Coronavirus India lockdown Day 171 updates | September 12, 2020

Safety drive: A BMC worker carries out fumigation to prevent the spread of malaria at Reay Road in Mumbai on Friday.  

In May, India potentially had 6.4 million COVID-19 infections and for every confirmed case, 82 to 130 infections went undetected, according to the results of the first sero survey conducted by over 50 scientists of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other institutions.

Manoj Murhekar, Director of the National Institute of Epidemiology, the lead author of the study, told The Hindu that the proportion today of those confirmed and those who had probably been exposed to the infection would be still be high but significantly reduced from May.

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:

10.30 pm | Assam

Assam reports record 23 more COVID-19 fatalities, death toll mounts to 453

Assam reported 23 more COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the highest singe-day spike so far, pushing the death toll to 453, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Mr Sarma said the deaths were reported from 14 districts in the state, and include four women.

“Very sad & anguished to inform that 23 more COVID-19 positive patients have succumbed to the disease... My deepest condolences are with the bereaved families,” he said on Twitter. - PTI

10.15 pm | Maharashtra

Kin of two COVID-19 victim cops get Rs 50  lakh compensation

The kin of two Nagpur policemen who succumbed to the coronavirus infection were on Saturday given compensations cheques of Rs 50 lakh each by commissioner Amitesh Kumar.

The two had lost their lives on August 6 while under treatment, a police department release said.


9.45 pm | West Bengal

West Bengal reports 59 more COVID-19 fatalities; 3,161 new cases

West Bengal’s COVID-19 death toll climbed to 3,887 on Saturday after 59 more patients succumbed to the virus, even as 3,161 fresh cases pushed the tally to 1,99,493, the Health Department said in a bulletin.

Since Friday, 3,042 people recovered from the disease, improving the discharge rate, which stood at 86.26%. The State now has 23,521 active cases, it said. In the past 24 hours, the highest single-day 47,131 samples have been tested in West Bengal, the bulletin said. - PTI

9.30 pm | Punjab

Punjab reports 76 more COVID-19 deaths, 2,441 new cases

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 2,288 with 76 more fatalities in Punjab, while the infection tally climbed to 77,057 with 2,441 fresh cases on Saturday, according to a medical bulletin.

Fourteen deaths were reported from Ludhiana, 11 from Amritsar, 10 from Jalandhar, seven from Gurdaspur, five each from Hoshiarpur and Rupnagar, and four each from Barnala, Patiala and Kapurthala, it said.

Three fatalities were reported from Fatehgarh Sahib, two each from Bathinda and Sangrur and one each from Muktsar, Mohali, Moga, Pathankot and Tarn Taran.

The fresh coronavirus cases were reported from Mohali (331), Jalandhar (313), Patiala (268), Ludhiana (267), Amritsar (257), Bathinda (137), Gurdaspur (118), Hoshiarpur (110), Pathankot (100) and Muktsar (72), among others.


9.15 pm | Jammu and Kashmir

NC asks administration to take proactive steps to combat COVID-19 spike in J&K

National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana on Saturday urged the administration to take proactive steps to combat the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Union territory has so far recorded a virus caseload of 52,410, while the fatalities stand at 864 -- 721 in Kashmir and 143 in Jammu division.

“The government should take a proactive initiative to combat the spike and detail senior officers as empowered exclusive authorities to monitor, superintend and coordinate the functioning and management of healthcare infrastructure and facilities to ensure best possible treatment to infected patients,” Mr. Rana said in a statement here.


9.00 pm| Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 2,347 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Saturday recorded 2,347 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 85,966. The number of active cases stands at 19,840.

As many as 37 patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 1,728.  As for recoveries, 1,462 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day.

So far, 64,398 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.

-Sidharth Yadav

8.45 pm| Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 tally edges close to five lakh mark; State adds 5,495 new cases

Tamil Nadu on Saturday logged 5,495 fresh COVID-19 infections taking the tally close to the five-lakh mark with 4,97,066 positive cases being reported till date, the Health Department said.

With 76 deaths reported today, the toll mounted to 8,307 in the State, the Health Department said in a bulletin.

Recoveries continued to outnumber fresh infections as 6,227 people walked out from various healthcare facilities, taking the tally of those cured so far to 4,41,649. Active cases which dropped below the 50,000 mark a few days ago stood at 47,110 in the State.

As many as 88,562 specimens were tested on Saturday taking the total number of samples tested at the over 150 facilities so far to 58,03,778.

