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India celebrates 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses with song and dance

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 India celebrated the milestone of administering one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses on Thursday, with the government promoting the achievement in song and video even as a recent drop in inoculations worries healthcare providers.

After a slow beginning in the middle of January, India’s immunisation campaign has covered three-quarters of its 944 million adults with at least one dose but only 31% with two. The government wants all adults to get vaccinated this year.

“India scripts history,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. “We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of (1.3 billion) Indians.”

Modi marked the occasion with a visit to a government hospital in New Delhi. The health ministry announced musical and other programmes across the country, and special illuminations of national monuments including a colonial-era jail.

Nearly 90% of the vaccines administered in India have come from the Serum Institute of India (SII), which produces a licensed version of the AstraZeneca drug. SII has more than tripled its capacity since April and can now produce 220 million vaccine doses a month.

SII has also slowly resumed exports for the first time since April, when the government stopped all overseas sales to meet domestic demand as infections rose dramatically.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which relies heavily on India for supplies to its global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX, congratulated the country for reaching the landmark.

“India’s progress must be viewed in the context of the country’s commendable commitment and efforts to ensure that these life-saving vaccines are accessible globally,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director WHO South-East Asia.

India has so far reported 34.1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 452,000 deaths, most during a second wave of infections of the Delta variant that surged through the country between April and May.

A “sizeable number https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-india/many-indians-skipping-second-covid-shot-despite-record-vaccine-stocks-idUSL4N2RF2G3” of people in India have not taken their second dose by the due date despite adequate supplies, the health ministry said on Tuesday, as new infections fell to their lowest since early March.

Daily shots have averaged 5 million this month, a fifth of September’s peak, though states are sitting on record stocks of more than 100 million as domestic output of the AstraZeneca vaccine soars.

Despite the current low number of infections, ministry officials have been urging people to get vaccinated fast, especially as the ongoing festival season means family gatherings and mass shopping, raising the risk of a new wave of infections.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Health

RELEASE: COVID concerns at Signal Brewery – Quinte News

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Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is advising individuals who attended Signal Brewery (Corbyville) between November 19 – December 4 that they may have had an exposure to COVID-19. HPEPH is in the process of investigating multiple cases of COVID-19 that were present at the restaurant during this time frame. Signal Brewery has closed voluntarily while the investigation is underway.

All individuals who attended Signal Brewery between November 19 – December 4 are:

  • Advised to seek testing immediately for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms.
    • Book an appointment online for the Belleville or Trenton testing centre. You can also call 613-961-5544).
    • For other testing options, please visit hpepublichealth.ca/getting-tested-for-covid-19/
    • When seeking testing, please provide investigation number 2238-2021-51372 to the testing centre.
  • Monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If symptoms develop, even mild ones such as a runny nose or sore throat, isolate at home and away from others, and seek testing again, even if you were negative the first time.

While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of COVID-19 cases in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed to meet public health objectives such as prompt notification of potential contacts and reducing the risk of further transmission. HPEPH is in the process of contacting identified high-risk contacts related to these cases. All high-risk contacts will be instructed by HPEPH to self-isolate immediately and to get tested.

“I am urging individuals who attended Signal Brewery on these dates to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms, in order to protect those around them,” says Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “All residents are asked to remain vigilant and protect one another – and this includes getting tested if advised, staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms, and limiting your close contacts. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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WECHU issues additional COVID-19 measures | CTV News – CTV News Windsor

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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has issued a letter of instruction, aiming to address a surge in COVID-19 cases.

With cases of COVID-19 climbing steadily in the past month, local health officials say they are once again putting in place restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

According to the health unit, the updated letter addresses the key settings associated with COVID-19 transmission identified through ongoing case investigations, which have identified social gatherings as an area of significant concern.

In particular, the revised Letter of Instruction contains the following additional measures:

  • Social gatherings limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
  • Added measures for wedding receptions and the social events tied to funerals and religious services.
  • Limiting indoor capacity for bars and restaurants to 50% of their total occupancy.
  • Strict adherence to face covering requirements in all public settings.

Without further intervention, WECHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai believes cases can reach levels similar to those seen at the same time last year.

“We are very worried that we are already seeing this surge of cases in advance of the holiday season and its associated social gatherings,” said Nesathurai. “Immediate action needs to be taken by all residents to address the known sources of transmission which are social gatherings, both in homes and in the community.”

The updated changes go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10. 

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INQUINTE.CA | Health unit warns of COVID exposure at Signal – inquinte.ca

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