Coronavirus India lockdown Day 170 updates | September 11, 2020

A woman clad in PPE mourns the death of her husband, a COVID-19 victim, at a cremation ground in Guwahati on September 10, 2020.

A woman clad in PPE mourns the death of her husband, a COVID-19 victim, at a cremation ground in Guwahati on September 10, 2020.

India potentially had 6.4 million infections in May 2020 , according to the first sero-survey conducted by scientists of the Indian Council of Medical Research. For every confirmed case of COVID-19 in May, there were 82-130 infections that went undetected, it says.

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:

10.20 pm | Punjab

Will make oximeters available to people at affordable cost: Punjab CM

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said oximeters will be made available to people at affordable cost through approved vendors in every district of the State.

Each oximeter will cost Rs 514 and the Department of Health will issue detailed guidelines in this regard within a week, he said during his 17th #AskCaptain Live session on Facebook.

The announcement has come in the wake of AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying his party workers will go to Punjab villages to check people’s oxygen levels.


10 pm | New Delhi

NII’s potential COVID-19 vaccine shows encouraging results in immunogenicity study on mice

An immunogenicity study conducted on mice for the coronavirus vaccine candidate being developed by the National Institute of Immunology has shown encouraging results, NII director Amulya Panda said on Friday.

The NII, an institute under the Department of Biotechnology, has started the process of developing protein-based vaccine candidates against the coronavirus.

The NII’s vaccine candidate is one of the many being developed indigenously. The immunogenicity study trial on mice was conducted in July. Mr. Panda said more tests need to be done on mice on a larger scale now and it is expected to start next week.

In the past, the NII had developed a vaccine against leprosy which is already in the market. It is also working on a cancer vaccine which is in phase-3 trial.

Mr. Panda said the aim is to make a cheaper vaccine which can be made available to the masses.

Two other indigenous vaccine candidates - Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech - have finished phase 1 of human trials and have moved to phase 2.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Thursday announced that it has paused clinical trials of AstraZeneca Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the country. - PTI

9.40 pm | New Delhi

COVID-19 tests conducted so far crosses 20 lakh-mark in Delhi

The number of COVID-19 tests conducted so far has crossed the 20 lakh-mark in the national capital which has witnessed a surge in coronavirus cases, according to Delhi government’s health bulletin.

According to the latest bulletin released on Friday, 20,22,700 tests have been conducted from March till date.

The number of tests per million stands at 1,06,457, it said.

On July 30, the number of tests conducted for the infection had crossed the 10 lakh-mark while on Friday the figure crossed the 20 lakh-mark.

Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the last few days.

Barring August 31 when over 14,000 tests were conducted and 1,358 fresh cases reported, since Sunday, daily cases count has been recorded in excess of 2,000.

The number of tests conducted and corresponding fresh cases reported from August 30-September 11 in that order are: 14,389 (1,358); 20,437 (2,024); 24,198 (2,312); 28,835 (2,509); 32,834 (2,737); 36,219 (2,914) 38,895 (2,973), 36,046 (3,256); 22,954 (2,077); 45,797 (3,609); 54,517 (4,039); 58,340 (4,308); 60,580 (4,266).

9.20 pm | Rajasthan

Rajasthan to give second chance to university students unable to appear for final year exams

University students in Rajasthan who are unable to take final year exams during the coronavirus crisis will be given another opportunity to appear for them, the state government said on Friday.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting held at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence.

Higher Education Minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati and Technical Education Minister Subhash Garg were also present at the meeting.

It was decided that under the specific circumstances of the coronavirus crisis, if a student is unable to appear for an exam for any reason, a special exam will be conducted by the university for them, Mr. Gehlot said in a statement.

This will ensure that no student is deprived of the chance to appear for exams, he said.


9 pm | Gujarat

Gujarat sees highest one-day spike of 1,344 coronavirus cases

Gujarat registered its highest single-day spike of 1,344 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, said a release by the State Health Department on Friday evening. It took the case tally in the State to 1,10,971, the release said.

Sixteen COVID-19 patients died in the State during this period, taking the death toll to 3,183, it added, and 1,240 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the total recoveries to 91,470.

Surat district registered 275 new coronavirus cases while Ahmedabad was in the second spot with 174 new cases.

Other districts where significant number of new cases emerged included Rajkot (150), Vadodara (132), Jamnagar (116) and Bhavnagar (45).

Of the 16 persons who succumbed to the infection during the last 24 hours, five died in Surat, three in Ahmedabad, two each in Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Vadodara, and one each in Gandhinagar and Banaskantha.

