Coronavirus India lockdown Day 100 updates | July 2, 2020

Rapid antigen test of covid 19 at a government school in North West Delhi area at Adarsh Nagar in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

India on Wednesday recorded the highest single-day jump of 507 COVID-19 deaths. Close to 4 lakh cases were recorded in June, making it the worst month for the country prompting some States to go for varying degrees of lockdown.

Also read: Use of rapid antigen testing expanded to provide quick results, govt. tells HC

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:

9:45 p.m. | Arunachal Pradesh

Swab tests, quarantine stay no longer free for Arunachal returnees

Returnees to Arunachal Pradesh now have to pay for swab tests to check if someone currently has COVID-19, and services availed at quarantine facilities, Health & Family Welfare Minister Alo Libang said on Thursday.

Over 16,000 people have returned to the state since lockdown was imposed in late March and the expenses for their swab tests and stay in quarantine centres were borne by the state government, Mr. Libang told PTI

9:15 p.m. | Maharashtra

 Maharashtra records more than one lakh COVID-19 recoveries

Maharashtra reported its highest single-day surge of a whopping 6,330 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday, as the State's total case tally breached the 1.85 lakh mark to reach 1,86,626. The massive surge in cases was, however, offset by the highest single-day discharge of 8,018 patients as the total number of recoveries exceeded the one lakh mark to reach 1,01,172.

As many as 125 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 8,178. Of these, 110 were reported in the last 48 hours while the remaining 15 were from an earlier period, said State Health Department officials. Of the total case tally, 77,260 are active ones. With 1,554 new cases reported today, Mumbai's total case tally has reached 80,699. The city's death toll has risen to 4,689. As many as 57 of the new deaths today were from Mumbai city, 21 from Pune district and 13 from Aurangabad among other parts of the State.

8:55 p.m. | New Delhi

2,373 fresh COVID-19 cases in Delhi take tally to over 92,000; death toll mounts to 2,864

Delhi recorded 2,373 fresh coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally in the city to over 92,000-mark, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 2,864, authorities said.

On June 23, the national capital had reported the highest single-day spike of 3,947 cases, till date.

Recently, Delhi had eclipsed Mumbai as the city worst-hit by the pandemic in the country.

8:40 p.m. | Gujarat

Gujarat’s coronavirus case tally nears 34,000, 19 new deaths

Gujarat on Thursday recorded its highest one-day increase of 681 coronavirus cases, taking the case count to 33,999, the state health department said.

This is the sixth straight day when more than 600 new coronavirus patients have come to light in the State.

Nineteen patients succumbed to the infection, taking the death toll due to the pandemic in the state to 1,888, the Health Department said in its statement.

8:30 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Two undertrial inmates among 9 new coronavirus cases in U.P.’s Muzaffarnagar

Nine more people, including two undertrial prisoners, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, an official said.

According to Additional District Magistrate Alok Kumar, 280 results of samples have been received in which nine people, including two undertrial prisoners lodged in a temporary jail, have tested positive.

He added that there are 54 active cases in the district.

8:10 p.m. | New Delhi

Private labs refusal to collect samples onsite not acceptable: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Thursday said it was “not acceptable” that private labs should stop onsite collection of samples or tests at such a “critical juncture” when COVID-19 numbers were “shooting up phenomenally” on a daily basis.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said if the labs are unhappy with the rates fixed for onsite collection of samples and testing, they can raise it before the committee set up by the Lieutenant Governor or the Delhi government.

7:35 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh’s COVID-19 tally crosses 14,000-mark

The COVID-19 case count in Madhya Pradesh went up to 14,106 on Thursday after 245 more people, including 57 in Morena district, tested positive for the infection, officials said.

As the virus claimed eight more lives across the state, the death toll reached 589, they said.

While four fatalities were reported from Indore, three others died in Bhopal and one in Morena, the officials said.

7:15 p.m. | Mumbai

Not feasible to convert rail coaches into ICUs: Railways to High Court

The Ministry of Railways on Thursday informed the Bombay High Court that it would not be feasible to convert railway coaches into intensive care units for COVID-19 patients, as the same would require extensive structural changes.

