Coronavirus India lockdown Day 185 updates | September 27, 2020

A mobile van conducting the Rapid antigen test of COVID-19 virus in northwest Delhi Indira Nagar in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Those unable to afford a probable COVID-19 vaccine will get it for free and the government is considering a large immunisation programme to make the vaccine widely available, a highly placed official involved in the strategy told The Hindu.

The cost of the vaccine would likely retail between $2-3 (₹140-210), the official said.

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:

8.40 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra records 18,056 new COVID-19 cases, 380 deaths

Maharashtra reported 18,056 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the State’s total case tally to 13,39,232 of whom 2,73,228 are active ones.

With 380 deaths, the total death toll has climbed to 35,571. As many as 13,565 patients were discharged today, taking the cumulative recoveries to 10,30,015.

Pune reported nearly 3,000 cases to take its total case tally to 2,85,534 while 46 deaths saw its total death toll climb to 5,670.  Mumbai reported 2,261 cases to take its total case tally to 1,98,846 of which 26,716 are active. 44 fatalities saw the city's death toll rise to 8,794. - Shoumojit Banerjee

8.20 pm | Gujarat

Gujarat adds 1,411 new COVID-19 cases, 1,231 recover; 10 die

Gujarat on Sunday reported 1,411 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total count of infections to 1,33,219, state health department said.

With 10 more persons succumbing to the infection, the cumulative toll went up to 3,419, it said.

A total of 1,231 patients were discharged in the day, taking the total count of recoveries in the state to 1,13,140, the department said.

The state’s case recovery rate has increased to 84.93%.

60,357 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in the state, at the rate of 928.57 tests per day per million population, it said.

8 pm | Jammu

Army sprays disinfectants in areas near LoC in Poonch

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Army on Sunday sprayed disinfectants at community facilities, public transport, hospitals and residential areas in Daradulian and Jhullas villages near the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, a defence spokesperson said.

A team of health workers of the Army along with health officials of civil administration spread awareness on maintaining social distancing norms and taking other precautions against COVID-19 among the locals of the villages which lack basic medical and health infrastructures, the spokesperson said.

Masks and sanitisers were also distributed to the residents including school children, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Army’s Rashtriya Rifles unit in Bhaderwah area of Doda district too distributed masks and sanitisers to 400 individuals including 60 women and 30 children in Marmat Bowl which is deprived of basic amenities and medical facilities, the spokesperson said. - PTI

7.40 pm | India

96% candidates appear for JEE-Advanced amid strict COVID-19 precautions

At least 96 per cent of the candidates, who had registered for JEE-Advanced, appeared for the examination on Sunday amid strict precautions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi, which conducted the exam.

A total of 1.6 lakh candidates had registered for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Advanced after qualifying the JEE-Main.

“Out of total registered candidates, 96 per cent appeared for the exam. The number of exam centres were increased from 600 last year to 1,000, and the number of exam cities were also increased from 164 to 222,” an IIT-Delhi official said. - PTI

7 pm | New Delhi

ICMR’s 2nd sero-survey shows Indians far from achieving herd immunity against COVID-19: Vardhan

The ICMR’s second sero-survey shows that Indian population is still far from achieving herd immunity against coronavirus infection, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday while underlining the need for following COVID appropriate behaviour.

He also stressed that masks be worn even in places of worship.

During an interaction with his social media followers, the minister said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is actively researching on reports of COVID-19 reinfection and although the number of such cases is negligible at this moment, the government is fully seized of the importance of the matter, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

He cautioned that the sero-survey report should not create a sense of complacency among the people.

The first sero-survey of May 2020 had revealed that the nationwide prevalence of novel coronavirus infection was only 0.73%.

