Coronavirus News Highlights: West Bengal extends COVID-19 restrictions till August 31; Kerala reports 20,452 new cases

Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases, Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Online, Coronavirus Statistics India, Covid-19 Third Wave India Today August 13 Highlights: Good News for Noida! NMRC’s Aqua Line metro to run on Saturdays too as UP govt lifts curfew

Coronavirus Cases in India Latest Update, Covid-19 Vaccine Registration Online, Covid-19 Third Wave, Schools and Colleges reopen
A small group (5-7 per cent) reported a decrease in milk supply post-vaccination, they said

Coronavirus Third Wave India Highlights, Coronavirus Statistics India Today August 13 Highlights: Coronavirus infections are slowly but steadily declining in India. The recovery rate has also been improving. The overall Covid-19 scenario is somehow under control now in India. Several states/UT have relaxed Covid-19 restrictions and allowed most of the activities, including the reopening of schools and colleges. However, any kind of laxity in adhering to Covid protocol may erase the gain the country has achieved so far in tackling Covid-19. The upcoming festive season may pose a serious challenge in maintaining appropriate Covid behaviour

The decline in Coronavirus cases in the country has been painfully slow so far, particularly in August after the surge in the last week of July. The new infection continues to hover around 40,000. At 41,195, India yesterday witnessed new Covid-19 cases above 40,000 after six days, with Kerala and Maharashtra contributing the most to the national tally. While Kerala reported over 20,000 cases for the third day in a row, Maharashtra logged over 6,000 cases for the first time in five days. Apart from these two states, several north Indian states like Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have started witnessing a rising trend in coronavirus infection.

India witnessed over 40,000 new coronavirus infections for the second day in a row; the country saw a single-day rise of 40,120 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the overall tally to 3,21,17,826, while the recovery rate increased to 97.46%, the highest recorded so far, according to the data from the Union Health Ministry on Friday. The Covid-19 death toll also climbed to 4,30,254 with 585 new fatalities. The number of active Covid-19 cases in the country has declined to 3,85,227 and now accounts for 1.20% of the total cases, the lowest since March 2020, the health ministry said.

Globally, the Delta Plus variant continues to create havoc. Countries like the US, UK, Australia, and China have reimposed restrictions as they battle the Delta Plus variant.

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23:03 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: 89 new COVID-19 cases take Punjab’s tally to 5,99,846 

89 new COVID-19 cases take Punjab’s tally to 5,99,846: Medical bulletin (PTI) 

22:41 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Covid-19 vaccine: SII chairman Cyrus Poonawalla says booster dose of Covishield desirable

The ideal gap between two doses of Covishield is two months and another dose of the vaccine should be taken after six months, the Serum Institute of India (SII) chairman Cyrus Poonawalla said here on Friday.

Asked about a report in the medical journal Lancet that antibodies against coronavirus created by Covishield, the vaccine manufactured by the SII, decrease after some time, Poonawalla told reporters that it was true that the antibodies decrease, but “memory cells” remain. | Read More

22:28 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Covid-19 Unlock: West Bengal allows business establishments to remain open till 10.30 PM

The West Bengal government on Friday allowed all shops and business establishments including bars and restaurants to remain open till usual working hours but not beyond 10.30 PM.

The relaxation will come into effect from Monday onwards. The state administration had on Thursday extended the existing COVID restrictions till August 30 but reduced night curfew timings by two hours, imposing it from 11 PM to 5 AM. | Read More

22:18 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Chhattisgarh’s COVID-19 tally reaches 10,03,614 with 77 new cases 

Chhattisgarh’s COVID-19 tally reaches 10,03,614 with 77 fresh cases: Official (PTI) 

22:09 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Cumulative Covid vaccine doses cross 53 crore in India

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 53 crore, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

On Friday, 55,91,675 vaccine doses were administered, according to the 7 pm provisional report. | Read More

21:53 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala reports 20,452 new COVID-19 cases; TPR is 14.35 per cent

Kerala reported 20,452 new positive cases and 114 COVID-19-related deaths on Friday taking the caseload to 3,62,090 and the death toll to 18,394. State health minister Veena George said the state tested 1,42,501 samples in the last 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 14.35 per cent. The state has till now tested 2,91,95,758 samples.

“Out of those found infected today, 63 reached the state from outside while 19,328 contracted the disease from their contact. The source of infection of 960 is yet to be traced. 101 health workers are also among the infected,” the minister said in a release. Among the districts, Malappuram reported the highest number of cases–3,010, followed by Kozhikode with 2,426 and Ernakulam 2,388.

