Coronavirus updates | August 30, 2021

A health worker administered the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre.   | Photo Credit: V. Raju

Recruitment of volunteers for the phase 2/3 clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covovax' among children aged 2 to 17 years began on August 29 at the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.

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India reports 42,909 new COVID-19 infections for the past 24 hours.

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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:


Karnataka orders one week institutional quarantine for visitors from Kerala

Karnataka government has made a week’s institutional quarantine mandatory for all people coming from Kerala in the wake of high COVID-19 positivity rate in the neighbouring State.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok told reporters in Bengaluru on August 30 that the mandatory institutional quarantine norm would apply to all visitors from Kerala, including students.

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After a dip, Maharashtra’s COVID-19 patient discharges rise

After nearly a week of cases outweighing recoveries, Maharashtra rallied again to see a trend reversal as 4,696 patients were discharged on Monday against a comparatively surge of 3,741 new COVID-19 cases.

The active case tally dipped to 51,834.

The death toll was the lowest in a fortnight, as 52 deaths took the State’s cumulative fatalities to 1,37,209. The case fatality rate remains constant at 2.12%.

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Date | Time

Covid third wave could peak between Oct-Nov; intensity expected to be 1/4 of second wave

India may see a third wave of COVID-19 peaking between October and November if a more virulent mutant than the existing ones emerge by September, but its intensity is expected to be much lower than the second wave, a scientist involved in the mathematical modelling of the pandemic said on Monday.

Manindra Agrawal, an IIT-Kanpur scientist who is part of the three-member team of experts that have been tasked with predicting any surge in infections, said if no new virulent emerges, then the situation is unlikely to change.

If the third wave peaks, the country may see only 1 lakh daily cases as against more than 4 lakh when the deadly second wave was at its peak in May. The second wave killed thousands and infected several lakh.

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Japan's Moderna vaccine contamination woes widen as 1 million more shots suspended

Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine contamination woes in Japan have widened with another million doses being temporarily suspended, after foreign substances were found in more batches and two people died following shots from affected lots.

The suspension of Moderna supplies, affecting more than 2.6 million does in total, comes as Japan battles its worst wave of COVID-19 yet, driven by the contagious Delta variant, with new daily infections exceeding 25,000 this month for the first time amid a slow vaccine rollout.

The latest reports of vaccine contamination came from Gunma prefecture near Tokyo and the southern prefecture of Okinawa, prompting the suspension on August 29 of two more lots in addition to the 1.63 million doses already pulled last week. - Reuters


New Covid variant, C.1.2, may be more infectious, evade vaccine protection: Study

A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, has been detected in South Africa and many other countries globally which could be more transmissible and evade protection provided by vaccines, according to study.

Scientists from National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa said the potential variant of interest, C.1.2, was first detected in the country in May this year.

C.1.2 has since been found in China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, England, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland as of August 13, they said. - PTI


Author Murakami criticizes Japan PM over pandemic measures

On August 29, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami in his monthly radio show criticized the country's Prime Minister, saying Yoshihide Suga has ignored a growing COVID-19 surge and public concerns about the pandemic.

Mr. Murakami quoted PM Suga's comment that “an exit is now in our sight after a long tunnel,” made just before the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics last month. Since the games began, daily new cases have gone up nearly five times nationwide, and more than tripled in Tokyo.

“If he really saw an exit, his eyes must be extremely good for his age. I'm of the same age as Mr. Suga, but I don't see any exit at all,” said Murakami. - PTI


Indonesia schools start cautious reopening after devastating virus wave

Indonesia's capital Jakarta reopened 600 of its schools on August 30 as coronavirus restrictions eased, though a teacher federation urged caution and warned of clusters in classrooms caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Jakarta's infection rate has dropped, authorities said, from a peak last month that saw Indonesia become Asia's coronavirus epicentre, with more than 40 lakh cases and 1,31,000 fatalities overall.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said 610 of 10,000 schools deemed safe had opened at 50% capacity in a resumption of a trial that started in April. "The conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic are much more under control," he said on Instagram. - Reuters


Malaysian PM in quarantine after contact with COVID-19 patient

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is under quarantine following a close contact with a COVID-19 patient, his office said in a statement on August 30.

His office did not say how long he would be in quarantine or whether he had been tested for the coronavirus. - Reuters


Japan finds COVID-19 infections in teachers who took students to Paralympics

Japan has closed a school in the eastern city of Chiba for the rest of this week, after confirming COVID-19 infections in two teachers who accompanied students to watch the Paralympic Games, a city official said on August 30.

The two were among six teachers of the Kaizuka Junior High School who had tested positive for the disease by Sunday, said the official of the city's education board, after a trip with 18 students in two buses to last Wednesday's goalball event. - Reuters


Teachers should be priority group for Covid jabs: WHO

Teachers and school staff should be among the groups prioritised for Covid-19 vaccinations so that schools in Europe and Central Asia can stay open, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF said on August 30.

