Coronavirus Lockdown News Highlights: AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is safe & effective, says European Agency

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Updated: March 18, 2021 11:26:49 pm

Maharashtra Lockdown Day 4 Highlights, Coronavirus Lockdown in India Highlights: Maharashtra SSC, HSC Exams 2021 dates announced. Amid fear of postponement due to Covid, Maharashtra Board has decided to go ahead with the exams. Maharashtra SSC exams will start from April 29 whereas HSC exams will commence from April 23.

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2021 Coronavirus Lockdown India Highlights: In a grim development amid the growing second wave of coronavirus, India on Thursday broke the 100-day record as it registered 35,871 cases in the last 24 hours. This is the sharpest single-day increase in the Covid-19 infections in the last 102 days, the health ministry data revealed. According to the latest updates, 172 citizens lost their lives due to the Covid-19 infection. Maharashtra leads the national corona tally with the state detecting 23,179 cases in the last 24 hours. The latest number is very close to what Maharashtra witnessed during the corona peak last year in September. At that point, single-day figures stood at 24,886 during the peak. Another point of concern is related to the Covid situation in Punjab. While the total number of cases is far less than in Maharashtra, but the trouble is regarding the fatality rate. In comparison with other states, Punjab is on No.2 when it comes to Covid deaths.

Official figures state that there has been a meteoric rise in the number of cases. The current exponential increase stands at 150 per cent! Across India, 70 districts are responsible for the surge. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are witnessing almost 10 per cent of the corona vaccines getting wasted. The other key factor is over-dependence on the antigen tests. In his virtual meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed concerns over the same and said that the state authorities must get their act together and resume the high scale of RT-PCR testing.

Maharashtra registered nearly 24,000 cases in a single day on Wednesday. Though it is not uncommon for the nations to witness several waves of the coronavirus, what is starling in the context of India is absolutely zero regard for the face mask discipline by people in general. Unless being forced by the fear of exorbitant fine, people, in general, are not seen wearing face masks. Those who do wear, either don’t wear it properly or are not regular about it.

In fact, the level of non-commitment to one’s safety is so high that the aviation regulator DGCA had told airlines to deboard those flyers who don’t wear the face masks properly. The grim reality is that a year has gone by with over 1.5 lakh individuals losing their lives. It is time to understand that coronavirus is here to stay.

Check out the newest, confirmed developments from across India and around the world on the coronavirus pandemic.

Live Blog

Highlights

    22:17 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    EU drug agency discounts any link between AstraZeneca vaccine and clots

    European Union's drug regulatory agency says experts have concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not linked to an overall increase in the risk of blood clots and that the benefits of use outweigh the risks. The finding from the European Medicines Agency could open the way for European countries that had suspended the use of the vaccine over the past week to resume dispensing the shots. (AP)

    21:55 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Movement of inter-state buses between Maharashtra and MP suspended

    In the wake of rising COVID19 cases, movement of inter-state buses between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh will temporarily be suspended from March 20 till the end of the month (March 31), says State Transport Authority, Madhya Pradesh.

    21:24 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Covid in Maharashtra: 134 private hospitals to be allowed to start vaccination drive

    Chief Minister held a meeting with all Divisional Commissioners about Vividh vaccination drive & preventive measures for rising COVID cases. CM informed that 134 private hospitals in the State to be allowed to start vaccination drive, Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office said (ANI)

    21:22 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    607 cases in Delhi in 24 hours

    Delhi has reported 607 new COVID-19, 384 recoveries, and 1 death in the last 24 hours.

    Total cases: 6,45,632Total recoveries: 6,31,759Death toll: 10,949Active cases: 2,924

    (Source: ANI)

    21:18 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Covid 19 cases and vaccination data in India today - Maharashtra 25,833; MP 917, Goa 98, Mumbai 2877

    Mumbai has reported 2,877 new COVID-19 cases, 1,193 recoveries, and eight deaths, as per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. 

    Madhya Pradesh has reported 917 new COVID19 cases, 500 recoveries, and one death today. 

    Goa reported 98 new COVID19 cases, one death and 41 recoveries in the last 24 hours. Total cases in the state rise to 56,271, including 54,597 recoveries and 813 deaths. Active cases stand at 861, the Directorate of Health Services, Goa said.

    According to Union Health ministry, a total of 3,89,20,259 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 7pm today.  Total 17,83,303 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm today, the Sixty Second day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination, Ministry of Health said. 

