Coronavirus India lockdown Day 81 updates | June 13, 2020

At a review meeting with senior Ministers and officials, PM Modi discussed augmenting of COVID-19 testing as well as the number of beds and services required to effectively handle the rising number of daily cases, particularly in large cities

June 13, 2020 08:40 am | Updated 11:09 pm IST

Worker spraying disinfectant at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Saturday, June 13, 2020 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Worker spraying disinfectant at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Saturday, June 13, 2020 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.

India’s COVID-19 death toll crossed the 9,000-mark on June 13 with a record daily increase making it the world’s ninth worst hit nation in terms of fatalities, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed steps to contain the pandemic in areas where large numbers of cases are being detected.

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:

10.35 pm | Madhya Pradesh

198 cases reported in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh registered 198 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 10,641.

The number of active cases stands at 2,817. Seven patients died of the illness on the day.

While Indore and Jabalpur reported two deaths each, Neemuch, Sagar and Khargone reported one death each. The State-wide death toll climbed to 447.

Meanwhile, 176 patients were discharged from hospitals on Saturday. So far, 7,377 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services. — Sidharth Yadav

10.25 pm | New Delhi

More than 2000 cases reported in Delhi

2,134 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 38,958, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Saturday. This is the second-highest number of cases reported in a single day in the city. Also, 57 more deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths to 1,271. Of the total cases, 14,945 people have recovered and there are 22,742 active cases. Nikhil

10.05 pm | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. sees 20 new deaths

The death toll in U.P. climbed to 385 with 20 new deaths, the State Health department said.Total cases jumped to 13,118 as the State recorded another high figure of 503 cases in the last 24 hours.

Active cases stand at 4,858 while 7,865 persons have recovered.

The death toll in Agra hits 62, while Meerut has till date recorded 52 deaths, including 5 in the past 24 hours.  Kanpur stands third with 25 deaths. 

In terms of active positive cases, Noida leads with 416,  followed by Kanpur with 317 and Ghaziabad with 245.

- Omar Rashid

10.00 pm | Ladakh

The Ladakh Union Territory recorded highest single-day spike, with 198 positive cases, taking the overall tally to 368, according to officials.

- Peerzada Ashiq

9.55 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra sees third highest single day rise

Maharashtra added 3,427 more cases on Saturday. The third highest single day rise pushed the State’s total to 1,04,568.

The State recorded 113 fatalities taking its death toll to 3,830. 1,550 patients were discharged from the State taking the number of total recovered patients to 49,346

Mumbai recorded 1,380 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday taking the tally to 56,831. The city also recorded 69 more deaths pushing its death toll to 2,113.

- Jyoti Shelar

9.50 pm | Kerala

Kerala reported 85 cases of COVID-19 and 46 recoveries on Saturday, taking the total number of active cases in the State to 1,342.

Of the new cases, 71 are imported cases of infection diagnosed in people who have come to the State from abroad, while 14 are cases of local transmission acquired through contact with known or unknown sources of infection.

The cumulative number of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began in Kerala is 2,407.

9.40 pm | Odisha

Odisha records highest single-day spike with 225 cases

Odisha reported the highest single-day spike of 225 COVID-19 cases taking its tally to 3,723 on Saturday.

While 196 among them were reported from the quarantine centres, 29 were traced from the community.

Cuttack district reported 92 of the 225 cases followed by Ganjam (20) and Khordha (19).

9.30 pm

"Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce mortality"

The RECOVERY trial, a large randomised controlled trial in the U.K. to test five drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, has found no clinical benefit from use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. The trial investigators found that there was no significant benefit in mortality reduction in the intervention group, which was the primary objective.

9.20 pm | Kerala

Opposition slams order seeking COVID-19 negative certificate from returnees

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday said the State government had broken faith with the Keralite diaspora by insisting that those seeking to return home from abroad on chartered flights should produce a medical testimonial that they were COVID-19 negative.

Mr. Chennithala said the “strange decision” was against the spirit of the unanimous resolution adopted by the Assembly on March 12.

9.10 pm | New Delhi

PM Modi reviews COVID-19 situation in States and UTs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the country’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with senior ministers and top bureaucrats.

