The Delta coronavirus variant doubles the risk of hospitalisation compared with the previously dominant variant in Britain, but two doses of vaccine still provide strong protection, a Scottish study found on Monday.
The study said early evidence suggested the protection from vaccines against the Delta variant, first identified in India, might be lower than the effectivessness against the Alpha variant, first identified in Kent, southeast England.
The study, published in a research letter in the Lancet, looked at 19,543 community cases and 377 hospitalisations among 5.4 million people in Scotland, 7,723 cases and 1234 hospitalisations of which were found to have the Delta variant.
Here are the latest updates:
85% decline in daily cases: Health Ministry
Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal, addresses a press conference:
There is a continued decline in daily new cases across the country…now it is 60,471 in the past 24 hours. There is a 85% decline in terms of daily cases reported from the recorded peak. This decline has been noticed for the first time after March 31. There is also a continued decline in average daily new cases from 3,30,745 in April 21-27 to 82,058 in June 9-15.
There has been a progressive decrease in districts from 531 to 165, reporting more than 100 daily cases. There is a decline by 75.6% from the peak of active cases. Recovery rate is now 95.6% of the total cases reported so far. There is consistent increase in recovery rate since May 3.
We suspected that more youngsters and children were infected during the second wave. However, percentage wise as it has turned out, the age-wise infections remained almost the same in July-December 2020 and March 15-May 25. Therefore, an atmosphere of fear should not be created unnecessarily.
Over 26 crore people have received first or both doses of vaccines. 4.53 crore doses given to age group 18-44.
Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul says since virus transmission is low, micro containment zones should be set up to manage cluster cases.
Novavax reserves have come yesterday. It will be produced domestically, hopefully in very large quantities, though there will be some gap in the beginning.
Delta+1 variant of the virus was first noticed since March in Europe, officially made public on June 13. It is a variant of interest, not of “concern” so far, says Dr. Paul.
On allegations that over 1 lakh fake tests were shown in Uttarakhand during Kumbh Mela, Mr. Agarwal said: ICMR got to know about it first when a Punjab resident received a message that his test had been conducted. ICMR informed the State government, which in a pro-active manner conducted an inquiry and about a week ago, directed DM-Hardwar to prepare a detailed report.
We don’t know about the exact number at this stage. The detailed report is expected within a week or so. Whatever necessary action, including for criminal offence, will be taken against those involved in recording tests without actually conducting them.
Two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have 92% protection against hospitalisation with delta variant
A real-world study undertaken by Public Health England in 14,019 people infected with the delta variant (B.1.617.2) in England found that vaccination with two doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer offered high protection against hospitalisation. Of the 14,019 people infected with the delta variant, only 166 required hospitalisation. The study was undertaken between April 12 and June 4. – R. Prasad
₹150 per Covaxin dose to Centre not sustainable in long run: Bharat Biotech
The supply price of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin to the Central government at ₹150 per dose is not sustainable in the long run, the vaccine maker said on June 15.
The Centre’s supplying price is pushing the pricing structure for the private sector upward. — PTI
India records 60,471 new cases
India saw a single day rise of 60,471 new coronavirus infections, the lowest after 75 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,95,70,881, while the daily positivity rate declined to 3.45%, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,77,031 with 2,726 fresh deaths, the data updated at 8 am showed The active cases further declined to 9,13,378 comprising 3.09% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 95.64%. A net decline of 59,780 cases has been recorded in the COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. – PTI
Taj Mahal to reopen from June 16
The Taj Mahal and all other centrally protected monuments, museums and sites, closed for around two months due to the Covid pandemic, will be reopened on June 16, an Archaeological Survey of India order issued on Monday said.
These include 3,693 monuments and 50 museums across India.
An ASI official said visitors will be able to book entry tickets online. However, no offline booking facility will be available, the official added. – PTI
Cyprus bans entry to recent India travellers
Cyprus has banned entry of anyone who has been to or passed through India in the previous two weeks of travelling to thwart the spread of the Indian variant of COVID-19.
In a directive issued on Monday, the Cypriot government said the ban excludes Cypriot citizens and their families, European Union citizens and foreign nationals who live permanently in Cyprus.
However, they either must undergo a PCR test 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Cyprus, be tested for the virus on arrival or remain under a 10-day quarantine from the date of their arrival at quarters designated by authorities. Quarantine costs will be covered by the Cypriot government. – AP
Easing of COVID restrictions delayed in England
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the next planned relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England will be delayed by four weeks until July 19 as a result of the spread of the delta variant.
In a press briefing on Monday, Mr. Johnson said he is “confident that we won’t need more than four weeks” as millions more people get fully vaccinated against the virus, which could save thousands of lives.
He said it is “sensible to wait just a little longer” and that “now is the time to ease off the accelerator.”