Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched six crash course programmes to train and upskill around one lakh frontline workers to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi urged people to remain cautious, stressing that the virus is “still amongst us” and the possibility of it mutating is also there. He also said the government is committed to providing free Covid vaccination for everyone starting June 21.
With 62,480 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 2,97,62,793, while the death count climbed to 3,83,490 with 1,587 fresh fatalities, the lowest in 61 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
The active cases have fallen below 8 lakh after 73 days and the national COVID-19 recovery rate has crossed 96 per cent.
The active cases have declined to 7,98,656 comprising 2.68 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 96.03 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
A net decline of 28,084 cases has been recorded in the COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
A total of 19,29,476 tests were conducted on Thursday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 38,71,67,696.
The daily positivity rate was recorded 3.24 per cent. It has been less than 5 per cent for 11 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate has declined to 3.80 per cent.
Telangana Cabinet To Meet Today To Take Call On Covid Lockdown
The Telangana Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Saturday to discuss key issues, including the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, and the effect of monsoon on agriculture, reported news agency ANI.
“An emergency State Cabinet meeting will be held here at Pragati Bhavan on Saturday at 2 pm under the chairmanship of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao,” a state government’s release said on Friday.
It said that in the meeting, the Cabinet is expected to discuss matters such as “lockdown in the state, rainfall, cultivation in the Monsoon season, agriculture-related seasonal issues, lifting of Godavari waters, Hydel power generation and other issues would be discussed.”
The ongoing lockdown in the state is coming to an end on Saturday. Presently, the cabinet has given relaxation between 6 am to 5 pm during the lockdown and also granted an additional one hour, till 6 pm, for people to reach home from their offices.
Maharashtra Extends Free Meal Scheme Till July 14 Amid Pandemic
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday extended the state’s “Shiv Bhojan” scheme till July 14 amid the coronavirus pandemic and resultant restrictions, officials said, according to news agency PTI. While meals under the scheme used to have a nominal fee earlier, the state government has made it free during the coronavirus-induced restrictions. So far, under the scheme, over 4.70 crore meals have been supplied, an official said, adding that with the increase of 441 centres to distribute meals, the total number of meals across the state per day will go up to 44,300. The number of “Shiv Bhojan” centres stand at 1,043, he added.
Mizoram extends lockdown till June 30
The Mizoram government has extended the lockdown with certain relaxations till June 30, a notification said. The ongoing lockdown was scheduled to end on June 21.
Under the new regulations, inter-village movement will be allowed and shops besides those selling essential commodities will be permitted to open on specific days in the Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC) area. Deputy commissioners in areas outside AMC jurisdiction can impose restrictions based on the local situation. However, villages or localities cannot announce lockdown, curfew or containment zones on their own, it said. All economic activities will function normally in areas outside AMC jurisdiction.
California launches digital COVID-19 vaccine pass but won’t require it
California officials unveiled a website to access a digital copy of COVID-19 immunization records, though they stressed the US state would not make it mandatory to carry the vaccine credentials. Businesses will be able to verify digital “vaccine cards” by scanning a QR code on them using an app expected to launch this month.
“This is no different from someone’s vaccine records,” said California State Epidemiologist Dr Erica Pan. “It’s an optional tool to use.”
Russia blames vaccine hesitancy as Delta variant drives Moscow surge
The Kremlin blamed a surge in COVID-19 cases on reluctance to have vaccinations and “nihilism” after a record 9,056 new infections in Moscow, mostly with the new Delta variant, fanned fears of a third wave. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin extended restrictions he had imposed this month, which include a ban on events with more than 1,000 people, an 11 pm closing time for restaurants, and the closure of fan zones set up for the European soccer championship.
He had said earlier this week that the situation in the capital, home to 13 million people, was deteriorating rapidly.
US scientists develop coating to capture airborne droplets
US scientists said they had developed a sticky wall coating that repurposes ingredients used in hair conditioners to trap aerosolized droplets, and hope it will become another tool in the fight against Covid and other airborne diseases. The substance can be applied to surfaces such as plexiglass dividers to capture respiratory droplets, rather than allowing them to bounce off and remain in circulation.
“Droplets collide with indoor surfaces all the time,” said Northwestern University engineering professor Jiaxing Huang, senior author of a paper on the subject that was published Wednesday in the journal Chem.