Coronavirus India lockdown Day 93 updates | June 25, 2020

Police erect barricades to check inter-district transport in Ranipet district.   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

India registered its worst single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Thursday, recording close to 17,000 coronavirus infections, to push the overall tally to 4.73 lakh as the number of fatalities inched closer to 15,000, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The data updated at 8 a.m. showed the daily COVID-19 cases increased by the highest-ever number of 16,922 cases to reach 4,73,105, while the death-toll climbed to 14,894 with 418 new fatalities.

Also see | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

This was the sixth consecutive day when coronavirus cases increased by more than 14,000.

Delhi recorded 3,788 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and overtook Mumbai to become the city with the highest number of total cases. Delhi’s case tally has risen to 70,390, while its death toll climbed to 2,365, with 64 more fatalities.

Also read: 27 SSLC examination centres in containment zones relocated

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:

10.20 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 147 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Thursday  recorded 147 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count to 12,595. The number of active cases stands at 2,434. Eight patients died of the illness on the day, taking the State-wide death toll to 542. As regards recoveries, 146 patients were discharged from hospitals on the day. So far, 9,619 persons have been cured of the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.

8.55 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Plea in Supreme Court for proper treatment of COVID-19-positive minor girls of Kanpur shelter home

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking proper medical treatment and facilities to as many as 57 minor girls who have tested positive for COVID-19 in a Kanpur-based shelter home in Uttar Pradesh.

The plea has been filed by lawyer Aparna Bhat in her capacity as an amicus curiae in a 2007 case related to Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in State of Tamil Nadu.

Seeking better facilities for such children, the plea said, “Allow the present application and direct that appropriate medical treatment and facilities be given to the minor girls who have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in the Shelter Home in Kanpur District, Uttar Pradesh, and report on their health condition on a regular basis.

The National Human Rights Commission has also taken cognizance of news reports that 57 minor girls have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Kanpur shelter home.

Ms. Bhat has sought a direction to the Centre to issue an advisory to all Child Welfare Committees to ensure that children, who are being newly admitted to any Child Care Institutions (CCIs), are suitably quarantined before allowing them to be placed in CCIs and the necessary resources for the same be allocated as an interim measure to meet the extraordinary requirements of the pandemic.

8.52 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra recorded a new single-day high in fresh cases on Thursday, with a whopping 4,841 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 1,47,741. 192 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 6,931. Of these, 109 were reported in the last 48 hours while 83 were from an earlier period, said State Health Department officials. Of the total case tally, 63,342 are active ones. As many as 3,661 patients were discharged today, taking the total number of recoveries till date to 77,453.

With 1,350 new cases, Mumbai's total case tally has crossed the 70,000-mark to reach 70,878. The city's death toll has breached the 4,000-mark to rise to 4,062. As many as 58 of the new deaths today were from Mumbai city and 21 from Pune district among other parts of the State.

- Shoumojit Banerjee

8.35 p.m. | India

Validation of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19: ICMR invites applications from manufacturers

The ICMR on Thursday invited applications for validation of rapid antigen detection tests for COVID-19 from all manufacturers who have developed such kits as part of its efforts to scale up testing capacity with faster diagnosis. The rapid antigen test allows faster diagnosis without laboratory examination of samples and results are available within 30 minutes.

The ICMR has identified six sites - AIIMS, Delhi; SMS Medical College in Jaipur; King George Medical University, Lucknow; Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Mumbai; PGIMER in Chandigarh; Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry and NIV, Kerala unit, Alappuzha - for validation of the rapid point-of-care antigen detection tests for coronavirus infection.

It has recommended deployment of rapid antigen detection test for COVID-19 in combination with the RT-PCR test in all containment zones, all Central and State government medical colleges and government hospitals, all private hospitals approved by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare (NABH), all NABL-accredited and ICMR-approved private labs for COVID-19 testing.

8.30 p.m. | Odisha

Odisha frames new guidelines for hospitals following spike in COVID-19 cases among staff

Following a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases among hospital workers, the Odisha government has framed a fresh set of guidelines for infection prevention and control (IPC) in those facilities, an official said on Thursday.

In an order, the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) said private hospitals in the State will bear the cost of the treatment of their workers if they get infected in the course of duty. The order came after a total of 33 health-care workers tested positive for novel coronavirus in three hospitals in Bhubneswar and Cuttack since Monday. Of them, 32 belong to two private hospitals.

