Coronavirus updates | India reports 62,224 fresh cases

Drones could soon be used for delivering COVID-19 vaccines in remote and hard-to-reach geographies in the country.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex medical research body, has invited expressions of interest from drone operators to “develop a delivery model” using unmanned aerial vehicles for transporting vaccines and medicines.

According to ICMR’s Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Dr. Samiran Panda, the aim is to develop a model through a pilot project which can be emulated and adopted by State governments for delivery of vaccines. The ICMR has already conducted a feasibility study in collaboration with IIT- Kanpur.

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:

India reports 62,224 fresh cases

A single day rise of 62,224 new coronavirus infections were reported taking India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,96,33,105, while the active cases were recorded below nine lakh after 70 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,79,573 with 2,542 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed The active cases further declined to 8,65,432 comprising 2.92% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 95.80%.

A net decline of 47,946 cases has been recorded in the COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. – PTI

All applications for Haj 2021 cancelled: Haj Committee of India

The Haj Committee of India on Tuesday announced that all the applications for the pilgrimage this year stand cancelled as Saudi Arabia has stated that only a limited number of people residing in the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Haj due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a circular, the committee said that the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has issued a statement informing that due to coronavirus pandemic conditions it has decided to allow citizens and residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only to attend Haj this year in limited numbers and international Haj has been cancelled.

"Hence it has been decided by the Haj Committee of India that all the applications for Haj-2021 stands cancelled," the circular signed by Haj Committee of India’s Chief Executive Officer Maqsood Ahmed Khan read. – PTI

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