City Buzz: COVID-19 vaccination begins | Bird flu update | Winter intensifies…and more

Urban Weekly News Round-Up

Dr Randeep Guleria of AIIMS New Delhi takes the COVID-19 jab. Pic: MoHFW/Twitter

India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive begins

India is all set to initialize its much awaited vaccine drive on 16th January 2021 across 3,000 sites. Each site will vaccinate 100 people a day. The government plans to increase the number of vaccination sites to 5,000 in the coming days. As per the government data, around 3 lakh people will be provided vaccination shots during phase I of the drive. Batches of Covishield (Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)  have been delivered to 12 cities in India. 

As of 12th January 2021, 54.72 lakh doses of the two vaccines reached designated storage points across the country. The centre has also clarified that states will not have any choice in administering the COVID-19 vaccine. As per the data, Mumbai received 1.39 lakh Covishield doses, Goa got 23500, Odisha got 40822 doses of the Covishield doses.  

110 lakh doses of Covishield and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin have been procured by the government for the purposes of the vaccination drive. Frontline workers will be the top priority group to get the vaccine, followed by people above the age of 50. 

Source: NDTV | Indian Express

Cities gear up for vaccination drive 

As the government readied itself for 16th January to launch the COVID-19 vaccination drive, cities also prepared in full steam, getting together their task forces and blueprint for the same. Mumbai’s municipal body has constituted 500 teams to vaccinate 12,000 people a day through eight centres in the city. The municipality plans to raise the capacity to 50,000 people a day in a week. 

Pune has enlisted eight hospitals in the district to carry out the vaccination drive. Pune Municipal Corporation has received 48,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots. In total, the Pune district has received 1.13 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine. 

On the other hand, Delhi government has designated 81 sites for carrying out the vaccination drive. Out of these 81 sites, Covishield will be provided in 75 sites, whereas Covaxin will be available in the remaining six. The government has fixed four days – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with each centre administering up to 100 shots a day. 

Source: NDTV | The Indian Express 

Winter intensifies: Dal lake freezes, Delhi shivers

Srinagar witnessed the coldest night in almost 30 years on 13th January 2021 as the Dal lake froze. On the night of 13th, the city recorded a temperature of minus 8.4 degrees celsius.

Several other tourist towns are also reeling under intense chill. Gulmarg recorded a minimum temperature of minus 7 degrees whereas Pahalgam witnessed minus 11.1 degrees. 

Similarly, the national capital also woke up to a chilly morning. The capital recorded a temperature of 2.1 degrees Celsius. On 1st January 2021, Delhi recorded a temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius. Some parts of the capital reported moderate to dense fog and the air quality remained “very poor”. 

Source: NDTV 

109 infected with new UK COVID-19 strain

As per data shared by the Health Ministry, till now 109 people in India have been found to be infected with the new COVID-19 strain. Several cases are still under observation and the ministry has urged the states to enhance the surveillance level. The ministry is also advising states on containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) labs.

People who have been found with the new strain are being kept in complete isolation in designated healthcare facilities. As per the new protocol introduced by the Indian government, passengers have to undergo RT-PCR tests both in the UK before boarding their flight and after arriving in India.

Source: Hindustan Times 

Bird flu outbreak grows, 10 states stand infected 

The poultry industry seems to be headed for big hit due to the recent bird flu outbreak. So far, ten states have reported the cases of bird flu. In its recent advisory, the animal husbandry ministry has urged states not to ban the supply of poultry and poultry products from other states, as it would have a negative effect on the industry. 

In another development, an order by all the three municipal corporations of Delhi – North, South and East – has imposed a ban on sale and storage of poultry or processed chicken meat by shops and restaurants with immediate effect. The order also talks about punishment for those restaurant or hotel owners who will be found violating the above order. The Ghazipur Poultry Market has been closed temporarily by the municipal authorities. 

Also, around 200 birds have been found dead in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun and Rishikesh, spreading panic in towns. 

Source: Times Now | Livemint | The Hindu Businessline 

Apex Court discusses Yamuna pollution, takes suo-motu action

For the second time, the Supreme Court has taken action on its own concerning the increasing levels of pollution in Yamuna. For the first time, the court took action on its own in July 1994. The court has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to identify and prepare a report on municipalities which have still not installed sewage treatment plants, as mandated under various laws and schemes. The action was taken by the court after a report highlighting the high levels of ammonia in Yamuna became public. 

The court took action based on a petition filed by Delhi Jal Board which requested a direction to the Haryana government to stop discharging pollutants in the river. The petition pointed out that the level of ammonia had reached alarming proportions. On 25th December 2020, ammonia concentration was found to be 13 ppm as against the permissible limit of 0.5 ppm. 

Source: Hindustan Times 

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.