While 15% of the country’s population has received at least one dose, only 3.5% are fully vaccinated. The figures are based on the estimated population in 2021.
The share of people who are fully vaccinated in comparable economies such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa is 11.07%, 9.78% and 0.81%, respectively. Among neighbouring countries, about 2.57% of Bangladesh’s population is fully vaccinated while the figure for Pakistan and Sri Lanka stood at 1.29% and 2.02%, respectively.
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:
Government invites bids for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to remote areas by drones
The government has invited bids for the use of drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and drugs to remote and difficult-to-reach areas to ensure last-mile coverage in select locations of the country.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted a successful feasibility study in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and has developed a standard protocol for the delivery of vaccines using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), according to the bid document. — PTI
As COVID-19-induced lockdown curbs ease, traffic jam returns in Bengaluru
The notorious traffic snarls returned to haunt Bengaluru as the lockdown curbs imposed more than a month ago to contain COVID-19 were eased on June 14.
Hundreds of vehicles coming from the neighbouring Hosur in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu were seen stuck in long queues at Attibele in Bengaluru. The chaotic traffic extended up to Bommanahalli and Silk Board Junction.
There was a chock-a-block at Freedom Park, Seshadripuram, Malleswaram, Town Hall, Richmond Road and Kempe Gowda Road right in the middle of the city as well.
Banashankari and areas near Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) too saw traffic jams. — PTI
Chennai youth raises funds, helps two hospitals with COVID-19 relief
Skanda Vyas Srinivasan, a youth from Chennai along with father, has raised ₹38 lakh towards COVID-19 relief — from organising PPE kits to oxygen concentrators.
After seeing the rising number of cases and the shortage of beds and equipment, he decided to pitch in along with father and raise funds, and managed to help VHS and Hindu Mission Hospital, according to a press release.
Bengaluru: Small clinics still wary of opening
Though COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru appear to be on the wane, and the government has relaxed lockdown restrictions from Monday till June 21, general physicians, dentists, ophthalmologists, and paediatricians who had shut their clinics for over a month have said it may take a few weeks to return to normality.
According to Sudarshan Sajjan, secretary of the Indian Dental Association-Bengaluru, concerns continue to persist over close contact with patients. “We have let individual practitioners take a call. Though most of the doctors are fully vaccinated, their families are not. Many have decided to wait till the city achieves significant vaccination cover; if not, at least till their families are vaccinated,” he said.
Illegal adoption posts: NCPCR warns social media sites of action
The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram over the issue of illegal social media posts offering children orphaned due to COVID-19 for adoption and warned them that failure to report such posts will invite “strict action”.
“It is requested that in cases where such posts are posted on your online social media platforms, information about the same must be reported to the law enforcement authorities and/or National Commission or State Commission of the State/ UT concerned and provide the details of the IP address, origin of the post and other such relevant details,” NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo wrote in a letter on June 13.
The apex child rights body has also demanded an action taken report “within 10 days” from each of the four entities.
High-level meet in Kerala to weigh benefits, risks of easing restrictions
A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on June 14 will weigh the benefits against the risks of further relaxing the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
An official said the perceived risks included the growing fear about an impending third wave, the seemingly unrelenting test positivity rate, and the possibility of a dangerous slide to complacency.
On Monday, Kerala woke out of a 48-hour weekend lockdown that had brought life, mobility, retail, production and commerce to a standstill. Officials said the government would have to factor in the palpable and mounting frustration over the crippling shutdown.
Suga wins support from G7 for hosting Olympics
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has won the support from the other leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) for his country hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer.
Speaking after talks in Carbis Bay on June 14, he told reporters he had explained how “thorough infection control” would be in place to safeguard the Games.
In a communique following their summit, the G-7 leaders reiterated their support for holding the Games in a safe and secure manner “as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19”.
Mr. Suga said he had been “reassured” by this support and promised to renew his determination “to properly open” the Games and make them a success.
Dedicated COVID-19 facility for pregnant women in Bengaluru sees 300th delivery
Amid a ferocious second wave of COVID-19, the Hajee Sir Ismail Sait (HSIS) Gosha Hospital in Bengaluru saw the successful completion of the 300th delivery on Saturday.
The State-run hospital, attached to Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute, is the dedicated COVID-19 facility for pregnant women in the city.
Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar tweeted: “HSIS Gosha Government Hospital in Bengaluru achieved a remarkable milestone on June 12. It successfully carried out 300th delivery among Covid positive pregnant women! Kudos to all the doctors, nurses and staff of the hospital.”