With over 71,600 tests conducted in 24 hours, the daily per million test average has gone up to 1,102.58. Gujarat has conducted over 31.45 lakh tests so far. Of 16,318 active cases, 94 patients are on ventilator.

With 91,470 patients discharged so far, the recovery rate now stands at 82.43%, the release said.

Gujarat COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 1,10,971; new cases 1,344; death toll 3,183; discharged 91,470; active cases 16,318; and people tested so far 31,45,202. - PTI

8.40 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally crosses 10 lakh mark with record spike

Maharashtra peaked yet again in its case surge, reporting its highest single-day jump with 24,886 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday to breach the 10 lakh mark and take the total case tally to 10,15,681. 2,71,566 of these cases are active. 393 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 28,724.

As many as 14,308 patients were discharged today to take the total recoveries till date to 7,15,023.

Pune reported another massive surge of more than 5,000 cases to take its total case tally to 2,23,710. The district reported 59 deaths to take its total death toll to 4,693.

Mumbai reported 2,191 cases to take its total case tally to 1,65,306 of whom 27,642 are active. 44 fatalities saw the city's death toll rise to 8,067.


8.20 pm | Rajasthan

Three more MLAs, 20 policemen test positive for COVID-19 in Rajasthan

Three more MLAs and 20 police personnel in Rajasthan have been found infected with coronavirus following which the state police headquarters has been closed for three days, officials said on Friday.

Samples of 150 employees and officers working in the state police headquarters were taken for COVID-19 testing on Wednesday. Out of these, 20 people have been found infected as their reports arrived on Friday, Additional Director General of Police (Administration) Saurabh Srivastava told PTI .

He said 150 samples are being taken daily at the police headquarters, adding that 300 people have been screened in the last two days.

Mr. Srivastava said the state police headquarters will remain closed for three days for sanitisation.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA from Swai Madhopur, Danish Abrar; BJP MLA from Ratangarh Abhinesh Maharshi; and Congress MLA from Sahada Raipur Kailash Trivedi have tested positive for the disease.


8 pm | Maharashtra

Government releases guidelines for hotels to resume operations

The Maharashtra government on Friday released a Standard Operating Procedure and guidelines for hotels, lodges and resorts, which have been permitted to resume operations at 100% capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barring containment zones, hotels, resorts, homestays, farm stays etc in rest of the State will be allowed to operate.

As per the guidelines, which have been circulated to all stakeholders, all travellers will be screened at the entry point using thermal guns to record their body temperature and check for symptoms of cough and cold. Only asymptomatic tourists will be permitted to stay, it was stated.

People who don’t have prior bookings or reservation and have flu-like symptoms will not be permitted, the rules stated.

Service providers should record contact details and advise such people to return. Mandatory practises such as wearing masks, social-distancing and use of hand sanitisers must be followed at all times.

Apart from this, consent should be taken from guests for sharing their details with local administration and health authorities, as it is necessary for contact-tracing. Payment through digital mode should be encouraged as much as possible and precautions should be taken while handling cash, it was stated.

According to the guidelines, a form should be shared with guests prior to check in, preferably via email or WhatsApp, to get information about their travel, health history and current status.

The State government has also directed establishments to initiate process of self check-in through a QR code or verify documents online. Apart from this, hotels and resorts have been asked to prepare a list of Dos and Don’ts for guests and room service should be contactless, the guidelines stated.

Principal secretary of Tourism Valsa Nair Singh has circulated these guidelines to prominent hotel associations and a webinar was also conducted to brief them about the same. - PTI

7.40 pm | New Delhi

Delhi records over 4,000 new COVID-19 cases for third successive day

4,266 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours taking the total number of cases to 2,09,748, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Friday.

Also, 21 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 4,687.

Of the total cases, 1,78,154  people have recovered and there are 26,907 active cases. 

- Nikhil M. Babu

7 pm | Uttar Pradesh

76 deaths, 7,103 fresh virus cases in Uttar Pradesh

Seventy-six more people died from coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Friday as the State reported its highest single-day spike of 7,103 cases, pushing the infection numbers to over 2.99 lakh, a health bulletin said.

So far, the State has reported 4,282 fatalities. The Friday figures surpassed the Thursday tally of 7,042, another record spike since the pandemic broke in the State.

The total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 2,99,045 while 7,103 fresh cases were reported in the past 24 hours, the health bulletin issued in Lucknow said. Among the 76 fresh deaths, maximum 16 took place in Lucknow; seven each in Kanpur and Allahabad; and four from Gorakhpur, the bulletin said.

