Coronavirus updates | India to resume exports of coronavirus vaccines in October

Residents getting vaccinated at corporation’s mega vaccination drive in Chennai on September 19, 2021   | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

As many as 16,602 persons were vaccinated in the second mega vaccination programme held in Kallakurichi district of Tamil Nadu on September 19. According to Collector P.N. Sridhar, the vaccines were administered in 423 camps. The camps began at 7 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m. About 12,804 people took the first dose of the vaccine while 3,798 took the second dose. Official sources said there was no wastage of doses.

Editorial |  A spike: On records and COVID-19 vaccination coverage

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 developments:


India to resume exports of coronavirus vaccines in October

India, the world's largest vaccine producer, will resume exports and donations of surplus coronavirus vaccines in October after halting them during a devastating surge in domestic infections in April, the health minister said Monday.

Mansukh Mandaviya said the surplus vaccines will be used to fulfill India's "commitment towards the world for the collective fight against COVID-19,” but vaccinating Indians will remain the government's "topmost priority.”

India was expected to be a key supplier for the world and for the U.N.-backed initiative aimed at vaccine equity known as COVAX. It began exporting doses in January but stopped after being hit by a massive wave of cases. The halt in exports left many developing countries without adequate supplies.

Before halting exports, India donated or sold 66 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries.



COVID-19 virus evolving to get better at becoming airborne, study shows

The variants of SARS-CoV-2 are getting better at travelling through the air, and people must wear tight-fitting masks and ensure better ventilation, in addition to getting vaccinated, to help stop spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study.

The team led by researchers at the University of Maryland in the US found that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 exhale infectious virus in their breath, and those infected with the Alpha variant put 43 to 100 times more virus into the air than people infected with the original strains of the virus.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, also found that loose-fitting cloth and surgical masks reduced the amount of virus that gets into the air around infected people by about half.- PTI


Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon— a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press.- AP

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New Delhi

Opposition should introspect over their 'irresponsible' remarks about Covid vaccination drive: Nadda

The Opposition parties should introspect over their "irresponsible" statements about the Covid vaccination programme of the Modi government that has proved to be the "biggest and fastest" in the world, BJP president J.P. Nadda said on September 20.

In a visit to a vaccination centre at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, he congratulated and thanked a team of Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, State health ministers, medical fraternity and people for making the vaccination campaign a "success".

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SC seeks Centre’s reply on plea of DCPCR for priority COVID-19 vaccination of pregnant women

The Supreme Court on September 20 agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to the Centre to declare pregnant as well as lactating women as high-risk category and be given priority for COVID-19 vaccination.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and B.V. Nagarathna issued notice to the Centre on the plea of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) and sought its response within two weeks. -PTI


SC seeks Centre’s response on door-to-door Covid vaccination for differently abled

The Supreme Court on September 20 sought the Centre’s response on door-to-door Covid vaccinations for persons suffering with disability within two weeks.

Issuing notice to the Centre, a bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and B.V. Nagarathna also sought the assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta about steps taken so far to vaccinate the differently abled and the government's proposals on the matter.

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India administers lowest number of COVID-19 tests in a month

India conducted the lowest number of daily COVID-19 tests since mid-August on September 19, but the Health Ministry urged local governments not to let their guard down during the September to November festival season.

States and federally controlled territories carried out 1.18 million tests on September 19, government data showed on September 20, down from 1.56 million on September 18 and against a capacity of more than 2 million. -Reuters

New Zealand

New Zealand’s largest city to remain locked down

New Zealand’s largest city will remain in lockdown for at least two more weeks, although some restrictions will be eased from September 21.

Auckland has been in the strictest form of lockdown for just over a month, the longest stretch since the pandemic began. -AP


Vietnam capital Hanoi to ease coronavirus curbs this week

Vietnam's capital Hanoi will further ease its coronavirus restrictions from this week, the government said, with new cases on the decline and the majority of its adult population partially vaccinated.

Most construction projects can resume from September 22, authorities said late on September 19, adding further easing would follow, with average new daily cases down to just 20. -Reuters


Over 79.58 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to States, UTs: Centre

More than 79.58 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to States and UTs so far, the Union Health Ministry said on September 20.

Further, more than 15 lakh doses are in the pipeline.

Over 5.43 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the States and UTs to be administered, the ministry said. -PTI

New Zealand

New Zealand's Auckland COVID-19 restrictions eased slightly

Coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand's largest city Auckland will be eased slightly from September 22, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference.

