Coronavirus India lockdown Day 181 updates | September 22, 2020

People pass a coronavirus-themed mural intended to remind people to always wear mask in public places, in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Friday Sept 18, 2020   | Photo Credit: AP

India reported over 1 lakh coronavirus recoveries in a single-day for the first time, improving the recovery rate to 80.86 per cent, while fresh cases also dropped below 76,000 after two weeks, according to the Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

India has reported more than 90,000 COVID-19 recoveries for the third day in succession on Monday, with 93,356 patients having been discharged in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said, adding that 79% of the new recoveries are from 10 States/Union Territories.

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 pm | Punjab

3 govt medical colleges to participate in Phase-3 trial of Covaxin

The Punjab government on Tuesday said three government medical colleges of the state would participate in the phase 3 trials of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ being tested by Bharat Biotech Ltd in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The trials are scheduled to commence from October 15, said a government statement.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who chaired a COVID review meeting, directed the Medical Education & Research Department to ensure full care and strict adherence to all precautions during the trials with mandatory consent of the participants.

He also issued stern directions to ensure that poor persons were not pulled into trials without consent, knowledge and understanding of the possible repercussions and dangers.

Bharat Biotech, which had approached the state government a few days ago, has announced a Rs 75 lakh insurance cover for the participants in case of any permanent adverse effect or death. - PTI

8.40 pm | Kerala

COVID-19 tally in Kerala racing towards 1.50 lakh mark

The COVID-19 tally in Kerala is racing towards the 1.50 lakh mark as 4,125 cases were added on Tuesday, as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan blamed violent protests by the Opposition Congress led UDF and BJP outfits for having contributed to the spread of the virus. The toll climbed to 572 with 19 more deaths.

Presently, 40,382 people are under treatment, 3,463 were infected through contact and the source of infection of 412 people was not yet known, Mr. Vijayan told reporters.

As many as 1,01,731 people have so far recovered from the virus and the total infection count in the State has touched 1,42,756, he said. Of the positive cases today, 33 came from abroad and 122 from other States. In the last 24 hours, 38,574 samples were sent for testing. A total of 3,007 people recovered today, Mr. Vijayan said. The deceased today were aged between 30 and 86.

Pointing out that the COVID-19 situation in the State was grim, Mr. Vijayan said the spread of the infection was “extremely severe” in Thiruvananthapuram, where 681 cases were detected today. "Though the cases were rising, the government had no plans to go in for lockdown again," he said.

“Till yesterday, the State’s active cases was 39,258, of which Thiruvananthapuram accounted for 7,047, about 18%, while the death count yesterday was 553 and 175 deaths were from the capital district, that is about 32%.” - PTI

8.20 pm| West Bengal

West Bengal reports 62 more COVID-19 deaths; discharge rate 87.28%

At least 62 more people succumbed to COVID-19 in West Bengal, raising the death toll 4,483, while 3,182 fresh cases pushed the tally in the state to 2,31,484, the health department said in its bulletin.

The discharge rate rose to 87.28%, as 3,047 people recovered from the infection, taking the total number of people who have defeated the disease so far to 2,02,030.

Bengal currently has 24,971 active coronavirus cases.

Since Monday, 45,447 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in the State. - PTI

8 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka aims to bring COVID mortality rate below 1%, not suppressing figures: Minister

The COVID-19 mortality rate in Karnataka was decreasing and the aim was to bring it below one per cent, the State government informed the assembly on Tuesday, even as the opposition Congress accused it of suppressing figures.

As Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah noted during the debate on the COVID-19 situation that 272 people for every one lakh infected were dying in Karnataka, at seventh place in the country in the mortality rate, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar intervened to say the death rate was declining.

He said the mortality rate in Bengaluru was 1.36 per cent, while it was about 1.54 per cent in the rest of Karnataka.

Congress’ Eshwar Khandre intervened and said the deaths were more in number and the government was showing less by suppressing data.

Rejecting Khandre’s statement, Mr. Sudhakar said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had complemented Karnataka for providing correct data.


7.40 pm | New Delhi

3,816 fresh COVID-19 cases take Delhi’s tally to over 2.53 lakh, death toll 5,051

The national capital recorded 3,816 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the tally to over 2.53 lakh, while the death toll climbed to 5,051, authorities said. The count of over 3,800 fresh cases came after 59,013 tests were done the previous day.

