Australia has recognised the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII). In a statement to the media, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on October 1 said Covishield will be treated as part of the “recognised vaccines” in Australia.
Following this development, Australia also said it was looking forward to welcoming Indian students after its top medical regulator approved the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India for incoming international travellers.
Many States and Union Territories have eased restrictions to increase tourism prospects that reeled under a lot of pressure during the consecutive waves of COVID-19. Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to withdraw suspension on issuing ILP and Protected Area Permit to travellers as the COVID-19 situation in the northeastern State is “under control”, a minister said on October 1.
The Supreme Court on October 1 sought response from the Centre on a PIL which claimed that Aadhaar card was being mandatorily insisted upon for administering COVID-19 vaccination on the CoWIN portal. The Calcutta High Court on October 2 ordered that all pandals in West Bengal, where Durga Puja will be held this year, be made no-entry zones for members of the public, as was directed last year, to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection due to crowding.
Editorial | Crime and the pandemic: On Crime in India report
Here are the latest updates:
Latur civic body geared up to tackle possible third wave of pandemic: Mayor
In a bid to tackle the possible third wave of coronavirus, the Latur Municipal Corporation (LMC) in Maharashtra has made several arrangements with the help of various organisations, like keeping ready 20,000 Remdesivir injections, 20 oxygen concentrators and 10 BiPAP machines, Mayor Vikrant Gojamgunde said on October 2.
The civic body efficiently tackled the first and the second waves of the pandemic. But now, there is a threat of the third wave, which is why the LMC has made preparations, he said. -PTI
Over 88.14 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses given to States, UTs: Health ministry
Over 88.14 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to States and Union Territories so far through the Centre’s free-of-cost channel and direct State procurement category, the Union Health Ministry said on October 2.
More than 5.28 crore unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs. -PTI
‘I got Covishield from India’: President of the 76th UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid
President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid has said he had received the two doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured in India, as have a “large portion” of other countries around the world.
The Covishield vaccine, which has been developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is manufactured in India by Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
Global COVID-19 deaths hit 5 million as Delta variant sweeps the world
Worldwide deaths related to COVID-19 surpassed 5 million on October 1, according to a Reuters tally, as the Delta variant causes a surge in fatalities, mainly among the unvaccinated.
More than half of the world has yet to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data. -Reuters
India logs 24,354 new COVID-19 cases, 234 fresh fatalities
India logged 24,354 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 3,37,91,061, while the active cases declined to 2,73,889, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data updated on October 2.
The death toll climbed to 4,48,573 with 234 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The active cases comprise 0.81% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.86%, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said. -PTI
Merck pill seen as ‘a huge advance’, raises hope of preventing COVID-19 deaths
An antiviral pill developed by U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co could half the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, with experts hailing it as a potential breakthrough in how the virus is treated.
If it gets authorization, molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.
South Africa launches drive to vaccinate 500,000 in 2 days
South Africa launched a new COVID-19 vaccination drive October 1 and will try to give doses to 500,000 people in two days to reinvigorate a flagging campaign that’s coming up against hesitancy and complacency in the continent’s worst-affected country.
The campaign will run through October 2, and is the first time South Africa has offered vaccines on a wide scale to people on the weekend. -AP
Karnataka plans to restart midday meals after Dasara holidays
In the backdrop of the growing demand for midday meals to be restarted in schools, the government is planning to reintroduce it after the Dasara holidays. The Department of Primary and Secondary Education has written to all the Deputy Directors of Public Instruction asking about their preparedness and also sought suggestions on how the scheme can be implemented effectively.
Teachers of government schools feel the attendance is likely to improve in schools if midday meals are provided. “Many children are not getting adequate nutrition as their families have been badly affected by the pandemic. Providing midday meals in schools will ensure that the health of students improves,” said a teacher of a government school in North Bengaluru.
India going to play most important roles in bringing this pandemic to end: USAID administrator
India is going to play one of the most important roles on planet earth in bringing this (COVID-19) pandemic to an end, a top Biden administration official has said, underlining that the country has made investments over a long period of time in expanding vaccine manufacturing capacity.
