Wednesday, 16 June 2021
HT COVID-19 Dispatch
An informed pandemic-related newsletter
with updates and opinions
Good morning!

India’s vaccination strategy might get a major overhaul again with experts considering reducing the gap between the two doses from the current 12 weeks. This follows the UK releasing fresh data showing that protection from hospitalisation was 92% for people who got both doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Is India’s massive vaccination drive skewed towards cities and towns, with the rural parts of the country being increasingly left behind? District-based vaccination data analysed by HT highlights the urban bias.

Meanwhile, the government has clarified that over 1.05 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories while over 47,43,580 doses are in the pipeline and will reach them within the next three days.

From today, central government employees will have to work from office on all working days till June 30. The direction is part of new guidelines issued by the Union government for its staff and is applicable to all central ministries and departments.

Also, Covid-19 lockdown to be eased in these states from today.

Covid & Vaccine Tracker
    Total Daily
Cases 29,632,240 62,217
Deaths 379,619 2,540
Vaccines 261,740,273 3,026,952
Top Stories

“Less than 12% Covid-19 cases in children below 20”

The government said that there is no need to panic about children getting infected in successive waves of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).The data presented by the ministry showed that 3.28% Covid-19 cases in the first wave and 3.05% cases in the second wave were detected in children 1 to 10 years old. Read more.

“All deaths following inoculation cannot be linked to vaccination”

The Union ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday dismissed reports that claimed that a high number of deaths following vaccination for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are taking place and these are linked to post-Covid complications. These reports, according to the ministry, were based on "incomplete and limited understanding" of the process. Read More

“Sputnik more efficient against Delta variant”

The Russia-developed Sputnik V vaccine has been found to more efficient against the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which was found in India, according to a study. The drug has been found to be more efficient against the variant than any other vaccine used to fight the viral contagion in the study, Sputnik V's official handle posted on Twitter. Read More

Pritam’s vaccine drive for musicians

“I want the music industry to be back on foot. I want the [spot] boys, all the recordists and engineers to get vaccinated, so the music and live industry can be back and work can start without fear,” Pritam tells us , adding, “If everybody takes care of their own industry, the pressure on the government and municipal bodies can be reduced and they can focus on other groups of people for vaccination drives.” Read More

Must Read

Covid and dementia

As evening approaches, the 90-year-old lady, living with her son and daughter-in-law, in a Gurugram flat, is restless. She wants to have a bath and her breakfast. Like most dementia patients, she mistakes the twilight hour for the morning. She has been cocooned all day and as the evening wears on, she gets increasingly fidgety. By night, she is tugging at her diaper and often, it is pulled to shreds. Read more.

‘Decide our fate now’

The Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with our lives over the past 14 months, and this is especially true for students of Class 10 and 12. With even experts unsure of how the pandemic will unfold, the authorities had to take many ad hoc decisions over the past year. The government decided to first reduce the syllabus, postpone the board exams, and, finally, cancel them altogether. Read More

Quote of the Day

There is no need to panic about children getting infected in successive waves; need to spread awareness among children and every family in the society

– Lav Agarwal

Editor's Take

Covid-19: What you need to know today

The Delta variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, B.1.617.2 is likely to become the dominant strain in the US, experts fear, much like it already has in the UK. Indeed, both the UK and Russia are among countries that are seeing a resurgence in cases on account of this variant which was first sequenced in India. Read more.

Through the Lens
According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), at least 3,621 children have been orphaned during the pandemic, and over 26,000 children have lost one parent, PTI reported. (Names have been changed to protect identities). Click to see photo gallery.

Video of the Day:

Is Delta Plus variant a threat?

Around the world

Globally research suggest possible need for booster dose against Covid-19

This is a very crucial time. One has to be very careful. People should follow Covid-appropriate behavior and should only come out of their homes when absolutely necessary. Read more

Domestic workers hit worse in Covid, lost far more jobs than others: UN

International Labour Organization has warned that working conditions for many of the world's 75.6 million domestic workers had not improved since the adoption in 2011 of a convention entitling them to the same protections as other workers. Read more

Fungal infection detected in Covid-19 patients in Oman

Three Covid-19 patients in Oman have become infected with mucormycosis, a life-threatening condition commonly known as “black fungus,” which has spread quickly among virus patients in hard-hit India. Read more

Healthy Way

“India missed early alarm”

A veteran public health expert warned top Indian officials in early March that a new variant of the coronavirus was spreading quickly in a rural district in the heart of the country and that the outbreak required urgent attention. Federal health authorities failed to respond adequately to that warning, Dr Subhash Salunke, who has 30 years of experience in public health in India, Indonesia and the United States, told Reuters. Read more.

Your Space

I lost my mother to this dreaded illness and could not go to India due to a travel ban. For the elderly like my mother, this social isolation had taken a toll on their physical and mental health tremendously. And I felt helpless as nothing felt in control. I was supposed to travel to India with my children, but it was not meant to be. To be alone and to be ill, is what coronavirus is. Read more.

Written and edited by HT Editorial Team. Send in your feedback to or

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