Coronavirus Lockdown 2021 Highlights: India’s total cases of mutant COVID-19 strains reach 795; Delhi, BMC ban Holi celebrations

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Updated: March 24, 2021 11:14:54 am

Coronavirus in India Lockdown Updates: Now, the government has done away with this comorbidity clause. Anyone above 45, irrespective of the comorbidity factor can now register with Co-WIN portal and take the corona vaccine.

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Lockdown news today Coronavirus Lockdown 2021 Highlights: The Narendra Modi government has changed the vaccination rules that will come into force from April 1st. This comes on a day when India detected around 40,000 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours. In case you are eager to celebrate this minor dip, hold your horses! There are several factors that are adding to the present worry of the second wave of the coronavirus. First is the decreasing of the doubling time. The latest health data shows that on March 1st, the doubling time stood at 504.4 days. Whereas, as of today, that doubling time has decreased to just 202.3 days. As the self-explanatory term suggests, the number of cases are being doubled in a lesser period of time.

Another key area is the ‘R’ factor. This is another terminology that is used by health experts to understand the rate at which an infected individual transmits the virus. In the last 10 days, this ‘R’ factor has also increased. The same is the case with the positivity rate. Another important point is the increased number of Covid deaths. Even the WHO has said that more people are dying due to viral complications.

On a national level, Maharashtra, Punjab and Kerala are three major contributors in terms of active cases in India. As many as 75 per cent of total active cases of Covid-19 infection are being reported from these states. As small relief, another health ministry update says that 14 states and UTs have so far not registered any deaths related to coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours.

Ahead of the national lockdown anniversary, as the health officials try to avert another shutdown, here are the freshest, confirmed developments on Covid in India and across the world:

Live Blog

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    22:27 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    No public celebrations in Delhi during Holi, Navaratri, Shab-e-Barat due to rising COVID cases

    Amid a rise in coronavirus cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Tuesday ordered that there will be no public celebrations in the national capital during upcoming festivals such Holi and Navaratri. Chief Secretary Vijay Dev directed authorities to ensure strict compliance of the order. "All authorities concerned will ensure that public celebrations and gatherings, congregations during upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Navaratri etc shall not be allowed in public places/public grounds/public parks/markets/religious places etc in NCT of Delhi," Dev said in the order. (PTI)

    22:25 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: 53 more deaths due to COVID-19, 2,274 new cases in Punjab

    Punjab on Tuesday reported 53 more fatalities due to COVID-19 and 2,274 fresh cases, bringing the toll to 6,435 and the infection count to 2,17,663, according to a medical bulletin. The districts which saw deaths due to the pandemic included Jalandhar (14), Hoshiarpur (9) and Patiala (6). Ludhiana reported a maximum of 364 new COVID-19 cases, Jalandhar 322, Mohali 263 and Amritsar 246, the bulletin said. (PTI)

    22:22 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: MP sees 1,502 COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths, 798 recoveries

    Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday reported 1,502 COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to 2,78,577, while four deaths increased the toll to 3,912, an official said. He said 798 people were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the count of recoveries in Madhya Pradesh to 2,65,373. Four out of 52 districts in the state did not report a new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, the official pointed out. (PTI)

    22:21 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Goa sees 133 new COVID-19 cases, three more casualties

    With the addition of 133 new COVID-19 cases, Goa's tally of infections reached 56,841 on Tuesday, an official from the health department said. Three patients died of the infection, while 58 were discharged from various treatment facilities during the day, the official said. With this, the toll stood at 821 and the number of recoveries rose to 54,931, he said, adding that the coastal state is now left with 1,089 active cases. (PTI)

    22:18 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: After son Aaditya, Maha CM's wife also tests positive for coronavirus

    After Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray, his mother and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray's wife Rashmi Thackeray too has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Tuesday. The chief minister and his wife had taken a first dose of the vaccine against coronavirus at the government-run J J Hospital here on March 11. "Her COVID-19 test came out positive on Monday night. She has been quarantined at `Varsha', the official residence of the chief minister," said an official. (PTI)

