Coronavirus India lockdown Day 246 updates | November 26, 2020

No escape: People undergoing tests for COVID at the ENT hospital in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines for “surveillance, containment and caution” in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the ongoing festival season and onset of winter. said that States and Union Territories (UTs), based on their assessment of the situation, may “impose local restrictions” such as “night curfew” with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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 updates:

New Delhi

Decision on night curfew may be taken in 3-4 days, Delhi govt. tells HC

The AAP government told the Delhi High Court on Thursday that it may decide in three to four days whether to impose night curfew in the national capital to contain the spread of COVID-19, as has been done in some other states, but no decision has been taken as of now.

The submission was made before a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad by senior advocate Sandeept Sethi who was appearing for the Delhi government along with additional standing counsel Satyakam.


New Delhi

COVID-19: Entire Delhi can be vaccinated in a month, says State Immunization Officer

Delhi is geared up for the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the city’s entire population can be covered in a month if hospital staff and nurses are involved, State Immunization Officer Suresh Seth said Thursday.

“We have 600 cold storage points and around 1,800 outreach sites for the universal immunization programme for children. We have sufficient equipment for vaccines that can be stored at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius and those that need minus 15 to minus 25 degrees Celsius. The central government is further strengthening the infrastructure and providing more equipment,” Seth told PTI.

Uttar Pradesh

U.P. CM warns against harassment in name of COVID protocols

Harassment in the name of COVID-19 protocols will not be tolerated, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told officials on Thursday as he asked them to create awareness and encourage people to follow the guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The chief minister warned of stern action if complaints of harassment were received, an official spokesperson said here.

Adityanath also clarified that there is no requirement for police or administrative permission for organising weddings, the official said.


New Delhi

Phase-3 trial of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin commences in AIIMS

The phase-three human clinical trial of indigenously developed anti-coronavirus vaccine candidate Covaxin began at the AIIMS here on Thursday with Dr M.V. Padma Srivastava, the chief of Neurosciences Centre at the premier institute, and three other volunteers receiving the first dose.

‘Covaxin’ is being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Dr Srivastava was the first one to receive the shot, which would be given to around 15,000 volunteers at the AIIMS over the next few days, sources said.


New Delhi

Delhi HC says COVID-19 situation in national capital 'alarming'

The Delhi High Court Thursday termed the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital as alarming while hearing a plea challenging AAP government’s decision to reserve 80% of ICU beds for coronavirus patients in 33 private hospitals here.

The numbers, we know, are presently in an alarming state, said Justice Navin Chawla while listing the next hearing on December 9 for further consideration of the matter.

According to the government data, Delhi recorded 99 more deaths and 5,246 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally to 5.45 lakh.


New Delhi

Schools won’t be reopened till govt convinced about student safety: Delhi Health Minister

Schools in the national capital will not reopen till the government is convinced about students’ safety, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday.

Universities and schools across the country were closed on March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25.

“There is no plan to reopen schools (in Delhi) as of now. We are hopeful that a vaccine will be available soon. Schools will not be reopened till the time we are convinced that students will be safe,” Mr. Jain told reporters



Closing shops on Sundays shouldn’t be confused with weekend lockdown: Uttarakhand Govt.

The Uttarakhand government on Thursday clarified that there will be no weekend lockdown in the state capital but only closure of market places, barring shops selling essentials, on Sundays for sanitisation purposes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dehradun district administration has issued an order for strict closure of market places on Sundays in the state capital for sanitisation purposes, an official at the Chief Minister’s Office said making it clear that the word closure should not be confused with lockdown which is technically different.


New Delhi

Delhi Environment Minister admitted to Max hospital

Senior AAP leader and Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, who had tested positive for COVID-19, has been admitted to Max Hospital, Saket, according to the Minister's office.

New Delhi

India sees highest drop in work, social, household travels due to pandemic: Survey

Amid the global wave of COVID-19 in the past nine months, India saw the highest drop in work, social and household travels among nine countries, including China and the US, reflecting the disruptive changes brought about by the pandemic in the patterns of mobility across the world, according to survey consultancy firm EY.

The changing mobility pattern has further raised pertinent questions about the nature and shape of cities and transport networks.