As far as fresh cases are concerned, State capital Lucknow recorded the maximum 1,181 infections; Kanpur 413; Allahabad 341; Gorakhpur 246; Varanasi 237; Ghaziabad 222; Gautam Buddh Nagar 204 and Meerut 259 besides others, it said.

So far, maximum 511 people have died in Kanpur; followed by 496 in Lucknow; 204 in Allahabad; 200 in Varanasi; 174 in Gorakhpur; and 161 in Meerut, it added

Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said, “The total number of active cases in the State now stands at 67,321 while 2,27,442 patients have been treated and discharged after recovery. In past 24 hours, 76 persons have died due to the disease," he said.

The officer said the positivity rate stands at 4.14% which is half of the national average of 8.44%. Earlier, Mr. Prasad said among the 67,321 active cases, 34,920 are in home isolation.

Mr. Prasad said over 72 lakh COVID tests have been performed in Uttar Pradesh, which has become the first State to conduct that many tests.

"On Thursday, over 1.50 lakh tests were conducted, including over 50,000 RT-PCR ones in government labs," he added. Minister of State for Jails, Jai Kumar Singh Jaiki, on Friday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in home isolation.

Two ministers - Chetan Chauhan and Kamal Rani Varun - have succumbed to the virus in the State. - PTI

6.50 pm | Thailand

Thailand soccer team member tests positive for virus

Health officials in Thailand say a 29-year-old player from Uzbekistan who is a member of the Buriram United Football Club has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dr. Yong Poosvorawan, an expert from Chalulongkorn University, said on Friday that there is a high chance that the player, whose name was not released, contracted it outside of Thailand. The incubation period for the disease can sometimes be longer than 14 days.

Dr. Sophon Iamsirithaworn, director of the Communicable Disease Control Department, said the team’s 44 players and staff have been put under a 14-day quarantine. The player, who has shown no symptoms, was admitted to a Bangkok hospital.

The player arrived in Thailand a month ago and tested negative three times during his initial 14-day quarantine period in Bangkok ending August 27. He travelled to the northeastern province of Buriram, and then tested positive on September 8 ahead of the planned season opener.

The other Buriram personnel tested negative, but the team’s match for this Sunday was postponed, as were matches of two teams with which they warmed up. A prison inmate earlier this month became Thailand’s first locally transmitted coronavirus case shortly after the country marked 100 days without one. - PTI

6.40 pm | Bengaluru

MoS Railways Suresh Angadi tests positive for COVID-19

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday but was asymptomatic and “doing fine“.

“I have tested #Covid19 positive today. I am doing fine.

Taking the advice of doctors. Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms,” he tweeted.

The 65-year old Member of Lok Sabha from Belagavi constituency in Karnataka said he was asymptomatic.

6.20 pm | Punjab

No shortage of medical oxygen for hospitals in Punjab: Health Minister

The Punjab government has made elaborate arrangements for manufacturing and refilling of oxygen cylinders to ensure uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen in government and private hospitals across the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said on Friday.

“There is no shortage of medical oxygen in Punjab. Elaborate arrangements for manufacturing and refilling oxygen cylinders have been made to ensure uninterrupted supply,” he said in a statement.

Besides ensuring the supply of medical oxygen to hospitals in Ludhiana, the district administration has made adequate arrangements for ensuring oxygen supply to other districts as per requirement, the Minister said.


6.05 pm | Maharashtra

Aftab Shivdasani tests positive for COVID-19, under home quarantine

Aftab Shivdasani on Friday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been advised to quarantine at home. Shivdasani shared the news in statement posted on Twitter, saying that he “showed minor symptoms” of the novel disease, following which he got himself tested.

Shivdasani urged all those people who may have come in contact with him recently to get themselves tested and take precautions to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Bollywood personalities Arjun Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Raaj Shaandilyaa, rapper Raftaar were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, while those who have recovered from the disease are Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Zoa Morani and Kanika Kapoor.

On Thursday, Mumbai’s COVID-19 tally rose to 1,63,115, with death toll reaching 8,023. - PTI

6 pm | Nepal

Nepal records highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases with 1,454 new infections

Nepal on Friday reported the highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases with 1,454 new infections, taking the country’s total count to 51,919.

The country also recorded five more deaths due to the infection, taking the country’s toll to 322. The Ministry of Health and Population said that 1,454 persons were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus across the country in the past 24 hours.

