Coronavirus updates | August 5, 2021

Chennai Corporation has started road side vaccination camp in residential and commercial areas in Chennai   | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

DK district administration to shift patients to care centres. The BBMP launches sero survey in Bengaluru.

Over 39,600 may have missed second Covaxin dose in Chennai.


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:


Travel curbs: U.K. moves India to ‘Amber’ category

The United Kingdom has moved India to the ‘Amber’ category, reopening travel visas for Indian citizens.

The UK had earlier placed India under the 'red category', which came with strict quarantine rules such that the mandatory quarantine had to be spent in a hotel at the personal expense of travellers.

A statement from the British High Commission informed that as part of the ‘Amber’ list, visitor visas will be available to Indian travellers, along with “other long-term visas that have remained open”. In the new system, “travellers arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying”.

In addition, travellers can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test on Day 5 of the quarantine and end their quarantine if the result turns out negative.

The ‘Amber’ category rules, however, demand that travellers “must take a COVID-19 test in the three days before travelling to England” and book and pay for COVID-19 tests to be taken after arrival in England.


Andhra Pradesh

Youth and children are the vulnerable groups to contract coronavirus infections in Visakhapatnam: Official data

Youth and children continue to be most affected by COVID-19 in Visakhapatnam, with 39% of the total number of cases reported in July being people below 30 years of age.

According to a District Health Department official, those in the age group of 18 to 30 were mainly affected by the virus as most of them are yet to be vaccinated. Also, many in this age category failed to comply with COVID-19 safety norms. Nearly 10% of the total cases reported in the district were children aged below 18.

District Medical and Health Officer P. Surya Narayana said that exclusive paediatric wards are being set up at the Family Welfare Ward of the Government Hospital for Mental Care, King George Hospital, and Gosha Hospital.



Flu shot may protect against severe effects of COVID-19

The annual influenza vaccine may reduce the risk of stroke, sepsis, blood clots and several other severe effects in patients with COVID-19, according to the largest study of its kind.

The researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, US, also found that patients with COVID-19 who had been vaccinated against the flu were significantly less likely to visit the emergency department (ED) and be admitted to the intensive care unit.


Pregnancy and childbirth do not increase the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, but worsen its clinical course, says Dr. Narendra Kumar Arora

Dr. Narendra Kumar Arora, a paediatric gastroenterologist and a senior member of the National COVID-19 Task Force while explaining why and how the regulators approved vaccines for pregnant women says that though pregnancy and childbirth do not increase the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, they worsen the clinical course of the pandemic compared to other women in the same age group.

The common perception has been to avoid any drug or new interventions during pregnancy because two lives are affected — the mother-to-be and the embryo growing in her womb. Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) studies have been conducted for the m-RNA based COVID-19 vaccines. These reproductive tract toxicity studies are done on pregnant animals e.g., mice.


Read the whole interview here


Delta variant now reported in 135 countries, global coronavirus cases could exceed 200 million by next week: WHO

The highly-transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 has now been reported in 135 countries, according to the World Health Organization which said the cumulative number of coronavirus cases reported globally could exceed 200 million by next week.

The COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update dated August 3, released by WHO, said globally 132 countries have reported cases of the Beta variant and 81 countries of the Gamma variant.

It said the cases of Alpha variant have been reported in 182 countries, territories or areas, while 135 countries have reported cases of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.


Govt. caps RT-PCR price at pvt. labs

The Delhi government on Wednesday reduced the maximum rates private labs can charge for RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. The rates have been reduced to ₹500, when a person gives the sample at a centre and to ₹700 for home collection of samples, compared to earlier rates of ₹800 and ₹1,200 respectively.

“All labs/hospitals will display the revised rates at a prominent place latest within 24 hours of this order. This order comes into effect immediately and is for strict compliance by all concerned,” read the order issued by Bhupinder S. Bhalla, Additional Chief Secretary (Health & Family Welfare).

The maximum rate the government pays to private labs, when samples collected by government centres are sent to private labs for testing, has also been reduced to ₹300 from ₹800.

