The novel coronavirus tally in India crossed 36 lakh on Monday with 78,512 new cases, while the number of recoveries surged to 27,74,801, pushing the recovery rate to 76.62%, the Health Ministry said.
The death toll climbed to 64,469 with 971 more people succumbing to the infection in a span of 24 hours, according to the Ministry data.
Meanwhile, the government has allowed considerable relaxation of restrictions, including resumption of metro rail services, as a part of Unlock 4 guidelines.
Here are the latest updates:
West Bengal allows bars to reopen
The West Bengal government allowed bars in the State to reopen from Tuesday by following social-distancing and other COVID-19-related protocols.
An Order issued by the Excise Department on Monday said that services have to be kept within the stipulated hours of opening of the outlets. Restaurants serving liquor can do so by allowing only 50% of total occupancy at a time and following all COVID-19 guidelines, it said.
The Excise Directorate said those serving liquor at their clubs, canteens and other places will have to inform the government prior to restarting services.
BJP leader among 1,532 test COVID-19 positive in M.P.; 20 die
Madhya Pradesh on Monday registered 1,532 new coronavirus patients, one of them a senior BJP leader, taking the count in the State to 63,965, health officials said. BJP vice-president Prabhat Jha took to Twitter to disclose that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The death toll rose to 1,394 after 20 patients succumbed to the viral infection since Sunday evening, they said.
Of these, five patients died in Bhopal, four in Indore, two each in Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khargone and one each from Khandwa, Hoshangabad, Satna, Ashok Nagar and Tikamgarh, the officials said.
The highest 272 new infections were reported from Indore, followed by 195 in Gwalior, 189 in Bhopal and 135 in Jabalpur.
On the other hand, 1,190 persons were discharged from hospitals after recovery, they said.
Goa’s COVID-19 tally reaches 17,418; nine die
Goa on Monday reported 414 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total count of infections in the State to 17,418, a Health Department official said. With nine people succumbing to the infection, the toll mounted to 192, he said.
A total of 391 people were discharged in the day, taking the number of recoveries to 13,577.
Goa’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 17,418; new cases 414; deaths 192; discharged 13,577; active cases 3,649; samples tested till date 1,99,224.
Night curfew lifted in Chandigarh
The Chandigarh administration on Monday announced lifting of night curfew in the city. The decision has been taken in compliance with the Central government directives under ‘Unlock 4’, an official release said. The night curfew was in force from 10 p.m. till 5 a.m. in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centre on August 29 had asked the State governments and Union Territory administrations that they would not impose any local lockdown outside COVID-19 containment zones without prior consultation with the Central government.
The decision of lifting night curfew was taken in a meeting, chaired by the Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, V.P. Singh Badnore. On August 28, the Chandigarh administration had decided to discontinue weekend closure of markets in the city.
The administrator in the meeting directed doctors to focus on symptomatic COVID-19 patients and to take special care of their health.
Mr. Badnore also mentioned that COVID-19 positive people, who are in home isolation, should be regularly monitored.
Bengal’s COVID-19 discharge rate improves to 82.49%
The discharge rate of COVID-19 patients in West Bengal rose to 82.49% after 3,318 patients recovered from the disease on Monday, a bulletin released by the Health Department said. On Sunday, the discharge rate was close to 82%.
The State’s coronavirus caseload went up 1,62,778 as 2,993 new cases of infection were registered in the State on Monday. The death toll due to the disease also mounted to 3,228 after 52 fresh fatalities were reported, the bulletin said. The number of active cases is now 25,280. In the last 24 hours, 42,239 samples were tested for COVID-19.
Over ₹150 crore sanctioned for handling COVID-19: Assam government
The Assam government said on Monday that it has sanctioned over ₹150 crore for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. In a written reply to a query by Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Jogen Mohan said his Department has sanctioned a total of ₹150,81,36,000 so far.
“There is no fund named ‘CM Care’ in Assam. Out of this amount, ₹12,64,12,000 has been released for the three districts of the Barak valley,” Mr. Mohan said.
During the lockdown, the government collected fines of ₹2.7 crore from motorists for breaking the rules, the Minister informed the House while replying to a separate question by Congress legislator Rekibuddin Ahmed.
On August 29, Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced that the State will withdraw a host of freebies given to COVID-19 patients as it is facing financial stress due to huge expenditures in handling the pandemic.
