Corona Virus Covid 19

China urges to speed up vaccination especially for minors aged 3-11 as COVID-19 resurgence continues
Multiple regions suggest not purchasing goods from overseas epidemic-hit regions

By GT staff reportersPublished: Nov 07, 2021 08:58 PM

A boy receives COVID-19 vaccine in Baiyun district in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on October 27, 2021. Photo: VCG's Guangdong Province on October 27, 2021. Photo: VCG


A boy receives COVID-19 vaccine in Baiyun district in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on October 27, 2021. Photo: VCG


There is more urgency to roll out vaccination to minors aged 3-11 as the COVID-19 flare up continues, with more cases reported across the country, officials and experts said.

The latest outbreak has affected 44 cities in 20 provinces, as another 50 domestically transmitted cases were reported on Saturday.

Among the new cases, 21 domestic cases are in Hebei, nine in Northeast China's Liaoning, with another six in Heilongjiang, with some sporadic cases in other provinces, official statistics showed.

Medical experts urged speeding up the rollout of vaccination and booster shots to reach herd immunity as soon as possible in face of the double threats of the cold weather and Delta variant.

Since the outbreak in Wuhan last year, more than 30 local outbreaks were detected in China caused by imported cases. Confirmed cases relating to this epidemic resurgence have already reached 918 from October 17 to November 5, affecting 44 cities in 20 provinces, according to China's National Health Commission.

Wang Qinghua, chief immunologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stressed the urgency of children being vaccinated at a press conference in Beijing on Saturday.

"We used to think of COVID-19 as having low incidence in children, but as the pandemic has spread globally, we have seen increased infections in children, with the rates of severe illness and mortality surpassing influenza in some countries… and the hospitalization rate for children is now more than 10 times higher than earlier this year," Wang said.

Child immunity is part of China's strategy to reach herd immunity through vaccination. The inactivated vaccines China uses have demonstrated strong immune levels in clinical trials and adverse reactions among children is no higher than in adults, Wang added.

The latest open data showed that as of October 29, more than 3.53 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered to children aged 3 to 11 across the country. The NHC is aiming to complete vaccinations for this group by the end of December on a voluntary basis.

Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based medical expert on vaccines, told the Global Times on Sunday that children can become infection sources in households and vaccinating them can prevent them from carrying the virus and causing new cluster infections, which shows the importance of children being vaccinated.

The latest resurgence of COVID-19 in China has spread in schools, affecting students and kindergarten children in at least four places, with Beijing, Gansu, Hebei and Heilongjiang detecting outbreaks related to schools and kindergartens.

Zhenzhou, the capital city of North China's Henan Province had also detected 30 positive cases as of Sunday, 19 of whom were students from kindergartens, primary schools and a high school.

Tao said China still needs to speed up the vaccination rollout for children, and recommends the country continue to advocate the benefits of children getting vaccinated and on reducing concerns from parents.

An employee at Zhejiang provincial disease prevention and control center told the Global Times on Sunday that they are working with schools to promote vaccination for children aged 3-11. To ease public concerns, the center will step up its social media and community-led campaigns to promote the benefits of vaccination.

Moreover, China's top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan said that vaccination protection lasts about six months and it is necessary to receive a booster shot to strengthen immunity. By the end of this year, about 80 percent of the population in China should be vaccinated with two shots, Zhong said.

Since mid-October, cities including Xi'an, Guangzhou, Hefei and Beijing have launched booster shot campaigns, targeting key groups covering police, firefighters, and people working in education, healthcare, transportation and logistics.

Over the weekend, the Global Times found as part of efforts to reduce the risk of imported cases causing a domestic outbreak, many places have tightened their control of goods purchased overseas, and are reminding residents not to buy products from overseas epidemic-hit regions.

This measure comes as the annual online shopping spree on November 11 is approaching and goods purchased from Mongolia by residents in Erenhot, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region tested positive for COVID-19.

Provincial regions including Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Shandong and Hunan have released notifications to remind residents to stop purchasing from overseas, and postal and courier companies to stop delivering goods sent from overseas epidemic-hit areas.

In order to prevent imported infection and stop the transmission chain of the virus through goods, Xunke county in Heilongjiang required the logistics and courier companies to seal up goods mailed from abroad in a designated area immediately and report to the county's epidemic prevention and control cold-chain food work group. The county also encourages the public to supervise and report goods purchased from overseas epidemic-hit areas.

Many places stipulate that if residents need to purchase or have purchased goods from overseas, they have to report to their communities, villages or companies at once. Those who fail to report and cause transmission risks of COVID-19 or other serious consequences will be held accountable in accordance with the law.

