City Buzz: Third wave | Vaccinating senior citizens | E-waste marketplace…and more

City Buzz: Recap of important developments on third wave, COVID-19 vaccination, e-waste management and other news from across the country

Supreme Court raps Centre for delay in framing COVID relief guidelines

The SC has set September 11th as the deadline for the Centre to file a compliance report on framing guidelines for issuing death certificates to families who lost a member due to COVID-19. A two-judge bench comprising Justice M R Shah and Justice Aniruddha Bose said that despite the court giving ample time to the Centre, it has failed to take any action. The court also noted that by the time the government frames the guidelines the third wave might well have set in. The court had ordered on June 30th that the death certificates clearly state the cause of “death due to COVID-19” for families to avail benefits of welfare schemes. The Centre, however, had been asking for more time on the ground that discussions on this are at the final stage.

Source: Hindustan Times

Vaccination coverage of 60+ low in some states

As vaccination rates pick up some pace, coverage of elderly population seems to be lagging behind in some states. Experts have time and again highlighted the vulnerability of senior citizens to COVID-19. States like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal have reported low coverage of 60+ age group. The national average of doses administered per 1000 people of 60+ population is 947.13 doses, but in Tamil Nadu it is just 523.05 doses, 651.12 in UP and 853.48 in West Bengal. Maharashtra remains the top state in terms of vaccinating senior citizens with almost 951.12 doses per 1000. So far, 61.6% of the 60+ population has received one dose and 31.4% have received both doses.

Source: Times of India

Rise in cases in some states indicate third wave: ICMR

Taking a state-specific approach, ICMR has said that states that did not face an intense second wave are now showing early signs of a COVID third wave. Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at ICMR, said states must take into consideration the data during the second wave in order to prepare themselves for the likely third wave. There is also no need for states to panic with regard to the reopening of schools as 50% of children were exposed to COVID-19 already, Dr Panda said.

In another development, Dr N K Arora, Head of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said that India needs to be prepared for a third wave and warned that the coming festive season can trigger mass gatherings and rise in cases. Dr Arora said the country is working on many fronts. Vaccination coverage has increased and the public health system is being strengthened by increasing ICU beds, ventilator units plus other important measures. 

Source: Scroll | India TV

IIT Madras builds new e-waste model

E-waste generation is expected to double in the next 16 years. Pic: Wikimedia Commons

By linking stakeholders in the formal and informal economy, IIT Madras is creating an online platform for e-waste management. The platform will act as a marketplace for electrical and electronic equipment and help in establishing a formal supply chain. The model can potentially tap into a $50 billion economy, as estimated by IIT Madras. The initiative is being driven by the Chennai-based Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) and funded by the Government of India’s Department for Science and Technology and the German Academic Exchange Service. The platform’s objective is to promote repair, reuse and recycling practices.

Source: Down To Earth

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Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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