Coronavirus India lockdown Day 119 live updates | July 21, 2020

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy being screened by health staff before entering the Assembly to attend the budget session on July 21, 2020.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday, announced that it will start screening volunteers for phase-1 testing of the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, on healthy persons aged 18-55, without co-morbidities.

AIIMS, Delhi is among 12 sites listed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) cleared to conduct human trials of Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech.

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:

10.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

TN govt. orders 60,000 more vials of Remdesivir: Health Minister

With anti-viral drug Remdesivir showing the ability to save lives of critical COVID-19 patients, the Tamil Nadu government has ordered 60,000 more vials, state Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar said.

The State government has ordered 60,000 more vials of Remdesivir, which would reach soon, he told reporters.

He also said other anti-viral drugs such as Tocilizumab would also be made available.

The Minister said steps were being taken to provide plasma treatment to COVID-19 patients in government hospitals here.


10 pm | Punjab

Punjab’s first plasma bank opens at Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital

Punjab got its first plasma bank at Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital where those who have recovered from the novel coronavirus can donate their blood plasma to help treat COVID-19 patients. State’s Medical Education and Research Minister O.P. Soni inaugurated the facility through video conference and said it will play a vital role in the fight against the pandemic.

Multiple trials of plasma therapy have been successfully conducted in the State that paved the way for the establishment of the plasma bank, he said.

The plasma bank is equipped with two plasma machines while a third machine would be introduced soon.


9.28 pm | West Bengal

West Bengal to double COVID-19 testing by August 15, says CM 

West Bengal on Tuesday registered  2,261 cases of COVID-19 infection and 35 deaths as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged people not to panic.

"Cases of Corona will rise but there is nothing to panic. The increase is because we are testing more," Ms Banerjee said, addressing a virtual rally on the occasion of martyrs day. Ms Banerjee said by August 15,  the State will be testing about 25,000 samples a day.  The State is testing about 13,000 samples on a daily basis. On Tuesday a number of samples tested 13, 064 samples. The Chief Minister also added that there are 18,000 beds still vacant in the State. 

Of the 35 deaths due to COVID-19 the State, the highest number of deaths 16 were recorded in Kolkata, followed by 13 in North 24 Parganas district. Two deaths were recorded in Howrah, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas district.  The total deaths in the State is about 1182 out of which  Kolkata has recorded 608 deaths and North 24 Parganas 234 deaths.

Meanwhile, the political parties in the Opposition have raised questions on lockdown for two days a week announced by the State  government.  Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the State government has failed to utilise the opportunity of the lockdown to augment the health infrastructure in the State. Mr Chowdhury alleged that norms of social distancing were not maintained at Trinamool Congress virtual rally today.

"In the name of virtual meeting, each and every village party office of TMC is going to organize local level public gathering which will certainly violate the norms 'social distance' may further aggravate ," he said on social media.

-- Shiv Sahay Singh

9.15 pm | World

U.S. accuses Chinese hackers of targeting COVID-19 research

The Justice Department accused two Chinese hackers of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of trade secrets from companies across the world and more recently targeting firms developing a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The indictment, which officials expected to discuss at a news conference, says the hackers in recent months had researched vulnerabilities in the computer networks of companies publicly known for their work in developing vaccines and treatments.

- AP

8.45 pm | West Bengal

Complete lockdown in West Bengal on July 23, 25 and 29

There will be a complete lockdown in West Bengal on July 23, 25 and 29 to fight the spread of COVID-19, a government official said. During the lockdown, all government and private offices, commercial establishments, public and private transport as well as activities except emergency services will be barred, he said.

The movement of individuals will be strictly prohibited between 10 pm to 5 am on the three days except for essential and emergency activities, a government order said.

The West Bengal government had on Monday said community transmission of novel coronavirus has been recorded in a few areas of the state and had announced there will be a complete lockdown for two days every week till August 31 to stem the spread of the contagion.


