Coronavirus live updates | U.S. will accept WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines for international visitors

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 93.90 crore on October 8, the Union Health Ministry said

The digital divide caused by online classes will defeat the fundamental right of every poor child to study in mainstream schools, the Supreme Court warned on October 8. The court rued how the right to education of little children now hinges on who can afford “gadgets” for online classes and who cannot.

Little children whose parents are too poor to afford laptops, tablets or an “optimum” Internet package at home for online classes during the pandemic have dropped out of school and even run the danger of being drawn into child labour or worse, child trafficking, the court said.

Read | Infusing public health into Indian medical education

The Supreme Court on October 8 prima facie did not approve of hybrid court hearings, which is a combination of physical and virtual mode of court proceedings, as a permanent feature. The court said virtual mode of hearings was started exclusively to meet the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic.

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:

Wastage higher in Covaxin as demand plummets

Karnataka that had managed to extract and administer extra doses from each COVID-19 vaccine vial till July end, has again reported a wastage of 0.06%. The wastage is especially seen in Covaxin at 0.82%.

Although the State has recorded ‘negative wastage’ in Covishield thereby extracting 3,43,951 extra doses from the overall usage, as many as 46,472 doses of Covaxin have been wasted so far. With this, Covaxin wastage has been recorded at 0.82% as of October 7.

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U.S. will accept WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines for international visitors

The United States will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late on October 8.

A CDC spokeswoman said, "Six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the U.S." -Reuters

‘Rehabilitation helps in faster recovery of COVID-19 patients’

Rehabilitation improved recovery in persons affected by severe COVID-19, say doctors.

Almost 50% of those who stay in a hospital or in an Intensive Care Unit for a long period of time are known to have complications for up to one year after recovery from COVID-19, said G. Balamurali, head of Spine Surgery, Kauvery Hospital and managing director, HAMSA Rehab.

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Assam mobile theatre groups can now start performing again, following Covid norms

The Assam government on October 8 allowed mobile theatres to resume functioning on certain conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said.

Mobile theatre groups, which are popular in Assam, travel from place to place with actors and support staff and perform in makeshift halls. Their shows were closed since March last year when the lockdown was imposed.

Releasing the Standard Operating Procedure for mobile theatres, Mr. Mahanta said the groups would have to inform district authorities that they will follow the SOP. -PTI

Italy widens COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign to frail and over 60s

Italy has decided to provide a booster shot of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to frail people regardless of their age as well as people aged 60 and over, the health ministry said on October 8.

The booster dose would be available on condition that at least six months have passed since people completed their primary vaccination cycle, the ministry said in a statement. -Reuters

India, Hungary agree to recognise each other’s Covid-vaccination certificates

India and Hungary have agreed to recognise each other’s COVID-19 vaccination certificates, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on October 8.

"Mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates begins! India and Hungary agree to recognize each other’s Covid-19 vaccination certificates. Will facilitate mobility for education, business, tourism and beyond," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet. -PTI

Assistance given to 89% applicants under Delhi government’s Covid aid scheme so far, rest by next week

A one-time assistance of Rs. 50,000 has been given to 89% applicants so far under a scheme to provide relief to Covid victims’ families and the remaining will disbursed by next week following "perform or perish" warning by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to officials, said a Delhi government statement on October 8.

The chief minister had recently "pulled up" the officials over slow progress in disbursal of the financial assistance, it said. -PTI

Colleges to open in Pune city for classroom teaching from October 11

Colleges in Pune city will reopen for offline classes from October 11 with only those students who have got both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being allowed entry, an order by the local civic body said.

The Pune Municipal Corporation order issued on October 8 said apart from students, it was mandatory for all teaching and non-teaching staff at these institutions to have got both doses of the vaccine. -PTI

U.S. CDC advisers to meet this month to discuss Moderna, J&J COVID-19 vaccine boosters

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s panel of vaccine advisers plans to meet on October 20-21 to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters using Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots, an agency spokesperson said on October 8.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Nov. 2-3 to discuss COVID-19 vaccination for children. -Reuters

U.K. eases travel advisory restrictions for more countries

The U.K. government on October 8 eased travel advisory restrictions for 51 further countries and territories, no longer advising against all but essential travel to popular holiday destinations such as the Bahamas, Seychelles and Jamaica.

The U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the change means people will be able to travel to even more destinations with greater ease, covered by travel insurance. -PTI

U.K. COVID-19 vaccine trial participants to be given top up doses

People in Britain who took part in trials of COVID-19 vaccines which are yet to be approved, such as Novavax, will be offered two doses of another approved vaccine from next week, U.K. health officials said on October 8.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that while the U.K. recognises those who are in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials as fully vaccinated, the majority of other countries currently do not. -PTI

Ensure no teacher, staff allowed without at least 1 Covid vaccine dose: Delhi government to private schools

The Delhi government has directed all private schools to ensure that their teaching and non-teaching staff are not allowed to attend school if they have not received the first dose of COVID-19, and treat their absence as being ‘on leave’, according to officials.

The Directorate of Education has asked all private schools to ensure that all teachers and school staff, including transportation staff, who have not received their jabs so far should be vaccinated by October 15, a senior DoE official said. -PTI

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