Coronavirus India lockdown Day 194 live updates | Vaccine likely to arrive by first quarter of 2021: Health Secretary

Readying to serve: With the Maharashtra government issuing guidelines to reopen bars and restaurants in the State, workers sanitise a restaurant in Thane.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

The Translational Health Science And Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has been chosen by the international non-profit, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), as one of the ‘Global network of Laboratories for centralized assessment of COVID-19 Vaccines’.

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had earlier said that according to current projections, about 25 crore Indians are likely to be vaccinated by July next.

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

10 firms being supported for manufacturing, large-scale deployment of COVID-19 solutions: DST

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has shortlisted 51 companies for developing various COVID-19 solutions and 10 of them have been supported for manufacturing and large-scale deployment of diagnostic kits and therapy solutions, a statement said on Tuesday.

Most of the technologies are under validation from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and can be made functional once the validation and approval processes are completed, it said.

Among the start-ups is OmiX Research and Diagnostics Laboratories. It has extended its OmiX-AMP platform, making it suitable for carrying out low-cost molecular COVID-19 tests rapidly with the help of a technology called Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), with support from the DST. — PTI

New Delhi

Govt to start new campaign on ‘appropriate COVID-19 behaviour’ in view of festive season

The Centre will soon launch a renewed campaign that will aim at spreading awareness about “appropriate COVID-19 behaviour” in view of forthcoming festivals like Navratra, Durga Puja and Diwali, and on further ‘unlocking’ of public activities, officials said on October 6.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla chaired a meeting here to chalk out plans and representatives of different central ministries and the Central Armed Police Forces participated through video conference.

The meeting discussed how to carry forward the campaign focusing on three key elements of human behaviour in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, a government official aware of the meeting said. The three elements are: mandatory wearing of mask, social distancing and hand hygiene. — PTI

Jammu and Kashmir

L-G Manoj Sinha pays surprise visit to GMC hospital in Jammu

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha paid a surprise visit to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu and took stock of facilities being provided to COVID-19 patients and others.

During his visit, Mr. Sinha took rounds of different medical units and enquired about the availability of necessary equipment and other facilities for patient care, an official spokesperson said.

Taking cognisance of the complaints being received from the general public regarding the shortage of oxygen, the L-G directed the concerned officers to rationalise the resources and resolve the prevalent issues. — PTI

New Delhi

Goa government announces safe patient handling service

The Goa government on Tuesday announced that it would be providing helpers to cater to the needs of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at State-run ESI Hospital in Margao. This would be the country’s first-ever service for safe patient handling, State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane claimed.

Taking to Twitter, the Minister said, “In addition to the treatment of patients, providing drug therapy, nutrition, etc, patients also require assistance in the ward with numerous things, to cater to the same, we have started Patient Handling Services at ESI Hospital for COVID-19 patients.”

Goa is the first State in the country to start such a service for safe patient handling, Mr. Rane stated. As on Monday, the coastal has reported 35,719 COVID-19 cases. - PTI

West Bengal

Uber, Bidhannagar police enter pact for safer mobility amid COVID-19

Ride-hailing major Uber and Bidhannagar police have entered into an agreement to make urban mobility safer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with steps that include certification for drivers on health protocols and boosting public awareness about the virus, officials said.

As part of the partnership, Uber will conduct educational sessions on COVID-19 safety protocols based on WHO guidelines, for its drivers as well as local taxi drivers, the company said in a release.

These trained drivers will get certificates from Bidhannagar police, which will be displayed inside the cars. The first batch of around 100 drivers received their certificates on Tuesday, it said. Uber and Bidhannagar police will also distribute pamphlets among drivers and riders on COVID-19 do’s and don’ts. - PTI


Vaccine likely to arrive by first quarter of 2021: Health Secretary

The Health Secretary said: "In the first quarter of next year, we are looking at vaccine supplies coming in if everything goes according to the plan. There is a digital platform that is being enhanced to track on real-time basis the vaccine movement, from procurement, storage to distribution and administration. Online training modules being developed for vaccinators."

"The Russian vaccine manufacturer has an agreement with an Indian commercial entity, which has approached the Indian regulator for clinical trials. The regulator has provided certain specific suggestions to be incorporated into its clinical trial protocol. Once the existing documents are refined and submitted, a decision will be taken," he said.

