Mask-up, follow Covid-19 guidelines and take vaccine—these are keys to fight Coronavirus, suggest a study by Lancet. Only vaccine cannot end the Covid-19 pandemic, it added.
In a sign of the second Covid wave, the country has been reporting a new high in terms of new cases almost every day for the past few days. India on Saturday reported 40,953 new Coronavirus infections. Friday, it witnessed 39,726 fresh Covid -19 cases. States like Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Kerala, and Delhi are contributing major shares to India’s tally. According to the data from the Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh together account for 80.63% of the daily new cases. So, it’s a confirmed “second wave”!
So, measures like strict action against violators of mask use, containment zones, night curfew, and lockdowns are back again. Doors of schools, colleges, and educational institutes are closed again. Restriction on travel has also returned—its feel like March last year when the pandemic hit India.
Worst-hit Maharashtra on Friday issued new Covid-19 measures as the state reported 25,833 Covid cases—its highest peak recorded on September 11 last year. Punjab too issued new curbs—night curfew in 11 districts, closed educational institute, put restrictions on the social gathering, etc — in order to control the fresh Covid-19 surge in the state.
While India has reinforced its reputation as ‘pharmacy of the world’, by supplying Covid-19 vaccines to many countries, people have mixed views about India’s ongoing vaccination drive, touted as one of the largest in the world. What so ever is the reason, unless we ramp up vaccination, we cannot check coronavirus infection.
From lockdowns to curfews to vaccine updates, Read here for the latest, fastest, and confirmed developments from across India and around the world on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday that pushed the district’s infection tally to 25,744, official data showed. The active cases in the district rose to 93 from 85 the previous day, according to the data released by the UP Health Department for a 24-hour period. Another nine patients got discharged during the period with the overall recoveries reaching 25,560, the fifth highest in the state, it showed. Gautam Buddh Nagar has a death toll of 91 with a mortality rate of 0.35 per cent. (PTI)
Chhattisgarh on Saturday recorded 1,273 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike this year, taking the statewide tally to 3,23,153, officials said. The death toll rose to 3,940 with 11 people succumbing to the infection, while the number of recoveries reached 3,11,520 after 30 people were discharged from hospitals and 257 completed home isolation, he added. The number of active cases stands at 7,693, he said. “Raipur district accounted for 426 of the new cases for the day, taking its total count to 59,055, including 833 deaths. Durg witnessed 391 new cases and Bilaspur 50. Of the deaths recorded during the day, four took place on Saturday, six on Friday and one earlier,” he added. (PTI)
Amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan toured New Market area in capital Bhopal on Saturday and personally helped several shopkeepers wear masks. He appealed to them to adhere to COVID-19 norms strictly so that the state is spared a surge, an official release said. Madhya Pradesh on Saturday reported1,308 COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to 2,74,405, while two deaths increased the toll to 3,903. (PTI)
Eight states including Maharashtra and Delhi are reporting a rising trajectory of new COVID-19 cases as India recorded one lakh infections in just three days including the latest spike of over 40,000 cases in the biggest daily increase in nearly four months. The Union Health ministry while giving the latest COVID-19 update on Saturday said that on the other hand Kerala is showing a “consistently declining” trend. The worst hit state of Maharashtra recorded the highest number of new cases–27,126–since the outbreak of the pandemic early last year while Delhi reported over 800 cases for the first time this year as the positivity rate breached the 1 per cent-mark after over two months. The latest data was released on Saturday by the respective health departments. (PTI)
The count of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra’s Nashik district crossed the 1.45 lakh mark, with the detection of 2,383 fresh infections on Saturday, a health official said. The daily tally of coronavirus cases crossed the 2,000 mark for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday. At least eight patients died of the infection during the day, while 848 were discharged from various hospitals, the official said. (PTI)
Restrictions imposed in Nagpur district will continue with some relaxations from March 22 to March 31 in view of rising coronavirus cases, Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut said on Saturday. In Nagpur city, restaurants and eateries can operate till 7 pm while shops can remain open till 4 pm, and all offices — private and government — can function with 25 per cent staff. Nagpur is under complete lockdown since March 15 which is to continue till Sunday. Raut, who is guardian minister for the district, held a review meeting with local officials and also consulted experts, journalists and representatives of all political parties on contiunation of restrictions. (PTI)
