Coronavirus Vaccine Registration, Coronavirus Omicron Variant Cases in India February 21 Highlights: India on Monday morning reported 16,051 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total tally in the country up to 42.84 million, as per the official data updated by the Union health Health Ministry. The total cases of Covid-19 fatalities was reported to be 206 in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 512,109. The daily Covid cases have remained below one lakh for 15 consecutive days. The active cases comprise 0.47 per cent of the total infections, while the national recovery rate has improved to 98.33 per cent, the Ministry said.
As coronavirus cases show a consistent decline in recent days, India is getting back to normalcy. With offices, schools reopening and local authorities lifting Covid restrictions across, the country may finally have entered the Covid green zone. On Sunday, India registered less than 20,000 daily new cases. This was the lowest figure of new daily infections since December 31st, 2021.
Apart from the cases, what’s working for that nation right now is the steady pace of the Covid vaccination. Official data suggests that as of now, 80 per cent of the eligible adult population has received both doses of Covid vaccine.
On global level, the UK is also witnessing an ebb in new Covid infections. British prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all kinds of Covid curbs will come to an end next week. The new ‘living with Covid’ policy also means lesser testing and no need of self-isolation. Health experts, however, say that dropping the guard may inevitably result in a new variant. In Hong Kong, situation remains grim.
Here are the latest, verified updates on coronavirus pandemic from India and around the globe:
Coronavirus India Live News: New Omicron Variant Symptoms and Cases in India, Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Latest Update, Covid-19 India Latest News Live, Omicron New Variant News Today, New Corona vaccines news
Maharashtra reported less than 1,000 fresh coronavirus cases at 806 on Monday, a drop from 1,437 registered a day ago, and four more deaths linked to the infection, while 2,696 patients were discharged following recovery, the state health department said. Also, 53 new infections of the Omicron varaint were reported in the state. With this, the overall tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 78,59,237, while the death toll jumped to 1,43,586, the department said in a bulletin. Generally, the state registers a drop in new COVID-19 cases on Mondays as compared to other days due to less number of COVID-19 tests conducted over the weekends. (PTI)
Britain reported 38,409 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and 15 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed. The figures compared to 25,696 cases and 74 deaths reported on Sunday. (PTI)
Jordan's Prime Minister Bishr al-Khasawneh tested positive for the coronavirus Monday with no visible symptoms, a government spokesman said. Al-Khasawneh's diagnosis came while he was in Cairo, heading his country's delegation in cooperation talks with Egyptian officials. He arrived in the North African country Thursday. Faisal Shboul, Jordan's government spokesman, said al-Khasawneh's meeting with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on Monday was cancelled, and that the prime minister will be isolated upon his return to Amman. (PTI)
Chhattisgarh on Monday reported 264 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally of infections to 11,49,666, while one death in the last 24 hours increased the toll to 14,022, an official said. The state's positivity rate, or cases detected per 100 tests, stood at 0.91 per cent as of Monday, he said. The number of recoveries in Chhattisgarh reached 11,32,757 after 105 people were discharged from hospitals and 675 completed home isolation during the day, leaving the state with an active tally of 2,887, he said. (PTI)
Assam reports 28 fresh COVID19 cases, 55 recoveries, and 2 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Active cases 486 (ANI)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was at her desk in Windsor Castle on Monday to carry on with “light duties” after testing positive for COVID-19. Buckingham Palace confirmed on Sunday that the 95-year-old monarch was experiencing mild cold-like symptoms, triggering an outpouring of best wishes from around the world, including from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I wish Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth a speedy recovery and pray for her good health,” Modi said on Twitter. He was referencing a message by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said: “I'm sure I speak for everyone in wishing Her Majesty The Queen a swift recovery from COVID and a rapid return to vibrant good health.” (PTI)
Regular international flights are likely to resume from March 15 and will follow the standard operating procedures effective at Indian airports for foreign arrivals and departure, government sources said on Monday. Given the consistent decline in Covid cases, a decision on resuming scheduled international flights has almost been arrived at by the Civil Aviation Ministry following consultation with the Health Ministry, they said. However, no official announcement has been made by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation so far. “Regular International flights is likely to resume from March 15. The Guidelines for International Arrivals, which came into effect from February 14, will be followed at airports for the passengers of these flights,” an official source said. The ban on scheduled international passenger flights in India is in effect till February 28. Such flights have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. (PTI)
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 175.78 crore on Monday, the Union health ministry said. More than 32 lakh (32,03,706) vaccine doses have been administered till 7 pm. More than 1.91 crore (1,91,45,905) precaution doses have been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities so far, it said. The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late night. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2. (PTI)
Covid-19: Tamil Nadu reports 788 fresh cases, 2,692 recoveries, and 1 death, today.
