Here are the top 5 news updates of April 21, 2021:
In a horrific incident, at least 22 COVID-19 patients died on ventilators in a Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) hospital after an abrupt drop in pressure due to leakage in the oxygen supplies, officials said. The tragedy took place in the Dr. Zakir Hussain Hospital run by the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled NMC, which is among the biggest civic bodies and one of the worst COVID-19 hotspots in the state. Following certain technical issues which caused a variation in the pressure of the oxygen being administered in the ward, the 22 patients gasped for breath and succumbed on the ventilator beds. Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi, HM Amit Shah, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray expressed sorrow over the tragedy.
Covishield will be sold at Rs 400 per dose to the state government and Rs 600 to private hospitals, Serum Institute of India (SII) said today. The company issued a statement after the government allowed vaccination of all persons above the age of 18 from May 1. The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with pharma companies, doctors, Cabinet ministers in charge of health, drugs and officials spanning multiple nodal ministries. Serum chief Adar Poonawalla welcomed the government's announcement to accelerate India's vaccination drive.
3. 'How can you laugh?': Priyanka Gandhi slams PM Modi as COVID-19 pandemic poses growing challenge for India
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today slammed the Centre for showing insentivity towards people during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying when people are screaming for shortages of medical oxygen, medicines and hospital beds, the central leaders are seen laughing during election rallies. "Even today they're busy with campaigning. They are laughing from the stages (at rallies). People are crying, screaming for help, seeking oxygen, beds, medicines, and you're going to huge rallies and laughing! How can you?" the Congress leader said.
Amid the COVID-19 surge, Air India has cancelled all its flights from and to the United Kingdom from April 24 to 30 after the UK added India to its travel "red list". In a statement, Air India said, "Passengers who were to travel between India and UK may note that in view of recent restrictions announced by the UK, flights from or to the UK stand cancelled from April 24 to April 30." Further updates regarding rescheduling, refunds and waivers will be informed later, it added. It said, "Between April 24 to April 30, we are in the process to schedule once a week flight to the United Kingdom from Delhi and Mumbai." The information regarding the same will also be updated on the website of Air India and social media channels, they said.
Bharat Biotech today said its coronavirus vaccine Covaxin has shown efficacy of 78 per cent against mild, moderate and severe cases of COVID-19, as per Phase III interim analysis results. The vaccine maker noted that the second interim data of the Phase III study also showed that chances of hospitalisation due to the infectious disease were reduced by 100 per cent after taking the Covaxin jab. Due to the recent surge in cases, 127 symptomatic cases were recorded, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 78 per cent against mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 disease, Bharat Biotech said in a statement.