Coronavirus News Updates: Mumbai reports 696 new cases, 13 deaths in a day; doubling rate improves to 720 days

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Coronavirus LATEST News Updates: There are 14,751 active COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, while the total number of recoveries has increased to 6,88,340, the BMC said

as 790 people were discharged from hospitals, taking the total of recoveries to 6,88,340. There are 14,751 active COVID-19 cases in the city, the BMC said.

Mumbai Saturday registered 696 new cases of coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, taking the city's caseload to 7,20,637, the civic body said. With 13 more fatalities being reported in the same period, the toll in the city reached 15,279, it said.

As many as 790 people were discharged from hospitals, taking the total of recoveries to 6,88,340. There are 14,751 active cases in the city, the BMC said.

With 33,136 tests conducted during the day, the COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 2.1 percent.

The daily COVID-19 deaths in Delhi slipped into single-digit on Saturday, first time since 1 April when nine deaths cases were recorded, the health department said.

The National Capital recorded seven deaths due to COVID-19, the lowest since 1 April and 135 new cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday, as the positivity rate dipped to 0.18 percent, according to data shared by the health department.

Chief minister BS Yediyurappa said that lodges, resorts, gyms, private offices will be allowed to operate with 50 percent capacity in these districts.

All shops and hotels, clubs, restaurants allowed to operate till 5 pm in the districts that have less than 5 percent COVID-19 positivity.

Uttara Kannada, Belagavi, Mandya, Koppal, Chikkballapur, Tumkur, Kolar, Bengaluru Urban, Gadag, Raichur, Bagalkote, Kalburgi, Haveri, Ramanagara, Yadgir and Bidar will see relaxations, News18 reported.

With a rise in mucormycosis or black fungus cases in Jharkhand, the state government has directed the health machinery to be on high alert and extend all possible care to the affected people, an official said on Saturday. A total of 79 confirmed and 53 suspected cases have been reported to date in 18 of the 24 districts, he said.

"The state has thus far registered 26 deaths due to mucormycosis, while 50 people have recovered from it," Ravi Shankar Shukla, Mission Director of the National Health Mission (NHM) Jharkhand, told PTI.

If COVID-appropriate behaviour is not followed and crowding not prevented, the next wave of the viral infection can strike the country in the next six to eight weeks, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday.

Until a sizeable number of the population are vaccinated, Covid-appropriate behaviour needs to be followed aggressively, he said and stressed on the need for stricter surveillance and area-specific lockdowns in case of a significant surge.>

The Telangana government's official statement said, "The Cabinet has decided to lift the lockdown, which was in force till 19 June, from tomorrow (20 June). The Cabinet also directed the Department of Education to start all types of educational institutions from 1 July with full readiness.

"No night curfew, officials have been instructed to lift all restrictions that were in place till date," the CMO's statement added.

The Telangana Chief Minister's Office on Saturday tweeted about the government's decision to completely lift the lockdown restrictions in the state.

"The state cabinet has decided to lift the lockdown completely. The number of corona cases in the state, the percentage of positivity has dropped significantly and the corona has come under complete control, the decision was taken after reviewing the reports provided by the medical authorities to lift the lock down to this extent.

"The Cabinet also directed the officials of all the departments to completely lift all the regulations imposed during the lockdown," it said.

The Assam government has set a target of administering COVID-19 vaccination to three lakh people daily from Monday for the next 10 days, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday. Addressing a press meet, Sarma said there will be no government work over the next one week and the entire machinery will be involved in the inoculation exercise.

This is a part of our Enhanced Immunisation Drive. From 21 June, we shall be targeting three lakh vaccinations daily till 30 June," he said after reviewing preparations with all stakeholders.

The Centre on Saturday said that over 2.87 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are available with states and UTs currently.

"Furthermore, more than 52,26,460 vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the States/UTs within the next 3 days," it added.

In a letter to state governments and Union Territory administrations on Saturday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla instructed that they must ensure lockdown opening up process is "carefully calibrated".

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday wrote to all state chief secretaries and UT administrators to continue the 'test-track-treat' strategy to combat COVID-19.

He also told the state governments to ensure that testing rate does not reduce. This must work in tandem with a widespread vaccination drive, he said.

The Union Health Ministry said that the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country is the lowest after 74 days on Saturday.

The total number of active cases is currently 7,60,019.

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that India reported 60,753 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 2,98,23,546 in the country.

India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines, wants to resume exports of coronavirus doses but can't do so until its domestic needs are met, the head of the country's COVID-19 task force said Friday.

"Once our immediate need of vaccinating a significant proportion of Indian people is achieved and vaccine stockpiles are visible from multiple sources, we would then like to play the role of serving others and providing vaccines to them," Dr. Vinod K. Paul said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Paul defended the Indian government's move to restrict vaccine exports in April as it battled a ferocious surge in infections.

He noted that India had given away a substantial amount of vaccines at the start of the year as it launched its own immunization drive. So that has to be respected and has to be recognized, as not many nations have done that, he said.

From January, India began exporting vaccines to more than 90 countries. But the exports stopped when infections soared in India, leaving many developing countries without adequate supplies and affecting millions of people.

As critics accused India of mismanaging its sluggish vaccination efforts at home, countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh began looking toward China to fill their vaccine shortfalls.

The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker, also abandoned its role as the main supplier to COVAX, the U.N.-backed project to supply vaccines to poor regions of the world. Last month, it said it may not be able to start delivering doses until the end of this year, dealing a significant blow to global efforts to immunize people against the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Friday.

According to the COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update issued by the WHO on June 15, the Delta variant is now being reported in about 80 countries around the world. Another 12 countries and areas are reporting the detection of B.1.617 without further specification of lineage at this time.

The B.1.617.2 Delta variant was first detected in India around October 2020.

"The whole situation is so dynamic because of the variants that are now circulating and...the Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its significantly increased transmissibility," Swaminathan said responding to a question at a press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

Her remarks came hours after Public Health England (PHE) said that the number of Delta variant infections has jumped by 33,630 in a week to hit a total of 75,953 in the UK, with the highly transmissible variant now making up 99 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the country.

In Washington, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said she expects the Delta variant will become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States.

As worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper transmissibility, our vaccines work, Walensky told ABC News on Friday.

In Geneva, Swaminathan said there is a need for more data from well-designed studies on the efficacy of the different vaccines that are in use in different countries against the different variants.

Swaminathan added that there has to be in place a study that uses a good design, or a randomised trial or studies during the rollout of a vaccine in a country to see what happens when people have one dose of the vaccine or two doses of the vaccine and see how many are getting infected and are ending up hospitalised and getting seriously ill.

This is something that we are watching very carefully and documenting and we now have a special expert group that's been set up to exactly track the performance of vaccines and their effectiveness when used at the population level in relation to the variants.

"This also means that countries need to do sequencing, side by side with documenting vaccine effectiveness. We need to expand sequencing, she said, adding that through this information, experts can start getting some solid and robust evidence on vaccine performance.

Also See: COVID-19 updates: Third wave to hit India in 6-8 weeks, says AIIMS chief; Telangana ends lockdown, Karnataka eases curbs

Third COVID-19 wave inveitable, says AIIMS chief: What Centre, states and experts have predicted so far

Coronavirus News Updates: Maharashtra's COVID-19 toll tops one lakh with 233 fresh deaths; state sees 12,557 new cases

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