Coronavirus updates | January 24, 2021

A health worker prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to a hospital staff at a government Hospital in Jammu, on January 23, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

Nearly 1.4 lakh were vaccinated until 6 p.m. with Maharashtra polling nearly 21,751 inoculations followed by Bihar at 12,165 and Andhra Pradesh at 11,562. This brings the number in the first week since the vaccination drive began to 15,37,190 healthcare workers. Across India, 27,776 sessions have been organised since last Saturday and ideally there should have been 2.7 million vaccinations so far. Accounting for today’s numbers, this works out to nearly 55% of the intended beneficiaries getting their inoculations.

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 live updates:


Healthcare worker in Telangana dies 4 days after getting vaccinated

A 45-year-old female healthcare worker in Telangana died on the early hours of Sunday, four-days after undergoing vaccination at Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in New Shayampeta, Warangal Urban. The woman received the vaccine on January 19 afternoon.

"It has come to the notice of the undersigned that she expired in the early hours of January 23," said Telangana's Director of Public Health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao. The District Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) committee is examining the matter. This is second death of a healthcare worker in Telangana who has received the vaccination.

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United Kingdom

Vaccinated people may still transmit COVID-19, warns England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer

One of England’s leading medical officers on Sunday urged the public to continue to follow the strict lockdown rules because any vaccine-related immunity from COVID-19 takes at least three weeks to kick in.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, also warned that there is no clear evidence yet to show that vaccinated people cannot transmit the deadly virus on to others.

“Regardless of whether someone has had their vaccination or not, it is vital that everyone follows the national restrictions and public health advice, as protection takes up to three weeks to kick in and we don’t yet know the impact of vaccines on transmission,” said Mr Van-Tam.

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Expelled AIADMK leader Sasikala is stable, says Bengaluru hospital

Expelled AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala, who is serving a jail term in a corruption case and has been hospitalised for COVID-19 is stable, according to the hospital where she is undergoing treatment.

The symptoms have reduced and she is now stable, authorities at Victoria Hospital, where Sasikala is being treated, said on January 24.

Her sister-in-law J. Ilavarasi, who is also serving a prison term in the corruption case, has tested positive for coronavirus and has been admitted to Victoria Hospital.

In a bulletin issued by Dr. C.R. Jayanthi, the Dean and Director of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, which manages Victoria Hospital, said the 66-year old Sasikala’s symptoms have reduced and her condition is stable.

New Delhi

Provide vaccination for aviation sector employees after health workers: MoCA

rontline workers in the aviation sector should be considered for COVID-19 vaccination on priority basis after health workers have been given the jabs, the Civil Aviation ministry has told the Union Health ministry.

As per the guidelines issued by the Health ministry on December 28 last year, around 30 crore Indians will be vaccinated initially, including around three crore healthcare and frontline workers, and approximately 27 crore people of over the age of 50 years.

The frontline workers mentioned in the December 28 guidelines does not include aviation sector employees but personnel from the armed forces, prison staff, municipal workers, among others.

In a letter dated January 20, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Pradeep Singh Kharola told his counterpart in the Health ministry Rajesh Bhushan: “You will agree with me that the crew, engineers, technicians, ground staff, frontline workers in aviation have certain risk elements while performing their duties in a most diligent manner and make air transportation a safe mode of transport.” Recently, airlines and airports had approached MoCA and highlighted the need to vaccinate their staff on priority basis, albeit once the medical personnel are covered, Mr. Kharola mentioned in the letter, which has been accessed by PTI.

New Delhi

One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India in just 6 days: Health ministry

India took only six days to administer one million COVID-19 vaccine doses, a count which is higher than that of countries like the U.S. and the U.K., the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday as the number of beneficiaries who have received the anti-coronavirus shots inched close to 16 lakh.

The U.K. took 18 days whereas the U.S. took 10 days to reach the one million mark, the ministry said.

As on January 24, till 8 a.m., nearly 16 lakh (15,82,201) beneficiaries have received COVID-19 vaccination. In a span of 24 hours, close to 2 lakh (1,91,609) people were vaccinated across 3,512 sessions. A total of 27,920 sessions have been conducted so far, the ministry said.


Playing while staying in bubble not sustainable for players: Faf du Plessis

South African veteran Faf du Plessis reckons playing cricket while staying in a bio-secure bubble for months could soon become a “major challenge” for players and is not sustainable in the long run.

Cricketers have to follow strict protocols while touring with their respective teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We understand that this is a very tough season and a tough challenge for a lot of people out there, but if it’s back-to-back bubble life, things would become a big challenge,” du Plessis said during a virtual press conference on Saturday.

Du Plessis is in Pakistan to represent South Africa in a two-match Test series and three T20 Internationals. The first Test will start here on January 26 while the second match will be played from February 4 in Rawalpindi.

New Delhi

India records 14,849 fresh cases, 155 more fatalities

India’s COVID-19 caseload has gone up to 1,06,54,533 with 14,849 people testing positive for the coronavirus infection in a day, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,03,16,786, according to the Health Ministry.

