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Coronavirus Updates: US to send vaccine raw materials to India; Delhi extends lockdown till 3 May

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: 'To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers, the US has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and PPE that will immediately be made available for India,' a statement by White House read

FP Staff April 25, 2021 23:23:35 IST
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Coronavirus Updates: US to send vaccine raw materials to India; Delhi extends lockdown till 3 May

Representational image. AP

Highlights

22:35 (ist)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

US will 'immediately' send raw materials for Covishield to India, says report

According to NDTV the United States will "immediately" make available sources of raw materials required to scale up production of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine - a critical shortage of which has been flagged by several states as India battles a devastating second wave of infections and deaths.

This comes after the United States earlier said it was committed to inoculating Americans “first and foremost”, defending restrictions on the export of raw materials for Covid-19 vaccines that could potentially slow down the production of vaccines in India at a time when it is witnessing a deadly second wave.

21:08 (ist)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

UK dispatches medical equipment to India

More than 600 pieces of vital medical equipment will be sent to India to support the country in its fight against Covid-19, the UK Government said.

As per a press release, the assistance package, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, includes ventilators and oxygen concentrators from surplus stocks. It will be used by the Government of India to provide vital medical treatment to those suffering from Covid-19 in India.

20:15 (ist)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Umar Khalid tests COVID-19 positive

Former JNU student Umar Khalid, arrested last year in connection with a Delhi riots case, has tested positive for coronavirus in Tihar Jail. As per The Indian Express, DG (Tihar) Sandeep Goel has confirmed that he has tested positive and his report came on Saturday. He has been isolated within the jail.

“Doctors are taking care of him and all other tests have been done and he is fine,” an official told The Hindu

20:00 (ist)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

All vaccination centres in Mumbai to open tomorrow, says BMC

As per reports, the COVID-19 vaccination at a few centres in Mumbai, including the BKC Jumbo COVID-19 centre, which was halted due to a shortage of vaccines is set to be functional from tomorrow. 

"We have received 1.5 Lakh stock of Covishield today. All vaccination centres in Mumbai shall be functional tomorrow. However, Covaxin will be available only at select centres for 2nd dose due to extremely limited existing stock," Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said.

According to Moneycontrol,  the BMC chief further stated that all issues relating to oxygen supply under MCGM stands resolved now. "Supply situation is Normal”.

17:56 (ist)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

SII, Bharat Biotech will profit Rs 1,11,100 cr from 3rd vaccination phase: Congress

The Congress presented calculations of the total population between the ages of 18 and 45 and the cost of each vaccine dose, to claim that vaccine manufacturers Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech will make a combined profit of Rs 1,11,100 crore from the inoculation exercise set to begin on 1 May.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Pune-based SII will earn Rs 35,350 crore, while Bharat Biotech will earn Rs 75,750 crore.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Apr 25, 2021 - 23:15 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Centre backs new vaccination policy, says 'no reason to complain'

The Centre liberalised the coronavirus vaccination strategy to allow states, private hospitals and industrial establishments following requests from nearly all states and to unleash the “combined effort of Team India” to inoculate every adult in the earliest possible time, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.

In a four-page statement posted on his Twitter handle, the minister defended the new strategy under which everyone above 18 years of age will be vaccinated against COVID-19 from May 1 and hit out at those political leaders indulging in “needless politics” on the matter and spreading misinformation.

Apr 25, 2021 - 23:06 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Haryana records highest single-day rise of 64 COVID deaths, 10,985 cases

Haryana on Sunday recorded the highest single-day rise in its COVID-19 death toll with 64 more people succumbing to the disease on Sunday as well as 10,985 fresh cases, which pushed the tally to 4,24,319.

Gurgaon district continued to remain the worst-hit as it again recorded a big spike in cases on Sunday.

In view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Gurgaon to check further spread of the infection, the district administration on Sunday ordered imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC with immediate effect prohibiting the gathering of more than four people at one place, unless specifically permitted, according to the orders issued by the Gurgaon district magistrate.

However, these orders shall not apply on police force and other public servants on duty, persons of medical industries/institutions, persons working in sectors related to essential products or services.

Apr 25, 2021 - 22:46 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

US to send Covishield raw materials urgently to India

The United States will immediately provide raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear to help India respond to a massive surge in COVID-19 infections, a White House spokeswoman said on Sunday.