    22:14 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: With 1,730 new COVID-19 cases, another record spike in Gujarat

    Gujarat on Tuesday reported 1,730 COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day addition since the pandemic began, taking its tally to 2,90,379, a health department official said. The rise surpassed Monday's record spike of 1,640 cases. The day also saw four deaths, two each in Ahmedabad and Surat, which took the toll to 4,458. (PTI)

    21:37 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Over 1,100 COVID-19 cases in Delhi, highest in over 3 months; 4 deaths

    Delhi reported 1,101 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, highest in over three months, while four people succumbed to the virus, the health department said. It is the first time since December 24 that the city has recorded more than 1,000 cases. The new 1,101 cases are the highest since December 19 when 1,139 cases were recorded, according to official data. (PTI) 

    21:29 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Over 2.7 lakh people inoculated in Maha in one day

    Over 2.7 lakh people were administered the COVID-19 vaccine in Maharashtra on Monday, raising the total number of people inoculated in the state to 45,91,401, an official from the health department said on Tuesday. As per a report released by the health department, as many as 2,76,354 persons received the jab during the day. At least 13,371 healthcare workers, 26,385 frontline staffers, 45,959 people suffering from co-morbidities in the age group of 40 to 60 years and 1,56,474 senior citizens received the first dose of the vaccine on Monday. (PTI)

    21:02 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Maharashtra reports 28,699 new COVID-19 cases

    Maharashtra reports 28,699 new COVID-19 cases, 13,165 recoveries, and 132 deaths in the last 24 hours

    Total cases 25,33,026Total recoveries 22,47,495 Death toll 53,589 Active cases 2,30,641 (ANI)

    21:01 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Reputation of AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine marred by missteps

    AstraZeneca's release Monday of encouraging data about its coronavirus vaccine from its U.S. trial raised hopes that the drug company could put a troubled rollout behind it. But just hours after its announcement, American officials issued an unusual statement expressing concern the company had included 'outdated information' from its study and that it may have provided 'an incomplete view of the efficacy data.' (AP)

    20:52 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Healthcare players welcome govt decision to allow vaccine for all above 45 years

    Healthcare and biopharma players have welcomed the government's decision to allow all people above 45 years of age to get COVID-19 vaccine from April 1, and said it will enhance the pace of vaccination. FICCI immediate past president and Apollo Hospitals Group Joint MD Sangita Reddy welcomed the government's decision to lower the age criteria for COVID-19 vaccination. (PTI)

    20:43 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    595.91 lakh vaccine doses supplied to other nations till March 17: Govt to Rajya Sabha

    Over 7.47 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been supplied to states and Union Territories so far, while 595.91 lakh have been sent to other countries till March 17, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday. External supplies of Made in India COVID-19 vaccines started from January 20. Supplies have been undertaken in form of grants-in-aid, commercial sales by manufacturers and through vaccine alliance GAVI's COVAX facility, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said in a written reply. (PTI)

    20:23 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    SII seeks Govt's nod to give 50L Covishield doses to UK, says won't affect India's vaccination drive

    The world's largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, Serum Institute of India, has sought permission from the Centre to supply 50 lakh doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield to the United Kingdom, citing an agreement with AstraZeneca in this regard. It has, however, assured India that its own anti-coronavirus vaccination programme will not be disturbed because of this supply. (PTI)

    20:16 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Mumbai reports 3512 new COVID19 cases

    Mumbai reports 3512 new COVID19 cases, 1203 recoveries and 8 deaths today.

    Total cases 3,69,426 Total recoveries 3,29,234 Death toll 11,600 Active cases 27,672. (ANI) 

    20:13 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: BMC bans Holi celebration at public, private spaces

    BMC issues order - playing of Holi at public places and private spaces not allowed in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic and rise in cases here. (ANI)

    20:13 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: BMC bans Holi celebration at public, private spaces

    BMC issues order - playing of Holi at public places and private spaces not allowed in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic and rise in cases here. 

