The COVID-19 vaccination drive will remain suspended at civic and government-run centres in Mumbai on Saturday for the second day in a row due to a shortage of vaccines
India logged 43,393 new coronavirus cases taking the total tally of infections to 3,07,52,950. While the active cases declined to 4,58,727, the toll climbed to 4,05,939 with 911 fresh fatalities, health ministry data updated at 8 am on Friday said.
The active cases comprised 1.49 percent of the total infections and a decrease of 1,977 cases was recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has been less than three percent for 18 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate has declined to 2.36 per cent.
But even as the rate of infection decline, a sudden increase in the number of tourists to hilly states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand has raised an alarm among the authorities. Videos showed tourists openly flouting COVID-19 norms.
Once such incident at Mussorie’s Kempty Falls was reportedly flagged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The prime minister reportedly told the Cabinet that the sight of crowds at Kempty Falls in Uttarakhand should instill ‘a sense of fear’ in people given that the battle against the pandemic is far from over.
Tourist rush in Himachal Pradesh raises alarm
A sharp rise in inflow of tourists to Himachal Pradesh, not just in popular destinations like Shimla and Manali but also in lesser-known towns such as Naggar and Jibhi, have raised concerns.
Calling for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by tourists, Himachal Pradesh DGP Sanjay Kundu said that the police has put up checkpoints at various entry and exit points into towns.
In Uttarakhand, the administration restricted the number of people allowed at the state’s popular Kempty Falls in Mussorie after videos emerged showing hordes of tourists at the site in Tehri Garhwal district.
The government said that only 50 persons will be allowed at a time for a maximum of 30 minutes at the Kempty Falls.
Kundu said the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang Pass has been the most frequented tourist spot in this month with 47,000 vehicles passing through. The need for a mandatory e-pass and an RTPCR test was waived by the government on 14 June, which was following by a rise in the number of tourists.
Delhi shut markets for flouting COVID-19 norms
Owing to the flouting of COVID-19 norms in Delhi’s popular Gaffar Market and Naiwala market in Karol Bagh, the government ordered to shut both markets for two days. The government has also ordered the closure of another market in Rohini till 12 July for flouting COVID-19 norms.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government lifted weekend and night curfews and allowed reopening of colleges, cinema halls, malls, restaurants, bars and gyms to those who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Also, gathering of 100 people indoors and 200 outdoors have been allowed in the state in view of the improving COVID-19 situation as the case positivity rate dipped to 0.4 percent.
Mumbai to halt vaccination on Saturday; shortage hits Aurangabad
The COVID-19 vaccination drive will remain suspended at civic and government-run centres in Mumbai on Saturday due to a shortage of doses and no inoculation will take place on Sunday on account of weekly off of staffers.
On Friday, too, the drive remained suspended in BMC and Maharashtra government-run vaccination centres. Presently, Mumbai has 401 active COVID-19 vaccination centres – 283 of the BMC, 20 of the state government and 98 run by private facilities.
Meanwhile, in Aurangabad, the capacity to vaccinate 20,000 people daily against coronavirus has been hit due to a shortage of doses. At the peak of the second wave of coronavirus , the AMC had rolled out a mega vaccination drive in the city.
The civic body had constituted teams for deployment in each civic ward to carry out the drive. But due to a shortage of vaccines in Aurangabad city, only three out of a total of 115 centres are currently functioning and they are administering indigenously developed Covaxin, an official told PTI.
Working towards making Moderna available in India, says Centre
The government said that it is working actively with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna to see how its vaccine can be imported and made available in the country.
NITI Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul said, “Moderna vaccine is under emergency use authorisation,” adding that Zydus Cadila had submitted its vaccine’s third phase trial results to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) last week.
Over 40 lakh vaccine doses administered in 24 hours
Even as vaccine shortages hit Maharasthra, the Union Health Ministry said that India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 36.89 crore, while more than 11.18 crore doses have been administered in the age group of 18-44 years.
The ministry said that over 40 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
Over 1.70 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered, the Union Health Ministry.
Over 38.18 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through all sources and a further 23,80,080 doses are in the pipeline.
In West Bengal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to probe the dubious COVID vaccination camps in Kolkata, sources told PTI.
Nine persons, including fake IAS officer Debanjan Deb, have been arrested so far. Deb was arrested in June for masquerading as the joint commissioner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and operating dubious immunisation camps in different parts of the city.