“Amid this health crisis, the consumer is heavily conflicted over mobility; not having to commute to work has given many a new sense of autonomy as well as a few hours of their time back every day,” EY said in a statement.


Increase COVID-19 testing in rural areas of Rajasthan: CM to officials

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday stressed on the need to increase COVID-19 testing in rural areas of the state and directed officials to intensify awareness programmes on the coronavirus. The chief minister issued the directions during a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation of the state.

He asked officials to further intensify public awareness campaigns on COVID-19, especially in rural areas. Testing for the coronavirus should also be increased in villages, the chief minister said.

The Centre’s guidelines on COVID-19 were also discussed in the meeting.

The chief Minister reviewed the implementation of the measures such as night curfews put in place to check the spread of the coronavirus.


Delhi records over 2,300 COVID deaths in less than a month: Official data

The national capital has witnessed 2,364 deaths due to coronavirus since October 28, when the daily rise in infections breached the mark of 5,000 cases for the first time, according to official data.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, 99 more fatalities on Wednesday pushed the city’s total death toll due to the disease to 8,720. It was after five days that Delhi recorded single-day deaths below 100.

The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.


No holy dip in Ganga on Kartik Purnima due to COVID-19

People will not be allowed to take a holy dip in the Ganga river here on the occasion of Kartik Purnima on November 30 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district administration said on Thursday.

Lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh converge on the banks of the Ganga here for a ritual bath in the river on the occasion every year.

However, in compliance with the Centre’s guidelines in view of COVID-19, it has been decided to stop people from taking a bath in the river on Kartik Purnima this year as it will lead to crowding on the ghats which may cause spread of the virus, Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar said.

New Delhi

6 states/UTs contributed to 60.72% of 44,489 fresh COVID-19 cases: Health Ministry

The Union health ministry on Thursday said 60.72 per cent of the 44,489 fresh COVID-19 cases registered in a span of 24 hours have been contributed by six states and UTs, with Kerala leading the tally followed by Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It said 60.50 per cent of the 524 latest fatalities are concentrated in six states and Union territories-- Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Kerala leads the tally with 6,491 new COVID-19 cases registered in a span of 24 hours, while Maharashtra has reported 6,159 new cases followed by Delhi with 5,246 new cases.

Delhi with 99 deaths reported the maximum new fatalities. Maharashtra saw a fatality count of 65 followed by West Bengal with 51 deaths, the ministry said.

India’s present active COVID-19 caseload at 4,52,344 is 4.88 per cent of the total coronavirus cases, and has been sustained below the 5 per cent mark.


Avoid cash fines for COVID-19 norms violation, HC tells AAP govt, police

The Delhi High Court Thursday said the police and the authorities concerned should avoid collecting fines in cash for violation of COVID-19 norms and the AAP government should create a portal for it.

On the Delhi government’s decision to bring down the number of attendees at weddings to 50, the high court asked as to how the rule was being enforced and whether there were any protocols in place to implement it as a lot of weddings are held during this time of the year.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said that in the present day and time, “cash transactions need to be avoided” and there should be a provision for paying the fines electronically.


Doorstep survey throws up 1,178 COVID-19 cases in Delhi’s containment zones

A door-to-door survey conducted under the instruction of the Centre to identify and isolate COVID-19 infected people in Delhi’s containment zones and densely populated pockets threw up 1,178 positive cases with a positivity rate of 6.4 per cent, officials said.

The five-day survey covered over 57 lakh people in the city’s containment zones and thickly populated areas, and identified 13,560 symptomatic people, out of which, 11,790 were tested. Also 8,413 contacts of these symptomatic people were traced, out of which, 6,546 people were tested, they said.

The RT-PCR test reports of a total of 18,336 symptomatic cases and their contacts gave up 1,178 positive results, a Delhi government official said.

New Delhi

Medical colleges may open by December 1, says Health Ministry

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday directed the States and Union Territories to initiate necessary steps for the reopening of medical colleges on or before December 1, while following COVID-19 reopening guidelines issued by the competent authorities in the respective Central/ State/ UT governments. The Health Ministry has obtained concurrence for this from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In its letter the Ministry said: “The states/ UTs may take necessary steps to open the medical colleges on or before 1st December 2020. Needless to say, all the SOPs/ Guidelines with respect to social distancing and prevention of the spread of epidemic issues by central/state/ UT Governments will be formed scrupulously by all the colleges.” The communication comes following recommendations from the National Medical Commission.

