The Financial Express
Coronavirus Statistics in India Highlights, Coronavirus Prevention Highlights: Chief Justice NV Ramana on Wednesday called the Omicron variant of Coronavirus, a silent killer, and said that it takes a long time to recover from the strain. The remark came after the Supreme Court Bar Association president and senior advocate Vikas Singh urged the apex court to revert to a full physical hearing, as per a PTI report.
Meanwhile, India recorded 15,102 new Covid-19 cases, 31,377 recoveries, and 278 deaths in last 24 hours, as per the official data shared by the Union Ministry of Health on Wednesday morning. The country’s daily positivity rate also went down to 3.89% from 4.44%.
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With daily new coronavirus infections coming to a relatively lower level, there is a new conversation among the experts about India entering the ‘endemic phase’ of the viral cycle. In simple terms, this means that the number of new infections remain more or less same for a long period of time in a particular geographic region.
For example, if India registers say 20,000 new Covid infection for next six months, then experts may say term it as endemic phase for the country. But this doesn’t really mean that the virus is not in circulation or it is not deadly enough. It means that there won’t be any major outbreaks for a long period of time.
For a clearer understanding, let’s take example of the UK. Under the new ‘living with the virus’ policy, the United Kingdom is doing away with all kinds of Covid curbs. But health experts say that such approach also means lesser testing and lower genomic scrutiny. This may not help authorities is detecting new variants at an early stage. Closer study of cases of hospitalisations is required.
Like the case of BA.2 lineage of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus. It is already a significant contributor in global infections with as many as 1/5th of the total worldwide infections being attributed to this variant. Bottomline – Masking up is and should remain the way to live. It is new normal.
Here are the new Covid updates for February 23:
Chhattisgarh on Wednesday reported 219 new COVID-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 11,50,090, an official said.
The state's death toll remained unchanged at 14,022 as no patient has succumbed to the infection in the last two days.
Chhattisgarh's COVID-19 positivity rate is 0.82 per cent, he said.
The number of recoveries reached 11,33,779 after 38 people were discharged from hospitals and 488 completed their home isolation during the day, leaving the state with an active tally of 2,289, he said.
“Raipur recorded 48 new cases followed by Bilaspur 29, Surajpur 24, Bemetara 14, Durg 11, Koriya 10, Raigarh seven and Korba three, among other districts. With 26,637 swab samples examined during the day, the overall test count went up to 1,70,02,310,” the official said.
Chhattisgarh's coronavirus figures are as follows: Positive cases 11,50,090, new cases 219, death toll 14,022, recoveries 11,33,779, active cases 2,289, total tests 1,70,02,310. (PTI)
New Covid-19 cases fell to 618 in Tamil Nadu and they included a returnee from Oman adding to the tally of 34,47,006 while four more fatalities took the toll to 37,993, the Health Department said on Wednesday.
As many as 2,153 people recovered in the last 24 hours and the total recoveries comprised 33,98,231, a bulletin said.
Chennai accounted for the majority of new infections with 152 cases followed by Coimbatore 87, Chengalpet 72 while the remaining was spread across other districts.
As many as 24 districts reported new cases in single digit with Ariyalur, Perambalur, Ramanathapuram, Tenkasi and Thirupathur recording one case each.
A total of 63,267 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and pushed the cumulative number of specimens examined to 6,40,86,016.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister M K Stalin gave away medical kits under the 'Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam,' a healthcare scheme of the State government, and flagged off new ambulances in the neighbouring district of Chengalpet.
Till date, 50 lakh such kits have been distributed, according to a press release. (PTI)
Delhi logs 583 new Covid cases, three deaths in a day; positivity rate 1.05 per cent: Health Bulletin (PTI)
Nagaland on Wednesday reported nine new COVID-19 cases, same as the previous day, taking the tally in the state to 35,381, a health department official said.
Seven days after reporting zero COVID-19 death, the north-eastern state registered a fresh fatality linked to coronavirus in Dimapur district on Wednesday.
With this, the COVID-19 death toll in Nagaland increased to 754, the official said.
