Coronavirus India lockdown Day 147 live updates | Tamil Nadu’s case tally nears 3,50,000-mark; death toll crosses 6,000

Lab technician and Doctor at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital analysing samples collected at a COVID-19 rapid testing camp in Hyderabad on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The National Expert Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration met leading domestic vaccine manufactures — Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals and Biological E — in New Delhi on Monday.

“The meeting provided the Group with inputs about the present stage of various candidate vaccines being developed by the indigenous manufacturers. Companies also presented their expectations from the Union government,” noted a statement issued by the Health Ministry.

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:

10.30 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi’s COVID-19 tally reaches 1.54 lakh with 1,374 fresh cases

Delhi recorded 1,374 fresh COVID-19 cases pushing the city’s total caseload to 1,54,741 on Tuesday, while the death toll rose to 4,226, authorities said.

Twelve fresh fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the health bulletin of the Delhi government issued on Tuesday.

As many as 5,419 RT-PCR, CBNAAT and TrueNat tests and 14,857 rapid antigen tests were conducted in the last 24 hours bringing the number of tests conducted per million population to 70,388.

The total number of tests conducted in the national capital till date was 13,37,374, the bulletin said. The number of active cases in the city was 11,068 with 1,39,447 patients having been either recovered, migrated out or discharged, it said. Delhi currently has 557 COVID-19 containment zones.

10.10 p.m. | Nagaland

Nagaland reports more recoveries than new COVID-19 cases for fourth day in a row

Nagaland reported more recoveries than fresh COVID-19 cases for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, Health Minister S. Pangnyu Phom said.

While 134 patients were cured of the disease during the day, 65 people tested positive for coronavirus, he said. “State reports 134 recoveries of COVID-19 patients 79 from Dimapur, 36 from Kohima and 19 from Zunheboto district,” the Minister said.

A total of 108 people recovered from COVID-19 and 61 new cases were reported on Monday. The northeastern State registered 101 recoveries and 54 new infections on the previous day. The recoveries stood at 123 and 18 fresh cases were found on Saturday.

A total of 1,664 people have been cured of the disease so far, and the recovery rate in Nagaland has improved to 47.27%, Mr. Phom said, adding that all the recovered patients will be kept under strict surveillance.

With 65 fresh infections, the State’s coronavirus caseload has gone up to 3,520. The Minister said, “65 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed out of 503 samples tested 41 in Kohima, 23 in Dimapur and one in Mon.”

Thirty-seven armed forces personnel, 11 frontline workers and eight returnees are among fresh patients, a Health Department official said. The State now has 1,842 active coronavirus cases, while eight patients died and six migrated to other States, a Health Department official said.

Out of the total confirmed cases in the State, 1,548 are armed forces and paramilitary personnel.

9.50 p.m. | Telangana

37 patients at IMH test positive for COVID-19

Thirty seven patients at the Institute of Mental Health in Hyderabad have tested positive for COVID-19, Health Department officials said on Tuesday.

While nine of them have been admitted to a government hospital, others have been kept in isolation at the Institute itself, they said.

The tests were conducted on 290 patients, of whom 37 tested positive, the officials said. Staff members were also being tested, they said.

An assistant professor and two other medical professionals, who tested positive last month, have since recovered, they said.

9.30 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Kamal Nath asks M.P. government to ramp up COVID-19 testing

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Tuesday said Madhya Pradesh lags behind other States in conducting COVID-19 tests.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Mr. Nath asked him to ensure that the number of tests is increased.

“Till the mid of this month, as compared to other States, Madhya Pradesh has conducted an average of 12,000 tests per 10 lakh population while in States like Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Assam, the number of tests (conducted) is more than 50,000 per 10 lakh population,” the former Chief Minister stated.

The State Congress president also said that because of lesser number of tests, Madhya Pradesh is ranked at the 15th place, which is the lowest among the list of the most-affected States.

9.10 p.m. | West Bengal

West Bengal reports record 3,175 new COVID-19 cases, 55 more deaths

West Bengal on Tuesday recorded the highest single-day spike of 3,175 new COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to 1,22,753, as per an official bulletin. The State reported 55 more deaths, following which the toll rose to 2,528, it said.

Total 2,987 people recovered from the disease over the last 24 hours, improving the discharge rate to 75.51%. There are 27,535 active cases in the State at present, the bulletin issued by the Health Department said. West Bengal tested 35,107 samples for COVID-19 since Monday, it said.

