Coronavirus India lockdown Day 205 updates | October 17, 2020

Testing for COVID-19 in progress in Ongole on Friday.   | Photo Credit: kommuri srinivas

India has one of the lowest COVID-19 deaths per million population in the world with less than 1,000 fatalities registered daily since October 4, while the fatality rate of 1.52% on Friday was the lowest since March 22, the Union Health Ministry said.

These results have been boosted by 22 states and Union Territories which have demonstrated better performance and are reporting even lower deaths per million population compared to the national average, it said.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:


Mumbai Airport offers express Covid-19 RT-PCR testing facility for all departing passengers

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has introduced its express COVID-19 RT-PCR test facility for all passengers departing from the airport.

This facility is also available for non-passengers visiting the airport to drop off or collect their loved ones.

“This initiative addresses passenger concerns regarding the different COVID-19 regulations across domestic and international destinations,” Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), the airport operator said in a statement.

Now departing passengers can undergo the test at CSMIA before travelling to their onward destination and produce their negative test report to skip institutional quarantine at their destination.

Read more


Low-key Mysuru Dasara gets off to a start

The Mysuru Dasara festivities got off to a traditional start atop Chamundi Hills in Mysuru on Saturday with Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research C.N. Manjunath inaugurating the ‘Nada Habba’, which is a low-key affair this year over COVID-19 pandemic, in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and other dignitaries.

Dr. Manjunath, who is in the forefront of the COVID-19 combat, inaugurated the festivities at 7.45 a.m. by lighting a lamp. All dignitaries showered flower petals on the ‘utsava murthy’ of Goddess Chamundeshwari placed in a specially decorated silver chariot, marking the beginning of the simple yet traditional annual celebrations.

On the occasion, Mr. Yediyurappa felicitated Dr. Manjunath, who has been constantly guiding the State government on dealing with the pandemic. Six COVID-19 warriors – health officer Naveen T.R., staff nurse Rukmini, police constable Kumar P., pourakarmika Maragamma, ASHA worker Noor Jahan and social worker Ayub Ahmed – were honoured in recognition of their unstinting fight against the pandemic.

West Bengal

Durga Puja committee to install giant TV screens to help people watch decorations and idols

A big-budget Durga Puja committee in the city will adorn the idols of Goddess Durga and her progeny with 25 kg gold and to avoid crowding inside the pandal would install giant TV screens on roads so people can watch the decoration and the idol.

The idols of Sribhumi Sporting Club will be wearing golden crown, golden chain and the golden jewellery, State Fire minister Sujit Bose, told PTI.

Mr Basu said while the puja will shun its usual lustre due to the COVID-19 situation, there will be no scaling down of the idol’s height and its look.

“We will ensure visitors do not crowd inside the pandal and will control the crowd in case there is the hint of gathering. We will ask them to see the pandal and protima (idol) on the giant TV screens put up near the marquee on the side of VIP Road if there is a chance of swelling of crowd at any moment,” the senior Trinamool Congress leader said.

He said the pandal will look like the famous Kedarnath temple.


Stakeholders fret over closure of tourist spots

Stakeholders in the tourism sector who are against the closure of places of tourist interest during Dasara holidays, have reiterated their demand to lift the restrictions on the grounds to help revive the sector.

In a memorandum addressed to the Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri, they also pointed out the what they termed as contradiction in the administration’s decision. “On the one hand, the Department of Tourism is promoting Karnataka as safe for tourists while the district administration has ordered the closure of tourist places,” the stakeholders said.

The stakeholders also met the CM, who is in Mysuru, and appealed to him to get the district administration’s order rescinded.

Ms. Sindhuri ordered the closure of all important tourist spots in Mysuru during Dasara holidays from October 17 to November 1 as a measure to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases being reported acrossthe district. Similar restrictions have been introduced in the neighbouring districts of Kodagu and Mandya.

Tamil Nadu

Three more nonagenarians recover from COVID-19 in Chennai

Since the start of this week, three nonagenarians have been discharged from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) after undergoing treatment for COVID-19. With this, as many as 27 patients, who were aged above 90 years and tested positive for COVID-19, have undergone treatment and have been discharged from the hospital.

One of the three patients, P. Vaidyanathan, who was born in 1921, completed 99 years of age on October 2. He and his wife, V. Janaki, 89, tested positive and were treated in RGGGH. The couple were discharged on Monday.

Another nonagenarian, Jayalakshmi, 93, was discharged after treatment from RGGGH on Friday. She was in respiratory distress and was admitted to the intensive care unit.

West Bengal

Use Durga Puja dole only for COVID-19 prevention steps: HC

The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed that the money allocated by the West Bengal government to Durga Puja committees should be used only for improving community policing and procuring masks and sanitizers for containing the spread of COVID-19.

A division bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee, in an interim order, said the money allocated could not be used for any other purpose such as conducting any Puja activity, musical soiree or entertainment of the organisers.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on September 24, announced that the government would give ₹50,000 to each of the 37,000 clubs across the State.

According to the court, 75% of the money should be used only for procurement of masks, sanitizers and face shields and 25% for strengthening police - public bonding and inclusion of more women in community policing.


Novel test to detect loss of smell in asymptomatic patients

Loss of smell, which is one of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection, can now be quickly and accurately measured using a novel method developed by researchers at IISER Pune.

Using a custom-built olfactory action meter, which determines how well one can smell, the team led by Dr. Nixon Abraham from the Department of Biology at IISER Pune, were able to identify people infected with the virus but have no typical symptoms such as fever, fatigue etc.

To access the olfactory functions of asymptomatic people, the researchers tested 34 patients admitted in isolation wards at B.J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospitals, Pune. The researchers were able to detect olfactory deficits in 82% of people with asymptomatic infection. That only 15% of those with asymptomatic infection were aware of their inability to smell before participating in the test, highlights the ability of the new method to detect asymptomatic cases that might otherwise not be detected. The results were published in the journal EClinical Medicine.

The method has 82% sensitivity, 87% specificity and accuracy of 85%.


Private Dasara of the Wadiyars to be a muted affair this year

The private Dasara of the Wadiyars to be held from Saturday within the Amba Vilas Palace will be a restricted affair and not open even to immediate family members in view of the pandemic.

The elaborate affair used to start with rites and rituals supervised by priests. It was followed by a private durbar of the Wadiyars, which drew a good number of people, to witness the symbolic ascension of the golden throne. No invitation has been sent out this year.

Palace secretary Lakshminarayan said there will be no one to witness the Khas Durbar this year, though Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar will perform all the religious rites associated with Navaratri. The rites and rituals used to include a battery of priests to chant the hymns, dharmadhikaris to supervise the proceedings apart from their assistants, but the numbers have been curtailed this year, he said.

New Delhi

As COVID-19 cases surge, Centre rushes teams to 5 States

The Union Health Ministry on Friday deputed teams to Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, which have been reporting a surge in the number of new COVID-19 cases in recent days.

A Ministry release said the teams would support the States’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. They shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow-up.

“Each team comprises a Jt. Secretary (nodal officer for the respective State), one public health expert to look after the public health aspects, one clinician to look after infection prevention practices, clinical management protocol being followed by the State,’’ said the Ministry.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 1:19:20 PM |

Next Story