The Railways filed an affidavit in response to a petition by social activist Naresh Kapoor seeking the court’s direction to convert unused train coaches into quarantine facilities or ICUs considering the rise in COVID-19 cases.

“The conversion of train coaches to ICUs is not possible without extensive structural modifications and major changes. These changes would need detailed design and can be done only in units with elaborate manufacturing facilities,” the affidavit stated.

6:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Difference between number of recoveries, active COVID-19 cases now 1.31 lakh: Health Ministry

The total number of recoveries has fast outgrown the number of active COVID-19 cases, with the difference between the two being 1.32 lakh at present, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

“Timely clinical management of COVID-19 cases has resulted in more than 10,000 daily recoveries. During the last 24 hours, a total of 11,881 COVID-19 patients have been cured, taking the cumulative figure to 3,59,859. This further takes the recovery rate to 59.52%,” the Health Ministry said.

6:05 p.m. | New York

Experimental COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer, BioNtech shows promise in early trial, scientists say

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate, tested by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and the German biotech firm BioNTech SE, is safe, well-tolerated, and can generate antibodies in people, according to a study.

The research, which is published in the preprint server medRxiv and is yet to be peer-reviewed, describes the preliminary clinical data for the candidate vaccine -- nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA), BNT162b1.


6:00 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Amravati records 10 fresh COVID-19 cases; tally at 602

As many as 10 persons, including an 18-month-old boy, tested positive for coronavirus infection in Maharashtra’s Amravati district on Thursday, an official said.

With the detection of the new cases, the district’s COVID-19 tally now stands at 602, the official said.

According to a release issued by the district administration, of the 10 fresh cases, six were reported from Ashoknagar locality and remaining from other parts of the district.


5:55 p.m. | New Delhi

Tea, Haritaki extracts may act as potential therapeutic options against COVID-19: IIT Delhi study

Extracts from tea and Haritaki, commonly known as Harad, have the potential to act as therapeutic options against COVID-19 infection, a new study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has found.

The study also suggested the possibility of ‘Gallotannin’ (tannic acid) to emerge as a potential therapeutic candidate against SARS-CoV-2 in the future.

However, the authenticity of these plants as a potential drug will be proved after trials.


5:45 p.m. | New Delhi

Historical Monuments to open for tourists from July 6, follow strict safety guidelines: Ministry

All ASI protected monuments will be reopened for the public from July 4, the Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said on Thursday.

Earlier in June, the culture ministry had reopened 820 monuments out of the over 3,000 ASI-maintained monuments where religious events take place.


5:35 p.m. | Indore

COVID-19 death rate in Indore higher than national average

The COVID-19 date rate in Indore continues to be higherthan the national average even as official figures show a dip in the virus infection rate in the Madhya Pradesh district.

In the last 24 hours, 1,259 samples were sent for testing and reports of 19 of them came out positive, Indore’s Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Praveen Jadia said on Thursday.

With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the district has gone up to 4,753, he said.


5:25 p.m. | Uttarakhand

Kawand Mela -2020 suspended, Haridwar district border sealed

Uttakhand police has decided to suspend 'Kawand Mela-2020' citing risk to public health due to COVID-19. The force has also sealed the border of Haridwar district and has urged devotees not to travel there. 


5:20 p.m. | China

China reports three new COVID-19 cases

China is reporting three newly confirmed cases of coronavirus, and says just one of them involved local transmission in the capital of Beijing.

The report Thursday appears to put the country where the virus was first detected late last year on course to eradicating it domestically, at least temporarily.

The National Health Commission says the other two cases were brought from outside China. No new deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 4,634 among 83,537 total cases of COVID-19.


5:15 p.m. |New Delhi

U.P. CM has turned a blind eye to ground realities of COVID crisis: Priyanka

Hitting out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday said mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis is being regularly reported from the state, but Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has turned a blind eye to ground realities while indulging in false propaganda.

The Congress general secretary in-charge of U.P. East has repeatedly accused the Adityanath government of indulging in propaganda instead of dealing with the pandemic.