According to the Ministry of Health and Population, the active case count stands at 14,925. So far, 36,672 individuals have made successful recovery — 972 of them in the past 24 hours. The Kathmandu Valley alone witnessed 696 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the coronavirus tally in the Valley to 10,708. - PTI

5.40 pm | Mumbai

After nearly two months, over 30 new COVID-19 cases in Dharavi

After a gap of 55 days, the slum-dominated Dharavi area of Mumbai registered a spike of more than 30 coronavirus cases on Friday, a senior official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.

With 33 new cases, the case tally in the area increased to 2,883, while the number of active cases went up to 124 from 102 cases on September 10, he said.

On July 19, Dharavi, considered to be Asia’s largest slum, had recorded 36 new cases. The daily increase in the cases then fell and remained in the range of 1-20.

Of total 2,883 COVID-19 patients from Dharavi,2,489 have been already discharged from hospitals. The civic body does not reveal the death toll in the area.

5.20 pm | India

PNB Vesper gets nod to begin phase-2 clinical trials for COVID-19 drug

Kochi-based pharma research firm PNB Vesper has secured the drug controller’s permission to launch phase-II clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 drug -- making it the first in the world to begin such trials for a new chemical entity, a top company official said on Friday.

The 15-year-old company has developed six new chemical entities and the latest one -- PNB001 -- will be tested for treating coronavirus patients.

The molecule was initially developed for lung cancer, the company’s promoter and chief executive P.N. Balaram told PTI.

The firm’s labs are located in Britain.


5.10 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka’s health infrastructure in a shambles: Siddaramaiah

Alleging that the health infrastructure in the State is still in a shambles, Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Siddaramaiah on Friday urged Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and his government to wake up from slumber and solve issues in this regard.

The former Chief Minister, in a series of tweets, also requested the media to highlight the issues dogging health care and COVID-19 preparedness of the government.

“Health infra in the State is still in a shambles. Many people are frantically looking for ventilators for their dear ones but there is no help from BBMP or the Health Dept. It is not the time to show laxity, @CMofKarnataka should release daily bulletin on health infra of our state,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Alleging that the State government is under the assumption that the pandemic has ended, and they have to wake up from slumber and solve health infra issues, he said.

“Asymptomatic patients may not be getting admitted to COVID-19 centres and that doesn’t mean number of those who need critical care has reduced. #WakeUpBSY.” Siddaramaiah urged the media to wake the Chief Minister up and the government by highlighting issues regarding healthcare.

This request from the former Chief Minister to the media has come amidst a general opinion that local news channels during the last week or so were completely focussing on the drugs case in the State, party (Congress) sources said.

Private hospitals are still denying admissions to the patients and they are giving preference to those who have money, while sending back poor people, Siddaramaiah alleged while he urged the Chief Minister to review the situation and ensure best treatment for all sections of society. - PTI

5.00 pm | Assam

Assam govt to pay Rs 5,000 cremation expense if family members of deceased cannot perform last rites

The Assam government has decided to pay up to Rs 5,000 as cremation expense to district administrations in case of each COVID-19 death, if family members of the deceased do not receive the body or are not in a financial position to perform the last rites.

In another order, the department said a person, who travels to any location outside Assam and returns to the state within 96 hours of departure, will not be required to undergo quarantine for the stipulated period of 10 days subject to certain conditions.

The returnee must undergo Rapid Antigen Test and if the result is positive, then the the person shall undergo home isolation/treatment at a COVID care centre, as per protocol.

If the report is negative, the swab sample would be taken for RT-PCR testing and the person will have to remain in isolation till the result is declared, it said.

4.40 pm | New Delhi

V-P Venkaiah Naidu takes COVID-19 test

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday underwent a compulsory COVID-19 test, ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament that starts on September 14.

It is mandatory for all members and staff to undergo COVID-19 test ahead of the session. For the convenience of members, three test centres have been set up in the Parliament House annexe.

4.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

UP COVID-19 tally

The COVID-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 4,282 on Friday with 76 more fatalities, while 7,016 fresh cases pushed the infection tally in the state to over 2.99 lakh.

Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said the positivity rate stands at 4.14 per cent which is half of the national average of 8.44 per cent.

Among the, 67,321 active cases, 34,920 are in home isolation, he said.

Mr. Prasad said over 72 lakh COVID tests have been done so far in Uttar Pradesh which has become the first state to conduct that many number of tests.

