Coronavirus updates | July 21, 2021

The Prime Minister on July 20, 2021, stressed the need to properly plan the vaccination drives at the district level based on the advance availability indicated by the Central government to ensure no inconvenience to the people

July 21, 2021 09:19 am | Updated 10:55 pm IST

A health worker collecting swab samples during a COVID-19 testing drive at the Anand Vihar railway station in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

A health worker collecting swab samples during a COVID-19 testing drive at the Anand Vihar railway station in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

According to a detailed presentation by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, as of date, only 8 States have more than 10,000 cases with majority of caseload in Maharashtra and Kerala. Just five States have a positivity rate more than 10%.

“India had augmented its drug availability throughout the pandemic. CDSCO permitted the increase in number of Remdesivir manufacturing sites from 22 in March to 62 in June which increased the production capacity from 38 to 122 lakh vials per month. Similarly, import of Liposomal Amphotericin was encouraged which saw the cumulative allocation rise from just 45,050 to 14.81 lakh,” said a release on the Health Ministry’s presentation.

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 :


Opposition playing politics over oxygen issue: BJP

Noting that Opposition-ruled States claimed in courts that there was no death due to shortage of oxygen during the second COVID-19 wave and made similar assertions in their response to the Centre, the BJP on Wednesday hit back at its rivals amid a row over the Modi government's reply in Parliament on the matter.

The government had told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that no deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and UTs during the second COVID-19 wave, drawing sharp criticism from opposition leaders.

Deaths of patients in hospitals due to lack of the life-saving gas were reported from several states during the peak of the second wave in April-May as the demand for medical oxygen zoomed.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra noted that the central government's reply was based on the figures provided by states and UTs as health is a state subject.

No state sent any data about patients dying due to oxygen shortage, he asserted.

He accused opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi of the Congress and Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party, of doing politics on the matter, and said the states where these parties are in power have claimed that no one died there due to lack of oxygen.

Hitting out at Mr. Gandhi, he said, "You have acted as a Twitter troll throughout the pandemic by writing two-line lies frequently. It is painful that a former president of one of the largest parties has behaved so irresponsibly." With the AAP also targeting the Modi government over its reply in Rajya Sabha, Mr. Patra noted that a Delhi government committee had told High Court that there was no evidence to suggest that around 21 people had died due to shortage of oxygen in Jaipur Golden hospital on April 23-24 night after the hospital management reported the matter. — PTI


Completely false to say no one died due to oxygen shortage: Delhi Health Minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on July 21 said there have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country.

Also read: Health Ministry says no deaths due to lack of oxygen reported

“If there was no shortage of oxygen, why did hospitals move court? Hospitals and the media had been flagging oxygen shortage issues daily. Television channels showed that how hospitals were running out of the life-saving gas. It is completely false to say that no one died due to oxygen shortage. There have been many deaths due to oxygen shortage in Delhi and many other places across the country,” he said.



Arunachal govt. order to give temporary entry permits to only vaccinated people stayed

The Itanagar Bench of the Gauhati High Court has stayed the Arunachal Pradesh government’s June 30 notification prescribing temporary entry permits for “developmental works in public and private sectors” only to people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Dibang Valley district resident Madan Milli on July 19, Justice Nani Tagia said the notification classifying people into the vaccinated and the unvaccinated for the purpose of issuance of temporary permit “violates Articles 14, 19 (1) (d) and 21 of the Constitution of India”.

Indians who intend to visit Arunachal Pradesh — as in three other north-eastern States — for business or tourism need to possess an Inner-Line Permit (ILP), a British era system.



Maharashtra carries out its 14th data reconciliation exercise

Maharashtra’s declining case trend continued on Tuesday with the State reporting 7,510 recoveries as against 6,910 new COVID-19 cases causing the active case tally to fall to 94,593.

The reconciliation process (completed till July 12) has resulted in a massive updation of cases and fatalities, adding 3,509 more deaths and 2,479 cases to the State’s cumulative tally, said the State Health Department medical bulletin.

This fresh addition, along with 147 deaths in the last week, has pushed the State’s cumulative fatalities to 1,30,753 with the case fatality rate climbing to 2.09%.