5:10 p.m. | New Delhi

Pharma major Mylan gets go-ahead to make remdesivir for ‘restricted emergency use’

After Hetero and Cipla, another pharmaceutical major Mylan was given permission by India’s drug regulator on Thursday to manufacture and market the anti-viral drug remdesivir for “restricted emergency use” on hospitalised COVID-19 patients, official sources said.

Written informed consent of each patient is required before the use of the drug while active post-marketing surveillance data and reporting of serious adverse events have to be submitted.


5:05 p.m. | New Delhi

Amit Shah meets CMs of UP, Haryana, Delhi; discusses COVID-19 situation

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday held a meeting with the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the national capital and its adjoining areas, located in the two neighbouring states.

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have seen a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, leading to the Home Minister stepping in to handle the situation and improve the health infrastructure.


4:55 p.m. | Maharashtra

Member of Maharashtra’s COVID-19 task force catches virus

A senior member of the Maharashtra government’s COVID-19 task force has tested positive for coronavirus, a health official said on Thursday.

He had been admitted to hospital last week.

The task force of nine senior doctors was formed on April 13 in view of increasing number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the state, especially in Mumbai.


4:45 p.m. | Puducherry

Puducherry govt. to set up separate lab in Karaikal to test swabs: CM

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Thursday said Karaikal region would soon have a separate lab for testing swabs collected from people to identify prevalence of COVID-19.

The Chief Minister camped at Karaikal and held a meeting through video conference with officials of various departments along with Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao and other ministers.


4:35 p.m. | Belgrade

Novak Djokovic and his wife test negative for coronavirus

Novak Djokovic and his wife have tested negative for the coronavirus, his media team said Thursday, 10 days after announcing they had contracted the disease.

The top-ranked player tested positive for the virus after playing in an exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia amid the pandemic. No social distancing was observed at the matches in Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia.

Read more

— AP

4:20 p.m. | Washington

Scientists develop stamp-sized wearable device to monitor COVID-19 patients

Researchers have developed a stamp-sized device, comprising a suite of sensors, including ones that record body temperature and blood oxygen levels, an advance that can be used to catch early signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and help monitor patients as the illness progresses.

The scientists, including John A. Rogers from Northwestern University in the U.S., said they have tested the novel device on more than 50 physicians, rehabilitation specialists, and patients at the country’s Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital.


4:15 p.m. | Maharashtra

Delhi HC asks jails to follow ICMR rules to contain COVID-19 spread

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed Maharashtra prison authorities to follow all guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to contain the spread of COVID-19 in jails across the state and to ensure safety of all inmates currently lodged there.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta disposed of a bunch of petitions seeking medical safeguards for jail inmates after the state submitted a list of its draft guidelines on their safety and on implementing norms of the state and ICMR on COVID-19 testing,treatment, and other safeguards in prisons across Maharashtra.


4:10 p.m. | London

WHO says smoking linked to higher risk of virus

The World Health Organisation says smoking is linked to a higher risk of severe illness and death from the coronavirus in hospitalised patients, although it was unable to specify exactly how much greater those risks might be.

In a scientific brief published this week, the U.N. health agency reviewed 34 published studies on the association between smoking and COVID-19, including the probability of infection, hospitalisation, severity of disease and death.

— AP

4:00 p.m.

India's COVID-19 recovery rate is now 59.52%: Health Ministry

According to the Union Health Ministry, 11,881 patients have been cured in the last 24 hours — taking the total tally of recovered cases to 3,59,859. The recovery rate is now 59.52%.

Presently, there are 2,26,947 active cases and all are under medical supervision.

The top 15 States in terms of absolute numbers of COVID-19 recovered cases are: Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, MP, Haryana, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Odisha


3:50 p.m. | New Delhi

Bodies of suspected COVID-19 cases be handed over to kin without waiting for test result: Health Ministry

The Union Health Ministry has asked all states and UTs to hand over bodies of suspected COVID-19 cases to their relatives without waiting for laboratory confirmation of the infection but said the mortal remains should be disposed of as per government guidelines.

A letter on the matter was sent to all states and UTs on Wednesday in the wake of issues raised regarding death of suspected COVID-19 patients and bodies not being handed over to relatives pending confirmation of test report by hospitals.


