Coronavirus India lockdown Day 144 updates | August 15, 2020

Chennai Corporation medical staff taking swab tests at the Mogappair East on August 15, 2020.   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

India’s coronavirus death toll is now behind only the United States, Brazil and Mexico. According to the Health Ministry, India reported a single-day spike of 65,002 cases, taking India’s COVID-19 tally to 25,26,192. Death toll rises to 49,036 with 996 fresh fatalities.

The nation has not yet reached any peak or plateau in terms of coronavirus cases which means the situation will probably get worse, cautioned CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) director Rakesh Mishra.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

9.40 p.m. | Karnataka

Karnataka reports highest single-day tally of 8818 new cases

Karnataka on Saturday reported a total of 8818 new COVID 19 positive cases in the State. This is the highest number of cases reported in a single day in the State. With this, the total number of positive cases in the State stand at 2, 19,926.

Of the total 8818 new cases, 3495 cases are reported from Bengaluru. Besides Bengaluru, eight other districts saw more than 200 new positive cases.

 Meanwhile, on Saturday, a total of 6629 patients were discharged, taking the total number of discharges to 1, 34,811. The number of deaths reported in the State on Saturday stood at 114. With this, the total numbers of deaths stand at 3,831.

Of the total 81,276 active cases in the State, 716 patients are admitted in intensive care units across different hospitals.

- Tanu Kulkarni

8.15 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

M.P. reports 1019 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Saturday recorded 1,019 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 44,433. The number of active cases stands at 9,986.

Thirteen patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 1,094.As for recoveries, 948 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day. So far, 33,353 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.

7.45 p.m. | Delhi

Delhi reports 1276 new cases

1,276 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,51,928, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Saturday.

Also, 10 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 4,188.

Of the total cases, 1,36,251 people have recovered and there are 11,489 active cases. 

6.20 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports 5860 new cases

5860 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Saturday, taking the total to 3,32,105.

5236 persons were discharged today, taking the total recoveries to 2,72,251. There were 127 deaths, taking the death toll to 5641.

- TN Bureau

5.25 p.m. | Delhi

Former India opener Chetan Chauhan critical, on life support

The health condition of former India opener Chetan Chauhan, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, has worsened after he developed multi-organ failure and he is now on ventilator support at a medical facility in Gurugram.

The 73-year-old Chauhan, who is also a Cabinet Minister in Uttar Pradesh government, was admitted at the Sanjay Gandhi PGI Hospital in Lucknow after testing COVID-19 positive on July 12.

His condition did not improve and after other complications developed, he was shifted to Medanta in Gurugram.

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4.40 p.m. | Manipur

Manipur extends lockdown till August 31

The Manipur government has extended the lockdown till August 31. Rajesh Kumar, chief secretary and chairman of the State Executive Committee, made the announcement on Saturday. He further said that there are new reports of Covid-19 cases involving persons who have no history of travel outside the State.

The cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister N. Biren also  discussed the issue on Saturday. Rajesh Kumar in his capacity as the chairman of the State  Executive Committee and in exercise of powers conferred by the State Disaster Management Authority issued the extension order relating to the complete lockdown on Saturday. The order shall remain  effective till August 31, 2020 or until another order is issued, whichever earlier.

The deputy commissioners were directed to issue  orders imposing night curfew in their respective areas from 5 PM to 6 AM. The high court of Manipur may issue its own order and guidelines based on orders issued by the State and the union governments.

- Iboyaima Laithangbam

4.35 p.m | New Delhi

'I appeal to people to donate oximeters to AAP to distribute in villages,' says Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal makes an address to AAP volunteers. He speaks on the importance of having pulse oximeters handy, especially in villages:

"Happy independence day to all AAP volunteers. We remember all those people who fought their whole lives for the freedom of the country such as Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Sardar Patel.

"Our country and the whole world is going through corona now. I'm not saying Delhi has won the fight against coronavirus. But compared to two months back, the situation has improved a lot. Now, when corona is spreading in villages, it is a matter of concern. In the past 70 years, we have not improved the healthcare system to the required levels in villages.

"In Delhi, home isolation was successful. In home isolation, every day, morning and evening, officials will contact you in the morning and evening and the pulse oximeter will be given.

"Do home isolation for mild and asymptomatic cases. Second, if the government gives oximeters to people and oxygen cylinders to the area, then people's lives can be saved by giving them oxygen.

"I appeal to all AAP supporters and everyone who thinks about the country, we are planning in every village across the country, one person will be given one oximeter and will be given the responsibility of the village.

"In the whole village, pamphlets will be distributed and if anyone has fever or breathing issues, then this person will take the oximeter to his house and they can check their oxygen levels.

"I appeal to people to donate oximeters to AAP and we will distribute them in villages where ever people are ready to take responsibility."