Meanwhile, 16,856 persons recuperated from the disease on Friday taking the total cured in the state to 34,53,174. Currently, there are 1,80,000 persons under treatment in the state. There are 4,90,836 persons under observation out of which 28,420 are in isolation wards of various hospitals. 

There are 87 local self government bodies with a weekly infection population ratio (WIPR)  above eight per cent and the state government said there will be strict restrictions in these areas. (PTI)

21:43 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Nagaland reports 81 fresh COVID-19 cases, one more death

Nagaland’s COVID-19 tally rose to 29,036 as 81 more people tested positive for the infection on Friday, while one fresh fatality pushed the death toll to 594, a health official said. The new cases were reported from Mokukchung (24), Dimapur (19), Kohima (11), Tuensang (8), six cases each in Peren and Wokha, Zunheboto (4), and one each in Kiphire, Longleng, and Mon, the official said. 

The death of a COVID-19 patient was reported in Dimapur district during the day. As many as 26,264 people have recuperated from the infection thus far and the COVID-19 recovery rate at present is 90.45 percent. Nagaland now has 1,346 active cases, and 832 patients have migrated to other states, the official said. So far, a total of 285,068 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in the northeastern state. As of Thursday, Nagaland administered a total of 803,816 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 637,278 persons, said State Immunisation Officer Dr. Ritu Thurr.

Meanwhile, for intensively reviewing the steps being taken to manage the pandemic at the district level, the state government has assigned a senior administrative officer along with a senior officer from the Health and  Family Welfare Department to each of the districts in the state, a release issued by Department of Information and Public Relations said on Friday. Each team would interact with the officials of the District Task Force, civil society organisations, and others to carry out reviews and guide them in improving the COVID-19 management, it said. (PTI)

21:29 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Gujarat registers 23 new COVID-19 cases, zero death, 27 recoveries

Gujarat reported 23 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 8,25,141, and 27 recoveries on Friday, while no fresh death due to the infection was reported in the state, said the health department. A release by the health department said as no COVID-19 patient died during the day, the toll remained unchanged at 10,078 in the state.

The tally of recoveries rose to 8,14,885 after 27 patients were discharged from hospitals during the last 24 hours, said the release.
Gujarat’s COVID-19 recovery rate is 98.76 per cent. Following a constant drop in new infections during the last couple of months, Gujarat now has only 178 active cases, of which 7 patients are on ventilators, the department said.

According to the state government, 3.91 crore doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered to the eligible people till now, of which  5.97 lakh shots were given on Friday. No new coronavirus case was reported in the adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu in the last 24 hours, said an official  release. One patient recovered during the day, it said.

Out of 10,627 people found positive for coronavirus in the Union Territory since the outbreak, four have died, 10,619 have recovered while four patients are under treatment, said the release.

Gujarat COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 8,25,141, new cases 23, deaths 10,078, discharged 8,14,885, active cases 178, people tested so far (figures not released). (PTI)

21:16 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Madhya Pradesh’s COVID-19 caseload reaches 7,92,007 with nine new cases 

Madhya Pradesh’s COVID-19 caseload reaches 7,92,007 with nine fresh cases: Health department official (PTI)

21:04 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Rajasthan logs 24 new COVID-19 cases 

Rajasthan logs 24 new COVID-19 cases, no fresh death reported: Official report (PTI)

20:53 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Mumbai reports 285 COVID-19 cases, four deaths

Mumbai reported 285 new coronavirus infections and four fatalities on Friday, taking the tally of cases in the city to 7,38,807 and death toll to 15,979, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

The financial capital of the country witnessed a slight increase in new cases. On Thursday, it had recorded 279 new infections and seven fatalities.

Notably, on the fifth day in a row, the daily rise in infections remained below 300. 

The daily deaths due to the pandemic in the city dipped below five for the third time this month.

With 37,052 coronavirus tests conducted in the city since Thursday evening, the total of samples tested so far rose to 85,80,084, the official said.

The total of recovered patients increased to 7,17,452 with 261 persons getting discharged from hospitals.

Mumbai’s average recovery rate is 97 per cent while there are 2,946 active COVID-19 cases in the city now.

The average doubling rate — period during which the caseload doubles — has climbed to 1,853 days, while the average growth rate of COVID-19 cases between August 6 to 12 was 0.04 per cent. 