3:40 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Recovered COVID-19 patient found dead on railway track

A 45-year-old man, who had returned home from hospital after his recovery from COVID-19 infection, was found dead on a railway track near Daund in the Pune district of Maharashtra on Thursday, police said.

Police suspect that he committed suicide by jumping before a speeding train near Boripardhi village near Daund railway station in the morning.


3:30 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal inaugurates plasma bank at ILBS

CM Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the plasma bank at ILBS for benefit of COVID-19 patients.

He said: “A government doctor will contact the person willing to donate his plasma and get basic details regarding his medical history and other eligibility requirements."

“Thereafter, the person can come to ILBS to donate his plasma. The government will also bear transportation expenses ,” Mr. Kejriwal added.


3:20 p.m. | Kolkata

Brigadier dies of Covid 19 at Kolkata hospital

A brigadier of the Indian Army died from COVID 19-related complications here on Thursday, the highest-ranking defence officer to have fallen to the pandemic, official sources said.

Brigadier Vikas Samyal, posted at the Eastern Command headquarters here, was admitted to the military hospital at Barrackpore after he tested positive for Covid-19, they said.


3:15 p.m. | New Delhi

Total Number of Indians being tested for COVID-19 to touch one crore mark soon: Govt.

The total number of people being tested for COVID-19 in the country will soon touch one crore noted the Health Ministry on Thursday adding that as on date 90,56,173 tests have been conducted through diagnostic testing network which is fast expanding. 

“There are now 1065 testing labs in the country comprising 768 in the public sector and 297 private labs. The per day testing capacity is also fast growing. Yesterday, as many as 2,29,588 people got tested for COVID-19,” said the Ministry.

The Central government has directed all states/UTs to ramp up testing in a big way by using Rapid Antigen Point-of-Care tests in addition to RT-PCR, which is the gold standard for diagnosis of COVlD-19.

“Rapid Antigen test is quick, simple, safe and can be used in containment zones as well as hospitals, as per criteria specified by ICMR for testing,” the Health Ministry added.

— Bindu Shajan Perappadan

3:05 p.m. | Mumbai

Multiplex Association of India urges govt to allow operation of cinema houses

The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) on Thursday urged the central government to allow operation of cinema houses in non-containment zones in the country. The country went into lockdown from March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The government has started unlocking in phase-wise manner from June with opening up of domestic travel, offices, markets, shopping complexes, etc in containment zones.

Amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country under the government’s Unlock 2.0 guidelines, cinema chains have not been given permission to operate.


3:00 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh C.M. asks officials to stay alert to check COVID spread in state’s NCR districts

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday asked officials to stay alert on the movement of people in NCR districts of the state to check the spread of COVID-19.

“By remaining alert in NCR districts (of UP), the spread of COVID-19 can be checked. There should be alertness on movement in these districts,” a statement quoted the CM as telling senior officials during a meeting with them.


2:50 p.m. | New Delhi

HRD, S&T ministries launch ‘Drug Discovery Hackathon’ to develop anti-COVID drug

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan and HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Thursday launched a ‘Drug Discovery Hackathon’ project and invited students and researchers to participate in the exercise, aimed at developing an anti-COVID drug.

The initiative is being jointly carried out by the Ministry of Human Resources Development and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The CSIR has been undertaking a series of steps in the battle against COVID-19. It has been repurposing drugs to help patients recover from coronavirus.


2:45 p.m. | Tokyo

Tokyo cases spike to highest number since May

The Japanese capital has confirmed 107 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest since early May, raising concern about a possible resurgence of the disease just as businesses returned to normal.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, at a meeting with a panel of experts, said the infections are on the rise and extra caution is needed. Ms. Koike said many of the cases are linked to nightlife establishments, and urged workers to proactively take virus tests and further safety measures.

— AP

2:40 p.m. | Kolkata

Seven policemen in Kolkata test positive for COVID-19

At least seven sleuths of the Kolkata Police detective department have tested positive for COVID-19, sources at the state health department said on Thursday.

Test reports of the seven policemen, who had complained of fever last week, confirmed that they have contracted the disease, a senior officer at the department said.