Consumers who plan to purchase products overseas via purchasing agents are advised to ask suppliers to provide nucleic acid testing results and not to purchase products without them.

Meanwhile, about 25,000 people working at high-risk posts in ports are in closed-loop management and receive tests every two days, officials from Ministry of Transport said on Saturday.

China urges to speed up vaccination especially for minors aged 3-11 as COVID-19 resurgence continues - Global Times
 
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So nearly two years later, this pandamic still looks like a scam. For people who are tested positive the death rate seems to be 2%. Assuming many people get Covid-19 virus and do not get tested, there real death rate may be less than 1% which is same as common flu. Now, people are finding that the vaccines in some cases are useless too. The whole point of this was to make government spend money.

 
Ideal time for Covid booster is 6 months after 2nd dose: Covaxin maker
Source: PTI - Edited By: Hemant Waje
November 10, 2021 15:43 IST


The ideal time for a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccine is six months after the second dose, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said on Wednesday, and also emphasised the importance of having a nasal vaccine.


IMAGE: A beneficiary receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Nagaon. Photograph: ANI Photo
He also pointed out that his company was the first in the world to develop a Zika vaccine.

Taking the Covaxin vaccine by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed confidence in Indian Science, he said at the Times Now Summit 2021.
"The ideal time for a booster dose is six months after the second dose," Ella stated.

Bharat Biotech is also looking at nasal vaccine as a booster dose as its scaling up capacity is very easy when compared with Covaxin, he added.
About the importance of nasal vaccine, he said the entire world is looking at nasal vaccines. That is the only way to stop transmission. Everyone is trying to figure out the immunology and fortunately, Bharat Biotech has figured it out.
"We are coming out with a nasal vaccine, we are thinking that Covaxin can be given as first dose, the second dose can be given a nasal, that is also strategically, scientifically very important because with the second dose, if it is a nasal one, you stop the transmission of the virus...," Ella said.
Nasal vaccine works well if someone has been infected or if someone has been vaccinated with one dose, he added.
About the PM taking the Covaxin shot, he said, "What would a scientist like to have? A country head taking his vaccine. That is the best satisfaction a scientist can get... It shows confidence in the Indian science, confidence in the startup, and confidence in our innovation...".

Speaking about a vaccine for Zika, Ella said Bharat Biotech is ready with a vaccine for Zika virus. Phase I is complete. The government has to take up more trials because there are more cases now.
"We were the first company in the world to develop the Zika vaccine in 2014... We were the first one to file for a global patent for Zika vaccine", he added.


Ideal time for Covid booster is 6 months after 2nd dose: Covaxin maker
 
Covid generated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste: Study
Source: PTI - Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
November 10, 2021 13:56 IST

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated more than eight million tonnes of plastic waste globally, with over 25,000 tonnes of it entering the oceans, according to a study.



IMAGE: A staff member wearing a protective mask waits for trash trucks to arrive to the waste collection plant in Taipei. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters
The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a significant portion of this ocean plastic debris is expected to make its way onto either beaches or the seabed within three to four years.

A smaller portion will go into the open ocean, eventually to be trapped in the centres of ocean basins, which can become garbage patches, and accumulate in the Arctic Ocean.
The researchers noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use plastics such as face masks, gloves, and face shields.
The resulting waste, some of which ends up in rivers and oceans, is intensifying pressure on an already out-of-control global plastic problem, they said.

The team led by researchers at Nanjing University in China and University of California (UC) San Diego, US, used a newly developed ocean plastic numerical model to quantify the impact of the pandemic on plastic discharge from land sources.
They incorporated data from the start of the pandemic in 2020 through August 2021, finding that most of the global plastic waste entering the ocean is coming from Asia, with hospital waste representing the bulk of the land discharge.
The study stresses on the need for better management of medical waste in developing countries.
"When we started doing the math, we were surprised to find that the amount of medical waste was substantially larger than the amount of waste from individuals, and a lot of it was coming from Asian countries, even though that's not where most of the COVID-19 cases were," said study co-author Amina Schartup, an assistant professor at UC San Diego.
"The biggest sources of excess waste were hospitals in areas already struggling with waste management before the pandemic; they just weren't set up to handle a situation where you have more waste," Scartup said.
The Nanjing University MITgcm-plastic model (NJU-MP) used in the study works like 'a virtual reality', said Yanxu Zhang, the corresponding author and a professor at Nanjing University.
"The model simulates how the seawater moves driven by wind and how the plastics float on the surface ocean, degraded by sunlight, fouled by plankton, landed on beaches, and sunk to the deep," said Zhang.
The researchers found that most of the global plastic waste from the pandemic is entering the ocean from rivers.
Asian rivers account for 73 per cent of the total discharge of plastics, with the top three contributors being the Shatt al-Arab, Indus, and Yangtze rivers, which discharge into the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and East China Sea.
European rivers account for 11 per cent of the discharge, with minor contributions from other continents, the researchers said.
While most of the pandemic-associated plastics are expected to settle on beaches and the seafloor, a smaller amount will likely end up circulating or settling in the Arctic Ocean.
The model shows that about 80 per cent of the plastic debris that transits into the Arctic Ocean will sink quickly, and a circumpolar plastic accumulation zone is modelled to form by 2025, the researchers said.
The Arctic ecosystem is already considered to be particularly vulnerable due to the harsh environment and high sensitivity to climate change, they said.
To combat the influx of plastic waste into the oceans, the researchers urge for better management of medical waste in epicentres, especially in developing countries.

