Coronavirus India lockdown Day 173 updates | September 14, 2020

A person walks past a mural by artist Dom Laporte showing a health care worker, in Ottawa, Ontario   | Photo Credit: AP

“I shall be the first to offer myself for receiving COVID-19 vaccine if people have a trust deficit,” said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan while interacting on the Sunday Samvad social media platform.

He said while no date has been fixed for the vaccine launch, it may be ready by the first quarter of 2021.

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:

9.40 pm | Uttarakhand

15 deaths, 1,043 fresh virus cases in Uttarakhand

Fifteen more people died from coronavirus in Uttarakhand on Monday as 1,043 cases surfaced, taking the number of infections in the State to 33,016, according to a bulletin issued by the Health Department. So far, 429 deaths have been reported in the State, it said.

According to it, 385 fresh cases were reported in Dehradun; 224 in Haridwar; 212 in Udham Singh Nagar and 46 in Nainital. Nine patients died at AIIMS, Rishikesh; four at Sushila Tiwari Hospital in Haldwani; and two at Doon Medical College.

So far, a total of 22,077 have recovered from the infection, the bulletin said, adding that 10,374 people are still under treatment. As many as 136 patients have shifted out of the State, it said.

9.20 pm | Jammu and Kashmir

Farooq Abdullah says oxygen shortage in Jammu hospitals worrisome

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Monday termed the reported oxygen shortage in Jammu hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic worrisome and claimed that nothing substantial was being done to alleviate the problem, a party statement said.

Replying to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Abdullah said the situation is reportedly quite worrisome particularly in the wake of the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases during the past one week.

“Reportedly, hospitals managing COVID-19 cases are facing acute shortage of oxygen, thereby putting the lives of critical coronavirus patients at risk. It is distressing to know that nothing substantial is being done to alleviate the problem,” he said.  PTI

8.40 pm | Goa

Don’t delay hospital admission: Goa CM tells people

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday expressed worry over deaths due to COVID-19 infection in the State and appealed to people to not ignore symptoms.

“Get yourself tested, if there are signs. It is sad that people are brought in dead to hospitals,” Mr. Sawant said in a video message.

At 14, Goa on Monday reported its highest single-day deaths due to the infection. Out of the 14 fatalities, nine patients died at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, two at ESI hospital in Margao, while three others succumbed at the South Goa District Hospital.

Calling for more awareness, the CM said people should get themselves tested after noticing symptoms.

He said there are enough vacant beds available in various State-run facilities.

“We have set up testing facilities at every Primary Health Centre. People can get tested there and if found positive, should get admitted immediately,” the CM added. - PTI

8.20 pm | Delhi

Manish Sisodia tests positive for COVID-19

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a tweet, the 48-year-old AAP leader said he has gone into self-isolation.

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8.10 pm | Meghalaya

Meghalaya minister tests positive for COVID-9; CM, Deputy CM in quarantine

Meghalaya Power Minister James P.K. Sangma has tested positive for COVID-19 during a re-test, a senior health official said on Monday.

His brother Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong have also been tested for coronaviru and the results are awaited, they said.

The three ministers had travelled together to New Delhi and then to Imphal where James tested positive for COID-19 on his arrival at the airport, the official said.

“The power minister tested positive during a retest conducted by RT- PCR,” the official said.

One of the drivers at the chief minister’s bungalow here tested positive too prompting the health authorities to conduct tests on all 70 people living in the premises, he said.

The results are awaited and the entire area has been sanitised.


7.40 pm | New Delhi

Building portfolio of therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients: Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said a portfolio of therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients is being built by undertaking 13 clinical trials of repurposed drugs and harnessing traditional knowledge using the modern medicine approach. Making a statement in Lok Sabha on the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps taken by the Central government, Mr. Vardhan said in India, a major focus has been on facilitating the development of COVID-19 vaccine and more than 30 vaccine candidates have been supported which are in different stages of development.

He said Phase-2 clinical trial of ‘immunomodulator Sepsivac’ has been completed successfully while Phase-2 clinical trial of the first-ever phytopharmaceutical ACQH is under way.

One prophylactic trial of ‘Aswagandha’ and three trials of ‘Guduchi plus Pippali’; Yashtimadhu; and polyherbal AYUSH drug (AYUSH-64), are planned on moderately-ill COVID-19 patients, he said.

