Coronavirus India lockdown Day 137 updates | August 8, 2020

In this file picture, health workers collect swab samples from corporation employees, in Kozhikode.

In this file picture, health workers collect swab samples from corporation employees, in Kozhikode.

Sixteen districts in four States — Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana — are a cause of concern, said the Union Health Ministry on Friday, after confirming that these areas were reporting coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) mortality higher than the national and States’ average.

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:

10.10 p.m.| Rajasthan

Rajasthan to not use antigen test kits

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday directed officials to conduct RT-PCR tests instead of rapid antigen tests to check COVID-19 infection. He said “the State government will not use antigen test kits as it is a question of life and death of the people” and that experts have questioned the reliability of this kit.

The Chief Minister was chairing a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the State.

He stressed on adopting plasma therapy on a large scale for the treatment of coronavirus patients. He said a campaign should be launched to motivate the patients who have recovered from the infection for plasma donation.

The Chief Minister expressed concern over the perception among people that there has been some laxity in the fight against coronavirus. He directed authorities to be vigilant and strict to prevent the spread of the infection.

The death rate among COVID-19 patients in the State is 1.53%, which is much lower than the national average of 2.1%, according to an official statement.

9.32 p.m. | West Bengal

Bengal’s COVID-19 toll crosses 2,000-mark, active cases 25,486

West Bengal’s COVID-19 toll crossed the 2,000-mark as 51 more people died on Saturday, according to a bulletin issued by the Health Department. So far, 2,005 people have died in the State while 2,949 more cases were detected in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 92,615, it said.

Total 2,064 people were discharged from various hospitals in the State in the last 24 hours.

Following the detection of the new infections, the active cases rose to 25,486, it added. Total 25,148 samples were tested in the State since Friday evening.

8.45 p.m. | Goa

259 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths; count 8,206, toll 72 in Goa

The number of COVID-19 cases in Goa increased by 259 on Saturday to reach 8,206, while two deaths took the toll to 72, an official said.

A total of 207 people were discharged during the day, taking the number of such cases to 5,802, leaving the State with 2,332 active cases, he said.

“A 74-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man died. On Saturday, 3,626 samples were tested, of which 259 were positive, 2,059 negative and reports of 1308 are awaited,” he informed.

Goa’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 8,206, new cases 259, deaths 72, discharged 5,802, active cases 2,332, samples tested till date 1,47,138.

8.30 p.m. | Telangana

Telangana reports highest single day spike of 2,256 Covid cases; Minister tests positive

Telangana witnessed the highest single day spike of 2,256 COVID-19 cases on Saturday with the overall tally rising to 77,513 even as the government hoped there will be some respite from its spread by September end.

The toll rose to 615 with 14 more fatalities,a government bulletin said, providing data as of 8 pm. on August 7.

Telangana Labour and Employment Minister Ch Malla Reddy in a video message said he and his wife tested positive for the virus and are currently in isolation. He does not have any other health complications, he said.

Out of the 2,256 new cases, 464 were from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), followed by Warangal Urban 187, Rangareddy 181 and Medchal-Malkajgiri 138. No cases were reported from Komarambheem Asifabad district.

8.15 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra COVID-19 tally crosses five lakh with record 12,822 new cases

Maharashtra on Saturday reported a highest single-day spike of 12,822 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the State to 5,03,084, a health official said. With 275 COVID-19 patients succumbing, the death toll in the State increased to 17,367, he added.

However, a record 11,082 patients were also discharged from hospitals, taking the tally of recovered coronavirus patients to 3,38,362, the official added. There are 1,47,048 active coronavirus cases in Maharashtra now, he said.

In State capital Mumbai, 1,304 new cases and 58 deaths were reported. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the city thus rose to 1,22,316 and death toll to 6,751.

Pune city reported the highest new cases on Saturday at 1,457, along with 39 deaths. The total number of cases in Pune city is 69,500 and death toll is 1,744, the official said.

So far 26,47,020 tests have been carried out in the State.

8 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

1.51 lakh COVID-19 beds in U.P., over 29 lakh tests done: Yogi

The Uttar Pradesh government has used ₹450 crore from a dedicated fund to set up COVID-19 hospitals in every district and currently 1,51,000 beds are available for coronavirus patients in the State, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Saturday.

There was one testing lab two months ago but the number has risen to 32 and 29.60 lakh COVID-19 tests have been done in the State, Mr. Adityanath said.

