Coronavirus updates | July 13, 2021

People wearing protective face masks wait to receive their second dose of COVISHIELD outside a vaccination centre in Kolkata, India, May 12, 2021 | File Photo   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and deaths, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said, warning that the variant, now in over 104 countries, is expected to soon be the dominant COVID-19 strain circulating worldwide.

Noting that as the Delta variant spreads, not everywhere is taking the same hit, the WHO chief said “we’re in the midst of a growing two-track pandemic where the haves and have-nots within and between countries are increasingly divergent.”

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:

New Delhi

Consistent decline in average daily new COVID cases: Health Ministry

In a press briefing on the pandemic situation, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal says "India has shown consistent decline in average daily new COVID cases since week ending May 11. A decline of 6%  in average daily new cases in last week."

"Currently Kerala is reporting 30.3% of new COVID cases. Maharashtra — 20.8%; TN — 8.5%; AP — 7.3%. 73 district across India now that are reporting more than 100 cases daily."

"We are seeing a rise in cases across the globe which is a cause of worry. This has happened after a drop in cases."

"₹23,123 crore approved as 'India COVID-19 emergency response' and health system preparedness — As part of this 20,000 ICU beds in public healthcare system with 20% paediatric ICU beds will be available."

A third wave may be caused because of our irresponsible behaviour, Mr. Agarwal adds.

"The world seeing a surge in COVID cases. This could be the 3rd wave and we have to keep India safe. This depends on us. It’s time to be very very vigilant," says Dr. V.K. PauL.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh adds 1,478 COVID-19 ‘backlog’ deaths

Madhya Pradesh on July 12 added 1,478 COVID-19 cases as ‘backlog’ to its official tally of deaths in the State. The official deaths reported in the State now stands at 10,506.

According to the State health bulletin on coronavirus released on July 12, 208 deaths were reported under home isolation, 762 deaths were reported in private hospitals and 208 reported in district hospitals. The death rate of the State stood at 1.33%.

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New Delhi

COVID-19: India records 2,020 new fatalities after M.P. reconciled its fatality data

India's COVID-19 death toll climbed to 4,10,784 with 2,020 new deaths recorded after Madhya Pradesh reconciled its fatality data, while 31,443 new coronavirus cases were reported, the lowest in 118 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on July 13.

India's total tally of COVID-19 cases mounted to 3,09,05,819.

The active cases have declined to 4,31,315 and comprise 1.40% of the total infections. The national COVID-19 recovery rate has increased to 97.28%, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

As many as 17,40,325 tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 43,40,58,138.

The daily positivity rate has declined to 1.81%. It has been less than three% for 22 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate stands at 2.28%.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,00,63,720 and the case fatality rate stands at 1.32%, the data stated. — PTI

Tamil Nadu

60% of surveyed population in Tiruchi has COVID-19 antibodies, serosurvey finds

About 60% of the 300 people whose blood samples were collected during the serosurvey undertaken in the city have developed antibodies against COVID-19, officials of the Tiruchi City Corporation told The Hindu.

To study the incidence of the infection, the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) had identified eight locations in the city. They earmarked hotspots and informed the local health officials, who drew blood samples to test for antibodies for COVID-19.

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Citizens' group starts drive to vaccinate transgenders in Pune

A group of citizens working towards COVID-19 vaccination of the underprivileged people has now extended its reach to the transgender community in Maharashtra's Pune city.

As part of the 'VaxAll Initiative', 169 transgenders were vaccinated at a private hospital on Monday, an official from the medical facility said.

The volunteers' group has set up an exclusive vaccination centre at the Sancheti Hospital here for the transgender community from July 12 to 15. - PTI


Pandemic upends dreams of Indian medicos in China

When Sandeep* applied to the Nantong University on China’s east coast in 2017, he hoped to gain a medical education of decent quality at a fraction of the cost charged by Indian private universities. Instead, ever since he was stranded at home in Kota, Rajasthan in January 2020, he has been restricted to online classes and video lectures in what should be hands-on clinical subjects.

“I’m about to start my final year. At this stage, we should be going to hospitals and dealing with actual patients and bodies. Instead, we are getting practicals on a screen. They record a surgery in the operation theatre and send us the video. I can find that on YouTube if I wanted to,” says the 22-year-old, who did not want his real name to be used.

He is among the 23,000 Indian students in China, almost all of whom are in medical programmes, according to Indian Embassy data. Most of them returned to India during their winter break in January 2020 just before COVID started to spread through China, and later India as well, shutting down borders and preventing their return to campus.

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Rich countries should donate vaccines, not use boosters, says WHO

Top officials at the World Health Organisation say there's not enough evidence to show that third doses of coronavirus vaccines are needed and appealed for the scarce shots to be shared with poor countries who have yet to immunise their people instead of being used by rich countries as boosters.

At a press briefing, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world's grotesque vaccine disparity was driven by "greed," as he called on drugmakers to prioritize supplying their COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries instead of lobbying rich countries to use even more doses.

His plea comes just as pharmaceutical companies are seeking authorisation for third doses to be used as boosters in some Western countries, including the U.S.

“We are making conscious choices right now not to protect those in need,” Tedros said, adding the immediate priority must be to vaccinate people who have yet to receive a single dose. - AP

(With inputs from Correspondents and Agencies)

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