"United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India," said US NSA Jake Sullivan to NSA Ajit Doval.

Apr 25, 2021 - 22:35 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

US will 'immediately' send raw materials for Covishield to India, says report

According to NDTV the United States will "immediately" make available sources of raw materials required to scale up production of the Covishield coronavirus vaccine - a critical shortage of which has been flagged by several states as India battles a devastating second wave of infections and deaths.

This comes after the United States earlier said it was committed to inoculating Americans “first and foremost”, defending restrictions on the export of raw materials for Covid-19 vaccines that could potentially slow down the production of vaccines in India at a time when it is witnessing a deadly second wave.

Apr 25, 2021 - 22:22 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Delhi records 350 coronavirus deaths, over 22,900 cases

Delhi recorded 350 COVID-19 deaths and 22,933 cases with a positivity rate of 30.21 percent on Sunday, even as hospitals across the city continued to send out SOS calls for oxygen supply.

This is the fourth day on the trot that Delhi has recorded over 300 deaths due to coronavirus.

It had reported 357 fatalities, the highest so far since the pandemic began a year ago, on Saturday, 348 on Friday and 306 on Thursday, according to government data.

The city had recorded 24,103 cases on Saturday, 24,331 on Friday, 26,169 on Thursday, and 24,638 on Wednesday.

Apr 25, 2021 - 22:16 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Classical singer Rajan Mishra dies due to COVID19

Classical singer Rajan Mishra has died due to Covid-19 in Delhi on Sunday. He was admitted to Delhi’s St Stephen Hospital after he developed heart complications along with Covid-19, as per reports. Salim Merchant informed about the demise of Rajan Mishra on Twitter.

Mishra, who along with his brother Sajan Mishra was one of the foremost exponents of khayal gayaki, had a heart attack in the afternoon and then another in the evening, his nephew Amit told PTI.

“Pandit Rajan Mishra ji passed away at around 6.30 in Delhi’s St Stephen hospital. He had COVID-19 and was admitted to the hospital. He had taken the first dose of the vaccine about 15-20 days ago. He had a heart attack in the afternoon and he had another attack at around 5.30," Amit said.

The family had tried to shift Mishra to a hospital with a ventilator with well-wishers sending out messages on Twitter but to no avail. The musician's condition worsened and he could not be shifted.

Mishra's nephew Amit told PTI that the musician, who was suffering from COVID-19, had taken the first dose of the vaccine about 15-20 days ago.

Apr 25, 2021 - 21:59 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Oxygen tank arrives at Delhi's Jaipur Golden Hospital

Apr 25, 2021 - 21:56 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Gujarat to give free COVID-19 vaccines to 18-45 age group from 1 May

Starting May 1, the Gujarat government will provide free of cost COVID-19 vaccines to those between 18 and 45 years of age, and order of 1.5 crore doses has been placed for that purpose, an official said on Sunday.

This decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

The state government will buy one crore doses of Covishield vaccine from Pune's Serum Institute of India and 50 lakh doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, an official release said.

Around 6,000 government and private vaccination centres have been created across the state, where 1.13 crore beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far, of whom 19.3 lakh have received the second dose as well.

Apr 25, 2021 - 21:46 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Oxygen emergency in UP, recognise seriousness of situation: Priyanka Gandhi tells Yogi Adityanath

Stating that there is an “oxygen emergency” in Uttar Pradesh amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday advised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to recognise the seriousness of the situation and immediately start working for saving the lives of people.

Gandhi tweeted: “Chief Minister, there is oxygen emergency all over Uttar Pradesh. You have to put a case on me, seize the property, so do."

This come after Adityanath, in his previous statement, warned those who are spreading rumors about oxygen shortage in the state and said properties of those spreading rumours of oxygen shortage will be seized

Apr 25, 2021 - 21:38 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Update

Only an insensitive govt can make such statement: Priyanka on UP CM remarks

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday hit out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's remarks that there is no shortage of oxygen in any private or public COVID-19 hospital in the state, and asserted that "only an insensitive government" will give such a statement.

Asserting that there is no shortage of oxygen in any private or public COVID-19 hospital in Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath on Saturday had said that the state government would conduct an audit of the life-saving gas in collaboration with various institutes.

