Coronavirus live updates | Delhi High Court quashes GST on oxygen concentrators

Inferring that there were 20-30 undetected cases for every confirmed one, it was likely that 50-60% of the population had already been infected and developed some immunity to the virus, reveals ICMR data

India ought to realistically expect around a 1.3 billion doses of vaccines from August to December and not the 2 billion that the Centre has projected, said epidemiologist, public health expert and author Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, in an interview to The Hindu.

Dr. Lahariya, who was formerly with the World Health Organisation, said that there was no evidence so far that a potential third wave would make more children seriously ill with COVID-19.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Delhi High Court quashes GST on oxygen concentrators

The Delhi High Court on Friday held the Government’s imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on oxygen concentrators imported for personal use as ‘unconstitutional’ and said oxygen concentrators constitute a life-saving device during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a George Floyd moment for the citizens of this country. The refrain is — ’I can’t breathe’ — albeit, in a somewhat different context and setting; although in circumstances, some would say, vastly more horrifying and ghastlier. Chased and riven by the merciless novel coronavirus, the citizenry has been driven to desperation and despair,” the judgement from the HC Bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh noted.

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India can expect around 1.3 billion doses of vaccines, says epidemiologist

The estimate that had been made by Dr. V.K. Paul, who heads India’s COVID-19 task force, is premised on vaccines from eight companies. Four of those vaccines (Biological E, Zydus Cadila, Genova Biopharma and Bharat Biotech Nasal) are in various phases of clinical trials, some in phase 1-2, said Dr. Lahariya and their success and eventual licensing could not be predetermined.

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COVID-19 health consultants to be hired for Rajasthan villages

Amid the surge in COVID-19 positive cases in villages, action has been initiated for appointing health consultants and health assistants in Rajasthan’s rural areas following a recommendation by medical bodies and research institutions. As many as 1,000 consultants will be hired in the State by July 31 this year.

Both consultants and assistants will be selected by the Civil Defence Department on the lines of volunteers hired for disaster relief work, Medical and Health Minister Raghu Sharma said here on Friday. The new healthcare workforce will help in the household surveys to identify and treat the patients.

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Pune ASHA workers demand better amenities to fight pandemic

With rural areas of Pune and Maharashtra witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases, the role of ​ASHA workers in tackling the pandemic has never been more critical. However, with a few public transport options owing to the lockdown, many workers are compelled to walk six-eight km in hilly areas to monitor and check on villages and hamlets in these inaccessible places in the Pune rural region.

These workers have been demanding that the administration provide them with two-wheelers to assist them in their door-to-door monitoring and help screen potential cases.

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Viral conjunctivitis can be early sign of COVID-19, say ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists at private hospitals have been noticing that some people who come in with complaints of conjunctivitis develop COVID-19. They say it is likely to be the earliest sign of the novel coronavirus infection, which could often be missed.

During the second wave of COVID-19, ophthalmologists found out that conjunctivitis could be the first sign of COVID-19, said Mohan Rajan, chairman and medical director of Rajan Eye Care Hospital.

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Karnataka lockdown extended till June 7

In the wake of COVID-19 continuing to spread and claim lives, particularly in rural areas, the State government has extended the lockdown by two more weeks, till June 7.

After holding an hour-long meeting with Ministers and officials on Friday, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said the decision was taken after considering the suggestions made by health experts. All existing lockdown restrictions will be in force till June 7. All essen

tial goods and services, such as food, medicines, milk, and fruits and vegetables, will be available for four hours from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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(With inputs from our Correspondents and agencies)

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