Coronavirus updates | October 21, 2021

A health worker inoculates a beneficiary with the dose of Covishield vaccine against the coronavirus during a door-to-door vaccination campaign at a residential area in Chennai, October 20, 2021   | Photo Credit: PTI

The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore milestone on October 21.

In a tweet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya congratulated the country on achieving the feat, and said it was the result of the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to official sources, around 75% of India's all eligible adult population has been administered at least the first dose and around 31% has received both the doses of the vaccine.

Read | COVID-19 pandemic fuelled rise in child sexual abuse online: report

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:

India

Mandaviya launches song, film as India hits COVID-19 milestone

As the cumulative vaccine doses administered in India surpassed the 100-crore mark, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday launched a song and a film describing the efforts that went behind the launch of the world's largest Covid inoculation programme.

The Union Health minister launched the song and the film at the iconic Red Fort where the country's largest khadi tricolour, weighing around 1,400 kg, has been displayed.

The same tricolour (225 feet by 150 feet) was unfurled on Gandhi Jayanti at Leh.

"Today India created history. It's a story of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Sankalp'. 100 crore vaccine is a story of Atma Nirbhar Bharat," Mr. Mandaviya said at the event.

The song has been sung by singer Kailash Kher.

The audio-visual film is about how the entire process of vaccination was initiated and what efforts it took to launch the world's largest Covid inoculation programme.

The film also thanks doctors, nurses and everyone else who contributed in the largest vaccination drive and made it a success. - PTI

National

Adult population in nine States received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Over 75 per cent of India's adult population has  received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with nine states and UTs administering the first dose to all its 18-plus population.

More than 31 per cent of the country's adult population has been administered both the doses, according to Union Health Ministry officials.

So far, all adult people in nine states and union territories --  Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Dadra and Nagar Haveli  -- have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The top five states which have administered the highest number of doses are Uttar Pradesh followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

National

Wishes pour in from WHO, Bhutan, Lanka as India achieves 100 crore Covid vaccine dose landmark

Wishes poured in for India from the World Health Organisation and the leadership of Bhutan and Sri Lanka after it scripted history on October 21 with the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassing the 100-crore milestone.

Taking to Twitter, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi, scientists, health workers and people of India on their "efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from COVID-19 and achieve vaccine equity targets".

Bhutan's Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering said the feat is a "huge accomplishment" not just for India, but the world. -PTI

International

Covishield may offer over 90% protection against death from Delta variant: Study

Two doses of Covishield and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines may be 90% effective at preventing deaths from the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on October 21.

The study, using data from the Scotland-wide EAVE II COVID-19 surveillance platform, is the first to show across an entire country how effective vaccines are at preventing death from the Delta variant, the dominant form of the virus in many other countries. -PTI

National

Country now has strong 'protective shield' of 100 crore vaccine doses against pandemic: PM

The country now has a strong "protective shield" of 100 crore vaccine doses to combat the biggest pandemic in 100 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on October 21.

India achieved a major milestone in its vaccination programme against COVID-19 as the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore mark on Thursday. -PTI

USA

U.S. coronavirus vaccine donations reach 200 million doses

The United States, under pressure to share its coronavirus vaccine supply with the rest of the world, has now donated 200 million doses to more than 100 countries, the White House announced on October 21.

President Joe Biden has faced some criticism from other world leaders for offering vaccine booster shots in the United States at a time when many people around the world have not received their first shot. -Reuters

National

India sees over 18K new COVID-19 cases, 160 deaths

A single-day rise of 18,454 fresh cases pushed India's COVID-19 tally to 3,41,27,450, while the number of active infections rose to 1,78,831, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on October 21.

The death toll from the pandemic climbed to 4,52,811 with the addition of 160 fatalities, showed the data updated at 8 am.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 27 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 116 consecutive days now. -PTI

National

India scripts history: PM Modi

India has scripted history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, October 21, 2021, as the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore milestone.

The Prime Minister hailed the vaccination milestone as a triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians.

Read more
 

National

Total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India crosses 100 crore milestone

The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore milestone on October 21

In a tweet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya congratulated the country on achieving the feat, and said it was the result of the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to official sources, around 75% of India's all eligible adult population has been administered at least the first dose and around 31% has received both the doses of the vaccine. -PTI

Singapore

No sign of COVID-19 cases falling in Singapore: Health Minister

Singapore’s Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has said that there is no sign of COVID-19 cases falling in the country as authorities reported the highest number of fatalities from the contagion.

