Coronavirus updates | May 27, 2021

A large number of citizens wait to register their names at a free COVID-19 testing facility at Government Area Hospital in Kondapur, Hyderabad, on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

A steady decline in new COVID-19 cases has been recorded in India for the last 20 days, with 24 States witnessing a dip in active cases since the last week, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

It also noted that the country is on a downswing of the second wave of COVID-19.

“We are on a downswing of the second wave of COVID-19 and believe that it will be sustained even when restrictions are significantly relaxed,” the Ministry 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:


MHA orders continuation of COVID guidelines till June-end; asks States to focus on local curb strategy

The Centre on Thursday directed States and Union Territories to continue the ongoing COVID-19 guidelines till June 30 and asked them to go for intensive and local containment measures in districts with a high number of cases to check the spread of the deadly disease.

In a fresh order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said strict implementation of containment and other measures has led to a declining trend in the number of new and active cases, across States and Union Territories, barring some areas in the southern and northeastern regions.

"I would like to highlight that in spite of the declining trend, the number of active cases presently is still very high. It is, therefore, important that containment measures may continue to be implemented strictly. Any relaxation by States and UTs, may be considered at an appropriate time, in a graded manner, after assessing the local situation, requirements and resources," Mr. Bhalla said in his order issued to chief secretaries of the States and Union Territories.


No adverse effect if second dose of different COVID-19 vaccine taken, but it needs scrutiny: Govt

Any significant adverse effect is unlikely if the second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine is administered, but reaching a firm opinion on this will need more scrutiny and understanding, the Centre said on Thursday.

It, however, clarified that both doses administered to an individual should be of the same vaccine as per the existing protocol.

The clarification comes following reports that health workers in Uttar Pradesh's Siddharthnagar district administered Covaxin to 20 villagers who had been given Covishield in the first dose.

NITI Aayog member (Health) V.K. Paul said the incident needed to be investigated.

New Delhi

Fortis hospital in Delhi offers monoclonal antibody therapy; awaits takers

In what could be a first for Delhi, a leading private facility here has received clinical doses for carrying out monoclonal antibody therapy for a certain category of COVID-19 patients that is said to reduce their chance of hospitalisation by 70%, hospital authorities said on Thursday.

As part of this single dose infusion-based treatment, patients with mild to moderate symptoms are offered a cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab.

Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) in south Delhi, after receiving the doses, has started offering the therapy from Thursday, FEHI chairman Ashok Seth said.

West Bengal

COVID-19 restrictions extended in Bengal till June 15: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday extended the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions till June 15, saying that the curbs have helped ease the pandemic situation a little.

The West Bengal government had announced the existing restrictions for 15 days from May 16 following a huge surge in the number of coronavirus cases. The announcement for extension of the curbs came three days before they were scheduled to come to an end.

"The Covid-19 restrictions in the State will continue till June 15. This is not a lockdown or a curfew. We will strictly follow the restrictions," Ms. Banerjee told reporters at the State secretariat 'Nabanna'.



 Punjab extends lockdown restriction till June 10

Punjab government on Thursday announced extension of the lockdown restrictions in the State till June 10 but ordered the limit on the number of passengers in personal vehicles to be removed, in view of decline in the positivity and number of active COVID-19 cases.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said it had been decided to continue with the curbs on the advice of experts. He clarified that while the limit on personal cars and two wheelers was being removed as these are used mainly by family members and close friends, those on commercial passenger vehicles and taxis shall continue to be in place at present. The Deputy Commissioners will also continue to be empowered to make any adjustments in opening of non-essential shops as are merited by local conditions, he said.

The Chief Minister during a COVID-19 review meeting directed the Health and Medical Education departments to continue strengthening the COVID-19 care infrastructure and facilities to deal with a possible third wave of the pandemic.

Read more


In talks with Pfizer for prompt vaccine procurement: V.K. Paul

We are in talks with Pfizer and are looking at July availability, said Dr. V.K. Paul

Pfizer has asked for vaccine indemnity, a decision will be taken keeping in mind the larger good of the people, he adds.

India has a robust system to record deaths due COVID and stories/ articles about unaccounted deaths are baseless, said Health Ministry spokesperson Lav Agarwal.


24 States have registered a decline in active cases: Health Ministry

India is registering a decline in new COVID cases for the past 20 days, said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry in a press briefing.

