Coronavirus updates | Sputnik V vaccine to be available from next week

The national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 83.26%, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed

May 13, 2021 09:50 am | Updated 05:32 pm IST

Oxygen cylinders kept ready at Regional Eye Hospital, where oxygen beds for COVID-19 patients are provided in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Oxygen cylinders kept ready at Regional Eye Hospital, where oxygen beds for COVID-19 patients are provided in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

India added 3,62,727 new coronavirus infections in a day taking the COVID-19 tally of cases to 2,37,03,665, while the death toll rose to 2,58,317 with 4,120 daily fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

The active cases have increased to 37,10,525 comprising 15.65% of the total infections.

The national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 83.26%, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,97,34,823 while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.09%, the data stated.

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:


All civil hospitals in Assam to have their own oxygen plants: Health Minister

All the civil hospitals in Assam will have their own oxygen plants in the next one month, state Health Minister Keshab Mahanta announced.

The minister made the statement during a visit to the Nalbari Swahid Mukunda Kakati Civil Hospital to take stock of the COVID situation.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Mahanta said the state government has decided to increase the number of COVID testing to at least a lakh per day.

Replying to a question, he ruled out the possibility of a total lockdown in the state.

Further, Mr. Mahanta said the state government is planning a scheme to provide food grains to the below poverty line (BPL) families who are in home quarantine. - PTI


Sputnik V vaccine to be available from next week

Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine will be available in India from next week, says NITI Ayog member Dr. V.K. Paul.

Vaccine will be made available for all, he adds.

States wanted flexibility in deciding on vaccine distribution and it is so far proceeding well. Similarly private sector also wanted to distribute vaccines. We are working together.

We are in talks with Pfizer/J&J/Moderna to work with Indian companies and supply vaccines to us. We are inviting them to work with us, he says.

Please have faith in our scientific process, says Dr. Paul while explaining the increased time gap between the first and second dose of  Covishield Vaccine. The time has been extended from 6-8 weeks to 12-16 weeks based on recommendation of COVID Working Group.

We repeatedly warned against the second wave. The magnitude of the peak can’t be predicted, he adds.


India fastest to reach the 17 crore mark

India reached the key milestone of vaccinating 17 crore people, and it is the fastest country to do so, says NITI Ayog member Dr. V.K. Paul. India achieved the feat in 114 days, while USA took 115 days and China took 119 days.

About one-third of the population of 45 and above have received the first dose of vaccine, he says. Of those eligible for second dose of vaccine, 50 per cent have got it, he adds.


Bihar government has extended the lockdown till May 25 in the State. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar tweeted to say that the decision for extension of lockdown till May 25 has been taken after review meeting with ministerial colleagues and officials. - Amarnath Tewary

Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 | Few people approach courts to seek inquiry, damages or fix responsibility, say counsels

This is a common sentiment among most people who had lost their loved ones due to the raging pandemic but not many of them have chosen to approach the courts of law against alleged unpreparedness of the State in the handling the crisis. And legal experts cite multiple reasons for the hesitation.


- Mohamed Imranullah S.


Pradhan urges Odisha CM to set up crisis management committees to deal with COVID-19 pandemic

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to set up COVID crisis management committees comprising members from all political parties to deal with the second wave of the contagion.

The senior BJP leader also requested the chief minister to be vigilant as the next 15 days will be crucial to contain the spread of the disease in the coastal state.

The minister also said the CM spoke to him about the augmentation of the vaccine supply to the State.



Nepal's hospitals stop admitting COVID-19 patients due to scarcity of oxygen

Patients in Nepal are gasping for breath, as authorities said they were facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen due to which 16 people infected with COVID-19 died recently, according to media reports.

The deadly virus has so far infected 413,111 people and claimed 4,084 lives in the country, which has a population of approximately 29.5 million.

The government on Wednesday asked private hospitals to instal their own oxygen plants to meet the need of oxygen within 15 days, the Himalayan Times reported.



