New ‘Delta plus’ variant identified; unlocking begins in some states

New ‘Delta plus’ variant identified; unlocking begins in some states


(This story originally appeared in on Jun 14, 2021)

NEW DELHI: India continues to report a sustained slide in the daily new Covid cases. The country has reported 70,421 daily new cases in the last 24 hours. Less than 1 lakh daily new cases have been reported for 7 continuous days now.

India has also been witnessing a continuous fall in the active caseload. The country’s active caseload today stands at 9,73,158.

The caseload has declined below 10 lakh mark after 66 days. A net decline of 53,001 is witnessed in the last 24 hours and active cases are now only 3.30% of the country’s total positive cases.

Here are the top Covid-19 developments in India throughout the day-

Delhi unlock: All shops in markets, restaurants open today

With Covid numbers in the national capital dropping to a three-month low, all market activities are allowed from today, but with certain restrictions as part of the phased unlock plan of the Delhi government.

While weekly markets will resume activity, but only one market will open in one zone on a day, restaurants will reopen with 50 per cent of seating capacity.

On Sunday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that all activities will be allowed in the national capital after 5 am on Monday except for some activities that will be prohibited and some activities that will be done in a restricted manner.

Haryana extends statewide Covid lockdown till June 21 with some relaxations

The Haryana government on Sunday extended ongoing lockdown till 5 am on June 21, but considering a sharp decline in Covid positivity rate and the number of new positive cases, it allowed more relaxations in the rules.

Under the new rules, all shops will be allowed to open from 09:00 am to 08:00 pm daily, while malls will be allowed to operate from 10:00 am to 08:00 pm.

The notification issued by the Haryana government said restaurants and bars (including in hotels and in malls) will be permitted to open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm with 50 per cent of the seating capacity. Home delivery from hotels, restaurants and fast food joints is permitted up to 10:00 pm.

Lockdown extended in Bengal till July 1, with relaxations

Though there has been a sharp fall in the number of fresh Covid cases in West Bengal, the state government on Monday decided to extend the lockdown for another 15 days till July 1, with some relaxations to give a boost to economic activities.

The state government will review the situation in another four days before taking further decisions.

A notification issued by the state home department said that all intra-state local trains and buses, Metro rail, and inland water transport shall remain closed, except for special trains for the movement of emergency and essential service providers.

Movement of private vehicles, taxis and auto-rickshaws will be prohibited except to and from hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, clinics, airports, terminal points and media houses.

All schools, colleges, universities, polytechnics, Anganwadi centres and other educational institutions shall continue to remain closed. All social, cultural, academic and entertainment related gatherings shall continue to be prohibited.

Uttarakhand extends Covid-19 curfew till June 22

The Uttarakhand government on Monday extended the Covid-19 curfew in the hill state by one more week to June 22.

State minister Subodh Uniyal said that old guidelines will remain in place but with some minor changes.

In an important relaxation, the residents of Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi have been permitted to visit the Char Dham sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Gangotri-Yamunotri, respectively. For this, a negative report of RTPCR was made mandatory.

Karnataka begins to unlock from today, night curfew to remain

After an eight-week lockdown, lockdown has been relaxed in 19 districts starting today while 11 districts with high positivity rate have to wait longer.

The state will witness the trial of drug delivery through drone for the first time in the country; the preliminary trial will be held at Gauribidanur in Chikkaballapur district from June 18 and the official trial from June 21 for 45 days.

A total of 38,34,843 had received the first dose in the city (including both Bengaluru Urban and BBMP) as of Sunday night.

That translates to roughly about 34% (one-third) of the city’s estimated target population of 1.1 cr people aged 18 and above. Till date 1,69,55,711 have been vaccinated across the State, of which 1,39,43,769 received first dose and 30,11,942 received second dose.

850 oxygen plants being set up in various districts from PM Cares: DRDO chief

As many as 850 oxygen plants are being set up in various districts from the PM Cares Fund, DRDO chief C Satheesh Reddy said Monday, as India emerges from the second wave of coronavirus which caused a major medical oxygen crisis across the country.

