Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness at session sites and noted that the objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide.
Here are live updates:
Maharashtra, T.N., Karnataka, A.P., Delhi account for 63% of total deaths in country
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi account for 63% of total COVID-19 deaths in the country, according to information released by the Health Ministry on Friday.
As per data, Maharashtra accounts for 49,521 deaths, Tamil Nadu 12,122, Karnataka 12,090, Andhra Pradesh 10,536 and Delhi 9,712. The rest of the States reported 55,013 deaths.
India has registered 256 cases fatalities in the past 24 hours, with 10 States/Union Territories accounting for 80.47% of the new deaths.
YSRCP MLC Challa Ramakrishna Reddy dies of COVID-19
YSR Congress Party Member of Legislative Council Challa Ramakrishna Reddy, from Owk in Kurnool district, died of COVID-19 at Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad. He was 72. He is survived by his wife Sridevi, two sons, and two daughters.
Mr. Reddy was made MLC recently. He was not keeping well from December 5. He had tested positive for COVID-19 soon after the Assembly session and was shifted to Hyderabad for better treatment. He was on ventilator for some time.
Born on August 27, 1948, he had represented the Congress party for three terms in the A.P. Assembly. He won two times from the Koilakuntla Assembly Constituency in Kurnool district and was defeated by Katasani Ramreddy of the then Praja Rajyam Party when he contested from the Banaganapalle Assembly Constituency in 2009.
Schools open partially today in Kerala
Ater more than nine months in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Kerala reopened for Classes X and XII. Elaborate arrangements were made to welcome students back in strict compliance with the safety protocols.
According to sources, revision and doubt clearing sessions are being held only for students in Classes 10 and 12 by adhering to the COVID-19 protocol.
COVID-19 vaccine companies point out ‘recruitment’ challenges
India, along with the world, maybe at the cusp of a vaccine but companies which are involved in testing the vaccines have said there have been challenges in recruiting volunteers.
On December 22, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech (BB) said it has recruited 13,000 volunteers across the country which was the halfway mark for its target of 26,000.
Be on guard even after vaccination, PM Modi urges people
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that preparations were in the last stages for the vaccination programme against COVID-19.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rajkot through videoconferencing, he said that people would get the vaccine manufactured in India and urged people not to let their guard down and strictly abide by coronavirus preventive norms even after vaccination.
Low COVID caseload in Telangana could be due to antibodies
The SARS-COV-2 causing the coronavirus case load in Telangana and also across the country for the past two months, markedly from December onwards, could be because of the proportion of population with discernible antibodies to it, observe public health experts.
“Yes, it is true. Hospital beds are not under stress anywhere in the country, despite elections in Bihar, and Telangana and major festivals of all communities. While it is difficult to pinpoint a single reason, a number of reasons may have contributed,” says Public Health Foundation of India’s Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) – Hyderabad director Dr. G.V.S. Murthy.
Tamil Nadu extends lockdown, but eases curbs further
The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced an extension of the COVID-19 lockdown in the State till January 31, 2021, but with fresh relaxations of curbs. The relaxations will not apply to containment zones.
It banned people from entering beaches, including the Marina in Chennai, on the occasion of ‘Kaanum Pongal’ on January 16.
(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)