Coronavirus updates | June 24, 2021

People wait in a queue to get vaccinated ati Govt School in Vinod Nagar, New Delhi on Thursday, June 24, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

After registering a drop on June 22, the number of doses administered improved again on the third day since the government’s revised vaccine policy came into action.

While the pace of the vaccination drive has picked up significantly this week, India needs to administer 82 lakh doses daily on an average to fully inoculate its adult population by December 31, 2021.

Also read | Explained: What is the Delta plus variant?

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:


Manipur ‘fully prepared’ for third wave of COVID-19, says CM

Chief Minister N. Biren announced that Manipur was now fully prepared to face a possible third wave of COVID-19 and the emergence of variants of the coronavirus. Mr. Biren said this on the sidelines of his visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal, on Thursday morning.

He was inspecting the construction of an oxygen plant on the JNIMS campus. Once it’s commissioned, the plant will have the capacity to produce 2,000 KL of medical oxygen, he said. The oxygen plant is expected to be commissioned on July 15.

Mr. Biren added that another plant was almost ready to supply 200 cylinders of medical oxygen to the post-COVID-19 ward in the hospital. A 100-bed ward is also ready in the hospital complex, which will be upgraded soon since there are fresh threats in the form of variants.

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Uttarakhand CM residence being prepared for COVID-19 patients during third wave

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Thursday said he is preparing his official residence for the treatment of coronavirus patients during the third wave.

"There is no lack of preparedness to tackle the third wave. There are more Covid dedicated hospitals now. Two 500-bed hospitals each were developed with the help of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Rishikesh and Haldwani in addition to the existing ones," he told reporters.

Mr. Rawat said district magistrates (DMs) have been asked to keep one or two hotels ready to be converted into Covid care centres if the need arises.


Why was DRDO’s COVID-19 drug licence given to only one laboratory, asks Madras HC

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to explain by Friday the reason for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) having partnered with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratory in Hyderabad alone to produce 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), an adjunct drug to treat COVID-19 patients.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and T.V. Thamilselvi wanted to know why the DRDO had not issued licences to as many reputed laboratories as possible to ramp up production of the oral powder that has been approved to be used as an adjunct in treating moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.

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Tamil Nadu

Stalin announces post-COVID-19 clinics

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday announced that special clinics would be set up in all government medical colleges with specialist doctors to address post-COVID-19 complications of patients. Despite the fall in COVID-19 cases, there were complaints of post-COVID-19 complaints from patients, he pointed out.

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Single dose of Pfizer, AstraZeneca Covid vaccine offers 60% protection for the elderly: Lancet study

A single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine offers around 60% protection against infection from SARS-CoV-2 in adults aged 65 years and above, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

To obtain real-world data on the effectiveness of these vaccines in care homes, the researchers from the University College London (UCL) in the U.K. used data from the VIVALDI study. That research investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission, infection outcomes, and immunity in residents and staff in long-term care facilities in England for adults aged 65 years and older since June 2020.

This analysis included long-term care facility residents undergoing routine asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 testing between December 8, 2020 — the date the first vaccine was administered in the study cohort — and March 15, 2021 using national testing data linked within the COVID-19 Datastore.

This study was completed before the emergence of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 now dominating in the U.K.

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New Delhi

More than 1.89 crore unutilised Covid vaccine doses available with states/UTs: Govt

More than 1.89 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and Union territories, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

Over two crore vaccine doses have been administered in the first 72 hours of the implementation of the new revised guidelines of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, the ministry said.



Sonia asks to work to address vaccine hesitancy

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed concern over the pace of vaccination in India, and said the country needs to prepare for the third wave of COVID-19 and protect children.

Also read: Comment | Addressing vaccine hesitancy

Addressing a meeting of party general secretaries and in-charges of AICC in various States, she the party must ensure that vaccine hesitancy is overcome and wastage of vaccines minimised.

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Number of active cases declines in India

India reported 54,069 new cases of COVID-19 in a day which took the infection tally to 3,00,82,778 while 1,321 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 3,91,981, according to the Union Health Ministry data on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

The number of active cases has declined to 6,27,057 and is 2.08% of the total infections. The national COVID-19 recovery rate has also improved to 96.61 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

A net decline of 16,137 cases in the COVID-19 caseload has been recorded in a day.

