Coronavirus updates | September 9, 2021
The government on Thursday said 58% of India's adult population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 18% got both the shots as the total number of jabs administered in the country crossed 72 crore.
Addressing a press conference, officials said India is still going through the second wave of coronavirus infections and it is not over yet.
Editorial | The lag between jabs: On Covishield gap
They said 35 districts in the country are still reporting a weekly COVID-19 positivity rate of over 10% while in 30 districts it is between five to 10%.
Providing data about the number of COVID-19 cases reported from different parts of the country, officials said 68.59% of the total infection reported in the country last week was from Kerala.
About the vaccination drive, the government said in Sikkim, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Himachal Pradesh all people above 18 years got at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Here are the latest updates:
68% of total cases from Kerala: Health Secretary
Addressing a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Kerala accounts for almost 68% of total cases in last week.
"Overall declining trend is a little less than 50% which was there in 1st wave. We're are still witnessing secnd surge, it's not over," he said.
Balram Bhargava, Head, ICMR said, "Festival season gathering and travel should be curtailed."
He added that an 'India COVID19 vaccine tracker' will be launched soon on the Health Ministry website.
Speaking on vaccines, VK Paul, member (health) NITI aayog said, "Vaccines have shown their efficiency. They protect us against COVID deaths."
No serious Covid vaccine side effects in breastfeeding moms, infants: Study
Breastfeeding mothers vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna preventive experienced similar side effects to what have previously been reported in non-breastfeeding women, while infants exhibited no adverse events after immunisation, a study has found.
The research, published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, involved 180 breastfeeding women who received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. -PTI
Over 70.63 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to States, UTs so far: Centre
More than 70.63 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to States and UTs so far, the Union Health Ministry said on September 9.
Further, more than 96 lakh doses are in the pipeline.
The ministry said more than 5.58 crore balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the States and UTs to be administered. -PTI
Mumbai Cong urges Maharashtra govt to reopen cinema halls, auditoriums, swimming pools
Seeking reopening of cinema halls, multiplexes, auditoriums citing financial losses faced by these establishments, the Mumbai unit of the Congress has also urged the Maharashtra government to restart swimming pools so that professional swimmers can practise for tournaments.
Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap made the demand while talking to reporters on September 8.
"Swimming pools have been shut for more than 18 months now. Professional swimmers, who wish to participate in the upcoming national as well as international tournaments, need to practise. The pools should be opened but adherence to COVID-19 protocols must be ensured," he said. -PTI
Japan to extend virus emergency until end of month
Japan is to further extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and nearly 20 other areas until the end of September as the health care systems remain under severe strain though coronavirus infections have slowed slightly.
The current emergency, which was to end on September 12, was issued in Okinawa in May and gradually expanded. Despite the prolonged emergency, the largely request-based measures have become less effective as the exhausted public ignores them. -PTI
Australia State to begin easing out of lockdown
Parts of Australia's New South Wales State will come out of lockdown on September 11 and the government plans to ease restrictions in Sydney once 70% of its residents aged 16 and older are fully vaccinated.
The government on September 9 outlined plans to ease restrictions in Sydney, which has been locked down since June, but it also warned that COVID-19 hospitalizations won't plateau until next month.
Coastal areas north of Sydney, the Murrumbidgee region south of the city and the Riverina to the west will be released from the Statewide lockdown Saturday. -PTI
India records 43,263 new cases
India saw a single day rise of 43,263 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,31,39,981, while the active cases increased to 3,93,614, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on September 9.
The death toll climbed to 4,41,749 with 338 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The active cases increased to 3,93,614 comprising 1.19% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.48%, the ministry said. -PTI
New Zealand agrees COVID-19 vaccine deal with Spain
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on September 9 said her government has reached a deal with Spain to receive more than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer Inc COVID-19 vaccine.
The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on September 10 to help the country's vaccination programme, Ms. Ardern said in a news conference. -REUTERS
Ten killed in fire at COVID hospital in North Macedonia, says minister
Ten people died in a fire Wednesday at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in North Macedonia, the country’s health minister said.
