Coronavirus India lockdown day 218 updates | October 30, 2020

A vendor selling gloves and face masks in Vijayawada on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: KVS Giri

Global daily COVID-19 cases have risen by nearly 25% in less than two weeks as the world witnessed 400,000 daily reported cases for the first time last Friday.

Most western countries and parts of Latin America have reported their highest single-day surges in the past few weeks. Many governments, with the notable exception of the United States, have started taking stronger measures to bring the spread of the virus under control.

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:

New Delhi

Centre asks states to form committees for smooth COVID-19 vaccination drive

The Centre has asked states to constitute committees for coordination and overseeing COVID-19 vaccination drive while ensuring minimal disruptions in other routine healthcare services, and stressed early tracking of social media to dispel rumours which could impact the community acceptance of coronavirus inoculation.

Stating that COVID-19 vaccine introduction will span over a year with multiple groups being included “sequentially starting from health care workers”, the Health Ministry has sought constitution of committees at state and district levels which will review preparatory activities in terms of cold chain preparedness, operational planning, strategies for state-specific challenges in terms of geographical terrain and hard-to-reach areas, etc.


23 cops test COVID-19 positive at Kevadiya ahead of PM visit

During coronavirus tests of security personnel a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Kevadiya, as many as 23 policemen were found infected with the disease.

Over 5,000 police and State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel from different districts have been deployed in areas surrounding the Statue of Unity in the wake of Modis visit to the monument near Kevadiya village in Narmada district on Friday and Saturday.

Modi, who is on a two-day Gujarat visit from Friday, has arrived at Kevadiya and will stay here till Saturday afternoon. - PTI


Sabarimala pilgrims allowed with riders

COVID-19 negative certificate, Health Insurance card, and registering on the virtual queue portal have been made mandatory for undertaking the pilgrimage during the two-month Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season of the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala from November 16.

The test should be taken by pilgrims 24 hours before reaching the base camp at Nilackal and arrangements will be made at Nilackal, Pampa, and en-route places for the devotees to undergo the test. The COVID-19 negative certificate will be mandatory for those coming for duties from various departments at Pampa and the temple.

A maximum of 1,000 devotees will be allowed to have darshan during the first five days of the week, 2,000 on Saturdays and Sundays, and 5,000 on the days of Mandala puja and Makaravilakku, Travancore Devaswom Board president N. Vasu told a press conference here on Thursday.

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Maharashtra still has highest death toll

There had been 517 COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, and of these, nearly 81% was concentrated in 10 States/UTs. Maharashtra reported 91 deaths, followed by West Bengal (60), Karnataka (55), Chhattisgarh (55) and Delhi (40), data released by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday said.

Coronavirus India lockdown day 218 updates | October 30, 2020

Maharashtra also contributed the maximum in recoveries. It had more than 8,000 single day recoveries, followed by Kerala with over 7,000 recoveries.

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Tamil Nadu

Plasma therapy effective, Tamil Nadu tells Centre

With the use of plasma therapy and remdesivir on COVID-19 patients raising a lot of questions recently, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said the State’s Health Department had asked the Union Health Minister to consider the views of the treating team of doctors in Tamil Nadu that found plasma therapy and the antiviral drug effective in the management of the disease before coming up with any guideline.

“We clearly explained this to the Union Health Minister at the review meeting on Wednesday. Our treating team of doctors — experts, senior doctors and doctors on the field — have put forward their view that plasma therapy was beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19. Similarly, drugs like remdesivir, tocilizumab and enoxaparin were found to be effective. Doctors have said that remdesivir was found to be very beneficial when administered in the early stages when lung involvement was less,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark World Stroke Day at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital on Thursday.

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Mask rule for solo motorists may be put on hold for a week

The rule of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) making a mask mandatory for solo motorists – in four-wheelers and two-wheelers – is likely to be put on hold for a week. Following a public outcry, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad on Thursday wrote to the Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), seeking a clarification.

The Health Department has, in turn, referred the matter to the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which will again discuss the issue in detail. Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said the issue has been referred to the TAC.

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BTC to resume races on Sunday, but without spectators

The races at the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC), which had been suspended because of the lockdown, will resume this Sunday. With this, the BTC will kickstart the 2020-21 winter season and hold five races in November, during the weekends.

However, there will be no spectators, and bets will also not be taken for the first few races, a senior steward at the BTC said. “We cannot allow crowds at the BTC to place bets. So, we are developing a mobile application for punters to place bets. It’s in the last stages of development and will hopefully be available for commercial deployment by November 14, after which we will take bets,” the steward said.

For races with no bets, BTC will pay the winner stake money.

