Coronavirus updates | October 23, 2021

Covid 19 vaccination drive in underway at a centre in North Delhi, in New Delhi on Friday, October 22.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22 thanked a host of world leaders for their wishes to India on crossing the 100-crore vaccine doses milestone and underlined that the country remains a steadfast partner in global efforts towards fighting the Covid pandemic.

Wishes continued to pour in for India from various heads of state and government a day after the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 100-crore milestone.

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:


COVID-19 cases on the rise in China as Beijing, several provinces continue to report spike

Authorities in the Chinese capital are ramping up measures like testing and restricting hotel bookings as the total number of coronavirus cases climbed to nine on Saturday, while other parts of the country reported 38 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, according to the National Health Commission.

Five persons who tested positive in Beijing had travelled to Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Shanxi Province from October 12 to October 15, and had returned to Beijing on October 16.

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COVID-19 deaths in Russia hit record for fifth straight day as lockdown looms

Russia reported 1,075 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, its fifth straight daily record, as the authorities prepare to shut workplaces countrywide and lock down the capital. A record 37,678 new cases were also reported. Despite developing one of the world's first vaccines against COVID-19, Russia has vaccinated only about a third of its population, one of the lowest rates in Europe. - Reuters


PM Modi to meet seven Indian COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers on October 23

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet seven Indian COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers on Saturday, a meeting that comes in the wake of the country achieving the landmark of administering 100 crore doses of the jabs, official sources said.

Representatives from seven vaccine makers – Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Zydus Cadila, Biological E, Gennova Biopharma and Panacea Biotech – will be participating in the meeting.

Mr. Modi is likely to emphasise on ways to vaccinate eligible people in India as quickly as possible and also help other countries in inoculating their population as part of the mantra “vaccine for all”, an official source said. - PTI

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Life expectancy in India dropped by two years due to COVID-19: study

The coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the lives of people at different levels, has also caused a drop in the life expectancy of the country by almost two years, a statistical analysis by scientists of the city-based International Institute for Population Studies (IIPS) has revealed.

The analytical report, which points out the drop in life expectancy at birth in both men and women due to the pandemic, has been published in a journal 'BMC Public Health' recently. IIPS professor Suryakant Yadav has authored the report.

"The life expectancy at birth in 2019 was 69.5 years for men and 72 years for women, which came down to 67.5 years and 69.8 years, respectively, in 2020," the report said. - PTI

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Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh government extends five-day week arrangement in its offices till March end next year

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to extend the arrangement of five-day week in its offices across the state till March end next year in view of the coronavirus pandemic, an official said.

The state government's general administration department issued an order to this effect on Friday, he said.

"The arrangement of five-day week (from Monday to Friday) in government offices across the state has been extended till March 31, 2022 for protection and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic," the order said. - PTI


India registers 16,326 new Covid cases, active cases decline to 1,73,728

India saw a single-day rise of 16,326 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 3,41,59,56, while the active cases have declined to 1,73,728, the lowest in 233 days, according to the Union Health Ministry's data updated on Saturday.

The death toll has climbed to 4,53,708 with 666 daily fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 a.m.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 29 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 118 consecutive days now. - PTI

New Zealand

New Zealand's coronavirus outbreak spreads to South Island

New Zealand reported 104 new coronavirus infections on October 23, including the first community case of the virus in the country's South Island in nearly a year, health officials said.

Most of the new infections were reported in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city that has been under a strict lockdown for more than two months. Looser restrictions are in place in most of the rest of the country of 5 million.

The risks of a further spread from the case reported in Blenheim, in the north east of the South Island, remained low, health officials said, with the person likely in the late stage of infection. - Reuters


Canada scraps COVID-19 travel advisory; Ontario to end mask, vaccine rules by March

Canada has scrapped an official advisory urging its citizens to shun non-essential foreign travel, given its successful campaign to inoculate people against COVID-19, the country's top medical officer said on Friday.

Hours later, Canada's most populous province, Ontario, issued a timeline to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, with the aim of removing all proof of vaccination and mask requirements by March 2022. - Reuters


Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in kids

Kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the U.S. considers opening vaccinations to that age group.

The shots could begin in early November, with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas, if regulators give the go-ahead. That would represent a major expansion of the nation's vaccine drive, encompassing roughly 28 million elementary school-age youngsters.

Details of Pfizer's study were posted online. The Food and Drug Administration was expected to post its own review of the company's safety and effectiveness data later in the day. - AP


Petro taxes funding vaccines, says Union Minister Hardeep Puri

Reiterating that the excise duty levied on petroleum products is funding free COVID-19 vaccines and public welfare schemes, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Puri said on Friday that global oil prices would likely fall by the time India vaccinates its entire population, indicating no tax cuts may be expected at that time.

Facing multiple queries about the high retail prices for fuels at the closing press conference of India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, Mr. Puri said the Centre has been charging ₹32 as excise per litre, irrespective of whether the oil price was $19 a barrel or $84 a barrel, whereas States charge an ad valorem duty.

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Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 vaccine did not cause actor Vivekh’s death: panel

The death of actor Vivekh, two days after inoculation against COVID-19 earlier this year, was not due to the vaccine, the National Adverse Events Following Immunisation Committee has said.

The report of the committee provided the causality assessment results in respect of 92 serious adverse events.

Vivekh’s death, the report said, was a coincidental event, for which a clear cause other than vaccination was found on investigation. He had suffered “acute myocardial infarction with cardiogenic shock with ventricular fibrillation in a known case of hypertension”, it said.

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Over 88% of eligible residents of Dakshina Kannada given first dose: Angara

Minister in charge of COVID-19 control in Dakshina Kannada S. Angara on Friday said over 88% of eligible residents of the district had been administered the first dose of the vaccine while 45% had been given the second dose too.

He told reporters here that vaccine coverage was possible because of the cooperation of district-level officials, health workers, voluntary organisations, and people’s representatives in the district.

The Minister said the administration had the target of inoculating 17.15 lakh residents in the district. Of them, 15,07,136 were given the first dose while 8,05,349 were given the second dose too.

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