Can people in 18-44 group choose their preferred COVID-19 vaccine?

Amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19 in India, the registration for vaccination of people above the age of 18 is all set to begin today on the Co-Win app.

Now, RS Sharma, the chairperson of an empowered committee on COVID-19 vaccination has said that people who are in the age group of 18-44 years can choose a vaccine according to their preferences at private centres.


Speaking to CNN-News18, Sharma said, “The government centres will continue to vaccinate (beneficiaries with) whatever vaccines they are getting. And obviously, if they are giving the second dose, they will also have to ensure that the second dose is of the same vaccine as the first dose…Private centres will declare as to which vaccines they are (using for) vaccinating, and what the prices of those vaccines are.”

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For the unversed, healthcare, essential workers, people above 45+ did not have the option to choose between Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, the two vaccines being administered in India.

“The CoWin portal will be able to show the prices and the vaccine types (at private centres),”  said Sharma, who is also the chief of Cowin platform.

It was on April 19 that the Union government announced that the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India will begin from May 1 and everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get the jab.

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In order to ramp up the coronavirus vaccination drive in the country, the Indian government on April 19 had announced a “liberalised and accelerated” Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination from May 1.

In phase 3 of the vaccination drive, vaccine manufacturers would supply 50 percent of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to the Government of India (GoI) and would be free to supply the remaining 50 percent doses to the State government and in the open market.

Home Minister Amit Shah hospitalised for COVID-19

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday. The minister himself confirmed the news from his official account on Twitter. He has currently been admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

In the meanwhile, reactions started pouring in from across the political spectrum in connection with the development.

Amit Shah

BJP President JP Nadda wrote, “Received news of Union Home Minister Amit Shah testing COVID-19 positive. I pray to God for his speedy recovery.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan tweeted in Hindi, he wrote: “May God heal you completely soon and you join the service with full energy. We wish you all the best!”

Notably, Chouhan himself had tested positive for coronavirus last month.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu wrote: “Our Prayers for a speedy recovery, get well soon Amit Shah Ji.”

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Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wished recovery to Shah on Twitter and wrote, “I  am sorry to hear from news media that Amit Shah has to be admitted to hospital because he has tested positive for Coronavirus. I wish him a speedy recovery and pray for his early discharge.”

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma wrote, “My good wishes for your speedy recovery Adarniya @AmitShah Ji. With your resolute determination and strong will power, you will soon come out of this.”

Earlier, Union Home Minster Amit Shah himself confirmed the news from his official handle on Twitter. He said that due to early symptoms coronavirus, he went for a test and the test result came positive. Although his health is fine, he will get himself admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors, Shah said.

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He also urged those who came into close contact with him in the past few days to get themselves tested for the virus.

“On getting the initial symptoms of coronavirus, I got the test done and the report came back positive. My health is fine, but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. I request that all of you who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your tests done,” Shah tweeted out in Hindi.

Meanwhile, India has witnessed a huge single-day spike of 54,735 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally over the 17.50 lakh mark, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

With this latest spike, the total cases in the country stand at 17,50,724. Among these cases 5,67,730 are active. A total of 11,45,630 patients have been cured/discharged/migrated.


India’s COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate drops to 2.28%

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday stated that India’s COVID-19 case fatality rate has now dropped to 2.28%, which is one of the lowest in the world.

The Ministry informed that with effective Containment Strategy, aggressive testing, and standardized clinical management protocols, they have been able to control the death rates caused by the virus.


“The focused efforts of Centre and State/UT governments on early detection and isolation through aggressive testing and efficient clinical management of hospitalized cases have shown results with continuously falling Case Fatality Rate and improving Recovery Rate,” said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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They added, “With effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardized clinical management protocols based on holistic Standard of Care approach, the Case Fatality Rate has significantly dipped.”

Centre, the State/UT governments have ramped up the testing and hospital infrastructure by combining public and private sector efforts, health ministry went on to say.

India on Monday (July 27, 2020) reported 30,000 recoveries per day for the fourth successive day.

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According to the latest health bulletin, there were 31,991 patients who were discharged in the last 24 hours.

This has taken the total recoveries beyond 9 lakh and the number currently stands at 9,17,567, while the Recovery Rate has bettered to 64%.

“As a result of low mortality and more people recovering, the recovered cases exceed the active cases (4,85,114) by 4,32,453 today. Medical attention continues to be provided to all active cases in hospitals and home settings,” said the Union Health Ministry.

