India has supported the global community through the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme, under which 6.45 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been exported to 85 countries as on April 9, 2021.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday had tweeted that 13.5 crore doses of vaccine were available of which 9.5 crore had been administered until Friday. The remaining 4 crore were either in the ‘pipeline’ or in stock.
With India administering 30-40 lakh doses vaccines everyday, this suggests existing stocks being available for 13-10 days, though there is considerable variation within States in the number of doses being made available.
Here are the latest updates:
A.P. CM Jagan Mohan Reddy asks PM Modi to provide 25 lakh vaccine doses
Chief Minister Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide 25 lakh doses of COVID19 vaccine to the State for administration during the Tika Utsav that begins on April 11.
In the letter dated April 9 to Mr. Modi, Mr. Jagan said, “Your kind call for ‘Tika Utsav’ from 11th April to 14th April is a much-needed step to give the required push to different sections of the society to come forward for vaccination. We have planned to take this opportunity and participate on a large scale. The Utsav shall be taken up in one village and one ward under the jurisdiction of every Primary Health Centre (PHC).
Sonia reviews efforts to tackle COVID-19 in Cong-ruled states
Senior citizens with the proof of documents wait for their turn for COVID-19 vaccination at a health centre in Bhubaneswar on Friday, April 9, 2021. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday reviewed the efforts by the states ruled by her party to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus infection and the vaccination drive.
Addressing a virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states and Ministers of the party in States where it is in power in alliance with others, she said the priority should be to test, track and vaccinate.
Ms. Gandhi also reviewed the efforts to fight COVID-19, including the availability of vaccines, access to medicines and ventilators, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
“The priority is to test, track and vaccinate,” he wrote on Twitter, quoting Ms. Gandhi.
U.P. Minister Anand Swaroop Shukla tests positive
Uttar Pradesh Minister Anand Swaroop Shukla has tested positive for COVID-19. The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs said he got himself tested for the disease on Thursday after noticing some symptoms.
The test report came out as positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Shukla added. “I have isolated myself. Those who came in contact with me in the past few days should get themselves tested,” the BJP MLA from Ballia said.
Politics over vaccines
Rahul decries Centre’s ‘arrogance’ over not heeding to ‘good suggestions’
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called for giving money into the hands of common people during the second wave of coronavirus, but lamented that the “arrogant government” is allergic to good suggestions.
“The failed policies of the central government has led to a terrible second wave of coronavirus and migrant labourers are forced to migrate once again,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
“Besides increasing vaccination, it is important to give money into their hands – both for the life of the common man and the economy of the country. But this arrogant
Won’t hesitate in banning rallies: EC to political parties
Amid rising coronavirus cases, the Election Commission has flagged instances of star campaigners and political leaders campaigning without masks, and warned it will not hesitate to ban rallies if COVID guidelines issued by it last year are breached.
In a letter to leaders of all recognised political parties on Friday, April 9, 2021, the poll panel said, “It is widely known that in the recent weeks, COVID cases are being reported in larger numbers. However, instances of election meetings/campaigns have come to the notice of the commission, where norms of social distancing, wearing of masks have been flouted in disregard to the commission’s guidelines.” The letter pointed out instances of star campaigners and political leaders or candidates not observing COVID-19 protocols, “including non-wearing of masks themselves at stage or while campaigning”.
“By doing so, the political parties and candidates are exposing themselves as well as the public attending such election meetings to the grave danger of the infection,” the letter said.
In cases of breach, the Election Commission (EC) said it will “not hesitate in banning public meetings, rallies of defaulting candidates, star campaigners or political leaders without any further reference”.
India’s COVID-19 tally climbs to 1,32,05,926
With a record 1,45,384 fresh cases, India’s COVID-19 tally has climbed to 1,32,05,926, the Health Ninistry said on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
The number of active cases has breached the 10-lakh mark again after around six-and-a-half months, while the death toll due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,68,436 with 794 more fatalities, the highest since October 18 last year, the ministry’s data updated at 8 am showed.
Registering a steady increase for the 31st day in a row, the number of active coronavirus cases in the country has gone up to 10,46,631, accounting for 7.93 per cent of its total caseload, while the recovery rate has further dropped to 90.80 per cent.
The active caseload was at its lowest at 1,35,926 on February 12, accounting for only 1.25 per cent of the total number of cases in the country.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,19,90,859, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.28 per cent, the data stated.
Online exam for students of Class 9 and 11 in Goa
In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in Goa, the state education department has directed the higher secondary schools and junior colleges to hold examinations for Classes 9 and 11 in online mode.
The department had earlier announced that examinations for students of Class 1 to 8 would be held online and they can appear for the test from home.