    20:18 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    25833 cases in Maharashtra today

    Maharashtra reported 25,833 new COVID19 cases, 12,764 discharges and 58 deaths in the last 24 hours

    Total cases: 23,96,340Total discharges: 21,75,565Active cases: 1,66,353Death toll: 53,138

    (Source: ANI)

    20:00 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: No new COVID-19 case in Nagaland

    Nagaland did not report any new COVID-19 case for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said. Nagaland's caseload stands at 12,225, of which seven are active cases, while 11,973 people have recovered from the disease, 91 people have succumbed to the infection and 154 patients have migrated to other states so far, a health bulletin said. The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state stands at 97.93 per cent, it said. Nagaland has tested over 1.34 lakh samples for COVID- 19 so far, the bulletin added. (PTI)

    19:59 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Tamil Nadu reports 989 fresh COVID-19 cases

    Tamil Nadu reports 989 fresh COVID-19 cases, 569 discharges, and 9 deaths.

    Total cases: 8,63,363 Total discharges:8,44,568 Active cases: 6,222 Death toll: 12,573

    19:45 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: At this rate, virus will win the race: Chidambaram on slow vaccination drive

    Lamenting the slow pace of vaccination in the country, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said at this rate the virus will win the race and attacked the government for having "failed" in the vaccination rollout. "The central government has failed miserably in rolling out the vaccination to Indians," he said, urging the government to allow walk-in vaccination on demand. "Is there any wonder that the number of infections is rising rapidly every day," he asked. Chidambaram said he shared pride that India exported 5.9 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines. (PTI)

    19:44 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Omar Abdullah suggests jab for all to reduce wastage

    National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has advocated giving coronavirus vaccine to all age groups to reduce its waste. The remarks after the Centre had said on Wednesday that the average wastage of the vaccine was 6.5 per cent, with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh recording 17.6 and 11.6 per cent wastage respectively. (PTI)

    19:39 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Journalists' can work without coming in contact of people, unlike lawyers: SC on vaccination priority

    The Supreme Court Thursday said journalists' work can be done without coming in contact with people unlike lawyers and asked the Centre to consider the legal fraternity's request for priority in COVID-19 vaccination saying their livelihood depends on direct interaction with their clients. The Centre opposed creating a separate class of lawyers and said that though it is not opposed to the legal fraternity members but tomorrow journalists and banking sector employees may also come forward seeking priority in vaccination. (PTI)

    19:39 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Journalists' can work without coming in contact of people, unlike lawyers: SC on vaccination priority

    The Supreme Court Thursday said journalists' work can be done without coming in contact with people unlike lawyers and asked the Centre to consider the legal fraternity's request for priority in COVID-19 vaccination saying their livelihood depends on direct interaction with their clients. The Centre opposed creating a separate class of lawyers and said that though it is not opposed to the legal fraternity members but tomorrow journalists and banking sector employees may also come forward seeking priority in vaccination. (PTI)

    19:35 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: 140 new COVID cases in J&K, 1 death

    Jammu and Kashmir recorded 140 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally to 1,28,097, while one more person succumbed to the pathogen, officials said. Out of the fresh cases, 25 were from the Jammu division and 115 from the Kashmir division, officials said. Srinagar district recorded the highest 75 cases, followed by 20 in Jammu district. (PTI)

    19:11 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Maharashtra: Over 2.7 lakh people get COVID-19 vaccine jab, highest in one day

    Over 2.7 lakh people received COVID-19 vaccine shots in Maharashtra on Wednesday, the highest in one day so far, a health department official said. The data was compiled on Thursday. As many as 2,74,037 people received the jab on Wednesday, taking the tally in the state to 36,39,989 since the drive commenced on January 16, he said. (PTI)

    19:04 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Why Centre not considering universal vaccination, asks NCP's Supriya Sule on rising COVID cases

    The NCP's Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule on Thursday sought to know from the government whether it was considering universal vaccination amid rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continued to register a surge in daily COVID-19 cases. Of the 35,871 new cases registered in a day, 79.54 per cent were from these five states. "You (Centre) have put out Rs 35,000 crore for vaccination. When we have enough vaccines available in India, why is this drive not full-fledged?," Sule posed in the Lok Sabha. (PTI)

    18:52 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Kerala sees 1,899 fresh coronavirus cases, 15 fatalities

    Kerala on Thursday registered 1,899 new COVID-19 infections and 15 related deaths, taking the gross to 10.98 lakh and the toll to 4,450. State Health Minister K K Shailaja said the state has tested 54,314 samples in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 3.5 per cent. Till now, 1.25 crore samples have been tested. Among the districts, Kozhikode reported 213 cases, the highest in the state, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 200 cases and Kollam 188. (PTI)

    18:47 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: 30 new coronavirus cases found in Dharavi, highest this year

