Coronavirus updates | March 4, 2021

A health worker wearing protective gear takes a swab sample at a construction site, in Mumbai. File photo.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination is in full swing with people over 60 years, and those aged 45 years and above with specified co-morbid conditions being eligible for vaccines. The vaccinations can be taken 24x7 according to the convenience of the people, the Health Minister has said.

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:

 

Maharashtra

SOPs for Maharashtra COVID-19 care centres by March 31: Ajit Pawar

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday said a doctor who allegedly tried to molest a woman patient at a COVID-19 care centre in Aurangabad has been removed from service, and SOPs for such facilities will be issued by this month-end.

The incident took place earlier this week and the issue was raised by BJP MLA Manisha Chaudhary in the state Legislative Assembly.

She said incidents of rape of women in COVID-19 care centres are not new.

"Such cases are unfortunate. People don't fear the government. We demand immediate response from the state Home minister," the MLA said. — PTI

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Pakistan

PCB postpones Pakistan Super League after three more cricketers test positive for COVID-19

The ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) was on Thursday postponed with immediate effect after three more cricketers tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of cases in the T20 event to seven.

Out of the seven cases, six are players while one is a support staff member.

“Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement. — PTI

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New Delhi

African, Caribbean nations support India at WTO on COVID-19 vaccine supplies

A group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries have supported India for supplying COVID-19 vaccines to different developing and least developed nations.

During a discussion at the WTO (World Trade Organisation), a group of Latin American member states including Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Paraguay have also expressed their concerns on the export restrictions imposed by European Union on COVID-19 vaccines and their trade distorting impact. — PTI

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New Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal administered COVID-19 vaccine at LNJP hospital

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his parents received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan hospital in New Delhi on March 4.

The Covishield vaccine was first administered to Mr. Kejriwal's parents, Govind Ram Kejriwal and Gita Devi, and then to the Chief Minister. — PTI

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Shimla

Himachal Pradesh CM, Speaker get vaccine shots

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar and several MLAs took their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the State Assembly complex.

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly's Budget session is under way. All the beneficiaries were administered the Covishield vaccine, an official spokesperson said.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Thakur said the first phase of vaccination for COVID-19 was completed successfully with active participation of health and frontline workers. He lauded them for their services to combat the situation.

The Chief Minister also urged all eligible people to come forward and take the vaccine shot to make the society COVID-19-free. - PTI

Aurangabad

Fire near COVID Care Centre in Maharashtra's Beed district, none hurt

A fire erupted close to a COVID Care Centre in Ambejogai tehsil of Maharashtra's Beed district on Thursday, although it did not affect the facility and the patients undergoing treatment there, an official said.

The incident occurred around 11 a.m. in Lokhandi Sawargaon, he said.

"Dry leaves and grass accumulated near the COVID Care Centre caught fire due to sparks in electricity lines passing nearby. The blaze continued for about 20 minutes and some trees also got damaged due to it. It was brought under control by a team called from Ambejogai city," an official from the State Health Department said.

The place where the fire erupted is a little away from the facility, where 34 coronavirus patients are undergoing treatment, he said. - PTI

New Delhi

Ex-PM Manmohan Singh, wife take COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday took his first dose of COVID-19 vaccination at AIIMS in New Delhi.

Mr. Singh was accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur, who also took the vaccine shot.

They were administered Covaxin, India's first indigenously developed vaccine by Bharat Biotech.

The 88-year-old Congress leader remained in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for around half an hour after being administered the vaccine. Sources close to him said he was fine and returned home thereafter. - PTI

Sputnik V vaccine

Sri Lanka approves Russia's Sputnik V vaccine

Sri Lanka's drug regulatory body has approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as the second available for use in the Indian Ocean island nation.

The state minister overseeing pharmaceutical products, Channa Jayasumana, said Sri Lanka has requested doses from Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute and was awaiting confirmation of the amount it would get. - AP

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Date | Time

Coronavirus | Surge in daily COVID-19 cases, India records over 17,000 new infections

The daily new cases of COVID-19 in India were recorded above 17,000 after a little over a month taking the total tally of cases to 1,11,56,923, while the recoveries surged to 1,08,26,075, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on March 4.

A total of 17,407 infections were reported in a day. The death toll increased to 1,57,435 with 89 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. On January 29, 18,855 new infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours. — PTI

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Karnataka

Senior citizens forced to wait for hours to get vaccinated

The cumbersome process of registering for the vaccine is just the first hurdle in the long road to getting vaccinated. The CoWIN portal or the Arogya Setu app which senior citizens have to log on to to schedule an appointment does not give a time slot, as a result of which they find themselves waiting for as long as five hours to get their first shot. The limited number of vaccine centres only exacerbates the problem. Hospital staff say they are helpless as the glitches in the CoWIN portal are further adding to the delay.

To avoid long queues, senior citizens are rushing to hospitals early in the morning in the hope that they will get their shot quickly. However, more often than not, many who come in the morning at 10 a.m. said that they were able to get vaccinated and leave the hospital only by 3 p.m. This includes the half an hour they spend under observation.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra reports 9,855 new COVID-19 cases, highest since October

Maharashtra reported 9,855 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, highest in the last more than four months, taking the tally of infections to 21,79,185, a health department official said.

The death toll rose to 52,280 with 42 fresh fatalities, he said.

On October 17, the State had reported 10,259 cases, after which the graph had declined.

As many as 6,559 patients were discharged from hospitals since Tuesday evening, taking the number of recovered patients to 20,43,349.

Maharashtra's recovery rate of COVID-19 cases is 93.77%, while the fatality rate is 2.40%, the official said. - PTI

(With inputs from Agencies)

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