Coronavirus India lockdown Day 163 updates | September 4, 2020

Kochi Metro trains getting ready to resume operations from September 6 while adhering to social distancing norms, in keeping with Unlock 4 guidelines.

Kochi Metro trains getting ready to resume operations from September 6 while adhering to social distancing norms, in keeping with Unlock 4 guidelines.

Emphasising that while life is important, livelihood is equally vital, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday said India is undertaking the unlocking process, despite rise in COVID-19 cases, with adequate precautions, preparedness and awareness.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that five States — Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra — currently account for 70% of total COVID deaths in the country. But only two States — Karnataka and Delhi — show an increase in daily deaths.

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:

10.40 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary asks district Collectors to step up vigil

With industrial units, commercial establishments, public transport and temples among others resuming activities in Tamil Nadu in Unlock 4, the State government on Friday asked the district collectors to step up vigil.

The Collectors should also increase information, education and communication (IEC) campaign, as coronavirus cases are expected to spike in October, Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said.

Calling upon the district administration to mount IEC campaign to create public awareness and educate public on the self-imposed discipline and accountability in COVID-19 control, Mr. Shanmugam said COVID-19 cases are expected to spike next month “if no proper discipline is enforced or observed by public in using face mask, maintaining social-distancing in public places or failing to observe personal hygiene.”

In a letter to the Collectors following his video-conference interaction with the bureaucrats earlier in the day, the Chief Secretary complimented them and heads of Health, Police, Revenue and Local Administration and other frontline Departments for their role in controlling the pandemic.

The strategy now clearly shifts from lockdown restriction to containment zone management with effective perimeter control, so that normal life of people is resumed, he said and added if the need arose, more containment areas can be formed.

10.30 pm | Puducherry

Puducherry MLA contracts COVID-19, hospitalised in Chennai

AIADMK legislator in Puducherry, A Baskar, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

Examination of swabs of the legislator representing Mudaliarpet indicated he was infected, Director of Health and Family Welfare S. Mohan Kumar told PTI.

Mr. Baskar has been admitted to a private hospital in Chennai, the health official said. - PTI

10.20 p.m. | New Delhi

Scientists develop portable sterilisation unit to decontaminate PPEs

Scientists have developed a portable sterilisation unit using a new technology called the hybrid sterilisation system that can decontaminate personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary for combating COVID-19, allowing them to be used multiple times, a statement said on Friday.

It can be used by health professionals and other corona warriors for whom PPEs are essential and can prevent generation of hazardous solid waste from the protective gear, it added.

The Portable Optical Cavity Sterilisation Unit (POSCU) to provide efficient and rapid decontamination of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other household items has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Tirupati and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Tirupati.

A working point-of-use sterilisation unit has been developed with the support of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

“UV radiation is a proven method for sterilization. However, the lower penetration depth of UV-C and faster divergence from the source can result in nonuniform treatment,” the statement said. - PTI

9.50 p.m. | Gujarat

1,320 new coronavirus cases in Gujarat, 14 deaths

With 1,320 new cases, the second-highest spike so far, Gujarat’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 1,01,695 on Friday, said a release by the State Health Department. On Thursday, the State had recorded its highest one-day spike of 1,325.

While 14 patients succumbed to the infection in Gujarat since Thursday evening, 1,218 patients recovered and were discharged, taking the total number of recoveries to 82,398, said the release. With 14 new deaths, the death toll has reached 3,078 in the State.

Of the total 14 persons who succumbed to the infection during the last 24 hours, four died in Ahmedabad city, followed by three in Surat, two in Rajkot and one each in Gandhinagar, Gir Somnath, Junagadh, Patan and Vadodara.

Out of the total 1,320 new cases, 271 cases were from Surat district and 171 in Ahmedabad.

Other districts where significant number of cases have emerged include Rajkot (162), Vadodara (125), and Jamnagar (111). 339 patients, the highest in Gujarat, recovered in Surat district on Friday, followed by 186 in Vadodara and 116 in Jamnagar. With 75,453 tests conducted in one day, the per million average has now gone up to 1,160.81 tests, the release said.

Gujarat has conducted over 26.35 lakh tests so far. There are 16,219 active cases, of which 92 are on ventilator. Gujarat COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 1,01,695; new cases 1,320; deaths 3,078; discharged 82,398; active cases 16,219; and people tested so far 26,35,369.

9.30 pm | India

India records over 4 million COVID-19 cases

India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 4 million mark on September 4, according to data from the State governments.

As of 9.30 p.m. on Friday, the total number of positive cases stood at 40,11,460, while the number of deaths was at 69,605.

There are 8,45,495 active cases in the country now. So far, a total of 30,96,415 patients have recovered.

India is now the third country after the U.S. and Brazil to register more than 4 million cases. The U.S. has so far registered 6.253 million cases while Brazil has 4.047 million cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University world tracker. Both these countries have also officially recorded more than 1 lakh deaths (U.S - ~1.9 lakh and Brazil - ~1.25 lakh).

Follow The Hindu 's world coronavirus tracker here .

9.20 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reports a new single-day high of 19,218 cases

Maharashtra climbed a new high in  single-day case surges yet again, reporting a staggering 19,218 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday to take the total case tally to 8,63,062 of whom 2,10,978 cases are active.

A high fatality spike of 378 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 25,964. As many as 13,289 patients were discharged today to take the total recoveries till date to 6,25,773. Pune reported a huge surge of more than 3,500 cases to take its total case tally to 1,89,722.

The district reported 95 deaths to take its total death toll to 4,333. Mumbai reported 1,929 cases to take its total case tally to 1,52,024 of whom 22,222 are active. 35 fatalities saw the city's death toll rise to 7,799.

