Coronavirus India lockdown Day 116 updates | July 18, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 5,90,000 people worldwide in almost seven months

Updated - July 18, 2020 11:18 pm IST

Published - July 18, 2020 08:38 am IST

A view of the Kasimedu fish market crowd in Chennai,when fishermen return with their catch on Saturday.

A view of the Kasimedu fish market crowd in Chennai,when fishermen return with their catch on Saturday.

Less than 1% COVID-19 patients are on the ventilators, less than 2% cases in ICUs, and less than 3% on oxygen beds said the Union Health Ministry on July 17 , stating that the actual case load of COVID-19 patients in the country is 3.42 lakh, with recovered cases now at 6.35 lakh.

Meanwhile, global coronavirus infections passed 140 lakh on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking the first time there has been a surge of 10 lakh cases in under 100 hours.

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:

10.40 pm| Rajasthan

711 new COVID-19 cases take total tally to 28,500 in Rajasthan

Seven COVID-19 fatalities and 711 instances of the viral disease were reported in Rajasthan on Saturday, taking the death toll in the state to 553 and total tally of cases to and 28,500 respectively.

Of the fresh fatalities, Barmer reported three, and Bharatpur, Jodhpur, Pratapgarh and Rajsamand one each, according to an official report.

Alwar registered the maximum 116 of the new cases, followed by Pali where 96 people tested positive for the disease.

10.25 pm| West Bengal

West Bengal’s single-day rise in COVID-19 cases crosses 2,000- mark for first time

West Bengal reported over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases on a single-day for the first time on Saturday as the state’s tally breached the 40,000-mark, as per the state health department.

The state detected 2,198 new cases, following which its active cases soared to 15,594, it said in a bulletin.

Twenty-seven more people died, taking the state’s total fatalities to 1,076, the department said. The state has so far reported 40,209 cases of COVID-19.

10.10 pm| Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 682 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Saturday recorded 682 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 21,763. The number of active cases stands at 6,193. Nine patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 706. As for recoveries, 350 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day. So far, 14, 864 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.

9.55 pm| Haryana

17 more COVID-19 deaths in Haryana

Haryana reported seventeen more deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday, the state’s second highest death toll in a day, even as another big spike of 750 fresh cases took the infection tally to 25,547, according to Health department’s daily bulletin.

Hardest-hit Faridabad and Gurgaon districts, which fall in the National Capital Region, reported five and two fatalities, respectively, the bulletin said.

9.40 pm | New Delhi

Over 1 lakh people recuperate from COVID in Delhi

More than one lakh people have recuperated from coronavirus infection in the national capital so far, the Delhi government’s health bulletin said on Saturday as the recovery rate stood over 83%.

Delhi has 16,711 active cases, the bulletin said, the lowest in the last 40 days.

According to the daily bulletin, over 1,475 fresh cases have been reported, taking the overall coronavirus tally here to 1,21,582.

9.25pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra COVID-19 cases cross 3-lakh mark

The COVID-19 tally in Maharashtra crossed the 3 lakh-mark on Saturday with the addition of 8,348 new cases while the death toll mounted by 144, including 86 fatalities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, to 11,596, state Health department said.

The total number of cases in the state now stands at 3,00,937 while the tally of active cases has reached 1,26,926.

9.05 pm | Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh to hold job camps for returning migrants

The Chhattisgarh government will organise employment camps in all 28 districts for migrants who have returned to the state amid the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Saturday.

These ‘rozgar camps’ will be held based on the data of vacancies collected by the Industry and Labour departments in the state, a public relations department official said.

8.50 pm | Maharashtra

Religious gatherings not allowed in state, says Maharashtra CM

Ahead of Bakri Eid and Ganesh festivals, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday reiterated that religious, social and political gatheringswill remain prohibited in the state in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing collectors and municipal commissioners via a virtual meeting, the CM called for replication of the Dharavi model elsewhere in the state to control the viral outbreak.

