Coronavirus India lockdown Day 199 updates | October 11, 2020

Health workers wearing PPE have an informal chat after collecting nasal swab samples for coronavirus tests in Hyderabad. File   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

India’s confirmed coronavirus toll crossed 7 million on Sunday with a number of new cases dipping in recent weeks, even as health experts warn of mask and distancing fatigue setting in.

India saw a steep rise in cases in July and added more than 2 million in August and another 3 million in September. But it is seeing a slower pace of coronavirus spread since mid-September, when the daily infections touched a record high of 97,894.

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:

United Kingdom

U.K. to begin trials to test if anti-TB BCG vaccine works against COVID-19

Scientists in the UK will begin recruiting frontline healthcare workers to test if an old vaccine used to combat tuberculosis (TB), the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin or BCG jab, can be repurposed to help boost immunity against the novel coronavirus as well.

The University of Exeter in south-west England said on Sunday that it is leading the UK arm of the worldwide research called the BCG vaccination to Reduce the impact of COVID-19 in healthcare workers (BRACE) trial.

Participants will be given either the BCG vaccine, currently given to more than 100 million babies worldwide each year, including in India, to protect against TB, or a placebo injection.

The BCG vaccine boosts immunity by training the immune system to respond to other subsequent infections with greater intensity. Researchers hope this improved innate immunity will buy crucial time to develop an effective and safe vaccine against COVID-19.


New Delhi

Roll-out of FELUDA test expected in next few weeks, says Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan during the fifth edition of Sunday Samvaad. Twitter/@drharshvardhan

Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan during the fifth edition of Sunday Samvaad. Twitter/@drharshvardhan  


Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said the government has not yet taken a view on granting emergency authorisation to COVID-19 vaccines in India, as and when they become available.

The Minister also said that the Feluda paper strip test for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis could be rolled out in the next few weeks. - PTI

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Schools not to reopen in Maharashtra before Diwali, says Education Minister

As the coronavirus cases continue to rise in Maharashtra, School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad has said schools will not reopen in the State before Diwali.

Ms. Gaikwad, who recently recovered from COVID-19, said schools have been conducting virtual classes and teachers have been taking special classes for students in some areas.

However, the challenge is to find a way to end the academic year and assess students, she said. - PTI

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West Bengal govt. institutes new COVID-19 awareness award for Durga puja

The West Bengal government has instituted a new award for COVID-19 awareness apart from the usual categories of best idol, best pandal, best illumination for this year’s Durga Puja.

“We are introducing two Sera Covid Sachetan Pujo samman among other award categories for pujas in the city and pujas in the 22 districts other than Kolkata,” Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen said.

Mr. Sen said the COVID-19 awareness award was important as pujas have been asked to follow all guidelines in pandemic situation and create public awareness about certain mandatory measures. - PTI

New Delhi

Less than 1,000 deaths recorded for eight consecutive days in India

India’s COVID-19 recoveries crossed the 60-lakh mark, while less than 1000 coronavirus deaths have been recorded daily for eight consecutive days, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday. Active cases of coronavirus are less than nine lakh for the third day in a row.

With increasing recoveries, India has sustained its leading global position with the maximum recovered cases. The five top States with the maximum caseload (61% of the active cases) are also contributing more than half (54.3%) of the total recoveries, the Ministry said. - PTI


Gujarat govt may consider reopening schools only after Diwali

The Gujarat government is likely to consider reopening schools only after Diwali, a senior official has said.

Vinod Rao, secretary, State education department, said there was no immediate plan to reopen schools.

“We are not doing this immediately. We will consider reopening schools only after Diwali (vacation) after assessing the coronavirus situation,” said Mr. Rao. - PTI


74,383 new cases in India

India has recorded a single day rise of 74,383 COVID-19 cases and 918 fatalities, the Union Health Ministry said in its daily COVID bulletin. With this, India’s virus caseload is now 70,53,806, and death toll is 1,08,334.

The Health Ministry added that the active COVID-19 caseload in country now stands at 8,67,496, while 60,77,976 people have recovered from the disease.


Congress leader Kagodu Thimmappa tests COVID positive

Former minister and senior Congress leader Kagodu Thimmappa has tested positive for COVID-19 infection. He has been admitted to a hospital in Bengaluru.

Mr. Thimmappa, 88, had given his throat swab for COVID-19 in Sagar after he developed mild symptoms. He was taken to Bengaluru after the infection was confirmed. - Satish G.T reports from Karnataka

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