Coronavirus updates | September 16, 2021

U.S. in the meanwhile is is considering requiring vaccinations against COVID-19 and contact tracing of international visitors.

Updated - September 16, 2021 10:05 pm IST

Published - September 16, 2021 09:32 am IST

A health worker administering COVID vaccine to a man in Hyderabad. File

A health worker administering COVID vaccine to a man in Hyderabad. File

India reported 30,570 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, according to Union Health Ministry data.

India's overall infection tally has risen to 3,33,47,325, while the count of active cases has dipped to 3,42,923, as of 08:00 am on Thursday. 431 people have died in the last 24-hours in the country.

The country has also administered 76,57,17,13 doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far.

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 developments:

Andhra Pradesh

Over 70% adults received at least one dose of vaccine in Andhra Pradesh, says Health Department

The State Health Department announced that 70.5% of the eligible population in Andhra Pradesh had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 31.6% of them received both the doses. The Department also announced that 99% of the total health workers in the State have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Additionally, the Department said that more than 99% of the State's frontline workers received at least one dose.



Kerala accounts for 68% new cases

A single State, Kerala, accounts for 68% of new COVID-19 cases reported in the country, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says during a weekly media briefing on the pandemic. India is slowly witnessing decline in number of new cases, he adds.

Mr. Bhushan also says 20% of adult population have already take both the doses of COVID-19 vaccination.


Mega COVID-19 vaccination drive in Gujarat on Sept 17

A mega COVID-19 vaccination drive will be held in Gujarat on Friday with an aim to cover more than 35 lakh eligible people in a single day, a senior health official said on Thursday.

Those who are yet to receive their first dose of vaccine and also those who are due for their second dose will be covered under the special drive, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Manoj Aggarwal told reporters in Gandhinagar.

"The aim is to cover more than 35 lakh beneficiaries and ensure 100 per cent vaccination in the state's 7,500 villages," he said.

Preparations for the mega drive, especially to cover the rural population, have been completed and a review meeting with all district collectors and municipal commissioners was held via video-conferencing to make it a success, he said.

A total of 5.33 crore doses were administered in Gujarat till Wednesday, with 8,34,787 doses administered per 10 lakh population, taking Gujarat to the forefront of the vaccination drive that was launched on January 16 this year, the official said.

"Gujarat leads among the country's large states in terms of COVID-19 vaccination. Hundred per cent people above the age of 18 have received their first dose of vaccine across the state's 5,906 villages, 104 primary health centres, 14 urban health centres and 17 talukas," he claimed.

Gujarat has also set up a robust vaccine storage facility, with six zone-level stores, 41 district and corporation-level stores, and 2,236 cold chain points operational to meet the requirement, he said.


New AI tool can help treat COVID-19 patients globally: Study

A team of international researchers has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can predict how much extra oxygen a COVID-19 patient might need during hospital care.

To check the accuracy of the AI tool, it was tested out in a number of hospitals across five continents.

The results showed it predicted the oxygen needed within 24 hours of a patient's arrival in the emergency department, with a sensitivity of 95 per cent and a specificity of over 88 per cent.

The outcomes of around 10,000 COVID-19 patients from across the world were analysed in the study published in the journal Nature Medicine on Thursday.

The technique, known as federated learning, used an algorithm to analyse chest X-rays and electronic health data from hospital patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

To maintain strict patient confidentiality, the patient data was fully anonymised and an algorithm was sent to each hospital so no data was shared or left its location.

Once the algorithm had ‘learned’ from the data, the analysis was brought together to build the AI tool.

"Federated learning has transformative power to bring AI innovation to the clinical workflow," said Professor Fiona Gilbert, from the University of Cambridge in the UK, who led the study.

"Usually in AI development, when you create an algorithm on one hospital's data, it doesn't work well at any other hospital," said study first author Ittai Dayan, from Mass General Bingham in the US.


Malaysia reopens resort island as vaccinations rise

Hundreds of holiday-makers flocked to Malaysia’s northern resort island of Langkawi as it reopened on Thursday to fully vaccinated travelers.

Langkawi is the first holiday destination in the country to welcome visitors as part of a domestic tourism bubble. If successful, it could see other holiday destinations following suit in a bid to revive the economy. Malaysia has reported more than 2 million infections while deaths have surged above 21,000 despite a lockdown in June.

But vaccination has also picked up pace, with three-quarter of the country’s adult population fully inoculated.

- AP


Additional restrictions in Coimbatore from September 17

The Coimbatore district administration has imposed new restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19, from September 17.

In a release issued on Wednesday, Collector G.S. Sameeran said that all shops except those selling milk, medicines, vegetables and groceries would remain shut on Sundays. Department stores and supermarkets would also have to remain shut.

All restaurants and bakeries should offer only parcel services on Sundays and that too from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. only. All malls, cinemas, parks and tourist spots would remain shut on Sundays.


New Delhi

Senior nursing officers deputed in private health facilities for COVID-19 to be repatriated

The Delhi government has directed that all senior nursing officers, who were posted in private hospitals for monitoring COVID-19 patients, be sent back to their parent hospitals.

"The competent authority is pleased to repatriate all senior Nursing Officers... who were posted as Nodal Officer in various private health care facilities from Delhi Govt. Hospitals to monitor management of COVID-19 patients along with monitoring the Covid vaccination... to their parent hospitals," the order that was issued last week said.

The order also said that if any substitute of the senior nursing officers were deployed by the parent hospital, they should be relived and repatriated, it added.



Link between menstrual changes and Covid vaccination plausible, says British Medical Journal editorial

A link between changes in the menstrual cycle and COVID-19 vaccination is plausible, and should be investigated, according to an editorial published in the British Medical Journal on Thursday.

