10.47 pm: India expects the European Union to treat its vaccinated citizens on par with those who have been inoculated in the bloc’s member countries, the Ministry of External Affairs says.

7.44 pm: India’s active cases have reduced by 86% since the peak on May 10, when the number stood at 37.45 lakh, the health ministry says. On Friday morning, India’s active cases stood at 5,09,637.

7.36 pm: Goa reports 183 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths on Friday.

7.33 pm: Sikkim records 111 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, taking its tally of infections, PTI reports. The state does not register any new death.

7.29 pm: Goa extends its Covid-19 curfew till July 12, ANI reports. However, shops, salons and outdoor sports complexes can stay open.

6.32 pm: Delhi records 93 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours. With this, the infection tally in the national Capital climbs to 14,34,374 and the toll to 23,983 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The positivity rate stands at 0.13%.

6.29 pm: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says India’s expectation is that its citizens who are vaccinated through the domestic vaccination programme are treated at par with those inoculated in the European Union, and vaccination certificate is recognised by the bloc on a reciprocal basis, reports ANI.

6.26 pm: NITI Aayog member VK Paul says that the Drugs Controller General of India has the application of pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila, which has applied for emergency use authorisation of ZyCov-D, its three-dose coronavirus vaccine, reports ANI. “We’re hoping to hear a positive response,” he says. “It will be a moment of pride as it is a unique technology. It’ll give a push to our vaccine programme.”

6.16 pm: The Union health ministry approves vaccination of pregnant women against the coronavirus. “The decision empowers pregnant women to make an informed choice on taking the Covid-19 vaccination,” the ministry says.

6.13 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 3,464 new coronavirus cases and 25 deaths in the past 24 hours,, reports ANI. The active caseload stands at 37,323.

4.53 pm: Paul says that says the second wave of Covid-19 is not over yet and central teams have been sent to problem states, reports News18. “We are not safe until the entire country is safe.”

4.48 pm: Union health ministry says a total of 34.01 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country.

4.42 pm: On shortages of Covid-19 vaccines among states, Union health ministry Joint Secretary Luv Aggarwal compares the pandemic situation to running a marathon, not a 100-metre race. He says that the shortages need to be seen in a bigger manner, not on reports of scarcity from individual centres. Aggarwal adds that the Centre coordinates with the states on the vaccination process and inform them about the daily schedule of vaccine availability of 15 days.

4.37 pm: Paul says that the Union health ministry’s 216 crore doses was an “aspirational figure” and that about 180 crore figure stated by the Centre before the Supreme Court is the dynamic figure of vaccines that will be available in India.

4.35 pm: NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul says that the country will be prepared for the third wave but at the same time if everyone is disciplined the wave would not come. “This is possible scientifically,” he adds.

4.33 pm: Watch Union health ministry’s briefing on Covid-19 situation.


4 pm: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu calls for fast-tracking of genome sequencing of new variants of Covid-19 to speed up finding suitable vaccines and drugs.

3.57 pm: In light of the recent Covid-19 vaccination scam, Mumbai civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issues guidelines stating that inoculation at housing societies and workplaces will only be conducted by private vaccination centres registered on the CoWIN portal, reports PTI.

3.52 pm: A visual shows a stampede-like situation at a vaccination centre in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh as people rush to get inoculated. The incident took place on July 1, reports ANI.

3.48 pm: India recorded the highest ever level of exports during the first quarter (April-June) despite the second wave of Covid-19, claims Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

2.15 pm: Uttarakhand government cancels Kanwar Yatra as a precautionary measure amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI.

2.14 pm: The Netherlands accepts Serum Institute of India’s Covishield for “green pass”, allowing beneficiaries of the vaccine to travel in the country, reports India Today.

2.07 pm: Kerala Health Minister Veena George says that there is a high number of Covid-19 cases in the state because the government was conducting targeted tests, reports ANI. She says that the state government is vaccinating more residents as 85% of the population needs to be inoculated to avoid a possible third of Covid-19.

George clarifies that there is no shortage of vaccines in the state. “Today, the total vaccines present are around 7 lakh,” she says. “We have the infrastructure to vaccinate 2.5 lakh people each day. We are asking the Centre to provide us with more vaccines. Wastage of vaccine in Kerala is in negative.”

The health minister also says the government is ensuring that Covid-19 deaths in hospitals are reported within 24 hours. “We ensure maximum transparency,” she adds. “Our death rate is at 0.4%.”