He said his government is trying to bring the COVID-19 mortality rate below 1% and asked Meerut Zone officials to work towards achieving the target, according to an official statement.

Mr. Adityanath made the remarks during a visit to Noida, where he inaugurated a COVID-19 hospital in Sector-39 and reviewed preparedness in the fight against the pandemic.

The Chief Minister was joined by nodal officers for COVID-19 response from each district of Meerut Zone in a post-inauguration meeting at the hospital and instructed them to ensure treatment to infected people.

7.45 p.m. | Andhra Pradesh

AP reports 10,080 fresh COVID-19 cases; 97 deaths push toll to 1,939

Andhra Pradesh continued to witness a surge in COVID-19 cases as 10,080 fresh infections were reported, taking the overall tally to 2,17,040 while a single day high of 97 fatalities were recorded.

The latest government bulletin said the State now had 85,486 active cases after 1,29,615 coronavirus positive persons got cured, including 9,151 in the last 24 hours, and 1,939 succumbed.

The State reported over 10,000 cases for the fourth straight day.

For the first time, Andhra Pradesh overshot the national average (8.93%) in the infection positivity rate clocking 8.95%.

It also continued way below the national average (68.32%) in the recovery rate with 59.72%. Only in terms of mortality rate, at 0.89%, AP was lower than the national average (2.04%).

7.31 p.m. | Bihar

COVID-19 update from Bihar: Total number of death 419; total number of positive cases 75,786; total recovered persons 48,673 (64.22% recovery rate); total active cases in the State so far 26,693; and total sample tests done 9,46,278.

- Amarnath Tewary


7.25 p.m. | Kerala

CISF personnel quarantined after Kozhikode flight crash passengers test positive

The CISF has directed its personnel to go into preventive quarantine after at least two passengers of the Air India Express flight that crashed in Kozhikode tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Saturday.

The Central Industrial Security Force said it was the “first responder” to rescue passengers as its Assistant Sub-Inspector Ajit Singh was on runway patrol when the flight from Dubai with 190 people on board overshot the table-top runway, fell into a 35-foot valley and broke into two on Friday.

Eighteen passengers, including the two pilots of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, were killed in the accident.

“We are identifying our personnel, who rescued the passengers who have tested positive for the coronavirus,” CISF Special Director General (Airports) M.A. Ganapathy told PTI .

Another senior officer said the force has information that two passengers have tested positive for COVID-19. Around 50 CISF personnel and their family members were involved in the rescue operation and they have been asked to self-quarantine, he said.

The force will also conduct COVID-19 tests of those who were exposed, the officer said. Another official said the rescuers of the National Disaster Response Force and other airport officials have been asked to go into self-quarantine.

7.10 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 count from Tamil Nadu: 5,883 persons test positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Saturday, taking the total tally to 2,90,907; 5,043 discharged today and the total discharged is 2,32,618; 118 deaths were reported today and the death toll stands at 4,808. There are 53,481 active cases in the State.

- Serena Josephine

7.09 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

UP records biggest single-day jump of 4,660 COVID-19 cases

Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest single-day spike of 4,660 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the State’s virus count to 1,18,038. However, a government statement said 4,800 new cases were recorded in the State in the last 24 hours. Uttar Pradesh’s tally stood at 1,13,378 on Friday.

The COVID-19 death toll climbed to 2,028 with 47 more casualties in the State, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said.

At present, there are 46,177 active cases in the State and 69,833 people have been discharged from hospitals after recovery, he said.

Of the latest casualties, five were reported from Kanpur Nagar; four from Bareilly; three each from Lucknow, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Azamgarh; two each from Jhansi, Meerut, Ballia, Deoria, Shahjahanpur and Sant Kabir Nagar, among other districts, the statement said.

7.05 p.m. | West Bengal

Bengal government to upload health parameters of COVID-19 patients on website

The West Bengal government has decided to upload the health parameters of COVID-19 patients under treatment in the State-run and private hospitals on the Health Department’s website, so that family members are able to know their condition, a senior official said on Saturday.

A mechanism is being prepared for the purpose and it would start within two weeks, he said and claimed that no other State in the country has such a system now.

The Health Department’s move followed allegations that family members of coronavirus infected people are not getting proper information on their health condition from hospitals.

