Coronavirus Latest News Updates: COVID spreading to villages, sensitise ground workers on containment, Centre tells states

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Coronavirus Latest News Updates: With gradual ingress of COVID-19 infection in rural and peri urban areas, the Centre on Sunday urged states to ensure community-based and primary health centre services to manage the situation while stressing on sensitisation of ground workers on containment, surveillance and use of RAT for screening, and tele-consultation.

 

Oral anti-coronavirus drug 2-DG, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, will be launched on Monday, with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh distributing nearly 10,000 doses to hospitals in Delhi,

The railways have delivered more than 9,440 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in nearly 590 tankers to various states across the country since April 19, the national transporter said on Sunday.

Maharashtra's toll rose to 81,486 while the number of fresh cases remained below 40,000 for the third consecutive day

The Centre directed Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on Sunday to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and its tributaries, and focus on their safe disposal and a dignified cremation after corpses were seen floating in these rivers following a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases.

Delhi metro services to remain suspended until further notice as the Covid-19 lockdown has been extended in the capital city, the DMRC said.

At least 38 AMU teachers, including 21 serving ones, had died of COVID or COVID-like symptoms in the last month, triggering doubts if any new deadly strain of the virus has been in circulation on the AMU campus.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh orders extension of all existing restrictions up to May 31, with directions for strict enforcement of all the curbs.

Bharat Biotech on Sunday said its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' has been found to be effective against coronavirus strains found in India and the UK.

Challenging the arrests of 25 persons by Delhi police for posters that surfaced across the city questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to donate vaccines to neighbouring countries, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posted the poster on his Twitter account daring the police to arrest him.

More than 1.84 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs, while nearly 51 lakh doses are in the pipeline and will be received by them within the next three days, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Anti-viral drug Remdesivir would be made available directly to private hospitals to avoid overcrowding in places designated for its prescription based sale by state authorities to the kin of COVID-19 patients, the Tamil Nadu government said.

As rural areas see a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday issued new guidelines for containment of the virus advising that peri-urban and rural areas plan a minimum 30-bedded COVID Care Centre for asymptomatic cases with comorbidities or mild cases where home isolation is not feasible.

Provision of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits should be made at all public health facilities including Sub-centres or Health and Wellness Centres and Primary Health Centres, the Union Health Ministry said.>

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry on the COVID-19 situation in the states and the Union Territory, government sources told news agency PTI.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that lockdown in Delhi is extended by another week and will continue till 5 am on 24 May>.

Over 18.21 crore (18,21,99,668) vaccine doses have been administered till 8 pm on Saturday, said the Centre.

Active coronavirus cases in India declined by 55,344, the highest single-day drop, says reports. Active coronavirus cases now stand at 36,18,458 and comprise 14.66 percent of the total cases.>

India recorded 3.11 lakh fresh cases of coronavirus in a day taking the total tally of COVID-19 infections to 2,46,84,077, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. A total of 3,11,170 new cases were reported in a day, while the toll climbed to 2,70,284 with 4,077 daily fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The second batch of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V arrived in Hyderabad, said reports.

The Centre has asked states and union territories to refrain from approving additional categories as frontline workers for vaccination, and recommended doing so using only vaccines procured directly by them.

The missive from Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan came after states like Odisha included railway staff, forest guards, oxygen plant employees and other categories as front line workers (FLW).

"It has been learnt that some states/UTs are approving additional categories of persons as FLWs belonging to different departments (like govt departments of banking, railways, and transport etc).

"In this regard, states/UTS are advised to please note that the FLWs categories and their definition has been very clearly communicated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and no change in the categories of FLWS and their definition has been made by the Government of India."

"Thus, it is advised that states/UTs should adhere to these categories as defined by MoHFW based on the recommendations of the NEGVAC," the letter from Bhushan to chief secretaries of states and Union Territories, dated 15 May, said.

Bhushan said the COVID-19 vaccination drive has entered Phase-3 from 1 May this year in which all beneficiaries aged 18 years and above can be included for vaccination as per state's decision.

He said this phase of vaccination drive is being guided by liberalised pricing and accelerated national COVID-19 vaccination strategy which has been explained to the states and Union Territories during multiple meetings held in the last fortnight.

He said according to the new strategy, Health Care Workers (HCWS), FLWs and people above 45 years are being vaccinated using vaccine supplies made free of cost to states and Union Territories by the Government of India.

He said people aged above 18 years are to be vaccinated using vaccines procured directly by states, Union Territories and private hospitals.

"However, states may like to make provisions for other categories of FLWs beyond the categories communicated by MoHFW as FLWs from the vaccines directly procured by state governments. A suitable provision is also being made in Co-WIN for on-site registration and vaccination of such facilitated cohorts of beneficiaries that the states may identify to be benefitted exclusively out of the vaccine doses directly procured by the States," he said.

The railway unions have demanded that its staffers, who have been working through the coronavirus crisis, be treated as frontline workers and even Railway minister Piyush Goyal, sources said, had assured them of help.

"If state police, central police organisations, armed forces, Home Guards, prison staff are frontline workers, why aren't our stationmasters, guards, and running staff considered the same? It's not fair," an officer said.

Also See: Coronavirus News Updates: India is in 'dire straits' as it opened up prematurely, says Dr Fauci on COVID crisis

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