1. Maharashtra on Friday recorded the first death due to the Delta plus variant of coronavirus after an 80-year-old woman with comorbidities in Ratnagiri district died of the infection, The Indian Express reported, citing state health minister Rajesh Tope. Following this, the Maharashtra government decided to impose strict restrictions. All administrative units will be placed under a minimum of level 3 restrictions, irrespective of weekly positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy.
  2. India reported 51,667 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total number of infections since the outbreak of the pandemic in January 2020 to 3,01,34,445. The country’s toll rose by 1,329 to 3,93,310. India’s tally of active cases stood at 6,12,868, while the number of recoveries reached 2,91,28,267.
  3. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of lying about a report that suggests that the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national Capital exaggerated demand for oxygen in the city during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. The Union health ministry said that India has detected 48 cases of the Delta plus variant of Covid-19. The maximum number of cases were reported were in Maharashtra (20), followed by Tamil Nadu (nine), Madhya Pradesh (seven), Kerala (three), two each in Punjab and Gujarat and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka.
  5. The Serum Institute of India said it has begun production of the first batch of Covovax, a coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology company Novavax. The vaccine showed an overall efficacy of 90.4% in phase three trials.
  6. The Union health ministry said that pregnant women “can and should” be vaccinated against Covid-19, signalling a policy change that following growing concerns of exposure of expectant mothers and their children to the infection, and their right to get vaccinated, reported NDTV.
  7. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana to step up containment and contact tracing to prevent the spread of Delta Plus variant.
  8. Several bodies that were buried in the sandbanks of the Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj district have floated up in the last few days as the water level rose due to monsoon rains. These bodies were suspected to be of Covid-19 patients.
  9. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday denied paying for or receiving any Covid-19 vaccine doses from Indian firm Bharat Biotech. His statement came amid a federal investigation into alleged irregularities in a contract between Brazil’s health ministry and Bharat Biotech for 20 million (2 crore) doses of Covaxin.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected over 17.99 crore people and killed more than 38.98 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.