Coronavirus updates | October 20, 2021

BBPM health worker collecting swab for testing COVID-19 at Kranthiveera Sangolli Railway station in Bengaluru on October 19, 2021 | Photo Credit: Sudhakar Jain
The Hindu Net Desk 20 October 2021 07:38 IST
Updated: 20 October 2021 22:29 IST

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 99 core on October 19, the Union Health Ministry said

India will soon create history by achieving the target of vaccinating over 100 crore people against COVID-19, Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pawar said on October 19. Addressing a press conference, Ms. Pawar said vaccination is going on on a war footing in the country. She attributed the fast pace of inoculation to teamwork.

Read | Maharashtra’s declining trend in COVID-19 cases continues

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:

National | 07:50 p.m.

Government issues revised guidelines for international passengers

Travellers fully vaccinated and coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines shall be allowed to leave the airport and need not undergo home quarantine and testing from October 25, according to the revised guidelines for international arrivals released on Wednesday.- PTI

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Maharashtra | 12:29 pm

Colleges, universities resume physical classes in Maharashtra

Colleges and universities across Maharashtra resumed physical classes on October 20, after being closed for over one-and-a-half years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the State government's directive, only fully vaccinated students are being allowed to attend the classroom sessions.

For those who cannot attend the physical classes in the wake of the fully vaccinated criteria, most colleges have made the provision of broadcasting live lectures or continuing with the online lectures facility. -PTI

National | 10:40 am

India reports 18% decrease in numbers of new cases, 13% decrease in number of deaths during October 11-17: WHO

India reported an 18% decrease in the new COVID-19 cases along with a 13% decline in the number of deaths during the week of October 11 to 17, the WHO has said, highlighting that all the regions globally, except the European Region, reported a fall in new weekly cases of the deadly virus.

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National | 10:38 am

Active COVID-19 cases in country lowest in 229 days

India logged 14,623 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,41,08,996, while the active cases declined to 1,78,098, the lowest in 229 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on October 20.

The death toll climbed to 4,52,651 with 197 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The daily rise  in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 26 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 115 consecutive days now.

The active cases comprise 0.5% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.15%, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said. -PTI

National | 9:30 am

WHO chief discusses Covid vaccination and other issues with Health Minister Mandaviya

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus discussed the issue of the emergency use listing of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin and resumption of supplies of the Serum Institute of India-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine to the COVAX facility among other topics during a telephonic conversation with Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

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Australia | 9:21

Prospect of no jab, no visa for Australian Open tennis stars

Elite tennis players are being urged to get a COVID-19 vaccination or risk missing the Australian Open next January.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, whose state hosts the season-opening major at Melbourne Park, has already introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes competing in domestic sports leagues and people working in some industries. -PTI

Japan | 7:45 am

Tokyo aims to lift COVID-19 curbs on restaurants as cases fall- media

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is aiming to ease COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants next week as infections continue to decline, the Jiji news service said on October 19

The easing will be announced as early as October 21 and would apply to businesses that are certified as following anti-infection measures, Jiji reported, citing informed sources. -Reuters

Bulgaria  | 7:30 am

Bulgaria makes virus pass mandatory for indoor venues

Bulgaria is introducing a COVID-19 “Green Certificate” as a mandatory requirement for access to restaurants, theaters, cinemas, concert halls, gyms, clubs and shopping malls as the country faces a surge in coronavirus infections.

Health Minister Stoycho Katsarov explained October 19 that the new digital or paper health pass certifies that its holder has been vaccinated, has recently recovered from COVID-19 or has tested negative. -AP

Karnataka | 7:25 am

Vaccination at 65 centres in Mysuru from October 20 to 22

All the 65 wards of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) will have a special drive of vaccination from October 20 to 22 to inoculate mainly those who are either delaying their second dose even after completing 84 days from their first dose or awaiting availability of vaccine.

The MCC has joined hands with the Department of Health and Family Welfare to organise the mega drive to maximise the vaccination coverage.

Read more  

South Africa | 7:20 am

South African regulator rejects Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

The South African drug regulator has rejected the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, citing some safety concerns the manufacturer wasn't able to answer.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, or SAHPRA, said in a statement October 19 that the request for Sputnik V to be authorized could “not be approved at this time,” referring to past failed HIV vaccines that used a similar technology. -AP

USA | 7:20 am

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine highly protective in 12-18 age group- U.S. CDC study

The Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations among those aged 12 to 18, according to an analysis released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on October 19.

The study was conducted between June and September, when the extremely contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus was predominant. -Reuters

International | 7:15 am

WHO-led programme aims to buy antiviral COVID-19 pills for $10- document

A World Health Organization-led programme to ensure poorer countries get fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments aims to secure antiviral drugs for patients with mild symptoms for as little as $10 per course, a draft document seen by Reuters says.

Merck & Co's experimental pill molnupiravir is likely to be one of the drugs, and other drugs to treat mild patients are being developed. -Reuters