- Delhi Bureau


Plasma therapy fails to arrest progression of moderate to severe cases: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava

ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said: "The ICMR study of plasma therapy conducted on 464 patients in 39 hospitals, involving 350 doctors, clearly demonstrated no benefit in mortality in moderate to severe cases of Covid-19. It did not arrest the progression of moderate to severe cases. This publication has been reviewed and accepted for publication in British Medical Journal, actual article will be published very soon."

"There is no direct relationship between having a better health infrastructure and deaths due to Covid-19, said the Health Secretary, citing the European countries which have much better health care infrastructure compared to India but have faced severe health woes owing to the virus.

"Key is timely intervention in order to save the infected.The patients were reaching late to hospitals. This is why we need early identification through more tests, which will lead to early isolation and intervention, which will increase the possibility of recovery," he added.

- Delhi Bureau


Politicians have greater onus to follow COVID-19 norms: Gujarat CM

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said political leaders have a “greater responsibility” to follow COVID-19 guidelines of social-distancing and wearing masks, so that they don’t send a wrong message to the public.

Mr. Rupani’s statement came even as several instances have emerged of senior leaders from the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress participating in functions, rallies and addressing large gatherings without following safety norms.

“Everybody should follow rules related to social-distancing and wearing masks and they should do so of their own accord in their fight against coronavirus. It is not that we are arresting common man and not politicians (for flouting these rules),” the Chief Minister said.

“Political leaders have a bigger responsibility. They should follow the rules properly so that no wrong message is conveyed to the public,” Mr. Rupani said, and urged the public to support the administration’s efforts to contain the viral spread. Several videos of political leaders flouting COVID-19 safety measures are being circulated on social media. - PTI

New Delhi

Delhi past peak of 2nd COVID-19 wave; situation controlled to ‘large extent’, says Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the national capital is past the peak of the second wave of coronavirus and the situation has been controlled to a large extent. He said the city government increased the testing exponentially to detect the infection.

“I hope the second wave will slowly pass,” Mr. Kejriwal told reporters. Testing in Delhi hit the 60,000 a day-mark in September compared to around 20,000 tests per day in August. Health authorities had reported 4,432 fresh COVID-19 cases in the city on September 17. A total of 60,014 tests - 9,564 RT-PCR tests and 50,450 rapid-antigen tests - were conducted a day before.

He also said 10,000 beds are now unoccupied in the city’s hospitals. According to official data, 5,802 beds were occupied in hospitals. The number of new coronavirus cases has remained below the 3,500-mark in the last 10 days. The average death rate for the last 10 days stands at 1.41%. - PTI

New Delhi

Congress veteran Motilal Vora tests positive for COVID-19, admitted to AIIMS

Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital, sources close to him said. Mr. Vora (91) is recovering well and his condition is stated to be stable, they said.

The Congress leader was a Rajya Sabha member from Chhattisgarh till April this year. He was also the AICC general secretary (administration) before the recent party reshuffle by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

A number of Congress leaders have tested positive for COVID-19 in the recent past including Ahmed Patel, Abhishek Singhvi and Tarun Gogoi. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Union Ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel were also infected with the coronavirus. - PTI


Attending physicans need to use their discretion to select the drugs based on the stage of disease: Ayush Secretary

"This is a general advisory, attending physicans need to use their discretion to select the drugs based on the stage of disease, symptom complex and availability of the medicines. The recommended formulations in this attempt are in addition to standard approaches of care and prevention as well as other Ayurvedic approaches recommended for prevetion earlier. Moderate to Severe Covid-19 individuals may have informed choice of treatment options," the Ayush Secretary said.

"There is no evidence to suggest that excessive consumption of Kadha will impact liver," he added

- Delhi Bureau


Yoga Protocol for primary prevention and post-Covid needs have been specified: Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush

Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha stipulated the Yoga Protocol for primary prevention and post-Covid needs.

"As part of dietary measures, protocol recommends use of warm water or boiled with herbs like ginger, coriander, basil, cumin seeds, for drinking purpose; fresh warm and balanced diet, drinking milk with turmeric powder once at night, avoid in case of indigestion, drink Ayush Kadha or Hwath (hot infusion or decoction) once a day," he said.

"For prophylactic care (high risk population, primary contacts), it suggests medicines like Ashwagandha (500 mg extract or 1-3 gm powder twice daily with warm water for 15 days or one month or as directed by physician), Guduchi Ghana Vati (500 gm extract or 1-3 gm powder twice daily with warm water...., Chyawanaprash (10 gm with warm water or milk once a day)," he added.