    20:00 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: No new strain of novel coronavirus detected in Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab, says Govt

    No new strain of the novel coronavirus has been detected in Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab and the recent surge in infections in these states are due to SARS-CoV-2 that has been driving the pandemic for over a year, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday. In written reply to a question, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said that after the detection of variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, the Government of India put in a surveillance mechanism for international travellers and in the community to detect these known variants. (PTI)

    19:43 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Educational institutions to temporarily shut in Telangana in view of surge in COVID-19 cases

    All educational institutions in Telangana would be temporarily closed from Wednesday and offer online classes to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the wake of a spurt in fresh cases in recent days, including from some schools, the state government said. Making a statement in the state assembly, Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy said the closure order will be applicable to all government and private run educational institutions, hostels and gurukul institutions, barring medical colleges. (PTI)

    19:31 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    COVID-19 a recurring infection, people need to learn to live with it: Satyendar Jain

    Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said that COVID-19 is a recurring infection and people need to learn to live with it. Delhi was witnessing around 200 cases daily some days ago. The number has again risen to 800-900, Jain said at an event on the Delhi Assembly premises where he felicitated 'corona warriors' from the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and GTB Hospital. "Coronavirus is a recurring infection. The minute we feel the situation is getting better, there is a sudden surge. We need to be aware, but also need to learn to live with it," he said. (PTI)

    19:23 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Kerala reports 1,985 cases; caseload now just over 11 lakh

    Kerala logged 1,985 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the caseload to just over 11 lakh, while 10 more deaths pushed the toll to 4,517, the state government said. Recoveries outnumbered the number of cases with 2,172 people being discharged from hospitals, taking the active cases to 23,883. The total number of infections stood at 11,07,801 and recoveries at 10,78,743, the health department said in a release. (PTI)

    17:50 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Karnataka reports 2010 new COVID-19 cases

    17:49 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Centre asks states/UTs to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour

    Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to all Chief Secretaries: States/UTs to take all necessary measures to promote COVID19 appropriate behaviour in workplaces & in public, especially in crowded places. It is of utmost importance to follow the test-track-treat protocol. (ANI)

    17:41 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Slow pace of vaccination in some states a matter of concern: MHA

    Slow pace of vaccination in some states a matter of concern as inoculation is critical to break the chain of coronavirus transmission: Centre.

    17:28 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Home Ministry allows states to impose local restrictions

    States are allowed to impose local restrictions based on the assessment of the situation with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19, said Home Ministry

    17:17 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: MHA asks state/UTs to increase RT-PCR tests to 70% or more

    States & UTs, where the proportion of RT-PCR tests is less, should rapidly increase it, to reach the prescribed level of 70% or more. The new positive cases, detected as a result of intensive testing, need to be isolated/ quarantined at earliest & provided timely treatment, MHA said. (ANI)

    17:11 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: MHA issues fresh Covid guidelines; check details

    The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday issued an order with guidelines for effective control of COVID-19 which will be effective from April 1, 2021, and remain in force up to April 30, 2021. The guidelines mandate the State/UT Govts to strictly enforce the Test- Track-Treat protocol in all parts of the country.

    16:57 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Kerala's Homestay Owners' Welfare Association demands vaccination for tourism sector

    Amid rising Covid cases, homestays in Fort Kochi&Mattancherry struggle due to fewer tourists. "State govt should also consider tourism sector for vaccination. If we're vaccinated, tourists will be confident to travel", says Gen Secy, Homestay Owners' Welfare Association, Kerala. (ANI)

    16:53 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: 795 cases of UK, South Africa, Brazil variants in India

    The total number of cases with UK, South Africa and Brazil variants of the COVID virus in the country as on date is 795: Ministry of Health 

    16:50 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: 1-week lockdown from tomorrow in Maharashtra's Parbhani district