Tamil Nadu does not use Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Tests and all tests are RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction based). The State capital clocked 978 new infections taking its tally to 1,47,591 contributing to the State’s over four lakh cases.

Besides Chennai, Coimbatore recorded 428 new cases, followed by Thiruvallur (299), Salem (289), Chengalpet (267), Tirupur (256) and Cuddalore (253), the bulletin said. - PTI

8.30 pm | Gujarat

Gujarat adds record 1,365 COVID-19 cases, 15 die

Gujarat on Saturday reported the highest single-day spike of 1,365 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total count of infections to 1,12,336, State health department said.

With 15 more people succumbing to the infection, the toll went up to 3,198, it said. A total of 1,335 patients were discharged after treatment in the day, raising the number of recoveries to 92,805, the department said, adding that the case recovery rate in the State now stands at 82.61 per cent.

A total of 74,781 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, at the rate of 1,150.47 tests per day per million population.


8.15 pm | India

Ensure COVID-19 patients not denied beds, get prompt treatment: Health Ministry to private hospitals

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday urged private hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment to ensure that patients, afflicted with the viral disease, are not denied beds and they get prompt care.

The Ministry, in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and AIIMS, New Delhi, at a virtual conclave with private hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment emphasised the collective goal must be to have a health system that is available, affordable and accessible to all.

During the meeting, the importance of timely treatment of comorbid patients to reduce fatality was stressed upon. Hospitals were encouraged to protect healthcare workers by adopting all practices on infection prevention and control and keep the staff motivated, the health ministry said.

Hospitals were also asked to ensure seamless admission of patients. The importance of evidence-based treatment protocols and reducing heterogeneity in treatment of COVID-19 patients was also underscored, it said.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan inaugurated the virtual conference.


8.00 pm | Tripura

Opposition, section of ruling BJP MLAs allege ‘mismanagement’ in Tripura coronavirus hospital

All major opposition parties and a section of legislators of the ruling BJP in Tripura have expressed concern over the “mismanagement” of COVID-19 cases in G B Pant Hospital, the state’s main referral hospital here and alleged that patients admitted in it are dying “unattended and uncared for“.

Tripura PCC president Pijush Biswas on Saturday alleged that coronavirus patients in the hospital were facing limitless suffering. “There are no healthcare staff in the hospital to attend to the patients and they are dying unattended,” he claimed.

BJP MLA and former health minister Sudip Roy Barman and Sushanta Chowdhury, another legislator of the party who had visited the hospital recently, said on Thursday that the patients are suffering due to “mismanagement“.

7.45 pm | Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir reports single-day spike of 1,698 COVID-19 cases

Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday recorded the highest single-day spike of 1,698 new COVID-19 cases, taking the Union Territory’s tally to 52,410, while 10 more fatalities pushed the toll to 864, officials said.

It is for the 10th time in as many days that the number of fresh cases has crossed 1,000 in a 24-hour period.

“The UT recorded 1,698 fresh cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours - with 838 in Jammu and 860 in the Kashmir Valley,” the officials said.

This is the highest single-day spike in the Union Territory so far, they said. The total number of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir has now risen to 52,410.

Srinagar district reported the highest number of fresh cases at 255, followed by 250 in Jammu district, the officials said. There are 16,261 active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVD-19), while 35,285 patients have recovered so far, they said.

Ten more people infected with coronavirus died in Jammu and Kashmir in the 24 hours till 5 p.m. on Friday - six in the Jammu region and four in the Kashmir Valley, the officials said. With this, the death toll in the Union Territory has climbed to 864. - PTI

7.30 pm | Manipur/Meghalaya

Two ministers, from Manipur and Meghalaya, test positive

Two Power Ministers of Meghalaya and Manipur, namely  James K. Sangma and T. Bishwajit respectively were tested COVID-19 positive on Saturday. Sangma, the Meghalaya Power Minister landed in the Imphal international airport on Saturday with his brother  Conard K Sangma who is the president of the National People’s Party and  the Chief Minister of Meghalaya.

They had come to Imphal to finalise the NPP candidates who will be fielded in the November by polls. On finding that the Meghalaya Power Minister was tested positive in the second testing, he left Imphal for Shillong in a chartered flight.

The Power Minister of Manipur T. Bishwajit and his two daughters and one  security guard were found to be COVID-19 positive. The Minister and his two daughters are in home quarantine. Conard K. Sangma along wth the Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur Y. Joykumar  who is an MLA of the NPP proceeded to a luxury hotel where the finalisation of the list of candidates will be done.

