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Coronavirus updates | March 3, 2021

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 1.54 crore on Tuesday (till 7 p.m.). This includes 67,32,944 health care workers (HCW) who have taken the first dose and 26,85,665 HCWs who have taken the second dose.

Also 4,34,981 beneficiaries more than 60 years old have taken the vaccine so far along with 60,020 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with co-morbidities, said data released by the Health Ministry.


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:


Bharat Biotech says COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin shows 81% efficacy in Phase 3 clinical trials

India-made COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has demonstrated an interim clinical efficacy of 81% in its Phase 3 clinical trial, vaccine maker Bharat Biotech said.

Covaxin has demonstrated high clinical efficacy trend against COVID-19 as well as significant immunogenicity against the rapidly emerging variants, CMD Krishna Ella said.

A statement from Bharat Biotech, which developed the vaccine in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said 25,800 participants between 18-98 years of age were enrolled for the Phase 3 study. It included 2,433 over the age of 60 and 4,500 with comorbidities.


New Delhi

Kapil Dev receives first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Former India captain and all-rounder Kapil Dev gets his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, New Delhi, March 3, 2021

Former India captain and all-rounder Kapil Dev gets his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, New Delhi, March 3, 2021   | Photo Credit: ANI


Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev on Wednesday received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a renowned city hospital here.

The 62-year-old World Cup-winning captain got vaccinated at the capital’s Fortis hospital.

Kapil Dev, thus, became the second former India cricketer to receive the vaccine after India head coach Ravi Shastri, who got vaccinated on Tuesday at Ahmedabad.

Antibody response

IGIB study finds Covishield first dose is highly immunogenic if already infected

A small study involving just 135 health-care workers who were vaccinated with Covishield at a tertiary hospital in Delhi estimated the effectiveness of the vaccine after the first dose in terms of antibody levels. It found that the antibody levels following vaccination were much higher in those who were already infected than in those who were not.

Though measurements were made only till day 28 after the first dose, there is a clear indication that the antibody levels are significantly higher in those already infected prior to the first dose of vaccination compared with virus-naïve individuals. – R. Prasad

New Delhi

President Kovind gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

President Ram Nath Kovind was administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at an army hospital on Tuesday and urged all eligible citizens to get vaccinated.

According to tweets on his official handle, the president, 75, was accompanied by his daughter when the vaccine dose was administered to him at the army’s Research and Referral Hospital here.



Goa CM Pramod Sawant gets vaccine shot

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant received his first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 at a primary health centre near Panaji on Wednesday.

The 47-year-old politician is a trained medical doctor and comes under the category of health professionals.

A nurse explained the inoculation procedure to Mr. Sawant before he received the jab at the primary health centre in Sankhalim in North Goa district.

Talking to reporters after getting inoculated, Mr. Sawant said people should not be afraid of taking the vaccine.

“I took the jab to bolster people’s trust in the vaccine,” he said, adding that there are no major complaints from people who have received the vaccine shots.


India stands ready to work with UN to ensure supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Syria

India, which has shipped critical supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to nations globally, has said it stands ready to work with the United Nations and its agencies to ensure the doses are delivered to people of Syria facing “dire” situation compounded by the pandemic, winterisation and food insecurity.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly high-level panel on the human rights situation in Syria on Tuesday, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said that India continues to stand with the people of Syria in the grave hour of need.



Five States see upsurge in daily new cases

There is an upsurge in daily new COVID-19 cases in Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Union Health Ministry.

In the past week, Maharashtra exhibited a spike in the number of daily new cases. In the last 24 hours, 6,112 daily new cases have been reported in the State. Chhattisgarh reported 259 cases, Punjab 383 and Madhya Pradesh 297, said the Ministry.

It asserted that people should keep in mind the importance of adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. “This is essential for breaking the chain of transmission of the virus and containment of spread of the disease,” it stated.



Don’t create buffer stock of COVID-19 vaccines: Health Ministry

The Health Ministry urged States/UTs to utilise 100% capacities of private hospitals functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs) and said private hospitals not under the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the State Insurance Schemes can also be utilised as CVCs.

“There is no shortage of vaccines, adequate vaccine doses to be allocated to all hospitals functioning as CVCs,’’ said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday.

“States/UTs have been told to ensure that adequate allocation of vaccines is done to all hospitals [government and private] for the entire duration for which sessions have been planned,’’ said the release.

It said States/UTs should not store, reserve, conserve or create a buffer stock at the State and district levels.



Karnataka told to tighten border vigil

In the wake of the emergence of cluster outbreaks in the city and a few other places, a team of officials from the Union government has asked the State to tighten vigilance at the Kerala and Maharashtra borders and also step up contact tracing.

The Central team comprising a Joint Secretary from the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and two doctors arrived in the city on Monday to review the COVID-19 safety precautions and control measures in the city.



Biden hopes America to be back to normal by this time next year

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he hopes that the United States, the country hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, would be normal by the same time next year.

“When do I think things will get back to normal? I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure. But my hope is, by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal,” Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House.


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