4.00 pm | Uttar Pradesh

AMU to start admission process from October 23

Aligarh Muslim University will begin its admission process from October 23, according to an official notification issued on Friday.

The university will hold examinations in phases. In the first phase from October 23 to November 10, it will hold admission tests for several courses, including BA, BSc, BCom, BEd and MBA.

Wearing masks will be mandatory and social distancing will be observed by increasing the number of test centres. The candidates found suffering from fever will be allocated special isolation rooms at the examination centres.

According to AMU spokesperson Shafay Kidwai, the schedule for remaining courses will be announced later.

3.50 pm | Delhi

Delhi govt directs mohalla clinics to begin COVID tests

Mohalla clinics in the city have been instructed to start COVID-19 testing with immediate effect as part of the Delhi government’s strategy to ramp up testing amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

There are nearly 450 mohalla clinics in the national capital.

“In order to augment the COVID testing drive, it has been decided to initiate COVID testing at all AAMCs from 2pm to 5pm on all working days with immediate effect. All CDMO-cum-mission directors are requested to ensure that AAMC-empanelled staff is trained for the testing procedure,” the order said.

3.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

MGR’s nephew dies of COVID-19

AIADMK founder and former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran’s nephew M C Chandran, who was treated for coronavirus has succumbed to the illness here on Friday, the party said.

The AIADMK said 75-year old Chandran is the son of MGR’s elder brother M G Chakrapani and he was treated at Rajiv Gandhi Government General hospital in Chennai for COVID-19.

“We were grieved to learn that he has passed away not responding to the treatment,” AIADMK’s coordinator and co- coordinator, O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami said in a party release.

3.00 pm | Jammu and Kashmir

Micro management of COVID-19 in Srinagar reaps benefits for administration

The micro-management of areas with COVID-19 patients has proved beneficial for the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir as the number of containment zones has come down to 32 from 93 in the last 10 days even as the administration has pro-actively carried out coronavirus tests in the affected places.

Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar district Shahid Choudhary said asymptomatic cases are among the biggest challenges faced by the administration. “There have been many challenges. Especially, many asymptomatic patients do not realise the seriousness of coronavirus, taking the risk of acting as carriers,” he said.

A new strategy was formed under which it was decided to conduct COVID-19 testing of all residents of localities where five or more positive cases have been reported.

By refraining from notifying the entire area comprising many localities as a containment zone, the number of red zones started falling drastically and “today we have only 32 such places,” Mr. Choudhary said.

2.40 pm | New Delhi

COVID-19 recoveries in India surge past 35 lakh

Sixty per cent of the daily new COVID-19 recoveries in India are coming from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, which also account for 57 per cent of the new cases, the Union Health Ministry said.

Total COVID-19 recoveries in the country have surged to 35,42,663 as on date with a total 70,880 recoveries being registered in a span of 24 hours of which Maharashtra alone contributed to more than 14,000 and Andhra Pradesh more than 10,000.

Of the total 96,551 new cases being reported in a span 24 hours, Maharashtra alone has more than 23,000 infections and Andhra Pradesh more than 10,000, the ministry said.

2.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

UP minister tests positive for COVID-19

Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Jails, Jai Kumar Singh Jaiki, said on Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.The minister is in home isolation.

In a tweet, he requested all those who had come in contact with him in the past one week to isolate themselves and get tested.

As many as 12 ministers in the Yogi Adityanath Government have so far tested positive for the virus and two of them, Chetan Chauhan and Kamal Rani Varun, have succumbed to the virus. - PTI

2.10 pm | New Delhi

Centre urges States to ensure no restriction is imposed on movement of oxygen

The Union Health Ministry, on Friday, issued a stern warning to States/UT to ensure that there is no restriction imposed on movement of medical oxygen between States and clarified that States/UTs are responsible to ensure that every hospitalized COVID patient receives oxygen. ``It has come to the knowledge of the Union Health Ministry that few States are trying to curb the free inter-State movement of oxygen supplies by exercising provisions under various Acts and also mandating the manufacturers/suppliers located in the State to restrict their oxygen supplies to only the hospitals of the State,’’ noted the Ministry in its communication. It added that in view of this the Health Ministry has reiterated the critical importance of oxygen in hospitals for management of critical COVID patients. - Bindu Shajan Perappadan


2:00 p.m. | Coimbatore

Quarantined resident arrested for displaying banner taunting Coimbatore Corporation

The banner displayed by the Coimbatore resident

The banner displayed by the Coimbatore resident


The police arrested a resident of Hope College Junction in Coimbatore on Thursday, who had displayed a banner outside his COVID-19 quarantined house, taunting the Coimbatore Corporation.

