Coronavirus updates | May 19, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination for 18-44 age group underway at Jahangirpuri in New Delhi on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

During his interaction over videoconferences was with 46 District Magistrates across eight States on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the need to remove vaccine hesitancy and said that the Central government was making every effort that a fortnightly supply schedule for vaccines to various States be provided to streamline supply and prevent wastage.

“There are three main weapons that we have in our armour to check the contagion. These are delineating local containment zones, aggressive testing and giving correct and accurate information to the local populace especially in terms of availability of medical resources like hospital beds etc.,” Mr. Modi said. “There is a need to crack down on black marketing of medicines and equipment,” he 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:


Expert group recommends vaccination after 3 months for COVID recovered people

National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) has recommended that COVID19 vaccination be deferred by three months after recovery from the illness.

If infected with COVID after 1st dose, 2nd dose will have to be deferred by 3 months after clinical recovery from COVID-19 illness.

COVID-19 vaccination has been recommended for all Lactating Women.

The Union Health Ministry has accepted the recommendation. - Bindu Shajan Perappadan

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Uttar Pradesh

COVID-19 cases in nearly a third of U.P. villages

Thirty-two percent of villages in Uttar Pradesh have reported cases of COVID-19, a senior state official has said.

So far, 28,742 villages in the State reported positive cases during a survey in 89,512 villages, said Amit Mohan Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary, Health. - Omar Rashid

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Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh gets 100 oxygen concentrators from WHO

Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday received 100 oxygen concentrators sent by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, a state minister said.

Talking to reporters, Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang said these oxygen concentrators will be distributed in various districts of the state.

"Different states in the country have received 4,000 oxygen concentrators from the WHO. They will be beneficial in providing treatment to patients. The government has been continuously making efforts to check the spread of coronavirus in the state," he said. - PTI


Govt monitoring supply of various COVID-19 treatment drugs: Mandaviya

The government is monitoring the supply of various essential drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L. Mandaviya said on Wednesday.

In an official statement, the minister noted that all drugs used in the management of COVID-19 were now available in India by ramping up production and increasing the imports.

"The availability of these drugs is being monitored by implementing a three-pronged strategy of supply chain management, demand-side management and affordability," Mr. Mandaviya noted.

The government is monitoring supply of various 'protocol drugs' like Remdesivir, Enoxaparin, MethylPrednisolone, Dexamethasone, Tocilizumab and Ivermectin, he said.

Besides, supply of other drugs like Favipiravir, Amphotericin and Apixamab is also being monitored, he added. - PTI


Record 20 lakh coronavirus tests done in India in one day: Health Ministry

More than 20 lakh COVID-19 tests were conducted across the country in a span of 24 hours, which is a global record and the highest ever done in a single day in India, while the daily positivity rate has declined to 13.31 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

India's COVID-19 daily recoveries exceeded the number of daily new cases for the sixth consecutive day.

Cumulative recoveries have surged to 2,19,86,363 with 3,89,851 patients recuperating in a day. The national recovery rate has grown further to touch 86.23 per cent.

"More than 20 lakh tests were conducted in the last 24 hours (the highest ever conducted in a single day in India), while the daily positivity rate has declined to 13.31 per cent," the ministry said. - PTI


Major objective is to vaccinate all by Oct/Nov end: Minister

The Karnataka government has set a goal to vaccinate all those eligible in the state by November end, against coronavirus.

"Our major objective is to vaccinate all by October end or November end. All our efforts are in the direction of vaccinating every citizen by the end of the year," Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

He was speaking to reporters to announce the receipt of two lakh doses of Covishield from the Pune based Serum Institute of India. Mr. Sudhakar said the accomplishment of vaccination drive by the year end will include first and second doses to all.

Besides, the emphasis is on Covaxin produced by Bharat Biotech, which is setting up its manufacturing unit in Malur in Kolar which will have a manufacturing capacity of four to five crore vaccines by August end. He also said the Sputnik vaccine production may take place in Karnataka.

"The production of two vaccines in the state has instilled hope in us of achieving the goal of vaccinating all before any other state in the country." On the order for Covishield doses, Sudhakar said, "We have placed an order for two crore Covishield vaccines to the Pune based Serum Institute of India.

Today, we have received two lakh doses." According to Sudhakar, the doses will be administered to those who are above 45 years and are due for second dose. — PTI


Manipur govt calls for muting ambulance sirens amid Covid anxiety

The Manipur government has called for muting sirens of ambulances in the state in a bid to reduce anxiety and panic amid the COVID-19 gloom, officials said.

The state's medical directorate, in a memorandum, urged chief medical officers, medical superintendents, staff of private hospitals and ambulance operators to "silence sirens as they are panicking people and causing social anxiety".

"Only if roads are blocked, sirens should be activated," it added. - PTI


Karnataka announces ₹1,111.82 cr package for unorganised workers, farmers

The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced a package amounting ₹1,111.82 crore to provide compensation to unorganised sectors and farmers who are severely impacted by the month-long lockdown owing to spike in COVID-19 cases.

Also read: A week into lockdown, hospital cases decrease

Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa chaired a meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and senior officials and announced the package for the benefit of growers, construction workers, vendors, autorickshaw/tat/cab drivers, artistes and below poverty line (BPL) families.

