Coronavirus India lockdown Day 114 updates | July 16, 2020

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India crossed the million mark on July 16.

India passed the grim milestone on a day it crossed another equally grim one of more than 25,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Here is a list of State Helpline numbers. You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here.

Here are the latest updates:

10.20 p.m. | Chhattisgarh

Record 197 new coronavirus cases in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh on Thursday reported 197 COVID-19 cases, the highest one-day spike in the state, taking the total count to 4,754, a health official said.

The death toll rose to 21 after one more coronavirus patient succumbed, he said.

10.00 p.m. | Noida

Over 2,000 vehicles challaned for flouting COVID curbs in Noida

Owners of more than 2,000 vehicles were penalised across Noida and Greater Noida on Thursday for allegedly violating curbs imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gautam Buddh Nagar police said.

Two vehicles were impounded for similar violation during a 24-hour period till Wednesday night in Gautam Buddh Nagar district, which has so far recorded 3,862 COVID-19 cases and 37 deaths due to the disease, according to official figures.

Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 144, which bars assembly of more than four persons, is in force in the district whose urban areas fall in the ‘Red Zone’ for COVID-19.

9.40 p.m. | West Bengal

Record one-day jump of 1,690 COVID-19 cases takes Bengal tally to 36,117

West Bengal recorded 1,690 fresh COVID-19 cases, the state’s biggest single-day spike in infections, pushing the virus count to 36,117 on Thursday, the health department said.

At least 23 people have succumbed to the infection since Wednesday evening, raising the death toll to 1,023, the department said in its bulletin.

The number of active COVID-19 cases currently stands at 13,679.

9.25 p.m. | New Delhi

55 Air India pilots tested COVID-positive; airline proposes 60% salary cut for pilots: unions

Air India has proposed a 60% salary cut for pilots amid the coronavirus pandemic which has infected 55 of its cockpit crew members, said two leading pilot unions of the airline on Thursday.

“The proposed cut for pilots is almost 60% of gross emoluments. It is hilarious to note that the top management has proposed a meagre 3.5 per cent cut on its own gross salary,” said a joint letter by the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) to Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal.

9.15 p.m. | Chandigarh

Criticism over deputing teachers to take foreign returnees from airport to quarantine centres

The teaching fraternity and opposition parties Thursday strongly condemned the decision of authorities in Ludhiana to depute government schoolteachers for bringing foreign returnees from airport to coronavirus quarantine centres.

Describing it as an irrational and illogical decision, the teachers’ association and political parties — the SAD, its ally BJP, and the AAP -- sought rollback of this decision.

Government schoolteachers in Ludhiana have been asked to bring foreign returnees from the airport and then take them to the quarantine centres. We strongly condemn this decision, said Democratic Teachers’ Front (Punjab) President Davinder Singh Punia.

9.00 p.m. | Odisha

Odisha announces complete lockdown for 14 days

In wake of rising COVID-19 positive cases in Odisha, the State government has announced 14 days of complete lockdown in four districts and a municipal corporation with high coronavirus load beginning from Friday evening.

8.45 p.m. | Assam

Assam to launch mega campaign for plasma donation

The Assam government on Thursday announced that it will launch a mega drive to boost its plasma bank reserves wherein those recovered COVID-19 patients from outside desirous of donating the blood component will be accorded state guest status and provided return flight tickets and accommodation.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said recovered symptomatic patients from other states can come to Assam and donate plasma for the treatment of coronavirus positive patients here.

8.30 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 735 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Thursday recorded 735 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 20, 378. The number of active cases stands at 5,562. Seven patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 689. As for recoveries, 219 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day. So far, 14, 127 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.

- Sidharth Yadav

8.15 p.m.

Number of COVID-19 cases in India crosses million mark

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India crossed the million mark on July 16.

India passed the grim milestone on a day it crossed another equally grim one of more than 25,000 deaths from COVID-19.

According to data from State Health Departments from across the country, the number of cases stood at 10,01,449 as of 7.50 p.m. IST, while the number of deaths stood at 25,582.