“A patient’s oxygen saturation level, pulse rate, blood sugar level, the functioning of different body parts whether or not a patient needs life support system. Every possible information will be provided on the website,” the official said.

7.03 p.m. | Gujarat


Gujarat’s COVID-19 death tally rises by 23 new deaths to reach 2,629 and with 1,101 new infections, the caseload surges to 69,986. Total discharged are 52,827 and the active cases are 14,530.

- Mahesh Langa

7.01 p.m. | Himachal Pradesh

Another BJP leader tests positive for COVID-19 in HP

Himachal Pradesh recorded 92 fresh coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the infection tally to 3,243, an official said.

Meanwhile, BJP State spokesman Baldev Tomar also tested positive for the disease. He had come in contact with Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, who had tested positive on Thursday.

Mr. Chaudhary’s wife and some of his close relatives also tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday, a district official said.

Of the fresh COVID-19 cases, 43 were reported from Chamba, 24 from Sirmaur, eight each from Kangra and Hamirpur, four each from Kullu and Mandi, and one from Shimla, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R.D. Dhiman said.

In Chamba, Chowgan, Hatnala, Jansali, Chauntra, Surada and Sapri have been declared as containment zones, a district official said.

A total of 61 patients recovered from the disease on Saturday. These include 42 in Solan, nine in Shimla, three each in Hamirpur and Sirmaur and two each in Kangra and Mandi, he said.

6.10 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister inaugurates a dedicated hospital for COVID-infected persons in Noida

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister inaugurated on Saturday a dedicated 400-bed government hospital for COVID-infected persons in Noida. Spread across eight floors with its own diagnostic facility, dialysis unit and blood bank, the CM also reviewed the facilities in the hospital that has come up in collaboration with the Tata Trusts and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

District Magistrate Suhas LY said once fully operational Noida COVID Hospital would be the largest State-run COVID facility in the State. He said the hospital will start with around 200 beds, catering to symptomatic patients, and subsequently, 200 more beds will be added for infected persons with mild symptoms.

Located in Sector 39 of the city, it was originally mooted as a district hospital and will function as the premier health facility in the district after the pandemic is over. The construction of the building was completed in 2019 by the Noida Authority.

Noida, currently, has GIMS, Child PGI and Sharda Hospital as its government-run COVID care facilities, besides private hospitals.

6.05 p.m. | Maharashtra

No nod for marriage functions in halls till August 30

People should opt for registered marriages rather than traditional ceremonies amid the coronavirus pandemic and no permission would be given for such functions in public halls till August 30, Latur Collector G. Shreekant said.

Latur district, 263km from Aurangabad, has 3,167 COVID-19 cases, including 127 deaths, while 1,780 people have been discharged.

Taking part in a live interaction on social media, he also said Latur administration would set up check posts at entry points, following the example of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, to subject entrants to rapid antigen tests to detect coronavirus infection.

5.32 p.m. | India

13 districts with high COVID-19 mortality told to address low testing, ensure timely hospitalisation

Thirteen districts in eight States and Union Territories reporting COVID-19 mortality higher than the national average were advised by the Centre on Saturday to address the issues of low testing and delay in test results, and ensure timely hospitalisation.

In view of reports from some areas that patients were dying within 48 hours of being admitted to health facilities, the Union Health Ministry asked them to ensure timely referral and hospitalisation of people afflicted with COVID-19.

In a high-level virtual meeting chaired by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, the eight States were directed to ensure availability of ambulances and maintain zero tolerance for their refusal, the ministry said.

As part of the Centre’s effort to review and handhold States and Union Territories for collaborative management of COVID-19, two high-level meetings were chaired by Mr. Bhushan - on August 7 and 8 - to engage with those reporting high number of cases and fatality rates higher than the national average in order to advise and support them on efforts to prevent and reduce fatality, it said.

On Friday, the Union Health Secretary held a virtual meeting with 16 other districts in four States - Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka - reporting COVID-19 mortality higher than the national and States’ average.

Saturday’s meeting focussed on 13 districts in eight States and UTs. These are Kamrup Metro in Assam, Patna in Bihar, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Ganjam in Odisha, Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh; North 24 Paraganas, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata and Maldah in West Bengal, and Delhi.

5.30 p.m. | Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe cancels T20I series against Afghanistan due to COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to take a toll on international Cricket with hosts Zimbabwe calling off their upcoming five-match T20I series against Afghanistan on Saturday.