9.10 pm | Assam

Assam govt. lifts weekened lockdown and night curfew

The Assam government has lifted weekend lockdown and night curfew though coronavirus-related restrictions will remain in force in the containment zones till September 30, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said on Friday.

Night curfew and weekend lockdown have been operational across the state and inter-district movements were prohibited since June 28 following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Weekend lockdown and night curfew have been lifted.

However, please adhere to all the COVID-19 protocols to keep yourself and others around you safe”, the Chief Secretary said in a tweet.

An order was also issued during the day listing various activities which are allowed outside the containment zones along with the restrictions which will remain in force till further order. - PTI

8.50 p.m. | Punjab

AAP silent on rumours about COVID; furthering political interests: Punjab CM

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday accused the Aam Aadmi Party of furthering its political agenda instead of condemning the coronavirus disinformation campaign being run in the State’s villages.

The chief minister also trashed the AAP’s claim of successful coronavirus management by the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi.

Attacking state AAP leaders, the chief minister said they seemed “more focused on launching a personal attack” against him rather than “condemning the COVID disinformation campaign” being run by anti-social elements in the state’s villages.

This showed the extent to which AAP is ready to stoop to further their political agenda in the state, where they have completely lost the confidence of people, the CM said in a statement.


8.45 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra House Speaker tests positive two days before Session starts

Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole on Friday said he has tested COVID-19 positive, two days before the monsoon session of State Legislature begins.

Mr. Patole said he developed symptoms while touring his constituency in Vidarbha region to monitor flood relief work. “I got myself tested and the results were positive,” he tweeted. He asked those who came in his contact recently to get themselves tested.

NCP MLA Narhari Zhirwal, who is the Assembly Deputy Speaker, will chair the proceedings in Mr. Patole’s absence, a Vidhan Bhawan official said.

For the two-day session, officials have put in place a slew of measures to ensure members do not contract the infection and House proceedings go on without any hindrance.

Compulsory antigen tests for legislators, distribution of COVID-19 kits and a new seating arrangement to ensure physical distancing among members are some of the measures undertaken for the session beginning on September 7, the official said.

The session was postponed twice - it was originally scheduled from June 22 and was later shifted to the last week of August. The Budget session in March was curtailed by a week after the first coronavirus case in Maharashtra was detected.

8.30 pm | Maharashtra

HRAWI urges Maharashtra govt. to allow re-opening of restaurants

Welcoming the Maharashtra government’s move to fully reopen hotels, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India’s (HRAWI) on Friday urged the government to allow restaurants to re-open with dine-in services as well.

The association had written to the State government seeking relaxations for the hospitality industry, including the re-opening of restaurants and also allowing hotels to operate at 100% capacities, HRAWI said in a statement.

“While the government has given a nod to the later, the former request did not find any mention in the order on August 31,” the statement added.

HRAWI said the industry has appreciated the government’s decision to allow hotels to operate with full capacity but is pressing on it to consider allowing restaurants to re-open with dine-in services as well. - PTI

8.20 p.m. | Kerala

Kerala registers single highest day discharge of COVID-19 patients

Kerala on Friday registered the highest number of discharges of COVID-19 patients in a single day at 2,716 and reported 2,479 fresh cases.

With these fresh cases, the COVID-19 tally in the state now stands at 82,103.

Health Minister K. K. Shailaja saidthe death toll has gone up to 326 with 11 more fatalities being reported.

Those infected include 60 police officials from Thrissur and 34 health workers.

Out of the new cases, 59 came from abroad, 71 from other states while 2,255 people contracted the disease from their contacts.

8 p.m. | Goa

1-year free treatment for Goa plasma donors: Minister

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Friday announced that people donating plasma after recovering from COVID-19 will be given one year free medical treatment and complimentary health check-ups.

Addressing a press conference, he said the move was to make more people come forward to donate plasma, a therapy which he added was showing good results in treating COVID-19 patients.

Mr. Rane informed that COVID-19 facilities in the state needed a least 1,000 bags of plasma currently.

Talking about the 200 deaths from the infection in the state, Mr. Rane put it down to some patients waiting till the last moment before getting admitted. - PTI

7.50 p.m. | Gujarat

Gujarat reports 1320 new cases

Gujarat on Friday recorded 1320 new cases and 14 deaths, bringing its numbers of COVID-19 cases to 1,01,695 while fatality count has reached 3078. Active case are at 16,219 while discharges stand at 82,398.

- Mahesh Langa

7.40 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Violations of COVID-19 norms made compoundable offences in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday promulgated an Ordinance making violations of guidelines on COVID-19 lockdown and preventive measures such as social-distancing compoundable offences.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit promulgated the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2020, to carry out amendments to the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 (Tamil Nadu Act III of 1939) based on a proposal sent by the State government, a Raj Bhavan release said.

When contacted by PTI, State Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said with the offences made compoundable, the implementing authority can levy a spot fine on the violators instead of filing a chargesheet.

The Raj Bhavan release said despite the government’s aggressive information, education and communication campaign on the public health experts precautions including mandatory wearing of face mask, maintaining physical distance and other measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a section of people, institutions and shops do not follow these norms. Thereby, they put themselves and others at risk of spreading infections. Further, violence against the persons implementing these measures had also been brought to the notice of the government.

7.30 pm | World

India to deploy 2 medical teams in DR Congo, South Sudan to help combat COVID-19

India, which is among the largest troop contributors to the UN peacekeeping, will deploy two medical teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan after a request by UN chief Antonio Guterres to scale-up health infrastructure in the areas managed by the Indian peacekeepers to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said in a statement that the country responded to a request from UN Secretary-General Guterres and mobilised all efforts to assemble two teams of medical specialists to be deployed in hospitals at the UN missions in DR Congo and South Sudan.

