Coronavirus India lockdown Day 88 live updates | June 20, 2020

Arumbakkam wears deserted look during lockdown, in Chennai, on June 20, 2020.   | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Over four months after the first coronavirus case was detected in India, the case count in India stands at more than 4 lakh, with a death toll of over 13,000.

As scientists worldwide try to better understand the origins and nature of the pandemic, traces of the virus has been found in wastewater collected from Italy's Milan and Turin in December 2019. This suggests that COVID-19 was already circulating in northern Italy before China reported the first cases.

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:

10.34 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra recorded 3874 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday pushing the tally to 128205. The State also recorded 160 fatalities and the death toll has now gone up to 5984.

Number of patients discharged from State today-1380. Total discharged-64153.

Mumbai recorded 1190 new cases taking the tally to 65329. The city also recorded 136 more deaths pushing the death toll to 3561.

9.46 pm | Mumbai

1,197 new coronavirus cases and 136 deaths recorded in Mumbai on Saturday, tally of cases rises to 65,265 and death toll reaches 3,559: civic body

9.25 pm | Panaji

COVID-19 situation a blessing in disguise, says Gadkari

The unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic should be viewed as a blessing in disguise, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday.

Addressing virtual ‘Jan Samwad’ rally of BJP workers from Nagpur in Maharashtra, Mr. Gadkari said the challenge posed by COVID-19 is nothing compared to the challenges faced and overcame by India before and after Independence.

“It is not only India that is facing COVID-19 crisis but the whole world is impacted by it, but we should consider it as a blessing in disguise,” the Nagpur BJP MP said.

He said people should rise above fear and don’t get disappointed due to the situation.

“We had faced and fought back several challenges before and after Independence. Compared to them this (COVID- 19) is not a big challenge. We should remain optimistic and not lose confidence. There should not be any scope for negativity,” he said.

Mr. Gadkari exuded confidence that India will overcome the economic challenges and become super power.

8.57 pm | Mumbai

Dharavi reports lowest seven new COVID-19 cases

In a significant development, Dharavi slum in Mumbai, which was once a COVID-19 hotspot, on Saturday recorded only seven new cases, which is the lowest such rise in a single day, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

Dharavi’s case count now stands at 2,158. The number of fatalities stands at 80 after one more person succumbing to the infection in the last 24 hours.

Of the total 2,158 COVID-19 cases, 1,057 patients have already recovered and discharged from hospitals.

There has been a steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in Dharavi since the last four weeks, officials said, adding that the lowest tally of 10 was recorded on June 6.

8.50 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra to use tele-ICU facility on pilot basis

The Maharashtra government will use ‘tele-ICU’ facility in Mumbai and six other places on a pilot basis to treat COVID-19 patients in serious condition, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Saturday.

He said the proposal to use the technology, in which the condition of the patient is checked via a monitor attached to each bed by expert doctors who would then suggest the best line of treatment, has been given by Mediscape Foundation.

It will be used in Mumbai, Thane, Jalgaon, Solapur, Aurangabad, Akola and Jalna, the minister said, adding that its use may be extended to other parts depending on the performance and success.

8.13 pm | New Delhi

Fearing lack of care, hygiene at quarantine centres, patients prefer home isolation

Personal care, better hygiene and lesser chances of aggravation of infection are some of the issues that weigh on the minds of asymptomatic coronavirus patients many of whom prefer home quarantine over institutional isolation.

Many COVID-19 patients who have recovered by exercising home quarantine said most of the time the fear of the disease disturbs the patients mentally and this is when the family’s support comes into the picture.

On Friday, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal made a five-day institutional quarantine mandatory for every COVID-19 patient under home quarantine in Delhi, a move that the Delhi government said will put considerable pressure on the city’s already stressed health infrastructure.

It said the decision was “arbitrary” and will “seriously harm” the national capital.

The AAP government’s thrust has been on home isolation for asymptomatic patients. As on Friday, 10,490 coronavirus patients were under home quarantine.

