Here are the top updates from Monday:

  1. The Maharashtra government eased Covid-19 restrictions in 22 of the state’s 36 districts. Under the new guidelines, all shops will be allowed to stay open till 8 pm on weekdays. Public gardens and playgrounds have been allowed to open, while gyms, salons and yoga centres can operate at 50% capacity. Eleven districts with higher caseloads are still under restrictions. The state disaster management authority will take a decision on lifting curbs in Mumbai, Mumbai suburban and Thane districts.
  2. India recorded 40,134 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections to 3,16,95,958 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. With 422 deaths, India’s toll rose to 4,24,773, while the number of active cases went up by 2,766 to 4,13,718.
  3. The Central Information Commission directed the Centre to respond within 10 days to a Right to Information request seeking details of a committee that oversaw the supply of oxygen during the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government why those who were fully-vaccinated against Covid-19 couldn’t travel by local trains. The court was hearing two public interest litigations seeking permission for lawyers to travel to courts and offices by suburban trains in Mumbai.
  5. Kerala, the top contributor of new cases among all states, reported less than 20,000 infections after six consecutive days, The Times of India reported. The state logged 13,984 new cases in the last 24 hours, with a positivity rate of less than 11%.
  6. Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson said it was still in talks with the Indian government over its coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported. Earlier, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had reportedly said that the company had withdrawn its proposal seeking approval for the shot.
  7. Canadian biotech firm SaNOtize Research & Development Corporation entered into an agreement with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of its Nitric Oxide nasal spray treatment for Covid-19 in India, The Hindu reported.
  8. The Hong Kong administration made it mandatory for civil servants, teachers and healthcare workers to get vaccinated against coronavirus, or pay to get tested twice a week, AFP reported.
  9. Vaccination against Covid-19 will continue for years to come as the protection provided by them against the infection and potentially severe disease is highly likely to wane over time, scientists have told a British government advisory group, Reuters reported.
  10. Globally, Covid-19 has infected 19.85 crore people and caused 42.28 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.