Coronavirus live updates | T.N. Medical Minister advises against steam inhalation

A health worker is seen vaccinating a middle-aged woman at the drive at the DLF Mall in Noida on Monday, May 17, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RV. Moorthy

Predicting that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have subsequent waves as well, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, who has been maintaining a keen eye on the developments in India, says the efforts put in in the next 6-18 months will be most critical in battling the pandemic.

“A lot depends also on the evolution of the virus itself, the ability of vaccines to keep up with variants, and it also depends on the duration of protective immunity of vaccines. A lot of this is changing,” she says.

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:

Bhopal

COVID-19 pace slowing down in Madhya Pradesh, CM Chouhan tells PM Modi

The pace of coronavirus infection is slowing down in Madhya Pradesh as its positivity rate has dropped to 9% while the recovery rate is now 87%, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Chouhan had a telephonic conversation with the PM during which he informed him about the COVID-19 situation in the State.

"The Chief Minister informed PM Modi that the situation in the State is under control. On Monday, 5,921 cases were found positive for coronavirus in the State while 11,513 patients were discharged from hospitals," the sources said quoting the CM.

Tamil Nadu

T.N. Medical Minister advises against steam inhalation

With steam inhalers being installed at a few public places and promoted as a COVID-19 preventive measure, Ma. Subramanian, Minister for Medical and Family Welfare on Monday issued a strong statement advising against the use of steam inhalation.

People should not resort to steam inhalation without a doctor’s advice, and this could lead to the rapid spread of the virus, he cautioned. In a statement, the Minister said that the government has put in place, a treatment protocol for COVID-19 as per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation. People should not resort to self-medication as it could be fatal. Now, the practice of steam inhalation was doing the rounds, and this could affect the lungs. This could also lead to transmission of infection to those who are close by, he said.

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National

Over 2 crore vaccine doses available with States: Centre

More than two crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and Union territories, while nearly three lakh doses are in the pipeline and will be received by them within the next three days, the Union health ministry said on Monday, May 17, 2021.

The Centre has so far provided over 20 crore (20,76,10,230) vaccine doses to the states and Union territories for free. Of this, the total consumption, calculated on the basis of average figures, up to May 16, including wastage, is 18,71,13,705 doses (according to data available at 8 am on Monday), it added.

"More than two crore COVID-19 vaccine doses (2,04,96,525) are still available with the states and UTs to be administered," the Ministry said.

Furthermore, 2,94,660 vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the states within the next three days, it said. — PTI

Rehabilitation of chidlren

Govt lays out procedure to rehabilitate children who lost their parents to COVID-19

The government has laid out a procedure for rehabilitation of children who lost their parents to COVID-19.

The public notice by the Women and Child Development Ministry comes amid reports that several messages offering children, who have lost their parents to COVID, for adoption are circulating on social media.  Advising the public to refrain from engaging or encouraging such action, which is in contravention to legal provisions, the WCD Ministry has laid out lawful procedure of rehabilitation of children who lost their parents to COVID-19.

The Ministry has said that the child who has lost both parents to COVID-19 ought to be produced before the District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) within 24 hours, excluding the journey time.

"The CWC shall ascertain the immediate need of the child and pass appropriate orders for rehabilitation of the child, either to restore the child to caregivers or place her/him in institutional or non-institutional care, on case to case basis," the WCD Ministry said in a public notice.  The Ministry further said that effort will be made to sustain the children in their family and community environment as far as possible, while ensuring their safety in their surroundings and safeguarding their interest, as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act.

"If the child is restored to any kind of kinship care, the CWC will continue to check the well-being of the child on regular basis. Care must be taken to protect the identity of the child avoid undue distress," the WCD Ministry said. — PTI

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka ends 3-day lockdown

Sri Lanka on Monday lifted the three-day lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus but authorities asked people to stay indoors as over 2,000 daily new cases are being reported in the country.

The three-day lockdown without imposing a curfew was meant to force people to remain indoors during the long weekend which coincided with the festivities at the end of Ramadan fast.

A police spokesperson said the ending of the lockdown was only limited to the movements for essential work.

“People can move out of their homes for essential work based on the last digit of their national identity card," the spokesman said.

The odd number last digit identity card holders are allowed to step out on odd numbered days, while the even numbered are allowed on the even number days, he added.

State and private offices have been asked to operate with minimum staff under health regulations.

Each day over 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in the country, health officials said.

Sri Lanka currently has over 21,000 people receiving treatment for COVID-19 at hospitals, Shavendra Silva, the Army chief who heads the COVID-19 prevention operations, said. — PTI

Charity

Wadhwani Foundation announces $1 million grant

Huge crowd seen at Musheerabad fish market in the morning hours, during the ongoing 10-day lockdown imposed by the Telangana government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Hyderabad on Sunday, May 16, 2021.

Huge crowd seen at Musheerabad fish market in the morning hours, during the ongoing 10-day lockdown imposed by the Telangana government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Hyderabad on Sunday, May 16, 2021.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

 

Bengaluru-based Wadhwani Foundation (WF) announced on Monday May 17,  2021, that  it would donate USD one million in grants to ten charities and NGOs to help alleviate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

These grants provide medical resources and assistance to COVID-19 patients and their families, it said in a statement.

