Coronavirus live updates | Don’t waste the hope that vaccines bring, warns WHO

As many as 18,327 new COVID-19 cases and 108 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, the Union Health ministry said today.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Karnataka

Make vaccine free: Siddaramaiah

Karnataka Leader of Opposition Siddarmaiah has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to ensure that COVID-19 vaccine is accessible and available to everyone free of cost.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Modi, he pointed out that while India has approved two vaccines for administration in many phases, the progress is very slow. “India has only administered the vaccine to 0.5% or less of the population, while other countries are making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people,” he said.

“India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population. The decision of the Central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge ₹250 for administering the vaccine will adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone,” he said in the letter.

New Delhi

Be constantly vigilant against COVID-19: L-G

Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal on Friday emphasised the need to keep the guard up against COVID-19 and to make the vaccination drive more inclusive, especially for those with no access to digital platforms, at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) here.

Mr. Baijal chaired the 18th meeting of the DDMA to review COVID-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and senior government officials, at Raj Niwas.

While appreciating the efforts made by all the agencies concerned in effective controlling of COVID-19 in Delhi, Mr. Baijal emphasised the need to continue the vigilance without lowering guard and ensuring strict enforcement of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour.

United States

Biden urged not to accept India, South Africa’s proposal at WTO on COVID-19 vaccine

Four top Republican senators have urged U.S. President Joe Biden not to accept a proposal by India and South Africa to the WTO to waive anti-Covid vaccine patents, saying that waiving all rights to intellectual property would end the innovation pipeline and stop the development of new vaccines or boosters to address variants in the virus.

Mike Lee, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Todd Young, in a letter to President Biden, urged him to reject the upcoming proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“India, South Africa and other countries are presenting a proposal at the World Trade Organisation to waive all intellectual property rights for any innovation related to COVID-19,” the senators said.

“The proponents of this scheme argue that if we just destroy the intellectual property developed by American companies, we will suddenly have more manufacturers producing COVID-19 vaccines,” they said.

“But the opposite is true. By destroying the intellectual property of every American company that has worked on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, we would be ending the progress — started under Operation Warp Speed — that led to the fastest development of life-saving vaccines in history,” the senators wrote. – PTI

Dharamsala

Dalai Lama receives first dose of anti-coronavirus vaccine

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was administered the first dose of anti-coronavirus vaccine at Zonal Hospital in Dharamsala on Saturday morning.

The Dalai Lama’s office thanked the the Government of India and the Himachal Pradesh dispensation for facilitating the first dose of the vaccine for the spiritual leader.

After getting inoculated, he asked people to come forward in large numbers and get themselves vaccinated for the greater benefit. – PTI

New Delhi

1.90 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses given: Health Ministry

The cumulative doses of COVID19 vaccine administered in the country crossed 1.90 crore on Friday, said a release issued by the Health Ministry.

The release said a total of 1,90,40,175 vaccine doses have been given till 7 pm on Friday, according to provisional report: 68,96,529 Health Care Workers (HCWs) who had taken the first dose and 32,94,612 HCWs who had taken the second dose; 62,94,755 Frontline Worker (FLWs) (1st dose), 1,23,191 FLWs (2nd dose), 21,17,862 beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 3,13,226 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities.

A total of 10,34,672 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm on Friday, the forty-ninth day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination — 8,25,537 beneficiaries were vaccinated with the first dose and 2,09,135 HCWs and FLWs received the second dose, according to the provisional report.

Geneva

Don’t waste the hope of vaccines, warns WHO

Covax will distribute 14.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to 31 more countries next week, the World Health Organization said Friday as it warned people not to waste, through complacency, the hope that vaccines bring.

The Covax global vaccine-sharing facility shipped more than 20 million doses to 20 countries as the scheme aimed at ensuring poorer nations get access to jabs took off this week.

But the WHO voiced fears that further waves of the coronavirus pandemic could be on the way if people think the roll-out of vaccines around the globe means the crisis is over.

“I really am very concerned that… we think we’re through this. We’re not,” WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told a press conference. “And countries are going to lurch back into third and fourth surges if we’re not careful. We should not waste the hope that vaccines bring… by dropping our guard in other areas.”

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the first full week of the Covax roll-out, but said wealthy countries were nonetheless still leaving others behind in the vaccination rush.


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