The state now has 185 active coronavirus cases, while 32,965 people have recovered from the disease, including 28 in the last 24 hours, the official said.
The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients in the state is 93.17 per cent.
Altogether 1,477 coronavirus patients have migrated to other states to date.
Nagaland has tested more than 4.58 lakh samples for COVID-19 thus far. (PTI)
Himachal Pradesh reports 190 new cases, 141 recoveries, and 7 deaths in the last 24 hours; active cases stand at 1,570 (ANI)
Goa on Wednesday reported 44 fresh cases of COVID-19, taking the overall tally to 2,44,861, while two more patients succumbed to the infection in the state, the health department said.
As per a health department bulletin, two more coronavirus-linked deaths reported in the last 24 hours pushed the toll to 3,797.
The number of recovered cases in the state rose to 2,40,607 after 118 patients were discharged during the day, the bulletin said.
Goa now has 457 active cases.
“With 2,469 new coronavirus tests, the number of tests conducted in the state so far has gone up to 18,72,671,” a department official said.
Goa's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,44,861, new cases 44, death toll 3,797, discharged 2,40,607, active cases 457, samples tested till date 18,72,671. (PTI)
Tamil Nadu reports 618 fresh cases, 2,153 recoveries, and 4 death, in the last 24 hours.
Active cases: 10,782 (ANI)
Mumbai reports 168 fresh cases, 255 recoveries, and zero deaths, in the last 24 hours.
Active cases 1,228 (ANI)
Maharashtra on Wednesday recorded 1,151 fresh coronavirus cases and 23 fatalities linked to the infection, while 2,594 patients were discharged following recovery, the state health department said.
With this, the state's COVID-19 tally reached 78,61,468, while the death toll increased to 1,43,656, the department said in a bulletin.
On Tuesday, the state had recorded 1,080 cases and 47 fatalities.
Mumbai city recorded 168 fresh cases and Pune 186. Both the cities did not report any fatality linked to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the bulletin said.
Of the eight administrative circles, the Pune region recorded 360 fresh cases, followed by Mumbai (290), Nashik (181), Nagpur (105), Akola (75), Kolhapur (58), Latur (48) and the Aurangabad circle (34), it said.
Of the 23 fatalities, the Pune region recorded nine, followed by Nashik (five), Akola (four) and the Nagpur region (two). Latur, Kolhapur, Mumbai regions reported one death, the department said.
An administrative circle consists of multiple districts.
The bulletin said 1,00,562 coronavirus tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking their cumulative count to 7,74,84,141.
It said 2,594 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the number of recovered cases to 77,02,217 and leaving the state with 11,604 active cases.
The coronavirus recovery rate in the state is 97.97 per cent.
Currently, 1,64,050 people are in home quarantine and another 922 in institutional quarantine, the bulletin added.
Coronavirus figures of Maharashtra are as follows: Positive cases 78,61,468; new cases 1,151; death toll 1,43,656; active cases: 11,604; recoveries 77,02,217; total tests 7,74,84,141. (PTI)
Moderna Inc has entered into a long-term agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific for the manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine and other experimental medicines based on mRNA technology, the companies said on Wednesday.
Thermo Fisher had already partnered with Moderna last year to help scale up production of its COVID vaccine, branded as Spikevax.
As a part of the 15-year expanded deal, Thermo Fisher would provide dedicated manufacturing capacity in the United States for fill/finish services as well as labeling and packaging services for Spikevax and other mRNA drugs in Moderna's pipeline.
Moderna's vaccine received full U.S. approval in January for adults and is cleared for use in more than 70 countries.
The company last week said it was developing three new vaccines based on the same messenger RNA (mRNA) technology used for its COVID-19 shot, including one for viral infection shingles.
On Tuesday, Moderna also announced a partnership with Adium Pharma S.A. for the distribution of its vaccine in Latin America.
Moderna is set to report its fourth-quarter results on Thursday. (Reuters)
Hong Kong reported a record 8,674 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, as authorities announced the toughest social restrictions since the pandemic began to combat the surge, and as the city prepares for compulsory testing of residents.
