VA-SenaNovember 23, 2020


An order to shut two evening markets in west Delhi till the end of this month for violating various coronavirus safety guidelines was withdrawn, hours after the notice was sent last night.

The Delhi government on Sunday had ordered the closure of two markets, the Punjabi Basti market and the Janta, in Nangloi area, till November 30 after it was found that wearing masks and social distancing were not being followed in these markets.

On Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government does not want to shut any market and asked representatives of market associations to provide masks to people not wearing it. Mr Kejriwal had held a virtual meeting with the representatives of market associations in the city.

As the capital struggles to contain the surge in coronavirus cases that have crossed 5.29 lakh, Mr Kejriwal had on November 17 said that his government has sought the centre’s go-ahead to allow it to shut for a few days markets that may emerge as COVID-19 hotspots.

VA-SenaNovember 19, 2020


The vaccine’s efficacy was found to be consistent across different ages and ethnicities – a promising sign given the disease has disproportionately hurt the elderly and certain groups including Black people.


Pfizer Inc and BioNTech could secure emergency US and European authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine next month after final trial results showed it had a 95% success rate and no serious side effects, the drugmakers said on Wednesday.

The vaccine’s efficacy was found to be consistent across different ages and ethnicities – a promising sign given the disease has disproportionately hurt the elderly and certain groups including Black people.

The US Food and Drug Administration could grant emergency-use by the middle of December, BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin told Reuters TV. Conditional approval in the European Union could be secured in the second half of December, he added.

“If all goes well I could imagine that we gain approval in the second half of December and start deliveries before Christmas, but really only if all goes positively,” he said.

The success rate of the vaccine developed by the US drugmaker and German partner BioNTech was far higher than what regulators had said would have been acceptable. Experts said it was a significant achievement in the race to end the pandemic.

Of the 170 volunteers who contracted COVID-19 in Pfizer’s trial involving over 43,000 people, 162 had received a placebo and not the vaccine, meaning the vaccine was 95% effective. Of the 10 people who had severe COVID-19, one had received the vaccine.

“A first in the history of mankind: less than a year from the sequence of the virus to the large-scale clinical trial of a vaccine, moreover based on a whole new technique,” said Enrico Bucci, a biologist at Temple University in Philadelphia. “Today is a special day.”

BioNTech’s Sahin said U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) would be applied for on Friday.

An FDA advisory committee tentatively plans to meet on Dec. 8-10 to discuss the vaccine, a source familiar with the situation said, though the dates could change. The FDA did not respond to requests for comment.


The final trial analysis comes a week after initial results showed the vaccine was more than 90% effective. Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine showing 94.5% effectiveness.

“We now have two safe and highly effective vaccines that could be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and ready to distribute within weeks,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.

The Moderna vaccine is likely to be authorized within seven to 10 days of Pfizer receiving its EUA, U.S. officials said, with states ready to begin distribution within 24 hours.

The better-than-expected results from the two vaccines, both developed with new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, have raised hopes for an end to a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people and destroyed economies and daily life.

The news was especially welcome with the virus again running rampant around the world, setting records for new infections and hospitalizations almost daily.

The Pfizer-BioNTech shot was found to have 94% efficacy in people over age 65, a particularly high-risk group.

“This is the evidence we needed to ensure that the most vulnerable people are protected,” said Andrew Hill, senior visiting research fellow at the University of Liverpool’s department of pharmacology.

VA-SenaNovember 18, 2020


A decision has also been taken to increase house to house surveillance of active cases in containment zones and other vulnerable pockets for which 7,000-8,000 teams will be put on this exercise.

18Nov-CovidCentreDoubling COVID-19 testing capacity to 1 to 1.2 lakh and increasing ICU beds to over 6,000 are among the decisions taken by the government to tackle the spike in coronavirus infections in Delhi, the Centre said today.

A decision has also been taken to increase house to house surveillance of active cases in containment zones and other vulnerable pockets for which 7,000-8,000 teams will be put on this exercise, an increase from the existing 3,000 teams that are currently involved.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Delhi was testing very less in June at around 5,776 tests per day and that number rose to over 50,000 in September which after it plateaud out and the recent spike of COVID cases may be because many positive cases escaped the net.

“In the last two days, decision of urgent actions taken by the government included an increase in overall beds, including ICU beds, doubling testing to 1-1.2 lakh per day, right mix of RT-PCR and antigen tests, strengthening and augmenting home care support, mobilising doctors and nurses, enforcing quarantine of contacts, containment zone SOPs and COVID appropriate behaviour,” he said.

NITI Aayog member VK Paul who heads COVID national taskforce said the ICU bed capacity will be increased from 3,523 to over 6,000 in the next few days in hospitals across Delhi.