However, India recorded the highest-single day spike on Monday in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. With over 49,931 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 count on this day crossed the 14.35 lakh-mark, while the death toll has crossed the 32,700-mark as well.

COVID-19 tests in the country have crossed the 1 crore

The number of COVID-19 tests in the country have crossed the 1 crore (10 million) mark as the number of total cases crossed seven lakh on Monday, government data showed.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare termed the milestone of one crore tests a “significant achievement.”



“This signifies the importance accorded to widespread testing and the focussed  “Test, Trace, Treat” strategy with several follow-up measures taken in tandem by the Central government and the states and UTs,” the Health Ministry said.

During the last 24 hours 3,46,459 samples have been tested. The cumulative number of samples tested, as of now is 1,01,35,525.


“This achievement has also been possible by the continuously expanding network of testing labs throughout the country. As on date, more than 1105 labs have enables people to undergo COVID tests. There are 788 labs in the government sector and 317 private labs,” it said.

While there are 592 Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs, including 368 government labds and 224 private facilities, the number of TrueNat based testing labs in the country is 421 which includes 387 government centres. The number of CBNAAT based testing labs in the country is 92, including 33 government labs and 59 private centres.


The ministry further said that the consistent and focussed efforts for containment and management of COVID-19 by the Central Government along with the states and UTs have led to the number of recovered cases among COVID-19 patients rise to 4,24,432, which is above 60%.

During the last 24 hours, a total of 15,350 COVID-19 patients have been cured, it said.

There are 1,71,145 more recovered patients than COVID-19 active cases. This takes the national recovery rate amongst COVID-19 to 60.86%. There are 2,53,287 active cases and all are under active medical supervision.

Meanwhile, the latest updates provided by the states put the number of total cases in the country above seven lakh.

Uddhav cautions people on COVID-19-Maharashtra

Maharashtra government on Monday extended lockdown provisions in the state till July 31, empowering local bodies to enforce certain measures and necessary restrictions in specified local areas to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.


The lockdown will not put a blanket ban on non-essential activities but concerned District Collectors and Commissioners of the Municipal Corporations in the state may enforce certain measures and necessary restrictions in specified local areas on the permitted non-essential activities and movement of persons to control COVID-19, the state government said. 

The ongoing restrictions would have expired on June 30 in the absence of an extension.

“All Government offices with certain exceptions like emergency, health and medical, treasuries, disaster management, police to function with 15% strength or 15 persons whichever is higher. All private offices can operate up to 10% strength or 10 people whichever is more,” the order issued by the state government said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had on Sunday said the lockdown curbs in the state would continue beyond June 30.

Speaking to the people of Maharashtra in a televised address, Thackeray had ruled out easing the restrictions, adding the state still faces coronavirus threat.

“Will lockdown be lifted after June 30? The clear answer is no,” Thackeray’s office later said in a tweet.

Thackeray said there will be some restrictions in the state after June 30 but more relaxations will be offered gradually. “The state has now started the unlock process under the Mission Begin Again. There will be some restrictions even after June 30, but eventually more and more relaxations will be offered to the people,” he said.

Chinese researchers to conduct phase 2 of human trial

The Institute of Medical Biology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS) said on Sunday that it has started a second phase human trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

As of now, more than a dozen vaccines are in different stages of human trials globally.


However,  none of the vaccines have passed late-stage phase 3 clinical trials, a step required for getting regulatory approval for sale.

IMBCAMS began on Saturday a phase 2 human test for its experimental shot. The phase-2 trial will determine the shot`s dose and continue to evaluate whether the potential vaccine can safely trigger immune responses in healthy people, Reuters reported.

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The institute further says that it expects to use a plant dedicated to producing a coronavirus vaccine this year to prepare for China`s future vaccine supplies.

Meanwhile, there are about 30 groups in India, including big industry, startups and academics, who are working on COVID-19 vaccine development and about 20 of them are keeping a good pace, Government’s top scientific advisor said on May 28.

Addressing a media briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country, Professor K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, said the logistics of making COVID-19 vaccine accessible to everyone is a big challenge which is being discussed by the government now.

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Raghavan said a vaccine normally takes 10-15 years to develop and costs $ 200 – 300 million but the effort now is to do this in 1 year which would raise the cost substantially.

“…we need to do parallel processing. Instead of working on 1 COVID-19 vaccine, the world is working on ~ 100 vaccines at the same time. Simultaneously, we have to speed up regulatory processes without compromising on safety, expand manufacturing capacity and build distribution systems, so, instead of $200-300 million, it will cost $2-3 billion,” he said.