From Thursday residents will have to show their vaccine record to access venues including supermarkets, malls and restaurants, wear masks for all outdoor exercise, and they will not be allowed to remove masks to eat or drink on public transport.
Hong Kong is pursuing a “dynamic zero COVID” strategy similar to mainland China, aiming to eradicate any outbreaks at all costs instead of trying to live with the virus. The government said on Wednesday it wanted to “reduce the flow of people as much as possible.”
Health authorities reported 24 deaths, compared with Tuesday's 32 deaths and 6,211 new cases.
With the city's testing, treatment and isolation capacity already stretched to the maximum, University of Hong Kong researchers predicted new infections could peak at 180,000 a day next month.
“We are really at the limit,” Lau Ka-hin, chief manager for quality and standards of the Hospital Authority, an oversight department, told reporters.
Earlier on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Paul Chan unveiled tax breaks, handouts and subsidies to small businesses and residents, in a 2022/23 budget that aimed to mitigate the impact of curbs that will last at least until April 20.
With bars, gyms and other businesses already closed and shopping malls deserted while many residents work from home, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that schools would break early for summer and resume the new year in August.
Parents reacted with dismay, saying they were concerned about their children's education and mental health.
Some school campuses could be used for testing and isolation as mandatory checks for infections begin next month. Residents would need to test three times, with the city of 7.4 million able to test about one million people a day, Lam said. Since 2020, Hong Kong has registered more than 70,000 COVID-19 infections and more than 350 deaths.
The new restrictions add to a slew of already stringent measures including a ban on gatherings of more than two people and the closure of dining in restaurants past 6.p.m. local time.
Many residents are feeling fatigued at the measures which are the most draconian since the pandemic over two years ago. Separately the city's Security Secretary Chris Tang would isolate at home for two weeks after his wife and domestic helper tested positive for the virus. Hundreds of civil servants and health authorities have been infected in recent weeks. (Reuters)
Kerala on Wednesday recorded 5,023 fresh COVID-19 infections which raised the total to 64,83,773 till date.
The southern State reported 188 deaths which raised the total fatalities to 64,591, according to an official press release.
Of the deaths, 13 were reported in the last 24 hours, 54 were those which occurred in the last few days but were not recorded due to late receipt of documents and 121 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.
With 11,077 more people recovering since Tuesday, the total recoveries reached 63,71,030 and the active cases dropped to 47,354, the release said.
As many as 61,612 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.
Among the 14 districts, Ernakulam recorded the highest with 825 cases followed by Kozhikode (574) and Thiruvananthapuram (574), the release said.
Of the new cases, 41 were health workers, 16 from outside the State and 4,646 infected through contact with the source of it not being clear in 320, the release said.
There are currently 1,35,857 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 1,32,929 are in home or institutional quarantine and 2,928 in hospitals, the release said. (PTI)
The total of Covid-19 patients rose to 23,16,964 in Andhra Pradesh with 253 more cases reported in 24 hours ending 9 AM on Wednesday.
The number of recoveries touched 22,97,065 after 635 more infected people got cured, according to a bulletin.
Two more deaths took the toll to 14,718, it said.
The active cases decreased to 5,181. The number of fresh cases reported in 24 hours was 40 in Guntur district and one in Srikakulam.
Chittoor and West Godavari districts saw one fatality each.
