Hours after multiple government hospitals in India’s capital issued a public appeal for help with acute oxygen shortage, GTB Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi said that a disaster was averted after they received stocks during the night.
Many hospitals, including these two, had said that their oxygen stock will last only for “7-12 hours” and COVID-19 patients will succumb if the situation isn’t addressed on priority basis.
With elections ongoing in West Bengal, scientists report the emergence of a new lineage of coronavirus that may comprise as much as 15% of the genomes in the State from January to March.
The new variant, B.1.618, has a major mutation called E484K — found in several of the internationally identified variants of concern — that help it evade the immune system and possibly compromise vaccine efficacy.
Here are the latest updates:
India becomes fastest country to administer 13 crore COVID vaccine doses: Health ministry
India took only 95 days to administer 13 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the fastest country to do so, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The US took 101 days to administer 13 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while China took 109 days to cross the same number, it said.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has reached 13,01,19,310 with 29,90,197 vaccine doses being given in a span of 24 hours, according to data updated at 7 am. Eight states — Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala — account for 59.33 per cent of the total doses given so far in the country.
Uttarakhand tightens restrictions in view of COVID surge
The Uttarakhand government has ordered closure of markets in urban areas barring shops dealing in essential commodities from 2 pm onwards and changing of the night curfew timing across the state from 9 pm to 7 pm.
The order aimed at checking the spread of COVID-19 comes into effect from Wednesday, Chief Secretary Om Prakash said.
The night curfew timing for all 13 districts has been revised from 9 pm-5 pm to 7 pm-5 pm, it said. The order of closing shops and business establishments also applies to shopping malls.
According to the new SOPs, not more than 100 people can gather for religious, political and social functions barring the ongoing Kumbh Mela where the restrictions announced earlier will remain effective.
All schools, degree colleges, institutes and coaching centres have been closed.
Tourist spots to be shut, night curfew extended by 1 hour in Andamans
Tourist spots and cinema halls will be shut for one month from April 22 and night curfew will be extended by one hour with immediate effect in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the archipelago is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases, a notification said on Wednesday.
The restrictions were necessitated as a large number of cases are being detected among tourists coming from the mainland, some of whom have been found to be tampering with COVID test reports, for which FIRs have been registered against them.
Members of the Great Andamanese tribe employed in the administration in Port Blair will be granted special leave to return to their hometowns after they test negative for COVID- 19, the notification said.
It said that the existing night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will be revised to 9 pm to 5 am with immediate effect.
All religious places closed for public in Odisha capital
With the Odisha capital Bhubaneswar registering the highest ever single day spike of 581 new COVID-19 cases, the local municipal authorities declared closure of all religious places like temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches for devotees from Wednesday till further order.
After consultations with management committees of religious institutions like temples/mosques/gurudwaras/ churches and others, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has issued directives for religious places which will come into force from 21/04/2021, the BMC said in an order.
“No devotees shall be allowed inside any religious institution like temples/mosques/gurudwaras/churches, etc, until further order. However, the usual religious rituals in all such places of worship will be conducted with limited numbers of priests/staff,” the order said. – PTI
Oxygen shortage: Hospitals ask families to shift patients
Although the State government has been claiming that there is no shortage of liquid medical oxygen, many hospitals continued to ask their admitted patients to shift to other facilities as they are running out of stock. Government helplines 108 and 1912 were flooded with calls seeking help.
Since Tuesday morning, the Emergency Response Team (ERT), a volunteer group, has been getting many calls from desperate families. ERT volunteers said they have got several calls from families of patients admitted in as many eight hospitals in various parts of the city on Tuesday, requesting help in finding oxygenated beds.
Karnataka introduces weekend curfew, curbs on businesses
The Karnataka government on Tuesday imposed weekend curfew and night curfew across the State and prohibited a range of businesses from functioning to contain the surge of COVID-19. The new pandemic-related stricture will be in place till May 4.
While the night curfew will be between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the weekend curfew will be between 9 p.m. on Friday till 6 a.m. on Monday. The new restrictions come in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the State, as cases exceeded 21,000 on Tuesday, bringing pressure on the medical infrastructure.
Educational institutions, cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, yoga centres, spas, sports complexes, stadium, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and bars have been brought under prohibited list till May 4. The guidelines ban social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious gatherings, and large congregation.