Coronavirus India lockdown Day 200 updates | Venkaiah Naidu recovers from COVID-19

A man wears protective mask as he walks near a coronavirus awareness wall painting in Bhubaneswar. File   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

India will soon roll out the FELUDA paper strip test for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, according to the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The Minister said that the test showed 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity compared to ICMR’s current acceptation criteria of RT-PCR Kit of at least 95% sensitivity and at least 99% specificity.

The Minister added that India is looking at the availability of several different types of vaccines, of which some may be suitable for a particular age group while others may not be.

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:

New Delhi

Steady surge of new cases in Maharashtra, Karnataka

Maharashtra continues to report more than 10,000 new COVID cases, followed by Karnataka and Kerala with more than 9,000 cases each, said a Union Health Ministry release on Monday. It added that 816 fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours and of these nearly 85% are concentrated in 10 States/UTs. More than 37% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra (309 deaths).

The Ministry however, added that India continues to report a trend of steadily decreasing active cases and for the fourth day the decline continues. Active cases have now dropped below nine lakhs.

“Presently the active cases comprise 12.10% of the total positive cases of the country, standing at 8,61,853. India is also reporting high number of recoveries. The total recovered cases are close to 61.5 lakhs (61,49,535). The difference between active cases and recovered cases is consistently increasing and stands at 52,87,682 today,” the Ministry said.

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New Delhi

Situation not favourable, won’t hold Ramlila this year: Committees post Delhi govt.’s new norms

Various committees organising huge Ramlila celebrations across Delhi, including at Red Fort grounds, have decided to “not hold the event” this year as the situation is not feasible and there are “too many restrictions” in the fresh guidelines issued for holding events, an official of their umbrella body said on Monday.

Representatives of various Ramlila committees also said the situation due to COVID-19 anyway means, holding large-scale gathering will not be a very suitable decision keeping public safety in mind.

“We begin our preparations at least two months in advance. Dusshera is on October 25 and DDMA authorities issued fresh guidelines yesterday. Earlier, they couldn’t do due to rising number of cases.

“But, it is not possible to make arrangements at the last moment, so we have decided to not hold it this year,” said Arjun Kumar of Lav Kush Ramlila Committee, which has been organising the event at the Red Fort front lawns for over 40 years. - PTI


New COVID-19 cluster prompts China to test nine million in Qingdao city

China’s Qingdao city has launched a citywide nucleic acid test campaign that will cover its nine million residents over the next five days, amid apprehensions of a second wave after the coastal city reported 12 COVID-19 cases.

The cases were connected to Qingdao Chest Hospital which is a designated medical institution for the COVID-19 patients from overseas.

The Qingdao health authority has said that a citywide testing program has been launched. The five districts - home to about six million people - will be fully covered in the next three days.

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New Delhi

Venkaiah Naidu recovers from COVID-19

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday tested negative for COVID-19, his office said.

Mr Naidu had tested positive for coronavirus on September 29. The 71-year-old was asymptomatic and in good health. He was under home isolation during his recovery from the infection.

“As per today’s RT-PCR test conducted by AIIMS, both the vice president and his wife Usha Naidu have tested negative for COVID-19,” the Vice President’s Secretariat said in a statement.

Mr Naidu is in good health and is expected to resume normal activities soon as per doctor’s advice. “He thanked all those who prayed for his well-being,” the statement said.


Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh CM tests positive for COVID-19

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

Mr. Thakur, who had been in self-quarantine for the last one week at his residence after coming in touch with a positive person, got himself tested.

He confirmed it on Twitter.

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COVID-19 active caseload below 9 lakh for fourth consecutive day

India’s COVID-19 recoveries have surged to over 61 lakh, while active cases of coronavirus infection remained below nine lakh for the fourth consecutive day, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

The total recoveries have increased to 61,49,535 and exceed the active infections by 52,87,682 as on date, it highlighted.

Also, a total of 71,559 patients have recovered and were discharged in a span of 24 hours against 66,732 new infections reported during the same period.


