Covid-19 4th Wave in India Highlights: The ongoing 14th conference of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare strongly objected to a report by WHO estimating 4.7 million (47 lakh) Covid-related deaths in India as baseless and devoid of facts, PTI quoted sources as saying. India raised strong objections on Thursday also, regarding the mathematical models used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to project excessively high death estimates linked to the coronavirus pandemic and said that the validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are questionable.
Meanwhile, India recorded 3,545 fresh Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, as per the official data shared by the Ministry of Health on Friday morning. The country also recorded 27 Covid-19 related fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 5,24,002. According to the Health Ministry, the daily positivity rate stood at 1.07 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate was 0.70 per cent. The active caseload stands at 19,688. As per the official data, over 3,500 people have recovered from the Covid-19, taking the total number of recoveries to 4,25,51,248.
(With Agency Inputs)
Financial Express Online brings you live updates on the Covid-19 situation in India and from around the world:
Jammu and Kashmir recorded nine fresh coronavirus cases on Friday that raised the infection count to 4,54,088 in the Union Territory, officials said.
The death toll from the pandemic remained unchanged at 4,751 as no new fatality linked to the disease was reported in the past 24 hours, they said.
Three of the fresh COVID-19 cases were from Jammu division and six from Kashmir division of the Union Territory, the officials said.
Jammu and Kashmir recorded nine fresh coronavirus cases on Friday that raised the infection count to 4,54,088 in the Union Territory, officials said.
Seventeen of the total 20 districts in the Union Territory did not report any fresh case.
There are 61 active cases in the Union Territory, while the number of recoveries stands at 4,49,276, the officials said. (PTI)
Active COVID-19 infections rose to 474 in Tamil Nadu as 64 more people tested positive, including two returnees from Karnataka and Telangana, respectively, pushing the total caseload to 34,54,217, the health department said on Friday.
Among the new cases, 26 are men and 38 women.
As many as 11 districts recorded new infections with Chennai leading at 34, Chengalpet 16, Kancheepuram three, Tiruvallur two, while Coimbatore, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Tiruchirappalli recorded one each.
The death toll in the state stood at 38,025 as no fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, a medical bulletin said.
The number of people who have recuperated from the viral disease rose to 34,15,718 with 56 more people getting discharged leaving 474 active cases.
The state capital leads among districts with 297 active infections and overall 7,51,888 coronavirus cases.
A total of 17,701 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of tests so far to 6,62,66,354, the bulletin said. (PTI)
Mizoram reports 31 fresh COVID-19 cases, zero daily deaths. Infection tally rises to 2,27,676, death toll stands at 697. The state currently has 266 active cases of the disease. (PTI)
European airlines and hotel chains are seeing bookings recover to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, led by demand for shorter trips, although travellers remain cautious about making long-distance journeys.
The pandemic led to international travel virtually shutting down as governments around the world banned foreigners from entering their countries. However, the easing of restrictions and a pent-up demand to travel has sparked cautious optimism among executives.
Challenges remain in the form of rising costs and staff shortages causing flights to be cancelled. Despite that, airlines are forecasting a return to profitability. (Reuters)
Delhi recorded 1,656 COVID-19 cases and zero fatality due to the infection on Friday, while the positivity rate stood at 5.39 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.
A total of 30,709 tests for the detection of coronavirus were conducted in the city a day before, it stated. | READ MORE
The European Union's drug regulator said on Thursday it hoped to have vaccines adapted to address coronavirus variants, such as Omicron, approved by September.
The mRNA vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are the furthest along, and clinical trials are ongoing.
Evidence mounts for need to study Pfizer's Paxlovid for long COVID
Additional reports of patients with long COVID who were helped by Pfizer's oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid offer fresh impetus for conducting clinical trials to test the medicine for the debilitating condition, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.
Three new case studies follow earlier reports of long COVID patients who experienced relief of their symptoms after taking the treatment, which is currently only authorized for high-risk people early after onset of COVID symptoms. (Reuters)
The U.S. health regulator said on Thursday it was limiting the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for adults due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome, the latest setback to the shot that has been eclipsed by rivals.
The J&J shot, which received U.S. clearance in February 2021 for adults, can be administered in cases where authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or if an individual is less keen on using the other two shots, the Food and Drug Administration said. (Reuters)
Beijing residents fretted on Friday over tightening COVID curbs in its biggest district and dozens of new cases reported daily as China's leaders reiterated their resolve to battle the virus and threatened action against critics of their strict measures.