24 states have registered a decline in active cases. Recoveries are exceeding daily cases, he adds.

The decline in COVID cases has happened with on going restrictions in almost all States across India, said Dr. V.K. Paul

"We have to ensure that the decline continues even after these restrictions are called off."

"Steady progress in procurement of vaccine specially from Pfizer."

"No significant side effect if vaccines are mixed. More investigation needed. No cause for concern, " Dr. Paul said in replying to a question on incident on alleged mixing of vaccines.

About wastage of vaccines, Lav aggarwal said, it is calculated in a systematic manner from across India. States put this in on the COVID dashboard. This is reviewed in State meetings also. States provide these data.

"No antibody test to be done after vaccination. This is not the only measure of immunity. We want to immune everyone. If we need a booster — there is a trial on. Follow the simple guideline issued by the govt, " said Dr. Paul.


Another COVID-19 vaccine enters final trials

Production of another potential vaccine against COVID-19 will begin within weeks, its developers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said Thursday as they launched a large Phase III trial enrolling 35,000 adult volunteers in the United States, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The study will test the effectiveness of vaccine candidate formulas against the virus that spread from Wuhan, China, and against a variant first seen in South Africa, the pharmaceutical firms said.

If the trial is successful, regulators could approve the vaccine for use in the last three months of the year, the companies said in a statement.

“Manufacturing will begin in the coming weeks to enable rapid access to the vaccine should it be approved,” they added. - AP


States responsible for vaccine administration shortfall: Dr. Paul

India’s top COVID-19 adviser Dr. VK Paul has said the States had coerced the Centre into expanding the availability of vaccines despite being aware of being inadequately prepared.

Dr. Paul, Chairman, National Empowered Group on Vaccine Administration, in a press statement Thursday said that vaccine supply, which was managed by the Centre from January-April, was “well administered” but wasn’t upto the mark in May.

Read more


Here’s what to include in your post-COVID-19 diet

Ask anybody who has gone through the suffering and stress of COVID infection in the last 18 months; the common thread of complaints that emerges from their post-recovery experience is all about fatigue, weakness, and the loss of energy, appetite, strength, muscle mass and weight. The road to complete recovery from COVID-19 is tiring. Besides sleep and rest, eating healthy is an essential now to aid in healing.

“Good nutrition helps your battered body build up its energy levels as fast as possible,” says Dr Kavitha Fenn Arunkumar, Madurai-based psychiatrist, referring not just to those who have suffered the sickness, but also those who have seen adversity through the pandemic. In fact, she recommends the intake of easy-to-digest food in frequent and small measures because the body and mind are both vulnerable and not in a condition to labour hard over three big elaborate meals.

Read more


Karnataka: New infections and positivity rate dips, but mortality remains high

Even though the number of fresh COVID-19 infections and the positivity rate has begun showing a marked decline in Karnataka over the last few days, there appears to be no such respite in case fatality rate (CFR).

The number of new cases, which had surpassed the 50,000 mark in the first week of May by reaching 50,112 on May 5 and reporting anywhere between 47,000 to 50,000 till May 9, has substantially decreased to reach 22,758 on May 25. The daily positivity rate, which had shot up to almost 40 per cent by recording 39.7 per cent on May 17, has eased to less than 20 per cent by reporting 19.48 per cent on May 26.

Read more


Stricter lockdown in Mysuru from May 29

With no let-up in COVID-19 cases and deaths despite restrictions imposed by the government, the Mysuru district administration has imposed stricter curbs with a complete lockdown for five days a week to contain the spread of the deadly virus. The stringent restrictions will come into effect from May 29 (Saturday) and remain till June 7.

The complete lockdown has been imposed on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. People are barred from buying vegetables, groceries and other essential items on those days.

Read more


69 healthcare workers of Apollo Hospitals got COVID-19 even after vaccination

At least 69 healthcare workers working with the Apollo Hospital in Delhi tested positive for COVID-19 even after vaccination, and in 48% of these cases, they were infected by the double mutant variant (B.1.617.2) of the virus, the hospital said.

Of the 69 healthcare workers, 51 were fully vaccinated with two doses and the remaining 18 were partially immunised with a single dose, before getting infected.

Read more


Zydus Cadila seeks human trial approval for COVID-19 antibody cocktail

Zydus Cadila has sought regulatory approval for clinical trials of its antibody cocktail to treat mild COVID-19.