    The slum-dominated Dharavi area of Mumbai recorded 30 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest one-day spike since September, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said on Thursday evening. The caseload in the area, known as Asia's largest slum, reached 4,328. There are 140 active cases. On September 11, 2020, Dharavi had reported 33 new cases. (PTI)

    18:26 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Andhra Pradesh reports 218 new COVID-19 cases

    The cumulative coronavirus positive cases in Andhra Pradesh increased to 8,92,740 with the addition of 218 in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday. The latest bulletin said 117 patients had recovered from the infection, taking the total to 8,83,759. The overall toll remained at 7,186 as no fresh deaths were reported in a day, it said. The state now has 1,795 active cases. (PTI)

    18:19 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: "RTPCR report must for those coming from Kerala"

    RTPCR report must for those coming from Kerala. RTPCR test increased in Karnataka-Kerala Border: CB Rishyant, Superintendent of Police, Mysore. (ANI)

    18:07 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Karna govt geared to mitigate impact of possible COVID-19 second wave: Health Minister

    The Karnataka government is prepared to tackle and mitigate the impact of a possible second wave of COVID-19 and healthcare workers and officials are set to work in a mission mode in the next 50 days, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Thursday. Chairing a meeting of senior officials and heads of key government hospitals to discuss the course of action in the wake of the uptick in fresh cases in recent days, he also emphasised on ramping up vaccine coverage and appealed to the public to follow precautions and not let the guard down. (PTI)

    17:32 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    Punjab CM warns of strict measures

    Amid rising cases of COVID-19 in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced a two-hour extension in the night curfew in the state's nine worst-affected districts. Singh said the coronavirus situation in the state is critical and warned people of stringent measures if they don't follow COVID appropriate behaviour. (PTI)

    17:08 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Relax vaccination eligibility criteria, says Kejriwal

    Appeal to Centre to relax vaccination eligibility criteria, open it for all except below 18 years: Delhi CM Kejriwal. (PTI)

    16:42 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Kejriwal requests Centre to decentralise vaccination prices

    Appeal to Centre to decentralise vaccination prices so that states can carry out immunisation on war footing: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)

    16:29 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Arvind Kejriwal has a message for Delhi

    Number of cases dropped in last few weeks, so a little leniency came into system. Today orders have been given that tracking, tracing & isolation to be implemented strictly. Surveillance to be done strictly. Wearing a mask & social distancing to be strictly ensured: Delhi CM Arvind kejriwal - ANI

    16:01 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: EU regulator reviews AstraZeneca shot and blood clot links

    The world is awaiting a decision from Europe's top medical regulator on whether its initial investigation into whether there is any evidence to show the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is linked to a small number of blood clots reported in people across the continent. The European Medicines Agency's expert committee is set to announce the results of its investigation later Thursday. Earlier this week, more than a dozen countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy suspended immunization using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of unusual blood clots in several people among the 17 million who have received at least one dose in Europe.- PTI

    15:59 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Ultrasound has potential to damage novel coronaviruses, says MIT study

    Coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, may be vulnerable to ultrasound vibrations, within the frequencies used in medical diagnostic imaging, according to a study that used computer simulations. The researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US modelled the mechanical response of the coronaviruses to vibrations across a range of ultrasound frequencies. They found that vibrations between 25 and 100 megahertz triggered the virus' shell and spikes to collapse and start to rupture within a fraction of a millisecond. - PTI

    15:56 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: FC Goa's Juan Ferrando tests positive for COVID-19

    Indian Super League team FC Goa's head coach Juan Ferrando has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating, the club said on Thursday. "The gaffer is in good health at the moment and showing no symptoms. The club will continue to monitor the situation and provide all the necessary support," the club said in a statement. It said that rest of its players and staff have tested negative. - PTI

    15:28 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Karnataka takes action on vaccine wastage

    Based on the Government of India's report, 6.6% of vaccine wastage was in Karnataka. Now, all individual institutions that are being supplied vaccines will be held accountable. They will be submitting reports on a daily basis: Dr Sudhakar K, Karnataka Health Minister - ANI

    14:22 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Tamil Nadu to start inoculating people at 'mini-clinics'

    Tamil Nadu Government to administer COVID vaccines at mini-clinics, Primary Healthcare Centres, and to set up temporary hospitals with all necessary facilities for vaccination: State Government - ANI

    14:17 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Cases with UK, South Africa and Brazil variants go up in India

    The total number of cases with UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of  the Covid virus in India as of date is 400, says Ministry of Health. - ANI

    14:12 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Night curfew to be imposed in these Punjab towns from tonight