New Delhi

Delhi door-to-door survey detects over 1,100 cases

The Delhi government on Wednesday completed a door-to-door survey of over 57 lakh people.

Till Tuesday night, 13,516 people were found symptomatic during the survey and 11,790 of them were tested for COVID-19, as per official data seen by The Hindu.

The government also tested 6,546 people, who were contacts of the 11,790 symptomatic people.

A total of 1,178 people were found positive till Tuesday night, as per the data.

The final data of the survey was still being tabulated at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. The government is yet to officially release any details or data on the survey.


Revised guidelines for last rites of COVID-19 bodies

For representational purpose only.

For representational purpose only.   | Photo Credit: PTI


The Health Department has again revised the guidelines regarding the management of the bodies of those who died of COVID-19, in line with the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines, so that the close relatives can see the deceased at the isolation ward, mortuary and the place of burial.

If the family so desires, one member would be allowed inside the room where the health workers are prepping the body and to symbolically sprinkle ‘holy water’ or cover the body with a cloth. However, none will be allowed to touch, or hug the body . After prepping the body, close relatives will be allowed to see the deceased inside the isolation room or in the mortuary.

At the burial grounds, the relatives will be allowed to see just the face of the deceased by opening the zip on the body bag. At this point also, necessary religious rituals or prayers may be performed. A maximum of 20 persons can participate in the funeral and physical distance should be maintained. Those above 60 years, children less than 10 years or those with serious co-morbidities including respiratory problems should not participate in the funeral.


Class X, XII teachers to report for work in Kerala

Teachers handling Class X and Class XII (Plus Two) subjects in Kerala schools will report for work from December 17.

A statement from the office of the Minister for General Education said 50% of the teachers on a day should attend school from December 17. This is to improve academic support being provided to students and gear up for revision classes for them.

The decision, taken after a meeting the Minister had with the General Education Secretary and the Director of General Education, comes close on the heels of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s announcement on Tuesday that the government would consider if it was feasible to reopen educational institutions for higher classes if COVID-19 cases continued to dip steadily.

Andhra Pradesh

Vibrancy returning to schools: Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh

A group of students returning home after attending classes, in Vijayawada on Wednesday.

A group of students returning home after attending classes, in Vijayawada on Wednesday.  


Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh on Wednesday said vibrancy was returning to school campuses with not less than 50 % of students attending classes.

The Minister said school campuses were becoming vibrant zones with hassle-free teaching amid the ongoing Nadu-Nedu works that aim at changing the face of the school buildings and the ongoing ‘Jagananna Vidya Kanuka Vaarotsavalu’.

He said on Wednesday, of the total 6,74,733 tenth class students, 2,95,199 attended classes (43.75 %). Similarly, of 6,84,722 Class 9 students, 2,74,204 (40 %) and among the 6,81,917 Class 8 students, 3,47,979 (51 %) attended classes. After December 14, classes will commence for students of sixth and seventh classes, he said.

He said the COVID-19 guidelines were being followed by one and all.


Cockpit, cabin crew exempted from RT-PCR tests

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday exempted on-duty cockpit and cabin crew members of all airlines from RT-PCR tests across airports in the State.

The exemption, however, will be depend on whether the respective airlines adhere to all the necessary COVID-19 protocols. Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said.

The exemption was granted after the government received a request from Air India, the order stated. In its revised standard operating procedures on preventive measures to check the spread of COVID-19, issued on November 23, the State government made it mandatory for all persons seeking to enter the State from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa to carry RT-PCR negative reports amid the rising number of cases in these States.

Andhra Pradesh

‘Jan Andolan’ campaign launched for COVID appropriate behaviour

A ‘Jan Andolan’ campaign was organised by the Waltair Division to spread the message of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. Campaigns are being conducted in all stations, sub-divisional offices and loco sheds with posters and banners to spread awareness. The Division is also playing jingles and making public announcements through the public address system at the stations. Awareness leaflets are being distributed to passengers as part of the campaign. Social media is also being used extensively to disseminate the message of COVID-19 health protocol.

