Coronavirus live | Delhi to procure essential COVID-19 drugs from open market

Covaxin would make it the second vaccine approved for use in India in those below 18

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday that teenagers in the 15-18 age group would be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, and frontline and health workers and senior citizens above the age of 60 with co-morbidities on the advice of doctors would be eligible for a what he termed a “precaution” or third dose.

Read | European Omicron trends offer key lessons for Kerala

Read | Unvaccinated at 100% risk: expert

Covaxin has been approved for use in those aged 12 and above by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

Paxlovid and Molnupiravir | A new front in the battle against the pandemic

Explained | How has India responded to SARS-CoV-2 variants?

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 updates:

CM to take a call on further COVID-19 restrictions

With rise in Omicron cases in the neighbouring States, the Karnataka Government will decide on the new set of guidelines to check the pandemic after a meeting with experts on Sunday.

Addressing presspersons in Hubballi on Saturday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai admitted that there was confusion over the new guidelines and restrictions on New Year celebrations. “It will be clarified after meeting with experts on Sunday,” he said.

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All travellers to Tamil Nadu from abroad must undergo home quarantine

Following the increasing number of the Omicron variant cases of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Tamil Nadu has decided to enforce home quarantine from Sunday for all those coming from foreign countries, irrespective of whether they are classified as at-risk or not-at-risk nations.

Addressing journalists on Saturday, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ma. Subramanian said passengers arriving from any country to Tamil Nadu would have to undergo home quarantine for one week. “Thereafter, they can take an RT-PCR test. If it returns negative, they can venture out.”

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Delhi Govt. to procure essential COVID-19 drugs from open market

To make adequate preparations to confront the third wave of COVID infection amid the rising positivity rate, the Delhi Government has tweaked its procurement process for essential drugs needed to treat patients.

The Delhi Cabinet has approved a proposal for the procurement of life-saving medicines on the essential drugs list through its own portal from the open market.

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Israel orders Pfizer’s new COVID-19 pill

Israel has ordered 100,000 units of Pfizer Inc’s anti-viral COVID 19 pill Paxlovid for people aged 12 and older at risk of severe illness, an Israeli official said on Saturday, confirming a television report.

Channel 12 TV said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett agreed the deal in a phone conversation with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. There was no immediate confirmation from the company.

The first oral and at home treatment for COVID-19, Paxlovid was nearly 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness, according to data from Pfizer’s clinical trial. Recent lab data suggests the drug retains effectiveness against the Omicron variant, it said. -Reuters

District Collectors in Tamil Nadu told to be on guard against Omicron

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan on Saturday wrote to all Collectors, senior health officials, airport directors and heads of all departments, expressing concern over the widespread lack of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and warning against the “extremely” infectious Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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Rajasthan steps up vigil to control Omicron

With 21 cases of Omicron reported on a single day, the Rajasthan government on Saturday decided to step up the vigil and take stringent measures to control the spread of infection. A diagnostic report from Pune’s National Institute of Virology confirmed the new cases, taking the tally in the State to 43.

The State government decided to make the COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for entering the public places and getting the benefits of various schemes from February 1 and strictly implement the curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. New guidelines will be notified shortly.

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