    Parbhani district in Maharashtra's Marathwada region will remain under a lockdown from March 24 to March 31 in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases, a senior official said on Tuesday. District Collector Deepak Mugalikar said the earlier measures like preventing people from stepping out of their houses in night didn't prove to be effective as the graph of new cases went up. "The lockdown will come into force at 7 PM on Wednesday. It will be strictly implemented till March 31 with an objective to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the district," he said. (PTI)

    16:46 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: UP beefs up anti-Covid measures

    Ahead of the Holi and upcoming Panchayat elections, the Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday ordered testing of people coming from other states seeing a spurt in coronavirus cases. UP Chief Secretary R K Tiwari issued the directive a day after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a high-level meeting on the Covid situation in the state which on Monday had reported the coronavirus cases again crossing the 500-mark. The fresh directive, while emphasising for strict implementation of the anti-Covid measures, also stipulated that no procession or public programmes would be allowed without prior administrative permission. The directive issued to all district and division-level officers said the Covid testing of all those coming to UP during the Holi festival from the states reporting high numbers of infections will be necessary. It mandated Covid tests for passengers at railway stations, bus stations and airports besides reactivating Covid helpdesks, running dedicated Covid hospitals in all districts and keeping other hospitals ready for any future needs. The directive also emphasised identifying the suspected cases with the help of thermometers and oximeters. (PTI)

    16:45 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Uttarakhand asks people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour

    The Uttarakhand government has asked people to strictly follow COVID-appropriate behaviour in view of the fresh surge in infections in various parts of the country and the upcoming Kumbh Mela. This comes days after the Centre had asked the state government to take stringent measures to control the spread of coronavirus during the Kumbh Mela beginning from April 1. In the light of guidelines issued by both the central and state governments in the past for surveillance, containment and caution, Chief Secretary Om Prakash on Monday asked the district administrations, various state and central government organisations and other stakeholders to take all necessary measures to ensure wearing of face mask, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing by people. "These measures are also included in the National Directives for COVID-19 Management which have to be strictly followed throughout the state," he said. (PTI)

    16:40 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: AstraZeneca may have used outdated info in US vaccine trial -- Really?

    Results from a US trial of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine may have included "outdated information" and that could mean the company provided an incomplete view of efficacy data, American federal health officials said early Tuesday. A spokesman from the drug company said Tuesday it was "looking into it." AstraZeneca reported Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among adults of all ages in a long-anticipated US study, a finding that some experts hoped would help rebuild public confidence in the shot around the world and move it a step closer to clearance in the US. In the study of more than 30,000 people, the company reported that the vaccine was found to be 79 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19, including in older adults. There were no severe illnesses or hospitalizations among vaccinated volunteers, compared with five such cases in participants who received dummy shots, a small number, but consistent with findings from Britain and other countries that the vaccine protects against the worst of the disease. AstraZeneca also said the study's independent safety monitors found no serious side effects, including no increased risk of rare blood clots like those identified in Europe, a scare that led numerous countries to briefly suspend vaccinations last week. But just hours after those encouraging results were reported, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases issued an unusual statement. The agency said the Data and Safety Monitoring Board "expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.""We urge the company to work with the DSMB to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible," the statement added. (AP)

    16:21 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: France's Macron: vaccination campaign at heart of COVID-19 battle

    French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday the acceleration of the vaccination campaign was at the heart of the battle against COVID-19."Vaccination is a national priority," Macron told reporters during a visit to a vaccination centre in Valencienne, northern France, adding vaccination would also be rolled out during public holidays and weekends. - Reuters

    15:58 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Name of vaccine Russia's Vladimir Putin to take will be a secret, says Kremlin

    The Kremlin said on Tuesday it had deliberately decided it would not reveal the name of the Russian-made vaccine which President Vladimir Putin is due to take later on Tuesday. "We are deliberately not saying which shot the president will get, noting that all three Russian (-made) vaccines are absolutely reliable and effective," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He said Putin, who announced his intention to get vaccinated a day earlier, would probably be vaccinated in the evening and would receive one of the three Russian-made shots. Peskov said Putin had already done a lot to promote Russian-made vaccines, the most famous of which is Sputnik V. Moscow has also given emergency approval to two other domestic vaccines, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac. Peskov said that Putin did not like the idea of being vaccinated on camera. - Reuters