“Care should be taken to ensure that new containment zones do not get created,” he said.

8.30 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka reports 4537 new cases

Karnataka on Saturday reported 93 deaths apart from six non-COVID deaths and 4,537 new cases.

With this the death toll rose to 1,240 and the total number of cases have now touched 59,652.

With 1,018 discharges, the total number of recoveries is 21,775. Of the 36,631 active cases, 580 are being monitored in ICUs.

Bengaluru Urban reported 2,125 cases and  49 deaths.

As many as 34,819 tests, highest so far, have been conducted in the last 24 hours. This includes 9,315 antigen tests.

8.10 pm | Gujarat

Gujarat reports 1061 new cases

Gujarat records 19 deaths and 1061 infections, increasing its numbers to 2127 deaths and 47577 COVID-19 cases. Active cases jump to 11344 while 34005 patients discharged so far.

- Mahesh Langa

7.55 pm | Tirupati

Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Mutt seer tests positive for coronavirus

Senior pontiff of the Shree Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Mutt of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that governs the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, near here, has tested positive for coronavirus.

Speaking to PTI on Friday, chairman of the TTD Board Y V Subba Reddy said the 63-year-old seer was to be shifted to a corporate hospital in Chennai but he declined and expressed his wish to take treatment at the mutt its

7.40 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu records all time daily high of 4,807 new COVID-19 cases, 88 deaths

Tamil Nadu on Saturday reported the highest single day spike in COVID-19 infections with 4,807 new cases while over 3000 people were discharged after recovery.

The state reported 88 fatalities, the highest single day toll so far, pushing the death toll to 2,403,a Health department bulletin said.

With the addition of the new COVID-19 cases, the infection count has gone up to 1,65,714.

7.20 pm | Hyderabad

Give ₹10 lakh as ex-gratia to kin of COVID-19 victims: Congress

Congress on Saturday demanded the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to give Rs 10 lakh as ex-gratia to the families of poor people who died of COVID-19.

Also, the state Congress sought ₹50 lakh to the kin of frontline COVID-19 warriors in the field of medicine, health, sanitation and in the police force if they succumb to the virus.

Addressing the party cadre on the social media platform Facebook as part of #SpeakUpTelangana campaign, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Uttam Kumar Reddy said the Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, also known as KCR, had allegedly adopted a non-serious approach in handling the Covid-19 situation.

7.05 pm | New Delhi

Delhi reports 1475 new cases

1,475 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,21,582, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Saturday.

Also, 26 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 3,597.

Of the total cases, 1,01,274 people have recovered and there are 16,711 active cases.

- Nikhi M. Babu

6.45 pm | West Bengal

No need to panic, COVID-19 situation under control: West Bengal government

The West Bengal government on Saturday said there was no need to panic as the COVID-19 situation in the state was under control.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha also ruled out the possibility of clamping a total lockdown in Kolkata or across the state, asserting that the restrictions would be enforced strictly only in containment zones.

He said the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state was normal as “more the number of tests, more the number of cases“.

6.25 pm | Kerala

Coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram to be under complete lockdown from Saturday midnight

With community transmission occurring in two coastal hamlets here, the district administration clamped a complete lockdown for 10 days in the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram from Saturday midnight to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Friday said that community spread had occurred in Poonthura and Pulluvila and its nearby places have seen a rapid increase in the number of contact cases.

6.10 pm | Karnataka

COVID infected woman delivers a healthy child

A pregnant woman infected with coronavirus gave birth to a baby boy at a COVID designated hospital here on Saturday, hospital authorities said.

The woman had developed labour pain in the morning.

The doctors found that she was developing certain complications and accordingly carried out a minor surgery, authorities said.


5.40 pm | Assam

Prisoners escape from Assam COVID care centre

Two prisoners escaped from a COIVD Care Centre on the outskirts of Guwahati where they had been lodged with other inmates of the city's Central jail after testing COVID-19 positive.

