Coronavirus updates | July 28, 2021

A medical staff administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a camp in Imphal East district, Manipur.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In a major reversal in guidelines, the CDC, a top U.S. health authority, has recommended that people vaccinated against COVID-19 in high-risk parts of the United States should resume wearing masks indoors.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky cited new data that shows rare breakthrough cases involving Delta have an increased risk of onward transmission.

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:

India

COVID-19 guidelines extended to August 31

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday extended the implementation of guidelines for the management of COVID-19, in accordance with the Health Ministry’s order dated June 28, up to August 31. States and Union Territories have been asked to strictly enforce the norms in view of the upcoming festivals.

Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in a letter to States and Union Territories, said there should be continuous focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour.

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Gujarat

Gujarat govt reduces private lab rates for RT-PCR tests

The Gujarat government on Wednesday decided to slash rates of RT-PCR tests being conducted by private laboratories to ₹400 from the existing ₹700.

For RT-PCR samples collected from homes or hospitals, private laboratories cannot charge more than ₹550, a reduction of ₹350 from the existing rate of ₹900, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told reporters.

Mr. Patel, who holds the health portfolio, also said RT-PCR tests conducted by private laboratories for passengers at airports in the state will now cost ₹2,700, a reduction of ₹1,300 from the existing ₹4,000.

Mr. Patel further said a private radiology centre cannot charge more than ₹2,500 for a high-resolution CT (HRCT) scan. Charges fixed by the government for the HRCT scan are ₹3,000, he said. The HRCT scan is vital to ascertain the COVID-19 infection in patients. - PTI

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi announces three-year travel ban for citizens visiting 'red list' countries, including India

Saudi Arabia has announced a three-year travel ban and hefty penalties on citizens who visit countries on the Kingdom's COVID-19 red list, including India.

"Travelling to the banned countries is an obvious violation of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the Kingdom’s updated instructions," the Gulf News on July 27 quoted a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying.

The red-list countries include the UAE, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, India and Vietnam.

JAPAN

Regions near Olympic host Tokyo to seek COVID-19 emergency steps

Governors of three prefectures near Olympics host Tokyo are likely to ask the government to declare states of emergency for their regions, media said on July 28, after COVID-19 infections spiked to a record high in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo recorded 2,848 new cases of coronavirus on July 27, the highest since the pandemic began, and media reported authorities had asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients amid a surge driven by the Delta variant.

Tokyo Olympics organisers on Wednesday reported 16 new Games-related COVID-19 cases, for a total of 169 since July 1.

UNITED STATES

U.S. tells vaccinated people in high COVID risk areas to mask again

People vaccinated against COVID-19 in high-risk parts of the United States should resume wearing masks indoors, the top health authority said July 28, a major reversal in guidance that underscored the country’s struggle to suppress the Delta variant.

President Joe Biden said the announcement showed that America needs to “do better” on vaccinations, adding that a vaccine mandate for the country’s more than two million federal workers was now “under consideration.”

“In areas with substantial and high transmission, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings,” Rochelle Walensky, Director, CDC said.

COVID-19 | U.S. tells vaccinated people in high COVID risk areas to mask again

TAMIL NADU

T.N. looking at reopening schools for senior classes

Tamil Nadu Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on July 27 said his department was examining the possibility of reopening schools for students of Classes IX to XII.

“Some States have reopened schools for Class XII students alone, and they have said it is not compulsory for students to come to school. The attendance has been low in such States, and parents are hesitant to send their children to school, citing the possibility of a third wave. We will observe how schools are reopened in other States and discuss the issue with the Chief Minister after which a decision could be taken,” he said.

COVID-19 | T.N. looking at reopening schools for senior classes

MANIPUR

Manipur COVID-19 curfew extended till Aug 3

The Manipur government has extended the Statewide curfew in view of rising COVID-19 cases by seven days till August 3, officials said.

The Home Department, however, allowed additional activities during curfew hours including opening of insurance offices for three days from 10 am to 2 pm, an official said.

Essential services and home delivery of food have also been kept out of the purview of the restrictions.

COVID-19 | Manipur COVID-19 curfew extended till Aug 3

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS

No fresh COVID-19 case in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not record any new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, a health department official said on July 28.

The COVID-19 tally in the archipelago remained at 7,535.

The Union Territory now has 12 active COVID-19 cases. The Nicobar district is now COVID-19 free as it has no active case, he said. The COVID-19 death toll in the archipelago remained at 129 as no fresh death was reported in the last 24 hours.

Case Update

India adds 43,645 COVID-19 cases, 640 deaths

India logged 43,654 fresh COVID-19 cases taking its tally to 3,14,84,605, while 640 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 4,22,022, according to Union Health Ministry data on Wednesday.

The number of active cases stood at 3,99,436, an increase of 1,336 in a span of 24 hours, and comprises 1.27 per cent of the total infections. The national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 97.39 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

As many as 17,36,857 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Tuesday, taking the total number of tests conducted so far to 46,09,00,978. - PTI

Kerala

Current restrictions in Kerala to continue

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the current COVID-19 regulations would continue as per the government’s A, B, C and D zonal categorisation.

However, it would consider whether to allow textile shops to open for business as per the pandemic protocol. The administration would limit the number of persons authorised into a shop at a time. Moreover, it would insist that only vaccinated salespersons manage the counters.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:05:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-live-july-28-2021-updates/article35575043.ece

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