Coronavirus updates | September 6, 2021

A health worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary in Tiruchi.   | Photo Credit: M. MOORTHY

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India is administering 1.25 crore Covid vaccines daily which is higher than the population of several countries.

As of Monday morning, the country has administered 68,75,41,762 vaccine doses, according to the data available on Union Health Ministry's website.

With 39,522 people testing positive for COVID-19, India's total tally of cases also rose to 3,30,27,141, while active cases have increased to 3,99,021, according to Union health ministry data updated on Monday.

The death toll has climbed to 4,40,785 with 218 more fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

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 developments:


India plans 50% increase in oxygen production before third COVID-19 wave

India aims to ramp up its medical oxygen production capacity to 15,000 tonnes per day before a potential third wave of coronavirus infections that is expected to hit the country as soon as mid-September, an industry executive said.

While demand for medical oxygen in India has considerably reduced since the peak, reaching near pre-COVID levels, gas companies along with the government are gearing up for a scenario where the third wave could be worse than the previous one.

The target implies a 50% jump from the maximum output of almost 10,000 tonnes reached earlier this year during the peak of the second COVID-19 wave, when hospitals ran short of the gas and relatives of patients had to search out oxygen cylinders.

Linde India, which supplied nearly one-third of the total oxygen demand during the peak, said that while the government is targeting 15,000 tonnes of medical oxygen per day, Linde and other manufacturers were hoping to hit production of at least 13,500 tonnes per day ahead of the third wave.- Reuters


Allow Covishield second dose four weeks after first, says Kerala HC

The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Central government to make necessary provisions forthwith in the CoWIN portal to enable those who want to take the second dose of Covishield vaccine after four weeks in terms of the initial protocol, to schedule the second dose of Covishield in the portal.

The directive was issued while allowing a writ petition filed by Kitex Garments Limited and Kitex Childrenswear Limited of Kochi seeking a directive to the Centre to allow its workers to receive a second dose of the vaccine without completing the stipulated 84-day gap between the two doses.

The court pointed out that the Centre had relaxed the time interval between the two doses of Covishield vaccine initially, for students who want to undertake foreign travel for the purpose of education, for those who have to take up jobs in foreign countries and for athletes, sportspersons and accompanying staff of Indian contingent attending the Olympic Games at Tokyo.

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Hetero’s copy of COVID-19 drug Tocilizumab gets EUA from DCGI

Drugmaker Hetero’s generic version of Tocilizumab has recieved Emergency Use Authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

A biosimilar version of Roche’s Actemra/RoActemra, the product (Tocilizumab 400mg/20ml) is to marketed under the Tocira brand name. It will be available by September end, Hetero said in a release on Monday.

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Immediately stop programmes that attract crowds: Uddhav Thackeray to political parties

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday appealed to political parties to immediately stop agitations, meetings and other programmes to avoid crowding in the wake of a slight increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state.

"We can celebrate festivals later. Let us prioritise the lives and health of our citizens. The situation can go out of hand in view of the spike in daily cases," Mr. Thackeray said in a statement.

Since the past few days, Mumbai has been reporting more than 400 new COVID-19 cases every day, as per official data.- PTI

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Single-day COVID-19 infection rate among children over 20%

The daily coronavirus infection rate among children and adolescents reached the all-time high of 20% in Odisha on Monday as 122 of 609 fresh patients are below 18 years of age, a health department official said.

The single-day positivity ratio among people below 18 years of age was at 16.27% on Sunday and 17.32% on Saturday, he said.

"The daily COVID infection rate among children and adolescents rose to 20.3 per cent, which is a matter of concern as they have not been inoculated," the official said.



Will accept foreign tour groups amid spike in COVID cases: Israel

Israel says it will soon reopen its gates to foreign tour groups - even as it battles one of the world's highest rates of coronavirus infections.

The country's Tourism Ministry on Sunday said it will begin allowing organised tour groups into the country beginning September 19.

Tourists will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, present a negative PCR test before their flight and undergo both PCR and serological testing upon arrival.



Class 10 student tests positive for COVID-19 in Pudukottai

A class 10 student of Adi Dravidar Welfare School at Mullankurichi village in Karambakudi block in Pudukottai district has tested positive for COVID-19.

The girl is undergoing treatment at the Pudukottai Medical College Hospital and her condition is stable, a senior Health Department official here said.

Samples have been lifted from the girl's elder sister studying class XII in the same school and her parents as they were in close contact.

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India administering 1.25 Crore Covid vaccines daily: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India is administering 1.25 crore Covid vaccines daily which is higher than the population of several countries.

Modi said Himachal Pradesh has become a champion by being the first state to administer the first dose of Covid vaccine to all eligible people despite logistic difficulties.

Sikkim and Dadra and Nagar Haveli too have achieved this target, he said.


Survey details ‘catastrophic’ impact of school closures across India

The prolonged closure of primary and upper primary schools during the pandemic months has led to “catastrophic consequences” for school students, particularly in rural India, says an emergency report.