Japan’s donor agency JICA to provide ₹3,500 crore loan to boost COVID-19 fight
Japan’s donor agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Monday signed an agreement with the Indian government under which it will provide about ₹3,500 crore in loan to boost the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
This loan will be disbursed to the Government of India for supporting anticipated financing requirement for the implementation of “Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY)” governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package for the health sector.
The objective of the project is to strengthen public health-care system, by extending Budget support to the Indian government in implementing emergency response programmes for the health sector as countermeasures against the COVID-19, JICA said in a statement. This will contribute to promoting the social and economic stabilisation and development efforts of India, it said.
Weekend lockdown, night curfew to continue in Punjab towns till September-end
The Punjab government on Monday said all existing restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19, including weekend lockdown, will be in place in all 167 municipal towns of the State till the end of September.
Night curfew will also continue in the cities from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the same period, it added. The decision has been taken in due consultation with the Centre, as required by the ‘Unlock 4.0’ guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, an official spokesperson said.
The Centre had on August 29 said that State governments should not impose any local lockdown outside containment zones without prior consultation with the Central government.
The ban on all social-, political- and religious gatherings and protests and demonstrations will continue to remain in force throughout the State, while gatherings relating to weddings and funerals shall be limited to 30 and 20 people respectively, the spokesperson said.
There will be a lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays in the municipal areas, while movement of individuals for all non-essential activities shall remain prohibited between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. within municipal limits of all the cities of Punjab throughout the week, as per the orders of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Spike in Delhi's COVID-19 cases worrisome, government to re-strategise testing: High Court
The Delhi High Court on Monday expressed concern over spike in cases of COVID-19 in the national capital by terming it as “worrisome” and directed the Delhi government to re-strategise the testing so that maximum number of cases which are turning out to be asymptomatic can undergo a test at private laboratories to prevent spread of coronavirus infection.
The High Court also asked the Delhi government to set up within a week COVID-19 testing camps at inter-State bus terminals (ISBT) such as Anand Vihar, Kashmiri Gate and Sarai Kale khan for migrants who are returning to the capital in large numbers from various States.
The Delhi government shall make sure that they re-strategise the testing in Delhi so that maximum number of cases which are turning out to be asymptomatic can actually undergo a test to prevent spread of COVID-19 .
More so, since unlock 4.0 has been declared by the Central government, there is free movement provided to people in almost all the sectors, a Bench of justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said.
The Bench expressed concern over the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, which on Sunday crossed 2,000, and said the way figures are increasing every week is worrisome.
40 Mizoram MLAs test negative for COVID-19
As part of Standard Operating Procedure all 40 legislators in Mizoram, including Chief Minister Zoramthanga, have tested negative for novel coronavirus, an official said. The Assembly Secretariat has issued the SOP to be followed by members, officials and the press during the three-day Assembly Session in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-day session will begin from Tuesday. On the first day of the Session, the Chief Minister will make obituary references on five members, including two former Assembly Speakers Hiphei and Rokamlova, who died recently. There will be no gubernatorial address, the official said.
So far, 239 starred questions and 56 unstarred questions have been received by the Assembly Secretariat. A few government bills will be laid during the Session.
Gujarat government team in Rajkot to assess COVID-19 situation
Amid increasing COVID-19 cases in Rajkot in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, a team of senior health officials and doctors on Monday arrived in the city to take stock of the situation and suggest measures to control the pandemic.
Principal Secretary (Health) Jayanti Ravi and a team of senior doctors reached Rajkot where they will monitor facilities in government and private hospitals for COVID-19 patients and provide guidance to doctors on treatment protocol for coronavirus and tele-mentoring, among other steps.
Ms. Ravi and the team of experts, likely to stay in Rajkot for a week, met health officials of the civil hospital on the first day of their visit. She told reporters that the government is making efforts to reduce the number of fatalities due to COVID-19 in Rajkot district.
Around 15 doctors from other districts will be brought in Rajkot and stationed there to look after patients, she said. The government will also provide additional ventilators and beds for COVID-19 patients, Ms. Ravi said.
Ms. Ravi warned private hospitals of action if they charged more than the rates fixed by the government for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The government has taken serious note of the rising COVID-19 cases in Rajkot, she said and expressed confidence that the situation will be brought under control. As per the government’s COVID-19 dashboard, Rajkot has so far reported 4,685 cases.
