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Covid-19 March 17 Latest updates: Swimming pool, anganwadi centres to reopen in Uttar Pradesh

Coronavirus March 17 Latest News: The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday further removed Covid restrictions on various activities considering a decline in new infections. In an order, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi allowed swimming pools, water parks and Anganwadi centres to open. The Health Ministry today said that the global surge in Covid cases due to the Omicron variant led to a peak six times the previous waves but India managed to control its spread causing lower hospitalisation and fewer deaths than earlier surges, reported PTI. The Ministry informed that India contributed to only 0.21 per cent of global cases. However, globally speaking, the situation seems to be worsening. South Korea reached another daily record in Covid deaths on Thursday as health officials reported more than 621,000 new infections, underscoring a massive omicron surge that has been worse than feared and threatens to buckle an over-stretched hospital system, reported AP. With air travel open for passengers, states dropping Covid restrictions, and people stepping out without masks, the chances of India witnessing a fresh rise in new infections won’t be a surprise.

While many states across the country recorded a high number of vaccinations for the 12-14 age group, Madhya Pradesh postponed its vaccination drive by a week to March 22. Children in this age group will be vaccinated once frontline health workers get the training necessary, the Press Trust of India reported. The National Health Mission State Director (Vaccination) Dr Santosh Shukla told the news agency that there are nearly 30 lakh boys and girls in the 12-14 years category, and their inoculation drive will only be carried out in schools. He also added that vaccination centres were being set up in schools across the state’s 52 districts.

India began the Covid-19 vaccination drive for children in the 12-14 age group on Wednesday. According to the Union Health Ministry, 2.16 lakh doses of Biological E’s Corbevax vaccine have been administered. The Corbevax vaccine will be administered 28 days apart. As of March 1, India had 4.7 crore children in the 12-13 age group.

Here are top 10 latest updates on Coronavirus from India and around the globe:

1. Delhi has reports 148 new COVID-19 cases, 157 recoveries and one death in the last 24 hours. Currently 610 active cases are present in the capital and the daily positivity rate stands at 0.47%.

2. Over 3 lakh children between 12 and 14 years have received their first shot of the Covid vaccine taking the total doses administered in the country to over 180.80 crore, according to Union Health Ministry data.

3. According to media reports, a new strain of Coronavirus has been reported from Isreal, the country’s health ministry informed on Wednesday. The new strain is reportedly a combination of 2 Omicron subvariants, i.e. BA.1 and BA.2.

4. With 2,539 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,30,01,477, while the active cases have declined to 30,799, according to the recent data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday. According to the official data updated at 8 am today, the death toll in India has climbed to 5,16,132 with 60 daily fatalities. The active cases constitute 0.07 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further improved to 98.73 per cent.5. The health ministry has said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website. State-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

6. Kerala on Thursday reported 922 fresh Coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its overall caseload to 65,25,032. The state also reported 130 deaths linked to Covid-19 which raised the toll to 67,138. Of the deaths, 7 were those which occurred in the last few days but were not recorded due to late receipt of documents and 123 were designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court.

7. The White House on Thursday announced that Indian-American public health expert Dr Ashish Jha will take over as COVID-19 Response Coordinator of President Joe Biden from next month. On a global level, Cambodia on Thursday dropped Covid-19 testing requirements from overseas visitors, as the country relaxed most restrictions to spur more investment and tourism. As per Reuters, the official data shows that the Southeast Asian country has vaccinated 92.31% of its population of 16 million against the coronavirus, one of the highest vaccination rates in the region. South Korea recorded a record 621,328 new daily COVID-19 cases and a daily record 429 deaths, authorities said on Thursday, as the country which once took an aggressive anti-pandemic approach is set to end COVID restrictions, reported Reuters.

8. Germany is considering a possible COVID-19 vaccine mandate as the country hit a new record for the number of newly confirmed cases Thursday. Still, some government officials are championing an easing of restrictions. The country registered 294,931 new cases and 278 COVID-related deaths in the past 24 hours. A final decision on an initial proposal to make vaccinations compulsory for all adults in Germany isn’t expected for several weeks, reported Reuters. Opponents of this measure have suggested mandatory vaccination only for people over 50, while others reject the idea altogether. Despite the infection rate being far higher than in many neighbouring countries, government officials have defended plans to let some of Germany’s restrictions expire on Sunday.

9. According to the World Health Organisation, the number of new coronavirus deaths reported worldwide fell by 17% in the last week while COVID-19 infections rose, reversing a decline in cases that first began in January. In a weekly report, WHO stated that there were more than 11 million new COVID-19 infections last week – about an 8% rise – and 43,000 new deaths. The number of COVID-19 deaths globally has been dropping for the past three weeks.

10. With the new surge in Covid-19 cases being reported in several countries, including China raising an alarm bell for India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting with top members of India’s Covid-19 task force and directed them to maintain a high level of alertness in the country, the Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by head of India’s Covid-19 task force Dr V K Paul, AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, ICMR Chief Dr. Balram Bhargava, Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

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