The 31-year-old was booked under sections 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 (i) of The Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act.

The police charged that he had violated the COVID-19 quarantine by lifting the barricades outside his house and also allegedly attempted to stop Corporation workers who went to remove the banner. He was arrested on Thursday night, and was later released on bail, according to the police.


1:45 p.m. | Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh govt. reduces cost of testing kit to ₹1,600

With the price of RT-PCR test kits and reagents used for coronavirus testing coming down, the Uttar Pradesh government has reduced the charge for conducting COVID-19 test to ₹1,600 from ₹2,500 by all labs including those privately owned.

“The prices of RT-PCR test kits and reagents used for COVID tests have come down. Hence, the April order on pricing of the test has been amended. The maximum price of test will now be ₹1,600,” Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said in an order issued on Thursday evening.

The order was implemented with immediate effect, the State’s Health department said. As per the order, the price of COVID-19 confirmatory test through TrueNat was also fixed at ₹1,600. Action will be taken against those violating the order by charging more than the prescribed fee under the Epidemic Act, it said.


1:30 p.m. | New Delhi

Parliamentary Standing Committee wants virtual courts to continue after pandemic

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice in its report submitted today recommended continuation of virtual courts for identified categories of cases even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The panel chaired by senior BJP leader Bhupender Yadav submitted its report to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

Asserting that a court is more of a service than a place, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice in its report said it is time that the court room, regarded as the “last bastion of antiquated working practices”, opened its doors to the latest technology.

Underlining that digital justice is cheaper and faster besides addressing locational and economic handicaps, the panel strongly pitched for continuation of virtual courts even after the COVID-19 pandemic got over. - PTI


1:15 p.m. | Karnataka

More children benefit from ICDS programme during pandemic

In July, 41.93 lakh children aged between six months and six years were covered under the Integrated Child Development Services programme and received dry ration.

In July, 41.93 lakh children aged between six months and six years were covered under the Integrated Child Development Services programme and received dry ration.


While several health and nutrition programmes have been hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme in Karnataka appears to have bucked the trend. In fact, more children have enrolled and benefited from it during the pandemic compared to earlier.

Interestingly, this period has also seen a trend of parents enrolling children to anganwadis in their vicinity, taking them out of private pre-primary schools.

Prior to the pandemic when anganwadi centres were open, dry ration was given to families of children in the age group of six months to three years and children in the age group three to six years were given hot meals at the anganwadi centre. Now, both categories of beneficiaries receive ration at their doorstep, delivered by anganwadi workers.


1:00 p.m. | Hyderabad

Country may see 7 million COVID-19 cases by October, says study by BITS Pilani

India may witness over seven million COVID-19 cases by the first week of October, surpassing the U.S. and emerging as the country with highest number of infections, a team of researchers from BITS Pilani, Hyderabad said today.

The Union Health Ministry data today said the number of coronavirus cases in India breached the 45 lakh mark while a data released by a national public health institute in the U.S. said the number of infections in the North American country crossed six million as of September 8.

The team has been engaged in forecasting COVID-19 pandemic in India using advanced statistical learning techniques, lead researcher Dr TSL Radhika of the Department of Applied Mathematics, BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus said.

The team has recently communicated its findings to the ’International Journal of Infectious Diseases’ published by the well known publisher Elsevier. - PTI

12:45 p.m. | Kolkata

Normal life comes to grinding halt in West Bengal following lockdown

Normal life came to a grinding halt in West Bengal on Friday as a complete lockdown was enforced across the State to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases.

All public transport, offices and other commercial establishments, barring those dealing with essential services, remained closed as strict restrictions were clamped.

The lockdown was also almost total in Kolkata and in districts barring some places like Purulia town, Asansol, Durgapur where some grocery shops and vegetable vendors did brisk business in the morning before police stepped in, official reports said. - PTI

12:30 p.m. | Chennai

Crowding at entry points, e-pass counters at Chennai airport

Throwing caution to the winds:  About 12,000 passengers now use the Chennai airport every

Throwing caution to the winds: About 12,000 passengers now use the Chennai airport everyday.


Despite announcements and constant reminders, physical distancing among passengers remains a failure at the Chennai airport.

The problem mainly persists at the entry point of the departure hall of the terminals and near the e-pass counters in the arrival hall, say sources.

Now, about 12,000 passengers are travelling through the airport and 100-110 flights are handled daily.