There are only two containment zones in slums and chawls whereas the number of sealed buildings is down to 30. (PTI) 

20:31 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: West Bengal extends COVID-19 restrictions till August 31

West Bengal extended its COVID-19 restrictions till August 31, 2021. (ANI) 

20:21 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Two deaths, 33 fresh virus cases in Uttar Pradesh

Two more people died from coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Friday as 33 fresh cases took the state’s infection count to 17,088,96, according to a health bulletin. So far, the infection has killed 22,782 people in the state.

The fresh deaths were reported from Allahabad and Gonda, the bulletin said. The total number of recoveries in the state have reached 16,85,625.  

The number of active cases stands at 469, the bulletin added.  So far, over 6.86 crore samples have been tested in the state. These include 2.38 lakh tested the previous day, it said. In the past 24 hours, no fresh case was reported in 54 districts, the bulletin said, adding that recovery rate in the state stands at 98.6 per cent. (PTI) 

20:07 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Karnataka Minister hints at tough measures in Bengaluru, districts after August 15

Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Friday indicated putting in place strict measures in the State capital and other districts after August 15 to control the spread of COVID-19 from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra. Announcing that a meeting under the leadership of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would be held soon to discuss the measures, the Minister in-charge of COVID-19 management here, said there is no proposal before the government to impose lockdown in the city.

“Curfew is not the only measure, imposing lockdown and other such measures will affect the people, so by giving them slow medicine (like measures) also we can control things…there is no proposal before the government to abruptly impose lockdown in Bengaluru,” Ashoka said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said the number of virus cases are coming down in Bengaluru gradually, so there may not be a big issue. “But in the districts where it (number) is increasing, we have given instructions to Deputy Commissioners there, and they are taking measures like weekend curfew, among others,” he said. Stating that there are four or five festivals that have come at a time
like Muharram, Ganesha Chaturthi and Raghavendra Aaradhane, among others, Ashoka said, “We will discuss about taking strict measures at the meeting that will be chaired by the Chief Minister.”

There would be detailed discussions on measures that need to be put in place after the Independence Day on August 15, he said, “Our aim is to control the spread of coronavirus cases from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra to Karnataka, and we should stop the third wave.” Admitting to mistakes during the second wave, he said by rectifying them, the government is taking measures to stop the
possible of the third wave by creating awareness, setting up paediatric wards, training paediatricians, among others. “The Bommai-headed government is on full alert to control COVID-19.”

Speaking about restrictions like not allowing devotees into temples, imposition of night curfew, restricting gathering of people at programmes, events and weddings, the Minister said norms and restrictions should be enforced. Our aim is to control COVID-19 in Bengaluru and in the whole of Karnataka. We will soon discuss the tough rule after August 15,” he added.   (PTI) 

19:53 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Tamil Nadu reports 1,933 fresh COVID cases, 34 deaths today  

Tamil Nadu reports 1,933 fresh COVID cases, 1,887 discharges, and 34 deaths today 

Active cases: 20,411
Total discharges: 25,30,096
Death toll: 34,462 (ANI)

19:41 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi records zero COVID-19 fatality, ninth time since onset of 2nd wave; 50 cases

No death due to COVID-19 was recorded in Delhi on Friday, the third consecutive day when the daily fatality count was nil, while 50 fresh cases were reported with a positivity rate of 0.07 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.

This is the ninth time, since the starting of the second wave of the pandemic in the national capital that zero fatality has been logged in a day.

On July 18, July 24, July 29, August 2, August 4, August 8, August 11 and August 12 no death due to COVID-19 was recorded, according to official data.

On March 2 this year, the national capital had reported zero death due to the virus. On that day, the number of single-day infections stood at 217 and the positivity rate was 0.33 per cent. The second wave swept the city during the April-May period. On Friday, 50 fresh cases with a positivity rate of 0.07 per cent, according to the latest bulletin.

On Thursday, the city had registered 49 cases and zero fatality, while the positivity rate stood at 0.07 per cent, according to the official figures. On Wednesday, the city recorded 37 cases and zero death, while the positivity rate stood at 0.06 per cent.   (PTI) 

19:30 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Bharat Biotech’s Covid nasal vaccine gets regulator’s nod for holding phase 2, 3 clinical trials

The first nasal vaccine against COVID-19, developed by Bharat Biotech, has received regulator’s nod for conducting phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, the Department of Biotechnology said on Friday.

Phase 1 clinical trial has been completed in age groups ranging from 18 to 60 years, it said.

“Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine is the first nasal vaccine that has received the regulatory approval for Phase 2/3 trials,” the DBT said.

