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The WHO’s emergency committee unanimously agreed that now is not the time to lower the guard on Covid-19.

The US administration announced on Wednesday that it is extending the nationwide mask requirement for airplanes and public transit for 15 days as it monitors an uptick in Covid-19 cases. In India, Delhi reported 299 new cases, a jump of 118 per cent from the daily count recorded two days ago, while the positivity rate stood at 2.49 per cent.

Here are top Covid-19 updates:

> In the US, there has been a slight increase in cases in recent weeks, with daily confirmed cases rising from about 25,000 per day to more than 30,000. More than 85 per cent of those cases are the highly contagious BA.2 strain. Those figures could be an undercount since many people now test positive on at-home tests that are not reported to public health agencies.

> Airlines imposed their own mask mandates in 2020, when the Donald Trump administration declined to take action.

>The World Health Organization’s emergency committee unanimously agreed that now is not the time to lower the guard on Covid-19, the group’s head told a press conference. “The decision was unanimous that it is not yet the time,” said Didier Houssin, after the committee concluded that the pandemic still constituted a public health emergency of international concern — the highest level of alert that the WHO can sound.

> In Delhi, the Covid positivity rate has jumped from 0.5 per cent to 2.70 per cent in a week, even as doctors on Tuesday said it was “not a panic situation” as the daily cases count was still low but cautioned against dropping the guard. The daily spike of 299 new cases on Wednesday was a marked rise from 137 cases reported on Monday. No fatality due to the disease was recorded on Wednesday.

> Mumbai has been witnessing a slight spike in daily Covid counts with 23 cases being recorded on Monday and 52 on Tuesday. However, no fatalities were reported in the last three days. With Wednesday’s number, the overall tally for Covid-19 touched 10,58,567.

> In the first quantitative sero-survey conducted in March this year, Covid-19 antibodies were found in 3,097 out of the 3,099 health and frontline workers, who were examined, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

> The head of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said a Covid-19 vaccine effective against multiple variants is possible before the end of 2022. Chairman Albert Bourla said the firm was also working on producing a vaccine that could provide good protection for a whole year, meaning people would come back annually for boosters, as with influenza shots. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of the most effective against Covid-19.

 

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