Novel coronavirus may survive on smartphones, banknotes for 28 days: Study

The novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 may survive for up to 28 days on common surfaces including banknotes, glass -- such as that found on smart phone screens -- and stainless steel, according to a laboratory study by Australia’s national science agency.

The finding, published in the Virology Journal, shows that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular hand washing and cleaning surfaces.

The research, undertaken at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP), found that SARS-CoV-2 survived longer at lower temperatures and on non-porous or smooth surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and vinyl, compared to porous complex surfaces such as cotton. - PTI


Sanitisers, soaps can do damage: experts

Health experts at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) warned that the increased use of antibiotics and the widespread use of hand sanitisers and antimicrobial soaps, which has especially increased multi-fold during the COVID-19 pandemic, can worsen the situation of antimicrobial resistance.

Stating this at a webinar on “Antibiotic resistance: Renewed Fight” earlier this week, Rama Chaudhry, Head, Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, Delhi said antibiotic resistant organisms have become rigidly established in our environment with many infections failing to respond to available antimicrobials.


When the police played peacemaker in COVID clinics

In a report compiled by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), the Maharashtra police have cited an incident in Malegaon in April where the police had to persuade doctors to treat all patients equally as the “doctors feared that treating patients from Muslim areas could infect their hospitals”.

The BPR&D, the police think tank of the Union Home Ministry, has published a report, “Indian police response to COVID-19 crisis”, where it sought contributions from the State police and the Central armed police forces (CAPF).

In the BPR&D report, Superintendent of Police, Malegaon, Sunil D. Kadasne said his knowledge of languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Arabic, English and Madari Jaban (a local dialect of Malegaon) helped him establish a bridge between the people and the administration. He said that after he took charge in May, a “silent communal divide” was seen with Hindu patients being treated in Mahatma Gandhi Vidya Mandir and Muslim patients in Badi Malegaon High School.

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Cannot go easy on the virus now, says Uddhav

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the State government “cannot go easy on virus now” and is moving cautiously on restarting trains, and opening gyms and temples.

“Restarting locals will be a huge step. Most people want to travel by train and it’s a huge necessity. However, the crowds it creates is more worrying at this moment. We are empathetic to people’s concerns and will soon reach a decision on this,” he said in his address to the State on Sunday.

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Vaccine Update

Vaccines currently in trial in India are 2-dose and 3-dose vaccines: Health Minister

Speaking about COVID-19 vaccine in his weekly social media interaction Sunday Samvaad, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said it is anticipated that supplies would initially be available in limited quantities.

The Minister added that India is looking at the availability of several different types of vaccines, of which some may be suitable for a particular age group while others may not be.

He informed that the COVID-19 vaccines currently in trial in India are 2-dose and 3-dose vaccines. Vaccine by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech require 2 doses while the Cadila Healthcare vaccine requires 3 doses. For other vaccines in pre-clinical stages, the dosing is being tested, he stated.

On the need to include other novel candidates as COVID vaccine, Dr. Vardhan said, “Considering the large population size of India, one vaccine or vaccine manufacturer will not be able to fulfil the requirements of vaccinating the whole country. Therefore, we are open to assessing the feasibility of introducing several COVID-19 vaccines in the country as per their availability for the Indian population.”

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West Bengal

Uncertainty over resumption of classes in West Bengal

Despite the Union Ministry of Education allowing gradual reopening of educational institutions across the country, State-run schools in West Bengal are unsure about the resumption of physical classes and are waiting for the State government’s decision.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said her administration will think about reopening educational institutions after Kali Puja on November 15 “depending on the COVID-19 situation at that time“.

Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had said schools cannot be reopened till the pandemic situation improves and the safety of children is the priority of the State government. - PTI


Supreme Court to work with full strength from October 12

The Supreme Court will work with its pre-pandemic strength from October 12 as its 12 Benches with about 30 judges would assemble through videoconferencing daily. Five Benches of two to three judges in different combinations had been sitting on working days to hear around 20 cases daily since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March.

According to the apex court’s website, 10 Benches of two to three judges and two single judge Benches will sit daily from October 12 to hear cases.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 7:45:36 AM |

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