Incurring a heavy economic cost and facing rare public criticism on its tightly-policed internet, China is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world where COVID restrictions are being abandoned and vaccines relied on to protect people.
Internationally, industry organisations have complained that China's 'zero-COVID' policies have global economic reverberations. At home, the population worries about painful, long-term restrictions.
In the latest ratcheting up of restrictions, Beijing authorities on Friday said all non-essential services in its biggest district Chaoyang, home to embassies and large offices, would shut. Mass testing will also resume in at least four districts over the weekend.
Meanwhile, organisers of the Asian Games, scheduled to take place in September in Hangzhou, southwest Shanghai, postponed them until 2023, because of COVID, defying a global sporting calendar that has largely returned to normal. (Reuters)
Over 92 per cent of COVID-19 patients who attended yoga classes while in home-isolation witnessed immediate improvement in overall symptoms, according to an impact study conducted by the Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (DPSRU).
The Delhi government has been offering free online yoga classes to Covid patients recuperating in home-isolation. At least 88.9 per cent of them said they found improvement in breathing issues after they started attending the sessions, the study claimed. | READ MORE
China is setting up thousands of permanent PCR testing stations, with 9,000 already completed in Shanghai alone, as authorities seek to “normalise” tough pandemic controls even after the current round of lockdowns end. At present, nearly 25 million residents in the eastern financial hub of Shanghai remain under some form of lockdown as the city battles China's biggest ever coronavirus outbreak. But in a bid to head off future flare-ups, municipal authorities have been setting up a system that will make regular COVID-19 testing a permanent feature of everyday life, with other cities taking similar steps. Of Shanghai's 9,000 testing sites, 5,000 were already operating, vice-mayor Wu Qing said on Friday. (Reuters)
While the rapid antigen tests remain a useful tool for the detection of COVID-19 infections, some of these diagnostic kits may be less sensitive to the variants of concern, according to a US study. Scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in the US noted that the rapid tests were developed for use with the original SARS-CoV-2 viral strain that emerged late in 2019. Since then, the virus has evolved countless times, and several viral variants of concern have emerged, including the highly infectious Delta and Omicron variants that swept across the world last summer and winter respectively. (PTI)
Residents of Beijing fretted on Friday over dozens of new COVID-19 cases reported daily and over the possibility of more restrictions on movements as China's leaders threatened action against critics of their zero-COVID policy. Incurring a heavy economic cost and facing rare public criticism on its tightly controlled internet, China is increasingly out of step with the rest of the world where COVID restrictions are being abandoned and vaccines relied on to protect people. Internationally, industry organisations have complained that China's COVID curbs have global economic reverberations. At home, the population worries about painful, long-term restrictions. (Reuters)
No Covid death in the national capital has gone uncounted, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday, a day after the World Health Organisation estimated that there were 4.7 million (47 lakh) deaths from the virus in India. Covid death data given by the national capital to the Centre is completely authentic and correct, Jain, who is here to attend a Swasthya Chintan Shivir organised by the Union Health Ministry, said. “I cannot comment on the data for the entire country or other states but no Covid death in the national capital has gone uncounted,” Jain said.(PTI)
In ongoing Conference of Central Council Health and Family welfare, States Health Ministers with Union Health Minister in Swasthya Chintan Shivir, have called WHO's report on #covid19 deaths in India baseless & devoid of facts. State Health Ministers have condemned it: Sources (ANI)
The union territory of Puducherry did not report any fresh coronavirus cases for the third straight day, a top Health department official said on Friday. As many as 232 samples were examined during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM Friday and no fresh infections were detected, Director of Health G Sriramulu said in a release here. With two patients recovering during the last 24 hours, the number of active cases came down to five. He said the overall caseload remained at 1,65,794 while the recoveries stood at 1,63,827. No fresh fatality was reported from any of the four regions and the death toll remained at 1,962. (PTI)
As many as 11 students of Kasturba Gandhi Girls Residential School in Jharkhand's Chatra district were tested positive for Covid-19 in the past two days, officials said on Friday. Eight girls of class 12 and two of class 11 were found to be afflicted with the disease on May 4, while another one tested positive for the virus on Thursday. A random test for Covid-19 was conducted by the administration of the institution on April 27. A total of 195 students, as well as staff, underwent RT-PCR tests that day. (PTI)
Odisha recorded 14 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, while there was no new fatality for the fourth consecutive day, the health department said. There are 99 active cases and 14 more patients have recovered from the disease, according to a bulletin. The daily positivity rate was 0.09 per cent and two children were among the newly infected, it said. The new cases were detected after testing 15,288 samples in the last 24 hours, it added. The state logged 18 cases on Thursday. (PTI)
➡️ More than 193.53 Cr vaccine doses provided to States/UTs.
