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Covid News Highlights: With declining Covid cases, restrictions to be eased in Kerala – The Indian Express

Coronavirus Omicron India Highlights: As Covid cases continued to dip, the Kerala government on Tuesday decided to ease Covid restrictions and asked schools and colleges in the state to prepare for functioning in a full-fledged manner from the end of February. The COVID-19 evaluation meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has instructed the schools to get ready by this month’s end. Currently, the classes are being conducted with 50 per cent attendance. The evaluation meeting has also decided to consider increasing the number of pilgrims for the religious festivals including the Aluva Sivarathri, Attukal Pongala and Maraman convention. The southern state on Tuesday reported 29,471 new Covid cases. However, the there has been an increase in the test positivity rate recorded compared to previous day. Kerala’s TPR now stand at 30.85 per cent. 28 fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours while 205 deaths that were newly certified as Covid-19 deaths based on the revised rules. Apart from this, 591 Covid deaths reported late were also added taking the total toll to 59,939. There are 2,83,676 active Covid cases in the state.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has hinted further relaxation in existing curbs by month end. She added that the BMC administration is reviewing the situation and since daily case has been on decline Mumbai could be unlocked completely by this month end. “We are planning to unlock Mumbai further. The daily cases have dipped. However, people need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour including masks and social distancing. It will help in preventing the virus further,” she added. Pednekar also said that in next few days Mumbai is expected to reach 100 per cent vaccination for eligible population above 18 years. Out of 92 lakh eligible population for vaccination (above 18 years) the BMC has so far vaccinated 96 per cent citizens with both the doses.
Meanwhile, India recorded 67,597 new cases of Covid-19 and related 1,188 fatalities Tuesday, recording a decrease in fresh infections but a rise in the death toll, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. However, of the 1,188 deaths, 733 were reported by Kerala which is reconciling its data as per government orders. These are demises that have been designated as Covid-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court.
Maharashtra on Tuesday recorded 6,107 new coronavirus cases, 329 less than the day ago, and 57 fresh deaths linked to the infection, while 16,035 more patients recovered from the disease. With these additions, the overall tally of Covid-19 cases increased to 78,16,243, while the death toll jumped to 1,43,155, the state health department said.
As per the bulletin, the number of recovered cases in Maharashtra increased to 75,73,069 after 16,035 patients were discharged during the day, leaving the state with 96,069 active cases. On Monday, the state had recorded 6,436 new cases and 24 fatalities. According to the department, till date, a total of 3,334 patients infected with the highly contagious Omicron variant have been reported in the state. Out of these, 2,023 patients have been discharged following a negative RT-PCR test. The coronavirus fatality rate in the state is 1.83 per cent, while the recovery rate is 96.89 per cent, it said.
😷 Today’s Covid numbers: Delhi (1,114 cases), Mumbai (447 cases), Bengaluru (2,139 cases), Chennai (792 cases), Kolkata (108 cases)
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 447 new Covid cases.
#CoronavirusUpdates
8th February, 6:00pm

Positive Pts. (24 hrs) – 447
Discharged Pts. (24 hrs) – 798

Total Recovered Pts. – 10,27,891

Overall Recovery Rate – 98%

Total Active Pts. – 4783

Doubling Rate -808 Days

Growth Rate (1Feb – 7Feb)- 0.09%#NaToCorona

Schools in Haryana will reopen from February 10 for Classes 1 to 9. Online classes will also continue, the state government has said. (ANI)
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday said there has been 5.33 lakh deaths so far from the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. He also informed that insurance claims worth Rs 808 crore have been paid under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package’ (PMGKP) insurance scheme, launched on March 30, 2020, to families of 1,616 healthcare workers who died while being involved in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Replying to a supplementary question asked by Congress MP K C Venugopal related to Covid deaths in Rajya Sabha, Mandaviya said health is a state subject and the related data is collected by the states and then reported to the central government. He said the World Health Organisation has issued guidelines on collecting the data on Covid-19 deaths. Based on these guidelines, the Centre has created a platform and asked the states to submit the data on Covid-19 deaths on it, he added. (PTI)
Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Tuesday said 90 per cent of Karnataka is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with both vaccine doses. “90% of Karnataka is now fully vaccinated with both doses! Two districts- Bengaluru Rural and Vijayapura- have achieved 100% second dose coverage. Congrats to all the health workers and district administration involved in this,” the minister tweeted.
9️⃣0️⃣% of Karnataka is now FULLY vaccinated with both doses!