9 p.m.| Punjab

Steepest daily spike of 1,704 cases in Punjab take tally to 34,400

The steepest single-day spike of 1,704 coronavirus cases pushed Punjab’s tally to 34,400 on Tuesday, while the death toll reached 898 with 35 more people succumbing to the viral disease, according to a medical bulletin.

Eight deaths were reported from Ludhiana, four each from Amritsar, Patiala and Sangrur, three from Mohali and SBS Nagar, two each from Tarn Taran and Rupnagar and one each from Kapurthala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar and Muktsar.

A total of 1,582 coronavirus patients were discharged after recovering from the disease on Monday. So far 21,762 people in the State have been cured of the infection leaving 11,740 active COVID-19 cases, the bulletin stated.

Thirty-seven patients are critical and are on ventilator support while 336 are on oxygen support, it stated, adding that 8,01,990 samples have been collected for COVID-19 tests so far.

8.40 p.m. | Maharashtra

Six districts need to do more on COVID-19 contact-tracing: Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said at least six districts need to put more efforts in contact-tracing of COVID-19 patients to curb the infection spread in their jurisdiction.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr. Tope said,," There is a need to improve contact-tracing of COVID-19 patients in Parbhani, Nandurbar, Kolhapur, Satara, Solapur and Ahmednagar.

The States COVID-19 mortality rate is 3.35% though a clutch of districts, including Mumbai, have a higher death rate, he said.

“But the mortality rate is higher than the States average in Mumbai, Solapur, Nandurbar, Akola, Latur, Jalgaon and Ratnagiri, the Minister said. Maharashtra has crossed the 6 lakh-mark in terms of COVID-19 cases.

8.20 p.m.| New Delhi

Two more CRPF personnel succumb to COVID-19

Two more Central Reserve Police Force personnel have died due to coronavirus infection, taking the death toll due to the pandemic in the country’s largest paramilitary force to 28, officials said on Tuesday.

The personnel, in the rank of Head Constable, were on leave at their homes in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, they said.

The force also reported 51 fresh COVID-19 infections and recovery of 424 personnel from the disease on Tuesday.

Out of the over 6,130 cases of the disease in the force, 2,131 are active, they said. A total of 28 deaths have taken place till now.

The about 3.25 lakh personnel strong CRPF is the lead internal security force of the country with its main operations being in the Left Wing Extremism-hit States and counter-terrorist combat in the Kashmir valley.

8.15 p.m. | Sikkim

Sikkim reports second COVID-19 fatality, 20 fresh cases

Sikkim on Tuesday registered its second fatality due to COVID-19 while 20 new cases have pushed the State’s tally to 1,207, an official said.

Director General (DG)-cum-Secretary, Health, Dr. Pempa T Bhutia, said that the 56-year-old man was brought dead to STNM hospital from the border town of Rangpo where a test conducted on him had confirmed that he was COVID-19 positive.

The victim, a native of Bihar, was working at a pharmaceutical company in the border town, Mr. Bhutia said.

The first COVID-19 fatality in Sikkim was reported on July 26 when a 74 year-old man, a native of Rongli Sub-Division in East Sikkim, had died due to novel coronavirus though he had comorbidites such as hypertension and diabetes.

Meanwhile, the Himalayan State reported 20 new COVID- 19 cases, the official said. All the 20 cases have come from East Sikkim district.

Sikkim has 450 active cases and 755 patients have been cured of the disease, while two persons have died due to the infection, he said.

7.47 p.m. | Gujarat

With 20 deaths and 1,126 COVID-19 infections, Gujarat’s pandemic numbers rise to 2,822 fatalities and 80,942 cases. Active cases are 14,410 while the total discharges are 63,710.

- Mahesh Langa

7.40 p.m. | India

Positivity rate of COVID-19 has come down from 10.03% to 7.72%: Health Ministry

The Health Ministry on Tuesday said the positivity rate of COVID-19 has come down from 10.03% to 7.72% despite sustained level of testing.

Addressing a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan gave five major highlights of the past week. “An important part is recovered patients are nearly 20 lakh which is 2.93 times of active cases,” Mr. Bhushan said.

The total number of active cases is 6,73,166, while the total number of recovered cases is 19,77,779, he said.

“In the first week of April, the recovery rate was around 7.35% and presently it has increased to 73.18%,” he said.

The average daily recovered cases are now more than 55,000 and active cases are just 25% of the total COVID cases which means just 25% of the cases are either in hospital or home isolation, he said.

