BRICS, a group of countries comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on Tuesday backed a proposal to temporarily waive off patent on coronavirus vaccines. The proposal was moved by India and South Africa in the World Trade Organization in October.
The Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations on Tuesday cancelled Class 12 board exams after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India reported 1,27,510 new coronavirus cases during the previous 24 hours on Tuesday. Its total count of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic last year rose to 2,81,75,044. The toll rose by 2,795 to 3,31,895.
The variant first found in India will be called “Delta” in new World Health Organisation system.
Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 17.01 crore people and killed over 35.38 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
Here are the top updates of the day:
11 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says there are currently 4,000 cases of mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, in the state, reports ANI. Tope says that the state government is giving treatment for the fungal infection free of cost.
10.57 pm: Jharkhand government extends restriction in the states till till June 10 but allows some relaxations, reports Mint. Shops will be allowed to open in 15 districts from 6 am to 2 pm with certain conditions, an official says.
10.44 pm: BRICS, a group of countries comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, backs a proposal to temporarily waive off patent on coronavirus vaccines, reports The Times of India. The proposal was moved by India and South Africa in the World Trade Organization in October.
10.39 pm: The Indian Medical Association writes to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking an act to protect healthcare professional against violence in the country, reports ANI. The request comes after a doctor was attacked in Assam’s Hojai district, following a Covid-19 patient’s death.
9.15 pm: Indian School Certificate Class 12 Board exams have also been cancelled, ANI reports. G Immanuel the chairman of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations says they are yet to decide on compiling results.
8.44 pm: Apollo Hospitals announces an initiative to provide medical care to Covid-19 patients, who are home quarantined, reports PTI.
8.40 pm: Maharashtra records 14,123 new cases of Covid-19, pushing the infection tally in the state to 57,61,015 since the pandemic broke out in January last year, reports the Hindustan Times. The toll climbs to 96,198 after 477 new deaths.
8.36 pm: World Health Organization approves Covid-19 vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech for emergency use listing, reports ANI. This is the second Chinese-produced vaccine shot to get WHO’s endorsement.
8.28 pm: Here are a few daily Covid-19 figures of a few states:
7.41 pm: The Central Board of Secondary Education cancels Class 12 exams after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports NDTV.
7.17 pm: Rajasthan registers 1002 new Covid-19 cases, 65 deaths and 6,114 recoveries, reports ANI. THe number of actives cases stand at 37,477.
7.16 pm: Kerala records 19,760 new coronavirus cases, 24,117 recoveries and 194 deaths, reports ANI. Active cases stands at 2,02,436.
7.12 pm: Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta demands special aid in terms of vaccine allocation for the state, reports ANI. Banna asks if Prime Minister Narendra Modi can export 6.5 crores vaccine to other countries, why crime has states in India done.
7.08 pm: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan launches Covid-19 vaccination programme for students and employees going abroad, reports ANI. “Considering the interest of these groups, the minimum time gap between Covishield jabs has been reduced from 12 weeks to slightly below 6 weeks,” he says.
Ashwathnarayan adds that the gap could not reduced further as that would make the vaccine ineffective.
7.06 pm: Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells ANI that the country has sent another shipment of Sputnik V vaccines to India as a follow up to provide assistance to New Delhi.
7.05 pm: The Netherlands lifts ban on passenger flights from India beginning June 1, reports ANI.
6.54 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs meeting regarding the Class 12 boards examinations.
5.44 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 11,303 new Covid-19 cases and 104 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to government data.
5.40 pm: Delhi High Court asks Centre to take policy decision on distribution of Amphotericin-B, the drug used to treat “black fungus” infections, reports ANI.
“Patients who have a better chance of survival should be prioritised so at least some lives can be saved,” says court.
4.53: VK Paul says that mixing vaccines is not the protocol yet and asks medical workers to stick to the standard operating procedure.
4.50 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul says that there is no data or trial conducted to ascertain if children can be given Covid-19 vaccines. As soon as data and trials show that vaccines boost immunity against the infection in children, the government will move forward in giving the vaccines, he adds.
4.48 pm; On Covid-19 infections among children, VK Paul says the paediatric population is generally asymptomatic. He adds that they get infections but their symptoms are minimal or nil.
4.43 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul says that India has the capability of vaccinate at a faster rate after ICMR chief said that the country will vaccinate 1 crore people from mid-July and August.
4.41 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul asks citizens to get more vaccines and prevent the third coronavirus wave.
4.37 pm: Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Dr Balaram Bhargava says that there is no vaccine shortage in the country. He says that there will be enough vaccine doses to vaccinate 1 crore people by mid-July or August.