The fire — the cause of which is not yet known — broke out in a Covid-19 clinic in Tetovo in the northwest of the Balkan country, health minister Venko Filipce wrote on Twitter.
“A terrible accident has happened in Tetovo. At the moment, 10 people are confirmed to have died, but that number could rise,” he wrote, expressing his “profound condolences” to the victims’ families.
No Ganesh idols at public places: HC
Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday refused to allow the installation of idols of Lord Vinayaka at public places, but said it has no objection to setting up the idols in private precincts subject to compliance with COVID regulations.
The court also observed that more than five people should not be allowed in private premises keeping in view the possibility of the disease spreading further.
Jagan alerts officials over third wave of COVID-19 pandemic
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed the officials to focus on ways to contain the possible third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and to be prepared with medicines that give better results without having side effects.
During a review meeting on the pandemic situation in the State on Wednesday, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said the officials and the people must remain alert to the lurking danger of resurgence of the pandemic which has wrecked a havoc on the economy and killed thousands. He wanted a concerted effort to complete the vaccination drive.
Ban on public celebration of Vinayaka Chaturthi upheld
The Madras High Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with a Government Order issued by Tamil Nadu on August 30 imposing a ban on installation of idols in public places to celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi this year due to the threat of COVID-19. The court rejected the contention that such a ban violated the constitutional right to practise religion.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu wrote that the right to life was paramount and that only if a person survived, he/she would be able to exercise the right to religion effectively. They pointed out that the pandemic was yet to die down completely, and therefore the State was justified in imposing restrictions on all religious celebrations in public interest.
Vaccination camps planned in city on September 12
As part of the Statewide mass COVID-19 vaccination drive planned on Sunday, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will hold inoculation camps at 1,600 places across the city.
Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi chaired a meeting on Wednesday with senior officials to discuss arrangements for the programme.
Mr. Bedi said that each of the 200 wards would have a camp at two locations for half-a-day each, covering 400 places.
BMC issues fresh curbs for Ganeshotsav
Amid fears of a third wave of the pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued fresh curbs for Ganesh Chaturthi.
The civic body has banned physical darshan for devotees at public Ganpati mandals and has appealed to citizens to celebrate the festival without ceremony.
As per the norms, restrictions have been imposed on the number of participants in processions for bringing the idols and during their immersion. Not more than 10 people will be allowed in the processions of public pandals and not more than five for household Ganpatis. All participants should have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and completed 15 days after taking the second dose, the rules said.
Govt. bans Ganesh Chaturthi events
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday said Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were prohibited in the Capital, advising citizens to observe the festival at home.
This, even as the Delhi government was scheduled to organise an event to mark the occasion on Friday with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his Cabinet colleagues and their respective family members supposed to be part of a traditional pooja on the day.
Drive-through vaccination at BBMP’s new mega centre
As part of its plan to increase vaccine coverage in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has set up the first of the three mega vaccination centres, Bruhat Lasika Kendra, at Dr. B R Ambedkar Bhavan in Yelahanka. In a press release on Wednesday, BBMP said it will function from 6 a.m. onwards daily.
On-site oxygen generation plant set up at Batra Hospital, to serve 150 beds
An on-site oxygen generation plant has been set up at Batra Hospital, a private hospital, where people had died due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 1, the hospital did not have oxygen for more than an hour and 12 people, including a senior doctor from the hospital, who was undergoing COVID-19 treatment, died because of it, as per hospital authorities.
Lab sealed in Kochi for conducting COVID-19 tests without licence
A private lab near Edappally toll junction was sealed on Wednesday morning after a surprise inspection led by District Collector Jafar Malik found that the management was conducting COVID-19 tests in violation of rules and regulations.
The move forms part of the decision by the district administration to initiate stringent action against labs carrying out COVID tests without the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “The inspections revealed that the Cochin Healthcare Diagnostic centre was conducting COVID tests without valid licence and approval from the ICMR. The PPE kits meant for people who turned up for the tests were used repeatedly for over a month,” said Mr. Malik.
Over 8 lakh people booked, Rs 135 cr fine imposed in 4 months for Covid norm violations
Delhiites coughed up more than Rs 135 crore in fines with over eight lakh violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour norms in the last four months, officials said on September 8.
