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Govt Expert Panel Recommends Regular Market Approval to Covishield, Covaxin With Conditions

Experts said it is not possible to undertake genome sequencing of each and every sample but stressed that the current wave is largely being driven by the Omicron variant. | January 19, 2022, 22:31 IST
RT-PCR test, N gene, ORF 1ab, Ct value

Delhi on Wednesday reported 13,785 new Covid cases and 35 deaths. The capital’s recoveries stand at 16,580 and active cases at 75,282, while the cumulative positivity rate is 5.11%. Mumbai on Wednesday reported 6,032 new Covid-19 cases and 12 deaths.

With 2,82,970 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,79,01,241, which includes 8,961 cases of the Omicron variant, Read More

Jan 19, 2022 21:00 IST

Gujarat Reports 20,966 Cases, Sets New Record

Gujarat on Wednesday recorded its highest single-day rise of 20,966 new coronavirus infections besides 12 deaths, the state health department said. On Tuesday, the state had reported 17,119 new cases, the highest one-day rise till then. People should not take the Omicron variant of coronavirus as lightly as common flu and must follow precautions like social distancing, members of the Gujarat government’s COVID-19 task force said earlier in the day. The caseload in the state rose to 9,77,078 on Wednesday while the death toll on account of the pandemic reached 10,186.Six patients died in Ahmedabad, two each in Valsad and Sabarkantha, and one each in Surat and Bhavnagar districts.

Jan 19, 2022 20:39 IST

UK Lifts Restrictions, Says Omicron Wave 'has Peaked'

Face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and schools in England and COVID-19 passports will be dropped for large events as infections level off in large parts of the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday. Johnson told lawmakers that the restrictions were being eased because government scientists believed it was likely that the surge of infections prompted by the highly contagious omicron variant has now peaked nationally. While hospitals in northern England are still under pressure because of high caseloads, Johnson said hospital admissions and patients in intensive care units elsewhere in England were stabilising or falling.

Jan 19, 2022 20:24 IST

J&K Sees January's Highest Single-day Spike with 5,818 New Cases, 4 Deaths

In the highest single-day spike so far this month, Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday recorded 5,818 fresh cases of COVID-19, taking the total infections to 3,72,669, while four deaths were reported in 24 hours, officials said. Of the fresh cases, 4,066 were from the Kashmir division and 1,752 from Jammu, the officials said. They said Srinagar district, with 1,745 cases, recorded the highest number followed by 1,131 cases in Jammu district. There are 26,236 active cases in the union territory, while 3,41,854 patients recovered so far since the pandemic struck, the officials said. With the four fresh deaths, the toll went up to 4,579. Meanwhile, the officials said, there were 51 confirmed cases of Mucormycosis (black fungus) in the union territory.

Jan 19, 2022 20:22 IST

No New Covid Restrictions Yet: Assam CM

Even as Assam logged record number of new COVID-19 cases over the last two days, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said that no new restrictions related to the pandemic will be imposed as long as the hospitalisation rate of infected patients remains under control. He said the state government is targeting to complete full vaccination of the entire eligible population before February 15. The chief minister said though the number of new cases is high, hospitalisation rate is at 12 per cent currently. As long as we don’t have pressure on hospital beds, there will be no new restrictions or standard operating procedures, Sarma said after a meeting of the council of ministers.

Jan 19, 2022 19:06 IST

Sikkim Logs 427 New Covid-19 Cases

Sikkim on Wednesday reported 427 new COVID-19 infections, which pushed the caseload to 35,730, the health department said in its bulletin. On Tuesday, the state had reported 374 cases. No fresh fatality was recorded in the past 24 hours with the toll remaining unchanged at 415. East Sikkim logged 272 new cases, followed by South Sikkim at 75, West at 71 and North Sikkim at nine. Currently, the Himalayan state has 2,398 active cases. At least 483 COVID-positive people have migrated out of the state, and 32,434 have recovered from the disease. As many as 2,96,541 samples have been tested in the state thus far, including 1,463 in the past 24 hours.

Jan 19, 2022 18:35 IST

Maharashtra Govt Reviews Vaccination Status for 15 to 18 Year Olds

Jan 19, 2022 18:24 IST

Dutch Museums, Concert Halls Open Briefly Despite Covid-19 Lockdown

Museums and concert halls in the Netherlands opened briefly on Wednesday to protest at their continued closure under a COVID-19 lockdown, offering yoga sessions in front of paintings by Dutch masters and haircuts to the swell of a live symphony orchestra. The Netherlands eased a month-long lockdown last weekend, allowing gyms, hair dressers and shops to reopen. But cultural venues were ordered to remained closed to the public until at least Jan. 25.

