58 People Test Positive for New COVID Strain: Union Health Min
The new strain of the novel coronavirus was first reported in the UK.
The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel coronavirus, first reported in the United Kingdom, now stands at 58, informed the Union Health Ministry, on Tuesday, 5 January.
According to a table circulated by the Health Ministry, 11 of these cases tested positive at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi; 8 at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi; 25 at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune; 10 at the NIMHANS, Bengaluru; and 3 at the CCMB, Hyderabad.
MEANWHILE, IN ENGLAND
Meanwhile, England is set to return to a full coronavirus lockdown, possibly until mid-February, as the country sees a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections, reportedly brought on by the new more infectious variant.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the decision to return to a complete lockdown, on Monday, 4 January, in a televised address.
Citing Johnson, AFP reported, on Monday that almost 27,000 COVID-positive people were in the hospital. This number is reportedly 40 percent more than the peak of the first wave of the outbreak in the UK, in April 2020.
Further, on last Tuesday, over 80,000 people reportedly tested positive in England in just 24 hours.
WHAT IS THE VACCINE SITUATION IN INDIA?
On Sunday, 3 January, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted permission to Bharat Biotech’s indigenous COVID vaccine ‘Covaxin’ and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s ‘Covishield’ vaccine for restricted use in emergency situation.
The central government plans to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people in the first phase of the drive in the next six to eight months.
“Two vaccines authorised for emergency use in India have been developed at record-breaking speed as a result of their (scientists’) untiring efforts,” said Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health.
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