The researchers called for global public awareness of the environmental impact of personal protection equipment (PPE) and other plastic products.
The also emphasised on the development of innovative technologies for better plastic waste collection, classification, treatment, and recycling, and development of more environmentally friendly materials.


https://www.rediff.com/news/report/covid-generated-8-million-tonnes-of-plastic-waste-study/20211110.htm
 
India records 11,466 COVID-19 cases, 460 deaths
Source: PTI - Edited By: Hemant Waje
November 10, 2021 11:59 IST

India recorded a single-day rise of 11,466 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the country's tally of infections to 3,43,88,579, while the count of active cases has declined to 1,39,683, the lowest in 264 days, Union health ministry data showed.



IMAGE: A National Capital Region Transport Corporation worker receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination camp at Anand Vihar Railway Station in New Delhi. Photograph: ANI Photo


The death toll due to the disease has climbed to 4,61,849, with 460 more fatalities being recorded, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 20,000 for 33 straight days. Less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 136 consecutive days now.

The tally of active cases has declined to 1,39,683 which comprises 0.41 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.25 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said.
A decrease of 955 cases was recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours, the data showed.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 0.90 per cent. This has been less than two per cent for 37 days.
The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 1.20 per cent. This figure has been below two per cent for 47 days, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 3,37,87,047, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.34 per cent.
The cumulative number of doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 109.63 crore.
India's COVID-19 infection tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5, 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and the one-crore mark on December 19.
India crossed the grim milestones of two crore cases on May 4 and three crore on June 23.
The 460 new fatalities include 384 from Kerala, and 27 from Maharashtra. Kerala has been reconciling Covid deaths since the past few days, hence the toll of the state is high.
A total of 4,61,849 fatalities have been reported so far in the country, including 1,40,430 from Maharashtra, 38,122 from Karnataka, 36,238 from Tamil Nadu, 34,362 from Kerala, 25,091 from Delhi, 22,903 from Uttar Pradesh and 19,252 from West Bengal.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to co-morbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

https://www.rediff.com/news/report/india-records-11466-covid-19-cases-460-deaths/20211110.htm
 
Main accused held in fake Covid testing scam during Haridwar Kumbh
Source: PTI - Edited By: Senjo M R
November 09, 2021 02:20 IST


The owners of Max Corporate Services Sharat Pant and his wife Mallika, who are the main accused in the fake Covid testing scam during Haridwar Kumbh, were arrested from Noida in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.



Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Reuters

Based on a tip-off, the SIT probing the scam arrested the absconding couple from their residence in Sector 48, Noida when they had come there to collect some of their belongings, Haridwar SSP Yogendra Singh Rawat said.
The accused violated the norms to get the contract for conducting Covid tests and entered fake data of tests that were never conducted into their records to get money from the government on the basis of forged bills, the SSP said.
They produced false data claiming to have conducted Covid tests on 1,24,031 devotees and produced bills demanding a payment of more than Rs 4 crore from the government at the rate of Rs 354 per test, Rawat said.
They even succeeded in extracting a payment of Rs 15,41,670 crore from the government, he said.
The names of five more people have cropped up in the course of the ongoing investigation into the scam, Rawat said, adding appropriate action will be taken as the probe progresses further.
Earlier, the SIT had arrested another accused in the scam Ashish Vashisth from Jhajjar in Haryana on July 21.
Vashisth is charged with providing human resource and other material to Nalwa Laboratories, which is also involved in the scam.

A case had been lodged under the Epidemic Act, the Disaster Management Act besides sections 120 b and 420 of the IPC against Max Corporate Services and two private labs Nalwa Laboratories and Dr
Lalchandani Lab on June 17 for conducting fake Covid tests during the Kumbh congregation in Haridwar.

