Coronavirus updates | July 23, 2021

People queue up for the COVID-19 test in Vijayawada on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: GIRI KVS

Given the robust and statute-based death registration system in the country, while some cases could go undetected as per the principles of infectious disease and its management, missing out on deaths was unlikely, said the Union Health Ministry in a release issued on Thursday in response to allegations of “missing COVID-19 deaths”.

“This could also be seen in the case fatality rate, which, as on 31st December 2020, stood at 1.45% and even after an unexpected surge observed in the second wave in April-May 2021, the case fatality rate today stands at 1.34%,” it stated.

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:

India

Over 2.75 crore unutilised vaccine doses still available with states, private hospitals: Govt

More than 2.75 crore balance and unutilized COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the  states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

Over 43.87 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far through all sources and a further 71,40,000 doses are in the pipeline, it said.

Of this, the total consumption including wastage is 41,12,30,353 doses.

The new phase of universalisation of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from June 21. - PTI

Haryana

Haryana hospitals to refund excess amount charged from COVID-19 patients

Private hospitals in Haryana’s Panchkula district will refund an amount of ₹21.46 lakh ‘overcharged’ from COVID-19 patients for their treatment, even as they are in the process of refunding a similarly charged amount of ₹35.43 lakh.

The latest amount of ₹21.46 lakh has been calculated after self-audit of bills by the hospitals from March 1 to April 30. A district-level committee was constituted by Haryana Speaker and local MLA Gian Chand Gupta to look into complaints of ‘overcharging’ by private hospitals during the second wave of COVID-19.

Mr. Gupta said that on the recommendations of the committee an amount of ₹35.43 lakh in different cases that was ‘overcharged’ was already being returned by private hospitals. “Apart from this, an additional amount of ₹21.46 lakh calculated after self-audit of bills by private hospitals will be paid to the patients and their families,” he said.

Read more
 

New Zealand

New Zealand suspends quarantine-free travel with Australia

New Zealand will pause its quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia for at least eight weeks from Friday night, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as Australia fights an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta virus variant.

“We’ve always said that our response would evolve as the virus evolved. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but it is the right decision to keep New Zealanders safe,” Ms. Ardern told reporters in Auckland.

The “travel bubble” had already been paused for travellers to and from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

- Reuters

Karnataka

Elderly men constitute a big percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Bengaluru

Always warned about being one of the most vulnerable groups susceptible to infection, senior citizens have been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proof is in the numbers: of the 15,815 COVID-19 deaths in Bengaluru as on July 21, more than 10,000 were men. Of these, 3,425 were above the age of 70, while 2,458 were in the 60-69 category. As many as 1,983 were aged between 50 and 59, while 1,318 were men between the age of 40 and 49, and 639 were in the 30-39 bracket. Even among the younger age groups, more men lost their lives. Most female fatalities too were in the over 70 age group (1,811), followed by those in the 60-69 and 50-59 brackets.

Dominic Benjamin, head of the Department of Medicine, Bangalore Baptist Hospital, said the fatalities were the result of a lower immune system. “People in this part of the world are frail. Chronic diseases are not taken care of. A lot of factors have contributed, including not being aware and not getting vaccinated against other viruses. Most of those who died were obese or their BP was not under control. In India, the biological age is more than the chronological age. So someone who is 60 may be going on 70, and not resilient enough to bounce back,” he said.

Karnataka

Expert committee wants lower primary classes to reopen first in Karnataka

The expert committee established by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education to look into the reopening of schools, after they were shut due to the ongoing pandemic, wants all pre-primary and lower primary classes opened from August 2. Committee members have suggested that all classes on campus should resume at the earliest. However, a source in the committee said that if the government is keen on a phased reopening, then classes I to V should be prioritised.

“We have suggested that students in classes I to III should attend school in the morning, while those enrolled in classes IV and V can come to school in the afternoon. After a week, physical classes for students in classes VI to second pre-university can be reopened,” the source said.

The committee has suggested that classes on campus be held at least six days a week for three hours every day. “Classes should be held every day so that there is continuity in learning. Young children learn best through face-to-face interactions with adults and online learning should be the last resort,” the source added.

New Delhi

Delhi govt. reserves Covishield for second dose

Due to vaccine shortage, the Delhi government on Thursday reserved Covishield only for the second dose in all government-run vaccination centres till July 31, as per an official order.

“Vaccination of 18 to 44 beneficiaries began on May 1, 2021 and with the completion of the 84-day interval for second dose of Covishield, many of them would now become eligible for second dose in coming weeks. In view of limited supply of vaccine, all slots, both for online booking and for walk-in vaccination in government CVCs administering Covishield vaccine will be reserved for second dose of Covishield with immediate effect till July 31, 2021,” the order said.

Belgium

Half of Europeans vaccinated as Germany warns on rising virus cases

More than half of all European adults are now fully vaccinated, the EU said on Thursday, as countries across Europe and Asia battled fresh outbreaks blamed on the fast-spreading Delta variant.

The European Central Bank said uncertainty over the wave of infections meant it was keeping the cash taps open to ensure the nascent economic recovery isn't snuffed out.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said cases in her country were rising "exponentially", while in Japan the delayed Olympic Games were set to open with almost no spectators and with a blanket of Covid rules in place.

Rajasthan

Schools in Rajasthan to reopen from August 2

Schools in Rajasthan will reopen from August 2 following a decline in the number of infection cases. The Cabinet agreed for reopening of schools, colleges and universities at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot here on Thursday.

Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra said after the meeting while the schools would reopen from August 2, the date for other educational institutions would be announced later along with the standard operating procedure.

The Cabinet considered the opinion of medical experts about the resumption of educational activities at the meeting and discussed the situation in other States where a similar decision had been taken after the second wave.

 

Support for orphans sees varying progress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in May that the government would launch a slew of welfare measures for children who had lost their parents to COVID-19. The elaborate plan had components of the setting up of a corpus, ensuring their education requirements, and other health and social support. This was followed by similar announcements by different State governments. Nearly two months down the line, the project is in varying levels of implementation in the States, with respect to enumerating the children and sanctioning the funds for their upkeep.

Read the report on the progress in different States here.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:00:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-live-july-23-2021-updates/article35481907.ece

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