Coronavirus India lockdown day 243 updates | November 24, 2020

A health worker collects a swab sample for COVID-19 testing in Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, will first focus on supplying AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine to Indians before distributing it to other countries, Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said on Monday.

“It's very important we take care of our country first, then go on to COVAX after that and then other bilateral deals with countries. So I've kept it in that priority,” said Mr. Poonawalla, referencing the global COVAX facility, which has been set up to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries.

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:

India

SC seeks Centre’s response on PIL seeking to fix maximum rate for RT-PCR test

The Supreme Court sought the Centre’s response on a PIL seeking direction for fixing the maximum rate for the RT-PCR test for COVID-19 uniformly all over India.

A bench issued notice to the Health Ministry and listed the PIL filed by a lawyer for hearing after two weeks.

The bench, in a hearing conducted via video conferencing, said that the plea would be heard with another pending plea pertaining to the cost of treatment for COVID-19.

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Madhya Pradesh

M.P. govt. extends parole of 4,000 prisoners by 60 days

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to extend the parole of about 4,000 prisoners for another 60 days in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.

The decision to grant parole to inmates of jails was taken in March this year after the Supreme Court directed states to take steps to decongest jails so as to contain the spread of coronavirus in these facilities.

In Madhya Pradesh, parole of prisoners was extended by another 60 days in September this year.

Rajasthan

Increased testing, improved infrastructure to tackle coronavirus: Gehlot to Modi

In a video conference with PM Narendra Modi over coronavirus, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said his government has increased testing and strengthened infrastructure to tackle the infection.

Highlighting the steps taken by the state government to contain the infection, the Chief Minister told the PM about the ban on firecrackers, law on wearing of masks, night curfew in worst-hit districts and the restrictions on gatherings, according to sources.

He also shared with the prime minister inputs about the strengthening of infrastructure like oxygen generation plants, increase in the number of ICUs and oxygen beds in hospitals, the sources added.

Mr. Gehlot said the state government is testing over 30,000 samples a day, which stood at 18,000 tests a day in the months of September and October.

Gujarat

COVID-19 situation under control in Gujarat: CM to PM Modi

The COVID-19 situation in Gujarat is under control and enough number of beds are available for patients, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said during his virtual interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Rupani also informed about various initiatives to curb the coronavirus transmission during a meeting of chief ministers of eight states, which have reported higher number of COVID-19 cases, addressed by the PM via video conferencing, an official release said.

The CM said the government has intensified testing to identify coronavirus positive patients and also imposed a night curfew in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat.

“The CM has assured the PM that the situation is under control and enough number of beds are available in the state for coronavirus patients,” the release said.

India

Daily COVID-19 positivity rate dips below 4% in India: Health Ministry

India has conducted over 13.36 crore tests so far to detect COVID-19 cases, including 10,99,545 in a day, while the cumulative positivity rate in the country is sustained at low levels and the daily positivity rate has fallen below 4%, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

The country registered less than 40,000 fresh coronavirus cases in a span of 24 hours after six days. Since November 8, the number of daily cases has been sustained below the 50,000-mark, the Ministry said.

On an average, more than 10 lakh daily tests have ensured that the cumulative positivity rate is sustained at low levels, the ministry underlined, adding that it is presently following a downward trajectory.

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Maharashtra

Task force set up in Maharashtra to manage COVID-19 vaccine distribution: CM Thackeray

The Maharashtra government has formed a task force to manage the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine and how the vaccination will be carried out in the State, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday.

According to an official statement, Mr Thackeray made the remarks during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting via video conferencing with chief ministers of eight States which have reported higher number of COVID-19 cases.

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India

One crore frontline healthcare workers identified to receive COVID-19 vaccine in first phase

An estimated one crore frontline health workers will received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available, with around 92% of government hospitals and 55% of private hospitals across all states and UTs providing data identifying the workers, official sources said.