“Even the soon to be released second sero-survey indications are that we are far from having achieved any kind of herd immunity which necessitates that all of us should continue following COVID appropriate behaviour,” Mr. Vardhan said in response to the queries posed by his social media followers on ‘Sunday Samvad’ platform. - PTI

6.40 pm | Gujarat

COVID-19 norms: Ahmedabad civic body collects Rs 5.5 crore fine

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Sunday said it has collected a fine of over Rs 5.5 crore so far from violators, including citizens and commercial establishments, of COVID-19 norms.

The civic body also rued that despite conducting a massive regulatory drive, people are still not following guidelines.

The AMC had prepared SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for various categories like shopping malls, hotels, clubs, religious places, etc. to check the coronavirus spread in the city, an official release said.

More than 192 teams were formed for 48 wards and seven administrative zones for effective implementation of rules related to social distancing, wearing masks, spitting in public places etc, it said. - PTI

6.20  pm | New Delhi

Delhi’s COVID-19 fatality rate less than 1% in last 10 days: Satyendar Jain

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Sunday the COVID-19 fatality rate in the national capital was less than one per cent in the last 10 days and asserted that a massive increase in testing for detection of coronavirus infection has led to the rise in cases.

He said Delhi recorded 3,372 fresh cases on Saturday and 4,476 patients recovered within 24 hours.

About 46 deaths reported during the same period, which has been the highest in nearly 70 days, Jain said, “We do not look at the figures for a single day. The average fatality rate of the last 10 days has been 0.94 per cent.

“The patients who have succumbed are not those who tested positive in a day. These are people who tested positive 15-20 days back. That is why we take the average of 10 days,” he stressed.

The overall case fatality rate is 1.94 per cent. The occupancy of beds in Delhi hospitals has declined in the last four-five days and 55 per cent of the total beds are unoccupied currently, the Minister added.

6 pm | New Delhi

Delhi govt. provided over 60,000 oximeters to COVID-19 patients in city: Official data

The Delhi government has so far provided 60,042 oximeters to home quarantined COVID-19 patients in the city to help them check their oxygen levels, according to official figures.

The Arvind Kejriwal government had in June announced to provide oximeters to the COVID-19 patients in home isolation with no symptoms or mild symptoms of the disease and facing breathing problems due to low oxygen levels.

“It was started with a view to be able to provide treatment and shift any such patients to hospital for medical care. Thousands of oximeters distributed by the government have saved many lives of patients in home isolation,” a senior government official said.

According to the latest government figures, a total of 60,042 oximeters have been distributed among COVID-19 patients spread across 11 districts. Most of the oximeters were provided to patients in West (7,504), Central (7,050), South West(6,953), North West (6,656) and East (5,925) districts. - PTI

5.30 pm | New Delhi

Tokyo-bound para-athletes and players in 9 disciplines to resume activities from Oct 5: SAI

Tokyo Olympics bound para-athletes and those who have not yet qualified for the Games, are likely to resume sporting activities at the National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs) across the country from October 5 in a phased manner, the SAI said on Sunday.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), in the first phase in early June, had allowed training for only Olympic-bound athletes at its various centres.

Stepping up its ‘Khelo India Phir Se’ initiative, the SAI will now allow resumption of activities in nine disciplines -- cycling, hockey, weightlifting, archery, wrestling, Judo, athletics, boxing and fencing -- apart from para-athletics, para-powerlifting, para shooting, para archery. - PTI

5.15 pm | Delhi

Patients coming to Delhi in ‘very sick’ condition, most deaths of those with co-morbidities: Experts

Outstation patients being brought to Delhi in “very sick state” for treatment, and “time lapse” in transferring to hospital home quarantined persons whose health has deteriorated, could be among the factors behind the high number of COVID-19 fatalities recorded here in the last few days, say experts.

Doctors at leading government facilities and private hospitals in Delhi on Sunday also concurred that the deaths being reported now are “mostly of patients aged 60 and above with co-morbidities”.