2:35 p.m. | Karnataka

Kumaraswamy slams Karnataka government for “poor handling” of COVID-19

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday accused the BJP government in the state of ‘failure’ to protect the citizens from coronavirus as he referred to reports of deaths of a few patients after being allegedly turned away by hospitals.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Kumaraswamy also hit out at Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and ministers alleging that they were wasting their time in issuing contradictory statements instead of taking ‘lessons’ from the Kerala government.


2:25 p.m. | Time

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope rules out community transmission in State

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday ruled out community transmission of COVID-19 in the state.

“I think there is no community spread of coronavirus in Maharashtra. The state government has been able to trace almost every COVID-19 patient and his or her source of infection. Hence, in my opinion, there is no community spread in the state,” he said.

“The data shows that most of the coronavirus positive patients are those who were earlier placed under institutional quarantine, home quarantine or had some contact history.


2:30 p.m.| Telangana

Telangana HC not satisfied with govt report on COVID-19; seeks more details

The Telangana High Court has expressed dissatisfaction over a report filed by the state government on COVID-19 tests being conducted in the state.

The court hearing a batch of PILs on Wednesday also sought to know why detailed information with regard to coronavirus cases being put out by the government was not being made available to the public.


2:20 p.m. | Pakistan

Pakistan’s COVID-19 tally reaches 2,17,809

Pakistan reported 4,339 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 2,17,809, the health ministry said on Thursday.

The country also reported 78 deaths due to the disease, taking the COVID-19 death toll to 4,473. A total of 2,723 patients were in critical condition, the ministry said.

As many as 1,04,694 patients have recovered so far, making it almost half of the total cases in the country, it said.


2:15 p.m. | New Delhi

Set up helpline for complaints of lack of PPE kits, masks in private hospitals: Delhi HC suggests to AAP govt.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday suggested that the AAP government set up a mechanism like a helpline on which healthcare workers can call anonymously to complain against private hospitals or nursing homes not providing N-95 masks and PPE kits.

The suggestion came from a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan during the hearing of a PIL by an NGO which has alleged that nurses in private hospitals and nursing homes were not being provided proper personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and masks to guard against COVID-19 infection.


2:05 p.m. | New Delhi

HRD Ministry forms panel to review situation for conduct of NEET, JEE

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on Thursday that a panel will review the situation for conducting medical and engineering entrance exams NEET and JEE amid concerns over spike in COVID-19 cases.

Parents and students have raised concerns about conducting the exams in July.

“Looking at the prevailing circumstances and requests received from students & parents appearing for JEE and NEEET examinations, a committee consisting of officials from the National Testing Agency (NTA) and other experts has been advised to review the situation and submit its recommendations latest by tomorrow,” Nishank said.


 2:00 p.m.

Does wearing a mask pose any health risks?

Does wearing a mask pose any health risks? No, not for most people. Babies and toddlers should not wear masks because they could suffocate. The same goes for anyone who has trouble removing a mask without help.

Others can wear masks without risking their health, according to experts, despite false rumours to the contrary.

In areas where COVID-19 is spreading, health experts agree that wearing masks or other face coverings in public helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus when people can’t socially distance by staying 6 feet apart.

— AP

1:55 p.m.| Singapore

Singapore reports 188 new COVID-19 cases

Singapore reported 188 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, majority of them foreign workers living in dormitories, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 44,310, according to the health ministry.

The new cases include 10 new community infections, comprising eight Singaporeans (citizens) or permanent residents (foreigners) and two foreigners on work passes but living outside the dormitories.


1:45 p.m.| Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Curfew in Beed to contain spread of COVID-19

Curfew has been imposed in Maharashtra’s Beed city for eight days in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, officials said.

Only essential and emergency services will be allowed to operate during the period, as per an order issued on Wednesday by Beed Collector Rahul Rekhawar.

According to the order, the curfew will remain in force till July 8 midnight.


1:40 p.m. | South Africa

South Africa reports highest daily toll of cases

South Africa is reporting another record daily number of 8,124 coronavirus cases.

The country has the most cases in Africa with more than 159,000, as what had been one of the world’s strictest lockdowns continues to loosen.