He took stock of the pandemic situation in various States and the Union Territories, including Delhi, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. During the meet, it was observed that two-thirds of India’s COVID-19 infection load are in five States with an overwhelming proportion of cases in big cities, the statement said.

9 pm | New delhi

Health Ministry recommends remdesivir for emergency use, hydroxychloroquine for early course

The Union Health Ministry has recommended the use of antiviral drug remdesivir under emergency use authorisation, off-label application of immunomodulator tocilizumab and convalescent plasma therapy for treating coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in moderate stage of criticality.

Backtracking from its earlier stance, the Ministry in its revised ‘Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19’, released on Saturday, said antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) should be used in the early course of the disease to achieve any meaningful effect and should be avoided in severe cases.

8.45 pm | Kolkata

Kolkata doctors fear Delhi-like explosion of COVID-19 cases

Healthcare professionals in Kolkata say the city is sitting on a COVID-19 time-bomb and that it won’t be too long before an explosion in the number of cases pushes its medical infrastructure to the verge of collapse like it has happened in other metros .

With government hospitals in the city already under strain ever since the pandemic broke out, the private sector has been holding fort, reserving beds and resources to fight COVID-19. But the projected cases are now worrying them as well. West Bengal has just crossed the 10,000-mark, with Kolkata not only accounting for nearly 3,500 of them but also witnessing a steady increase of 100-plus cases daily ever since the lockdown was lifted on June 1.

8.30 pm | Sri Lanka

Early diagnosis is important, but you have to get ahead of the virus, says virologist Malik Peiris

For decades, renowned virologist  Malik Peiris  has been researching emerging viruses at the animal-human interface, including influenza, coronaviruses (SARS, MERS), and is widely credited for his role in discovering that a novel coronavirus was the cause of SARS in 2003. The Sri Lankan-origin expert, who holds the Chair of Virology at the School of Public Health in Hong Kong University detailed how COVID-19 is different from the other outbreaks and suggested that the world could have been better prepared but for its over-reliance on the pharma industry.

Read the interview with the virologist here .

8.15 pm | Gujarat

With 33 deaths and 517 new cases, Gujarat’s COVID-19 numbers have jumped to 1,449 deaths and 23,079 infections. So far, 15,891 patients have been discharged including 390 on Saturday.

- Mahesh Langa

8.10 pm | Kerala

Airport staff among 12 new COVID-19 patients in Kozhikode

An official at the Calicut International Airport and a health worker were among the 12 persons tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Kozhikode district on Saturday. Two others were cured of the infection too.

According to a release by District Medical Officer V. Jayasree, the official is a 26-year-old native of Kuthiravattom. A number of senior officials at the airport, including its director, have been asked to go on quarantine as the patients is believed to have interacted with them. The health worker is a 26-year-old man from Kakkodi, who was working in Malappuram. Both are right now at the Government Medical College, Manjeri, Malappuram.

8 pm | Assam

Assam to ramp up COVID-19 tests, mulls return to lockdown

The Assam government may reimposed lockdown depending on the outcome of 50,000 COVID-19 tests to be conducted in Guwahati, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

Till 4 p.m. on Saturday, Assam had recorded 3,718 positive cases with 1,923 of them active and 1,784 discharged. Eight people have died so far while three migrated to other States.

Mizoram, one of Assam’s neighbours in the northeast, had reimposed lockdown for two weeks from June 9 in a bid to handle the flow of people returning to the State.

7.45 pm | Karnataka

Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation provides relief to theatre professionals in eight States

Theatre professionals across the country have been the worst hit, financially, due to lockdown. The Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation has taken theatre professionals in eight states, from artistes, stage craftsmen, and  qawwali  singers to carpenters, set workers, and fabricators, under its wing.

Taking the help of delivery services such as Amazon, the Foundation’s drivers and administrative staff, the Foundation has been able to send across groceries , medicines and other essentials to remote areas such as Lingampally, Falaknuma, Tarnaka, Chintalmet and Ranga Reddy District in Hyderabad. The foundation has also reached with supplies to families in seven other States —Rajasthan, UP, Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Karnataka.

7.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra sees yet another highest single-day spike of 222 cases, two deaths

The State witnessed two more COVID-19 deaths and 222 fresh cases, which is so far the highest single-day spike . Of the total fresh cases, 186 are local and due to local transmission. It is also the highest single-day local tally witnessed so far.

