Covid News LIVE Updates: As the country continues to record an average of over 15,000 coronavirus cases daily, the Centre has asked States to ensure there are no large gatherings for Independence Day celebrations and that everyone follows Covid protocols. The Union Home Ministry has also conveyed to all States and Union Territories to carry out a ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign at a prominent location of each district in Read More
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Bulgarian authorities have largely phased out a regulation requiring people to wear protective face masks, despite having the lowest rate of vaccination against Covid-19 in the European Union.
The step by the authorities in Sofia came just a week after the requirement had been imposed, in a bid to check the spread of Covid-19, dpa news agency reported.
The health authorities recently recorded 1,429 new infections within 24 hours, although the true number of cases is widely thought to be significantly higher.
Germany’s health minister said Friday that European Union drug regulators may authorize the use of vaccines that are each effective against two variants of the coronavirus.
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he expected the European Medicines Agency to meet Sept. 1 to consider a vaccine that would provide protection against the original virus and the so-called omicron variant, also known as BA.1.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory over COVID-19 and his sister indicated that he too caught the virus, while vowing “deadly retaliation” against South Korea, which the North blames for causing the outbreak.
Kim ordered the lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May though adding that North Korea must maintain a “steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensifying the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis”, North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported on Thursday.
India on Friday reported a marginal rise in Covid cases with 16,561 fresh infections reported in the past 24 hours against previous day’s 16,299 count, as per Union Health Ministry data.
In the same period, 49 more Covid deaths took the nationwide death toll to 5,26,928.
Odisha reported 583 new Covid-19 cases, including 126 children on Friday, pushing the tally to 13,21,780, a health department bulletin said. The Covid-19 death toll rose to 9,154 as a 75-year-old man succumbed to the pathogen in Kendrapara district, it said.
The WHO said on Thursday that the omicron subvariant BA.5 remains dominant globally, accounting for nearly 70% of all virus sequences shared with the world’s biggest publicly available virus database. The agency said other omicron subvariants, including BA.4 and BA.2, appear to be decreasing in prevalence as BA.5 takes over.
The number of coronavirus deaths fell by 9% in the last week while new cases remained relatively stable, according to the latest weekly pandemic report released by the World Health Organization Wednesday.
The U.N. health agency said there were more than 14,000 COVID-19 deaths in the last week and nearly 7 million new infections. The Western Pacific reported a 30% jump in cases while Africa reported a 46% drop. Cases also fell by more than 20% in the Americas and the Middle East.
Highlighting that the Covid-19 positivity is on the rise, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Thursday said only 17 per cent of people have taken booster doses, and urged them to get booster shots of the vaccine. The Minister noted that experts across the world have said that the immunity decreases or wanes after 6-7 months of taking the vaccine and the booster dose would be required to boost immunity again, also it helps reduce hospitalisations and deaths.
Several Covid-hit Chinese cities from the country’s east to west imposed fresh restrictions and lockdowns on their populations on Thursday to contain flare-ups that are again threatening to disrupt local economies.
Richa Sareen, senior consultant, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, said on Thursday that the Covid risk is greater for the elderly and those with comorbidities as the disease tends to be severe in this section of the population.
“The elderly and those with comorbidities should take more precautions as the disease tends to be more severe in them, leading to hospitalisation, ICU admissions, and sometimes death,” she said.
Mumbai on Wednesday reported 852 Covid-19 cases, the highest daily rise after July 1, and a single fatality, taking the tally to 11,29,285 and the toll to 19,661, the city civic body said. On July 1, the metropolis reported 978 cases and two fatalities, before the daily number of cases started dipping gradually.
Barring the first two days of this month, Mumbai has been reporting more than 400 coronavirus infections everyday.
Myanmar reported its first death from Covid-19 in more than four months in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll in the country to 19,435, according to the Health Ministry.
The Southeast Asian country has recorded no death from Covid-19 until Thursday since April 7, the longest stretch without any fatalities from the virus since the start of the pandemic in the country, the Ministry’s data showed on Thursday.
With six fresh Covid fatalities in the past 24 hours in Karnataka, the state has logged 30 deaths in the first 11 days August.
The state recorded 1,691 cases in the past 24 hours, of which Bengaluru alone reported 1,225 infections.
There is a need for a universal vaccine that can block SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as prevent severe disease from emerging Covid waves in the future, researchers have suggested.