“Another important point to note here is that in spite of a sustained level of 7 lakh to 8 lakh tests a day, the positivity figure has come down from 10.03% to 7.72%,” he said.

7.39 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday recorded 990 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 47,375. The number of active cases stands at 10,521. Thirteen patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 1,141. As for recoveries, 688 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day. So far, 35,713 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.

- Sidharth Yadav

7.30 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu COVID-19 death toll crosses 6,000

Tamil Nadu on Tuesday recorded 5,709 fresh coronavirus cases taking the tally to 3,49,654 while 121 more deaths pushed the toll to 6,007. With 5,850 patients getting discharged from various hospitals, the recoveries outnumbered the new infections and in total 2,89,787 people have got cured, a Health Department bulletin said.

Those dead include 108 with co-morbidities and 13 had no chronic diseases. Of the 6,007 deaths as on date, 2,501 were from Chennai. A 16-year old girl and a 32-year old man were among the COVID fatalities reported on Tuesday.

The State capital logged 1,182 new infections and the rest of the cases was scattered across Tamil Nadu. Out of the over 3,49,600 total infections in the State, the active cases were 53,860.

As many as 67,025 samples were tested (RT-PCR) and cumulatively 38,45,803 specimens have been examined.

7.10 p.m. | New Delhi

Result of August COVID-19 sero-survey expected this week: Jain

Results of the sero-prevalence survey conducted in Delhi in the first week of August, to better assess the city’s COVID-19 situation, is expected to be announced this week, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Tuesday.

The exercise was undertaken from August 1-7 for comprehensive assessment of the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and to formulate strategies based on its findings.

Sero-prevalence survey involves testing blood serum of individuals to check for prevalence of antibodies against the viral infection.

Mr. Jain said the previous survey done from June 27-July 10 had shown that about 24% of people sampled had shown presence of antibodies, meaning they were affected by COVID-19.

The fresh survey was undertaken to find out the situation in the city since the previous sampling so that better decisions can be made to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, he said.

Over 15,000 samples were collected as part of this exercise, spanning different areas and age groups. Representative samples were taken from all 11 districts of the national capital. The new sero-prevalence survey in the national capital excluded those who were part the previous exercise.

6.50 p.m. | Maharashtra

Collectors to take action against hospitals for overcharging

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday directed district Collectors to take strict action against hospitals covered under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana that are overcharging COVID-19 patients.

In a letter to all district Collectors, Dr. Sudhakar Shinde, CEO of MJPJAY, asked the officials to impose a fine five times the amount of bills charged to patients.

Apart from this, he also asked Collectors to cancel registration of such hospitals and file a police complaint.

The State government has already capped charges for various treatments under MJPJAY, but several hospitals covered under the scheme are found violating the guidelines.

6. 35 p.m. | Nepal

Nepal records over 1,000 fresh COVID-19 infections, tally crosses 28,000

Nepal’s COVID-19 infections crossed 28,000 on Tuesday after more than 1,000 fresh coronavirus cases were reported in a single day across the country, a senior Health Ministry official said.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population Jageshwar Gautam said that 1,016 new cases of coronavirus had been detected in the past 24 hours.

“With this, the total number of coronavirus infection cases in the country has spiked to 28,257,” Mr. Gautam said.

The official said 13,461 swab samples were tested through the PCR method in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of tests performed to 542,866 tests.

The Kathmandu Valley alone recorded 205 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. With seven more coronavirus related deaths confirmed by the Ministry on Tuesday, Nepal’s COVID-19 death toll has jumped to 114.

A total of 85 coronavirus patients were discharged after recovery in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s COVID-19 recovery tally to 17,580. At present 10,563 coronavirus patients are undergoing treatment at different isolation centres across Nepal, Mr. Gautam said.

6.30 p.m. | Meghalaya

36 more test positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya

At least 36 more people, including 20 security personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya, taking the State’s tally to 1,454, an official said on Tuesday.

Of the fresh cases, 24 were reported from East Khasi Hills, seven from West Garo, three from Ri Bhoi and one each from East Jaintia and South West Garo hills districts, Health Services director Aman War said.

“Thirteen BSF personnel and seven employees of other armed forces are among the new patients,” he said.

Four people were discharged from hospitals, taking the total number of recoveries to 683. Six patients have succumbed to the infection in the State so far. Meghalaya currently has 765 active COVID-19 cases, he said.

