German regulators tell Facebook to stop processing user data from WhatsApp, China gives Bangladesh 500,000 doses of Sinopharm Covid vaccines, North Korea claims it has no Covid-19 infections, Saudi Arabia to organize Mecca pilgrimage this year under special conditions, UPSC Civil Services 2021 preliminary exam postponed, Stalin writes to PM asks GST to be removed on Covid vaccines, BCCI appoints Ramesh Powar as head coach of Indian women’s cricket team, Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to be available in Indian market from early next week,

Govt fully prepared to deal with Covid challenges, Harshvardhan

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has re-assured the nation that the government is fully prepared to deal with the growing challenges of the Covid pandemic. Although the cases are rising in the country, he said, there is no shortage of essential items like medical oxygen and ventilators.  On alleged shortage of Remdesivir in the country, the Minister said, the government has asked manufactures to increase production of Remdesivir. He said, enforcement authorities of States and Drugs Controllers have been asked to take action on incidence of black-marketing, hoarding and overcharging of Remdesivir. The Health Minister said, India is better equipped to tackle the Covid situation this time around in comparison to last year.Yet, he said, the casual approach and laxity by the people towards Covid-19 appropriate behaviour resulted in the sudden spike. He stressed on the need to strict adherence of Covid appropriate behaviour.Union Health Ministry has advised Central Ministries and their PSUs to dedicate their Hospital beds for COVID19 Management in States and Union Territories. It has also asked them to provide details of such dedicated hospitals and special blocks to the public. 
In a letter written to the Central Ministries, the Union Health Secretary has reiterated that the present situation of sudden surge in the COVID cases across the country calls for similar supportive action as last year from every quarter.The Health Ministry has instructed that these dedicated Hospitals or Blocks should have separate entry and exit points to provide treatment services including specialised care for the confirmed COVID19 cases.  Additionally, these should be equipped to provide all supportive and ancillary services including Oxygen supported beds, ICU beds, ventilators and specialised Critical Care Units, laboratory services, imaging services, kitchen and laundry among others along with dedicated health work force.

Meanwhile, over 11 crore 72 lakh 23 thousand doses of Covid vaccine have been administered to the beneficiaries in the country so far. Union Health Ministry said that more than 27 lakh 30 thousand doses were given to the beneficiaries in the last 24 hours.The Health Ministry said 2 lakh 17 thousand 353  new cases have been reported in the country in the past 24 hours taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore 42 lakh. One thousand 185 deaths have also been reported taking the toll to one lakh 74 thousand 308 across the country so far.The country's COVID-19 recovery rate declined to 87.80 per cent with the total recovery of more than one lakh 18 thousand  patients in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said over one crore 25 lakh patients have already been recovered from this disease. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is over 15 lakh 69 thousand which comprises only 10.98 per cent of the total positive cases.


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