Thirty-seven new fatalities have been recorded, taking the death toll to 5,051, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department.

The tally of active cases on Tuesday stood rose to 31,263 from 30,941 the previous day. The death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi stood at 5,014 on Monday.

The bulletin on Tuesday said the death toll from coronavirus infection has risen to 5,051 and the total number of cases has climbed to 2,53,075. - PTI

7:20 pm | Pakistan

Pakistan launches phase-III clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine being developed by China

Pakistan on Tuesday announced the launch of the phase-III clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by a Chinese company.

Minister of Planning Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) -- a centralised body set up to coordinate the national COVID-19 response, said about 8,000 to 10,000 Pakistanis will participate in the trials.

The vaccine is being developed by China’s CanSino Biologics and Pakistan is among the seven countries which will carry out the phase-III trials.

“Just launched the phase 3 trials for a Covid19 vaccine in Pakistan. Vaccine has been developed by a Chinese company. A total of 40,000 people will participate in this trial in 7 countries, of which 8 to 10, 000 will be Pakistani,” Umar tweeted.

Initial results are expected in four to six months, he added.

The NCOC in a statement said that Pakistan’s National Institute of Health (NIH) had partnered with CanSino to carry out the phase-III trials on humans.

Trials for phase 1 and 2 were held in China, it said.

The NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Aamer Ikram termed it an important step for Pakistan to become a part of the trial. - PTI

7 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh reports 77 more COVID-19 deaths, 5,722 fresh cases

The COVID-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh reached 5,212 after 77 more people succumbed to the disease, while 5,722 fresh cases pushed the tally to 3,64,543, an official said on Tuesday.

There are 63,148 active cases in the State, while 2,96,183 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the infection so far, Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said.

The recovery rate in Uttar Pradesh stands at 81.25 per cent, he said. On Monday, 1.50 lakh samples were tested for COVID-19, taking the total number of samples tested in the state to over 88 lakh.


6.45 pm | Andhra Pradesh

₹199.87 crore released to Andhra Pradesh so far by Centre to fight COVID-19

The Centre so far released ₹199.87 crore to Andhra Pradesh to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply to Rajya Sabha member Parimal Nathwani, the MPs office said in a release on Tuesday.

The Centre was yet to release another ₹58.41 crore to the State towards coronavirus containment measures, the MP said. The Centre has also provided machines worth ₹3.10 crore, including one CFX-96 Touch Real-Time PCR Detection System and seven Automated RNA Extraction Machines.

Under the “India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package”, the State had also received 1,70,722 RNA kits, 1,22,040 VTMs and 2,46,567 RT-PCR kits, all worth over ₹16 crore, the release said.

The Centre also sent 3,960 ventilators, 14.63 lakh N95 masks, 2.79 lakh PPE kits and 31.5 lakh HCQ tablets, the release said, quoting the Union Minister of State for Health. - PTI

6:25 pm | New Delhi

LG asks expert panel to suggest measures to tackle current COVID-19 situation in Delhi

In view of rising coronavirus cases in Delhi, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday asked a six-member expert panel to come up with suggestions to deal with the current COVID-19 situation and ramp up health facilities in the national capital, sources said.

Baijal held a meeting with the members of the panel among who are Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General Balram Bhargava, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and National Centre for Disease Control Director Sujeet Kumar Singh.

The expert panel will hold another meeting in the next few days to discuss the strategy to arrest the spread of the coronavirus in the national capital and it is likely to submit its report by September 30, the sources said.

“The LG has asked the six-member expert panel to come up with suggestions on how to tackle the current COVID-19 situation in Delhi. Also, it will suggest measures to ramp up heath facilities, including beds,” a source said.

Before September 20, the national capital recorded over 4,000 COVID-19 cases a day for five consecutive days. - PTI

6.05 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports 5,337 new cases

Tamil Nadu on Tuesday reported 5,337 new cases, 5,406 discharges and 76 deaths. This took the overall positive tally to 5,52,674, the discharges to 4,97,377 and the death toll to 8947. There are 46,350 active cases.

5.40 pm | India

Daily recoveries from COVID-19 more than new infections reported per day for past four days: Government

With India recording the highest number of COVID-19 recoveries in the world, the government on Tuesday said that for the past four consecutive days the number of daily recovered cases surpassed the new infections reported per day.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India has the highest number of recovered cases in the world at 44,97,867.