Over 35% test positivity rate in 11 grama panchayats in Alappuzha

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alappuzha, the average Test Positivity Rate (TPR) over the last seven days crossed 35% in 11 grama panchayats in the district. Cheruthana grama panchayat has the highest positivity rate at 41.93%. Of the 415 samples tested there between May 6 and May 12, 174 returned positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The other 10 local bodies with TPR above 35% are- Perumbalam, Purakkad, Ezhupunna, Kanjikuzhy, Thycattusserry, Muhamma, Punnapra North, Panavally, Mararikulam North, and Kadakarappally. Besides,  eighteen local bodies recorded an average TPR of over 30%. Of the 72 grama panchayats in the district, Venmony has the lowest positivity rate at 15.11%.

- Staff Reporter

New Delhi

Can't send someone to war without gun: Delhi HC on need for vaccinating legal aid lawyers going to prisons

The Delhi High Court Thursday asked the Centre and Delhi government whether legal aid lawyers and judicial officers in the 18-44 age bracket, working to implement Supreme Court orders to decongest prisons, can walk-in for vaccination shots at the centres set up in district courts, saying "you cannot send someone to war without a gun".

Justice Navin Chawla said legal aid lawyers and judicial officers were working to ensure that the apex court's directions are implemented and need to be protected against the COVID-19 pandemic.


New Delhi

Delhi HC to not proceed further with plea seeking enquiry into alleged hoarding of oxygen cylinders by AAP MLA Imran Hussain

After Delhi government submitted that it has not allocated any oxygen to AAP MLA Imran Hussain, the Delhi High Court said it will not proceed any further in the plea seeking enquiry into alleged hoarding of oxygen cylinders and arbitrarily distributing it free of cost to COVID-19 patients in his constituency.

- Delhi Bureau

COVID-19 infrastructure

States working towards rolling out special home isolation OPDs

 Some States are working towards rolling out special home isolation OPDs wherein the patients will be screened for COVID-19 and for remote screening purposes States are planning to engage final year MBBS students, said a statement issued by the Health Ministry on Thursday. While the final list of states implementing this scheme hasn’t been released yet the Ministry said that owing to the increasing load of COVID cases, in few States eSanjeevaniOPD is being used round the clock. Tamil Nadu is the first state to record over 10 lakh consultations on eSanjeevani. The Ministry of Defence too has roped in veterans of Armed Forces Medical Services to provide their services to the public in selected States, said the Ministry.

- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

New Delhi

COVID-19 second wave | SC seeks details of welfare measures for migrant workers

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the health and welfare of migrant labourers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic even as several States have announced lockdowns.

A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah urged the government to consider the “harsh realities” facing the migrant poor and sought the details of welfare programmes in place.

- Legal Correspondent


New Delhi

Delhi's oxygen demand down, extra oxygen can be given to other states: Delhi Minister

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said that Delhi's daily medical oxygen requirement has come down with a decrease in new COVID-19 cases and extra oxygen that the state is getting can be given to other states.  

"We have written to the central government today that Delhi's daily oxygen requirement now is only 582 MT, instead of 700 MT. And we have informed the central government that Delhi's quota is 590 MT and the extra oxygen we are getting could be given to other states which need more oxygen," Mr. Sisodia said in a video statement.

- Staff Reporter


Maharashtra government extends lockdown-like restrictions till June 1

While cases have been declining somewhat in the State in the past few days, the Maharashtra government on Thursday nevertheless decided to extend its ‘Break the Chain’ restrictions currently in force till June 1.

An order issued by Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005 extended all previous curbs that had been imposed under the orders of April 13, 21 and 29  “till 7 a.m. on June 1.”


- Shoumojit Banerjee

New Delhi

PM Modi is missing along with vaccines and oxygen, tweets Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also missing along with vaccine, oxygen and medicines, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Thursday.

In a tweet, Mr. Gandhi alleged: “Prime Minister is also missing along with vaccine, oxygen and medicines. Among the things that remains include the Central Vista, goods and services tax (GST) on medicines and photographs of the Prime Minister here and there,” the Congress leader tweeted.


- Delhi Bureau


50 employees Bharat Biotech test COVID-19 positive; Joint MD's tweet draws bouquets and brickbats

Bharat Biotech's Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella's tweet saying 50 of their employees tested positive for COVID received bouquets and brickbats from netizens with some saying Covaxin was saving lives while a few questioned as to why the staff were not vaccinated.