In the editorial, Victoria Male, a reproductive specialist at Imperial College London, U.K. noted that periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding are not listed as common side effects of COVID-19 vaccination.

Over 30,000 such reports had been made to the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) surveillance scheme for adverse drug reactions by September 2, she said.

The expert, however, noted most people find that their period returns to normal the following cycle and, importantly, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination adversely affects fertility

She suggests that doctors should encourage their patients to report any changes to periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding after vaccination to the MHRA's scheme.



Special vaccination camp at Valsad in Gujarat for Maharashtra workers on September 17

A special COVID-19 vaccination camp has been organised on Friday in neighbouring Valsad district of Gujarat for labourers travelling there for work from Palghar in Maharashtra, Palghar Collector Dr Manik Gursal said on Thursday.

He said many people go to Valsad daily for work from villages located along the border in Palghar and are unable to spare time to get inoculated.

A special mass vaccination drive is being organised on Friday in industrial and other establishments of Valsad district, he said.

Valsad's collector is making arrangements for the vaccination of these workers, Mr. Gursal said.


CPI(M) Tripura State Secretary Gautam Das succumbs to COVID-19 complications

CPI(M) Tripura State Secretary Gautam Das passed away from post COVID-19 complications at a hopital in Kolkata on Thursday morning. He was 70-years-old.

Gautam Das served as Editor of the Daily Desher Katha , CPI(M) mouthpiece, for over three decades prior to elevation as State Secretary.



UNICEF calls for schools to reopen in pandemic-hit nations

The U.N. children's agency UNICEF has urged education authorities to reopen schools as soon as possible in countries where millions of students are still not allowed to return to classrooms 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools in about 17 countries are fully closed, while those in 39 countries are partially closed, UNICEF said in a report on Thursday.

- Reuters


U.S. govt advisers get set to decide need for boosters

U.S. government advisers will debate on Friday if there's enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

It's the first public step toward deciding which Americans may get an extra dose and when. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday posted much of the evidence that it will ask outside experts to consider at Friday's meeting.

But the agency struck a neutral tone in reviewing the data and discussing the rationale for boosters. That careful approach is notable given that White House officials have been previewing a booster campaign that they hoped to begin next week.



Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine protection wanes, makes case for booster

New data from Moderna Inc's large COVID-19 vaccine trial shows that the protection it offers wanes over time, supporting the case for booster doses, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

"This is only one estimate, but we do believe this means as you look toward the fall and winter, at minimum we expect the estimated impact of waning immunity would be 600,000 additional cases of COVID-19," Moderna President Stephen Hoge said on a conference call with investors.

- Reuters


278 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, 5 more deaths

With the addition of 278 new cases of coronavirus, the infection count in Maharashtra's Thane district has gone up to 5,55,368, an official said on Thursday.

Besides these new cases reported on Wednesday, the virus also claimed the lives of five more people, raising the death toll in the district to 11,359, he said.

The COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane stood at 2.04%, he added.



Over 76.11 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to states, UTs, says Centre

More than 76.11 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Further, more than 1.65 crore doses are in the pipeline.

Over 5.33 crore balance and unutilised COVID vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered, the ministry said.



Nanded district plans to administer 75,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses on September 17

The Nanded administration has set a target of administering 75,000 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 to the eligible population in the Maharashtra district on Friday, officials said.

This drive has been planned as part of the 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', an ongoing initiative of the central government to commemorate 75 years of India's independence, and the 'Marathwada Mukti Sangram Din', celebrated to mark the region's liberation from the Nizams of Hyderabad on September 17, 1948, Nanded Collector Vipin Itankar said in a release on Wednesday.



Active COVID-19 cases in Andamans dip to 13 as no fresh infection detected

The total number of active cases in Andaman and Nicobar Islands dipped to 13 on Thursday as no fresh infection was detected, while two more persons recovered from the disease, a health bulletin said.

The Union territory's caseload stood unchanged at 7,592, of which 7,450 were recoveries and 129 fatalities.

The administration has tested over 5.19 lakh samples for COVID-19 so far, it said, adding that the positivity rate stood at 1.46%.



U.S. working on new COVID-19 rules for international visitors

The Biden administration is considering requiring vaccinations against COVID-19 and contact tracing of international visitors after the US revamps current broad restrictions that bar many foreigners from travelling to the US, a top White House adviser has said.

Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on Wednesday that because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, current travel restrictions will remain in place until the administration rolls out a “new system” for regulating international travel.

The system will include a prominent role for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



World leaders face new rule at U.N. meeting: vaccination

World leaders will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to speak at the U.N. General Assembly's big meeting next week, the assembly leader and New York City officials have said, prompting swift objections from at least one nation.

With the diplomatic world's premier event being held in person for the first time during the pandemic, city International Affairs commissioner Penny Abeywardena told the assembly in a letter last week that officials consider the hall a “convention center” and therefore subject to the city's vaccination requirement.

- AP


Indonesia in talks with WHO to become global vaccine hub, says country’s Health Minister

Indonesia is in talks with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as six drug companies to become a global hub for manufacturing vaccines, its health minister told Reuters .

Detailing the ambitious strategy for the first time, Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that Indonesia would kickstart the initiative by prioritising purchases of COVID-19 vaccines from companies that shared technology and set up facilities in Indonesia.

"We are working with the WHO to be one of the global manufacturing hubs for mRNA," he said, adding he had directly lobbied WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on a trip earlier this month to Europe."The WHO has pointed to South Africa as the first location, and I said that logically Indonesia should be the second."

- Reuters

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.