The fines were imposed by Delhi government teams and police personnel, they said.
Official data showed that enforcement teams of the city government's revenue department and the Delhi Police booked over six lakh and two lakh people, respectively, in May-August for violating various Covid-related guidelines like not wearing masks, crowding and spitting in public places. -PTI
WHO chief urges halt to booster shots for rest of the year
Rich countries with large supplies of coronavirus vaccines should refrain from offering booster shots through the end of the year and make the doses available for poorer countries, the head of the World Health Organization said on September 8, doubling down on an earlier appeal for a “moratorium" on boosters that has largely been ignored.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said he was “appalled” after hearing comments September 7 from a top association of pharmaceutical manufacturers that vaccine supplies are high enough to allow for both booster shots for people in well-supplied countries and first jabs in poorer countries that face shortages. He said that's already been the case. -PTI
Ireland to give COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to over-80s
Ireland will give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to elderly people who were fully vaccinated at least six months ago, the health ministry said on September 8.
People over the age of 80 and those over 65 living in long-term residential care facilities will receive a booster dose of a vaccine such as those made by Pfizer or Moderna, irrespective of what vaccine they received initially, the ministry said in a statement. -REUTERS
Guidelines for Vinayaka idols laid
The Puducherry administration has said it has laid down norms on installation of idols of Lord Vinayaka for Ganesh Chathurthi that falls on September 10. The idols should not be placed at road junctions as they would hinder traffic and public movement, and gatherings are prohibited in view of the COVID-19 situation, said a press statement from Collector and District Magistrate (Revenue) of Puducherry Purva Gargm on September 8.
The Union Home Ministry has advised the government to take suitable measures to avoid large gatherings during the forthcoming festival season and to impose restrictions to curb large gatherings. -PTI
Viral fever cases among children rising in Bihar
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of viral fever among children are rising in Bihar and many of the patients have been hospitalised.
Cautioning against unnecessary panic, doctors associated with major State-run facilities have assured people that there is no shortage of infrastructure at present.
Symptoms of COVID-19 have not yet been seen among the children who are under treatment for viral fever, they said. -PTI
Vaccination facilities available for final year students before entering college: Kerala Health Minister
A day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the phased reopening of higher educational institutions from October 4, health minister Veena George on September 8 said that vaccination facilities would be available for final year students to get inoculated before they enter their respective colleges.
The health minister, in a press release, said that all final year students should take at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before entering college. -PTI
EU lists rare nerve disorder as possible side-effect of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Europe's medicines regulator has added an extremely rare nerve-damaging disorder, Guillain-Barré syndrome, as a possible side-effect of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, regular safety updates from the watchdog showed on September 8.
The European Medicines Agency said a causal relationship between GBS and the AstraZeneca shot, known as Vaxzevria, was a "at least a reasonable possibility" after 833 cases of GBS were reported out of 592 million doses of the vaccine given worldwide by July 31. -REUTERS
Rise in cases of anxiety, depression in Covid time: Study by hospital
A study by a leading private hospital in Delhi has found that there has been a rise in cases of anxiety and depression among people during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the lockdown period following its first wave.
The web-based cross-sectional study was conducted by the department of mental health and behavioural sciences, Max Hospital, Saket, during the first wave of the pandemic, a spokesperson of the hospital said on September 8. -PTI
U.S. Supreme Court to resume in-person oral arguments
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started when its new session begins in October, the nation's top judicial body announced on September 8.
The court building has been closed to the public since March 2020 due to the pandemic, with the justices hearing oral arguments via teleconference for the first time ever. -REUTERS
Delhi govt issues SOPs for reopening of Industrial Training Institutes
Mandatory vaccination, regular COVID-19 screening tests, no biometric attendance, hybrid courses and avoiding festivals and celebrations are among the SOPs issued by the Delhi government for reopening of Industrial Training Institutes in the national capital.
"It is required that every member of education community provides proof of vaccination since vaccines remain our safest and most effective defence against COVID-19 and its variants. It is also required that regular screening tests for all staff members of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) community who do not provide evidence of vaccination and tests for those who are symptomatic as well as asymptomatic," the SOPs said. -PTI