6,495 new cases in Karnataka, 113 deaths
Karnataka on Monday reported 6,495 new cases of COVID-19 and 113 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 3,42,423 and death toll to 5,702, the Health Department said. The day also saw 7,238 patients getting discharged after recovery.
Out of 6,495 fresh cases reported on Monday, 1,862 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone. As of August 31 evening, cumulatively 3,42,423 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the State, which includes 5,702 deaths and 2,49,467 discharges, the Health Department said in its bulletin.
It said, out of 87,235 active cases, 86,488 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 747 are in ICU.
Maharashtra reported 11,852 new COVID-19 cases on Monday to take the total case tally to 7,92,541 of whom 1,94,056 cases are active. 184 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 24,583. The surge was almost offset by a high number of recoveries, with 11,158 patients being discharged today to take the total recoveries till date to 5,73,559.
Pune reported more than 2,000 cases to take its total case tally to 1,75,105. The district, however, reported just nine deaths to take its total death toll to 4,069. Mumbai reported 1,179 cases to take its total case tally to 1,45,805 of whom 20,551 are active. With 32 deaths, the city's total death toll has risen to 7,658. Nagpur reported 15 deaths while Kolhapur district reported 19 fatalities.
- Shoumojit Banerjee
Madhya Pradesh on Monday recorded 1,532 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 63,965. The number of active cases stands at 13,914. As many as 20 patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 1,394.As for recoveries, 1,190 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day. So far, 48,657 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.
- Sidharth Yadav
Maharashtra relaxes curbs on travel, government office attendance
The Maharashtra government on Monday lifted restriction on inter-district movement of persons and goods, and raised attendance in its offices as it announced a slew of relaxations while extending the general COVID-19-enforced lockdown in the State till September 30.
It said hotels and lodges will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity from September 2, but schools, colleges, cinema halls and swimming pools will continue to remain closed till September 30.
Easing of restrictions came even as Maharashtra continues to registered a record number of new coronavirus cases with no flattening of curve in sight in the State.
The government announced that there shall be no restriction on inter-district movement of persons and goods, including those for cross-land border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries from September 2.
No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for the vehicles and persons travelling therein for such movements, the government said in its Mission Begin Again order that encapsulated “Unlock” norms.
The government also allowed passenger movement by private bus/mini bus and other operators. The State's Transport Commissioner will issue the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the same, the Order said.
The government said that outdoor physical activities with no restrictions will be allowed, but made no mention of reopening of gyms and temples.
The Maharashtra governments Group A and Group B officers can attend offices to 100% of their strength across the State from September 2.
Other government staffers can attend offices with 30% of their strength or minimum 30 employees, whichever is more, in areas under municipal corporations in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and others - all COVID-19 hotspots.
A.P. records 10,004 new COVID-19 infections, tally over 4.34 lakh
For the sixth day in a row, more than 10,000 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported, as Andhra Pradeshs COVID-19 graph continued its steep spiral to reach 4,34,771 on Monday.
And, A.P. has become the second State behind Maharashtra to have more than one lakh active coronavirus cases, the latest statistics revealed. After 3,30,526 recoveries and 3,969 deaths, the State has 1,00,276, the latest bulletin said.
On Sunday, A.P. took the second place in the national COVID-19 chart, relegating Tamil Nadu to the third spot. With more than half the 13 districts reporting cases daily in excess of 800 each, the number of active cases has been piling up though overall more than 8,500 patients are getting discharged from hospitals.
Maharashtra release guidelines under mission begin again. Lockdown extended till September 30. However no e-pass now required for inter-district travel, private bus service allowed and hotels and lodges allowed to function with 100% capacity.
Venkaiah Naidu holds discussions over health safety of MPs during Monsoon Session
Ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday held extensive discussions with the ICMR director general and Union Secretaries of Home, Health and Defence Research on ensuring health safety of MPs.
Mr. Naidu raised several issues and sought clarifications on health safety and hassle-free travel of members of Rajya Sabha.
Regarding quarantine requirements in different States on return of members after attending the session, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla assured the chairman that the matter will be taken up with States/UTs, officials said.
The Monsoon Session is slated to start from September 14 and is likely to continue till October 1.
After detailed discussions, Mr. Naidu noted that all members of Parliament should get tested for COVID-19 without fail in their own interest and that of fellow members as well, according to a statement.
