Coronavirus live updates | With 18,600 cases, Maharashtra records lowest daily spike in two months

Serum Institute of India has informed the government that it will be able to manufacture and supply nine to 10 crore doses of Covishield in June, official sources said on Sunday amid complaint by States about the shortage of vaccine jabs.

India’s average daily test positivity rate (positive cases identified for every 100 tests) continues to decline. It was 9.4% on May 29, compared to 13.4% recorded a week earlier.

About 30.36 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the country in the 24 hours ending 7 a.m. on May 30, which is close to 27,000 doses fewer than what was recorded in the previous 24 hours. However, it is 14.31 lakh more doses than what was recorded during the same period a week ago. There has been a significant uptick in daily vaccinations in the country.

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:

4,480 cases booked for lockdown violations in Chennai, 2,620 vehicles seized

The police have registered a total of 4,480 cases for lockdown violations, and seized 2,620 vehicles on Saturday. Patrol teams ensured that people did not come out unnecessarily.

The complete lockdown enforced in the State from May 10 has been extended till June 7. From May 18, the restrictions were made stringent by Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal. The city was divided into 348 sectors, and the public were not allowed to move between police station limits without valid reasons.

In the city, there are 12 police districts and 13 checkpoints were set up on their borders. Similarly, a total of 153 checkpoints, at the borders of each police station’s jurisdiction, were set up. These points were barricaded and policemen allowed only those with valid reasons and relevant documents to move around.

More city hotels offer rooms to COVID-19 patients for quarantine

With many asymptomatic COVID-19 patients preferring to be under medical care, more hotels in Chennai have tied up with leading hospitals to run COVID-19 Care Centres.

Around 1,500 rooms in hotels, including Ginger in Vadapalani, Taj Club House, Clarion President Hotel and Regent Central Deccan, have been converted into rooms for those needing quarantine. Hospitals provide doctors and nurses on the premises 24X7, and patients are also put on a proper diet, as prescribed by the doctors. Their medication, too, is supervised. Patients are sent from hospitals to hotels based on their condition.

Industry sources said hotels were able to stay afloat by turning into COVID-19 quarantine centres. “We are able to manage with minimum losses and we can also continue to employ our staff, since human resource is an important quotient in hotels. Since we are allowed to take in guests, we have to pay power bills and water taxes,” said a hotelier.

Some hotels are also hosting doctors and other frontline workers.

Private vaccination centres have administered over 1.25 lakh doses

In the last 30 days, private COVID vaccination centres (PCVC) administered 1,25,200 doses of vaccines, according to the daily bulletin from the Directorate of Public Health in Tamil Nadu.

On Sunday, 28,672 people in the 18 to 44 age group were vaccinated. In 2,341 sessions held in the State, as many as 412 healthcare workers and 1,279 frontline workers were vaccinated.

Among the 53,936 people who were inoculated in a day, 17,413 were in the 45 to 59 years age group and had co-morbidities and 6,160 were senior citizens.

Since January 16, a total of 307,196 sessions have been held to administer Covishield and Covaxin.

‘Black fungus medicines will reach in two days’

While COVID-19 cases appear to be on the decline, the number of mucormycosis or black fungus cases remains a serious health concern.

Across Karnataka, 1,250 people including children have contracted the potentially fatal fungal infection. So far, 39 patients have succumbed to the disease.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said in Hubballi on Sunday said black fungus medicines will reach all districts in two days. “The Centre has made all arrangements to facilitate treatment of black fungus patients. The required amount of medicines have been dispatched and they will be available in all hospitals in all districts in two days,” he said.

Establishments to open five days a week in 55 U.P. districts from June 1

The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday announced relaxations to the partial lockdown in much of the State as active cases have been reduced to just over 41,000.

Now, from June 1, shops, bazaars and other establishments in the State would be allowed to open outside containment zones from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for five days in a week while a lockdown would be imposed during the weekend.

The relaxations, however, as of now, would be introduced only in 55 out of the 75 districts. In the remaining 20 districts, which have more than 600 active cases, no relaxations would be provided till the active cases fall below this level, said Rajendra Kumar Tiwari, Chief Secretary, in an order.

SII promises 9-10 crore Covishield doses in June

In a recent letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, SII said its employees have been working round the clock in spite of various challenges because of the pandemic.

"We are pleased to inform that in the month of June we will be able to manufacture and supply nine to 10 crore doses of our Covishield vaccine to the country as compared to our production capacity of 6.5 crore doses in May," Prakash Kumar Singh, the Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, said in the letter.

"Serum Institute of India has always been sincerely concerned about the protection of the citizens of our country and world at large from COVID-19. Under the leadership of our CEO, Adar C Poonawalla, our team has been working relentlessly shoulder to shoulder with our government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic," he said in the letter.

Centre asks private news channels to display four new helpline numbers

The Centre on Sunday asked private TV news channels to display four new national helpline numbers for the benefit of citizens as part of the COVID-19 awareness initiative.

In a letter to all private TV news channels, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the helpline numbers should be run as a ticker or in any other appropriate way at periodic intervals.

The Ministry lauded news channels for playing an important role in supplementing the efforts of the government in fighting the pandemic by creating awareness and informing people about treatment protocol, appropriate safety measures, and vaccination. “In order to further this cause, private TV channels are advised to promote awareness of the following four national level helpline numbers by way of a ticker or such appropriate ways as they may consider at periodical intervals, especially during prime time,” it said.

With 18,600 cases, Maharashtra records lowest daily spike in two months

In its lowest single-day surge in nearly two months, Maharashtra reported 18,600 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as opposed to 22,532 recoveries with the State’s active case tally dipping further to reach 2,71,801.

A total of 814 deaths were added to the State’s progressive death toll, of which 402 occurred in the last week. Of the 402, as many as 272 were recorded in the last 48 hours while 412 had been added in the ongoing ‘reconciliation’ process, as per the State Health Department. The total death toll has now risen to 94,844 with the State’s case fatality rate rising to 1.65%.

The State’s total cases have touched 57,31,815 while its cumulative recoveries have gone up to 53,62,370 with the recovery rate rising to 93.55%.

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