8.10 pm | Madhya Pradesh

No new entrants in M.P. jails without clearing COVID-19 test

After 64 inmates of a jail in Raisen district were found to have contracted coronavirus, the Madhya Pradesh government said no person will be admitted to a prison in the state before undergoing a test.

The government also announced suspension of the jailer of Bareli sub-jail.

Sixty-four inmates and three guards from the jail were found to be infected with coronavirus on Monday.

Minister for Home and Jail Narottam Mishra informed on Tuesday evening said that some of the coronavirus-infected prisoners had been shifted to neighbouring Vidisha district while others were isolated in the jail itself.


7.50 pm | Maharashtra

Mumbai police constable succumbs to COVID-19, force toll 52

A 53-year-old Mumbai police constable died due to COVID-19 in the early hours of Tuesday, taking the toll in the metropolis’ force to 52, an official said.

The COVID-19 victim, a resident of Navi Mumbai, was attached to Tilaknagar police station and was admitted in Somaiya Hospital in Chunabhatti on June 22 after falling ill, he informed.

He died due to COVID-19 and pneumonia as per doctors, the official added.


7.20 pm | Jammu and Kashmir

J&K Lt. Governor cancels annual Amarnath Yatra

"The health concerns are so serious that the strain on the health system, along with the diversion in resources to the Yatra, will be immense. This would also unnecessarily put the Yatris at risk of catching the COVID-19," said  J&K Lt. Governor G.C. Murmu, as he announced cancellation of the annual Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir.

- Peerzada Ashiq

7.05 pm | West Bengal

West Bengal School Education dept. to further extend suspension of academic activities: Official

The West Bengal School Education Department is actively considering the idea of extending the suspension of academic activities in state-run and aided educational institutions from July 31 due to the COVID-19 crisis, a senior official said.

All the schools in the State are closed till July 31 due to the pandemic situation.

Asked if the department has received any letter from Union HRD Ministry about the possible opening of schools by August, September or October, the official said the department has decided in consultation with experts and teachers that the primary-secondary-higher secondary educational institutions cannot open amid the pandemic situation.

“We will shortly issue a notification about the period of extension in this regard. We are not sure if the schools can open by September given the present pandemic situation,” he said.


6.40 pm | World

China makes negative COVID-19 test certificate mandatory for all arriving from abroad

All foreigners and Chinese nationals should carry the negative COVID-19 test certificate before entering China, an official announcement said.

The certificate should be no older than five days at the time of boarding a flight, said the announcement made by China’s Civil Aviation Administration, General Administration of Customs, and China’s Foreign Ministry.

People-to-people exchanges and international flights are beginning to increase, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing.

In order to reduce the risks, China issued a notice on requiring a negative test certificate for foreign travellers before boarding their planes, he said.


6.10 pm | Maharashtra

Bail, parole amid outbreak not matter of right for inmates: Bombay HC

Prisoners and undertrials are being released on emergency parole and bail only because the Supreme Court felt the need to decongest prisons amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the same is not a matter of right for prisoners, the Bombay High Court said.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav Jamdar was hearing two petitions filed by one Preeti Kartick Prasad and a city-based NGO National Alliance for People’s Movement.

The petitions challenge a decision taken by a state- appointed high-powered committee by which inmates convicted or booked under special statutes or under serious offences are not entitled to be released on emergency parole or bail.


5.30 pm | New Delhi

Segregation of COVID-19 waste must to avoid further contamination: NGT

The National Green Tribunal Tuesday said that segregation of COVID-19 waste from others is a must to avoid further contamination adversely affecting public health.

Generation of COVID-19 related biomedical waste in the country is about 101 Metric Tonnes per day, noted a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.

It said scientific management of such waste is necessary in view of potential of such infectious waste affecting patients and the concerned workers and professionals.

