Coronavirus updates | September 28, 2021

A medic administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary during a special vaccination drive for women at Dahisar Jumbo vaccination centre in Mumbai, Monday, September 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Many States and Union Territories have organised mass vaccination camps across the country to reach target vaccinations, and to pre-empt the emergence of third wave of COVID-19.

The number of fresh coronavirus cases was recorded at below 20,000 in India after 201 days on Tuesday, taking the country's COVID-19 tally to 3,36,97,581, while the number of active cases declined to 2,92,206, the lowest in 192 days, according to the Union Health Ministry.

Scientists have developed a three-dimensional (3D) printed vaccine patch that provides greater protection than a typical immunisation shot. The team at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in the U.S. applied the vaccine patch directly to the skin of animals, which is full of immune cells that vaccines target.

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:




Physical classes for students from class 1 to 8 to resume in T.N. from November 1

After over a year and a half, physical classes for students from class 1 to 8 would resume in schools with effect from November 1, the Tamil Nadu government said on Tuesday.

Following a meeting chaired by Chief Minister M K Stalin at the Secretariat to review the ongoing measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said the ban in respect of social, political, cultural and religious congregations would continue to be in place.

Places of worship would continue to be shut on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, an official release said.

In a relaxation, the government said meetings at district collectorates, every Monday, to address public grievances would be allowed and every month, similar gatherings to address farmers grievances shall be conducted.

Considering feedback from medical experts, educationists and parents, physical classes for children in all schools (government-run, state-aided and other boards as well) would resume from November 1, the government said.

The classes shall be held by following the Standard Operating Procedures to prevent virus spread.

Stakeholders had opined that students faced stress and a gap in learning since they are confined to their homes since last year, following the emergence of the pandemic, the government said.

Students of class 9-12 resumed attending physical classes in schools from September 1.

The government, pointing to the upcoming festival season, appealed to the people to avoid visiting places that may witness crowding.

Following COVID-19 guidelines alone could help prevent a third wave of the virus, the government said and appealed to the people and commercial establishments as well to cooperate.

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Covid virus expected to continue to transmit for a very long time: WHO

Stressing that the Covid virus may continue to transmit for a “very long time”, senior WHO official Poonam Khetrapal Singh says the level of immunity in a community, through vaccination and previous infection, will determine whether it will become endemic in the long run.

WHO’s South-East Asia region regional director added that there is need to get to a situation where "we are fully in control of the virus, and not the virus in control of us".

The endemic stage is when a population learns to live with a virus, very different from the epidemic stage when the virus overwhelms a population. - PTI


India allows Serum Institute to enrol 7-11 year olds in COVID-19 vaccine trial

India's drug regulator on Tuesday allowed vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute to enroll children between seven and 11 years of age for its COVID-19 vaccine trial. - Reuters


Children aged 12 and above must be prioritised for vaccination: ICMR

Available evidence suggests that children aged 12 and above are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 infection and must be prioritised for vaccination compared to younger children, said experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), adding that schools need to be reopened in a phased manner (beginning with primary schools followed by secondary schools) and allowed to remain open and safe with appropriate implementation of multi-layered mitigation measures where children’s participation remains essential.

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India records 18,795 fresh cases, 179 more deaths

A total 18,795 fresh Covid cases were registered in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll due to the viral disease climbed to 4,47,373 with 179 more fatalities, the lowest in 193 days, according to the ministry's data updated at 8 a.m.

The number of daily fatalities was recorded at 154 on March 19.

The number of active cases has declined to 2,92,206, accounting for 0.87% of the total number of cases, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.81%, the highest since March last year, the Union Health Ministry said. - PTI


Japan set to lift all virus emergency steps nationwide

Japan is set to lift all coronavirus emergency measures when they expire later this week as the infections slow and the nation tries to reactivate its economy.

Officials in charge of coronavirus measures got endorsement from experts at a meeting Tuesday, on the condition easing of restrictions will be gradual. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to announce a lifting of the emergency and subsequent plans later Tuesday.

With the lifting, Japan will be entirely free of any emergency requirements for the first time since April. Government officials are preparing for the relaxed restrictions by instituting other plans such as vaccine passports and virus tests. - AP


Labs in Ernakulam barred from conducting COVID antigen test

District Collector Jafar Malik has issued orders prohibiting the conduct of COVID-19 antigen tests at government and private laboratories in the district.

The order was issued in the wake of 90% of the eligible population receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. From now on, antigen test will only be permitted based on recommendations made by doctors during emergency.

A review meeting of the COVID-19 situation decided that labs should make available RT-PCR reports within 12 hours and all results should be uploaded on the Lab Diagnosis Management System portal. If needed, bystanders in hospitals should be asked to take the RT-PCR test and results should be made available in six hours.

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Andhra Pradesh

A.P. witnesses lowest daily COVID-19 tally in 187 days

The State reported six deaths due to COVID-19 and 618 infections in the 24 hours ending Monday. The daily tally was the lowest in the past 187 days. The number of samples tested at 38,069 was also the lowest in the past 160 days. The cumulative tally increased to 20,47,459 and the toll reached 14,142.

The number of active cases came down to 12,482 as 1,178 patients recovered in the past day. The total recoveries and recovery rate stands at 20,20,835 and 98.70%. The active cases tally was below 13,000 for the first time in 175 days.

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New 3D printed vaccine patch offers greater protection than jabs

Scientists have developed a three-dimensional (3D) printed vaccine patch that provides greater protection than a typical immunisation shot. The team at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in the U.S. applied the vaccine patch directly to the skin of animals, which is full of immune cells that vaccines target.

The resulting immune response from the patch was 10 times greater than vaccine delivered into an arm muscle with a needle jab, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The technique uses 3D-printed microneedles lined up on a polymer patch and barely long enough to reach the skin to deliver vaccine. - PTI

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Joe Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot as additional doses roll out

U.S. President Joe Biden rolled up his shirt sleeve for a COVID-19 vaccine booster inoculation on Monday, hoping to provide a powerful example for Americans on the need to get the extra shot even as millions go without their first.

In getting the booster, Mr. Biden dismissed criticism that the United States should distribute more vaccines worldwide before allowing boosters at home. "We are going to do our part," he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week backed an additional dose of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions and adults in high-risk working and institutional settings. - Reuters

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