The T20 series was scheduled in August and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC)had also sought permission from its government to organise the series in a controlled environment.

However, the Sports and Recreation Commission suggested the country was not still ready to host visiting teams due to the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases.

ZC acting managing director Givemore Makoni said it was a sensible decision considering the circumstances.

India was also scheduled to tour Zimbabwe for a series comprising three ODIs, starting August 22, but that too had to be cancelled due to the global health crisis.

5 p.m. | Japan

Two employees of Tokyo Olympic organisers test positive for COVID-19

Two employees of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Saturday.

That brings to three the number of employees of the committee who have tested positive since the pandemic began.

Organisers said a man and a woman had tested positive but gave a few details. They said the man was in his 20s and the woman in her 30s, and that both were now working from home rather than at the headquarters located near Tokyo Bay.

Many of the organising committee’s employees have been working remotely though some have returned to office work in the last few months. The organising committee has a staff of 3,500.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been put back to July 23, 2021 due to the pandemic. The original closing ceremony was to have been Sunday, August 9.

4.46 p.m. | Nepal

Prachanda’s security guards test positive for COVID-19

Six of the security personnel stationed at the residence of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a media report.

The PCR tests of the guards were carried out at Maharajgunj-based Nepal Police Hospital, The Himalayan Times reported.

According to Mr. Dahal’s Secretariat, the infected persons are the team of police personnel stationed at the entrance of the residence.

Security personnel who move around with the former Prime Minister have, however, tested negative, the report said.

There has been a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. The country has so far reported 22,592 coronavirus cases with 73 deaths.

4.40 pm | Andhra Pradesh

AP to adopt proactive strategy to tackle COVID-19

With the number of COVID infections 'hitting the peak' of the pandemic curve, the State has adopted a proactive strategy of treating all the persons with certain COVID symptoms irrespective of the test result to avoid deaths based on clinical diagnosis. 

Special Chief Secretary (Health, Medical and Family Welfare) K.S. Jawahar Reddy in a press conference on Saturday said that AP has entered the peak of the pandemic curve and several districts are already at peak of infections while others are about to hit it.

"Persons with continuous fever for three-four days, breathlessness, and oxygen saturation level below 94% will be considered as severe symptomatic cases. Even without testing they will be immediately admitted to hospitals and treated. To identify them we have given pulse oxy meters to ANMs and with the help of ward and village volunteers and Asha workers patients would be identified at ground level," Dr. Reddy added. - Tharun Boda

4.20 pm | Telangana

'Cases will decline by September end'

A total of 1,039 complaints were received against private hospitals in Telangana, which includes 136 complaints related to inappropriate billing or excess charges, said Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao.

A team of 4-5 people are working on them. Action will be taken against those who violate government guidelines, he added.

Dr. Rao said COVID-19 cases have hit peak in GHMC and the numbers will decline to minimal by end of August. Cases which are increasing in other districts will decline by September end, he added. — K. Shiv Shanker

4.00 pm | Himachal Pradesh

Rise in COVID cases after return of state’s residents: HP CM

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said there is a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases in the state following the return of residents who were stranded in other parts of the country, especially in containment zones with many cases.

Addressing a press conference in Dharamshala on Saturday, the chief minister reiterated that no previous government had any experience to tackle a pandemic-like situation of such proportions as COVID-19 but asserted that the government was handling it well.

3.40 pm | New Delhi

MoS admitted to hospital with COVID-19

Minister of State for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary, has tested postive for COVID-19.

“As part of a health checkup after exhibiting some symptoms, I have tested positive for COVID—19. Those who came in contact with in the past few day are kindly requested to go into self isolatation and get themselves tested. Thank you to all my well—wishers,” Mr. Choudhary tweeted.

“I have a little fever and am having trouble breathing. I am under observation of doctors at a hospital. I urge you all not to worry. You can call me if there is anything of importance,” Mr. Choudhary said in another tweet.

3.20 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Five staff of Durga Malleswara Swamy temple test positive

Management of Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Devastanam is taking measures to sanitize Indrakeeladri, with five of the Endowments department staff tested COVID-19 positive.