➡️ More than 18.81 Cr doses still available with States/UTs to be administered.https://t.co/iC9xXcQJa0 pic.twitter.com/oPvKgnfTTb
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) May 6, 2022
Questioning the modelling methodology used by WHO to estimate 4.7 million deaths in India due to Covid or its impact, top health experts have expressed disappointment over the global health body's “one-size-fits-all” approach to arrive at the figure. ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava, NITI Aayog Member (Health) V K Paul, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and NTAGI's COVID-19 Working Group Chairman Dr N K Arora on Thursday rejected the WHO report as “untenable and unfortunate”. (PTI)
➡️ India’s Cumulative #covid19 Vaccination Coverage exceeds 189.81 Cr (1,89,81,52,695).
➡️ Over 2.99 Cr 1st dose vaccines administered for age group 12-14 years.https://t.co/Db7qW1qNa4 pic.twitter.com/1aGpEv5l9w
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) May 6, 2022
China's eastern financial hub of Shanghai reported 12 new COVID-19 deaths for May 5, down from 13 a day earlier, the local government said in a statement on Friday. The city reported 4,024 new local asymptomatic coronavirus cases on May 5, down from 4,390 a day earlier. Confirmed symptomatic cases stood at 245, down from 261 a day earlier, it said. (Reuters)
India reported 3,545 new Covid infections in a day taking the tally of cases reported so far to 4,30,94,938 while the number of active cases declined to 19,688, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. The death toll has climbed to 5,24,002 with 27 more fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated. Active cases comprised 0.05 percent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was 98.74 percent, the health ministry said. According to it, the daily positivity rate was 0.76 percent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 0.79 percent. (PTI)
For the first time, the U.S. came close to providing health care for all during the coronavirus pandemic — but for just one condition, COVID-19. Now, things are reverting to the way they were as federal money for COVID care of the uninsured dries up, creating a potential barrier to timely access. But the virus is not contained, even if it's better controlled. And safety-net hospitals and clinics are seeing sharply higher costs for salaries and other basic operating expenses. They fear they won't be prepared if there's another surge and no backstop. “We haven't turned anybody away yet,” said Dr. Mark Loafman, chair of family and community medicine at Cook County Health in Chicago. “But I think it's just a matter of time … People don't get cancer treatment or blood pressure treatment every day in America because they can't afford it.” A $20 billion government COVID program covered testing, treatment and vaccine costs for uninsured people. But that's been shut down. Special Medicaid COVID coverage for the uninsured in more than a dozen states also likely faces its last months. (AP)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the government over a WHO report which claimed that there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India, saying “science does not lie, Prime Minister Narendra Modi does”. Gandhi also demanded that the government should support the families that have lost loved ones by giving them the mandated Rs four lakh compensation. In a tweet, he said, “47 lakh Indians died due to the Covid pandemic. NOT 4.8 lakh as claimed by the Govt. Science doesn't LIE. Modi does”. “Respect families who've lost loved ones. Support them with the mandated ?4 lakh compensation,” the former Congress chief said. (PTI)
With the addition of 23 coronavirus positive cases, the infection count in Thane district of Maharashtra mounted to 7,09,132, an official said on Friday. These cases were reported on Thursday. As the virus did not claim anybody's life during the day, the death toll in the district remained unchanged at 11,893, he said, adding that the COVID-19 mortality rate is 1.67 per cent. In neighbouring Palghar district, the caseload has grown to 1,63,612, while the death toll is 3,407, another official said. (PTI)
The number of COVID-19 infections in China's financial hub of Shanghai has been on a “continuous downward trend” since April 22, the city's vice major Wu Qing said on Friday. “Currently, our city's epidemic prevention and control situation is steadily improving, and the epidemic has come under effective control,” he told a news conference. Shanghai reported 4,024 new local asymptomatic coronavirus cases on May 5, down from 4,390 a day earlier. Confirmed symptomatic cases stood at 245, also down from 261 a day earlier. Deaths fell to 12, from 13 a day earlier. (Reuters)
NTAGI recommends those going overseas can take Covid vaccine precaution dose before 9-month gap as required by destination country: Sources (PTI)
I have objections and I'll give 3 reasons for that. One – India has a very robust system of birth & death registration which has been going on for decades, we know it works very well & that data is available. That data should be used to see number of excess deaths that happened during this time & excess deaths that could be attributable to COVID. WHO didn't use that data. Secondly – data that WHO used is more on hearsay evidence -what's there in media or unconfirmed sources. That data is questionable. Modeling on that data isn't correct&scientifically right thing to do, especially, when you have data that is more robust. Third-India has been very liberal in offering compensation for people who died of COVID,that's there in very open manner.