The death toll went up to 82 and the tally mounted to 5,858, as of 9 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Health Department's bulletin.

With the recovery of 94 more patients, the number of recovered patients increased to 3, 185 and the active cases are 2,591.

7.20 pm | Tamil Nadu

T.N. teachers want reduced syllabus, psychological training, survey finds

Teachers should be given psychological training to interact with students and understand their concerns better, when schools reopen after the lockdown, said nearly 90% of the respondents in a participatory review conducted by the Forum for Child Friendly Schools (FCFS) and UNICEF.

Over 3,000 teachers from across Tamil Nadu took an app-based survey on the aspects to focus on, once schools reopen as well as on the impact that COVID-19 has had on learning and how to ensure continuity, given the circumstances.

With around 62 items, the questionnaire was prepared by teachers, psychologists and activists.

7.10 pm | New Delhi

Labour Ministry premises closed for deep sanitisation over weekend

With 35 members of its staff and two from the National Informatics Centre testing positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, the Union Labour and Employment Ministry offices at Shram Shakti Bhawan will remain closed for “deep sanitisation” on Saturday and Sunday, according to sources.

After 11 people, including a joint secretary, tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to the Ministry’s offices being closed for sanitisation on June 4 and June 5, another 24 staffers and two NIC employees tested positive this week. On Friday, the Ministry ordered the building to be closed over the weekend for deep sanitisation.

Along with the 24 people who tested positive, 17 of their close contacts were asked to quarantine at home for a week as they were considered “high risk”, according to Friday’s order. The staffers who tested positive include multi-tasking staff, drivers and under secretaries.

- Damini Nath

7.05 pm | Karnataka

Police constable attached to Jal Nagar police station tests positive

A police constable attached to Jal Nagar police station in Vijayapura is among the six COVID-19 positive cases reported today.

Confirming this,  Anupam Agrawal, SP, said the administration had collected swab samples of 217 constables deployed on duty at containment areas, checkposts and designated COVID hospitals. Of them, one constable has tested positive, he said in a press release.

The Jal Nagar police station has been vacated for sanitization and shifted to a nearby wedding hall.

- Firoz Rozindar

7 pm | Pakistan

Former Pakistan PM Yusuf Raza Gilani tests positive

Pakistan’s former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, becoming the latest top political figure to contract COVID-19 that has claimed 2,551 lives and infected 132,405 people in the country.

Mr.  Gilani, 67, tested positive  after attending a hearing of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a corruption case.

6.45 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra slashes COVID-19 test prices in private laboratories

The Maharashtra government slashed the price cap on COVID-19 tests in private laboratories from ₹4,500 to ₹2,800 for home collection of samples. If samples are collected from the hospitals, the price cap has been fixed at ₹2,200.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that there was a growing demanding on slashing the cost of tests so that it becomes affordable for individuals.

6.30 pm | New Delhi

Increase beds, ventilators for coronavirus patients: HC to Centre, Delhi govt.

Taking note of the “gravity” of  the coronavirus situation  in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has directed the AAP government and the Centre to increase the number of beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

The direction was issued by a Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan after the Delhi government informed it that till June 9 there were 9,179 beds for COVID-19 patients in the city and out of that 4,914 were occupied and remaining were available.

6.15 pm | China

Beijing shuts largest wholesale market Xinfadi after six new COVID-19 cases reported

Beijing has shut down several markets, including the largest Xinfadi wholesale food market and locked down 11 residential communities near it  after six new domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported , taking the tally to nine in the capital city in the last three days, while 12 new infections were registered in other parts of China.

Officials in Beijing found the coronavirus on a chopping board of imported salmon at the Xinfadi market.

China’s National Health Commission, (NHC) said on Saturday that out of the 18 new coronavirus cases, 11 were confirmed cases reported in the country on Friday, including six domestically-transmitted infections in Beijing.

6 pm | Tamil Nadu

Three PG students of Thoothukudi medical college test positive

Three postgraduate students of Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital have tested positive for COVID–19 , sources in the hospital said on Saturday.

Two postgraduate students attached to the Department of Anaesthesia and another one belonging to the Department of Surgery tested positive for the infection after they were part of the team of doctors who performed surgery on a patient admitted to the ‘Emergency and Trauma Care’ ward.