- Iboyaima Laithangbam

7.15 pm | Delhi

Delhi records highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases

Delhi on Saturday witnessed the biggest single-day spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases till now with 4,321 cases being reported in the past 24 hours, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government. The total number of cases stood at 2,14,069.

Also, 28 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 4,715.

Of the total cases, 1,81,295 people have recovered and there are 28,059 active cases. 

- Nikhil M. Babu

7.05 pm | Kerala

Kerala reports 2,885 COVID-19 cases; toll mounts to 425 with 15 deaths

Kerala reported 2,885 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the tally to 1,05,139 as 75,848 people have recovered so far from the infection, Health minister K K Shailaja said.

The state had crossed the grim milestone of one lakh cases on Friday after 2,988 people tested positive.

With 15 deaths being confirmed over the past few days, including that of a 101-year-old man from Kalady in Ernakulam district, the toll has climbed to 425.

Of thepositive cases, 2,640 were infected through contact and the source of infection of 287 persons was not known.

Forty two people had come from abroad and 137 from other states, the Minister said.

7 pm | New Delhi

Kejriwal asks AAP volunteers to help people in Mumbai in their fight against COVID-19

AAP’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday asked party volunteers in Mumbai to reach out to people living in every corner of the city to check their oxygen levels and help in their fight against COVID-19.

In a video-conference, Mr. Kejriwal told the AAP volunteers that reaching out to every household will not only help Mumbaikars but will also be beneficial for the party in expanding its reach and building its base in the city.

“When you go and check people’s oxygen levels, it gives you a very big opportunity to expand the party’s reach. So I request you to plan this campaign carefully. On every booth, you need to identify an oximitra and it would be his/her responsibility to check the oxygen level of every household,” he said.

“Also, give them a pamphlet of AAP where our helpline numbers would be written. They can contact us if they feel breathlessness or have fever,” the Delhi Chief Minister added.

Mr. Kejriwal urged the volunteers to meticulously plan the campaign and submit their plan of action in the next six days. - PTI

6.30 pm | Delhi

Delhi Airport starts operating on-arrival COVID-19 testing facility for international passengers

Delhi Airport on Saturday started its on-arrival COVID-19 testing facility wherein an international passenger can pay ₹5,000 to avail a RT-PCR test and also use the waiting lounge, said senior officials of its operator DIAL.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had on September 2 said that international passengers, who have to take connecting domestic flights after landing in India, will have the option of getting themselves tested for COVID-19 at the entry airports.

Passengers who opt for the test will have to wait in a specified lounge in the airport or a designated hotel in the city till their results come, the Ministry noted. If found negative, they will be exempted from mandatory institutional quarantine and can take the connecting flight.

Read more


6.15 pm | West Bengal

IIM Calcutta teachers concerned over institute allowing students to stay on campus

A section of the faculty members of IIM Calcutta has expressed concern over the institute allowing 62 students of its MBA executive programme to stay on the campus amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Despite staying on the campus, the students will, however, continue attending classes online.

The institute authorities have taken a decision in this regard as the students, whose course had begun in April, were facing problems at their rented rooms outside the campus.

A section of the teachers has recently shot off a letter to the IIM Calcutta Board, warning that allowing the students inside the campus may lead to a situation similar to that in IIT Kharagpur, which had to impose lockdown on its campus after several students and faculty members contracted the disease.


6.00 pm | Uttarakhand

One more Uttarakhand MLA tests positive for COVID-19

The BJP’s Raipur MLA Umesh Sharma Kau said on Saturday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

The legislator also advised his friends and acquaintances, who had come in contact with him recently, to go for a coronavirus test and stay safe.

“I am going into self-isolation at home after testing positive for COVID-19,” Mr. Kau said in a letter to the Chief Medical Superintendent of the Community Health Centre in Raipur on Saturday.

Several MLAs have tested positive for the viral disease in Uttarakhand in recent weeks, including state BJP president Bansidhar Bhagat, Cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik, Vinod Chamoli and Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion.

5.45 pm | Chhattisgarh

Bhupesh Baghel asks Centre for over ₹700 crore for COVID-19 hospitals

In view of the rise in coronavirus cases in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged the Centre to sanction funds to the tune of ₹736.74 crore for COVID-19 hospitals and care centres in the State, an official said on Saturday.

In a letter to Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Mr. Baghel also sought to increase the capacity of ICU beds at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Raipur, the official from the Public Relations Department said.