Tamil Nadu continued to witness an increase in fresh COVID-19 cases and the state on Saturday recorded 1,243 new infections and 8 fatalities, taking the caseload to 8,65,693 and the death toll to 12,590. A returnee from UAE and a passenger each from Maharashtra and Rajasthan added to the new cases today. Owing to the steady increase in new cases in Chennai and several districts, the state government had earlier in the day directed schools across Tamil Nadu to close for 9, 10 and 11 standards, with effect from March 22, until further orders, but allowed classes for 12 standard students, facing the board exam, to continue with standard operating procedure (SOP). (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday extended his best wishes to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for a speedy recovery from COVID-19. Khan has tested positive for the COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home, his top aide on health announced, two days after he got the first shot of a vaccine. Modi tweeted his wishes to Khan, “Best wishes to Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI for a speedy recovery. (PTI)
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally rose to 3,38,719 on Saturday as 120 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said. Of the new cases, 71 were reported from quarantine centres, while 49 detected during contact tracing. Cuttack district reported the highest number of fresh cases at 20, followed by Sundargarh (16), Mayurbhanj (14) and Khurda (13). Seventeen of the 20 new cases from Cuttack are students and staffers of a private school. (PTI)
Nagpur district on Saturday reported 3,679 COVID-19 cases, taking the tally here to 1,89,466, while the day also saw 29 deaths and 1,594 recoveries, an official said. The toll in the district is now 4,592 and the recovery count is 1,57,249, leaving it with 27,625 active cases, he added. With 16,387 samples being examined on Saturday, the overall number of tests in Nagpur went up to 14,63,203, the official said. (PTI)
Kerala’s COVID-19 tally has risen to 11,02,702 with 2,078 fresh cases, while the death toll has climbed to 4,482 as 15 more people succumbed to the disease: Official release (PTI)
Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray tests positive for COVID-19
On having mild symptoms of COVID, I had myself tested and I am COVID positive. I request everyone who came in contact with me to get themselves tested.
I urge everyone to realise that it is extremely important to not let your guard down. Please follow COVID protocols & stay safe
As per a notification issued by Maharashtra’s Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B, ‘all shops to remain open till 4 pm in Nagpur Municipal Corporation area from March 22 to March 31.’ (ANI)
Tamil Nadu reports 1,243 fresh COVID-19 cases, 634 discharges, and 8 deaths
Total cases: 8,65,693
Total discharges: 8,45,812
Active cases: 7,291
Death toll: 12,590 (ANI)
Karnataka reports 1,798 new COVID-19 cases, 1,030 recoveries, and seven deaths in the last 24 hours
Total cases: 9,68,487
Total recoveries: 9,43,208
Death toll: 12,432
Active cases: 12,828 (ANI)
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh has climbed to 8,93,366 with 380 fresh infections, the highest since December 22: Official bulletin (PTI)
Rapid Antigen Testing to be done randomly without citizens’ consent at crowded places like malls, railway stations, bus depots, khau galli, markets, tourist places, govt offices. If a citizen refuses to get tested, they’d be booked under Epidemic Act: BMC (ANI)
Andhra Pradesh reported 380 fresh cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the highest since December 22, pushing the caseload to 8,93,366. The number of active cases again touched 2,083, the highest since January 16 when it fell below the 2,000-mark. The new cases came from 30,978 tests in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Saturday, while the 402 cases on December 22 came from 56,425 tests, indicating a higher infection rate now.The latest bulletin said a total of 1.47 crore sample tests were carried out in the state so far, at the rate of 2.75 lakh per million, with an overall positivity rate of 6.08 per cent. In the 24 hours, the state saw 204 recoveries and two deaths, taking the cumulative to 8,84,094 and 7,189 respectively. (PTI)
With Tamil Nadu witnessing a sudden surge in coronavirus cases over the last few days, the state government on Saturday ordered closure of schools for classes 9, 10 and 11 from March 22 until further orders. However, they would continue to function for the 12th standard students for they have to take the board examination. READ MORE
Over 40 lakh beneficiaries have received the COVID-19 vaccine jab in Maharashtra since the immunization drive commenced on January 16, an official said on Saturday. As per the data released by the state health department, 1,89,130 persons received vaccine shots on Friday, raising the tally to 40,96,898. The state also administered second dose of the vaccine to 13,454 healthcare workers and 22,142 frontline workers on Friday. Altogether 8,91,881 healthcare workers and 6,12,627 frontline staff have received their first dose and 4,11,500 healthcare and 1,42,588 frontline workers have taken their second shot so far. (PTI)
The COVID-19 tally in the Union Territory of Puducherry rose to 40,322 on Saturday with the addition of 60 new cases, the health department said. The toll remained at 674 as no fatalities were reported. A total of 1,345 samples were tested in the last 24 hours ending at 10 AM and the cumulative number of specimens examined so far was 6.52 lakh, Health and Family Welfare Services Director S Mohan Kumar said in a release. There were 353 active cases after the recovery of 24 patients during this period. In all, 39,295 people have recovered from the disease so far in the union territory Puducherry region accounted for 39 of the new cases, Karaikal had 19 and Mahe reported two. No case was reported
