Coronavirus updates | October 28, 2021

Paramedical staff collect samples from police personnel for COVID-19 test in Vijayawada on October 27, 2021 | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI
The Hindu Net Desk 28 October 2021 08:15 IST
Updated: 28 October 2021 22:40 IST

Over 11 crore people who have taken the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine have not got themselves jabbed with the second dose even after the expiry of the prescribed interval between two doses, according to government data. The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 103.99 crore, the Union Health Ministry said

After 19 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools in the national capital will reopen from November 1 for all classes with 50% student strength, though classes will continue in the hybrid mode and no student will be forced to attend them offline, the Delhi Government said on Wednesday.

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The Delhi University will wait for guidelines from the city government before reopening colleges, according to a senior varsity official.

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:


'97% people surveyed have antibodies against COVID-19 in Delhi'

Ninety-seven per cent of 28,000 people, whose blood samples were collected in September from across the city, have developed antibodies against COVID-19, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday.

Blood samples of random people of different age groups were collected as part of a serological survey to check how many of them have developed antibodies against the virus.

"Overall positivity is 97%. All 11 districts have a positivity above 95%," Health Minister Satyendar Jain said while addressing the media.

Last such full survey done in January had shown that 56.13% of people surveyed had antibodies.

Read more  


Similipal National Park to open for tourists from November 1

The authorities of Similipal National Park has decided to open Asia's second-largest biosphere reserve for public from November 1, an official notification said.

The Similipal National Park comprising the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) located in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district is spread over 2,750 sq km, which remained closed for tourists in view of the monsoon. However, the park remained closed in May 2021 in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, said Field Director of STR M Yogajayanand. -PTI


Antidepressant fluvoxamine may reduce risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation: Lancet study

An inexpensive repurposed drug, fluvoxamine, may reduce hospital admissions in high-risk COVID-19 patients by up to 30 per cent, according to a study published in The Lancet Global Health journal.

Fluvoxamine is currently used to treat mental health conditions such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. It was chosen for study as a potential treatment for COVID-19 due to its anti-inflammatory properties. -PTI


Bharat Biotech's Covaxin finds place in Oman's list of approved COVID-19 vaccines

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has been included to the approved list of COVID-19 vaccines for travel to Oman without quarantine.

In a tweet, Bharat Biotech noted: "Covaxin has now been added to the approved list of #COVID19 vaccines for travel to Oman without quarantine. This will facilitate travelers from India vaccinated with Covaxin." The vaccine major cited a press release issued by the Embassy of India, Muscat, in this regard. -PTI


Parts of northeast China on heightened alert as COVID-19 returns

A few border cities in northeastern China started to tighten COVID-19 measures, restricting travel and limiting gatherings in public spaces, and some declared a "pre-war" mode of vigilance and monitoring, as China combats an outbreak hitting mainly the north.

China reported 23 locally transmitted symptomatic cases for Wednesday, official data showed on Thursday, down from 50 a day earlier, bringing the total number to 270 since Oct. 17, when the current outbreak began. -Reuters


Maharashtra Home Minister tests positive for COVID-19

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil tested positive for COVID-19. "After experiencing mild symptoms I decided to get tested for COVID-19. I have tested positive. My condition is stable and I am following my doctor’s advice. I urge all those who came in contact with me during Nagpur & Amravati tour, & other programs, to get themselves tested," he said. -Maharashtra TH Bureau


Active COVID-19 cases in country lowest in 243 days

With 16,156 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,42,31,809, while the active cases declined to 1,60,989, the lowest in 243 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The death toll climbed to 4,56,386 with 733 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 34 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 123 consecutive days now.

The active cases comprise 0.47% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.20%, the highest since March 2020, the Health Ministry said. -PTI

New Zealand

New Zealand to start easing COVID-19 border restrictions

New Zealand said on Thursday it would ease coronavirus border restrictions that have been in place since March 2020, and move to a system of home isolation for fully vaccinated overseas arrivals from early next year.

