Coronavirus India lockdown Day 167 updates | September 8, 2020

Health workers conduct COVID-19 rapid antigen test of MLAs, Assembly staff and media personnel, ahead of the two-day session of West Bengal Legislative Assembly, in Kolkata, on Sept. 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In the last 24 hours, Andhra Pradesh recorded the highest COVID-recoveries with 11,915 recovered cases. Karnataka and Maharashtra followed with 9,575 and 7,826 recoveries respectively while Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh registered 5,820 and 4,779 recoveries, a release from the Union Health Ministry said. These 5 States together contributed 57% of the recoveries in the last 24 hours.

The same five States are also contributing 60% of the total cases with Maharashtra at the top with 21.6%, followed by Andhra Pradesh (11.8%) and Tamil Nadu (11.0%).

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 pm| Rajasthan

Ashok Gehlot decides not to meet people for a month after string of infections at CMO

After nearly 40 personnel at the Chief Minister’s Office and his residence tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has decided not to meet people for the next one month, according to a release.

“As per the advice of doctors, the Chief Minister has decided not to meet people for the next one month. During this time he will participate only through video-conference,” a release said.

Nearly 40 personnel of the CMO and the Chief Minister’s Residence, including some security staff, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus over the last few days.

The Chief Minister also appealed to the people to follow social-distancing norms, wear face masks and take all precautions to stay safe from the coronavirus. - PTI

10.30 pm | Himachal Pradesh

Four more COVID-19 deaths in Himachal; case tally crosses 7,800-mark

Four more people died of coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 59, while 171 fresh cases pushed the State’s infection tally to 7,832.

According to health department data, three fatalities were reported from Shimla and one from Kangra.

Solan accounts for 15 of the total COVID-19 deaths in the State, followed by 11 in Kangra, eight in Mandi, seven in Shimla, five each in Hamirpur, Chamba and Una, and three in Sirmaur.

The number of active cases in the State has also climbed to 2,316, Special Secretary (Health) Nipun Jindal said.

- PTI

10.20 pm | Tripura

Tripura allows private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients

The Tripura government on Tuesday said that it has decided to allow private hospitals in the state to treat COVID-19 patients.

Plasma therapy would also commence in the state within the next two days, according to a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.

The Tripura government has also decided to allow Rapid Antigen Tests at 17 private hospitals and nursing homes, and it would cost ₹750 per test, the statement said.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb also expressed deep concern over the COVID-19 fatality rate in the state and asked healthcare personnel to take necessary actions to improve it.

10.10 pm | Mumbai

Mumbai reports 1,346 new COVID-19 cases; 42 die, 887 recover

The COVID-19 tally in the financial capital increased to 1,58,756 on Tuesday with the addition of 1,346 new cases, while 42 fresh deaths took the toll to 7,939, the city civic body said.

Notably,after a gap of more than 15 days, the COVID- 19 fatalities in the citywent past the 40-mark. Earlier on August 21, the city had recorded 42 deaths. — PTI

9.55 pm | New Delhi

Rahul Gandhi accuses Modi government of ‘mismanagement’ of COVID situation

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the Modi government of “mismanagement” of the COVID situation and said due to it, India has now the second-highest total cases in the world.

He also alleged that there is no flattening of the curve and the country’s weekend tally of coronavirus cases was more than those of the U.S. and Brazil put together.

India has overtaken Brazil to take second spot in the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide.

“Due to Modi Govt’s gross mismanagement of Covid: India’s total cases world’s 2nd highest. India’s weekend tally higher than US & Brazil put together. On Sunday, India’s share was 40% of total cases worldwide. No flattening of curve. Stay safe everyone,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress has accused the Modi government of not handling the COVID-19 pandemic effectively and said that the lockdowns imposed by it have failed. — PTI

9.40 pm | New Delhi

Excise Department to ensure bars in hotels, clubs, restaurants follow COVID-19 safety norms after reopening

With bars in hotels, clubs and restaurants set to reopen in Delhi on Wednesday, the Excise Department will keep a strict vigil to ensure strict compliance of COVID-19 guidelines by these establishments.

Officials said violation of norms could lead to sealing of premises or cancellation of licence by the Department.

In a recent order, the Department directed its assistant commissioner (enforcement) to deploy teams to check compliance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during serving of liquor at bars in hotels, clubs and restaurants. Strict compliance of SOPs on COVID-19 precaution is the foremost condition for opening of bars for an allowed period from September 9 to September 30, it said.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority in its order on September 3, had directed that such bars will be permitted to open in Delhi, except in containment zones, from September 9 to 30.

The activities related to bars in hotels, clubs, restaurants for on-premises consumption of liquor under different licence categories, are allowed from September 9 to September 30, subject to compliance of SOPs, the Excise Department said in its order. - PTI

9.30 pm | Punjab

Punjab allows private hospitals to conduct Rapid Antigen Testing

The Punjab government on Tuesday announced it has decided to allow private hospitals, clinics and labs to conduct Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) for COVID-19 after getting empanelled with district health authorities.

Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said guidelines have been issued to all the deputy commissioners and civil surgeons on allowing the testing by private health establishments. “RAT kits would be provided free of cost by the department. The civil surgeons will empanel those private hospitals, clinics and labs that are willing voluntarily,” he said.