According to the inoculation data published at 7 am, India administered 64.89 lakh vaccine doses in a day taking the cumulative number of jabs given so far to 30.16 crore.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.91 per cent. It has been less than 5 per cent for 17 days in a row. The weekly positivity rate has also declined to 3.04 per cent, the Ministry said.

Recoveries continue to outnumber daily new cases for the 42nd consecutive day. The number of people who have recuperated from COVID-19 surged to 2,90,63,740, while the case fatality rate was at 1.30 per cent, it said. — PTI


Delta variant reported in 85 countries globally: WHO

The Delta variant, the significantly more transmissible strain of COVID-19, is expected to become a “dominant lineage” if current trends continue, the WHO has warned after it was reported in 85 countries and continues to be detected in more places around the world.

The COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update released on June 22 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that globally, the variant Alpha has been reported in 170 countries, territories or areas, Beta in 119 countries, Gamma in 71 countries and Delta in 85 countries.

“Delta, now reported in 85 countries globally, continues to be reported in new countries across all WHO Regions, 11 of which were newly reported in the past two weeks,” the update said.

WHO said the four current 'Variants of Concern' being monitored closely – Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta - are widespread and have been detected in all WHO regions. “The Delta variant is significantly more transmissible than Alpha variant, and is expected to become a dominant lineage if current trends continue.” The update said that India reported the highest numbers of new COVID19 cases, 441,976 over the past week (June 14-20, 2021), a 30 per cent decrease as compared to the previous week. The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from India (16,329 new deaths; 1.2 new deaths per 100,000; a 31 per cent decrease).  — PTI

Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 vaccines prevent deaths, finds study

Women waiting for their turn at a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Vijayawada.

Women waiting for their turn at a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Vijayawada.   | Photo Credit: V. RAJU


A single dose of COVID-19 vaccine was 82% effective in preventing deaths while two doses were 95% effective, an analysis of data on Tamil Nadu police personnel has indicated.

Data on vaccination of police personnel and COVID-19 deaths during the second wave was used to estimate the incidence of deaths among vaccinated and unvaccinated police personnel in the study ‘COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in preventing deaths among high-risk groups in T.N’. It was taken up by the police department, the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Epidemiology (ICMR-NIE) and Christian Medical College, Vellore.

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Singapore plans out new normal life

The deadly coronavirus may never go away, but it is possible to live "normally with it in our midst", Singapore’s three ministers of a multi-ministry task force on coronavirus said on Thursday as they outlined plans for the country’s transition to a new normal. They said with enough people vaccinated, COVID-19 will be managed like other endemic diseases such as the common flu and hand, foot and mouth disease in Singapore.

A road map is being drawn up to shift to this new normal, and it will be done in tandem with achieving certain vaccination milestones, said the co-chairmen, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong and Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung.

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong bans passenger flights from Indonesia

Hong Kong will ban passenger flights from Indonesia from Friday, deeming the country's arrivals "extremely high risk" for the coronavirus. The Hong Kong government said late on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, it was suspending flights after the number of imported COVID-19 cases from Indonesia crossed thresholds set by the global financial hub.

Hong Kong has already banned arrivals from India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, using a flight suspension rule triggered when there are five or more passengers who test positive for one of the variant COVID-19 cases on arrival, or 10 or more passengers found to have any strain of the disease while in quarantine.

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Notices to State government on reopening of schools, colleges

The Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the State government over its decision to commence physical classes for school and college students from July 1, after hearing an interim application filed in one of the PIL pleas relating to COVID-19.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy instructed the government to file its response to the notices within a week.

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West Bengal

Fake vaccine centre in Kolkata busted

The Kolkata Police on Wednesday busted a fake COVID-19 vaccination centre and arrested a person who had posed as an IAS officer associated with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and was operating the facility.

Several people were vaccinated at the facility in the city’s Kasba area, including Trinamool Congress MP Mimi Chakraborty. The MP said she informed the police when she failed to receive SMS or the vaccination certificate.

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(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)

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