Coronavirus updates | June 12, 2021

Passengers taking COVID-19 test before boarding the train at New Delhi Railway Station on Friday.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

The seven-day rolling average of daily vaccinations in the country stood at 30.27 lakh on June 10. The last time the figure had crossed the 30-lakh mark was nearly two months back, on April 17. Only 3.4% of the country’s population has received both doses, while 14.6% population has received at least the first shot of vaccine.

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:

Uttar Prades

UP: Union minister Smriti Irani inaugurates oxygen plant in Amethi

Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday inaugurated an oxygen production plant at the district hospital in Amethi, her parliamentary constituency, officials said.

Built at a cost of ₹ 75 lakh, the plant will be able to refill 100 cylinders everyday, they said.

District Magistrate Arun Kumar told reporters that seven to eight oxygen plant projects will soon start in the district. - PTI


Regulatory nod for conducting clinical trials of Colchicine on COVID-19 patients: CSIR

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to the CSIR and Laxai Life Sciences Private Limited to conduct clinical trial of Colchicine on COVID-19 patients, according to a statement on Saturday.

Ram Vishwakarma, the advisor to the CSIR Director General, said Colchicine in combination with standard care will be an important therapeutic intervention for COVID-19 patients with cardiac co-morbidities and also for reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to faster recovery.  A number of global studies have confirmed that cardiac complications during course of COVID-19 infections and post-Covid syndrome are leading to loss of many lives, and it is essential to look for new or repurposed drugs, he said.

"Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and Laxai Life Sciences Pvt Ltd Hyderabad, have been given the regulatory approval by DCGI to undertake a two-arm phase-II clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of the drug Colchicine in improvement of clinical outcomes during the treatment of COVID-19 patients,” the statement said.  The partner CSIR institutes in this important clinical trial are the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad and CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu. - PTI

New Delhi

Chances of 3rd wave quite real, Delhi govt preparing on war-footing: CM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday cautioned that the chances of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic were quite real, while he asserted that his government was preparing on a "war-footing" to combat it.

Indications are coming from the UK on the fear of the third wave. Cases are rising there, despite 45 per cent of vaccination. So, we cannot afford to sit idle, he said. - PTI


U.S. vaccine surplus grows by the day as expiration dates loom

The U.S. is confronted with an ever-growing surplus of coronavirus vaccine, looming expiration dates and stubbornly lagging demand at a time when the developing world is clamouring for doses to stem a rise in infections.

In Tennessee and North Carolina, demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has slowed down so much that they have given millions of doses back to the federal government, even though less than half of their total populations are vaccinated.

Oklahoma has not asked for new doses from the government for more than a month, spurning its 2,00,000-a-week allotment. Around the country, states are rushing to use up doses before they expire this summer.


China, U.S. diplomats clash over human rights, pandemic origin

Top U.S. and Chinese diplomats appear to have had another sharply worded exchange, with Beijing saying it told the U.S. to cease interfering in its internal affairs and accusing Washington of politicising the search for the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior Chinese foreign policy advisor Yang Jiechi and Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call on Friday that revealed wide divisions in a number of contentious areas, including the curtailing of freedoms in Hong Kong and the mass detention of Muslims in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

Calls for a more thorough investigation into the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 are particularly sensitive for China because of suggestions that it might have have escaped from a laboratory in the central city of Wuhan, where cases were first discovered.

Yang said China was “gravely concerned” over what he called “absurd” stories that the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab.


Thiruvananthapuram enters total lockdown

The State capital entered the two-day total lockdown declared by the government on Saturday in a bid to further rein in the COVID-19 spread.

While Thiruvananthapuram district had witnessed a considerable fall in the number of new cases last week, its test positivity rate rose to 16.88% on Friday, a few days after it had dropped below 15%. Staring at the prospect of yet another wave, the district administration and the police have clamped down on public movement.

The city remained largely deserted during the initial hours of the day with the police screening vehicles at 70 check-points designated across police station limits. Besides, the six entry points to the city have been barricaded to permit entry and exit for only those who require emergency medical attention or others exempted by the government from the purview of the restrictions.


‘Malls in Karnataka lost ₹2,000 crore every month since April 2020’

Malls in Karnataka lost sales worth ₹2,000 crore every month in the last 15 months, and the State lost revenue of ₹360 crore in the last two months alone, Shopping Centres’ Association of India (SCAI) has claimed.

Nationally, malls have lost up to ₹15,000 crore since the COVID-19 pandemic hit markets in March 2020. In the second wave, so far, the country as a whole lost ₹ 25,000 crore in tax revenue.

Malls in the country employ over 40 lakh people, and 30% of them have lost their jobs, both in retail and food sectors, in the last 15 months. If malls were not allowed to open and operate soon, mall owners and developers won't be able to hold up further and eventually it would lead to bigger job and revenue losses, cautioned Mukesh Kumar, Chairman, SCAI, an apex body that represents over 650 large malls and more than 1,000 shopping centres under 100,000 sq.ft. in the country.


Odisha’s daily COVID-19 cases drop below 5,000

Odisha reported less than 5,000 daily COVD-19 cases for the first time in 53 days with the State reporting 4,852 cases on June 12. The State last reported less than 5,000 cases at 4,851 on April 21. Odisha’s total case load stands at 8,47,313. It’s active cases stands at 62,515, which had once crossed the one lakh mark.

The State has been steadily reporting a decline in the daily spike in COVID-19 cases since the fourth week of May. Test Positivity Rate (TPR), an indication of prevalence of infection, is 7.22% compared to 7.87% on June 11.

47 persons were reported dead in the last 24 hours taking the total death toll to 3,257, the highest ever single-day death toll. As death audits have picked up at the district level, the number of deaths has been gradually rising.

Read more


A list of what is allowed in Bengaluru and what is not from June 14 to 21

While continuing the current lockdown restrictions in 11 districts that have high positivity rate for COVID-19, the Karnataka government on June 10 modified some of the restrictions imposed in other districts, including Bengaluru, from June 14 to 21.

  • Shops related to food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and dairy will function from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ration shops too will be open.
  • Standalone liquor shops will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Parks will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. for walking and jogging, but group activities are prohibited.
  • Street vendors can carry out their business from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Find the complete list here.


Expect restrictions till December: Experts

Although the second wave of COVID-19 appears to be subsiding, it is going to be a long wait for return of the pre-lockdown days in Karnataka, say experts. They warn that people will have to learn to live with some restrictions in place even beyond December.

The State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), that has recommended staggered unlocking in its report submitted to the government, has made it clear that all social, political and religious gatherings, public rallies, sit-ins/dharnas, fairs and festivals should not be allowed in all of 2021. Besides, it has recommended that all elections that involve canvassing and rallies or any other super-spreading events should not be held in 2021.


Covaxin’s launch in U.S. to be delayed after FDA requests additional data

In a setback to Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has “ recommended” Ocugen Inc, the U.S. partner of the Indian vaccine maker, to go for Biologics Licence Application (BLA) route with additional data, nixing hopes of Emergency Use Authorisation.

Ocugen in a statement on Thursday announced that as recommended by the FDA,it will pursue submission of a biologics licence application (BLA) for Covaxin.

BLA is a “full approval” mechanism by the FDA for drugs and vaccines.

“The company will no longer pursue an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for Covaxin. The FDA provided feedback to Ocugen regarding the Master File. The company had previously submitted and recommended that Ocugen pursue a BLA submission instead of an EUA application for its vaccine candidate and requested additional information and data,” Ocugen said.

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