— AP

1:35 p.m. | Washington

Donald Trump plans huge July 4 fireworks show despite D.C.'s concerns

President Donald Trump’s July Fourth celebration on the National Mall will feature one of the largest fireworks displays ever and as many as 3,00,000 face masks will be given away to those who want them - but despite health concerns from D.C.’s mayor, no one apparently will be required to wear them.

Mr. Trump made no mention of the masks or of the pandemic overall in a tweet on Wednesday on his Independence Day plans. He thanked corporate donors for supporting “what will, without question, be a special evening.”

— AP

1:30 p.m. | Odisha

COVID-19 death toll rises to 27 in Odisha

Odisha reported two more COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday, taking the death toll due to the disease to 27 in the state, while the total tally rose to 7,545 with 229 fresh cases, a health department official said.

Two men, aged 49 and 57, succumbed to the disease at the COVID hospitals in Ganjam and Angul districts, he said.

“Regret to inform the deaths of two COVID positive patients, while under treatment in hospitals,” the official said.


1:25 p.m. | London

Scientists use weather forecasting technique to predict COVID-19 spread

Scientists have employed methods normally used to forecast weather to predict how rapidly COVID-19 could spread in different countries as lockdown is eased, as well as assess the effectiveness of measures put in place.

An international team, including meteorologists from the University of Reading in the U.K., applied data assimilation, a technique that combines multiple sources of information to estimate how a situation will develop over time, to the pandemic.


1:20 p.m.| Tamil Nadu

Make COVID-19 testing mandatory for cancer wards, says Ramadoss

PMK founder S. Ramadoss on Thursday urged the State government to direct cancer wards at both government and private hospitals to do COVID-19 tests for patients, prior to their admission.

In a statement, he noted that when people from small towns and villages get fever and go to nearby health centres for check-ups, COVID-19 testing is not done for them. Dr. Ramadoss said that if the testing facility is not available at a particular private health centre, then the centre should tell patients to approach nearby testing centres.

Read more

— Special Correspondent

1:15 p.m. | Mumbai

COVID-19 lockdown: 5,877 vehicles seized in 2 days for violating 2-km travel norm

Mumbai Police have seized 5,877 vehicles in the last two days for violation of its guideline prohibiting citizens from travelling beyond two-km radius of their homes, an official said on Thursday.

In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, the city police issued new guidelines on Sunday, stipulating that citizens cannot travel beyond two-km radius of their residences, except for attending office or in the event of medical emergencies.


1:10 p.m. | New Delhi

Will assess feasibility of conducting CA exams amid spike in COVID-19 cases, ICAI tells SC

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that it would assess the feasibility of conducting CA exams, scheduled between July 29 and August 16, in view of the spike in number of COVID-19 cases across the country and consult states and examination centres on this issue.

The ICAI’s counsel told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar that cases of coronavirus have increased and some of the states have extended the restrictions imposed amid the spike in the number of infection.


1:00 p.m. | United Nations

WHO asks South-East Asia Region countries to pay attention to mental health, suicide prevention

With the coronavirus pandemic still accelerating, impacting lives and livelihoods and causing fear and anxiety among people, the World Health Organization on Thursday called upon countries in the South-East Asia Region to pay a greater attention to mental health and suicide prevention.

Stigma related to COVID-19 infection may also lead to feeling of isolation and depression, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said.


12:50 p.m. | Pune

Pune reports 217 fresh COVID-19 cases over 12-hour span

The surge in new COVID-19 cases across Pune continued relentlessly with the district recording 217 fresh ones over a 12-hour span on Thursday as the case tally rose to 23,897.

Pune district’s death toll reached 788 with 25 fatalities being reported on Wednesday.

The sharp overnight spike comes after the district recorded its highest single-day surge of a whopping 1,251 cases on Wednesday.

Of the total case tally, the number of active positive cases stands at 8,615 with as many as 14,494 recoveries thus far.

— Shoumojit Banerjee

12:40 p.m. | Washington

Trump grateful to healthcare workers, including Indian-Americans, for combating COVID-19: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump is tremendously grateful to all the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, including Indian-Americans, who have selflessly risen to the occasion to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the White House has said.

More than 100,000 Indian-American doctors have contributed to the fight against the coronavirus and the president thanks them for their tireless, life-saving work, White House Assistant Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt told PTI on Wednesday.


