LIVE: Congress alleges shortage of vaccines in states, says third COVID wave may hit India 'very badly'

·3-min read
(Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
(Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Congress on Wednesday attacked the Centre over the 'shortage' of COVID-19 vaccines and said the third wave of the pandemic may hit the country very badly due to the 'slow' pace of vaccination and the government's 'failure'.

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the weekly pace of vaccinations has declined to nearly 60 percent of what was seen in the week after June 21.

Rahul Gandhi, who has been persistently targeting the Centre over its handling of the pandemic, said there are 'jumlas (rhetoric)' but no vaccines.

'Jumle hain, vaccine nahin (There is rhetoric, no vaccines),' Gandhi tweeted using the hashtag 'WhereAreVaccines'.

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of 'disturbing' news on the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow 'Kanwar Yatra' amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and sought responses from the state as well as the Centre on the matter. Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government has cancelled the 'Kanwar Yatra' in view of a possible third wave. It issued a notice to the Centre and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand while posting the matter for hearing on Friday.

Administering a full dose of a standard blood thinner early to moderately ill hospitalised patients with COVID-19 could halt the formation of blood clots and reduce the risk of severe disease and death, according to a study.

COVID-19 is marked by heightened inflammation and abnormal clotting in the blood vessels, particularly in the lungs, and is believed to contribute to progression to severe disease and death.

The researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine in Canada noted that heparin — a blood thinner given regularly at low dose to hospitalised patients — stops clots from forming and reduces inflammation.

India recorded 38,792 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 3,09,46,074, while the death toll reached 4,11,408 with 624 more fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

The active cases have declined to 4,29,946 and comprise 1.39 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.28 per cent.

A decrease of 2,832 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

The 624 new fatalities include 196 deaths from Maharashtra and 124 from Kerala.

A total of 4,11,408 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 1,26,220 from Maharashtra, 35,944 from Karnataka, 33,502 from Tamil Nadu, 25,020 from Delhi, 22,704 from Uttar Pradesh, 17,944 from West Bengal and 16,199 from Punjab.

The United States on Tuesday said that it is ready to ship its COVID-19 vaccines expeditiously when it has the green light from the Indian government which has told the Americans that it needs further time to review legal provisions related to accepting vaccine donations.

The Biden Administration has announced to share 80 million doses from its domestic stockpile with countries around the world, including India. In recent weeks, the US vaccines have landed in countries across the world, including Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

However, the vaccines to India could not be sent because the Indian government is yet to clear the necessary legal hurdles for such an emergency import.

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