6.20 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Indore starts rapid antigen tests, gets 12,500 kits from government

Health authorities in Indore started conducting rapid antigen tests from Tuesday for faster detection of COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh’s worst-hit district, an official said.

The district has received 12,500 kits from the State government for the tests in the first phase, Amit Malakar, district nodal officer for COVID-19 prevention, told reporters.

“Eighty nine teams have been formed in the district for conducting rapid antigen tests with the help of these kits. Of these, 11 teams were sent for the task on Tuesday,” he said.

The teams will carry out rapid antigen tests on contacts and family members of COVID-19 patients, he said.

These rapid antigen tests will also be conducted on people arriving at fever clinics, those lodged in quarantine centres, jail inmates and passengers arriving at the airport from abroad, the official said.

“This small kit takes 20 to 30 minutes to detect if a person has the coronavirus infection,” he said.

6.10 p.m. | United Kingdom

U.K. creates brand new health unit to combat COVID-19, infectious diseases

The U.K. government on Tuesday confirmed the creation of a brand new “rigorous” science-led health unit to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases.

The National Institute for Health Protection reports of which had emerged over the weekend, will start work immediately with a single command structure that brings together existing units such as Public Health England, National Health Service Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

6:00 p.m. | London

Herd immunity requires effective vaccine: WHO

The World Health Organization says the planet is nowhere near the amount of coronavirus immunity needed to induce herd immunity, where enough of the population would have antibodies to stop the spread.

Herd immunity is typically achieved with vaccination and most scientists estimate at least 70 per cent of the population must have antibodies to prevent an outbreak. But some experts have suggested that even if half the population had immunity, there might be a protective effect.

— AP

5:55 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Indore starts rapid antigen tests, gets 12,500 kits from govt.

Health authorities in Indore started conducting rapid antigen tests from Tuesday for faster detection of COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh’s worst-hit district, an official said.

The district has received 12,500 kits from the state government for the tests in the first phase, Amit Malakar, district nodal officer for COVID-19 prevention, told reporters.


5:45 p.m. | Mumbai

Dharavi's coronavirus case tally rises to 2,676: BMC

Number of Coronavirus cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi area has risen to 2,676 after four new patients were diagnosed with the virus, said BMC


5:35 p.m. | Bombay

Bombay HC asks govt about system to ensure hospitals don’t overcharge

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government if it has a regulatory mechanism in place to ensure that private hospitals and nursing homes in the state don’t overcharge for PPE kits and other ancillary items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Revati Mohite Dere observed while the state government has issued guidelines putting a cap on charges that hospitals can levy on patients, there is no mechanism in place to ensure that hospitals follow them.


5:25 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh records 70 COVID-19 deaths in one day, worst ever

Uttar Pradesh reported its worst single-day spike of 70 fatalities on Tuesday, pushing the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 2,585, a senior official said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said the number of those who have been discharged from hospitals after recovery has reached 1,09,607.


5:15 p.m. | Karnataka

Measures will be taken to ensure adequate supply of liquid oxygen to all hospitals- Minister

Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Tuesday said he has directed officials to make necessary arrangements to ensure adequate supply of liquid oxygen to all hospitals in the State, amid growing demand.

He also said the government was planning to establish new liquid oxygen plants to meet the high demand.


5:10 p.m. | Los Angeles

Airborne viruses may spread on dust, non-respiratory particles: Study

Influenza viruses can spread through the air on dust, fibres and other microscopic particles, and not just expiratory droplets, according to a study published on Tuesday that has implications for the novel coronavirus transmission.

“It’s really shocking to most virologists and epidemiologists that airborne dust, rather than expiratory droplets, can carry influenza virus capable of infecting animals,” said Professor William Ristenpart from the University of California, Davis in the U.S.


5:05 p.m. | New Delhi

41 lakh youth lose jobs in India due to COVID-19 impact: ILO-ADB Report

As many as 41 lakh youth in the country lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic while construction and farm sector workers account for the majority of job losses, according to a joints report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“For India, the report estimates job loss for 4.1 million youth. Construction and agriculture have witnessed the major job losses among seven key sectors,” said the ILO-ADB report, titled ‘Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific’, released on Tuesday.


4:55 p.m. | New Delhi

Coronavirus | Election Commission to frame guidelines for polls within three days

The Election Commission (EC) would come up with “broad” guidelines within three days for holding elections during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An EC statement said the matter of issuing broad guidelines for elections and by-elections during “COVID-19 period” was discussed at the commission meeting on Tuesday.

