Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed the Covid-19 vaccination drive and urged officials to take steps to reduce vaccine wastage.
The United Kingdom’s drug regulator has approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for use for children aged between 12 and 15.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Centre to release an amount of Rs 14 crore to vaccine maker Panacea Biotec, if it gets the approval to manufacture Russian vaccine Sputnik V.
India on Friday morning reported 1,32,364 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,713. The country’s tally of infections now stands at 2,85,74,350 since the outbreak in January 2020, while the toll has reached 3,40,702, health ministry data showed.
Covid-19 has now infected over 17.17 crore people and killed over 36.93 lakh in the world 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:
10.55 pm: Kerala records 16,229 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the infection tally in the state to 25,71,057 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, reports PTI. The toll climbs to 9,510 after 135 people die in the last 24 hours.
10.49 pm: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directs the state health department to ensure that Covid-19 patients that have comorbidities are not allowed home quarantine, reports The Times of India.
10.42 pm: The National Institute of Open Schooling cancels class 12 board examinations in view of the coronavirus pandemic. “Students will be evaluated based on objective criteria to be announced soon,” tweets Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. “This will benefit around 1.75 Lakhs students.”
10.39 pm: Jharkhand records 478 new cases, 1,170 recoveries and 13 deaths, reported ANI. The number of active cases stands at 6,832.
10.38 pm: Gujarat record 1,120 new Covid-19 cases, 3,398 recoveries and 16 deaths, reports ANI.
10.33 pm: Tripura Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath says the state government has extended the coronavirus curfew from 12 pm to 5 am in Agartala and all other urban areas in the state till June 10, repots PTI.
10.31 pm: The coronavirus cases tally in West Bengal’s rises to 14,11,448 after 7,913 more citizens test positive for the infection in the state, reports PTI. The toll climbs by 113 to 16,034.
10.28 pm: Assam reports 4,548 new Covid-19 cases, 54 deaths and 4,263 recoveries, reports ANI.
10.27 pm: A nine-year-old lioness dies of suspected coronavirus infection at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur, on the outskirts of Chennai, reports The Hindu. Nine more lions have also tested positive.
10.20 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Gautam Gambhir says that he is ready to face the decision by the Delhi High Court in the Covid-19 vaccine hoarding case, adding that his foundation will keep on working for the people, reported the Hindustan Times.
The Drug Control Department of Delhi told the high Court that Gambhir’s foundation had stocked and distributed Fabiflu, a medicine used for the treatment of Covid-19, in an unauthorised manner.
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9.22 pm: Health workers cross a river to reach a remote area in the Kandi block of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district to conduct a coronavirus vaccination drive.
9.16 pm: Here are the daily Covid-19 figures of a few states and Union Territories:
- Madhya Pradesh: 798 new cases, 50 deaths and 2,045 recoveries
- Himachal Pradesh: 787 new cases, 27 deaths, 2,030 recoveries
- Chandigarh: 88 new cases and three deaths
- Karnataka: 16,068 new cases, 364 deaths and 22,316 recoveries
- Maharashtra: 14,152 new cases, 289 deaths and 20,852 recoveries
- Tamil Nadu: 22,651 new cases, 463 deaths and 33,646 recoveries
9.08 pm: The Assam government issues revised guidelines on the Covid-19 curfew in the state, reports ANI. The curfew will be in place between 1 pm to 5 am from June 6 till June 16. The government orders shops to shut down at 12 on all days. All government & non-government offices will remain closed till June 15.
9.06 pm: Drug Controller General of India grants Serum Institute of India permission to manufacture Sputnik V for examination test and analysis at its licensed facility at Hadapsar, Pune, reports ANI, citing unidentified officials.
8.53 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, says his office. The prime minister’s office says that Modi instructed that vaccine wastage numbers were still on the higher side and steps were needed to bring them down.
8.44 pm: Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai offers its premises for setting up Covid-19 vaccination centre, reports ANI.
7.23 pm: The government extends the validity of visa of foreigners stuck in India in view of Covid-19 restrictions on international commercial flights, reported The Indian Express.
7.04 pm: Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla thanks the United States and the Indian government for easing manufacturing restrictions.
The Unites States has revoked its Defence Production Act rating on AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sanofi that will allow the companies to make their own decisions on which orders to fulfil first.
