Coronavirus Live News Updates: No home quarantine in Assam for COVID-19 patients with comorbidities, says Himanta Biswa Sarma

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Coronavirus Live News Updates: The chief minister also reviewed the status of paediatric ICUs, which are being set up at various government hospitals, and functioning of 13 oxygen plants in the state.

Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday directed the state health department to not allow home quarantine to Covid patients of any age group with comorbidities. They can be referred to institutional quarantine, he said.

The Pune-based firm will have to submit a copy of the agreement between it and the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow for transfer of cell bank and virus stock, as per conditions set by the DCGI.

"The DCGI has granted permission to the Serum Institute to manufacture the Sputnik Covid-19 vaccine in India for examination, test and analysis at its licensed Hadapsar facility with certain conditions," an official source said.

The company had submitted an application to the DCGI in this regard on Thursday.

All nine proposals received for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines for Mumbai have been rejected for lack of necessary documents, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Friday.

Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), have collaboratively sequenced genomes of coronavirus variants in the temple town and adjoining areas.

Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), here, have collaboratively sequenced genomes of coronavirus variants in the temple town and adjoining areas.

Soon after the Centre pulled up the Punjab government of selling Covaxin doses at over and above the prices they were procured from the Centre triggering allegations of 'vaccine profiteering', the order was withdrawn by the state government.

Addressing a press conference, NITI Aayog Member VK Paul said a decision on indemnity the issue for either foreign or local vaccine manufacturers was yet to be made.

Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, on Friday during a routine media presser on the COVID19 situation said that there has been a continuous decrease in districts reporting more than 100 average daily new cases. "257 districts reporting more than 100 daily cases," he said.

People fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are likely to have more than five times lower levels of neutralising antibodies against the Delta variant first identified in India compared to the original strain, according to research published in The Lancet journal.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the trade margin for oxygen concentrators at 70 percent, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said on Friday.

"NPPA has capped the trade Margin up to 70 percent on price to distributor (PTD) level on oxygen concentrators," the ministry said.

The order will be applicable up to 30 November this year, subject to review. The ministry said that the trade margin rationalisation approach has been taken keeping in mind the need for oxygen due to the pandemic, invoking extraordinary powers under Para 19 of the DPCO, 2013.

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the stand of the Centre and the city government on a plea seeking a CBI probe into the death of 21 Covid patients at the Jaipur Golden Hospital here last month allegedly due to oxygen shortage.

Justice Rekha Palli issued a notice to the Union ministries of home and health and the Delhi government seeking their response by August 20 on the plea filed by the families of some patients who died on the intervening night of 23 and 24 April.

The plea, filed through advocate Utsav Bains, contends that the cause of death of the patients was respiratory failure due to insufficient supply of oxygen and not comorbidities, as stated by a Delhi government committee in its report.

The Odisha government on Friday cancelled the Class 12 board examination conducted by Council of Higher Secondary Education this year, in view of the ongoing pandemic situation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday at the CSIR meeting said that Indian scientists were on par with the international science community in innovation. Modi also lauded scientists at the CSIR meeting for making made-in-India Covid vaccine in a year.

"India used to wait for years to get hold of innovations achieved outside, now our scientists working at same quick pace," he said.

The announcement of the relief package was made by Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal in the Assembly during the Budget session on Friday.

"In the early days of pandemic, a package of Rs 20,000 cr was announced. In wake of 2nd wave, 2nd COVID package of Rs 20,000 cr is being announced to address emerging health, social & economic challenges," Kerala finance minister KN Balagopal during Budget announcement in Assembly.>

Karnataka primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar on Friday said that the state government will hold Class 10 examinations in the third week of July. Meanwhile, the government cancelled second year PUC exams.

"No student will fail in class 10th and 12th. Evaluation will be according to grades," Kumar said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called two meetings on Friday to discuss preparations for the possible third wave of coronavirus. "The CM will meet the expert committee at 11 am and the preparation committee at 3 pm, the CM's office said in a tweet.

The Delhi government had on 27 May set up a 13-member committee to prepare an action plan for a possible third wave of COVID-19 after assessing the current status and projected requirement of the health infrastructure such as hospitals, oxygen plants and drug supplies in the city.

Another eight-member expert committee was set up to devise a strategy for mitigation and management of the third wave of COVID-19.

The Union Health Ministry's update on Friday said that India reported 1.32 lakh new cases, 2,713 new deaths, and 2.07 lakh new recoveries in the last 24 hours.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that as many as 35,74,33,846 samples have been tested in the country so far, including 20,75,428 samples tested on Thursday.

More than 185 intellectuals, including noted historians Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib and economist Kaushik Basu, have written an open letter to the opposition parties suggesting them to use their influence to ensure the central and state governments prepare for a possible third wave of the coronavirus.

Noting that the visuals of deceased lying on roads during the second wave and bodies floating in rivers have pricked the world's collective conscience, they said it was heartwarming that amidst the pandemic, most political parties are "willing to work in a non-partisan manner in the peoples' interest".

"Yet, despite the offer to cooperate and work with the union government, it is shocking that the government of India has neither welcomed the suggestions, nor created a truly national task force comprising all parties, state governments, experts and civil society to tackle the unprecedented situation India is facing," it said.

The letter said millions of Indians are scrambling to access basic healthcare services such as hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen, essential medicines, ambulances, etc.

"The visuals of the deceased lying on roads, floating in rivers and riverbeds has pricked the world's collective conscience," the letter said.

The signatories to the letter include Magsaysay awardee and activist Wilson Bezwada, former Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty, former UGC Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat, former UPSC member Purshottam Aggarwal, and several academicians from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New York University, University of Siena (Italy), University of Sao Paulo, University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University among others.

"It is very distressing that, despite a history of successful mass-vaccination campaigns in the past 70 years, the government has outsourced the procurement of vaccines to severely stretched state governments, at differential and exorbitant rates. Likewise, expert advice is repeatedly ignored, while obscurantist, unproven remedies are encouraged.

"Large rallies and religious congregations were organised, and there was no preparation to enhance the availability of oxygen, vaccines, and beds," it said.

The letter suggested the parties to consider a series of measures.

"There is a need to immediately reach out to, and support, the efforts of these citizen and civil society groups. Since these are already acting as aggregators of requests from citizens in need, progressive parties can support them by securing help for them or connecting them to the right authorities and systems," it said.

Parties must also support and sponsor citizen/civil society initiatives, "which are hamstrung because of restrictive policies regarding fund raising imposed by the government", it said.

The letter also suggested the parties to use their influence to urge the union and state governments to prepare in advance for the imminent third wave.

"Just to cite one example, children (who may also be impacted by the third wave) will need different oxygen masks, which hospitals don't have in adequate quantities. Parties can work with citizen groups to map demand, and try to secure their supply," it said.

It urged the parties to leverage their connections to stock on oxygen refills, food etc which might be needed during the third wave.

"Parties must leverage their connections to stock these in advance, and work with citizen groups to disburse them as and when they are needed. The more we prepare in advance, the more lives we can save," it said.

Also See: Coronavirus Live News Updates: Daily COVID-19 positivity rate drops to 5.7%, says Centre

COVID-19 updates: Delta variant behind second wave, finds study; India sees 1.32 lakh cases, 2,713 deaths in 24 hrs

Coronavirus News Updates: PM speaks to Kamala Harris, appreciates US efforts for vaccine supply to India

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