The Commission considered the views and suggestions given by the political parties. It also considered the suggestions and recommendations made by Chief Electoral Officers of States and Union Territories.

Read more


4:45 p.m. | New Delhi

DGFT has approved export of 15.07 lakh PPEs in August: Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

"Government has permitted export of PPEs and ventilators, after review of the internal situation. Export of PPEs is subject to quantitative restrictions, this restriction is not on export of ventilators," said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

"In this background, the applications for export are preferred in the office of DGFT. In July, 23 lakh PPEs were exported to the U.K., U.S., U.A.E., Senegal and Slovenia after permission from DGFT. In August so far, DGFT has approved export of 15.07 lakh more PPEs to Slovenia and U.S.," he added.

He said for the export of ventilators, a notification was issued on August 4. "We are compiling the figures on number of ventilators exported or applications preferred. We will also keep an eye on the pricing of vaccine: Dr. Paul," he said.

— Delhi Bureau

4.40 p.m. | New Delhi

Vaccine Manufacturers told to ramp up production, says Dr. V.K. Paul

At the press meet, Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul said: "Post-Covid symptoms is an emerging dimension, on which the scientific community is keeping a watch. We should be careful about it, can cause and when we develop full understanding about it, appropriate measures will be taken"

He also said that the authorities have requested vaccine manufacturers to provide information on their individual capacity of production and have asked them if they can ramp up the capacity. "It is a dialogue in motion," he claimed.

— Delhi Bureau

4:30 p.m. | New Delhi

Dip in reporting of new coronavirus cases since August 13, says Health Secratary

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan claimed that since August 13, there has been a continuous dip in reporting of new coronavirus cases. "However, in the context of a pandemic, a time period of five days is not long enough to draw firm conclusions," he said.

According to him, there is also a downward trend in terms of absolute deaths during the same five-day period, as on August 13 the toll was 1,007. This figure reduced to 944 on August 15 and 941 on August 16 and so on.

"The recovered patients are being roped in as volunteers, in States like U.P., West Bengal and Odisha. They are helping in spreading health related awareness among public," claimed Mr. Bhushan

— Delhi Bureau

4:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Country to soon achieve one millon tests per day, says Niti Aayog Member V.K. Paul

At the press meet, Niti Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul said: "It is a matter of great satisfaction that the number of tests per day has now reached 9 lakh. Increased testing is key to containing the spread of virus and for reducing mortality, improving outcomes."

"One million tests per day will be a big milestone, which we will achieve soon," added Dr. Paul

He stressed on the need to reduce cases of negligence and strict adherence to social distancing measures. "Better enforcement will help contain the spread of disease. Also, containment, contact tracing, quarantining and surveillance policies need to be implemented properly. It has led to positive results," he assured.

Dr. Paul claimed that three vaccine candidates are at different stages of development. "Vaccine storage and distribution strategy is being developed. The government has discussed varous issues with the vaccine manufacturers," he assured. 

— Delhi Bureau

4:10 p.m. | New Delhi

Active cases only 25% of total coronavirus cases, says Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

At a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: "More than 3 crore coronavirus tests have been conducted so far. In the past 24 hours, a record 8,99,864 tests were conducted. Recovered patients are more than 19.70 lakh, which is 2.93 times the active cases."

"The active cases are only 25% of the total cases. Average daily recovered cases are now more than 55,000. Case fatality rate is now below 2%," he added.

He stated that the daily case fatality is down to 1.92% and the weekly average fatality is 1.94%. "In July first week, the average weekly tests were 2,30,751 tests; now it is over 8 lakh tests," claimed Mr. Bhushan. 

According to him, the average daily positivity rate (week wise) is now 7.72%, compared to 10.03% in July 8-14. Total active cases are now 6,73,166 and the recovered cases are 19,77,779. Active cases are now 24.91% of the total cases reported so far.

"Recovery rate is more than 73% and it is continuously rising, it was 7.35% on April 7. Overall case fatality rate (week wise average) has come down from 2.89% in July 1 187 to 1.94% in August 12 to 18," he said.

— Delhi Bureau

4:00 p.m. | Bengaluru

Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan tests positive for COVID-19

Congress MLA in Karnataka, B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan on Tuesday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is getting hospitalised on the advice of the doctors.

“I had developed a slight fever and underwent a corona test today, the report has confirmed the infection. On the advice of the doctors I’m getting admitted to hospital,” Mr. Khan tweeted.