6.59 pm: Chandigarh Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research says that the condition of former sprinter Milkha Singh is stable, reports ANI. He was admitted to the intensive care unit at the medical facility on Thursday.
6.54 pm: Delhi reports 523 new Covid-19, pushing the infection tally in the national Capital to 14,28,449. The toll climbs by 50 to 24,497. The positivity rate stands at 0.68%.
6.52 pm: Delhi International Airport Limited launches Covid-19 vaccination drive for airport staff at Terminal 3.
6.49 pm: Gayle E Smith, the United States State Department Coordinator for Covid-19 Response and Health Security, says that the aim of the country is to increase global vaccine coverage, reports ANI. “We are also hopeful other countries will also start sharing vaccines,” she says.
This comes after the US announced sharing 80 million, or 8 crore, vaccines doses with the world on Thursday. India and a few other countries will get 6 million (60 lakh) doses.
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6.47 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi calls for protecting doctors from the coronavirus as well the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “callousness”. “Save the saviours,” he tweets.
5.11 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi asks Centre to give injections for the treatment of mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, for free. She also asks the government to bring the fungal infection under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
5.06 pm: On World Health Organization’s approval to Covaxin, NITI Aayog member VK Paul says the central government and the global body is working together and data in this regard is being shared, reports ANI.
5.05 pm: Union health ministry says that over 60% of the elderly population has received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, reports ANI.
5 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul says Covaxin and Zydus Covid-19 vaccines were being tested on children, reports ANI. Paul says that India would need 25 million, or 2.5 crore, to vaccinated them, reports ANI. “We will have to take this into account when we strategize [on giving vaccines to children],” he adds. “Information and analysis are being continually being examined.”
4.58 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul says that India has overtaken the United States in terms of the number of people who have received the first dose of vaccine, reports ANI.
4.54 pm: Union health ministry says that 377 districts are currently registering less than 5% case positivity rate, reports ANI.
4.50 pm: Union health ministry Joint Secretary Luv Agrawal says that there has been a continuous decrease in districts recording more than 100 average daily new cases, reports ANI. He says that now 257 districts are registering more than 100 daily cases.
4.48 pm: Union health ministry says that there has been a 63% decline in average daily cases since the peak May 1-7 period.
4.39 pm: The United Kingdom’s drug regulator approves the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for use for children aged between 12 and 15, reports BBC. The drug regulator says the benefits outweigh any risks.
3.30 pm: Punjab Health Minister BS Sidhu says he will look into the Opposition’s allegations that the government is selling vaccines to private hospitals for profit, ANI reports.
“I don’t have control over vaccines,” he says. “This comes under the chief secretary and other officials. I just look over treatment, testing, sampling of Covid-19 and vaccination camps. We will definitely set an inquiry, I myself can inquire about the matter.”
3.24 pm: The Kerala government announces a second Covid-19 relief package worth Rs 20,000 crore.
3.16 pm: The Delhi High Court asks the Centre to release a sum of Rs 14 crore to vaccine maker Panacea Biotec to manufacture Russian vaccine Sputnik V, The Indian Express reports.
The court passed the order based on a application filed by the company for the release of the amount that it was awarded in 2019 by an arbitral tribunal. This was in connection with a case related to the production of influenza vaccines.
3.11 pm: The Delhi government has formed a four-member panel to look into deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says.
3.08 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asks the Centre to supply Amphotericin B injections, used for the treatment of mucormycosis or “black fungus”, to the states in a timely manner.
“States are not getting injections on time, which is causing a lot of trouble to the patients,” he says in a tweet. “If this injection is given to patients in time, their life can be saved.”
3.04 pm: The health ministry says it has provided 24,21,29,250 vaccine doses to the states so far. “Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 22,27,33,963 doses (as per data available at 8 am on Friday,” it says. “More than 1.93 crore vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered.”
3.02 pm: Odisha cancels Class 12 board exams in view of the coronavirus crisis, ANI reports.
1.01 pm: The Gujarat government announces that the private and government offices will be allowed to function with 100% staff from June 7, reports PTI.
1 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauds Indian scientists developing made-in-India coronavirus vaccines and boosting other measures to fight the pandemic, reports PTI.
12.58 pm: The Delhi High Court has taken a serious note of an accused filing a falsified Covid-19 positive report to get extension of interim bail in a criminal case, reports PTI. The court has ordered a judicial investigation against the man, his relatives, lawyer, hospital staff and the police.
