11.06 pm: With an aim to combat Covid-19 and other health-related misinformation, Facebook is expanding its third-party fact-checking programme in India by adding a first health-specialist partner, reports ANI.

11.03 pm: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, an organisation responsible for the Sikh worship places, says that Pakistan has denied permission to a group of Sikh pilgrims from visiting Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore each year to observe the death anniversary of Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh in view of the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI. The committee says that the group visit the gurudwara every year.

11.01 pm: Uttarakhand government spokesperson Subodh Uniyal says that the state has ordered the Haridwar district administration to register a first information report in the alleged Covid-19 testing scam during Mahakumbh. He adds that the order is issued to file cases against labs from Delhi and Haryana, which conducted testing at five places in Haridwar during the Kumbh Mela.

10.59 pm: Assam records 3,386 new cases, 4,881 recoveries and 36 deaths, reports ANI.

10.58 pm: The Congress says that party chief Sonia Gandhi has taken both doses of coronavirus vaccine while leader Rahul Gandhi could not take the jabs yet as he had contracted the virus in May, reports PTI.

9.23 pm: South Korean envoy says that Covishield vaccinated Indians will not need to undergo quarantine in the country but it is mandatory for Covaxin recipients, reports ANI.

9.19 pm: Class 10 and 12 board examinations have been cancelled in state-run schools in Manipur in view of the prevailing coronavirus condition in the state, reports ANI.

9.11 pm: Here are the daily Covid-19 figures of a few states

  • Karnataka: 7,345 new cases, 148 deaths and 17,913 recoveries
  • Tamil Nadu: 10,448 new cases, 270 deaths and 21,058 recoveries
  • Himachal Pradesh: 210 new cases, four deaths and 523 recoveries
  • Madhya Pradesh: 160 new cases, 34 deaths and 463 recoveries
  • West Bengal: 3,187 new cases, 69 deaths and 2,012 recoveries
  • Gujarat: 298 cases, five deaths and 935 recoveries
  • Maharashtra: 10,107 cases, 237 deaths and 10,567 recoveries
  • Telangana: 1,489 cases, 11 deaths and 1,436 recoveries

9.06 pm: Pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which is the local manufacturer on Sputnik V, says the vaccine will be available for the public on CoWin after its commercial launch.

The company says that it is making supply arrangements to ensure the availability of the vaccine doses at its partner hospitals. In a statement, it says that the commercial launch date will be announced once the pilot phase is over.

It adds that the pilot soft launch of the vaccine has been scaled up to other cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, among others.

7.07 pm: The total number of coronavirus cases in Kerala rises to 27,61,474 with addition of 13,270 infections, reports PTI. With 147 deaths, the toll jumps to 11,655.

7.02 pm: Goa records 310 new coronavirus cases, taking its active infection count since the pandemic began in January 2020 to 4,044, according to ANI.

6.57 pm: The Congress party says that it will undertake a nationwide outreach campaign to help those affected by the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI. The party will also collect data about the number of infected patients and those who died due to the disease.

6.55 pm: Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says the country will fully reopen to visitors within 120 days after more than a year of coronavirus-induced travel restrictions, reports Reuters.

5.15 pm: The Central Board of Secondary Education will submit a report on the Class 12 assessment system tomorrow to the Supreme Court, reports NDTV.

4.48 pm: The Nagaland government extends the state-wide lockdown till June 30, reports PTI. The restrictions were scheduled to end on June 18.

“The coronavirus situation in the state is improving but we are still not out of the woods,” says government co-spokesperson and advisor Mmhonlumo Kikon. “The positivity rate is declining but it needs to go down below five percent. Also, we need to inoculate more than 50% of the population.”

4.44 pm: The Odisha government has decided to continue partial lockdown in the state till 5 am on July 1, reports ANI.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra says that shops for essential goods will be allowed to open from 6 am to 5 pm in 17 districts of the southern and western part of the state where the positivity rate is 5% or less. For the 13 coastal districts and others with a higher positivity rate, the shops for essential goods will open from 6 am to 1 pm, he adds.

The border checkposts along Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have also been removed after a decline in coronavirus cases in the two neighbouring states, reports The Hindu.

4.40 pm: Delhi records 212 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall tally since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 14,31,710. The positivity rate has dropped to 0.27%, according to data shared by the health department. The toll jumps by 25 to 24,876.

1.54 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says the decision to increase the gap between two doses of the Covishield has been taken “ in a transparent manner based on scientific data”.

His comment comes a day after three scientists of an advisory group on Covid-19 vaccination in the country have said that they did not back the Centre’s decision last month to double the interval. However, soon after their statements came to light on Tuesday evening, Covid Working Group Chairman NK Arora said the decision was taken on “scientific basis” and without any “dissenting voice”.