Jan 19, 2022 18:19 IST

Don't Take Omicron Lightly, Say Gujarat Covid Task Force Members

People should not take the Omicron variant of coronavirus as lightly as common flu and must follow precautions like social distancing, members of the Gujarat government’s COVID-19 task force said here on Wednesday. A day after Gujarat recorded its highest one-day surge of 17,119 new cases, five eminent doctors who are members of the task force spoke to the media. “Omicron infections do not require hospitalizations the way it was seen during the second wave, but as the variant is spreading faster, a lot of people can still end up in hospitals,” they said. “As much as 70-80 per cent of COVID-19 cases being reported in Gujarat are of Omicron variant, said Health Minister Rushikesh Patel, who along with Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Manoj Aggarwal, was present on the occasion.

Jan 19, 2022 15:11 IST

India's Third Covid Wave Likely to Peak on Jan 23, Daily Cases to Stay Below 4 Lakh: IIT Kanpur Scientist

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India may peak on January 23 with daily cases likely to remain below the four lakh mark, according to a scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur. Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have already reached their peak in case numbers in the past seven days, said Manindra Agrawal, a professor at IIT Kanpur and one of the researchers associated with the Sutra Covid model. The Sutra model has been used to track and predict Covid case numbers in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

Jan 19, 2022 14:19 IST

SC to Consider Hearing Plea Seeking Food, Welfare Measures for Migrant Workers During Third COVID Wave

The Supreme Court Wednesday said it would consider listing for hearing the fresh plea of activists seeking implementation of an earlier order on ensuring food security and other welfare measures for migrant workers who are again in distress in the third COVID-19 wave triggered by omicron variant and consequential curbs imposed in parts of country.

Jan 19, 2022 13:54 IST

Six COVID-19 Passengers Stopped from Boarding Dubai Flight at Indore Airport

Six passengers, including three women, were not allowed to board Air India’s Dubai-bound flight at the Indore airport on Wednesday after they were found infected with coronavirus, a health official said.

Jan 19, 2022 13:40 IST

China Reports Fewest Daily Local Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Two Weeks

China reported the lowest daily count of local confirmed COVID-19 infections in two weeks on Wednesday after cities sealed up areas of virus risk, quarantined infections and conducted mass testing. Mainland China reported a total of 55 domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms for Tuesday, according to official data on Wednesday, lower than 127 a day earlier and marking the fewest since Jan. 4.

Jan 19, 2022 13:35 IST

Covid May Affect Foetus Even Without Infection in Placenta: US NIH

SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid infection, during pregnancy may cause inflammatory immune responses in the foetus, even if the virus does not infect the placenta, according to a small study. For the study, researchers from the US National Institutes of Health evaluated 23 pregnant women. Twelve were positive for SARS-CoV-2, and of these, eight were asymptomatic, one had mild symptoms and three had severe Covid.

Jan 19, 2022 13:15 IST

Will Monitor COVID-19 Situation for 2-3 Days Before Reviewing Curbs: Delhi Minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said the government will monitor the COVID-19 situation for three to four days to confirm the trend of positivity rate before reviewing the curbs in the national capital. He said the city is likely to see around 13,000 cases on Wednesday with a positivity rate of around 24 per cent.

Jan 19, 2022 12:54 IST

Japan Poised to Widen COVID-19 Curbs as Omicron Drives Record Infections

Japan was poised on Wednesday to widen COVID-19 curbs to the capital, Tokyo, and a dozen regions covering half the population as the Omicron variant of coronavirus drives record new infections. Already in effect in three regions, the measures, set to run from Friday until Feb. 13, are expected to be approved by the prime minister after getting the sign-off from an expert panel. The quasi-emergency measures, as they are called, permit governors to limit mobility and business activities, by shortening the operating hours of bars and restaurants, and barring sales of alcohol.