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9:10 pm | Chandigarh

Chandigarh sees its highest one-day jump of 377 COVID-19 cases

Chandigarh reported the sharpest single-day spike of 377 novel coronavirus cases, pushing the infection count to 6,372 on Tuesday, according to a medical bulletin.

The death of a 72-year-old coronavirus positive woman raised the toll to 75 in the Union Territory, it said. - PTI

9.05 pm | New Delhi

Delhi Metro’s Blue Line, Pink Line to resume services from Wednesday after 171-day hiatus

Delhi Metro’s Blue Line and Pink Line are set to resume operations on Wednesday after being closed for 171 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

On Monday, the Delhi Metro had resumed services on its Yellow Line, with curtailed operations and a slew of measures for safety of passengers and employees.

Metro services in Delhi-NCR were closed since March 22 due to the pandemic.

8.55 pm | Uttarakhand

12 deaths, 658 fresh virus cases in Uttarakhand

Twelve more people died from coronavirus in Uttarakhand on September 8 as 658 fresh cases surfaced, pushing the State’s infection tally to 26,094, according to a Health Department bulletin.

So far, 360 people have died from the infection in the State, it said.

Of the 12 patients who succumbed to the infection on Tuesday, four died at Dehradun’s Doon Medical College; three at Base Hospital, Srinagar; two each at AIMS, Rishikesh, and Sushila Tiwari Government Hospital, Haldwani; and one at Mahant Indresh Hospital in Dehradun, the bulletin said.

Dehradun district reported the highest 248 cases; Nainital 112; Haridwar 82; Udham Singh Nagar 56; Tehri 33; Uttarkashi 24; Almora 24; Champawat 23; Pitgoragarh 16; Bageshwar 14; Rudraprayag 11; Pauri 9; and Chamoli 6, the bulletin said.

As many as 17,473 patients have recovered from the disease while 77 have migrated out of the state. There are 8,184 active cases in the State now, it said. — PTI

8.40 pm | Karnataka

COVID-19 test mandatory for attending Karnataka Assembly session: Speaker

Undergoing RT-PCR test for COVID-19 infection 72 hours prior to the start of the monsoon session from September 21 is mandatory for all those attending it, Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said on Tuesday.

Only if a person tests negative in the test and on the basis of the certificate issued would he or she be allowed to attend the session or cover it, the Speaker was quoted as saying by the State Information Department in a release.

The Monsoon session of the Legislature will be held from September 21 to 30 at the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the State Legislature in Bengaluru.

Keeping the health of everyone in mind, several precautionary measures have been taken in the wake of the pandemic, Mr. Kageri said, adding that the public would not be allowed to watch the proceedings this time.

Those who have already undergone COVID-19 test and also those who have recovered should once again undergo the test after September 18 and only if it is confirmed negative would they be allowed to enter the Assembly, he said, adding there would be no concession on this.

8.30 pm | New Delhi

NCW chief Rekha Sharma tests positive for COVID-19

National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma on Tuesday said she has tested positive for COVID-19 and has home quarantined herself.

The NCW chairperson advised anyone who came in contact with her to get themselves tested.

“I got myself tested for COVID today as I was having cold and the report came positive. Anyone who came in my contact please get yourself tested. I have home quarantined myself,” Ms. Sharma said in a tweet.

8.20 pm | Gujarat

1,295 new coronavirus cases in Gujarat

With 1,295 new cases, Gujarat's COVID-19 tally rises to 1,06,966; total fatalities rise to 3,136 with 13 more deaths. Active cases stand at 16,351. Discharges stand at 87,479. - Mahesh Langa

The State’s recovery rate rose to 81.78% on Tuesday.

A total of 72,076 samples were tested for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, at the rate of 1,108.86 tests per day per million population. — PTI

8:10 pm | New Delhi

6 from particularly vulnerable tribal group of Andaman Islands tested COVID-19 positive: Govt

Six members of a particularly vulnerable tribal group of Andaman and Nicobar Islands tested positive for COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Responding to a question, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said all the six people have recovered and returned to their island.

-PTI

7.55 | Bengaluru

India weighing Russian offer for ‘Sputnik-V’ vaccine trial, manufacturing: official

India has received an offer from Russia to conduct a trial and manufacture its “Sputnik-V” COVID-19 vaccine, with several Indian companies currently studying the proposal, an Indian government official said on September 8.

“The government of India attaches great importance to this offer of partnership from a friend,” said NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul.

The outcome of discussions on the offer were expected soon, he added.

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7.40 pm | Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir’s COVID-19 tally surpasses 45,000 with record 1,355 new cases in one day

Jammu and Kashmir witnessed its biggest single-day spike of 1,355 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, pushing the Union Territory’s infection tally to 45,925, while the death toll from the disease rose to 815 with 14 fatalities in the past 24 hours, officials said.

It was for the sixth time in as many days that the number of fresh COVID-19 cases crossed the 1,000-mark in a 24-hour period. Among the new cases, 785 were from the Jammu region, while 570 were from the Kashmir valley.

Jammu district reported the highest number of 483 new cases, followed by 210 in Srinagar district, the officials said.