This is the first of its kind COVID-19 jab to undergo human clinical trials in India. BBV154 is an intranasal replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus SARS-CoV-2 vectored vaccine. Bharat Biotech has in-licensed technology from Washington University in St Louis, US. (PTI) 

19:18 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi records 50 new cases

Delhi records zero COVID-19 fatality, ninth time since onset of second wave in city, 50 fresh cases: Authorities  (PTI) 

19:06 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Centre has released 35% of amount under Covid-19 ECRP-II Package to states, says Union Health Ministry

Centre has released 35% of the amount under the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness (ECRP-II) Package to the states to improve health infrastructure: Union Health Ministry (ANI)

18:52 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: First nasal vaccine against COVID-19 developed by Bharat Biotech gets regulator nod for phase 2/3 trials

First Nasal Vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech supported by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and its PSU, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) gets a nod of regulator for Phase 2/3 Trial: Ministry of Science & Technology (ANI)

18:41 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Assam Govt issues guidelines for Independence Day celebrations 

Assam Govt issues guidelines for Independence Day celebrations; allows a maximum of 1500 people at state-level celebrations to be held in open space, 500 people at district-level & 300 people at sub-division level celebrations (ANI) 

18:24 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala reports 20,452 fresh COVID cases, 114 deaths in last 24 hours

Kerala reports 20,452 fresh COVID cases, 16,856 recoveries, and 114 deaths in the last 24 hours

Active cases: 1,80,000 
Total recoveries: 34,53,174
Death toll: 18,394 (ANI)

18:24 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala reports 20,452 fresh COVID cases, 114 deaths in last 24 hours

Kerala reports 20,452 fresh COVID cases, 16,856 recoveries, and 114 deaths in the last 24 hours

Active cases: 1,80,000 
Total recoveries: 34,53,174
Death toll: 18,394 (ANI)

18:24 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala reports 20,452 fresh COVID cases, 114 deaths in last 24 hours

Kerala reports 20,452 fresh COVID cases, 16,856 recoveries, and 114 deaths in the last 24 hours

Active cases: 1,80,000 
Total recoveries: 34,53,174
Death toll: 18,394 (ANI)

18:13 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Punjab reports 30 Covid positive cases from schools; experts ask to operate school in smaller batches, shorter duration

Medical experts have come down heavily on school authorities after 30 students tested positive for Covid-19m in within a week of resuming physical classes at the campus. The experts have asked the schools to operate in a planned manner with smaller batches and holding classes in smaller batches.

According to Dr. Baldeep Singh, MD in pediatric and with Deep hospital asked schools to be cautious about holding classes before the vaccination of children is completed. Covid-19 vaccinations for the children are expected to start by the next month. | Read More

18:02 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: 45 out of 3200 undertrials released on interim bail during second wave re-arrested

The Delhi government Friday told the Delhi High Court that out of 3200 undertrials who were out of jail due to extension of their interim bail orders on account of the second wave of COVID-19, 45 have been re-arrested for different crimes, which is “not a significant number.”

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi, Rekha Palli and Talwant Singh, which was hearing a suo motu case on extension of interim court orders, was informed by Delhi government counsel Santosh Kumar Tripthai that the authorities have been “quantifying the data of arrested prisoners”

“3200 undertrial prisoners (UTPs) were released this year i.e the second wave of COVID-19. Out of these 45 were arrested for different crimes. It is not a significant number,” he said. 

Last month, the court had taken note of rising crime rate in the national capital and asked the Delhi government to file a status report on the impact of its orders extending interim bails granted to undertrials and convicts to decongest jails to contain the spread of COVID-19.  (PTI)

17:51 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Indore samples reveal presence of Delta variant of COVID-19

The genome sequencing of samples of two COVID-19 patients who have since recovered has revealed that they were infected with the Delta variant of the virus, a senior official from Indore in Madhya Pradesh said on Friday. The samples were sent in July and a report from the Delhi-based National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) had arrived now, said Dr Amit Malakar, nodal officer for prevention of COVID-19 here, adding that both had recovered since. He said some Delta variant cases had been found in Indore earlier, but no Delta Plus variant case has been detected in the district so far. Indore, with a population of approximately 35 lakh, is MP’s worst coronavirus-hit district with a caseload of 1.53 lakh, including 1,391 deaths. – PTI

17:10 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Strict curbs in Karnataka after Aug 15, says minister

Karnataka Chief Minister to hold a meeting with experts on Saturday in Bengaluru regarding third wave COVID19. Likely to impose more strict rules after August 15: State Revenue Minister, R Ashok – ANI

