Here are the top updates from Friday:

  1. India set a record by administering over 2.38 crore coronavirus vaccine doses in a day till 11.20 pm as a special push to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday. “Let’s do vaccine seva and give him birthday gift by getting vaccinated those who have not taken the dose so far,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted. The vaccination was fueled by Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states with Bihar giving over 29 lakh shots, Karnataka over 28 lakhs, Uttar Pradesh more than 27 lakhs, Madhya Pradesh close to 26 lakhs and Gujarat around 24 lakhs.
  2. India recorded 34,403 new coronavirus cases on Friday, which pushed the country’s overall tally of infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in January last year to 3,33,81,728. The new cases were 12.5% higher than Thursday’s count of 30,570 infections.
  3. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Goods and Services Tax Council has decided to extend the concessional rates on drugs used in the treatment of the coronavirus disease till December 31. It was earlier applicable till September 30.
  4. The results of the fifth sero survey by Mumbai municipal corporation showed that 86.64% of the city’s population has antibodies against the coronavirus. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said that Covid-19 antibodies were found in 90.26% of residents who were fully or partially vaccinated and in 79.86% of unvaccinated citizens.
  5. Virologist Gagandeep Kang said that the anticipated third wave of Covid-19 will not not as huge and devastating as the the second wave unless a new variant of the virus emerges, reported PTI. She stressed on the need to develop better vaccines to deal with new variants.
  6. The “Navaratri Brahmotsavam” held at deity Venkateswara’s hill temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirumala town will be conducted without devotees in view of the the anticipated third wave of the coronavirus, PTI reported, citing a functionary of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams that governs the temple. The function is scheduled to begin on October 7.
  7.  Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the state has administered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 81.9% of the targeted population till Friday, reported PTI. She added that 33.4% of the population has received both doses.
  8. A United Kingdom-based study will look into the immune response of children to mixed schedules of Covid-19 vaccine shots as officials will try to find out the best way to administer the second dose to adolescents given a risk of heart inflammation, reported Reuters. While the children will get the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine, officials said the details for the second shot will decided after gathering more data. 
  9. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Beijing and New Delhi are maintaining communication through diplomatic channels to facilitate the travel of “necessary people” to India amid the travel restrictions in China. Thousands of Indians have been stranded in China due to visa and flight restrictions imposed by the Chinese government for over 18 months.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 22.7 crore people and caused more than 46.69 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.