“The capacity, which was 3,523, we will increase it to over 6,000 ICU beds in the next few days. Arrangement of over 537 new ICU beds have been made at the 1000-bed Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel COVID facility operated by DRDO. The Delhi government is making arrangements for 2,680 ICU beds, and big hospitals under the Centre like Safdarjung and Lady Harding, in these also 45 beds will be increased. We have a plan to increase ICU bed strength by 80 per cent,” he said.

On increasing the testing capacity, Mr Paul said that arrangements would be put in place to enable ICMR and central government laboratories to do 10,000 more tests a day. Besides that, 10 mobile laboratories will be deployed in the national capital.

“We will utilise the capacity of science and technology research institutes for testing too,” he said.




VA-SenaNovember 18, 2020



Delhi logged nearly double the number of fresh coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours as the number of tests went up. From 3,797 cases yesterday, the city recorded 6,396 cases as the number of tests went up from 30,000 to 49,031. The number of deaths remained at 99, the same as yesterday — taking the total to 7,812.

The total number of cases in Delhi is now 4,95,598, the number of active cases is 42,004. Over the last 24 hours, 4,421 people have recovered.

A day after his government said the city would not be put under another lockdown, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government has sought the Centre’s go-ahead to allow it to temporarily shut down markets that may emerge as COVID-19 hotspots. The state also plans to scale down the number of people allowed at weddings back from 200 to 50. Mr Kejriwal’s government, which had identified the latest surge as the third wave of COVID-19, had its peak has already passed.

On Monday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said there was no chance of re-imposition of lockdown in the national capital since the third wave of coronavirus has peaked out in the city.

Mr Kejriwal had thanked the Central government for helping Delhi by providing 750 ICU beds. The number of beds in the city had dropped drastically, even reducing to zero in some hospitals.

The coronavirus surge in the national capital had started going up at the end of October and started reaching record heights this month. On November 11, the city saw 8,593 new cases, an all-time high.

The numbers had stayed around 3,500 over the last days, as testing figures had halved. But the number of daily Covid-related deaths increased consistently, touching 104 – the highest yet – last Thursday.

VA-SenaNovember 17, 2020


In India, the downward trend continues as the number of daily recoveries remained higher than the number of daily cases for the 44th consecutive day.



The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases worldwide soared to 54,826,773 as the virus continues to infect thousands of people across the world. While the number of people succumbing to the disease stood at 1,323,093.

While the Covid gloom fails to be controlled, there was good news on the vaccine front. Moderna Inc said its Covid-19 vaccine was almost 95% effective in a late-stage trial, another sign of progress in the hunt for tools to fight the pandemic. This is the second vaccine in development with more than 90% effectiveness rate.

Meanwhile, in the United States infection continued to spike as more states imposed lockdown and measures restrictions to curb the spread.

President-elect Joe Biden said curbing the outbreak is key to the US recovery and called for business and government to work together.

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel fell short in a push for tougher restrictions. Sweden is introducing its tightest rules yet as cases spike, and France’s health minister said the country is regaining control of the epidemic thanks to the latest national lockdown.

While in India, the downward trend continues as the number of daily recoveries remained higher than the number of daily cases for the 44th consecutive day. Continuing the downward trend in daily infection, the number of daily infection also remained below 50,000.


VA-SenaNovember 17, 2020




India on Tuesday recorded 29,163 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The countrywide tally now stands at 88,74,290, according to Union health ministry update at 8 am.

The number of active cases continue to stay below the five lakh-mark and the number of patients discharged patients has reached 82,90,370.

The country recorded 449 new fatalities due to Covid-19 which pushed the death toll to 1,30,519, according to health ministry.

The number of daily cases has been declining for six consecutive weeks, and Monday’s figure of 30,548 was a “historic low”, the health ministry said. A tweet from the ministry’s official handle presented a graph of the number of daily cases from August to November 16 which shows the cases rising till mid-September and then falling down.

The single-day peak in coronavirus cases was reported on September 17 with 97,984 fresh cases of Covid-19 and since then India has been witnessing a decline in the caseload.

Also, the trend of daily Covid-19 recoveries outpacing the daily infections continued for the 44th day on Monday when the country recorded 30,548 cases of the infection. The number of recovered patients stood at 43,851.

Meanwhile, the Centre has formed multi-disciplinary teams to visit all private hospitals in Delhi to check the status of compliance of various directions issued by Union Health Ministry for testing and treating Covid-19 patients.

The teams have been asked to start their visit immediately and submit reports within two days along with specific details, according to the Union home ministry. The Centre has devised a strategy to check the spread of the disease in the national capital, which has seen an alarming rise in the number of daily cases of Covid-19.

There is more good news on the vaccine front as US-based biotechnology firm Moderna Inc on Monday said its vaccine candidate has been found to be 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19. The announcement was based on phase 3 trials.

This comes just a week after Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced that their vaccine candidate was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing the coronavirus disease.

