India now has the fifth-highest death toll in the world , surpassing Italy with 35,132 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker. The seven-day rolling average for deaths in India is now 735, next only to the U.S. (1,075) and Brazil (1,052).
Here are the latest updates:
M.P. CM, cabinet members to donate salaries for COVID-19 fight
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he and his cabinet colleagues would donate 30 per cent of their salaries to the CM Relief Fund to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
He said such donations were required as a major portion of the State budget was spent on fighting the outbreak, and appealed to the well-off and fellow MLAs to contribute.
“To tide over adverse situations arising out of COVID -19, we all have to unitedly work. I have donated 30 per cent of my salary, entertainment allowance and MLA local development fund since I became Chief Minister (on March 23) to July 31 in the Chief Minister Relief Fund,” he tweeted.
No public events in Madhya Pradesh for two weeks: Minister
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said on Friday that the Chief Minister had directed all public representatives to not hold public events until August 14, in view of several legislators and BJP leaders having contracted coronavirus ( COVID-19 ).
“If necessary, they can do it virtually. More than five persons can’t visit public representatives together,” Mr. Mishra told reporters.
Mizoram extends partial lockdown till Aug 31, issues fresh guidelines
The Mizoram government on Friday extended state-wide partial lockdown till August 31 to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, as per a notification.
According to the order, all international and inter- state borders will continue to remain closed, barring three entry points - Vairengte and Bairabi on the Mizoram-Assam border and Kanhmun on the state’s border with Tripura, which will be opened for the movement of commodities.
Lengpui airport will continue to operate during the extended lockdown.
The new guideline allowed inter-district and intra- state movement for commercial and private vehicles.
Vietnam reports first COVID-19 death
Vietnam recorded its first death from COVID-19 on Friday after winning plaudits worldwide for one of the most successful national responses to the pandemic.
The country of 96 million had gone 100 days without infection before an unexpected cluster of new cases of unknown origin surfaced in the resort city of Danang a week ago.
Narayanasamy announces extension of lockdown till August 31
In line with central guidelines, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy announced that the lockdown now in force here has been extended till August 31 but with relaxation in restrictions.
Addressing reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting, the chief minister said the territorial administration would fall in line with the Centre`s guidelines on easing of curbs during the shutdown.
All shops and establishments would be permitted to do business from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. every day as against 6 a.m.-8 p.m. now.
The Chief Minister said curfew would be strictly enforced and would be in force from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. the next day.
Mr. Narayanasamy said there would be no ‘total lockdown’ on Sundays as it would mean inducing people to throng shops and markets on Saturdays inuncontrollable numbers.
Fauci optimistic COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available in America
Once a coronavirus vaccine is approved as safe and effective, Americans should have widespread access within a reasonable time, Dr. Anthony Fauci assured lawmakers Friday.
Appearing before a House panel investigating the nation’s response to the pandemic, Dr. Fauci expressed cautious optimism that a vaccine would be available, particularly by next year.
"I believe, ultimately, over a period of time in 2021, that Americans will be able to get it," he said, referring to the vaccine.
"There will be a priority list for who gets early vaccinations. I don’t think we will have everybody getting it immediately," he explained.
India’s case fatality rate of 2.18% among lowest, says Minister
Of the total coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) active case load, 0.28% patients are on ventilators, 1.61% patients required ICU support and 2.32% are on oxygen support, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday following the 19th meeting of the Group of Ministers (GOM) on COVID-19 .
He added that India has one of the lowest case fatality rates globally, which is also steadily decreasing.
Bihar COVID-19 tally breaches 50,000-mark with highest one-day spike of 2,986 cases
Bihar recorded its biggest one-day spike of 2,986 COVID-19 cases on Friday, which pushed the state’s tally to 50,987, the Health Department said.
Thirteen more fatalities in the state raised the coronavirus death toll to 298, the Department said.
The COVID-19 tally in Bihar has witnessed more than five-fold increase since the beginning of the month, while the death toll nearly quadrupled during the period.
Moreover, 33,650 people have also recovered from the disease, 1,977 of them in the last 24 hours, the department underscored in its bulletin.
CISF personnel dies of COVID-19 in West Bengal
A Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel has succumbed to COVID-19, officials said on Friday. Posted at the Farakka Super Thermal Power Plant in West Bengal, he died during treatment.
He was a member of the fire wing of the force, they said.
This is the 13th death due to the pandemic in the force and the second death in the Farakka CISF unit.
Israel, India conducting trials for 4 technologies with potential to detect COVID in about 30 seconds
Israel and India are conducting trials here on a large sample of patients for four different kinds of technologies that have the potential to detect COVID-19 in about 30 seconds, including a breath analyser and a voice test, according to an Israeli statement.
Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka on Friday visited the special testing site created at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital to witness the ongoing trials being conducted since the last three days for rapid COVID-19 testing, the Israeli release on his visit said.
The rapid testing is being jointly developed in cooperation with the Defense Research and Development Directorate of the Israeli Ministry of Defence, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Principal Scientific Advisor, India - coordinated by the ministries of foreign affairs of Israel and India.
Nagaland reports highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases
Nagaland on Friday reported its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases, with 126 more people testing positive for the infection, officials said.
The new cases have taken the virus count in the State to 1,692, they said.
The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the state to 1,062, while 625 people have recovered from COVID-19 and five patients have died of it, the officials said.
The State had registered its previous highest single- day spike in COVID-19 cases on July 23 when 90 people had tested positive for the infection, they said.
Unlock 3.0 guidelines: Yoga institutes, gyms, small places of worship to reopen in Rajasthan
Yoga institutes, gyms and small places of worship will be allowed to open in Rajasthan under Unlock 3.0 for which the State government issued guidelines to ease curbs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conditional permission to reopen small places of worship (temple, mosques, gurudwara), which used to have an average daily visit of up to 50 people prior to the lockdown, was given under the guidelines to be implemented from August 1 to 31.
For these places, entry of people will be staggered in such a manner that social distancing of at least six feet is ensured. Wearing masks is also mandatory.
All other religious places will reopen from September 1.
As per the guidelines, Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to function from August 5 for which standard operating procedures (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
U.S. sinks another $2.1 billion into a potential vaccine
Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur have announced they will supply 100 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to the United States as governments buy up supplies in hopes something will work.
The United States will pay up to $ 2.1 billion for development including clinical trials, manufacturing, scale-up and delivery of its vaccine,” the companies said in a statement. Sanofi will get the bulk of the funds.
The US government has a further option for the supply of an additional 500 million doses longer term as part of its Operation Warp Speed programme.
U.K. puts lockdown-easing on hold as virus spread accelerates
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is postponing some planned measures to ease the lockdown because the number of new coronavirus cases in the country is on the rise.
Mr. Johnson says statistics show that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community is likely rising for the first time since May.
No lockdown this weekend in four districts of Uttarakhand
There will be no lockdown this weekend in Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts of Uttarakhand in view of the upcoming festivals, officials said.
Amending an earlier order which had clamped weekend lockdown in the four districts to rein in rising COVID-19 cases, Disaster Management Secretary Shailesh Bagoli said the relaxation is being given just for this week.
Eid-ul-Adha is being celebrated on Saturday-Sunday to be followed by Raksha Bandhan on Monday.
The districts have remained under lockdown on the weekends since July 18 to break the chain of infection and fully sanitise them.
Nitish’s virtual rally postponed in view of COVID-19 outbreak, floods
A much-anticipated virtual rally of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar next week, where he was expected to sound the bugle for assembly polls, has been put off for the time being in view of raging problems of Covid and floods in the state, a top JD(U) leader said.
In a statement, the Janata Dal (United) State unit president Vashishtha Narayan Singh said the rally, scheduled for August 7, has been postponed "in view of coronavirus pandemic and floods".
Highest single-day spike of 4,453 cases in U.P.
Uttar Pradesh on Friday reported the highest single-day spike of 4,453 COVID-19 cases and 43 deaths due to the disease, taking the infection tally to more than 85,000 and the death toll to 1,630 in the State.
“In the past 24 hours, 4,453 fresh COVID-19 cases were found. There are 34,968 active cases in the state and 48,663 patients have been discharged after treatment,” Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters.
“The death toll due to the disease has reached 1,630,” he said.
The total number of coronavirus cases reported in the state is 85,261, the official said.
Suspension of scheduled international flights has been extended till August 31, the DGCA announced.
- Jagriti Chandra
Specify benefits for frontline workers’ kin: HC to Maha govt
The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit about the benefits extended to the kin of frontline health and administrative workers, who get infected or succumb to COVID- 19 in the line of duty.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang Kotwal was hearing two public interest litigations seeking that police officers, doctors and nurses, who die of COVID-19 after contracting the infection on duty, be given the title of “martyrs” by the State. - PTI
Sikkim extends lockdown till Aug 3
The Sikkim government on Friday extended the complete lockdown in the state till August 3 in view of a spurt in COVID-19 cases.
A set of revised guidelines with regard to restrictions on movement and gathering of people, however, will come into force on August 3 and will be applicable till August 31.
The Sikkim government had reimposed a complete lockdown in the state on July 20 for six days and extended it till August 1.