7.57 pm | Odisha

Odisha registers impressive 72.77% recovery rate

Odisha clocked an impressive 72.77% recovery rate following discharge of 237 persons from different COVID hospitals.

“The untiring efforts of our COVID warriors have led to an all-time high recovery of 237 patients in a day. We salute the dauntless spirit of our frontline workers,” said State Health and Family Welfare department taking to social networking site ‘Twitter’ on Saturday.

After recovery of 237 patients, number of people so far discharged from hospitals jumped to 3354. As of now, a total 4856 persons tested positive for COVID-19.

Cuttack district led the table with 70 persons walking out of COVID hospitals followed by 54 from Khordha, 20 from Jagatsinghpur, 19 from Kandhamal and 17 from Ganjam district. -- Satyasundar Barik

7.55 pm | New York

New York Governor ends daily briefings, claims success

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo wrapped up a string of more than 100 daily briefings that had become appointment viewing around the nation by declaring that the state has done the impossible in taming the coronavirus.

The Democratic governor appeared alone behind his desk Friday during a brief address, a departure from his routine of presenting slides with bar graphs of COVID-19 hospitalizations and then taking questions from reporters.

But his message was the same as in recent days: New Yorkers at the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak worked together to fight the virus and now must be on guard for a second wave.

"If we could accomplish together what we did here, this impossible task of beating back this deadly virus, then there is nothing that we can’t do," Mr. Cuomo said.

7.32 pm| Andhra Pradesh

AP SSC exams cancelled, students promoted, says Education Minister

The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday announced its decision to cancel the AP SSC (Class X) public examinations and promote the students, in the backdrop of mounting number of coronavirus cases and increasing number of (pandemic) containment clusters across the state.

Education Minister A Suresh said the government took the decision to safeguard the students’ health in view of the rapid spread of coronavirus in the state.

“We have tried our best to conduct the examinations and started making arrangements. But, ultimately we felt that the arrangements may not be adequate as the pandemic was spreading fast across the state.

Parents and teachers unions too felt it was not advisable to conduct the examinations,” the Minister told a press conference.

7.07 pm | Maharashtra

Paan shop owners in Aurangabad want to restart operations

Paan shop owners in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district have urged the administration to allow them to resume business, saying they can not go on losing income anymore.

There are around 7,500 paan (betel leaf) shops in the district, some 3,000 of them are in Aurangabad city. Many of them are known for their specialized varieties of paan.

“Paan shop owners were among the first ones who were hit by lockdown,” said Sharfuddin Siddique, chairman of the Aurangabad Zilla Paan Shopkeepers Association.

“Our shops are closed for the last three months. Even the owner of the smallest shop is losing Rs 400-500 every day,” he said.

6.54 pm | Ladakh

149 fresh COVID-19 cases in Ladakh in past two days; tally reaches 836

The Union Territory of Ladakh recorded 149 fresh COVID-19 cases in the past two days, taking the tally in the region to 836, health department officials said on Saturday.

While 92 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, 57 more surfaced on Friday, the officials said.

With the fresh count of 149, including 101 from Kargil, the total number of cases in the union territory has risen to 836, of which 623 are from Kargil district and 213 from Leh district.

One person had died of the infection in the region and 117, including 66, in Leh have been cured and subsequently discharged from hospitals, the officials said.

6.42 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka reported nine more deaths on Saturday taking the State”s Covid-19 toll to 132. This is apart from four non-Covid deaths.

As many as 416 new cases have been reported taking the total number of positive cases to 8697. This includes 5391 discharges, 3179 active cases  and the deaths. -- Afshan Yasmeen

6.30 pm | Kerala

COVID-19 tally in Kerala breaches 3000 mark with 127 cases

Kerala’s COVID-19 tally breached the 3,000 mark on Saturday with 127 people testing positive for the virus, the highest single day surge.

The infection count in the state has touched 3,039, while 1,450 people are presently under treatment and 1.39 lakh people under observation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters here.

Fiftyseven people have recovered today and were discharged from hospitals, he said.