This gesture has been welcomed, the Indian mission said. - PTI

7.20 pm | New Delhi

Delhi reports 2914 new cases

Delhi recorded 2,914 new Covid-19 positive cases on Friday with 13 deaths and 1,751 recoveries.

The total positive cases have now risen to 1,85,220 with 4,513 deaths and 1,61,865 recoveries. There are 18,842 active cases in the city.

- Jaideep Deo Bhanj

7.10 pm | Punjab

Punjab minister launches drive to counter misinformation about coronavirus

Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Friday launched an awareness campaign to counter misinformation about coronavirus on social media.

Launching the drive, Mr. Sidhu said a stigma and discrimination have been attached with the disease which needed to be addressed immediately.

Mr. Sidhu, according to an official statement here, said the campaign will be conducted by the Punjab government in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Besides counselling, it is necessary that reliable and accurate information regarding COVID-19 is provided to all patients so that they do not fall for misinformation, Mr. Sidhu said.

The Punjab minister said the campaign also aims at providing relief to the patients suffering from mental stress. - PTI

6.50 p.m. | New Delhi

CBSE class 10, 12 compartment exams to be held from September 22-29

The compartment examinations for classes 10 and 12 will be conducted from September 22 to 29, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced on Friday.

The board said that examinees will carry hand sanitisers and wear face masks in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The compartment examination for the two classes will begin from September 22 and will conclude on September 29. All candidates will carry their own hand sanitiser in transparent bottles and (their own) water bottles, and will be required to cover their mouth and nose with mask or cloth,” CBSE Exam Controller Sanyam Bhardwaj said in an official notification detailing the exam schedule.


6.40 p.m. | Maharashtra

Ashraf Chaudhary, who repaired bats for Tendulkar, tests positive for COVID-19

Bat-maker Ashraf Chaudhary, who has repaired bats for the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been admitted to the Seven Hills Hospital in suburban Andheri.

‘Ashraf Chacha’, as he is popularly known in the cricketing circles, was earlier admitted to a suburban hospital in Chembur, and is suffering from multiple illnesses. He is said to be in his 60s.

After he tested positive for COVID-19, Tendulkar came to his aid and ensured that he was shifted to a facility specifically designated to treat the infection.

Tendulkar had earlier helped Ashraf when he was hospitalised in Chembur and even contributed financially for his treatment. Seven Hills Hospital Dean Dr. Balkrishna Adsul is monitoring Ashraf’s treatment.

6.30 p.m. | Haryana

Authorities launch contact-tracing drive after 75 COVID-19 cases detected at 2 Murthal dhabas

The Sonipat district administration has launched a massive contact-tracing drive after 75 workers at two popular eateries in Murthal tested positive for COVID-19, officials said.

Sonipat’s Deputy Commissioner Shyam Lal Punia said sampling work has been initiated at other eateries also.

Sixty-five workers at Amrik-Sukhdev dhaba and 10 at Garam Dharam dhaba had tested positive for coronavirus following which both the eateries were sealed on Thursday till further orders, he told mediapersons.

Both eateries are located in Sonipat’s Murthal and nearly 50 km away from Delhi. - PTI

6.20 pm | Puducherry

One in 20 people in Puducherry showed evidence of COVID-19 by end of July: JIPMER survey

One in 20 people in Puducherry showed evidence of COVID-19 infection by the end of July while the positivity rate for antibodies was higher in the urban population than the rural population, a community-based survey conducted by the centrally-administered JIPMER has found.

The premier medical institution here conducted the survey to study the prevalence of antibodies in serum (blood) in an attempt to find the extent of spread of coronavirus infection (SARS-Covid) among the population in Puducherry.

A JIPMER release on Friday said the survey found that “one in 20 persons in Puducherry district showed evidence of coronavirus infection by the end of July.”

Experts from the Departments of Preventive and Social Medicine and Microbiology constituted the team, selected patients and collected blood samples. They also conducted the tests and analysed the results.

The release said blood samples were collected from randomly selected adults aged 18 years and above from 30 clusters with the ratio of urban and rural areas being 21:9 to reflect population distribution in the Union Territory.


6.10 pm | Rajasthan

More than 6.15 lakh people fined for COVID-19 rule violations in Rajasthan

More than 6.15 lakh people have been slapped with fine, totalling over Rs 9 crore, in Rajasthan for violation of guidelines against the novel coronavirus such as wearing of mask and maintaining social distancing.

The fines were collected under the Rajasthan Epidemic Ordinance, Director General of Police (Crime) M L Lather said.

He said that so far 7,966 persons have been arrested for violating prohibitory and quarantine norms by registering 3,634 FIRs. - PTI

5.55 pm | West Bengal

E-Passes for crowd management at Kolkata Metro when services resume

The West Bengal government on Friday suggested that Kolkata Metro issues e-pass to passengers availing metro railway services in an attempt to manage the crowd when the services resumes later this month.  Crowd management has turned out to be biggest challenge for the authorities for resumption of the underground metro services in Kolkata.

A few days ago Kolkata Metro said passengers with only smart cards can avail the services and tokens for a single ride won't be issued when the services resume.  But the number of passengers using smart card is more than two lakhs and if so many people try to take metro in peak hours of a day then crowd management would become a challenge.

"A meeting was held at Metro Bhawan today with the State Government officials.  The State government has proposed developing a system to issue e-pass for entering the Metro station, which was explained by the developer to the committee,"  spokesperson of Kolkata Metro said.

The e-passes which would be issued for a few hours would provide real time data about number of passengers at a particular station to the Kolkata Metro and avoid overcrowding in the metro.