Punjab, Delhi begin preparation for third wave
A Graded Response Action Plan to deal with a possible third wave of the coronavirus was passed in a Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting. A colour-coded mechanism has been devised which prescribes a graded response, including the closure of most economic activities at the highest ‘Red’ level alert.
The colour codes based on positivity rate (on two consecutive days), cumulative number of new cases (over a week) and average oxygenated-bed occupancy (for a week) will designate four levels of alerts. The graded response will involve restricting economic activities as per the level of alert linked with the severity of the pandemic.
The meeting also stressed on having 12,000 ICU beds, sufficient oxygen, drugs and ambulances, etc, to deal with another surge in cases.
The Punjab government approved a sum of Rs 380 crore that will be used to set up more oxygen plants and other necessary health infrastructure to deal with an anticipated third wave. The amount approved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh shall be spent on PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) oxygen plants, cryogenic liquid medical oxygen tanks, ambulances, amongst others.
The state is ready for the third wave, with preparations being made for 25 percent more patients than in the second wave, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh added.
He also gave a go ahead for filling of posts of medical specialists, nurses along with 330 faculty posts in Patiala and Amritsar medical colleges. The chief minister directed the departments to ensure testing at minimum 40,000 a day.
Delhi government survey to identify children orphaned during pandemic
Delhi government’s Women and Child Development Department will conduct a survey to identify children who have been orphaned during the coronavirus pandemic. The department said it has appointed 20 welfare officers who will conduct the survey in different childcare homes, institutions and district offices in the city.
The Delhi government has planned to give a compensation of Rs 2,500 per month to children who have lost their parents to COVID-19 . Over 2,000 children in the city have lost either one or both their parents to the novel coronavirus infection, with 67 of them losing both their parents, since March 2020.
Kerala reports highest daily cases at 13,563, Maharashtra records 9,114 infections
- Maharashtra has reported 9,114 new COVID-19 cases and 121 fatalities, which took its overall infection count to 61,31,976 and death toll to 1,24,296, a health department official said. As compared to Wednesday’s figures of 9,558 cases and 147 fatalities, the state witnessed a decline on both counts. There are 1,14,444 active COVID-19 cases in the state, of which, the highest number of 17,435 active cases is in Pune district, followed by Thane and Mumbai with 16,546 and 11,470 patients respectively.
- Kerala reported 13,563 fresh cases and 130 deaths, taking the total affected in the state to 30,39,029 and the toll to 14,380. Malappuram reported the highest number of cases – 1,962, followed by Kozhikode with 1,494 and Kollam with 1,380 cases. Maharashtra and Kerala recorded more than half of the coronavirus cases registered in India last week.
- Madhya Pradesh on Thursday reported 26 fresh COVID-19 cases, which pushed its infection tally to 7,90,096, health officials said. The state’s fatality count reached 9,023 with four deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
- Jammu and Kashmir on Friday recorded 261 fresh cases, taking the number of infected persons to 3,18,284, while a lone death took the toll to 4,354.
- The COVID-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 22,689 on Friday with 13 more fatalities, while 90 new cases pushed the infection count to 17,07,127. Of the new fatalities, three were reported from Amethi, two from Pilibhit and one each from Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Agra, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Maharajganj, Bhadohi and Balrampur, it said.
- Odisha on Friday reported record 61 COVID-19 deaths and 2,806 more cases, a health department official said. The state’s COVID-19 toll climbed to 4,476.
- With the addition of 220 new cases of coronavirus , the tally of infections in Goa reached 1,68,430. At least 188 patients were discharged from various hospitals, while two died of the infection during the day, raising the count of recoveries to 1,63,347 and toll to 3,088.
- Arunachal Pradesh’s COVID-19 tally rose to 38,682 as 399 more people tested positive for the infection. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 death toll in the frontier state increased to 185 with one more person succumbing to the disease in the past two days.
- Sikkim reported 170 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, pushing the caseload to 21,965. East Sikkim registered 70 new cases followed by West Sikkim (53), South Sikkim (43), and North Sikkim (4).
- Andhra Pradesh reported 14 COVID-19 fatalities in 24 hours ending 9 am, the lowest after 15 April during the second wave. The active cases came down further to 30,300.
- Puducherry recorded 126 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 10 am on Friday raising the tally to 1,18,697. One more person died due to the deadly virus raising the toll to 1,768.
- The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported only one new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, taking the active cases to 13 and pushing the total infections to 7,492.
With inputs from PTI