U.S. regulators on August 12 said transplant recipients and others with severely weakened immune systems can get an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to better protect them as the delta variant continues to surge. (AP)
Here are the latest updates :
Schools, colleges to reopen from September 1
The Rajasthan government on Thursday allowed reopening of schools from Classes IX to XII as well as the universities, colleges and coaching institutes with 50% capacity from September 1. The orders were issued after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved a Group of Ministers’ recommendations to restart academic activities.
The teaching and non-teaching staff as well as the drivers of buses, cabs and auto-rickshaws ferrying the students to and from schools will be required to get at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine 14 days before the educational institutions reopen. Online education will continue only for the students of I to VIII Classes till further orders.
Two major Covid clusters emerge in Chennai
A gated community in Sholinganallur here has emerged as the second major COVID-19 cluster, seen as different from the first one at Kilpauk which was a religious gathering. As many as 23 people including 15 adults who have taken either single or two doses of COVID vaccine and six children tested positive, according to Dr J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, on Friday.
This second major cluster in Zone -15 and Division 197 at the Ramaniyam Gaurav Apartments, Model School Road, Sholinganallur (two blocks) has come as a surprise to the health officials who have been hectically involved in sensitising people on COVID-19 related safety precautions. - PTI
Mumbai reports first death due to Delta Plus variant
Mumbai has recorded its first death due to the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus with a 63-year-old fully vaccinated woman succumbing to it in July, a civic official has said.
Following her death, at least two of her close contacts have also been found infected with the Delta Plus variant, which is considered highly infectious, he said.
It is the second death due to this variant in the state as it had claimed the life of an 80-year-old woman from Ratnagiri district on June 13. That woman had not taken even a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine, officials said. - PTI
Lakshadweep administration imposes travel restriction to mainland in view of rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala
The Lakshadweep administration has imposed curbs on the movement of people travelling to the mainland from the islands in view of the COVID-19 situation prevailing in neighbouring states, especially Kerala.
"Considering the circumstances, local residents of Lakshadweep islands are hereby advised to avoid all unnecessary travel to the mainland," said the order issued by Lakshadweep district Collector S. Asker Ali on Thursday.
The administration also directed the authorities officials concerned to give permission only for essential travel to mainland. -PTI
Study finds lower levels of IgG seroprevalence
Lower levels of IgG (antibody) seroprevalence were found during the second round of the serial cross-sectional sentinel-based population survey to assess active infection, seroprevalence, and their evolution in the general population across Karnataka.
This is being attributed to antibody waning.
India records 40,120 fresh coronavirus infections
India saw a single-day rise of 40,120 coronavirus infections, taking the tally of Covid cases to 3,21,17,826, while the recovery rate increased to 97.46%, the highest recorded so far, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated August 13.
The death toll, meanwhile, climbed to 4,30,254 with 585 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The ministry said the number of active cases has declined to 3,85,227 or 1.20% of the total cases, the lowest since March 2020. The national COVID-19 recovery rate has increased to 97.46%, the ministry said.
A decrease of 2,760 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours, the data showed. -PTI
Australia capital's lockdown until no more virus
Australia's capital Canberra will remain locked down until there are no more COVID-19 infections in the city, a government leader said on August 13.
The Australian Capital Territory, which comprises Canberra and two villages, locked down for a week after a man tested positive on Thursday. -PTI
Airlines can operate maximum of 72.5% pre-Covid domestic flights: Govt
Airlines can now operate a maximum of 72.5% of their pre-Covid domestic flights instead of the 65% allowed till date, the Ministry of Civil Aviation stated on August 12.
The carriers have been operating 65% of their pre-Covid domestic flights since July 5 according to the Ministry's order. Between June 1 and July 5, the cap was at 50%.
The ministry issued a fresh order on August 12, wherein it modified the July 5 order stating that "65% capacity may be read as 72.5% capacity".
Thursday's order also noted that the 72.5% cap will "remain in place until further order". - PTI
BMC begins fifth sero survey in all administrative wards
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on August 12 said it has begun the fifth COVID-19 sero-survey in all 24 administrative wards across the city.
The survey is being carried out with the help of IDFC Institute and ATE Chandra Foundation, it said.
A statement issued by the civic body on August 12 night said the survey will be conducted in clinics of selected general medical practitioners for non-slum areas. - PTI
Ministry of Tourism urges States to drop mandatory RT-PCR clause for fully vaccinated tourists
The Union Ministry of Tourism has urged all State governments to drop the provision of mandatory RT-PCR tests for visitors who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
In a letter to all states, the Ministry said the matter was discussed at a virtual meeting with all State and Union Territory Tourism department principal secretaries and the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) under the chairpersonship of the union tourism secretary on August 5.
Currently, only some States like Maharashtra and Sikkim allow entry to fully vaccinated travellers without negative RT-PCR reports. -PTI
Karnataka CM reprimands DK district officials for 'poor' COVID-19 management
Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on August 12 reprimanded Dakshina Kannada district officials for allegedly not addressing the issue of shortage of masks and gloves for health workers in the line of duty to contain COVID-19.
"How are you running the administration when you say there are no masks and gloves?" Mr. Bommai asked the deputy commissioner Dr K.V. Rajendra during a review meeting of COVID-19 situation in the district.
The coastal Dakshina Kannada district bordering Kerala has emerged as a major COVID-19 hotspot with rising infections and fatalities. - PTI
Australian state reports daily COVID-19 record
The government of Australia's most populous state on Friday reported a daily record 390 new locally-acquired COVID-19 infections and warned that the high infection rate would continue for days.
Two people had died overnight, bringing the death toll in New South Wales from an outbreak of the delta variant first detected in Sydney in mid June to 38.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at least 60 of the new cases had been infectious in the community before they were isolated. -AP