East Godavari district now has 2,850 active cases and Srikakulam has 30. (PTI)
Kerala records 5,023 fresh COVID-19 cases, infection tally jumps to 64,83,773, death toll mounts to 64,591 with 188 new fatalities; active case count 47,354: Health department (PTI)
Pakistan on Wednesday abolished the negative anti-coronavirus test for fully vaccinated inbound passengers following an improvement in the COVID-19 situation. Pakistan on Wednesday abolished the negative anti-coronavirus test for fully vaccinated inbound passengers following an improvement in the COVID-19 situation. In a statement, the NCOC said that the new policy about testing protocols will be applicable for inbound passengers from February 24. – PTI
The international community should form a strategy to provide North Korea with at least 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to head off humanitarian disaster, an independent U.N. human rights investigator said on Wednesday.The vaccines could be a way to persuade the country to ease lockdowns that have left some of its 26 million people on the verge of starvation, Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, told a briefing in Seoul.”It is imperative that the population of North Korea start to be vaccinated… so that the government will have no excuse to maintain the closing of the borders,” he said. – Reuters
Cambodia began vaccinating 3- and 4-year-olds with Chinese-made Sinovac shots Wednesday after finding young children accounting for many new infections. Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed for parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as they can and said five of his 21 grandchildren and one of his daughters have tested positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus. (AP)
Thirty-five more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Ladakh, pushing the infection tally to 27,902 in the Union Territory, even as the number of active cases fell off to 305, officials said on Wednesday. They said Ladakh has recorded 228 coronavirus-related deaths so far, comprising 168 fatalities in Leh and 60 in Kargil. No death due to COVID-19 was reported from the Union Territory on Tuesday, the officials said. (PTI)
Ireland on Tuesday said it will drop most of its remaining pandemic-linked restrictions from Feb. 28 as an Omicron-fuelled wave of infections ebbs. The country has been one of the most cautious in the European Union on the risks of COVID-19, putting in place some of the longest-running curbs on travel and hospitality. (Reuters)
Chief Justice N V Ramana on Wednesday said that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a silent killer and it takes a long time to recover from the strain. The remark came after the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president and senior advocate Vikas Singh urged the apex court to revert to a full physical hearing. During the deliberation, the CJI said there is a jump of 15,000 cases now. (PTI)
RUSSIA REPORTS 137,642 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN PAST 24 HOURS (Reuters)
Nine coronavirus patients have died in Odisha and 342 people tested positive for the pathogen, the Health Department said on Wednesday. The daily positivity rate was 0.58 per cent and 83 children were among those newly infected, a bulletin stated, adding that 58,565 samples were tested in the past 24 hours. The infections are the lowest since 298 cases on January 1. The state had logged 428 COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths on Tuesday. (PTI)
Experts say it's not likely that the highly transmissible variant — or any other variant — will lead to herd immunity. “Herd immunity is an elusive concept and doesn't apply to coronavirus,” says Dr. Don Milton at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Herd immunity is when enough of a population is immune to a virus that it's hard for the germ to spread to those who aren't protected by vaccination or a prior infection. (AP)
135 new Covid cases were found out of which 20 are symptomatic & the infected have been admitted. Mumbaikars have been following all rules and restrictions and this is helping in reining in the spread of infection: Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar (ANI)
Getting infected twice with two different Omicron coronavirus subvariants is possible, but rarely happens, a Danish study has found. In Denmark, a more infectious sublineage of the Omicron coronavirus variant known as BA.2 has quickly dethroned the “original” BA.1 variant, which is the most common worldwide, but it has remained unclear whether a person could get infected by both variants. (Reuters)
Singapore's health ministry reported a record 26,032 COVID-19 infections on Tuesday and said it may take a few weeks before the current transmission wave peaks and subsides. “While the number of patients needing oxygen supplementation and intensive care unit (ICU) care is not high, there is a surge in demand for hospital beds, mostly for patients with underlying chronic illnesses to recover,” the health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday evening. (Reuters)
People who are double-vaccinated and those who have recovered from infection by previous strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have virtually no antibody protection against the Omicron variant, according to a study. The research, recently published in the journal Allergy, found that only individuals vaccinated with a third or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine form antibodies that can partially block Omicron. Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna examined an Austrian subpopulation of vaccinated and recovered individuals for their antibody status and protection against the Wuhan, Delta and Omicron variants. (PTI)
