Here are the updates from Saturday:

  1. The Centre directed states and Union Territories to take strict action against those who assault healthcare workers. In a letter to chief secretaries, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said FIRs should be filed against the accused and such cases should be fast-tracked. “You will agree that any incident of threat or assault on doctors or healthcare professionals may dampen their morale and create a sense of insecurity amongst them,” the letter said.
  2. India reported 60,753 new coronavirus cases, taking the total count of infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020 to 2,98,23,546. The country’s toll rose to 3,85,137 as it recorded 1,647 deaths in the last day. India’s count of active cases reduced to 7,60,019 – the lowest after 74 days, according to the Union health ministry.
  3. A third wave of the coronavirus pandemic is underway in the United Kingdom due to the Delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India, said an expert who advises the government on its vaccination programme. Professor Adam Finn told BBC that the country was now in a “firm race” between the vaccines and the Delta variant.
  4. The Centre asked all states and Union Territories to ensure that there was no complacency in adhering to coronavirus-appropriate behaviour. It said easing of lockdown restrictions across India has led to crowding in markets and other places. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged states to implement the test-track-treat-vaccinate strategy to contain the spread of infection. He stressed that vaccination was critical to break the chain of transmission of virus.
  5. Experts have warned the government against letting its guard down as cases reduce. All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that with the lack of Covid-appropriate behaviour after the easing of restrictions across India, an “inevitable” third wave of infections could hit the country in the next six to eight weeks.
  6. The Karnataka government announced lockdown relaxations in Bengaluru and 15 other districts from June 21. All shops, hotels, clubs and restaurants allowed to operate till 5 pm.
  7. The Telangana government announced that the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state will be completely removed on Sunday. The chief minister’s office said that the decision was taken after examining medical reports submitted by the authorities, which showed daily infections and positivity rate decreasing significantly.
  8. The Maharashtra government began a special Covid-19 vaccination drive for those in the 30 to 45 age group. An unidentified official from the Maharashtra health department said that beneficiaries in the 30 to 45 age group were a huge part of the working population, and vaccinating them would help ease restrictions on business activities.
  9. An investigation committee has cleared a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra city, whose owner was purportedly caught on a video earlier this month saying that the facility cut off oxygen supply for patients for five minutes in a mock drill in April. The Uttar Pradesh government had ordered an inquiry into the incident after the video triggered massive outrage.
  10. There are more than 17.79 crore cases of the coronavirus disease across the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 38.53 lakh people have died due to the infection.