“Chhattisgarh has 29 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and 221 care centres, which have the capacity of 29,111 beds, of which 406 are ICU and 370 are high dependency units (HDU) beds,” the Chief Minister said in the letter.

For these facilities, the State’s Health and Family Welfare Department had earlier sought ₹821.93 crore from the Centre, but only ₹85.19 crore has been sanctioned so far, he said. - PTI

Read more

5.30 pm | Mumbai

Actor Himani Shivpuri tests positive for coronavirus, admitted to hospital

Veteran Bollywood and television actor Himani Shivpuri on Saturday said she has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 59-year-old actor said she is receiving treatment at Holy Spirit hospital in suburban Mumbai on the advice of her doctors.

“The doctor suggested I should get admitted to Holy Spirit hospital because I am a 60-year-old and I have history of diabetes. So today morning I got admitted," Shivpuri told PTI.

Shivpuri, who recently shot for comedy show “Happu Ki Ultan Paltan”, said even though adequate safety measures were followed on the sets, she still doesn’t know how she contracted the disease.

“I have no idea how I got COVID-19... Nobody seems to know where one would get it from,” the actor added.

Shivpuri had revealed her COVID-19 diagnosis earlier in the day in a post on her official Instagram page.

“Gud morning this to inform you that I tested positive for Covid. Anyone who has come in contact with me kindly get yourself tested,” she had posted.


5.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

COVID-19 tally in U.P. crosses 3-lakh mark; death toll reaches 4,349

The COVID-19 caseload in Uttar Pradesh crossed the three-lakh mark on Saturday with 6,846 more people contracting the viral infection, while the death toll in the State reached 4,349.

Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said active cases in the State went up to 67,955, while 2,33,527 patients have so far been discharged from hospitals following recovery.

The total count of coronavirus cases in the State stands at 3,05,831.

Mr. Prasad said the COVID-19 recovery rate in the state has gone up to 76.35 per cent while the case fatality rate presently stood at 1.42 per cent, which was lower than the national average.

On Friday, over 1.40 lakh tests were done which has taken the total number of examinations for detection of COVID-19 conducted so far in the state to over 73 lakh, he said.


5.00 pm | Gujarat

Oxygen plants in Gujarat asked to ramp up production

Considering the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Gujarat health department has directed oxygen manufacturing units to ramp up production to maximum capacity and ensure that 50% of it is “medical oxygen” meant for hospitals.

In a notification dated September 10, the department has directed manufacturing units to divert only up to 50 per cent of oxygen to industrial use, with priority given to hospitals in case need arises.

While the need for medical oxygen will increase manifold in the coming days in Gujarat, the opening up of industries in the Unlock period may adversely affect the supply of medical oxygen to hospitals, the notification stated.

In view of this, the government has decided to regularise the circulation and supply of oxygen from production units to address the needs of COVID-19 patients, it said.

4.00 pm | Goa

Shripad Naik discharged

Union AYUSH Minister and Goa Lok Sabha MP Shripad Naik was on Saturday discharged from hospital after recovering from the novel coronavirus infection.

He was admitted in a private hospital here on August 12.

Naik, en route to his house, visited a temple along with a team of doctors that included former chief of Indian Medical Association’s Goa unit Dr Shekhar Salkar.

3.25 pm | Tamil Nadu

Over 1 lakh cancer patients have received treatment in Tamil Nadu since March, Minister says

A total of 1,31,352 persons received cancer-related medical treatment in outpatient departments in government hospitals and government medical college hospitals in the State from March to date, according to Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar. Of these patients, 48,647 were admitted for treatment.

In a press release, the Minister said efforts were being taken to provide uninterrupted medical care for cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more

3.00 pm | Odisha

Pandemic to delay reopening of Jagannath temple

Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection among the priests is delaying the reopening of the world famous Shree Jagannath Temple.

As many as 167 sevayats (priests) have contracted the virus thus far. Seventy of them, who are yet to recover, are either in home isolation or in COVID care centres. Four sevayats have lost their lives to the disease.

The number of infected sevayats is likely to be much more as many have taken tests without informing the SJTA and some are admitted in private hospitals in Puri and Bhubaneswar.

2.45 pm | Telangana

Double lung transplant on COVID patient

A double lung transplant surgery was successfully performed on a 32-year-old COVID patient at the main branch of KIMS Hospital in the city on Friday.