Reddy highlighted during the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Discourse Series’ by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) that the DRDO was prepared to provide all kinds of support including more “flying hospitals” when the need arises in the fight against coronavirus, a DST statement said.

“We established temporary hospitals specific to Covid-19 in many cities (during the second wave). These are modular hospitals, we call it flying hospitals, and these have been made in a way that the virus does not go out of hospitals,” he said.

106,300 vials of Amphotericin-B allocated to states/UTs

Amid cases of rising cases of black fungus with Maharashtra reporting the most, the Centre said that it on Monday allocated an additional over one lakh vials of Amphotericin-B allocated to states/UTs and Central institutions.

Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, in a tweet, said that to ensure significant availability of Liposomal Amphotricin-B, additional 106,300 vials of the drug were allocated across all the states/UTs and Central Institutions.

A total of 53,000 vials of conventional Amphotericin-B have also been allocated to all the states/UTs and Central Institutions, to ensure its smooth supply and timely treatment of patients, he said.

Covid-19 vaccination update

More than 26.68 crore (26,68,36,620) vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs so far, through government and through direct state procurement category. Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 25,27,66,396 doses (as per data available at 8 AM today).

More than 1.40 crore (1,40,70,224) Covid vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered. Furthermore, more than 96,490 vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the States/UTs within the next 3 days.

AIIMS Delhi to start screening children aged 6-12 yrs for Covaxin trials from tomorrow onwards: Sources

The screening of children aged 6 to 12 years for the clinical trials of indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is scheduled to start from Tuesday.

According to sources, the recruitment for clinical trials of Covaxin among those aged 12 to 18 years is over. They have been given a single dose of vaccine.

After the recruitment of 6-12 yr old children AIIMS Delhi will be conducting trials for the age group 2-6 yr old. The trails are taking place at 525 centres.

Vaccines don’t prevent Covid but will help in keeping symptoms mild: Sangita Reddy

Vaccines don’t prevent coronavirus infections but will help in keeping the symptoms mild, Apollo Hospitals Joint MD Sangita Reddy said on Monday.

In a series of tweets, Reddy also said she was going home today after being hospitalised for coronavirus infection.

“After 500 days of dodging #Covid19 I tested +VE on June10th My initial reaction was of shock & dismay – Why me? I was careful & #vaccinated. Hospitalized with high fever I took the cocktail #Regeneron therapy within the early window period & it has made a dramatic difference,” she said.

About 20.8% elders surveyed lost family members or friends to Covid-19: Report

About 20.8 per cent elders have lost either family members or friends due to Covid-19 and most of them believe that a better medical and health infrastructure could have saved these lives, according to a report that surveyed 3,526 elderly people in the country.

Marking the “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day”, HelpAge India on Tuesday released the findings of its six-city survey, “The Silent Tormentor: Covid 19 and the Elderly”, delving into the impact and challenges faced by India’s elders during the pandemic.

The study surveyed 3,526 people in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai.

Delta plus: New Covid variant identified, experts say no cause of concern for now

The highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has mutated further to form the ‘Delta plus’ or ‘AY.1′ variant but there is no immediate cause for concern in India as its incidence in the country is still low, scientists here said.

The new Delta plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. Though there is no indication yet of the severity of the disease due to the new variant, Delta plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for Covid-19 recently authorised in India.

Taj Mahal to reopen as India eases Covid-19 restrictions

India’s top tourist attraction the Taj Mahal will reopen on Wednesday, the government said, two months after it was shut as a deadly surge in coronavirus infections swept the country.

Cases and deaths in the vast nation of 1.3 billion people soared to record levels in April and May, with state and national authorities imposing lockdowns and other restrictions to stem the spread of the virus.

Infections have declined in recent weeks, with major cities including the capital New Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai lifting some curbs on movement and activities.

(With inputs from agencies)


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