Coronavirus News Updates: India is in 'dire straits' as it opened up prematurely, says Dr Fauci on COVID crisis

Coronavirus News Updates: 'India made the incorrect assumption that they were finished with COVID, and what happened? They opened up prematurely and wind up having a surge right now that is extremely devastating,' America's top infectious disease expert said

FP Staff May 11, 2021 23:23:59 IST
Auto refresh feeds
Coronavirus News Updates: India is in 'dire straits' as it opened up prematurely, says Dr Fauci on COVID crisis

Representational image. AP



May 11, 2021 - 23:12 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Bodies seen floating in UP's Ballia, Ghazipur

Bodies were seen floating in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia and Ghazipur districts, according to local residents and the authorities on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at least 71 bodies were fished out from the Ganga in Bihar's Buxar, which is downstream the two UP districts, triggering suspicion that these could be of COVID-19 patients. According to Ballia residents, at least 45 bodies were seen floating at the Ujiyar, Kulhadia and Bharauli ghats in the Narahi area.

However, the district authorities did not tell the exact number of bodies found there. Ballia District Magistrate Aditi Singh in a statement said some bodies in bad condition were seen under the Ballia-Buxar bridge.


May 11, 2021 - 23:03 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Centre asks states to check future incidences of people dumping bodies in Ganga

The Centre on Tuesday asked states along the Ganga to ensure strict vigilance and check future incidences of people dumping bodies in the river and its tributaries.

In a letter to District Ganga Committees which are chaired by district magistrates or collectors, the National Mission for Clean Ganga -- the apex body that monitors rejuvenation of the river and its tributaries -- also asked the authorities to dispose unidentified bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims in accordance with safety protocols.

"Ensure strict vigilance along length of the river within territorial jurisdiction of the district to prevent and check such future incidences of people dumping dead bodies in Ganga and its tributaries and of any other activity hazardous for river Ganga and health and hygiene of the area," NMCG Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said in the letter to the chairpersons of the committees.


May 11, 2021 - 22:55 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

India opened up prematurely, Dr Fauci on COVID-19 crisis

America's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said that India is in such "dire straits" because it made the "incorrect assumption" that they were finished with the COVID-19 and opened up prematurely.

India has been severely affected by the unprecedented second wave of the coronavirus and hospitals in several states are reeling under the shortage of health workers, vaccines, oxygen, drugs and beds.

"The reason that India is in such dire straits now is that they had an original surge and made the incorrect assumption that they were finished with it, and what happened, they opened up prematurely and wind up having a surge right now that we're all very well aware of is extremely devastating,” Dr Fauci told Senate Health, Education, Labour and Pensions Committee during a hearing on the COVID-19 Response.

May 11, 2021 - 22:43 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Delhi airport to shut operations at T2 terminal from 17 May midnight

The Delhi international airport will shut down its T2 terminal from 17 May midnight as the number of flights has reduced significantly due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, sources said on Tuesday. From 17 May midnight, all flights will be handled at the T3 terminal only, they stated.

Currently, the Delhi airport is handling around 325 flights per day, they mentioned. Before the pandemic, it used to handle around 1,500 flights per day.

The Delhi airport's decision has come at a time when India and its aviation sector has been badly hit by the second wave of the pandemic. 

During the last few weeks, the number of domestic air passengers per day have come from more than 2.2 lakh to around 75,000 right now, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry's data. Similarly, international air traffic has also been affected by the second wave of the pandemic.


May 11, 2021 - 22:36 (IST)

 Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Total of 17,51,71,482 vaccine doses administered so far, says health ministry

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 17,51,71,482 as per the 8 pm provisional report on Tuesday, said the Union health ministry in a press release.

A total of 4,74,629 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine on Tuesday and cumulatively 30,39,287 individuals have received vaccine doses across 30 States/UTs since the third phase of the vaccination drive began.

May 11, 2021 - 22:19 (IST)

 Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Centre not fulfilling responsibility of providing enough vaccines, alleges Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra Health Minister  Rajesh Tope on Tuesday alleged that the Union government was not fulfilling its responsibility to provide adequate number of vaccine doses to states. "The Union government has not provided enough vials of Covaxin and Covishield, hence we had to divert our own Covaxin stock, purchased for the 18-44 years age group, for the above-45 age group," Tope told reporters here. "The Union government is not fulfilling its responsibility of providing sufficient quantity of vaccine," he added.
The Union government should grant approval to all the COVID-19 vaccines available in the global market, Tope said.