Active cases: 14,033 (ANI)
The COVID-19 tally in Madhya Pradesh reached 10,35,287 on Monday after the detection of 847 new cases, while the deaths of two patients in the last 24 hours took the toll to 10,717, a health department official said. The positivity rate dipped to 1.2 per cent from 1.3 per cent on Sunday, he pointed out. The recovery count stood at 10,17,673 after 1,475 people were discharged during the day, leaving the state with 6,897 active cases, he said. (PTI)
Gujarat recorded 347 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, raising its overall tally to 12,20,909, and six more deaths linked to the infection, while 887 patients were discharged following recovery, the state health department said. With six more deaths in the last 24 hours, the number of coronavirus fatalities rose to 10,902, it said. At the same time, 887 new recoveries pushed up the number of such cases to 12,05,543, said the department in a release. The number of active cases in the state fell further to 4,464, out of which 40 patients are on ventilator support. (PTI)
Six more Covid-related fatalities were reported in Haryana on Monday that pushed the death toll to 10,531, while 480 new cases took the infection count to 9,78,884, according to a Health Department bulletin. Of the new cases, Gurugram district reported 181 while 36 were from Faridabad, it said. Of the new fatalities, two each were reported from Gurugram, Panipat and Kurukshetra districts, according per the bulletin. (PTI)
Britain on Monday said it would offer further COVID-19 booster shots to the elderly, care home residents and immunosuppressed people as part of a plan to learn to live with the disease without legal restrictions. Britain's health minister Sajid Javid said he would accept the recommendation of the country's vaccine advisers, and said that all four nations of the United Kingdom would offer the extra shots. “We know immunity to COVID-19 begins to wane over time. That's why we're offering a spring booster to those people at higher risk of serious COVID-19 to make sure they maintain a high level of protection,” Javid said in a statement. (Reuters)
Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous body under the Department of Biotechnology, and Panacea Biotec are developing a vaccine that would offer “broad protection” against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other betacoronaviruses, with financial support from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). “CEPI will provide funding of up to USD 12.5 million to support the development of multi-epitope, nanoparticle-based vaccine candidates and advance the manufacturing process,” a CEPI statement said. It added that through this research programme, THSTI and Panacea Biotec will design and select the lead antigen through proof-of-concept preclinical studies, and undertake initial clinical development through Phase I/II studies as they seek to establish clinical proof of concept for novel vaccine candidates to provide broad protection against MERS, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. “We are honoured to collaborate with CEPI and THSTI for development of a betacoronavirus vaccine that can provide broad protection against SARS-COV-2 and other coronaviruses,” Rajesh Jain, Managing Director of Panacea Biotec, said. (PTI)
Jammu and Kashmir on Monday recorded 104 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people to 4,52,410, while one death due to the virus was reported in the past 24 hours, officials said. Out of the fresh cases, 85 were from the Jammu division and 19 from the Kashmir division of the Union territory, they said. The officials said Doda district recorded the highest of 29 cases followed by 24 cases in Kishtwar. There are 1,692 active cases in the Union territory, while the number of recovered patients IS 4,45,971, they said. (PTI)
COVID19 | Karnataka reports 679 new cases and 21 deaths today; Active cases tally at 11,360 (ANI)
COVID19 | Himachal Pradesh reports 144 new cases, 432 recoveries, and 1 death in the last 24 hours; active cases stand at 1,630 (ANI)
Mumbai on Monday reported 96 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day rise after April 17, 2020, and one fatality due to coronavirus infection, the city civic body said. With the addition of fresh cases, the tally of infections in Mumbai rose to 10,55,657 and the COVID-19 death toll to 16,476, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) bulletin said. Generally, the city reports fewer cases on Mondays due to less number of tests conducted on Sundays. A total of 16,476 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the count of samples tested so far in Mumbai to 1,60,45,437. On Sunday, the city had logged 167 coronavirus cases and zero fatalities. Around 82 per cent or 79 of fresh 96 patients are asymptomatic, it said. (PTI)
