowed to operate in the state in strict compliance with Covid-19 protocols.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that these places will have to follow all Covid safety protocols when they reopen. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Nearly 80% health workers, 90% frontline workers given both doses, says govt

Coronavirus LIVE: 13% dip in fresh cases compared to last week, says govt

Watch: Health Ministry briefing on coronavirus situation in India

Rahul Gandhi says July has come vaccines haven't, BJP cites figures to hit back

In a swipe at the government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday that July has come but vaccines have not, drawing a sharp retort from the BJP which cited figures to ask if spreading "confusion" is the opposition party's undeclared policy.
"July has come, vaccines have not. Where are vaccines," Gandhi tweeted.
The BJP hit out at him and claimed that people often ask why maturity, wisdom and responsibility have not come to the Congress leader despite the passage of 51 Julys, a reference to his age. (PTI)

Mumbai: BMC issues new norms for vaccination camps at offices, housing societies

In light of the recent Covid-19 vaccination scam, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued additional guidelines and stated that inoculation at housing societies and workplaces will only be conducted by private vaccination centres registered on CoWIN portal, an official said on Friday.
The civic body also released a list of around 95 private vaccination centres in the city registered on CoWIN portal of the Union government and contact details of ward-level war rooms.
As per the guidelines issued on Thursday, vaccination at workplaces and housing societies will be carried out by registered private Covid-19 vaccination centres only, and managements of offices and housing societies will have to ensure that these centres are registered on CoWIN by contacting the local authority. (PTI)

Delta variant exposes the flaws of stop-start vaccination programmes

For many countries, vaccine programmes have been one of the great triumphs of the pandemic. But in South Africa, it's a very different story. 
To date, fewer than 5% of South Africans have been vaccinated, and the country is now in the grips of another Covid-19 surge as the delta variant takes hold. This puts a focus on the country's vaccination failures of which there have been many, says Shabir A Madhi, professor of vaccinology at the University of Witwatersrand. 
South Africa didn't start trying to buy vaccine doses until too late and has been towards the back of the vaccine queue, which has led to a shortage of supplies. 
It has also struggled to roll out the vaccines that it has. In mid-June, a third of its supplies still sat unused, a sign of poor logistical planning and that its electronic vaccination system had failed to reach all groups across the population. 
But perhaps South Africa's greatest error was with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which it stopped rolling out on the basis that it didn't protect well against mild to moderate disease caused by the beta variant previously dominant in the country.  (PTI)

Laurus Labs receives licence from DRDO to manufacture Covid drug 2-DG

Drug firm Laurus Labs on Friday said it has received the licence from Defence Research and Development Organisation to manufacture and market Covid-19 treatment drug 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose (2DG).

2DG has been given emergency approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for use on Covid-19 patients in the country, Laurus Labs said in a regulatory filing.
"Laurus Labs has already applied with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for emergency use authorization (EUA) for 2DG," it added. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: India saw highest-ever exports in June quarter despite Covid, says Goyal

Karnataka govt exempts partially vaccinated travellers from Kerala

Tweaking its earlier order, the Karnataka government has exempted those who have received "at least one dose" of Covid-19 vaccine and possess the certificate for the same from producing the negative RT-PCR certificate while entering the state from neighbouring Kerala.
The government on Thursday had ordered that all people entering the state from Kerala need to produce a negative RT- PCR report that is not older than 72 hours, but had exempted those who have received "both doses" of Covid vaccine and possessed certificate for the same from producing the test report. Read here

Over 340 million vaccine doses administered in country so far: Govt

The cumulative Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 34 crore on Friday, the Union Health Ministry said.
A total of 9,41,03,985 persons in the age group of 18-44 across all states and UTs have received their first dose and 22,73,477 received the second dose, it said.
The ministry said 34,00,76,232 vaccine doses were administered as per the provisional report till 7 am, with over 42 lakh (42,64,123) doses being given in a span of 24 hours. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Stamepede-like scenario seen at vaccination centre in MP

Three weeks before Tokyo Olympics, Japan still unsure about spectators

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was still uncertain whether fans can be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics because of growing concern about rising Covid-19 cases on Thursday only three weeks before the games.
Cases in Tokyo have been steadily on the rise, triggering fears the games would accelerate the spread of the coronavirus.
Experts warn the highly contagious delta strain could trigger rapid resurgence of the infections that may require another state of emergency even during the games starting on July 23. Read here