This quantity is in addition to normal biomedical waste generation of about 609 MT per day. Further, about 195 Common Biomedical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities are providing the services of collection, transportation and disposal of COVID-19 biomedical waste from hospitals, isolation wards, quarantine centres, home quarantines, home care, sample collection centres and testing laboratories, the tribunal noted.

It said that as per the information given by state pollution control boards, 2,907 hospitals, 20,707 quarantine centres, 1,539 sample collection centres and 264 testing laboratories, are involved in generation of COVID-19 waste.

The bench, also comprising Justice S.P. Wangdi, said that though several significant steps have been taken by Central Pollution Control Board and others, the gaps in compliance as mentioned need to be urgently bridged.

Segregation of Covid-19 from general waste is a must, not only to avoid additional load on CBWTF incinerators but also in the interest of avoid further contamination adversely affecting public health.

There has to be constant and regular monitoring by the Chief Secretaries, State PCBs/PCCs and Health Departments in the States/ UTs and by the High Level Task Team at Central level with further coordination by CPCB, the tribunal said.

The NGT also said that where waste is not going to CBWTF incinerators, deep burial systems may be properly maintained as per protocols taking all due precautions to prevent harm to the environment.

CPCB may take further initiatives which should include conducting of appropriate programme on Doordarshan, All India Radio and other media, the bench said and directed CPCB to file a consolidated report by December 31.

The green panel had earlier directed a team, comprising the Centre and CPCB to supervise handling and scientific disposal of COVID-19 waste in accordance with the guidelines.

The tribunal had said that while the Bio Medical Waste Rules deal with waste generated in dealing with infectious diseases, the coronavirus pandemic has presented further challenge in terms of capacity to scientifically dispose of generated waste. - PTI

5.00 pm | New Delhi

NCDC Director shares sero-surveillance findings conducted in Delhi

The present sero-survey is a follow-up of a sero-surveillance survey undertaken by ICMR in South-East Delhi containment zone.

Overall adjusted prevalence is 22.86%, with the maximum being in Central Delhi (27.86%), followed by North-East Delhi (27.7%) and Shahdara (27.61%). Eight districts have more than 20% sero-prevalence. Nearly six months intro the epidemic, only 22.86% of the people are affected, this can be attributed to the efforts taken up for preventing spread of infection through lockdown and containment measures.

However, the remaining 77% are still vulnerable and the containment measures need to continue with the same rigour.

Member Niti Aayog, Dr. V.K. Paul: The infection has spread among about 23% of the population in Delhi, anti-bodies have been created in them. The survey for the study was carried out from June 27 to July 10, the data collection was till July 5. So, the results portray what the scenario was around June 18-19.

The survey involved more than 20,000 people, so the data is robust.

Even after six months, in a city with very high population density, the infection is estimated to have reached only 22-23% people. This shows the efforts made by the people of Delhi and the government has restricted the spread of infection.

The containment strategy implemented in coordination with the State government ensured that the virus did not spread further. The results also show the impact of lockdown measures.

Dr. Paul says AIIMS in coordination with Health Ministry and Niti Aayog will start National Clinical Grand Rounds on COVID-19 programme from Wednesday for doctors across the country.

OSD to Health Ministry says, "We are partially satisfied with the situation in Delhi, we need to see the numbers stabilise over a period of time. In the first week of June, an average of 9,000 to 9,500 tests were being conducted per day, the positivity rate was about 37%. There was an apprehension that the health infrastructure in Delhi would collapse. Then the Central government brought together experts from different domains of knowledge for working in coordination with the Delhi government by devising a science-based strategy. In July first week, the average testing was 25,000 per day; the positivity rate reduced to 9%; from 3,900 positive cases reported in one day in June, yesterday Delhi reported 950 cases only."

"The government has started developing a plan for the distribution of vaccine, as and when any vaccine gets approval, among the needy," says a Niti Aayog member.

Health Ministry spokesperson Lav Agarwal, on a visit for review of the health infrastructure says, "The Bihar government diligently managed the situation when the migrants were returning to their homes and it helped to check spread of infection. As a pro-active measure, in view of the increasing cases, the State has extended the lockdown till July end."