Main accused held in fake Covid testing scam during Haridwar Kumbh
 
New rules: No Covid test for kids arriving from abroad
Source: PTI
November 11, 2021 17:59 IST


Children below five years are exempted from both pre- and post-arrival testing for COVID-19 in India, according to the revised guidelines for international arrivals released on Thursday.



IMAGE: Passengers undergo thermal screening at Shamshabad airport before boarding a flight, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, in Hyderabad. Photograph: PTI Photo
However, if found symptomatic for coronavirus infections on arrival or during home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and be treated according to laid down protocol, the guidelines said.

Highlighting that the global trajectory of COVID-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations, the document stated the need to monitor the continuously changing nature of virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern must still remain in focus.

The existing guidelines (issued on February 17 with subsequent addendums) for international arrivals in India have been formulated taking a risk-based approach. In view increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed, the health ministry said.
"Children under 5 years of age are exempted from both pre- and post-arrival testing. However, if found symptomatic for COVID-19 on arrival or during home quarantine period, they shall undergo testing and treated as per laid down protocol," it said.
This standard operating procedure shall be valid from November 12 (00.00 Hrs IST) till further orders, the ministry stated.
Also, 15 days must have elapsed since completion of COVID-19 vaccination schedule.
According to the existing guidelines, if travellers are fully vaccinated and coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines, they shall be allowed to leave the airport and need not undergo home quarantine.
They shall self monitor their health for 14 days' post arrival.
If partially or not vaccinated, the travellers need to undertake measures which includes submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at the point of arrival after which they will be allowed to leave the airport, home quarantine for seven days, re-test on the eighth day of arrival in India and if negative, further selfmonitor of their health for next seven days.
"15 days must have elapsed since completion of COVID-19 vaccination schedule," the guidelines said.
Travellers under home quarantine or self-health monitoring, if develop signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 on re-testing, they will immediately self isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call national helpline number (1075)/ state helpline number.
On arrival deboarding should be done ensuring physical distancing and thermal screening would be carried out in respect of all the passengers by the health officials present at the airport.
The self-declaration form filled online shall be shown to the airport health staff.
The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to medical facility according to health protocol. If tested positive, their contacts shall be identified and managed according to laid down protocol.

Contacts of the suspect case are the co-passengers seated in the same row, three rows in front and three rows behind along with identified cabin crew. Also, all the community contacts of those travellers who have tested positive (during home quarantine period) would be subjected to quarantine for 14 days and tested as per ICMR protocol , the guidelines stated.

New rules: No Covid test for kids arriving from abroad
 
Covid-19: India allows quarantine-free entry for travellers from 99 countries



Saurabh Sinha

5 days ago



© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: India on Monday allowed fully vaccinated (with approved jabs) arrivals from 99 countries — including US, UK, UAE, Qatar, France and Germany — to travel quarantine-free in the country.
The decision comes as the country allowed foreign tourists on non-charters. India had suspended tourist visas last March and resumed them from October 15 by allowing them in on charters.
Apart from a Covid negative report within 72 hours of departure to India, travellers from these 99 countries (called Category A) will also need to upload their fully vaccinated certificate on the Air Suvidha portal.

“There are countries which have an agreement with India on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates of nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines. Similarly, there are countries which presently do not have such an agreement with India, but they exempt Indian citizens fully vaccinated with nationally recognised or WHO recognised vaccines. On the basis of reciprocity, the travellers from all such countries which provide quarantine-free entry to Indians are allowed certain relaxations on arrival (Category A Countries),” say guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on November 11.
For fully vaccinated from Category A countries, it says: “If a traveller is coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved Covid-19 vaccines (Category A): If fully vaccinated: They shall be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival.”
Some countries are currently considered to be “at risk” (from Covid point of view) by India which include-countries in Europe including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Singapore.

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“Travellers from Countries excluding those countries at risk, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post-arrival. This is applicable to travellers from all countries including countries with which reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of WHO approved Covid-19 vaccines also exist,” it adds.
Fully vaccinated travellers from countries considered at risk but in Category A of the health ministry, like the UK, Singapore and Zimbabwe, will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor their health for 14 days’ post arrival.
“The global trajectory of Covid-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations. The need to monitor the continuously changing nature of virus and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must still remain in focus. The existing guidelines (issued on 17th February 2021 with subsequent addendums) for international arrivals in India have been formulated taking a risk-based approach. In view increasing vaccination coverage across the globe and the changing nature of the pandemic, the existing guidelines for international arrivals in India have been reviewed,” the health ministry says while giving the rationale for relaxing the international arrival norms.


Covid-19: India allows quarantine-free entry for travellers from 99 countries
 
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