Two districts- Bengaluru Rural and Vijayapura- have achieved 100% second dose coverage.

Congrats to all the health workers and district administration involved in this.#COVID19 #vaccination pic.twitter.com/5daChb1czY

As Covid cases continued to dip, the Kerala government has ordered for the withdrawal of Sunday lockdown imposed in the state. The southern state on Tuesday reported 29,471 new Covid cases. However, the there has been an increase in the test positivity rate recorded compared to previous day. Kerala’s TPR now stand at 30.85 per cent. 28 fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours while 205 deaths that were newly certified as Covid-19 deaths based on the revised rules. Apart from this, 591 Covid deaths reported late were also added taking the total toll to 59,939. There are 2,83,676 active Covid cases in the state.
Omicron variant is the dominant variant in the country presently and the current surge of Covid-19 cases in the country is showing a sustained declining trend since January 21, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
With the reporting of Omicron, a highly mutated variant of SARSCoV-2 virus and its classification as a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Union Ministry of Health revised its ‘Guidelines for international arrivals’, Mandaviya said in a written reply. ‘Omicron variant is the dominant variant in the country presently. The current surge of Covid-19 cases in the country is showing a sustained declining trend since January 21, 2022,’ he said.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has hinted further relaxation in existing curbs by month end. She added that the BMC administration is reviewing the situation and since daily case has been on decline Mumbai could be unlocked completely by this month end. “We are planning to unlock Mumbai further. The daily cases have dipped. However, people need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour including masks and social distancing. It will help in preventing the virus further,” she added. Pednekar also said that in next few days Mumbai is expected to reach 100 per cent vaccination for eligible population above 18 years. Out of 92 lakh eligible population for vaccination (above 18 years) the BMC has so far vaccinated 96 per cent citizens with both the doses.
The third wave of Covid-19 triggered by the Omicron variant appears to have come to an end in Telangana, a senior health official said on Tuesday, even as he stressed on Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination. 
“In the third wave, cases started rising from December 28, 2021. We have seen the peak on January 28. We are witnessing a decline in number of cases since then,” state Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said. About 70 per cent of patients in Telangana are infected by BA.2 sub-lineage of Omicron, he added.
The third and fourth waves of the pandemic that began in various countries across the world due to Omicron are on the wane and the number of daily cases within the country are less than one lakh for the last two days, he said. The positivity rate is less than five per cent. (PTI)
Covid-19 has so far claimed the lives of 67 doctors, 19 nurses in Maharashtra. 20 doctors, 20 nurses, 6 ambulance drivers, and 128 paramedics have lost their lives due to Covid-19 in Gujarat: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
COVID-19 has so far claimed the lives of 67 doctors, 19 nurses in Maharashtra. 20 doctors, 20 nurses, 6 ambulance drivers, and 128 paramedics have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in Gujarat: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha pic.twitter.com/euaTOR8ntW

