Coronavirus updates | July 18, 2021

Norms forgotten: The Vizhinjam fishing harbour was crowded on July 14 after the curbs were eased.   | Photo Credit: PTI

India logged 41,157 new coronavirus cases, which took the infection tally to 3,11,06,065, while the death toll climbed to 4,13,609 with 518 more fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

The active cases have declined to 4,22,660 and comprise 1.36% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.31%, the data updated at 8 am showed.

It said that active COVID-19 cases have decreased by 1,365 in a span of 24 hours.

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:

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir to start classes in higher education institutes from July 31

The J&K administration on Sunday decided to allow on-site re-opening of higher educational institutions and skill development centres for the vaccinated population from July 31, in the wake of a significant dip in the number of cases in the past two months.

“Higher educational institutes and skill development centres may be considered from phased re-opening for on-site learning after July 31, subject to the vaccination status of the students and staff. The public and private educational institutions are permitted to seek personal attendance of limited vaccinated staff for administrative purposes,” a government order said.

All Deputy Commissioners have been directed to keep active track of the positivity rates and consider implementing stricter control measures in case the weekly positivity rate goes beyond 4%.

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Fully vaccinated people will have to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing before entering Assam

The Assam government has tightened its screening procedure for people entering the state, with no exemption for even those who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, an official said on Sunday.

With about 5 % of the new COVID-19 positive cases in the state in the last few days being of fully vaccinated people, testing of people entering the state is being once again made mandatory, the official said.

The Assam government had on July 15 withdrawn its earlier order, dated June 25, 2021, which had exempted mandatory COVID-19 testing for air and train passengers who have received both doses of vaccine for the virus.

The latest notification, issued by the Health and Family Welfare department, had said that "COVID positivity is observed even in some of the person(s) who have received two doses of vaccination in a few instances," and hence, the earlier given exemption was withdrawn.

"Some people who have got both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine are getting infected. While the symptoms in them may not be severe, they run the risk of being carriers," Dr Lakshmanan S, director, National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, told PTI.


Haryana extends lockdown till July 26, earlier relaxations to continue

The Haryana government on Sunday extended the coronavirus lockdown in the State by another week, till July 26, while allowing restaurants, bars and clubs to open for one more hour, up to 11 pm.

According to the an order issued by Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan, "The Mahamari Alert-Surakshit Haryana is extended for another week, that is from July 19 (5 am onwards) to July 26 (till 5 am) in the state of Haryana."

Restaurants and bars including in hotels and malls are allowed to open from 10 am to 11 pm now as against from 10 am to 10 pm with 50% seating capacity, according to the order issued by the chief secretary in exercise of powers under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Home delivery from hotels, restaurants and fast food joints is permitted up to 11 pm.

Club houses, restaurants and bars of the golf courses are allowed to open with 50% seating capacity from 10 am to 11 pm, the order said. Gyms are allowed to open from 6 am to 9 pm with 50% capacity, it said.

Night curfew will be imposed on all days of the week in the State from 11 pm to 5 am. Earlier, the timings were from 10 pm to 5 am. Meanwhile, the lockdown relaxations with respect to opening of shops, malls, restaurants, religious places, corporate offices, will continue as currently in place.

Other relaxations regarding gatherings in weddings, funerals/cremations, open spaces will also continue.



Portable theatres become COVID-19 vaccination centres in Delhi

From entertaining hundreds as a travelling theatre to re-inventing itself as a coronavirus facility amid the intense second wave, the portable cinema hall has now been transformed into vaccination centre for inoculating people against the infection.

The travelling theatre was established to take cinema to rural and interior parts of the country in 2015 and has since showcased different films.

Even though the cinema business was paralysed by the pandemic, these inflatable theatres on wheels resumed with all COVID-19 protocols. - PTI


Over 41.99 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses so far provided to States/UTs, says Centre

Over 41.99 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have so far been provided to States and Union territories, and more than 2.56 crore jabs are available with them and private hospitals, the health ministry said on Sunday.

In a statement, the ministry said 15,75,140 more doses are in the process of being supplied. It said 41.99 crore vaccine doses have been provided to States and Union Territories (UTs) so far through all sources.

Of this, the total consumption, including wastage, is 39,42,97,344 doses, according to data available at 8 a.m. Sunday, the ministry said.


Export market at Sarojini Nagar shut for violating COVID norms

The Delhi Government on Sunday closed the Export Market at Sarojini Nagar till further orders for violating COVID-19 safety protocols. The market was found to be overcrowded and not following COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. 

The shops that fall under the Export Market will be closed from Sunday according to an order issued by the sub-divisional magistrate (Vasant Kunj) Ankur Prakash Meshram. Officials surveyed the market on Saturday and found it very crowded with COVID norms being "grossly violated and no social distancing being followed at all”, the order added. 


Kerala eases COVID-19 restrictions for three days for Bakrid

Kerala dialled down COVID-19 curbs on retail for three days from Sunday in view of Bakrid on July 20.

The police fanned out in strength across the State to enforce the mask and physical distance mandate. They also warned traders against allowing crowding in stores and marketplaces.

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France to let in travellers with India-made shot

France will allow international travelers who have had AstraZeneca’s Indian-manufactured vaccine into the country starting Sunday.

The move to accept visitors vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine made by Serum Institute came after global outcry over the fact that the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate only recognises AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe. Several other EU countries already accept the Indian version. France still does not recognize vaccinations by Chinese or Russian vaccines, only those authorised by the EU medicines regulator. - AP


Vietnam puts southern region in lockdown as surge grows

Vietnam put its entire southern region in a two-week lockdown starting midnight on Sunday, as confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 3,000 for the third day in a row.

The lockdown order includes the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City metropolis, the country's financial and economic hub with over 35 million people - nearly a third of Vietnam's population.

Officials say they have to act as the number of infections reached nearly 50,000 since the outbreak reemerged at the end of April after several months of no cases being recorded. Most of the 225 COVID-19 dead - 190 of them - have occurred since April. - AP


Three athletes test positive for COVID-19, two staying at Olympic Village

Three athletes, two of them staying at the Olympic Village, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Games Organising Committee (OC) announced on July 18, the development adding to the scepticism around the troubled event which opens on July 23.

It is the first instance of athletes staying at the village catching the infection. Their identities have not been revealed by the organisers. The third infected athlete is staying at a designated Games hotel.

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(With inputs from Correspondents and Agencies)

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