“India’s COVID-19 cases share is 17.7% of global infections, while those who have recuperated are 19.5% of total recoveries in world. The daily recoveries from COVID-19 more than number of new infections reported per day since past four consecutive days,” he said.

While the U.S.’ COVID-19 cases share is 22.4% of global infections, those who have recuperated are 18.6% of total recoveries in world, the data presented by him showed. - PTI

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5:20 pm | Goa

Goa BJP leaders became infected as they went out for people:CM

In a dig at the Opposition, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said he and many of his colleagues from the BJP had contracted coronavirus infection as they stepped out of their homes to help people during the pandemic unlike leaders of some political parties.

Sawant told reporters that some leaders were giving “video bytes” on the pandemic from the safety of their homes by wearing masks and face shields.

“Several BJP leaders including me tested positive for coronavirus. That does not mean we were irresponsible. We were infected because we were helping people from the front during the pandemic. Our leaders helped people in distress,” the chief minister said after launching an e-book titled “Sewa Hi Sangathan” documenting social work done by the BJP during the 68 days of the lockdown.

BJP’s Goa unit president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said the party workers provided essential commodities and even cooked food to people in the need.

“3.15 lakh face masks and 2.15 lakh sanitiser (bottles) were distributed to people by BJP workers,” he claimed.

Goa’s COVID-19 caseload stood at 28,753 as on September 21, as per the state government. - PTI

5 pm | Chhattisgarh

Two senior health officials removed for negligence

Two senior health officials were removed from their posts in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district for alleged negligence and mismanagement while tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Tuesday.

The action was taken against Dr PK Patra, dean of Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS), Bilaspur and Dr Madhulika Singh, the civil surgeon of Bilaspur district hospital, as per Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s directive on Monday, the official said.

Both officials have been shifted from their posts, he said.

Earlier, the State government had set up a committee, comprising five senior officials, to probe complaints of mismanagement at CIMS Bilaspur, the official from the public relations department said.

The panel’s report highlighted deficiencies in various terms at CIMS and pointed out laxities in the management of the out-patient department and compliance of COVID-19 protocols, he said.

The committee also suggested that a control team, headed by a competent officer, be appointed for better management of CIMS and a senior official be made in-charge of coordinating between CIMS, the district hospital and the State health department, he said.

The Chief Minister has directed the commissioner of Bilaspur division to swiftly take action on the report and improve the situation within 15 days, the official added.


4:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Member-Health NITI Aayog V.K. Paul speaks:

"Pandemic has to be controlled and deaths have to be kept at minimum. But people have to help in stopping transmission specially during their coming festival season.

"We have to have COVID-appropriate behaviour

"We have to take it up as a social movement.

Mask wearing is essential — it’s a service to self/others and the nation."

Crowding during festival season can deal to an explosive situation, he warns

4:10 p.m. | New Delhi

As on Sept 17, India has conducted six crore tests. Deaths per million population is still low in India, Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan says.

After May this is the first time India is registering more recoveries than new cases, he informs.

Less than 1/5 th of total cases are active, he says.

4:00 p.m. | New Delhi

19.5 per cent of the world recoveries are in India: Health Ministry

Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan is addressing the media on COVID-19.

India has recorded the highest number of single day recoveries. More than 1 lakh (1,01,468) new recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country. The trend of very high number of single day recoveries has sustained for the past four consecutive days, Mr. Bhushan says.

19.5 per cent of the world recoveries are in India, he adds.

He credits the high recovery rate to early detection, early isolation and increased health infrastructure in the country.

3:50 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi govt to challenge HC order

The Delhi government said it will challenge the high court’s order staying reservation of 80 per cent ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in 33 private hospitals.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court stayed the AAP government’s decision to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for coronavirus patients in 33 private hospitals.

The bench of Justice Navin Chawla said prima facie the Delhi government’s September 13 order is “arbitrary, unreasonable and violative of fundamental rights of citizens” guaranteed under the Constitution.

The court issued notices and sought responses of the Delhi government and the Centre on a plea by ‘Association of Healthcare Providers’ to quash the order to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.