Writing in the journal eLife, the team from Columbia University in the US highlighted the need for more proactive planning and preparedness as different variants of concern (VOCs) evade — the original (or ancestral) SARS-CoV-2 virus, Beta, Delta and Omicron — the effect of both vaccinations and prior infections.
According to the Union Health Ministry, 207.47 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.
Nagaland on Thursday reported four new Covid-19 infections, five less than the previous day, pushing the coronavirus tally to 35,859, an official said. A total of 13 patients recuperated from the disease during the day, increasing the number of recoveries in the state to 33,534. The COVID-19 recovery rate now is 93.52 per cent.
Scientists have identified antibodies that are effective against many different SARS-CoV-2 variants, an advance that paves the way for next-generation vaccines which could protect from different COVID-19 strains.
The antibodies identified in monkeys by a team at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, US are also effective against other SARS viruses like SARS-CoV-1, the highly lethal virus that caused an outbreak in 2003.
Arunachal Pradesh’s Covid-19 tally rose to 66,353 on Friday as 39 more people tested positive for the infection, a senior health official said here. The northeastern state on Thursday had recorded 41 recoveries against 21 new cases.
The death toll remained at 296, with no new fatality recorded in the last 24 hours, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.
Himachal Pradesh recorded 349 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, pushing the state’s infection tally to 3,06,618, officials said. The count of active Covid-19 cases in the state now stands at 3,602, they said.
On Thursday, 3,302 samples were taken for testing, officials said. As many as 749 more people have recuperated from the disease, taking the total recoveries to 2,98,835.
The death toll remains unchanged at 4,161 as no Covid-related death was reported on Thursday, they said.
Mizoram reported 178 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, 43 more than the previous day but there was no fatality, a health department official said. The tally increased to 2,34,700 and the toll remained at 715, the official said. The state now has 870 active cases.
Delhi on Thursday reported 2,726 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest in nearly six and a half months, and six fatalities due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate stood at 14.38 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here. This is the ninth consecutive day when the capital logged more than 2,000 cases in a day. The national capital on January 31 had reported 2,779 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 6.20 per cent and 38 deaths. The city on Wednesday had reported eight fatalities due to the coronavirus infection, the highest in nearly 180 days, and 2,146 cases with a positivity rate of 17.83 per cent.
The national capital on February 13 had recorded 12 deaths due to the viral disease. On Tuesday, Delhi had reported 2,495 coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 15.41 per cent and seven fatalities.
The national capital saw 1,372 infections and six deaths as on Monday as the case positivity rate had risen to 17.85 per cent, the highest since January 21. On January 21, the positivity rate had stood at 18.04 per cent. The fresh cases on Thursday came out of 18,960 COVID-19 tests, according to the latest health bulletin.
With the fresh cases and fatalities, Delhi’s infection count increased to 19,78,266 and the death toll rose to 26,357, it said. Delhi on February 1 had reported 2,683 fresh COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 5.09 per cent, and 27 fatalities.
The number of COVID-19 cases has seen a surge in the last two weeks or so. More than 19,760 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Delhi from August 1-10, according to official data shared by the city health department.
Besides, there has been a nearly 50 per cent rise in the number of containment zones in the city during this period. A study conducted by doctors at city’s LNJP Hospital on a small set of samples taken from fresh cases of COVID-19 being reported in Delhi has found that majority of these were detected with a new Omicron sub-variant.
Sources said the study involved 90 patients, and the new sub-variant is more transmissible. The number of active COVID-19 cases in Delhi stands at 8,840, up from 8,205 the previous day. As many as 5,591 patients are in home isolation, the bulletin said.
Of the 9,408 beds reserved for COVID-19 patients in various Delhi hospitals, 562 were occupied. Beds at Covid care centres and Covid health centres were lying vacant, it said. There are 263 containment zones in the city, it added.
Amid a spike in cases over the last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Tuesday said Covid cases were on the rise in Delhi, but there was no need to panic as most of the new cases were mild in nature. Despite the rise in the positivity rate, the city government is not implementing the graded response action plan (GRAP) devised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority since the hospital admissions are low.
The GRAP came into force in August last year, stipulating measures to be taken by the government in accordance with the positivity rate and bed occupancy for locking and unlocking of various activities. The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Delhi had touched the record high of 28,867 on January 13 this year during the third wave of the pandemic.
The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the third wave of the pandemic.