There are 11,859 active COVID-19 cases in the UT, while 3,32,501 patients have recovered from the infection so far, they said.

Fourteen people infected with the coronavirus died in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 24 hours till 5 p.m. on Tuesday. While eight of the new fatalities were in the Jammu region, six were in the Kashmir Valley, the officials said.

7.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Be cautious till COVID-19 vaccine is out, CM Jagan tells people

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has reiterated that one should always be on alert in dealing with COVID-19 and till the time the vaccine is released, one has to live with the pandemic and take precautions.

During the weekly review with Collectors, Superintendents of Police and senior officials - Spandana programme, Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy asked the Collectors to ensure that testing was done at all Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres, area hospitals, teaching hospitals and Government General Hospitals.

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7:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi govt. launches awareness campaign urging people to follow COVID-19 safety measures

The Delhi government has launched an extensive awareness campaign with Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal’s pre-recorded calls and multimedia messages appealing to the people to follow COVID-19 safety precautions like wearing a face cover, following social distancing and getting tested for the virus.

Other media like radio, television and outdoor publicity materials like billboards will also be part of the campaign, disseminating the Chief Minister’s message, according to a Delhi government statement.

The Chief Minister is directly appealing to the people of Delhi to wear masks and follow social distancing through pre-recorded calls and other modes of communication. One crore people of Delhi will be approached through the pre-recorded calls, it said.

“He will also be reaching out to the people through radio, TV, outdoor hoardings and digital platforms on how to avoid corona and take precautions,” the statement said.

 

7:10 p.m. | Meghalaya

42 fresh cases take Meghalaya’s COVID-19 tally to 3,076

Forty-two more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya on Tuesday, taking the state’s tally to 3,076, Health Minister A.L. Hek said.

There are now 1,343 active cases in the state, while 17 patients have succumbed to the disease so far, he said. - PTI

6.50 pm  | Maharashtra

Opening places of worship with guidelines not practical: Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government has told the Bombay High Court that opening of religious places, even with guidelines, was not a “practical” solution and it had decided against it till the COVID-19 situation improved.

The State government was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a local NGO seeking direction that temples in the State be opened for worshippers.

The petitioner’s counsel Dipesh Siroya had urged the court to direct the State to reopen temples albeit with restrictions such as limiting the number of worshippers at a time.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni on September 8 told a Bench headed by Justice Amjad Sayed that while the State had given the suggestion a thought, it had decided against reopening temples and other places of worship.

“The State contemplated but decided it is not feasible to open places of worship as yet because of the rising cases of coronavirus,” Mr. Kumbhakoni said.

The State also filed an affidavit in the High Court on September 7, informing about its decision.

In the affidavit filed through Kishor Nimbalkar, the Secretary of its Disaster Management department, the State government said past experiences, especially in cases of crowd management at “vegetable markets” or during the “Ganesh festival” had shown rampant breach of safety guidelines.

The State, in its affidavit, said that one’s Constitutional right to practice and propagate religion was subject to public order, morality and health. And that maintenance and improvement of public health must rank the highest.

Even if it were to issue guidelines, there was “no guarantee” that citizens would follow them, it added.

“The recent Ganesh festival was really an eye-opener. The State had issued guidelines for celebrations and it was expected of citizens to follow the guidelines in true letter and spirit since it is the duty and responsibility of each citizen to cooperate with the state during the pandemic,” it said. — PTI

6.45 pm | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. lifts weekend curbs on markets

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday revoked its order of mandatory closure of markets on Sunday, reverting to the pre-coronavirus lockdown arrangement.

According to a statement, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a review meeting said the markets will now close as per their earlier schedule instead of the weekly closure on Sunday.

He said except containment zones, hotels and restaurants should be made operational in all areas and it should be ensured that all safety measures are followed. The Chief Minister asked officials to take measures for the protection of health workers from the infection.

At the meeting, the CM also directed officials to speed up development work at seven cities under the Smart City Project and asked them for regular monitoring. - PTI

6.30 pm | Rajasthan

Dronacharya awardee athletics coach Virender Poonia tests positive for COVID-19

Dronacharya awardee athletics coach and former international hammer thrower Virender Poonia has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been admitted to a hospital in Jaipur.

The 47-year-old Virender is the husband of Olympian discus thrower and sitting Rajasthan MLA Krishna Poonia. He is now admitted to the Railway Hospital in Jaipur.

He, however, said he is doing “fine”.

“Last week I had body pain and sore throat and so I went for COVID-19 testing and it turned out to be positive. The result came on Saturday,” Virender told PTI over phone.

“Today is the fourth day (after testing positive) and I am alright. There is still body pain and sore throat but I am hoping to get better. There will be another test in four or five days time.” - PTI

6.25 pm | Maharashtra

BJP’s Pravin Darekar attacks Maharashtra govt. over COVID-19 deaths

Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, on Tuesday held “flaws and ignorance” of the healthcare system responsible for “50%” of total COVID-19 fatalities in the state.

Darekar demanded the state government divulge details regarding measures initiated by it to curb the infection and allocation of funds.