- Nikhil Babu

3.50 pm | Tamil Nadu

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam continues to be on life support but stable

In a statement MGM Healthcare on August 15 said "Singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam who is admitted due to COVID-19 continues to be on life support in intensive care unit (ICU). He remains stable and the doctors are closely monitoring his clinical parameters."

3.45 pm | Maharashtra

NCP Minister Balasaheb Patil tests positive

Maharashtra Cooperation Minister Balasaheb Patil has tested positive for coronavirus infection and is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Karad.

According to a statement issued by Mr. Patil’s office, the NCP leader tested positive for the infection on Friday night and has been admitted to Krushna Hospital in Karad.

The Minister is “stable, is being treated properly and there is nothing to worry”, the statement quoted Patil’s son as saying.

Mr. Patil, who is also the guardian minister of Satara, has urged people who had come in contact with him recently to get themselves tested and remain in isolation for at least a week, the statement said.

Earlier, Maharashtra ministers Ashok Chavan and Aslam Shaikh of the Congress, Jitendra Awhad, Dhananjay Munde and Sanjay Bansode of the NCP and Abdul Sattar of the Shiv Sena had tested positive for the disease and recovered from it.

3.40 pm | United Kingdom

British clubs face closure

When Keiron Marshall was 15, he found his way out of a desperate situation with help from an unexpected source: Eric Clapton. The guitar great was host at the first gig Marshall ever went to, and he was joined on stage by Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, The Who’s Pete Townshend and Beatle Ringo Starr.

Since then, London’s music scene has been a life-raft for Marshall, a musician who now runs a group of small concert venues with his wife. Growing up in south London, he’d endured racial slurs and regular beatings because of his Pakistani heritage. His uncle was killed in a racially motivated attack; his mother was a heroin addict.

Music for us is a really personal thing, said Hannah White, Marshall’s wife. It’s been totally life-changing. But the music scene they know and love may soon be unrecognisable because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has plunged the UK economy into its worst recession on record.

Live music venues have been forced to shut doors for nearly five months — and scores are at imminent risk of permanent closure. According to the charity Music Venue Trust, which represents 670 grassroots venues, more than 400 across the country are in crisis.

One of those is Marshall and White’s south London venue group, The Sound Lounge.

3.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 contact tracing fetches award for Tamil Nadu cyber crime wing

Apart from fighting cyber criminals, the sleuths of the Tamil Nadu Cyber Crime wing donned a new role during the COVID-19 pandemic -- providing help in contact tracing and identifying hot spots.

In appreciation of the work done by these policemen in combating COVID-19, they received the ‘Best Practices’ award during the Independence Day celebrations held in the city on Saturday. “All the departments were asked to send in their best practises in the last one year. We also sent a write-up on what we have done and what we have been doing for COVID-19 contact tracing. Based on this, our wing was selected and awarded,” said a police officer.

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3.20 pm | New Delhi

Recovery rate rises to 71.61%: Health Ministry

The number of people in India who have recuperated from COVID-19 went past 18 lakh on Saturday with a record 57,381 patients discharged in 24 hours pushing the recovery rate to 71.61%, according to the health ministry data.

India’s ‘test, track and treat’ strategy has achieved another peak with 8,68,679 COVID-19 tests done in a 24 hours taking the cumulative tests done till Friday to more than 2.85 crore, the ministry said.

Twelve states and union territories have reported their recovery rates above the national average. In 30 states and UTs the COVID-19 recovery rate is more than 50%, it highlighted.

Delhi has the highest recovery rate of 89.87% followed by Tamil Nadu at 81.62%, Gujarat 77.53%, Madhya Pradesh 74.70%, West Bengal 73.25%, Rajasthan 72.84%, Telangana 72.72% and Odisha 71.98%.

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2.40 pm | Karnataka

If doctors turn away non-COVID-19 patients, call KMC helpline

The Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) on Friday told the Karnataka High Court that people can call its helpline if any medical practitioner or any private hospital refuses to render their services to non-COVID-19 patients, who have other health problems.

The KMC had issued a circular on August 6 directing medical practitioners not to close hospitals or clinics and to examine non-COVID-19 patients suffering from other health ailments and to render necessary treatment to such patients.

People can contact the KMC’s helpline (9916302328 or 080-22200888).

2.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Funds being raised to make COVID-19 vaccine free for public, says Soumya Swaminathan

People need to have a lot of patience as the wait for a COVID-19 vaccine continues, and at least one or two vaccines with complete trial data can be expected by the year end, World Health Organisation chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan said.

“The general public are likely to get the vaccine free. We are raising funds for this on a global scale,” she said after accepting the Chief Minister’s Special Award for COVID-19 at the 74th Independence Day celebrations held at Fort St. George on Saturday. The award was presented by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for her role in advising the State government in tackling the pandemic.