“Thirteen clinical trials of repurposed drugs and harnessing of traditional knowledge using the modern medicine approach are building a portfolio of therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients,” the Health Minister said.

Mr. Vardhan said an effective vaccine would be the sure shot tool in armamentarium against this disease. - PTI

7.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Former U.P. CM Kalyan Singh tests positive for COVID-19

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has contracted coronavirus and is undergoing treatment at the Lucknow’s SGPGI hospital, his grandson and State minister Sandeep Singh said on Monday.

The U.P. Technical and Medical Education disclosed this on his Twitter handle and prayed for the 88-year-old BJP leader’s recovery.

"I pray to Lord Ram for your speedy recovery. Our best wishes are with you,” Mr. Sandeep tweeted referring to the former State Chief Minister.

Sources too confirmed that the veteran BJP leader has been admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences of Lucknow.


7.00 pm | Noida

Noida: 141 new COVID-19 cases, tally climbs to 10,332

Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar district on Monday recorded 141 new COVID-19 patients and the infection tally reached 10,332, official data showed.

The number of active cases stood at 1,979, down from 2,008 on Sunday, according to the data released by the U.P. Health department for a 24-hour period.

On the brighter side, 169 more patients got discharged during the period and the total number of recoveries in the district reached 8,305, the data showed.

The district, adjoining Delhi, has so far recorded 48 deaths linked to the pandemic, with one of the lowest mortality rates — 0.46% in the State, it showed.

Meanwhile, the recovery rate improved slightly to 80.38 per cent from 79.82 per cent on Sunday, as per the statistics.

Gautam Buddh Nagar now ranks eighth among the 75 districts in the state in terms of active cases, seventh in recoveries and 27th in death toll, according to the official figures.


6.40 pm | Maharashtra

Dharavi reports 23 new COVID-19 patients; active cases at 156

The tally of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai’s slum colony of Dharavi increased to 2,938 on Monday with 23 more persons testing positive for the infection, the city civic body said.

Notably, this was the fifth consecutive day of double digit rise in cases in the slum-dominated area where COVID-19 mitigation measures undertaken by authorities had received praise from various quarters.

Since the past more than a month, Dharavi used to report single digit cases barring a few days. A BMC official said 2,512 patients have already recovered in Dharavi and discharged from hospitals.

He said at present, Dharavi has 156 active COVID-19 patients, a figure which has been increasing gradually since the beginning of September.

The civic body has, however, stopped sharing death figures from Dharavi since the past more than two months. The sprawling slum colony, spread over 2.5 sqkm, has a population over 6.5 lakh.

According to the official, the COVID-19 tally in the G-North civic ward, that houses Dharavi, Dadar and Mahim, among other areas, has increased to 8733 cases. He said the tally in Dadar rose to 3,033 with the addition of 39 new cases and in Mahim to 2,762 with 54 fresh infections. - PTI

6.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. records 62 fresh coronavirus deaths, over 5,200 new cases

Uttar Pradesh recorded 62 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, while the number of cases went up by 5,208, taking the overall figures to 4,491 fatalities and 3,17,195 infections, officials said.

“The count of active COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 67,287, while 2,45,417 people have recovered till date,” a heath bulletin said.

The 62 fresh fatalities included eight from Lucknow, six from Kanpur, three each from Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Shahjahanpur, two each from Allahabad, Meerut, Deoria, Hardoi, Muzaffarnagar, Lakhimpur Kheri, Pilibhit, Sambhal and Farukhabad, it said.

The Monday additions took the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3,17,195, while the death toll reached 4,491, the bulletin said.


6 pm| New Delhi

AYUSH practices inducted into management protocol for patients who have recovered from COVID-19

Several AYUSH practices have been inducted into the management protocol for patients who have recovered from COVID-19, an official statement said on Monday.

In the statement, the AYUSH ministry said the protocol provides an integrated holistic approach for patients of COVID to care at home and is not meant to be used as preventive and curative therapy.

As of now, patients who have recovered from acute COVID-19 illness have continued to report a variety of symptoms like fatigue, cough, sore throat, the ministry said.