Johnson & Johnson's one shot Covid vax effective against Delta variant

The single dose Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine has shown strong neutralising antibody activity against the Delta (B16172) variant, with immunity lasting at least eight months, according to results of phase-III trials.
The vaccine is 85 per cent effective against severe/critical disease and demonstrated protection against hospitalisation and death from the deadly coronavirus.
The phase-III trials, submitted preprint to bioRxiv, showed the vaccine was consistently effective across all regions studied globally, including in South Africa and Brazil, where there was a high prevalence of rapidly emerging Beta and Zeta (P2) variants during the study period. Read here

Many members of PVTG administered Covid vaccine in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Many members of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG) in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been administered Covid-19 vaccine, a senior Health department official said.
Secretary Health and Civil Supplies, R N Sharma on Thursday said that the Andaman and Nicobar administration is fully committed to protecting the members of the PVTG in the archipelago and they are properly examined before they are administered the Covid-19 vaccines. (PTI)

Hit by pandemic, Cafe Coffee Day withdraws a lot of vending machines from customer locations

Coffee Day Global Ltd, which operates coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), discarded about 30,000 custom-made cabinets used for vending machines at its customers' places in the last financial year as pandemic took a toll on demand.
According to a regulatory filing by Coffee Day Global Ltd's (CDGL) parent firm Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd on Wednesday, a lot of vending machines installed by the company have been withdrawn from customers' locations in view of the pandemic situation.
Coffee Day Global Ltd (CDGL) reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 306.54 crore for the financial year ended on March 31, 2021 and its revenue from operation was down 73.4 per cent Rs 400.81 crore.
For the January-March quarter, the company reported widening of its net loss to Rs 94.81 crore and its revenue from operation was 61.4 per cent down to Rs 141.04 crore. (PTI)

India Coronavirus Dispatch: Deaths top grim milestone of 400,000

The Northeast's cases are slowing at a slower rate than the rest of India, the opposition in Kerala seeks 'actual' Covid toll, and more-news relevant to India's fight against the pandemic. Read here

Covid first wave led to increase in antibiotic misuse in India: Study

Antibiotic sales soared during the first Covid-19 wave in India last year, according to a study which suggests that the drugs were used to treat mild and moderate cases of the viral disease.
The researchers at Washington University in the US estimated that Covid-19 likely contributed to 216.4 million excess doses of antibiotics and 38 million more doses of azithromycin in adults from June 2020 through September 2020, a period of peak Covid-19 activity in India.
Such misuse of drugs is considered inappropriate because antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, not viral infections such as Covid-19, the researchers said. Read here

EU Digital Covid Certificate officially comes into force

The European Union (EU) Digital Covid Certificate has officially came into force, allowing citizens and residents to have their pass issued and verified across the bloc.
By Wednesday evening, 21 out of the 27 EU member states, as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, were connected to the system's network while the others were technically ready and joined the system on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Some countries already began using the new health certificate in June.
According to the European Commission, all member states should now be in a position to issue and accept the pass. (IANS)

Coronavirus LIVE: Netherlands accepts Covishield as valid vaccination proof for travellers

Experts question if WHO should lead Covid-19 pandemic origins probe

As the World Health Organization draws up plans for the next phase of its probe of how the coronavirus pandemic started, an increasing number of scientists say the U.N. agency it isn't up to the task and shouldn't be the one to investigate.
Numerous experts, some with strong ties to WHO, say that political tensions between the U.S. and China make it impossible for an investigation by the agency to find credible answers.
They say what's needed is a broad, independent analysis closer to what happened in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Read on...

All US-authorised Covid vaccines effective against Delta variant: Fauci

US top coronavirus adviser Dr Anthony Fauci on Thursday (local time) said that most Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and reiterated his request for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Speaking at a press briefing along with the White House Covid-19 response team and public health officials, Fauci said: "...From Public Health England, from June 14, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 96 per cent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant after two doses, and the AZ (AstraZeneca) was 92 per cent effective against hospitalization after two doses."
"Since these vaccines -- the AZ and the J & J (Johnson & Johnson) are based on very similar platforms, one could anticipate and make a reasonable assumption that the results against the Delta variant would be at least similar, perhaps even better. We are now looking at neutralization data, and soon we will have more firm data which we will make available to you as soon as it occurs," he mentioned while speaking on the J & J single-dose vaccine. Read on...