Delhi govt’s five-day sero-survey to begin Saturday
The next round of sero-prevalence survey in the national capital is slated to begin on Saturday, with authorities gearing up for the five-day exercise to comprehensively analyse the COVID-19 situation in Delhi.
The health department has prepared a detailed plan under which every district medical officer has been asked to conduct the survey in their respective jurisdictions, officials said.
DKS seeks judicial probe into ‘corruption’ in COVID-19 management
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar on Friday demanded a judicial probe by a sitting judge of the High Court into his party’s charges of corruption in COVID-19 management by the State government. The government, he alleged, was making money over COVID-19 corpses even as it has failed to offer decent burial/cremation to the deceased.
Speaking to reporters here in his first-ever visit outside Bengaluru after taking charge as the PCC president, Mr. Shivakumar said the BJP government that talks of transparency in equipment procurement to fight COVID-19 was not even prepared to allow proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The Congress, he said, would submit documents to support its charges before the judicial commission if it was set up, he said.
Sero-surveys show COVID-19 peak far away, say experts
Half the people, or 57%, tested in the slums in Mumbai had been exposed to and developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus as compared with only 16% of those tested in residential societies, according to a survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in three wards of Mumbai.
Results from Delhi’s seroprevalence study earlier this month found that nearly a quarter of the 21,000-odd samples tested suggested exposure to the virus, and some of the densest districts had over 20% prevalence.
These studies, said an expert, suggested that a peak in infections was nowhere on the horizon.
45 Kolkata Police personnel test positive for COVID-19
At least 45 Kolkata Police personnel including two senior officers of the Detective Department have tested positive for COVID-19, an official said on Friday.
So far, over 1,100 police personnel have been infected by the virus, the official said.
“These police personnel tested positive yesterday (Thursday). While a few have been sent to home isolation the others with severe problems have been hospitalised,” the official said.
The number of active cases in the Force is around 70.
India could rise to top spot in COVID-19 cases: Chidambaram
Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram on Friday said India could touch 55 lakh COVID-19 cases by September end if cases continued to rise at the present rate, and called the Centres strategy a ‘total failure’.
In a series of tweets, Mr. Chidamabaram said India could rise to the top spot going by the present rate of increase in infection .
Commmuter off-loaded from train after testing positive
A 29-year-old commuter was off-loaded from 02081 Kannur–Thiruvananthapuram Central Janshatabdi Special on Friday amidst the journey to the State capital after he was tested postive for Covid-19 .
The 29-year-old, a native of adjoining Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu district, reportedly jumped quarantine and boarded the D-3 coach of the Janshatabdi Express from Kozhikode railway station with a confirmed ticket after undergoing thermal screening at the platform.
Telangana continues to witness spike in cases
The spike in the novel coronavirus cases is continuing in the State with close to 2,000 testing positive on a single day on Thursday.
The State reported 1,986 cases in 24 hours taking the total number of affected persons to 62,703 while reports of 1,216 persons whose swab samples were collected are awaited.
Fourteen more deaths were reported during the day taking the total casualties since the advent of the virus to 519.
In all, 816 persons were discharged on Thursday taking the total number to 45,388. There are 16,796 active cases as on date, according to the bulletin released by the Health department.
Tiruchuli police station closed as five police personnel test positive
Tiruchuli police station in the district was closed on Thursday after five of the police personnel tested positive.
While a woman police constable was tested positive on July 27, four other police constables were found to be positive on Thursday. The station will remain closed for a week for disinfection, according to police sources.
Two police personnel in the district have succumbed to COVID-19 in July.
No Sunday lockdown, night curfew in Karnataka
Following the Centre’s guidelines, the State government on Thursday issued fresh guidelines for Unlock 3, allowing the opening of gymnasiums and yoga institutes from August 5, with some restrictions in place. There will be no lockdown on Sundays in August and the night curfew too has been lifted.
The new guidelines, which will come into effect from August 1 for the entire month, says that metro services in Bengaluru, cinemas and educational institutions will not operate till the end of August. However, online classes are permitted, said the order.
New guidelines allow the gathering of 50 persons for a marriage function, and 20 in the case of a funeral.
There will be no more restrictions on inter-State and intra-State movement of people and no permission will be required for the movement of people and goods.
However, people coming to Karnataka must follow the guidelines issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department, and the Revenue Department, it said.
SC asks Centre to ensure salaries paid to doctors on time, quarantine period not treated as leave
Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and Tripura are yet to follow directives on timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court, which said it cannot be “helpless” in implementing the directions.
The court directed the Centre to issue necessary directions for releasing salaries of doctors and frontline healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 duty on time.