“The post-COVID follow-up protocol, on individual level, advises continued appropriate use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing etc. Adequate consumption of hot water and immunity promoting AYUSH medicine is advised after prescribed by a qualified practitioner of AYUSH,” it said.

The ministry also recommended mild and moderate exercises like yogasana, pranayama and meditation as prescribed and morning or evening walks at a comfortable pace as tolerated. - PTI

5.45 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Beds in COVID hospitals should be increased: Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials on Monday to increase the number of beds in the COVID hospitals being run under the Health Department.

All the medical colleges and hospitals in Lucknow, Kanpur Nagar, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Meerut have been asked to work at full capacity. The drug controller has been asked to make proper arrangements for medicines and oxygen in these districts, according to a statement.

In a meeting, Mr. Adityanath directed officials to increase the number of beds in the COVID hospitals of the Health Department. The chief minister also asked the KGMU, SGPGI and the RMLIMS hospitals in Lucknow to make arrangement for 1,000 beds, it said.

The drug controller has been asked to give a daily report to the chief minister’s office on the availability of medicines, oxygen and its supply. Directions have also been issued to ensure that there was no hoarding, and necessary medicines were available in hospitals and medical institutes. - PTI

5.30 pm | United Kingdom

U.K. tests if COVID-19 vaccines might work better inhaled

British scientists are beginning a small study comparing how two experimental coronavirus vaccines might work when they are inhaled by people instead of being injected.

In a statement on Monday, researchers at Imperial College London and Oxford University said a trial involving 30 people would test vaccines developed by both institutions when participants inhale the droplets in their mouths, which would directly target their respiratory systems.

Larger studies of the Imperial and Oxford vaccine are already under way, but this study aims to see if the vaccines might be more effective if they are inhaled.

We have evidence that delivering influenza vaccines via a nasal spray can protect people against flu as well as help to reduce the transmission of the disease, said Dr. Chris Chiu of Imperial, who is leading the research. He suggested that might also be the case with COVID-19.

It is critical we explore whether targeting the airways directly can provide an effective response compared to a vaccine injected into muscle, Chiu said in a statement.

The study is currently recruiting participants aged 18 to 55 and hopes to begin vaccinating people in London in the coming weeks. - AP

5.15 pm | Odisha

Bed shortage in COVID-19 hospitals forces Odisha to change strategy

With dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Bhubaneswar fast running out of beds, the Odisha government has moved to discharge patients after 10 days from the date of sample collection. The move is intended at ending overstaying in these hospitals.

A high-level meeting, chaired by State’s Development Commissioner, resolved that as per the discharge protocol, a patient stood clinically discharged after 10 days from the date of sample collection provided he had no symptoms for the last three days.

The proceedings of the meeting said, “Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will prepare the list of such patients on ninth day district wise and post in the collectors WhatsApp group. The concerned collector will take step to pick those cured cases on the 10th day from the respective COVID Hospitals of Bhubaneswar by sending vehicles for pick up.”

In case of default, such cured patients would be transferred from the hospitals to COVID-19 care homes in the city.

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5 pm | New Delhi

Govt’s timely decisions, lockdown helped in preventing approx 37-38 thousand COVID deaths : Health Min

The timely decisions taken by the government, including imposing a nationwide lockdown, helped in preventing approximately 37-38 thousand deaths due to coronavirus and 14-29 lakh people from getting infected, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday amid surging cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Making a statement in Lok Sabha on COVID pandemic and the seps taken by the Central government, Vardhan said in India about 92 percent of the reported cases have mild symptoms, while oxygen therapy was required in 5.8 percent cases and intensive care in 1.7 percent cases.

As on September 11, a total of 45,62,414 novel coronavirus cases and 76,271 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 1.67 per cent, have been reported in India, the Health Minister added. - PTI

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4.45 pm | New Delhi

Bill to cut MPs’ salaries by 30% to meet COVID exigencies introduced in Lok Sabha

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday introduced in Lok Sabha a bill that seeks to reduce for one year the salaries of Members of Parliament by 30 per cent “to meet the exigencies arising out of COVID-19 pandemic”. The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 seeks to replace the Salary, Allowances And Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

“I rise to introduce the bill further to amend the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954,” Joshi said and added that “I introduce the bill”.

