Coronavirus India Cases: Active Infections Rise Again, Daily Deaths Top 4,000

A person walks past crowd management barriers at a near-empty Covid-19 vaccination center at the BKC NESCO jumbo Covid centre in the Bombay Kurla Complex (BKC) district of Mumbai on May 12, 2021. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Cases: Active Infections Rise Again, Daily Deaths Top 4,000

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Gap Between Two Covishield Doses Increased

India has increased the gap between two doses of Covishield, the Oxford-Astrazeneca Plc's vaccine manufactured in the country by the Serum Institute of India.

Based on available real-life evidence, particularly from the U.K., the Covid-19 working group has agreed to increase dosing interval to 12-16 weeks between the two doses of Covishield, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Thursday. However, no change in interval has been suggested for Covaxin.

This is the second time in the last three months that the dosage interval of Covishield vaccine have been increased. Earlier in March, the gap between the two dosages was widened from from 28 days to six-eight weeks.

India Has Bought 35.6 Crore Vaccines, Received Half So Far

India has procured nearly 36 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses so far for its free inoculation programme for those aged 45 and above. While about half of these have been received, the other half is expected to be delivered in the rest of May and June.

VK Paul, member, health at NITI Aayog, said in a briefing on Wednesday that 35.6 crore vaccine doses have been produced for the ongoing vaccination drive.

  • 6.6 crore vaccines doses procured from the PM Cares fund.
  • Government of India procured 12 crore doses under phase 2; 86% of these received and remaining expected by end of May.
  • Government of India has procured 16 crore doses under phase 3, to be supplied between May and June.

Apart from this, 16 crore additional doses are in the pipeline under direct procurement by states and private hospitals. That will take total vaccine supply to 51.6 crore till July.

Maharashtra Extends Restrictions, Imposes More Curbs

Maharashtra has slapped additional restrictions while extending the existing curbs till June 1 to contain the second surge of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the second such extension on restrictions announced by the state since April 20.

According to a state government order, additional restrictions include:

  • Any person entering Maharashtra must carry a RT-PCR negative report obtained 48 hours before entry.
  • Cargo vehicles entering Maharashtra may operate with a driver and one other person, after getting RT-PCR negative report obtained 48 hours before entry.
  • Local disaster management authority must keep close vigil of rural markets and APMCs to ensure Covid appropriate behaviour is followed.
  • On a case-by-case basis, local DMA may decide to impose further restrictions on these markets or shut them down.
  • Milk collection, transport and processing to be allowed without restrictions, but retail sales will continue to adhere to rules on shops and home delivery imposed right now.
  • Personnel engaged in airport and port services and needed for moving cargo related to medicines or equipment needed for Covid management to be allowed to travel in local, mono and metro services.
  • Local DMA may call for further restrictions generally or to specific sectors after giving 48 hours notice.

Active cases of Covid-19 in India rose snapping two-day fall as the nation's hospitals remain overwhelmed by the world’s fastest spreading outbreak amid a vaccine shortage.

More than 3.62 lakh people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry’s 8 a.m. update on May 13. That’s higher than 3.52 lakh patients who recovered during the period, taking active cases higher to more than 37.1 lakh.

India reported 4,120 daily fatalities in the last 24 hours, taking the nation's total death toll to more than 2.58 lakh. The daily count remained higher than 4,000 for the second straight day.

To be clear, data on Covid cases and related deaths may be severely deficient as several states have inadequate testing, chronic underreporting and have been reportedly concealing such data by attributing the casualties to other causes.

Key data points:

  • Total confirmed cases: 2,37,03,665
  • Total number of active cases: 37,10,525
  • Total patients cured/discharged: 1,97,34,823
  • Total deaths: 2,58,317
  • Number of fresh cases in last 24 hours: 3,62,727
  • One-day recoveries: 3,52,181
  • One-day deaths: 4,120
  • Total vaccination shots administered: 17,72,14,256

Source: Health Ministry as of 8 a.m. on May 13

The central government's supply of vaccines to states for inoculating those aged more than 45 years has dried up. States have started prioritising second doses for those above 45 by halting inoculation of those aged 18-44.

India has so far administered more than 17.7 crore doses, including 18.95 lakh given in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry data.

Global Update

Children aged 12 to 15 years old can safely take the vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, according to a group of medical experts. Mixing AstraZeneca Plc’s and Pfizer Inc.’s vaccines increased side effects such as fatigue and headaches among patients, University of Oxford researchers said.

Global cases top 160 million, with deaths exceed 3.3 million. More than 1.36 billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide.

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