The BJP leader also sought ₹5,000 crore assistance to farmers who are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

6.22 pm | Tamil Nadu

5,684 fresh cashes in Tamil Nadu

Another 5,684 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, taking the overall tally to 4,74,940; 6,599 persons were discharged today and the total discharged are 4,16,715; 87 more persons died and the total death toll stands at 8,012; active cases are 50,213. - Serena Josephine

6:10 p.m. | Rajkot

With increased testing, Rajkot sees rise in COVID-19 cases

Rajkot has reported the third highest number of daily COVID-19 cases in Gujarat after Surat and Ahmedabad in the last few days, an official said on Tuesday, attributing the rise to increased testing.

According to the state health department, there are 2,214 active cases in Rajkot, the third highest in the state after Ahmedabad with 4,021 and Surat with 2,627 cases. — PTI

6.05 pm | Bihar

COVID-19 update from Bihar: Total death 765; total recovered persons 1,34,089 (88.98% recovery rate); total active cases 15,839; total positive cases 1,50,694; and total sample tests done 43,28,593. - Amarnath Tewary

5.50 pm | Maharashtra

Pune first district in India to cross 2 lakh COVID-19 cases

Driven by a surge in COVID-19 cases in the last few days, Pune has become the first district in the country to record more than two lakh cases.

As per data of the Maharashtra government’s health department, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Pune district reached 2,03,468 on September 7 after 4,165 more people tested positive for the disease.

Pune crossed the one lakh-mark on August 5 and in a month’s time, the cases have doubled in the district, according to official figures.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Pune is around 22%, Collector Rajesh Deshmukh told PTI on September 8.

“Currently, Pune district is on top in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The reason behind thesurge in cases is the aggressive testing strategy adopted by the district administration,” he said.

Not just recently, but Pune has been doing aggressive testing for the last two months and the number of cases is bound to increase, he said.

“In fact, no other district is conducting tests the way Pune is doing,” he claimed.

Effective contact-tracing, tracking of co-morbid people and isolation of patients have been possible due to the large number of tests, Mr. Deshmukh said.

“Testing, tracking and tracing are the main factors behind the surge. Even the results of sero survey [conducted on nearly 1,500 people] found out that 50% people had antibodies,” he said.

Despite the number of COVID-19 cases being high, the recovery rate in Pune is encouraging as it is now about 78%, he said. — PTI

5.40 pm | New Delhi

Doctor’s prescription not mandatory for COVID-19 testing in Delhi, says High Court

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered that doctor’s prescription will not be mandatory from now on for those going voluntarily for RT/PCR test to detect COVID-19 infection in the national capital.

Till now it was mandatory for a person to have a doctor’s prescription or symptoms to get tested for the virus.

A Bench of justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said people need to carry Aadhaar card for Delhi address proof and fill up a form as prescribed by the Indian Council of Medical Research for COVID-19 testing.

The court noted there was a sharp increase in the number of cases in Delhi and asked private laboratories to allow 2,000 COVID-19 tests a day for those who want to undergo the voluntarily screening. Capacity of around 12,000 tests per day is available with the Delhi government, it noted. - PTI

5.30 pm | Manipur

Sarita Devi recovers from COVID-19, in isolation away from home for son’s sake

Former world champion boxer L. Sarita Devi has recovered from COVID-19 but has quarantined herself away from her home in Imphal for at least the next 10 days to ensure that her young son’s “well being is not compromised”.

The 38-year-old had tested positive on August 17 along with her husband Thoiba Singh. She was discharged from a care facility on Monday after returning a negative test.

“I came back yesterday after testing negative. My husband was discharged last week but I had to spend a few more days at the COVID care centre after my test came positive. But thankfully I am out of there now,” Sarita told PTI.

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5.15 pm | West Bengal

COVID-19 fears reduce Bengal assembly monsoon session to a single day

The monsoon session of West Bengal assembly will be held for only a day on September 9 due to the ongoing pandemic, Speaker Biman Banerjee said on Tuesday.

It had been earlier decided that the House will meet for a two-day session from Septembaer 9. But the decision was changed during the all-party meeting on Tuesday and the house will now have a single day session, TMC sources said.

“We don’t want people to stay in the assembly for a long time. So it has been decided that the house will be adjourned after obituary reference and placing of few reports,” Mr. Banerjee said.

4.25 pm | New Delhi

India has brought in very extensive testing, says NITI Aayog member V. K. Paul

"Our numbers are rising — we haven’t stabilised yet. The pandemic is still on. But India has brought in very extensive testing. Large population is still vulnerable and testing should be encouraged. , " says NITI Aayog member V. K. Paul.

Fear not testing but the virus, he adds.

4.15 pm | New Delhi

Where do States stand?

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan gives State-wise data

Five states account for 62% of active cases and 70% of deaths in the country. They are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.

Fourteen States/UT have less than 5000 cases.

Assam, Kerala, Odisha, Bihar are among the States that has lower than 1% fatality due to COVID-19.

4.00 pm | New Delhi

Fatality rate below 2%

At the weekly COVID-19 briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says India has one of the lowest case fatality rates.

Case fatality rate in India is 1.70% while the global CFR is 3.40%. India has one of the lowest per million cases in the world - 3102, he adds.

Case fatality rate is now below 2%  and declining, he notes.