The incident happened on Thursday night, hours after some 30 asymptomatic COVID-19 patients came out of another COVID Care Centre in Kamrup district's Changsari and blocked the adjacent highway demanding proper food and water.

The jail authorities said more than 180 prisoners, including anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act activist Akhil Gogoi and extremist leader Ranjan Daimary had tested positive.

Some of them were taken to the Covid Care Centre at Dimapur, about 30 km east of Guwahati."We managed to catch one of three prisone4s who tried to escape. The two absconding are accused in kidnapping and armed burglary cases," a jail official said.

On Friday, the police thwarted an escape bid by another group of prisoners among 175 lodged at the Sonapur centre.

"We have made additional security arrangements to ensure such incidents do not happen again," said G.P. Singh, Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order).

He added that efforts were on to catch the to two convicts to escaped. - Rahul Karmakar

5.30 pm | Nepal

Nepal’s coronavirus tally reaches 17,502

Nepal’s coronavirus tally reached 17,502 with the detection of 57 new cases in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Saturday.

The virus has so far claimed 40 lives in the Himalayan nation.

A total of 11,637 people have recovered from COVID-19, with 103 people getting discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, a health ministry official said.

Presently, there are 5,825 active coronavirus cases. Authorities have conducted 311,829 tests in 27 laboratories across the country. - PTI

5.05 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh reports 3,963 new COVID-19 cases, 52 deaths in a day

A new single day high of 3,963 new COVID-19 cases pushed the overall tally in Andhra Pradesh to 44,609 on Saturday while 52 patients died, the highest in a day so far.

The 52 deaths reported in the state took the toll to 586.

In the last 24 hours, 23,872 samples were tested, of which 3,963 turned positive, close to 18 per cent.

The bulletin also said 1,411 patients had recovered and had been discharged from hospitals across the state in the last 24 hours.

The state now has 22,260 active cases after a total of 21,763 coronavirus patients were cured and 586 died. - PTI

4.35 pm | Gujarat

Ask Gujarat govt. to ramp up coronavirus testing: AMA to HC

The Ahmedabad Medical Association (AMA) has moved the Gujarat High Court seeking a direction to the state government to increase the testing for coronavirus in a big way.

Labs that can conduct coronavirus tests should be set up in every district, it demanded.

The AMA has filed a civil application to be heard with a public interest litigation (PIL) about the handling of the coronavirus situation in the state, taken up by the court on its own.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing next week.

The AMA application said the present rate of around 6,000 tests per day is not enough considering the population of Gujarat and the spread of the virus.

Per day tests in Gujarat should be at least five times that of Delhi (which is conducting 23,000 tests per day) as per a directive of the Union Government, it said.

The Union government has asked the states to utilise all the existing COVID-19 testing labs to ramp up testing, and .

“inconsistency in implementing the national strategy of testing, tracing and isolation will inevitably lead to uncontrolled increase in cases and deaths,” the association said.

Nineteen out of Gujarat’s 33 districts do not have laboratories that can conduct RT-PCR tests for COVID-19, it said. - PTI

4.20 pm | Australia

Australian university develops new blood test to trace coronavirus in 20 minutes: statement

Researchers at the prestigious Monash University here have developed a new blood test that they say can detect positive COVID-19 cases in just about 20 minutes and identify if someone has contracted the novel virus, a finding that could assist the world to mitigate the virus spread through robust contact tracing.

Researchers at the university developed the simple agglutination assay, an analysis to determine the presence and amount of a substance in blood to detect the presence of antibodies raised in response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

As part of the research, the team of researchers were able to identify recent COVID-19 cases using 25 microlitres of plasma from blood samples, the university said in a statement.

Positive COVID-19 cases caused an agglutination or a clustering of red blood cells, which was easily identifiable to the naked eye. Researchers were able to retrieve positive or negative readings in about 20 minutes, according to the statement.