Raghavan noted that India’s vaccine manufacturing is world-class.

The Coronavirus has now infected more than 8.8 Million people, killing 465000 people worldwide.

The virus was first detected in late 2019 in China, and is believed to have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan.

Coronavirus Outbreak: More than 3.32 lakh confirmed

The coronavirus cases in India continue to spread rapidly as the country has marked significant and consecutive highest jumps in the COVID-19 tally over a major part of the past two weeks. With over 11,000 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 count on Sunday crossed the 3.32 lakh-mark, while the death toll has crossed the 9,500-mark as well.


At 9:30 AM on this day, the COVID-19 tally in the country has reached 3,32,424 cases, which includes 1,53,106 active cases; 1,69,798 cured, discharged, or migrated patients, and 9,520 deaths.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 11,502 new COVID-19 cases and 311 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, marking a significant spike. Yesterday, India had witnessed the highest yet single-day spike in the COVID-19 tally with an increase of 11,929 cases.

Maharashtra continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus spread where the number of cases has witnessed an even large spike recently. According to the Health Ministry, Maharashtra has the highest number of cases with 1,07,958 positive cases of COVID-19 infection and 3,950 deaths. As many as 3,390 new COVID-19 cases were reported from the state in the past 24 hours.

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Notably, Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, has become the hotbed of the coronavirus spread in the state where the number of cases has crossed the 58,000-mark and the death toll has topped the 2,100-mark as well. At 9:30 AM on this day, the COVID-19 tally in Mumbai showed 58,226 cases and 2,182 deaths.

One of the real challenges in Mumbai is controlling the disease contamination in Asia’s biggest slum — Dharavi, which is an extremely densely-populated region.

Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu with 44,661 cases, which overtook Delhi due to a recent massive spike in the number of cases. The national capital is third on the list with 41,182 cases.

After Delhi comes Gujarat, where the COVID-19 figure stands at 23,590 cases with 16,333 patients recovered and 1,478 fatalities. Rajasthan has reported 12,694 cases of which 9,566 have recovered and 292 patients are dead.

Uttar Pradesh has reported 13,615 positive cases so far of which 8,268 patients have recovered and 399 patients have lost their lives due to the virus. In Rajasthan, as many as 12,772 people have confirmed COVID-19, of which 9,631 recovered and 294 people succumbed to it.

In Kerala, which reported the country’s first COVID-19 case, 2462 people have been detected positive for coronavirus so far.

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In the month of June, the spread of infection has been extremely rapid. This can be gauged from the fact that there were 1,90,535 cases of coronavirus in the country on June 1 but 13 days later, the figure has already crossed three lakh. Which is to say that, broadly, there have been around 1.25 lakh new cases of infection within just 13 days. Not only that, in these past few days, the death toll has also risen sharply as more than 3,000 people have died from June 1 to June 13. Not only are the figures shocking but also bode uneasy news for the future. It shows that people are not seriously following social distancing norms and that the coronavirus infection rate has been skyrocketing.

If this continues on a similar track, experts estimate that the country’s COVID-19 tally may even surpass 10 lakh by the end of June.

The global number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection has surpassed 7.6 million, with over 427,000 fatalities being reported since the start of the outbreak, according to the latest data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday.

The majority of cases and deaths, however, are still concentrated in the Americas. The United States remains the worst-hit country having the highest single count of cases, over 2 million.

PM Modi, PM Trump discuss situation on India-China

India-China Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday held a telephonic conversation where the two leaders discussed the next G-7 Summit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing protests in the United States.


“Had a warm and productive conversation with my friend President @realDonaldTrump. We discussed his plans for the US Presidency of G-7, the COVID-19 pandemic, and many other issues,” Modi said in a tweet.

“The richness and depth of India-US consultations will remain an important pillar of the post-COVID global architecture,” he added.

In a press release, the Prime Minister’s Office said President Trump spoke about the US Presidency of the Group of Seven (G-7), and conveyed his desire to expand the ambit of the grouping beyond the existing membership, to include other important countries including India.

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In this context, he extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to attend the next G-7 Summit to be held in USA, the PMO said.

Prime Minister Modi commended President Trump for his “creative and far-sighted approach, acknowledging the fact that such an expanded forum would be in keeping with the emerging realities of the post-COVID world.”

The Prime Minister said that India would be happy to work with the US and other countries to ensure the success of the proposed Summit, the press release said.