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1.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

20% Chennai residents quarantined

Around 20% city residents have been quarantined by the Greater Chennai Corporation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the number of persons brought under quarantine in the city crossed the 17 lakh-mark on Friday. “This is an outcome of teamwork and the massive field operations undertaken by our focus volunteers,” said Mr. Prakash.

More than 3,300 focus volunteers have been helping those under quarantine.

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1 pm

Interim results of phase 1-2 trials find inactivated coronavirus vaccine safe

Interim results of Phase-1 and Phase-2 trials of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine carried out in China show that the vaccine is well tolerated, safe, and produced neutralising antibodies at 14 days after booster vaccination. Over 90% receiving the vaccine developed neutralising antibodies. “Most participants started to generate antibody responses after the second injection, and remained at high levels 14 days after the third injection.”

The most common adverse reaction seen was pain at the injection site followed by fever, which were mild and self-limiting. No serious adverse reactions were noted, the researchers write in a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. No antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) phenomenon was observed.

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12.30 pm | New Delhi

Mass production of COVID-19 vaccine to begin in India once scientists give nod, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said mass production of vaccine for COVID-19 will begin in India once scientists give their nod, and a roadmap was ready to ensure it reaches everyone in the country in the shortest possible time.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India’s 74th Independence Day, Modi said three vaccine candidates are in different stages of trials in the country, adding the talent of our scientists is like that of ‘rishi munis’

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12 pm | Telangana

10 death reported in Telangana

Telangana continued its upward spiral with 1,863 fresh COVID-19 cases and 10 more fatalities, pushing the total infection count in the State to 90,259.

Out of the new cases, 394 were reported from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, followed by Medchal- Malkajgiri (175), Rangareddy (131), Karimnagar (104) and Warangal Urban (101), a State government bulletin said.

11.30 am | New Delhi

India celebrates Independence Day with social distancing

Amid multi-layered security arrangements and mandatory adherence to social distancing norms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hoisted the national flag at the rampart of Red Fort.

However, unlike previous Independence Day celebrations, during which he used to break security protocols and meet schoolchildren, Mr. Modi this time waved his hand towards COVID-19 warriors and NCC cadets from inside the car while leaving the Red Fort in his cavalcade.

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11 am | Punjab

Punjab reports 1,077 cases, 25 fatalities

Punjab recorded 1,077 COVID-19 cases on Friday and 25 deaths, taking the fatalities to 731, according to an official statement.

The number of positive cases has mounted to 29,013. The major chunk of new cases, 296 and 135, were reported from Ludhiana and Patiala districts respectively. The Health department said there were 9,954 active cases and 18,328 had been cured so far.

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10.30 am | New Delhi

We can’t go on a roving inquiry on handling of COVID by govt.: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday indicated that it cannot embark on a “roving inquiry” while hearing a writ petition to order a Commission of Inquiry into the “gross mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government.

The petition was filed by six former bureaucrats, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan, contending that mismanagement occurred at multiple levels, from not stocking enough protective and medical equipment to combat the health crisis to lack of early checking of incoming international passengers to the handling the exodus of migrant workers during the lockdown.

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10 am | Tamil Nadu

'COVID-19 to stay for at least two years'

COVID-19 will persist at least for the next two years, and the public must take adequate precautions henceforth, secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) – Tamil Nadu State Branch A.K. Ravikumar said in Coimbatore on Friday.

“Self-discipline will be the only vaccine for now,” Dr. Ravikumar said at a press meet.

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9.30 am | New Delhi

Cases cross 1.5 lakh mark in Delhi

As many as 1,192 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,50,652, according to a health bulletin released by the government on Friday.

Also, 11 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 4,178. Of the total cases, 1,35,108 people have recovered and there are 11,366 active cases.

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9 am | Tamil Nadu

Madras HC suspends order restraining Patanjali from using term ‘Coronil’

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday suspended for two weeks the operation of an order passed by a single judge on August 6 restraining Patanjali Ayurved Limited and Divya Yog Mandir Trust from using the term ‘Coronil’ for their tablets and imposing a cost of ₹10 lakh on them for commercial exploitation of the fear around COVID-19.

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8.30 am

Four States add 20,000-plus cases in a day

COVID-19 cases in Karnataka soared on Friday, with as many as 7,908 cases reported, as well as 104 more deaths. Kerala’s case graph also continued its rise, with 1,569 fresh cases, marking another new high. Andhra Pradesh reported 97 deaths, while 8,743 people tested positive. Telangana saw as many as 1,921 cases on Thursday.

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8 am | Jammu

Pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi to resume from Sunday after nearly 5 months of suspension

Pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Vaishno Devi in the Trikuta Hills of Jammu and Kashmir’ Reasi district will resume from Sunday after remaining suspended for nearly five months in view of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Saturday.

The yatra was suspended on March 18.

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