Coronavirus News Updates: Centre approves Rs 5 lakh assistance for families of 67 journalists who died of COVID-19 this year-India News , Firstpost

Coronavirus News Updates: The Journalist Welfare Scheme (JWS) committee, which has been setup for this, would meet every week to expedite applications for financial assistance

Coronavirus News LATEST Updates: The Centre on Thursday approved a proposal to provide financial assistance to families of 26 more journalists who lost their lives to COVID-19 .

Maharashtra recorded 21,273 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the state’s infection tally to 56,72,180, while 425 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 92,225, the health department said.

The Centre on Thursday directed states and union territories to continue the ongoing COVID-19 guidelines till June 30 and asked them to go for intensive and local containment measures in districts with a high number of cases to check the spread of the deadly disease.

The Delhi government on Thursday declared mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, a notified disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

Any significant adverse effect is unlikely if the second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine is administered, but reaching a firm opinion on this will need more scrutiny and understanding, the Centre said on Thursday.

Delhi recorded 1,072 new COVID-19 cases and 117 more fatalities on Thursday, while the positivity rate dipped to 1.53 percent, according to a health bulletin issued.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced the extension of the lockdown in the state till June 15 to contain the spread of COVID-19 .

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was called out for misinformation over Pfizer vaccines. In a tweet, she said that “As of now, no country in the world is giving vaccines to children.”

Addressing a press briefing, joint health ministry secretary Lav Agarwal said that India is registering a decline in new cases for the past 20 days. “24 states have also registered a decline in active cases,” he added

In a statement on ‘Myth and Facts on India’s Vaccination Process’, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said vaccines approved by regulatory bodies of different countries will not be required to undergo bridging trials in India.

“The provision has now been further amended to waive off the trial requirement altogether for the well-established vaccines manufactured in other countries,” he is quoted as saying in the statement.

As soon as Pfizer indicated vaccine availability, the central government and the company started working together for the earliest possible import of the vaccine, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said on Thursday.

The Delhi High Court Thursday said that since any person can import Amphotericin B, the same may be cleared by accepting the bond from the importer without actual payment of duty till a final decision on this aspect is taken.

The court said that Amphotericin B, used for treating black fungus is required to save lives of people suffering all over the country and so the Central Government should consider complete waiver of import duties of the drug for a limited period.

The states which are most affected by black fungus are Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. The supply will be increased to 3,52,000 vials for June, said the Central government in Bombay High Court on Thursday.

ASG Anil Singh, appearing for the Central government, in the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that from 11 to 26 May, 42,690 vials of Amphotericin drug were allocated for Maharashtra. The total supply has been around 80,000 vials.

Maharashtra has taken initiative to start in-house manufacturing of Amphotericin, drug used in treatment of Mucormycosis or black fungus, in Haffkine biopharma, said AG Ashutosh Kumbhakoni in Bombay High Court on Thursday.

“Procurement of raw material was completed on Wednesday. The first batch will be available around 6 June,” said Kumbhakoni, adding, “40,000 vials of Amphotericin will be manufactured in Haffkine biopharma.”

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to take all steps to augment the supply of medicines for black fungus. It also noted that cases of infection were seen in Pune, Kohlapur and in Bombay.

There are 3,200 cases of black fungus now, said Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the state, in the high court on Thursday.

With India recording 211,298 fresh coronavirus infections, the daily positivity currently stands at 9.79 percent. It has been less than 10 percent for three consecutive days now, the health ministry said.

As many as 21,57,857 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Wednesday, taking the total number of such exams done so far in the country over 33.69 crore.

The weekly positivity rate has also declined and now stands at 10.93 percent.

India registered 2,11,298 fresh corornavirus infections in the past 24 hours, pushing the cumulative tally over 2.73 crore, according to the Union health ministry’s data updated on Thursday.

With the death of 3,847 more patients in a span of 24 hours, the overall toll in the country climbed to 3,15,235 on Thursday, the health ministry data updated at 8 am showed. This takes the national fatality rate to 1.15 percent.

According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s updated data, the tally of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai rose to 7,01,266 with the addition of 1,362 cases in the past 24 hours, while the toll jumped to 14,742 after 34 more patients succumbed to the infection.

Mumbai reported 34 new fatalities due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, the lowest single-day toll since 13 April, said the city civic body.

On 13 April, Mumbai had reported 26 fatalities. In the last 36 days, the city has added 1 lakh coronavirus cases to its tally. The financial capital had crossed the 6-lakh case mark on 21 April.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded 20.25 crore, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

It said 8,31,500 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group received the first dose of vaccine on Wednesday and cumulatively 1,38,62,428 people across 37 states and union territories have received it since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive on 1 May.

Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have administered the first dose of vaccine to more than 10 lakh beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group, the ministry said.

According to provisional data, the total number of vaccine doses administered across the country so far stands at 20,25,29,884, it said.

The beneficiaries include 98,08,901 healthcare workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 67,37,679 HCWs who have taken the second dose; 1,52,42,964 frontline workers (FLWs) who have received the first dose and 84,00,950 FLWs who have taken the second dose; and 1,38,62,428 individuals in the 18-44 age group who have taken the first dose.

Besides, 6,26,09,143 and 1,01,11,128 beneficiaries in the 45-60 age group have been administered the first and second dose respectively while 5,73,45,128 and 1,84,11,563 beneficiaries aged above 60 have taken the first and second dose.

As many as 17,19,931 vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday, the 131st day of the vaccination drive.

According to provisional data, 15,76,982 beneficiaries were administered the first dose and 1,42,949 received the second dose, the ministry said, adding that final reports for the day would be completed by late night.

The vaccination exercise, as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country against COVID-19 , continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, it said.

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