12:30 p.m. | New Delhi

PIL to e-register documents during COVID pandemic: Delhi HC seeks Centre, AAP govt’s stand

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response of the Centre and AAP government on a PIL seeking e-registration of documents at all sub-registrar offices in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Finance Ministry and Delhi government seeking their stand on the plea by a lawyer.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on July 23.


12.20 pm | Delhi

Kejriwal announces eligibility criteria for donation of plasma

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the eligibility criteria for donating plasma.

"We have created a plasma bank to help people recover from COVID-19. I appeal to all those who have recovered from COVID -19 to come forward to donate plasma and help others. The bank will only function if people come forward to donate after recovering," he said.

The donors need to be between 18-60 years, and above 50 kg. They need to have been corona free for over 14 days.  People with diabetes, hypertension, cancer survivors, people with chronic heart, liver and kidney diseases and high BP cannot give plasma.

12.00 noon

Coronavirus: A Book for Children

With the world going through a pandemic, children might have a lot of questions about the virus that has everyone shaken up. An answer to these questions and more can be found in the illustrated digital book Coronavirus: A Book for Children.

The digital book is written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It also has inputs from an expert, Professor Graham Medley.

It’s easy to get your own copy of the book, the best part being that it is free! It is available in English, as well as seven regional languages (Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujurati, Assamese and Nepalese).

Click here to know more!

11.45 am | Bihar

RJD MLA tests positive for COVID-19

Shahnawaz Alam

Shahnawaz Alam   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


RJD MLA Shahnawaz Alam has tested positive for COVID-19, the third legislator in Bihar to have contracted the disease. The legislator of the Jokihat constituency in Araria district said he was asymptomatic. He has been shifted to an isolation centre in the district.

Earlier, state minister Vinod Kumar Singh, along with his wife, and BJP MLA Jibesh Kumar Mishra had tested positive for COVID-19.

11.30 am | Maharashtra

10-day complete lockdown begins in Mumbai, adjoining districts

To help arrest the COVID-19 pandemic by restricting people’s movement in the city, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure till July 15, even as several municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region announced a complete lockdown starting Thursday or Friday.

While the Thane Municipal Corporation and the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) had already announced a lockdown from July 2 to 12, the Panvel Municipal Corporation and the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation also announced a lockdown for 10 days. The lockdown will begin in Panvel from 9 p.m. on July 3, and at midnight on July 3 in Navi Mumbai.

The Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had already enforced a lockdown starting Wednesday that is scheduled to last till July 10. MBMC Commissioner Vijay Rathod said only home delivery of foodgrains, vegetables, fish, meat, bakery items will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., and milk and dairy items will be delivered at doorsteps between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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11.20 am | Karnataka

Once a “green” district, Chamarajanagar now has 54 COVID-19 cases

Chamarajanagar district, situated on the southern-most tip of Karnataka, enjoyed the distinction of being the only “green” district in the State that was free of COVID-19 for a long time till the first positive case was reported on June 9. But, the numbers have gradually increased since then and have reached 54 after a sudden spurt on Wednesday when a total of 22 cases were recorded on a single day.

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11.10 am | Assam

Assam Governor, wife undergo COVID-19 test

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 100 updates | July 2, 2020

The swab samples of Assam Governor Jagadish Mukhi, his wife Prem Mukhi and as many as 176 Raj Bhawan staff were on Wednesday tested for COVID-19, after reports of two personal security officers came out positive.

The Governor is presently in home quarantine.

11.00 am | Odisha

Odisha govt cancels remaining papers of Class 12 examinations

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Odisha government announced cancellation of the pending class 12 examinations of the state board.

The Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE), which organizes the Plus-II examinations, has adopted an assessment scheme following the of guidelines laid down by a committee of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for the cancelled papers.

As per the scheme, the best performance of the students in the examination papers already held will be taken as a yardstick to declare the results.

10.30 am | New Delhi

Over 19,000 cases push India’s tally above 6 lakh

The 500-bed centre at CWG Village will be attached to Lok Nayak Hospital.