4:00 p.m.

India conducts nearly 9 lakh tests in one day; records highest single day recoveries: Ministry of Health

According to a press release by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India has set another record in COVID-19 tests conducted per day. Nearly 9 lakh (8,99,864) testes have been conducted in a single day, the highest tests/day so far. With this, the cumulative tests have reached 3,09,41,264.

Even with such a high level of testing, the positivity has remained low i.e. 8.81% compared to the weekly national average i.e. 8.84%.

India has also recorded the highest single day recoveries of 57,584 in the last 24 hours. This is higher than the confirmed cases added during the same period (55,079). With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation (in case of mild and moderate cases), the total recoveries have crossed the 19 lakh mark (19,77,779).

3:55 p.m. | U.S.A.

FDA flags accuracy issue with widely used coronavirus test

Potential accuracy issues with a widely used coronavirus test could lead to false results for patients, U.S. health officials warned.

The Food and Drug Administration issued the alert Monday to doctors and laboratory technicians using Thermo Fisher’s TaqPath genetic test.

— AP

3:55 p.m. | Singapore

Singapore reports 100 new coronavirus cases; tally reaches 55,938

Singapore reported 100 new COVID-19 cases, mostly foreign workers, pushing the nationwide tally to 55,938, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The new patients included two imported and one community cases, it said. Most of the new infections are reported among foreign workers who are under quarantine, the ministry said.


3:45 p.m. | London

Mild COVID-19 cases can produce strong T cell response, study says

Mild cases of COVID-19 can trigger the immune system’s memory T cells even in the absence of detectable virus-specific antibodies, according to a study which says the response may play a significant role in preventing reinfection with the novel coronavirus.

According to the research, published in the journal Cell, there is limited evidence of reinfection in humans with previously documented COVID-19.


3:35 p.m. | Port Blair

46 more test positive for COVID-19 in Anadaman and Nicobar Islands, tally 2,445

At least 46 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, pushing the tally to 2,445, a senior official said on Tuesday.

One person succumbed to the infection, raising the death toll in the Union Territory to 29, he said.


3:15 p.m. | Tripura

Tripura’s COVID-19 tally rises to 7,427

Tripura’s COVID-19 caseload rose to 7,427, with 205 people testing positive for coronavirus, while the death toll mounted to 62 as three more patients succumbed to the disease, a Health department official said on Tuesday.

The state now has 1,943 active cases while 5,404 people have recovered from the disease.


3:05 p.m. | China

Chinese company: Vaccine ready by end of year

The head of a major state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company said its coronavirus vaccine will be commercially available by the end of the year.

Liu Jingzhen, the chairman of SinoPharm, told a Chinese Communist Party newspaper that the vaccine would cost less than 1,000 yuan ($140) and be given in two shots, 28 days apart.


3:00 p.m. | Puducherry

Puducherry registers 370 new COVID-19 cases, nine more deaths

Puducherry continued to witness a surge in daily coronavirus cases with 370 additions on Tuesday, taking the aggregate of infections in the Union Territory to 8,396.

Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release that nine more people, including two women succumbed to the disease, raising the toll to 123.


2:50 p.m. | Pakistan

Pakistan to conduct phase-III clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has given a nod for phase-III clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with a Chinese company, a media report said on Tuesday.

According to a statement from the National Institute of Health (NIH), it has obtained “formal approval” from the DRAP for phase-III Clinical Trial of Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Adenovirus Type 5 vector (Ad5-nCoV) developed by CanSinoBio and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China (BIB)“.


2:40 p.m. | Imphal

Coronavirus: International boxer Sarita Devi, husband in quarantine after testing positive

With the death of a 70-year-old person in JN Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, on Monday night reportedly due to COVID-19, the toll in Manipur has increased to 18.

Meanwhile, sources said that international boxer Sarita Devi and her husband have tested positive for COVID-19. However, her two children and some close relatives have turned out to be negative. Reports said that she and her husband are now lodged in a quarantine centre.

Read more

— Iboyaima Laithangbam

2:30 p.m. | Mumbai

Bombay HC seeks Maharashtra govt’s stand on reopening temples amid pandemic

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to clarify its stand on reopening places of worship amid the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in the state.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by a city-based NGO seeking that the state reopen temples and permit limited number of devotees at a time to enter the temples.


