Coronavirus updates | September 8, 2021

India has administered over 70 crore vaccine doses so far, according to the Union Health Ministry.  

India reported 37,875 new infections of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, taking the total tally of cases to 3,30,95,450 according to the Union Health Ministry.

The death in the country toll has risen to 441,411, with 369 fatalities reported yesterday. India's active caseload currently stands at 3,91,256, as per the ministry bulletin.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has also crossed 70 crore, with the last 10 crore doses being given in just 13 days.

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:


Flight tickets to Gulf get costlier

With the Gulf region slowly opening up to tourists to overcome its COVID-19 battered economies, airfare charges have also skyrocketed for one-day travel to various destinations.

Foreign airline companies have hiked ticket rates which many believe would help them to narrow their losses. However the resultant is that genuine flyers planning to return to various Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are feeling the pinch for having to pay excessive rates.

Previously several expatriates were forced to book tickets in charter flights at an exorbitant price between ₹2 lakh and ₹4 lakh to return to their jobs.

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S.Korea planning to live 'more normally' with COVID-19 after October

South Korea is drawing up a plan on how to live more normally with COVID-19, expecting 80% of adults to be fully vaccinated by late October, health authorities said on Wednesday.

The country is in the middle of its worst wave of infections, but it has kept the number of severely ill cases under control through steadily rising vaccination rates.

"We'll review measures that will allow us to live more normally, but any such switch will be implemented only when we achieve high vaccination rates and overall (COVID-19) situations stabilise," Son Young-rae, a senior health ministry official, told a briefing.



Bulgaria, EU's least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge

Bulgaria has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the 27-nation European Union and is facing a new, rapid surge of infections due to the more infectious delta variant. Despite that, people in this Balkan nation are the most hesitant in the bloc to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Only 20% of adults in Bulgaria, which has a population of 7 million, have so far been fully vaccinated. That puts it last in the EU, which has an average of 69 % fully vaccinated.



Efforts grow to stamp out use of Ivermectin for COVID-19

Health experts and medical groups are pushing to stamp out the growing use of a decades-old parasite drug to treat COVID-19, warning that it can cause harmful side effects and that there's little evidence it helps.

With a fourth wave of infections, more Americans are turning to ivermectin, a cheap drug used to kill worms and other parasites in humans and animals.

Federal health officials have seen a surge in prescriptions this summer, accompanied by worrying increases in reported overdoses.



SC rejects plea to direct govt. to start door-to-door vaccination

The Supreme Court shot down a plea to direct the government to immediately embark on a door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination policy, saying that such pleas were a product of ignorance about the diversity of the country and complexity of governance.

A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the petitioner, Youth Bar Association of India, whether it wanted the court to direct the government to scrap its current vaccination drive when over 60% of the population had already received at least one dose of the vaccine and start down the path of door-to-door vaccination.

The petition had sought a general order to the Centre to begin door-to-door vaccination for the disabled, the aged, those unable to approach vaccination centres, among others. It asked the court to direct the government to frame a Standard Operating Procedure for administration of door-to-door vaccines.

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Can't presume all deaths during 2nd wave were due to State's negligence: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday admonished a petitioner for presuming that every death caused during the pandemic was due to the negligence of the State.

“We cannot start with the presumption that every death was due to negligence… Our country has gone through an unprecedented pandemic,” Justice Chandrachud addressed petitioner Deepak Raj Singh’s counsel advocate Sriram Parakkat.

This Public Interest Litigation petition had sought action against authorities for committing gross negligence leading to the deaths of patients during the second wave of COVID-19. The plea also sought compensation for the kin of the victims by treating it as medical negligence.

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No public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in Delhi

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has said Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at public places will not be allowed in the national capital in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an Order issued on Tuesday, the DDMA said district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police will ensure that idols of Lord Ganesha are not set up in a tent or pandal. Further, it should be ensured that crowds do not gather at any religious or social place. Permission will also not be granted for any procession, it said. The DDMA advised people to celebrate the festival at home.

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Why someone unlikely to transmit COVID infection should undergo RT-PCR every 72hrs: HC asks state, Centre

If a person is unlikely to be a threat of COVID-19 infection to others, how can he be forced to undergo RT-PCR test every 72 hours for going out to work or any other activity? the Kerala High Court asked the state government on Wednesday.

