Here are the updates from Thursday:

  1. The Centre said India was on a downswing of the second wave of the coronavirus and added that there was a steady decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in the last 20 days even though the number of tests had been increased. Government officials added that they believe the downswing will be sustained even when restrictions are relaxed.
  2. India reported 2,11,298 new cases, taking the overall tally to 2,73,69,093 since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. The toll rose by 3,847 to 3,15,235, while the active caseload stood at 24,19,907.
  3. The Centre dismissed a report in The New York Times that claimed that India’s toll was probably around 42 lakh as “baseless and false”. The analysis by the newspaper also showed that the total coronavirus infections in the country could be around 70.07 crore.
  4. The government said that a mix-up of coronavirus vaccine doses was unlikely to cause any significant adverse effects. The statement was in response to reports that 20 villagers in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district were administered one dose of Covishield and a second dose of Covaxin during vaccinations against Covid-19.
  5. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine should be procured immediately. “We should procure this vaccine ASAP for our children,” Kejriwal tweeted, hours after the American company told the Indian government that its Covid-19 vaccine had shown “high effectiveness” against the virus variant that is dominant in India and on people of Indian ethnicity or nationality.
  6. The Delhi High Court ordered that customs departments should clear the import of Amphotericin-B, the drug used to treat mucormycosis or “black fungus”, by accepting a bond from the importer without actual payment of import duty, till the Centre makes a final decision on a waiver.
  7. The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday pulled up the state government on the pace of the vaccination drive in the state amid the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. On being asked about vaccinating those in the 18-45 age group, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi told the court that the state received 16 lakh vaccine does in May and will get 10.7 lakh shots in June. Trivedi added that a total of 6.5 crore doses of vaccines were required for those aged 18-45.
  8. The West Bengal government extended its lockdown till June 15, while Punjab extended restrictions till June 10.
  9. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a one-time financial help of Rs 3 lakh will be given to the children who have lost their parents due to the coronavirus, reported ANI. “Rs 2,000 per month will be given to these children till the 18 years of age,” he adds. “The state government will bear the cost of their education till degree-level.”
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 16.85 crore people and killed over 35 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.