Coronavirus updates | June 19, 2021

People crowd Chandni Chowk market that reopened after Delhi government eased some restrictions in the ongoing Covid-19 induced lockdown, in New Delhi, Thursday, June 17, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A third wave of COVID-19 infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the latest outbreak, the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, according to a Reuters poll of medical experts.

Of those who ventured a prediction, over 85% of respondents, or 21 of 24, said the next wave will hit by October, including three who forecast it as early as August, and 12 in September. The remaining three said the third wave would occur between November and February.

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:


Government lifts lockdown in Telangana

The Telangana government has totally lifted the lockdown in the State from Sunday. The decision was based on the reports of the Health Department that said the Covid cases and the positivity rate had dropped significantly and that the pandemic was fully under control in the State.

The Cabinet has asked the Education Department to start all categories of educational institutions with full preparedness from July 1. The students could appear for classes physically.

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Ensure COVID-appropriate behaviour is followed, Centre tells States

The Home Ministry has asked all States and Union Territories to keep a close watch while relaxing restrictions in a cautious manner and ensure that there is no complacency in adhering to COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and implement the test-track-treat-vaccinate strategy to contain the spread of infection.

In a letter to Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday said vaccination against COVID-19 in the present scenario was critical to break the chain of transmission and, therefore, the respective governments should step up the pace of vaccination to cover the maximum number of people in an expeditious manner. - Devesh K. Pandey

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Youngsters in Bengaluru raise over ₹40 lakh to help students affected by COVID-19

A network of high school and college-going students of Bengaluru have raised over ₹40 lakh in the last few months and served more than 11,000 people, including students and migrants, residing in slums and remote areas by donating rations, medical equipment and books.

The fundraising effort began through SPARK, a three-year-old student organisation, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Students resorted to crowdfunding and approached companies, alumni, and relatives for donations, said Akarsh Shroff, president, and Aakarshan Majumdar, vice-president of SPARK. Akarsh and Aakarshan are students.

Food kits containing essential items, such as rice, oil, dal, sugar, wheat flour and spices, were distributed to over 1,000 families residing in slums and migrants during the second wave.

Jammu and Kashmir

In Kashmir, a village basks in vaccine glory

Dr. Jehangeer Ahmad interacts with resident Zaveri Bano in Viewan village, Bandipora, north Kashmir on June 17, 2021.

Dr. Jehangeer Ahmad interacts with resident Zaveri Bano in Viewan village, Bandipora, north Kashmir on June 17, 2021.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD


Viewan in Kashmir has become the first village in India to vaccinate all its people with the first dose against COVID-19. Peerzada Ashiq reports on the challenges faced by officials in turning a reluctant village in a remote area into a role model for the country.

Read the complete report here.


Faced with shortage of drugs for black fungus, hospitals ration doses

The Karnataka government is grappling with a severe shortage of drugs to treat the fungal infection mucormycosis even as cases are on the rise. Doctors, too, have admitted to rationing doses.

On Friday, Karnataka State Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd. allotted 2,000 vials of Liposomal Amphotericin-B and 2,000 vials of Lipid Complex Amphotericin-B. But that is not enough to meet the daily demand. Multiple doctors told The Hindu that each patient requires five to seven vials of the drug a day. At five vials per person, the allotment is less than half the demand.


Mucormycosis fatality rate greater than that of COVID-19 in Karnataka

The mortality rate from mucormycosis or black fungus, a post-COVID complication, is higher than the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of COVID-19 in Karnataka.

While the State’s average CFR of COVID-19 is 1.2%, the mortality rate from mucormycosis has touched 7.8%. Till June 17, it had claimed 225 lives of the total 2,856 persons infected.

While 2,316 infected persons are undergoing treatment, 191 have been cured and 124 are reported to have left hospitals against medical advice, as per Health Department data. According to the data, Bengaluru Urban has 959 infected persons, the highest in the State. Of these, 825 are under treatment and 49 have recovered. As many as 72 persons have succumbed to the infection while 13 have left hospitals against medical advice here.

New Delhi

CSIR and Tata group to expand coronavirus testing into rural India

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has tied up with the Tata MD, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, to develop mobile testing laboratories to increase COVID-19 testing capacity in rural India.

The initiative will utilise CSIR’s network of close to 40 labs across India and help increase India’s testing capacity in smaller locations in the country. “CSIR and Tata MD will jointly develop the testing capacity and the RT-PCR CRISPR test will be done using the Tata MD CHECK SARS-CoV-2 test kits that are powered by FELUDA technology from CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB),” a statement from the Science Ministry said.


Bihar woman given both Covishield and Covaxin in 5 minutes

A Bihar woman, Sunila Devi, was administered shots of both the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines at an interval of five minutes on June 16. She is under the observation of a medical team and is said to be well.

Two auxiliary nurse midwives, Chanchala Kumari and Sunita Kumari, who were deputed to the camp, have been asked for an explanation over the incident.

Ms. Devi is said to have been jabbed twice “by mistake”. There were reportedly two separate lines for Covishield and Covaxin in one room of the school for both the age groups (18-44 years and above 45 years).

New Delhi

127 people fined per hour for not adhering to COVID norms

More than 3,000 people were issued fines every day over the last two months for not adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour with Delhi government teams finding and prosecuting as many as 127 offenders per hour.

Delhi government recorded highest daily violations on Thursday — 5,301.

As many as 1,89,307 people were fined for offences ranging from not wearing face masks — or wearing them improperly — non-adherence to social distancing norms and spitting in public places between April 17 and June 17, according to government records.

New Delhi

'Breach of COVID-19 norms in markets will hasten third wave,' says Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Friday took suo motu cognisance of violations of COVID-19 protocols at various markets across the Capital where people are seen not wearing masks and flouting social distancing norms.

A Bench of Justices Navin Chawla and Asha Menon said, “We have paid a huge price in the second wave. We do not know if there is any household that has not suffered in the second wave, closely or remotely.”

“Such breaches will only hasten the third wave, which is likely to come, and this cannot be permitted,” the HC said. The Bench issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government noting that strict measures were required to be implemented across the city to prevent further spread of COVID-19.


87.80% students pass class 12 board examination in Mizoram

The Mizoram Class-12 Board examinations result was announced on Friday with 87.80% of the students clearing the examination, an official said.

The class 12 board examination was held offline under strict COVID-19 protocols in April.

The pass percentage of girls was 88.81% while that of boys was 86.69%.


Class 10 and 12 board exams cancelled in Assam

The Assam government on Friday cancelled the Class 10 and 12 board exams in view of the COVID-19 situation in the State.

The State Cabinet had on June 16 advised the Education Department not to hold the board exams offline as the positivity rate had not dipped below a comfortable level.

“We decided not to hold the school board exams in order not to expose the students to infection,” the State’s Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said after a marathon meeting with officials of the Education Department and other stakeholders.


Legendary sprinter Milkha Singh dies after month-long battle with COVID-19

Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh died on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment.

The Padma Shri awardee was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.  "He breathed his last at 11.30 p.m.," a family spokesperson told PTI.

His condition turned critical this evening as he developed complications, including fever and dipping oxygen saturation levels, after a bout with COVID-19, in the Intensive Care Unit of the PGIMER hospital.

He had contracted COVID-19 last month and tested negative for the virus on Wednesday when he was shifted to general ICU in another block of the hospital. Milkha had been "stable" before Thursday evening.

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