Airport sources said that as the number of flights and passenger traffic had gone up, there was crowding, and it was particularly bad during the peak hours.


12:15 p.m. | Chennai

As Chennai Metro Rail resumes full service, ridership increases

The Chennai Metro Rail has registered a spike in patronage with the opening of the stretch between Chennai Central and Chennai airport on Wednesday.

The services between Washermenpet and Chennai airport restarted on Monday and only had about 5,000 passengers.

On Tuesday, there was a marginal improvement, with about 6,000 availing the service.

But following the latest reopening, nearly 13,980 commuters travelled by Metro Rail on Wednesday. A total of 24,980 passengers have travelled by Metro Rail as of Wednesday.


12:00 p.m. | Kolkata

Premature baby weighing just 1.3 kg overcomes COVID-19 after 30-day fight

A premature baby, weighing only 1.3 kg at the time of birth, has recovered from the COVID-19 infection after a month-long fight. According to the doctors, the infection was most likely transferred to the baby from the mother.

“The baby who tested positive just after delivery was discharged on Wednesday. While there have been a number of cases when children born to COVID-19 mothers are not positive, in this case we think it was a case of transplacental transfer [infection transferred from the mother],” Sunita Saha, neonatologist at the Fortis Hospital, told  The Hindu  on Thursday.

The mother had prematurely delivered twins (31 weeks) at a hospital in Salt lake through an emergency C-section. She tested positive for the viral infection. While one baby died, the other tested positive for COVID-19.


11:40 a.m. | Kolkata

All members of Great Andamanese tribe recover from COVID-19

All the members of the Great Andamanese tribe, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) who had tested COVID-19 positive on the Andaman Islands, have recovered. Chetan Sanghi, Chief Secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said on social media all members “who had contracted COVID-19 in #Andamans recovered”.

Five members of the tribe had tested positive in the last week of August followed by another five, said officials. “Those who have tested positive have recovered. A few of them are still under observation,” an official said. The official said any person visiting the Strait island, where most of the members of the tribe reside, is being tested for the infection. The number of the members of the Great Andamanese tribe stands at 74.


11:20 a.m. | New Delhi

India likely had 6.4 million infections in May, says ICMR serosurvey

COVID-19 patients play indoor games at the COVID Care Centre in CWG Village oin New Dellhi.

COVID-19 patients play indoor games at the COVID Care Centre in CWG Village oin New Dellhi.


For every confirmed case of COVID-19 in May, there were 82-130 infections that went undetected and India potentially had 6.4 million infections that month, say the results of the first sero-survey conducted by scientists of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The peer-reviewed paper that was long in the works was published online late Thursday in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the agency in-house medical journal. As of Thursday, India has officially confirmed 4.5 million cases and 76,000 deaths.


11:00 a.m. | New Delhi

Stage II of resumption of Delhi metro services to kick in today

Ridership on the Delhi metro network was 84,841 till 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, with the first stage of graded resumption of services coming to an end. The second stage of graded resumption will kick in today.

Under the last phase of Stage 1 resumption, the Red, Violet and Green Lines became operational.

The second stage of graded resumption today will see Magenta Line (Janakpuri West to Botanical Gardens) and Grey Line (Dwarka to Najafgarh) becoming operational.


10:45 a.m. | Hyderabad

Time spent near home up by 15% in last 2 months

The Janata Curfew on March 22 and the subsequent lockdown to stall the spread of COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact in the country. How the lockdown has disrupted life has been revealed by mobility data that tracked cellphones in the country. Cellphone mobility data over the past few months shows a sharp -45% decline in time spent by citizens in Hyderabad in workplaces.

The anonymised data released by Google shows that the time spent near residential premises has gone up by 15% between July and September. Another mobility data of driving behaviour shows that the city is back to near-normalcy with a 2% higher usage of vehicles on September 7 than on January 13 much before the COVID-19 lockdown.

The mobility data has been released to aid and guide public health policy as it reveals behaviour that might help policy makers. The data has been segmented into retail and recreation, supermarket and pharmacy, parks, public transport, workplaces and residential areas.


10:30 a.m. | Vijayawada

COVID centre fire | Patients’ bills missing, mobiles were off, allege kin

Hotel Swarna Palace-cum-COVID care centre in which 10 patients were killed in the fire mishap, in Vijayawada. File Photo: K.V.S. Giri

Hotel Swarna Palace-cum-COVID care centre in which 10 patients were killed in the fire mishap, in Vijayawada. File Photo: K.V.S. Giri


The medical bills and the receipts for the payments made were missing from the hotel-turned-COVID care centre following the fire mishap that killed 10 people, alleged the kin of some patients. They demanded an inquiry into the alleged destruction of evidence in the case.

