Coronavirus updates | August 22, 2021

Covaxin and Covisheld Vaccines given to the beneficiary, at BBMP Dasappa Hospital, during the massive coronavirus vaccination drive (COVIND-19 Vaccine), in Bengaluru on August 14, 2021   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

The ZyCov-D vaccine against COVID-19, which was granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the drug regulator, will hit the market soon as the drug firm has started its production, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on the last day of his "Jan Ashirwa Yatra" in Gujarat.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has gone past 58 crore, the Union health ministry said on Saturday, August 21. More than 43 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Saturday, according to a provisional report compiled at 7 pm.

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:


Uttarakhand CM Dhami launches Sputnik V vaccine

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday launched COVID-19 Sputnik V vaccine in the state.

On the first day, 100 people got the dose of the Russia-manufactured vaccine.

Speaking at the launch of the vaccine, Mr. Dhami said by December this year, the State government will achieve its target of 100% vaccination.- PTI

Andhra Pradesh

Active Covid-19 cases take further dip in AP

Andhra Pradesh reported 1,085 fresh cases of coronavirus, 1,541 recoveries and eight deaths in 24 hours ending 9 a.m. on August 22.

Consequently, the State’s Covid-19 chart now showed a gross of 20,02,340 positives, 19,73,940 recoveries and 13,723 deaths. The latest bulletin said number of active cases dropped below the 15,000 mark to 14,677.



Haryana extends lockdown till Sep 6, earlier relaxations to continue

The Haryana government on Sunday extended the COVID-19 lockdown by a fortnight while allowing various relaxations permitted earlier to continue.

The relaxations include the opening of restaurants, bars, malls, clubhouses and shops.

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Pondy CM gets first dose of coronavirus vaccine

Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy on Sunday received the first of dose of COVID-19 vaccine at his residence.

A team of officials and para medical staff of the Department of Health were present during the vaccination, a release from his office said. - PTI


UK rolls out new antibody test programme for COVID positives

The UK government on Sunday announced the rollout of a new nationwide antibody surveillance programme, which will make free home antibody tests available for up to 8,000 COVID-positive people a day.

The UK Health Security Agency will offer these finger-prick tests to help improve the understanding of immunity against COVID-19 from vaccination and infection. - PTI


721 children in child care institutions contracted Covid since outbreak: RTI

721 children in child care institutions in 11 States and Union Territories have contracted COVID-19 till now and no fatalities have been reported, according to data shared by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The data was shared in response to an RTI query from PTI. The data also stated that 686 children living in child care institutions (CCIs) have been infected with COVID-19 so far this year.

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Tokyo Paralympics to open under shadow of pandemic

The Tokyo Paralympics are set to open on August 24 after a year-long pandemic delay and with the virus continuing to cast a long shadow as Japan battles a record surge in cases. As at the Olympics, the event will be marked by strict virus rules, with almost all spectators banned and tough restrictions on athletes and other participants.

While a swell of domestic support emerged during the Olympics after months of negative polls, there is deep concern in Japan as the Paralympics approach with the country going through a fifth virus wave.

More than 25,000 new cases were recorded on August 19, and medics across the country have warned hospitals are at breaking point with serious cases also at record highs.

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Malaysia's new PM invites opposition to join COVID-19 recovery efforts

Malaysia's new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on August 22 he will invite opposition leaders to join the government's special committees to address the COVID-19 crisis.

In a television address a day after his inauguration, Ismail Sabri said he will also enhance the previous government's COVID-19 strategy.

- Reuters


Russia reports 20,564 new COVID-19 cases and 762 deaths

Russia reported 20,564 new coronavirus cases on August 22, including 1,661 in Moscow and 1,481 in St. Petersburg, which took the national tally to 6,747,087.

The Russian coronavirus task force said 762 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 176,044.

- Reuters


483 infra projects show cost overruns of ₹4.43 lakh cr

Delay in land acquisition, obtaining clearances and Covid-19 induced lockdowns have been cited as reasons for the overruns.