The treatment candidate, ZRC-3308, was earlier shown to reduce lung damage during animal trials, the drugmaker said, adding it was found to be safe and well-tolerated.

The therapy is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, which mimic natural antibodies that the body generates to fight infection.

"At this juncture, there is a critical need to explore safer and more efficacious treatments to combat COVID," Zydus Cadila's managing director, Sharvil Patel, said in a stock exchange filing.

The company is seeking permission to conduct early-to late-stage human clinical trials from the Drugs Controller General of India, Zydus said.  - Reuters

Pfizer vaccine

Our vaccine highly effective on COVID-19 variant prevalent in India, suitable for 12 yrs and above: Pfizer to Govt

Seeking a fast-track approval for its COVID-19 vaccine, U.S. major Pfizer has told Indian authorities that its jab has shown "high effectiveness" against the SARS-CoV-2 variant prevalent in India and on people of Indian ethnicity or nationality, while it is suitable for everyone aged 12 years or above and can be stored for a month at 2-8 degrees, sources said on Wednesday.

Pfizer, which is ready to offer 5 crore doses to India between July and October this year and has sought certain relaxations including indemnification, has held a series of interactions with the Indian government authorities recently including one this week, during which it shared the most recent data points regarding efficacy trials and approvals for its vaccine in various countries and by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"The current situation in India, and across the world, is not ‘business as usual’ and we must not respond to it with processes as usual too," a source quoted Pfizer as having communicated to the Indian government.

Another source privy to the discussions said that following recent meetings between the Indian government and Pfizer's Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, they have agreed to jointly work on three key issues to accelerate approval for the company's COVID-19 vaccine in India, namely procurement through a central government pathway; indemnity and liability; and the regulatory requirement for post-approval bridging studies.

In its latest communication to the government, Pfizer has also thanked the Government of India to have agreed to its request for procurement through a central government pathway and to discuss "the Indemnity and Liability protection".  - PTI


No vaccine, no salary: Chhattisgarh tribal dept officer warns staff

A tribal welfare department officer in a Chhattisgarh district has issued an order asking its staff members to get vaccinated against COVID-19, failing which their salaries for the next month will be withheld.

A copy of the order, issued by the assistant commissioner K.S. Masram in Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi district on May 21, went viral on social media where some people expressed displeasure over the 'diktat'.

The order asked officers and employees working in the tribal welfare department-run offices, ashrams (residential schools) and hostels in the district to get inoculated and submit their vaccination cards at its office.

If they do not take the vaccine, their salaries for the next month will be withheld, said the order which came into force with effect from the date of being issued. - PTI

Case-count update

India reports 2,11,298 COVID-19 cases, 3,847 deaths

India's COVID-19 infection tally climbed to 2,73,69,093 as 2,11,298 more people tested positive for the disease in a day, while the country's recovery was recorded at 90%, according to the Union Health Ministry on Thursday.

The death toll due to the disease climbed to 3,15,235 with 3,847 fresh fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The daily positivity was recorded at 9.79%. It has been less than 10% for three consecutive days now, the ministry said. The weekly positivity rate has also declined and now stands at 10.93%.

The count of active cases has further reduced to 24,19,907, which is 8.84% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 90.01% the data showed. - PTI


Newborn baby tests positive in Varanasi but mother is negative

The family of a newborn girl in Varanasi is bewildered after the baby tested positive for COVID-19 soon after birth though her mother had tested negative before the delivery.

The 26-year-old woman is admitted in the S.S. Hospital in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi.

Anil Prajapati, 32, a businessman, said his pregnant wife Supriya was admitted to the hospital on May 24. She was tested the same day through the RT-PCR which showed a negative COVID-19 result, as per her report.

Read more


Chennai sees a drop in COVID-19 cases

Chennai continued to record a steady decline in fresh infections, with the daily count dropping below 4,000 on Wednesday. There was a marginal dip in new cases in the State as well, as 33,764 more people tested positive, even as 475 more succumbed to COVID-19.

With this, the State’s case tally touched 19,45,260 and toll to 21,815.

Deaths due to COVID-19 continued to rise in a number of districts. Of the 475 fatalities (197 in private hospitals and 278 in government facilities), Chennai reported 98.

Read more

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:08:43 AM |

Next Story