He said: "For Asymptomatic positive cases, the protocol recommends Guduchi Ghana Vati (or powder of Tinospora cordifolia (500 gm extract/1-3 gm powder twice daily with warm water for 15 days, or one month... Guduchi plus Pippali or Ayush 64 (500 gm twice daily with warm water for 15 days... the Ministry is conducting four studies with CSIR on Ashwagandha trends are positive. It has also undertaken seven studies on it as prophylactic care on about 1.33 lakh population, trends are encouraging without any side effect."

"Six clinical studies across India on Ayush 64, which have given positive results. For mild Covid-19 cases, various formulations have been recommended for specific symptoms," Mr. Kotecha assured.

- Delhi Bureau


Evidence-based protocol has been launched by AYUSH as requested by Narendra Modi: Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha

Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said: "An evidence-based protocol has been launched by Ayush Ministry.In April, the Prime Minister had held a VC meeting with Ayush experts, in which he had appealed to them to come up with evidence based protocol developed by expert committee from AIIA (Delhi), IPGT&RA, Jamnagar, NIA, Jaipur, CCRAS, CCRYN and other national research organisations."

"The 29th meeting of National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group on Covid-19 was held on September 1, which recommended Yoga interventions as a supportive modality of care for Covid-19 patients, includijng the post-illness phase; establishment of separate National Task Force for recommending a comprehensive National Clinical Management protocol based on Ayurveda system of medicine," he added.

"Accordingly Inter-disciplinary Committee Chairman, for including of Ayurveda and Yoga in the management of mild cases, and the empowered committee of the Inter-disciplinary Ayush Research and Development Taskforce on Covid-19, approved the protocol," he said.

He state that the he protocol recommends adhering to strict physical distancing, maintainence of respiratory and hand hygiene, wearing of  masks, gargling with warm water added with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Water boiled with Triphala or Yashtimadhu can also be used for gargling. "Nasal installation/application of medicated oil (Anu taila or Shadbindu Taila) or plain oil (Sesame or Coconut) or nasal application of cow's ghee (Godhrita) once or twice a day, especially b"efore going out and after coming back home. Steam inhalation with Ajwain or Pudina or Eucalyptus oil once a day, adequate sleep of six to eigt hours, moderate physical exercises,: he added.


25 districts in eight states contributing to 45% of total  COVID-19 deaths: Health Secretary

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said stated that in Maharashtra, the decline in active cases has been consistent on a weekly basis with over 2.52 lakh active cases on October 6. In Karnataka it has recorded a slight increase, from 97,000 on September 8 to over 1.15 lakh on Oct 6, in Andhra Pradesh there is a decline from about 98,000 to 51,060 as on Oct 6.

In Kerala, there is a maximum increase in the cases, from 22,133 to 84,958 on October 6  (may be linked to the rise in cases during Onam)

In Uttar Pradesh, cases have declined from 62,144 in the first week of September to 45,024 as on Oct 6 (week on week basis analysis); In Tamil Nadu, it has declined from over 51,000 to about 45,000

48% of total deaths in 25 districts in eight States: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh.

15 of the districts are in Maharashtra, two in Karnataka, one in Tamil Nadu, two in West Bengal, two in Gujarat, one in Punjab, one in UP and one in Andhra Pradesh. Maximum deaths (7.52%) reported from Mumbai, followed by Pune (6.9%)

Mumbai has reported 7,694 deaths so far.

- Delhi Bureau


More than 56 lakh patients have recovered in India, highest in the world: Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference said the number of recovered  COVID-19 cases has crossed the 56 lakh mark — the highest in the world. "More than 8 crore tests conducted so far, about 80 lakh tests done in last week, active cases have fallen below the 10 lakh mark for the past two weeks, recovery rate is now more than 84%," he added.

He said: "Average daily new cases (week on week basis) is now 77,113 (Sept 30-Oct 6). It has peaked to 92,830 from Sept 9 to Sept 15. Average daily positivity rate (week on week basis) is now 6.82%, compared to the peak of 9.21% in Sept 16-22. Since Sept 23, the number of recoveries is more than the number of new cases reported every day."

"On October 6 (today), the recoveries are 75,787 compared to 61,267 new cases. The number of active cases is below 10 lakh continuously for the last two weeks, it is 9,19,023 on October 6," he stated.