May 11, 2021 - 22:03 (IST)

 Coronavirus LATEST Updates

AP govt to float global tender soon for procuring COVID-19 vaccines

The Andhra Pradesh government will float a global tender in a day or two for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines from foreign manufacturers to complete the vaccination process as quickly as possible. The state has identified 2.04 crore people in the 18- 45 age group for whom the Covid-19 vaccine has to be administered.

While a portion of the 4.08 crore doses required for these people is expected to come from local vaccine producers, the state is getting ready to buy a sufficient number of doses for at least one crore people, officials said.

May 11, 2021 - 21:52 (IST)

 Coronavirus LATEST Updates

More restrictions and containment measures in Assam from Thursday, says CM

 Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday chaired the first meeting of the newly formed state cabinet, Giving information fo the decisions taken during the meeting, Sarma said more restrictions and containment measures will be imposed in the state from 13 May, the detailed SOP for which will be issued on Wednesday. "In case restrictions have to continue for more than a fortnight, govtwill consider financial relief package for weaker sections," Sarma added.

May 11, 2021 - 21:46 (IST)

 Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Direct supply of Covaxin to 18 states from 1 May: Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech on Tuesday said it will continue the steady supply of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, adding the jab has been directly supplied to 18 states since 1 May. The states include Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the Hyderabad-based firm added.
The company is supplying its vaccine to Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

May 11, 2021 - 21:27 (IST)

Second wave seems to have flattened but won't end before July, says virologist Shahid Jameel

India's second COVID-19 wave seems to have flattened but the climb down will be a more prolonged, long drawn-out process than the first and will possibly run till July, eminent virologist Shahid Jameel said on Tuesday.  Though the new variants of the virus may partly be responsible for the explosion in the number of cases, there is no indication the mutant versions are more lethal, added the director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University, amid mounting worries about what is fuelling the second wave in India.    Addressing an online event organised by The Indian Express, Jameel noted that it is a little too early to say if the Covid wave has peaked.
 According to the scientist, COVID-19 cases in the second wave also won't come down in as steady a fashion as they did after the first wave.

Coronavirus India News and LATEST Updates: America's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said that India is in such "dire straits" because it made the "incorrect assumption" that they were finished with the COVID-19 and opened up prematurely.

The governments of Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Tuesday joined several other states which have decided to issue global tenders for procurement of COVID vaccines as the domestic supply fails to keep up with the rising demand amid the fierce second wave of the pandemic.

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday said additional 45,000 vials of Tocilizumab have been allocated to States/UTs to meet its demand across country. "Earlier, 9900 vials of the drug were made (available) to all states on 30 April. Besides these two allocations, another 50,024 vials were alloted to states yesterday," the minister said.

A Mumbai-based private hospital has moved the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre and the Maharashtra government to take urgent steps to ensure sufficient supply of Oxygen to it for saving lives of COVID-19 patients.

Journalists in Maharashtra threatened to launch an agitation if their demand was not met while state Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urging him to consider journalists as frontline workers.

Delhi has run out of Covaxin stock for people in the 18-44 age group and will have to shut 125 centres where the coronavirus vaccine was being administered, AAP MLA Atishi said on Tuesday.

Delhi has run out of Covaxin stock for people in the 18-44 age group and will have to shut 125 centres where the coronavirus vaccine was being administered, AAP MLA Atishi said on Tuesday.

The Delhi government will float a global tender for procuring coronavirus vaccines, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday, as the city government grapples with a shortage of doses. Addressing a press conference, he alleged that the BJP-ruled Centre was "forcing" state governments to invite global tenders for vaccine procurement.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday urged the Centre to increase the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation to the state to 910 tonnes to meet the current patient load.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday said 26 COVID-19 patients died at the state- run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in the early hours and sought an investigation by the High Court to find out the exact cause. He said these fatalities occurred between 2 am and 6 am "which is a fact", but remained evasive about the cause.

ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said the national positivity rate is around 21 perceng and 310 districts are reporting a positivity rate more than the national average.

In a press briefing on the COVID-19 situation, Joint Secretary in the health ministry Lav Aagarwal says there is trend of decline in cases in last few days. He however highlighted that this is only an early trend and efforts to tackle COVID-19 should continue as before. The ministry also said that there was an early trend of decline in COVID-19 deaths.

Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan told states to ensure all beneficiaries who have taken the first dose are prioritised for their second doses.