The patient, Rizwan from Chandigarh, was suffering from sarcoidosis that affected his lungs and deteriorated his health condition rapidly. A double lung transplant was the only permanent option for cure.

The situation worsened when the patient contracted coronavirus while awaiting his double lung transplant. His oxygen requirement increased in these circumstances from 15 litres a minute to 50 litres a minute for the past eight weeks.

Read more

2.30 pm | Delhi

DMRC deploys flying squads across stations to keep check on violators

Following complaints on social media from commuters pertaining to co-passengers not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday said they have deployed flying squads across corridors to carry out random checks.

The officials said with the flying squad in place, around 150 passengers were “counselled” and ₹200 fine was imposed on 92 passengers each for “creating nuisance".

Read more

2.10 pm | Maharashtra

Building capital buffers, managing liquidity crucial for MFIs: RBI article

As COVID-19 is likely to pose financial risks for microfinance institutions (MFIs), there is a need to build capital buffers and manage cash positions for micro lenders to protect their balance sheets from any disruptions, according to an article published in RBI’s monthly bulletin.

The article, prepared by Snimardeep Singh of Department of Supervision, Reserve Bank of India, said though COVID-19 presents new challenges and significant financial risks for the microfinance sector, it also presents an opportunity to build long-term resilience.

The article termed COVID-19 as the biggest tail risk event in a long time.


2.00 pm | Maharashtra

Dabbawalas ask to be allowed travel on local trains

Mumbai’s dabbawalas or lunch-box carriers have urged the Maharashtra government to permit them to travel in local trains, which are currently running in a restricted manner in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, an official said on Saturday.

Access to local trains will enable dabbawalas to resume their business with full capacity, said Subhash Talekar, president of Mumbai Dabbawala Association.

At present, only people employed in essential services are allowed to travel in suburban trains.

“Dabbawalas are also part of essential services are they deliver food to Mumbaikars. And since most officers are now functioning with reduced capacity, people have been asking us to deliver their meals,” Mr. Talekar said.

Currently, dabbawalas who can reach south Mumbai area on their cycles are able to deliver food to offices, he said, adding that meals are being delivered in keeping with all COVID-19 safety norms.


1.50 pm | Manipur

42-year-old succumbs to COVID-19 in Manipur

Dr. Khoirom Shasheekumar Mangang, deputy director of Health and Family Welfare department, said a 42-years-old woman died due to COVID-19 in JN Institute of Medical Sciences on Friday night. With this the number of COVID-19 fatality in Manipur has gone up to 45.

There were reports of conflicting COVID-19 test results. One such instance was that of a migrant worker residing at Paonam Leikai, Naga Mapal, whose first report from Babina Diagnostic centre, Imphal, came positive, but the subsequent second test declared him negative.

A specialist in Imphal told The Hindu that this was not necessarily a case of human error. He said, “There are some factors for such conflicting reports, like whether the samples were collected from nose or mouth, the time gap between the two tests and some others.”

- Iboyaima Laithangbam

1.40 pm | Australia

Adelaide Oval’s onsite hotel to serve as biosecure bubble for Australia ahead of series against India

The Adelaide Oval’s onsite hotel is set to serve as biosecure bubble for the Australian men’s squad ahead of the high-profile Test series against India later this year, according to media reports.

Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Saturday that its national squad would return form the current tour of the U.K. to Adelaide for its mandatory quarantine period and preparation for the upcoming home season, a report in said.

Those players not involved in the Indian Premier League, as well as coaching and support staff, will make the Adelaide Oval their home once the white-ball tour of England concludes following Wednesday’s third ODI in Manchester.

They can train throughout their quarantine period at the new Oval Hotel based at Adelaide Oval.

Read more

1.30 pm | Uttar Pradesh

3 policemen suspended after 2 prisoners escape from COVID-19 hospital in U.P.

Three constables, from whose custody two prisoners escaped from a COVID-19 hospital in Chitrakoot, have been suspended, police said on Saturday.

Undertrials Rajju Yadav and Brijlal, who are accused in a rape case, were admitted to the hospital in Koh on September 7. On Thursday early morning, they escaped by breaking the windows of the hospital’s toilet. Brijlal was apprehended late on Thursday night.

Police constables Ashish Kumar, Deepak Kumar and Vijaypal have been suspended prime facie for laxity in connection with the escape of two prisoners from Koh’s COVID-19 hospital, Superintendent of Police, Chitrakoot, Ankit Mittal said on Saturday.


