Coronavirus updates | July 30, 2021

Kerala reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Thursday. The Centre is sending a six-member team to Kerala to aid the State's ongoing efforts in COVID-19 management.

July 30, 2021 09:29 am | Updated 10:38 pm IST

A boy, wearing a mask, looking out through the window of a bus, in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

A boy, wearing a mask, looking out through the window of a bus, in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

Bharat Biotech founder and CMD Krishna Ella said on July 29 that the company was expecting significant data on its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine in about two months.

Perceived as a game changer in the battle against the virus, the vaccine from the makers of Covaxin promises to deliver multiple benefits, from being more effective, since it is expected to generate immune responses at the site of infection (respiratory mucosa), to ease of administration and production.

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:


Jharkhand village on high alert; 21 found COVID-19 positive in the past 48 hours

Haradag Khurd, a village in the Garhwa District of Jharkhand has been put on high alert post the detection of as many as 21 COVID-19 positive cases in a short span of two days after the return of migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh, officials declared on Friday.

All 21 villagers, including eight children in the age group of 2 and 12 years have been admitted to Sadar Hospital, Garhwa and all of the primary contactees have been isolated.

One worker among the returnees from a Madhya Pradesh colliery area where the Delta plus variant of the contagion has been detected was initially found suffering from coronavirus and it’s suspected that the villagers might have caught the infection from him.



Biden asks states to offer the unvaccinated $100

U.S. President Joe Biden is asking states and localities to offer unvaccinated residents $100 to get their COVID-19 shots.

The cash reward for vaccination was one idea in Mr. Biden's latest plan to boost lagging vaccination rates in many parts of the nation. Rolled out Thursday, the core of his new plan is a requirement for federal workers to disclose their vaccination status to their agencies.

Mr. Biden is pointing to anecdotal evidence that a $100 reward will get results. The White House says the Kroger grocery store chain tried it and saw vaccination rates jump to 75% from 50% among employees. New Mexico, Ohio and Colorado have also experimented with the idea.

Biden says states and localities can use money from his COVID relief law to pay for the incentive programmes. - AP


Japan expands virus emergency after record spikes amid Games

Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to four more areas in addition to Tokyo on Friday following record spikes in infections as the capital hosts the Olympics.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared an emergency in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, near Tokyo, as well as in the western city of Osaka, effective Monday until August 31. Emergency measures already in place in Tokyo and the southern island of Okinawa will be extended until the end of August, after the Olympics and well into the Paralympics which start August 24.

Five other areas, including Hokkaido, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka, will be placed under less-stringent emergency restrictions. - AP


70 cases of Delta Plus variant found in genome sequencing in India, Lok Sabha told

Seventy cases of coronavirus Delta Plus variant were found in genome sequencing by INSACOG, a grouping of 28 laboratories involved in the task, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday.

In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, he said so far, 58,240 samples of SARS-CoV2 have been sequenced in the country and of these, 46,124 were analysed. A majority of these samples - 17,169 - were of Delta variant, Mr. Singh said.

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV2 was behind the deadly second wave in the country that killed thousands and infected lakhs from March to May. It is also driving the pandemic in different parts of the world. This variant of coronavirus was first detected in India. - PTI


Noida residents asked for info on travellers from high-risk states

Amid a possible third wave of COVID-19, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Health Department has asked Noida and Greater Noida residents to alert it about people coming from nine high-risk states, including Kerala and Maharashtra.

A communication in this regard was issued. The communique stated that Uttar Pradesh has been able to keep the rate of COVID-19 transmission lower than many states due to a lot of efforts and there is a need to keep the rate low as precaution against rise in cases of the virus.

The nine high-risk states mentioned by the CMO are Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, according to the communique. - PTI


Nepalese citizens entering India through Pithoragarh to be tested at border

Nepalese citizens entering India through the three main border bridges in the Pithoragarh district will now have to undergo a rapid antigen test on arrival before they are allowed to proceed further, a senior official said on Friday.

