Here are the top updates from Saturday:

  1. The Karnataka government announced the lifting of weekend curfews from next week, reported NDTV. The government said the night curfew will, however, remain in place between 9 pm and 5 am.
  2. India reported 44,111 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Saturday morning, taking its tally since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 3,05,02,362. The toll rose by 738 to 4,01,050, while the number of active cases dropped under five lakh to 4,95,533.
  3. Covaxin-maker Bharat Biotech confirmed that the coronavirus vaccine shows 77.8% efficacy against the infection. Bharat Biotech claimed that Covaxin shows 65.2% efficacy against the Delta variant of coronavirus.
  4. The world is going through a very “dangerous period” of the Covid-19 pandemic, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. He added that the Delta variant is dangerous and is continuing to evolve and mutate, which requires constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response.
  5. Trinamool Congress councillor was seen in a video giving vaccine doses at a Covid-19 immunisation Centre in Asansol. The Bharatiya Janata Party hit out at the TMC government in West Bengal, asking if it would take action against the councillor, Tabassum Ara.
  6. The Centre has sanctioned funds from the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or PM CARES, fund for setting up of vaccine-testing laboratory in Hyderabad, said Union minister G Kishan Reddy. “A big step forward towards comprehensive development of pharma sector in Hyderabad, which will also boost production of Covid-19 vaccines,” he said.
  7. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the international community to build a “Great Wall of Immunity” to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters. Wang also said that China would keep working to improve the accessibility of vaccines in developing countries.
  8. The police have arrested an associate of Debanjan Deb, who was earlier apprehended for allegedly being the mastermind behind unauthorised Covid-19 vaccination camps, where fake vaccine shots were administered in Kolkata, reported NDTV. The police said that nine people have been held so far in connection with the case.
  9. India said it expects that the European Union will consider those vaccinated in the country will be treated in the same manner as those inoculated by the 27-member bloc. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Indian government is in touch with countries in the European Union to recognise digital vaccine certificates issued by the CoWin platform on a reciprocal basis.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected over 18.3 crore people and killed more than 39.62 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.