1.20 pm | New Delhi

60% of total recoveries concentrated in 5 States

With a record 81,533 people recuperating from COVID-19 in a day, India’s total recoveries on Saturday surged to 36,24,196 of which 60% of the cases are from five States - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

India’s COVID-19 case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.66% while the recovery rate has risen to 77.77%, according to the Union Health Ministry.


1.10 pm | Antarctica

Antarctica is still free of COVID-19. Can it stay that way?

At this very moment a vast world exists that’s free of the coronavirus, where people can mingle without masks and watch the pandemic unfold from thousands of miles away.

That world is Antarctica, the only continent without COVID-19.

Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered over on the ice are seeing the sun for the first time in weeks or months, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues don’t bring the virus with them.

- AP

1.00 pm | Madhya Pradesh

PM Modi's new slogan urges that the pandemic be taken seriously

Cautioning people against lowering their guard till an effective anti-coronavirus medicine is developed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday came up with a slogan in Hindi to drive home his point.

He said, ‘Jab tak dawai nahi, tab tak dhilai nahi’ (No carelessness till a medicine is found).

Mr. Modi gave this slogan while addressing the virtual housewarming ceremony of 1.75 lakh houses built in rural parts of Madhya Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

“Jab tak dawai nahi, tab tak dhilai nahi. Do gaj ki doori, mask hai jaroori (Face mask and maintainting distance of two yards is necessary),” he said.


12.50 pm | Puducherry

Signs of COVID-19 cases stabilising in Puducherry: Collector

There are signs of COVID-19 cases stabilising in the Union Territory after the isolation of more patients was possible due to the increase in testing, District Collector cum Secretary Health, T. Arun has said.

“The positivity rate was around 35% some time in third week of August but in the last few days, we were able to bring it down to around 20%. This was made possible due to the increase in testing and other interventions in containment zones. But it is too early to conclude that the spread of coronavirus has been contained in the UT,” Mr. Arun told The Hindu.

Testing of people, which had crossed 2,000 per day on September 8, has touched almost 3,800 now. Data released by the Health Department on Saturday morning showed that as many as 3,792 people were tested in the last 24 hours. Of those tested on Saturday, 419 were positive. In the last six days alone around 16,000 people were tested for COVID- 19 in the Union Territory. So far, the Health Department has tested 95,919 people in the U.T., he added.

Read more

12.40 pm | Telangana

Telangana docs perform India’s first double lung transplant on COVID-19 patient

Doctors at a hospital in Hyderaba claimed to have successfully performed the country’s first double lung transplant surgery on a 32-year-old COVID-19 patient, who was suffering from sarcoidosis that affected his lungs.

The team of doctors led by Dr. Sandeep Attawar performed the complex procedure on the man from Chandigarh, a release from Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) here said.

After recovery, the patient was discharged on Friday.


12.30 pm | New Delhi

COVID-19 cases in India cross 46-lakh mark

India’s COVID-19 caseload raced past 46 lakh with a record 97,570 infections being reported in a day, while 36,24,196 people have recuperated so far taking the national recovery rate to 77.77% on Saturday, according to Union Health Ministry data.

The total number of coronavirus cases mounted to 46,59,984, while the death toll climbed to 77,472 with 1,201 people succumbing to the infection in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate due to the coronavirus infection has further dropped to 1.66%. There are 9,58,316 active cases of COVID-19 in the country which comprises 20.56% of the total caseload.

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.


12.20 pm | Tamil Nadu

Many endemic species sighted in T.N. during lockdown

The lockdown forced people to largely remain within the confines of their homes, but it was life as usual for birds and a good number of them were sighted by bird watchers here and in other parts of Tamil Nadu.

At least 80 bird species in June and about 83 in July were spotted in the Pallikaranai Marsh, the last remaining wetland in the city, which also attracts migratory birds, according to the Tamil Nadu Forest department.

Members of the Salem Ornithological Foundation (SOF) have recorded 81 endemic bird species in the city in western Tamil Nadu during the COVID-19 lockdown.

With a steep decline in noise pollution and industrial and other human activities coming to a halt, the call or song of birds fill our ears, said wildlife activist K Mohan Raj.


12.15 pm | New Delhi

HC reduces number of Benches holding physical hearings as COVID-19 cases rise in Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Saturday said it has reduced the number of Benches that would be holding physical hearings due to the “alarming” rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital and majority of lawyers preferring virtual hearings.

According to a note issued by the office of Registrar General Manoj Jain, a full court of the judges of the Delhi High Court deliberated on continuing with physical hearings, which were started from September 1, and decided not to discontinue them completely.