5.50 pm | Bihar, Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 data updates from Bihar:

Total death- 35; total recovered persons- 3,686; total positive cases- 6,183; total sample tests done- 1,20,086.

- Amarnath Tewari

COVID-19 data updates for Tamil Nadu:

1,989 persons test positive today in the State; total number of cases- 42,687;

number of discharged persons today- 1,362; total discharged- 23,409;

Number of deaths today- 30; total deaths- 397.

- Serena

5.45 pm

Director Jayaraj releases tribute to coronavirus warriors, with popular Malayalam song

It is not everyday that a director shoots a different version of a song from a film he made 24 years ago. But, then, these are no normal days.

When Jayaraj decided to film a tribute to the frontline coronavirus warriors, he felt the song  Kaliveedurangiyallo...  from the his 1996 film  Desadanam  would be ideal. That song, which spoke about the emptiness of a home after a young boy is inducted into a monastery, had become hugely popular and won K.J. Yesudas a State Award.

The new version of the song is sung by Akhila Anand, the singer who had debuted in Jayaraj's  Aswaroodan . It has been released on YouTube.

5.40 pm | Tamil Nadu

T.N. appoints 2,000 more nurses for Chennai, nearby districts

Amid the surging COVID-19 cases, Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said 2,000 more nurses have been appointed to cater to requirements in State-run hospitals in Chennai and nearby districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruvallurand Chengelpet.

He said as many as 81 rapid response mobile medical teams have been deployed in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengelpet and Kanchpeepuram districts today in addition to the 173 mobile health teams already on job in the Greater Chennai Corporation areas.

While 61 teams are for Chennai, 10 will be in Chengelpet and five each in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, the Minister told reporters. Such mobile teams, which includes ambulances and vans equipped to cater to requirements like testing and dispensing drugs, have been mobilised from across the State by the Health department, he said.


5.30 pm | Karnataka

11 test positive in Hassan

As many as 11 people, including eight who had returned from Mumbai, tested positive to COVID-19 in Hassan on Saturday . With this, the total number of positive cases reported in the district has increased to 237. Among them, 184 have been discharged after they recovered and one person died.

5.15 pm

India repatriates 227 stranded citizens from Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia

As many as 227 Indian nationals stranded in Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia have been flown back home under the third phase of the mega evacuation exercise  Vande Bharat .

National carrier Air India on Friday evening operated its first passenger flight ever from the Finnish capital city Helsinki, bringing back the Indian citizens stranded in the four European countries due to the international travel restrictions following the coronavirus outbreak.

Air India’s Country Manager in Israel, Pankaj Tiwari, whose office coordinated the repatriation flight said that the AI 1184 flight landed in New Delhi on Saturday .

5 pm | Maharashtra

Two more Mumbai police personnel die of COVID-19

Two more personnel from the Mumbai police succumbed to COVID-19, taking the death toll among the city's policemen to 26. 

Police officers said that both the deceased were serving in police stations in the northern suburbs of the city. While the first was a Head Constable, the second was a Police Constable. 

A senior officer said, "The Head Constable, who was a resident of Goregaon (West), was diagnosed with Covid-19 and was admitted to Seven Hills Hospital at Andheri on June 4. He also suffered from diabetes. All his family members are in perfect health.” The Constable was a resident of Vasai Taluka and was diagnosed with Covid-19 on June 6.

- Gautam S. Mengle

4.45 pm | Tamil Nadu

Police install CCTV cameras to monitor quarantined homes in Chennai

The Greater Chennai Police have started installing CCTV cameras in containment areas to check if people who have been placed under quarantine are leaving their houses.

As per the Greater Chennai Corporation’s (GCC) numbers, there are 360 containment areas in the city as on June 12. There have been reports of quarantined people leaving their houses despite GCC officials warning them repeatedly, not to. FIRs were slapped against 40 persons  who ventured outside their homes recently. In a bid to strengthen monitoring, the city police have now started installing CCTV cameras outside the containment areas .

4.30 pm | Pakistan

Shahid Afridi tests positive for COVID-19

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Saturday said he has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first high-profile cricketer to be infected with the deadly virus.

“I’ve been feeling unwell since Thursday; my body had been aching badly. I’ve been tested and unfortunately I’m covid positive. Need prayers for a speedy recovery, InshaAllah,” Afridi announced on Twitter.

