Coronavirus updates | February 26, 2021

People ride past a COVID-19 awareness wall art, in Vijayawada on February 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RAJU V

The country is all set to usher in a ‘pandemic generation’, with 375 million children (from newborns to 14-year-olds) likely to suffer long-lasting impacts, ranging from being underweight, stunting and increased child mortality, to losses in education and work productivity, according to the State of Environment Report, 2021, by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) released on Thursday.

The pandemic also has its hidden victims — over 500 million children forced out of school globally and India accounted for more than half of them.

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:


No vaccination sessions on Feb. 27, 28

COVID-19 vaccination sessions would not be scheduled on this Saturday and Sunday because of IT system transition from Co-WIN 1.0 to Co-WIN 2.0, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.


Brazil signs COVID-19 vaccine deal with Bharat Biotech

On the same day Brazil reached the grim milestone of 2,50,000 deaths by COVID-19, the country's health ministry signed a deal with Indian pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech for the purchase of 20 million doses of the Covaxin Vaccines, which is yet to be approved by local regulators.

The administration of President Jair Bolsonaro said the first 8 million Covaxin shots, which will be made by Brazilian company Precisa Medicamentos, will arrive in March. A second batch of another 8 million doses is expected for April and in May, another 4 million doses will be available.

So far Brazil has vaccinated less than 4 per cent of its population of 210 million people, with some cities stopping immunization campaigns last week due to shortages.


Sero surveillance campaign begins

Random antibody tests have begun in Kozhikode to determine the extent of COVID-19 community spread here even as 480 people were newly tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the district on Thursday. The tests are part of the sero surveillance campaign, a release said.

According to sources, the campaign is being held in 19 divisions of the Kozhikode Corporation and three municipalities, and three wards each in 14 grama panchayats. As many as 120 health staff from 10 healthcare institutions and a similar number of police personnel and local body officials from five police stations and local bodies each will undergo the test. Blood samples will be collected from the blood bank at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, and the taluk hospitals at Koyilandy and Thamarassery. Consent letters had been sought from those being tested.

Meanwhile, vaccination for government officials picked for Assembly election duty has begun in the district. District Medical Officer V. Jayasree said they could undergo vaccination from vaccination centres adjacent to their homes as well.

Andhra Pradesh

Jagan urged to implement SMS protocol

Praja Arogya Vedika (PAV) has appealed to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to strengthen the public healthcare system and work towards improvement of infrastructure in hospitals, procurement of medicines, continuation with the same doctors and healthcare workers, who were appointed to combat the pandemic in the past.

In a letter to the Chief Minister on Thursday, M.V. Ramanaiah, president and T. Kameswar Rao, general secretary, while appreciating the timely efforts of the government in tackling the pandemic during the first phase, noted that the new variants of the coronavirus were spreading rapidly in some States.

In order to combat the situation, the governments in those States were already strictly implementing the protocol of SMS — social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitisation of hands — and even announcing lockdown in some places.


AIMPLB secretary diagnosed with COVID

Noted Muslim cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board office-bearer Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani has tested positive for COVID-19.

Maulana Rahmani’s health condition came to light after his son Mufti Omar Abedeen issued a statement on it.

Maulana Rahmani, who is the secretary of the AIMPLB, was diagnosed with COVID a week ago while he was travelling to Dubai, Mufti Abedeen said in his statement. The cleric also has pneumonia and is having difficulties in breathing. He is being admitted in a hospital in Dubai on the instruction of doctors.

Tamil Nadu

Vaccination will give immunity against COVID-19, say experts

Ever since the government introduced vaccines in the country mid-January, there have been several concerns. What if there is a second surge? Will the government impose another lockdown? Are vaccines safe and efficacious? Will they really protect people from COVID-19?

Three experts - V. Ramasubramanian, an infectious diseases specialist and an adviser to the State government on the control of COVID-19; V. Ravi, retired professor of neuroviology from NIMHANS and nodal officer for genomic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2, Karnataka; Saranya Narayan, chief microbiologist at Neuberg Diagnostics - who participated in a panel discussion on Thursday dispelled the myths regarding the vaccines and put to rest fears and concerns about their efficacy.


Informal sector workers yet to recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19: Study

Informal sector workers in Bengaluru, whose lives were disrupted by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, are yet to recover their losses and their livelihood is yet to return to pre-COVID-19 levels. A study by Azim Premji University, which was released on Thursday, found that 15% of informal sector workers continue to be unemployed after losing their jobs. In addition, 23% had experienced a break in employment during the pandemic, and nearly half of the people surveyed (46%) are currently engaged in the same job but with less pay.

Around 75% of those surveyed were engaged in jobs similar to what they did before the pandemic, but most with lower pay or break in employment.

Researchers surveyed around 250 people in the informal labour sector. They mostly comprise self-employed people like street vendors, waste pickers, autorickshaw drivers, mechanics, dhobis and small business owners, or those working on wages rather than fixed salaries, such as domestic workers, sex workers and construction labourers. The study also looked at vulnerable groups such as garment workers, security staff and retail shop workers.

New Delhi

India sent over 361 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses to various countries: MEA

India has provided 361.94 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines to various countries, out of which 67.5 lakh doses have been supplied as grant assistance and 294.44 lakh on commercial basis, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the supply of vaccines to countries will continue in the coming weeks and months in a phased manner but it will be ensured that domestic requirements for the national vaccination programme are kept in mind.

Mr. Srivastava said India has also offered locally-made vaccines to all members of the diplomatic corps and their families based in the country.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu mandates one-week quarantine for travellers from Maharashtra, Kerala

The State government has issued fresh guidelines and COVID-19 protocols for people entering the State from Maharashtra and Kerala.

All passengers arriving from Maharashtra and Kerala must undergo seven days of home quarantine and seven days of self-monitoring of their health. If, during this period, they develop fever, cough and breathlessness, they must visit a health facility for treatment.

If they test COVID-19 positive and are symptomatic, they will be taken to a health facility for treatment. Asymptomatic patients will be taken to a COVID-19 Care Centre. Any person entering Tamil Nadu from these two States who tests negative and is asymptomatic will be asked to monitor his or her health for 14 days. However, those who test negative but are symptomatic will be put under hospital isolation. Their treatment will be decided based on medical opinion, according to a Government Order of February 22 by the Health Secretary.


Brazil COVID-19 death toll passes a quarter million

Brazil’s COVID-19 outbreak has killed 251,498 people, the Health Ministry reported on Thursday, as it reported 1,541 deaths in the past 24 hours, the second-highest daily death toll since the pandemic hit the country a year ago.

With 65,998 new coronavirus cases reported on Thursday, the South American country has now registered 10,390,461 cases, in the world’s third-worst outbreak behind the United States and India and its second-deadliest.

Brazil is facing a new stage of the pandemic with variants of the virus that are three times more contagious, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello told reporters.

Mr. Pazuello said Brazil had distributed 13 million to 14 million vaccine doses and the government plans to have inoculated half of the country’s 210 million residents by midyear.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:06:40 AM |

Next Story