Coronavirus live updates | Pune reports new high in cases in the last five months
The Centre on Wednesday despatched three-member multi-disciplinary teams headed by Joint Secretary level officers in the Health Ministry. to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, following surge on daily new cases in these States.
After peaking in mid-September 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases in India has been consistently declining. However, in the past week, some States have reversed this trend. In Maharashtra and Punjab, new cases have surged. Alarmingly, cases increased in February 2021 amid reduced testing in both these States.
Here are the latest updates:
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
No new COVID-19 case in Andamans
Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not report any new COVID-19 case on Thursday, a health official said.
One more person has been cured of the disease, he said.
The archipelago’s caseload stands at 5,016, of which four are active cases, while 4,950 people have been cured of the disease and 62 patients have succumbed to the infection so far, the official said.
The administration has tested over 2.63 lakh samples for COVID-19 so far, he added.
COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and Punjab increase sharply
After peaking in mid-September 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases in India has been consistently declining. However, in the past week, some States have reversed this trend. In Maharashtra and Punjab, new cases have surged. Alarmingly, cases increased in February 2021 amid reduced testing in both these States. This is of concern because the rise in cases cannot be attributed to increased testing. Going forward, tests should be ramped up in these States to identify more positives in a shorter duration to mitigate the disease spread.
Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
Mexican authorities administered their first shots of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine on Wednesday to residents of the capital, with people lining up at a vaccination station on the city’s south side, eager to get any protection they could.
“I just want to be vaccinated; I don’t care what company made it,” said Ismael Avila , 72, of the southside borough of Xochimilco. “I want to make it out of this alive.” Avila said he was satisfied with the Russian vaccine’s reported effectiveness rate of around 92%.
Some came fearing the long lines and disorder that marked the early stages of the vaccine campaign.
T.N. steps up vigil on borders
Tamil Nadu has stepped up vigil as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in some parts of the country, including Maharashtra and Kerala. While fever surveillance is being strengthened in the border areas, Chennai, Coimbatore and Chengalpattu will be put on alert for clusters.
Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said officials had been told to set up or reinforce checkpoints along the border with Kerala (about 26), Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to check for fever among those entering Tamil Nadu.
TTD urged to lift curbs on Tirumala temple footpaths
Pilgrims seeking darshan at the Lord Venkateswara temple have urged the Tirumala Tirupati Devestahanams (TTD) to relax the restriction imposed on trekking the foot paths leading to the hill shrine. At present, only the devotees with valid tickets are allowed to trek the footpaths to the shrine either a day in advance or on the same day of their scheduled darshan.
Mamata writes to Modi on vaccines
Emphasizing it is important to roll out rapid vaccination programme for people of the State before elections Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that Government of West Bengal has decided to procure adequate number of vaccines for members of the public at large.
“We would request to kindly take up the matter appropriate authorities so that the State government is able to purchase the vaccines from designated point(s) on top priority basis because the West Bengal government wants to provide vaccination free of cost to all,” Ms. Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister.
(With inputs from our Correspondent and agencies)