Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The HC had observed that the EC 'should be put on murder charges probably' as political parties flouted COVID-19 protocol in rallies
Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The Election Commission on Saturday moved the Supreme Court against the "uncalled for, blatantly disparaging and derogatory remarks" made by Madras HC. The HC had observed that the EC "should be put on murder charges probably" as political parties flouted COVID-19 protocol in rallies, Bar and Bench reported.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday spoke out about the pressures he was under over the production of COVID-19 vaccines to meet the ever-increasing demand in India as the country battles through a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In his first comments since he was provided with Y' category security by the Indian government earlier this week, Poonawalla told The Times in an interview about receiving aggressive calls from some of the most powerful people in India, demanding supplies of Covishield — the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that the Serum Institute is producing in India.
That pressure is largely behind his decision to fly into London to be with his wife and children, the 40-year-old entrepreneur said. "I'm staying here (London) for an extended time because I don't want to go back to that situation. Everything falls on my shoulders but I can't do it alone...I don't want to be in a situation where you are just trying to do your job, and just because you can't supply the needs of X, Y or Z you really don't want to guess what they are going to do," Poonawalla told the newspaper.
Twelve COVID-19 patients, including the HOD of gastroenterology department, of Batra Hospital here died allegedly due to oxygen shortage, officials said on Saturday.
"Once a patient is pushed to the edge without the support of oxygen, it is very difficult to revive him. Unfortunately, we are expecting more fatalities," said Sudhanshu Bankata, executive director of the hospital.
India on Saturday received the first consignment of Russia's SputnikV COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
The CBIC in a tweet said that Hyderabad customs expedited the clearance of the COVID-19 vaccine imported from Russia. "Hyderabad Customs, @cgstcushyd facilitated expeditious clearance of #SputnikV Vaccine imported from Russia," the CBIC tweeted.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in tweet said: "Appropriate timely response @cgstcushyd. Need of the hour."
Hospitals in the National Capital must be given medical oxygen on Saturday "by whatever means", the Delhi High Court told the Centre as it heard petitions on how the health infrastructure is trying to cope with the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The court may consider initiating contempt proceedings against the Centre if 480 MT of oxygen is not supplied to Delhi by Saturday.
Hospital officials told the Delhi High Court that re-supply tankers only reached the hospital at around 1.30 pm on Saturday, meaning that around 230 critically ill patients were without oxygen for around 80 minutes.
The Delhi High Court directed the Centre to take necessary steps to fulfill its assurance of getting INOX's four oxygen tankers, which have been seized by Rajasthan government, be allocated to the National Capital.
Around 230 COVID-19 patients are on oxygen support, we are again on SOS mode since 6 am, said the hospital.
The Delhi High Court is hearing the COVID-19 related cases in which it has been monitoring the situation in the National Capital for the 11th straight day.
Senior poll officials should make sure that COVID-19 protocol is followed at all the counting centres, said the top court on Saturday.
At least 700 school employees, including a pregnant lady, succumbed to COVID-19 while attending panchayat poll duty, tweeted the Congress leader.
From 4,000 new cases being reported in the state on 10 April, when the fourth phase of elections was held, the case count had crossed the 7,500 mark on 17 April, when the fifth phase of election was held.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the innoculation will start from Saturday 'as per the availability' of vaccine doses. 'We will be receiving 18 lakh doses in May. I urge the Centre to increase the supply,' said the CM.
With the death of 3,523 more COVID-19 patients in the past 24 hours, the total number of fatalities in the country climbed to 2,11,853 on Saturday, said the Union health ministry. This takes the national fatality rate to 1.1 percent.
Several state governments have said they won't be able to start the Phase 3 vaccination drive from Saturday because they do not have sufficient doses. This phase of vaccination drive is for people between the age group of 18-45 years.
A fire in a COVID-19 hospital ward in Gujarat's Bharuch killed 18 patients early Saturday, as the country grappling with the worst outbreak yet steps up a vaccination drive for all its adults even though some states say don't have enough jabs.
Fifty other patients at the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a town in Gujarat state, were rescued by hospital workers and firefighters, said police officer Rajendrasinh Chudasama.
The fire broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor and was extinguished within an hour, PTI quoted the fire service as saying. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
On 23 April, a fire in an intensive care unit killed 13 COVID-19 patients in the Virar area on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Faced with an unprecedented surge in cases that has filled hospitals and crematoriums, creating a major crisis in a country of 1.4 billion, the government on Saturday shifted its faltering vaccination campaign into high gear by saying all adults 18 and over were getting their shots.
Since January, nearly 10 percent of Indians have received one dose, but only around 1.5% have received both, though India is one of the world's biggest producers of vaccines.
Some states already said they do not have enough doses for everyone. Even the ongoing effort to inoculate people above 45 is stuttering.
The state of Maharashtra has said it won't be able to start on Saturday. Satyender Jain, the Delhi health minister, said earlier this week that the city doesn’t have enough doses to vaccinate people between 18 and 44.
India on Friday reported another global daily record of 386,452 new cases, pushing the overall toll to more than 18.7 million since the pandemic began, second only to the United States. The Health Ministry also reported 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 208,330. Experts believe both figures are an undercount.
The US meanwhile joined a growing list of countries restricting travel from India, the White House said, citing a devastating rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus .
President Joe Biden spoke Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the growing health crisis and pledged to immediately send assistance. This week, the US began delivering therapeutics, rapid virus tests and oxygen to India, along with some materials needed for India to boost its domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines.
Additionally, a CDC team of public health experts was expected to be on the ground soon to help Indian health officials move to slow the spread of the virus.
Other nations have also sent assistance, and the Indian air force airlifted oxygen containers from Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok.