Here are the top updates on Friday:

  1. The International Monetary Fund has predicted that under the existing scenario of coronavirus vaccine supply, India will be able to inoculate 33% of its population by the end of this year. The economic body made the prediction in a document released on May 19, detailing how a $50 billion investment plan could vaccinate all eligible adults across the world by the middle of 2022.
  2. Earlier in the day, India recorded 2,59,551 new coronavirus cases, pushing the infection tally to 2,60,31,991 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll climbed by 4,209 to 2,91,331. Karnataka on Friday extended its lockdown till June 7, while Kerala extended the restrictions till May 30 as the cases in the states continued to rise.
  3. The Union home ministry issued an advisory to states and Union territories to review the facilities for vulnerable groups impacted by Covid-19, such as children who have been orphaned, senior citizens and members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who may need guidance to access government support facilities.
  4. The Uttar Pradesh government joined the list of states to have declared mucormycosis, or “black fungus” as a notifiable disease. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, was a rare infection that has sprung up in patients recovering from the coronavirus, and has emerged as a new challenge in India’s fight against the pandemic.
  5. The Supreme Court on Friday said that High Courts should avoid passing orders that are “impossible to implement”. A division bench of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai made the observation while putting a stay on directions issued by the Allahabad High Court earlier this week in relation to Covid-19 management in Uttar Pradesh.
  6. The Centre said it had dispatched 15,567 oxygen concentrators, 15,801 oxygen cylinders, 19 oxygen generation plants, 10,950 ventilators and around 6.6 lakh remdesivir vials to states and Union territories between April 27 and May 20.
  7. The number of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, or RT-PCR, tests for the coronavirus will be reduced to 40% of the total tests by the end of June, the Centre said. An RT-PCR test is considered to be the “gold standard” for Covid-19 screening.
  8. The Capital has run out of the Covishield vaccine for the 18-44 age group, Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Friday. He added that many vaccination centres in the Capital will be shut. Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said there was a shortage of amphotericin B drug injections for 300 patients with black fungus infection in Pune.
  9. Two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have proved to be around 90% effective against symptomatic disease according to real-world analysis in England. The latest estimates indicate that the vaccination programme has averted more than 35,000 hospitalisations and 10,000 deaths in adults aged 60 or older.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 16.52 crore people and killed over 34.25 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.