This is the second consecutive day the state is reporting more than a 100 cases.

6.07 pm | Tamil Nadu

TN reports 2,396 cases, 38 deaths on Saturday

Tamil Nadu, on Saturday, reported a largest single day spike of 2,396 cases. With these cases the total stood at 56,845.

The State reported 38 deaths taking the death toll to 704. About 1,405 persons were discharged on Saturday taking the total number of recovered cases to 31,316.

6.00 pm | New Delhi

Anil Baijal rolls back order on mandatory institutional quarantine

A day after it was issued, Delhi LG Anil Baijal rolled back his order making 5-day institutional quarantine mandatory for COVID patients in Delhi.

Regarding institutional isolation, only those COVID positive cases which do not require hospitalisation on clinical assessment and do not have adequate facilities for home isolation would be required to undergo institutional isolation, says Mr. Baijal -- Jatin Anand

5.55 pm | Tamil Nadu

Daily testing data from districts crucial to track prevalence of infection

For weeks now, I have been asking for the Tamil Nadu Health Department, which releases the Daily Media Bulletin, to publish the number of [COVID-19] tests done in each district — every day.

Let me explain why this is vital, for two reasons, with concrete examples from official data.

Read more

5:55 p.m. | London

Indian crew stranded on cruise ships in UK appeal for repatriation

Hundreds of Indian crew aboard cruise ships docked on the UK coast have appealed for repatriation to India amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

UK port authorities boarded the Astoria cruise ship at Tilbury port in Essex near London along with five others earlier this week amid concerns for the welfare of crew members.


5:50 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Lockdown on for day two, TN CM says it is a “speed breaker”

As lockdown without relaxations continued for day two here, Chief Minister K Palaniswami described it as a ‘speed breaker’, saying the curbs were being used to further augment detection of COVID-19 cases in Chennai by conducting more door to door surveys and fever camps.

All measures are in place for both early identification and treatment of people who test positive, he told reporters after inspecting quarantine amenities at Guru Nanak School in Velachery here.


5:45 p.m. | Mumbai

Prescription by medical practitioner pre-requisite for COVID-19 test: Bombay HC to State govt.

The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to direct Maharashtra Government and all the civic authorities to do away with requirement of a prescription by a medical practitioner as a pre-requisite for coronavirus tests and said "testing kits must be used rationally."

 A division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice KK Tated was hearing a petition filed by Narendra Murkumbi. He was co-founder of Shree Renuka Sugars, one of the largest sugar producers in India.

— Sonam Saigal

5:40 p.m.

’Housing sales down 75% due to COVID-19 pandemic’

Housing sales are estimated to have plunged by around 75 per cent after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing developers to offer discounts and better payment plans to boost sales, property brokerage firm 360 Realtors said on Saturday.

Addressing a virtual press conference, 360 Realtors founder and MD Ankit Kansal said the company sold 400 units during April, 33 per cent lower as compared to the same month last year. Nearly half of the sales were driven by NRIs.


5:35 p.m. | West Bengal

West Bengal: Regulatory body asks pvt hospitals to look into billing complaints

After receiving complaints of inflated bills from families of Covid-19 patients, a regulatory body for private hospitals of West Bengal has directed several such facilities of Kolkata to settle the issue, officials said on Saturday.

Communications have been sent to a number of private hospitals to resolve billing issues from family members of patients diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection.


5:30 p.m. | Shahjahanpur

UP: District court premises in Shahjahanpur sealed after lawyer tests COVID-19 positive

The district court premises in Shahjahanpur have been closed for 24 hours after a lawyer tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. President of the Central Bar Association (Shahjahanpur) Jaswinder Singh Bajaj, while citing the letter of the district judge Rambabu Sharma said, after a lawyer tested positive for COVID-19, the court premises have been sealed and will be opened after 24 hours. The entire premises will be sanitised, he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer S P Gautam said there are 91 cases of COVID-19 in the district. Of them, 49 are undergoing treatment, while 42 have recovered from the disease and have been discharged.


