The Covid-related restrictions in West Bengal was extended till August 30 with relaxations in the curbs during the night hours, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday.
The restrictions, first imposed on May 16 amid the second wave of the pandemic and extended at regular intervals, were about to expire on August 15.
“The Covid situation in Bengal is quite good but the danger of the third wave is still lurking. This is one of the reasons we have not allowed local trains,” Banerjee said, addressing a press conference.
“So, we have decided to extend the ongoing Covid restrictions for 15 more days till August 30,” she added.
More than 300 children below the age of 19 years have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past six days in Bengaluru amid reports of a possible third wave, which is predicted to affect children.
According to a data by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), 127 children aged less than 10 years have tested positive for between August 5 and August 10. As many as 174 children aged between 10 and 19 years also tested positive in the last six days.
The rise in Covid-19 cases among children in the city comes at a time when the country is yet to approve a vaccine for children.
COVID-19 may behave like other common-cold coronaviruses in the next few years, affecting mostly young children who have not yet been vaccinated or exposed to the virus, according to a modelling study published on Thursday.
The US-Norwegian team noted that because COVID-19 severity is generally lower among children, the overall burden from this disease is expected to decline as the SARS-CoV-2 virus becomes endemic in the global population. “Following infection by SARS-CoV-2, there has been a clear signature of increasingly severe outcomes and fatality with age,” said Ottar Bjornstad from the University of Oslo in Norway. “Yet, our modelling results suggest that the risk of infection will likely shift to younger children as the adult community becomes immune either through vaccination or exposure to the virus,” he said.
The study, published in the journal Science Advances, noted that such shifts have been observed in other coronaviruses and influenza viruses as they have emerged and then become endemic.
K’taka CM directs officials in border districts to be extra cautious
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai on Thursday asked officials in border districts to be extra cautious to check the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bommai was here in this district headquarters town of Dakshina Kannada district (bordering Kerala) which has seen a significant rise in coronavirus cases in recent days.
“I have come here to review the Covid-19 situation. Our objective is to completely control Covid-19 in the Dakshina Kannada district. There is a need to take extra precautionary measures in the border regions,” he told reporters after inaugurating the new intensive care unit at the Wenlock Madison Government Hospital here.
The Chief Minister said he has directed officials to allow people coming from neighbouring states only after COVID tests.
E-pass facility for travel in Mumbai suburban trains launched
The Maharashtra government on Thursday launched an online facility to enable citizens who have completed 14 days after second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to obtain passes to travel in suburban trains in Mumbai from August 15.
A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) release said, “A ‘Universal Travel Pass’ system has been developed to make it possible for citizens to obtain an e-pass conveniently and smoothly.”
Citizens can obtain travel passes from http://epassmsdma.mahait.org, a website developed by the state government, the release said.
Booster shot for weakened immune systems: Dr Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci says an additional COVID-19 booster shot will be recommended for previously vaccinated people with weakened immune systems. He told NBC’s show on Thursday that he expects the booster recommendation to come “imminently”.
People have compromised immune systems for a variety of reasons, including organ transplants, cancer or other conditions. Any authorisation for an additional booster shot would come from the Federal Drug Administration.
New Zealand eyes opening to vaccinated travelers early 2022
New Zealand plans to allow quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries from early 2022, as it looks to open its borders again after nearly 18 months of pandemic-induced isolation.
Tight border controls and its geographic advantage helped New Zealand stamp out COVID-19 much faster than almost all other countries, but this left the Pacific island nation of 5 million almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that the country is still not ready to open up entirely, but will open in phases from early next year. “We’re simply not in a position to fully reopen just yet,” the 41-year-old leader said in a speech outlining plans to reconnect New Zealand with the world. “When we move we will be careful and deliberate because we want to move with confidence and with as much certainty as possible,” she said.