The country was the among the first to shut down its borders in response to the pandemic last year, and has retained these tough border restrictions - leaving many expatriate citizens and residents stranded for months. -Reuters


Travel guidelines for international passengers to Karnataka revised

The Karnataka government has revised travel guidelines to make RT-PCR reports mandatory for all international passengers coming to the State. The notification, issued on October 25, stated that those coming from abroad must submit a self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal and upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey.

Read more  


Physical classes for students of Standards I to VIII from November 8

The Puducherry government has decided to resume physical classes for students of Standards I to VIII on November 8.

Announcing this at a press conference on Wednesday, Education Minister A. Namassivayam said in-person classes with COVID-19 protocols will start from November 8 in the Union Territory. Classes will be held from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

Read more  


Australia eases COVID-19 travel advisory ahead of border reopening

Australia on Thursday eased its COVID-related travel advice for several countries including the United States, Britain and Canada as it prepares to reopen its borders next week for the first time in over 18 months.

Australia will lift its outbound travel ban for fully vaccinated residents from November 1 following a strong uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, as Sydney and Melbourne, its biggest cities, look to welcome overseas travellers without quarantine. -Reuters


WHO says likely to receive clarifications from Bharat Biotech on Covaxin by weekend

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday said it expects to receive clarifications from Bharat Biotech by the end of this week on its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, and will meet on November 3 for a final risk-benefit assessment for the Emergency Use Listing.

“WHO Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is an independent advisory group that provides recommendations to WHO on whether a #COVID19 vaccine can be listed for emergency use under the EUL procedure,” the WHO tweeted. -PTI


1st-year UG, PG classes in Odisha to begin from Nov

Physical classes for the first-year undergraduate and post-graduate students in Odisha for the 2021-22 academic session will begin from November 1 and 15 respectively following Covid-19 protocols, The Higher Education Department said on Wednesday.

Hostels facilities would be made available to the students and coronavirus guidelines should also be followed there. -PTI


Moderna COVID-19 shot could start being used in children, teens 'within weeks,' CEO says

Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine could start to be used in children and teens in the United States within weeks, its chief executive said in an interview ahead of the Reuters Total Health conference, which will run virtually from November 15-18.

Moderna CEO Staphane Bancel said based on dialogue with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he believes his company's COVID-19 vaccine will be authorized for 12- to 17-year-olds in the next few weeks. -Reuters


‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign for door-to-door Covid vaccination in poor performing districts: Government

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ campaign will be launched over the next one month for door-to-door COVID-19 vaccination in poor performing districts to enthuse and motivate people towards full vaccination against the deadly infection.

“No district should be without full vaccination,” he said during a national review meeting with health ministers of various States and Union Territories (UTs), according to a statement by the Health Ministry. -PTI


Spain to give different booster to strengthen J&J vaccine

People who received a shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be offered a second dose from a different drug maker, Spain’s health authorities said on Wednesday.

Spain’s Health Ministry said that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has proven to be less effective than other vaccines. So Spaniards who have received it will now be offered a booster shot of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccines once three months have passed. -AP


Mild to moderate cases in home isolation can infect only one-third contacts: WHO-MAMC study

Mild to moderate coronavirus cases under home isolation can infect only one-third contacts in seven to 10 days of exposure and thus there is no need to set up special Covid care centers for such patients, according to a study conducted over six months in Delhi.

Maulana Azad Medical College, which conducted the research with the support from the World Health Organization and the Delhi government included 109 households from Central and Northeast districts in the study conducted between December 28, 2020, and June 28. -PTI


Assam relaxes COVID-19 curbs, allows more people in weddings, funerals

The Assam government on Wednesday further relaxed COVID-related restrictions, allowing 200 people with at least one dose of vaccination to attend weddings and religious functions.

Issuing a new set of guidelines, Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua said the overall COVID-19 situation in the state has "considerably improved". -PTI