10.57 pm: Jammu and Kashmir finds its first case of the Delta plus variant of coronavirus, says Jammu Government Medical College Principal Shashi Sudhan Sharma. The case has been found in the Katra township of Reasi district.

10.35 pm: Punjab logs 22 deaths and 496 new cases.

10.21 pm: Jharkhand reports 139 new cases, 190 recoveries, and two deaths.

10.08 pm: Assam registers 2,728 fresh infections, 3,802 recoveries and 30 deaths.

10.07 pm: Himachal Pradesh reports 258 new cases, 234 recoveries, and 5 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state has 2,287 active cases.

9.58 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope expresses concern over statewide daily cases not remaining below 8,000 on a consistent basis, reports PTI.

9.48 pm: Mumbai records 863 new cases and 711 recoveries.

9.47 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi says that more than 16 lakh residents in Delhi have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, while over 50 lakh have received at least one dose so far, reports PTI.

9.43 pm: Here are the daily Covid-19 updates of a few states:

  • Tamil Nadu: 6,596 new cases, 10,432 recoveries and 166 deaths
  • Maharashtra: 10,066 new cases, 11,032 recoveries and 163 deaths
  • Punjab: 496 new cases, 801 recoveries and 22 deaths
  • Haryana: 174 new cases, 195 recoveries and 19 deaths
  • Manipur: 629 new cases, 543 recoveries and nine deaths
  • Gujarat: 138 new cases, 487 recoveries and three deaths 

9.41 pm: The Uttarakhand High Court pulls up the state government for the manner in which it was preparing to deal with the third wave of coronavirus and asks it to gear up for the Delta plus variant, reports PTI.

9.40 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urges the Union government to immediately take steps to ensure that people vaccinated with Covaxin are not restricted to travel to foreign countries, reports PTI.

“Covaxin has not been authorised by foreign countries and not accepted there,” Banerjee says. “Several students, aspiring for higher studies abroad, are facing difficulties in travelling because they have taken the Covaxin doses.”

9.39 pm: Six people in Jharkhand’s Palamu district received different coronavirus doses, reports PTI, citing an official. The beneficiaries were first given a shot of Covaxin but later administered a Covishield jab.

9.37 pm: All India Institute Of Medical Sciences Director Dr Randeep Guleria says that the spread of any variant of the coronavirus could be controlled through proper Covid-19 protocol, lockdown and vaccinations, reports News18.

“It is difficult to say that the Delta plus variant is creating any problems in India,” he says. “But we cannot let our guard down, we need to keep a close look at any surge that is registered. We have to be vigilant to avoid a third wave, and follow Covid-19 protocols. We need to aggressively test and track, get more people vaccinated.”

9.34 pm: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says that the Delta variant could account for 90% of new Covid-19 cases in the European Union in the coming months, reports AFP.

9.32 pm: The Chandigarh administration relaxes night curfew timings by half an hour, reports ANI.

7.22 pm: Here are the daily Covid-19 updates of a few states:

  • Kerala: 12,787 new cases, 150 deaths and 13,683 recoveries
  • Andhra Pradesh: 4,684 new cases, 36 deaths and 7,324 recoveries
  • Karnataka: 4,436 new cases, 123 deaths and 6,455 recoveries
  • Telangana: 1,114 new cases, 12 deaths and 1,280 recoveries

7.18 pm: The Telangana government fixes the ceiling on rates to be charged by private hospitals and laboratories for Covid-19 treatment and testing, reports PTI. The rate per day for routine ward and Isolation will be Rs 4,000, an order says.

The charges per day for intensive care unit without ventilator but with isolation will be Rs 7,500, while ICU with ventilator and isolation is fixed at Rs 9,000.

7.15 pm: White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr Anthony Fauci says that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is the “greatest threat” to America’s attempt to eradicate the pandemic, reports PTI. Fauci says that the Delta variant now makes up more than 20% of all new cases in the US, nearly doubling from around 10% two weeks ago.

7.03 pm: The Jharkhand government extends the lockdown-like restrictions in the state till July 1, reports Business Standard. The prevailing restrictions will continue with no new curbs or relaxations announced, a state government official said.

5.52 pm: Delhi records 111 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the infection tally in the national Capital to 14,33,366 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The toll rises by seven to 24,940. The positivity rate stands at 0.15%.