The national capital reported 46 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the highest in over 70 days, taking the toll to 5,193, while 3,372 fresh cases pushed the tally to 2,67,822. This is the highest number of coronavirus deaths reported in a day in Delhi since July 16, when the city had recorded 58 fatalities. - PTI

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3.30 pm | Mizoram

30 fresh cases push Mizoram’s COVID-19 tally to 1,865

At least 30 people, including 12 Border Security Force personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, taking the State’s tally to 1,865, a statement said on Sunday.

Of the fresh cases, 23 were reported from Aizawl district, four from Serchhip, two from Champhai and one from Mamit, it said.

Thirteen new patients, including a 6-year-old girl, were diagnosed with the disease during contact tracing, the Information and Public Relation Department’s statement said.

A health worker, engaged in sample collection, has also contracted the disease, it said, adding that 12 BSF jawans - 10 from Aizawl and two from Serchhip district, tested positive for the infection.

All the patients are asymptomatic, the statement said. - PTI

2.30 pm | New Delhi

India’s total recoveries close to 50 lakhs: Health Ministry

A total of 92,043 people have recuperated from COVID-19 in a span of 24 hours, taking India’s total recoveries close to 50 lakhs and exceeding the active cases of coronavirus infection by 39,85,225, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The single-day recoveries on an average for the last few days have been more than 90,000, the ministry said underlining, “This high rate of daily recoveries has sustained India’s leading global position as the country with the maximum number of recovered cases.”

A total of 92,043 recoveries have been registered in a span of 24 hours in the country, while 88,600 new infections were recorded during the same period, according to the data updated at 8 a.m.

“Maintaining its upward trend, the national recovery rate presently has risen to 82.46%,” the ministry highlighted.

As many as 21 states and UTs have reported higher numbers of new recoveries than the new cases, the ministry said.- PTI

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2.00 pm | Bihar

FIR against Bihar Congress chief, others for violating COVID norms

An FIR has been registered against Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha and several other senior party leaders for violating COVID-19 norms at the Patna airport, officials said on Sunday.

They have been accused of violating COVID-19 protocol by amassing in large numbers at the airport on Saturday when some party leaders were arriving in the city to strategise for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Those named as accused in the FIR include Mr. Jha, Congress Rajya Sabha member and State Congress campaign committee chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh, and AICC secretary incharge of the State Ajay Kapoor.

- PTI

1.45 pm | Maharashtra

Singer Himanshi Khurana tests positive

Punjabi singer and former Bigg Boss contestant Himanshi Khurana on Sunday said she has tested positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old singer requested those who had come in contact with her to get tested for coronavirus.

“I want to inform you all that I have been tested positive for COVID-19 even after taking proper precautions. As you all know that I was part of the protest day before yesterday and the area was crowded so I thought to get the test done before I go for my shoot today evening,” Ms. Khurana tweeted.

Ms. Khurana urged those taking part in the protests to take proper precautions. “It’s my request to all the people protesting to not forget that we are going through pandemic so please take proper care,” she added.

- PTI

1.30 pm | Karnataka

Congress MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao tests positive

Karnataka Congress leader and MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao on Sunday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have tested #Corona positive today. Therefore will be quarantining myself for 10 days. I request all my primary contacts to get themselves checked and take necessary precaution,” Mr. Rao tweeted.

The former State Congress president said he was asymptomatic and will recover soon because of the good wishes from everyone.

Mr. Rao had taken part in the proceedings of the monsoon session of the Karnataka Assembly till late last night.

He was recently appointed as AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Goa and Puducherry.

- PTI

1.15 pm | West Bengal

BJP leader Agnimitra Paul tests positive

BJP women’s wing president in West Bengal Agnimitra Paul said on Sunday she has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and requested people who came in touch with her recently to get themselves tested.

Ms. Paul, who is also a well-known fashion designer, had been touring districts regularly to lead street protests and undertake campaigns against the ruling TMC. She attended party programmes at the State BJP headquarters earlier this week.

“I have been diagnosed as Covid Positive. I would request everyone who has met me in the last 5 days to get...tested. Thank You,” Ms. Paul wrote on Facebook.

