Here are the top updates from Thursday:

  1. The European Union said more than 200 million, or 20 crore, Europeans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, AFP reported. This is more than half of the adults in the EU’s member states. European Commission spokesperson said that 54.7% of the adult population “is fully vaccinated with either two doses or one dose in the case of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine”. As many as 68.4% of adults in the EU have had their first dose, she added.
  2. India reported 41,383 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday as the country’s tally rose to 3,12,57,720 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The number was 1.5% fewer than Wednesday’s count of 42,015 infections. The toll rose to 4,18,987 after 507 patients died.
  3. The Centre said media reports that alleged India vastly undercounted its coronavirus toll were totally fallacious. The health ministry added that the reports wrongly assumed that all the excess deaths were Covid mortalities.
  4. The Himachal Pradesh government decided that schools will reopen for Classes 10, 11 and 12 from August 2 in strict adherence with coronavirus norms. Students of Classes 5 and 8 would be allowed to visit schools for clearing doubts from August 2.
  5. Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo alleged that the central government’s statement on deaths due to oxygen shortage was meant to mislead Parliament. He added that the Centre had not sought such information from the states.
  6. The Kerala government appointed Indian Administrative Services officers as special officers in Palakkad, Kasaragod, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, where the Covid-19 test positivity rate has remained high. The officers will coordinate containment measures, including contact tracing.
  7. The Ministry of External Affairs said that more than half of the European Union member states have recognised Covishield and added it to the list of approved vaccines for travel. The ministry said that it has spoken to other countries as well to ease travel restrictions for Indians.
  8. Amid shortage of vaccines, the Delhi High Court ordered the Aam Aadmi Party government to reserve Covishield shots only for beneficiaries whose second dose is due till July 31.
  9. Public health experts on Wednesday derided the Centre for claiming that there have been no deaths due to lack of oxygen during the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India. They added that the Centre’s response was rather bureaucratic and reflected its denial mode.  
  10. Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected more than 19.22 crore people and killed over 41.3 lakh in the world since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.