from Yanam, the Director said. (PTI)
The COVID-19 vaccination drive will be held on Sunday across Gujarat in order to increase the number of people covered, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told the Assembly. Currently, around two lakh people are vaccinated at 2,500 centres in the state on all days except Wednesday and Sunday, Patel, who holds the health portfolio, informed the House on Saturday. “To cover a larger number of beneficiaries, we have decided to continue our drive this Sunday (March 21),” Patel said, and urged eligible MLAs to get vaccinated as soon as possible. A state government release said that, as of Thursday, 26.41 lakh people have been given the first dose of the vaccine and 5.84 lakh people have got the second dose since the drive started on January 16. (PTI)
Britain has now given a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to half of all adults in the country, its health minister Matt Hancock said on Twitter on Saturday. (Reuters)
Maharashtra: Migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh gather at bus stands in Nagpur to return home amid lockdown.
“We learned about suspension of passenger buses between Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh so we are leaving today”, says a migrant. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/zq4oZtVo6w
The European Union’s executive arm is increasing its pressure on pharmaceutical companies to speed up their vaccine delivery to the continent as virus numbers are rising again in many member countries. The European Commission said Saturday that AstraZeneca in particular could face export bans to countries outside the EU if it didn’t quickly deliver the promised amount of vaccines to the 27-nation bloc. “We have the possibility to ban planned exports,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Saturday. “This is a message to AstraZeneca: You fulfill your part of the deal toward Europe before you start to deliver to other countries,” von der Leyen said in an interview with German media group Funke. Von der Leyen said the contract between the EU and AstraZeneca clearly regulates how much vaccines the EU gets from AstraZeneca’s plants inside the EU and in Britain. However, von der Leyen added, “we didn’t get anything from the Brits while we are delivering vaccines to them.” She said the commission had sent a “formal reminder” to AstraZeneca regarding this issue. (AP)
Veteran actor Dharmendra has received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The 85-year-old actor shared the news of his vaccination on Twitter and urged his followers on the microblogging site to get the shot. “It’s definitely not a show off… but to inspire you all… Friends, please take care,” Dharmendra wrote alongside a short video of him getting vaccinated. In the clip, the veteran star also asked people to continue wearing masks, maintain social distancing and follow other COVID-19 safety protocols. (PTI)
Maharashtra: Nagpur District reported 3679 new #COVID19 cases, 1594 recoveries, and 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per Civil Surgeon Nagpur,
Total cases: 1,89,466
Total recoveries: 1,57,249
Active cases: 27,625
Death toll: 4592
Restaurants to remain open until 7 pm while online food delivery will be allowed until 11 pm. Schools and colleges will remain closed till 31 March; Scheduled examinations will be conducted with COVID-19 guidelines: Nitin Raut, Guardian Minister, Nagpur. (ANI)
In wake of increasing COVID-19 cases, restrictions to continue in Nagpur till March 31. Vegetables and other essentials shops to remain open till 4 pm, said Dr. Nitin Raut, Guardian Minister, Nagpur as reported by ANI. A complete lockdown has been imposed in Nagpur City from March 15 to 21.
In order to vaccinate people living in the biggest slum pocket- Dharavi in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to set up a vaccination centre having a capacity to vaccinate as many as 1,000 people in a day. A report by The Indian Express highlighted a centre along with five booths are being set up at an urban health centre – Chhota Sion Hospital, which will inoculate senior citizens as well as people above 45 years of age having comorbidities. Right now, the closest government-run centre to vaccinate people living in Dharavi is the Bandra-Kurla-Complex jumbo facility. READ MORE
A Himachal Pradesh Congress legislator on Saturday requested Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar to impose a fine of Rs 5,000 on Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur for not wearing a mask in the Assembly. On the last day of the Budget Session, Shillai MLA Harshwardhan Chauhan stated that a strong message of wearing masks to check the spread of COVID-19 should go to the public from this House. When Chauhan made the demand, the speaker himself was without a mask. A member from the treasury benches stated that the Congress legislator himself did not wear the mask properly. To this, Chauhan stated he wore the mask but pulled it down to his chin so as to speak. The entire matter ended in laughter. (PTI)
Madhya Pradesh: Prisoners of Central Jail, Indore are being given the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine.