With daily cases declining and third wave on the wane, coronavirus-related restrictions are likely to be eased further in Maharashtra in March, but mask mandate and social distancing norms will continue to remain in place, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday. Talking to reporters in adjoining Jalna district, he cited a letter from the Union government asking states to review, amend or do away with additional COVID-19 restrictions after considering the trend of new cases and positivity rate in their regions. Tope said the state task force on COVID-19 also favours easing of curbs, but a final decision on the issue will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. “I expect further relaxation in restrictions next month. The Chief Minister will take a decision on this,” he said. Tope said, 'In the letter, the central government has clearly mentioned that every state should bring down the number of restrictions and focus on ensuring COVID-19-appropriate behaviour among people along with vaccination.” “Use of face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing should continue in a big country like ours…we cannot stop such measures immediately in the pandemic,” the minister said. (PTI)
Continuing with the downward trend in daily coronavirus cases, Kerala on Monday recorded 4,069 fresh infections which raised the total caseload to 64,73,059 in the state. On Sunday, 5,427 people contracted the virus in the southern state. Kerala, on Monday, also reported 128 deaths which raised the total fatalities to 64,273, according to a government release. Of the deaths, 11 were reported in the last 24 hours, 76 were those which occurred in the last few days but were not recorded due to late receipt of documents and 41 were designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court, the release said. (PTI)
Goa on Monday reported 49 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally of infections to 2,44,762, a health department official said. The COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 3,789 as no fresh fatality due to coronavirus infection was reported. With 40 patients being discharged from hospitals after treatment on Monday, the total number of recoveries in Goa mounted to 2,40,391, the official said. (PTI)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson postponed a cabinet meeting on Monday to have a security briefing and to finalise plans for the removal of all of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions, his spokesman said. The spokesman declined to comment on reports the meeting had been delayed because there were still some issues to be resolved between the Department of Health and the finance ministry. “It was postponed until this afternoon so that the prime minister could have both a security briefing and to have further meetings to finalise the plan on living with COVID,” the spokesman said. (Reuters)
Maharashtra government is easing out restrictions in Maharashtra further with the flattening of the Omicron-driven Covid curve. The mandatory wearing mask outside home will stay until WHO announces Covid as an ‘endemic’ disease. The Centre asked the states to review additional restrictions as the positivity rate declined significantly in most Indian states after which the public health department held a high-level meeting on easing the restrictions. Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary, Maharashtra said that most restrictions in districts outside Mumbai and Pune have been relaxed, reported the Indian Express. A few restrictions like 50 per cent cap in theaters and swimming pools stay still. A member of the task force being hopeful that a more deadly variant is unlikely to emerge anytime soon, informed relaxations will be done this week in phases. READ FULL STORY
Scientists warned the British government on Monday not to weaken the country's ability to monitor and track the coronavirus after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ends the requirement for people in England to self-isolate if they contract COVID-19. Johnson will announce details in Parliament on Monday of the government's plan for 'living with COVID' by treating it like other transmissible illnesses such as flu. The legal requirement to self-isolate for at least five days after a positive coronavirus test is expected to be replaced by guidance, and mass testing for the virus will be scaled back. The new plan foresees vaccines and treatments keeping the virus in check as it becomes endemic in the country. Johnson urged people not to “throw caution to the winds,” but said it was time to move “away from banning certain courses of action, compelling certain courses of action, in favour of encouraging personal responsibility.” Some scientists said it was a risky move that could bring a surge in infections and weaken the country's defenses against more virulent future strains. (AP)
Serum Institute of India has sought emergency use authorisation from India's drug regulator for its COVID-19 vaccine Covovax for the 12 to 17 year age group, official sources said on Monday. The government has not yet decided on vaccinating those aged below 15. The Health Ministry had recently said the additional need for vaccination and inclusion of population for inoculation is examined constantly. In the application for emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the 12-17 year age group, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, is learnt to have stated that data from two studies on about 2,707 individuals aged 12 to 17 years show Covovax is highly efficacious, immunogenic, safe and well-tolerated in this age group. (PTI)