India's economic hit from second Covid wave to be limited to Q1: Moody's

India's economic damage due to the second wave of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns will remain restricted to the April to June quarter, Moody's Investors Service said in a new macroeconomic outlook.
"We currently expect India's real GDP to grow at 9.6 per cent in 2021 and 7 per cent in 2022," it said. "With states now easing restrictions, economic activity in May is likely to signify the trough."
It assessed the overall economic effect of the second wave to be softer than that during the first wave of pandemic last year, although delivery of and access to vaccines will determine the durability of recovery. Read on...

Mizoram reports 278 new Covid-19 cases, tally rises to 20,770

At least 278 more people, including 13 inmates of Aizawl central jail, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Mizoram, pushing the state's tally to 20,770, a health official said on Friday.
The Covid-19 death toll rose to 94 as a 73-year-old man from Kolasib district succumbed to the infection on Thursday night, he said.
Aizawl district reported 167 new Covid-19 cases followed by Kolasib (34) and Hnahthial (26), the official said.
Sixty-five new cases were confirmed through RT-PCR test in Zoram Medical College (ZMC) near Aizawl, 13 cases were detected through TrueNat test and 200 were detected through Rapid Antigen Test, he said.
Seven patients have travel history, while the rest 271 were found to have locally contracted the infection.

Mizoram reports 278 new Covid-19 cases, tally rises to 20,770

At least 278 more people, including 13 inmates of Aizawl central jail, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Mizoram, pushing the state's tally to 20,770, a health official said on Friday.
The Covid-19 death toll rose to 94 as a 73-year-old man from Kolasib district succumbed to the infection on Thursday night, he said.
Aizawl district reported 167 new Covid-19 cases followed by Kolasib (34) and Hnahthial (26), the official said.
Sixty-five new cases were confirmed through RT-PCR test in Zoram Medical College (ZMC) near Aizawl, 13 cases were detected through TrueNat test and 200 were detected through Rapid Antigen Test, he said.

Puducherry adds 175 fresh Covid-19 cases; 8 deaths push toll

The union territory of Puducherry recorded 175 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours pushing the overall tally to 1,17,640, a senior official of the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services said on Friday.
While the number of fresh cases declined, the fatalities rose to eight, Director of Health S Mohan Kumar said.
The Puducherry region recorded six of the deaths in the last 24 hours ending 10 AM while Karaikal and Yanam regions reported one fatality each as the toll went up to 1,759.
The eight victims were in the age group ranging between 44 and 88 years. Two of the deceased had no comorbidities, he said.
The union territory had reported two deaths on Thursday and one fatality on Wednesday.

Draft guidelines prepared to prevent fake vaccination drives: BMC tells HC

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has told the Bombay High Court that it has formulated draft guidelines to prevent fake vaccination camps at private housing societies, offices, educational institutions and other premises.
BMC's counsel, senior advocate Anil Sakhre, told the high court on Thursday that the civic body had decided to appoint nodal officers, who will be responsible for monitoring anti-coronavirus vaccination camps at such places.
These nodal officers will inform the local police and health authorities in case of any malpractices, he said. Read on...

6 fully vaccinated people die of Covid in world's most vaccinated country

The coronavirus has killed six fully vaccinated people in the Seychelles, which is suffering heightened Covid-19 infections despite inoculating a greater proportion of its people than any other nation.
Of those, five had taken Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca Plc vaccine made in India, and one had been given Sinopharm, Jude Gedeon, the island nation’s public health commissioner said at a press conference on Thursday. Covishield has mainly been reserved for people over 60 in the Seychelles.
The rise in infections, which surged at the beginning of May and has remained at elevated levels ever since, is likely due to the arrival of the highly-transmissible delta variant, which was first identified in India, Gedeon said. Read on...

120 million vaccine doses will be available in July - separate from supply to private hospitals: Piyush Goyal

12 cr vaccine doses will be available in July - separate from supply to pvt hospitals. States have been informed about supply 15 days back. Rahul Gandhi should understand that petty politics, instead of seriousness, is not right in the fight against Covid: Union Min Piyush Goyal

Central government rushes teams to 6 States for Covid-19 control and containment measures

Teams sent to Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Manipur - that are reporting a high number of Covid-19 cases.

Covid Delta variant worries bubble to the surface in some asset prices

Worries over the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant are emerging in various corners of global financial markets, even as U.S. stocks hover near record highs.
The Delta variant is now present in over 90 countries and has become the most prevalent variant among new Covid-19 cases in the United States, according to California-based genomics company Helix.
So far, however, it is hard to tell how much the new strain will disrupt the global growth rebound that has helped power risk assets higher in recent months.
Here are some assets where concerns over the Delta variant may be moving the needle. Read on...