"We have requested the State government to increase testing infrastructure. Containment zones should be monitored as per Central government's guidelines. During the lockdown phase, hospital infrastructure should be further upgraded. Capacity upgrade of hospital staff should also be done. Patient experience is an important aspect and therefore, a system should be developed for providing proper treatment to patients as per protocol."

Regulatory facilitation will be done and funds will be provided to arrive at an affordable vaccine option: Niti Aayog member.

On the latest guideline advising against use of N-95 masks with respiratory valve, OSD to Health Ministry said recent scientific studies stated that the propensity of affecting others was more if an infected persons used masks with valves.

He says: "If it is impossible to trace the transmission chain, then it is community transmission. This means that if it is impossible to tell who gave infection to whom, such a situation is of community transmission."

In Delhi, during the sero-survey, we found that in some districts there was only 13% prevalence. Then there were other districts with 27% prevalence. So, in India, there are still clusters of cases and there are pockets of localised transmission.

We will gradually reach the capability of conducting 1 million tests per day, says Niti Aayog member.

We are planning to carry out sero-survey in several cities, says NCDC Director. No cases of re-infection has been reported so far in Covid-19, he says.

The duration of protection provided by anti-bodies developed in those exposed to the infection is still under scientific examination.

- reports Devesh K. Pandey.

4.10 pm | New Delhi

Recoveries are 1.8 times the number of active cases: Health Ministry

Cases per million in India is 837, which is very low compared to the figures for other countries. Deaths per million population is 20.4, compared to 77 in the rest of the world. 19 States and Union territories are performing more than 140 tests per day per million, as per the WHO guideline.

Average is 180 tests per day per million, the yardstick of 140 tests per day per million should be seen in the context of positivity. The ultimate aim is to bring positivity down to 5% eventually, or even lower than that. 30 States/UTs have positivity lower than the India average. India average is 8.07%. Rajasthan has 2.46%, MP 3.90%, Assam 4.03%, UP 4.06%, AP 4.16%, Haryana 6.47%, WB 6.94% and Karnataka 7.29%.

Total active cases are 4,02,529 and recovered cases are 7,24,577. Therefore, the recoveries are 1.8 times the number of active cases.

Effective clinical management is leading to decrease in case fatality rate. It was 3.36% on June 17, 2.97% on July 1 and then 2.43% on July 21, this is as a result of dedicated efforts of frontline health care professionals. Despite limited resources, if the fatalities have been contained to such a level, it is as a result of the efforts of the health care professionals.

22 States/UTs have lower case fatality rate than the national average. They include Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, J&K, Rajasthan, Karnataka and UP where more than 1,000 cases have been reported.

- reports Devesh K. Pandey.

4.05 pm | Itanagar

Medical team traverses muddy roads, crosses flooded river to home quarantine woman in remote Arunachal hamlet

A medical team traversed landslide-prone muddy roads and crossed a flooded river to home quarantine a woman and her contacts in a remote hamlet in Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district, officials said on Tuesday.

The woman had recently sneaked into neighbouring Assam’s Sonitpur district to meet her relatives without informing authorities of either state and returned to her Karbi Colony hamlet on July 18, sparking fears among her neighbours that she might have been infected with coronavirus, they said.

After being alerted by the residents of Karbi Colony, a medical team led by Dr Simanto Borah of Tarasso primary health centre undertook a 30-km journey to reach the hamlet on July 19 and home quarantined the woman and her local contacts, Papum Pare District Reproductive and Child Health Officer (DRCHO) Dr Worar Taku said.

The health personnel completed a portion of the journey on motorbikes and covered the remaining distance on foot, crossing the Tarasso river which is in spate due to floods, Dr Taku said.

“Ten people, including the woman, her family members and other local contacts, have been home quarantined. Antigen testing kits are not available in the PHC at the moment. The quarantined persons’ samples will soon be collected for COVID-19 tests,” Dr Simanto Borah told PTI.