Measures to ensure that schools can stay open throughout the pandemic "include offering teachers and other school staff the Covid-19 vaccine as part of target population groups in national vaccination plans," the UN agencies wrote in a statement. - AFP


India's COVID vaccine supply jumps, raising export hopes

India's rising output of COVID-19 vaccines and the inoculation of more than half its adult population with at least one dose are raising hopes the country will return as an exporter within months, ramping up from early next year.

India's daily vaccinations surpassed 10 million doses on August 27, with national vaccine production more than doubling since April and set to rise again in the coming weeks. New production lines have been set up, a vaccine developed by Cadila Healthcare won recent approval, and commercial production of Russia's Sputnik V is starting in India.

The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's biggest vaccine maker, is now producing about 150 million doses a month of its version of the AstraZeneca shot, more than twice its April output of about 65 million, a source with knowledge of the matter said. "No fixed timeline on exports but the company hopes to restart in a few months," said the source, who declined to be named without approval to talk on the matter. - Reuters


COVID-19 devastated many lives, heart-wrenching to see survival of children at stake: SC

COVID-19 has devastated many lives and it is “heart wrenching” that the survival of children who lost either or both parents during the pandemic is at stake, the Supreme Court said, but expressed satisfaction over schemes announced by the Centre and States to provide succour to them.

The apex court said that “satisfactory progress” has been made by the Executive in identifying children who have either become orphans or have lost one of their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New Delhi

DDMA issues new guidelines for reopening of schools, colleges

Schools should prepare timetable as per the occupancy limit of classrooms following Covid norms, according to the guidelines issued by the Department of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

The guidelines also state that maximum 50% students per classroom may be called depending upon capacity, lunch breaks in schools to be staggered to avoid crowding, and should be held in open areas. Students and teachers living in COVID-19 containment zones to not to be allowed to come to schools, colleges, and institutions should set up quarantine room for emergency use.

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India logs 42,909 new COVID-19 cases

India saw a single-day rise of 42,909 new COVID-19 infections, which took the total tally of cases to 3,27,37,939, while active cases registered an increase for the sixth consecutive day, according to Union health ministry data updated on August 30.

The death toll has climbed to 4,38,210 with 380 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The number of active cases has increased to 3,76,324 and comprise 1.15% of the total infections. The national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 97.51%, the health ministry said. -PTI


Goa government extends COVID-19 curfew till September 6

The Goa government has once again extended the COVID-19 induced statewide curfew till September 6.

A notification to this effect was issued on Sunday.

The 24-hour curfew was first imposed on May 9 this year and since then it has been extended regularly.

The Goa government has opened the majority of activities in the tourist state but the areas like casinos are yet to be reopened. - PTI

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COVID after-effects: Bracing for a long haul

The dreaded COVID-19 may haunt humans for long, even after it disappears from the globe. The virus has affected all sections of society, irrespective of age, gender, social and financial status and wiped out several families. Recovery has not ended the misery of patients in many cases.

“An estimated 30% of patients, who were affected severely, suffer from post-COVID complications, which can include involvement of any organ from head to toe. The common problems being hair fall, asthenia, body and joint pains, listlessness, indigestion, vomiting and chronic diarrhoea,” says Dr. P.V. Sudhakar, principal of Andhra Medical College.

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Bharat Biotech scouts for international vaccine partners

Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech is seeking international manufacturing partners as it targets a billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine each year, the company said on Sunday.

Covaxin, the company’s home-grown COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in India, is one of two shots driving the country’s massive vaccination programme.

But Bharat Biotech has struggled to boost output, missing supply commitments to the Indian government.

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New Zealand reports death of woman after Pfizer COVID vaccine

On August 30 New Zealand reported that a woman had died following her Comirnaty Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination.

An independent COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring board considered that the woman’s death was due to myocarditis, which is known to be a rare side effect of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The board noted there were other medical issues occurring at the same time which may have influenced the outcome following vaccination, the statement said. - Reuters

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Schools in Puducherry directed to prepare for September 1 reopening

The government has directed schools to complete preparatory measures ahead of the September 1 resumption of offline classes for Classes IX to XII in the Union Territory.

A circular issued by P.T. Rudra Goud, Director of School Education, instructed the heads of all schools in Puducherry to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued. The reopening of schools has been aligned with the decision taken by the Tamil Nadu government.

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Recruitment of volunteers for trial of Covid vaccine 'Covovax' on children begins

Recruitment of volunteers for the phase 2/3 clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covovax' among children aged 2 to 17 years began on August 29 at the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research.

The trial would be held across 10 sites and would cover 920 children, 460 each in the age groups of 12-17 and 2-11 according to official sources.

Indigenously developed Zydus Cadila's needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D has received emergency use authorisation from the drug regulator, making it the first vaccine to be administered in the age group of 12-18 years in the country. - PTI


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