The Union Health Ministry recently reported over 81 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered across India on the first day of the revised guidelines coming into effect. It is the highest number of vaccinations per day since the vaccination drive started on June 16th, 2021. The Centre’s new policy came days after Supreme Court slammed the then vaccination dive for the 18-44 age group as being “arbitrary and irrational”.
The Karnataka government on Saturday (June 19, 2021) announced further easing of COVID-induced lockdown curbs in 19 of 31 districts from Monday (June 21, 2021). The state government’s decision came in view of the positivity rate falling below 5-10% in over 13 districts. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that all shops and hotels, clubs, restaurants allowed to operate till 5 pm, adding that lodges, resorts, gyms, private offices will also be allowed to operate with 50% capacity in 16 districts that have less than 5% COVID-19 positivity. Weekend and night curfew are to remain in place.
An expert committee set up to suggest measures to tackle the anticipated third wave of COVID-19 infections, led by cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty, has strongly recommended reopening schools with 2 lakhs of health insurance for each child. The possibility of schools becoming infection hubs has not been proven in any part of the world, the panel said. According to its projections, only 1.5% of Karnataka’s children within the 0-18 year age group will get infected, ou of which 85% can recover at home.
The new policy of India’s inoculation strategy in which the Central Government will provide free vaccines against COVID-19 to adults across states will begin today (Monday, 21 June). Earlier in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Centre will take over from states, which were supposed to be carrying out about 25% of the country’s vaccination drive, and continue with its ongoing efforts to inoculate the section of the population that is above 45 years of age, healthcare and frontline workers.
The United Kingdom has recorded 11,007 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, with the emergence of the Delta variant pushing the figure above 10,000 for the first time since late February. NHK World reported that Britain has confirmed the highest number of new cases of coronavirus infection since late February due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant first detected in India. The number of admissions to medical institutions has also been rising, with more than 1,000 people currently hospitalised. Analysts say many recent infections have been among younger people who have not been vaccinated. Starting on Friday, officials plan to expand vaccination eligibility to cover all individuals aged 18 or above. Officials believe that two-dose inoculations are effective against the Delta variant.
Karnataka has clocked 5,983 new cases of COVID-19 and 138 fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 27.90 lakh and the toll to 33,434, the health department said on Thursday. The day also saw 10,685 discharges, continuing to outnumber the fresh cases, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 26,10,157. Out of 5,983 new cases reported on Thursday, 1,209 were from Bengaluru Urban, as the city saw 1,510 discharges and 17 deaths. The total number of active cases in the state is 1,46,726. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 3.77% case fatality rate (CFR) was at 2.30%.
More than half a crore of people in Maharashtra have become fully vaccinated over the last five months, revealed a report by the state health department. It claims a total of 53,72,219 people have received both doses. As per the Election Commission of India’s data shared ahead of the 2019 assembly polls, there are a total of nine crore people in Maharashtra who are above 18 years of age. Considering that, the state has been able to vaccinate slightly over 5% of the population in the last 5 months.
With most states recording a drop in Covid cases and deaths, restrictions put in place to break the chain of transmission are being gradually lifted. Most states/UTs imposed lockdown-like restrictions in May of this year amid a sharp surge in cases of infection. Businesses in two of India’s largest cities, New Delhi and Mumbai, are reopening as part of a phased easing of lockdown measures. However, visuals of crowded markets have surfaced showing COVID-appropriate behaviour not being followed by many people, like wearing masks or maintaining social distance.
Karnataka has recorded 3,37,580 (3.37 lakh) deaths from all causes between January 1 and June 15 this year, according to its civil registration system (CRS). This is many more than the deaths recorded between January and June in pre-pandemic years. While in 2019 there were 2.35 lakh deaths in this six-month period, the state saw 2.24 lakh deaths between January and June in 2018. This means Karnataka has reported an ‘excess’ of 1,02,429 deaths between January 1 and June 15, 2021, compared to the January 1-June 30 period in 2019. While not all of these ‘excess’ deaths may be due to COVID-19, a majority are likely to be, believe experts.
The highly virulent “Delta plus” variant of the novel coronavirus could stoke the third wave in Maharashtra, according to a presentation made at a meeting attended by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday. “The number of active patients could reach up to eight lakh, while 10% out of them could be children,” said the presentation made by the state health department, as per an official release. The meeting was held in Mumbai to take stock of preparations to tackle a possible third wave of COVID-19 even as Maharashtra, the state worst hit by the pandemic, emerges out of a devastating second wave of the infection.