Here are the top Covid-19 developments that you need to know today.
With the Centre gearing up for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, another round of dry run will be conducted across the country, except Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, on January 8. The exercise is being done to ensure efficient planning and management for vaccine delivery in each district. The first round of dry run was held on January 2.
Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have already conducted the mock drills in all districts on January 5 and 7, respectively.
“The entire planning of the vaccination drive including beneficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session site, will be tested under the leadership of District Collector or District Magistrate. The dry run will also familiarize the state, district, block and hospital-level officers on all aspects of vaccine roll-out,” the Union Ministry of Health said.
“This activity will help administrators in strengthening the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identification of any residual challenges prior to the actual implementation and to provide confidence to the programme managers at all levels to carry out a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive,” it added.
Be prepared, vaccine likely to be sent shortly: Centre to states, UTs
The Centre has also requested states and union territories to remain prepared as they are likely to receive the first supply of Covid-19 vaccine shortly.
In a communique, the ministry said the vaccine will be supplied to the identified consignee points of 19 states and union territories — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — by the supplier.
The vaccine for remaining 18 states and union territories — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Daman and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand — will be received from their respective government medical store depots.
The ministry also said that further distribution of vaccine to districts will be done as per the registered beneficiaries, for which a separate communication will be issued in the coming days.
Volunteer enrolment for Phase-3 clinical trials complete: BharatBiotech
Bharat Biotech Thursday announced the successful completion of volunteer enrolment for Phase-3 clinical trials of Covaxin, the vaccine candidate developed by the company. Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, in a release said that 25,000 volunteers have been enrolled.
The country’s drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.
Extend ban on UK flights till Jan 31: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday urged the Centre to extend the ban on flights between India and the UK till January 31 in view of the “extremely serious” Covid-19 situation in that country.
In a tweet, Kejriwal said: “Centre has decided to lift the ban and start UK flights. In view of extremely serious COVID situation in the UK, I wud urge central govt to extend the ban till 31 Jan.”
The Aviation Ministry, last week, had said that flights from India to the UK will resume from January 6, while services from that country to here would resume January 8 onwards. In a tweet, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said, “30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian & UK carriers. This schedule is valid till 23 Jan 2021. Further frequency will be determined after review.”
Following the emergence of a new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus, India had suspended all passenger flights connecting the two countries from December 23 to January 7.
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