Coronavirus India lockdown day 215 updates | October 27, 2020

A child getting tested for COVID-19 in Delhi.  

The COVID-19 experimental vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly as well as young adults, British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, which is helping manufacture the vaccine, said on Monday.

“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

The news that older people get an immune response from the vaccine is positive because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

United Kingdom

Long-term immunity in doubt as UK study finds COVID-19 antibodies fall rapidly

The hope for long-term immunity from COVID-19 was thrown into doubt on Tuesday as a large UK study concluded that protective antibodies in people fall “quite rapidly” after a coronavirus infection.

Imperial College London’s research, which tested more than 365,000 people in England, found that antibody response to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 wanes over time, which indicates that any level of immunity could last only a few months.

“Seasonal coronaviruses that circulate every winter and cause common colds can re-infect people after six to 12 months,” said professor Wendy Barclay, a virologist who was one of the researchers on the study.

“We suspect that the way the body reacts to infection with this new coronavirus is similar to that,” she said.

Read more
 

India

MHA extends Unlock 5 guidelines till Nov. 30

The Ministry of Home Affairs said its  September 29 order on the "guidelines for reopening" will continue till November 30.

The essence behind graded re-opening and progressive resumption of activities is to move ahead. However, it does not mean the end of the pandemic. There is a need to exercise abundant caution by adopting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by every citizen in their daily routine, said the Ministry.

- Vijaita Singh

India

Children can be spreaders or even super-spreaders: ICMR

In a daily press briefing,  ICMR head Balram Bhargava said, "children were thought to be protected but we now have some evidence which states that children can be spreaders and even super spreaders".

Mr. Bhargava said that pollution is contributing to COVID-19 mortality. "The most inexpensive prevention is wearing a mask," he added.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan added that there should be no hurry to declare ourselves COVID free. "The idea is to go steady and slow".

- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

India

Winters, relaxing containment strategy could be playing role in second wave: V.K. Paul

The country is seeing a second wave of COVID-19, NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul said, expressing apprehensions that winters as well as the slowing down of containment strategy could be playing a role.

"Delhi is seeing its third peak," Mr. Paul said, adding that it was a matter of concern.

- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

India

Steady fall in death rate in past five weeks: Health Secretary

There has been a steady fall in the COVID-19 death rate in the past five weeks, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a daily press briefing. Average daily deaths are at 620, he said.

"The new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours have fallen below 36,500 (36,470) for the first time in three months. The new cases were 34,884 on 18th July, 2020. Our testing rate hasn’t seen any fall with 11 lakh tests being done daily," Mr. Rajesh said."Active cases have drastically declined to 6.25 lakh. The total positive cases of the country are6,25,857 and now comprise 7.88% of the total cases."

78% active cases are in 10 States/UTs and 86% of total deaths in 10 states/UT, he informed.Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are leading the tally while Maharashtra, West Bengal and Delhi have had the largest number of deaths in the past 24 hours.

- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Mizoram

Weeklong lockdown in Aizawl to check spread of COVID-19

A weeklong lockdown came into force in Aizawl municipal area on Tuesday, as part of the government’s measures to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state capital, where several coronavirus cases with untraceable contacts have been recorded in the past few days.

The government, in an order issued on Monday night, said the recent “surge in COVID-19 cases with untraceable contacts” and the rise in the number of symptomatic patients within Aizawl municipal area are matters of grave concern for public health authorities, as this is “considered as an indication of community spread“.

Maharashtra

Union minister Athawale tests positive, hospitalised

Union minister Ramdas Athawale, whose ‘go corona, go’ chant became a national sensation, on Tuesday tested coronavirus positive, an official said.

The Republican Party of India (A) leader has been admitted to a private hospital in south Mumbai, he said.

In February, a video of Athawale, alson with a Chinese diplomat and Buddhist monks chanting “Go corona, go corona” at a prayer meeting went viral on social media.

New Delhi

SpiceJet starts facilitating COVID-19 tests for passengers in India, UAE

SpiceJet has started facilitating COVID-19 testing for its passengers in India and the UAE with the help of VFS Global, a press release issued by the airline said on Tuesday.

“As the COVID-19 negative test report has become mandatory for passengers, especially for international travel, there are rising apprehensions among travellers regarding the entire process of complying with various pre-travel requirements,” it said.

New Delhi

India’s COVID-19 active cases stand at 6.25 lakh, lowest after 11 weeks

Active cases of COVID-19 in the country have “drastically declined” to 6.25 lakh comprising merely 7.88 per cent of the total caseload, with 35 per cent of the total active infections being reported from only 18 districts as on date, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The new coronavirus infections reported in a span of 24 hours have fallen below 36,500 for the first time in three months, the ministry said. The new cases were 34,884 on July 18.

New Delhi

Air pollution may hinder India’s fight against COVID-19, say scientists

The causal link between air pollution and COVID-19 cases is yet to be established conclusively but long-term exposure will certainly make people more vulnerable to lung infections, warn scientists as the skies over large parts of north India, including Delhi, turn smoky and the air quality deteriorates rapidly.

Their concerns come amid several global studies pointing to the possible connection between higher air pollution levels and increased COVID-19 cases and deaths.

A study by researchers at Harvard University in the US in September showed that an increase of only one microgram per cubic metre in PM 2.5 is associated with an 8 per cent increase in the COVID-19 death rate.

