Coronavirus updates | June 25, 2021

A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a residential area in Chennai on June 1, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

A single-day rise of 51,667 COVID-19 infections took India's case tally to 3,01,34,445 while the weekly positivity rate declined to 3%, according to Union Health Ministry data on Friday.

The death toll climbed to 3,93,310 with 1,329 more people succumbing to the viral disease in a day.

The number of active cases has further declined to 6,12,868 and now comprises 2.03% of the total infections. A net decline of 14,189 active cases has been recorded in a day, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

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:

New Delhi

Country records 24% decline in average daily cases

Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, Joint Secretary (Health) Lav Aggwaral said that India registered a decline of 24% in average daily Covid cases last week. Active cases dropped by more than 31.3 lakh since the peak of the second wave on May 10, he said.

Dr. Renu Swarup,Secretary, Department of Biotechnology said that mutation of virus was not new and it was a normal process.

"Delta plus variant is being looked into and we are assessing how this will impact our population," she said. We have 300 sites from where samples are coming in for testing and this covers almost all of India, Ms. Swarup added.

The variations will continue for the duration of the pandemic, Ms. Swarup said.

Dr. Sujeet Kumar Singh,Director,NCDC said that a consortium of 10 national labs has expanded further to 28 to monitor the genomic variations in Covid.

The variant of concern was found to be distributed in 174 districts. The highest numbers were reported from Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Telangana and Gujarat.

The variants of concern with public health importance that were detected in community samples in India include Alpha — 3969, Beta — 149, Gamma — 1; B.1.617, delta and kappa — 16,238.

48 cases of Delta plus variant were found from 45,000 samples sequenced.

Maharashtra recorded the highest at 20 cases and Tamil Nadu had the second highest number at 19.

ICMR Director General  Balram Bhargava said that Covishield and Covaxin work against the variants of Sars- Cov2. "We are looking at vaccines effect on delta plus variant," he said. Vaccine components can be changed corresponding to the change in the virus, he added.

"Second wave isn’t over yet. 75 districts still have over 10% spread," Mr. Bhargava said.

- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

New Delhi

Over 1.50 crore vaccine doses available with states: Centre

More than 1.50 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs and over 47 lakh doses are in the pipeline and will be received by them within the next three days, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

Over 30.54 crore vaccine doses have been provided by the Centre to states and UTs so far through the Government of India (free of cost channel) and through direct state procurement category.

Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 29,04,04,264 doses, the ministry said. - PTI


Why no large-scale testing to prevent spread of Delta plus variant: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday asked the government why "large-scale testing is not being done" to check and prevent the spread of the Delta plus variant of coronavirus and how effective are the vaccines against it.

"Questions to the Modi government on Delta plus variant: Why is testing not being done on a large scale to check and prevent it? How effective are the vaccines against it and when will complete information be available? What is the plan to control it in the third wave of the virus," he posed in a tweet in Hindi. - PTI


Gujarat eases more curbs as cases continue downward trend

The Gujarat government announced lifting of night curfew from 18 towns and relaxing its timing in the same number of urban centres by one hour even as it allowed cinema halls, multiplexes and auditoriums to function at 50% capacity in view of a sharp drop in new COVID-19 cases.

A decision to ease more curbs, effective from Sunday, was taken at a meeting of the government's core committee on COVID-19.

Among a slew of relaxations in restrictions imposed earlier to curb COVID-19 cases, the government allowed opening of cinema halls, multiplexes and auditoriums at 50% capacity, permitted shops to do business till 9 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. and allowed buses to ply at 75% of their seating capacity, an official release said. - PTI

West Bengal

Bengal local train services unlikely to resume after Covid curbs end on June 30

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted that it is unlikely that local trains will start operating even if the ongoing restrictions are relaxed a bit after June 30, as that might spread the Covid-19 infection.

People blocked railway tracks in several stations in the state for around three hours on Thursday demanding that they be allowed to board staff special stations.

"We are not running the trains to keep the contagion under check. It is natural that stopping the service causes problems for the people. If we run trains now, everybody will be infected by Covid. What will you do then?" she told reporters. - PTI

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