Puducherry witnessed further drop in number of daily cases of coronavirus with 186 fresh infections being reported on Tuesday. The overall case count stood at 1,64,562. The 186 fresh cases were identified at the end of examination of 2,375 samples and were spread over Puducherry 96, Karaikal 56, Yanam 26 and Mahe 8.
Director of Health G Sriramulu said in a release that test positivity rate fell to 7.83 percent while the fatality and recovery rates were 1.19 percent and 96.73 percent respectively. The active cases were 3,428 and 85 cases out of them were in hospitals taking treatment while the remaining 3,343 patients were in home isolation. Three more people succumbed to the disease today. (PTI)
Odisha recorded 21 more Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, including a three-month-old infant, pushing the toll to 8,775. The caseload rose to 12,69,811 with 1,503 fresh infections, the health department said. The state had logged 1,497 new cases and 22 deaths on Monday.
Khurda district, where state capital Bhubaneswar is situated, reported the highest number of 333 single-day cases, the department said in a bulletin. Odisha now has 19,386 active cases, while 12,41,597 patients have recovered from the disease, including 3,621 in the last 24 hours. It has conducted a total of 57,150 sample tests for COVID-19 since Monday, the bulletin added. (PTI)
China has ordered inhabitants of the southern city of Baise to stay home and suspended transportation links amid a surge in Covid-19 cases at least partly linked to the omicron variant. Classes have been suspended, non-essential businesses closed and mass testing of residents ordered. Restaurants are only permitted to serve take-out. Traffic lights have been switched to red only to remind drivers to stay home.
As of Tuesday, 135 cases had been reported in the city — at least two of them found to be omicron, health authorities said. The city has become the latest to be placed under lockdown in keeping with China’s “zero-tolerance” approach to the pandemic. The policy requires strict measures be applied even when only a small number of cases have been found. (AP)
With reopening of schools raising concern over the safety of children below 15 years of age, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday said in the Rajya Sabha that the government will take a decision to vaccinate this group based on suggestions of an expert group. The government has constituted an expert group to give suggestions on which age group to be given Covid-19 vaccine first and accordingly vaccination for the 15-18 age group is underway, he said during the Question Hour. The expert group meets regularly and gives suggestions based on which the government takes action, news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
The Covid-19 pandemic will not end with the Omicron variant and New Zealand will have to prepare for more variants of the virus this year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday in her first parliamentary speech for 2022.
Ardern’s warning came as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the parliament building in the capital Wellington, demanding an end to coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates.
Hundreds of people protesting vaccine and mask mandates drove in convoy to New Zealand’s capital on Tuesday and converged outside Parliament as lawmakers reconvened after a summer break https://t.co/W6wkYkgtA6 pic.twitter.com/3dUD6qSW0t

“Mr Speaker, advice from experts is that Omicron will not be the last variant we will face this year,” Ardern told lawmakers in the speech which was livestreamed. “It’s not over. But that doesn’t mean we cannot move forward. And keep making progress. And so we are,” she said. (Reuters)
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, people perpetually remain worried for their health and immunity. While children remained the least affected during the first two waves, an increasing number of kids are getting infected by the virus in the third wave.
Follow these measures if your child has tested positive for Covid-19.
Nutritious diet
✅Tepid sponging
✅ Good hygiene
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Vaccines administered: 170.21 crore
Active caseload: 9,94,891 (2.35%)
Recovery Rate: 96.46%
Total Recoveries: 4,08,40,658 (1,80,456 in the last 24 hours)
Daily positivity rate: 5.02%
Weekly Positivity Rate: 8.30%
Total Tests conducted: 74.29 crore (Of this, 13,46,534 tests conducted in the last 24 hours)
India recorded 67,597 new cases and 1,188 deaths Tuesday, recording a decrease in new infections but a hike in reported toll. However, of the 1,188 deaths, 733 were reported by Kerala which is reconciling its data as per government orders. These are demises that have been designated as Covid-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court.

The total number of active cases in India currently stands at 9,94,891. 
Tamil Nadu continued to witness a decline in daily Covid-19 cases as 5,104 new infections were reported on Monday—14 districts logged fewer than 50 cases—pushing the total to 34,15,986.
A total of 1,18,782 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 6.26 crore. With 13 more deaths, the toll reached 37,772. Read More
The Drugs Controller General of India granted emergency use permission to single-dose Sputnik Light Covid vaccine in the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said. Sputnik-Light is the same as component-1 of Sputnik V. The interim data of efficacy trial from Russia has shown 65.4 per cent efficacy, 21 days after immunisation.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency Sunday and a former US ambassador to Canada said groups in the US must stop interfering in the domestic affairs of America’s neighbor as protesters opposed to Covid-19 restrictions continued to paralyse Ottawa’s downtown.
Mayor Jim Watson said the declaration highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government. Thousands of protesters descended in Ottawa again on the weekend, joining a hundred who remained since last weekend.

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