Based on the School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (SCHOOL) survey conducted by researchers, who worked in coordination with eminent economist Jean Dreze, the ‘Emergency Report on School Education’ says that only 8% of school students in rural India have been able to access online education, while at least 37% have stopped studying altogether.

The survey also found that the Dalit and Adivasi children were at a greater disadvantage as a mere 5% of the children from these groups had access to online classes.

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80% COVID-19 immunity lost in 6 months in some after Pfizer shot: study

COVID-19 antibodies produced by the Pfizer vaccine decreased more than 80% in senior nursing home residents and their caregivers six months after receiving their second dose, a U.S. study has found.

The research led by Case Western Reserve University and Brown University in the US studied blood samples of 120 nursing home residents and 92 health care workers.

The researchers particularly looked at humoral immunity -- also called antibody-mediated immunity -- to measure the body's defences against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.



30 inmates of Viyyur jail test positive for COVID-19: Sources

At least 30 inmates of Viyyur Central Prison have been tested positive for COVID-19, according to an unofficial report.

One of the positive inmates has been admitted to Thrissur Government Medical College Hospital as his conduction turned critical. Others were shifted to the COVID first-line treatment centre functioning in the jail compound.


T.N. mulls physical classes for primary students too

The Tamil Nadu government is contemplating starting offline classes for primary and upper-primary levels, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said in Tiruchi on Sunday.

Based on the observation of attendance and incidence of COVID-19 infection among students of Classes IX to XII and teachers for eight days (classes began at the start of this month), a call will be taken by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on starting offline lessons for students of other classes, Mr. Poyyamozhi said.

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Low rate of infection alone is no reason to celebrate: Experts

Although North Karnataka districts are consistently showing a low rate of infection over the last few days, the low vaccination rate and low seroprevalence in these districts indicate that it is premature to celebrate, say experts.

Districts like Bidar, Haveri, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Yadgir, Bagalkot and Vijayapura in North Karnataka have either been reporting new cases in single digits or zero cases for the last week. These districts have also recorded among the lowest second dose coverage in the State as well as the lowest seroprevalence.

Public health experts say it is important to take into account vaccination coverage and seroprevalence in the area, besides deaths due to COVID-19 and hospital bed occupancy.

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Virus pushes some California hospitals near ICU capacity

Hospitals in the heart of California’s Central Valley are running out of beds in their intensive care units, state officials announced Friday, as a more contagious version of the coronavirus continues to spread primarily among the unvaccinated population.

Hospitals in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley region have had fewer than 10% of staffed adult ICU beds for three consecutive days. State officials labeled it a “surge,” triggering special rules announced last month that require nearby hospitals to accept transfer patients.

If the problem gets worse and ICU capacity falls to zero, the State says hospitals across California must also accept transfer patients.



Govt determined to vaccinate everyone by December: Kishan Reddy

The Government of India is determined to vaccinate everyone by December this year under the COVID-19 vaccination programme, Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy said on Sunday.

The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running the world's biggest vaccination programme and have till date vaccinated 69 crore people free of cost, which is a major accomplishment by itself, the Union Culture and Tourism Minister said, according to a release.

"We want to reach out to the last person to be vaccinated in the country, in the most remotest part by December this year. It is also a matter of great pride that India was one of the two countries which invented a vaccine for COVID, besides USA, this raised the stature of Indian scientists and the country in the world," the release quoted Mr. Reddy as saying.



Direct fight against preventing ‘third wave’, Uddhav tells parties

Appealing to parties to stop playing politics over COVID-19, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said ‘agitations’ must be directed at preventing the recurrence of a third wave and not for reopening of temples which would only serve to spread the virus.

Warning the public against letting down the guard, Mr. Thackeray reminded citizens that there was a surge in cases after festivities last year during the same time.

“The Ganesha festival is round the corner. But one must not be complacent and remember that there was a big spike in cases after festivities last year. So, I request all of you to avoid crowding and strictly follow pandemic norms like wearing face masks even after vaccination,” said the Chief Minister, adding that even if the third wave did strike, the aim should be to be one step ahead and focus on how to lessen the intensity.

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Partial lockdown in Aizawl extended till Sep 18

The Mizoram government has extended partial lockdown in Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area and certain COVID-related restrictions in other parts of the state till September 18, with a few relaxations in the curbs, an official said on Sunday.

An order related to the COVID curbs was issued as the restrictions, imposed on August 20, were in place till Saturday, he said.

Educational institutes have not been allowed to reopen in AMC area, while schools and colleges in COVID-free localities in other parts of the state were permitted to resume physical classes.



COVID-19 curfew in Goa extended till Sept 13

The Goa government on Sunday extended the coronavirus-induced curfew till September 13.

In a notification issued here, the state administration announced the extension of the curfew till 7 am on September 13.

"As part of the curfew, the state government has retained the restrictions that are currently in force," a senior official said.


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