Third wave to hit India late, says Centre’s expert panel head; Sputnik V roll-out delayed again

Third wave to hit India late, says Centre’s expert panel head; Sputnik V roll-out delayed again


India witnessed a marginal increase by 2.7 percent in single-day COVID-19 cases as it added 50,040 fresh infections over the past 24 hours while, 1,258 more fatalities were registered in the same period.

The daily COVID-19 tally is slightly more compared to Saturday when 48,698 cases were recorded. The country’s total caseload now stands at 3.02 crore and COVID-19 toll is at 3.95 lakh, said the health ministry.

For the 20th straight day, the test positivity rate remained below the 5 percent-mark at 2.82 percent. Active cases have decreased by 9,162 in the past 24 hours to take the tally to 5.86 lakh.

Recoveries have been outnumbering the daily new cases for the 45th consecutive day now with 57,944 patients being discharged on Sunday. With this, the total number of recoveries has gone up to 2.9 crore and the recovery rate has improved to 96.75 percent.

Third wave in India to be delayed, have 6-8 months to vaccinate all, says Centre’s COVID panel chief

The chief of the Centre’s COVID-19 panel, Dr NK Arora, Sunday said that the third wave of coronavirus in India is expected to be delayed until December this year.

The ICMR has come up with a study, which says the third wave will come late in the country, said Dr Arora said.

“We have a window period of 6 to 8 months to vaccinate eligible beneficiaries in the country,” the chairman of the central panel said.

He further indicated that the immunisation of children aged above 12 may begin in a couple of months. “Trial for Zydus Cadila vaccine is almost complete. By July-end or in August, we might be able to start administering this vaccine to children of 12-18 age group,” said government’s expert panel chief.

The Delta Plus new variant, which has created fresh concerns across the country, cannot be yet linked to a third wave of the pandemic, he said.

However, he asserted that as variants are linked to new waves, the possibility can not be dismissed at all.

“Waves are linked to new variants or new mutations so there is a possibility as this is a new variant, but whether it will lead to a third wave it is difficult to answer as it will depend upon two or three things,” Dr Arora told news agency PTI.

Gyms, yoga centres in Delhi to reopen from Monday; weddings allowed with 50 guests

Gyms and yoga centres will reopen at 50 percent capacity and banquet halls will be allowed to host marriages with 50 people in attendance as part of the next round of unlock process in the National Capital from Monday, an official government order said.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in its order said the prohibited and restricted activities will continue till 5 am on 5 July.

“Gymnasiums and yoga institutes will be permitted to open up to 50 per cent of the capacity,” the DDMA order said. In the case of banquet halls, marriage halls, hotels, “only marriages shall be allowed with ceiling of 50 persons,” it added.

Gym owners had been complaining about mounting losses and questioned the rationale of keeping fitness centres shut despite reopening malls, markets and public transport.

However, restrictions in the metro will remain for at least another week. Currently, an eight-coach train that can carry up to 2,400 passengers can run with around 250-300 people as the metro has been allowed to operate at 50 percent seating capacity.

Gyms and banquet halls were closed on 19 April when the National Capital was facing the brutal second wave of COVID 19. In second week of May, weddings were permitted at home and in courts with not more than 20 people in attendance.

More delay in Sputnik V roll-out in Delhi-NCR

The roll-out of Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V at various private hospitals in the Delhi-NCR region has been delayed again, officials said on Sunday. “We do not have a clarity on the dates of the vaccine roll-out,” a spokesman of Apollo Hospitals said.

Indraprastha Apollo had earlier said that it would tentatively start administering the two-dose vaccine by 25 June. An official of Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital said the facility has also not received Sputnik V doses so far from Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the marketing partner for the vaccine in the country.

“There is a delay on the part of the suppliers. They have not shared any specific reason for it. I think it could be related to the supply of both the doses together,” he said.

Sputnik V uses two different viruses that cause the common cold (adenovirus) in humans. The two doses, given 21 days apart, are different and not interchangeable.

Fortis Healthcare, which had said that it would make Sputnik V available at its Gurgaon and Mohali hospitals, has also not started administering the Russian vaccine to people so far.

Haryana extends lockdown till 5 July, but eases some restrictions

Haryana government Sunday extended the COVID-induced lockdown for another week, till 5 July. However, certain relaxations were introduced in an order issued by the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority.

As per the revised order, Anganwadi centres and creches under Women and Child Development department shall remain closed till 31 July in the state. The WCD will release the methodology for implementation of various women and child welfare programmes in the state.

“University campuses are allowed to open for research scholars, practical classes in laboratories and remedial classes/doubt classes, by adopting requisite social distancing norms, regular sanitisation and Covid-19 appropriate behavioural norms,” the order read.

Malls will be allowed to open from 10 am to 8 pm. Restaurants and bars (including in hotels and in malls) are allowed to open from 10 am to 10 pm with 50 percent seating capacity. Home delivery from hotels, restaurants and fast food joints is permitted till 10 pm.

Corporate offices are permitted to open with full attendance. Gatherings in weddings, funerals/cremations are allowed with up to 50 persons.

Shed vaccine hesitancy, don’t believe rumours: PM in Mann ki Baat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address on Sunday urged people to shed vaccine hesitancy and not fall prey to rumors about COVID-19 vaccines.

The prime minister also remembered legendary sprinter Milkha Singh, who recently passed away after a month-long battle with COVID-19 and spoke about Indian athletes participating in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

“I urge you all – trust science. Trust our scientists. So many people have taken the vaccine. I have taken both doses. My Mother is almost hundred years old, she has taken both vaccines too. Please do not believe any negative rumours relating to vaccines. Let us never believe in negative rumours relating to the vaccine,” Modi said as he addressed the nation on the 78th edition of his monthly radio address, “Mann Ki Baat”.

With inputs from agencies

Also See: COVID-19 Updates: Delhi sees 85 new cases, lowest in a year; SII seeks DCGI nod to begin Covovax trials on children

Why speeding up vaccination is key to arresting rise of severe cases from Delta-plus variant

COVID-19 udpates: Daily cases rise to 54,069; MP sees first death from Delta Plus variant

Read more on Health by Firstpost.


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