Coronavirus live updates | West Bengal eases COVID-19 restrictions; offices allowed to function with 25% workforce

Tiplers waiting in front of the TASMAC elite shop in Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu on Monday, June 14, 2021. The Tamil Nadu government has permitted reopening of the liquor outlets in districts where there is reduced case load of COVID-19 cases.   | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

While 15% of the country’s population has received at least one dose, only 3.5% are fully vaccinated. The figures are based on the estimated population in 2021.

The share of people who are fully vaccinated in comparable economies such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa is 11.07%, 9.78% and 0.81%, respectively. Among neighbouring countries, about 2.57% of Bangladesh’s population is fully vaccinated while the figure for Pakistan and Sri Lanka stood at 1.29% and 2.02%, respectively.

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:

West Bengal

Bengal eases COVID-19 restrictions; offices allowed to function with 25% workforce

The West Bengal administration on June 14 allowed government and private offices to function with 25% workforce from June 16, easing some of the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 as the situation has improved now, a top official said.

Employers have to arrange for transporting employees as restrictions on public transportation services will continue till further orders, Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi said. — PTI

Read more


Novavax claims 90% efficacy for its vaccine

Vaccine maker Novavax said Monday its shot was highly effective against COVID-19 and also protected against variants in a large, late-stage study in the U.S. and Mexico.

The vaccine was about 90% effective overall and preliminary data showed it was safe, the company said.

While demand for COVID-19 shots in the U.S. has dropped dramatically, the need for more vaccines around the world remains critical. The Novavax vaccine, which is easy to store and transport, is expected to play an important role in boosting vaccine supplies in the developing world. — AP

Read more

New Delhi

Paytm launches vaccine appointment booking feature on app

Fintech major Paytm on June 14 said its users will now be able to book vaccination appointment on the app apart from finding available slots.

"Paytm users can now search, discover & also book their vaccination slots for both Covaxin and Covishield at the nearest centre through the Paytm app. The service would help Indians seamlessly book vaccination slots and gain immunity, helping in fighting the ongoing pandemic," Paytm said in a statement.

"It is our endeavour to help India come out of this pandemic a lot stronger. Our vaccine finder will help citizens seamlessly book slots at the nearest centre and get vaccinated," a Paytm spokesperson said. — PTI


No new case reported in Dharavi in 24 hours

The slum colony of Dharavi in Mumbai did not report a single COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours, a clean slate feat in one of the world's densest urban settlements achieved for the first time since February 2, a civic official said on June 14.

Dharavi's infection tally stands unchanged at 6,861, while the active caseload is 13, comprising seven in hospitals and six in home isolation, he added.

The recovery count of the area, which reported its first case on April 1, 2020 and a single-day high of 99 on April 8 this year during the second wave, is 6,489.

Spread over 2.5 sq km and housing a mix of shanties and micro industrial units, Dharavi is home to almost 6.5 lakh people. — PTI

New Delhi

Pune-based start-up develops mask that inactivates novel coronavirus

A Pune-based start-up has integrated 3D printing and pharmaceuticals to develop a mask which inactivates viral particles that come in contact with it, the Department Science and Technology said.

Developed by Thincr Technologies India Private Limited, these masks are coated with anti-viral agents known otherwise as virucides.

The coating has been tested and shown to inactivate the SARS-CoV-2, the DST said, adding the material used in it is a Sodium Olefin Sulfonate-based mixture, a soap-forming agent.

In contact with enveloped viruses, it disrupts the outer membrane of the virus. The ingredients used are stable at room temperature and are widely used in cosmetics. — PTI

New Delhi

ASI monuments, museums to reopen on June 16

All Centrally protected monuments, sites and museums would be reopened on Wednesday, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said on Monday. The 3,691 monuments and sites protected by the ASI were closed on April 15 due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said the Ministry had given the go-ahead for their reopening and that visitors would have to follow COVID-19 related protocols.

The ASI said in its order that they would be reopened “in strict compliance with the executive orders, if any, issued by State/District Disaster Management Authority”. - Damini Nath

New Delhi

Recruitment for clinical trial of Covaxin in 6-12 age group to start at AIIMS from June 15

The recruitment for the clinical trial of the country's first indigenously-developed COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, among children in the age group of 6-12 years will begin at the AIIMS in New Delhi from June 15.

This will be followed by the clinical trial of children in the age-group of 2-6 years. The enrolment of children volunteers aged 12-18 years at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has been completed and they have been given the first dose of Covaxin.

"The recruitment process for the clinical trial of Covaxin among children in the age group of 6-12 years will begin from Tuesday," Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine at the AIIMS, told PTI.