The full court decided that physical hearings would be conducted each day, from September 15 onwards, by one Division Bench and two single judge Benches on rotation. Till now, two Division Benches and three single judge Benches were holding physical courts on rotational basis.


12.10 pm | New Delhi

Govt.’s ‘well planned fight’ against COVID has put India in ‘abyss of GDP reduction’: Rahul

Taking a dig at the government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said its “well planned fight” against coronavirus has allegedly put India in an “abyss” of GDP reduction of 24%12 crore job losses, 15.5 lakh crore additional stressed loans and globally highest daily COVID-19 cases and deaths.

But for the government of India and the media “sab changa si (all is well)”, the former Congress chief said.

Read more

12.00 pm | New Delhi

Oxford vaccine: DCGI directs Serum Institute of India to suspend recruitment for trials

The Drugs Controller General Of India (DCGI) has directed that there should be no new recruitment for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials of the Oxford University’s Covishield vaccine candidate, being manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII) along with pharma major AstraZeneca.

The SII has also been asked to increase the safety monitoring of the subjects who have already been vaccinated as part of the trial and submit the plan and report.

The latest order comes after it asked SII to pause trials of the vaccine candidate following a U.K. volunteer showing potentially adverse symptoms.

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12.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Chennai Corpn. to ramp up surveillance in 15,000 streets

The Greater Chennai Corporation will intensify active surveillance in at least 15,000 streets that have not reported any cases so far.

Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said that over 60% of the 39,000 streets in the 15 zones of the city had registered COVID-19 cases during the pandemic.

City health officer Jagadeesan said the civic body would increase testing in areas that had not registered COVID-19 cases so far. “We will increase the number of fever clinics. Door-to-door surveillance will also be stepped up in such streets,” he said.

New cases have been reported in zones such as Adyar, in streets that have so far not seen any infections. For instance, streets in areas such as Velachery are now seeing COVID-19 cases for the first time. Some of the 987 cases reported on Friday were from streets that had not reported infections so far.

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11.45 am | New Delhi

DMRC deploys flying squads across stations to keep check on violators

Following complaints on social media from commuters pertaining to co-passengers not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday said they have deployed flying squads across corridors to carry out random checks.

The officials said with the flying squad in place, around 150 passengers were “counselled” and ₹200 fine was imposed on 92 passengers each for “creating nuisance".

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11.30 am | Haryana

Poor response to renewal of bar licences in Gurugram

Around one-third of the bar owners in Millennium City have sought the renewal of the licences since the government decided to grant permission to serve them liquor to the guests starting from this month. Cyber Hub has been hit hard with uncertainty over the opening of the offices in its surroundings.

Of the 91 bars and hotels in the West Zone of the Gurugram Excise Department, including Cyber Hub, only 35 have applied for the renewal of licences since September 1. The department has so far issued licences to 22 of them. Similarly, the East Zone, comprising Sector 29 commercial area and Golf Course Road, has received 66 applications for renewal and 29 of these have been approved. The East Zone has 196 bars and hotels. Eight and 12 bars in West and East Zones respectively had already surrendered their licences before September 1.

Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner (Excise, West) Anirudh Sharma told The Hindu that the government had not fixed any deadline for the renewal of the licences keeping in view the unprecedented situation of the pandemic and that its approach was pro-business.

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11.15 am | Tamil Nadu

Host of safety measures in place for conducting NEET in T.N.

This year, a host of added precautions and safety norms have been put in place in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, for thee conduct of the NEET examination in Tamil Nadu.

Till last year, candidates were expected to report to the centres an hour in advance. This year, candidates have been allotted staggered shifts to enter the centre from 11 a.m. The exam will begin at 2 p.m.

Candidates can carry a transparent water bottle and a 50-ml sanitizer bottle into the centre and wear masks and gloves. Every year, the candidates are checked and frisked. But this time, body pat frisking will not be done.

A metal detector, with a long handle, will be used. This will be done after a temperature check of the candidate is done with a thermal temperature gun at the entrance.

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11.00 am | United Nations

India votes in favour of UNGA resolution calling for multilateral cooperation

India, along with 168 nations, voted in favour of a COVID-19 resolution in the UN General Assembly that reaffirms international cooperation to respond to one of the greatest global challenges and acknowledges the World Health Organisation’s key leadership role in responding to the outbreak, a reference the U.S. objected to as it opposed the resolution.

