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India logs 41,469 new cases – about 6% lower than Friday’s count

India logs 41,469 new cases – about 6% lower than Friday’s count

India on Saturday morning recorded 41,469 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the infection tally to 3,16,13,993 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. This is nearly 6% lower than Friday’s count of 44,230 cases, which was the highest in three weeks.

With 593 deaths, the toll climbed to 4,23,810. The number of active cases went up by 3,765 to 4,08,920. There are 3,07,81,263 patients who have recovered from the coronavirus infection.

So far, India has administered 46,15,18,479 vaccine doses, giving 52,99,036 doses on Friday alone. On Friday, the Centre directed states and Union Territories to ensure that marginalised groups are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

The Bombay High Court directed the Centre to approve a proposal by civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to again vaccinate those beneficiaries who were duped in fake and unauthorised inoculation camps.

On Saturday, the Punjab government announced the reopening of schools for all classes from August 2 in accordance with Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, reported the Hindustan Times.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted that Rs 1,827.80 crore fixed by the Centre to fight against the coronavirus pandemic has been sent to the states and Union Territories. He pointed out that this sum is 15% of the total amount of the emergency Covid-19 response package announced by the Centre.

The Centre on Saturday directed all departments to prioritise addressing Covid-19 public grievances and resolving them within three days, reported PTI.

In its order, the government also reduced the maximum limit to resolve grievances received through the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System to 45 days. The mechanism is an online system for residents to lodge their grievances on matters related to central ministries, state governments and Union Territories.

Kerala, the top contributor to India’s new Covid cases, on Friday evening registered over 20,000 new infections for the fourth straight day. The state’s test positivity rate, which is the percentage of people who test positive for the virus out of those who have been tested overall, jumped to 13.61%.

The fourth countrywide serological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research showed that Madhya Pradesh has the highest Covid-19 seroprevalence among the states at 79%, while Kerala has the lowest.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said the situation was under control. “Look at the data on occupancy in hospitals,” she told NDTV. “It is less for hospitals, for ICU beds, and even in demand for oxygen support. It means the severity of the disease is less.”

George, however, said that the state, which has one of the highest vaccination coverages at 17%, was running short of jabs. “Two days ago, our vaccine stock was zero,” she added. “The Central government then gave us nine lakh doses the day before yesterday. We will again run out of stocks tomorrow [Saturday]. There will be no vaccine for the day after tomorrow.”

Here are some other updates:

  • Air India announced that it will increase its flight frequency to the United States from the first week of August, reported NDTV. “Vis-a-vis the approximate 40 flights we used to operate to the USA before the Presidential proclamation, we could operate 11 flights per week to USA in July, 2021,” the airlines told the news channel. “The frequency is being increased to 22 from 7th August, 2021.”      
  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation extended the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till August 31. In a circular, it added that the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator.    
  • The Andhra Pradesh government extended the night curfew in the state by two weeks till August 14, The News Minute reported. The curfew will remain in place between 10 pm to 6 am. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown in the state till August 9, News18 reported.    
  • Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde said those entering Beed must undergo the rapid antigen tests at the district’s border. Beed registered 180 coronavirus cases and four deaths on Friday.    
  • West Asia and North Africa are currently in the middle of a fourth wave of Covid-19 and the rapid spread of the Delta variant in the region is a major cause for concern, the World Health Organisation has said. The Delta variant is now being reported in 15 out of the 22 countries in the region.    
  • Israel will offer a third dose of vaccine to people aged over 60 from Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. This is the world’s first country to offer a third booster shot. About 55% of Israel’s nine-million population has been fully vaccinated.
  • Globally, Covid-19 has infected 19.73 crore people and caused 42.07 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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