The ordinance was cleared by the Cabinet on April 6 and promulgated on April 7. - PTI

4.30 pm | Australia

74 arrested in Australia for anti-lockdown protests

Australian police have arrested 74 people and fined another 176 for flouting coronavirus restrictions during anti-lockdown protests here in the country’s second largest city.

Victoria is Australia’s worst virus-hit state with nearly 20,000 cases and 729 deaths so far. The state has been in a stage 4 lockdown since August 4.

Protesters demonstrated outside the Queen Victoria Market on Sunday, chanting “freedom, freedom.” Soon clashes broke out with authorities, who demanded the gathering be disbanded in view of the social-distancing norms.

Officials said over 250 people had gathered outside the market.

The police had to step in, arresting 74 people and fining 176 others for violation of various norms, officials said.

Melbourne suburb, also called the Central Business District, was seen with heavy police patrolling at night.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius criticised the protesters calling them “selfish”. He said violation of health norms would not be tolerated. - PTI

4.15 pm | Telangana

Saptagir Laboratories, Jubilant sign pact to make virus drug

Hyderabad City-based Saptagir Laboratories on Monday said it has signed a pact with Jubilant Generics to make intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredient for Remdesivir, a drug, used in COVID-19 treatment.

The drug would be produced at its WHO GMP-certified sterile drug product manufacturing plant acquired at a cost of ₹75 crore, a press release from Saptagir Laboratories said.

The company is a part of the ₹900-crore Saptagir Group.

“This partnership (with Jubilant Generics) is timely and in line with our strategic growth plans for the company. Our foray into bulk drug manufacturing will open new revenue streams, backed by our extensive global customer base spanning 50-plus countries with an array of products targeted at the fast-growing health and wellness segment,” said promoter and managing director of Saptagir Laboratories Shilpa Reddy.

Fresh investments in the pharma plant gives Saptagir a strong entry into an adjacent pharma vertical.

The strategy is to accomplish USFDA certification for the plant and develop strong partnerships with a target to achieve 500 KL capacity in the coming few years, the release said. - PTI

4 pm | New Delhi

SC to pass order on HPC’s power to release prisoners during COVID-19 pandemic

The Supreme Court on Monday said it would pass a “detailed order” by which High Powered Commitees in states can order release of prisoners depending upon the situations such as nature of cases and statutes involved during COVID-19 pandemic. After the spread of novel coronavirus was declared as pandemic, the top court on March 23 had taken note of the necessity of maintaining social distancing in prisons and had directed states to constitute High Powered Committee (HPCs) so as to release prisoners on interim bail or emergency parole considering the seriousness, gravity and length of term of sentence and any other similar factor.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian Monday took note of the plea of the NGO, National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), that several prisoners despite the HPC’s orders have not been released from prisons in Maharashtra.

It also considered the submissions against the Bombay High Court’s order which had upheld the classification of offences and imposition of additional conditions by HPC for releasing prisoners.

“Now we will make an observation that high powered committee can order release depending on the situations,” said the bench during the hearing conducted through video conferencing.

It said that a detailed order would be passed. - PTI

3.45 pm | New Delhi

Computer-designed antiviral proteins inhibit COVID-19 in lab, scientists find

Computer-designed synthetic antiviral proteins have been shown to protect lab-grown human cells from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, scientists say.

In the experiments, the lead antiviral candidate, named LCB1, rivalled the best-known SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies in its protective actions, according to the findings published in the journal Science.

The researchers at the University of Washington in the US noted that LCB1 is currently being evaluated in rodents.

Coronaviruses are studded with so-called Spike proteins, which latch onto human cells to enable the virus to break in and infect them, they said.

The development of drugs that interfere with this entry mechanism could lead to treatment of or even prevention of infection, according to the researchers.

They used computers to develop new proteins that bind tightly to SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and obstruct it from infecting cells.

Over two million candidate Spike-binding proteins were designed on the computer. Over 118,000 were then produced and tested in the lab, they said. - PTI

3.30 pm | Himachal Pradesh

HP govt serving low quality food in COVID centres, claims state Congress leader

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread in Himachal Pradesh, the state government has made poor arrangements at COVID care centres affecting the patients, Congress leader Sudhir Sharma said on Monday.

In a statement issued here, the former state minister said videos have gone viral online showing many COVID care centres serving poor quality food to the patients.

