The World Health Organisation says there were more than 3.4 million new global cases of the coronavirus last week, a 12% increase from the previous week. The UN health agency says the number of deaths is continuing to decline, with about 57,000 in the last week.
It notes the highest increases in COVID-19 cases were in the Western Pacific and European regions. In the past week, WHO says the highest coronavirus infections were in Indonesia, Britain, Brazil, India and the US.
Here are the latest updates:
Three COVID strains detected among 75 patients in Mizoram
At least three different COVID strains have been detected among 75 patients from Mizoram whose samples were randomly selected and sent for whole genome sequencing, a health official said on Thursday.
Seventy-three cases of India’s highly transmissible Delta variant (B.1.617.2), and one case each of United Kingdom’s Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Eta (B.1.525) strains were found among 100 samples, state nodal officer and official spokesperson on COVID-19, Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma, said.
The samples were sent for whole genome sequencing to the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in West Bengal’s Kalyani in June, he said.
“The Mizoram government is making massive efforts to detect other variants in the state. People have to be very cautious and strictly follow the guidelines as different COVID variants may be already present in other parts of the state,” he said. – PTI
More than 3.20 crore vaccine doses currently available with states, UTs, private hospitals: Centre
More than 3.20 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are currently available with states, union territories and private hospitals for inoculation, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
States and union territories have so far received a total of 43,79,78,900 vaccine doses through all channels and a further 7,00,000 doses are in the pipeline, it said.
The total consumption, including wastage, so far is 40,59,77,410 doses, the ministry said, citing data available at 8 AM on Thursday.
More than 3.20 crore — 3,20,01,490 — balance and unutilised doses are still available with states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered, the ministry said.
The Union government is committed to accelerating the pace of vaccination and expanding its scope, it said. – PTI
China says “shocked” by WHO plan for second phase of COVID origins study
A senior Chinese health official said on Thursday he was shocked by the World Health Organisation’s plan for the second phase of a COVID-19 origins study.
National Health Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin dismissed the lab leak theory as a rumor running counter to common sense. – AP
Those who have taken two doses of vaccine should be allowed to go out, says Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that he was of the view that those who have received both the jabs of coronavirus vaccines should be allowed to “go out”.
He was going to discuss this issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, he told reporters here.
“In my opinion those who have received two shots of COVID-19 vaccines should be allowed to go out, in a phased manner. I will speak with the CM on this subject in the next two days,” he said. – PTI
Government claim on oxygen-scarcity deaths is appalling, say experts
The Centre’s claim in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that a lack of oxygen did not lead to deaths of COVID-19 patients was hollow and callous, public health experts said.
Public health expert and epidemiologist Chandrakant Lahariya said that technically no COVID-19 death would be recorded as “due to lack of oxygen,” but the experience of patients and the fact that the availability of oxygen would have saved lives meant that the Centre should have chosen its words with care.