A video of the medical team crossing the flooded river has gone viral on social media, grabbing the attention of Chief Minister Pema Khandu.

Lauding the health personnel for their dedication to work, Mr. Khandu tweeted: “Immense respect to our healthcare workers & policemen who are on #COVID19 duty even in such extreme weather conditions and in inaccessible areas. Let us stand solidly behind our #CoronaWarriors.” - PTI

4.00 pm | Mumbai

Amitabh Bachchan pens reflective blog

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is undergoing treatment for coronavirus at a hospital in Mumbai, says his COVID-19 diagnosis has led him to look at every moment of life in all its glory.

The 77-year-old actor and his 44-year-old son, actor Abhishek Bachchan, on July 11 were admitted to the isolation ward of Nanavati Hospital after they were diagnosed with the virus.

Amitabh’s daughter-in-law, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and his granddaughter Aaradhya Bachchan were shifted to Nanavati last Friday, almost a week after they tested positive for COVID-19.

On his blog, Amitabh on Monday talked about dealing with lack of company and a “wandering mind” in isolation.

”.. it is the silence and the uncertainty of the next it is a wonder of the nature of life .. of all that it brings to us each moment , each living breathing day..

“in the activity driven past days of normalcy, never was there inclination to assess or sit back and think of what thoughts invade us now .. but they do now with a regularity that fills those idle hours, sitting, thinking, looking out into no where,” he wrote. - PTI

3.50 pm | Mangaluru

Puttige mutt chief tests positive

Swami Sugunendra Teertha, head of the Puttige mutt, one of the Ashta Mutts of Udupi in Karnataka, has tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday, hospital sources said.

The seer had voluntarily gone for a test as he was having a fever and after the result returned positive, he was admitted to the KMC Hospital at Manipal near Udupi.

His health condition was stable, hospital sources said. - PTI

3.40 pm | Udupi

Udupi district court closed till Wednesday

The Principal District and Sessions Judge Udupi has ordered closure of all courts in Udupi District Court complex on Tuesday and Wednesday for sanitisatoin.

In a notification, the District Judge said as the whole district court complex was being sanitized and all appointments granted to advocates for physical hearing, filing, collection of certified copies and other works for the two days stand cancelled. The functions of all courts stand suspended till Wednesday.

Further, the District Judge said, the Principal Civil Judge and JMFC, Udupi, will hold the charge of the Court of Additional Civil Judge and JMFC till August 9. He shall attend urgent matters in respect of the said court during the period. The cases listed for physical hearing during the period will be adjourned and further dates will be intimated to the concerned advocates through e-courts portal/app, the notification stated. - reports Raghava M.

3.30 pm | Kochi

18 nuns test COVID-19 positive

Ernakulam health authorities are likely to bring more areas under restrictions as COVID-19 clusters in the district after 18 Catholic nuns in a convent in Chunangamveli, near Aluva, have been confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

The nuns belong to the St. Mary's province of a Catholic religious order. They are confirmed to have come into contact with a 71-year-old Catholic nun in Kuzhippally, who died on July 11, after contracting the infection. - reports K. Martin.

3.20 pm | New Delhi

Air India says some employees died of COVID-19, their kin to be compensated

Some employees of Air India have succumbed to COVID-19 , an official circular of the airline has said, as it announced a fixed compensation amount for the next of kin.

However, Air India spokesperson did not respond to PTI queries on how many employees have been infected and have died due to coronavirus.

The internal circular dated July 20 noted that “many employees of the company are getting COVID positive and some of the employees have also succumbed to the pandemic.”

“To safeguard the interests of the families, it has been decided to make an ad-hoc payment to the family or legal heir of employees, who die during the period of COVID-19,” the circular, a copy of which has been accessed by PTI, stated.