Five vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which four are in Phase II/III and one is in Phase-I/II trials.

States have been asked to accelerate the process of identifying frontline healthcare workers including doctors, MBBS students, nurses and ASHA workers etc, so that the exercise gets completed in another one week.

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Karnataka

Karnataka is well prepared for COVID-19 vaccine delivery: Health Minister

Following directions from the Centre, Karnataka has initiated necessary action for COVID-19 vaccine delivery, distribution and administration. The State’s COVID-19 Task Force has also deliberated on the issue and and preparations are being made for vaccine storage and delivery, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the measures initiated for vaccine delivery and distribution, the Minister said the government has identified 29,451 session sites (vaccination sites) and 10,008 vaccinators as per the norms of the Universal Immunisation Programme.

Health Care Workers data has already been compiled for all the government facilities. 80% of the private health facilities have also shared their data. Compilation of data for the remaining 20% private facilities is likely to be completed in a week’s time, the Minister said in a statement.

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New Delhi

PM Modi holds virtual meet with states over COVID-19 situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted via video conferencing with chief ministers of states that are witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases to review the COVID-19 situation.

The leaders attending the meeting include Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

The prime minister, till now, has held several virtual meetings with states over the coronavirus situation.

While the national daily COVID-19 case count has remained below 50,000 for some time, several urban centres have witnessed a surge, resulting in enforcement of several measures, including curfews in some cities.

New Delhi

CM Arvind Kejriwal talks to PM Modi on COVID-19 situation in Delhi

Arvind Kejriwal informed the Prime Minister that Delhi saw 8,600 cases on November 10, in the peak of its third wave. "Since then, cases and positivity rate are steadily decreasing; the Delhi government hopes this trend continues," the Chief Minister said.

He attributed the severity of the third wave to factors including pollution. Mr. Kejriwal sought Narendra Modi's intervention to get rid of parali pollution (pollution from stubble burning) from adjoining States, especially in view of the recent success of the bio-decomposer solution.

Mr. Kejriwal also sought reservation of an additional 1,000 ICU beds in central government hospitals till the third wave of COVID-19 lasts.

- Jatin Anand

Maharashtra

Maharashtra directive on people coming from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa

All air and rail passengers to Maharashtra from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa will have to carry RT-PCR negative test result with them, the State government announced on Monday. Those coming by road will be tested at border districts before entering the State.

The directive comes a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s warned of a ‘tsunami’ like second wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and appealed to people to follow all safety norms.

“All domestic passengers travelling from airports in the NCR of Delhi, States of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry RT-PCR negative test report with them before boarding and show it to the teams at arrival airport”, says the directive The RT-PCR sample collection should have been done within 72 hours of scheduled time of landing at the airports in Maharashtra.

Those travelling by trains originating or having halt/stop at stations in the NCR of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry with them RT-PCR negative test report before they decide to enter Maharashtra. The sample collection should have been done within 96 hours before their scheduled arrival.

For those travelling by road from the above mentioned States, the Collectors of land border districts concerned shall make arrangements to ensure that they are tested for symptoms, including body temperature. Only those without symptoms will be allowed entry. Passengers with symptoms shall have the option of turning back and going to their home to recuperate.

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Karnataka

Lack of clarity on quarantine leave continues

The lack of clarity over quarantine leave for workers in the State continues despite a gazette notification by the Karnataka government on special leave recently.

Instead of providing stricter guidelines, the gazette rather makes an appeal to employers, and one of the suggestions is transferring leave from the account of another employee, who has surplus, if the COVID-19 patient does not have adequate leave in his account.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many workers losing out on their pay as there was no official clarity to the employers, the State government on November 6 published a special gazette on quarantine leave following a direction from the High Court of Karnataka, which is hearing a writ petition on the issue currently.

The special gazette is an “appeal” to private and public sector employers.