Puducherry witnessed a steep fall in number of daily COVID-19 cases during the last twenty-four hours ending 10 a.m on Wednesday with just 12 fresh infections being reported. The overall caseload reached 1,65,658. Director of Health G.Sriramulu said in a release that Puducherry region reported 9 new cases and Karaikal three. Mahe and Yanam regions did not register any fresh case of viral infection during last twenty-four hours. The active cases stood at 261 with 19 patients undergoing treatment in hospitals and the remaining 242 patients in home quarantine. (PTI)
Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has praised India for its vaccine-manufacturing prowess and applauded the efforts of the country's manufacturers for supplying affordable vaccines across the world. Addressing a virtual roundtable on India-US Health Partnership organised by the Indian embassy on Tuesday, Gates noted that over the last year, India has delivered over 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 100 countries. (PTI)
The global project to share COVID-19 vaccines is struggling to place more than 300 million doses in the latest sign the problem with vaccinating the world is now more about demand than supply. Last year, wealthy nations snapped most of the available shots to inoculate their own citizens first, meaning less than a third of people in low-income countries have been vaccinated so far compared with more than 70% in richer nations. (Reuters)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded Palantir Technologies Inc a $5.3 million contract to manage distribution of COVID-19 drugs in the United States, the software maker said on Tuesday. The contract for supporting distribution of therapeutics is for a duration of six months, Palantir said. (Reuters)
A large study into rare blood clots linked with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine found between just one and three cases per million, and only after the first dose, shedding fresh light on the side-effects from the shot. Researchers have sought to analyse any link between COVID-19 vaccines and rare blood clots in the brain, arteries or veins – sometimes accompanied by low platelets, reports of which led many nations last year to pause use of the AstraZeneca shot, which was developed with Oxford University. (Reuters)
South Korea's prime minister on Wednesday called on people not to panic about a major increase in coronavirus infections as new daily cases surged past 170,000 for the first time. Serious cases and deaths are at manageable levels despite record cases caused by the highly infectious Omicron variant, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told a pandemic response meeting. (Reuters)
The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded four new COVID-19 cases, one more than the previous day, pushing the tally to 10,0012, a health department official said here on Wednesday. Four more persons recovered from COVID-19, taking the total number of recoveries to 9,854, he said. The Archipelago now has 29 active COVID-19 cases. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 129 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours. The administration has so far tested 6,97,253 samples for COVID-19 and the cumulative test positivity rate is 1.44 per cent. A total of 6,07,139 beneficiaries have been inoculated so far, including 3,02,356 people with both doses of the vaccine, the official added. PTI
Arunachal Pradesh reported 28 fresh COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 64,341, a senior health department official said on Wednesday. As many as 63,799 people have recovered from the disease so far in the northeastern state, including 49 since Tuesday, he said. The death toll remained at 296, as no new fatality due to the contagion was registered in the past 24 hours, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Lobsang Jampa said. (PTI)
The South African Department of Health has announced changes to its vaccination programme that includes halving of the waiting period between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.This waiting period will now be 21 instead of 42 days. (PTI)
With the addition of 53 new cases of coronavirus, the infection count in Maharashtra's Thane district has gone up to 7,08,026, an official said on Wednesday. These new cases were reported on Tuesday, he said. The virus also claimed the lives of three more people, raising the death toll in the district to 11,866, he said, adding that the COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane is 1.67 per cent. (PTI)
The partnership between India and the US in the healthcare sector is critical to vaccinating the world against the coronavirus, India's Ambassador here Taranjit Singh Sandhu said. Observing that vaccinating the world must be the priority strategy against the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandhu on Tuesday said the world's map of vaccinations presents a story of disparities with the under-developed countries, including those in Africa, lagging at 10 per cent or below. (PTI)
South Korea reported 171,452 new coronavirus cases for Tuesday, another daily record and a sharp increase from 99,573 a day before, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to trigger a rare inflammatory condition linked to coronavirus infection in children, according to an analysis of US government data published Tuesday. The condition, formally known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, involves fever plus symptoms affecting at least two organs and often includes stomach pain, skin rash or bloodshot eyes. It's a rare complication in kids who have had COVID-19, and very rarely affects adults. The condition often leads to hospitalization, but most patients recover. (AP)