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West Bengal

Bengal docs call for increased testing, caution

Doctors in West Bengal have called for increased COVID-19 testing and caution during this crucial period between the just-concluded Durga Puja and festivals that are round the corner.

“In West Bengal, the number of cases vis-a-vis the number of tests has remained almost static since the last few days. But the number of cases in five worst-affected districts [Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly] remains to be a matter of concern. We need to really increase tests all over the State. It is a pity that till now we could test about 44,000/day, and even less in the last couple of days,” Dr. Koushik Chaki of the West Bengal Doctors’ Forum told The Hindu.

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has cancelled next week’s Parliament sessions following a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in capital Colombo and increased risk of community-level transmission, officials said on October 29.

Assistant Secretary General, Parliament, Neil Iddawela said next week’s sessions would be limited to just four hours on November 3.

As per the original schedule, Parliament was to be convened on four days next week. Parliament offices were closed for two days this week as sanitisation works were taken up.


Andhra Pradesh

Educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh to reopen on November 2

From November 2, students of classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 (Intermediate first and second year) will attend half-day classes on alternate days in Andhra Pradesh.

From November 2, students of classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 (Intermediate first and second year) will attend half-day classes on alternate days in Andhra Pradesh.  


All educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh will reopen on November 2 in the fresh academic year amidst strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.

Chief Secretary to the government Nilam Sawhney has announced the new schedule for conduct of staggered classes and the Department of School Education is making arrangements accordingly.

In schools, classes will be conducted on alternate days in three phases. From November 2, students of classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 (Intermediate first and second year) will attend half-day classes on alternate days. Students of classes 6, 7 and 8 will attend half-day schools on alternate days from November 23, while classes for primary students (classes 1 to 5) will commence on December 14. Students will attend half-day school on alternate days.

Andhra Pradesh

Flattening of curve okay, but virus threat still persists in A.P., say experts

The decline in COVID-19 positive cases, drop in death rate, and impressive recovery figures give people of Andra Pradesh enough reasons to cheer.

But, does the flattening curve mean that the threat of the dreaded virus is subsided? Well, doctors say no.

The COVID-19 threat is very much there and lowering of guard or flouting the measures such as wearing mask, frequent washing of hands and maintaining social distance may lead to the second wave like the one was witnessed in Kerala and elsewhere in the world, say doctors.

Many people are now seen visiting public places, jostling through crowd and taking part in social gatherings without wearing mask and not maintaining social distance. “Even as the positive cases are on the decline, negligence of a few persons is enough to spurt in the number of infections. It was thought that the pandemic was under control in Kerala, but the second wave has proved it wrong. Kerala is once again registering thousands of new cases on a daily basis. Similar situations are also witnessed in the U.S.A. and the U.K.,” says B. Ramachandra Rao, an associate professor at the Government ENT Hospital.


Tests cover 20% of Puducherry’s population

Puducherry on Thursday crossed an important COVID-19 milestone — 20% of its approximately 15 lakh population has been tested.

The health department has done 3,01,167 tests, of which 2,62,971 returned negative results as on October 29.

On October 1, Puducherry had led the country clocking 3,705 tests per day per million of population, according to data provided by the health department as against 2,996 tests by Delhi and 1,685 tests by Kerala. Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao told a press meet that this was the highest testing rate in the country as yet.


Minister Dilip Walse-Patil tests positive

Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minister for Excise and Labour Department, Dilip Walse-Patil, on Thursday tested positive for COVID-19.

A legislator from Ambegaon in Pune district, Mr. Walse-Patil tweeted about his health condition, while stressing that he was perfectly fine and was undergoing treatment as a precautionary measure.

“Recently, I had undergone a COVID-19 test whose results have returned positive. However, my health is fine and I am not experiencing any trouble. I urge others who have come in contact with me to get themselves tested as well,” the six-time MLA tweeted.

A few days earlier, Mr. Walse-Patil’s fellow partymen — Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and former minister Sunil Tatkare — tested positive.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu’s case doubling time better than the national average: Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said Tamil Nadu’s COVID-19 case doubling time was 217 days, while that of India was about 131 days for the last three days.

After a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation with Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar through video conference on Wednesday, the Union Minister tweeted that he complimented the State on robust surveillance, scale-up of diagnostic capacity and low case fatality rate. “It was heartening to make note of their at par or better performance than the national average on various indicators,” he said.

“While the growth rate is 0.5% at the national level, the growth rate in Tamil Nadu is 0.4%. At the country level, we have the highest recovery rate in the world at 90.85%,” he said. The recovery rate in Tamil Nadu is even higher than the national average, and is about 94.5%,” he said at the review meeting.

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