Coronavirus updates | August 10, 2021

People wearing masks as a precaution against COVID-19 wait to board buses as others walk in Kochi, India   | Photo Credit: AP

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country has declined to 3,88,508, the Union Health Ministry's data showed on Tuesday. A single-day rise of 28,204 infections and 373 fatalities pushed India's total tally to 3,19,98,158, and death toll to 4,28,682.

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:

National

Kerala reported 51.51% of total COVID-19 cases recorded in India last week: Health Ministry

In his weekly COVID briefing, Health Ministry spokesperson Lav Agarwal says, 51.51% of the total COVID cases last week were reported from Kerala.

"Districts in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal are showing an increasing trend in daily new cases during the last two weeks. 37 districts across India are showing an increasing trend."

"Kerala and Maharashtra has the largest share of active COVID cases currently," says Mr. Agarwal.

Director NCDC Surjeet Singh says, Statewide breakup of the 86 samples showed Delta plus variant. The  numbers indicated that the variant cannot lead to an exponential surge.

Dr. V.K. Paul  says, India needs to be cautious as our overall picture is that India’s R-value is 1 and more. Kerala is of particular concern. We have to bring in the herd immunity through vaccination.

NEGVAC has discussed the issue of booster doses of COVID vaccines. No State has so far said specifically that there were deaths because of oxygen shortage. Only one State mentioned suspected death. Almost 50% teachers across India have taken their vaccination but more effort is needed, Dr. Paul adds.

- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

New Delhi

Govt approves Bharat Biotech's Ankleshwar plant to produce Covaxin: Mandaviya

Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the government has given approval to Bharat Biotech's Ankleshwar-based manufacturing plant to produce COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.

"Govt of India approves vaccine manufacturing facility for production of @BharatBiotech's #Covaxin in Ankleshwar, Gujarat," Mr. Mandaviya tweeted.

The approval would help increase availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, he added.

"Following PM @NarendraModi ji's vision of #SabkoVaccineMuftVaccine, this will increase vaccine availability & accelerate the world's largest vaccine drive," the Minister who heads both Chemicals and Fertilisers and Health Ministries noted. — PTI

National

India records lowest daily count in 147 days

India logged 28,204 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 147 days, taking the total  tally of cases to 3,19,98,158, while the active cases fell to 3,88,508, the lowest in 139 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

The national COVID-19 recovery rate has increased to 97.45 per cent, which is the highest ever recovery rate achieved, the Ministry said.  The death toll has climbed to 4,28,682 with 373 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The active cases comprise 1.21 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, the ministry said.   A decrease of 13,680 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

As many as 15,11,313  tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 48,32,78,545.

The daily positivity rate has declined to 1.87 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for the last 15 days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.36 per cent.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,11,80,968, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.34 per cent, the data stated.

Cumulatively, 51.45 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered under the nationwide vaccination drive till Tuesday morning. — PTI

Andhra Pradesh

COVID restrictions on public gatherings

The State government has issued guidelines imposing restrictions on maximum number of people to be permitted at all gatherings in view of COVID pandemic. The restrictions will be in force till September 30.

Principal Secretary, Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Anil Kumar Singhal, in a GO on Monday, said a maximum of 150 participants would be allowed at all gatherings and congregations, including marriages, religious gatherings, etc.,

All participants would have to comply with COVID-appropriate behaviour by compulsorily wearing masks, frequent hand sanitisation and maintaining social distance. Further, in any public place or venue wherever there are fixed seats, the alternate seats should be kept vacant in order to maintain physical distance, he said.

Tamil Nadu

All measures in place to tackle third wave, says Health Minister

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian on Monday said Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has initiated all precautionary measures to tackle the third wave of COVID-19.

One lakh beds with oxygen supply and special wards for children are ready, Mr. Subramanian told reporters after inspecting the COVID-19 prevention measures and the works taken up under the ‘Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam’ scheme in Pudukottai district.

The Health Minister said Mr. Stalin had been giving more importance to the Health and Family Welfare Department and claimed that Tamil Nadu was a pioneer in the country in protecting the people during the pandemic.

Andaman and Nicobar

No new COVID-19 case in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not record any new COVID-19 case in the last 24-hours, a health official said on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 tally in the archipelago remained at 7,546, he said.

The Union Territory now has only five active COVID-19 cases and all five patients are in the South Andaman district. The other two districts -- North and Middle Andaman and Nicobar -- are now COVID-19 free, the official said

- PTI

Karnataka

Decision on reopening primary classes later this month

The decision on reopening of primary classes will be taken later this month, said Primary and Secondary Education Minister B.C. Nagesh on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference, S.R. Umashakar, Principal Secretary of the department, said that while many reports had suggested that children in lower classes had the least risk if they contracted COVID-19, the State government had decided to open high school classes due to practical reasons.

“First of all, it will be difficult to expect younger children to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. Another reason to postpone opening is because most parents of these children will be in the 18 to 45 age category and the vaccination percentage of this group is lower than for those above 45 years,” he said.

New Delhi

Delhi govt. not prepared for third COVID-19 wave, BJP alleges

The Delhi government is not prepared for a possible third wave of COVID-19 since the city’s health infrastructure has not been improved by the AAP since it came to power, the BJP alleged on Monday.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal may make tall claims of making Delhi world-class, the fact remained that only 628 new beds had been added in government hospitals since the past year.

Referring to an RTI reply, Mr. Gupta alleged that when the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Delhi, there were about 9,000 beds in city hospitals. By March 30, 2021, this number had gone up to only 10,993.

“The AAP, in its 2015 manifesto, had said the number of beds will be raised from 10,000 to 40,000. In all these years, forget 30,000 more, the Kejriwal government could not even add 700 new beds,” Mr. Gupta said.

New Delhi

Schools to have quarantine rooms, staggered timings

The Delhi government on Monday issued a set of guidelines and a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the reopening of schools for students of Classes X-XII.

Students can now visit the schools for admission-related work, counselling, guidance and practical activities related to Board examinations.

Safety measures include staggered timings to ensure there is no crowding at the entry and exit gates of the campus. Also, there needs to be a minimum gap of one hour between the exit of students in morning school and the next batch coming in the evening, at schools that run on double shifts.

A quarantine room will have to be created in each school for emergencies.

New Delhi

SC seeks Centre’s reply on vaccine data

A judicial order to publish data on clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines and post vaccination side effects may feed vaccine hesitancy amid the pandemic, the Supreme Court said on Monday.

“Do you really think this is in the larger public interest? Fifty crore people have been vaccinated... By asking us to launch an enquiry now, are you not throwing doubts into the minds of people about the vaccines,” Justice L. Nageswara Rao asked advocate Prashant Bhushan.

“But if you don’t have transparency, there is more reason for vaccine hesitancy,” Mr. Bhushan replied.

The court also voiced scepticism about Mr. Bhushan’s criticism of the government’s “coercive vaccine mandates”, which banned the unvaccinated from public spaces, offices, shops and so on.

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