Referring to comments by some political bosses over COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin supply issues, Ella on Wednesday tweeted "Quite disheartening to the teams to hear some states complaining about our intentions. 50 of our employees are off work due to covid, yet we continue to work under pandemic lockdowns 24x7 for U."


New Delhi

States fighting with one another for vaccines portrays bad image of country: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the fact that the states are left to competing and fighting with one another in the international market for COVID-19 vaccines portrays a "bad" image of India.

The Centre should procure the vaccines on behalf of the states, he said in the backdrop of a shortage of the vaccine doses in Delhi and many other States.


COVID-19 vaccine update

Pregnant women may be offered choice to take any vaccine: Govt. panel

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has recommended increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks, sources said on Thursday.

It has also suggested that pregnant women may be offered the choice to take any COVID-19 vaccine and that lactating women can be inoculated any time after delivery.

According to sources, the panel recommended that those testing positive for COVID-19 should defer vaccination for six months after recovery.



COVID-19 vaccine

Experts point to ‘contradiction’ in India’s push for IPR waiver on COVID-19 vaccines

Public health advocates and intellectual property rights experts point to a “contradiction” in India’s global push for suspension of intellectual property protection with its stand in the Supreme Court that bringing COVID-19 vaccines under a statutory regime will be “counter-productive” at this stage.

India, along with South Africa, had initiated a proposal for the temporary waiver of certain provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to facilitate fair, affordable and universal access of COVID vaccines and medicines, especially for developing countries.


- Krishnadas Rajagopal


Haryana to float global tenders to procure COVID-19 vaccines

Global tenders would be floated by the Haryana government for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that all those above 18 in the state are inoculated, Health Minister Anil Vij said on Thursday.

During the past few weeks, COVID cases in Haryana have witnessed a surge. The number of total active cases in the state, as on May 12, were 1,07,058.


COVID-19 medicine

Centre allocates 40,000 imported vials of Tocilizumab to States

The Centre has allocated to the States and Union Territories 40,000 out of the 45,000 vials of imported Tocilizumab (80 mg. strength), a drug used in the treatment of COVID-19, that arrived in the country recently.

It has set aside 5,000 vials for Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, for distribution to central health institutions under the Ministry’s control, as well as for the Department of Pharmaceuticals towards supply to health institutions under other ministries.


- Telangana Bureau


33-year-old woman dies outside MIMS waiting for bed

Three COVID-19 patients, who were waiting at the triage zone of the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital in Salem, died on Wednesday. However, Dean R. Murugeshan said he was not aware of the issue and that all the 800 beds in the COVID-19 block were occupied.

Sources in the hospital said that a 52-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman were waiting in ambulances while a 35-year-old woman was waiting in an autorickshaw near the zone. However, all the three patients died before being admitted to the hospital. On May 4, three COVID-19 patients died while waiting at the zone.


- Afshan Yasmeen

New Delhi

DCGI approves phase 2/3 clinical trials of Covaxin for 2 to 18 years olds

The National Regulator of the country, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), has accepted the recommendation of Subject Expert Committee (SEC) and accorded permission to conduct the Phase 2/3 clinical trial of Covaxin (COVID vaccine) in the age group 2 to 18 years, to its manufacturer Bharat Biotech Ltd on May 12.  

A release issued by the Health Ministry on Thursday said that Bharat Biotech International Ltd., Hyderabad (BBIL) had proposed to carry out a Phase- 2/3 clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years. The trial will be conducted in 525 healthy volunteers.


- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

New Delhi

Delhi court dismisses anticipatory bail plea of Navneet Kalra in oxygen concentrator case

A Delhi Court on Thursday refused to grant anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with the seizure of oxygen concentrators, required by COVID-19 patients, from his upscale restaurants including 'Khan Chacha' in the national capital.

“Application is dismissed,” Additional Session Judge Sandeep Garg pronounced the order.


 Tamil Nadu

First tanker with 4.80 tonne oxygen dispatched from Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plant; TVMCH the first beneficiary

The first tanker with 4.80 tonnes of medical-grade oxygen from Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plant was dispatched at 7.10 a.m. on Thursday.

“The medical-grade oxygen with 98.60% purity from Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plant is sent to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital,” said K. Senthil Raj, District Collector and chairperson of the State Government-appointed Monitoring Committee for overseeing the oxygen production from this plant.


