COVID-19 News Updates: Preparations have to be made at the national level in collaboration with states, infrastructure needs to be ramped up while curbs and appropriate behaviour must be followed, said NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul
COVID-19 News LATEST Updates: The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday floated a global tender for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine, from foreign producers, sufficient to inoculate one crore people
The Centre on Thursday reiterated that any vaccine which is approved by United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can come to India.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring the Goods and Services Tax for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs to zero level. State governments were procuring COVID-19 vaccines and drugs to treat the patients and the GST for such supplies should be made zero, he said.
As per reports the Centre on Thursday said that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine had arrived in India and would be available “in the market next week”. NITI Aayog (Health) member Dr VK Paul said that the “sale of the limited supply that has come from Russia will begin next week”.
The Kerala government on Thursday urged the Centre to immediately rush at least 300 MT oxygen from neighbouring storage points to augment the storage in hospitals in the wake of the impending cyclonic storm. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the India Meteorological Department has issued a cyclonic storm warning forecasting heavy rain and winds in parts of the state on 14 and 15 May.
The Election Commission on Thursday deferred legislative Council polls in nine seats in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The term of three members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council and six members of the Telangana Legislative Council, elected by members of their respective legislative assemblies (MLAs), are expiring on 31 May and 3 June, respectively, the commission said in a statement.
Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said the gap between two Covishield doses has been increased to 12-16 weeks from the current 6-8 weeks based on the COVID working group's recommendations after analysing emerging evidence.
The Sputnik V vaccine has arrived in India and we are hopeful that it'll be available in the market next week, said Dr VK Paul.
The Supreme Court issues directions to the Centre and governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to provide dry ration to migrant workers in the NCR under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme or any other scheme utilising the Public Distribution System, said reports. According to the court's order, authorities will not insists on providing dry ration to the migrant workers.
In view of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Chhattisgarh government on Thursday cancelled tenders for the construction of the new Assembly building and also stopped work on major projects in the state.
Construction work of the new governor's house, Assembly house, chief minister's house, residences of ministers and senior officers, new circuit house under in the 'Nava Raipur' area (New Raipur) has now been stopped with immediate effect, a statement issued by the state government said.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced the decision to extend lockdown in the state till 25 May.
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday pulled up the state and Central government over the COVID-19 vaccination drive, particularly over those who have got the first dose not receiving their second dose, reports Bar&Bench.
A Bench of Chief Justice AS Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar said the Karnataka government should come clean on the issue and publish the data on availability of vaccines on a website.
The bench also slammed the state government for not reserving 70 percent vaccines for second dose as per the Centre's guidelines.
"We will provide education free of cost to the children who have lost their parents (to COVID-19 ). They will be provided free ration even if they are not eligible for it," said Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
The Maharashtra government on Thursday extended the lockdown-like restrictions in the state till 1 June to break the chain of COVID-19 .
National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has recommended increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks, sources told PTI. The panel also suggested that pregnant women may be offered the choice to take any COVID-19 vaccine and that lactating women can be inoculated any time after delivery.
During the trial, the vaccine will be administered through muscles in two doses in a gap of 28 days, the Centre said.
The Drug Controller General of India on Thursday gave permission to Bharat Biotech to conduct clinical trials of Covaxin on children belonging to the age group of 2 to 18 years.
The decision comes after the subject expert committee recommended the permission in favour of Bharat Biotech. The permission has been granted after "careful examination", the government said.
The active caseload comprises 37.10 lakh or 15.87 percent of the country's total infections.
Following a state cabinet meeting on Wednesday, health minister Rajesh Tope said that the state government would divert the stock it has purchased for inoculation of people between 18 and 44 to ensure that those who require their second dose get it on time.
The COVID-19 inoculation drive for the 18-44 years age group in Mumbai has been suspended until further orders, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced on Wednesday evening.
The announcement followed the Maharashtra government's decision to suspend inoculation for this category and divert the vaccine stock for the above 45 years age group due to
paucity of doses.
The BMC earlier in the day also issued revised guidelines allowing walk-in vaccination in Mumbai for certain categories for three days.
Those above 60 years and waiting for a second dose of Covishield vaccine, those still to get a second dose of Covaxin, and the disabled persons can opt for walk-in vaccination from Monday to Wednesday, it said.
But from Thursday to Saturday vaccination would take place only by prior appointment through Co-WIN app, and the centres will remain closed on Sunday, it said.
But municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, however, stated that the walk-in vaccination will be allowed only for three days, that is from 17-19 May, though the BMC
guidelines did not mention any such specific period.
Environment minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also guardian minister for Mumbai suburban district, gave the same information as Chahal. "Looking at the limited supply of vaccines, it is crucial that we complete the prescribed second shot in the coming week for those who have gone past the prescribed gap between two vaccines," Thackeray tweeted.
Since last week, the civic body has made prior registration mandatory for the above 45 years category after witnessing chaotic scenes at a BKC inoculation centre and
overcrowding at several other centres.
Walk-in was allowed only for those due for second dose of Covaxin besides healthcare and frontline workers.
As per the civic body's data, so far 27,86,048 vaccine jabs have been administered in the city, including 6,92,620 second doses. 39,029 persons in 18-44 years age group have
received the jabs.