“Given the current limited literature, the surge of PM2.5 level in Delhi may be associated with increased COVID-19 cases... Although the literature is relatively sparse at this stage,” Xiao Wu, corresponding author of the Harvard study, told PTI.

- PTI

West Bengal

Post-COVID, loss of income acute among trafficking survivors: study

In an attempt to understand the distress among survivors of trafficking and other vulnerable women, several non-government organisations associated with Tafteesh and Survivors Leadership Programme conducted a vulnerability analysis of 236 survivors of human trafficking, survivors of commercial sex work and women in sex work from West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

The women were identified by organisations such as Goranbose Gram Bikas Kendra, HELP, Partners for Anti Trafficking and Sanjog. The vulnerability assessment was carried among 120 women from West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas district and 116 women from Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.

“Out of the 236 survivors assessed, 79 [or 33%] had no income of themselves before the lockdown, the number increased to 183 [or 77.5%] after the lockdown. Similarly, the number of no income for their family heads before lockdown was 65 [27.5%], which got increased to 206 [87%] following the lockdown,” the study revealed.

Read more
 

Rajasthan

Rajasthan to make wearing face masks mandatory

In a bid to check coronavirus, the Rajasthan government will bring a bill in the upcoming assembly session to make wearing face masks mandatory, a release said.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the State government is considering making wearing face masks mandatory and a bill will be brought in this regard in the assembly session. Interacting with district collectors, college principals and other officials through a video conference held to review the outcome of a movement against coronavirus, Mr. Gehlot said every section of society should join the government to make this campaign successful.

He said the campaign will not be completely successful until people realise the need of wearing face masks.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra cuts COVID-19 test charges

The Maharashtra government on Monday slashed the rate charged for the clinical testing for COVID-19 by ₹200, to bring it down to ₹980. This is the fourth cut announced by the State as the original cost of the test was ₹4,500.

“While ₹980 will be levied by pathological laboratories, for tests conducted through laboratories at COVID-19 centres, hospitals, and quarantine centres, where a large number of samples are collected daily, ₹1,400 would be charged. Similarly, for testing samples collected from residences of suspected patients, ₹1,800 has been fixed,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

The minister said that the repeated cost rationalisations were a direct consequence of keeping with the State government’s focus to ease the burden of the COVID-19 exposure upon the common man.

Karnataka

Jamboo Savari confined to palace for third time in 25 years

Elephant Abhimanyu flanked by Kaveri and Vijaya carrying the golden howdah during the Jamboo Savari on Monday.

Elephant Abhimanyu flanked by Kaveri and Vijaya carrying the golden howdah during the Jamboo Savari on Monday.  

 

This year, the challenge faced by all those associated with the Dasara festivities was keeping the key staff at the venue COVID-19 free as the pandemic was posing a serious health risk even as Mysuru was reporting second highest cases in the State after Bengaluru and was also a COVID-19 hotspot. Keeping the elephants, mahouts and the staff safe from COVID-19 was a test which the forest officials successfully handled, taking all precautions like not allowing the key staff venture out of the palace fort, providing them with all essentials, and screening them periodically along with COVID-19 tests so that they remained fit and healthy for the occasion.

This is not the first time Jamboo Savari in Mysuru has been limited to the Mysuru palace premises.

The pneumonic plague had struck parts of Surat in Gujarat in 1994 and the Government of Karnataka led by then Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily decided to scale down the procession, confining the grand spectacle to the palace premises. In 2002, eight years later, the Jamboo Savari was again restricted to the palace in the wake of severe drought besides former Minister H. Nagappa’s kidnap by forest brigand Veerappan.

New Delhi

Polio networks to play crucial role in COVID-19 vaccine rollout: WHO

Uttar Pradesh, the most populous State in the country, used polio micro-plans twice in the last three months to help identify over two lakh people with COVID-19 symptoms. These persons were then followed-up and tested for COVID-19, said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director WHO South-East Asia, while citing U.P. as an example of applying strategies from polio eradication programmes, to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release issued by the WHO, South East Asia Region, Dr. Singh also indicated that in the coming months “polio networks, with their vast knowledge on vaccination and tools and strategies tailored to reach the unreached and the most vulnerable, could play a critical role for COVID-19 vaccination roll out.”

She added that in U.P., the surveillance medical officers’ team coordinated with the State government and a massive initiative of house-to-house surveillance to identify people with symptoms of influenza-like illness and co-morbidities was conducted. This covered 208 million people across all 75 districts.

 

AI to operate 260 Vande Bharat flights to 12 countries

Air India has announced its flight schedule for the seventh round of Vande Bharat Mission, which will provide connectivity to nearly 12 countries. It will be in effect from October 28 to December 31.

The seventh round will include more than 260 flights. Air India will provide services to China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Adelaide and Sydney in Australia, Kuwait, Oman, Kenya, Ethopia, Myanmar, Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia. The Air India Group (Air India and Air India Express) has so far operated 7,600 Vande Bharat flights and ferried 9,80,000 passengers to and from India.

These flights exclude those that Air India will operate under the “air bubble” agreement or a special bilateral tie-up, India has entered into with nearly 18 countries. 

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 11:01:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-lockdown-october-27-2020-live-updates/article32949932.ece

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