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8.00 p.m. | Jharkhand

Philanthropic organisation donates medical kits to Jharkhand government

A philanthropic organisation partnering with Azim Premji Foundation on Thursday donated medical kits worth ₹3.28 crore to the Jharkhand government to deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

The kits include 12,700 PPE (personal protective equipment), 20,300 N-95 masks, five TruNet machines and two Thermo Fisher RNA extractor machines, an official release said.

The machines are used for COVID-19 testing.

7.45 p.m. | Maharashtra

With more than 8,600 new cases, Maharashtra records highest single-day surge

Maharashtra posted its highest single-day surge till date on Thursday with a staggering 8,641 new Covid-19 cases reported across the State to take its total case tally to 2,84,281.

An equally high fatality surge of 266 deaths pushed the total death toll to 11,194. This is the second time in less than a week that the State has reported a single-day jump of more than 8,000 cases. Of the total case tally, 1,14,648 are active ones, said State Health Department officials.

With 5,527 patients discharged today, the cumulative recoveries till date has gone up to 1,58,140. With 1,476 new cases reported today, Mumbai's total case tally reached has 97,950 of whom only 24,307 are active though.

With 56 new deaths reported today, the city's death toll has risen to 5,523. Pune district reported 35 deaths, while significant fatality surges were reported from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) as well with Thane district reporting 28 deaths, the Mira-Bhayander civic body reporting 22, and Kalyan-Dombivli reporting 18 fatalities. Raigad district reported as many as 25 deaths.


7.25 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi reports 1,652 new COVID-19 cases

1,652 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,18,645, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Thursday.

Also, 58 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 3,545.

Of the total cases, 97,693 people have recovered and there are 17,407 active cases.

-Nikhil M. Babu

7.05 p.m. | Punjab

Punjab CM asks DGP to create special ‘COVID reserve’ unit

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday asked the state police chief to create a special ‘COVID reserve’ unit in the force for the next few months by withdrawing police personnel deployed on non-essential duties.

The Chief Minister gave the direction while chairing a COVID review video conference during which he also expressed concern over the increasing cases and fatalities in the state.

6.50 p.m. | Mumbai

Varavara Rao tests positive for COVID-19

P. Varavara Rao, 81, who was admitted to the State-run JJ Hospital, has tested positive for COVID-19.

“He is not showing any signs of COVID. He is stable and will be shifted to another hospital as we are a non-COVID hospital,” Dr. Ranjeet Mankeshwar, Dean of JJ Hospital told The Hindu.

Mr. Rao was taken to the hospital from the Taloja Central Jail on July 13 and admitted in the neurology department after he complained of giddiness.

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6.30 p.m. | Nagaland

Nagaland CM, Deputy CM, four ministers under quarantine on return from Delhi

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton and four ministers placed themselves under quarantine on Thursday after returning from their official visit to Delhi.

All of them tested negative for coronavirus, said Neiba Kronu, Minister and government spokesperson on COVID-19.

“As a precautionary measure, I’m on self-quarantine on my return to Nagaland from Delhi. Taking precautions to ensure safety of others and myself. Will continue discharging duties,” Mr. Rio said in a tweet on Thursday.

6.15 p.m. | New Delhi

Too soon to say whether recovered COVID patients lose immunity with time, say scientists

Recent studies suggest that those recovering from COVID-19 may have antibodies for only a few months, a signal that long-term immunity is difficult to achieve, but several scientists dispel the gloom and say it is too soon to determine if such individuals can contract the disease again.

Some special cells of the immune system may still offer protection against the disease, the scientists said as questions swirl on whether people who have recovered from COVID-19 can get it again -- even those whose antibodies dwindle progressively as the days and weeks pass.

It is too soon to say whether people with lowered levels of novel coronavirus-blocking antibody levels (nAbs) after recovery are at risk of contracting the COVID-19 disease on re-exposure to the virus, Vineeta Bal, an immunologist from the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research in Pune, told PTI.

6.05 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh to conduct only final year, last semester exams

The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday decided to cancel exams of all state universities, except those of final year and last semester.

The decision has been taken in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases in the State.

Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma told reporters that students of other classes will be promoted on the basis of internal assessment.

5.55 p.m. | Goa

Goa Governor blames `error of judgment’ for COVID situation

Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday blamed the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state on an “error of judgment” by the state government, and said it let down its guard prematurely.

