Sri Lanka may dump China vax, orders doses from India

Colombo / New Delhi

Sri Lanka has ordered 13.5 million Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines in addition to the 5,00,000 doses gifted by India, and the country may not use Chinese vaccines in the second phase of immunisation, a govt spokesman said on Tuesday.

Ramesh Pathirana, who is also the Minister of Plantations, said Sri Lanka is likely to go only with the AstraZeneca vaccines for the second phase of vaccination as the Chinese and Russian vaccines are not ready yet.

"The Chinese vaccine has not submitted the papers relating to phase three trials," said Pathirana. For the first round of vaccinations, the government has placed an order for 10 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India at a cost of USD 52.5 million and a further 3.5 million doses directly from AstraZeneca Institute of UK under the COVAX programme, the spokesman said.

India gifted 500,000 doses of the same vaccine which kicked off Sri Lanka's vaccine rollout in late January.

Over 1.19 crore frontline workers vaccinated

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to healthcare and frontline workers in the country has crossed 1.19 crore, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.

A total of 1,19,07,392 vaccine doses have been given through 2,53,434 sessions till 6pm on Tuesday, as per a report. The beneficiaries include 64,71,047 healthcare workers who have taken the first dose; 13,21,635 HCWs have taken the second dose and 41,14,710 frontline workers have taken the first dose.

More pvt hospitals to up accination speed: Govt

The Centre said more private hospitals will be utilised to increase the speed and coverage of vaccination in the coming days. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said of 10,000 hospitals being used for vaccination in a day, 2,000 hospitals are private.

Virus Tidbits

-- Govt has directed a phased closure of 2 special and temporary Covid care centres. While the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid hospital in Delhi Cantt is managed by the DRDO, the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre in Chhattarpur is managed by the ITBP.

-- Forced into quarantine despite being negative, family returning from UK tells HC

-- Covid positive West Bengal power minister hospitalised

41 deaths so far after jab

OUR BUREAU / AGENCIES / New Delhi / Bengaluru / Chandigarh

As many as 41 persons died and 46 were hospitalised after 1.17 crore were administered the Covid-19 vaccines in India, the Health Ministry reported on Tuesday, noting the recovery rate has gone up to 97.24% of the total 11.02 crore found infected in the country. On Tuesday, active cases showed a decline with 2,749 persons discharged in a day. The daily Covid-19 deaths fell to 70 against the previous day’s toll of 83, with Maharashtra continuing to top as it reported 18 fatalities, followed by 16 in Kerala and a spurt in Punjab from previous day’s 6 to 15.

Punjab orders fresh curbs on gatherings

The Punjab government on Tuesday ordered curbs on both indoor and outdoor gatherings from March 1 and authorised deputy commissioners to impose night-curfew in COVID-19 hotspots in their districts if needed. CM Amarinder Singh ordered to limit indoor gatherings to 100 and outdoor events to 200 attendees from March 1.

Complex declared containment zone

Karnataka health dept is on its toes as a new cluster of 20 Covid-19 cases has emerged in an apartment block in Mahadevapura zone, Bellandur. The apartment complex has been declared as a containment zone. More cases may emerge in the cluster as 1,055 samples, including those of apartment staff, security, domestic help etc, have been sent for testing.

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