While the current swab/PCR tests are used to identify people who are currently positive with COVID-19, the agglutination assay can determine whether someone had been recently infected once the infection is resolved — and could potentially be used to detect antibodies raised in response to vaccination to aid clinical trials, the researchers said.

Using a simple lab setup, this discovery could see medical practitioners across the world testing up to 200 blood samples an hour, they said. - PTI

4.10 pm | India

COVID-19: Recoveries exceed active cases by 2.95 lakh, says health ministry

India’s actual COVID-19 caseload is 3,58,692, while close to 18,000 people have recuperated from the disease in 24 hours taking the the number of recoveries to 6,53,750 which exceed active cases by 2,95,058, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Medical attention is being provided to all active cases, either in home isolation or in hospitals for severe cases, it said.

In a statement, the ministry said, “The last 24 hours saw 17,994 COVID-19 patients recovering. The recovery rate is now 63 per cent.”

Timely, proactive, and graded strategy initiatives for effective coronavirus infection management in the country, led by the Centre and implemented by the states and Union Territories, have ensured that the actual COVID-19 caseload remains manageable, it said, adding that expansion of hospital infrastructure continuously has aided in increased recoveries.

Cumulatively, 1,34,33,742 swab samples have been tested till now, of which 3,61,024 were carried out on Friday raising the number of tests per million to 9734.6, the ministry said.

The Centre continues to support and supplement the efforts of the state governments by sending teams of experts to areas witnessing increase in caseload, it said. - PTI

3.50 pm | Odisha

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally rises to 16,701, death toll now 86

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally rose to 16,701 with 591 fresh cases, while the death toll reached 86 with three more patients succumbing to the disease, a Health Department official said on Saturday.

Of the total COVID-19 fatalities, 52 were reported from Ganjam, followed by Khurda (13), Cuttack (8) and Gajapati (3), while two each were from Angul and Puri, and one each from Baragah, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Rayagada and Sundergarh districts.

Besides, twenty-six patients have died in Odisha, but their deaths were due to “non-COVID reasons”, the official said.

The new 591 cases were reported from 25 districts.

Of the fresh cases, 394 were detected in different quarantine centres and 197 during contact-tracing exercises, the official said.

Contact tracing and follow-up actions are underway, he said.

The maximum of 182 fresh cases were reported from Ganjam, the worst-hit district by the coronavirus pandemic, 121 from Khurda, 38 from Cuttack, 35 from Bargarh, 22 each from Jagatsinghpur, Nabarangpur and Mayurbhanj, 20 from Sambalpur, 19 from Jajpur, 18 from Sundergarh, 13 from Balasore and 11 from Nayagarh.

Odisha now has 5,259 active cases, while 11,330 patients have so far recovered from the disease.

The health department had conducted 8,155 tests on Friday, he added. - PTI

3.30 pm | Karnataka

Officers quarantined after MLA tests positive

The District Administration put six officers into home quarantine in Bailhongal after MLA Mahantesh Koujalagi tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

The quarantine order was issued after health department officials found out that the MLA had held a few meetings in which the officers had participated. The process of tracing his contacts has started. There are 20 names in the primary contact list. There could be more, a health department officer said. 

Assistant commissioner Shivanand Bhajantri, tahashildar D S Hugar, Taluk panchayat executive officer Subhash Sampagave are among those quarantined. 

Mr. Koujalagi, a Congress leader who is the president of the KLE society, preferred to be treated at the Prabhakar kore hospital in Belagavi, officers said.

Mr Koujalagi is the second legislator to test positive in the district, after BJP MLA Anil Benake from Belagavi north.

However, officers are yet to seal down their houses.

Deputy commissioner M G Hiremath said that all necessary COVID 19 protocol would be followed as  all positive cases were equal to the district district administration considered.

3.15 pm | Chennai

Chennai sees dip in COVID-19 positivity ratio amidst ramped up testing

After clocking 37% COVID-19 positivity ratio a month ago, the city has now brought it down to around 12 per cent following measures such as ramped up testing and increased surveillance, a top official of the Greater Chennai Corporation said in Chennai on Saturday.