1.44 pm: Ocugen Inc, Bharat Biotech’s partner in the United States and Canada for its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, says it has chosen Washington-based Jubilant HollisterStier as its manufacturing partner for the vaccine, reports PTI.

1.40 pm: Union health ministry responds to social media posts suggesting Covaxin shots contain newborn calf’s serum.

“Newborn Calf Serum is used only for preparation of vero cells...The vero cells are completely destroyed in process of viral growth,” says the ministry. “The grown virus is also killed and purified. This is then used to make final vaccine and in the final vaccine formulation no calf serum is used.”

1.37 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says his government has decided to train 5,000 people for jobs of health assistant, reports ANI. The decision has been taken in view of the shortage of medical and paramedical staff experienced during first and second wave of the pandemic, and to avoid a similar situation in case a third wave strikes.

“They will be given basic training in nursing, paramedics, life-saving, first aid and home care,” says Kejriwal. “Online applications can be filled from June 17 and training will begin from June 28.”

11.46 am: Brazil is planning to buy 60 million or 6 crore doses of the single-shot Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s CanSino Biologics, Reuters reports.

11.42 am: Several states in India have begun preparations for a third wave of Covid-19, with a focus on protecting children from the infection.

Read more here: Covid-19: Why are states assuming the third wave will impact mostly children?

11.37 am: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directs deputy commissioners to maintain the pace of vaccination and not lower their guard, even though fresh cases in the state are gradually declining, PTI reports.

11.29 am: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directs health officials to start vaccinating teachers, non-teaching staff members and students in all schools and colleges from June 21, IANS reports.

11.25 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi responds to Indian scientists saying they didn’t back the doubling of gap between two vaccine doses. “India needs quick and complete vaccination, not the BJP’s usual brand of lies and rhyming slogans to cover up the vaccine shortage caused by the government’s inaction,” he says.

Also read: Scientists of vaccine advisory group say they didn’t recommend 12-16 week gap in Covishield doses

11.21 am: As Covid-19 cases reduce, the Uttarakhand government directs the Char Dham Yatra board to begin preparations for the pilgrimage by July 1, ANI reports.

“Steps regarding yatra will be taken as per Nainital High Court’s directions,” Uttarakhand Minister Subodh Uniyal says.

9.36 am: Covid-19 was present in the United States from at least December 2019, weeks before the country confirmed its first case on January 21, shows an antibody study by the National Institutes of Health, AFP reports.

9.31 am: A fifth of asymptomatic coronavirus patients develop long Covid, a study by FAIR Health, a non profit organisation in New York, shows, according to AFP. Long Covid is a term used to describe effects of the infection that weeks or months after the initial illness.

9.27 am: Tamil Nadu’s Covid-19 toll may be nine times higher than the official count, shows a study by Arappor Iyakkam, a Chennai-based non-governmental organisation, according to The News Minute.

9.24 am: United States’ Covid-19 toll crosses 6 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University.

9.15 am: The Centre acknowledges the AY.1 or B.1.617.2.1 variant of Covid-19, which is closely related to the Delta variant, but says it is not yet a “Variant of Concern”, Business Today reports.

“We don’t know much about this yet and are studying it including the prevalence in India,” NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul says.

9.08 am: India records 62,224 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall tally to 2,96,33,105 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll rises by 2,542 to to 3,79,573.

The number of active cases falls below 9 lakh. India now has 8,65,432 active cases.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

9 am: Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected over 17.65 crore people and killed more than 38.19 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the updates from Tuesday:

  1. The Union health ministry said that the risk of dying due to vaccination was negligible as compared to that of dying because of the infection, reported PTI. This came after the National AEFI Committee studying Covid-19 vaccines confirmed that a 68-year-old man died due to anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) after being vaccinated on March 8.
  2. India recorded 60,471 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall tally to 2,95,70,881 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll rose by 2,726 to to 3,77,031. This is the lowest single-day rise in cases since March 31. The number of active cases stayed below 10 lakh for the second day in a row. India now has 9,13,378 active cases.
  3. As daily coronavirus cases continue to decline, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Kerala eased restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the infection.
  4. The Centre said slightly more number of people under 20 years of age were affected in the second wave than the first. During the second wave, 11.62% Covid cases were seen in the below 20 years age group while it was 11.31% during the first wave.
  5. Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech said supplying the coronavirus vaccine to the Centre at Rs 150 per dose was “clearly not sustainable in the long run”. Therefore, a higher price in private markets was necessary to offset part of the costs, it added.
  6. The Union health ministry said that pre-registration for Covid-19 vaccination through online registration and prior booking of appointment is no longer mandatory.