2:10 p.m. | New Delhi

SC reserves order on plea against UGC Guidelines mandating final year exams

The Supreme Court reserved for judgement, States' decision to cancel final year UGC exams amid pandemic. Parties to file short notes with their submissions in three days


2:00 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra Police record 112 new COVID-19 cases; two deaths

At least 112 personnel of Maharashtra Police tested positive for coronavirus and two died of the infection in the last 24 hours, an official said on Tuesday.

The detection of new cases has taken the tally of infections in the state police force to 12,495, the official said.


1:50 p.m. | Odisha

Odisha’s COVID-19 situation likely to improve in mid- September: ILS

Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases in Odisha, the city-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) under the central government’s Department of Biotechnology, said that the coronavirus situation in the state is likely to improve from the second week of September.

This was stated by ILS director Dr. Ajay Parida.


1:30 p.m. | Boston

Two existing drugs prevent COVID-19 in human cells: Study

Two existing drugs inhibit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from infecting human cells in the lab, a study has found.

According to the study, published in the journal PNAS, both drugs, vacuolin-1 and apilimod, originally developed years ago, target a large enzyme called PIKfyve kinase.


1:20 p.m. | New Delhi

National Institute of Sports employee tests positive for COVID-19: SAI

The catering manager of the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, who was in mandatory quarantine after arriving at the facility from Lucknow, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Sports Authority India (SAI), without giving the name of the individual, said he has been shifted to a COVID-19 care centre as per protocol.


1:10 p.m.

India's recovery rate improves to 73.18 %: Ministry of Health

India's coronavirus recovery Rate is now 73.18% as 19,77, 779 individuals have been cured so far, tweeted Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. "The total number of active cases in the country is 6,73,166," he added.

1:00 p.m. | Odisha

Eight teams of scientists from India and US selected for pursuing research on COVID-19

Eight binational teams of researchers from India and the US have been selected for pursuing cutting-edge research in pathogenesis and disease management of COVID-19, according to an official statement on Tuesday.

The teams will pursue research in areas such as antiviral coatings, immune modulation, tracking SARS CoV-2 in wastewater, disease detection mechanisms, reverse genetics strategies and drug repurposing.


12:50 p.m. | Odisha

Over 600 people in Bhubaneswar recovered from COVID-19 at home in 1 month: Civic body official

A month after the Odisha government allowed home isolation for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients, more than 600 people in Bhubaneswar have recovered from the disease without having to undergo treatment at a hospital, a senior official said.

Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy had said last month that the state government received several requests for home isolation, with patients claiming that it would reduce their .


12:40 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. Minister of State for Health, Atul Garg tests positive for COVID-19

Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Atul Garg, said on Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Mr. Garg requested all those who came in contact with him recently to get tested for the disease.


12:35 p.m. | New Delhi

Hockey India to provide financial aid to 61 unemployed players

Hockey India (HI) on Tuesday announced it will provide 61 unemployed players, including 34 women, with financial assistance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to help them return to sporting activities.

Athletes not holding employment are facing constraints due to the pandemic, impacting them adversely. Under the initiative, each player will be provided a sum of ₹10,000.


12:25 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi airport likely to have COVID-19 testing facility for international arrivals

The Delhi airport is likely to have a COVID-19 testing facility for international passengers who if tested negative will get exemption from the seven-day mandatory institutional quarantine, said senior government officials on Tuesday.

As per the Union health ministry, passengers arriving from abroad have to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine followed by seven days of home quarantine.


12:20 p.m. | Odisha

COVID-19 tally in Odisha rises to 64,533 with 2,239 new cases, 9 more deaths reported

At least 2,239 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha, pushing the tally in the state to 64,533, a senior health department official said on Tuesday.

The death toll in the coastal state climbed to 362, with nine people succumbing to the infection, he said.


12:10 p.m. | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh registers recovery rate of 70.5%: State govt.

Andhra Pradesh has registered a recovery rate of 70.5% till Aug 17 with a total of 2,09,100 people recovering completely from COVID-19, claimed the State government.


12:00 p.m. | Mizoram

Mizoram’s COVID-19 tally crosses 800-mark

The number of COVID-19 cases in Mizoram crossed the 800-mark on Tuesday, with 26 more people including four BSF personnel testing positive for the virus, a Health department official said.

Mizoram’s COVID-19 tally rose to 815 with the 26 new cases, the official said.