4.32 pm: Watch Union health ministry briefing
4.32 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appeals to the Centre to cancel the board exams of Class 12 students and assess them on the basis of their past performance.
“Children and parents are very worried about the [Class] 12th examination,” he tweets. “They want that without vaccination, 12th examination should not be held.”
4.30 pm: Sir Gangaram Hospital’s chairperson Dr DS Rana says that the medical facility has started monoclonal antibody cocktail therapy, reports ANI. The cost for one dose will be Rs 59,750, he adds.
4.27 pm: Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar says the civic body polls for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will be conducted next year in January-February if the coronavirus situation is conducive, reports ANI.
4.24 pm: Luv Agarwal, the joint secretary at the Union health ministry, says that active cases have down by 50%, reports ANI. He adds that 30 states and Union Territories are witnessing a constant decline in active cases for one week.
4.13 pm: Supreme Court asks the Centre to furnish details of the scheme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Mdoi for children who have become orphan due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI. The court also asks the Centre to give information on monitoring of scheme for orphans for which money would be provided from PM CARES Fund.
It asks the states to appoint a nodal officer of the level of secretary or joint secretary to provide details on orphans and directs them to update the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights with information about the orphaned children.
3.32 pm: Delhi records 623 new Covid-19 cases, taking its tally of infections to 14,26,863 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. This is the lowest single-day infection count since March 18, reports PTI.
The Capital’s toll remains below 100 for the second consecutive day and rises by 62 to 24,299. The positivity rate reduces to 0.88%.
3.28 pm: Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das writes to the Centre about states not receiving responses to their global vaccine tenders, ANI reports. Das says that vaccines must be procured on a national level and not by individual states.
3.23 pm: There have been 1,370 cases of mucormycosis in Karnataka, shows government data.
3.13 pm: The third and largest shipment of Russian vaccine Sputnik V arrives in Hyderabad. The consignment has 3 million (30 lakh) vaccine doses, according to PTI.
1.49 pm: A plea challenging the Indian Council of Medical Research’s advisory against repeat of RT-PCR tests on those who tested positive for Covid-19 has been filed in the Delhi High Court, reports PTI.
1.48 pm: Eli Lilly and Co’s antibody drug combination has been granted an emergency use approval in India to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 cases, reports Reuters.
1.46 pm: South Korea expands its vaccination with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 shot offered by the United States, reports Reuters.
1.44 pm: Vietnam says it is seeking to produce Covid-19 vaccines to supply to the global initiative for vaccines, COVAX, reports Reuters.
1.41 pm: Malaysia imposes a strict countrywide lockdown to battle a surge of Covid-19 cases, reports AFP.
1.38 pm: Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal has been admitted to AIIMS due to post-Covid complications, reports the Hindustan Times.
1.35 pm: Sri Lanka reopens its international airport in Colombo for passengers, with the first flight ferrying 53 passengers landing from Qatar, reports PTI.
12.30 pm: The Supreme Court stays a Delhi High Court order, saying it was unconstitutional to levy Integrated Goods & Services Tax on import of oxygen concentrators by individuals, reports Live Law.
“Issue notice,” the court says. “Returnable in four weeks. Till next date of hearing, there will be a stay on the operation of the HC order.”
11.26 am: The Punjab government is expected to get a total of 7.81 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the first fortnight of June, reports The Indian Express.
11.24 am: Amid a shortage of staff, hospitals in Karnataka struggle to use ventilators provided with funds from the PM CARES initiative, reports The Indian Express.
11.23 am: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, asking for free Covid-19 shots for the state’s 18 to 44 age group, reports PTI.
11.22 am: A special anti-Covid vaccination campaign will be held in Noida and Greater Noida for inoculating parents or guardians of children aged 12 years or below, officials told PTI on Monday.
11.20 am: The Uttar Pradesh government will launch a “Mission June” campaign, a massive vaccination drive that aims to inoculate more than one crore beneficiaries in the next 30 days, reports The Indian Express.
11.19 am: The Telangana government on Monday withdrew the permission to six more private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients, reports The News Minute. The medical facilities have been accused of overcharging patients, violating a government order.
11.15 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research is planning to conduct a fourth countrywide serological survey to ascertain the prevalence of the virus, Sars-Cov-2, which causes Covid-19, reports the Hindustan Times.
11.14 am: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday ordered an investigation after a viral video showed three men burying the body of their Covid-positive father in a field in Sant Kabir Nagar district, an official told the Hindustan Times.
11.13 am: Over 10 million Indians lost their jobs amid the second wave of Covid-19 and nearly 97% of household incomes have dropped since the beginning of the outbreak in 2020, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy chief executive Mahesh Vyas said on Monday, reported PTI.