The office of the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced a series of welfare measures for citizens adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Government will offer special scholarships to children who have lost their parents due to the COVID. The Govt has decided to provide Rs 1000 per month to all registered construction workers, ponywalas, palkiwalas, pithuwalas for the next two months. The government has directed all concerned officers to ensure the supply of ration to all ration card holders on priority. In these challenging times, the old-age homes, 0rphanages will be extended all the support from the government including rations," said the Prasar Bharati News Services quoting the office of Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor.

Telangana government has decided to impose 10 days of lockdown from 10 am, 12 May following a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, the Times of India reported. All activities will be allowed from 6 am to 10 am following which full lockdown will be imposed, the report said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia for the families of those who died last night at Ruia Hospital in Tirupati. Eleven COVID-19 patients died at SVRR government general hospital in Tirupati on Thursday evening after a breakdown in oxygen supply, resulting in shortage. At least 13 patients who are being treated in the ICU ward currently are said to be critical.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren tweeted on Tuesday that starting 14 May, the state will start vaccinating citizens above 18 years of age and that the exchequer will bear the cost. He assured that the vaccine is safe and appealed to all the eligible citizens to come forward for vaccination without any hesitation.

According to an All India Radio report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today had a telephonic conversation with his Bhutanese counterpart Prime Minister Lotay Tshering today. The Bhutanese prime minister expressed solidarity with the government and the people of India in their efforts against the recent wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

On National Technology Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that in any challenging situation, the country's scientists and innovators have always risen to the occasion and over the last year have worked industriously to fight COVID-19.

"On National Technology Day, we salute the hard work and tenacity of our scientists and those passionate about technology," Modi tweeted.

Speaking about the oxygen shortage in Karnataka, Chief Minister Yediyurappa said that he is in touch with the Centre to resolve the isssue.

"In the morning we've received 120 MT of medical oxygen via Oxygen Express train. If it comes like this there will be no problem. I am in touch with union leaders. I spoke with Prime Minister himself. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured us all sort of support," Yediyurappa told ANI.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the Centre should take steps to increase the number of vaccine-producing firms from the present two to speed up the vaccination drive across the country.

"Only two companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 6-7 crore vaccines a month. This way, it'll take over two years to vaccinate everyone. Many waves would've come by then. Important to increase vaccine production on war footing and frame national plan to vaccinate all. Not just two, several companies should be deployed to produce vaccines. Centre should collect the formula to produce vaccines from these two companies and give it to all those companies that can produce vaccine safely. Centre has the power to do this in these difficult times," ANI quoted Kejriwal as saying at a press conference in Delhi.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan today cited a Merck statement that advised against use of ivermectin for COCID-19 treatment.

In a statement, Merck "affirmed its position regarding use of ivermectin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Company scientists continue to carefully examine the findings of all available and emerging studies of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 for evidence of efficacy and safety. It is important to note that, to-date, our analysis has identified:

~ No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies;
~ No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and;
~ A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.
~ We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information."

According to a Business Line report, West Bengal reported a record high COVID-19 134 deaths while 19,445 fresh were detected in 24 hours. Fatalities are the highest in the 75 plus age group, as per government data.

According to a WHO report, Uttar Pradesh has initiated a house-to-house drive to locate active cases of COVID-19 in rural areas to contain transmission by testing people with symptoms for rapid isolation, disease management and contact tracing.

The detection teams are moving across 97,941 villages in 75 districts over five days for this activity, which began on 5 May in the country’s most populous state with a population of 230 million.

Each monitoring team has two members, who visit homes in villages and remote hamlets to test everyone with symptoms of COVID-19 using Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kits. Those who test positive are quickly isolated and given a medicine kit with advice on disease management. All the contacts of those who test positive are quarantined and tested using an RT-PCR at home by a rapid response team, the WHO report said.

French health minister Olivier Veran said so far the country has recorded at least 20 cases of the Indian variant, according to an Al Jazeera report.

Pointing out the inequality in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu on Monday said that high and upper-middle countries represent 53 percent of the world’s population but have received 83 percent of the world’s vaccine.

“High and upper-middle countries represent 53 percent of the world’s population but have received 83 percent of the world’s vaccine. By contrast, low and lower-middle-income countries account for 47 percent but have received just 17 percent of the world’s vaccine,” said WHO chief during a press briefing.

According to a Deccan Herald report, Karnataka Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said that the current lockdown ordered by the government was not complete and the state needs "a total lockdown for two weeks" with around 50,000 new cases being reported daily.