Read more
 

Gujarat

Night curfew to continue in Ahmedabad

Gujarat continues to see spike in COVID-19 cases and mortality as the virus is surging in cities such as Ahmedabad and Surat where the government has clamped night curfews.

In Ahmedabad, night curfew will be in place till December 7 as per the notification brought out by the Police Commissioner Sanjay Srivastav. All shops and parlours, restaurants and eateries will be shut before 9 p.m.. Pharmacies and milk and dairy parlours have been exempted from the curfew.

Karnataka

2020-21 will not be a zero academic year, says Minister

Although physical classes have not been conducted in schools for seven out of 10 months in the 2020-21 academic year and will not resume in December either, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar has ruled out the possibility of a zero academic year.

He said that even though students are unable to physically report to class, teaching and learning have been an ongoing process during the pandemic. “Teachers in government and private schools are using different platforms to interact with students and ensure that there is no halt on learning,” he said. The Minister pointed out that even though no examinations were held for the 2019-20 academic year for students up to class 9, they were promoted to the next grade.

Telangana

Telangana gives permission to open movie theatres

A day after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao discussed concerns of film industry on account of COVID-19 pandemic with its leaders, the State government on Monday issued an order permitting reopening of cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes with 50 per cent seating capacity with immediate effect.

However, the managements should ensure all persons, audience, staff and vendors use masks at all times, sanitizers are available at entry and exit points, physical distancing and crowd management is followed and sanitisation of entire premises, particularly common areas, is done after every screening. The order also said show timings be staggered to ensure intervals of different shows did not occur simultaneously.

Kerala

First painting expo post-lockdown begins at Kozhikode art gallery

Artist Ramesh M.R. with his paintings exhibited at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery in Kozhikode.

Artist Ramesh M.R. with his paintings exhibited at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery in Kozhikode.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

 

The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery at Mananchira here has been a favourite hangout for artists and art lovers for decades. It was not just art that held them together. It offered a venue for discussions about literature, culture, and politics.

Needless to say, when the facility was closed down by the end of March owing to the pandemic outbreak and subsequent lockdown, the intellectual community suffered.

Hence, when it was reopened eight months down the line, news spread fast. Though not as active as before, the art street near the gallery is once again alive, and ‘Hadikka’, the first exhibition at the gallery post-lockdown, has turned out to be quite a crowd-puller.

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra releases fresh schedule for reopening schools

The State government issued a G.O. on Monday revising the dates for reopening of schools under all managements to avoid a flare- up of COVID-19, like it happened in some parts of the country, including Delhi.

The modified dates according to the G.O. issued by Principal Secretary (School Education) B. Rajasekhar are: Class 8 November 23, Classes 6 and 7 December 14 and Classes 1 to 5 after Sankranti.

Further, in view of the winter season, the schools which are now running from 9 a.m. to 1.45 p.m. will be rescheduled from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

Karnataka

Lack of clarity on quarantine leave continues

The lack of clarity over quarantine leave for workers in Karnataka continues despite a gazette notification by the Karnataka government on special leave recently.

Instead of providing stricter guidelines, the gazette rather makes an appeal to employers, and one of the suggestions is transferring leave from the account of another employee, who has surplus, if the COVID-19 patient does not have adequate leave in his account.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many workers losing out on their pay as there was no official clarity to the employers, the State government on November 6 published a special gazette on quarantine leave following a direction from the High Court of Karnataka, which is hearing a writ petition on the issue currently.

The special gazette is an “appeal” to private and public sector employers.

New Delhi

HC rejects plea for another lockdown

The Delhi High Court on Monday declined to entertain a petition to immediately place the Capital under lockdown in view of the rising COVID-19 cases and air pollution levels, saying it was a policy decision.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan remarked that the petition was filed without doing any homework.

The Bench asked the petitioner, Kaushal Kant Mishra, whether he had studied the reports on ineffectiveness of imposing a lockdown.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 3:27:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-lockdown-november-24-2020-live-updates/article33166307.ece

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