All employees of the Secretariat, including security personnel and media persons covering the proceedings of the House, should also get tested, he said, adding that this applies to personal staff of Ministers as well.
The ICMR will make necessary arrangements for testing of all, as required, the statement said.
Nepal’s coronavirus tally reaches close to 40,000
Nepal’s coronavirus tally reached close to 40,000 on Monday with 899 new COVID-19 cases recorded across the country, a senior health official has said.
The country has recorded at least seven coronavirus-linked deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 228, said Dr. Jageshwar Gautam, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population. He said four men, two elderly women and one four-year-old girl child died due to coronavirus infection.
During a regular media briefing, the official said that 899 persons had tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Of the newly-infected, 596 are males and 303 are females.
The Kathmandu Valley alone recorded 298 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, he said. Nepal’s coronavirus infection cases have doubled in one month. On July 31, a total of 19,771 COVID-19 infections were detected in Nepal.
In total, 588 persons, who earlier tested positive for the virus, have been discharged from various isolation centres across the country after full recovery in the past 24 hours, the official said. Nepal has so far conducted 69,33,472coronavirus tests.
Centre to deploy teams in U.P., Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha to tackle rising cases
Central teams will be deployed in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, which are seeing a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. It asserted that the teams will support the States’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of positive cases.
The teams will also guide the States in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up, the Ministry said in a statement.
Each of the multi-sectoral teams will comprise an epidemiologist and a public health expert. The Health Ministry said it has decided to deploy high-level Central teams to Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha, which are seeing a sudden surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Some of these States are also reporting high mortality, the Ministry said.
Entry into public parks restricted to 50% capacity
Entry to public parks will be restricted to 50% of the park’s capacity to ensure physical-distancing norms. In case of bigger parks, entry may be permitted for restricted hours and people would be allowed in batches. Urban local bodies can regularise this by issuing of tokens, the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the government said on Monday.
ST panel seeks factual report from Andaman & Nicobar administration
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes on Monday expressed concern over the spread of COVID-19 infection among members of the dwindling Great Andamanese tribe and sought a factual report from the Andaman and Nicobar administration within two weeks.
According to the archipelago’s administration, 10 members of the tribe, which lives on the Strait Island, contracted the deadly virus recently. There are only 59 surviving members of the tribe.
Over 5,000 fresh cases, 63 more deaths in U.P.
The death toll due to coronavirus climbed to 3,486 in Uttar Pradesh with 63 fresh COVID-19 fatalities reported from the State, a senior official said on Monday.
Among the fresh COVID-19 deaths, State capital Lucknow recorded the highest number of 15, followed by seven deaths in Deoria, five in Kanpur, three each in Prayagraj and Varanasi, among other districts, the health bulletin issued by the U.P. government said.
Additional Chief Secretary (Medicine and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said 5,061 fresh cases have been reported from the State. Of the total fresh COVID-19 cases reported in the State, 791 were from Lucknow followed by Gorakhpur where 374 fresh cases were reported, the health bulletin said.
Prayagraj reported 288 fresh cases of COVID-19, while Kanpur reported 251 and Varanasi 210 fresh cases, it said. Fresh cases were also reported from Moradabad (160), Ghaziabad (143), Gautam Buddh Nagar (126), Aligarh (121), Saharanpur (110) and Kushinagar (104). The total count of COVID-19 cases in the State stands at 2,30,414 while the number of active cases stands at 54,788, he said.
Till now, as many as 1,72,140 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease and have been discharged in the State, Mr. Prasad said.
He also informed that on Sunday over 1.36 lakh samples were tested, taking the total count of samples tested so far to 56.26 lakh in U.P.
U.P. Minister Mohsin Raza tests COVID-19 positive
Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohsin Raza on Monday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and asked everyone who had come in contact with him in the last few days to quarantine themselves. Mr. Raza, who is the Minister of State for Minority Welfare, Muslim Waqf and Haj in Uttar Pradesh, said on the advice of doctors, he has quarantined himself at his residence.
Mr. Raza added, “On the advice of the doctor, I have quarantined myself at my residence. My request to all the residents of the State is that they should exercise caution and follow the guidelines issued by the government.”
Mr. Raza, 52, is the lone Muslim face in the Council of Ministers headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Currently, Mr. Raza is a member of U.P. Legislative Council.