3.45 pm | Uttar Pradesh

UP lifts weekend curbs on markets

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday revoked its order of mandatory closure of markets on Sunday, reverting to the pre-coronavirus lockdown arrangement.

According to a statement, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in a review meeting that markets will now close as per their earlier schedule instead of the weekly closure on Sunday. He said except containment zones, hotels and restaurants should be made operational in all areas and it should be ensured that all safety measures are followed.

3.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly session from September 14 to 16

The upcoming session of the State Legislative Assembly will be held from September 14 to September 16 at the Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai. All those intending to take part in the House proceedings have been requested to undertake tests for COVID-19 infection 72 hours before the House is scheduled to convene.

The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the House, chaired by Speaker P. Dhanapal, which met here, finalised the dates for the session.

Read more

2.45 pm  | Tamil Nadu

2,000 mini clinics across Tamil Nadu soon

The Tamil Nadu government is planning to open about 2,000 ‘mini clinics’ across the State for treating patients with headache, mild fever and other ailments, as doctors in several private and government hospitals are reluctant to treat patients suspecting they would have COVID-19, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Tuesday.

Chairing a review meeting of officials and public health experts, Mr. Palaniswami said the State government’s decision followed representations received by the government in this regard. These mini clinics would come up in Corporations, Municipalities and major villages that did not have primary health centres. Each of the mini clinics would have a doctor, a nurse and an assistant along with medical equipment and medicines.

Read more

2.35 pm | Uttar Pradesh

22 inmates of jails in Muzaffarnagar test positive

Twenty-two inmates of two jails in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and were moved to isolation wards in the prison complexes.

The fresh infections -- one in the district jail and 21 in a temporary jail -- reported on Monday took the number of infected jail inmates in the district to 400, they said.

According to district jail superintendent Kamlesh Singh, the prison houses more than 2,700 inmates.

2.15 pm | Himachal Pradesh

Speaking loudly could also help spread coronavirus: HP Assembly Speaker to MLAs

Speaking loudly can also help spread coronavirus, said Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar on Tuesday as he asked the legislators to strictly abide by the COVID-19 protocol, especially during the session.

At the beginning of the Assembly session on the second day, Parmar said, “As per standard operating procedure, speaking loudly could also help spread the virus. So, talk in a normal way to check spread of novel coronavirus.”

At this, the legislators burst into laughter and several MLAs spoke loudly while participating in the discussion on the adjournment motion moved by the Leader of Opposition on Monday.

2.10 pm | New Delhi

Over 5 crore COVID-19 tests conducted till date

India’s cumulative tests for detection of COVID-19 have surpassed five crore, while tests per million have witnessed a rise from 6,396 on July 1 to 36,703 as of date, the Union Health Ministry said.

India has come a long way from conducting just one test at the lab in the National Institute of Virology, Pune in January to 5,06,50,128 as on date with 10,98,621 samples being tested in 24 hours testifying the enlarged testing capacity in the country.

“The average daily tests conducted (week-wise) are demonstrating a consistent increase. This has registered a 3.2 times expansion from third week of July (3,26,971) to first week of September (10,46,470),” the ministry said.

2.00 pm | Japan

Organizers, IOC trying to remove doubts over Tokyo Olympics

The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers are trying to convince the public that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will take place next year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said last week that the games could go ahead without a vaccine. This week John Coates, the IOC member who oversees the Tokyo Olympics, said the games would happen despite the pandemic.

Mr. Coates is to appear Wednesday in a virtual meeting with the IOC executive board. He is expected to give an upbeat assessment of Tokyo’s prospects.

Several recent public opinion polls have shown skepticism from the Japanese public and the business community that the games can go on — or should go on. - AP

1.50 pm | Myanmar

Suu Kyi opens campaign for Myanmar election amid virus surge

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi raised her party’s flag at its office in the capital Tuesday to start an election campaign that may be disrupted by a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Suu Kyi said her plan to open her campaign with a tour of her constituency just outside Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, was cancelled because of travel restrictions due to surging virus cases.

Cases have spiked suddenly after Myanmar registered months of relatively low numbers. The health ministry reported 92 more cases on Tuesday morning, bringing the total to 1,610. - AP

1.45 pm | France

French soccer star Kylian Mbappe tests positive

France forward Kylian Mbappe has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and will miss this week's Nations League international against Croatia, the French football federation (FFF) said on Monday.

“Given that the result of his COVID-19 test carried out by UEFA on Monday morning showed up as positive, he was removed from the rest of the squad after the results came through following training, and then returned to his home later in the evening,” the French football body said on its website.

Mbappe, a star of France's 2018 World Cup victory, scored the winner on Saturday as France beat Sweden 1-0.

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1.40 pm | New Delhi

Indian economy to contract 10.5% in FY21; COVID-19 spread disrupting eco activity: Fitch

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday slashed India’s FY21 growth projection to (-) 10.5%, from (-) 5% estimated earlier, saying the continued spread of the virus and imposition of sporadic shutdowns across the country has disrupted economic activity.

In the first quarter of current fiscal India’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by a massive 23.9%.