So, even if there were excessive deaths that were COVID related, they would have been recorded because people would have come forward, their relatives would have come forward for compensation. This has not been the case as far as the numbers that WHO is predicting. So, prediction seems to be way beyond what actual numbers are and is based on data that is not substantiated. That is why I think that this is something which we, as a country, should object to & we need to present our data which is scientific & more on evidence basis: Randeep Guleria, AIIMS Director on WHO's claim on COVID deaths in India (ANI)
Jammu and Kashmir reported seven new corona cases on Thursday, taking the infection tally in the union territory to 4,54,079, officials said here.
All the seven cases were reported from Jammu district, the officials said.
There are 60 active cases of the disease in the union territory, while the number of recoveries has reached 4,49,268, they said.
The COVID-19 death toll in the union territory stands at 4,751 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours.
The officials said there were 51 confirmed cases of mucormycosis (black fungus). (PTI)
Telangana on Thursday recorded 44 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of cases in the State to 7,92,191 so far, a bulletin said.
No fresh fatality due to the infection was reported today and the death toll continued to be 4,111, it said.
Hyderabad recorded the highest number of 31 cases.
A total of 34 people recovered from the infection, pushing the cumulative number of recoveries to 7,87,716 till date.
The active cases stood at 364, the bulletin said.
A total of 12,829 samples was tested today and the number examined till date was 3,46,94,083.
The case fatality rate was 0.51 per cent and the recovery rate 99.44 per cent. (PTI)
Delhi reports 1365 new Covid-19 cases and 1472 recoveries in the last 24 hours; no deaths reported in this period. Active cases 5746 (ANI)
Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 233 new coronavirus infections and zero pandemic-related deaths, the state health department said.
Of 233 new cases, Mumbai alone accounted for 130. Maharashtra now has 1,109 active coronavirus patients.
The state's COVID-19 case tally rose to 78,78,596, while death toll remained unchanged at 1,47,845.
The state had recorded 188 coronavirus cases and zero fatality on Wednesday.
The districts of Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Latur, Hingoli, Osmanabad, Amravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Wardha, Bhandara, Gondia recorded zero active cases.
As many as 173 people recovered since previous evening, taking the total of recovered patients to 77,29,642. The state's recovery rate stands at 98.11 per cent.
As many as 26,439 coronavirus tests were conducted on Thursday, taking the total of samples tested to 8,02,70,696.
Maharashtra's coronavirus figures: New cases: 233; New deaths: zero; Active cases: 1,109; Tests conducted: 26,439. (PTI)
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla recently announced that Covid-19 vaccine Covovax is now available for children in the age group of 12 to 17 years.
“Covovax (@Novavax), is now available for children in India. This is the only vaccine manufactured in India that is also sold in Europe and has an efficacy of > 90%. This is in line with Shri @narendramodi Ji’s vision of providing yet another vaccine to protect our children,” he announced on Twitter.
Covovax is the second Covid-19 vaccine from SII after Covishield. | READ MORE
Excess #COVID Mortality Estimates by @WHO: A rejoinder#India strongly objects to use of mathematical models for projecting excess mortality estimates in view of availability of authentic datahttps://t.co/u51mfvzH6t pic.twitter.com/OHP6e32W6y— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) May 5, 2022
Despite India’s strong objection to the use of mathematical models for projecting excess mortality estimates, WHO has released excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India’s concerns. Validity of models used, & data methodology are questionable: Govt of India (ANI)
India on Thursday strongly objected to the use of mathematical models by the World Health Organization (WHO) for projecting excess mortality estimates linked to the coronavirus pandemic in view of the availability of authentic data, saying validity and robustness of the models used and methodology of data collection are questionable.
