India

Coronavirus updates | No data on private vaccine procurement: Health Ministry

India recorded 14,313 fresh coronavirus cases, the lowest in 224 days, taking the infection tally to 3,39,85,920 on Tuesday, while the national Covid recovery rate increased to 98.04%, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data.

The death toll reached 4,50,963 with 181 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 18 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 107 consecutive days now.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

New Delhi

Covaxin closer to get EUA for 2-18 year olds

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has submitted its recommendation to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for 2-18 year olds.

According to a senior Central Government official, the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had completed Phase-2 and Phase-3 trials of Covaxin on children below 18 in September and submitted the trial data to the DCGI.

The trial was done on three age groups – 2-6, 6-12 and 12 -18.

Experts noted that two doses of c could be administered to children within a gap of 28 days. For adults, the government has set a 4-6 weeks between the two shots. – Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Japan

Japan working on kickstarting COVID-19 booster shots by year-end

The Japanese government is working on kickstarting COVID-19 booster shots by year-end, deputy chief cabinet secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said at a news conference on Tuesday.

He added that details such as who would get booster shots first and how they would be administered are currently under discussion.

New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told parliament earlier on Tuesday that he plans to have the booster shots publicly funded. – Reuters

New Zealand

New Zealand seeks to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations amid persistent cases

New Zealand expects to administer a record 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day during a mass immunisation drive on October 16, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as she seeks to accelerate inoculations before easing curbs in Auckland.

Ms. Ardern on Tuesday urged the country’s population over 12 years of age “to roll up sleeves for New Zealand and help make us [one of] the most vaccinated and therefore protected countries in the world”. Some 2.44 million, or 58% of the population over 12, have been fully vaccinated so far. – Reuters

National

India logs 14,313 fresh Covid cases, 181 new deaths

India recorded 14,313 fresh coronavirus cases, the lowest in 224 days, taking the infection tally to 3,39,85,920 on Tuesday, while the national Covid recovery rate increased to 98.04%, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data.

The death toll reached 4,50,963 with 181 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 18 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 107 consecutive days now. – PTI

 

Moderna has no plans to share its COVID-19 vaccine recipe

Moderna has no plans to share the recipe for its COVID-19 vaccine because executives have concluded that scaling up the company’s own production is the best way to increase the global supply, the company’s chairman said Monday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Noubar Afeyan also reiterated a pledge Moderna made a year ago not to enforce patent infringement on anyone else making a coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic. – AP

Texas

Texas Governor bars all vaccine mandates in State

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday barring all COVID vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private businesses.

Abbott’s move sets him up for a clash with U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who last month called on employers to require their workers to be vaccinated. Abbott is a Republican. – Reuters

 

Information Commissions grapple with vacancies, 2.55 lakh case backlog

A complaint filed under the Right to Information Act (RTI) in Odisha this summer would not be disposed of by the State’s Information Commission until 2028 at the current rate of operations. Twelve State Information Commissions plus the Central Information Commission would need at least a year to dispose of their appeals, and the nationwide backlog has crossed 2.55 lakh cases, according to an analysis by the Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS).

Sixteen years after the RTI Act came into force on October 12, 2005, it is a tool for citizens to demand accountability in governance, with an estimated 40 lakh to 60 lakh RTI requests being filed every year. When a request for information is denied by a government body, however, appeals are filed in the Central and State Information Commissions which act as transparency watchdogs under the law.

 

 

National

No data on private vaccine procurement: Health Ministry

The Health Ministry says it does not know how many COVID-19 vaccines were procured by private players, nor does it have separate data on how many vaccine doses were administered by private hospitals and service providers, according to its response to a Right to Information request filed by Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd).

Despite the fact that the government had reserved 25% of vaccine allocation for the private sector, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan recently said only 6% of doses administered since May were in private hospitals. To date, India has administered 65.8 crore doses.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier targeted industry groups for not doing enough on the vaccine drive. The Centre has capped inoculation charges by private players at ₹250.

 

Telangana

25 lakh skip second dose of COVID vaccine in Telangana

Around 25 lakh people in the State who were due for second dose of COVID-19 vaccination have skipped it despite completing the prescribed time interval between two doses. Of them, 15 lakh took the first dose of Covishield and the remaining took Covaxin.

Disclosing these figures, Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao has urged the eligible beneficiaries to take the second jab.

A majority of the people who skipped the second dose belong to urban districts — 5 lakh from Hyderabad,and 3 lakh each from Rangareddy and Medchal-Malkajgiri districts. The remaining districts saw 50,000 to 80,000 people not opting for the second dose.

 

 

‘COVID will become endemic if no spike in cases for 3 months

There is no threat of a COVID-19 third wave considering the current situation, said Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao, adding that the low number of susceptible population, intensification of vaccination drive and weakening of Delta variant of coronavirus were considered to assess the current situation.

He, however, has urged people to get tested for the disease upon spotting symptoms instead of brushing it off as regular fever which could later lead to a severe infection and, possibly, death. He cited the example of a 17-year-old girl from Hyderabad who died in the third week of September after being diagnosed with an advanced stage of COVID-19.

 

Telangana

Air passenger traffic touched 62% of pre-COVID levels in September

GMR Hyderabad International Airport saw an increase in the number of flights across domestic sectors with 9,000 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) recorded and the passenger traffic too has surged in September to 9.35 lakhs domestic passengers as compared to 6.8 lakh domestic passengers in July.

This is 62% of the pre-COVID levels, an official spokesperson said on Monday.

In fact, the domestic passenger ‘recovery’ has been the highest amongst all metro airports during July’21 and August ‘21. There has been a gradual increase in international travellers which was 1.2 lakh or 41% of the pre-COVID level. Overall, the total passenger traffic footfall (domestic & international) reached 59% of the pre-COVID levels last month.

 


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