The dates for resumption of Metro services that connects north to south of the city has not been announced so far. Under the Unlock 4 guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs Metro Services can resume in the country from September 7.

5.50 pm | Assam

Assam prepares SOP to implement Gauhati HC directives

Assam government is preparing a standard operating procedure (SOP) to implement the directives of Gauhati High Court on adherence to COVID-19 protocol issued by the health department, state Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.

The Gauhati High Court had expressed deep concern over the rise in coronavirus cases and have made the police and the deputy commissioners personally liable so as to ensure that the directives and protocols issued by the State health department to check the spread of the contagion is maintained in public places, the minister told a press conference here.

The situation in the state is alarming with an average of 3000 new cases of coronavirus reported daily for the last three days. But the state government cannot have further lockdowns without the permission of the Centre, he said.

“We are committed to follow the high court order and a meeting will be held with the police and deputy commissioners to ensure that the SOP being prepared is implemented.

”...We do not have too many tools with us, except to ensure that people wear masks and maintain social distance to check the situation. The high court order will help the government convince the people to take adequate preventive measures”, he said.

5.30 pm | New Delhi

BDR Pharma to launch 400 mg Favipiravir tablets

Drug firm BDR Pharmaceuticals on Friday said it plans to launch 400 mg Favipiravir tablets, used for treating COVID-19 patients, in the country.

The ‘BDFAVI’ 400 mg tablets will be priced at Rs 990 for a strip of 10 tablets, BDR Pharma said in a statement. Each tablet will cost Rs 99.

In August, the company launched 200 mg Favipiravir tablets.

“We aim to make BDFAVI available in sufficient quantities to meet the high demand for the drug in the Indian market to help curb the current crisis... introducing a higher dosage is an attempt to ensure a smoother experience to patients and caregivers,” BDR Pharma CMD Dharmesh Shah said.

The company had received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture Favipiravir to treat patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms under the brand name BDFAVI, according to the statement.


5.25 pm | Maharashtra

GoAir to add over 100 flights in domestic network from Sept. 5

Budget carrier GoAir on Friday announced the addition of over 100 new flights in its domestic network, including from its base Mumbai besides other cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, starting September 5.

The airline, in a release, also said it expects the capacity to reach 45 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 level by September 21 and by October 15 to 60 per cent of what it was operating prior to the emergence of the pandemic in the country.

The domestic aviation sector is witnessing a gradual growth in demand owing to increased traffic, which is expected to spike further with many states lifting travel curbs, said GoAir Chief Executive Officer Kauhik Khona.

The new connections include services to and from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow, Nagpur, Varanasi, Jaipur, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Leh and Jammu.

5.20 pm | New Delhi

’4,500 beds occupied by COVID patients in Delhi hospitals, 33% by people from outside’

Out of the over 14,000 beds for COVID-19 patients at various hospitals in Delhi, around 4,500 are occupied by people, 33% of whom are from outside the city, according to government sources.

As per the latest heath bulletin issued by the Delhi heath department on Thursday, the total occupancy rate of beds at COVID-19 hospitals stands at 31 per cent.

Out of 14,140 total beds, 4,477 are occupied and 9,663 are vacant, it said.

“Close to 70% of beds in Delhi hospitals are still vacant. Out of 14,000 beds, around 4,500 are occupied of which 1,500 (33 per cent) are occupied by those patients Who are from outside Delhi,” a government source said.

Only three out of the 131 COVID-19 hospitals (private and government-run) are fully occupied, he said.

“There’s no shortage of beds right now. But increasing number of patients from outside Delhi coming to city hospitals for treatment is a cause of concern,” the source said.

ICU beds at a few top private hospitals like Max hospital Saket; Max hospital, Patparganj; Indraprastha Apollo Hospital; Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj are all occupied, he said, adding that over 70 per cent of these patients are from places outside Delhi.

5.00 pm | Madhya Pradesh

BJD MP Ramesh Chandra Majhi tests positive for COVID-19

BJD MP Ramesh Chandra Majhi said on Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Majhi, the Lok Sabha member from Nabrangpur, said he is in home isolation and his condition is stable.

Tested Covid Positive. Requesting all those who have got close contact with me to be cautious and isolate themselves, he said in a Facebook post.

Mr. Majhi, also a former state minister, is the third parliamentarian from Odisha to be infected by the coronavirus.

Earlier, Bargarh’s BJP MP Suresh Pujari and Bhadrak’s BJD MP Manjulata Mandal were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Besides, 17 MLAs have also tested positive for coronavirus infection.

4.30 pm | Maharashtra

Don’t mark staff in COVID-19 isolation as absent: Thane mayor

Thane Mayor Naresh Mhaske on Friday asked the city’s civic chief Vipin Sharma to ensure staff was considered “on duty” during the time they were absent from work after being detected with COVID-19 and sent into isolation.

Mhaske said such staff should be given full wages since they contracted the ailment while discharging their duties on the field.

He released to the media a copy of the letter he wrote to Sharma on this issue.

4.09 pm | Punjab

No more quarantine posters outside houses of patients in Punjab

Punjab government on Friday decided to rescinded his government’s earlier decision of putting posters outside the houses of Covid patients under home isolation or quarantine in an attempt to mitigate the stigma attached to the pandemic.

Issuing direction in this regard, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, said the move is aimed at minimising the stigma resulting from the affixing of such posters at the front doors of such patients, thus also negating the fear of testing.

“The psychological trauma which patients were seen suffering as a result of these posters, which were meant to protect neighbours and others of such patients, was defeating the very purpose,” he said, adding that these posters were actually found scaring people away from testing.


3.57 pm | New Delhi

Over 60,000 recoveries for 8th consecutive day in India

India’s total COVID-19 recoveries crossed the 30 lakh-mark on Friday, taking the recovery rate to over 77 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday, asserting that the figures show that the number of patients recovering is steadily rising.