The government announcing a 12-day lockdown last month had also been largely beneficial as it reduced people’s mobility, GCC Commissioner G Prakash said.

Ramped up testing for coronavirus, fever camps and door surveillance have brought down the positivity ratio to 10 -12 per cent from about 35-37 per cent just a month ago, he told reporters.

Since March, the civic body has conducted over five lakh RT-PCR tests.

“A month ago, we increased the testing as per Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s instruction. This has been a major turning point (in bringing down the positivity ratio). As of today we have achieved a positivity ratio of 10-12 per cent, from about 35-37 per cent a month ago,” he said.

“When 4,000 samples were tested in the past, there were 1,400-1,500 positive cases. And of the 13,000 samples being tested now, only 1,200 to 1,250 positive cases are being reported,” Mr. Prakash added. - PTI

2.45 pm | Mumbai

Bachchans responding well to treatment: hospital sources

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, son Abhishek Bachchan, daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and granddaughter Aaradhya Bachchan are responding well to the treatment to COVID-19, hospital sources said on Saturday.

Amitabh, 77, and Abhishek, 44, are in the isolation ward of Nanavati hospital since July 11 after they were diagnosed with COVID-19, while Aishwarya, 46 and eight-year-old Aaradhya were shifted to the facility on Friday night, almost a week after they tested positive for the virus.

The mother-daughter duo were self-quarantining at home till Thursday.

"They all are ok. They are responding well to the treatment. They are in the isolation ward. Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan will be in the hospital maybe for a day or two," a hospital source told PTI.

"Aishwarya had cough. She is ok now. Aishwarya and Aaradhya will have to be in the hospital for a couple of days," the insider added.

Since his diagnosis, Amitabh has been regularly updating his admires about his health on social media. - PTI

2.15 pm | Uttar Pradesh

COVID took ‘gigantic form’ in U.P. as govt. did not pay attention to testing, contact tracing: Priyanka

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday attacked the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the rapid rise in coronavirus cases, alleging that the disease has taken a “gigantic form” as the Yogi Adityanath dispensation did not pay attention to key containment measures such as testing and contact tracing.

The Congress general secretary has been criticising the state government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, alleging that it is indulging in propaganda, instead of dealing with the pandemic.

“Despite almost three months of lockdown and all claims of the UP government, coronavirus cases have increased sharply in 25 districts of UP in July,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

There has been a jump of 200 per cent in COVID-19 cases in three districts of UP, 400 per cent in three districts and above 1,000 per cent in one district, Priyanka Gandhi said.

“According to media reports, 70 per cent of the COVID-infected people in Prayagraj died within 48 hours of testing positive,” she said.

“We were afraid of this and therefore, at the beginning itself, we had written a letter to the Chief Minister of UP and gave constructive suggestions in this context and also raised the issue of maximum testing,” she said.

The disease has taken this “gigantic form” because of the lack of attention to testing, delay in giving reports, juggling of data and not doing contact tracing properly, Priyanka Gandhi alleged.

The U.P. government has no answers on these issues, she added. - PTI

1.55 pm | Maharashtra

Mumbai’s COVID-19 recovery rate better than national: Data

Even as Mumbai’s COVID-19 case count is nearing the one lakh-mark, the recovery rate of the country’s financial capital is nearly 70%, which is seven per cent more than the national average, official data has revealed.

A release issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on Friday said that there were 3,42,756 COVID 19 cases in the country (till Friday) and the number of of recovered patients was approximately 6.35 lakh, which was 63% of the reported cases.

Mumbai’s recovery rate is nearly 15% more than that of Maharashtra, which is 55.62 per cent, it said.

According to the data released by Maharashtra Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) on Friday, the number of active cases in Mumbai was 24,307, while 67,830 patients have recovered from the infection so far.