5:25 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

UP’s COVID-19 tally reaches 17,135; toll rises to 529

Twenty-two people have succumbed to COVID-19 and 541 more people tested positive in Uttar Pradesh in the last 24 hours, officials said on Saturday.

The death toll in the state now is 529 with the coronavirus tally reaching 17,135.

Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said 10,369 of the total infected have recovered. The state has 6,237 active COVID-19 patients now.


5:20 p.m. | Karnataka

Karnataka cop undergoing treatment for COVID-19 dies

A 56-year-old head constable, who had tested positive for the coronavirus infection a couple of days ago and was undergoing treatment, died on Saturday, police said.

The deceased, attached to the Kalasipalya police station, was being treated at Victoria Hospital here, they said.

This the second death of a policeman in the state due to COVID-19.


5:15 p.m. | Mumbai

Mumbai: 1,000-bed COVID-19 hospital to come up in Byculla

In light of the rise in COVID-19 cases, a 1,000-bed temporary hospital is being set up at Byculla, a civic official said on Saturday.

The facility in the premises of Richardson and Cruddas Ltd will be ready by the end of the month, a release from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation stated.

The hospital will be equipped with 300 ICU beds with oxygen supply and other facilities, it was stated.


5:10 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Jewellery shop sealed for bringing women staff from Chennai

A popular jewellery shop in the city was on Saturday sealed for bringing women employees from Chennai without proper e-pass, which was in violation of COVID-19 lockdown norms.

On information, the district officials went to the shop and found ouut the women were brought here to work at the store.


5:05 p.m. | Puducherry

Very stringent measures against COVID-19 in store, says Puducherry CM

Jolted by increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said on Saturday that the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) would come out with very stringent measures to prevent the spread of the infection.

He told newsmen that an unprecedented single-day spike was witnessed with 52 new cases reported.

“We can never leave things to pass as it is and the stringent measures will be decided upon at the meeting of the DMA on Sunday,” he said.


5:00 p.m. | Imphal

Inmates of quarantine centre block vehicular movement along Imphal's Tiddim road

All the 130 youths who are inmates of the quarantine centre at the sericulture training centre at Kwakta, Bishnupur district came out and blocked the vehicular movement along the Tiddim road for some hours on Saturday protesting against the non-availability of their test results.

Meanwhile the number of persons infected by covid-19  in Manipur is increasing everyday. On Friday night 82 persons were found to be COVID-19 positive.

— Iboyaima Laithangbam

4:55 p.m. | New Delhi

New home quarantine norms will make people apprehensive of getting tested: Experts

The new guidelines on home isolation of COVID-19 patients could have been triggered by reports of many people violating the safety protocols, but the move will now make city residents “apprehensive of getting themselves tested” for possible infection, several experts feel.

As per an order issued on Friday by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, five-day institutional-quarantine has been made mandatory for every COVID-19 patient under home quarantine.

Noted city-based lung surgeon Dr Arvind Kumar on Saturday said it will ramp up the demand for COVID care beds manifold, given the fact that the city government is already trying hard to manage beds to meet the huge projected requirements in view of the escalating cases of COVID-19.


4:45 p.m. | Uttarakhand

One more COVID-19 patient dies in Uttarakhand

One more COVID-19 patient died in Uttarakhand on Saturday, as the number of people testing positive for the infection rose to 2,278 with 101 fresh cases, a state health department bullentin said.

A 66-year-old woman, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died at Sushila Tiwari Hospital in Haldwani, it said.

4:40 p.m. | Mumbai

Hospital treated just four poor patients in lockdown: Bombay HC told

Despite reserving 20 per cent of its beds for poor and needy persons, a charitable hospital here had treated only four such patients- three in May and another in June- during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Bombay High Court has been told.

However, it is not clear whether these patients were infected by coronavirus.

The state charity commissioner revealed this detail in an affidavit following a probe into an alleged incident of K.J. Somaiya Hospital charging Rs 12.5 lakh from some ‘poor’ patients for COVID-19 treatment.


4:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Why one rule for Delhi, another for rest of country: AAP on mandatory 5-day institutional quarantine

Aam Aadmi Party leaders on Saturday opposed Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s order for a five-day institutional quarantine for COVID-19 patients, asking why there is one rule for Delhi and another for rest of the country.

Senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh termed the order “dictatorial“.


4:15 p.m. | Kerala

Kerala High Court Advocates Association wants physical sittings to be stopped till June 30 as cop tests positive

The Kerala High Court Advocates Association (KHCAA) on Saturday requested Chief Justice S Manikumar to discontinue the physical sittings and filings till June 30 following the court visit of a policeman who tested positive for COVID-19 three days ago.

The association said the court’s reopening may be considered based on results of tests of primary contacts of the person who is now tested positive.


4:10 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

COVID-19: UP CM asks officials to increase number of monitoring panels to tighten surveillance

To strengthen the COVID-19 surveillance mechanism, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath on Saturday directed officials to increase the number of monitoring committees in the state.

Chairing a meeting with senior officials over the COVID-19 situation in the state, he said random sampling should be increased and a coronavirus helpdesk should be established in every hospital.


4:00 p.m.| Bhopal

MP BJP MLA tests COVID-19 positive hours after Rajya Sabha polls voting

A senior BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh tested COVID-19 positive hours after he cast his vote for the Rajya Sabha polls in the state and attended party meetings, an official said on Saturday.

The legislator’s wife has also tested positive for the infection, he said. Voting for three Rajya Sabha seats in the state took place on Friday.


3:55 p.m. | Jammu

Protesters block Jammu-Pathankot highway demanding judicial probe into death of 2 relatives of COVID-19 victim

Protesters blocked the Jammu-Pathankot highway near here on Saturday, demanding a judicial probe into the death of two relatives of a COVID-19 victim due to the alleged negligence on the part of the district administration.

District Magistrate Sushma Chauhan has already ordered a time-bound magisterial probe into the death of Vimal Zadoo and his cousin brother Vipan Zadoo on Thursday during the cremation of their uncle who breathed his last a day earlier after testing positive for COVID-19.


3:50 p.m. | Assam

Assam’s COVID-19 tally crosses 5,000

Assam’s COVID-19 case count has crossed the 5,000 mark because of an increased rate of testing, officials said.

On the brighter side, the discharge rate has been 61%.

State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said 5,006 people tested positive by 11:55 pm on June 19, with a total of 102 people added to the list. He also underlined the recovery of 3,066 among them.

Read more

— Special Correspondent

3:45 p.m. | Patna

Prashant Kishor takes a dig at Centre on Coronavirus, China

Poll strategist and former Janata Dal (United) leader Prashant Kishor on Saturday took a jibe at the Union government over its battle against Coronavirus and China.

“The battle against Coronavirus was won in 21 days and also nobody came to fight from China ! Now, remains the economic development which will be corrected by the government data operators… nothing to worry as the government says everything is okay. Rest, be connected with poll campaign to become atmanirbhar [self-reliant] # liar government”, he tweeted.

Mr. Kishor wondered if Bihar had the lowest sample testing in the country. “It’s elections, instead of corona, which has been more in discussion in the State”, he said.

Read more

— Amarnath Tewary

3:35 p.m. | Puducherry

COVID-19 positive cases increasing rapidly in Union Territory, says Bedi

Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday said that the novel coronavirus infection that was limited to “clusters alone was now doubling rapidly and spreading into the community.”

The Union Territory recorded 107 cases in the last six days, Ms. Bedi said, adding that a small region such as Puducherry cannot afford to have a big spike in numbers.

Read more

— Special Correspondent

3:30 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

6 people working in UP-112 helpline test positive for COVID-19

Six people working in the Uttar Pradesh Helpline 112 have tested positive for COVID-19, following which the office has been closed for sanitisation till Monday, a police officer said.

They are of the technical team and work in the server area, he said, adding that all of them are asymptomatic.