One of the goals of the ‘Test-Track-Treat’ strategy of the Centre is to reduce COVID mortality and keep the case fatality rate low, the ministry said in a statement.

There has been sharp attention on sustaining high levels of recoveries and to strengthen the clinical treatment protocols to provide a uniform standardised level of medical care to save lives, it said.

“Not only is India’s case fatality rate lower than the global average and progressively declining (current figure is 1.74 per cent), but a very small proportion of active cases, amounting to less than 0.5 per cent, are on ventilator support,” the ministry said.

Data also shows that two per cent cases are in ICUs and less than 3.5 per cent of the active cases occupy oxygen supported beds, it said.

As a result of these measures, India’s total COVID-19 recoveries crossed 30 lakh (30,37,151) on Friday.

With the recovery of 66,659 patients in the last 24 hours, India has continued its trajectory of posting more than 60,000 recoveries for the eighth consecutive day, the ministry said.

The recovery rate amongst COVID-19 patients is 77.15 per cent demonstrating that the number of patients recovering is steadily rising over the past several months, it said.

3.23 pm | Haryana

Sero-survey results reveal sero-positivity of virus is 8% in Haryana

The results for the sero prevalence survey in Haryana, conducted in mid-August, have revealed that the overall sero-positivity of the deadly COVID-19 virus is 8% in the State. It is around 6.9% for the rural areas and 9.6% for the urban.

The results for the survey were announced by Health Minister Anil Vij on Friday. The survey was conducted in collaboration with Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, taking 850 persons from each district including both urban and rural population.

-- Ashok Kumar


3.07 pm | New Delhi

August last week saw 35 pc hike in COVID cases, 30-40 pc reported from same family: Delhi Health Dept

New Delhi, Sep 4 (PTI) The last week of August saw a 35 per cent increase in coronavirus cases as compared to the previous week, with 30 to 40 per cent of the new cases coming from the same family, according to an analysis done by the Delhi government’s Health Department.

The Health Department analysed the cases in August, which saw a spike, and found that the infection was spilling over to rural and middle-class pockets and there are increasing incidences of cases in migrant habitations.

The government’s analysis also found that there is a lack of adherence with coronavirus appropriate behaviour by the public which might be responsible for the spike.

The other reasons it listed for the spike were the festive season, late testing by COVID suspects, cross-infection, return of migrants and unlock measures.

Fresh and active cases have shown an increase in the last several days, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announcing last month that COVID-19 tests in Delhi will be doubled to 40,000 per day within a week as there has been a marginal increase in the number of cases.

In the last week of August amid a spike in cases, Kejriwal had warned people against complacency and said that more and more people should get themselves tested if they observe coronavirus symptoms.

2.52 pm | Kerala

Kochi Metro trains ready to resume operations from Monday

The temperature within Kochi Metro trains will be maintained at 26-degree centigrade and relative humidity at 70 degrees, to enable safe commuting during the pandemic, A Manikandan, General Manager (Operation and Maintenance) of KMRL said.

Speaking to media persons at the metro's coach depot in Muttom near Aluva, he said that personnel of the mainline wing will frequently inspect the water content in the ambient air within coaches when trains call arrive at stations, to maintain it at 70 degrees. Adequate number of humidity meters has been purchased for this. The temperature will be maintained at 26 degrees, to rule out the possibility of coronavirus in case temperature is lessened, he said.


2.45 pm | Karnataka

Mangaluru-Bengaluru train to resume services from Friday

Train services between Mangaluru and Bengaluru, suspended since March due to COVID- 19, would resume services from Friday.

This is part of the three special trains the Railway Board has permitted to operate in the South-Western railway division.

The Yeshwanthpur-Karwar train would begin operations from 6.45 pm on Friday. In the return direction, the train would leave Karwar at 6 pm on Saturday, a press release from the railway here said.

The Bengaluru-Mangaluru train would resume service on Friday, while the services from Mangaluru would start on September 6. The train operates four days a week.

The train that runs between Bengaluru and Mangaluru thrice a week would resume operations on September 6 while in the return direction, the train would start from Mangaluru on Saturday.

The trains would operate until further notice and people have to book the tickets in advance, the release said.

2.25 pm | Noida

Noida Metro resumes service on Monday; only one gate for entry/exit at 15 of 21 stations

Only one gate would be functional for entry or exit at 15 of the 21 stations of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro, which resumes service on Monday after remaining shut for over five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to official guidelines.

In the remaining six stations, both entry gates will remain open.

Also, commuters will have to maintain adequate social distance and have been advised against touching any surface inside Metro coaches.

The Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) had on Wednesday announced that the services of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro, also known as the Aqua Line, would resume from September 7.

The rail service between the twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida were suspended in March due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Only one gate will be kept open for entry or exit at Sector 101, Sector 81, NSEZ, Sector 83, Sector 137, Sector 142, Sector 143, Sector 144, Sector 145, Sector 146, Sector 147, Sector 148, Alpha -1, Delta — 1 and GNIDA Office metro stations, the NMRC stated.

Both entrance gates will be kept open for commuters at Sector 51, Sector 50, Sector 76, Knowledge Park-II, Pari Chowk and Depot metro stations, it added.

2.20 pm | Gujarat

40% recovered COVID-19 patients lost antibodies: Survey

Around 40 per cent of COVID-19 patients lost antibodies post their recovery from the disease, revealed a survey by the Ahmedabad civic body covering 1,800 previously infected people in the city.

The loss of antibodies makes people who have recovered from the disease susceptible to reinfection, said Dr Bhavin Solanki, medical officer of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), on Friday.