India records 3,998 fresh fatalities

An autorickshaw driver getting vaccinated in Thoothukudi on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

An autorickshaw driver getting vaccinated in Thoothukudi on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.


India recorded a single day rise of 3,998 coronavirus fatalities with Maharashtra carrying out its 14th Covid data reconciliation exercise, pushing the country's death toll to 4,18,480 while 42,015 new infections were reported, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.  India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to  3,12,16,337.

The Ministry said that Maharashtra has carried out its 14th reconciliation exercise of Covid data in the State. As a result, the State's positive case tally has increased by 2,479 while the death tally has increased by 3,509.

The active cases have increased to 4,07,170 and comprise 1.30 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.36 per cent the data updated at 8 am showed.

An increase of 1,040 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. — PTI


COVID-19 has not defeated Games: WHO head

The Tokyo Olympics should not be judged by the tally of COVID-19 cases that arise because eliminating risk is impossible, the head of the World Health Organisation told sports officials Wednesday as events began in Japan.

How infections are handled is what matters most, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a speech to an International Olympic Committee meeting. "The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted," he said.

The number of Games-linked COVID-19 cases in Japan this month was 79 on Wednesday, with more international athletes testing positive at home and unable to travel.

"The mark of success in the coming fortnight is not zero cases," Mr. Tedros said, noting the athletes who already tested positive in Japan, including at the athletes village in Tokyo Bay, where most of the 11,000 competitors will stay.

Teammates classed as close contacts of infected athletes can continue training and preparing for events under a regime of isolation and extra monitoring. Health experts in Japan have warned of the Olympics becoming a “super-spreader” event bringing tens of thousands of athletes, officials and workers during a local state of emergency.

Mr. Tedros praised both the Tokyo Organising Committee and the Japanese government for their precautions and sacrifices ahead of the Games.

"Although COVID-19 might have postponed the Games, it has not defeated them," he said. — AP


Government funding work on four new vaccine candidates

The Centre is funding the development of four vaccines, which are currently in various stages of human trials. One more vaccine is in a pre-clinical stage, Science Minister Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The government has also funded clinical trial sites, animal challenge facilities (where viruses are tested on animals) and immunoassay laboratories, all of which were collectively allotted a budget of ₹900 crore for 12 months, the Minister said.


Tamil Nadu

Nearly 44,000 pregnant, 66,000 lactating women inoculated

COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant and lactating women is in progress throughout the State. So far, nearly 44,000 pregnant women and 66,000 lactating women have been inoculated.

According to data from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 43,855 pregnant women received their COVID-19 vaccines up to July 18 in the State. Among them, 43,796 were administered their first dose and 59 women, who had received their first dose when they were not pregnant, received their due second dose after becoming pregnant.


Ex gratia assistance

Centre seeks more time to frame uniform ex gratia guidelines

The Centre has approached the Supreme Court to allow the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) more time to frame uniform guidelines for payment of ex gratia assistance to families of persons who died of COVID-19. The government has asked for a month more. A June 30 judgment of the Supreme Court had given the NDMA six weeks to submit its guidelines.

The government said ‘accelerated’ formulation of guidelines would lead to “undesirable results”. The court said the work on the recommendations was at an advanced stage.



Health officials point out politicians’ reckless behaviour

On several instances, people have frowned at the sight of politicians cheering through crowd not wearing masks, not maintaining physical distancing between them and others. In a rare instance, the irresponsible behaviour of politicians was pointed out by Telangana Health department officials.

Pointing out that padayatras (foot march), rallies, and other political activities have increased in Telangana from the past few days, the State’s Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that politicians and cadre did not follow COVID-19 precautions.



Punjab flags urgent demand for 40 lakh vaccine doses

Citing a current demand of more than 2 lakh COVID vaccine doses for the second dose alone, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on July 20, 2021, demanded 40 lakh more doses from the Centre on urgent basis to inoculate the State’s eligible population.

The State was expecting 2.46 lakhs vaccines to arrive on Tuesday but the Chief Minister, during a COVID review virtual meeting, noted that the vaccine remains in short supply. The State has run out of Covishield and is left with a mere 3,500 Covaxin doses as of July 19, he said.


( With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies )

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