Coronavirus live: India unlikely to expand export of vaccines as focus shifts to domestic demand


India is unlikely to expand export of COVID-19 vaccines for the next few months as the focus shifts to domestic demand in view of spike in coronavirus infections, people familiar with the development said on Wednesday.

So far, India has sent 60.4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to around 80 countries.

Those familiar with the development said India will fulfil the existing commitments made to various countries but will not expand the supplies for next few months to meet the domestic demand. They said the situation will be reviewed after 2-3 months.

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:

Vaccine

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine 76% effective in updated U.S. trial results

AstraZeneca said on Thursday its COVID-19 vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic illness, citing a new analysis of up-to-date results for its major U.S. trial.

U.S. health officials earlier in the week publicly rebuked the drugmaker for using “outdated information” when calculating that the vaccine was 79% effective.

AstraZeneca reiterated on Thursday that the shot, developed with Oxford University, was 100% effective against severe or critical forms of the disease.

It also said the vaccine showed 85% efficacy in adults 65 years and older.

 

Swiggy to cover entire vaccination cost for over 2 lakh delivery partners in India

Food ordering platform Swiggy on Wednesday said it would cover the entire vaccination cost for its fleet of over 2 lakh delivery partners across the country.

This comes close to the heels of the central government’s announcement on the next phase of the nationwide vaccination commencing April 1, 2021, for individuals aged 45 and above.

In the first tranche of the programme, 5,500 of Swiggy’s delivery partners, aged 45 and above will be eligible to opt-in for the vaccination, Swiggy said in a statement.

By the end of the programme, Swiggy hopes to encourage 2,00,000 plus delivery partners with the choice to get vaccinated as they continue to provide an essential service. The company is also requesting authorities for the prioritisation of delivery partners in the vaccine drive, it added. – PTI

Mumbai

Navi Mumbai sees record single-day high of 519 cases

Navi Mumbai on Wednesday reported its highest single-day surge of 519 new COVID-19 cases, breaking its record of 477 cases on August 20, 2020.

NMMC Commissioner Abhijit Bangar said that since March 10, there had been a significant increase in daily COVID-19 case spikes and thus, more effective implementation of ‘Mission Break the Chain’ had been initiated.

“The emphasis is on increasing vaccination as well as testing. On the other hand, health facilities are being ramped up along with restrictions on entry to malls, department stores, and public parks,” Mr. Bangar said.

Telangana

Telangana logs 2021’s highest single-day COVID total

As many as 431 coronavirus infections were detected in Telangana on Tuesday, which is the highest single-day total this year so far. The COVID-19 cases have been consistently surging in the past two weeks. The year’s second highest daily total of 417 was recorded on January 5.

Cinematography Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav has said the government has no intentions to down shutters on cinemas in the State and all news relating to the closure were mere rumours.

He said the cinemas will continue to function in compliance with COVID-19 safety norms as the closure would severely affect thousands of people dependent on it for livelihood.

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