Tagging a media report on his remarks, Priyanka Gandhi, in a tweet in Hindi, said, "Just imagine yourself in the place of those patients who are told that they will not get admission due to lack of oxygen. 'Oxygen is low, take your patient'."

"Only an insensitive government will give such a statement," she said.


Coronavirus Latest Updates: The United States will immediately provide raw materials for COVID-19 vaccines, medical equipment and protective gear to help India respond to a massive surge in COVID-19 infections, a White House spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Stating that there is an “oxygen emergency” in Uttar Pradesh amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday advised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to recognise the seriousness of the situation and immediately start working for saving the lives of people.

The Centre on Sunday barred the use of liquid oxygen for any non-medical purpose and asked manufacturing units to maximize its production and make it available to the government for medical use.

Former JNU student Umar Khalid, arrested last year in connection with a Delhi riots case, has tested positive for coronavirus in Tihar Jail.

As per reports, the COVID-19 vaccination at a few centres in Mumbai, including the BKC Jumbo COVID-19 centre, which was halted due to a shortage of vaccines is set to be functional from tomorrow.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday wrote to the top industrialists of the country, seeking their help in the National Capital's oxygen crisis. His letter said. "Please help Delhi government if you have oxygen and tankers...help us in whatever way you can."

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray deleted a tweet he had posted stating that the state government will provide free vaccination for everyone, and clarified that the decision is yet to be made.

"I have deleted the earlier tweet as to not cause confusion regarding the official vaccination policy of Maharashtra that would be fully ensuring fast, efficient vaccination and would leave nobody behind," he said.

AIIMS Delhi director Dr Randeep Guleria, Medanta chairperson Dr Naresh Trehan, and other doctors are currently addressing a press conference, adivising people about the guidelines for the use of medical oxygen and COVID-19 treatment drugs.

TMC candidate from Khardah Assembly constituency Kajal Sinha, who had tested positive for COVID-19 , died at a hospital here on Sunday morning, an official of the state health department said.

Sinha (59) was found to have contracted COVID-19 two days ago, following which he was admitted to Beliaghata ID hospital, the official said.

TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed shock and grief over his demise.

The COVID-19 situation in West Bengal turned more grim on Sunday, as research found that one of two people taking the RT-PCR test in the capital Kolkata is testing positive for COVID-19 . The Times of India reported that in the rest of the state, the statistics are one in four people testing positive.

"Laboratories in Kolkata and surrounding areas are reporting a positivity rate of 45-55 percent, while in other parts of the state the positivity rate is around 24 percent, up from five percent at the beginning of this month," the report quoted a doctor as saying anonymously.

This is the situation while the state is witnessing an eight-phased Assembly election, the seventh of which will be held on Monday. Despite massive rallies by the BJP, TMC, and Congress, BJP leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah has dismissed a link between the surge in cases and the crowds at poll rallies in the state.

Eighty metric tonnes of liquid oxygen has been diverted to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and this should be halted in view of increase in oxygen demand, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Oxygen allotment for Tamil Nadu under the national plan is 'inadequate' and 'wrong' and the diversion of oxygen could lead to a 'major crisis,' he said.

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Sunday announced that the state govt will give free COVID-19 vaccine to all its citizens in 18-45 age group, said reports.

As many as 551 dedicated pressure swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants will be set up in public health facilities across the country to boost availability of the life-saving gas amid reports of its shortage in several places battling the COVID-19 surge.

The PMO said on Sunday that the PM Cares Fund has given in-principle approval for allocation of funds for their installation, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi directing these plants should be made functional as soon as possible.

 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extends lockdown in the National Capital by one week till 3 May. The lockdown will continue till 5 am on next Monday.

Amid an acute oxygen crisis in the national capital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital in Delhi received a supply of the life-saving gas in a cryogenic tanker around 10 am on Sunday, officials said. It came as a huge relief for the hospital which was running on its backup stock of oxygen.

"I'm speaking to you at a time when COVID-19 is testing our patience and capacity to bear pain. Many of our loved ones left us untimely. After successfully tackling the first wave, nation's morale was high, it was confident but this storm(2nd wave) has shaken the nation," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the monthly Mann Ki Baat address.