Tamil Nadu government allows tea shops to function in 27 districts
The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced that tea shops will be allowed to function from June 14 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m in 27 of the 38 districts in the State. The tea shops will however only be allowed to provide parcel service. The government has also allowed sweets and savoury shops to function from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and these too can provide only parcel service.
In a press release the government said tea shops will be allowed to function in all the districts except seven Western districts including Coimbatore and four Delta districts including Thanjavur where the spread of Covid-19 is not yet fully under control.
The announcement came in the wake of widespread criticism against the government for allowing Tasmac liquor outlets to be open but not allowing tea shops to operate.
Shops, markets to remain open on all days from today in Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on June 13 announced that all shops and markets that were permitted to open last week as a part of unlock measures on an odd-even basis would be allowed to open every day from June 14 onwards. Restaurants had also been allowed to open with 50% of their seating capacity, he said.
Restrictions on marriages would continue with a maximum of 20 people in attendance and they could take place only at home or in court.
Mr. Kejriwal said that authorities would monitor the situation at mall, markets and restaurants and if COVID-19 guidelines were not being followed or the number of cases start rising, they would be shut. He added that religious places would be allowed to open but no visitors would be allowed.
New online system for COVID-19 death reporting in Kerala
Following criticism over the alleged “less-than-honest” manner in which Kerala was reporting its COVID-19 deaths, the Health Department is now rolling out an online, real-time reporting system, which will ensure transparency, accountability and completeness in COVID-19 death reporting henceforth.
The system, developed by e-health division, is being rolled out on a trial basis on Tuesday.
The COVID-19 death reporting in the State has been mired in controversies right from the time of the first wave and inconsistencies in reporting, gaps in data and the unusual disparities in mortality rate between districts have led to allegations of data manipulation by the State.
TASMAC outlets permitted only in districts with reduced case load, says Minister
Minister for Prohibition and Excise V. Senthil Balaji said the State government has permitted reopening of TASMAC outlets only in districts where case load has reduced and it has not been permitted in 11 districts where daily cases are higher.
Talking to presspersons, Mr.Balaji said, “The Chief Minister ordered closure of TASMAC outlets on May 10 considering the increase in COVID-19 cases. Now, TASMAC outlets have been permitted to be open in 27 districts where the disease spread has reduced. Outlets are not permitted to function in 11 districts in which disease spread is yet to reduce.”
Some people were trying to portray that only TASMAC outlets have been permitted to function. However, export businesses with 50% staff, home appliances and mobile phone stores, hardware outlets have also been given relaxations in 27 districts and 11 districts have also been given certain relaxations.
No greater risk to children from anticipated third wave: report
There is no evidence so far to conclude that children face a greater risk of infection or are at greater danger from a COVID-19 infection from an anticipated third wave, according to a report from The Lancet COVID-19 Commission India Task Force. The group consists of paediatric experts from across the country comprising clinicians from top government medical colleges and large private or charitable hospitals.
They were tasked with examining the evidence and recommending practical clinical tools and strategies for providers, and guidance for policymakers and the public to effectively address COVID-19 in children. Though data from India were limited, the mortality rate amongst hospitalised COVID-19 positive children below the age of 10 (excluding neonates) was 2.4%. About 40% of the children who had died had co-morbidities and 9% of all hospitalised COVID-positive children presented with severe illness, all under 10 years of age. These observations were similar during the two surges of COVID-19 infections in India.
Excess deaths in Hyderabad are 10 times the official COVID-19 toll for Telangana
The number of “excess deaths” registered in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) ever since COVID-19 hit (from April 2020 to May 2021), is over 10 times the officially recorded figure of 3,275 deaths for the corresponding period in the entire State of Telangana. There were an estimated 32,752 “excess deaths” — 18,420 between April and December 2020 and 14,332 between January and May 2021.
Excess deaths in the GHMC were calculated based on the number of death certificates issued. The month-wise number for the last two years was accessed by The Hindu and compared with data for 2016 to 2019 that were obtained via an RTI. The 2021 figures were analysed till May 31.
For the first five months of 2021, the 14,332 excess deaths in the city corporation limits were 8.2 times more than the official COVID19 death toll of 1,740 for the entire State. These “excess deaths” were calculated as the difference between the 36,041 certified deaths in 2021 and the average number of certified deaths in the same period in the pre-pandemic years between 2016 and 2019 (21,709).
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(With inputs from our Correspondents and Agencies)