The pictures of the dormitory of COVID centres are shocking, and are sending the wrong message to the public and there is an atmosphere of fear. Seeing this people will try to hide the disease by seeing such videos and pictures, he added. - PTI

3.15 pm | Gujarat

Traders impose voluntary lockdown in Sabarkantha, Rajkot

All traders in Khedbrahma town of Sabarkantha and the main grain market at Rajkot in Gujarat have decided to enforce a week-long stringent lockdown in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases, officials said on Monday.

Following the decision taken by shopkeepers, all markets in Khedbrahma town wore a deserted look on Monday.

On the same lines, Rajkot city’s main grain market, which has over 200 shops, started a week-long partial lockdown wherein shops will remain closed after 3 pm, Rajkot Grain Market Association president Bipin Kesaria said.

Khedbrahma municipality’s vice-president Jignesh Joshi said they held a meeting with shopkeepers and decided to go for a week-long total lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“All the markets and shops in the town will remain shut till September 21,” he said.

As per a government release issued on Sunday, Sabarkantha reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours. - PTI

3 pm | West Bengal

Kolkata Metro resumes services after over 5 months

Metro rail services in Kolkata resumed on Monday after a gap of more than five months, a senior official said.

The regular services were suspended on March 23 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Special trains, however, were run for NEET aspirants and their guardians on Sunday.

“Services have resumed at 8 am and around 3,000 people have commuted in the first two hours,” Kolkata Metro Railway General Manager Manoj Joshi said.

“The last trains from the originating stations on both sides will commence their journey at 7 pm and complete it by 8 pm,” he said.

Mr. Joshi said all safety protocols including social distancing are being followed.

A train is halting at a station for 30 seconds instead of the previous duration of 20 seconds to avoid rush during boarding and deboarding, a Metro Railway spokesperson said.

A total of 110 services are being run on the Noapara- Kavi Subhash line at an interval of 10 minutes during peak hours, she said. - PTI

2.45 pm | Odisha

Another Odisha Minister tests positive for COVID-19

Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash on Monday said he along with his wife have tested positive for COVID-19.

With Mr. Dash, the number of Odisha ministers infected with coronavirus has increased to seven. This apart, 22 MLAs and 3 MPs in the state have also been infected with the disease.

“Me and my wife Sangeeta Dash have tested positive to COVID-19. We are stable and urge all those who come in contact with us in the last seven days, get their COVID test done, Mr. Dash said in a twitter post in Odia language.

Earlier, in the day BJP state president Samir Mohanty had also said that he has been tested positive for the infection and has been hospitalised as per the advice of the doctors.

Mr. Mohanty has been admitted at the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, party sources said, adding that earlier BJP Lok Sabha MP from Bargarh Suresh Pujari and Nilgiri MLA Sukanta Kumar Nayak, had tested positive for the infection. - PTI

2.30 pm | New Delhi

India overtakes Brazil to record highest number of COVID-19 recoveries in world: Johns Hopkins data

India on Monday overtook Brazil to register the highest number of COVID-19 recoveries in the world at 37,80,107, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

According to data, 19,625,959 people around the world have recovered from the coronavirus infection while the total number of COVID-19 cases across the world are 29,006,033 and the total number of deaths reported globally stands at 9,24,105.

Johns Hopkins University, which has been compiling COVID-19 data from all over the world, put India in the number one position in terms of the number of recovered coronavirus cases at 37,80,107, followed by Brazil at 37,23,206 cases and the US at 24,51,406 cases.

According to the Union Health Ministry, India’s recovery rate has touched 78% reflecting the increasing number of high recoveries per day. - PTI

 2.15 pm | New Delhi

Over 60% active cases in 5 states; recovery rate touches 78%: Centre

More than 60% of the active coronavirus cases are concentrated in the five states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Health Ministry said on Monday, underlining that the recovery rate in the country had touched 78%.

India’s COVID-19 case tally has mounted to 48.46 lakh with 92,071 new infections, while 37.80 lakh people have recuperated. The death toll climbed to 79,722 with 1,136 more people succumbing to the infection, according to the Ministry data.

India’s journey of a fast-growing recovery rate has crossed a milestone on Monday. On a continuous upward trajectory, the recovery rate has touched 78%, reflecting the increasing number of high recoveries per day, it said in a statement.