The COVID-19 recovery rate in Mumbai stood at 50% around mid-June, when the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) launched “Mission Zero” under the Rapid Action Plan to contain coronavirus transmission.

The rate improved to 57 per cent on July 1 and further to around 70 per cent on July 15, the PIB statement said.

According to the BMC, the number of coronavirus cases in the city on Friday rose to 98,979, while the death toll due to the pandemic reached 5,582.


1.30 pm | Tripura

118 fresh cases take Tripura’s COVID-19 tally to 2,380

The COVID-19 tally in Tripura has risen to 2,380 as 118 more people have tested positive for the disease, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said.

He appealed to the people to follow government guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Out of 4,510 samples tested for COVID-19, 118 people found positive. 17 were flight passengers. 4 were in contact with positive & symptomatic patients. 97 detected positive in antigen test,” Deb said in a tweet on Friday night.

The state now has 679 active cases, while 1,684 people have recovered from the disease and three died, officials of the health department said.

Fourteen patients have migrated to other states.

According to the officials, returnees from other states have contributed to the spurt in the coronavirus cases in Tripura.


1 pm | India

Health Ministry issues COVID-19 guidelines for gated residential complexes

The Health Ministry has issued a COVID-19 advisory for gated residential complexes, asking them to make provisions for hand hygiene (sanitiser dispenser) at entry points and in work areas.

Thermal screening of visitors/staff is to be carried out at entry points and only asymptomatic individuals shall be allowed to enter the premises. Vendors, household help, car cleaners, delivery personnel, etc. will also undergo such screening daily. Physical distancing of at least six feet to be followed as far as feasible at all locations at all times in all common areas, including parks, corridors, lift lobbies, gyms and clubs.

The advisory notes that all persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 should be encouraged to stay only at home and keep contact with visitors/guests to a minimum.


12.30 pm | Assam

Hope amid gloom in Assam as elderly recover, 10 positive mothers give birth

Resilient and cheerful women have ignited hope amid the gloom surrounding the spike in COVID-19 positive cases and resultant deaths in Assam .

Octogenarian Anima Boro was the 14,105th COVID-19 patient discharged from the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on July 17. Her discharge almost coincided with the death of a 75-year old – Assam’s 51st victim of the virus – in the same hospital.

She was critically ill during hospitalisation after testing positive more than a week ago but doctors said her will to survive and ability to stay cheerful saw her through.


12 pm | World

Google bans ads on coronavirus conspiracy theory content

Google said it would prohibit websites and apps that use its advertising technology from running ads on “dangerous content” that goes against scientific consensus during the coronavirus pandemic.

Content not allowed to make money from ads include debunked conspiracy theories, such as the notion that the novel coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab as a bioweapon, that it was created by Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates, or that the virus is a hoax, Google said in a statement.


11.30 am | Uttarakhand

Complete lockdown in Uttarakhand today and tomorrow

The Uttarakhand government on Friday decided to impose a complete lockdown in the State this weekend in view of a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, however, clarified that the decision has been taken only for this Saturday and Sunday.

“All of a sudden 200 fresh cases came in yesterday. The only solution is to create a gap and break the cycle. Even traders wanted to open the market for five days only and the situation also calls for it. So a lockdown is being imposed on Saturday and Sunday,” he told reporters.

It depends on the situation if the complete lockdown on weekends will be imposed in the coming weeks too, Mr. Rawat said. - PTI

11.10 am | Kolkata

Kolkata airport extends flight curbs

The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata has extended the restrictions on incoming flights from six cities till July 31.

Airport’s director Kaushik Bhattachrya said the extension was made on an appeal from the State government.

“The restriction on arriving flights to #KolkataAirport from 6 cities viz Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur & Ahmedabad has been extended upto 31st July,” the airport tweeted from its official handle.


10.40 am | Andhra Pradesh

TTD's Pedda Jeeyar admitted to Tirupati hospital

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam's Pedda Jeeyar was rushed to Padmavati state COVID hospital at Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) super specialty hospital in Tirupati on Friday night.

