Centre asks States to impose local curbs
NEW DELHI, Aug 5
India reported 42,982 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the country’s tally to 3,18,12,114 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The new cases are marginally higher than Wednesday’s count of 42,625.
The country’s toll rose by 533 to 4,26,290. The active caseload increased to 4,11,076. As many as 3,09,74,748 patients have recovered from the disease so far.
The Centre has asked States and Union Territories to consider imposing local-level restrictions to stop mass gatherings during festivals such as Muharram, Onam, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja.
“The Indian Council of Medical Research and National Centre for Disease Control have expressed concern regarding the mass gathering events during festivals turning into super spreader events,” said a letter by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also wrote a letter to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday about the surge of infections in the State, The Hindu reported. He claimed that a Central multi-disciplinary team sent to Kerala found that there was no follow-up of home-isolation cases and that contact tracing of patients was “quite low”.
“In few of the districts like Thiruvananthapuram, less than two contacts are traced per positive case,” the letter said. “Usually, only household contacts are targeted.”
Kerala is the top contributor of new Covid-19 cases among all States. The State registered 22,414 infections on Wednesday, pushing the tally to 34,71,563. The toll rose to 17,211 after 108 more deaths.
Meanwhile, from August 8, fully vaccinated travellers from India will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days as the United Kingdom Government moved the country from its “red” to “amber list”.
Those coming from “amber list” countries are required to self-isolate at home for 10 days unless they have been fully vaccinated by the British National Health Service, in which case “green list” rules apply. Passengers are also required to take a virus test three days before departure and book in advance two tests to be taken upon arrival in England.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday called for a pause in administering a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as a booster shot, at least till September, so that supplies can be used to help all countries vaccinate at least 10% of their population.
The global health body urged the wealthiest countries to address the wide disparities in vaccination rates around the world.
Globally, Covid-19 has infected 19.98 crore people and caused more than 42.51 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.