    15:57 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: EU wants reciprocity with UK over AstraZeneca vaccine, says French minister

    French Europe Minister Clement Beaune said on Tuesday that the European Union wanted reciprocity with Britain over the supply of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said AstraZeneca could face a ban on exports for the EU of doses if it did not meet its delivery obligations to the bloc. "We are telling AstraZeneca: we can understand you have production issues but there is no reason for Europe to be the adjustment variable," Beaune told France Info radio. "We want to avoid that AstraZeneca doses produced in Europe go to Britain when we are not receiving anything. We want to make sure the reciprocity principle applies," the minister said. - Reuters

    15:56 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Vietnam says approves Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for use

    Vietnam has approved Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for use against COVID-19, its health ministry said, the second coronavirus shot to be approved in the Southeast Asian country after the AstraZeneca vaccine. "The approval of Sputnik V vaccine was based on data about its safety, quality and efficiency," the health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday on its website. The ministry did not say when it expected doses of the vaccine to arrive. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which promotes the vaccine, said in a statement on the Sputnik V website that it had now been approved for use in 56 countries with a combined population of over 1.5 billion people. "Its approval in Vietnam, one of the most populated countries in Southeast Asia, will provide for protecting the people and getting closer to lifting the restrictions imposed because of coronavirus," RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said. - Reuters

    15:52 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    India Lockdown News LIVE: Is total lockdown returning at all-India scale? This is what Union Minister siad

    This is one thing that's on everybody's mind. People are talking about it on social media and in personal spaces. Will there be a national lockdown to fight the second wave of coronavirus? When asked the same question, Union Minister Prakash Javaekar said that the Centre is talking to each state and watching the steps taken. So in simple words, we don't know yet whether there would be any pan-India shutdown or not. So far, there has been no communication regarding this. PM Modi has also spoken about 'micro-containment zones'.  

    15:31 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    India Lockdown News LIVE: Wondering what's going on and how latest vaccination rule order changes everything? Read on

    So first thing first: On January 16 this year, India started what was being touted as the ‘largest vaccination programme in the world.’ For 133 crore Indians, it was an ambitious plan by any yardstick. However, the Narendra Modi government decided to stager the vaccination in different stages and categorised the beneficiaries. In the first phase, the frontline workers and health workers were given the corona jabs. In the second phase, from March 1st, the inoculation drive was opened for the general public. But this also had some rules. It stated that any senior citizen i.e. 60 and above can get the vaccine. The second category of beneficiaries was those with co-morbidities. PM Modi had taken his corona vaccine at AIIMS. This meant that those above 45 need to have some kind of certified pre-existing health condition. Now, the government has done away with this comorbidity clause. Anyone above 45, irrespective of the comorbidity factor can now register with Co-WIN portal and take the corona vaccine.  

    15:11 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    India Lockdown News LIVE: Modi govt's major announcement on mass vaccination, here are changes that will come into force from April 1st

    It has been decided that from 1st April, the vaccine will open for everybody above 45 years of age. We request that all eligible should immediately register and get vaccinated, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar 

    15:05 (IST)23 Mar 2021
    Lockdown News LIVE: Hungary flags delay in reopening as COVID-19 deaths scale new high

    Hungary cannot reopen its economy before all citizens older than 65 who have registered for a COVID-19 vaccine are inoculated, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Tuesday, as the country reported a record number of daily deaths from the coronavirus. Hungary reported a daily rate of 252 deaths on Tuesday after a surge in hospitalisations and people put on ventilators pushed its health system to the limit. Hungary overtook the Czech Republic on Monday for the world's worst per capita death rate from COVID in the past seven days, according to Our World in Data. "Regarding the date of reopening, we can say that before all people older than 65 who have registered for a vaccine are inoculated, we cannot reopen as that would spell trouble," Orban said in a Facebook video. - Reuters

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