As many as 77,512 patients have been discharged in a single day and the gap between recovered cases and active cases is consistently increasing, and now stands at 27,93,509. The total number of active cases in the country is 9,86,598, according to the Ministry.

More than 60% of the active cases are concentrated in five states - Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. These states are also reporting 60% of the total recovered cases, it said.

Nearly 60% of the total number of COVID-19 cases are from five states - Maharashtra (21.9%), Andhra Pradesh (11.7%), Tamil Nadu (10.4%), Karnataka (9.5%) and Uttar Pradesh (6.4%), the Ministry said. - PTI

2 pm | Rajasthan

Seven more die of COVID-19 in Rajasthan, toll reaches 1,243

Rajasthan recorded seven more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus on Monday, taking the death toll in the state to 1,243, the health department said.

The state also reported 793 fresh coronavirus cases.

The total number of people infected with the virus now stands at 1,03,201 in Rajasthan, out of these 17,410 are under treatment.

According to a health department bulletin, 83,114 people have been discharged after treatment till now. - PTI

1.45 pm | Odisha

Odisha reports record 4,198 new COVID-19 cases, 11 fresh fatalities

Odisha registered its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases on Monday as 4,198 more people, including state BJP chief Samir Mohanty, tested positive for the infection, a health official said.

The new cases have pushed the state’s coronavirus tally to 1,55,005, he said.

Eleven more patients succumbed to the infection, taking the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 637, the official said.

Odisha had reported its previous highest single-day spike of 3,996 coronavirus cases on September 11.

As many as 2,476 new cases were reported from different quarantine centres, while 1,722 people tested positive for the infection during contact tracing. - PTI

1.30 pm | Pakistan

Pak reports 539 new cases of coronavirus: Health Ministry

Pakistan has reported 539 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the total infections in the country to 302,020, the health ministry said on Monday.

The Ministry of National Health Services said four more people succumbed to the viral disease and the toll currently stands at 6,383.

“Pakistan has reported 539 new cases of coronavirus while the deaths due to the infection has touched 6,383,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that 289,806 people have recovered from the deadly viral disease but still some 551 were in a critical condition. - PTI

1.15 pm | Chhattisgarh

Ex-minister Chanesh Ram Rathiya dies of COVID-19

Veteran Congress leader and former Chhattisgarh minister Chanesh Ram Rathiya died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Raigarh in the early hours of Monday, a health official said.

He was 78.

“Rathiya, who was suffering from age-related ailments, was admitted in a private hospital here on Saturday after testing positive for coronavirus. He died at around 1 am,” Raigarh Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr S N Keshari said.

The leader is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

Mr. Rathiya, a prominent tribal leader from north Chhattisgarh, was elected as an MLA for the first time in 1977 from Dharamjaigarh constituency in the then undivided Madhya Pradesh. He subsequently won five more Assembly elections in a row from the same seat.

He served as animal husbandry minister in the Digvijay Singh led-Congress government in erstwhile Madhya Pradesh, and was the food and civil supplies minister in the Ajit Jogi government (2000-2003) after the formation of Chhattisgarh in 2000. - PTI

1 pm | New Delhi

No formal study yet, but indications of major revenue loss, says Tourism Ministry

The Ministry of Tourism informed Parliament on Monday while no formal study has been conducted to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector, discussions with stakeholders have indicated that the sector has suffered a massive loss in revenue. In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said due to the fact that the sector is largely unorganised, the impact can be assessed only in due course.

“No formal study has been instituted for assessment of the impact on the tourism sector and job losses. However, several rounds of discussions and brainstorming sessions with industry stakeholders indicate massive loss of revenue, foreign exchange and jobs.

“In view of the highly unorganised nature of the sector, the impact in numerical terms can only be ascertained in due course,” he said.

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12.00 pm

'Busy with peacocks', says Rahul Gandhi in dig at PM over rise in COVID- 19 cases

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the rise in COVID-19 cases, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the government had asked people to become aatmanirbhar which means they should save their lives themselves as the prime minister was busy with peacocks .

In a tweet, Gandhi said coronavirus infections will cross 50 lakh this week and active cases will surpass 10 lakh.