3:20 p.m. | New Delhi

No consensus reached on LG order on institutional quarantine; another meeting at 5pm

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday opposed Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s order for a five-day mandatory institutional quarantine for COVID-19 patients, asking why was a separate rule being applied for the city, sources said, as his deputy Manish Sisodia said they could not reach a consensus on the decision at a DDMA meet.

In a series of tweets, Mr. Sisodia said no consensus could be reached in the meeting on the LG order and the rate of private hospital beds and another meeting will take place at 5 pm.


3:15 p.m. | New Delhi

Domestic private carriers to operate 750 repatriation flights

Domestic private carriers have been offered to operate 750 repatriation flights in 3rd, 4th phases of Vande Bharat Mission: Aviation Minister. 

Upper and lower limits on airfares may be extended beyond August 24 depending on how the situation pans out, said Aviation Secretary P.S. Kharola.


3:00 p.m. | Tripura

Tripura’s COVID-19 tally rises to 1,186 with 27 new cases

Tripura reported 27 fresh COVID-19 cases, pushing the state’s tally to 1,186, officials said on Saturday.

A total of 657 people have recovered, reducing the number of active cases in the state to 529, they said.


2:45 p.m. | Odisha

Liquor makers urge Odisha govt to cut ‘special COVID-19 fee’ to boost sales

Manufacturers of alcoholic beverages have urged the Odisha government to reduce the ’special COVID-19 fee’ imposed on liquor from 50 per cent to a reasonable rate and allow retailers in the state to sell such products from outlets, an official said on Saturday.

In a representation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) said the imposed cess has increased consumer prices by 50 per cent, leading to a drastic fall in liquor sales and a decrease in tax collection.


2:20 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Tribals from Palghar to work at COVID-19 hospitals

As many as 30 tribals from Maharashtra’s Palghar district will work in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, an official said on Saturday.

At least 30 tribal volunteers, including six women, who are part of an NGO, have undergone basic training in nursing and will serve at different hospitals amid the pandemic, the official said.


2:10 p.m. | Odisha

Odisha’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 12; 179 new cases detected

A 60-year-old man from Puri district became the latest COVID-19 fatality in Odisha, raising the death toll due to the contagion in the state to 12, a health department official said on Saturday.

Odisha also recorded 179 new cases of the respiratory ailment, including 18 disaster response personnel, he said.


2:05 p.m. | Karnataka

Karnataka govt authorises local bodies to fix timings to open parks

Continuing with easing of restrictions under ‘Unlock 1.0’, the Karnataka government on Saturday authorised local bodies to fix timing for opening of public parks other than those in the containment zones between 5 am to 9 pm.

It has also mandated adhering to all the national directives issued to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the guidelines issued by the state government in this connection.


2:00 p.m. | Puducherry

52 COVID-19 cases reported in Puducherry; tally mounts to 338

Puducherry recorded 52 fresh cases of COVID-19, its highest single day spike so far, taking the tally of infections in the Union Territory to 338.

Director of Health and Family Welfare Services S Mohan told reporters on Saturday that after shifting one patient taking treatment in Maharashtra from the portal of Puducherry and with the outbreak of 52 fresh cases, the aggregate stood at 338 during last 24 hours.


1:55 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi HC asks govt. to probe allegations of shifting out physically disabled woman against hospital

The Delhi High Court has directed the city government to investigate into the allegations against a private hospital of forcing to shift a physically disabled woman, suspected to be suffering from COVID-19, to another hospital over unavailability of beds.

Justice Navin Chawla, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, said the allegations made against Primus Super Speciality Hospital in Chanakyapuri here are of “grave nature“.


1:50 p.m. | New Delhi

Lockdown not akin to Emergency, default bail an indefeasible right: SC

The lockdown announced by the government due to COVID-19 is not akin to the proclamation of Emergency, the Supreme Court has said holding that default bail is an indefeasible right on non-submission of charge sheet within the prescribed time.

