India’s daily COVID-19 cases continue to manifest a downward trend, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday underscoring that low number of daily cases and rising recoveries have ensured a sustained fall in active cases. India's average daily deaths also continue to sharply decline. From a high of 211 in the second week of January, average daily deaths have reduced to 96 in the second week of February, registering a decline of 55 per cent, it said.
India's total active cases has also dropped to 1.43 lakh which now consists of just 1.32% of India's total infections.
Seven states and UTs have reported no new COVID-19 deaths in the last three weeks, while 15 have not registered any such fatality in the past 24 hours, the Centre said on Tuesday. The Centre, however, noted that the last national serosurvey findings have shown that over 70% of the population is still susceptible to the disease.
The seven States and UTs — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep — have reported no new COVID-19 deaths in last three weeks, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
Here are the latest updates:
No COVID-19 deaths reported by 15 States/UTs in the last 24 hours: Rajesh Bhushan
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan addresses the media on the COVID-19 situation:
“63,10,194 number of vaccines administered till 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“The country’s total COVID-19 active caseload has also dropped to 1.43 lakh (1,43,625) on Tuesday with the active caseload now at 1.32% of India’s total positive cases.
“The country’s COVID-19 case fatality rate is amongst the lowest in the world at 1.43% while the global average stands at 2.18%.
“Kerala and Maharashtra continue to lead on the number of active COVID-19 cases. 33 States and Union Territories in the country today have less than 5,000 active cases. 15 States/UTs haven’t reported any new deaths due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
“Mop-up-rounds (Multiple rounds can be done) by Feb. 24 to be organised by all States/UTs for healthcare workers. By March 1 all frontline worker must be give first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Otherwise they [healthcare or frontline workers] will be shifted to age appropriate vaccination round.
“97% people satisfied with overall vaccination experience — as per feed back received by the Health Ministry.
"Procuring vaccines is not a one time job and is a continuous process."
Urban classes still vulnerable: V.K. Paul
Member (Health) NITI Aayog V.K. Paul:
“Urban clusters still vulnerable, we need to be cautious.
"The vaccine uptake has been good."
U.S. Army soldier tests positive for COVID-19 prior to joint Indo-U.S. exercise
A U.S. Army soldier tested positive for coronavirus prior to the joint Indo-US exercise 'Yudh Abyas', defence sources said on Feb. 9.
The exercise commenced in Mahajan field firing ranges on Feb. 8.
The U.S. troops arrived in Suratgarh on Saturday and all soldiers were tested for COVID-19. One of the soldiers was put into quarantine after he was suspected to be suffering from coronavirus.
His report later came back positive, the defence sources said.
They said that he was under isolation since the beginning and not part of the exercise which was going on in full swing.
19 deaths not causally related to vaccination presently reported till Feb 4: Govt
Twenty-five hospitalisations, which is 0.0005% of the total people who received vaccine jabs, and 19 deaths not causally related to the vaccination presently have been reported till February 4, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Feb. 9.
Two vaccines — Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech — have been granted permission for restricted use in emergency situation by the national regulator, said Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said in a written reply.
Asked whether there was any report of serious side effect after vaccination, he said, "A total of 25 hospitalisations i.e. 0.0005% of total beneficiaries administered the first dose and 19 deaths i.e. 0.0004% of total vaccinations till February 4, 2021, not causally related to vaccination presently, have also been reported."
On Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI) arising from the use of Covaxin and Covishield, Mr. Choubey said till February 4 total 81 AEFIs, which is 0.096% of the total beneficiaries who have been administered Covaxin, have been reported.
No provision of insurance for recipients of COVID-19 vaccine: Choubey
There is no provision of insurance for recipients of COVID-19 vaccine against any kind of side effects or medical complications that may arise due to the inoculation, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
The COVID-19 vaccination is entirely voluntary for the beneficiary, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said in response to a question on whether those administered/to be administered with the COVID-19 vaccines are insured against any kind of side effects or medical complications that may arise due to inoculation.
Measures have been put in place like availability of anaphylaxis kits at each vaccination site, immediate referral to AEFI management centre and observation of vaccine recipients for 30 minutes at session site for any adverse events so as to ensure timely corrective measure, Mr. Choubey said in a written reply.
"Also the AEFI management of such cases are provided free of cost treatment in Public Health Facilities," he said.
More than 50 lakh healthcare, frontline workers given COVID-19 vaccine in 21 days: Govt
More than 50 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have been vaccinated against coronavirus in 21 days in India which is the fastest rate in the world, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha.
Responding to a question on vaccine hesitancy, he said at the start of COVID-19 vaccination drive, fewer than planned beneficiaries attended the vaccination sessions due to transient technical issues in CoWIN portal, vaccine hesitancy, among others, which have progressively been addressed.
A total of 93.6 lakh healthcare and 77.9 lakh frontline workers had been registered for the vaccination till January 31, the Minister said in a written reply. He said 37.58 lakh workers were vaccinated till January 31. "Initially the coverage was low… however, the rate of vaccination coverage has subsequently increased," Mr. Choubey said.
India reports less than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases for second time in February
The daily new COVID-19 cases fell below 10,000 for the second time this month taking India’s tally of cases to 1,08,47,304, while fresh fatalities remained below 100 for the fourth consecutive day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on February 9.
A total of 9,110 new infections were reported in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 1,55,158 with 78 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,05,48,521 pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate to 97.25%, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.43%.
COVID-19 lab at Chennai airport helps flyers in a hurry
A COVID-19 testing lab has begun functioning at the Chennai airport. The facility became operational a few days ago.
Officials of the Airports Authority of India said the unit had been set up in the arrival hall of the international terminal by a Government of India authorised lab. Passengers could get their COVID-19 results in six to eight hours for ₹1,200 and within two to four hours for ₹2,500.
Private hospitals await government nod for wider vaccine rollout
Awaiting the green signal from the Central government, private hospitals across India claim that they are all set to join hands to provide COVID vaccination for the vulnerable population — those over 50 years and people with co-morbidities — and later the general population.
Highlighting that vaccine registration hasn’t opened for this section of the population yet, the hospital authorities say, “We have a plan in place but await directives from the government. And as far as the use of certain vaccines (India has approved emergency use of two vaccines), it totally depends on sanctions from the government,” said a statement issued by the Max Hospital.
Kerala govt. steps up surveillance in schools
The Kerala government has issued directives to enhance school-level surveillance against COVID-19.
The directives were issued in the wake of reports that 190 students and 70 teachers of two government schools in Malappuram had tested positive for COVID-19. Both schools have been closed for disinfecting.
Principals and head teachers of State schools have been asked to ensure that all protocols related to COVID-19 issued by the Directorate of General Education are being followed strictly.
Poor response to COVID-19 vaccine drive in Kalaburagi
The vaccination drive against COVID-19 in Kalaburagi district saw a poor response on day one of the three-day campaign on Monday, with only 442 staff members against the total target of 3,002 from various departments taking the first dose of the vaccine.