Families or legal heirs of permanent employees who die of COVID-19 will get ₹10 lakh, the amount is ₹5 lakh for fixed term contract employees and ₹90,000 for casual employees who worked continuously for one year, the circular said. - PTI

3.15 pm | Bihar

1,109 more COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar take the total number in the state to 28,564.

- reports Amarnath Tewary.

2.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

TTD temporarily suspends issuance of free darshan tokens

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has temporarily suspended the issuance of time slot ‘sarva darshan’ tokens from Tuesday.

The decision comes in the wake of the district administration adopting a serious view to the sharp increase in the COVID-19 positive cases at Tirupati and declaring the entire town as a containment zone besides announcing a total lockdown for 14 days. - reports G.P. Shukla.

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2.15 pm | Tripura

Tripura’s COVID-19 tally crosses 3,000-mark

Over 200 more people, including 19 BSF personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura, taking the total number of cases in the state to 3,094, officials said on Tuesday.

The state also reported two fresh deaths due to the disease in the last 24 hours, they said.

Two women, aged 80 and 62 years, died at the Agartala Government Medical College on Monday. They both were suffering from heart ailments, the officials said.

The state had registered its first COVID-19 death on June 9. All the coronavirus patients who have died till date in the state had co-morbidities, the officials said.

“Alert! 202 people found COVID-19 positive out of 4,747 samples tested. Among the total 202 COVID-19 positive, 19 are BSF personnel. 2 COVID-19 positive patients died today,” Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted on Monday night. - PTI

1.45 pm | New Delhi

23.48% people affected in Delhi: study

The results of Delhi’s sero-prevalence study, released on Tuesday, show that on an average the prevalence of IgG antibodies across the Capital is 23.48%. The study indicates that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic.

Releasing the results of the survey, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said in a statement that the sero-survey is done to determine the exposure of the novel coronavirus among the population.

The study further indicates that while a significant proportion of the population is still vulnerable in the Capital, only 23.48% of the people are affected nearly six months into the epidemic. These cases are mostly in Delhi’s densely populated pockets.

“The Capital will need to continue with its containment measures with the same rigour and non-pharmacological interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask/cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoidance of crowded places etc.,” says the study.

- reports Bindu Shajan Perappadan.

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1.00 pm | Odisha

Financial incentives for doctors in Odisha

In order to boost the morale of doctors and paramedic staff working in COVID-19 hospitals, the Odisha government on Monday announced financial incentives for them.

“Doctors, paramedics and other assistants working in COVID-19 hospitals and COVID-19 health centres will get incentives of ₹1,000, ₹500 and ₹200 respectively per day for the number of days they will serve positive patients,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

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12.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

No spike in cases in Chennai after curbs were eased, says Chief Secretary

On a war-footing: A Greater Chennai Corporation truck spraying disinfectant at the Kasimedu fishing harbour in Chennai on Friday.

On a war-footing: A Greater Chennai Corporation truck spraying disinfectant at the Kasimedu fishing harbour in Chennai on Friday.   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM


The relaxation of lockdown restrictions has not resulted in any spike in the number of fresh cases of COVID-19 being reported in Chennai, Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said on Monday.

He made the observations in the context of the city having witnessed a decline in the number of active cases during the period between July 4 and 18.

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12.00 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Set up 5 more State-level COVID hospitals: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has asked officials concerned to strengthen COVID treatment facilities, particularly for the critically ill patients by setting up five more COVID-19 designated hospitals in the State. Currently, there are five State COVID-19 treatment facilities.

At a review meeting with the officials of the Health Department, Mr. Jagan said the stress on healthcare professionals should be reduced in order to improve the quality of the care given to patients requiring critical support at the designated hospitals, according to a release.

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11.30 am

DGHS cautions against use of N-95 valved respirator masks


The Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) has cautioned against the use of N-95 valved respirator masks, stating that they do not prevent the virus from escaping out and, thus, may not aid in the containment of COVID-19

In a communication to States, the DGHS said, “It has come to our knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as they do not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks.”