Modi expressed concern regarding the ongoing “civil disturbances” in the US, and conveyed his best wishes for an early resolution of the situation.

Massive protests have erupted in the US over the systemic racism and the recent death of a black man in police custody last week.

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The two leaders also exchanged views on other topical issues, such as the COVID-19 situation in the two countries, the situation on the India-China border, and the need for reforms in the World Health Organisation (WHO).

President Trump warmly recalled his visit to India in February this year, according to the government readout of the call. Prime Minister Modi said that the visit had been memorable and historic on many accounts, and had also added new dynamism to the bilateral relationship, it added.

The exceptional warmth and candour of the conversation reflected the special nature of the Indo-US ties, as well as the friendship and mutual esteem between both leaders, it further said.

will salon, Parlous open in June ? Lockdown 5.0

Lockdown 5.0 has come into effect across the country and under the fresh guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday, several restrictions have been eased. One of the relaxations is that salon and beauty services across the country have been allowed to operate.


The service providers will have to strictly follow the social distancing norms and take care of hygiene and sanitisation process. However, states will take the final calls on the resumption of wellness and beauty services such as barber shops, spas, salons and parlours.

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Earlier cities such as Hyderabad, Gurugram, Una and states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu allowed salon services to operate with certain guidelines.

But, before you rush to get a beauty treatment, keep a few things in your mind. We have listed some precautions which you should take while you make a visit to salon, spa or beauty parlour. Following the below-mentioned precautions will help you keep infection at bay.

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  • Do not forget to wear a mask before venturing out, especially to a public place like salon. Wear whatever is available-surgical or cotton mask but make sure to cover your mouth and nose. 
  • Don’t use towel provided at salons. Take your own if possible.
  • Ask staff to use clean scissors, comb and other beauty products and equipments.
  • If any salon member isn’t wearing gloves or mask, immediately ask them to do so.
  • Also, notice if any of them has symptoms of COVID-19 or not.
  • While taking massage or facial, ask salon member to open a fresh packet.
  • In case of using medicine or alum to treat a minor cut, think twice about its hygiene.
  • Most importantly, take prior appointments so that you don’t have to wait. In case you have to wait for your turn, make sure to wait outside the salon- if possible, then in your own car.
  • Make sure to sanitise your hand after getting out of salon. As soon as you enter your home, head straight to the bathroom. Wash your hand for 20 seconds with soap, wash your mask and take bath before doing household chores. Maintain a distance from your family members until you take a bath.

The Central Government has extended coronavirus lockdown till June 30. According to the government, the current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will be focussed on the economy. All activities that were prohibited earlier will be opened in a phased manner, barring containment zones.

In Phase I, religious places, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, shopping malls, will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020. Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Coronavirus: 42,836 confirmed, 1,389 deaths in India

The death toll due to COVID-19 crossed 1300 on Monday with the number of infected cases rising above 42,000 in the country, according to the Union Health Ministry.


As per the latest update provided by the ministry, the number of active COVID-19 cases in India stands at 29,685 as 11,761 people were cured and discharged, and one patient migrated.

A total of 42,836 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in India so far with 1,389 deaths. This included 111 foreign nationals who have been infected with the virus.

In the last 24 hours, 2573 new cases and 83 deaths have been recorded across the country.

Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with 12,974 cases and 548 deaths. 2115 people have been cured and discharged in the state, the data provided by the Centre said.

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Gujarat is just behind Maharashtra in terms of both the number of cases and fatalities. As per the data provided by the Union Health Ministry, 5,428 people are confirmed to have contracted the virus while 290 have succumbed to the disease.

elhi has reported 4,549 cases of coronavirus with 64 deaths and 1362 people have been discharged after the treatment, the data on the MoHFW website showed.

Madhya Pradesh has a total of 2942 positive cases including 798 patients recovered/discharged and 165 fatalities.

The Centre last week announced the extension of nationwide lockdown for two weeks. The third phase of lockdown started on Monday and will continue till May 17. The nationwide started on March 25, a day after the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The Centre has eased restrictions in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into red (hotspot), green and orange zones.

The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the green and orange zones.

While some states have decided to abide by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs‘ guidelines to regulate different activities in the red, green, and orange hotspot zones based on risk profiling, some of the other states have decided to modify the pre-existing regulations to allow considerable relaxation. Many states have announced the opening of shops selling non-essential items like clothes, shoes, stationery, paan, cigarettes, and liquor.