Jan 19, 2022 12:41 IST

DGCA Extends Suspension of Commercial Passenger Flights To and From India till Feb 28

Jan 19, 2022 12:36 IST

'Covid Decreasing in Maha, Ramping Up Testing, Vaccination': Health Minister Tope

Jan 19, 2022 12:28 IST

SC Pulls Up States on Disbursal of COVID-19 Death Claims, Summons AP, Bihar Chief Secretary at 2PM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up state governments for failing to disburse claims to the next of kin of COVID-19 victims, and issued a show cause notice to the Andhra Pradesh chief secretary as to why contempt action be not initiated against him. The top court asked the chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar government to remain present virtually at 2 PM and explain why the disbursals of ex-gratia amount of Rs 50,000 for COVID-19 death are less in their states. A bench of Justices MR Shah and Sanjiv Khanna said that it will pass orders at 2 PM and asked the state legal service authorities to reach to the families who have lost their near and dear ones to COVID-19 to facilitate registration and disbursal of claims like it was done during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. The top court said that it rejects the COVID-19 death toll given by Bihar, and said that these are not actual figures but government figures.

Jan 19, 2022 12:18 IST

Karntaka CM Bommai Says Decision to Ease Covid Curbs to be Taken After Meeting With Experts on Jan 21

Hinting at easing curbs imposed due to surge in Covid-19 cases in the state, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that a decision on lifting of weekend curbs and night curfew will be taken on January 21 after consulting the experts.

Jan 19, 2022 12:12 IST

Delhi Govt Deploys Sr Nursing Officers in Pvt Hospitals to Monitor Covid-19 Situation

Delhi government has decided to deploy senior nursing officers from state government-run hospitals as nodal officers in the private healthcare facilities to monitor the Covid situation and vaccination at private facilities. The government-run hospitals have been asked to find suitable replacement for retired and transferred nursing personnel.

according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday. The active cases have increased to 18,31,000, the highest in 232 days. The active cases stood at 18,95,520 on May 31 last year. The death toll has climbed to 4,87,202 with 441 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated. There has been an 0.79 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Tuesday, the ministry said.

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to peak much earlier than anticipated and may take a maximum of three more weeks, even though the share of rural districts in new caseloads has increased significantly since December, says a report.

The optimism comes from the massive decline in new caseloads in the top 15 districts which had the maximum infections, SBI Research said in a report on Tuesday. Infections in the top 15 districts have declined to 37.4 per cent in January, from 67.9 per cent in December. The report, however, admitted that 10 of these top 15 districts are major cities and among them Bengaluru and Pune still have higher infection rates.

The Kerala government decided to strictly implement the COVID-19 health protocols as there is a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the state which reported over 28,400 new infections. Kerala which had recorded 2,435 new positive cases on January 1 witnessed a steady rise in the number of cases. The daily cases increased to 5,296 on January 7. On January 12 the daily infection rate went up to 12,742 and the state reported 22,946 fresh infections on January 17.

State capital Thiruvananthapuram has recorded 48 per cent of Test Positivity Rate (TPR) which means one in two persons tested here turns positive, says state Transport Minister Antony Raju, after an evaluation meeting. “There are nearly 7,000 cases here. The TPR is at around 48 per cent, that means one in two persons tested turns positive. This is a very serious matter and the guidelines issued by the District administration needs to be implemented strictly. Stern action will be taken against the violators,” Minister said. The evaluation meeting was held to discuss the situation in the state capital.

“The college authorities have been asked to close down the college for 15 days in case a cluster is formed there,” the minister said in a statement. There are 1,42,512 active COVID-19 cases and the state capital has the most number of cases–36,250, followed by Ernakulam with 21,612 cases and Kozhikode and Thrissur districts with 14,408 and 14,407 cases respectively.

The Delhi government on Tuesday deployed senior nursing officers from public hospitals as nodal officers to monitor the management of Covid patients and vaccination at private facilities. Government hospitals have also been asked to find suitable replacement for retired and transferred nursing personnel.

“The competent authority is pleased to deploy senior nursing officers as nodal officers in various private health care facilities from Delhi government hospitals to monitor management of Covid -19 patients along with monitoring of Covid vaccination,” read an order issued by the health department. Delhi on Tuesday logged 11,684 fresh COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate declined to 22.47 per cent, according to a bulletin issued by the health department.

Asymptomatic animal handlers at a private zoo in South Africa transmitted the Delta variant of COVID-19 to captive lions, who were placed in quarantine and developed symptoms like breathing problem, runny nose and dry cough, according to a recent study by a team of scientists from the University of Pretoria. The research report, published recently in the journal Viruses’, also urged members of the public to be aware of the possibility of infecting their pet cats and dogs if they have COVID-19.

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