11.12 am: The Madras High Court on Monday requested a senior government official to visit Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur factory of Renault-Nissan on June 1 to inspect if Covid-19 norms are being followed at the facility, reported the Hindustan Times.
11.10 am: The Centre on Monday said that in some cases Covid-19 vaccination sessions had been cancelled due to a lack of vaccines, reported The New Indian Express.
11.07 am: The Bengaluru Police have arrested 14 persons, including a doctor, in the scam related to bed allocation by the civic body, reports the Hindustan Times. The inquiry has revealed that most of those arrested were operating on their own.
11.06 am: The Karnataka government has decided to buy coronavirus vaccines directly from companies, reports NDTV.
11.04 am: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan announces the launch of a vaccination programme from Monday in the state for students going to other countries, reports The News Minute.
11.03 am: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to prioritise Covid-19 vaccination for students pursuing education in foreign countries and employees planning to leave for work, reports The News Minute.
11.01 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday urged his Rajasthan counterpart to look into reports of alleged Covid-19 vaccine wastage in the state on priority, reports PTI.
11 am: Drug company Cipla has said such an assurance will help make this significant financial commitment of more than USD 1 billion (over ₹ 7,250 crore) advance to Moderna for its booster vaccine in India, sources privy to the development said.
10.58 am: Peru on Monday more than doubled its official Covid-19 toll, becoming the country with the highest mortality per capita anywhere in the world, reported AFP.
10.55 am: As many as 1,57,74,331 Covid-19 vaccines are still available with the states and Union Territories to be administered, says the Union health ministry.
10.54 am: India’s new count of infections is the lowest in 54 days and the daily Covid positivity rate has fallen to 6.62%, shows Union health ministry data.
10.51 am: The Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021, also allows the holders of the necessary licences to serve alcohol in open spaces like terraces, courtyards of clubs, bars and restaurants, according to PTI.
10.50 am: The Delhi government has allowed home delivery of alcohol under the Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021, reports PTI. This allows licence holders to sell liquor through an app or portal and deliver it to people’s homes.
9.20 am: India reports 1,27,510 new coronavirus cases and 2,795 deaths in a single day, according to data from the health ministry. Its total count of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 has reached to 2,81,75,044, while the toll jumps to 3,31,895. There are 18,95,520 active cases in the country now, while 2,59,47,629 patients have recovered.
9.09 am: Two children in Karnataka have been affected by mucormycosis or “black fungus”, reports The News Minute. “They are suffering from Acute Juvenile Diabetes,” says an health official.
9.05 am: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to provide free vaccines for beneficiaries of all age groups and to give freedom to define priorities for inoculation, reports ANI.
9 am: The health ministry on Monday claims that states and Union Territories have more than 1.75 crore vaccine doses to administer to beneficiaries, reports The Hindu. Over 2.73 lakh vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the states and Union Territories within the next three days.
A quick look at the updates from Monday:
- With 1,52,734 new Covid-19 infections recorded in 24 hours, India’s case count reached 2,80,47,534. As many as 3,128 fatalities pushed the toll to 3,29,100. There are 20,26,092 active Covid-19 cases and as many as 2,56,92,342 have recovered.
- The World Health Organization has announced a new naming system for variants of Covid-19, its Health Emergencies Programme Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove said. The strain (B.1.1.7) first detected in Britain will be called the Alpha variant, the South African one (B.1.351) will be referred to as the Beta variant. The strain found first in Brazil (P.1) will be called the Gamma variants and the Indian strain, or B.1.617.2, will be known as the Delta variant.
- India may be planning to study a regimen of mixing of different coronavirus vaccine doses to ascertain its efficacy in enhancing the immune response. Dr NK Arora, the chairperson of Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, said that similar studies were being conducted in Spain and the United Kingdom using AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Pfizer vaccine doses administered on alternate days.
- The Supreme Court questioned the government’s coronavirus vaccination policy, seeking to know why there was a discrepancy in the supply for different age groups, why there was no uniform pricing, and the measures taken to ensure those in rural areas of the country are inoculated.
- Delhi recorded 648 new coronavirus cases, taking its total count of infections to 14,26,240 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The city’s positivity rate dropped to 0.99%. This is the Capital’s lowest daily rise in cases since March 18. Delhi’s toll rose to 24,237 as it recorded 86 deaths in 24 hours. Meanwhile, Maharashtra registered 15,077 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the lowest single-day count in three months. The daily death count also fell to a two-month low after the state reported 184 fatalities. Mumbai recorded 676 infections and 29 deaths.