4.15 pm | Russia

Russia’s coronavirus cases cross 5,20,000

Russia reported 8,706 new coronavirus cases, bringing its cumulative infection tally to 5,20,129.

The authorities said 114 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, raising the official national death toll to 6,829 .

4 pm | Puducherry

13 more COVID-19 cases reported in Puducherry

Thirteen more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Puducherry, taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory to 176.

With five more discharged on Friday, the active cases stand at 91. The new cases diagnosed were contacts of patients in Mettupalayam and Thavalakuppam areas.

Currently, there are 49 cases undergoing treatment at IGMC&RI and 36 at JIPMER. Of the 9,658 people tested, 9,352 have tested negative and the results of the remaining people are awaited, a status report released by the Health Department said .

3.44 pm | Assam

COVID-19 patient discharged from Assam hospital due to confusion over names

What’s in a name? It turned out to be a lot in Assam’s Darrang district as a COVID-19 patient was discharged from hospital instead of a recovered person due to confusion over their similar-sounding names.

Officials on Saturday said the incident occurred two days ago when authorities of the Mangaldoi Civil Hospital were calling out the names of 14 recovered people for their release.

The COVID-19 patient responded to a name sounding similar to his, which was in fact of a recovered person from his Dalgaon Sialmari village. He was then discharged instead, they said.

But the hospital authorities quickly realised their mistake and sent an ambulance to bring the COVID-19 patient back to the medical establishment the same night, the officials said.

3.41 pm | New Delhi

Amit Shah to hold meeting with Delhi LG and CM Kejriwal

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hold a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others on Sunday to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.

The meeting comes in the wake of rising cases of the coronavirus in Delhi which reached 36,000 and the pandemic so far claimed more than 1,200 lives in the capital.

“Home Minister, Shri @AmitShah and Health Minister, @drharshvardhan to hold meeting with @LtGovDelhi, CM Delhi & members of SDMA to review situation in the capital regarding COVID-19 tomorrow, 14th June at 11 am. Director AIIMS and other senior officers would also be present,” Mr. Shah’s office tweeted.

3.28 pm | New Delhi

Delhi HC issues directions to Centre and Delhi govt.

Taking note of the “gravity” of the coronavirus situation in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has directed the AAP government and the Centre to increase the number of beds and ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

The direction was issued by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan after the Delhi government informed it that till June 9 there were 9,179 beds for COVID-19 patients iand out of that 4,914 were occupied and remaining were available.

The Delhi government also told the bench that total 569 ventilators were available, out of which 315 were being utilised and remaining are available.

“Considering the gravity of the situation, we hereby direct the respondents (Centre and Delhi government) to increase the number of the beds for COVID-19 patients and also try to increase the number of ventilators so that all COVID patients in need can get these facilities,” the bench said in its order which was passed on June 11 but made available on Saturday.

The court also said it expects all hospitals in the national capital to correctly upload the availability of real-time bed capacity data so that public may know in advance where to go if they are suffering from COVID-19.

The order came while disposing a joint plea moved by several lawyers, through advocate Mridul Chakravarty, seeking proper implementation of containment guidelines, especially in Defence Colony of South Delhi, and to ensure availability of adequate number of beds for COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Delhi.

3.10 pm | Guruvayur

Guruvayur temple stops darshan from today

The Guruvayur Devaswom Board has decided to stop darshan as well as weddings at Sree Krishna Temple from Saturday considering the spike in COVID-19 cases in Thrissur district and the neighbouring Chavakkad turning into a containment zone.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran aid the two weddings, which were already booked for Saturday, would be conducted but no other weddings will be allowed.

The temple had opened on June 5 after a break of 80 days when the lockdown restrictions were relaxed.


3.07 pm | Goa

Goa orders random testing at slums near COVID-19 hospital

After a few personnel from Goa’s dedicated COVID-19 hospital tested positive for the infection, the State government on Saturday decided to conduct random testing at slums near the facility in Margao town.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said people living in slum areas around ESI Hospital in Margao will be tested for coronavirus.

Earlier this week, a few members of the hospital staff had tested positive for the deadly infection.

“In view of cases detected at ESI quarters, I have directed the health secretary to test all employees there,” he said.