Severe COVID-19 compromises the gut health, according to a study of intestinal samples collected from people who have died of the viral disease. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, looked at samples of gastrointestinal tract from patients who died after being diagnosed with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. Lymphoid tissue in the gut normally maintains healthy intestinal microbial populations which are essential for good health. Researchers from King's College London in the UK observed that the system that would normally regulate the composition of the microbial communities — otherwise known as Peyer's Patches — were severely disrupted in severe COVID-19. This was irrespective of whether there was evidence of virus present in the gut or not, they said. The researchers noted that while severe COVID-19 can lead to breathing problems and high fever, some patients can experience diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, which suggests involvement of the gastrointestinal tract. (PTI)
Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 12,82,869 on Monday as 388 more people tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said. Fifteen fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 9,026, it said. The daily positivity rate was 0.72 per cent as 53,690 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. A total of 86 children were among the new patients. The state had logged 492 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths on Sunday. (PTI)
Hong Kong will expand its vaccine bubble to include shopping malls and supermarkets, authorities confirmed on Monday, but added there would be exemptions and random inspections in some places, as they battle a new record surge in COVID-19 cases. The outbreak has overwhelmed healthcare facilities in the global financial hub, with a new daily high of 7,533 infections and 13 deaths, among them an 11-month-old child, building pressure on the government. (Reuters)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared a “moment of pride” on Monday as he updated the UK Cabinet on his “living with COVID” plan, which would mark the end of all legal restrictions associated with the pandemic. Johnson admitted that while the pandemic is not over, vaccines have made it possible for the country to start moving towards “normality”. He is expected to update Parliament on the details of the next steps related to current mandatory self-isolation norms following a positive COVID-19 test and mass coronavirus testing before addressing one of his final COVID-19 news conferences from Downing Street to inform the public of the changes. (PTI)
The Delhi High Court Monday asked the Delhi Police to file a status report on a plea seeking to reopen a spa and wellness clinic, which is being prohibited to carry out the business despite DDMA's order permitting such centres to reopen with certain conditions and restrictions. Justice V Kameswar Rao said the Delhi Police shall file the status report within two days and listed the matter for further hearing on February 28. Delhi Police counsel Satyakam submitted that the spa centres where alleged sexual activities were going on will remain closed and those which are running as per the Commercial Health Trade Licence can go on. (PTI)
Ladakh reported 34 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the overall caseload in the Union Territory to 27,835 while the active cases gone down to 341, officials said on Monday. Since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, the Union Territory has recorded 228 Covid-related deaths — 168 in Leh and 60 in Kargil, they said. There was no death reported from Ladakh on Sunday, they said. (PTI)
South Africa's health department said on Monday that it was changing COVID-19 vaccination rules to try to increase uptake, as inoculations have slowed and the country has ample vaccine stocks. The government is shortening the interval between the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine from 42 to 21 days and will allow people who have received two doses of Pfizer to get a booster dose three months after their second shot as opposed to six months previously. It will also offer the option of “mixing and matching” booster jabs, with adults who were given one dose of Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) vaccine being offered either a J&J or Pfizer booster two months after their J&J shot. Adults who received two doses of Pfizer will be allowed J&J as well as Pfizer as a third dose. (Reuters)
Students of lower classes thronged their schools in most parts of Jammu province early Monday to attend offline classes after a gap of nearly two years, a week after Jammu and Kashmir administration announced phased opening of educational institutions amid declining trend of COVID-19 cases. However, the schools in Kashmir and winter zones of Jammu region are scheduled to open next week at the end of over two-month long winter vacation. (PTI)
The number of daily air passengers is expected to cross pre-COVID levels in the next two months, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Monday and also urged states to reduce tax on jet fuel to boost the country's aviation sector. During the pre-COVID times, domestic airlines carried around 4 lakh passengers per day and the number began climbing up after second wave but again declined after the emergence of Omicron infections late last year. Scindia said capacity and fare caps were put in place to make sure that there was a “little bit of an insulated environment in which the industry can function to ensure that all our players survive and all of them get some decent market share and some levels of revenue”. Airlines were allowed to operate at full capacity from October 18, 2021. (PTI)
