10.59 pm: Here are the daily Covid-19 figures of a few states, cities and Union Territories:

  • Jharkhand: 146 new cases, 443 recoveries and three deaths
  • Haryana: 232 new cases, 546 recoveries and 38 deaths
  • Maharashtra: 9,830 new cases, 5,890 recoveries and 236 deaths 
  • Mumbai: 666 new cases, 741 recoveries and 20 deaths 
  • Chandigarh: 32 new cases, three deaths and 96 recoveries
  • Punjab: 726 new cases, 32 deaths and 1,255 recoveries
  • West Bengal: 3,018 new cases, 64 deaths and 2,033 recoveries.

10.57 pm: A 65-year-old woman tests positive for the new Delta Plus variant of coronavirus in Madya Pradesh’s Bhopal, reports PTI. The samples of the woman were collected on May 23 and sent to National Central for Disease Control for for genome sequencing.

10.56 pm: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani claims that not a single coronavirus patient died in the state in due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic, unlike other state, reports PTI.

10.54 pm: The United States is spending $3.2 billion, or 23,762 crore, to advance the development of antiviral pills for Covid-19 and other dangerous viruses that could turn into pandemics, reports AP.

10.51 pm: Former United States President Donald Trump says that India has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, insisting that China should pay $10 trillion (approximately Rs 742 lakh crore) to America for allegedly being responsible for the spread of pandemic globally, reports PTI.

10.49 pm: Bharat Biotech denies reports it has submitted phase 3 trial data of the vaccine to the World Health Organization for its approval, reports ANI.

10.38 pm: A commentary on the website of medical journal The Lancet authored by 21 people including, Biopharmaceutical company Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and top surgeon Dr Devi Shetty, recommends eight actions to prepare for a possible resurgence of Covid-19 cases in India, reports NDTV.

The recommendations include decentralisation of organisation of essential health services, transparent national pricing policy on all health services and implementation of evidence-based information on the management of Covid-19.

8 pm: AAP MLA Atishi says Delhi has sufficient stock of coronavirus vaccines for inoculation of beneficiaries in the 45-plus as well as 18-44 age groups, reports PTI. This will last for over a week.

7.50 pm: New coronavirus cases and deaths in states:

  • Tamil Nadu: 9,118 new coronavirus takes the active infection tally to 1,00,523. Toll rises by 210 to 30,548.
  • Meghalaya: 478 new coronavirus cases takes the infection tally to 43,732. Toll rises by four to 762.
  • Goa: 254 new cases takes the infection tally to 1,63,612. Toll rises by six to 2,969.
  • Himachal Pradesh: 292 new cases takes the infection tally to 1,99,699. Toll rises by 10 to 3,408. 

7.20 pm: A study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and the World Health Organization has found that the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is not more likely to disproportionately affect children than adults, reports ANI.

This comes as several states in India have begun to prepare for the third wave with a special focus on protecting children.

The SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate among children was high compared to the adult population in a survey, which was conducted in five states with a population size of 10,000.

Seropositivity is a percentage estimate of the number of people with antibodies towards the coronavirus and hence a past infection.

5.40 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 6,151 new cases, 58 deaths and 7,728 recoveries. The state has over 69,000 active cases.

5.38 pm: A UK parliamentary committee report accuses China of trying to gain access to and meddling in various international organisations, reports News18. “It is clear to us that the Chinese Government sees influence at the WHO as a significant strategic goal,” says the panel. “The Chinese government is considered to exert disproportionate influence in the WHO.”

5.35 pm: A Chinese epidemiologist demands that the next Covid origin probe be conducted in the United States, reports Hindustan Times. Zeng Guang, the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says the US was slow to test people for Covid-19 at an early stage of the pandemic.

5.33 pm: A study by the United Kingdom government finds that Covid infections increased by 50% between May 3 and June 7, reports The Guardian. The exponential surge coincides with the rise of the Delta variant that is now dominant in the UK. Covid cases are doubling every 11 days, show data from nearly 1,10,000 swab tests carried out across England between May 20 and June 7.

5.29 pm: The authorities in Odisha’s Keonjhar district have ordered an inquiry into a viral video showing a crematorium staff asking for Rs 5,000 to show the face of a Covid-19 victim to her son for one last time. “We have received one such video,” Keonjhar District Collector Ashish Thakre tells India Today. “I have ordered an inquiry into the matter. After the inquiry, appropriate action will be taken.

5.24 pm: Vaccination has gone up over the last 10 days in the Uttar Pradesh districts that are strongholds of the Samajwadi Party, reports News18. The uptick comes after party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav took the jab on June 7.

5.23 pm: The police in Indonesia are giving live chickens as an incentive to older residents in Cianjur regency to get vaccinated. “Early on, there was a lot of misinformation and hoaxes about the vaccine circulating online, especially on social media,” Galih Apria, assistant police commissioner in the sub-district of Pecat, tells CNN. “Lots of elderly people thought that it does not prevent Covid-19 but would cause serious diseases and even death.”