- Tamil Nadu Bureau

Tamil Nadu

3 patients die waiting outside Salem GH

Three COVID-19 patients, who were waiting at the triage zone of the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital in Salem, died on Wednesday. However, Dean R. Murugeshan said he was not aware of the issue and that all the 800 beds in the COVID-19 block were occupied.

Sources in the hospital said that a 52-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman were waiting in ambulances while a 35-year-old woman was waiting in an autorickshaw near the zone. However, all the three patients died before being admitted to the hospital. On May 4, three COVID-19 patients died while waiting at the zone.


- Staff Reporter


Virus stifles Muslims' Eid al-Fitr celebrations for second year

Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr in a subdued mood for a second year on Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic again forced mosque closings and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Islam's holiest month of Ramzan.

Worshippers wearing masks joined communal prayers in the streets of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

- AP


American India Foundation raises $25 million for COVID-19 assistance to India

An Indian-American non-profit body has raised $25 million for COVID-19 assistance to India as the country battles a severe outbreak of the viral disease, its functionaries said.

"So far, we have ordered and have commitments for 5,500 oxygen concentrators, 2,300 hospital beds, 25 oxygen plants, and 30,000 non-electric ventilators," Nishant Pandey, CEO of the American India Foundation (AIF), told PTI on Wednesday.


New Delhi

Delhi closes over 100 jab centres due to ‘shortage’

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that more than 100 vaccination centres, where Covaxin is administered, have been closed in the city.

The Delhi government has been raising the issue of shortage of vaccines and urging the Centre to resolve the issue. A total of 1,28,800 doses were administered in the city on Tuesday, down from 1,39,261 doses on Monday.


- Staff Reporter

COVID-19 vaccine update

U.S.-approved vaccines effective against B1617 variant of COVID-19: Official

vaccines approved by the United States like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have effectiveness against the B1617 variant of the virus that is predominant in India, which is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic, a top American health official said.

The observation is based on the latest data about the variant and the three major vaccines approved by the United States, said Dr Francis Collins, Director of National Institute of Science.


Las Vegas

Officials add Vegas to areas with COVID-19 variant first identified in India

The Las Vegas area has been added to places in Nevada where authorities have detected cases of a potentially worrisome strain of the coronavirus first detected in India.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported Tuesday that a woman in her 20s who had not travelled recently and was not vaccinated against COVID-19 tested positive for the variant subtype. She didn't require hospitalisation.


COVID-19 testing update

According to ICMR, 30,94,48,585 samples have been tested for coronavirus till 12th May, of which, 18,64,594 samples were tested yesterday.



500-bed ICU centre attached to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital starts operations

A 500-bed ICU centre attached to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital here started operations on Wednesday.

Dr Ashok Kumar Saxena, the nodal officer of the centre, said the hospital has deployed enough manpower, including senior doctors, 120 junior residents and 300 nurses, to look after patients at the facility.



Sarma for stepping up health infra in Assam, intensify testing

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday directed the health department to step up health infrastructure and conduct one lakh COVID-19 tests daily to detect positive cases early.

At a meeting here to review the coronavirus situation in the state, Mr. Sarma asked the department officials to ensure adequate stock of Remdesivir injections, and procure 50 lakh Rapid Antigen Test kits.


New Delhi

Indian Navy to contribute with its "full might" in these difficult times: Navy Chief on COVID-19

India is perhaps facing the biggest humanitarian challenge since the Independence because of coronavirus pandemic and the Indian Navy will collectively rise to confront the adversity facing the nation, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said on Wednesday.

In a message to Navy personnel, Admiral Singh said the Navy will step up its outreach in extending medical assistance as the pandemic is spreading to rural India and people residing in those areas are in need of help.



‘Black fungus’ scare looms among patients on oxygen support for long

The mention of  ‘mucormycosis’,  or ‘black fungus’ as it is commonly known, is creating a scare among the people, especially among those who have battled COVID-19 with oxygen support for long. It is akin to the fungus that develops on bread due to moisture if stored for long.

The detection of a few cases of black fungus in a couple of States in the North, and now in Hyderabad, is causing fear among the people.


- B. Madu Gopal

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