Goa “got satisfied” about the virus situation too early, Mr. Malik said.

He was speaking to the media after attending a meeting with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and officials to review the COVID-19 situation ahead of a three-day lockdown which will start in the state from Friday.

5.35 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh records highest single-day jump in coronavirus deaths, cases

Uttar Pradesh Thursday reported its highest single-day spike in coronavirus deaths with 34 new fatalities, while the total number of infections also rose by a record 2,061, officials said.

The rise on Thursday pushed the cumulative figures to 1,046 deaths and 43,444, they said.

5.20 p.m. | Punjab

Punjab caps COVID-19 treatment rates for private hospitals

The Punjab government on Thursday said it has fixed the coronavirus treatment rates for private hospitals in order to check profiteering.

The rates, finalised for private hospitals and medical colleges by the Dr K. K. Talwar Committee, cover isolation beds, ICU treatment and hospitalisation charges, per day of admission.

For moderate sickness requiring isolation beds, including supportive care and oxygen, the rates per day are fixed at ₹10,000 for all private medical colleges or NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) private hospitals with teaching programme, the government said in a statement here.

5.00 p.m. | New Delhi

With steady decline, active COVID-19 cases now constitute a third of total tally: Health Ministry

India has 3,31,146 active COVID-19 cases, which is around a third of the country’s total tally that rose to 9.68 lakh on Thursday, the Union Health ministry said and credited targeted measures for the steady decline in active caseload.

As the country witnessed a record single-day increase of 32,695 cases on Thursday, the Ministry said the recovery rate rose to 50% mid-June and thereafter there has been a steady rise in recoveries and a decline in the number of active cases.


4.50 p.m. | Bihar

15-year-old girl allegedly raped by guard at PMCH COVID-19 ward

A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a security guard at the COVID-19 quarantine center of the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) where she was admitted after being rescued from a railway station, police said on Thursday.

The accused, Mahesh (40), was arrested on Wednesday night after being booked under the POCSO Act and other relevant IPC sections by the Pir Bahore police station, according to Arti Jaiswal, the in-charge of the women’s police station here.


4.30 p.m. | Andhra Pradesh

14 Tirumala Archakas test positive for COVID-19

TTD Chairman Y. V. Subba Reddy on Thursday confirmed that 14 Tirumala archakas tested positive for COVID-19.  Mr. Reddy said that a total of 140 TTD personnel have been affected so far. - G.P. Shukla

4.15 p.m. | West Bengal

Over 650 Kolkata Police personnel diagnosed with COVID-19 so far: Senior cop

More than 650 Kolkata Police personnel have been diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past four months, of which around 512 have recovered and several others are undergoing treatment at hospitals, a senior officer said.

A few of them have been advised home isolation, the officer said on Thursday.

At least two have succumbed to the disease so far.

Sixteen personnel of the Kolkata Police traffic department had on Wednesday tested positive for the disease - some of them posted at its headquarters in Lalbazar, and others at Charu Market and Entally police stations, the officer said.

The offices of the traffic department have been shut down for sanitisation, he said.

All 16 have been hospitalised, the officer said. - PTI

3.50 p.m. | Meghalaya

Meghalaya to close all entry points to state from July 24-31

The Meghalaya government has decided to close all entry points to the state from July 24 to 31 to intensify COVID-19 surveillance, as its caseload rose to 354 on Thursday with 16 more security personnel testing positive for the infection, officials said.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said only people engaged in essential services will be permitted to enter the state during the period.

“To reduce the burden on our health workers and administration engaged in intensive surveillance for the past four months, the state government has decided to close all the entry points to the state from July 24 to 31,” he said.

The entry points of Byrnihat, Ratacherra, Bajengdoba, Tikrikilla, Mirjumla and Hallidayganj will be shut during the period. They will be reopened on August 1, Sangma said, adding that the one at Byrnihat will be shifted to a new location to ensure smooth movement of traffic.

The state government has also decided not to allow wedding receptions in the districts of East Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi for the time being, he said.

“Only solemnisation of marriages in places of worship will be permitted, with strict adherence to social distancing norms,” the Chief Minister said.