The apex court also asked the Centre to also clarify on treating compulsory quarantine period of healthcare workers as leave and deduction of their salaries for the same period. - Krishnadas Rajagopal
Won’t profit from COVID-19 vaccine in pandemic, says AstraZeneca
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca repeated its promise not to profit from a COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic as it reported it was on track with late-stage trials for the treatment.
The cost of making the vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University, is expected to be offset by funding from the governments.
AstraZeneca has struck a number of deals around the world to supply the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which has shown promise in early testing.
Over 8.78 lakh Indians have returned from abroad under Vande Bharat Mission: MEA
Over 8.78 lakh Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the “Vande Bharat” evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
Under the Phase 4 of the Vande Bharat Mission, a total of 1,083 flights have been scheduled so far, including 849 international flights and 234 feeder flights, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.
“These flights are operated by the Air India Group, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir from 29 countries to 31 airports in India,” he said.
Jharkhand extends lockdown restrictions outside containment zones till Aug 31
The Jharkhand government has extended the lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19 outside the containment zones till August 31.
An official notification also issued directions to departments concerned for strict implementation of guidelines and State directives on COVID-19.
”... Hereby orders extension of lockdown-related restrictions currently in place in the State of Jharkhand outside the containment zone(s) up to 31.08.2020 due to COVID-19,” the notification issued by Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh said.
“All economic activities permitted prior to this order shall remain permitted,” it said. - PTI
Ban on passenger flights to Kolkata from 6 cities extended till Aug 15
The ban on passenger flights to Kolkata from six cities — all COVID-19 hotspots — has been extended till August 15 amid a spurt in coronavirus cases in the State, airport authorities sources here said on Thursday.
“The restriction on arriving flights to #KolkataAirport from 6 cities viz Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur & Ahmedabad has been extended up to August 15 2020,” the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport tweeted. - PTI
India sees single-day spike of over 55,000 cases
India has registered a new record one-day spike of 55,078 cases in the past 24 hours, pushing India’s COVID-19 tally to 16,38,870, according to the daily Union Health Ministry bulletin issued on Friday.
The total death toll is now 35,747, of which 779 are new fatalities.
As per the Centre's count, the country's active COVID-19 case count stand at 5,45,318, with 10,57,805 people having recovered so far.
Understanding serological surveys
As the India-wide COVID-19 case count increases at an alarming pace, experts say that the peak in infections is nowhere on the horizon. This inference was made following the analysis of sero-surveys conducted in different cities of India. But what is a sero-survey? Watch our video explainer for details.
Section 144 imposed in Ghaziabad ahead of festival season
Ahead of upcoming festivities, prohibitory measures under Section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in Ghaziabad district with the restrictions set to be in effect till August 31, said district information officer Rakesh Chauhan.
The prohibitory measures have been taken by District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey keeping in view Eid, Raksha Bandhan, Krishna Janmashtami festivals along with Independence Day to check the spread of coronavirus. No person will be allowed to carry licensed weapons.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibits assembly of more than four people in an area. - PTI
First dog that tested positive for COVID-19 dies in New York
A German shepherd in New York that had the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a dog in the US has died.
Robert and Allison Mahoney of Staten Island told National Geographic that their 7-year-old shepherd, Buddy, developed breathing problems in mid-April after Robert had been sick with the coronavirus for several weeks. A veterinarian tested Buddy in May and found him positive for the virus.
It’s unknown if the coronavirus played a role in his death. Blood tests indicated Buddy likely had lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, veterinarians told the family.
Andhra Pradesh sees biggest spike in COVID cases
The State has once again witnessed the biggest single-day spikes of COVID cases and deaths.
With 10,167 new COVID cases detected in the past 24 hours, the tally mounted to 1,30,557. The death toll increased to 1,281, including the 68 deaths reported in the past day. The total cases doubled in the last eight days as 65,844 cases were
Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio goes into home quarantine
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has quarantined himself at his home after a few staffers of his residential complex have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Thursday.
The residential complex is being sanitised and all the standard operating procedures are being followed, they said.
Ex-Minister Koppana Mohana Rao dies of COVID-19
Former Minister and senior YSR Congress Party leader Koppana Mohana Rao (75) died of COVID-19 late Wednesday night. A native of Mallam village in Pithapuram mandal, he is survived by a daughter and a son. Mohana Rao, who was elected from the Pithapuram Assembly constituency in East Godavari district twice, had served as the Forest Minister.
Mohana Rao was declared brought dead when he was taken to the Government General Hospital in Kakinada from another hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19, said East Godavari District Medical and Health Officer M. Mallik.