"Combating the severe rise in COVID-19 cases and the tremendous burden on Indian families requires a comprehensive approach from as many organisations as possible," said WF's Founder and Chairman Romesh Wadhwani. — PTI

Kerala

Vaccination for 18-44 age group begins in Kerala

COVID-19 vaccination for the 18-44 year age group began in the State on Monday, with vaccination currently reserved only for certain prioritised groups within this age group, primarily those with serious co-morbidities. The State is directly procuring vaccines from vaccine manufacturers for administering to the 18-44 age group

On Sunday, the Government had issued detailed guidelines regarding who among the 18-44 age group can receive the vaccine and the process required for the same.

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Saudi Arabia eases travel ban for vaccinated citizens

Vaccinated Saudis will be allowed to leave the kingdom for the first time in more than a year on Monday as the country eases a ban on international travel aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus and its new variants.

For the past 14 months, Saudi citizens have mostly been banned from travelling abroad out of concerns that international travel could fuel the outbreak of the virus within the country of more than 30 million people. The ban, in place since March 2020, has impacted Saudi students who were studying abroad, among others.

Saudi travellers are required to show their health statuses to airport officials through the government's health app, Tawakkalna. Travellers returning from abroad will be required to quarantine at home and be tested for the virus - AP

Automobile

Honda Motorcycles extends warranty, free service till July 31

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) on Monday said it has extended warranty and free service period till July 31, across all its dealerships in the country in the wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension is applicable to those customers, whose vehicle's free service, warranty and extended warranty was originally ending between April 1 and May 31, 2021, HMSI said in a statement.

Reassuring customers facing restricted movement in several states, the company said it will support them to avail these services at their convenience at a later date before July 31, 2021, as lockdown eases. — PTI

Puducherry

Clip shows wrapped body kept between COVID-19 patients in U.T

A video clip of a visit by Orleanpet MLA (Independent) G. Nehru to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (IGMCRI), which shows the wrapped body of a COVID-19 victim kept between patients undergoing treatment, has been circulating on social media since Sunday morning.

The footage, recorded by an aide to the masked-up legislator, also shows several COVID-19 patients on the floor or seated on chairs due to a lack of beds.

“When I was there, I saw the body of a patient kept between two patients undergoing treatment, while two more bodies were being wrapped,” the MLA told the media.

National

India registers 2.81 lakh fresh cases, 4,106 deaths

India's COVID-19 tally mounted to 2,49,65,463 on Monday, May 17, 2021, with 2,81,386 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest in 27 days, while the death toll climbed to 2,74,390 with 4,106 fatalities, according to Union health ministry data.

The number of active cases stands at 35,16,997, accounting for 14.09 per cent of the total infections. The national recovery rate has improved to 84.81 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 2,11,74,076, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.10 per cent, it stated.

WHO

COVID-19 response over next 6-18 months critical, says Soumya Swaminathan

Predicting that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have subsequent waves as well, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, who has been maintaining a keen eye on the developments in India, says the efforts put in in the next 6-18 months will be most critical in battling the pandemic.

In an online interview to The Hindu, she provides detailed responses to a range of topics that are simmering, resolves some doubts, and advocates strategies to adopt gainfully. Investments in health care are crucial, she says, because it is now clear that there is nothing without health, and without sufficient physical and mental well being, it would be impossible to take the path to recovery as well.

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Delhi

Two foreigners arrested in oxygen racket case

Two foreign nationals were arrested for allegedly cheating people on the pretext of providing oxygen cylinders, the police said on Sunday. The accused were using more than 20 bank accounts and had duped more than ₹2 crore from over 1,000 people across India, said the officers.

The accused have been identified as Cheema Benneth (42), hailing from Nigeria and Jonathan Kojo (44), a permanent resident of Ghana, they said. On May 5, one complainant reported that he was in need of an oxygen cylinder for his relative who was suffering from COVID-19 and found a phone number on social media, the police said.

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Tamil Nadu

Remdesivir to be sold directly to hospitals in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday revised the protocol for the sale of Remdesivir. From May 18, hospitals will have to send their representatives to the designated centres to collect the drug.

The system of relatives visiting these centres to get the drug was dropped as it led to chaos and prompted fears of spread of COVID-19 due to the long queues. The change was announced after a meeting between Chief Minister M.K. Stalin with Minister for Medical and Family Welfare M. Subramanian and Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan.

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Karnataka

A week into lockdown, hospital cases decrease

A week into the lockdown, healthcare personnel have said that the caseload in hospitals has declined. This has reduced the demand for general beds. The case positivity rate has also declined over the last week. Now, there is a growing chorus from health care experts to extend the lockdown by at least another week.

On May 10, when the lockdown began, the positivity rate for the day was 31.66%. The total number of COVID-19 cases reported was 39,305 against 1.24 lakh tests. On May 16, the positivity rate for the day stood at 27.84 %, with 31,531 new cases, while the number of tests conducted was 1.13 lakh.

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Andhra Pradesh

Plasma therapy has limited effect in COVID patients, says study

With the sharp spike in coronavirus infections and related deaths during the second wave the pandemic, there has been an increased clamour on plasma donation especially on various social media platforms.

However, a study involving 464 adults with moderate symptoms of the infection last year suggests that the Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) has shown a limited effect in reducing the progression to severe disease or death.

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(With inputs from our Correspondents and Agencies)

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:11:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-live-updates-may-17-2021/article34576060.ece

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