Fitch said India recorded one of the sharpest GDP contractions in the world in the April-June quarter, but noted that growth should rebound strongly in the July-September period amid re-opening of the economy. - PTI

1.30 pm | Odisha

Restart Shramik Special trains from Odisha, Dharmendra Pradhan tells Goyal

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to restart Shramik Special trains from Odisha to ferry migrant workers back to their workplace in States like Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The Railways started Shramik Specials on May 1 to transport stranded migrant workers to their native States after thousands tried to reach home on foot due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The last Shramik Special train was operated on July 9.

In his letter to the rail minister, Mr. Pradhan said that he has received a number of requests from migrant workers in Odisha who have urged that train services be started so they can reach their workplace. - PTI

1.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

43 inmates of jails in Muzaffarnagar test positive

Forty-three inmates of two jails in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and were moved to isolation wards in the prison complexes, officials said.

The fresh infections - 22 in the district jail and 21 in a temporary jail - took the number of infected jail inmates in the district to 400, they said. So far, 210 inmates of the district jail and 190 in the temporary jail have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to district jail superintendent Kamlesh Singh, the prison houses more than 2,700 inmates. - PTI

1.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

Case fatality rate has decreased, Chennai Corporation says

Greater Chennai Corporation officials claim that they have registered a decline in the COVID-19 case fatality rate over the past 14 days.

Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the case fatality rate in the city has reduced to 1.2% over the last 14 days, because of an arrangements to shift SARI (severe acute respiratory infection) cases to hospitals, as well as other interventions. The case fatality rate during the past one month has been 1.5%. The case fatality rate for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic has been around 2% -- two months ago for instance, it was 2.2%.

The civic body has used 90 ambulances with oxygen support to shift patients from houses to hospitals. “We got an additional 10 ambulances. We have picked 1,100 SARI cases in 30 days. The city is registering a slow decline phase in the COVID-19 pandemic. After the serosurvey 45 days ago, we have estimated the serological prevalence at 35% to 40%,” said Mr. Prakash.

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1.00 pm | Himachal Pradesh

Speaking loudly could also spread the virus, Himachal Assembly Speaker tells MLAs to an uproar of laughter

At the beginning of the session on the second day, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar said, “As per standard operating procedure, speaking loudly could also help spread the virus. So, talk in a normal way to check spread of novel coronavirus,” while asking the legislators to strictly abide by the COVID-19 protocol.

At this, the legislators burst into laughter and several MLAs spoke loudly while participating in the discussion on the adjournment motion moved by the Leader of Opposition on Monday.

On Monday, the BJP’s Indora MLA Reeta Devi tested positive for the viral disease. According to the legislator, she attended the Assembly session before her COVID-19 test was conducted on Monday evening, but maintained physical distance from other legislators in the Assembly complex. - PTI

12.45 pm | Telangana

Jewellery, phones stolen from COVID-19 patients at Gandhi Hospital

A group of newly-joined workers at Gandhi Hospital were handed over to the police on the charge of stealing jewellery and phones from COVID-19 patients. It was the hospital administration that identified the workers following an inquiry upon receipt of several complaints.

“We have planned to install some more closed-circuit television cameras and placed security personnel in each floor. They are responsible if there are any further thefts. We are not allowing any valuable items like gold ornaments, money, credit cards, documents, etc when patients get admitted. We hand over the valuables to relatives at the gate and take their signatures,” Superintendent of Gandhi Hospital Dr. Raja Rao said.

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12.30 pm | New Delhi

HC allows withdrawal of plea seeking financial assistance to lawyers

The Delhi High Court Tuesday allowed withdrawal of a plea seeking financial assistance for lawyers enrolled with Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), irrespective of their state of residence, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawyer-petitioner sought to withdraw the plea after the court observed that it was filed without any substance. The petition had also sought a moratorium on EMIs and loan repayments till the pandemic situation normalises.

“Petitioner seeks to withdraw the petition as the Supreme Court is seized of the issue...,” Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad noted and disposed of the plea. - PTI

12.15 pm | Tamil Nadu

11.98 lakh students join government and aided schools in T.N.

Government and aided schools across Tamil Nadu have admitted 11.98 lakh students since August 17. Of them, 8.70 lakh have been admitted to government schools and 3.28 lakh to aided schools for elementary and secondary education.

The admission process began later than usual this year. While schools continue to remain shut, the School Education Department allowed the admission process with adherence to safety norms.

“Despite the restrictions in place, school heads and teachers have managed to canvass among parents in nearby localities. Around 2.04 lakh students have joined Class 1 in government schools so far and we expect the numbers to go up to 4 lakh students by the end of September,” said S. Kannappan, school education director.

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12.05 pm | Gaza

Virus puts new strain on Gaza’s overwhelmed health system

The Israeli-Egyptian blockade in Gaza, in place since 2007 meant to isolate Hamas, is believed to have played a key role in slowing the arrival of the coronavirus in the region. Few people can move in and out of the territory, and Hamas placed anyone returning to Gaza into mandatory quarantine centers for three weeks.

Before last month, the handful of Gaza’s coronavirus cases were confined to the isolation facilities. But on August 24, the first cases were detected among the general population, and the numbers have multiplied since.

Despite limited testing capacity, over 1,000 active cases have already been detected. Nine people have died.

The outbreak has been especially hard for Gaza’s medical workers. The spread among front-line workers has further strained an already overburdened health-care system.