“An officer, two veda pandits, and two clerical staff who were on duty atop Indrakeeladri were infected with Coronavirus. The temple premises were sanitised and we are allowing the pilgrims for the darshan,” an officer said on Saturday. - Rajulapudi Srinivas

3.10 pm | New Delhi

Nearly 200 doctors in India have succumbed to COVID-19: IMA

A total of 196 doctors in the country, majority of them being general practitioners, have succumbed to COVID-19 so far, said the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Saturday, requesting the prime minister for his attention on the issue.

While an increasing number of doctors are getting infected and losing their lives every day, substantial number of them have been found to be general practitioners.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the IMA requested him to ensure adequate care for doctors and their families who are a special risk group and extend the state-sponsored medical and life insurance facilities to doctors in all the sectors. - PTI

2.55 pm | Maharashtra

Abhishek Bachchan tests negative for COVID-19

After 28 days, actor Abhishek Bachchan has tested negative for COVID-19. The actor shared the news in a post on Twitter.

“A promise is a promise! This afternoon I tested Covid-19 NEGATIVE!!! I told you guys I’d beat this.

“Thank you all for your prayers for me and my family. My eternal gratitude to the doctors and nursing staff at Nanavati hospital for all that they have done,” Abhishek tweeted.

His father Amitabh Bachchan, wife Aishwarya - both actors - and daughter Aaradhya were hospitalised for the disease in July. While Aishwarya and Aaradhya were discharged on July 27, Amitabh Bachchan was discharged last week. 

2.15 pm | Telangana

Ex MP Nandi Yellaiah succumbs to COVID-19 in Telangana

Senior Congress leader Nandi Yellaiah died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Yellaiah (78) was admitted to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences on July 29.

2.00 pm | Andhra Pradesh

APSRTC resumes operations in Guntur after four months

The APSRTC resumed its services in Guntur district after four months of lockdown. The RTC Guntur Region has begun operating 117 services across the district and also resumed services to Vijayawada.

Regional Manager in-charge Y. Rajasekhar said that super luxury services to Tirupati and Bengaluru have also resumed. Express bus services between Guntur and Vijayawada were also being operated. Air-conditioned services have not been operated.

Passengers should wear masks at all times and will be checked at the entry points. They should maintain physical distancing and should be seated in alternate seats. Passengers would also be asked to sanitise their hands. before boarding the buses.

1.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

e-pass system cannot be abolished, says Palaniswami

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday made it clear that the e-pass system for inter-district and inter-State movement during the pandemic cannot be abolished.

A day after Opposition leader M.K. Stalin demanded the abolition of the system, Mr. Palaniswami told journalists in Tirunelveli that since people from other States and abroad were coming in, restriction on movement was needed to arrest the spread of COVID-19. Hence, a stricter e-pass system was being implemented.

Once the spread of the infection comes down, public transport will be resumed and the procedure to get e-passes will be simplified, he added.

1.20 pm | Kerala

'MCH has turned into cluster of infection'

Resident doctors at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, have raised apprehensions about the institution turning out to be a “major cluster of infection” for COVID-19.

According to Muhammed Thasneem and M. Akhil, president and secretary of the Calicut chapter of the Kerala Medical Postgraduates Association, it had come to such a stage where general patients and even their bystanders were contracting the infection.

For the past few weeks, house surgeons and resident doctors were being deployed for COVID-19 management work in view of staff shortage at the hospital. As they too have tested positive for the virus, the situation was alarming, Dr. Thasneem and Dr. Akhil said. They claimed that it was the “end result of the poor decision making by the authorities right from the beginning of the outbreak”.


1.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Small temples, churches and mosques to open from August 10 in Tamil Nadu

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Saturday announced that small temples, whose annual revenue is below ₹10,000, mosques, dargahs and churches can be open for worship from August 10. He also announced the opening of driving schools from August 10.

In a press release, the Chief Minister said these places of worship and driving schools would follow the existing standard operative procedures.

“The permission for opening temples should be obtained from the District Collector, and in the Chennai Corporation area, the Corporation Commissioner will grant the permission. In other Municipal Corporations, permission should be got from the District Collectors,” Mr Palaniswami said.

12.30 pm | New Delhi

Centre asks States to test grocery shop workers, vendors

For representational purpose only. File

For representational purpose only. File


Expressing concern that grocery shops, vegetable and other vendors can be potential spreaders of coronavirus infection to a large number of people, the Union Health Ministry has advised states and Union Territories (UT) to take up testing of such people to ensure early detection of cases which can lead to reduction in mortality rate.