2.03 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tells Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, that the duration of the monsoon session of the state legislature cannot be extended in view of the coronavirus situation, reports PTI. In a letter to the governor, Thackeray also cites cases of Delta plus variant in several districts of the state as a reason behind holding the session for only two days.

2 pm: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar says the Centre has allotted 4.5 lakh extra Covid-19 vaccine doses to the state. “We have received 7.5 lakh Covishield doses,” he adds. “I will visit Delhi on Monday [July 5] to request more vaccines to Karnataka.”

1.06 pm: Ladakh’s tally climbs to 20,090 with 17 new coronavirus cases.

1.05 pm: Mizoram reports 278 fresh infection. With this, the state’s tally rises to 20,770.

1.02 pm: Puducherry logs 175 new cases and eight deaths.

12.59 pm: Andaman and Nicobar Islands report two new cases.

12.50 pm: Centre sends multi-disciplinary teams to six states – Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Manipur – that are reporting a high number of cases, says the health ministry. The two-member team comprises a clinician and a public health expert.

11.20 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan attacks Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after he raises questions about lack of coronavirus vaccines in the country.

“July has come, the vaccine has not arrived,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

Hitting back at him, Vardhan says he had written about vaccine availability for the month of July. “Just yesterday [Thursday], I put out facts,” the health minister says. “What is Rahul Gandhi ji’s problem? Does he not read? Does he not understand? There is no vaccine for the virus of arrogance and ignorance!! Congress must think of a leadership overhaul!”

10.05 am: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has criticised the attacks on doctors amid the coronavirus crisis, reports The Hindu. He also points out Indian Medical Association’s data that over 798 doctors have died during the second wave of the pandemic.

“Why is it that the medical professionals are at the receiving end for someone else’s failure?” he says. “Issues such as insufficient number of medical professionals, infrastructure, medicines, outdated technologies, and government not giving priory to medical sector are issues of immediate concern.”

10 am: The United Arab Emirates has banned its citizens from travelling to several countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, due to the coronavirus situation, reports ANI.

9.59 am: Opposition parties in Kerala are demanding that the state government review the death tally, reports The Indian Express.

State Health Minister Veena George, however, claims that the government has nothing to hide. “We have a decentralised Covid-19 death reporting system,” she adds.

9.55 am: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the coronavirus cases in the United States rose 10% this week because of the Delta variant, reports NBC News.

“I expect that we are going to see the number of cases around the country going up as the delta variant spreads,” says Richard Besser, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a former acting director of the CDC. “The reason for that is that a significant number of people in America are still not vaccinated.”

9.50 am: Nagaland MLA Toshi Wungtung, who was being treated for the coronavirus disease at a hospital in Delhi, died on Thursday, reports PTI. He was also the advisor to the government for Information and Public Relations and the second legislator from Nagaland after CM Chang to have died due to the infection.

9.27 am: India reports 46,617 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 3,04,58,251. The toll rises by 853 to 4,00,312. As many as 2,95,48,302 people have recovered from the infection so far. The active caseload has dropped to 5,09,637.

9.22 am: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has informed the Bombay High Court that it has formulated draft guidelines to prevent fake Covid vaccination camps in the city, reports PTI.

The civic body says it has decided to appoint nodal officers, who will be responsible for monitoring the vaccination drive at private housing societies, offices, educational institutions and other premises.

9.20 am: US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson says that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine neutralises the Delta variant of the virus, which was reported in India and has been spreading across the world, reports Bloomberg.

A look at the developments from Thursday:

  • India recorded 48,786 new coronavirus cases and 1,005 deaths in a span of 24 hours, data from the Union health ministry showed. With this, the infection tally climbed to 3,04,11,634 and the toll to 3,99,459 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. There are currently 5,23,257 active cases in the country.
  • The World Health Organization has said that any Covid-19 vaccine it has authorised for emergency use should be accepted by countries as restrictions on travel are eased. So far, the United Nations health body has approved Covid-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac for emergency use.
  • Pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila said that it has applied for emergency use authorisation of ZyCov-D, its three-dose coronavirus vaccine. The company’s Managing Director Sharvil Patel said the company expected to produce one crore vaccine doses per month from August onwards and five crore doses by December this year.
  • The Karnataka government made it mandatory for passengers travelling to the state from Kerala to produce negative RT-PCR test certificates not older than 72 hours.
  • World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the Delta plus variant of Covid-19 is not a “variant of concern” for the global health agency yet as the number of cases of the strain were still low.