PM Modi to review vaccine stock in northeastern states on Tuesday

Live updates on coronavirus news: India recorded 42,766 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 30,795,716, according to Worldometer. The number of deaths rose to 407,145 with 1,206 new deaths. Kerala reported 13,563 new infections, Maharashtra 8,992, followed by Tamil Nadu (3,211), Andhra Pradesh (2,982) and Delhi (93). From the northeastern states, Assam has reported 2,644 new cases and Manipur 852. Covid-19 continues to spread around the world, with 186,812,865 confirmed cases and 4,034,726 deaths in nearly 200 registered countries since China reported its first cases in December 2019. The United States remains the most affected country with 34,710,303 cases, followed by India, Brazil, France and Russia.

Even as India experiences a drop in Covid-19 cases, the emergence of a new variant of interest called Kappa in Uttar Pradesh has the health ministry worried. Dr VK Paul, member of health, Niti Aayog, said that the Kappa variant was also present in India in March, similar to the Delta variant and that we need to keep an eye on the scientific impact and vaccine immunity of the Kappa variant. He adds that the Kappa variant is a variant of interest (VoI) and is being reviewed by the surveillance system. Adding more on the variants, Dr Paul said that the Lambda variant of the coronavirus is also the seventh variant of interest and that we should be careful with these variants. So far, there is no evidence that this variant has been identified in India. 25 countries have detected cases of the Lamda variant, 80% of which are in Peru.

Speaking about the shortage of vaccines in some states, Dr Paul says the vaccine is being distributed to states and space and time are given for advance planning. The second dose should be given priority and the availability of vaccines in the private sector should be used optimally.

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