In a letter to States and UTs, Secretary in the Health Ministry, Rajesh Bhushan, also stressed on the need for operationalising ambulance transport system with oxygen facility and quick response mechanism.

He underlined that the refusal rate of ambulances must be monitored on a daily basis and brought down to zero.


12.15 pm | New Delhi

Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral tests positive, 10 MPs self isolate

Days after attending a parliamentary standing committee meet Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral has tested positive for COVID-19.

Ironically, the meeting was to discuss the efficacy of online court proceedings in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. Despite repeated demands by the Opposition, presiding officers of both Houses had not relented to allow the meeting via an online medium.

“All of us strictly observed the rules, adhering to physical distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing our hands. Even though I was sitting 30 feet away from Mr. Gujral, I will be getting myself tested. This unfortunately is the new normal, we will have to keep working while following precautions,” Congress MP Vivek Tankha told The Hindu . - Sobhana K. Nair

11.50 am | Puducherry

Lockdown in Yanam for three days

A three-day lockdown will be implemented in Yanam, starting Sunday as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

While medical shops would function, milk booths would be kept open from 6 a.m to 8 a.m and 6 p.m to 8 p.m All government offices and banks would be closed during the three days.

There are around 120 active COVID-19 cases in Yanam region.

11.30 am | Kerala

State turns to private sector to ramp up testing

With the State entering a crucial phase of the pandemic, the government is fully banking on the private sector to ramp up COVID-19 testing in the State.

The testing policy in the State is set to be revised so that any individual who wants to be tested will be able to walk into a private hospital or laboratory and get himself tested for COVID-19.


11.00 am | Tamil Nadu

There has been a ‘long pause’ in the epidemic in Chennai, says Health Secretary

With the city’s daily count dropping to under 1,000 cases for the first time in nearly one-and-a-half months, there seems to be a sort of slowing down of the pandemic. While the number of cases is coming down in the city, despite about 12,000 tests being performed every day, the percentage of recovered cases and active cases too have made steady, yet incremental gains.

“Let’s not be hasty and make any declarations yet. Yes, the numbers have been consistently lower than 1,100, and today, even lower, despite ramping up tests. We can probably say that there has been a ‘long pause’ in the epidemic in Chennai,” said Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan.

10.30 am | Karnataka

No more institutional quarantine for international returnees

The State government has done away with the seven-day mandatory institutional quarantine for international returnees to Karnataka. Instead, such travellers now have to compulsorily follow a 14-day home quarantine.

10.00 am | Mumbai

Flying squads to check if hospitals are overcharging

The Maharashtra government on Friday directed district and civic authorities to form flying squads to inspect if private hospitals are overcharging COVID-19 patients, and following the State’s directives on ensuring the availability of beds.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope has directed all district collectors, municipal commissioners and divisional commissioners to submit inspection reports within three days.


9.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

Positivity and mortality rates are low in State, says CM

Health technician analyzing samples collected at a COVID19 Rapid testing camp at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital in Hyderabad on August 7, 2020

Health technician analyzing samples collected at a COVID19 Rapid testing camp at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital in Hyderabad on August 7, 2020

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has said that though the COVID-19 positivity and mortality rates in the State are below the national averages, the government is carrying out the tests extensively, particularly in the containment clusters, to curb the menace.


8.50 am | Haryana

Four-day serological survey from Aug. 17

More than 21,000 IgG ELISA tests will be conducted across Haryana, 960 in each district, as part of a four-day serological survey from August 17 to understand the proportion of population exposed to the novel coronavirus infection. The survey will be conducted in collaboration with Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.


8.00 am | Kerala

Floods deal a blow to COVID-19 containment efforts

People living near the banks of Periyar River in Eloor shifting to safer destinations after heavy rains resulted in flooding along low lying areas in Ernakulam.

People living near the banks of Periyar River in Eloor shifting to safer destinations after heavy rains resulted in flooding along low lying areas in Ernakulam.


With the number of COVID-19 cases in Kochi rising consistently over the past few weeks, the heavy rain and consequent flooding could complicate the district’s efforts to contain the virus, besides leading to several monsoon-related diseases.

Additional District Medical Officer Dr. S. Sreedevi said that the protocol in the State Disaster Management Authority’s orange book would have to be adhered to strictly. “We will have to be careful. When we say COVID protocol must be followed during rescue operations and in relief camps, that could also be difficult to do in this situation,” she said.


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