The Centre has directed States and Union Territories to continue the ongoing COVID-19 guidelines till June 30 and asked them to go for intensive and local containment measures in districts with a high number of cases to check the spread of the deadly disease.
Also read: States, Centre spar over vaccine wastage
The fresh guidelines for COVID-19 management came amid some decline in the daily count of the coronavirus cases and improvements in the situation of the availability of the beds, ICU and oxygen in some parts of the country like Delhi.
Here are the latest updates:
Daily COVID-19 count in India lowest in 44 days
The single day rise in coronavirus cases in India fell below the 2-lakh mark for the second time this month, while the recoveries continue to outnumber daily cases for the 15th consecutive day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
A total of 1,86,364 new coronavirus infections were reported in a day, the lowest in around 44 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,75,55,457. The death toll climbed to 3,18,895 with 3,660 daily deaths, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.
The daily COVID-19 count in India last fell below the 2-lakh mark on May 25. – PTI
Facebook changes policy on COVID-19 information
Facebook said it will no longer remove claims that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from its apps.
The change comes “in light of ongoing investigations into the origin of Covid-19 and in consultation with public health experts,” Facebook said.
The company had said in December that it would remove vaccine-related misinformation.
“We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, in a statement. – AP
Global supply of COVAX hit due to coronavirus crisis in India, USAID tells lawmakers
Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis in India, the global supply of COVAX has been badly hit, so much so that there are many parts of the world where one shot has been dispensed to health workers or frontline workers and the second shot has not been forthcoming, a top Biden administration official told lawmakers on Thursday.
“COVAX has suffered a big blow given the scale of the pandemic in India,” Samantha Power, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations for a hearing on the Fiscal 2022 Budget Request for the USAID.
“The Serum Institute of India, which had planned to supply upwards of 140 million doses by the end of June, has had to pull back that supply because of the domestic emergency,” Power said responding to a question on the vaccine crisis that has been created across the globe due to the scale of the pandemic in India. – PTI
Chennai’s hospital occupancy drops noticeably over two days
For the first time during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chennai has seen a sharp drop in the number of patients in hospitals over the past two days.
The decline in hospitalisations has come as a relief to the city, which struggled to find beds for sick patients for the best part of May. Meanwhile, the bed capacity in the city, particularly oxygen-supported beds, continued to rise amid sustained efforts by the administration.
Pandemic takes a toll on mental health
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that mental health problems could be the next pandemic after COVID-19 fades away,” said Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) senior fellow Akshay Kumar, who is also a consultant in the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Science at Artemis Hospital.
Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Kumar, said he was overwhelmed daily by the number of clients seeking counselling for mental health issues during the pandemic. Most of the cases pertained to anxiety and depression.