16:54 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Noida Metro to run on Saturdays too as UP govt lifts curfew

The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) has decided to resume services of its Aqua Line between Noida and Greater Noida on Saturdays, officials said on Friday. The decision has been taken in view of the Uttar Pradesh government lifting the curfew on Saturdays, NMRC Managing Director Ritu Maheshwari said. Earlier, the government had imposed curfews due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturdays and Sunday, with the metro rail service between Noida and Greater Noida also remaining suspended for the weekend. “The weekend curfew has been lifted by Uttar Pradesh government on Saturdays. Accordingly, the NMRC has decided to resume the metro rail service on Saturdays,” Maheshwari said. “This change will be effective from August 14 onwards. The train operation will not be there on Sundays because the state government has not lifted the curfew on Sunday,” she added. The trains run at an interval of 10 minutes during peak hours (8 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 8 pm) and 15 minutes during non-peak hours from Monday to Friday, the NMRC said. Metro train services on Saturdays will be available at an interval of 15 minutes throughout the day, it said. – PTI

16:52 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: 27 people aboard Carnival cruise test positive for COVID-19

Twenty-seven people aboard a Carnival cruise tested positive for COVID-19 just before the ship made a stop in Belize City this week, according to the Belize Tourism Board. The positive cases were among 26 crew members and one passenger on the Carnival Vista, which is carrying over 1,400 crew and nearly 3,000 passengers, the board said in a statement. The ship arrived Wednesday in Belize City. All 27 were vaccinated, had mild or no symptoms, and were in isolation, according to the statement. The tourism board said 99.98% of the ship’s crew was vaccinated, as well as 96.5% of its passengers. The Washington Post reported Carnival said it announced last week that there were positive cases on board, but the cruise line did not not give specific numbers. The ship left from Galveston, Texas, according to the Post. – AP

16:19 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading fast in Sri Lanka

The highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly across Sri Lanka and comprise around 75 per cent of the new cases reported in the Western province, experts said, warning that the island nation was facing its most decisive fortnight in its fight against the pandemic. There has been a rise in the number of deaths and new COVID-19 infections driven in large part by the highly infectious Delta variant. Dr Chandima Jeewandara of the University of Sri Jayewardenapura said by early this month, 75 per cent of the new infections detected in the Western province were carrying the Delta variant and the island is bracing to face its most decisive fortnight. – PTI

16:12 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker:150 new cases push Sikkim’s COVID-19 tally to 28,425

Sikkim’s COVID-19 tally rose to 28,425 on Friday as 150 more people tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said. South Sikkim registered the highest number of new cases at 81, followed by West Sikkim (36) and East Sikkim (33), it said. The Himalayan state now has 2,345 active cases, while 25,441 people have recovered from the disease, 360 patients have succumbed to the infection and 279 have migrated to other states so far, the bulletin said. The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state stands at 90.4 per cent, it said. Sikkim has thus far tested over 2.16 lakh samples for COVID-19, including 1,379 in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said, adding that the positivity rate stands at 10.8 per cent. – PTI

16:00 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Odisha reports 1,193 new COVID-19 cases, 60 more deaths

Odisha on Friday registered 1,193 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 9,92,375, while 60 fresh fatalities pushed the toll to 6,757, a health department official said. Of the 1,193 new cases, 695 were from quarantine centres and the rest detected during contact tracing. Khurda district, of which state capital Bhubaneswar is a part, reported as many as 425 new cases, followed by Cuttack at 161. Kalahandi and Subarnapur districts did not report any new case, the official said. Bargarh recorded the maximum number of fatalities at 13, Cuttack at 11 and Bolangir at six. Five fatalities each were registered in Angul, Jagatsinghpur and Sambalpur, four in Deogarh and three each for Dhenkanal and Jajpur. According to the health department, the list of fatalities does not reflect deaths that have occurred on a particular day. It gives details of past deaths for which the audit process has been duly completed and the cause identified as COVID-19 . – PTI

15:53 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Pfizer, Moderna seen reaping billions from COVID-19 vaccine booster market

Drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc are expected to reap billions of dollars from COVID-19 booster shots in a market that could rival the $6 billion in annual sales for flu vaccines for years to come, analysts and healthcare investors say.For several months, the companies have said they expect that fully inoculated people will need an extra dose of their vaccines to maintain protection over time and to fend off new coronavirus variants.Now a growing list of governments, including Chile, Germany and Israel, have decided to offer booster doses to older citizens or people with weak immune systems in the face of the fast-spreading Delta variant. The UK and United States, among many others, are expected to follow suit.Pfizer, along with its German partner BioNTech , and Moderna have together locked up over $60 billion in sales of the shots just in 2021 and 2022. The agreements include supply of the initial two doses of their vaccines as well as billions of dollars in potential boosters for wealthy nations.Going forward, analysts have forecast revenue of over $6.6 billion for the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and $7.6 billion for Moderna in 2023, mostly from booster sales. – Reuters

15:44 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: China reports smallest number of new local COVID cases since July

China on Friday reported declining numbers of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day, a tentative sign that the latest month-long outbreak may be waning.The National Health Commission (NHC) reported 47 new locally transmitted confirmed cases on Thursday, the lowest since July 30.Many local cases in the current outbreak, the most widespread since the initial epidemic in the spring of 2020, have been traced back to a handful of infections uncovered in the city of Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu province in late July.Officials have said the Nanjing outbreak, triggered by the highly transmissible Delta variant, most likely started with the exposure of an airport cleaning crew to a passenger jet that arrived from Russia on July 10.A few Chinese cities reported local Delta cases that were traced to other countries. – Reuters

15:23 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Russia reports record-high COVID-19 deaths

Russia reported a record high 815 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours on Friday, but Moscow’s mayor said hospitalisations from the disease in the capital had halved over the past six weeks.Russia’s daily reported COVID-19 infections have gradually dipped from a peak in July that authorities blamed on the infectious Delta variant and a slow vaccination rate. They stood at 22,277 on Friday, including 2,529 in Moscow.Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said daily hospitalisations had halved in the city compared with late June and hospital bed occupancy was at its lowest since April.As a result, he said in his blog, the city would no longer require 30% of staff at all businesses to work from home, although that was still encouraged.The total number of cases recorded in Russia stood at 6,557,068 as of Friday, with 168,864 deaths recorded within a population of more than 144 million. – Reuters

15:18 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Thailand projects doubling of daily coronavirus infections next month

Thailand could see coronavirus cases double to 45,000 per day by early next month, even with current lockdown measures in place, its COVID-19 taskforce said on Friday, as authorities urged people to stay home to reduce infection risks.Thailand has been struggling with its worst outbreak so far, with a daily average of 20,000 new infections and 180 deaths in the past week, compared to 70 new cases and single-digit daily fatalities less than five months ago.Current travel restrictions and containment measures in place over the past month have yet to make an impact, the taskforce said.A record 23,418 new cases were announced on Friday, taking overall cases to 863,189, with 7,126 deaths.”The lockdown has been 20% effective but the infections continue to rise, projected to reach about 45,000 cases per day by the start of or mid September,” spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin told a news conference. – Reuters

15:08 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: NCW asks states to take measures to bridge gender gap in COVID-19 vaccination

Raising concerns over gender gap in COVID-19 vaccine administration, the NCW has written to all states and UTs to take measures to ensure that women are not left behind in the vaccination drive. In a letter to all chief secretaries, the National Commission for Women (NCW) referred to a media report that highlighted the low uptake of anti-Covid jabs among women. “The gap in immunisation coverage between the two genders is a matter of great concern for the Commission and, therefore, Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to chief secretaries of all States/UTs to take measures to close the gender gap in vaccination and to ensure that women are not left behind in the vaccination drive,” the NCW said. – PTI

15:02 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: New update on Sputnik V

Russian Direct Investment Fund & Wockhardt Limited, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in India, have partnered to produce and supply Sputnik V & Sputnik Light vaccines against COVID-19: Wockhardt Limited – ANI

14:55 (IST)13 Aug 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: WHO expert ‘had concerns’ about lab close to 1st COVID cases

When a World Health Organization-led team travelled to China earlier this year to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, a top official said he was worried about safety standards at a laboratory close to the seafood market where the first human cases were detected, according to a documentary released Thursday by Danish television channel TV2. The Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention was handling coronaviruses ‘without potentially having the same level of expertise or safety or who knows,’ Peter Ben Embarek said during a conference call in January, according to footage shown by TV2. Ben Embarek is a WHO expert on disease transmission from animals to humans and one of the team’s leaders. But months later, when WHO released its dense report on its mission to Wuhan, the U.N. health agency concluded that a leak of the virus from the lab was ‘extremely unlikely’ to have caused COVID-19. The WHO report even lent credence to a fringe theory promoted by the Chinese government that the virus may have been spread via frozen seafood packaging. – PTI

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