Single-day rise of 3,49,691 COVID-19 infections and 2,767 fatalities push India's tally of cases to 1,69,60,172, toll to 1,92,311, according to the Union health ministry's data.

After an all-night scramble for an oxygen refill, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi received five metric tonnes of the life-saving gas in the early hours of Sunday, according to officials.

The tanker finally arrived at 4:15 am and delivered 5 metric tonnes of medical oxygen, the highest volume that the hospital has received in the last three days in one refill, said a hospital spokesperson said. "It should last for 11-12 hours. Oxygen running at full pressure after a long time," the spokesperson said.

The first two trains carrying precious medical oxygen arrived in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, health facilities in state-run defence undertakings were opened to civilian COVID patients and IAF aircraft criss-crossed to carry empty oxygen tankers to filling sites as the pandemic situation turned grim in India with a new daily high of 3.46 lakh cases and 2,624 fatalities on Saturday.

Twenty-six patients died in two hospitals in Delhi and Amritsar which complained of oxygen shortage while officials at many other health facilities said they were struggling to meet the oxygen needs of the patients and appealed to the governments for help.

With a glaring gap in demand and supply of medical amenities, the Centre announced exemption of basic customs duty on import of COVID-19 vaccine, medical-grade oxygen and related equipment to boost domestic availability and directed the customs department to clear all import consignments, including life-saving drugs and equipment, used in COVID treatment on the highest priority.

The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost oxygen availability in the country, as the active cases crossed the 25-lakh mark.

"The prime minister emphasised 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. The PM stressed that all ministries and departments need to work in synergy to increase the availability of oxygen and medical supplies," a statement said.

Twenty patients died at Delhi’s Jaipur Golden Hospital as it waited for oxygen to be replenished, officials said on day five of a deepening crisis over the scarcity of oxygen vital to save critically ill COVID patients.

"Oxygen pressure has dipped as we are running out of stock," Medical Director DK Baluja told PTI as news came of patients dying through the night.

Six patients died at a private hospital in Amritsar allegedly due to a shortage of oxygen, prompting Punjab authorities to order a probe into the incident.

"Despite the district administration being repeatedly asked to extend help, no one turned up to do the needful," Sunil Devgan, the chairman and managing director of Neelkant hospital where the deaths occurred, alleged.

However, Punjab Medical Education Minister OP Soni refuted the charge and claimed that no proper information was given by the hospital about any shortage of oxygen.

Every few hours, as it has been for the last days, hospitals across the national capital and its suburbs sent out desperate messages of help on social media and other platforms, flagging their dwindling stocks of oxygen.

A day after 25 patients died at the Ganga Ram Hospital, one of the city’s biggest and most high-profile health facilities, the Delhi High Court asked the Centre about the preparedness to deal with the expected COVID-19 second wave peak in mid-May, terming the mounting cases as a ''tsunami'', and also warned it will "hang" any person who tries to obstruct oxygen supplies to hospitals in the National Capital.

Talking tough, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said this during a special three-hour-long hearing on a holiday on the issue of the escalating oxygen crisis in various hospitals in Delhi.

"We will not spare anyone," the bench said.

But many hospitals in the National Capital continued to grapple with oxygen scarcity and some have now asked families of patients to shift them to other facilities.

"We''ve run out of oxygen completely, even the backup," Batra Hospital executive director Sudhanshu Bankata told PTI. "We feel helpless, have started asking families to take patients to other healthcare facilities where oxygen is available."

In neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, an Oxygen Express train carrying three tankers of liquid medical oxygen from Bokaro in Jharkhand arrived on Saturday morning via a green corridor.

"Two trucks of medical oxygen arrived in Lucknow around 6.30 am while one truck was offloaded in Varanasi. Each truck has a capacity of 15,000 litres of medical oxygen," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told PTI.

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh said it will significantly ease the current situation in the state.

The state on Saturday recorded its highest single-day spike in new infections and coronavirus -related deaths with 38,055 fresh cases and 223 fatalities, pushing the virus tally to 10,51,314 and the toll to 10,959, according to an official statement.

Another Oxygen Express from Visakhapatnam reached Nashik in Maharashtra where four tankers were unloaded.

Maharashtra, which has been the worst-hit by the pandemic, reported 67,160 new coronavirus cases, slightly more than Friday, while the death figure declined to 676, a health department official said.