In the trial, the vaccine will be given by the intramuscular route in two doses on day 0 and day 28. The clinical trials will evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of the vaccine in children. — PTI

New Delhi

Government invites bids for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to remote areas by drones

The government has invited bids for the use of drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and drugs to remote and difficult-to-reach areas to ensure last-mile coverage in select locations of the country.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted a successful feasibility study in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and has developed a standard protocol for the delivery of vaccines using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), according to the bid document. — PTI

Read more


As COVID-19-induced lockdown curbs ease, traffic jam returns in Bengaluru

The notorious traffic snarls returned to haunt Bengaluru as the lockdown curbs imposed more than a month ago to contain COVID-19 were eased on June 14.

Hundreds of vehicles coming from the neighbouring Hosur in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu were seen stuck in long queues at Attibele in Bengaluru. The chaotic traffic extended up to Bommanahalli and Silk Board Junction.

There was a chock-a-block at Freedom Park, Seshadripuram, Malleswaram, Town Hall, Richmond Road and Kempe Gowda Road right in the middle of the city as well.

Banashankari and areas near Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) too saw traffic jams. — PTI

Tamil Nadu

Chennai youth raises funds, helps two hospitals with COVID-19 relief

Skanda Vyas Srinivasan, a youth from Chennai along with father, has raised ₹38 lakh towards COVID-19 relief -- from organising PPE kits to oxygen concentrators.

After seeing the rising number of cases and the shortage of beds and equipment, he decided to pitch in along with father and raise funds, and managed to help VHS and Hindu Mission Hospital, according to a press release.

Read more


Bengaluru: Small clinics still wary of opening

Though COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru appear to be on the wane, and the government has relaxed lockdown restrictions from Monday till June 21, general physicians, dentists, ophthalmologists, and paediatricians who had shut their clinics for over a month have said it may take a few weeks to return to normality.

According to Sudarshan Sajjan, secretary of the Indian Dental Association-Bengaluru, concerns continue to persist over close contact with patients. “We have let individual practitioners take a call. Though most of the doctors are fully vaccinated, their families are not. Many have decided to wait till the city achieves significant vaccination cover; if not, at least till their families are vaccinated,” he said.

Read more

New Delhi

Illegal adoption posts: NCPCR warns social media sites of action

The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram over the issue of illegal social media posts offering children orphaned due to COVID-19 for adoption and warned them that failure to report such posts will invite “strict action”.

“It is requested that in cases where such posts are posted on your online social media platforms, information about the same must be reported to the law enforcement authorities and/or National Commission or State Commission of the State/ UT concerned and provide the details of the IP address, origin of the post and other such relevant details,” NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo wrote in a letter on June 13.

The apex child rights body has also demanded an action taken report “within 10 days” from each of the four entities.

Read more


High-level meet in Kerala to weigh benefits, risks of easing restrictions

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on June 14 will weigh the benefits against the risks of further relaxing the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

An official said the perceived risks included the growing fear about an impending third wave, the seemingly unrelenting test positivity rate, and the possibility of a dangerous slide to complacency.

On Monday, Kerala woke out of a 48-hour weekend lockdown that had brought life, mobility, retail, production and commerce to a standstill. Officials said the government would have to factor in the palpable and mounting frustration over the crippling shutdown.


Suga wins support from G7 for hosting Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has won the support from the other leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) for his country hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer.

Speaking after talks in Carbis Bay on June 14, he told reporters he had explained how “thorough infection control” would be in place to safeguard the Games.

In a communique following their summit, the G-7 leaders reiterated their support for holding the Games in a safe and secure manner “as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19”.

Mr. Suga said he had been “reassured” by this support and promised to renew his determination “to properly open” the Games and make them a success.


Dedicated COVID-19 facility for pregnant women in Bengaluru sees 300th delivery

Amid a ferocious second wave of COVID-19, the Hajee Sir Ismail Sait (HSIS) Gosha Hospital in Bengaluru saw the successful completion of the 300th delivery on Saturday.

The State-run hospital, attached to Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute, is the dedicated COVID-19 facility for pregnant women in the city.

Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar tweeted: “HSIS Gosha Government Hospital in Bengaluru achieved a remarkable milestone on June 12. It successfully carried out 300th delivery among Covid positive pregnant women! Kudos to all the doctors, nurses and staff of the hospital.”

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu government allows tea shops to function in 27 districts

Tea shops were allowed to open after the Tamil Nadu government's relaxation of restrictions on June 14, 2021.

Tea shops were allowed to open after the Tamil Nadu government's relaxation of restrictions on June 14, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu


The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced that tea shops will be allowed to function from June 14 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m in 27 of the 38 districts in the State. The tea shops will however only be allowed to provide parcel service. The government has also allowed sweets and savoury shops to function from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and these too can provide only parcel service.