Read more


Sydney reports worst day of its current outbreak

Australia's most populous state is reporting the worst day of its outbreak of the coronavirus delta variant, with a record 262 new local infections and five deaths from COVID-19.

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Thursday, August 4, 2021, that four of the dead had not been vaccinated and that one had received a single dose of AstraZeneca in late May.

Australian authorities have urged people in Sydney not to wait the optimal 12 weeks before getting their second AstraZeneca dose.


DK district administration to shift patients to care centres

All COVID-19 patients will be shifted to COVID-19 Care Centres and only in exceptional circumstances the local authorities will allow the infected people under home isolation, said Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra here on Wednesday.

Chairing a virtual meeting with officials at the district, taluk and panchayats levels, Dr. Rajendra said: “The ward-level/ village-level task force has been given the discretionary power of allowing home isolation in exceptional circumstances,” he said.

If there are more than two positive cases in a house, Dr. Rajendra said, such houses should be considered as micro containment zone and posters stating the same should be pasted outside the houses. If an infected person is found roaming around, action should be taken to register an FIR, he said.

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Containment strategy, contact tracing of positive cases lacking in Kerala: Health Minister

Coming down heavily on Kerala, which has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases recently, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, stating that the COVID-19 case detection in several parts of the State is mainly through testing of those reporting to health facilities with COVID-19-like illness coupled with no active surveillance to detect cases.

The State of Kerala has 14 districts and is presently reporting more than 20,000 cases per day, which is among the highest in the country.

In his letter, the Minister said that in view of the continued upsurge of COVID-19 cases in Kerala, a Central multi-disciplinary team was deputed to the State on July 30, and the team in its report submitted to the Ministry noted lapses in the manner in which the virus is being tackled in the State.

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Over 39,600 may have missed second Covaxin dose in Chennai

Despite targeted efforts from the Greater Chennai Corporation, vaccination data for the city showed that close to 40,000 people may have missed their second dose of Covaxin within the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-advised window of a maximum of six weeks.

However, Corporation officials said the actual numbers were likely to be far lower as there could be duplication and other such technical issues in the data available on the CoWIN portal.

According to data available on vaccine doses administered through government-run centres till August 2, a total of 4,69,225 people have received their first dose of Covaxin and 3,32,254 had received the second.

Read more


BBMP launches sero survey

Bengaluru city’s civic body has launched a sero survey, which will be completed in the next one week to understand the prevalence of the virus, its severity, and resistance among citizens. Based on the results of the survey, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will lay out rules and restrictions in the coming days to prevent the spread of the virus in the city.

A total of 2,000 people will be surveyed under the exercise. Out of them, 30% will be under 18 years of age, 50% will be above 18 years, and 20% above 45 years. To also understand the impact of vaccines, blood samples of 1,000 vaccinated individuals and 1,000 non-vaccinated individuals will be collected, to determine the amount of antibodies present, BBMP officials said.

Read more


US plans to require COVID-19 shots for foreign travellers

The Biden administration is taking the first steps toward requiring nearly all foreign visitors to the U.S. to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, a White House official said August 4.

The requirement would come as part of the administration's phased approach to easing travel restrictions for foreign citizens to the country. No timeline has yet been determined, as interagency working groups study how and when to safely move toward resuming normal travel.

Eventually all foreign citizens entering the country, with some limited exceptions, are expected to need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the U.S.


India records 42,982 new cases

India saw a single day rise of 42,982 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,18,12,114, while the active cases increased to 4,11,076, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on August 5.

The death toll climbed to 4,26,290 with 533 fresh fatalities.

The active cases comprise 1.29% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.37%, the data updated at 8 am showed.

An increase of 723 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.


Covaxin receives GMP certificate from Hungary: Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has received Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance certificate from Hungary, the vaccine maker said on August 5 in a tweet.

"Another milestone in our account as COVAXIN receives GMP certificate from Hungary. This marks the 1st EUDRAGDMP compliance certificate received by Bharat Biotech from European regulatories," the tweet said.

The approval received is from the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition, Hungary certifying the GMP for the manufacture of Covaxin, a note posted on twitter said.


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