RUSSIA REPORTS 152,337 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN PAST 24 HOURS (Reuters)
Hong Kong reported a new record daily high of 7,533 new COVID-19 infections on Monday and 13 deaths, including an 11-month-old child, as the city battles to curb a coronavirus outbreak that has overwhelmed healthcare facilities. (Reuters)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to set out plans next week to remove self-isolation requirements for people infected with COVID-19, his office said on Saturday. Britain would become the first major European country to allow people who know they are infected with COVID-19 to freely use shops, public transport and go to work — a move many of his health advisors think is risky. (Reuters)
Italy's health ministry has recommended that people with a severely compromised immune system receive a fourth mRNA vaccine shot against COVID-19, provided that at least 120 days have passed from their previous booster, it said on Sunday. The special commissioner appointed by the government for the COVID-19 emergency will set the date for the recommendation to come into force based on the needs of the vaccine campaign, the ministry said. (Reuters)
Italy reported 42,081 COVID-19 related cases on Sunday, down from 50,534 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths reported fell to 141 from 252. Some 372,776 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, well below the previous day's figure of 492,045, the health ministry said. (Reuters)
A vast majority of Japanese think the rollout of booster shots against COVID-19 is too slow and give mixed reviews to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including last week's decision to ease border rules, polls show. Anger over the Japanese government's handling of the pandemic helped sink the administration of Kishida predecessor Yoshihide Suga, and Kishida faces a crucial election for the upper house of parliament in July.
Hong Kong was set to report 7,533 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, a new record high, broadcaster TVB reported, as the city battles to contain a surge in cases that has overwhelmed its healthcare facilities. (Reuters)
Justin Bieber's Justice World Will in Las Vegas has been put on hold after the singer tested positive for COVID-19. Besides Bieber, there are others in the team who have contracted the virus, Variety reported quoting the 'Baby' singer's representatives. Bieber, 27, was set to take the stage in Las Vegas on Sunday evening but the concert had to be delayed for a few months. The new date for the concert is now June 28. Tickets for the original concert date will be honored and refunds are now available for those that elect to seek one out. The tour shared news of the abrupt delay on Saturday evening. (PTI)
Israel will allow entry to all tourists, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, from March 1, the prime minister's office said on Sunday. Entry into Israel will still require two PCR tests, one before flying in and one upon landing in Israel, the office said. “We are seeing a consistent decline in morbidity numbers, so this is the time to gradually open up what we were the first in the world to close,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. “At the same time, we will keep a finger on the pulse, and in case of a new variant we will react quickly.” Italy recommends fourth vaccine dose for immunocompromised. (Reuters)
The COVID-19 tally of Andaman and Nicobar Islands rose to 10,005 on Monday as four more people tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said. Two new patients have travel history, while two other infections were detected during contact tracing, it said. (PTI)
Under zero-COVID, Hong Kong authorities essentially closed the border and hospitalised even asymptomatic coronavirus-positive people and isolated close contacts of infected people. A person showing few if any symptoms could spend weeks in hospital, then move to an isolation facility for several more weeks before being allowed to return to normal life. In return, most people in the global financial hub could go about their work and daily lives with few restrictions. Zero-COVID messaging, some epidemiologists fear, may encourage complacency and false hopes among the largely unvaccinated elderly that the city may again become virus-free and stay that way. More than 60% of residents over age 80 have not been vaccinated, although some 85% of the entire population has had at least one shot. (Reuters)
Physical classes for standard 1 to 8 resume in Summer Zone schools of Jammu and Kashmir today (ANI)
Arunachal Pradesh reported nine new COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking its tally to 64,279, a senior health official said. Of the fresh cases, two each were detected in the Capital Complex Region and Tawang, and one each in Lohit, Longding, Namsai, Lower Subansiri and Tirap districts. The toll remained at 296 with no new death reported in the last 24 hours, the official said. (PTI)