RT-PCR report or vax certificate mandatory for Kerala travellers in Karnataka

The Karnataka government on Thursday said that passengers from Kerala with at least one dose of Covid-9 vaccine certificates will be exempted from producing negative RT-PCR reports, as the state has taken special surveillance measures for people coming from Kerala.
According to the order regarding special surveillance measures for persons arriving from Kerala, vaccination certificate of having received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be exempted form producing RT-PCR certificate.
Earlier in its order on Thursday, the Karnataka government made it mandatory for travellers entering the state from Kerala via rail, road or air to produce the RT-PCR negative not be older than 72 hours or a vaccination certificate of at least one dose, as the State has taken up special surveillance measures in the wake of Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 being reported from several districts of Kerala.

Jamui becomes first panchayat in MP to achieve 100% Covid vaccination

Jamui in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh has become the first panchayat in the state to achieve the target of 100 per cent vaccination against Covid-19.
"Jamui gram panchayat achieved the 100 per cent vaccination against Covid-19. Here 1,855 beneficiaries have been administered the vaccines. Six other gram panchayats, Burhar Nagar panchayat and Dhanpuri Nagar Palika in the Shahdol district have also achieved 100 per cent vaccination," Satyendra Singh, District Collector Shahdol told ANI.
A 75-year-old villager said majorly of the people in the village have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine.

Delta variant predicted to become predominant mutation across US: CDC

The Delta variant is the second most prevalent coronavirus mutation in the US and is predicted to become the predominant one in the coming weeks, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday (local time).
"An estimated 25 percent of all reported SARS-COV-2 sequences nationwide are the Delta variants, and in some regions of the country, nearly one in two sequences is a Delta variant," Walensky added, as quoted by Sputnik.
Speaking at a press briefing, Walensky also underscored the correlation that exists between the low vaccination rates and the spread of the Delta variant. According to reports, the Delta strain is believed to be the fastest spreading and most contagious coronavirus variant. Read on...

Coronavirus in India: Summary of MoHFW data

Active cases: 509,637 (Net reduction: 13,620)
Deaths: 400,312 (Net increase: 853)
Cured: 29,548,302 (Net increase: 59,384)
Total cases: 30,458,251 (Net increase: 46,617)
Total vaccination: 340,076,232 (Increase over previous day: 4,264,123)

Risk of severe Covid-19 in individuals with sickle cell disease: Study

New research found that certain factors, such as a history of severe pain episodes and coexisting organ conditions, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including hospitalization, in individuals living with sickle cell disease (SCD).
The study published in the journal Blood Advances underscores the need for Covid-19 risk reduction strategies and vaccination for this medically vulnerable population.
SCD is the most common inherited red blood cell disorder in the United States, affecting an estimated 100,000 people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SCD affects one out of every 365 Black or African American births and one out of every 16,300 Hispanic American births. Read on...

J&J's single-dose Covid vaccine shows promising signs against Delta variant

Johnson & Johnson on Thursday (local time) announced that its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine showed promising signs of protection against the Delta variant rapidly spreading across the US and other countries, in a small laboratory study.
According to the company report, the vaccine generated strong, persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other highly prevalent SARS-CoV-2 viral variants. In addition, the data showed that the durability of the immune response lasted through at least eight months, the length of time evaluated to date. The two preprint study summaries have been submitted today to bioRxiv, a non-profit preprint server for the life sciences.
The single-dose vaccine, elicited neutralising antibody activity against the Delta variant at an even higher level than what was recently observed for the Beta (B.1.351) variant in South Africa, the report stated. Read on...

Global coronavirus update: Chinese mainland reports 18 imported Covid cases

The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported 18 imported Covid-19 cases but no new locally transmitted cases, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Friday.
Among the imported cases, eight were reported in Guangdong, five in Fujian, three in Shanghai, one in Liaoning and one in Jiangsu, Xinhua reported.
No new deaths related to Covid-19 were reported on Thursday, said the commission. Read on...

Covax calls for equal recognition of Covid-19 vaccines approved by WHO

COVAX, the global alliance for vaccine distribution, on Thursday urged governments around the world to recognize as fully vaccinated all people who have received COVID-19 vaccines that have been deemed safe and effective by the World Health Organization (WHO).
COVAX in a statement said it was built on the principle of equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines to protect the health of people all across the globe and that means protecting their lives and livelihoods, including their ability to travel and conduct trade. Read on...