COVID-19 update from Bihar: Total death 694; total number of positive cases 1,36,337; total recovered persons 1,19,572 (87.70% recovery rate); total active cases 16,070 and total sample tests done so far 31,87,161.
- Amarnath Tewary
Tamil Nadu reports 5956 new cases
5,956 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Monday, taking the overall tally to 4,28,041. 6,008 persons were discharged today, taking the total to 3,68,141.
There were 91 deaths, taking the toll to 7,322. There are 52,578 active cases.
Karnataka PCC president DK Shivakumar recovers from COVID-19, discharged from hospital
Congress’ Karnataka unit president DK Shivakumar who was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 has been discharged after recovery, the hospital treating him said on Monday.
“Shivakumar who was admitted to Suguna Hospital, Rajajinagar, since August 24 with complaints of fever and myalgia has recovered well and discharged from the hospital,” Hospital CEO Dr Kiran Kumar BR said in a statement.
The hospital's multidisciplinary team of specialists treated Mr. Shivakumar and he responded well to the treatment, it said.
Sources close to Mr. Shivakumar said the 58-year-old leader was discharged this afternoon and is back home.
West Bengal asks universities to conduct final semester exams in October
The West Bengal government on Monday asked State universities to conduct final semester college and university examinations between October 1 and 18.
A senior official of higher education department, who attended a virtual meeting between Vice-Chancellors and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee earlier in the day, said that it was unanimously decided that the final semester exams would be completed between October 1-18 in the backdrop of a Supreme Court order on the issue.
The Supreme Court on August 28 had said that states and universities cannot promote students without holding final-year exams by September 30.
However, a state has to approach UGC if it cannot conduct exams by September 30, the apex court had said.
The modalities of the exams, online or offline following COVID-19 protocols, would be decided by the university concerned
Schools, colleges, coaching classes to remain closed till September 30 in Rajasthan
Schools, colleges and coaching classes will remain closed for students and regular teaching activities till September 30, according to ‘Unlock-4’ guidelines issued by the Rajasthan government for activities outside COVID-19 containment zones.
Fifty per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff can be called to school for online teaching and related works from September 21 and for this, guidelines will be issued by the Union health ministry, the guidelines said.
Students from Class 9 to 12 have been permitted to visit schools in areas outside containment zones for taking guidance from teachers after September 21.
Cinema halls, entertainment parks and swimming pools will remain closed. Open air theatres will be allowed to open from September 21.
Metro train services will be allowed to resume from September 7 in a graded manner and as per standard operating procedures.
Not more than 50 persons will be permitted at social, political, sports, entertainment, academic and religious events, which have been allowed from September 21.
For marriages, permission has to be taken from the sub-divisional magistrate and not more than 50 people can gather, they said.
Not more than 20 persons are allowed to attend a funeral till September 21 after which a ceiling of 50 persons will apply.
Complete lockdown in West Bengal on Sept 7, 11 and 12, says Chief Secretary
Complete lockdown will be imposed across West Bengal on September 7, 11 and 12 to contain the spread of COVID-19, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said on Monday.
The State government had earlier announced these dates for complete lockdown in September, but the Centre, in its Unlock 4 guidelines issued recently, had made it clear that states cannot enforce local lockdown without prior consultation.
The order issued by Mr. Sinha also said lockdown will be extended in containment zones in West Bengal till September 30.
Schools, colleges, cinema halls, swimming pools and parks will remain closed till the end of September, it said.
However, in addition to the relaxations permitted outside the containment zones, operations of Metro Rail in a graded manner from September 8 would be allowed, the order said.
Southern Railway cancels special trains in Tamil Nadu till September 15
Southern Railway has further extended the suspension of special trains operated in Tamil Nadu, till September 15. The trains have been cancelled based on a request from the State government.
Only 20 persons allowed in 100 square metre area at all places of worship
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Tamil Nadu government on Monday restricted the number of persons to be allowed inside places of worship of different faiths to 20, and also advocated for a token system in case of bigger temples by residents providing Aadhaar or ID card in order to get specific time slots to visit.
Not more than 20 persons should be allowed in an area of 100 sq. mtr. or 1,075 sq.ft. in case of temples and Hindu religious places, the SOP issued by Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said. Physical distancing of a minimum of six feet should be maintained when queueing up for the purchase of darshan tickets.