The Omnibus Resolution on Comprehensive and Coordinated Response to the COVID-19 pandemic was overwhelmingly adopted by the 193-member General Assembly Friday, with 169 nations voting in favour of the resolution that recognised the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations .

The U.S. and Israel voted against the resolution and Ukraine and Hungary abstained.

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10.30 am | Maharashtra

₹500 fine for not wearing face mask in Thane city

In view of the rising coronavirus cases, those not wearing face masks in Thane city of Maharashtra will be fined ₹500. Thane Municipal Commissioner Vipin Sharma issued an order to this effect on Friday night.

Till Friday night, Thane city recorded 29,463 coronavirus positive cases and 885 deaths.

Other municipal corporations in Thane district issued similar orders recently. The administration of neighbouring Palghar district also instructed the people to use face masks.


10.00 am | United Nations

UN General Assembly adopts pandemic resolution

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution on tackling the coronavirus pandemic over objections from the United States and Israel, which protested a successful last-minute Cuban amendment that strongly urges countries to oppose unilateral economic, financial or trade sanctions.

The world body adopted the resolution Friday by a vote of 169-2. It was a strong show of unity by the UN’s most representative body in addressing the coronavirus, though many countries had hoped for adoption by consensus.

The resolution is not legally binding. It calls for intensified international cooperation and solidarity to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic and it urges member states to enable all countries to have unhindered timely access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable diagnosis, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines.

- AP

9.30 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra hits new peak of 24,886 cases

Maharashtra recorded 24,886 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, its highest single-day spike yet, taking its total tally to 10,15,681.

With 442 more deaths, of which 393 were reported on Friday and 49 from an earlier period, the State’s death toll has risen to 28,724.

The number of active cases has now risen to 2,71,566. With 14,308 patients being discharged, the total recoveries has surged to 7,15,023. “The State’s recovery rate stands at 70.4%, while its case fatality rate has marginally reduced to 2.83%,” said State Surveillance Officer Dr. Pradeep Awate.

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9.00 am | New Delhi

Delhi Metro resumes full services

Delhi Metro resumed its full services on Saturday with the Airport Express Line reopening after a hiatus of over 170 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All corridors of the Metro network are now in operation and the timing of services will follow the pre-COVID-19 schedule of 6 a.m to 11 p.m.

On Monday, the Delhi Metro had resumed services with curtailed operation of the Yellow Line and Rapid Metro.

The Metro services were shut on March 22 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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8.30 am | Tamil Nadu

Postpone pilgrimage to Tirumala: TTD

The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) has appealed to devotees in Tamil Nadu to postpone their pilgrimage during the Tamil month of Purattasi in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the non-availability of online darshan tickets for many dates in September.

Special Invitee to the TTD Board of Trustees and Local Advisory Committee president A.J. Sekhar said, since darshan tickets were being issued only online and booking had already been done for most of the dates, the devotees should consider postponing pilgrimage to Tirumala this season.

“Those who are able to get ₹300 special darshan confirmed online tickets are welcome to visit Tirumala by road or the Alipiri footpath,” he said.

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8.00 am | Karnataka

Private schools ask parents to be invigilators for online tests

Along with work from home, household chores and monitoring online classes for their children, parents have a new responsibility.

With no clarity on when normal academic activities will resume, private school managements have begun conducting online tests for students. What’s more? They have taken parents into confidence, asking them to don the role of invigilators and ensure that their children do not cheat in the tests. Though teachers will be monitoring the test online, parents have been asked to support them.

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7.30 am | Assam

Assam's monetary aid for cremating COVID-19 victims

The Assam government has decided to pay up to ₹5,000 each for the last rites of COVID-19 patients whose relatives refuse to receive the body or cannot bear cremation expenses.

The amount, according to requirement, would be paid to the administration of a district from the funds provided by the State unit of the National Health Mission, an order issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department said on Thursday.

“This is in view of the difficulties communicated by the deputy commissioners regarding the cremation of COVID positive patients,” said Samir K. Sinha, Principal Secretary for Health and Family Welfare.

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7.00 am | Gujarat

Diamond industry hit hard by pandemic

The once bustling city of Surat has come under unprecedented slowdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as all three sectors driving the city — diamond, realty and textiles — are a shambles, rendering lakhs of people jobless.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the industry globally, hitting the supply chain and shutting the jewellery sector. But Surat has bore the brunt because it is the largest cluster where nearly 90% of the cutting and polishing work is done.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 9:54:47 AM |

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