11:50 p.m. | New Delhi

No change in Pranab Mukherjee’s health condition: Hospital

There is no change in the condition of former President Pranab Mukherjee who continues to be on ventilator support, the Army’s Research and Referral hospital said on Tuesday.

Doctors attending on him said his vital parameters are stable. The 84-year-old former president was admitted to the hospital in Delhi Cantonment on August 10.


11:40 p.m. | Telangana

Telangana records eight COVID-19 deaths, 1,682 new cases

Telangana reported 1,682 fresh coronavirus cases and 8 deaths, pushing the state’s tally of positive cases to 93,937.

With eight more fatalities the toll rose to 711, a state government bulletin said on Tuesday, providing data as of 8 p.m. on August 17.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corpoation (GHMC), the COVID-19 hotspot in the state, continued to witness low number of infections with only 235 cases being reported.


11:30 p.m. | Itanagar

40 new COVID-19 cases in Arunachal Pradesh

Forty more people, including 13 security personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh, raising the state’s total caseload to 2,741, a senior Health department official said on Tuesday.

Of the 40 new cases, 10 were reported from the Capital Complex region, eight from West Kameng district, six from Changlang, four from Tawang, three from Papumpare, two each from East Kameng and East Siang and one each from West Siang, Upper Siang, Namsai, Anjaw and Tirap districts respectively, the official said.


11:10 p.m. | New Delhi

PM-CARES contribution need not be credited to NDRF: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that funds received into the PM-CARES Fund need not be credited to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said “PM-CARES is entirely different from NDRF”.

Also read | PM-CARES Fund collected over ₹3,000 crore in 2019-20

On the other hand, the court held that there is “no statutory prohibition on individuals to make voluntary contributions to NDRF” under Section 46(1)(b) of the Disaster Management Act of 2005.

— Krishnadas Rajagopal

10:50 p.m.| New Delhi

Amit Shah admitted to AIIMS for post-COVID care

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi on Tuesday. He was brought to the hospital about 2 a.m.

A statement released by the AIIMS noted that Mr. Shah has been admitted for post COVID care since he has been complaining of fatigue and body ache for the past 2-3 days.

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10.30 am

Cases doubled faster in Mumbai last week: BMC

The novel coronavirus cases doubled at a faster rate in Mumbai last week as compared to the previous week and the average growth rate of the viral infection also went up, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

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9.30 am  | Tamil nadu

T.N. sees a spurt in applications under revised e-pass system

With the Tamil Nadu government issuing ‘instant e-pass’ to applicants who furnish their Aadhaar or ration card details along with their mobile phone number, there has been a spurt in applications for such permits for inter-district travel.

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9.00 am | Tamil  Nadu

With Tasmac shops reopening, experts call for caution

With Tasmac outlets all set to reopen in Chennai on Tuesday, public health experts have a word of caution — crowding should be prevented, and mask wearing and maintenance of physical distancing should be ensured at the shops.

The State government has decided to open liquor outlets in the Greater Chennai Police limits, with the exemption of shops in malls and containment zones. The outlets will function from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and each shop will issue 500 tokens a day.

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8.00 am | Puducherry

Police check vehicles during a 24- hour lockdown in Puducherry on August 18, 2020. Photo: T. Singart/The Hindu. Photo: The Hindu

Police check vehicles during a 24- hour lockdown in Puducherry on August 18, 2020. Photo: T. Singart/The Hindu. Photo: The Hindu   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou


Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said the first 24-hour lockdown taking effect on Tuesday was a trial measure and after reviewing its efficacy, the administration would decide on whether to spare Sundays or not.

One of the main reasons for the recent increase in cases was the failure of the public to maintain social distancing and avoid crowded gatherings, he said.

7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

No permission for Ganesh fete at public places: DGP

Director-General of Police (DGP) D. Gautam Sawang on Monday made it clear is no permission for celebrating Ganesh Navaratri Utsavams at public places in the State this year due to the pandemic situation. Stern action would be taken if any organisation, group or individual arrange pandals violating the rules, he said. Vinayaka Chaviti falls on August 22 this year.

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7.00 am | Maharashtra

‘51.5% people in Pune have developed antibodies’

A police volunteer dressed up as Yamraj creates awareness of the novel coronavirus in Pune.

A police volunteer dressed up as Yamraj creates awareness of the novel coronavirus in Pune.  


The results to the first COVID-19 sero (serological) surveillance study conducted for Pune city have shown that 51.5% of the population surveyed in five ‘high-incidence’ wards within Pune civic body limits had developed antibodies.

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