Karnataka government announces relaxations under Unlock 4
The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. will resume services from September 7 and social, political, religious, cultural, entertainment and sports congregations with a ceiling of 100 people will be allowed from September 21 under the new set of Unlock 4 guidelines issued by the Karnataka government on Monday.
However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, maintaining social distance, and provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and use of sanitizer.
The metro rail services would resume after consultations with the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Ministry of Railways.
While schools, colleges and educational institutions will remain closed till September 30, online classes and distance education would continue and would be encouraged, said guidelines issued for the month of September based on the guidelines issued by the Union Home Ministry on Saturday.
Three Rajasthan MLAs test positive
Three MLAs in Rajasthan tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.
Congress MLA Ramesh Meena and two BJP MLAs Hameer Singh Bhayal and Chandrabhan Singh Aakya have contracted the virus.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wished them a speedy recovery.
“I have come to know Congress MLA Ramesh Meena ji, BJP MLAs Hameer Singh Bhayal ji and Chandrabhan Singh Aakya ji have tested positive for #Covid_19... I wish them a speedy recovery,” Mr. Gehlot tweeted.
Preparations on for second phase of human clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine
“The Phase I of the trial is still continuing as we are planning for the start of the Phase II trial shortly,” Dr. E Venkata Rao, Principal Investigator of the trial at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medical sciences, said.
The blood samples collected from the volunteers who received the vaccine were to ascertain how effective the vaccine was in terms of the level of antibodies developed, Dr. Rao said, adding that there had been ‘no side effects’ in the first phase trial of the vaccine.
Strict lockdown enforced across W.B., violators taken to task
Normal life was affected across West Bengal on Monday, the last day of the month, with most people preferring to remain indoors and vehicles staying off the roads, as a total lockdown was enforced across the State.
Violation of the shutdown norms was, however, witnessed in some districts, where the police took the offenders to task. In Cooch Behar, the offenders, once caught, had to undergo rapid antigen test. Those who stepped out were asked to provide proof to justify their need for leaving home amid the shutdown.
All government and private establishments, banks, shops and marketplaces remained closed due to the lockdown. Essential services were kept out of the purview of the shutdown. Petrol pumps also remained operational.
Doing aggressive testing, aim is not to leave untraced cases: Jain
Amid the sudden spike in novel coronavirus infections in Delhi, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that the Kejriwal government was doing “aggressive testing” and the aim was to ensure no case was left untraced.
Mr. Jain said the government had sufficient stock of COVID-19 testing kits for 10-15 days, but it was procuring more from the market to meet the target of 40,000 tests per day.
The government has already increased the duration of testing hours at hospitals and dispensaries to five hours (9 a.m.-2 a.m.) from the earlier three-hour duration, he told reporters.
Doctor in-charge of COVID-19 hospital in Deoria succumbs to virus
A doctor in-charge of a COVID-19 facility here died after contracting the virus, officials said.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alok Pandey, said that Dr. Rajiv Ranjan had tested positive for coronavirus on August 19 and was admitted to the Gorakhpur Medical College where he died late on Sunday.
Dr. Ranjan, who was posted at the Community Health Centre in Rudrapur, was made in-charge of the COVID-19 hospital in March.
Strict week-long lockdown in Chandrapur from Sep 3
A week-long lockdown with stricter provisions will be enforced in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur city from September 3 in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the district administration has said.
A notification issued by Collector Ajay Gulhane on Sunday said all shops, including those of essential commodities, will remain closed during the lockdown. Only medical shops and emergency services will be allowed to operate during the seven-long lockdown, it said.
The district reported 270 new COVID-19 cases in the last 36 hours, taking its tally to 2,344, a release issued by the district information officer said.
Suspension of scheduled international passenger flights extended till Sept. 30
The suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till September 30, said Indian aviation regulator DGCA on Monday. “However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,” noted the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a circular.
Scheduled international passenger services continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Treat doctors losing lives in COVID fight on a par with martyrs of armed forces: IMA to PM
The Indian Medical Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that all doctors who have died of COVID-19 be treated on a par with martyrs of the armed forces, and their dependents be provided government jobs in accordance with their qualifications.
In a letter to the prime minister, the country’s largest body of doctors said only an “inclusive national solatium” for all doctors who have lost their lives fighting the pandemic would render justice to the sacrifice of their families.
The IMA cited government data and said 87,000 healthcare workers had been infected and 573 of them had lost their lives due to COVID-19.
