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COVID 19

Few weeks’ lockdown in India can stop Covid transmission, suggests top US expert Dr Fauci

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Top US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci has suggested a lockdown for a few weeks in India as an immediate step to contain the spread of the coronavirus as its deadly second wave shows no signs of ebbing.

 

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Fauci, in an interview with The Indian Express, said another most important thing in the immediate is to get supplies of oxygen, medication, PPEs. He said looking at the magnitude of the crisis, India should look at putting together a crisis group that would meet and start getting things organised.

Without naming any government, he said one of the things that should have been recognised that “victory was declared maybe too prematurely”.

“Well, one of the things you really need to do, to the extent that you can, is shut down temporarily the country, I think is important. If we want to time out and go back to what I said: there is the immediate, the intermediate, and the long range (measures to contain the virus).

“I think the most important thing in the immediate is to get oxygen, get supplies, get medication, get PPE, those kinds of things but also, one of the immediate things to do is to essentially call a shutdown of the country,” said Fauci, who is the chief medical adviser to the Biden administration.

He said when China had a big explosion of coronavirus cases a year ago, they completely shut down. Fauci said it is not necessary to shut down for six months, but it can be a temporary one to put an end to the cycle of transmission.

So one of the things to be considered is to temporarily shut down, he said.

“Literally, lock down so that you wind up having less spread. No one likes to lock down the country. Well, that’s a problem when you do it for six months,” he said.

But just for a few weeks of lockdown could have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak.

Some states have imposed a lockdown. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said lockdown should be the “last resort” to deal with the raging pandemic and asked states to convince migrant workers to stay put at their places of work with a guarantee for their lives and livelihood.

Breaching its all previous records, India on Saturday hit a record daily high with over 4 lakh new infections, while the active cases crossed the 32-lakh mark.

The second wave of the coronavirus has been wreaking havoc, infecting lakhs and killing thousands every day for the past few days. There have been cases where people have died due to lack of medical facilities, including oxygen. In many cases, families have to arrange oxygen for their patients as they are not able to get admission in hospitals.

“I heard from some of the people in the street bringing their mothers and their fathers and their sisters and their brothers searching for oxygen. They seem to think there really was not any organisation, any central organisation,” Fauci said.

Underlining that vaccination plays a crucial role in handling the coronavirus situation, Fauci said if India, a country of 1.4 billion people, has fully vaccinated only two per cent of its total population, then it has a very long way to go.

“You’ve got to get supplies. You’ve got to make contractual arrangements with the various companies that are out there in the world. There are many companies that now have vaccines. I think you have to negotiate with them to try and get a commitment,” he said.

“And also, India is the largest vaccine-producing country in the world. That’s the thing — you should rev up your own capabilities to make vaccines,” he added.

 

COVID 19

Does COVID vaccine affect fertility in men and women? Check what Health Ministry has to say

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Amid recent reports claiming infertility due to COVID-19 vaccination amongst the population of reproductive age, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday (June 21, 2021) issued a clarification. Busting the myth, it said that none of the available coronavirus vaccines affects fertility as all vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects.

“Vaccines are authorized for use only after their safety and efficacy is assured,” the Ministry said in a press statement.

It said that in the past few days, certain media reports have highlighted the prevalence of various superstitions and myths in a section of healthcare and frontline workers including the nurses.

“Such misinformation and rumours were observed to be spreading in the community during the vaccination drives earlier too e.g. polio and measles-rubella,” the Health Ministry added.

The Centre stated that there is ‘no scientific evidence’ suggesting COVID-19 vaccination can cause infertility in men and women.

 

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COVID 19

India records 42,640 new COVID-19 infections in 24 hours, lowest in 91 days

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India recorded 42,640 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday (June 22, 2021) morning.

The country reported less than 50,000 coronavirus cases in a day after over 90 days and with this, the active caseload has further declined to 6.62 lakh.

The health ministry stated that the national weekly positivity rate currently stands at 3.21% and the daily positivity rate is at 2.56%.

The country also saw 1,167 deaths and 81,839 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

India’s total COVID-19 tally has now increased to 2.99 crores, of which, 3,89,302 have died and 2.89 crores have recovered.

On the other hand, India achieved the highest ever single-day COVID-19 vaccination in the world by administering 86.16 lakh vaccine doses on Monday.

“The vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and congratulated those who got vaccinated.

“Kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine,” he added.

 

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COVID 19

SC reserves verdict on Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia compensation to kin of COVID-19 deceased

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The Supreme Court Monday reserved verdict on the pleas seeking directions that ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh be paid to the families of those who have died of COVID-19.

A special vacation bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate S B Upadhyay and other lawyers for almost two hours.

The top court asked the parties to file written submissions in three days and specifically directed the Centre to simplify the process of grant of death certificates to the dependents of those who have died of COVID-19.

The Centre had earlier told the apex court that the ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh cannot be paid to the families of those who have died of COVID-19 as the finances of state governments and the Centre are under severe strain.

In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Centre submitted that it has by ways of Minimum Standard Relief under section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, taken several steps providing for substantial and speedy measures by way of, increase in the health, infrastructure, ensuring food safety to every citizen.

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, one of the petitioners in the matter, had argued that under section 12(iii) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, every family whose member died due to disaster is entitled for ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4,00,000.

He had argued that since COVID-19 has been declared as a disaster and as per the order dated April 8, 2015, every family whose member dies due to disaster is entitled for ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh.

The counsel, appearing for another petitioner Reepak Kansal, had argued that a large number of deaths were taking place due to COVID-19 and death certificates need to be issued, as only after that the affected family members can claim compensation under section 12 (iii) of the Act.

In his plea, Kansal has said that states should be directed to fulfil their obligation to take care of victims of COVID-19 and also their family members.

 

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Covid-19 Stats

22 Jun 2021, 4:08 AM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

30,002,691 Total Cases
389,661 Death Cases
28,950,726 Recovered Cases

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