Here are the top updates from Thursday:

  1. Niti Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul said that Covid-19 cases may increase in October and November. At a press conference, the government said new cases have reduced overall across India and even in Kerala. But Mizoram is a state of concern, it added. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that 3,631 pressure swing adsorption plants have been approved in the country.
  2. India recorded 30,570 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, which pushed the country’s overall tally of infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year to 3,33,47,325. The new cases were 12.48% higher than Wednesday’s count of 27,176 infections. The toll rose to 4,43,928 as India recorded 431 additional deaths in the last 24 hours.
  3. The Centre said that an article published in The New York Times this week about India’s Covid-19 response was a “provocative” and “attention-seeking” piece. Citing government researchers and documents, the newspaper reported that officials of the Indian Council of Medical Research were forced to downplay the coronavirus threat to “prioritise” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “political goals”.
  4. The Uttarakhand High Court allowed the resumption of the Char Dham Yatra, nearly three months after it imposed a stay on the pilgrimage. The court directed that only fully-vaccinated people who have a negative Covid-19 test report should be allowed to visit the shrines at Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
  5. A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research said that the coronavirus may infect a higher proportion of pregnant women and can cause moderate to severe disease, reported PTI. The study said that comorbidities such as anaemia and tuberculosis were associated with an increased risk of death in pregnant women as well as those who had just given birth and have contracted the infection.
  6. Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines was not the central theme in scientific discussions as well as in the public health domain at the moment, reported PTI. He said that getting both the doses remains the priority. 
  7. A serosurvey done by Mumbai’s civic body has suggested that 70-80% of all adults in the city have developed antibodies to fight the coronavirus disease, reported News18. As many as 8,000 samples, including from both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, were collected from 24 wards across the city for the study. 
  8. The Delhi government has ordered that all senior nursing staff members, who were posted in private hospitals for monitoring coronavirus patients, be sent back to their original hospitals, reported PTI. 
  9. China said it has fully vaccinated more than 1.01 billion, or 101 crore, people in the country against the coronavirus disease, reported Bloomberg. The figure is about 70% of the country’s population.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 22.66 crore people and caused more than 46.63 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.