Twenty-five lakh potential beneficiaries had registered on the Co-Win portal on Monday, the first day of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination covering those over 60 and people with specified comorbidities over the age of 45, the Union Health Ministry said.
Here are the latest updates:
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, TN and Gujarat witnessing an upsurge in daily cases
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are witnessing an upsurge in daily new COVID cases and the Central government has now advised these states to be cautious about the rising numbers.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday in a release issued said that India’s total active caseload stands at 1.68 lakh (1,68,358) currently as the country added 12,286 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 6,397. It is followed by Kerala with 1,938 while Punjab reported 633 new cases. Two states, Maharashtra and Kerala alone account for 67.84% of total active cases, said the Ministry.
Health Minister Vardhan, wife get COVID-19 vaccine shot
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and his wife took the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute on Tuesday.
The minister’s wife Nutan Goel first took the jab after which Mr. Vardhan received the vaccine shot.
Mr. Vardhan on Monday had appealed to all those aged 60 and above and aged 45 and above having specified co-morbidities to immediately take the vaccine.
Mr. Vardhan said that if any death occurs a few days after receiving the jab, it cannot be linked to vaccination because each such death is being scientifically probed.
Ravi Shastri receives first dose of vaccine in Ahmedabad
The Indian cricket team’s head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a city hospital here.
Shastri, who is 58, thanked the staff at the Apollo Hospital for their co-operation and support.
“Got the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you to the amazing medical professionals & scientists for empowering India Flag of India against the pandemic, the former India cricketer tweeted.
India’s inoculation drive entered its second phase on Monday in which the coverage was expanded to include everyone above 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities.
“Extremely impressed with the professionalism shown by Kantaben & her team at Apollo, Ahmedabad in dealing with COVID-19 vaccination.” However, it is not immediately known whether any other member of the Indian team’s support staff was inoculated.
The Indian cricket team is locked in a Test battle against England here.
The fourth and final Test of the rubber will start in Ahmedabad on Thursday. India are currently leading the series 2-1.
BJP MP Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan dies
Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, the BJP Lok Sabha member from Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, died at a hospital in Gurugram, family sources said on Tuesday.
He was 69.
The six-term MP, who was suffering from COVID-19 and was airlifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram last month in a serious condition, breathed his last late Monday night, the sources said.
India records 12,286 infections, 91 fatalities
India’s COVID-19 cases rose to 1,11,24,527 with 12,286 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries have surged to 1,07,98,921, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday.
The death toll increased to 1,57,248 with 91 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,07,98,921 which translates into a national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.07 per cent, while the case fatality rate has dropped 1.41 per cent.
The active caseload was recorded at 1,68,358 which accounts for 1.51 per cent of the total infections, the data stated.
Call for lockdowns, curfews in Brazil
Brazilian health officials are urging nationwide lockdowns and curfews because hospitals are running short of intensive-care unit beds as COVID-19 claims more than 1,000 lives each day in the country.
“The return of the pandemic in several states is making their private and their public assistance networks collapse and has brought imminent risk of spreading it to all regions of Brazil,” Brazil’s National Council of Health Secretaries said Monday in an open letter, adding that the nation is experiencing its worst moment since the pandemic began.
Last week was Brazil’s deadliest of the pandemic, with 8,244 deaths from the virus.
The letter from the council, which represents the nation’s 27 health secretaries, suggested lockdowns in cities where no ICU beds are available and in the rest, curfews between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Less than 4 per cent of Brazil’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. Almost 260,000 people have died from the disease in the South American country.
KMC lab finds new COVID-19 variant with origin in Kurnool
Kurnool Medical College’s VRDL is the first laboratory in South India to collaborate in employing a new protocol – ‘COVIDSeq Next-Generation Sequencing’ – for diagnosis and phylogenetic analysis of SARS nCoV-2 (COVID-19) samples.
This is the next-generation confirmatory test for COVID-19 done at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, and will be useful for other viruses in the future.
Vaccine eligibility list
Comorbidities list for vaccine eligibility seen as too narrow
The Union Health Ministry’s list of 20 comorbidities that make people in the 45-59 year age group eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine is seen by some medical professionals as too narrow.
“The list of comorbidities provided by the Health Ministry is overly restrictive and complicated. Many conditions, including obesity, have been left out,” said Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Professor of Microbiology at CMC Vellore.
CICSE class 10 exams from May 5, class 12 papers from April 8
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) will conduct its Class 12 exams from April 8 to June 16 and Class 10 board exams from May 5 to June 7. The board examination results will be declared by July.
In 2020, the CISCE’s board examinations were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all schools shutting their doors from mid-March. Students were evaluated on the basis of internal assessment for the papers they had missed.
A year since first COVID case in TS, concerns about surge prevail
Exactly a year ago, the first COVID-19 case was detected in Telangana. Thereafter, lives of crores of people haven’t been the same. Many lost their parents, children, spouses and dear ones to the infectious virus.
Twelve months later, the pandemic situation is not very different from how it was when the first case was reported on March 2, 2020, although fear of contracting the virus has come down and people hardly seem to have any qualms about letting their guard down.
WHO: ‘Premature,’ ‘unrealistic’ to think COVID-19 will end soon
A senior World Health Organization official said Monday it was “premature” and “unrealistic” to think the pandemic might be stopped by the end of the year, but that the recent arrival of effective vaccines could at least help dramatically reduce hospitalizations and death.
The world’s singular focus right now should be to keep transmission of COVID-19 as low as possible, said Dr. Michael Ryan, director of WHO’s emergencies program.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agences)