Walls of major stations are used to for awareness messages. The railway personnel in different locations have taken a pledge to follow and spread awareness about the pandemic in their own locality.

With the introduction of additional special trains, 'Jan Andolan' campaign has been intensified. Passengers are being asked to maintain health and hygiene protocol, avoid overcrowding, maintain physical distancing, use masks and face shields, wash hands frequently and avoid train journey if they feel unwell.


Panchalinga Darshana to be restricted to 1,000 people a day

Vaidyanatheshwara Temple at Talkad is one of the five Shiva temples visited during Panchalinga Darshana.

Vaidyanatheshwara Temple at Talkad is one of the five Shiva temples visited during Panchalinga Darshana.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM


The famed Panchalinga Darshana to be held at Talkad in T. Narsipur taluk of Mysuru district will be restricted to only 1,000 people per day in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was stated by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who participated in a meeting held to review the ongoing preparations for the event slated to take place from December 10 to 19 and called for keeping the event simple.

The dates and years of the Panchalinga Darshana is based on astrological calculations as per the Hindu almanac and is not an annual event. The last Panchalinga Darshana was held in 2013 while sometimes there tends to be a gap of almost 12 years between the two editions. It entails darshan of the five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva – Sri Vaidyanatheshwara, Sri Maruleshwara, Mudukothore Sri Malliakarjunaswamy, Sri Pathaleshwara, and Sri Arakeshwara – on the same day.

Officials, who participated in the meeting, said another round of discussions would be held on Thursday to chalk out a plan on regulating the entry of the crowd. “Whether we should have an online registration system or should the entry be on first come, first served basis will be decided soon,” the officials said.

New Delhi

Delhi Environment Minister tests positive for COVID-19

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday tested positive for coronavirus. Mr. Rai is the third minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government to have contracted the virus.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain had been infected with coronavirus.

An official said that Mr. Rai, who is also AAP’s Delhi convenor, had met party workers around Diwali.


India thanks Bahrain for taking ‘special care’ of Indian diaspora during pandemic

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani during his Bahrain visit. Photo credit: Twitter: @DrSJaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani during his Bahrain visit. Photo credit: Twitter: @DrSJaishankar   | Photo Credit: Twitter: @DrSJaishankar


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has thanked Bahrain for taking “special care” of the Indian diaspora in this Gulf kingdom during the coronavirus crisis. On a two-day visit to Bahrain from November 24 to 25, Mr. Jaishankar held talks on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

“Discussed our historical ties and cooperation in diverse sectors. Exchanged views on regional and international issues. Thanked Bahrain for taking special care of the Indian community during COVID times,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

The novel coronavirus has infected over 85,800 people and claimed 339 lives in the oil-rich Gulf nation.

According to the website of the Indian Embassy in Bahrain, the country has around 3,50,000 Indian nationals, which comprise a third of Bahrain’s total population of 1.4 million.

New Delhi

Syringe firms ready to meet demand

The All India Syringe and Needle Manufacturers Association (AISNMA) has now written to the Central Government offering an additional capacity of over 350 million syringes per month in order to meet the entire demand for mass COVID-19 vaccination through domestic production. The Association said that this additional capacity has already been built up by its members, having observed the critical shortage of masks and PPE (personal protection equipment) kits faced by India and other countries around the world earlier this year.

AISNMA is the sole nodal association for syringe manufacturers in India and has 19 members located across the country.

Andhra Pradesh

Phase-3 of Covaxin vaccine trials commences in Guntur

The third phase of clinical trials of Covaxin began at the Infectious Disease (Fever Hospital) Hospital at Gorantla on Wednesday. District Collector I. Samuel Ananda Kumar launched the vaccine trials. The vaccine vials have come from the Indian Council for Medical Research, Pune.

The Collector said that based on the guidelines of ICMR, the phase-3 trials have begun at the ID Hospital. The phase-2 clinical trials were held at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad in which 717 patients were covered.

The ICMR trials at ID Hospital would cover 1,000 patients in a month and the detailed report would be sent to ICMR.


AstraZeneca manufacturing error clouds vaccine study results

AstraZeneca and Oxford University have acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

A statement describing the error on Wednesday came days after the company and the university described the shots as “highly effective” and made no mention of why some study participants didn’t receive as much vaccine in the first of two shots as expected.

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