- AP

12.00 pm | New Delhi

Government conducting about 40,000 test every day: Jain

"Wherever there are about three or four (COVID-19) cases, we are making it into a containment zone, so that a positive person is isolated and the area cordoned off to prevent it from spreading," Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain told media during the daily COVID-19 briefing.

Mr. Jain said that there is a surge in the number of new cases as the number of tests has gone up substantially and added that the government is doing about 40,000 tests every day.

- Nikhil M. Babu

12.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Post Office Passport Seva Kendras in Tiruchi region will resume operations on Sept. 9

Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) in Tiruchi region will resume operations on September 9, consequent to easing of lockdown restrictions and resumption of public transport.

The services of POPSKs were temporarily suspended due to lockdown. The region has five POPSKs at Karur, Perambalur, Thiruthuraipoondi, Sirkazhi and Karaikal.

The reopening of the POPSKs will avert the need for applicants to visit the Passport Seva Kendras at Tiruchi or Thanjavur.

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11.45 am | China

China asks Indian students to stay in touch with their Chinese colleges

China has asked hundreds of Indian students stranded back home due to the coronavirus pandemic to remain in touch with their respective colleges and follow instructions to protect their academic progress through online courses as foreign students are still not allowed to enter the country.

Over 23,000 Indian students studied different courses in Chinese universities and colleges of which over 21,000 were enrolled to study MBBS, according to last year’s data.

Most of these students left for India during the Chinese New Year holidays in January, just around the time when the coronavirus pandemic began spreading in China following which international travel was disrupted.

"Foreign students in China cannot enter the country for the time being, but the Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign students in China,” the Chinese Ministry of Education informed the Indian Embassy.

Earlier, the Indian Embassy took up with the Chinese officials the concerns of a large number of Indian students following an official announcement that foreign students and teachers will not return to their colleges until further notice.

- PTI

11.30 am | Tamil Nadu

Madras HC extends deadline for payment of school fees

The Madras High Court on Monday extended the deadline for payment of the first instalment of 40% of school fees for the current academic year from August 31 to September 30 considering the difficulties faced by parents due to COVID-19.

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh also warned schools of facing contempt of court proceedings if they were found to have collected more than 40% of tuition fees, fixed by the court on July 17, in the inquiry to be conducted by the School Education Department.

The judge directed the department to complete the inquiry within two weeks and file a report by September 23. The direction was issued after hearing School Education Secretary Dheeraj Kumar through video call on the action taken so far.

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11.15 am | Maharashtra

Notice to agency operating jumbo COVID-19 facility in Pune

The Pune district administration has served notice to an agency operating a newly-created COVID-19 jumbo hospital here for alleged lapses and mismanagement at the facility, an official said.

Another agency has now been roped in to improve facilities at the hospital, set up in the premises of the College of Engineering here in Maharashtra, Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said on Monday.

Last week, a news channel journalist died at jumbo medical facility. His family members alleged that he did not get a cardiac ambulance in time. Following his death, there were allegations about mismanagement at the jumbo hospital.

- PTI

11.00 am | Uttar Pradesh

Senior SP leader dies due to COVID-19

Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and Member of Legislative Council S.R.S. Yadav died due to COVID-19 in Lucknow, the party said.

The 87-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 on September 1 and breathed his last at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences on Monday night, SP national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.

A native of Unnao district, Mr. Yadav, who worked as an administrative officer till 1992, joined the Samajwadi Party after his retirement. He was presently a member of the party’s national executive.

- PTI

10.45 am

Record 1,133 fatalities push country's death toll to 72,775

India’s COVID-19 caseload rose to 42,80,422 with 75,809 instances of the viral infection recorded in the last 24 hours, while a record 1,133 fatalities took the death toll to 72,775, the Union health ministry data showed.

During the same period, the number of recoveries surged to 33,23,950 pushing the recovery rate to 77.65 per cent, according to the data updated at 8 am on Tuesday.

India’s single-day rise in cases dipped on Tuesday, after recording over 80,000 cases daily for five days in a row. India recorded a spike of over 90,000 cases on Sunday and Monday.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate due to the coronavirus infection stands at 1.7%.

- PTI

10.30 am | France

French Open to allow spectators

Spectators will be allowed at the French Open this month despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country, organizers said.

Organizers unveiled the health protocols for the clay-court grand slam, which will take place at Roland Garros in western Paris from September 27 after being postponed from its May start due to the pandemic.

“Since the international circuit restarted, Roland Garros will be the first tournament with the privilege of hosting an audience,” French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said Monday.

In accordance with the latest government guidelines capping attendance to 5,000 people in regions such as Paris, the federation has scaled down its plans.

- PTI

10.15 am | Telangana

Over 80 National Police Academy staffers test positive

Four days after the ‘Dikshant Parade’, over 80 staff members of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy here have tested positive for COVID-19. Most of them are non-gazetted officers and live in Site-A, located opposite the main campus.

“They are mainly attached to the maintenance and administrative wings,” a senior officer said, adding that those who tested positive for the infection were isolated in site-A, and are being provided nutritious food and proper medical care.

“They were engaged in urgent works related to the passing out parade. Many of them returned from leave a few days ago,” the officer told The Hindu.