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Though dropping, India reports highest number of new infections: WHO

India registered a 13% decrease in new COVID-19 cases in the past week but the number of fresh infections was still the highest around the world, the WHO has said.

The number of new cases and deaths continued to decrease with just over 4.8 million new cases and just under 86,000 new deaths reported globally in the past week, a 12% and 5% decrease respectively compared to the previous week, according to the COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update Data received by the World Health Organisation from national authorities as of May 16.

It said that the highest number of new cases were reported from India (2,387,663 new cases), a 13% decrease over the previous week.

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After drawing flak, J&K to resume vaccination on ‘war footing’ from May 19

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a Kashmiri man to test for COVID-19 at a primary health centre in Budgam southwest of Srinagar, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a Kashmiri man to test for COVID-19 at a primary health centre in Budgam southwest of Srinagar, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP


After drawing flak from the political parties and locals for its sluggish and skewed COVID-19 vaccination drive in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory (UT) administration has said it will resume the vaccination, also for those waiting for their second doses, on “a war footing” from Wednesday.

Officials said the Union Territory (UT) received a fresh consignment of Covishield vaccine on Tuesday. “The immunisation drive in the Jammu and Kashmir divisions to continue on a war footing from May 19. The government has ensured for a continuous supply of vaccine doses to meet requirements,” an official spokesman said. — Peerzada Ashiq

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India's halt to vaccine exports 'very problematic' for Africa

An extended halt to exportsof COVID-19 vaccines from India, where authorities are battling a wave of domestic infections, risks derailing vaccinationefforts already underway in Africa, one of the continent's top health officials said on Tuesday.

India stopped vaccine exports a month ago and, according to a Reuters report earlier on Tuesday, is now unlikely to resum emajor exports before October, dealing a major setback to the global COVAX initiative on which many poor countries rely.

Africa has lagged far behind other regions due to supply issues and meagre financial resources but had planned to vaccinate 30-35% of its population by the end of the year and60% within the next two to three years.

"This is very problematic as it means unpredictability of our vaccination programmes and a serious risk of not achieving our stated target... on time," the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong said.

Those targets primarily relied on supplies from the global COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, which has depended heavily on AstraZeneca shots produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

"Given India's huge challenges, it will be impossible to expect anything soon," Mr. Nkengasong said. — Reuters

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Never exported vaccines at the cost of people of India: Serum Institute

A medical staff showing the Covishield vaccine doses during a vaccination drive in New Delhi on Thrussday, May 18, 2021.

A medical staff showing the Covishield vaccine doses during a vaccination drive in New Delhi on Thrussday, May 18, 2021.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA


The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Tuesday May 18, 2021 said it never exported vaccines at the cost of the people of India and that it was committed to doing everything possible to support the vaccination drive in the country. “We have been working with the government tirelessly to do our best for humanity and will continue in the same spirit,” read the SII statement.

Responding to the criticism of the decision of the government and Indian manufacturers, including the SII, to export vaccines, it said all needed to consider certain factors before arriving at any conclusion.

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American vaccines effective against COVID strain first found in India: US officials

COVID-19 vaccines that are available in the United States are effective against the deadly variant that was first detected in India, top US health officials said on Tuesday.

The B.1.617 virus variant, first identified in India last year, has been classified as a 'variant of concern' at the global level by the World Health Organisation.

"The modest neutralization resistance to the 617 antibodies suggests that the current vaccines that we are all using that we've been speaking about would be at least partially and probably quite protective," Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to the President told reporters during a news conference in Washington. — PTI

Tamil Nadu

Random checks at private hospitals on COVID-19 tariff: TN Health Minister

The Tamil Nadu Government will soon set up a team to conduct random checks on private hospitals to check adherence to rates fixed for treatment of Covid-19 patients and initiate action against violators, Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma. Subramanian said on Tuesday.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has planned to have a meeting with managements of private hospitals soon to impress upon them to follow the guidelines issued by the government on the tariff. “The State Government has also fixed rates for private ambulances. A team will soon be formed to conduct random checks and take action on those violating the norms,” Mr Subramanian told The Hindu in an interview.

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Lockdown extension adds to the woes of dispirited daily wagers

What started as a week-long lockdown in the city, has now stretched to a month. Several daily wagers complained of difficulties in managing households with the extended lockdown period.

With no work and lack of resources, several families are now either dependent on foodgrains being distributed by NGOs or are having to borrow from relatives and neighbours, they said.

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Bangladesh sends second consignment of medicines to India

Bangladesh sent a large consignment of medicines and protective gears to India on Tuesday. This is the second consignment of assistance from Dhaka since India opened up for foreign assistance to deal with the second wave of COVID-19.

The delivery took place as Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen called External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and urged him to push the United States to supply vaccines to Dhaka.

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Andhra Pradesh

COVID Care Centre sought in five islands in Diviseema

Former Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad has appealed to the State government to provide healthcare services round-the-clock to the five islands in the Krishna River and Bay of Bengal in Diviseema region.

At least 25 coronavirus cases and one death have been reported so far from the five islands—Nachugunta, Eelachetladibba, Edurumondi, Brahamayyagarimoola, and Yesupuram. By Tuesday, the East Godavari authorities were yet to complete the fever survey to ascertain the exact number of COVID-19 cases .

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(With inputs from our Corrrespondents and agencies)

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 11:40:14 PM |

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