3:30 p.m. | New Delhi

Academics session for freshers to start from November 1 with curtailed holidays

The delayed academic session for freshers in universities and colleges will begin from November 1, and the winter break this year, the summer vacation in 2021 and other holidays would be curtailed to compensate for the time lost, according to the University Grants Commission.

The guidelines by an expert committee, set up for revising the academic calendar in view of COVID-19 pandemic, have been accepted by the UGC and accordingly universities have been recommended a six-day teaching learning schedule every week.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has accepted the Report of the Committee and approved the UGC Guidelines on Academic Calendar for the First Year of Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Students of the Universities for the Session 2020-21, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ tweeted. - PTI

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3.00 pm | New Delhi

UGC, CBSE can time compartment exam results’ declaration: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday indicated that the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) could coordinate and time the declaration of compartment exam results before the admission process begins in varsities.

The court said the academic future of nearly two lakh students taking the CBSE compartment exams should not be blighted by the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, meanwhile, asked the UGC to not declare its academic calendar till September 24, the next day of hearing.

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2.45 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu schools yet to receive directions on reduced syllabus

Days after School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan said that the syllabus for State board students would be reduced by 40% based on the recommendations of an 18-member committee, schools are yet to receive directions on it for the current academic year.

All schools in Tamil Nadu are currently on a five-day break from online classes. A majority of private schools in the State across boards began online classes from June. In July, the Central Board of Secondary Education notified its affiliated schools of a 30% syllabus reduction for Standards 9 to 12 in view of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2.30 pm | New Delhi

Record 1.01 lakh single-day recoveries take tally of patients cured to nearly 45 lakh

A record 1,01,468 patients recovered from COVID-19 in a single day in India, pushing the cumulative recoveries to nearly 45 lakh and the recovery rate to 80.86 per cent, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.

India’s total COVID-19 recoveries have surged to 44,97,867, with 79 per cent of these being reported from nine states and a UT -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal and Punjab.

Maharashtra continues to lead with over 32,000 (31.5 pc) more recoveries reported. Andhra Pradesh reported more than 10,000 recoveries in a single day

2:00 pm | Mumbai

Zarina Wahab discharged from hospital after testing positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 181 updates | September 22, 2020

Veteran actor Zarina Wahab was discharged from a city hospital on Sunday, five days after she tested positive for coronavirus, according to Dr Jalil Parkar. The 61-year-old actor, best known for films Chitchor, Gharonda, My Name is Khan and Dil Dhadakne Do, was admitted to Lilavati Hospital last week after complaints of fever and breathlessness.

“She was admitted last week, around September 14-15. She was COVID-19 positive. She had fever, breathlessness. I gave her all the treatment and after five days she became well and went home. She was discharged on Sunday,” Dr Jalil Parkar, who treated Wahab, said.

When asked if the actor had tested negative for the virus, Mr. Parkar said doctors can discharge patients if they’re recovering from COVID-19. - PTI

1.30 pm

PM Modi to review COVID-19 status in 7 high-burden States/UTs on Sept. 24

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of seven States/UTs with high COVID-19 burden, to review the status and preparedness of COVID-19 response and management, on Thursday, said a release issued by the Central Government.

These States/UTs are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab.

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1.00 pm | Karnataka

Health activists seek hike in salary

Accredited Social Health Activists under the banner of All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) staged a protest in Kalaburagi on Monday demanding a minimum monthly wage of ₹ 12,000 and other benefits.

The activists said that amid the pandemic, they were risking their lives to combat COVID-19 as they are regularly conducting survey to identify high-risk individuals and those with co-morbidities. They demanded protective gears, including face shields, N95 masks, hand sanitisers and gloves, for all workers as they were visiting containment areas without the optimum protection needed.

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12.00 pm | Odisha

2 nonagenarian men defeat COVID-19

A woman wears protective mask and doing morning walk as she walks past near to COVID-19 coronavirus awareness campaign wall paintings in Bhubaneswar.

A woman wears protective mask and doing morning walk as she walks past near to COVID-19 coronavirus awareness campaign wall paintings in Bhubaneswar.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout


Two nonagenarian COVID-19 patients have been cured of the highly infectious disease in Odisha, bringing cheers to the medical fraternity in the eastern state.

The two patients — Satchidananda Mohanty and Dhirendranath Das — both aged 91, were admitted to dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar respectively.

Both the men were admitted to the hospitals on September 5 after being diagnosed with the disease. They were discharged on Sunday night.