The city, which is at the centre of the latest Delta variant outbreak, will move to alert level 3 from alert level 4 starting midnight on September 21, Ms. Ardern said. Schools and offices will still remain closed at level 3 but businesses can operate contactless services. -Reuters


India logs 30,256 new cases

With 30,256 people testing positive for coronavirus infection, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,34,78,419, while the active cases declined to 3,18,181, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on September 20.

The death toll climbed to 4,45,133 with 295 more fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The active cases have declined to 3,18,181 comprising 0.95% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.72%, the health ministry said. -PTI


Pre-school, 2 nurseries among COVID-19 clusters in Singapore

Two nurseries and a pre-school are among the latest COVID-19 clusters in Singapore which has reported 1,012 new cases, 90 of which were residents of dormitories for foreign workers.

Health authorities are keeping a close eye on the number of COVID-19 cases in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to ensure Singapore’s health system is not overwhelmed, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Sunday. -PTI


Despite achieving 100% first dose coverage, Bengaluru Urban still administering first doses

On August 30, Bengaluru Urban (excluding BBMP) became the first district in Karnataka to achieve 100% first dose vaccination coverage. It had also topped the list of districts with the highest second dose coverage. According to data from the State Health and Family Welfare Department, 28.2% of the 10,62,262 population in this district had been fully vaccinated till August 30.

However, a fortnight after achieving 100% first dose coverage, the district continues to administer first doses and as of Wednesday, 11,15,135 people had received the first dose. This is 52,873 persons over and above the target population of 10,62,262.

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First-generation learners stare at a bleak future in Odisha

Being brought up amidst parents without any formal education generally leaves children at a disadvantage. But, when access to classroom-teaching, the only line of guidance for the first-generation learners, got cut-off during the COVID-19 pandemic, it proved to be a double-whammy for hundreds of children in rural Odisha.

At Darlipada, in Boden block of Nuapada district, Laxmi Jagat, 17, feels the pain of being kept away from classroom teaching better than others.

She considers herself lucky as she managed to scrape through the matriculation examination with 198 marks (32%) this year. In her own words she had no idea about the subjects, which were supposed to be taught in Class X.

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Tamil Nadu

Chennai Corporation sets one month deadline to vaccinate everyone

Having set a deadline of vaccinating all residents above 18 in one month, the Greater Chennai Corporation has started sending teams to households to persuade residents unwilling to get their shot.

At least 1,000 Corporation workers have hit the streets; visiting households to identify unvaccinated residents. The teams will collect details of the unwilling residents and take them for vaccination camps in the next few weeks. The number of doses administered in the city is set to touch 50 lakh this week.

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As leaders reconvene at UN, climate and COVID-19 top the list

With the coronavirus pandemic still raging in many parts of the world, leaders from more than 100 nations are heading to New York this week for the United Nations' annual high-level gathering — a COVID-inflected, semi-locked down affair that takes place in one of the pandemic's hardest-hit cities of all. It will be a departure from the last in-person meeting of the General Assembly in 2019 — and far different, too, from last year's all-virtual version. -AP


75% of U.T. population given at least one dose of vaccine

The number of vaccine doses administered against COVID-19 in the Union Territory has crossed the 9-lakh mark.

According to the Health Department, 10,905 persons, the highest single-day number in several weeks, received the jab on Sunday to take the aggregate number of doses administered in the Union Territory to 9,08,166.

As on Sunday, about 75% of the population has been partially or fully vaccinated.

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Booster use may be expanded

The National Institutes of Health director says a government advisory panel's decision to limit Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans 65 and older as well as those at high risk of severe disease is a preliminary step and predicts broader approval for most Americans “in the next few weeks”. -PTI


Stringent lockdown where COVID-19 cases are at high level, says Kerala govt

Special intensified, stringent lockdown restrictions will be enforced in areas of Kerala, where the spread of COVID-19 is at critical-levels, the State government said on September 19.

The stringent lockdown restrictions would be in force in areas where the weekly infection population ratio (WIPR) is above 10 and the affected places would be notified by the district disaster management authority (DDMA) on a weekly basis, said an order from Chief Secretary V.P. Joy. -PTI


Indrajatra celebrated with religious fervour in Nepal amid COVID-19

Centuries-old Hindu festival, Indrajatra, was celebrated with religious fervour in Nepal on September 19, as the COVID-19 situation eases in the Himalayan nation.

The eight-day festival, which began on 'Bhadra Shukla Dwadashi' (September 18), is said to be held annually since the rule of 10th Century King Gunakam Dev. Last year, the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic. -PTI

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 10:39:51 PM |

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