4L COVID-19 vaccine doses to reach states in 3 days
The Centre on Sunday said that it has supplied over 26 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to states/union territories so far, and an additional 4 lakh will be supplied in the coming three days. India on Sunday reported over 80,000 new COVID-19 cases. This marked the lowest single-day spike after 71 days and the sixth consecutive day that daily cases remain under 1 lakh.
1.53 crore doses already available to states/UTs
The Union Health Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that states/UTs had been provided 26,64,84,350 vaccine doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. A total of 25,12,66,637 doses have been consumed, including those wasted. This indicates that over 1.53 crore doses are still available with states/UTs. An additional 4,48,760 doses are to be supplied to states/UTs in the next three days, the Ministry added.
India's tally reaches 2.94 crore; over 3.7 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Sunday morning, India reported a total of 2,94,39,989 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 3,70,384. So far, 2,80,43,446 patients have recovered, while 10,26,159 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 80,834 new infections, 1,32,062 more discharges, and 3,303 fresh fatalities.
Nearly 70% of new infections concentrated in 5 states
Maharashtra reported 10,697 new COVID-19 cases along with 14,910 more recoveries. Karnataka, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 9,785 new cases and 21,614 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Kerala added 13,832 new cases and 18,172 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 15,108 new cases and 27,463 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 6,952 new cases and 11,577 recoveries.
Variants can evade antibodies by spreading via 'super-cells'
A yet-to-be peer-reviewed study—conducted by researchers in the UK, Germany, and South Africa—has found that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has the ability to cause human cells to fuse into syncytia—"super-cells" with multiple nuclei and a lot of cytoplasm. The syncytia provide a more efficient environment for the virus to multiply and spread while evading the antibodies present outside a cell.
Delta variant wreaks havoc worldwide
The highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2—first detected in India—is spreading rapidly around the world and leading to more lockdowns. Classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Delta variant has led to the announcement of a lockdown in two Zimbabwe districts. The United Kingdom is mulling a delay of up to four weeks to end all lockdown restrictions.
Delta variant 'poised to take hold in Europe'
Last week, the WHO's Europe director warned that the Delta variant is "poised to take hold in the region." France is scrambling to contain limited outbreaks of the variant, while experts in China's Guangzhou blame the variant for local outbreaks.