VA-SenaSeptember 29, 2020


Ever since the senior BJP leader tweeted about her testing positive for the infection late on Saturday night, the AIIMS management had made arrangements, in-charge of COVID cases at the AIIMS, Madhur Uniyal, said.

Uma Bharti, COVID-19 Positive, Admitted To AIIMS


Rishikesh: Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Uma Bharti, who tested positive for COVID-19 recently, was on Monday admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh.


VA-SenaSeptember 18, 2020


At least half of the 7,033 Covid-19 cases and 115 deaths recorded in Gujarat’s Rajkot have been reported in the past month, official data shows.

Gujarat health department data shows that the number of Covid 19 cases increased from 3,289 on August 16 to 7,033 on September 16. The number of deaths rose to 115 from 54 in the same period.


According to the official data, Rajkot’s case fatality rate is the lowest in the state but some recent incidents have raised suspicion of there being some discrepancy in the data on the number of deaths. A local Gujarati daily in Rajkot reported on September 3 that 32 bodies were cremated/buried in Rajkot city the previous day as per Covid-19 protocols but only three deaths were recorded in Gujarat’s Covid health bulletin.

Rajkot municipal commissioner Udit Mishra denied hiding real death figures and said that a death audit committee determines the cause of deaths of Covid patients.

“Some people have confused routine deaths with Covid deaths. This may be because suspected Covid patients are cremated following the Covid protocol when they die. Covid death figures are decided by the audit committee,” said Mishra.

Former president of the Rajkot medical association (RMA) Dr Chetan Lalseta said: “One should not attribute all deaths to Rajkot district. Many terminally ill patients coming from the neighbouring districts also contribute to the high death numbers in Rajkot.”

Still, the situation turned so bad that the Gujarat government had to rush its health secretary Jayanti Ravi with a team of health experts and doctors to the home town of chief minister Vijay Rupani on August 31 to bring the situation under control.

“All efforts are being made to reduce fatalities in Rajkot district. Around 15 doctors from other districts would be stationed here and additional ventilators would be provided,” news agency PTI quoted her as saying on August 31.

As the cases have risen exponentially, residents have gone into isolation.

“We had no option but to go for a self-imposed complete lockdown as cases were rising very fast and lockdown is the only way to control the chain of transmission,” said Suresh Kumar, communications in-charge of the Rajkot wholesale textile merchants association.

He said the voluntary lockdown is almost complete with essential good shops opening for limited hours every day. “There is a huge fear among people as the virus is spreading very fast. People are not coming out of their homes voluntarily now,” he said




VA-SenaSeptember 18, 2020


“During the period of lockdown from March 24, 2020 to September 13, 2020, the district and subordinate courts across the country have disposed 15,32,334 cases,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

15.32 Lakh Cases Disposed

New Delhi: The district and subordinate courts across the country have disposed of over 15.32 lakh cases since the lockdown was announced in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 24, the government informed Parliament on Thursday.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, directions were issued from time to time by the respective high courts to the courts under their administrative jurisdiction for hearing of the urgent civil and criminal matters in the virtual or physical mode, depending on local conditions.

“During the period of lockdown from March 24, 2020 to September 13, 2020, the district and subordinate courts across the country have disposed 15,32,334 cases,” he said.

Mr Prasad said most of the high courts have further advised the district and subordinate courts that where there is no shutdown or lockdown and that they may resume normal functioning virtually or physically and take up all kinds of cases, including those pertaining to undertrial prisoners, civil cases, matrimonial disputes, child custody matters, recording of evidence and other old matters.



VA-SenaSeptember 12, 2020


The United States withdrew from the WHO this spring, accusing the body of mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic and delaying launch of a global alert.

UN Adopts Coronavirus

US supported only by Israel in a vote against a UN resolution for a Covid-19 response.

United Nations, United States: The United States was supported only by Israel Friday in a vote against a UN resolution for a “comprehensive and coordinated response” to the Covid-19 pandemic, a text that included recognition of the WHO’s leadership role.

The measure, which has been negotiated since May, was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 169 countries out of 193, with Ukraine and Hungary abstaining.

The text, called an omnibus resolution because it covers multiple aspects of the pandemic, “acknowledges the key leadership role of WHO and the fundamental role of the United Nations system in catalyzing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The United States withdrew from the WHO this spring, accusing the body of mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic and delaying launch of a global alert.

The text “calls for intensified international cooperation and solidarity to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic and its consequences.”

And it supports UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call in March for a ceasefire between countries in order to better facilitate the fight against the pandemic — a request that has been little followed.

The text additionally calls for “the urgent removal of unjustified obstacles,” meaning sanctions, in order to create better access to products used in combatting the virus.

It requests nations to maintain food and agricultural supply chains and encourages synching economic recovery strategies to promote sustainable development and combat climate change.

Ahead of the vote, the United States unsuccessfully attempted to remove a paragraph on protecting women in the area of sexual and reproductive health, over objections about abortion.