The survey was conducted on 1,800 persons, who tested positive for coronavirus between March and July through antigen tests, said Dr Jay Sheth, associate professor of civic-run MET Medical College.

Developing antibodies means a person contracted COVID-19, recovered and subsequently developed them against the viral disease.

“The survey has revealed that around 40 per cent of the recovered patients have lost antibodies, and antibodies disappear from several people in the long run after recovery,” Solanki said.

This suggests that people who have lost antibodies can contract COVID-19 again in the future, he said.


2.15 pm | West Bengal

No Question Hour during upcoming monsoon session of W.B. Assembly: Speaker

There will be no Question Hour during the upcoming two-day monsoon session of the West Bengal Assembly due to “paucity of time and the COVID-19 situation”, Speaker Biman Banerjee said.

The BJP has termed it “double standards” of the Trinamool Congress, which had earlier called the decision to not have Question Hour during the upcoming Parliament session a “murder of democracy“.

Other major opposition parties in the State, the Congress and the CPI(M), however, said they will comment on the decision only after they are officially informed about it.


2.00 pm

Despite high testing levels, daily COVID-19 positivity rate below 7.5%: Ministry

With more than 11.70 lakh samples tested for COVID-19 for two successive days (September 2 and 3), the total number of such tests conducted in the country has surged to 4,66,79,145, while the daily positivity rate is still below 7.5%, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

“Even with this very high daily testing, the daily COVID-19 positivity rate is still below 7.5% while the cumulative positivity rate is less than 8.5%,” it underlined.

With 30,37,151 people having recovered from COVID-19, the national recovery rate has risen to 77.15%, while the case fatality rate has further declined to 1.74%, according to the Ministry’s data.


1.45 pm | Haryana

65 employees at Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba off NH-44 test positive

As many as 65 employees at the popular Amrik Sukhdev dhaba off National Highway-44 in Haryana’s Sonipat, around 60 km from South Delhi, have been found positive for COVID-19.

The eatery has since been shut for two days for sanitisation. The samples of around 350 employees at the eatery were taken on August 31 as part of a drive across the district to check prevalence of the infection at the dhabas along the highway.

District Surveillance Officer, Sonipat, Dinesh Chillar told The Hindu that 65 of these samples had tested positive for COVID-19. “Around a hundred workers from Bihar had come to the dhaba for work four days before the samples were taken. All of those found positive were from among these 100-odd people. Senior Medical Officer, Gannuar, has been entrusted with the contact tracing of those infected. The authorities in Bihar have also been informed,” said Dr. Chillar.

He added that only the family members, relatives and friends of those found positive were being traced.

He said though hundreds of guests visit the dhaba every day, there were no records available. “We, therefore, make an appeal to all those who have visited the dhaba over the past one week to get their COVID-19 test done,” said Dr. Chillar.

Besides Amrik Sukhdev dhaba, two employees at Garam Dharam dhaba have also been found positive. However, all samples collected from around 20 famous “Murthal dhabas”, including Gulshan and Pehalwan, turned out to be negative.

- Ashok Kumar

1.30 pm | New Delhi

Doctor, aide arrested for giving forged COVID-19 test reports

A 34-year-old doctor and his associate were arrested for allegedly providing forged COVID-19 test reports to people in the national capital, police said on Friday. The accused have been identified as Kush Bihari Parashar, a resident of Malviya Nagar, and his associate Amit Singh, they said.

Parashar admitted that he had given forged COVID-19 test reports to more than 75 patients using names of diagnostic centres such as CRL Diagnostics Lab, Modern Diagnostics and Research Centre, Dr. P. Bhasin Pathlabs (P) Ltd. and Prognosis Laboratories.

Parashar said that he had been doing this forgery for the past two-and-a-half months and used to charge ₹2,400 per test.


1.15 pm | New Delhi

CBSE opposes plea for postponement of compartment exams for class XII

The CBSE opposed in the Supreme Court a plea seeking postponement of compartment exams for 12th class scheduled this month, saying all “necessary” safety measures for students are being taken in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

The plea challenged the CBSE decision to hold compartment examinations for class XII on the ground that it would be detrimental to the health of the examinees.

The counsel for the CBSE said the board has increased the number of examination centres for compartment tests from 575 to 1,278. “We have taken a decision that in a class where 40 students could sit, now only 12 will sit and we are taking all precautions.”


1.00 pm | New Zealand

New Zealand reports first virus death in three months

New Zealand reported its first death from the coronavirus in more than three months on Friday.

Health authorities said a man in his 50s died at an Auckland hospital where he was being treated for the virus following a small outbreak in the city that began last month. New Zealand has reported more than 1,700 cases and 23 deaths.

- AP

12.45 pm | Karnataka

Postal ballot for COVID-19 patients in GP polls

Those who have contracted COVID-19 and are undergoing treatment either in hospitals or at home and under home isolation can exercise their franchise in the upcoming Karnataka gram panchayat elections through the option of postal ballot.

The State Election Commission, which has come out with standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed during the elections, said a separate order/guidelines would be issued in this regard.

The SOPs state that those who have tested positive for the infection can file their nominations through their proposers.


12.30 pm | Puducherry

ICMR made no negative projections about Puducherry: CM

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy clarified that the Indian Council of Medical Research has not informed the Puducherry government about any scientific findings by them which suggest that 95% of people in the Union Territory are susceptible to novel coronavirus.

“In my recent meetings with ICMR- National Institute of Epidemiology team in the presence of senior officials, they did not mention about any study which showed 95 % of the population in U.T. are susceptible to the the virus. When I enquired with the team members on Thursday, they informed me that ICMR has not put any such projections,” the Chief Minister told  The Hindu .