BDO succumbs to COVID-19 in W.B., Mamata pays tribute
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid tribute to a Block Development Officer in Murshidabad who contracted COVID-19 during the course of his work and died battling the disease, saying her government would be extending all possible help to his family.
Krishna Chandra Das, 51, BDO, Nowda, was undergoing treatment for the past 20 days. He died at a private hospital here on Sunday night, a Health department official said.
Describing his death as an “irreparable” loss, the CM said, “Grieved to know about the untimely demise of Krishna Chandra Das, who was posted as BDO Nowda in Murshidabad. A dedicated WBCS (Exe) Officer, Das was at forefront of our fight against COVID-19 & displayed great sense of sincerity & commitment in his work during the pandemic.”
Spike in cases due to aggressive testing: Maharashtra Health Minister
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday said the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State over the last one month was due to the government’s aggressive approach of “tracking, tracing, testing and treatment”.
Mr. Tope said the State government is focusing on preparedness and creating awareness of the disease. “We are aggressively focussing on four Ts- tracking, tracing, testing and treatment. There are 400 labs for COVID-19 testing and more than 50,000 tests are done daily in the State. The antigen test and RT-PCR tests are being done to the optimum capacity,” the Health Minister said.
Increasing oxygen need worries Assam
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the gap between the demand for and production of oxygen in Assam, which has the State government worried.
The COVID-19 and non-COVID patients have together been consuming an average of 25 metric tonnes of oxygen per day and the requirement is inching closer to the daily production of 37.86 MT in the State, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
“We have 433 COVID-19 patients on oxygen support, 152 of them from Guwahati alone. From 5 MT in July, the oxygen consumption increased to 8.25 MT per day in August,” he said.
“... If the requirement increases we might have to bring oxygen from West Bengal and Jharkhand,” Dr. Sarma said.
20 arrested in U.P. for not complying with govt order on religious gatherings
Twenty people, including three women, have been arrested for not complying with government order on religious gatherings and taking out processions on Muharram, police said. Three persons were arrested in Sadarpur Bahadurpur village when they took out a procession on Sunday evening.
“Tension prevailed in Narainpur village and Nahar Pulia crossing in Rupaideha on Sunday evening when people gathered there and tried to take out a procession. When police stopped them, they confronted it. After this, an FIR was registered against 12 people and they were arrested a number of charges including lockdown violation,” ASP (Rural) Ashok Kumar said.
The ASP said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Uttar Pradesh government has denied permission for religious gatherings.
Another MLA in Odisha tests positive
BJD MLA Byomakesh Ray tested positive for COVID-19, raising the number of lawmakers infected with coronavirus in Odisha to 13.
“Tested Covid positive. Requesting all those who have got close contact with me to be cautious and isolate themselves. With the blessings of God I am stable now. Feeling Very sad not to be able to serve the flood affected people of Chandabali,” the Chandbali MLA posted on Facebook.
On Sunday, BJD vice-president and Badamba MLA, Debi Prasad Mishra, was diagnosed with the infection.
Of the 13 MLAs who contracted the disease, 11 are from the ruling BJD and two from the BJP.
New Zealand lifts lockdown in nation’s largest city
New Zealand has lifted a lockdown imposed on the city of Auckland and also made it mandatory to wear masks on public transportation.
The nation’s largest city had been in a lockdown for more than two weeks after an outbreak of the coronavirus was discovered earlier this month. The new outbreak followed more than three months without any community transmission.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins said it was safe to reopen Auckland because all the recent infections have been linked to the same cluster through contact tracing.
Low-key Onam celebrations in Kerala amid pandemic
Kerala celebrated a low-key Onam on Monday amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Big celebrations were missing this year as the people largely celebrated Thiruvonam indoors to commemorate the visit of the righteous king King Mahabali to the lands and people he previously ruled.
The Atham festival, which heralds the start of the 10-day Onam festivities, was also held in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extending his wishes, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had yesterday said Onam was a festival of hope and asked the people to celebrate it in line with the COVID-19 protocols.
Shiv Sena hits out at BJP over demand to reopen temples
The Shiv Sena targeted the BJP for seeking reopening of temples in Maharashtra amid the COVID-19 crisis, and asked whether the NDA constituent will take responsibility if there is an “explosion” of coronavirus cases again.
The opposition BJP in Maharashtra last week staged protests outside temples in parts of the state, demanding reopening of the places of worship.
