1. The Centre on Friday directed states and Union Territories to ensure that marginalised groups are vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, PTI reported. “The vaccination of destitutes and vagabonds who may not have access to self-registration and lack resources for vaccination, needs to be facilitated,” said a letter by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. “States may adopt a targeted approach to cover this group.”
  2. India registered 44,230 new coronavirus cases on Friday morning, pushing the infection tally to 3,15,72,344 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The number of new infections was the highest in three weeks. The toll rose by 555 to 4,23,217.
  3. Kerala on Friday evening reported more than 20,000 new infections for the fourth straight day. With 20,772 cases, the state’s tally rose to 33,70,137. The state’s test positivity rate, which is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus out of those who have been tested overall, jumped to 13.61%. As many as 1,52,639 samples were tested for the disease in the last 24 hours.
  4. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till August 31. In a circular, it added that the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator.
  5. The Andhra Pradesh government extended the night curfew in the state by two weeks till August 14, The News Minute reported. The curfew will remain in place between 10 pm to 6 am. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown in the state till August 9, News18 reported.
  6. The Bombay High Court directed the Centre to approve a proposal by civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to again vaccinate those beneficiaries who were duped in fake and unauthorised inoculation camps.
  7. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in United States has described the Delta variant of the coronavirus as being as transmissible as chickenpox and warned that it could cause severe disease, Reuters reported.
  8. West Asia and North Africa are currently in the middle of a fourth wave of Covid-19 and the rapid spread of the Delta variant in the region is a major cause for concern, the World Health Organisation has said. The Delta variant is now being reported in 15 out of the 22 countries in the region.
  9. Israel will offer a third dose of vaccine to people aged over 60 from Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. This is the world’s first country to offer a third booster shot. About 55% of Israel’s nine-million population has been fully vaccinated.
  10. Globally, Covid-19 has infected 19.65 crore people and caused 41.98 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.