The 500-bed centre at CWG Village will be attached to Lok Nayak Hospital.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

India’s COVID-19 tally zoomed past six lakh cases on Thursday with a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, just five days after it crossed the five-lakh mark, while the death toll rose to 17,834, according to the Union health ministry data. The COVID-19 case load increased to 6,04,641 while 434 people have succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.


10.00 am | Kerala

Prepare to face new challenges, says Pinarayi Vijayan

Local transmission of COVID-19 continued to grow at a steady pace in Kerala with 19 more persons, including six personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force in Kannur district contracting the disease from the community.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who briefed the media, said that the State had to prepare to face new challenges, as the number of COVID-19 patients seemed to be growing post lockdown. However, the number of cases of local transmission and the State’s death rate had not shown a significant spike, he said.

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9.45 am | Delhi

Gallantry award-winning police inspector succumbs to COVID-19

A 49-year-old police inspector posted with the Special Cell has died due to COVID-19 at a private hospital in south Delhi, the police said on Wednesday.

Inspector Sanjeev Kumar Yadav was on ventilator support since his condition was critical and passed away in the early hours of Wednesday at Max Hospital in Saket, they said. He had complained of fever and breathlessness following which he was tested for the virus. When his result came as positive, he was admitted to Max Hospital around 15 days ago, the police said. He also underwent plasma therapy, a senior police officer said.

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9.20 am

Tamil Nadu government sanctions funds for providing food to patients, health workers

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. File   | Photo Credit: E. Lakshmi Narayanan


The State government on Wednesday sanctioned funds to the tune of ₹45.77 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for providing food to COVID-19 patients and food and accommodation for doctors and nurses.

The State Executive Committee has fixed the food charges in Chennai city as ₹350 a day and the amount was restricted to ₹1.86 crore at this rate.

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9.00 am | Karnataka

Show-cause notice to nine hospitals for denying treatment

The State government on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to nine hospitals, including one government facility, for allegedly refusing treatment to a 52-year-old garment trader who battled breathlessness as several hospitals denied him treatment on Saturday. He subsequently died in front of another hospital. His COVID-19 test report returned positive on Tuesday.

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8.45 am

People working in Telangana on their way home after news of Hyderabad lockdown spread.

People working in Telangana on their way home after news of Hyderabad lockdown spread.   | Photo Credit: Singam Venkataramana


With rumours of possible imposition of lockdown in Telangana spreading in the wake of spurt in COVID-19 cases, heavy rush was seen at the border check-posts in Krishna and West Godavari districts on Wednesday. Employees of various private and government companies and those settled in Hyderabad and the neighbouring districts and natives of Andhra Pradesh, are rushing to their native towns.

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8.30 am

Maharashtra to acquire private ambulances, vehicles to ferry COVID-19 patients

To tackle the shortage of ambulances in the State, the Maharashtra government has decided to acquire private ambulances and vehicles to transport COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.

“Wherever needed, ambulances with private hospitals and organisations, and if required vehicles with private suppliers can be acquired,” said a government resolution issued on Wednesday.

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8.00 am

Gujarat govt. rolls back decision to hold university exams

Within hours of announcing that the examinations of the final year students in various courses in the State-run universities would be conducted, the Gujarat government on Wednesday rolled back its decision saying all exams have now been postponed due to COVID-19.

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7.30 am

IGNCA to highlight artists as ‘silent COVID warriors’

While the exact programme is yet to be decided, a virtual festival or showcase of the artists’ work could be on the cards.

While the exact programme is yet to be decided, a virtual festival or showcase of the artists’ work could be on the cards.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


With no shows, exhibitions or events of any kind taking place since March due to the lockdown, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is planning to highlight the work of artists who have been entertaining and boosting the public’s morale during the COVID-19 pandemic, IGNCA member secretary Sachidanand Joshi said.

While the exact programme is yet to be decided, a virtual festival or showcase of the artists’ work could be on the cards.

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7.00 am | Telangana

Stranded NRIs seek clearance to fly back to UAE

A group of NRIs from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stuck in India since the lockdown has urged the Central government to clear their request to fly back to their country.

About 150 of these people have also arranged a chartered flight for them after securing all the permissions from the UAE government but the clearance from the Indian government is yet to come, despite repeated attempts.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 7:56:57 AM |

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