2.40 pm | Sikkim

Schools, colleges in Sikkim to reopen in August

The Sikkim government has deferred reopening of educational institutes by a month due to the COVID-19 outbreak and decided to resume classes in schools, colleges and universities in the first week of August this year. The educational institutes in the state were supposed to reopen from July 1.

2.00 pm | Maharashtra

1,233 personnel of Mumbai Police recovered from COVID-19

A total of 1,233 personnel of Mumbai Police have recovered from COVID-19 and 334 of them have resumed work, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Saturday.

As of June 12, 35 policemen, including 21 from Mumbai and others from rest of Maharashtra, have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

A total of 197 police officials and 1,211 staffers have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the state, as per the state government.

1.30 pm | Madhya Pradesh

M.P. Youth Congress president Kunal Choudhary tests positive for COVID-19

Congress MLA and Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress president Kunal Choudhary on Saturday morning tested positive for COVID-19, sending jitters across the party preparing for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha election and the Assembly byelection.

The Bhopal district administration was tracing the contacts of Mr. Choudhary, an MLA from Kalapipal, who resided in 74 Bungalows of Bhopal, a residential enclave for Ministers, said a district official. “His sample was collected on Friday night.”

1.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

580 Indians stranded in Kuwait return home

As many as 580 Indian nationals stuck in Kuwait returned home on Saturday by two special flights operated by the gulf nation.

The stranded Indians, all from Andhra Pradesh, arrived at Chennai airport by two Kuwait Airways relief flights on Saturday morning and later left for the neighbouring state, where the required COVID-19 health protocols including quarantining, would be done.

They were taken in special buses arranged by the AP government after completion of immigration and Customs formalities.

12.30 pm | Goa

241 stranded Buddhist monks flown back to Mongolia from Goa

As many as 241 Buddhist monks from Mongolia, who were stranded in Karnataka due to the lockdown, were flown back to their homeland in a special flight from Goa.

An official said that the monks were stranded in Karnataka’s Hubbali due to the travel restrictions. They were brought to Goa on Friday by road.

“A Mongolian Airlines flight arrived in Goa to ferry the stranded monks. All the rules related to social distancing and hygiene were meticulously followed during the departure of this group,” he added.

12.00 pm

Maharashtra govt slashes charges for COVID-19 tests by private labs

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said that the government has reduced the rates of the COVID-19 tests conducted by private laboratories from ₹4,500 to ₹2,200.

Talking to PTI , Tope said the lowering of rates for the tests would provide a relief to the people.

“₹2,200 will be charged for collecting the swabs through viral transport media (VTM) from hospitals, while it would cost ₹2,800 for collection of swab from home. Earlier, the charges were ₹4,500 and ₹5,200 respectively,” he said.

The revised rates are the maximum these labs can charge. District collectors can negotiate with private labs to reduce the rates further, Tope said. “If the private labs charge more than the prescribed upper limit, legal action would be taken against them,” he said, claiming that the new rates will be the lowest in the country.

The minister said that at present, there are 91 labs in the state for COVID-19 testing and about four to five are in the pipeline. According to him, the government had last week formed a four-member committee to fix the rates of COVID-19 tests conducted by authorised private laboratories in the state.



Thrissur district on high alert

With a spurt in COVID-19 cases, Thrissur district is on high alert. Fourteen new cases were reported on Friday, bringing the number of cases in the district to 218. In all, 161 people are currently undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in the district.

The District Collector has declared 21 wards of Chavakkad municipality as containment zones. Areas of the municipality under Manathala village had already been declared a containment zone. Eight panchayats, 12 divisions of Thrissur Corporation and 20 wards of Irinjalakuda municipality are also containment zones.


11.00 am

Noida opens helpline for scheduling COVID test

Residents of Noida and Greater Noida can now dial the helpline number 18004192211 to book an appointment in the eight sample collection centres in the district.

“All primary high-risk contacts and such persons exhibiting influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms and other categories of persons (including random sampling) are sampled and tested through the COVID labs,” District Surveillance Officer Sunil Dohare said in a statement.

“To make the experience seamless, we have dedicated special team of doctors who will ascertain your requirements, and get the testing schedule as per protocol. All people need to do is dial 18004192211 and press option 1 and provide their requirements after which the doctors will call and give time and date for sampling,” he said.