Odisha reports 10 deaths
Odisha’s COVID-19 total increased to 1,03,536 following addition of 2,602 cases on Monday. After recovery of 73,233 cases, there are 29,758 active cases.
The State’s death-toll jumped to 492 after 10 deaths were reported on Monday. Khordha and Kandhamal had three COVID-19 fatalities each.
- Satyasundar Barik
M.P. village returns to conventional mode as e-learning remains elusive
The lockdown forced schools shut and learning outcomes of students went back by at least six months, said assistant teacher Neeraj Saxena, who teaches 98 students at a primary school in Salegarh hamlet of Intkhedi village in Raisen district. “Allowing the unlearning to continue unabated with schools shut will mean years of effort to bring girl students to school going waste,” said Mr. Saxena.
What about the State government’s e-learning modules transmitted through smartphones, TV and radio? “Parents of just two students have smartphones, while those of 10-12 have keypad ones. There is no electricity for five-six days at a stretch sometimes, and the Internet connectivity is poor,” said Mr. Saxena, supported by guest teacher Amitabh Rathore.
To bridge the digital divide and continue the learning of the 92 students from Bhil and Gond tribes and six from the other backward classes, conventional teaching in a physical form was the only option left. So, starting July, Mr. Saxena, who travels every day to the hamlet, nearly 48 km from Raisen — trudging 4.5 km along an uneven trail through a dense teak forest, a sling bag dangling on his shoulder — set up five informal study groups.
Preparations on for second phase of human clinical trial of COVID vaccine
Preparations are underway at a hospital in Bhubaneswar for the commencement of the second phase of human clinical trial of ‘Covaxin’, India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.
“The Phase I of the trial is still continuing as we are planning for the start of the Phase II trial shortly,” Dr E Venkata Rao, Principal Investigator of the trial at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medical sciences, said.
COVID-hit Mustafa Centre to send back foreign workers
Singapore’s largest Indian-origin hypermarket, Mustafa Centre, on Monday said it will send home its foreign workers, mostly Indian nationals, whose work passes have expired, as its business has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company will also stop paying employees who have not been called to work a “sustenance allowance” - believed to be SGD300 per month - and it urged this group of staff to take on a second job to earn an income, according to media reports on Monday.
The Thrikkakara temple in Kochi is famous for the votive lunch on Onam day, which usually sees the participation of about 50,000 people. This year, however, there is no lunch being served.
Amit Shah discharged from AIIMS
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was admitted to the AIIMS here on August 18 for post-COVID care, was discharged on Monday morning, sources said.
The AIIMS had said in a statement on August 29 that “he has recovered and is likely to be discharged in a short time“.
On August 2, Shah, 55, had said on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He had undergone treatment at Medanta Hospital and was discharged after he tested negative for the disease.
Eleven foreign nationals were arrested in Greater Noida on Sunday for allegedly partying in violation of curbs imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The police said they impounded seven vehicles and seized 237 cans and 51 bottles of beer besides three bottles of liquor from the house in Surajpur.
In view of the pandemic, rules have been issued which prohibit such gatherings.
COVID-19 cases in West Bengal near 1.6 lakh
West Bengal on Sunday recorded 3,019 cases of COVID-19, taking the total case tally to 1,59,785. The State also recorded 50 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total death toll due to COVID-19 to 3,176.
With 3,308 people being discharged, the recovery rate improved to 81.96% while the active cases in the State declined to 25,657.
SOP issued for supplementary exams in T.N.
The State government has issued standard operating procedures for conducting supplementary public examinations for Classes 10, 11 and 12 from September.
Supplementary exams for Classes 10 and 12 will begin on September 21, and the Class 11 exam on September 29. Apart from this, the Directorate of Government Examinations will be holding the Class 8 private-study public exam, diploma in elementary education first and second-year exams, government music school exam, diploma in physical education first and second-year exams and the government Sanskrit entrance exam in September. Hall tickets will be available online or be given in exam centres at pre-assigned time-slots.
Patients protest at COVID-19 care centre over food served
The police were called in on Sunday night after several patients at the COVID-19 care centre in Government Ayurvedic Medical College allegedly created a ruckus demanding non-vegetarian food.
The staff informed the authorities after the patients started accusing the management of ignoring their demands. “We pacified the patients and assured them that their demands would be met. The situation is back to normal,” a senior police officer said.
- Anjali Thomas