“Unplanned lockdown is the product of one person’s ego and because of it coronavirus has spread throughout the country,” he said in the tweet in Hindi.

“Modi government said become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) which means save your life yourself because the PM is busy with peacocks,” the former Congress chief added in a clear reference to a recent video showing the Prime Minister feeding peacocks.

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11.30 am | Telangana

Collateral damage more severe than pandemic in Hyderabad

Lack of infrastructure in government facilities on one hand and exorbitant billing in the private sector on the other have emerged as common issues during this COVID-19 pandemic. Brushed under this overwhelming virus spread, testing, treatment and mortalities is the problem of those with other illnesses. Very few hospitals agree to take in patients unless “strings are pulled” or “cash-only” payments are made as these tragic stories tell us.

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11.00 am | Tamil Nadu

Former MLA dies of COVID-19

Member of the State secretariat of CPI (M) and former MLA of Tiruppur South, K. Thangavel passed away in Coimbatore early on Sunday morning. He was admitted to a private hospital in Coimbatore 15 days ago for COVID-19 treatment. He was 69.

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10.30 am | Maharashtra

Ex-minister Arjun Khotkar tests positive

Former Maharashtra minister Arjun Khotkar on Sunday said he has tested positive for COVID-19. He shared the information on his Twitter handle.

He said he would undergo treatment in Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. Khotkar, a Shiv Sena leader, was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government.


10.00 am

COVID lab at Delhi airport

Results of the samples collected at the testing lab will be handed to incoming passengers in 4-6 hours.

Results of the samples collected at the testing lab will be handed to incoming passengers in 4-6 hours.   | Photo Credit: By arrangement


Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium, launched India’s first on-site coronavirus testing laboratory at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on Sunday. DIAL has collaborated with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, a Delhi-based laboratory, to ensure safe journey of passengers entering the city or scheduled for domestic connecting flights.

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9.30 am | Meghalaya

30 Raj Bhavan staff test positive

At least 30 staff of the Raj Bhavan here have tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya, an official said on Sunday.

Governor Satya Pal Malik and his ADC have tested negative for COVID-19, a senior Raj Bhavan official said.

“At least 30 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus at the Raj Bhavan since Friday and more tests will be conducted tomorrow,” the official told PTI.

He said the Governor has gone into self-isolation at the Raj Bhavan itself although he has tested negative for COVID-19 and entry into the Raj Bhavan has been barred until further orders.

“His personal staff and one of the ADCs (Aide-de-Camp) to the Governor have also tested negative and more tests are awaited,” he said.

Raj Bhavan Secretary Pravin Bakshi tested positive for COVID-19 in the RT-PCR test conducted on Friday. But a second test conducted at a private hospital here on Sunday came out negative and one more test will be conducted on Monday, the Raj Bhavan official said.

As positive cases are increasing, the Health authorities have also sealed the Health Dispensary at Laban for disinfecting the premises following the visit of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, according to East Khasi Hills district deputy commissioner Isawanda Laloo.


9.00 am | Tamil Nadu

No surge in Chennai after resumption of public transport

A week after public transport services resumed, Greater Chennai Corporation officials have pointed to the possibility of a high level of immunity among residents to explain the absence of any spurt in COVID-19 cases.

The Greater Chennai Corporation is expected to start another serosurvey to assess the exposure of residents to COVID-19.

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8.00 am | Karnataka

Severe shortage of ICU beds with ventilators under govt. quota in Bengaluru

For the last week, critical COVID-19 patients are finding it hard to get ICU beds with ventilators under government quota in Bengaluru.

Although the BBMP’s website on COVID-19 hospital bed status shows there is an availability of 34 ICU beds with ventilators in government hospitals, one in a government medical colleges, 156 in private hospitals, and five in private medical colleges in the city as on Sunday, BBMP nodal officers said they were unable to get ventilator beds blocked for patients under their jurisdiction since Saturday.

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7.00 am

Delhi govt permits gyms, yoga centres outside COVID-19 containment zones to reopen

A trainer sanitising equipment at a gym in Delhi on Tuesday.

A trainer sanitising equipment at a gym in Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy


The Delhi government on Sunday permitted gyms and yoga institutes to function in the Capital except in COVID-19 containment zones subject to strict compliance with standard operating procedure.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 2:45:56 PM |

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