Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech on Saturday announced its prices for its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, in preparation for the next phase of inoculation from 1 May
Coronavirus LATEST Updates: Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech on Saturday announced its prices for its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin.
"Following the Govt of India directives, we announce the prices of COVAXIN vaccines - Rs 600 per dose for state hospitals and Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals," the statement said.
West Bengal, which is witnessing an eight-phased Assembly election since 27 March, reported 14,281 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which is the highest single-day spike for the third consecutive day. With this, the total number of cases rose to 7,28,061.
Bengal's tally has been on a steady rise after parties like the BJP, TMC, and Congress held massive campaign rallies and roadshows until this week. However, despite the numbers' trend, economists Surjit S Bhalla and Karan Bhasin on Thursday wrote in The Indian Express that "there is limited evidence to suggest that electoral rallies resulted in spread of the pandemic".
"Most of the “expert” complaints against election rallies have been aimed at where the BJP is holding the most rallies — West Bengal and Assam. Both these states show infections below that predicted before the rallies began in earnest," the article notes.
The Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi, where 20 COVID-19 patients passed away on Friday night due to the shortage of medical oxygen, sent out an SOS message on Saturday tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
"We had been allotted 3.5 metric tonnes of oxygen from the government. The supply was to reach us by 5 in the evening, but it reached around midnight. By then, 25 patients had died," Dr. DK Baluja, Medical Director at Jaipur Golden Hospital was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday issued new restrictions in view of the exponential spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.
1) From 26 April, beauty parlours, salons, spas, barber shops to be closed, only parcel/takeaway to be allowed in hotels, restaurants, and tea shops.
2) All places of worship to be closed for the public from 26 April.
3) Wedding ceremonies to be perfomed with a maximum of 50 people, 25 people allowed in funerals.
4) Except for Puducherry all other state passengers and travellers should apply for e-pass through the government portal, they will be allowed if cleared.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday announced free COVID-19 vaccine for everyone in the 18 to 45 age group, for whom the inoculation process will begin on 1 May.
Several hospitals in the National Capital are facing a deepening oxygen crisis, with stocks running out and treatment of COVID-19 patients being hampered. In such a scenario, the director of another hospital, the Sehgal Neo Hospital, has tweeted an SOS message and said that he is feeling "absolutely helpless".
"SOS!! We need an urgent supply of oxygen. We have a few hours of oxygen left, and have reached out to EVERYONE. We have 120 covid patients, many of them needing oxygen and on life support," the hospital tweeted.
The Saroj Super Speciality Hospital and Batra Hospital in Delhi have reportedly told families of COVID-19 patients to seek admission in other healthcare facilities due to a severe oxygen shortage, PTI quoted officials as saying on Saturday.
The Saroj Hospital moved the Delhi High Court on Thursday and Friday seeking urgen oxygen supply to treat their COVID-19 patients.
Taking a slew of measures to boost medical oxygen availability in the country amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Saturday decided to waive basic customs duty and health cess on the import of oxygen and connected equipment for a period of three months with immediate effect.
It was also decided at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt basic customs duty on the import of COVID-19 vaccines with immediate effect for a period of three months, a government statement said. This will boost availability of these items as well as make them cheaper, it said, adding that Modi also directed the revenue department to ensure seamless and quick custom clearance of such equipment.
Modi emphasized that there was an immediate need to augment the supply of medical grade oxygen as well as equipment required for patient care both at home and in hospitals and asked all ministries and departments to work in synergy to this effect.
The high court on Saturday asked the Centre about the preparedness to deal with the expected COVID-19 second wave peak in mid-May, terming the massive rise in cases as a 'Tsunami'.
At the Subhash Nagar facility, 52 bodies can be cremated in a day at two CNG furnaces and 40 wooden pyres. Out of these, two CNG furnaces and 20 wooden pyres have already been dedicated to COVID-19 victims.
The police has also intensified vigil at three major check posts. People who are crossing the border through the three check posts are asked to furnish their negative reports of RT-PCR, done 48 hours before travelling, or their vaccination certificates.
After entering Odisha, they have to be quarantined for 14 days.
Families of the patients in Saroj hospital in Delhi's Rohini area have been given three hour notice to find beds, according to media reports.
The incident comes after Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram hospital Friday had reported that 25 severely ill patients had died in the past 24 hours and 60 other patients were at risk.
At least 20 people died in Jaipur Golden hospital in Delhi because of oxygen shortage, said an official on Saturday. The official said that only half an hour of oxygen supply was available.
'Oxygen supply to last only half an hour now, more than 200 lives are at stake. We lost 20 people due to an oxygen shortage last night,' said a hospital official.
India registered 3,46,786 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, said the Union health ministry on Saturday. With this, the COVID-19 caseload in the country increased to 1,66,10,481.
Appealing for urgent help from Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the hospital stressed that more than 130 COVID-19 patients were on life support.
Delhi logged 24,331 fresh COVID-19 cases and a record single-day jump of 348 deaths on Friday, according to the latest health bulletin.
The city has reported around 2,100 deaths due to the deadly virus in the last 11 days. It had recorded 306 COVID deaths and 26,169 cases with a positivity rate of 36.24 percent, the highest since the pandemic began a year ago, on Thursday.
On Wednesday, 24,638 cases and 249 deaths were registered with a positivity rate of 31.28 percent.
The National Capital had witnessed 28,395 cases, the highest single-day jump so far, with a positivity rate of 32.82 percent on Tuesday. Authorities logged 306 deaths on Thursday, 249 on Wednesday, 277 on Tuesday, 240 on Monday, 161 on Sunday, and 167 on Saturday.
With the fresh cases, Delhi's COVID-19 tally climbed to 9,80,679 on Friday. The toll stands at 13,541, the bulletin stated.
A total of 75,037 tests, including 43,711 RT-PCR tests, were conducted the previous day, it said.
The number of tests is significantly less than the average of around 90,000 tests a day being conducted in the capital. So far, over 8.75 lakh patients have recovered in Delhi, it added.
The number of active cases in the city increased to 92,029 from 91,618 on Thursday, the bulletin stated.
The number of people under home isolation increased to 48,502 from 46,585 on Thursday, while that of containment zones mounted to 23,561 from 22,000 the day before, it said.
Senior medical experts on Monday said the second wave of coronavirus in Delhi is likely to peak within a week after possibly hitting a positivity rate of 50 percent before the numbers start to go down.