Earlier this month, BJP MPs Sukanta Majumdar and Jayanta Roy had tested positive for the disease.

- PTI

1.00 pm | Karnataka

Son, who lost parents to COVID-19, under treatment for infection in Hassan

A 24-year-old youth under treatment for COVID-19 in Hassan lost both his parents to the infection. All three members of the family, residing in Hassan, had tested positive for the infection recently.

His father, a 60-year-old priest in a temple at Kattaya, died on Friday. His mother, a primary school teacher, succumbed to the infection on Saturday. Their only son took part in the last rites of his parents wearing a PPE kit.

According to his relatives, his mother, who visited villages to conduct classes for her students as part of Vidyagama programme, was the first to test positive for the infection. Later, her husband and son also underwent COVID-19 test and both were found infected.

So far 300 people have died of the infection in Hassan district.

- Satish G.T.

12.45 pm | New Delhi

Over 36,000 COVID-19 cases, 128 deaths in central police forces: data

The total number of coronavirus cases in central police forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs have gone over 36,000 with 128 personnel succumbing to the infection, according to latest data.

The cases pertain to the seven forces of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), National Security Guard (NSG) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

As per the latest data accessed by PTI, these forces have recorded over 36,000 COVID-19 cases till now, out of which, 6,646 are active while rest of the personnel have recovered.

The maximum cases at 10,636 have been recorded in the BSF, the country’s largest border guarding force with about 2.5 lakh personnel. This is followed by 10,602 cases in the largest paramilitary force CRPF and 6,466 cases in the CISF.

- PTI

12.30 pm | Karnataka

IISc. develops indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic kit

An indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit has been developed by a start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.). The test kit, based on reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), has been approved for use in authorised COVID-19 diagnostic labs by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Developed by Equine Biotech, founded by Utpal Tatu, professor in the Department of Biochemistry, IISc., the test using the “Global diagnostic kit” takes about one-and-a-half hours to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples, and its run time is shorter compared with the kits available in the industry, according to its founders. The company is currently seeking to licence its new COVID-19 test kit and work with med-tech companies and other industries for mass production, marketing, and distribution of these kits.

“Our start-up has been working on testing for coronavirus infections for many years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic started. This experience has helped us engineer the kit for COVID-19,” an IISc. release quoted Prof. Tatu as saying.

Read more

12.15 pm | New Delhi

Travellers from Dubai, U.K. primary sources of COVID-19 importations into India: IIT study

Travellers from Dubai and the U.K. were primary sources of COVID-19 importations into India, according to an analytical study done by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi.

According to the research, which has been published in the Journal of Travel Medicine, COVID-19 got induced into Indian States mainly due to international travels.

The study has found that infected cases from Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh played less role in spreading the disease outside their communities. Whereas, infected people in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, and Karnataka played a significant role in the local transmission, and some of them caused inter-State transfer.

“We tracked the spread of COVID-19 and its diffusion from the global to national level and identified a few super spreaders who played a central role in the transmission of the disease in India. The COVID-19 spread in phase one was traced using the travelling history of the patients, and it was found that most of the transmissions were local,” Sarita Azad, Assistant Professor, IIT Mandi, told PTI.

- PTI

12.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

30 out of 33 child marriages stopped during lockdown

As many as 33 child marriages were reported in Madurai district from March 25 to August-end, during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown. Data obtained from the district administration shows 30 child marriages were stopped by the officials and the first information report was filed in the remaining three cases.

Collector T.G.Vinay says officials from the Social Welfare Department, Childline, District Child Protection Office and the police department worked in tandem to stop the child marriages. Out of the 13 blocks in Madurai district, the highest number of child marriages were reported in Usilampatti. There were no child marriage cases reported in Chellampatti, Tirumangalam and T. Kallupatti during that period.

“There was no significant increase in child marriages reported in the district during the lockdown period, when compared to pre-COVID-19 times,” said Mr. Vinay.