The decision in this regard comes after 10 of the 41 people who had attended a wedding reception tested positive for COVID-19. As many as 200 primary contacts of the patients were identified and isolated during a two-day lockdown imposed in Shillong. - PTI

3.40 p.m. | London

Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine hopes rise with strong trial results

Researchers at the University of Oxford believe they may have a breakthrough in their search for a COVID-19 vaccine after the team discovered that the jab could provide “double protection” against the deadly coronavirus following early stage human trials, according to media reports in the U.K.

Blood samples taken from a group of U.K. volunteers given a dose of the vaccine showed that it stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and killer T-cells , a senior source from the trial was quoted by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ as saying.

The discovery is promising because separate studies have suggested that antibodies may fade away within months while T-cells can stay in circulation for years.

However, the source cautioned that the results, while extremely promising , did not yet prove that the Oxford vaccine provides long-lasting immunity against the deadly virus.

I can tell you that we now know the Oxford vaccine covers both bases — it produces both a T cell and an antibody response. It’s the combination of these two that will hopefully keep people safe. So far, so good. It’s an important moment. But we still have a long way to go, the source said.

Another source close to the team described the presence of both antibodies and T-cells as a double defence against COVID-19.

‘The Lancet’ medical journal has confirmed that it would be publishing early-stage human trial data from the Oxford team on Monday.

David Carpenter, chairman of the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, which approved the Oxford trial, said the vaccine team was “absolutely on track“. - PTI

3.20 p.m. | Sikkim

Sikkim CM, family and staff members undergo COVID-19 test

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, his family and staff members gave their samples for COVID-19 test on Thursday, the CMO said in a statement.

Tamang and his family members underwent the COVID-19 test after a few of his ministers interacted with people from Rongli and Rhenock sub-divisions which have been declared as containment zones following a recent spurt in positive cases at the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) camp in Rongli town.

Samples of a total 95 people, including Tamang, his wife Sarda and son Aditya Tamang, who is an MLA, were collected at the chief minister’s residence at Lumsey, it said.

Samples of the chief minister’s security and residential staff members were also collected for testing, according to the chief minister’s office (CMO) statement.

The reports will be available after 48 hours. - PTI

2.10 p.m. | Maharashtra

Former Maharashtra CM tests positive for coronavirus

Former Maharashtra chief minister Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar tested positive for coronavirus in the state’s Latur district on Thursday, a senior official said.

The 88-year-old leader has been shifted to a hospital in Pune, located around 320 km from Latur, the official said.

2 p.m. | New Delhi

Human trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidate important milestone for Atmanirbhar Bharat: DBT

Zydus Cadila’s move to begin human trials of its indigenously developed vaccine candidate for COVID-19 is an important milestone for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Department of Biotechnology Secretary Renu Swarup said on Thursday.

Zydus Cadila on Wednesday said it has initiated Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. ZyCoV-D, the plasmid DNA vaccine designed and developed by Zydus, has been partially funded by the Department of Biotechnology under the National Biopharma Mission.

This makes it the first indigenously developed vaccine for coronavirus to be administered in humans in the country, the DBT secretary said in a statement.

Ms. Swarup said the development is also a big leap forward for the scientific community.

This is an important milestone for Atmanirbhar Bharat as Zydus begins human clinical trials for the indigenously developed vaccine. We hope that the vaccine continues to show positive outcomes as it has done so far in the pre-clinical phase where it was found to be safe, immunogenic and well tolerated, she said.

The adaptive phase 1 and 2 dose escalation, multi-centric study will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine, the statement said. - PTI

1.45 p.m. | New Delhi

Expedite approval process for rapid antigen, RTPCR testing: Delhi HC to ICMR, NABL

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the ICMR and healthcare accreditation body NABL to expedite the process of granting approvals to private labs and hospitals for conducting Rapid Antigen and RTPCR tests in view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city which have gone past 1.16 lakh.

A direction was also issued by the high court to the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) to place before it by July 27 the preliminary report of the “sero surveillance” carried out in the city from June 27 to July 5, during which 21,387 blood samples were collected from the 11 districts in Delhi and tested for presence of antibodies to assess prevalence of COVID-19 infection at community level.