On April 9, 2021, Director of Education D.R. Bhagat issued a fresh circular, in which he asked the educational institutions to hold exams for Classes 9 and 11 also in online mode.
The circular has been issued to all the higher secondary schools in the state, which were gearing up to hold offline exams for the students from this week.
“It is informed that the examinations for Standard ninth and eleventh should be conducted by allowing students to answer from their residences, in the same way the students up to standard eight have been allowed,” the circular read.
Punjab govt. fixes 2 lakh daily vaccination target
Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on April 9, 2021, directed the state health department to ramp up the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive and achieve the target of inoculating 2 lakh people per day. She also announced a special fund of Rs 1 crore to every district for effective COVID-19 management in the northern state.
“There is no constraint of funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic,” Mahajan asserted after chairing a high-level meeting here to review the coronavirus situation in the state.
Ms. Mahajan directed the Health Department to observe two days (Tuesdays and Fridays) every week as ‘mega vaccination days’ to cover maximum number of people to check the spread of the virus, an official statement said.
She also set the state’s weekly inoculation target to more than 16 lakh beneficiaries for the month of April.
The chief secretary urged the eligible people to get vaccinated at the earliest as she said the vaccination is undertaken on all days of the week and no age limit has been imposed for the inoculation of health and frontline workers.
17 pvt hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients in Ghaziabad
In view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Ghaziabad district health department has made 17 private hospitals operational for treatment of people infected by the coroanvirus, an official said on April 9, 2021. In these hospitals, 200 ICU beds and 2,000 other categories of beds would remain available for COVID-19 patients. Nine quarantine centres with 958 beds have also been made available, District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said.
Currently, people are being admitted in two centres of COVID L-3 and L-2 levels, he said. In the district, 3,000 beds, including 250 ICU beds with ventilator facility, would be kept in reserve, Mr. Pandey said.
‘No fresh COVID-19 case reported in 149 districts in past seven days’
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday, April 9, 2021, said here have been no fresh COVID cases in the past seven days in 149 districts, while eight districts had reported no new cases in the past 14 days, three districts in the past 21 days and 63 districts in the past 28 days.
Vaccine averts severe illness, not infection: experts
There have been cases of people, who have taken two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, testing positive, according to doctors. But doctors said that in such cases, people had only “mild symptoms”. According to experts, COVID-19 vaccine prevents “severe illness” and not an infection.
Sumit Ray, Head of Department of Critical Care at Holy Family Hospital, said that the hospital has seen four to five such cases. “We have seen about four to five patients who after two doses of the vaccine and a 15-day period after it, have tested positive. But all of them were mild cases,” Dr. Ray said.
“Vaccines have never claimed to stop all infections. Studies have shown that vaccines reduce severity of illness, even if the person gets an infection after taking the vaccine,” he added.
No decision yet on night curfew in Bihar
After holding a high-level meeting with officials on surging COVID-19 cases, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said all schools, colleges and coaching institutes would be closed till April 18.
He said the government had not taken any decision yet on imposing night curfew but all shops and organisations would be allowed to open till 7 p.m. only.
“We have taken a decision to close all schools, colleges and coaching institutes for one week more, till April 18, but no decision yet has been taken on imposing night curfew. We will review the situation again after 4-5 days on it and act accordingly,” Mr. Kumar told media persons.
Film industry upset at 50% limit on seating
The Tamil Nadu government’s decision to restrict the occupancy at theatres to 50% to curb the spread of COVID-19 has frustrated the stakeholders of the film industry.
The restriction was announced a day before the release of the Dhanush-starrer Karnan, which is directed by Mari Selvaraj, on Friday. The film has already received critical acclaim. Actor Kangana Ranaut’s Thalaivi, to be released on April 23, has been postponed. Producers and exhibitors feel the industry has become a “soft target”, especially after political parties mobilised large crowds for election rallies without worrying about precautions.
Acute vaccine shortage in Anantapur and Kurnool districts
Ahead of the national-wide Tika Utsav planned on April 11, there is a severe shortage in the supply of both the vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – in Anantapur and Kurnool districts. Both the districts are left with stocks enough for just two days.
Delhi govt. plans several curbs as cases surge
With daily COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the city, the Delhi government is planning to intensify restrictions and reduce the number of people who can attend weddings to 50 and funerals to 20, sources said. There is also a proposal to ban all other social gatherings.
Delhi reported 8,521 fresh infections on Friday, the second highest single-day surge since the beginning of the pandemic. A total of 8,593 cases were recorded on November 11 last year. “The government is also planning to reduce the occupancy in buses and cinema halls to 50% of the total capacity. A proposal on these matters has been initiated and is under consideration,” a government official said.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)