With 41,506 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,08,37,222, while the active cases declined to 4,54,118, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.
The death toll has climbed to 4,08,040 with 895 fresh fatalities.
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:
Doctors warn that current weather conditions and carelessness could aggravate COVID-19 symptoms
The lingering second COVID-19 wave and the current weather — combination of high heat and humidity prevailing across some parts of India — has prompted doctors to caution the general public to strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to ensure that places with common air conditioning and poor ventilation do not prove to be a super-spreader zone.
The effect of worsened weather on an ongoing illness contributed in terms of aggravated symptoms, said Anurag Aggarwal, Associate Consultant Internal Medicine, QRG Health City, Faridabad, who added that there was no proven research of how the virus responded to weather conditions. – Bindu Shajan Perappadan
As India’s vaccination drive gathers pace, women are being left behind
As the vaccination drive picks up pace in India, the gender gap in vaccination rate (people vaccinated per 1,000 individuals) continues to widen.
The gap varies among the States. Except in Himachal Pradesh, there was a gap in all the 19 other States analysed. In India, as of July 4, 349 per every 1,000 women aged above 18 years and 390 per every 1,000 men aged above 18 have received at least one dose.
According to the NFHS-5, in many States, more women said that they would let their husbands decide about their health care than those who said they will take decisions themselves.
Read the entire report here.
Hospitals told to refund excess charges
The Greater Chennai Corporation has started issuing notices to several private hospitals against which complaints of overcharging were received for treating COVID-19 patients.
The move comes in the backdrop of the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project receiving complaints from several patients about exorbitant charges by hospitals and being forwarded to the civic body for action.
A senior official, citing the Governor Order No. 251 issued on May 22 fixing the rates for medical treatment of COVID-19 patients by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, said steps were being taken to get the hospitals refund the excess charges to the patients.
He said 20 complaints had been received against private hospitals in Aminjikarai, Vadapalani, Pallikaranai, Perungudi, and Ambattur. The senior civic official said six hospitals had come forward and reimbursed the ‘additional’ amount charged from patients. The remaining 14 hospitals were yet to respond to the notices.
TPR-based restrictions in Kozhikode draw flak
The ongoing pandemic restrictions in Kozhikode city have not gone down well with a section of society, which has claimed that it will only lead to further spread of infection. Opposition parties have objected to placing the whole city under lockdown for six days a week.
Right now, the Kozhikode Corporation has been included in the ‘C’ category, with an average test positivity rate (TPR) for COVID-19 between 10% and 15%. Lockdown is in force within the city limits, and shops and other business establishments, except those selling essential stuff, are allowed to open only on Fridays. Till recently, however, shops were allowed to function on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
As is the situation elsewhere in the State, there is complete lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays. This apparently led to a rush last Friday, when people thronged the city from everywhere. Heavy traffic was seen at major junctions such as Stadium Junction and Bank Junction, Mavoor Road, Mananchira, Nadakkavu, and Karapparamba. S.M. Street, a major trade centre in the city, too saw a large number of customers.
Home Secretary reviews COVID-19 situation in hill stations, tourist locations
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday reviewed the steps taken by State governments for checking the spread of COVID-19 in hill stations and other tourist destinations.
The overall management of the situation and the vaccination status in Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal was discussed.
“The Union Home Secretary sounded a note of caution in view of media reports showing blatant disregard of COVID-appropriate behaviour,” said a government release.
Mr. Bhalla said the second wave was not yet over; and the States should ensure strict adherence to the protocols prescribed in respect of wearing of masks, social distancing and other safe behaviour.
What is ‘immunity debt’, and is it caused by coronavirus lockdowns?
As countries start lifting curbs imposed on societies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, news reports have indicated higher rates of respiratory infections, even unseasonal diseases such as influenza and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Doctors have called this the “immunity debt” brought on by non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) put in place to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Read our explainer here.
Retail outlets fined for flouting COVID-19 norms
The Greater Chennai Corporation and the police identified 26 multistoried retail showrooms that failed to regulate crowding and violated norms pertaining to COVID-19.
Corporation officials collected a fine of ₹3.3 lakh from these showrooms on Saturday. The civic officials also checked 1,613 marriage halls and hotels and penalised 39 of the businesses for violating norms. The raid was conducted at many locations of the city following complaints from residents. The corporation penalised 6,130 business operators during the period between May 1, 2021 to July 9, 2021 for violating physical distancing norms. A total of 30,755 persons were penalised for not following norms.
A fine of ₹3.3 crore was collected from the violators.
After relaxation of lockdown, residents from various localities started calling corporation helpline 1913 to report violations.
Caregivers of disabled need priority for COVID-19 jabs: Social Justice Ministry
The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry earlier this week asked the Health and Family Welfare Ministry to ensure that caregivers of persons with disabilities (PwD) are vaccinated against COVID-19 at the same centre as the PwD on priority basis.
The Department of Empowerment of PwD (DEPwD) under the Ministry wrote in an office memorandum on July 7 that it had received an email from Anjlee Agarwal, a PwD, requesting the facility.
“Caregivers are required to come in close proximity with persons with disabilities for providing support services to PwDs to enable them to perform activities of daily living. As such, it is important to ensure vaccination of such caregivers alongside persons with disabilities,” the DEPwD wrote.
The Health Ministry was asked to issue instructions to all Central and State healthcare authorities and vaccination centres to this effect.