The directions were issued by a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad after perusing the affidavits filed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and NCDC in response to its queries on the last date regarding how many labs and private hospitals in Delhi have been allowed to conduct the Rapid Antigen and RTPCR tests as well as the status of the sero survey carried out in the national capital.

ICMR said it has been granting approvals to the private hospitals and labs, to conduct the Rapid Antigen and RTPCR tests, was an ongoing process and it has given one month“s time to them apply for the same after getting accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). - PTI

1.30 p.m. | Maharashtra

First woman chief of Maharashtra poll panel dies of COVID-19

Former Maharashtra State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan died of COVID-19 at a hospital here on Thursday morning, hospital authorities said. She was 72.

The 1972-batch IAS officer was the state’s first woman election commissioner.

She died at Seven Hills Hospital in suburban Andheri around 4 am, the medical facility’s dean Dr Balkrishna Adsul said.

Her husband and son are also undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the hospital, he said.

The Seven Hills Hospital is a dedicated facility for coronavirus treatment.

Satyanarayan retired as additional chief secretary of the state’s revenue department in 2009.

After retirement, she served as the State Election Commissionerbetween 2009 and 2014.

She authored several books and was also a singer.

While serving as a bureaucrat, she had raised her voice against women IAS officers not being given important postings in the state secretariat.

Later, she was posted in the state revenue and Home departments. - PTI

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1.10 pm | Karnataka

Only God can save us, says Karnataka Health Minister

With Karnataka witnessing a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases, its Health Minister B Sriramulu has said only God can save the state, insisting that public cooperation was key to controlling the spread of the pandemic.

“Tell me whose hand it is (to control the disease). Only God has to save us all. Awareness among people is the only way. In such a situation, the Congress leaders have stooped to the lowest level of politics. It doesn’t suit anybody,” Mr. Sriramulu told reporters on Wednesday.

Today, he issued a clarification. “I had said that besides people’s cooperation, God should also protect us but some media interpreted that Sriramulu has become helpless with respect to coronavirus spread.”

11.50 am | New Delhi

Record single-day jump of 32,695 COVID-19 cases in India

COVID-19 cases in India crossed the 30,000 mark in a single day for the first time pushing its tally to 9,68,876 on Thursday, while the death toll climbed to 24,915 with 606 people succumbing to the disease, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The number of recoveries stands at 6,12,814, while there are 3,31,146 active cases of coronavirus infection presently in the country.

“Thus, around 63.25 per cent of patients have recovered so far,” an official said. - PTI

11.35 am | West Bengal

Sourav Ganguly goes into self quarantine after brother tests positive

Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly  


BCCI president and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has gone into home quarantine after his elder brother Snehasish Ganguly tested positive for COVID-19.

Mr. Snehasish Ganguly is joint secretary Cricket Association of Bengal. “These are tough times. He has admitted himself yesterday at a city hospital. Other than having mild temperature, he is alright at the moment. Wish him a speedy recovery,” a statement from CAB read. CAB chief Avishek Dalmiya has also gone into home quarantine.

It is learnt that Mr. Snehasish Ganguly and Mr. Dalmiya met some senior police officials at the Eden Gardens last week to discuss the possibility of converting it into a COVID centre.

Mr. Snehasish Ganguly has been living with Mr. Sourav Ganguly since June 20 after the former's family, barring him, was diagnosed with COVID-19. - PTI

11.25 am | Puducherry

9-month baby is the latest COVID victim

A nine-month-old baby who died at the Rajiv Gandhi Women and Children's hospital tested positive for COVID-19, taking the mortality count in Puducherry to 22 on Thursday.

The UT also saw the highest number of cases in a single day with 147 admissions.

The tally is 22 deaths, 774 active cases, cumulative total of 1743 cases and 947 patients discharged. - Dinesh Verma

11.10 am | Andhra Pradesh

Bridge closed

As part of the COVID-19 containment efforts, the West Godavari district authorities on Wednesday closed the road-cum-rail bridge across the Godavari, to restrict movement of people between Kovvur and Rajamahendravaram. This is a vital link between the Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh. Traffic is allowed through two other bridges.