The death toll due to the viral disease has climbed to 1,53,339 with 155 more fatalities, the Ministry’s data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,03,16,786, pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate to 96.83%, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.44%.

The active COVID-19 caseload of the country remained below two lakh for the fifth consecutive day.


Cybersecurity trends turned unpredictable after COVID-19, says PwC

The pandemic and the worldwide adoption of remote working resulted in cybersecurity undergoing years’ worth of transformation in a matter of months and therefore it is tough to understand the current cybersecurity landscape and predict security trends, PwC India said on Friday.

The effects of the COVID-19 crisis that began last year are still visible across the cybersecurity landscape, making it difficult to predict security trends for 2021. Considering the unprecedented events of last year, any predictions for the immediate future cannot be definitive, the firm said.

Rising geopolitical tensions worldwide have resulted in governments and enterprises increasingly focusing on cybersecurity to protect their assets from cyberattackers. Instances of cyberattacks by national/state actors targeting critical infrastructure and nationally important establishments are becoming more common, said Siddharth Vishwanath, partner and cyber advisory leader, PwC India.


Sasikala improving; sister-in-law Ilavarasi also tests positive

The condition of V.K. Sasikala, aide of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late Jayalalithaa, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, was better on Saturday. She was shifted to the COVID-19 ICU at the Victoria Hospital, from the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, on Thursday.

Meanwhile, her sister-in-law J. Ilavarasi has also tested positive for COVID-19. According to Ms. Illavarasi’s advocate Asokan, she tested positive on Friday and was given initial treatment at the prison hospital. She was later shifted to the Trauma and Emergency Care Centre, the dedicated COVID-19 facility on Victoria Hospital premises. Mr. Asokan said both Ms. Sasikala and Ms. Ilavarasi were put in one barrack and there were no other occupants.


Panel to address concerns over COVID-19 vaccines constituted in Puducherry

The Puducherry Health Department has constituted a grievance redress committee to clear doubts about the efficacy of the two COVID-19 vaccines introduced in the country.

Director of Health and Family Welfare S. Mohan Kumar, in a circular, said a three- member committee of doctors had been constituted to allay the fears of the public.

Any false message related to the vaccines appearing on social media can be reported on the toll-free number 104. Despite the regulatory authorities confirming that the vaccines are immunogenic and safe, miscreants were spreading fake information on social media about the vaccines.

Those spreading such false messages on social media would be punished, the circular said.

Andhra Pradesh

Pandemic deprives APSRTC of its festival revenue

Even as the cases are on the decline, the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt on many sectors. Bearing the brunt is the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation(APSRTC), which, despite the festive season, has reported a sharp decline in revenues this Sankranti compared to last year.

While the corporation had earned ₹22 crore in the State during Sankranti holidays in 2020, it has registered ₹13 crore this time. In Anantapur, the RTC operated 108 buses earning ₹37.09 lakh compared to last year’s ₹1.16 crore.

“We had covered 2.78 lakh kilometers around this time last year. After the pandemic began, the demand fell flat. However, we are slowly recovering now,” Anantapur RTC Regional Manager Sumanth R. Adoni told The Hindu. The occupancy ratio in the 2020 calendar year fell to 68% from 80% in 2019.


Teacher dies of COVID-19 in Ludhiana

A 48-year-old government schoolteacher, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died at a private hospital in Ludhiana on Saturday, following which her 12 colleagues and three students also returned positive results, an official said.

Schools in Punjab reopened for Classes 5 to 12 from January 7 after a government order.

The deceased teacher taught maths at the Government Senior Secondary School Galib Kalan in Jagraon.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Neeru Katyal said the school has now been shut and the samples of other students and the staff were being taken for testing.

State Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla had said the decision to open schools was taken following a persistent demand by parents.


Second consignment of 1,46,240 Covaxin doses arrives in Karnataka

Karnataka on Saturday received the second consignment of 1,46,240 doses of Covaxin. With this, the State has got 1,66,240 doses of Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. The fresh consignment has been stored in the walk-in coolers at the State vaccine store near Anand Rao Circle.

The first consignment, of 20,000 doses, was sent to the State on January 15 and was distributed for use in the districts of Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Davangere, Ballari, and Chamarajanagar.

Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), told The Hindu that the State had so far received 17,18,240 doses of vaccine, including 15,52,000 doses of Covishield that were sent in two consignments. “We have got more than 17 lakh vaccine doses in the State warehouses for the more than eight lakh health workers registered so far. So this will cover both their doses,” he said.


WHO chief thanks PM Modi for continued support

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continued support to the global COVID-19 response, saying acting together, including sharing of knowledge, will help in combating the novel coronavirus.

“Thank you, India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for your continued support to global COVID-19 response. Only if we act together, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods,” tweeted Mr. Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General.

Prime Minister Modi has said vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used for the benefit of all humanity to fight the pandemic.

New Delhi

Covaxin to be administered in 7 more States

From next week, the Centre will expand access to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to seven States in addition to the existing 12, the Health Ministry said in a briefing on Saturday.

The seven States administering Covaxin from next week would be Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab & West Bengal.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 7:10:14 AM |

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