"We took the decision after the corona negative reports carried by some of the Nepalese migrants from their country were found to be fake," Pithoragarh's Chief Medical Officer HC Pant said. - PTI

Andhra Pradesh

Night curfew in Andhra extended till August 14

The government extended the night curfew (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) till August 14 as part of its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

It was stated that the government took several steps to check the spread of COVID-19 with focus on testing, tracing and treating the infected persons and on vaccination and instilling COVID-19 - appropriate behaviour among the people. 

The decision to extend the night curfew has been taken after a thorough review of the situation.


Sri Lanka

Indian contingent leaves Sri Lankan shores, Krunal Pandya remains in isolation

The Indian cricket contingent on Friday left the Sri Lankan shores after completing a six-match white-ball series but visiting all-rounder Krunal Pandya remained in mandatory isolation to recover from COVID-19.

However, it couldn’t be confirmed whether the two UK-bound players -- Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw -- are leaving from the Sri Lankan capital itself or will be coming back to India on a charter plane with the rest of the squad before flying off again.

India lost the T20 series 1-2 after several players of the squad had to be isolated owing to Krunal’s infection.

New Delhi

CII, Serum Institute of India join hands for vaccination drive in smaller towns, rural areas

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has entered into an agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII) to accelerate vaccination in partnership with industry, including healthcare providers.

In a release issued by CII on Friday, it said that the vaccination drive will target communities in India’s small towns and rural areas to ensure wide coverage.

“India’s post-pandemic growth critically rests on how soon the eligible population is vaccinated and economic activities can return to normal. CII aims to connect the community, hospitals and corporates to fast-track vaccination, and the partnership with Serum Institute will help catalyse industry participation to reach out to communities at large,” said T.V. Narendran, president, CII.

Andhra Pradesh

DRDO developing oxygen cylinders to meet COVID-19 needs: Chairman

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) hit the headlines two months ago when the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved anti-COVID oral drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed by it.

Having transferred many technologies to the industry sector in general and healthcare in particular during the pandemic, the DRDO has now geared up to supply small oxygen cylinders to the patients in the event of the third wave of coronavirus pandemic, apart from manufacturing 2-DG drug in a massive way.

Speaking to  The Hindu , DRDO G. Satheesh Reddy says that the DRDO contributed 350 technologies to the industry during the last one year.

New Delhi

HC asks govts. to reply on COVID-19 relief plea

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre and the AAP government to respond to the grievances raised by two minor siblings seeking implementation of scheme to give compensation to those who lost their sole breadwinner to COVID-19.

Justice Rekha Palli granted three weeks’ time to the authorities to submit their affidavits while posting the case for further hearing on August 26.

“Respondents pray for time to seek instructions on whether grievances of the petitioners can be addressed expeditiously. Respondents also granted three weeks’ time to file counter,” the court said.

Tamil Nadu

Teachers of government, aided schools to return on August 2

Teachers of government and aided schools across Tamil Nadu have been asked to start coming back to school from August 2.

In a circular, the School Education Commissioner and the Director of Elementary Education asked District Educational Officers and Chief Educational Officers to ensure that all safety norms laid down by the State government for the prevention of COVID-19 are followed by school heads and teachers. Staff members who are cancer patients, have heart issues, are highly diabetic, disabled, or are undergoing treatment from COVID-19 can be granted exemption from coming to school by the CEOs or DEOs, provided that they submit the necessary medical documents pertaining to their health conditions, the circular said.

Tamil Nadu

No concessions for marriage hall owners, says High Court

The Madras High Court on Thursday held that those owning valuable properties such as marriage halls in the city did not deserve any concession in payments of water or sewerage charges by citing the COVID-19 lockdown.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam held so while dismissing a writ petition filed by the Chennai Kalyana Mandapam Owners’ Association, which complained about the payment of water and sewerage charges being demanded from its members based on new rental values.

A counsel representing the petitioner association said the new rental value was yet to be finalised, and hence it was not fair on the part of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to demand charges based on such inconclusive values.