On Wednesday, in a faint glimmer of hope India recorded a dip in active cases for the first time in two months. The country reported 3.3 lakh new cases against 3.5 lakh new recoveries which is a 30K dip in new cases, as per a News18 data report.

The Arunachal Pradesh government has gone for a vaccination drive along the Line of Actual Control to control the daily surge of cases in the state. On Monday, the state reported 119 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the coronavirus tally in the state to 20,165. The death toll remained at 60 as no fresh fatality due to the infection was reported in the last 24 hours. The state has so far administered 2,92,841 vaccination doses.

According to the Union health ministry, India witnessed a single-day rise of 3,66,161 COVID-19 cases on Monday, which pushed its tally to 2,26,62,575. With 3,754 more people succumbing to it, the death count due to the pandemic also climbed to 2,46,116, as per the ministry.

India now has 37,45,237 active cases, accounting for 16.53 percent of its total caseload. The recovery rate is at 82.39 percent with 1,86,71,222 people having recovered from the disease. The case fatality rate was at 1.09 percent, according to the Union health ministry.

With the addition of 1,495 fresh coronavirus positive cases, the Thane district near Mumbai has mounted to 4,90,274, an official said today. With 55 more patients succumbing to the viral infection, the death toll in the Thane district rose to 8,108, with the case mortality rate now standing at 1.65 percent, a PTI report said.

According to LiveLaw, in a special sitting, convened to deliberate on COVID-19 tariffs charged by private hospitals, a division bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran and Dr Kauser Edappagath of the Kerala High Court was informed that the state was running out of oxygen and ICU Beds. The state counsel also urged the court to direct the Centre to consider the state's request for oxygen. The state is running short of medical oxygen after the oxygen supply has been augmented.

Meanwhile, the Times of India in a report has said that with the availability of 1.5 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia many state governments and private hospitals are in touch with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Labs which is importing the vaccines for the Indian market.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has gone past 17.26 crore, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

It said 5,18,479 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group received their first doses on Monday, which took the cumulative number for the category to 25,52,843 across 30 states and Union Territories since the start of the phase-3 of the vaccination drive.

The 25,52,843 individuals include 5,10,347 from Maharashtra, 4,11,002 from Rajasthan, 3,66,309 from Delhi, 3,23,601 from Gujarat and 2,93,716 from Haryana, 1,77,885 from Bihar, 1,66,814 from Uttar Pradesh and 1,06,538 from Assam.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 17,26,33,761 as per the 8 pm provisional report, the ministry said.

This includes 95,63,406 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 65,05,072 HCWs who have taken the second dose; 1,40,49,681 frontline workers (FLWs) who have received the first dose, and 78,51,075 FLWs who have taken the second dose.

Besides, 5,54,97,658 and 71,73,939 beneficiaries over 45 to 60 years have been administered the first and second doses respectively, while 5,38,00,706 and 1,56,39,381 beneficiaries above 60 years have taken the first and second dose.

As on Day-115 of the vaccination drive (10 May 2021), a total of 24,30,017 vaccine doses were given which included 10,47,092 beneficiaries first doses 13,82,925 second doses according to the provisional report till 8 pm, the ministry said, adding the final report would be completed for the day by late night.

India witnessed a single-day rise of 3,66,161 COVID-19 cases on Monday, which pushed its tally to 2,26,62,575, according to the health ministry.

The death toll due to the viral disease climbed to 2,46,116 with 3,754 more people succumbing to it, the ministry's data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of active cases of the coronavirus infection in the country has gone up to 37,45,237, accounting for 16.53 percent of its total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 82.39 percent.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has climbed to 1,86,71,222, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.09 percent, according to the data.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

also read

With crisis everywhere, do democracies have an edge over authoriarian systems?

With crisis everywhere, do democracies have an edge over authoriarian systems?

Sweeping theories for the supposed advantages of one system or the other over climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have been of little help in predicting how these crises would play out

How Omicron's BA.5 became a master of disguise, and what it means for COVID-19 surge

How Omicron's BA.5 became a master of disguise, and what it means for COVID-19 surge

BA.5 will not be the endgame. As the virus continues to circulate, this evolutionary trend will likely lead to the emergence of more transmissible variants that are capable of immune escape

Has PM Modi fired one of his most potent weapons for 2024 election?

Has PM Modi fired one of his most potent weapons for 2024 election?

Thirst for a public justice over ill-gotten wealth could be a very strong election plank. It will win over the poor and the middle classes