The apex court made the observation while setting aside a Madras High Court order denying bail to an accused despite non-filing of charge sheet within within the stipulated time.


1:45 p.m. | Pune

Pune district’s count of COVID-19 cases crosses 14,000-mark

The number of coronavirus positive cases in Pune district of Maharashtra crossed the 14,000-mark after 542 people were found infected in the last 24 hours, a health official said on Saturday.

The COVID-19 case count of the district now stands at 14,292, the official said.

As the virus claimed eight more lives in the district, its death toll has reached 560, he said.


1:40 p.m. | Nagpur

Nagpur records 85 new COVID-19 cases, tally reaches 1,228

At least 85 persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra’s Nagpur district in the last 24 hours, taking the tally in the region to 1,228, a district official said on Saturday.

No new casualties were reported in the district, where 18 persons have succumbed to the infection so far, the official said.


1:35 p.m. | Rajasthan

Rajasthan reports 158 fresh coronavirus cases, infection tally rises to 14,314

Rajasthan reported 158 fresh coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the State’s infection tally to 14,314, officials said.

The state has so far reported 333 deaths due to the virus.

Of the fresh cases, 40 were from Dholpur, followed by 36 from Jaipur, and 34 from Bharatpur. Jhalawar reported 12 cases, while 11 cases were reported from Sirohi.


1:30 p.m. | Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal records highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases with 32 new infections

Arunachal Pradesh registered its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases as 32 more people tested positive for it, a senior health official said on Saturday.

The fresh cases raised the virus count in the northeastern state to 135 on Friday, the official said.


1:25 p.m. | Daman and Diu

Daman sees rise in COVID-19 cases, its border with Gujarat sealed

The number of COVID-19 positive patients in Daman district of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu (UTDNHDD) has gone up to 27 with eight fresh cases, following which the administration has sealed the district’s border with Gujarat border for a few days, officials said on Saturday.

Most of the 27 COVID-19 patients in Daman are factory workers who cross the border to work in industrial units at Vapi in neighbouring Gujarat and vice versa, the officials said.


1.20 pm | India

Antiviral drug Favipiravir to be available from today

An update on COVID medicine front: Glenmark Pharma’s antiviral drug Favipiravir (branded as FabiFlu) for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients in India is expected to be available from today evening.

Each tablet is priced at ₹103. It will be available at hospitals and at chemist shops and will be sold under medical prescription.

12.50 pm | Science

Antibodies against coronavirus start to decrease in 2-3 months, study finds

A few countries, including the U.K., were toying with the idea of issuing some form of a certificate to people who have been infected with novel coronavirus and recovered subsequently, as such people were assumed to be resistant to reinfection. Incidentally, this idea was born even before any evidence about how long the antibodies produced in response to infection would last.

Now, a study published in Nature Medicine suggests that antibodies formed against SARS-CoV-2 begin to decrease in number, just two-three months after infection.

In contrast, circulating antibodies against 2002-2003 SARS and MERS coronavirus were found to last more than one year.

Read more

12.30 pm | India

Yoga can be an antidote to anxiety, says UNGA President

A day before International Day of Yoga, the UN General Assembly President has highlighted the benefits of practising yoga during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new reality for many of us. It has disrupted lives, created loneliness caused by social distancing as it has also led to increased anxiety caused by economic difficulties, fear of illness and worry about loved ones. This is only natural," he said, adding that there is a growing trend of people from many parts of the world embracing yoga to fight social isolation and depression during the pandemic.

Our health and fitness correspondent Sunalini Mathew writes on how yoga, like everything else, has gone online. And while we are at it, here are a few asanas to do daily, for a healthy and stress-free life.

11.50 am | Delhi

Delhi govt, L-G lock horns on qurantine policy for Delhi's COVID patients

Taking the conflict between Delhi government and Lieutenant-Governor on the home isolation policy a step further, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said that the govt. will oppose Lt Governor’s order to scrap home isolation in the upcoming DDMA meeting.

