Here’s are the top updates from Thursday:

  1. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said low vaccination coverage among the healthcare and frontline workers, especially for the second dose, was a cause of “serious concern”. In a meeting with states and Union Territories, he asked officials to expedite the second dose coverage among priority groups. Bhushan also said that the participation of private sector in the vaccination drive was “less than adequate”.
  2. India recorded a record rise in Covid-19 deaths as the toll rose by 6,148 to 3,59,676 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The rise came after as many as 3,951 backlog fatalities were added to Bihar’s toll. For the third consecutive day, India recorded less than 1 lakh cases. With 94,052 new infections, the country now has total 2,91,83,121 cases.
  3. The Centre said that Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh wasted 33.95% and 15.79% of their Covid-19 vaccine doses in May – the highest among the states. On the other hand, Kerala and West Bengal recorded negative vaccine wastage at -6.3% and -5.4%, respectively.
  4. In a detailed guideline for management of the coronavirus disease in children, the health ministry advised to avoid use of the remdesivir drug. The guideline also said that steroids should be used to treat only moderately severe and critically ill patients who are hospitalised.
  5. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded that every person walking into the Covid-19 vaccination centres should get a jab, saying that online registration was not enough for the inoculation drive. Soon after, Union minister Smriti Irani hit back at the Congress leader, pointing out that the central government has already given permission to states to allow walk-in registration for the vaccination programme.
  6. The finance ministry has proposed carrying out a round-the-clock Covid-19 vaccination programme to achieve herd immunity against the infection so that the country can regain its economic growth momentum.
  7. Yoga guru Ramdev said that he will get his first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine soon, after earlier claiming that yoga and Ayurveda had protected him from the infection so far.
  8. Delhi reported 305 new coronavirus cases, while in Mumbai 660 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours. Among states with high caseloads, Tamil Nadu logged 16,813 cases, Kerala recorded 14,424 cases, while the tally rose by 11,042 in Karnataka.
  9. The United States will spend $3.5 billion to buy and donate 50 crore doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to some of the world’s poorest countries, Reuters reported.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected over 17.44 crore people and killed more than 37.59 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.