Coronavirus live: Take penal action against those circulating rumours on vaccine, MHA tells States

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan holds a dose of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine called COVAXIN, during a vaccination campaign at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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.

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.

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:

New Delhi

India records 131 more COVID-19 deaths, 13,203 cases

India recorded the lowest number of coronavirus fatalities in over eight months with 131 more deaths being recorded, the Health Ministry said on January 25.

The COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,06,67,736 with 13,203 more infections. There are 1,84,182 active cases, which is 1.73% of the caseload and it remained below 2 lakh for the sixth consecutive day, according to the Ministry data. — PTI

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New Delhi

Take penal action against those circulating rumours on vaccine, MHA tells States

Faced with the problem of circulation of rumours about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, the Centre has asked the states to check the spread of such misinformation and advised them to take penal action against those who are found to be involved in dissemination of wrong and ill-informed news.

In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also strongly emphasised that the National Regulatory Authority in the country has found that the two vaccines -- Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, developed and manufactured by the Bharat Biotech Limited -- were safe and immunogenic.

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Google opening up its spaces in US to serve as mass COVID-19 vaccination sites: Sundar Pichai

Google's Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Monday that the tech giant will open up its spaces in the US to serve as mass COVID-19 vaccination sites and committed more than $150 million to promote vaccine education. Google is initially looking at offices’ spaces inside the US, but is open to do the same in other countries as well, a company official said.

Mr. Pichai said, to help with mass vaccination efforts, starting in the United States, Google will make select facilities —such as buildings, parking lots and open spaces — available to anyone eligible for the vaccine based on state and local guidelines

"Searches for ‘vaccines near me’ have increased 5x since the beginning of the year and we want to make sure we’re providing timely and locally relevant answers,” he said.



Immune system of recovered COVID-19 patients may evolve to fight coronavirus variants: Study

People who recover from COVID-19 are protected against the novel coronavirus for at least six months, and likely much longer, according to a study which says the immune system evolves long after the infection and may block even mutant forms of the virus.

The research, published in the journal Nature, noted that antibodies are produced by immune cells that keep evolving, apparently due to a continued exposure to remnants of the virus hidden in the gut tissue.

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Delhi’s health system didn’t collapse during pandemic: Kejriwal

Delhi faced an extreme level of the coronavirus pandemic, but its health system did not collapse due to “reforms” in recent years and better management, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on January 25.

In many developed countries and cities like New York, the health infrastructure collapsed, but measures like home isolation prevented such a situation in Delhi, according to Mr. Kejriwal.

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Goa Assembly pays tributes to COVID-19 victims

A five-day session of the Goa Assembly began on Monday with members paying tributes to some prominent personalities who died recently and those who succumbed to COVID-19 in the state.

After the governor's address, Speaker Rajesh Patnekar mentioned obituary references for several eminent personalities who died recently. The House members then observed a one-minute silence to pay homage to all the departed souls.



Oxfam urges radical economic rejig for post-COVID world

Anti-poverty campaigner Oxfam on January 25 warned that the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic will lead to the biggest increase in global inequality on record unless governments radically rejig their economies.

In a report geared to inform discussions at the World Economic Forum’s online panels of political and business leaders this week, Oxfam said the richest 1,000 people have already managed to recoup the losses they recorded in the early days of the pandemic because of the bounce back in stock markets.

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Mexico's president Andrés Manuel López Obrador tests positive for COVID-19

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and that the symptoms are mild.

“I regret to inform you that I am infected with COVID-19,” he tweeted. “The symptoms are mild but I am already under medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic. We will all move forward.”

Mr. Obrador wrote that while he recovered Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero would be taking over for him in his daily news conferences.



Andhra Pradesh mulls reopening schools

In a recent meeting with officials of the Department of School Education, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy reviewed the conditions in schools and the challenges ahead. He asked the officials to take stock of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and explore the possibility of reopening schools, including the primary sections, tentatively from the first week of February.

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Italy to take legal action against vaccine makers over delays

Italy will take legal action against Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca over delays in deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to secure agreed supplies rather than seek damages, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday.

“We are working so our vaccine plan programme does not change,” Mr. Di Maio said on RAI state television.

On Saturday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the delays in vaccine supplies were “unacceptable” and amounted to a serious breach of contractual obligations, adding that Italy would use all available legal tools.

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Australia okays Pfizer vaccine, to begin in February 2021

Australia's medical regulator has approved use of its first coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for inoculations to begin next month. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Monday gave provisional approval for people aged 16 and over to use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

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New Zealand confirms first coronavirus case in months

New Zealand on Monday confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the community in months in a 56-year-old woman, but said close contacts of the recently returned traveller had so far tested negative.


No death in Chennai; five test positive for U.K. variant

Chennai reported no death due to COVID-19, while three districts — Ariyalur, Kallakurichi and Perambalur — saw no fresh case, even as 569 persons tested positive for the infection on Sunday.

Five persons, including three returnees from the United Kingdom and two contacts, who had earlier tested positive for the infection, were found to have contracted the U.K. variant.


A.P. reports zero COVID deaths, 158 new cases in 24 hours

Andhra Pradesh reported zero coronavirus deaths and 158 new infections in 24 hours, ending on Sunday morning. With the new cases, the cumulative tally went up to 8,87,010, with a recovery rate of 99.03%. With a total of 7,147 deaths, the death rate remained at 0.81% and the number of recoveries increased to 8,78,387. In the past day, 155 patients recovered and the number of active cases in the State was put at 1,476.


National Health Mission selects TN’s mentoring concept as best practice

Tamil Nadu’s mentoring concept in which obstetricians and gynaecologists (OGs) were roped in for management of antenatal mothers was selected by the National Health Mission (NHM) as one of the best practices. Through this initiative, over 2.8 lakh high risk pregnant women were identified during the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 4:10:22 AM |

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