According to to Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Gujarat were displaying an upward trajectory in new daily cases.
The Ministry said the Centre was regularly holding high-level review meetings with the States and Union Territories (UTs) showing a surge in new daily cases. The Health Secretary was also holding weekly review meetings as part of the Centre’s efforts to continuously engage with the States and UTs reporting higher caseload of active cases and those showing rise in new daily cases.
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:
Japan to stage Tokyo Olympics without foreign spectators due to COVID-19 concerns
Japan has decided to stage this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics without overseas spectators due to concern among the Japanese public about COVID-19, Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday, citing officials with knowledge of the matter.
Kyodo said the government had concluded that welcoming fans from abroad would not be possible given public concern about the coronavirus and the detection of more contagious variants in many countries, Kyodo cited the officials as saying.
Karnataka ‘marching towards COVID-free State’: Minister
Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Tuesday said the state is ‘marching towards a COVID free state’ with more than 10 lakh vaccinations having been done so far.
Karnataka crossed 10 lakh inoculations on Monday, March 8. “Marching towards a Covid free state. Vaccinated 73,269 beneficiaries on March 8th, highest in a single day so far,” Mr. Sudhakar tweeted.
He said Karnataka has safely vaccinated more than one lakh elderly people above 60 yrs in just eight days, since March 1.
According to the health department, 55,612 people, including 32,183 senior citizens, were inoculated on a single day on March 8.
Delhi govt allocates ₹50 cr in budget for free COVID vaccines
The Delhi government on Tuesday announced that COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to people free-of-cost at its hospitals in future phases of the inoculation drive too and a provision of ₹50 crore has been made in its annual budget for this scheme.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, while presenting a ₹69,000-crore budget, said ₹9,934 crore has been allocated to the healthcare sector.
“For people to get ‘freedom from COVID-19’, a person can go to a private hospital and pay ₹250 and get a vaccine shot. But, there are many who everyday have to think, whether they should spend money to get ration for the family or arrange vaccine. And, in the 75th year of Independence, this question should not arise in the minds of citizens. So, we have decided that vaccines at our hospitals will continue to be given for free to people,” he said.
The Minister said an outlay of Rs 50 crore has been made under the ‘Aam Aadmi Nishulk COVID Vaccine Yojana’.
“Also, learning from our COVID-19 management, ₹1,293 has been set aside for expansion of healthcare services, including opening new hospitals, renovating old ones and augmenting beds,” he said.
Can’t rule out partial lockdown in Mumbai: Guardian Minister
Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh on Tuesday said if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the city, the possibility of a night curfew or partial lockdown cannot be ruled out.
Talking to reporters in the Vidhan Bhavan complex, Shaikh saidlocal authorities have been empowered to take a decision on lockdown as and when necessary.
“If the spike in COVID-19 cases continues, there is a possibility of night clubs being closed down first in the city. We cannot rule out the possibility of a night curfew or partial lockdown,” the minister said.
Shaikh noted that people not wearing masks are being penalised in the city.
“We may have to shut places like beaches and the Gateway of Indiawhere people gather in the evenings,” he said, while appealing to people to take all precautions.
Mumbai has been showing a daily spike of over 1,000 cases for last few days.
India helping to address issue of vaccine equity: UN
Lauding India for its vaccine leadership, a top UN Women official has said the country was directly helping to address the issue of vaccine equity while rich nations were “cutting side deals” with pharmaceutical giants to buy more vaccines than they actually need.
India is called the pharmacy of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic with its vast experience and deep knowledge in medicine. The country is one of the world’s biggest drug-makers and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring coronavirus vaccines.
Praising India for its vaccine leadership, Assistant-Secretary-General & Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Anita Bhatia said India is directly helping to address the issue of vaccine equity at a time when the world deals with the crippling coronavirus pandemic and rich countries are “cutting side deals” with pharmaceutical companies to buy more vaccines than they actually need.
“India is a leader. I’m so proud of my country for this because there are so many people in need of vaccines,” Bhatia told PTI in an interview.
She said she is elated to read reports everyday of India shipping vaccines to countries around the world, from its neighbourhood to Africa.
India has provided 56 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines under grants assistance to a number of countries. The vaccines were sent to Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.
“This is India playing its rightful role in the world as a leader on something that we have invested in for decades. And now all of that investment in science, technology and vaccine development is really coming to the fore as a shining example of India’s leadership,” Ms. Bhatia said.
New Zealand opens 1st big vaccination clinic
New Zealand has opened its first large vaccination clinic as it scales up efforts to protect people from the coronavirus.
The clinic in south Auckland will initially target household members of border workers. New Zealand has stamped out community spread of the virus and considers border workers and their families the most vulnerable to catching the disease from infectious travellers.
India records 15,388 fresh cases, 77 more fatalities
With 15,388 fresh cases, India’s COVID-19 tally has climbed to 1,12,44,786, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,08,99,394, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.
The death toll due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,57,930 in the country with 77 more fatalities, the ministry’s data updated at 8 am showed.
WHO against ‘Vaccine passports’
A senior World Health Organisation official said that so-called “vaccine passports” for COVID-19 should not be used for international travel because of numerous concerns, including ethical considerations that coronavirus vaccines are not easily available globally. At a press briefing on Monday, WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan said there are “real practical and ethical considerations” for countries considering using vaccine certification as a condition for travel, adding the U.N. health agency advises against it for now.
“Vaccination is just not available enough around the world and is not available certainly on an equitable basis,” Ryan said. WHO has previously noted that it’s still unknown how long immunity lasts from the numerous licensed COVID-19 vaccines and that data are still being collected.
Ryan also noted the strategy might be unfair to people who cannot be vaccinated for certain reasons and that requiring vaccine passports.
Record vaccine coverage in India
Nearly 17 lakh COVID vaccine doses were administered till 9 p.m. on Monday making it the highest single day coverage since the beginning of the drive in January, said the Health Ministry on Monday.
“16,96,588 vaccine doses were given till 9 p.m. today, the 52 day of nationwide vaccination. While 14,30,954 beneficiaries were vaccinated for the first dose, 2,65,634 health care workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs) received the second dose as per the provisional report. Final reports would be completed for the day by late tonight,” said the release.
Kerala gets 48,960 doses of Covaxin
Kerala received 48,960 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. This time, the consignment received is Bharat Biotech’s fully indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin.
Of the stock received, 16,640 doses are for Thiruvananthapuram region, 19,200 for Ernakulam region and 13,120 for Kozhikode region. More vaccine stocks are expected to reach the State in a few days, when more vaccination sites would be opened, an official release said.
Over one lakh persons vaccination on March 8
In the highest daily coverage, over one lakh persons — a little over 40% of them aged above 60 years — were vaccinated across Tamil Nadu on Monday. A total of 1,10,251 persons were inoculated, taking the State’s total coverage so far to 9,58,327.
A total of 47,535 senior citizens, 26,787 persons aged 45 to 59 years with comorbidiites, 25,486 frontline and 10,443 healthcare workers received the vaccines. Of this, 46,338 persons aged above 60 years, 26,231 persons with comorbidities, 24,979 frontline and 9,864 healthcare workers received Covishield.
Tamil Nadu’s daily count of COVID-19 cases stayed above the 500-mark for the fourth day in a row. A total of 556 persons tested positive for the infection in the State, taking the overall tally to 8,55,677.
Minister tests COVID-positive, checks into hospital
Women and Child Welfare Minister Satyavathi Rathod has tested positive for COVID-19. After getting the results on Monday, she checked into hospital and is said to have mild symptoms.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)