Mr. Jeeyar, who has been reportedly unwell for the past couple of days, developed a fever last night while at Tirupati and on suspicion immediately shifted to the hospital said the sources in the Mutt.

Meanwhile TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy has directed the authorities to ensure best of the medical care available to the swamiji and if warranted not to hesitate to rush him to Apollo hospital in Chennai.

He also urged them to ensure that the daily rituals are carried out to the presiding deity inside the temple without any deviance.

On the other hand state BJP spokesperson and former TTD member trustee G. Bhanuprakash Reddy demanded the authorities to temporarily stop the darshan for public and carry out the rituals in private as was done during the lock down period.

The TTD honorary Priest AV Ramanan dikshitulu who had kicked up a controversy with his tweet a couple of days back reiterated his demand to stop darshan for few weeks citing 15 of the priests falling a prey to COVID-19.

Interestingly, he said that he was making the tweet in his capacity as an advisor and this time also tagged both the Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and TTD Chairman as well.

It is against this back drop that Chairman Reddy’s statement that he would review the situation with authorities with regard to the continuation of darshan at Tirumala assumed significance.

- G.P. Shukla

10.10 am | Coimbatore

Coimbatore's TK market to be closed for a week

Traders at Thyagi Kumaran market in Coimbatore have decided to close shops for a week as one of the traders tested positive for COVID-19.

According to M. Rajendran, president of the vegetable traders association of the market, a trader was unwell for a week and was admitted to a private hospital. He was shifted to ESI hospital on Friday and died later. It was found that he was COVID-19 positive.

"We have informed the Coimbatore Corporation officials and have decided to close down the shops till further notice from the civic body. We will abide by whatever the officials say," he said.

10 am | India

Update on today's COVID-19 numbers:

With 34,884 fresh infections, India’s COVID-19 caseload is now 10,38,716, according to Union Health Ministry's daily bulletin.

The death toll has risen to 26,273 with 671 fatalities.

India’s active COVID-19 cases stand at 3,58,692 with 6,53,750 people having recovered so far,according to Ministry data.

9.30 am | Delhi

Fewer COVID-19 re-tests mar Delhi’s testing strategy

Only 1 in 200 of those who tested negative in an antigen test in Delhi to detect possible coronavirus cases were re-tested, a fraction that epidemiologists say is too low given what is known about the disease. From June 25, daily cases appear to have peaked at 3,390 and steadily declined to 1,790 as of 15 July.


Delhi formally began using antigen testing kits on June 18 and has accelerated their use since July. While these tests dominate daily testing, using them widely without following up with adequate retests contradicts Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines on use of the test, experts told The Hindu .


9 am | Bengaluru

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao in quarantine

Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao went into home quarantine on Friday after his driver tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have home quarantined myself for four days and will get myself tested again on Monday for the fifth time in three months. I had to be in numerous inadvertent interactions with positive cases,” he tweeted.

8.30 am | New Delhi

Centre asks W.B., Assam, Bihar, Odisha to pull up socks

With a surge in COVID-19 cases in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Odisha, the Union Health Ministry, a letter to Principal Secretaries (Health) and Secretary (Health) of the States, has asked these States to make renewed efforts to suppress transmission of the virus and keep case fatality rate below one percent.

With these States imposing lockdowns anew, the Ministry emphasised that the restrictions should be utilised to focus on containment, surveillance and testing in the containment and buffer zones.


8 am | London

Review into England’s coronavirus death total amid questions

The British government ordered an urgent review into how daily coronavirus death figures in England are calculated amid claims the current method overestimates the tally.

The review was prompted by concerns raised over why England is still recording way more deaths than Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Researchers looked at whether differing methods may account for the discrepancy.

On some days recently, England has seen more than 100 daily virus-related deaths as opposed to none in the other parts of the U.K. As a whole, the U.K. has recorded a coronavirus death toll of 45,119, the third-highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil.


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