The toll reached 63,928 and the case tally rose to 42,28,836.

Last Sunday, the railways had announced that it would run ''Oxygen Express'' trains over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said all health facilities of defence public sector undertakings and Ordnance Factory Board have been allowed to provide health services to civilians infected with the coronavirus .

Four cryogenic tanks, to be used for transporting oxygen, were flown from Singapore by C17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

C-17 aircraft also carried four empty oxygen containers from Pune in Maharashtra and one from Indore in Madhya Pradesh to filling stations in Jamnagar in Gujarat.

The IAF airlifted to Ladakh medical equipment weighing 1,700 kg, including bio-safety cabinets and centrifuges, which will help augment COVID-19 testing facilities in the union territory, officials said.

Besides, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is adding another 250 beds by Saturday evening at its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital near the Delhi airport.

Singh said work is in full swing to establish a COVID-19 treatment facility in Lucknow that would become operational in the next five-six days, adding the hospitals would be run by the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) in coordination with the Uttar Pradesh government.

The three services as well as other wings of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have been extending support to various state governments and union territories in dealing with massive spike in coronavirus cases.

Since Friday, the Indian Air Force airlifted empty oxygen tankers and containers to various filling stations across the country to speed up the distribution of the much-needed medical oxygen in treating COVID-19 patients.

The IAF has also been transporting essential medicines as well as equipment required by the designated COVID hospitals in various parts of the country.

A record single-day rise of 3,46,786 coronavirus cases pushed India''s tally of infection to 1,66,10,481, while active cases crossed the 25-lakh mark, according to the health ministry's data updated at 8 am on Saturday.

The toll rose to 1,89,544 with a record 2,624 more fatalities in a day.

Ten states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, reported 74.15 percent of the new COVID-19 cases

Also, 12 states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily cases. These are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal.

Most of these states have imposed night curfew, weekend shutdown and other lockdown-like restrictions.

In Kerala, lockdown-like curbs came into force for 48 hours with only essential services and emergency activities being allowed and a holiday declared for government offices and PSUs.

"We are sitting on a volcano which can explode any moment. People should understand the situation and take adequate precaution to protect themselves," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, stressing that the situation was grim

The state reported over 26,000 fresh cases.

Cinemas, places of worship, malls, bars and salons must be shut effective 2 April, the Tamil Nadu government announced reintroducing more curbs following surging COVID-19 cases.

The Central government, meanwhile, has also decided that basic customs duty on import of COVID-19 vaccines be also waived with immediate effect for a period of three months. The 16 oxygen and related equipment on which duty has been waived include oxygen concentrator along with flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubing, oxygen canister, filling systems, storage tanks, cylinders, including cryogenic cylinders and tank.

"This will boost the availability of these items as well as make them cheaper. The prime minister directed the Revenue Department to ensure seamless and quick customs clearance of such equipment," the statement said.

Earlier, the government waived import duty on Remdesivir injection, and also banned its export. It had also allowed the emergency use of imported vaccines to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic is stopped from spreading to villages "by all means" and every person in rural areas is vaccinated.

Appreciating the role of panchayats in the management of coronavirus , especially in creating awareness, Modi asked the local leadership to work towards "complete implementation of guidelines" that are being issued from time to time.

"I have this confidence that if someone is going to emerge victorious first in this fight against the coronavirus , it is going to be India's villages, the leadership of these villages..... The people of the villages will show the way to the country and the world," the prime minister said at an event.

Ahead of the roll-out of vaccination of people aged between 18 and 45 from May 1, the Centre asked states to register additional private vaccination centres, ensure effective crowd management at sites and stressed on inoculation through "only online registration" for beneficiaries in the age bracket.

Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir announced free vaccine for all, joining several other states like UP, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

The Karnataka Technical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has asked the state government to impose stringent restrictions, including lockdown for 14 days to break the chain of infection.

The TAC members also foresee the third wave COVID in October-November and have, accordingly, insisted that the government should complete the vaccination of vulnerable age groups before the next wave hits.

India has become the fastest country to administer 14 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine in just 99 days, the Union health ministry said. However, experts say that the exercise has to be ramped up significantly as the country reels from the devastating second wave.

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