The Lt.  Governor’s Secretariat had published the minutes of a meeting ICMR-NIE team had with Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi in which it was stated that 95% of people in U.T. are susceptible to the virus.


12.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

27 prison inmates, district jail superintendent found positive in U.P.

The superintendent of district jail and 27 inmates were found COVID-19 positive, taking the total number of prisoners and staffers suffering from the disease to 390 in Muzaffarnagar, officials said on Friday.

In the district, 107 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. This figure includes those found positive in the jails.


12.00 pm | Dubai

After clearing third round of testing, all CSK players, except 13, to start training

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all other Chennai Super Kings players, except for the COVID-19 afflicted duo of Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, will start training from Friday evening after clearing a third round of testing for the virus here.

The results are a major relief to the franchise, which was hit by 13 positive cases last week. The event is due to start on September 19 and will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

“The training starts from today. All others, apart from the 13, tested negative for the third time. Those who tested positive will only be tested after the isolation period (two weeks) is over,” CSK CEO KS Viswanathan told  PTI .


11.45 pm | Puducherry

One in 20 persons in Puducherry showed evidence of COVID-19 infection: sero study

A COVID-19 seroprevalence study undertaken by Jipmer has found that one in 20 persons in Puducherry district showed evidence of coronavirus infection by the end of July.

Of the total of 869 adults tested, 43 had antibody against novel coronavirus (4.9%). The positivity rate for antibody was higher in city (urban) population than in rural population (5.7% against 3.1%). It was higher among women than in men (6.3% in comparison to 3.6%).

The seroprevalence findings also show that the actual prevalence in the community was about 26 times higher in terms of the proportion of COVID-19 infection than detected by Real-Time PCR in Puducherry till July.


11.30 pm | New Zealand

New Zealand retains safety measures until mid-September

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday retained the restrictions put in place to beat the spread of the coronavirus until at least mid-September, as the country reported a new death related to the virus.

Auckland, the country's largest city and the centre of a fresh outbreak, will remain on alert level 2.5, which limits gatherings to no more than 10 people.

“The best economic response remains a strong health response. If we get it right we will ultimately shake off restrictions faster and lessen the risk of bouncing around,” Ms. Ardern told a news conference.


11.15 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra Minister tests positive, hospitalised

Maharashtra Minister Sunil Kedar, a Congress leader, has tested positive for COVID-19 and admitted to a private hospital here, his party said.

“He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday evening after his COVID-19 test came positive,” Atul Londhe, State Congress spokesperson, told PTI.

Mr. Kedar, 59, is the Cabinet Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Youth Welfare and Sports. He is the 6th Minister in the MVA government to test positive for the infection.


11.00 am | Puducherry

Puducherry records highest number of deaths in single day

Puducherry recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths on a single day with 20 patients succumbing to coronavirus complications in 24 hours. The death toll went up to 280 while overall tally crossed the 16,000 mark.

While 17 deaths were in Puducherry, two were in Yanam and one in Karaikal. The patients, including eight women, were in the 46 to 81 age range. The case fatality rate also increased to 1.73%.

Puducherry also saw a high number of new cases with 591 admissions in the last 24 hours.

- Dinesh Varma

10.45 am | Maharashtra

COVID-19 situation in western Maharashtra alarming: Uddhav

Stating that the daily rise in fresh COVID-19 cases in western Maharashtra is “alarming”, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday urged the district administrations to involve local self-help groups in the fight against the virus and ramp up contact tracing and door-to-door screening.

“The focus of the virus has now shifted from Mumbai and Thane to Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli. This will entail more responsibilities and vigilance on part of people. There is a need for the district administrations to create awareness among people by involving corona vigilance committees and local self-help groups,” Mr. Thackeray said, while urging the administrations of the three districts not to repeat the mistakes made by other districts in combating the contagion.


10.30 am

Blood clots caused by COVID-19 may lead to loss of limbs, says expert

Thrombosis, or blood clot, which can cause loss of limbs or failure of other organs, is increasingly being observed among COVID-19 patients, said S. Saravanan, vascular surgeon and director, Institute of Kidney Diseases, Urology and Organ Transplantation, Madras Medical Mission Hospital.

He said that while such COVID-19-induced thrombosis and the consequent loss of limbs were being widely reported in countries like the U.S., it had not received much attention in India so far.

Stressing the need for caution even if the patients remained asymptomatic and even after recovery, he said numbness, pain or inability to move the limbs must receive immediate medical attention.


10.15 am | New Delhi

Life in Delhi Metro in Unlock 4.0: here’s what will change

Occupying only alternate seats, mandatorily using smart cards instead of tokens, getting restricted access to enter and exit stations — these are just some of the changes that commuters have to adapt to once Delhi Metro opens its doors.

Services on the Delhi Metro is set to resume after over five months from September 7 in a graded manner with staggered timings. As a crowd control measure, each station across the network will have only one or a maximum of two entry and exit gates functional. On Monday, the Yellow Line (Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre) and the Rapid Metro Gurugram will be made operational with the metro running between 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.


10.00 am | South Korea

South Korea restrictions keep new cases under 200

The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in South Korea has stayed below 200 for the second consecutive day amid toughened social distancing rules.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it confirmed 198 additional cases in the latest 24-hour period, taking the country’s total to 20,842, with 331 deaths.

About 70% of the new cases were in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

- AP

9.45 am | Uttar Pradesh

Noida govt. hospital claims over one lakh RT-PCR tests

The Government Institute of Medical Sciences in Gautam Buddh Nagar on Thursday claimed that it has performed over one lakh RT-PCR tests for COVID-19, the maximum by any facility in Uttar Pradesh.

