Covid-19 roundup: ICMR to conduct national sero survey, several states extend curbs and more – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India continues to witness a declining trend in the Covid-19 tally. For the fourth day in a row, the daily new cases are below 1 lakh.
India on Friday reported 91,702 daily new Covid-19 cases, taking the country‘s total tally to 29,274,823.
Meanwhile, the active caseload has further declined to 1,121,671, and the recovery rate has increased to 94.93%. A total of 1,34,580 patients were discharged yesterday, taking the total recovery numbers to 27,790,073.
Here are the latest Covid related developments across the country:
‘Covid situation appears to be stabilizing in India’
The Union health ministry said on Friday the Covid situation in the country appears to be stabilising. However, people need to continue following the appropriate behaviour and social distancing norms, it added.
The ministry said almost 78 per cent decline in daily new Covid-19 cases has been noted in India since the highest reported peak in daily cases on May 7.
The Centre underlined that breaking the chain of transmission ensures lesser strain on the health infrastructure and better quality of care.
ICMR to conduct national sero survey in June to assess Covid-19 spread
The Centre on Friday said that the ICMR’s fourth round of national-level sero survey to assess the intensity of the spread of Covid-19 in India will begin this month, but all states/UTs should also be encouraged to conduct them so that information from all geographies can be collected.
“The ICMR will begin work for the next sero survey this month which will help assess the intensity of spread of Covid-19. But if we want to protect our geographies, we cannot depend on one national sero survey alone and will have to encourage states/UTs to do sero surveys at their levels also,” Paul said.
‘No need to panic on need for change in dosage interval of Covishield’
The government on Friday said there is no need to panic on the need for an immediate change in the dosage interval of Covishield vaccine, underlining that reducing the time gap requires proper scientific study in the Indian scenario.
“There is no need for any panic, suggesting need for immediate switchover or change in the gap between the doses. All these decisions must be taken very carefully. We must remember that when we increased the gap, we had to consider the risk posed by the virus to those who have received only one dose. But the counterpoint was that more people will then be able to get the first dose, thereby giving a reasonable degree of immunity to more people,” Dr VK Paul said.
Decrease in number of active Covid cases should not lead to complacency: Vardhan
The Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said that a decrease in the number of Covid cases should never inculcate a sense of complacency among the public.
He underlined that the behavioural pattern of putting masks on and off intermittently, improper wearing of masks and not following Covid-appropriate behaviour contributed to the second wave of the viral disease.

‘US denying emergency nod to Covaxin will have no impact on our vaccine programme’
With the US FDA rejecting emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, the government Friday said it respects the decision but asserted it will have no impact whatsoever on India’s vaccination programme.
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech’s US partner Ocugen said it will be seeking an emergency use nod for India’s first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin from the Canadian health authorities.
The company said it has already initiated discussions with Health Canada to seek regulatory approval.
Ocugen had recently acquired the Covaxin rights for the Canadian market as well from Bharat Biotech and last week said it had made an upfront payment of $15 million to the Indian vaccine maker for the Canadian rights of the vaccine.
Several states extend Covid curbs
Several states on Friday extended the Covid curbs along with some relaxations which were imposed to check the spread of the virus.
The Tamil Nadu government on Friday extended the total lockdown by another week ending 6am on June 21 and modified the relaxations further in 27 districts, including Chennai, where the caseload is on a decline.

Corporation workers sanitize a road in a containment zone, during Covid-induced lockdown in Coimbatore. (PTI photo)

The Kerala government has also announced a complete lockdown in the state on Saturday and Sunday.
While the Manipur government on Friday extended the ongoing Covid curfew in seven districts till June 30 amid a rise in Covid cases.
Himachal Pradesh too extended the Covid curfew with several more relaxations till further orders.
The buses within the state will ply with 50 per cent occupancy and shops will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm from June 14, he added.
The curfew will continue from 5 pm to 5 am in the state till further orders.
‘Over 24.93 vaccine doses administered so far’
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has exceeded more than 24.93 crore, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.
It said 19,49,902 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group received the first dose while 72,279 in the age group received the second dose of the vaccine on Friday.
Cumulatively, 3,79,67,237 people in the 18-44 age group have received the first dose and 5,58,862 have received the second dose since the start of the third phase of the vaccination drive across the country.
(With agency inputs)
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