COVID-19 news: Pregnant women now eligible for vaccination; Centre rushes teams to six states with high positivity rate
The Union Health Ministry on Friday also said there has been an 86 percent decline in COVID-19 cases in India since the peak on 10 May, when the number stood at 37.45 lakh
The Centre on Friday said that India’s active COVID-19 cases have reduced by about 86 percent since the peak on 10 May, and stressed on vaccination and following COVID-19 protocols while reiterating that the second wave of the pandemic is not over yet.
India’s active cases stood at 5,09,637 on Friday morning.
Earlier on Friay, the Centre also approved the vaccination of pregnant women against the coronavirus. Pregnant women in India are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Union Health Ministry giving the approval based on recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
The decision empowers pregnant women to make an informed choice on taking COVID-19 vaccination, the ministry said, adding these women can now register on CoWIN or walk-in to the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre to get themselves inoculated.
The decision has been communicated to all the states and union territories to implement it under the ongoing National Covid Vaccination Program,
On the other hand, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said that the Drugs Controller General of India has the application of pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila, which has applied for emergency use authorisation of ZyCov-D, its three-dose coronavirus vaccine, reports ANI.
“We’re hoping to hear a positive response,” he says. “It will be a moment of pride as it is a unique technology. It’ll give a push to our vaccine programme.”
Also on Friday, India saw a single-day rise of 46,617 new coronavirus infections, taking the tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,04,58,251, while the national recovery rate has crossed 97 percent, according to the Union Health Ministry data update. The toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,00,312 with 853 daily fatalities.
Addressing a press conference, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, “Under the continued focus of clinical management, the recovery rate, which was at 81.1 percent on 3 May, is now at around 97 percent."
Meanwhile, the Centre rushed COVID-19 teams to six states — Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Manipur — that are reporting a high number of coronavirus infections. These teams are designated for the control and containment of the virus.
71 districts report positivity rate of over 10 percent
Seventy-one districts reported a COVID-19 case positivity rate of more than 10 percent in the week from 23 to 29 June, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said, adding that the second wave of COVID-19 is not over. According to News18, a majority these districts are in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Centre has requested states to identify districts where weekly positivity rate is above 10 percent or bed occupancy is over 60 percent and impose highest level of restrictions for at least 14 days, to break the chain of transmission, Agarwal further said.
On the ongoing vaccination drive, the Government of India said tha the country is vaccinating on an average 50 lakh individuals daily since 21 June, which is equivalent to inoculating the entire population of Norway every day.
To date 34 crore people — the equivalent of the entire population of the US — have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the drive began on 16 January, the government said.
Nearly 80 percent healthcare workers and 90 percent frontline workers have been administered both doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, it said.
Centre rushes teams to six states reporting high number of cases
The Centre on Friday deputed multi-disciplinary teams to Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Manipur in view of the high number of COVID-19 cases being reported by these states.
Teams will be supporting the states in their efforts to carry out a targeted COVID-19 response and management, and effectively tackling the pandemic, a Union Health Ministry statement said.
The two-member high level team to these states comprises a clinician and a public health expert, the statement said.
The teams will visit the states immediately and monitor the overall implementation of COVID-19 management, especially in testing, including surveillance and containment operations; COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and its enforcement; availability of hospital beds, sufficient logistics including ambulances, ventilators, medical oxygen, etc, and COVID-19 vaccination progress.
The teams will monitor the situation and also suggest remedial actions, the statement said.
'Expect vaccinated Indians to be treated on par with those inoculated in EU'
India on Friday said it expects that its CoWIN vaccination certificate would be recognised by the European Union on a reciprocal basis for travel and it is in touch with member states of the bloc over this issue.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the European Union has now instituted what is called an EU digital COVID certificate for exempting restrictions on the movement of vaccinated people.
"Our expectation is that Indians who have been vaccinated through our domestic vaccination programme would be treated at par with those vaccinated in the EU and the CoWIN vaccination certificate would be recognised by the EU on a reciprocal basis," he said at an online media briefing.
"As you are aware, such CoWIN vaccination certificates can be authenticated on the CoWIN website itself. We are in touch with the EU member states in this regard for reciprocal acceptance," Bagchi said, noting that a number of EU countries have already taken "positive steps" in this direction.
His remarks came a day after sources said nine European nations are accepting Covishield vaccines for travel to their countries.
BMC issues new norms for vaccination camps at offices, housing societies
In light of the recent COVID-19 vaccination scam in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued additional guidelines and stated that inoculation at housing societies and workplaces will only be conducted by private vaccination centres registered on CoWIN portal, an official said on Friday.
The civic body also released a list of around 95 private vaccination centres in the city registered on CoWIN portal of the Union government and contact details of ward-level war rooms. As per the guidelines issued on Thursday, vaccination at workplaces and housing societies will be carried out by registered private COVID-19 vaccination centres only, and managements of offices and housing societies will have to ensure that these centres are registered on CoWIN by contacting the local authority.
Office and housing society managements will have to designate a person to work as a "nodal officer" and coordinate with private vaccination centres and support vaccination activities, it was stated.
With inputs from PTI
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