According to him, only 10 States account for 77% of total active cases in the country. They are: Maharashtra (27.50%), Karnataka (12.57%), Kerala (9.24%), Andhra Pradesh (5.56%), Tamil Nadu (4.99%), UP (4.9%), Assam (4.9%), Odisha (3.05%), Chhattisgarh (3.03%), West Bengal (3.02%)

- Delhi Bureau


D.K. Suresh tests positive

A day after the CBI raided his premises along with that of his brother D K Shivakumar, Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh on Tuesday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I would like to let you know that I have tested positive for COVID-19.I am asymptomatic and in isolation. I request friends and family who have been in contact with me to test themselves.I also request the CBI officials and media friends who were with me to do the same," he  tweeted. - Afshan Yasmeen


Dushyant Chautala tests positive

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Tuesday tested positive for Covid-19.

He confirmed about his being tested for COVID-19 on Twitter.

“My test report for Covid-19 has returned positive. I am alright. I appeal to all those who came in my contact over the last few days to take care of themselves, if doctors suggest then get themselves tested,” said Mr. Chautala in his tweet. - Vikas Vasudeva

New Delhi

Festive events only outside containment zones: Health Ministry

No festive events will be allowed in the containment zones and persons above 65 years, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years are advised to stay at home, the Union Health Ministry says in the “Standard operating procedures on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 during festivities” released on Tuesday. The rule applies to event managers and staff as well.

The document notes that October, November and December witness large gatherings in specified locations for religious worships, fairs, rallies, exhibitions, cultural functions, processions etc., which may last a day or a week or more.

Read more

New Delhi

NCLAT suspends court works

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has suspended all its court works, including virtual hearing and filing, after some of its staff tested COVID-19 positive.

Earlier, one staff member posted in its record section had tested positive on September 30, which necessitated the suspension of work on October 1 in order to carry out the sanitisation of the NCLAT premises and required judges and other staff to undergo testing.

After that test, four more staff members, out of which three are from the record section, tested positive for COVID-19 on October 4, 2020.


Delhi past peak of second COVID-19 wave: Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the national capital is past the peak of the second wave of coronavirus and the situation has been controlled to a large extent.

Now beds and ICU occupancy is decreasing. I hope that second wave is also slowly ending, Mr. Kejriwal said. - Nikhil M. Babu

West Bengal

Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee tests positive for COVID-19

Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee has tested positive for COVID-19, his daughter Poulomi Basu said. He has been admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata in the morning.


Active cases only 13.75% of total COVID-19 caseload, says Health Ministry

India’s 9,19,023 active cases of COVID-19 constitute “merely” 13.75 % of the total caseload as on date and the country continues to report a steadily declining trend of percentage of active cases, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

So far 56,62,490 people have recovered from the disease in the country and exceed active cases of coronavirus infection by 47,43,467 as on date, it stated.

“The declining trend of the percentage of active cases is commensurately supported by the rising percentage of recovered cases,” the Ministry underlined.

Higher number of recoveries has aided the national recovery rate to further improve to 84.70 %, the Ministry said.

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Congress MLA from Rajasthan dies after recovery

Rajasthan Congress MLA Kailash Chandra Trivedi, who was suffering from lung fibrosis after recovering from the coronavirus infection, died at a hospital in Gurgaon, family sources said on Tuesday. He was 65.

Trivedi, the legislator from Sahara (Bhilwara) constituency, was airlifted to Medanta hospital in Gurgaon from Jaipur on October 2 after his health deteriorated.

New Delhi

Cinema halls to reopen Oct. 15 onwards with 50% capacity, one-seat distance

After seven months of shut down due to COVID-19, cinema halls will reopen on October 15 with 50% capacity and one-seat distance between the viewers, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

Briefing the press at his residence, the Union Minister also said that online booking of tickets will be encouraged but box office will be open for single-screen theatres. - PTI

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Tamil Nadu

Chennai Corpn. brings back barricades

No compromise: Greater Chennai Corporation health staff collecting samples at the Koyembedu vegetable market on Monday.

No compromise: Greater Chennai Corporation health staff collecting samples at the Koyembedu vegetable market on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani


The Greater Chennai Corporation has re-introduced COVID-19 containment zones in the city. The civic body, which recently discontinued barricading of streets and houses, declared 10 streets on October 3 as containment zones in the southern parts of the city.