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10.00 am | New Delhi

Testing camp set up inside Parliament

The Delhi government on Monday said it has set up a COVID-19 testing camp inside Parliament and is awaiting venue options from the administrative departments of many Central government buildings across Lutyens’ Delhi for the same.

“Recommendations regarding the venue and size of the camps are expected to be received over the coming few days,” said a government official, adding that the government is inching closer to its target of 40,000 daily tests. The government has already ramped up testing for COVID-19 at transit points and court complexes.

The rationale behind setting up camps at such buildings is to allow more testing as people return to their “normal” work routine, a source said.

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9.45 am | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh issues guidelines for Unlock 4.0

The State government on Monday issued Unlock 4.0 guidelines for phased reopening of the State outside containment zones subject to adherence to certain standard operating procedures (SOP), and extension of the lockdown in such areas till September 30.

According to G.O. RT No. 390 issued by Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, all activities will be permitted outside the containment zones except schools, colleges and educational and coaching institutions. They will remain closed for students and regular class activity up to September 30.

However, the following will be permitted: online/distance learning, calling up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to schools for online teaching / tele-counselling and related work (in areas outside the containment zones only) and students of classes 9 to 12 visiting their schools voluntarily for taking guidance from their teachers subject to written consent of parents/guardians from September 21.

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9.30 am | Tamil Nadu

Woman positive for COVID-19 with ruptured brain aneurysm undergoes surgery

A 46-year-old woman from Tirumangalam, who was positive for COVID-19 and suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, was successfully operated upon at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) on September 2.

Dean of GRH J. Sangumani said on Monday that the patient arrived in a critical state, battling for her life and requiring oxygen support.

Dr. Sangumani said that the patient continues to be on ventilator support in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit but is slowly making progress. "To perform a neurosurgery in the time of COVID-19 is difficult but the doctors worked through it tirelessly," he said.

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9.15 am | Punjab

3-month extension for retiring doctors, specialists in Punjab

With both cases and fatalities due to COVID-19 going up, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced three-month extension for all retiring doctors and specialists.

Captain Singh has also asked the Chief Secretary to expedite the process of recruitment of technicians and lab assistants for coping with the exponential demand in view of the increasing number of cases.

As per a Cabinet decision, these doctors were earlier given extension till September 30, which has now been extended till December 31, 2020, said the Chief Minister.

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9.00 am | Japan

Japan’s economy shrinks 28% in 2Q, worse than 1st estimate

Japan’s economy shrank at a record, even worse rate in the April-June quarter than initially estimated.

The Cabinet Office said on Tuesday Japan’s seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product contracted at an annualised rate of 28.1%, worse than the 27.8% figure given last month.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has people staying home, restaurants and stores empty or closing, and travel and tourism nose-diving, has hurt all the world’s economies and many companies. It has slammed Japan’s export-reliant economy.

- PTI

8.30 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra hospital asked to deposit overcharged amount in CM’s fund

A private hospital here in Maharashtra has been asked by the district administration to deposit Rs 1.93 lakh into the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for allegedly overcharging COVID-19 patients, officials said.

Jalna Collector Ravindra Binwade issued the order on Monday following complaints that some private hospitals were charging hefty amounts from COVID-19 patients.

The collector appointed auditors to look into the bills of patients and it was found that Vivekanand Hospital, a private medical facility here, had allegedly overcharged patients to the tune of Rs 1,93,986, the district administration said in a release.

- PTI

8.00 am | Karnataka

Minister asks for detailed study on reinfection case

Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar on Monday directed officials to study carefully the COVID-19 reinfection case in a 27-year-old woman in Bengaluru and submit a report on how similar reinfection cases were treated in other States.

The Minister, who on Monday conducted a meeting with task force officials regarding COVID-19 at Vidhana Soudha, said other countries that have reported cases of reinfection have come up with different reasons for it. “We need to study the Bengaluru case in detail to find out if it was a reinfection or if the patient had not been cured completely the first time she had tested positive,” he said.

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7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

A.P.’s COVID-19 tally crosses 5-lakh mark

Andhra Pradesh’s COVID-19 tally has crossed the five lakh mark and reached 5,06,493 on Monday with 8,368 new infections reported in the past day. For the first time after 12 days, the day’s tally was below 10,000.

A.P. is now the second State after Maharashtra to witness five lakh cases and it took just 10 days to see 1,02,877 new infections. Similarly, it took only 42 days for the State’s tally to jump fivefold from one lakh on July 27. Maharashtra took 57 days to cross the five lakh mark since breaching the one lakh mark. However, A.P. has a higher testing ratio and lower death rate than Maharashtra. A.P.’s mortality rate is at 0.89% against Maharashtra’s 2.93%.

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7.00 am | Poland

Double lung transplant virus survivor set to go home

Doctors say Poland’s first double lung transplant COVID-19 patient is feeling fine and will be going home this week.

Doctors who treated 45-year-old Grzegorz Lipinski said Monday that the double transplant was the only way to save him after the virus severely damaged his lungs.

Mr. Lipinski is head of the medical instruments sterilisation room at a hospital in Tychy, southern Poland, that only treats COVID-19 patients.

- AP

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 4:20:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-lockdown-september-8-2020-live-updates/article32548682.ece

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