Karnataka CM, Health Minister appeal to people above 45 to get vaccinated

News Network
April 1, 2021

Bengaluru, Mar 1: As the state geared up to vaccinate everyone above 45 years of age from Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar appealed to the eligible people to make use of this protective cover against coronavirus.

Cautioning people not to underestimate the danger posed by Covid, Yediyurappa tweeted, "Our protective cover is the vaccine against corona. Everyone over the age of 45 can get the vaccine today. Go to your nearest vaccination centre and get the vaccine. Together we can defeat coronavirus."

Health Minister Sudhakar too tweeted, "As we begin vaccinating all citizens aged above 45 years from today, 5,500 vaccination sites will be operational across the state including 650 private and 4,850 government facilities."

According to him, 1.5 lakh doses of vaccine is supplied to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the civic body, which is distributed to about 600 sites across the state capital.

The Health Department said in a statement that Covid-19 vaccination will continue at all the primary health centres, community health centres, Taluk hospitals, district hospitals, medical colleges and private hospitals as already being done.

It added that Karnataka has in stock 13.5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine and 1.5 lakh doses of Covaxin vaccine and it has been supplied to all the cold chain points across the districts as per their requirement.

The government of India has assured the state that additional vaccine doses will be supplied regularly in the coming days as per daily coverage, the department added.

The vaccination drive covering everyone above 45 years of age started at a time when there is an alarming rise in cases in Karnataka.

The state reported 4,225 fresh cases including 26 deaths on a single day on Wednesday.

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News Network
April 28,2021

Geneva, Apr 28: The World Health Organization said Tuesday that a variant of Covid-19 feared to be contributing to a surge in coronavirus cases in India has been found in over a dozen countries.

The UN health agency said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19 first found in India had as of Tuesday been detected in over 1,200 sequences uploaded to the GISAID open-access database "from at least 17 countries".

"Most sequences were uploaded from India, the United Kingdom, USA and Singapore," the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic.

The WHO recently listed B.1.617 -- which counts several sub-lineages with slightly different mutations and characteristics -- as a "variant of interest".

But so far it has stopped short of declaring it a "variant of concern".

That label would indicate that it is more dangerous than the original version of the virus by for instance being more transmissible, deadly or able to dodge vaccine protections.

India is facing surging new cases and deaths in the pandemic, and fears are rising that the variant could be contributing to the unfolding catastrophe.

The explosion in infections in India -- 350,000 new cases were recorded there on Tuesday alone -- has driven a surge in global cases to 147.7 million.

The virus has now killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide.

The WHO acknowledged that its preliminary modelling based on sequences submitted to GISAID indicates "that B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India, suggesting potential increased transmissibility".

It stressed that other variants circulating at the same time were also showing increased transmissibility, and that the combination "may be playing a role in the current resurgence in this country."

"Indeed, studies have highlighted that the spread of the second wave has been much faster than the first," the WHO said.

It highlighted though that "other drivers" could be contributing to the surge, including lax adherence to public health measures as well as mass gatherings.

"Further investigation is needed to understand the relative contribution of these factors," it said.

The UN agency also stressed that "further robust studies" into the characteristics of B.1.617 and other variants, including impacts on transmissibility, severity and the risk of reinfection, were "urgently needed".

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News Network
April 26,2021

April 26: Anxiety pierced through IPL's bio-secure bubble on Monday with leading Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and some Australian players withdrawing from the league amid the escalating Covid-19 crisis in India even as the BCCI insisted that the glitzy league will go on.

The 34-year-old Ashwin, competing for Delhi Capitals, decided to take a break saying that his family is currently "putting up a fight against Covid-19" and he wants to support them. He hopes to return to the side "if things go in the right direction".

However, Andrew Tye (Rajastan Royals) and the duo of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) withdrew as apprehension set in after a couple of weeks went by smoothly for the league being held in front of empty stands across nine venues.

While Zampa and Richardson have not yet spoken about their "personal reasons" for leaving, Tye said he feared getting locked out of his own country owing to mounting quarantine cases from India in his hometown Perth.

"I just thought to try and get on the front foot and get home before I got locked out of the country...think I've had 11 days at home out of the bubble since August, so for me I just wanted to get home," Tye told 'SEN Radio' from Doha, the transit point before his flight to Perth.

The BCCI, on its part, insisted that the event will continue and it wouldn't come in the way of those wanting to leave.

"As of now, IPL is going ahead. Obviously, if anyone wants to leave, that's perfectly fine," a senior Board official said on conditions of anonymity.

While leg-spinner Zampa was bought for Rs 1.5 crore, RCB spent Rs 4 crore to buy pacer Richardson at the players' auction.

Richardson featured in one match for RCB, returning figures of 1 for 29 in three overs against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai, but Zampa couldn't make it to the playing XI this season.
The 34-year-old Tye had also not got a game with the Royals so far and his contract with the franchise was worth Rs one crore.

India is recording over 3 lakh daily cases for the past few days and the health infrastructure is struggling to handle the rise with shortage of oxygen and some crucial medicines adding to the crisis.

Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey acknowledged that Australians in the IPL are a "bit nervous" about getting back home in the wake of the situation here.

"Everyone is sort of a bit nervous about whether they can get back into Australia. I dare say there will be a few other Australians a bit nervous about getting back into Australia," Hussey, a former Australia international, told the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association also issued a joint statement on Monday, saying that they are monitoring the situation.

"Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association remain in regular contact with Australian players, coaches and commentators taking part in the Indian Premier League, which is being conducted under strict bio-security protocols," the two bodies said.

"We will continue to listen to feedback from those on the ground in India and the advice of the Australian Government. Our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time."

Several England and New Zealand players are also competing in the event but haven't yet spoken about their concerns.

"We continue to monitor and work with the players on an individual basis. Our thoughts are with the people of India during these difficult times," a spokesperson of the England and Wales Cricket Board told PTI.

The players from New Zealand, including stars such Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, are expected to leave early in any case as they have a Test series against England starting June 2. They will have to head back in last week of May to be available for it because of quarantine rules.

The IPL final is scheduled to be held on May 30 in Ahmedabad.

Australia, it is learnt, might arrange a chartered flight for its IPL cricketers once their engagement is over.

As many as 14 Australian players now remain in the event, including stars such as Steve Smith (DC), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), as well as coaches Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB).

Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Sthalekar are also among the Australians involved with the league right now. 

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News Network
May 2,2021

May 2: As Congress Candidate Basavanagouda Turvihal continued to increase the lead in the counting of votes polled in Maski assembly bypolls, BJP Candidate Pratapgouda Patil walked out of the counting centre.

Pratapgouda said the anti-incumbency factor is apparent in the constituency and the people of the constituency didn't give the vote for the BJP despite implementing several developmental works. 

The party leaders will introspect the reasons behind his defeat and will be abiding by the decision taken by the party, he added. Details awaited.

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