Tamil Nadu

Pandemic puts the brakes on organ transplants in T.N.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down organ transplants in Tamil Nadu . Though a few hospitals continued to perform living donor kidney and liver transplants throughout the pandemic, some of the major hospitals — especially in the government sector — had to push back transplantations after being flooded with COVID-19 cases.

Though resumption of services is on the cards, the pandemic has brought along a set of challenges for transplant teams. Patient safety is a key priority.

Officials said the deceased donor transplant programme was slowly picking up. “Soon after the lockdown in March last year, the programme came to a standstill in April for want of protocols. Transplant services resumed in May after protocols were drafted but there were fewer donors owing to the lockdown...,” an official said.


Karnataka HC seeks government response on PIL on safety of doctors

The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday sought the State government’s response on a PIL petition seeking measures to protect medical practitioners from attacks from the relatives of patients and to appoint a joint expert committee to address the grievances of doctors.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice N.S. Sanjay Gowda issued the direction on the petition, filed by Vinod G. Kulkarni, a neuropsychiatric from Hubballi. The petitioner complained that attacks on medical professionals, particularly doctors, by the family members of patients were on the rise and several such instances were reported during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Andhra Pradesh

IMA opposes order to install oxygen plants in pvt hospitals

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has opposed the GO 57 issued by the State government recently making it mandatory for hospitals in the State to install captive oxygen plants and keep sufficient oxygen cylinders. The government stated that the hospital registration would be cancelled if the instructions in the GO were not followed.

The Andhra Pradesh Private Nursing Homes and Hospitals Association (APNA), Andhra Pradesh Speciality Hospitals Association (ASHA), and the Aarogyasri Network Hospitals Association of Andhra Pradesh (ANHAAP) have extended their support and solidarity with the IMA in this regard.

ANHAAP president B.Narendra Reddy expressed the view that the government should have brought only COVID hospitals under the purview of the GO 57. Instead, all private hospitals were asked to install PSA oxygen plants or maintain liquid medical oxygen (LMO) tanks. It would be burdensome for the hospitals.


Kerala COVID-19 spike: Kodagu on alert as DC visits checkpost

In view of the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in Kerala, the Kodagu district administration has told the health authorities to tighten screening at the border checkposts.

Deputy Commissioner Charulatha Somal on Thursday visited the Karike checkpost bordering Kerala and inspected the measures taken for screening travellers entering the State.

She told the officers in charge of the checkpost and screening teams to be on alert and ensure that the government guidelines were followed without any lack of attention in the wake of a spurt in cases in the neighbouring State.


Rahul Gandhi urges people in Kerala to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines

Amid rising cases of coronavirus in Kerala, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday appealed to people in the state to follow all safety measures and guidelines.

Kerala reported over 22,000 coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Thursday. The Central government is sending a six-member team to Kerala to aid the state's ongoing efforts in COVID-19 management.

"Rising cases of Coronavirus infections in Kerala are worrying," Gandhi said.  "I appeal to our brothers and sisters in the state to follow all safety measures & guidelines. Please take care," the MP from Kerala's Wayanad said in a tweet.



Biden steps up efforts to fight virus surge fuelled by Delta variant

President Joe Biden on Thursday stepped up actions to combat the spread of the surging Delta variant of the coronavirus, asking every U.S. federal worker to either declare they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear masks and be tested.

“We have the tools to prevent this new wave of COVID from shutting down our businesses, our schools, our society as we saw happen last year,” the veteran Democrat said in a speech on his administration's new initiatives.

The White House said just ahead of the address that all four million federal employees and on-site contractors “will be asked to attest to their vaccination status.”


All those above 18 receive vaccination in remote panchayat in Odisha

All eligible persons above 18 in a remote panchayat in Odisha’s Nuapada district have received COVID-19 vaccine.

“All eligible persons above age of 18 have been inoculated in Kushumjore panchayat. Vaccination in the panchayat which is close to Chhattisgarh border was taken up on mission mode,” Bhairab Charan Panigrahi, an Ayush doctor who was assigned to work with the community in the panchayat.

A total of 2,593 persons were administered the first dose where people were very reluctant to receive it. They had a fear that they would die in three months following inoculation.

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