The query was posed to the state government during hearing of a plea by a man who refuses to be vaccinated and has challenged the COVID guidelines which mandates having at least one dose of vaccine or a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours or a COVID-19 positive result more than a month old for going to work or to a shop.

Justice P B Suresh Kumar also impleaded the central government in the matter and sought its stand on the issue.



88 oxygen generation plants functional in State: CM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said 88 oxygen generation plants, with a collective capacity to generate over 45,000 litres of oxygen per minute, have become operational in the State.

Overall, 190 oxygen plants will become operational by the end of this month, Mr. Chouhan said in an official statement late Tuesday evening.

“The deficiencies seen in the health infrastructure during the second wave of COVID-19 are being addressed on a priority basis. The most important of these shortcomings was the availability of medical oxygen,” the CM said.



Samples of all symptomatic persons in Kerala turn negative

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in India, the death of a 12-year-old boy due to Nipah virus infection recently in Kerala sent fear waves across the country.

However, now all 17 persons, who showed symptoms of the infection in Kerala, have turned negative for the virus. The announcement was made by State Health Minister Veena George on Wednesday morning.

Twelve-year-old Mohammed Hashim had succumbed to the infection at a private hospital in Kozhikode on Sunday. Those who are now found to have no presence of the virus include his parents, close relatives and the healthcare workers who attended to him at various medical facilities where he was taken with fever and other symptoms.

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Biden to outline plan to curb Delta variant as cases grow

President Joe Biden on Thursday will present a six-pronged strategy aimed at fighting the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant and increasing U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations, a White House official said on Tuesday.

The United States is struggling to combat a wave of infections driven by the variant even as officials urge unvaccinated Americans to get the shots. Rising case loads have raised concerns as children return to school, rattled investors and upended many companies' return-to-office plans.

Nearly 650,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.



After significant dip, Maharashtra’s active COVID-19 cases rise

Maharashtra’s active cases rose slightly on Tuesday with the State reporting 3,898 new COVID-19 cases against just 3,581 recoveries as the active tally climbed incrementally to 47,926.

86 deaths to take the cumulative fatalities to 1,37,897. The case fatality rate remains constant at 2.12%.

“Of a total 5,51,59,364 laboratory samples tested thus far, 64,93,698 (with the average case positivity falling incrementally to 11.77%) have returned positive with more than 1.60 lakh samples being tested in the last 24 hours,” said State Surveillance Officer Dr. Pradeep Awate.

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Udupi tops in school attendance

Schools in Udupi district continue to lead at the State level in attendance of students from Classes 6 to 10 with the overall attendance on Tuesday touching 72% across all categories of schools.

The overall attendance of students of these classes on Monday when Classes 6 to 8 reopened was 60%. Chikkodi and Madhugiri education districts came second and third with 55% and 54% attendance respectively, N.H. Nagur, Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Udupi, said in a statement.

The State average was around 25% on Monday.

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COVID-19 has ‘devastating’ impact on fight against HIV, TB, malaria: Global Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic had a “devastating” impact on the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in 2020, according to a report released by the Global Fund on Wednesday.

“To mark our 20th anniversary, we had hoped to focus this year’s report on the extraordinary stories of courage and resilience that made possible the progress we have achieved against HIV, TB and malaria over the last two decades,” said Peter Sands, the Global Fund’s executive director.

“But the 2020 numbers force a different focus. They confirm what we feared might happen when COVID-19 struck,” he said.

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Vaccination camp based on Intensified Pulse Polio Immunisation model to be held

Tamil Nadu’s plan to hold a ‘Mega Camp on COVID-19 Vaccination’ will be based on the Intensified Pulse Polio Immunisation (IPPI) model. Under this, the State has 40,399 regular booths and 2,652 additional booths, taking the total number of booths to 43,051.

The Directorate of Public Health (DPH) and Preventive Medicine has told Deputy Directors of Health Services that COVID-19 vaccination should be conducted in the fixed booths already selected for IPPI. Fixed booths should be established in the same places where they were set up during the last IPPI campaign on January 31, 2021.

On following the IPPI model, T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health, said it was reachable by the system and the locations were known to the general public.

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