In a press release the government said tea shops will be allowed to function in all the districts except seven Western districts including Coimbatore and four Delta districts including Thanjavur where the spread of Covid-19 is not yet fully under control.

The announcement came in the wake of widespread criticism against the government for allowing Tasmac liquor outlets to be open but not allowing tea shops to operate.

New Delhi

Shops, markets to remain open on all days from today in Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on June 13 announced that all shops and markets that were permitted to open last week as a part of unlock measures on an odd-even basis would be allowed to open every day from June 14 onwards. Restaurants had also been allowed to open with 50% of their seating capacity, he said.

Restrictions on marriages would continue with a maximum of 20 people in attendance and they could take place only at home or in court.

Mr. Kejriwal said that authorities would monitor the situation at mall, markets and restaurants and if COVID-19 guidelines were not being followed or the number of cases start rising, they would be shut. He added that religious places would be allowed to open but no visitors would be allowed.


New online system for COVID-19 death reporting in Kerala

Following criticism over the alleged “less-than-honest” manner in which Kerala was reporting its COVID-19 deaths, the Health Department is now rolling out an online, real-time reporting system, which will ensure transparency, accountability and completeness in COVID-19 death reporting henceforth.

The system, developed by e-health division, is being rolled out on a trial basis on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 death reporting in the State has been mired in controversies right from the time of the first wave and inconsistencies in reporting, gaps in data and the unusual disparities in mortality rate between districts have led to allegations of data manipulation by the State.

Tamil Nadu

TASMAC outlets permitted only in districts with reduced case load, says Minister

TASMAC liquor shops reopened in parts of the State on June 14, 2021. In the picture, people are seen buying liquor from a TASMAC outlet in Chennai.

TASMAC liquor shops reopened in parts of the State on June 14, 2021. In the picture, people are seen buying liquor from a TASMAC outlet in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: Jothi Ramalingam B.


Minister for Prohibition and Excise V. Senthil Balaji said the State government has permitted reopening of TASMAC outlets only in districts where case load has reduced and it has not been permitted in 11 districts where daily cases are higher.

Talking to presspersons, Mr.Balaji said, “The Chief Minister ordered closure of TASMAC outlets on May 10 considering the increase in COVID-19 cases. Now, TASMAC outlets have been permitted to be open in 27 districts where the disease spread has reduced. Outlets are not permitted to function in 11 districts in which disease spread is yet to reduce.”

Some people were trying to portray that only TASMAC outlets have been permitted to function. However, export businesses with 50% staff, home appliances and mobile phone stores, hardware outlets have also been given relaxations in 27 districts and 11 districts have also been given certain relaxations.


No greater risk to children from anticipated third wave: report

There is no evidence so far to conclude that children face a greater risk of infection or are at greater danger from a COVID-19 infection from an anticipated third wave, according to a report from The Lancet COVID-19 Commission India Task Force. The group consists of paediatric experts from across the country comprising clinicians from top government medical colleges and large private or charitable hospitals.

They were tasked with examining the evidence and recommending practical clinical tools and strategies for providers, and guidance for policymakers and the public to effectively address COVID-19 in children. Though data from India were limited, the mortality rate amongst hospitalised COVID-19 positive children below the age of 10 (excluding neonates) was 2.4%. About 40% of the children who had died had co-morbidities and 9% of all hospitalised COVID-positive children presented with severe illness, all under 10 years of age. These observations were similar during the two surges of COVID-19 infections in India.


Excess deaths in Hyderabad are 10 times the official COVID-19 toll for Telangana

The number of “excess deaths” registered in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) ever since COVID-19 hit (from April 2020 to May 2021), is over 10 times the officially recorded figure of 3,275 deaths for the corresponding period in the entire State of Telangana. There were an estimated 32,752 “excess deaths” — 18,420 between April and December 2020 and 14,332 between January and May 2021.

Excess deaths in the GHMC were calculated based on the number of death certificates issued. The month-wise number for the last two years was accessed by The Hindu and compared with data for 2016 to 2019 that were obtained via an RTI. The 2021 figures were analysed till May 31.

For the first five months of 2021, the 14,332 excess deaths in the city corporation limits were 8.2 times more than the official COVID19 death toll of 1,740 for the entire State. These “excess deaths” were calculated as the difference between the 36,041 certified deaths in 2021 and the average number of certified deaths in the same period in the pre-pandemic years between 2016 and 2019 (21,709).

Read the full story here.

(With inputs from our Correspondents and Agencies)

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

Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 2:59:07 AM |

Next Story