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10.30 am


11 BSF jawans, one Army personnel test positive in Mizoram

At least 13 more people, including 11 BSF jawans, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, pushing the total tally in the state to 297, a senior official said on Tuesday.

One of the 13 patients is an Army personnel, who recently returned to the state from Kashmir, he said.

A statement issued by the information and public relations department said the new cases were reported from Zoram Medical College.


10.00 am | Andhra Pradesh

Guidelines issued for use of high-end drugs

Andhra Pradesh government issued a G.O. on Monday allowing the YSR Aarogyasri Health Care Trust to pay additional amounts over and above the per-day packages for certain high-end drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, depending on the severity of the infection.

The payments will be made on the basis of utilisation evidences and justification by the doctors submitted by the hospitals designated for COVID-19 in A and B categories.

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9.30 am

Transport sector in doldrums even after lifting of lockdown

Lorry owners say that they have suffered losses of not less than ₹2 lakh per vehicle.

Lorry owners say that they have suffered losses of not less than ₹2 lakh per vehicle.  


There seems to be no respite for the transport sector which continues to be in doldrums, despite relaxation of the lockdown norms.

The transporters and lorry owners say that recurrent hikes in fuel price, high maintenance cost and pending taxes have left them in the lurch. The transporters and lorry owners have suffered loss of not less than ₹2 lakh per lorry, apart from pending EMIs, taxes and etc, they say.

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9.00 am | Maharashtra

Eight-day lockdown from July 22 in Sangli district

In the wake of mounting COVID-19 cases, an eight-day lockdown from July 22 to 30 will be enforced in Sangli district in western Maharashtra, said senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and district Guardian Minister Jayant Patil on Monday.

“The lockdown will be in force from 10 p.m. onwards on July 22 and last till 10 p.m. on July 30 owing to a drastic spike in COVID-19 cases over the last few days. While we had not earlier planned to take such a measure, the recent rise in cases has compelled us to do so,” said Mr. Patil, who is also the State Water Resources Minister.

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8.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

Total lockdown imposed in Tirupati till August 5

DIG Kanthi Rana Tata (right) inspecting a containment zone in Tirupati

DIG Kanthi Rana Tata (right) inspecting a containment zone in Tirupati  


With Tirupati city accounting for close to one-third of COVID-19 cases registered in the Chittoor district, the officials have announced a total lockdown for a fortnight.

With this, the entire city has been declared as a containment zone. All retail outlets will be allowed to remain open only till 11 a.m. However, pharmacies and dairy units can be kept open throughout the day.

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8.00 am

Serum Institute of India to commence human trials of Oxford vaccine from next month

The Serum Institute of India (SII), aiming to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, has said that it will be starting human trials of its Oxford vaccine in the country from August.

“We are working on the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine which is in Phase III of its clinical trial stage. We also plan to start human trials in India next month. Depending on the current situation and updates on the clinical trials, we are hoping that the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine will be available by the year’s end,” said Adar Poonawalla, SII CEO .

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7.30 am

Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival unlikely this year

The famed Hornbill Festival in Nagaland is unlikely to be held this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official said on Monday. The 10-day Hornbill Festival that usually starts on December 1 celebrates the culture and heritage of different tribes of the State. It is attended by lakhs of people from across India and abroad.

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7.00 am

West Bengal to have two-day lockdown every week

A police officer (not in picture) gives a mask to a cyclist as part of an awareness campaign to control the spread of COVID-19 in Kolkata on Monday.

A police officer (not in picture) gives a mask to a cyclist as part of an awareness campaign to control the spread of COVID-19 in Kolkata on Monday.  


There will be a complete lockdown for two days every week this month in West Bengal, State’s home secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said on Monday. The decision was taken at a high-powered meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Meanwhile, the State on Monday recorded 2,282 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total cases to 44,769. The active cases stand at 17,204.

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