The number of containment streets has now risen to 36, mainly because of a spurt in the number of cases in Ambattur zone. Of the 36 streets that had been barricaded, 16 were in Ambattur zone and in areas such as Padi, Korattur, Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar West Extension and Mogappair East.

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Kerala to set up help desks to check pandemic in tribal hamlets

A meeting of senior officials of various departments chaired by Excise Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan directed the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officials to set up special help desks in tribal settlements in Wayanad district to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the tribespeople.

The help desks would take steps to contain the spread of the pandemic, disburse face masks, sanitisers and soaps among tribespeople, Mr. Ramakrishnan said.

They would consist of tribal promoters, animators, and officials of the Tribal Development Department. The desks would also monitor and restrict the entry of outsiders to hamlets as a part of combating the pandemic, Mr. Ramakrishnan said. - E.M. Manoj


Watch out for blurred vision, COVID-19 survivors told

Steroids administered to elderly COVID-19 patients come with the risk of developing certain viral conditions such as herpes zoster ophthalmicus, say eye specialists.

Steroids administered to elderly COVID-19 patients come with the risk of developing certain viral conditions such as herpes zoster ophthalmicus, say eye specialists.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL


Retina and cornea consultants have urged people to watch out for eye-related complications after recovering from COVID-19.

Specialists from L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) said that critically-ill COVID patients who were administered steroids to mitigate complications in lung and other organs can be at risk of developing steroid related ocular complications.

Not all those who have recovered from COVID-19 need a mandatory detailed eye examination. It is suggested for those who experience blurring of eyesight or similar symptoms after recovering from the infectious disease.

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Odisha Minister, BJD MLA accused of attending funeral despite testing positive

A Puri-based outfit on Monday lodged a complaint against Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash and BJD MLA Umakant Samantray for allegedly participating in a funeral procession at Puri despite testing positive for COVID-19.

Mr. Dash and Mr. Samantray were among BJD leaders who attended the last rites of former Minister Pradeep Maharathy who died on Sunday.

“Despite testing positive, both the Minister and the MLA participated in the procession. Their presence could be a source of COVID spread. Action should be taken against the two leaders for violation of COVID protocol,” Priyadarshan Patnaik, Convener of the Jagannath Sena, said after lodging the complaint at the Seabeach police station. - Satyasundar Barik



Results of withheld sero survey expose a ‘lost chance’ in Kerala

Lifelines: Medical oxygen cylinders for COVID patients being unloaded at General Hospital, one of the main COVID hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram, on Monday. S. Mahinsha

Lifelines: Medical oxygen cylinders for COVID patients being unloaded at General Hospital, one of the main COVID hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram, on Monday. S. Mahinsha   | Photo Credit: S MAHINSHA


After a lag of three months, Kerala has released the report of the baseline sero surveillance study it did in June, piggybacking on Indian Council of Medical Research’s report of the second round of sero survey conducted in the State in August as part of a national survey.

Despite the alleged shortcomings in the study, the fact that nothing was done to analyse the data and put it to practical use can be seen as a lost opportunity to check the spread of COVID-19, public health experts say.

Going by the State’s (and ICMR’s) estimate of 0.33% of past infection in May, when extrapolated to the State’s population of 3.34 crore would translate to 1,10,240 infected individuals. The actual cases detected in Kerala then were less than 1,000.

Though a chunk of the individuals would be asymptomatic and would defy detection, they would still transmit the infection. But the narrative at the time was about how the State had COVID-19 under control. - C. Maya

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No visitors, media to Wadiyars’ Dasara fete

The erstwhile Mysuru royal family has decided to celebrate the ensuing Navaratri festivities at the palace without the participation or presence of family members, visitors and the media, in view of rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in Mysuru.

The ‘Khas Durbar’ as part of the private Dasara celebrations of the Wadiyars at the Palace Durbar Hall, one of the main attractions of the festivities, will be out of bounds for the visitors as a safety precaution over the pandemic.

Ms .Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, in a release on Monday, urged the public and the media to extend their cooperation in this connection.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 could spread by airborne transmission: CDC

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an updated guidance on Monday, said COVID-19 can spread through airborne transmission, a month after it took down a similar warning.

It said some people could get infected by exposure to the novel coronavirus in small droplets and particles, or aerosols, that can linger in the air for minutes to hours.

Aerosols lingering in the air could be a major source of COVID-19 transmission, a group of U.S. scientists warned in an unrelated open letter published in medical journal Science on Monday.

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