The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it has asked the States to ensure immediate action for rehabilitation of children orphaned due to COVlD-19, in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and leveraging the facilities under child protection services.
The Ministry’s affidavit came in response to a petition before the High Court seeking directions to safeguard the interest of the children who have lost their parents to COVID-19 and who do not have any one else to take care of them and face the risk of being trafficked.
Here are the latest updates:
WHO assessing Covaxin data for EUL; Decision date ‘to be confirmed’
The World Health Organisation, which is currently reviewing Bharat Biotech’s application for an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, has said it is assessing the data of the jab.
In an update on its website, the WHO, which began rolling data on July 6, said the date for a decision on the jab is yet “to be confirmed”.
Rolling data allows the WHO to start its review right away, as information continues to come in, to accelerate the overall review process.
Suchitra Ella, joint managing director of Bharat Biotech, had recently said the EUL process is a step closer to the final decision on Covaxin’s ‘global acceptance’ as the rolling data was slated to begin in July.
She also, in a tweet, said the company was working closely with the WHO for inclusion of Covaxin in its EUL and approval is not expected to be a long drawn process as cell line and majority of Bharat Biotech’s facilities have already been audited and approved by the global health watchdog for BBIL’s other vaccines in the past.
The city-based vaccine maker recently said it concluded the final analysis of Covaxin efficacy from Phase 3 trials.
The jab demonstrated 77.8 per cent effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 and 65.2 per cent protection against the B.1.617.2 Delta variant, it said. — PTI
Over 2.11 cr vaccine doses available with States: Centre
More than 2.11 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories, and private hospitals, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
Over 42.15 crore (42,15,43,730) vaccine doses have been provided to States and Union Territories so far, through all sources, and 71,40,000 doses are being supplied, it said.
Of this, the total consumption, including wastage, is 40,03,50,489 doses, according to data available at 8 am, the Ministry said.
It said that 2,11,93,241 balance and unutilised COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs, and private hospitals. The Union government is committed to accelerate pace and expansion of the scope of the COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country, the Ministry said. — PTI
Daily COVID-19 tally in India lowest in 125 days
India recorded 30,093 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 125 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,11,74,322, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
The death toll climbed to 4,14,482 with 374 daily fatalities, the lowest in 111 days, while the active cases have declined to 4,06,130, the lowest in 117 days.
The active caseload comprises 1.30 per cent of the total infections and the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.37 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
A decrease of 15,535 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. As many as 17,92,336 tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 44,73,41,133.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.68 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for 29 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate has declined to 2.06 per cent.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,03,53,710, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.33 per cent, the data stated. Cumulative vaccine doses administered so far has reached 41.18 crore under the nationwide vaccination drive. — PTI
Over $157 bn deployed in last 15 months to fight Covid pandemic: World Bank
In its largest-ever crisis response, the World Bank has deployed over USD 157 billion to fight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, economic and social fronts over the last 15 months.
This represents an increase of more than 60 per cent over the 15-month period prior to the pandemic, the bank said on Monday, July 19, 2021. “Since the start of the pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed or mobilised a record USD 157 billion in new financing, an unprecedented level of support for an unprecedented crisis,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said.
“We will continue to provide critical assistance to developing countries through this ongoing pandemic to help achieve a more broad-based economic recovery,” he said.
The Bank Group has proven to be a rapid, innovative, and effective platform to support developing countries as they respond to the pandemic and strengthen resilience for future shocks, Malpass said. “But we must still do more,” he said, adding that he remains deeply concerned about the limited availability of vaccines, which are critical to saving lives and livelihoods, for developing countries.
According to a press release, support to countries from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development totalled USD 45.6 billion, including drawing down IBRD’s USD 10 billion crisis buffer in addition to the board-approved sustainable annual lending limits. — PTI
Uddhav prays for an end to pandemic
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, performed the ‘maha puja’ of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini at a temple in Pandharpur town of Solapur district on the occasion of ‘Ashadhi Ekadashi’, and prayed to God for an end to the COVID-19 crisis and good health of everyone in the state.
As per the long-standing tradition, the Chief Minister performed the puja with his wife Rashmi Thackeray at 2.30 am. — PTI
Onus on States to rehabilitate children orphaned by COVID: Centre
The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it has asked the States to ensure immediate action for rehabilitation of children orphaned due to COVlD-19, in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act and leveraging the facilities under child protection services. The Ministry of Woman and Child Development, in an affidavit, said children in distress situations, such those affected by the pandemic, are mandated care and protection under the JJ Act, 2015.
“The Act provides a safety net of statutory service delivery structures, along with provisions of Institutional and Non-Institutional care and protection of children in need of care and protection of Children in conflict with law,” the Ministry said.It added that, “implementation of the Act is the primary responsibility of the States and Union Territories”.
Much of India’s population expected to be vaccinated by 2022-23, says ADB
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has downgraded its India growth forecast for this year to 10% on Tuesday, from 11% projected in April, citing the second wave restrictions across States and expects most of India’s population to be vaccinated by 2022-23.
The Indian government has assured COVID-19 vaccines will be provided for all by December 2021, but ADB’s comments suggest global observers are not convinced of the target being achieved.
U.K. lifts curbs as scientists warn of pandemic surge
The British government on Monday lifted pandemic restrictions on daily life in England, scrapping all social distancing rules in a step slammed by scientists and opposition parties as a dangerous leap into the unknown.
From midnight (2300 GMT Sunday), nighclubs reopened and other indoor venues were allowed to run at full capacity, while legal mandates covering the wearing of masks and working from home were scrapped. Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who is self-isolating after his health minister was infected — urged the public to remain prudent and for any laggards to join the two-thirds of U.K. adults who are now fully vaccinated.
IISc-incubated Mynvax to get funding to bring “warm” Covid vaccine to market
Mynvax, a vaccine technology startup, incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development (SID) at the Indian Institute of Science, has signed an agreement to raise $4.2 million (₹31 crore) in its Series A round of financing led by Accel to bring thermotolerant Covid vaccine to the market.
The company was developing novel recombinant vaccines for COVID-19 and human influenza and would use the proceeds to further clinical development for the same, it said on Monday, July 19, 2021.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)