Coronavirus live updates | Jharkhand to start free vaccination for 18-44 age group from today

The Sputnik-V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Centre of Russia, will be available in India from early next week, NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul said on Thursday.

The Union government has accepted the recommendation for extension of the gap between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccine to between 12 and 16 weeks. The present gap is six to eight weeks.

In a statement on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said the decision was based on “available real-life evidence, particularly from the U.K.”. The COVID-19 working group, chaired by N.K. Arora, recommended increasing the interval to 12-16 weeks while suggesting no change in the interval of Covaxin doses.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Jharkhand to start free COVID-19 vaccination for 18-44 age group from today

Armed with 6.48 lakh vaccine doses, Jharkhand on Thursday said it was all geared up to kickstart free vaccination campaign for the 18-44 age group from Friday.

Facing vaccine shortage, the state could not launch the drive on scheduled May 1 and Chief Minister Hemant Soren had announced to begin free inoculation on May 14.

"From 14 May 2021, the state government is going to start the free vaccination drive for people falling under 18 – 44 years of age….As of now 4,14,340 doses of Covaxin and 2,34,400 doses of Covishield are available in the state, which was provided by the central government to Jharkhand for the drive," a state government official said.


First Oxygen Express train reaches Tamil Nadu

The first Oxygen Express train to Tamil Nadu arrived at the Tondiarpet container depot on early on May 14, 2021. | Photo Credit: Jothi Ramalingam B.


The first ‘Oxygen Express’ train to Tamil Nadu carrying four containers of 80 metric tonnes medical oxygen departed from Durgapur, West Bengal, on the night of May 12 and arrived at the Tondiarpet container depot in Chennai early on May 14.

The Indian Railways has started this initiative of running Oxygen Express on a mission mode to meet the requirement of LMO for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in different parts of the country.

The railways has already delivered nearly 5,735 metric tonnes of LMO in more than 375 tankers to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.

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