    Night curfew will now be in place from 9pm-5am, instead of 11pm-5am, in the districts of Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala & Ropar. All these districts are reporting more than 100 cases daily, says Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. - PTI

    14:11 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Give us corona vaccine, says farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

    We demand that those who are protesting here should be given the COVID19 vaccine. I will also take the vaccine shot, says Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson, BKU, at Gazipur border - ANI

    13:59 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Supreme Court stays hearings in HCs on Covid vaccines, issues notices on pleas of manufacturers

    The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the ongoing hearing related to COVID-19 vaccines in the Delhi and Bombay High Courts. It also sought responses from the Centre and others on pleas of the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech seeking transfer of the cases from the high courts to the apex court. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took note of the pleas of the two firms that the high courts are conducting parallel proceedings on vaccine-related issues and they need to be transferred to the top court for an authoritative judgement. The bench also transferred to itself the vaccine-related case going on in the Delhi High Court. - PTI

    13:58 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Over 23 crore tests conducted for detection of coronavirus in India

    The number of tests conducted for detection of COVID-19 across the country has crossed 23 crore, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. It also said that India's cumulative positivity rate stands at 4.98 per cent as on date. India's tests per day per million population are more than 140 and the daily positivity rate is 3.37 per cent as of today, the ministry said. India is fast approaching total vaccination coverage of 4 crore. A total of 3,71,43,255 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered through 6,15,267 sessions, as per the provisional report till Thursday 7 am. - PTI

    13:45 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Britain says lumps in global vaccine supply an issue

    Britain said on Thursday that there were lumps and bumps in the global vaccine supply chain that were causing slower deliveries than expected and scolded the European Union for threatening to slap a ban on vaccine exports. British health officials cautioned the health service on Wednesday that there would be a significant reduction in vaccine supplies from March 29 though Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc said their delivery schedules had not been impacted. "We always said right from the beginning that a new manufacturing process would have its lumps and bumps and that has been the case in the past and I'm sure it will be in the future," Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky. - Reuters

    13:34 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: China reports first confirmed local coronavirus case since Feb

    China reported one confirmed local coronavirus case on Thursday, health authorities said. The case in Xi'an city in northwestern Shaanxi province is the first locally transmitted case since Feb. 14, although infections in people arriving in China from abroad have been frequently detected. The Xi'an patient works at a local hospital and is responsible for collecting samples of people in quarantine for coronavirus testing, the provincial health commission said. - PTI

    13:26 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Indonesian team pulls out of ongoing All England Championships after COVID-19 case in flight

    The Indonesian badminton team has withdrawn from the ongoing All England Championships after all players and officials were forced to isolate themselves for 10 days following a COVID-19 positive case of an unnamed passenger in their flight to London, the world governing body (BWF) said on Thursday. "... a number of players and team members from the Indonesian team have been contacted by the UK Government's National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace service and are required to self-isolate with immediate effect," the BWF said in a statement. "In accordance with UK Government requirements, the entire team will self-isolate for 10 days from the date of their inbound flight after a person travelling onboard tested positive for COVID-19." - PTI

    13:25 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: Three regional qualifiers for men's 2022 T20 WC postponed due to COVID-19, says ICC

    Three men's T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Africa and Asia -- pathway tournaments to the 2022 showpiece event in Australia -- have been postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, the game's governing body ICC said on Thursday. The Asia A Qualifier, which was due to be hosted between April 3 and 9, involving Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, will now be played in Kuwait between October 23 to 29. The decisions were taken due to new restrictions being put in place by several participating countries to suspend sporting activities to limit the spread of the new COVID-19 variants, therefore giving no opportunity for teams to sufficiently train. - PTI

    13:24 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown Live: China offers its COVID-19 vaccines to diplomats, foreign journalists

    China has opened its mass domestic COVID-19 inoculation drive for the first time to Beijing-based diplomats and foreign journalists by offering a vaccine developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical company. A notice issued to the foreign journalists here on Wednesday said they can get the Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine, developed by Sinopharm's China National Biotec Group. Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine has been granted conditional market approval by China's National Medical Products Administration. The vaccines are offered to people in the age group of 18 to 59 years. Diplomats from all the foreign missions in Beijing, including those from India, have been invited to take the Chinese vaccine. - PTI

    12:31 (IST)18 Mar 2021
    2021 Coronavirus Lockdown India Live: Situation under control in Delhi, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain

    Yesterday, 536 #COVID19 cases reported. The positivity rate in Delhi is 0.66%. Compared to other states, the situation in Delhi is under control. The testing rate is 5% more than the national average. People shouldn't be careless & wear  masks as much as possible: Delhi Health Minister - ANI

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