5.04 pm: Delhi registers 158 new infections, 10 deaths and 343 recoveries. The Capital’s positivity rate stands at 0.20%.

3.02 pm: A pre-submission meeting for Covaxin’s emergency use listing by the World Health Organization is scheduled to take place on June 23, The Hindu reports.

2.59 pm: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the Delta strain of Covid as a “variant of concern.”

2.46 pm: Goa will not open up for tourists until everyone in the state has received the first dose of the vaccine, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says, according to ANI. “Our target is to accomplish this goal by July 31,” he adds.

2.40 pm: The state of emergency enforced in Tokyo in view of the coronavirus crisis will be lifted on June 20, over a month before the Olympics, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announces, according to AFP.

1.09 pm: Australia raises the safety age for the AstraZeneca vaccine from 50 years to 60, the AP reports. The decision came after a 52-year-old woman who received the vaccine reportedly died from blood clots in the brain.

Only two deaths in Australia have been linked to the rare blood clots which are believed to be caused by the vaccine.

1.05 pm: The Congress says its President Sonia Gandhi has taken both doses of the Covishield vaccine, amid a row over the recommended gap for the shots, PTI reports. The party asks the BJP to focus on vaccination people, instead of creating “non-issues”.

11.21 am: The Central Board of Secondary Education submits its assessment plan for Class 12 students to the Supreme Court, Live Law reports.

The assessment criteria will consider the students’ marks in Class 10 and Class 11 results. Class 12 pre-boards will account for 40% of the marks. The CBSE will announce results by July 31.

On June 3, the Supreme Court had given both CBSE and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education two weeks to decide on the criteria to evaluate Class 12 students. Board exams for Class 12 were cancelled in view of the coronavirus crisis.

Hearing in the matter is still on and the ICSE will submit its plan too.

11.17 am: Arunachal Pradesh reports 250 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total count of infections to 32,188, according to PTI. The state does not record any death.

11.14 am: Shops in Kerala open as government eases Covid-19 related restrictions.

11.07 am: The Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Biological E is likely to be 90% effective against the infection, NK Arora, the chairperson of the government’s Covid Working Group, tells NDTV. Arora adds that the vaccine is about to go to phase three trials and could become available by October.

9.49 am: In view of the Covid-19 crisis, Pakistan refuses to allow a group of Sikh pilgrims to visit the country to mark the death anniversary of 19th-century ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, PTI reports.

9.45 am: United States President Joe Biden asks if China is even trying to find out how Covid-19 originated, Reuters reports

“China is trying very hard to project itself as a responsible and very, very forthcoming nation, and they are trying very hard to talk about how they’re helping the world in terms of COVID-19 and vaccines,” he says. “Look, certain things you don’t have to explain to the people of the world, they see the results. Is China really actually trying to get to the bottom of this?”

9.43 am: Hospitals in Delhi are reporting cases of multi inflammatory syndrome among children as a complication after Covid-19 infection, The Indian Express reports.

9.41 am: A lion from the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, who was being treated for Covid-19, dies, PTI reports. On June 3, a lioness from the zoo had also died due to the infection.

9.35 am: Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Harsh Sanghavi, while responding to accusations in the High Court that he hoarded anti-viral drug Remdesivir, says the he did so to save lives, PTI reports.

9.31 am: The Covid-19 lockdown in Kerala will be eased from Thursday. Odisha will also partially ease its restrictions, the Hindustan Times reports.

9.13 am: India records 67,208 new coronavirus cases on Thursday morning, taking its overall tally to 2,97,00,313 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll rises by 2,330 to 3,81,903. The number of active cases stand at 8,26,740.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

9.11 am: One dose of the Covishield vaccine is 61% effective against the delta variant of Covid-19, NK Arora, the head of the Covid Working Group, tells NDTV. Two doses are 65% effective.

9.08 am: The “delta plus” variant of Covid-19 could trigger a third wave of the pandemic in Maharashtra, the state’s health department has warned, according to PTI.

9.06 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  1. The Indian Medical Association said that 730 doctors have died during the second coronavirus wave. The association said that Bihar reported the most number of deaths among doctors with 115 fatalities, followed by Delhi with 109 and Uttar Pradesh with 79.
  2. India recorded 62,224 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall tally to 2,96,33,105 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll rose by 2,542 to 3,79,573. The number of active cases fell below 9 lakh after 70 days.
  3. The Indian government’s decision to double the interval between two doses of the Covishield vaccine was taken in a “transparent manner” and “based on scientific data”, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. The minister’s statement came after three scientists of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said that they did not back the Centre’s decision to increase the gap.
  4. The Union health ministry dismissed social media posts claiming that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin contains newborn calf serum. It said such posts are “twisted and misrepresented”.
  5. Pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s, who is the local distribution partner of Russia’s Sputnik V, said that the commercial launch of the vaccine is in its final leg. In a statement, the company said that the soft launch of the vaccine has been extended to nine cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Baddi, Kolhapur and Miryalaguda.