Ten persons died in the centre at Hotel Swarna Palace run by the Ramesh Cardiac and Multispeciality Hospitals on August 9.

The kin told  The Hindu  that there was no intimation to them from either the hospital or the hotel management on the fire mishap.


10.10 am | New Delhi

COVID-19 cases in India cross 45-lakh mark

India’s COVID-19 caseload sprinted past 45 lakh and the death toll climbed to 76,271 with a record 96,551 infections and 1,209 fatalities being reported in a day, while the recoveries crossed 35 lakh on Friday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 45,62,414, while the recoveries surged to 35,42,663, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.67 per cent while the recovery rate was recorded at 77.65 per cent.

There are 9,43,480 active cases of COVID-19 in the country which comprises 20.68 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23 and it went past 40 lakh on September 5.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 5,40,97,975 samples have been tested up to September 10 with 11,63,542 samples being tested on Thursday.

9.45 am | New Delhi

Revised SOP issued for conducting exams

The government has issued a revised SOP for conducting examinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, removing the provision that allowed symptomatic candidates who insist on taking an exam to do so in isolation.

According to the revised document by the Health ministry, in regular course, a symptomatic candidate should be referred to the nearest health centre and given an opportunity to undertake the examination through other means, or the university or educational institution shall arrange for taking the exam at a later date when the student is declared physically fit.

“However, if a student is found to be symptomatic, the permission or denial thereof, in such cases shall be granted as per the policy already enunciated on the issue by the Examination Conducting Authorities,” the revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) said.

The ministry had on September 2 issued guidelines as per which staff and examinees from containment zones shall not be permitted to be physically present at exam centres and there will be alternative arrangements for such students.

Such students shall be given an opportunity to undertake the examination through other means, or universities and educational institutions shall arrange for taking the exam at a later date for them.


9.30 am | Maharashtra

Hospitals to get 80% oxygen cylinders, says Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that in view of the WHO’s warning that COVID-19 cases will be on the rise in the coming days, the state government has decided to provide 80 per cent oxygen cylinders to hospitals and 20 per cent to industries.

He also said that although there were only a handful of testing laboratories in the state when the outbreak began, their number has now grown to 550.

Mr. Thackeray said this while inaugurating a testing laboratory and six COVID Care centres in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.

“Considering the warning given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the number of COVID-19 cases will rise in the coming days, the state government has decided to provide 80 per cent oxygen cylinders to hospitals and the remaining 20 per cent to industries,” an official release quoted him as saying.

“This distribution of oxygen cylinders will be done through a centralised system,” he said.

The State government is creating a large number of health facilities to tackle the pandemic, he said.

9 am | India

Oxford vaccine trial pause a wake-up call: WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

AstraZeneca's  pause of an experimental vaccine for the coronavirus  after the illness of a participant is a “wake-up call” but should not discourage researchers, the World Health Organization's (WHO) chief scientist said on Thursday.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's Chief Scientist. File

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's Chief Scientist. File


“This is a wake-up call to recognise that there are ups and downs in clinical development and that we have to be prepared,” Soumya Swaminathan told a virtual briefing from Geneva. “We do not have to be discouraged. These things happen.”

8.30 am | Rajasthan

Rajasthan govt fixes hotel room charges for asymptomatic virus patients

The Rajasthan government has fixed charges for hotel rooms if asymptomatic coronavirus patients want to stay there, said State Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Thursday.

The State government has authorised select hospitals to send such patients to hotels after necessary tests. Those who do not have any symptoms and whose condition is not critical but need monitoring of doctors and separate rooms can avail medical facilities in hotels, Mr. Sharma said in a statement.

The government has authorised hotel rooms for Rs 5,000, Rs 4,000 and Rs 3,000 per day, which will provide all necessary and medical facilities to patients of this category, Mr. Sharma said. - PTI

8 am | Mizoram

Mizoram will face shortage of COVID hospitals if cases continue to surge: Official

Mizoram will face shortage of COVID-19 hospitals if the number of cases keeps increasing, an official said on Thursday.

He said during an emergency meeting of top officials held during the day, it was pointed out that such hospitals can at present accommodate only 1,737 coronavirus patients.

There are also six other COVID care centres that can admit about 300 personnel of paramilitary forces, the official said. - PTI

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 10:02:53 am |