The Greater Noida-located facility has also completed 100 procedures of plasma therapy since the service was launched here on May 9, GIMS Director Dr Brig Rakesh Gupta said.


9.30 am

Only half of JEE students wrote exam on Day 1; 80% attendance on Day 2 and 3

Just over half the students who had registered for the B.Arch and B.Planning papers on the first day of JEE-Main turned up to write the examination on Tuesday. The second and third day of the examination, which were for B.E and B.Tech admissions, saw 80% attendance.

The Hindu  had reported that many students who had registered for both architecture and engineering exams chose to skip the B.Arch and B.Planning papers this year, and focus on B.E and B.Tech in the light of COVID-19 risk, leading to 54% attendance on Day 1.

Overall, attendance has been lower this year due to fear of infection and difficulties in transportation due to the pandemic and local lockdowns, which forced a number of registered candidates to miss the examination.


9.15 am

India’s COVID-19 tally goes past 39 lakh; no. of recoveries crosses 30-lakh mark

India’s COVID-19 tally went past 39 lakh on Friday with 83,341 fresh cases reported in a span of 24 hours, while the number of recoveries crossed the 30-lakh mark, pushing the recovery rate of coronavirus patients in the country to 77.15%, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The total number of COVID-19 cases mounted to 39,36,747, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 68,472 with 1,096 people succumbing to it in a day, the Ministry’s data updated at 8 a.m. showed.


9.00 am | Tamil Nadu

200 vials of vaccine arrive in Chennai for trials

Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, has arrived in Chennai for clinical trials. Health officials said they had received 200 vials of the vaccine for trials that will involve two institutions and 300 volunteers.

Clinical trials of the vaccine will be taken up at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and the Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research.


8.45 am | Jharkhand

Six new fatalities in Jharkhand

Jharkhand’s COVID-19 caseload rose to 46,480 on Friday as 1,618 more people tested positive for the infection, while six fresh fatalities pushed the State’s coronavirus death toll to 444, a health official said.

The fresh infections have taken the number of active COVID-19 cases in the State to 15,150, while 30,886 people have been cured of the disease so far, he said.


8.30 am | Maharashtra

Over 2,700 Mumbaikars fined for not wearing masks

Over 2,700 people have been fined by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in the last five months for stepping out in public without wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Friday.

As per the Union government’s guidelines following the viral outbreak, the civic body made masks mandatory in public places since April 9.

The civic body in Mumbai has collected a total of ₹27.48 lakh in fines from 2,798 citizens between April 9 and August 31, the official said.


8.15 am | Telangana

TS healthcare workers have highest positivity rate in India

The positivity rate among healthcare professionals in Telangana is 18%. As per the statistics announced by Union Health Ministry officials at a press conference held on Thursday, the positivity rate (percentage of people tested who are positive) of 18% is the highest when compared to other States. Healthcare professionals include doctors, nurses, para-medical staff, lab technicians, and patient care providers.

Around 80,000 to one lakh healthcare professionals in Telangana are involved in COVID-19 management for the past six months. Last week, senior officials of the State Health department said that around 2,000 healthcare workers contracted the infectious disease, and at least 14 had died.

8.00 am | New Delhi

Bars to be allowed to function on trial basis from Sept. 9

Bars in hotels, restaurants, and clubs will be allowed to function on a trial basis in the city from September 9 to September 30, and these establishments will have to operate with 50% of seating capacity and adhering to social distancing norms, stated an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday. The order also allowed functioning of Metro services from September 7.

Bars within containment zones will remain closed.


7.45 am | United Kingdon

Members named to panel probing WHO’s pandemic response

An independent panel appointed by the World Health Organisation to review its coordination of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic will have full access to any internal UN agency documents, materials and emails necessary, the panel said Thursday as it begins the probe.

The panel’s co-chairs, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, announced the 11 other members during a media briefing. They include Dr. Joanne Liu, who was an outspoken WHO critic while leading Medecins Sans Frontieres during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Also named to the panel are: Dr Zhong Nanshan, a renowned Chinese doctor who was the first to publicly confirm human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus; Mark Dybul, who led the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary who is CEO of the International Rescue Committee.


7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

No respite from surge in positive cases in A.P.

The State reported 75 new deaths and 10,199 new infections during the past 24 hours as of Thursday morning. For the ninth day in a row, the State witnessed over 10,000 new infections, and so far over 94,000 cases were reported in the past nine days. During the same period, an average of 60,991 samples per day were tested.

The overall tally has gone up to 4,65,730 and the death toll to 4,200. As many as 9,499 patients recovered leaving 1,03,701 patients active. The recovery rate stands at 76.83% with a total of 3,57,829 recoveries so far.

7.15 am | Los Angeles

Robert Pattinson tests positive for COVID-19, says media reports

British actor Robert Pattinson has tested positive for COVID-19, news media reported on Thursday, halting production of “The Batman” and highlighting the industry's struggles to get back to business after months of a pandemic-induced shutdown.

Movie studio Warner Bros. said in a statement that “a member of  The Batman  production” in Britain had tested positive for the coronavirus, but did not give a name. “Filming is temporarily paused,” the studio's statement added, but did not say for how long.

Variety , the  Hollywood Reporter  and  Vanity Fair  all cited sources as saying the person who tested positive was Pattinson, the film's star.

7.00 am | Tamil Nadu

Subject Class X private candidates with mental, physical disabilities to COVID-19 tests, says HC

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the School Education Department to ensure that all those with physical or mental disabilities wanting to write the Class X examinations from September 21 as private candidates, as well as their scribes, are subjected to COVID-19 tests at least two days before the exams.

Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha also directed government officials to explore the possibility of letting the candidates and the scribes interact with each other through mobile phones or by maintaining a safe physical distance.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:17:38 pm |