Late on Friday, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal had issued an order making five-day institutional quarantine mandatory for COVID-19 patients in the Capital.

With 77.8% of the active cases till June 11 in the city recuperating in home isolation, the Delhi government called the decision “arbitrary” and asked for it to be reconsidered.

The Aam Aadmi Party government said strict isolation protocol following Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines and daily monitoring and counselling has resulted in thousands of mild and asymptomatic cases recovering at home.

Read more



11.30 am | Karnataka

Only 35 of 8,281 patients needed ventilator so far in Karnataka

Although the number of patients being shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at various designated COVID-19 hospitals in Karnataka is on the rise, not many of them seem to require ventilator support.

Ever since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the State on March 9, only 35 of the 8,281 positive patients have required ventilator support. As on Friday, while 78 COVID-19 patients were being treated in ICUs, eight were on ventilator support.

According to ICU data collated by the State’s Critical Care Support Unit (CCSU), only 0.8% of the 1,000 ventilators available in the State are in use. The highest number of ICU admissions are in Bengaluru, with 0.75% of the 265 ventilators available occupied.

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10.50 am | Delhi

Plasma therapy for Delhi Health Minister

An update on Minister Satyendar Jain's health: The Delhi Health Minister, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, has been administered plasma therapy, according to an AAP source.

“He was administered plasma therapy last night and he does not have a fever now. But he is still on oxygen support,” the source said.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain. File photo

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain. File photo   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


Mr. Jain was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, a government hospital, in the early hours of Tuesday after he experienced high-grade fever and a sudden drop in his oxygen levels. He was shifted to a Max Hospital in Saket, a private hospital, on Friday evening after his condition worsened.

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10.30 am | Tripura

Official charged with outraging quarantined girls’ modesty

In north Tripura, police booked a government employee on the charge of outraging the modesty of two home quarantined girls.

Police said Rajib Kanti Deb, an employee of the Panchayat department, was assigned to collect information on quarantined persons in a particular locality. He is said to have introduced himself as a paramedic and, on the pretext of examining the girls, outraged their modesty. He also allegedly called the girls frequently on the phone and made vulgar comments.

The girls informed the local government officials, who in turn approached the police.

10 am | India

Quick update on the COVID-19 numbers:

India registers highest single-day spike of 14,516 COVID-19 cases. With this, India's total tally is now 3,95,048 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The death toll is now 12,948 after 375 new fatalities in the past 24 hours.

9 am | Delhi

How did the coronavirus situation in Delhi escalate?

For the past few days, Delhiites have been waking up to headlines of 'record increase' in COVID-19 cases in the capital. At the time of this update, the case count stands at 53,116, with as many as 2,035 dead.

From having an initial grip over the situation, the Aam Aadmi Party government is now fighting several accusations — of delayed decision-making, poor planning, hiding data on the dead, disappearing numbers, and poor testing — even as it grapples with the surging cases. Further, unlike Mumbai, Delhi is yet to cap the charges for treatment of COVID-19 in private hospitals.

How did things get this bad? In Ground Zero, Delhi reporter Nikhil M. Babu explores how the government frittered away an opportunity to ramp up healthcare facilities during the lockdown period.

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8.30 am | India

Centre asks States to strictly follow home-isolation guidelines to curb COVID-19 spread

The Health Ministry has written to the States, asking them to follow guidelines for effective home isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among family members and neighbours, especially in congested living conditions.

In its letter on Friday, the Ministry said that as per the guidelines, very mild and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 patients can opt for home isolation provided the patient has a room to himself/herself with toilet facility and has an adult attendant/caregiver.

Done correctly, home isolation can help reduce the strain on hospital infrastructure. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when you undergo it.


8 am | Chennai

The challenges behind effective contact tracing

The Health Ministry has stressed that contact tracing is a critical component to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. This continues to be a challenge in urban cities, many of which have emerged as major hotspots.


In Chennai, for instance, other than factors like population density and incomplete information, officials faced a unique problem — many residents seem to not know their neighbours.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 4:52:55 PM |

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