India will resume the export of surplus COVID-19 vaccines in October under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool. -PTI
California to require all schoolchildren to get COVID-19 shots
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on October 1 announced the nation’s first coronavirus vaccination mandate for schoolchildren, a plan that will have all elementary through high school students get the shots once the vaccine gains final approval from the U.S. government for different age groups.
The government has fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 and over but only granted an emergency authorization for anyone 12 to 15. Once federal regulators fully approve the vaccine for that group, the state will require students in seventh through 12th grades to get vaccinated in both public and private schools, Mr. Newsom’s office said. -AP
FDA advisory panel to discuss J&J, Moderna booster shots this month
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on October 1 that an advisory panel of its experts would hold meetings later this month to discuss authorizing booster doses of Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines. -Reuters
Nagaland issues guidelines to prevent COVID-19 transmission in Durga Puja marquees
The Nagaland government on October 1 permitted the celebration of Durga Puja in marquees outside containment zones and issued a series of safety guidelines to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the pandals.
The order issued by Principal Secretary (Home) Abhijit Sinha said that people can visit marquees only between 5 AM and 9 PM. -PTI
2DG drug manufacturing know-how passed on to 7-8 companies: DRDO chief
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G Satheesh Reddy on October 1 said the technological information needed for the manufacture of 2DG, a drug developed by the organization to treat COVID -19, has been transferred to several pharmaceutical companies.
“2DG has been developed in DRDO’s Gwalior laboratory. We have transferred the manufacturing technology to seven-eight companies. Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given green light to these companies to go ahead with production,” Mr. Reddy said at a program here. -PTI
Sri Lanka lifts lockdown, retains curfew at night
Sri Lanka on October 1 lifted a near six-week lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 but maintained a night curfew and a ban on public gatherings and parties.
Daily deaths had jumped to over 250 with 4,000 infections after Sri Lankans celebrated the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year in mid-April, but case numbers have since eased.
The Health Ministry has urged companies to encourage staff to work from home but there was no decision yet on reopening schools.
Assam relaxes COVID-19 restrictions, allows cinema halls to reopen
The Assam government on October 1 extended the restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 with some relaxations such as reducing curfew duration and allowing the reopening of cinema halls with 50% capacity.
Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said the relaxations, which will come into immediate effect and remain imposed till further orders, have been allowed as lesser number of fresh cases are being reported. -PTI
Countries on vaccine eligibility list under ‘constant review’: U.K. government sources
The countries that are included on the U.K.’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility list for international travel are kept under “constant review”, British government sources said here on October 1, in the backdrop of India taking reciprocal action against the U.K.’s new international travel norms that do not recognise Indian vaccine certification.
The British government is yet to officially respond to India’s reported plans to impose quarantine restrictions on vaccinated British travellers from October 4, in a retaliatory move against India not being recognised on a list of 18 vaccine-eligible countries. -PTI
EU finds J&J COVID-19 shot possibly linked to another rare clotting condition
The European Union’s drug regulator on October 1 identified a possible link between rare cases of blood clotting in deep veins with Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine and recommended the condition be listed as a side-effect of the shot.
The European Medicines Agency also recommended that immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a bleeding disorder caused by the body mistakenly attacking platelets, be added as an adverse reaction with an unknown frequency to the J&J vaccine product information and to AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
J&J said while the chances of experiencing these conditions were very low, the product information would be updated accordingly as it continues to work closely with authorities including EMA. -Reuters
India to impose reciprocal curbs: All U.K. nationals to undergo 10-day quarantine after arriving in India from October 4
All British nationals arriving in India from the U.K. will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine from October 4 irrespective of their vaccination status as part of India’s reciprocal action against the U.K.’s new international travel rules with similar measures for Indians.
India has decided to impose reciprocal curbs against all British nationals arriving in the country, official sources said on October 4 as the contentious issue relating to the U.K. not recognising Indian vaccine certificates could not be resolved despite holding a series of technical-level talks.
Dependents of deceased won’t need death certificate, surviving member proof for Covid aid: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on October 1 said dependents of people who died of COVID-19 no longer need a death certificate and a surviving member certificate to avail financial aid under a state-run scheme.
At a high-level review meeting, he expressed strong displeasure over the pendency of cases, and directed officers to disburse financial aid at the earliest. -PTI