In a report released on Thursday, the WHO estimated that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or by its impct on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years, more than double the official death toll of 6 million. Most of the fatalities were in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.
According to the report, there were 4.7 million Covid deaths in India — 10 times the official figures and almost a third of Covid deaths globally.
India likely to raise the issue at the World Health Assembly and required multilateral forums, sources said.
India has been consistently objecting to the methodology adopted by the WHO to project excess mortality estimates based on mathematical models, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.
“Despite India's objection to the process, methodology and outcome of this modelling exercise, WHO has released the excess mortality estimates without adequately addressing India's concerns,” the statement said. (PTI)
More than 4,500 people have been fined for Rs 22 lakh in total in the city for not wearing masks since the mask mandate returned amid a spike in coronavirus cases, according to government data.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had in a meeting last month decided to re-impose mask mandate with a fine of Rs 500 for any violation. On April 22, it made wearing masks in public places mandatory again. | READ MORE
The third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is effective against symptomatic disease and hospitalisation, offering protection comparable to a booster shot of the Pfizer preventive, according to a study conducted in the UK.
The yet-to-be peer-reviewed study, posted on the preprint repository medRxiv on May 1, assessed the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1-S) COVID-19 booster, and compared it with the protection offered by Pfizer (BNT162b2) booster shot. | READ MORE
New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between 1 Jan 2020 and 31 Dec 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million). (ANI)
We made robust guidelines to tackle Covid and implemented them effectively. Now many countries are still witnessing Covid waves with staggering economies. We controlled Covid during 3rd wave through a holistic approach: Union Health minister Mansukh Mandaviya (ANI)
Gujarat | For the first time after 70-75 years, health has come on the political agenda. It is time now that health is given its due importance, and COVID has very clearly shown that health and wealth are part of the same coin: Dr NK Arora, Chairman, COVID working group NTAGI (ANI)
The third dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is effective against symptomatic disease and hospitalisation, offering protection comparable to a booster shot of the Pfizer preventive, according to a study conducted in the UK. The yet-to-be peer-reviewed study, posted on the preprint repository medRxiv on May 1, assessed the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1-S) COVID-19 booster, and compared it with the protection offered by Pfizer (BNT162b2) booster shot. The researchers from the UK Health Security Agency, London, estimated vaccine effectiveness by analysing data on all adults aged 18 years and above who were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca primary vaccine and either the same or the Pfizer booster vaccine. (PTI)
The union territory of Puducherry did not report any fresh coronavirus cases and related fatalities during the last 24 hours, a top Health department official said on Thursday. The overall caseload remained at 1,65,794, a senior official of Department of Health G Sriramulu said in a release here. As many as 181 samples were tested during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM Thursday. (PTI)
Africa's top public health body urged all those purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for the continent to place orders with South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare , saying the market was key to developing vaccine manufacturing on the continent. The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it was doing everything it could behind the scenes to prevent a situation where Aspen closes its facility due to a lack of orders. (Reuters)
Shanghai remains under lockdown and 12 of Beijing's 16 districts are undergoing mass testing. Videos circulating on social media showed Chinese authorities forcibly testing citizens, reported Indian Express. The authenticity of these videos is yet to be verified.
Odisha recorded 18 more coronavirus cases on Thursday, while there was no new fatality for the third consecutive day, the health department said. There are 99 active COVID-19 cases now and 11 more patients have recuperated from the disease, according to a bulletin. The daily positivity rate was 0.11 per cent and four children were among the newly infected, it said, adding that 15,933 samples were tested in the past 24 hours. (PTI)
COVID-19 cases in the Americas increased by 12.7% last week from the prior week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday, as infections continued to rise in Central and North America. The Americas reported more than 616,000 new cases last week, while the death toll was down by less than 1% in the same comparison to 4,200, the organization said. (Reuters)
With a daily positivity rate of 1.6 per cent, the daily Covid 19 cases in Mumbai continue to remain above 100, IE reported. The test positivity rate (TPR) — is the number of positive cases detected when compared to the total tests conducted. On Wednesday, 117 new coronavirus cases were recorded. A day prior 100 cases were detected, after 56 on Monday, owing to a drop in the daily tests. Following the third wave, the positivity rate had gone below 1 per cent on February 12. Currently, the number of tests being conducted a day is below 10,000 in Mumbai. On Wednesday 7035 tests were conducted. Currently, there are no active containment zones, sealed buildings or floors in the city.