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11.30 am | Kerala

Curbs hit distribution of worksheet to students

The worsening pandemic situation has affected the distribution of worksheets for evaluation of the online learning process among students in lower primary sections in Ernakulam.

The Education department had entrusted the Sarva Shiksha Kerala with the task of providing the forms at the doorsteps of the students in view of the pandemic crisis. The worksheets have been distributed as a continuation of the evaluation of the online learning modules offered to the students through the Victers channel and YouTube.

With the number of positive cases going up, the block resource persons and representatives of various schools in the district have not been able to initiate the distribution of worksheets. They have not been able to provide them among students in containment zones as entry has been restricted, said senior officials of the Education department.

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11.00 am | U.K.

Police and protesters clash in London over restrictions

London police clashed with demonstrators on Saturday as they broke up a protest in Trafalgar Square against COVID-19 restrictions amid rising tensions over limits on everyday life as the government tries to stem a sharp rise in infections.

Police and protesters were injured when officers moved in after three hours of speeches in front of thousands of people who packed the iconic square in London waving placards opposing mandatory vaccinations, face mask requirements and limits on civil liberties.

Nine police officers were injured, including two who required hospital treatment for head injuries. Sixteen persons were arrested for a variety of offences including breaching coronavirus regulations, assaulting a police officer and violent disorder.

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10.30 am | Gujarat

No garba in Gujarat this year due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak in Gujarat would deprive the people of the State of the famed garba celebrations during the Navaratra festival, as the Gujarat government on Saturday announced that it would not permit any garba event anywhere due to the pandemic.

The government said it would also not hold the State-level Navratri Mahotsav this year during the festival period from October 17 to October 25. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani after a review meeting.

In a statement, the government said, “in public interest in view of the pandemic, CM has taken a decision to not allow the garba celebrations and also not hold the State level event at Ahmedabad.”

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10.00 am | New Delhi

Patience key to resumption of sporting activities: Sjoerd Marijne

The hockey players reassembled for the national camps in early August but with six men testing positive for COVID-19, the quarantine period and SAI restrictions, the players — both men and women — began proper training only last week. And the coaches are in no hurry to rush them on.

“One of the most important things is to manage expectations. They will not come back at their old levels immediately. It is important to accept things as they are and give yourself and your players that time. I know the NFL has had 26 hamstring and six ACL injuries in two weeks. We have to be careful, not rush in too soon because you really need to have patience,” women’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said during a Hockey India webinar on Saturday on resumption of activities.

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9.30 am | Karnataka

COVID-19 positivity rate highest in Bengaluru Rural last week

As the number of coronavirus infections in India and Karnataka continues to soar, the positivity rate among both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases over the last week in the State has been the highest in Bengaluru Rural.

Data from the Karnataka State COVID-19 War Room as of September 24 evening shows that the positivity rate among asymptomatic cases in the last seven days since the date of the report in Bengaluru Rural stands at 29.7 — for 2,331 tests conducted and 692 cases. Mysuru had the second highest positivity rate of 26.9 for 7,228 tests and 1,943 cases. Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Hassan, and Shivamogga are among the other districts with higher positivity rates for asymptomatic cases.

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9.00 am | Karnataka

668 prisoners tested positive for COVID-19, Karnataka govt. tells HC

The State government has told the High Court of Karnataka that 668 prisoners lodged in 47 prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 as of September 18 and 585 of them have fully recovered from the infection after being treated at designated hospitals or care centres.

Also, the government said that 16,418 tests for COVID-19 were conducted for prisoners.

While 11,116 tests were conducted for those brought to prisons for the first time, 4,794 tests were conducted for the existing inmates, and 508 for prisoners who returned from parole, as of September 18.

The data was submitted before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi during the hearing of a petition filed by Amol Kale, a prime accused in Gauri Lankesh murder case lodged at the central prison in Mysuru. The petitioner had sought various measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the prison.

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