As many as 483 infrastructure projects, each worth ₹150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns totalling more than ₹4.43 lakh crore, according to a report.

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Pakistan to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib amid COVID-19 wave

Pakistan has decided to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from next month amidst efforts to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus.

The decision to open Kartarpur shrine was taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday due to the approaching death anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak Dev on September 22. -PTI


Pinarayi Vijayan likely to hold online review meeting on Monday as COVID-19 cases rise

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan might chair an online meeting on Monday to weigh whether to reintroduce certain restrictions lifted for Onam, including the weekend lockdown, given the continuous increase in COVID-19 infections in the State.

Meanwhile, Kerala continued to report one of the highest infection rates in the country, with the average test positivity rate (TPR) touching 17.73% on Saturday.

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Tamil Nadu

24-hour vaccination centres in govt. medical college hospitals

All government medical college hospitals in the State will have round-the-clock COVID-19 vaccination centres from Monday.

The first such centre was opened at the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine on the premises of Directorate of Medical Services in Chennai on Saturday.

Inaugurating the centre, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said similar centres would start functioning in all government medical college hospitals, and district government hospitals in districts that did not have government medical colleges such as Mayiladuthurai and Perambalur from Monday.

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Vinay Kulkarni, supporters booked for violating COVID-19 protocol

The Belagavi police have filed two cases against Congress leader and former Minister Vinay Kulkarni and his supporters for alleged violation of COVID-19 protocol and weekend curfew rules in the border district of Belagavi on Saturday.

There was crowding as he came out of Hindalga jail, after obtaining bail in a murder case, and was welcomed by hundreds of supporters.

The case about violation of weekend curfew was filed after the police took suo motu cognisance of the offence at the open ground outside the jail. Another one, about protocol violation, was registered following a complaint by the Panchayat Development Officer of the Hindalaga Gram Panchayat. The two cases were registered in the rural police station.

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United Kingdom

U.K. to begin offering COVID antibody testing to general public for first time

The United Kingdom will begin offering COVID-19 antibody testing to the general public in the coming week for the first time, British media reported on Sunday.

The government's new programme is intended to produce data on antibody protections for people following infection by different coronavirus variants, according to details of the programme published by multiple media outlets, including Sky News and BBC.

From Tuesday, anyone aged 18 or over in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, will be able to opt in to the programme when receiving a PCR test, Sky News reported. -REUTERS


Active cases lowest in 152 days

India logged 30,948 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases declined to 3,53,398 comprising 1.09% of the total infections, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases has increased to  3,24,24,234. The death toll has climbed to 4,34,367 with 403 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The active cases have declined to 3,53,398, the lowest in 152 days, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has increased to 97.57%, the highest since March 2020, the health ministry said.

A reduction of 7,942 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of  24 hours. -PTI

Madhya Pradesh

M.P. to have over 200 MT oxygen generation capacity by Sept end: CM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said at least 190 oxygen generation plants, with a capacity to produce 221 metric tonnes of the life-saving gas, will be functional in the state by the end of September.

Mr. Chouhan made the statement while virtually inaugurating some of the oxygen plants in 10 hospitals, which can generate 5,500 litres of the life-saving gas per minute. -PTI

United States

Radio host who regretted vaccine skepticism dies of COVID-19

A conservative talk radio host from Tennessee who had been a vaccine skeptic until he was hospitalized from COVID-19 has died. He was 61.

Nashville radio station SuperTalk 99.7 WTN confirmed Phil Valentine's death in a tweet Saturday.

Valentine had been a skeptic of coronavirus vaccines. But after he tested positive for COVID-19, and prior to his hospitalization, he told his listeners to consider, “If I get this COVID thing, do I have a chance of dying from it?” If so, he advised them to get vaccinated. He said he chose not to get vaccinated because he thought he probably wouldn't die.

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