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Covid news – live: India to check if virus present in Ganges river after bodies found floating

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<p>A member of Indian Institute of Toxicology Research collects sample from river Ganges on 24 May, 2021. </p>

A member of Indian Institute of Toxicology Research collects sample from river Ganges on 24 May, 2021.

(AFP via Getty Images)

India is conducting a study to determine the presence of Covid-19 in the Ganges after bodies of coronavirus victims were seen floating in the river in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Samples have already been collected from 13 locations for the first phase of the study, Saroj Batik, director of the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, told news agency PTI.

The water ministry had said last month that it was using “existing technologies, doing regular studies and monitoring the situation closely to prevent contamination of the river water” after reports that bodies were found dumped in Ganges.

The emergence of the bodies had raised concerns over contamination and the infection spreading through water. Experts had said that coronavirus transmission cannot happen through water.

DP Mathuria, executive director of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, said the virus does not survive in the water, but “we decided to have an evidence-based study.”

India reported a daily rise of 86,498 new Covid-19 infections in the 24 hours ending Tuesday morning, the lowest in 66 days. 2,123 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, taking the overall fatalities to 351,309.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that glaring Covid-19 vaccine inequality has created a “two-track pandemic”.

He said: “Many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions.”

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Child rights body urges a stop on illegal adoption of children orphaned by Covid

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has informed the Supreme Court of India about a rise in complaints about illegal adoption of children orphaned by Covid-19.

The child rights body told the court that private individuals and organisations have been collecting data on these children while claiming that they want to help them.

It also said that 3,621 children were orphaned, 26,176 children lost a parent and 274 children were abandoned between 1 April, 2020 and 5 June, 2021.

Akshita Jain8 June 2021 07:01

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Indian students heading to foreign universities worried about Covaxin

Indian students who have been inoculated with Covaxin — India’s indigenous vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech — are worried because the jab has not yet been approved by the World Health Organisation.

Several students are urging the government to make WHO approval for Covaxin a priority or advise them if they can get re-vaccinated with a different jab. Many universities, especially in the US, require students to be inoculated with a WHO approved vaccine before they enter campus.

Akshita Jain8 June 2021 06:55

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28,252 cases of black fungus reported in India

The Indian government has said that 28,252 cases of black fungus, or mucormycosis, have been reported in the country so far. Of these, 86 per cent have a history of Covid-19 and 62.3 per cent have a history of diabetes.

The state of Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 6,339, followed by Gujarat state with 5,486.

States have also reported a shortage of an anti-fungal drug used in the treatment of black fungus. Bihar state is the latest to flag a shortage of Amphotericin B, with doctors saying they have not received supplies for more than 300 patients.

Akshita Jain8 June 2021 06:03

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India changes vaccine rule for people undertaking international travel

India has announced an exemption in vaccine rules for people who are seeking to travel internationally for educational purposes, employment opportunities, or are part of the Indian contingent to the Tokyo Olympics.

The health ministry said that these people will be allowed to take the second dose of Covishield — the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine — after a gap of 28 days from the first dose.

At present, India is administering the second dose of Covishield after 12-16 weeks of the first dose.

Akshita Jain8 June 2021 05:49

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Over 300 Indians take Chinese vaccines to return to jobs

More than 300 Indians, who travelled to India’s neighbouring countries to get inoculated with Chinese vaccines, have now urged China to lift travel restrictions and allow them to return to their jobs.

They travelled to countries like Nepal and Maldives, and stayed there for more than a month to get the Chinese jabs, according to news agency PTI.

In March, China had announced that it would begin “facilitating” travellers from India and 19 other countries if they have taken Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines. However, China has not yet started issuing visas for Indians to return.

Akshita Jain8 June 2021 05:32

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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday 08 June, 2021

Akshita Jain8 June 2021 05:13

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