11.00 am | Tamil Nadu

Outpatient services resume at Chennai's Vijaya Hospital

Vijaya Hospital has resumed outpatient services (only by appointment) since July 14. The private hospital group was the first major healthcare facility in Chennai to suspend services due to the spread of COVID-19 among staff.

“The management had voluntarily decided to shut down one of our units (Vijaya Hospital) in the last week of June as soon as we identified a potential risk of infection spread. Following this, we have taken stringent measures to disinfect the facility completely as per disinfection protocols...,” a media release said. “Most of our staff have been tested, and the ones who required institutional quarantine have been taken care of at our other unit (Vijaya Health Centre),” the release said.

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10.30 am | Karnataka

Amid rising cases lockdown begins in Karnataka's Dharwad district

The lockdown announced by the Dharwad district administration to check the surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases came into force on Wednesday with the authorities taking steps to ensure strict implementation of the Deputy Commissioner’s order.

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10.00 am

Due to lockdown, T.N. suffers 50% fall in its tax revenue

The lockdown, imposed throughout the country to contain the spread of COVID-19, has caused about a 50% fall in the State’s Own Tax Revenue (SOTR) of Tamil Nadu during the first quarter (April-June) of this financial year, compared with the figure for the corresponding period last year.

This year’s SOTR collections during April-June amounted to ₹12,318.18 crore against the previous year’s figure of ₹25,082.52 crore.

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9.30 am | Kerala

46% of cases in Ernakulam through local transmission

The Aluva market area and Chellanam remain areas of concern for the district, as 39 persons from Chellanam and 12 from the Aluva market area tested positive on Wednesday. Those who tested positive in Chellanam are all contacts of people who had been infected earlier. A total of 109 persons from Chellanam have tested positive so far.

Around 46% of the 659 cases recorded in the district so far are through local transmission. The percentage of cases through local transmission has steadily increased from a little over 20% in the middle of last week, going by data available on the Directorate of Health Services COVID dashboard.

9.00 am

Situation much better in Delhi, says CM

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said Delhi was in a “much better position” than had been estimated amid rising cases of COVID-19 in June, but this should not be a reason for complacency.

He said both active cases and deaths had reduced in the city because of the “Delhi Model”, which had also been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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8.30 am

Tamil Nadu’s case count likely to decline in 10 days, says CM

Health officials checking temperature and conducting swab test in Sowcarpet during the complete lockdown in Chennai on Sunday.

Health officials checking temperature and conducting swab test in Sowcarpet during the complete lockdown in Chennai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu


Tamil Nadu’s COVID-19 case count is likely to decline in the next 10 days and the spread of the virus is reducing noticeably in Chennai, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Wednesday.

Addressing the media, Mr. Palaniswami said the daily case tally was expected to come down. However, the containment of the virus was “in each person’s hands”, and what was needed was “self-regulation and people’s support”, he added.

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8.00 am

Highest single-day spike in West Bengal

West Bengal recorded 1,589 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, its highest single-day spike yet, taking its tally to 34,427. The State also recorded 20 more deaths, pushing its toll to 1,000.

Of the latest victims, nine were from Kolkata, six from North 24 Parganas, three from Howrah, and one each from Hooghly and Paschim Bardhaman districts. There are 12,747 active cases in the State and its recovery rate stands at 60.06%. As many as 11,388 samples were tested on Wednesday.

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7.30 am

Maharashtra to form panel to fix rates of masks, sanitisers

Health workers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at a slum in Mumbai, on July 14, 2020.

Health workers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms at a slum in Mumbai, on July 14, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP


The Maharashtra government on Wednesday said it will be forming a committee to fix the rates of masks and sanitisers, which are in high demand owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government will be appealing to the Centre to include these two items in the list of essential commodities, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said after a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration Department.

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7.00 am | Kerala

High Court asks political parties to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocol

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed all the political parties and other organisations in the state to strictly abide by the Central government's COVID-19 guidelines issued for the Unlock-2 period, which prohibits social, political, religious and other large congregations.

The Bench led Chief Justice S. Manikumar also directed the State government to ensure that the Centre government guidelines issued on June 29 are implemented strictly in the state.

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