12.57 pm: Ladakh has registered 113 new Covid-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 18,854 and the toll to 193, reports PTI.
12.56 pm: Puducherry reports 712 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, taking the case count to 1,07,826, a senior health department official has said, reports PTI.
12.50 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to former athlete Milkha Singh, who has been battling Covid-19 in a hospital in Chandigarh, reports PTI.
12.45 pm: Karnataka to hold Class 10 examinations in the third week of July, reports PTI. The state has cancelled the second year pre-university tests, announces Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar.
12.37 pm: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria says Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine may be “coming in for children and adults shortly”, reports News18.
10.17 am: “Resilience of agriculture, gathering momentum of global economy can provide tailwind to domestic economy,” says the RBI governor, according to Mint.
10.14 am: The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused “upside risks of inflation”, Das says.
10.12 am: Das says that the reverse repo rate is maintained at 3.35%, and MSF rate is 4.25% and bank rate at 4.25%.
10.09 am: “The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee has decided to continue with an accommodative stance until necessary to mitigate impact of Covid-19,” the RBI governor says. “The Marginal Standing Facility rate and bank rates remain unchanged at 4.25%. Reverse repo rate also remains unchanged.”
10.08 am: “The Monetary Policy Committee keeps status quo, continues accommodative stance,” Das says.
10.04 am: Das announces key rates after a panel concludes its three-day meeting. The repo rate is unchanged at 4%, Das says.
10.02 am: Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das addresses a briefing.
9.39 am: As many as 35,74,33,846 samples have been tested in the country so far for the coronavirus disease, including 20,75,428 samples tested on Thursday, says Indian Council of Medical Research.
9.32 am: India reports 1,32,364 new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s tally since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 2,85,74,350. The toll rises by 2,713 to 3,40,702. As many as 2,65,97,655 people have recovered from the infection. India now has 16,35,993 active cases of the coronavirus.
9.25 am: Japan is donating more than one million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to Taiwan, reports AFP.
“We have received requests from various countries and areas for the provision of vaccines,” says Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. “At this point, we have finished the arrangement for the request from Taiwan. And we will deliver free of charge 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines that have been produced in Japan.”
9.20 am: K VijayRaghavan, principal scientific advisor to the government, warns that India could face another surge in coronavirus cases if the population is “lulled into complacence” amid decline in infections, reports The Hindu.
“More people got infected, and we will face this rise until cautionary steps and infection-based immunity grows again,” he says.
9.15 am: As the Narendra Modi government is trying to allay concerns about shortages of vaccine, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says it would not be right to talk about the supply of doses to other countries at the moment, reports PTI.
9.09 am: The Congress criticises the Centre’s vaccination policy, saying it is “incoherent, inefficient and ineffective”, reports PTI.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi says instead of admitting its “failures and mistakes”, the Modi government responded to suggestions from his party’s leaders on the vaccination drive with “contempt and sarcasm”.
A look at the developments from Thursday:
- India recorded 1,34,154 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,887. The country’s tally of infections now stands at 2,84,41,986 since the outbreak in January 2020, while the toll has reached 3,37,989, health ministry data showed.
- The United States announced that it will share more than six million, or 60 lakh, doses of the coronavirus vaccine with India, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and other countries. This is part of the 80 million, or 8 crore, doses that US President Joe Biden has promised to share with the rest of the world.
- Chief Economic Adviser KV Subramanian said the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has affected the momentum of the country’s economic recovery. He, however, added that the economy will begin to recover from July and that the pandemic will not have an impact on the country’s fiscal deficit and disinvestment targets for the current financial year.
- Karnataka government extended the ongoing coronavirus lockdown in the state till June 14. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said the decision was taken as the pandemic situation had worsened in the state. The state reported 18,324 new cases and 514 deaths in the last 24 hours.
- The Maharashtra government announced a five-level plan to lift its coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state. However, the Mumbai civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has said that it will monitor the Covid-19 situation in the city till June 15 before easing curbs.
- The Centre announced that it has finalised a deal with Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological-E to reserve 30 crore coronavirus vaccine doses. Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that the foreign ministry is in talks with Covid-19 vaccine makers such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna about sourcing and possibly manufacturing doses in India.
- Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India sought indemnity from liability or legal protection from the government for any severe side effects of its coronavirus vaccine. Reports said this was a key condition put forth by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna for supplying doses to India.