“300 doses of Covishield have been received. Some prisoners have been vaccinated and some are yet to get the first shot.” says, Central Jail Deputy Superintendent pic.twitter.com/4QV1LzR8fH
Delhi reported over 800 COVID-19 cases for the first time this year on Saturday as the positivity rate breached the 1 per cent-mark after over two months, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 10,955, as per data shared by the health department. The number of active cases rose to 3,409 from 3,165 a day ago, according to the latest health bulletin. The new 813 cases pushed the infection tally to 6,47,161, of whom over 6.32 lakh people have recovered till date. READ MORE
Denmark on Saturday reported two cases of hospital staff with blood clots and cerebral haemorrhage after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination. The Capital Region of Denmark, the authority which handles the health care system in Copenhagen, said that one of the hospital staff had died and both had received the AstraZeneca vaccine less than 14 days before getting ill. The Danish medicines agency confirmed it had received two ‘serious reports’, without giving further details. (Reuters)
Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said a team of experts should be formed to probe the reason for the surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra compared to the other states in the country. The former chief minister was speaking to the media after attending a meeting with Nagpur Guardian Minister Nitin Raut and district officials at the divisional commissionerate. “I feel a team of experts should be constituted to study the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. Maharashtra is no different from other states, but then why is it witnessing such a surge in infections?” Fadnavis said. (PTI)
There have been no deaths in Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the government said on Saturday, rejecting reports that three people died from blood clots after being inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The minister for the prevention of COVID-19, Sudarshani Fernandopulle, said all the three, including a Buddhist monk, died of heart failure from other health complications last week and the deaths were not caused by the coronavirus vaccine. Some European countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia and Bulgaria, had briefly halted use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as a precautionary measure after reports of blood clots in some recipients of the vaccine, even though international health agencies urged governments to press ahead with the shot, saying the benefits outweighed the risks. (PTI)
“Pakistan PM Imran Khan tests positive for COVID-19 and is self isolating at home,” tweets Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination. (ANI)
Papua New Guinea reported rising coronavirus infections on Saturday, continuing a surge that highlights the need for tougher social distancing restrictions taking effect on Monday. Internal border controls will be tightened, personal movement restricted and mask-wearing made mandatory in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has been overwhelming the country’s public health system. The authorities in the Pacific island nation of 9 million people said they will ban mass gatherings, close schools and may order burials in a “designated mass grave”. PNG has recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with hundreds of new daily cases. Saturday’s announcement of 295 infections for Thursday and 132 for Friday brings confirmed cases to 3,085 with 36 deaths, but health experts believe the true numbers are likely much higher. (Reuters)
Two more succumbed to COVID-19 and 364 tested positive for the virus in Telangana as the caseload mounted to 3.02 lakh, health department said. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 75, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts with 32 and 31 cases respectively, a state government bulletin said on Saturday providing details as of 8 PM on March 19. The state has been witnessing a gradual rise in cases for the last 10 days with a large number of infections being reported from a few schools in the state. According to the bulletin, 189 patients recovered from the infection on March 19. (PTI)
One year ago, Bergamo’s state-of-the-art Pope John XXIII Hospital verged on collapse as doctors struggled to treat 600 patients, with 100 of them in intensive care. Army trucks ferried the dead from the city’s overtaxed crematorium in images now seared into the collective pandemic memory. The picture is much improved now: The hospital is treating fewer than 200 virus patients, just one quarter of whom require intensive care. But still unchanged as Italy’s death rate pushes upward once again is that the victims remain predominantly elderly, with inoculation drives stumbling in the country and elsewhere in Europe. “No, this thing, alas, I was not able to protect the elderly, to make clear how important it would be to protect the elderly,” said Dr. Luca Lorini, head of intensive care at the hospital named for the mid-20th century pope born in Bergamo. “If I have 10 elderly people over 80 and they get COVID, in their age group, eight out of 10 die.” That was true in the first horrifying wave and remained “absolutely the same” in subsequent spikes, he said. (AP)
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