3.55 pm: Yoga guru Ramdev moves Supreme Court seeking a stay on the proceedings in multiple cases lodged against him in various states over his remarks on efficacy of allopathy in treatment of Covid-19, reports ANI.

3.29 pm: Telangana caps charges for Covid-19 patients in private hopsitals at Rs 4,000 per day for normal beds, Rs 7,500 for Intensive Care Unit beds and Rs 9,000 for ventilator-supported beds, reports ANI.

3.26 pm: Delhi government notifies policy to provide Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia compensation to family members of those who died of Covid-19, reports The Indian Express.

3.21 pm: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra, asking them to take up immediate containment measures in the districts where Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus have been detected, reports ANI.

3.19 pm: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar says two cases of the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus have been found in the state, reports ANI.

2.02 pm: The Union health ministry says in over 45,000 samples sequenced in India, Delta plus variant, AY.1, has been reported in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, “with around 40 cases identified and no significant increase in prevalence”, reports PTI.

12.07 pm: Mizoram reports 430 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, of which 103 are among jail inmates, PTI reports.

12.04 pm: Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 task force, says there is not sufficient data yet to be alarmed about the “Delta plus” variant.

11.51 am: A day after delivering record high 90 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses on Monday, India administered only 54.22 lakh shots on Tuesday, prompting criticism from the Opposition.

The Centre claims that the record number of vaccinations is because of the it taking back charge of procurement from the states, but the Opposition claims it is a “pre-planned” exercise to boost image.

Read more here:

  1. How India created a ‘world record’ for highest number of vaccinations in a single day
  2. As vaccinations drop from 90 lakh on Monday to 54 lakh on Tuesday, Congress criticises Centre

11.48 am: There are more than 40 cases of the Delta plus variant of Covid-19 in India, say reports citing government officials.

9.55 am: Federal prosecutors have begun an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Brazil government’s contract with Bharat Biotech to buy 20 million or 2 crore doses of Covaxin, The Washington Post reports.

9.52 am: Australia’s capital city Sydney will enforce new restrictions, including making masks at all indoor venues compulsory, amid an outbreak Delta variant cases, Bloomberg reports.

9.39 am: The Kerala government eases more curbs, but warns people about the dangers of a possible third wave of Covid-19, PTI reports.

“All government institutions and banks in Category A and B areas will be allowed to operate with up to 50% employees and all government institutions in category C, with up to 25%, the government said. “Places of worship can open, subject to a maximum of 15 persons at a time.”

Kerala follows a triple lockdown strategy in Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram districts, under which restrictions are imposed at three levels.

9.36 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot directs officials to prioritise giving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine to beneficiaries on time, PTI reports.

9.08 am: India reports 50,848 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its tally of infections to 3,00,28,709 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The country’s toll rises by 1,358 to 3,90,660.

The country’s count of active cases stand at 6,43,194, while the number of recoveries reach 2,89,94,855. India’s active cases are the lowest in 82 days, ANI reports, citing the government.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

9.04 am: The Delta variant of Covid-19 is the “greatest threat” to the United States’ efforts to eradicate the pandemic, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr Anthony Fauci says, according to PTI.

9.02 am: AstraZeneca says its vaccine is effective against the Delta and Kappa variants of Covid-19, which were first identified in India, Reuters reports.

8.58 am: Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, shows 77.8% efficacy in phase 3 trials, according to reports.

Bharat Biotech submitted phase three trial data for Covaxin to the Drug Controller General of India over the weekend, NITI Aayog (Health) member VK Paul said.

8.53 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday:

  1. The Centre called the Delta plus strain of the coronavirus a “variant of concern”, hours after Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog (Health) member VK Paul said it was only a “variant of interest”. A “variant of concern” has the highest threat perception among other coronavirus variants because of its increased transmissibility, infectivity, or resistance to vaccines. The threat perception for a “variant of interest” is comparatively lower.
  2. The Union Health Ministry advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh to make their public health response measures more focused and effective after the emergence of cases of the “Delta plus” variant of Covid-19.
  3. India reported 42,640 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall count of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 2,99,77,861. This was the first day in more than three months that the daily count fell below 50,000. The number of active cases in the country stood at 6,62,251, while the toll rose by 1,167 to 3,89,302.
  4. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said it was in final stages of obtaining approval for the use of its Covid-19 vaccine in India.
  5. The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government and Mumbai’s civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, to frame a policy immediately to avoid unauthorised vaccination drives in which beneficiaries may be given fake vaccines.