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Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Uttarakhand updates COVID-19 SOP, allows all activities outside containment zones with some conditions
All activities, subject to some conditions, have been permitted outside coronavirus containment zones from February 1 in Uttarakhand, as per the latest state government guidelines, which also lifted restrictions on interstate and intrastate movement of people and goods including on cross land-border trade with neighbouring countries under treaties. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements, the Standard Operating Procedure issued Friday by Chief Secretary Om Prakash said.
However, a separate set of guidelines on preventive measures against COVID-19 during the forthcoming Kumbh Mela in Haridwar will be issued based on the SoP formulated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare later, it said. District administrations have been asked to take all necessary measures to promote COVID 19-appropriate behaviour and ensure wearing of face masks, besides observing hand hygiene and social distancing.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Serum Institute applies for trials of another COVID-19 vaccine
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said his company has applied to start the trials of another COVID-19 vaccine and that it hopes to launch it by June 2021. The city-based firm has already produced Covishield vaccine, co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. The Centre has purchased 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine for the ongoing inoculation drive.
In a tweet, Poonawalla said, “Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!” (PTI)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Odisha allows reopening of Anganwadi centres, gatherings of up to 500 people
In view of the decline in the number of fresh COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government on Saturday allowed the reopening of Anganwadi centres and gatherings of up to 500 people with strict adherence to the safety guidelines, a notification said. It asked the School and Mass Education Department to make a decision on the date of reopening of schools for classes 9-12.
The administration also allowed the functioning of cinema halls as per the SOPs issued by the central and state governments. The relaxations are part of the state government’s unlock guidelines which will remain in force till February-end.
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Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Pakistan extends travel restrictions on six countries including UK till Feb 28
Pakistan has extended the travel restrictions on several countries, including the UK, till February 28 to contain the spread of the deadly variant of the coronavirus amidst a second wave of infections, authorities said. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) on Friday said people from countries in its category-C including South Africa, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands would be affected by the travel restrictions till February 28, Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday.
However, it added that they would be allowed to enter the country if permitted by the National Command and Operation Centre, the top decision making body on COVID-19. The PCAA also reduced the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test requirement for the countries categorised as B and C from 96 to 72 hours. The travel-related standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the PCAA in December and January have also been extended till February 28.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Covid vaccines may exacerbate inequalities in distribution: WHO
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has said that vaccines are now giving a window of opportunity to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control, but they may also exacerbate the inequalities in distribution across the globe.
Speaking at a press briefing here on Friday, Tedros urged the world not to squander another window of opportunity to curb the pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency. “A year ago, I said the world had a ‘window of opportunity’ to prevent widespread transmission of this new virus.”
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Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Sri Lanka: No adverse reactions so far following vaccination
No adverse reactions or side-effects have so far been reported by 5,286 people who were vaccinated in Sri Lanka on Friday with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield, provided by India, health officials said on Saturday. Sri Lanka on Friday launched its national coronavirus immunisation campaign by administering the first shots to frontline health workers, soldiers and security personnel, a day after India gifted 500,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to the island nation.
As many as 5,286 people were administered the jabs at nine hospitals, including two military hospitals, on the first day. No adverse reactions or side-effects have so far been reported from anywhere, the health officials said. The Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covishield vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, was approved for emergency use by the Sri Lankan government. (PTI)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates | For fourth day in a row, no new COVID-19 case in Andamans
Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not record a single fresh COVID-19 case in the last four days, a health department official said on Saturday. The coronavirus tally in the union territory remained at 4,994, while 62 people have so far died due to the contagion, he said. “No fresh COVID-19 case was reported for the fourth day in a row on Friday,” the official said.
The union territory now has only five active COVID-19 cases, he said. Three persons were cured of the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 4,927, the official said.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Odisha govt issues fresh Unlock guidelines
The Odisha government on Saturday issued Unlock guidelines in view of Covid-19 for the month of February. As per the order issued by the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), marriages and funeral-related gatherings are allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons. In closed spaces, a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed subject to the ceiling, the order said.
Anganwadi centres would start functioning from February 1, it said. Large gatherings and congregations shall continue to be prohibited across the state. Social, religious, political, sports, entertainment, academic and cultural functions and gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed, within the ceiling prescribed, so as to ensure maintenance of the physical distancing norms.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates | Taiwan reports first COVID-19 death in 8 months, from local cluster
Taiwan’s government on Saturday reported the island’s first death from COVID-19 since May, as it battles a small and unusual outbreak of locally transmitted cases. A woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions died after being infected with the coronavirus as part of a domestic cluster connected to a hospital, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung.
Taiwan took early and effective steps to control the virus, with the large majority of its 909 confirmed cases in people who caught COVID-19 abroad. The new outbreak has infected 19 people since the start of the month, centring on a hospital in the northern city of Taoyuan. (Reuters)