Mohanty, an eminent advocate in Kendrapara town, was also suffering from hypothyroid and neurological ailments. He was immediately shifted to the ICU after his admission to the hospital.

“We were worried about his condition as his oxygen level had dropped a day after his admission. However, his condition improved gradually after we put him under oxygen support,” a doctor who treated Mohanty said.

“Doctors and other health personnel at the hospital were like my family members,” Mohanty said.

His 60-year-old son Debdas, a type-II diabetes patient, also recovered from COVID-19 after being treated at the same hospital.

The other nonagenarian patient, Dhirendranath Das, a former senior official with the Press Information Bureau and the All India Radio, was also shifted to the ICU. Das had developed a breathing problem after contracting the disease.

PPE-clade nurses had fed the patient as he was unable to eat by himself. “While my father was being taken to the hospital, he had told us he would defeat coronavirus. It became a reality because of the relentless efforts of the doctors and the nurses,” Das’s daughter Debadatta said.


11.30 am | Puducherry

Puducherry Government whip tests positive for COVID-19

The Puducherry Government whip R.K.R Anantharaman has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a Health Department official, the Congress legislator developed symptoms of the virus two days ago. His test results came on Monday night and he has been admitted to a private hospital in Chennai, the official said.

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11.00 am | Tamil Nadu

‘T.N. economy may return to pre-COVID level soon’

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 181 updates | September 22, 2020

There are indications that Tamil Nadu’s economy may return to the pre-COVID-19 level in a couple of months but the State may have to increase its spending to create more jobs at this time, former Reserve Bank of India Governor C. Rangarajan said on Monday.

Mr. Rangarajan submitted a 250-page report of a high-level committee that he headed to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami at the Secretariat on Monday.

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10.00 am | Andhra Pradesh

Task force told to trace contacts in 24 hours

The officials of the COVID-19 task force have intensified the process of detecting primary and secondary contacts in Tirupati and Chittoor municipal corporations and Srikalahasti municipality, which account for close to fifty percent of the total cases, as the tally crossed the 55,000-mark by Monday. With 590 casualties, the district tops the State’s toll and comes third in the tally.

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9.30 am | Odisha

Fire breaks out in COVID hospital near Cuttack

Over 100 patients were safely evacuated after a fire broke out at a dedicated COVID-19 hospital at Jagatpur on the outskirts of Cuttack on Monday.

The incident took place just after noon at Sadguru Hospital, which has been declared a special COVID-19 hospital by the Cuttack administration. While the hospital has a total of 152 beds, 127 beds, including 20 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, were occupied.

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9.00 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra records highest single-day recoveries yet with more than 30,000 discharges

A health worker screens people for coronavirus symptoms in Dharavi. File

A health worker screens people for coronavirus symptoms in Dharavi. File   | Photo Credit: AP


In a heartening trend, Maharashtra’s recoveries exceeded its case surge for the fourth consecutive day as 32,007 patients were discharged on Monday in what is the State’s the highest single-day recovery figure till date.

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8.30 am | Chennai

One more COVID-19 testing facility likely at airport soon

The Airports Authority of India may soon set up one more COVID-19 testing facility at Chennai airport for arriving passengers.

A leading private hospital’s facility may be installed on the airport premises later this week or early next week with staff for collecting samples of passengers who may want to get tested.

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8.00 am | Delhi

Virus cases fall below 3K as tests drop by 42%

Rapid antigen test in progress at a dispensary in Seemapuri on Monday.

Rapid antigen test in progress at a dispensary in Seemapuri on Monday.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy


As many as 2,548 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 2,49,259, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Monday.

The total number of daily tests done as per Monday’s bulletin was less than the average of the last three days by 42%. This trend is seen on most Mondays as data represents the tests done on Sunday.

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7.30 am | Telangana

Telangana testing level drops by almost half

Telangana’s testing level dropped by nearly half, and only 55% of the usual number of tests were conducted on Sunday. From September 14, around 55,000 samples were tested per day. On Sunday, only 31,095 samples were tested, of which 1,302 were positive.

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7.00 am

Existing dominant COVID strain is infectious, not severe: study

It is important to note that no strain of coronavirus or clade at present has been conclusively shown to be associated with a more severe form of COVID-19 or an increased risk of death, affirmed scientists at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) on Sunday.

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