How Covid-fueled crowdfunding can revive small businesses

A pandemic-fueled boom in crowdfunding has small businesses flocking to capital-raising platforms that experts say could help many companies get back to normal as long as small-business owners are able to launch effective campaigns.
Regulation crowdfunding, in which companies raise capital from investors via government-monitored online platforms, has mushroomed in the last two years, going from approximately $100 million in 2019 to over $200 million in 2020, according to Chris Lustrino, founder and CEO of crowdfunding analytics and ratings firm KingsCrowd. It's already exceeded the $200 million mark year to date in 2021, he adds.
COVID has been a massive boon to this market, Lustrino says. Read on...

Covid-19 pandemic forces real estate developers to rethink house design

Faced with a prolonged pandemic and work-from-home rule, property developers are either providing or looking to add new-age amenities to attract prospective buyers. They are rolling out conveniences from touch-free elevators and motion sensor lighting to co-working spaces in new residential projects as part of the Covid safety measures.
For instance, Mumbai-based Sunteck Realty plans to include touchless entries, motion sensor lighting, re-engineered ventilation systems, lounges with glass dividers, multiple lobbies, wider lobby stairs, and separate outlets for deliveries in its upcoming project designs. Read on...

Covovax denied trials on children; no nod needed for Sputnik Light

The vaccine expert panel denied permission to Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct clinical trials on children for Novavax, on Thursday. In addition, it felt there was no need to conduct a separate Indian clinical trial of Sputnik Light, as adequate safety and immunogenicity data is already available.
The decision comes as a setback to SII, which had sought permission to start a pediatric clinical trial of Covovax. The Subject Expert Committee’s (SEC) decision means DRL does not require separate safety and immunogenicity trials on Indians for getting approval for Sputnik Light. As for SII, the permission was denied as the adult vaccine was not approved in neither US nor India.
Sputnik Light is the first dose of the two-dose Sputnik vaccine. This uses two different components based on two different human adenovirus vectors — Ad26 and Ad5 — for its two-dose vaccine. Read on...

The young lives thrown into uncertainty by the Covid-19 pandemic

In Agra, seven-year-old Pintu keeps asking for his mother. His elder brother, Brijesh, 13, has no answer. Covid claimed both their parents within a span of five days. Their grandmother, a cancer patient, is looking after them, while their septuagenarian grandfather is resigned to the fact that he cannot afford to retire from his job as a security guard. Both worry about the children’s fate. They are not alone.
As the brutal second wave of the pandemic recedes across India, the government and child welfare agencies across the country are grappling with a basic question: What can be done to support the children that Covid-19 has orphaned or left vulnerable? The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) informed the Supreme Court that as many as 30,071 children across India have lost one parent or both, or have been abandoned from the time the pandemic started till June 5. Read on...

UAE bars citizens from travelling to India, Pakistan, other countries

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned its citizens from traveling to several countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
This comes after the UAE last month extended the travel ban on passengers from 14 countries until July 21 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Foreign Ministry and the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority stated that, with the start of the travel season, citizens need to comply with all precautionary and preventive measures related to Covid-19, The Express Tribune reported. Read on...

Any WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccine should be allowed for travel, says UN

The World Health Organisation said Thursday that any COVID-19 vaccines it has authorised for emergency use should be recognised by countries as they open up their borders to inoculated travellers.
The move could challenge Western countries to broaden their acceptance of two apparently less effective Chinese vaccines, which the UN health agency has licensed but most European and North American countries have not.
In addition to vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, the WHO has also given the green light to the two Chinese jabs, made by Sinovac and Sinopharm. Read on...

West Bengal govt's separate portal for Covid-19 vaccination is illegal: Adhikari

The Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led state government launching a separate portal for COVID vaccination 'Benvax' instead of 'Cowin' is illegal.
Briefing mediapersons here, Adhikari said, "I have written about the COVID vaccination scam in the West Bengal to Union health Ministry. The Union Health Minister told me that State Government has sent an interim report. A copy will be sent to me. There is only one vaccination portal - Cowin. But, the West Bengal Government has initiated a separate application namely 'Benvax'. It is illegal. I have complained in this regard to the Union Health Minister. He accepted and ordered an inquiry." Read on....

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