Singapore on October 20, October 20, 2021, reported 3,862 coronavirus cases, including 630 residents from dormitories from migrant workers and 11 cases who arrived from abroad.

Health Minister Ong said that there is no sign of COVID-19 cases falling in Singapore and it will take time for this to happen.

Read more
 

USA

"FDA OKs mixing COVID-19 vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters"

U.S. regulators on October 20 signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

The Food and Drug Administration’s decisions mark a big step toward expanding the U.S. booster campaign, which began with extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine last month. But before more people roll up their sleeves, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consult an expert panel later this week before finalizing official recommendations for who should get boosters and when.

Read more
 

Russia

WHO says it continues to assess Russia's Sputnik V vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) is still assessing the Russia-designed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, according to an update on the WHO's website on October 20.

"As with other candidate vaccines, WHO continues to assess Sputnik V vaccines from different manufacturing sites and will publish decisions on their EUL (Emergency Use Listing) status when all the data are available and the review is concluded," WHO said in emailed comments to Reuters. -Reuters

Poland

Poland to make COVID-19 booster shots available to all adults

Poland is planning to make third doses of the coronavirus vaccine available to all adults "over the next few weeks", Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on October 20.

"Those over 18 who had their last dose at least six months ago will be able to get another dose," Mr. Morawiecki said in a Facebook post. -Reuters

Russia

Russians to stay off work for a week as virus deaths rise

President Vladimir Putin on October 20 ordered most Russians to stay off work for a week later this month amid rising COVID-19 infections and deaths, and he strongly urged reluctant citizens to get vaccinated.

The government coronavirus task force reported 1,028 deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. That brought Russia's death toll to 226,353, by far the highest in Europe. -AP

Czech Republic

Czech Republic imposes new restrictions as infections soar

The Czech Republic on October 20 approved several new measures to tame a steep rise in coronavirus infections, which have reached levels unseen since late April.

Face coverings will be mandatory at workplaces. And as of Nov 1, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other indoor places will need to check whether the patrons have the required COVID-19 certificate confirming they have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from the virus. -AP

South Africa

South Africa starts vaccinations for those aged 12 to 17

South Africa has started giving COVID-19 vaccinations to adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years, with a goal of inoculating at least 6 million people from this age group.

The country is trying to increase its rate of vaccinations which is running behind the target of 300,000 daily shots. Currently, South Africa is administering about 185,000 doses per day. -AP

National

SC to allow journalists inside courtrooms in physical proceedings

The Supreme Court on October 20 decided to allow journalists inside courtrooms to witness the proceedings to be conducted in physical mode subject to adherence to usual COVID-19 protocols.

Earlier, the apex court registry had come out with the revised SOP saying that from October 20, all the matters listed on Wednesdays and Thursdays would be heard in the physical presence of lawyers and litigants in courtrooms only. -PTI

USA

Sanofi says its flu vaccine can be co-administered with Moderna's COVID-19 shot

Sanofi SA's flu vaccine can be safely given along with Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, the French drugmaker said on October 20, citing study data.

The study supports the current recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given simultaneously. The data was reported in slides set to be presented later to a panel of CDC advisers. -Reuters

U.K.

Britain secures COVID-19 antivirals from Merck and Pfizer

Britain said on October 20 it had secured deals for two COVID-19 antivirals, one developed by Merck and the other by Pfizer, which it said could be used to treat patients by the end of the year if regulatory approval is granted.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has removed almost all COVID-19 restrictions and is relying on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments to try and withstand winter pressures on hospitals given high case numbers of more than 40,000 new infections a day. -Reuters

Maharashtra

Rs. 25 Crore be disbursed for educational expenses of kids who lost parents to COVID-19 in Maharashtra: SC

The Supreme Court on October 20 agreed for disbursal of over Rs. 25 crore deposited with it five years ago by the Maharashtra government in the apex court registry towards educational expenses of children who have lost either or both parents during the COVID-19 pandemic in Maharashtra, one of the worst affected States during the second wave of pandemic earlier this year, had deposited the money in the apex court registry in an old matter related to medical college admissions. -PTI

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