Man arrested for robbing pilot in Delhi tests COVID-19 positive, about 10 cops quarantined

One of the accused arrested in connection with the robbery and attack on a pilot of a private airline has tested positive for COVID-19, police said on Friday, adding that 10 officers have been quarantined following this.

A senior police officer said that P. Silva, who was arrested along with his accomplices Rahul and Ashu on June 9, tested positive on Thursday evening.


10.00 am

Beijing district in ‘wartime emergency mode’ after virus case spike

A Beijing district official said on Saturday the district was in “wartime emergency mode" following a spike in novel coronavirus cases centered around a major wholesale market there.

Chu Junwei, an official of Beijing's Fengtai district, said at a briefing that throat swabs from 45 people, out of 517 tested at the district's Xinfadi market, had tested positive for the new coronavirus.


9.30 am

How will business landscape shift post-COVID-19?

KPMG, in a paper, lists seven ways in which the business landscape is likely to shift, not only in India, but all over the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to these shifts will certainly help countries and companies navigate the path to the ‘Next Normal’, the study titled 'Potential impact of COVID-19 on the Indian economy' says.


12 police personnel in quarantine after accused tests positive

Twelve personnel of the Taloja police station have been quarantined after a man they arrested for a burglary tested positive for COVID-19.

The man was arrested on June 7 and taken to Panvel court the next day. Just before presenting him in court, the police personnel accompanying him learnt that his swab sample had tested positive for COVID-19. Hence, they kept him in the vehicle while one of them presented the remand copy in court.


7.30 am

Mexico prepares to reopen half the country amid pandemic

Mexico began setting dates for re-opening businesses in half the country next week, even as the nationwide daily confirmed cases total rose Friday by a record 5,222 and 504 new deaths were reported.


India on its way to win a ‘wrong race’: Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday put up animated graphics to show how COVID-19 cases are shooting up in India and stated that the country is on its way to win a ‘wrong race’.

“India is firmly on it’s way to winning the wrong race. A horrific tragedy, resulting from a lethal blend of arrogance and incompetence,” Mr. Gandhi wrote on Twitter with the graph that mapped India’s rise in COVID cases.

Andhra Pradesh

Now, COVID-19 test at your doorstep in Vijayawada

Private testing for the coronavirus is now available at the doorstep of your home in Vijayawada city. Apollo Diagnostics in a press release on Friday said that it would deploy technicians to homes to collect the samples.

By coincidence, the Andhra Pradesh Government on Friday issued an order fixing ₹2,900 as the upper limit for the fee any lab could charge for conducting a test for the virus in the State.



West Bengal breaches 10,000-mark

West Bengal on Friday recorded the highest single-day increase of 476 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number to 10,244. With nine more deaths, the death toll went up to 451. Four deaths were reported from Kolkata, two from Hooghly and one each from Nadia, South 24 Parganas and Howrah.


Assam hospital goof up:  COVID-19 infected person discharged by mistake

A hospital in Darrang district became a source of embarrassment for the Assam government by discharging a person who tested positive for COVID-19 instead of another who had recovered.

The district authorities have ordered a magisterial probe into the goof-up at the Mangaldai Civil Hospital in Mangaldai district.



Brazil’s coronavirus deaths surge past U.K.

Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll overtook Britain’s on June 12 to become the second highest in the world with 41,828 dead, but the World Health Organization said the nation's health system was standing up to the pressure.

“The system as such from the data we see is not overwhelmed,” the WHO's top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan said, with few areas of Brazil using more than 80% of their hospitals' intensive care bed capacity.


Supreme Court asks Uttar Pradesh to file response on quarantine rules

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file a response on quarantine rules followed in the State.

The court sought details after it was informed that quarantine guidelines issued in Noida were “contrary” to the national guidelines notified by the Centre.

Tamil Nadu

42 postgraduate doctors test positive in Madras Medical College

Forty-two doctors, who are residents of the Madras Medical College’s Postgraduate (PG) Men’s Hostel, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on Friday.

Nearly 60 samples were lifted from the doctors. Of these, 42 returned positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The hostel houses 250 PG doctors. These doctors were posted on COVID-19 as well as other duties, including trauma and outpatient departments, at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH). Reliable sources at the hospital said that a number of women PGs and house surgeons had tested positive.


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