Coronavirus India lockdown day 240 updates | November 21, 2020

A health worker takes a sample to test for COVID-19 at a market in New Delhi on November 19, 2020. India’s confirmed coronavirus caseload surpassed 9 million on November 19, 2020, as authorities in New Delhi battle to slow down the surge of infections in the city by increasing testing.   | Photo Credit: AP

The Union Health Ministry has advised the States and Union Territories to conduct more COVID-19 tests to track undetected and missed-out patients. In an order on Friday, the Ministry advised them to adopt an aggressive and widespread testing strategy for prompt detection of the infection for effective tracing, containment and treatment.

The order comes a day after the Centre rushed high-level teams to Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur to visit districts reporting high number of cases and support those States’ control efforts.

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

13 crore COVID-19 tests done so far, cumulative positivity rate falling steadily: Health Ministry

The total number of tests conducted in India for the detection of COVID-19 infection has crossed the 13-crore mark with last one crore done in just 10 days, while the cumulative positivity rate remained low and continues a downward trajectory, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), over 13.06 crore samples have been tested till November 20 with 10,66,022 being tested on Friday.

The cumulative national COVID-19 positivity rate has declined and stood at 6.93% as on date while the daily positivity rate on Friday was just 4.34%.

Higher volumes of testing eventually lead to low positivity rate, the ministry said.

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India enters crucial phase in fight against COVID-19; can’t let guard down: Mukesh Ambani

Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Saturday said India has entered a crucial phase in its fight against coronavirus and cannot afford to let the guard down at this juncture.

He said the bold reforms undertaken by the government will lead to swift recovery and rapid progress in the years to come.

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Punjab, Delhi

Ready to help Delhi fight pandemic, says Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday that the State was ready to help Delhi manage its spiralling COVID-19 cases.

“Delhi is fighting a tough battle, and we are there to help if needed. I have said this earlier also,” he said. “While nobody knows when the second wave of the epidemic will strike Punjab, experience of the national capital region and other States show that it is an almost certain eventuality.” He assured the people that the government was taking all possible measures to meet the situation.

He was speaking after digitally launching 107 health and wellness centres to boost healthcare infrastructure in the State and provide health services to patients at their doorsteps, in both rural and urban areas.

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Uttar Pradesh

One-fourth of Uttar Pradesh’s active COVID-19 cases are in eight NCR districts

Uttar Pradesh’s eight districts that lie in the National Capital Region (NCR) account for over 25% or one-fourth of the State’s active COVID-19 cases and nearly 11% of the deaths linked to the disease, according to official data.

Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Shamli districts are a part of the NCR, a wider region that also comprises districts from Haryana, Rajasthan and entire Delhi.

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New Delhi

Unilever to introduce mouthwash formulation in India, claims to reduce 99.9% corona after rinsing

Global FMCG major Unilever on Saturday said it will bring to India its mouthwash formulation, which, it claims, will reduce 99.9% of coronavirus after 30 seconds of rinsing.

“Unilever has confirmed that preliminary lab test results show that mouthwash formulation containing CPC Technology reduces 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after 30 seconds of rinsing,” the company said in a statement.

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Private hospitals charged exorbitant fees; spending on health abysmally low: Parliament panel on COVID-19

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, inadequate beds in government hospitals and absence of specific guidelines for COVID treatment resulted in private hospitals charging exorbitant fees, a parliamentary panel on Saturday said, asserting that a sustainable pricing model could have averted many deaths.

Chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on health Ram Gopal Yadav submitted the report on ‘Outbreak of Pandemic Covid-19 and its Management’, to Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.

This is the first report by any parliamentary committee on the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Singapore, Hong Kong to go ahead with air travel bubble

Singapore has said that an air travel bubble with Hong Kong would proceed as planned on Sunday but there will be additional precautionary measures imposed as new coronavirus cases in the Chinese-ruled semi-autonomous global finance hub rise.

The flights will proceed on Sunday with an additional COVID-19 test for travellers from Hong Kong, Channel News Asia reported on Saturday.

Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters that both cities were “still considered low-risk”.

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Recent breakthroughs on COVID-19 vaccines offer ray of hope: UN chief Guterres

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described the recent breakthroughs towards development of COVID-19 vaccines as a “ray of hope that needs to reach everyone and called on the G-20 nations to support the global collaboration to accelerate development of coronavirus treatments and drugs.

This week, global drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 95% effective, including in adults over 65 years of age.

“The recent breakthroughs on COVID-19 vaccines offer a ray of hope. But that ray of hope needs to reach everyone,” Mr. Guterres said at a news conference on Friday.

“That means ensuring that vaccines are treated as a global public good — accessible and affordable to everyone, everywhere. A people’s vaccine. This is not a ‘do-good’ exercise. It is the only way to stop the pandemic dead in its tracks,” he said.

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COVID-19 tests nearing one crore mark in State

Karnataka is all set to create another milestone in its pandemic control measures with COVID-19 tests nearing the one crore mark. With 1,21,612 new samples tested in the last 24 hours, the total number of tests touched 99,81,137 on Friday.

This number includes 68,07,043 RT-PCR tests. With this, the cumulative test positivity rate (TPR) touched 8.71% on Friday. From an average 80 tests a day in March, the State is now testing an average of over one lakh samples a day.

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After Ahmedabad, night curfew imposed in Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot

After imposing a weekend curfew in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat government on Friday decided to impose night curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot, and the authorities intensified efforts to contain the surging COVID-19 cases.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the Health portfolio, told media persons that all the four major cities would observe night curfew to break the transmission chain in a second wave that saw the largest daily case toll of 1,420 new cases on Friday.

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Delhi police collect ₹26 crore in COVID-19 fines

The Delhi police have collected ₹26.72 crore in fines from people not wearing masks or following social distancing rules in public places from June 15 until November 19.

A total of 5,35,167 people have been fined for violating social distancing norms, not wearing masks or spitting in public places. The maximum number of violators were those found roaming in marketplaces or travelling in cars without wearing a mask. A senior police officer clarified that people travelling alone in a car have to wear mask as well — something upheld recently by the Delhi High Court as well.

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Private hospitals call for single nodal agency to handle COVID-19 issues

Anticipating what is largely being touted as a ‘second wave’ seen in many parts of the world, private hospitals and nursing homes are calling for a single nodal agency to streamline handling COVID-19 at the State level. At present, there are too many agencies and departments with little coordination among themselves, they allege.

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(With inputs from Agencies)

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