Six private hospitals were served show-cause notices for not adhering to health and safety protocols, officials said. The DMET said that all private hospitals must ensure completion of training of its staff on IPC within seven days and submit a certificate to the authorities concerned.

It also asked the private facilities to follow the advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the management of health-care experts working in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas of a hospital. No patient who is detected positive shall be transferred to a dedicated COVID-19 hospital unless being stabilised and transportable, the DMET order said.

8.20 p.m. | Jammu & Kashmir

Over 1.63 lakh stranded Jammu & Kashmir residents evacuated from rest of India

Over 1.63 lakh residents of Jammu and Kashmir stranded in various places across India due to the coronavirus lockdown have been evacuated so far, officials said. The administration has evacuated about 1,63,217 Jammu and Kashmir residents, stranded in other parts of the country due to the COVID-19 lockdown, through special trains and buses till date amid strict observance of all necessary guidelines and standard operating procedures, they said.

As per the official data, the administration has received 64 special trains at Jammu and Udhampur railway stations from various States and UTs till now, with about 51,835 passengers. About 1,11,054 persons from other States and UTs and 328 from Bangladesh have been evacuated by the government through Lakhanpur till date.

About 1,310 stranded passengers entered the UT through Lakhanpur from June 24 to June 25, while 962 passengers reached Jammu on Thursday in the 43rd COVID special train from Delhi, as per the data. So far, 43 trains have reached Jammu with a total of 36,139 stranded passengers belonging to different districts, while 15,696 passengers have reached Udhampur in 21 special trains so far.

8.10 p.m. | Maharashtra

Coronavirus growth rate is decreasing in Mumbai: Civic body

The growth rate of coronavirus cases in Mumbai is decreasing with every passing day, the data released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows. As of Wednesday, the city had reported 69,625 infection cases and a death toll of 3,962. But the average doubling rate of cases - the number of days during which cases double - has now crossed 40 days, while the average growth rate of cases has dropped to 1.72%, the civic body said on Thursday.

On June 24, the doubling rate of infection cases stood at 41 days from 30 days on June 16, while the average growth rate declined to 1.72% from 2.30% on June 17, it said.

The city reported its first coronavirus patient on March 11 and after initial slow growth, there was a sharp spike in cases, especially when the virus spread to slum areas of Worli, Dharavi, Deonar, Govandi and other suburbs.

7.40 p.m. | Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal MP allocates ₹12 lakh from MPLADS funds to fight COVID-19

Arunachal East Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao has allocated ₹12 lakh from his MPLADS funds to fight COVID-19 in 11 districts under his constituency. Mr. Gao said he has allocated ₹1 lakh each for Upper Siang, Siang, East Siang, West Siang, Anjaw, Lohit, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Tirap and Longding districts and ₹2 lakh for Changlang, which is the worst-hit district in the State.

The lawmaker is part of a high-level team that is touring eastern Arunachal Pradesh since June 23 to take stock of the COVID-19 situation. The team also includes Health Minister Alo Libang, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and Health Secretary Dr. P. Parthiban, besides respective local MLAs and deputy commissioners.

7.38 p.m. | Nagaland

8 fresh COVID-19 cases in Nagaland, count rises to 355

Eight more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Nagaland, taking the State’s tally to 355 on Thursday, Health Minister S. Pangnyu Phom said. Of the 355 cases, 195 are active while 160 people have recovered, the Minister said. Nineteen Army personnel stationed at the Jakhama Cantonment have so far contracted the virus in the State.

The fresh cases are from quarantine centres in Kohima and Dimapur districts. Dimapur district has reported the highest number of cases at 159, followed by Pheren (85), Kohima (76), Mon (23), Tuensang (8), Zunheboto (3), and Phek (1).

Principal Director of Health and Family Welfare Dr Vizolie Z Suokhrie told reporters that five of the 355 confirmed cases in the State are COVID-19 frontline workers, including a receptionist of Naga Hospital Authority Kohima and four bus drivers who ferried returnees to Dimapur and Kohima districts.

On the quick recovery rate of COVID-19 positive patients in the State which currently stands at 45%, he said, 90% of the infected persons are in the age group of 20-40 years and all of them are asymptomatic. State Nodal Officer for Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme Dr. Nyan Kikon said, the State is in the local transmission phase till now.

7.15 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

COVID-19 cases cross 20,000-mark in Uttar Pradesh; death toll mounts to 611

Uttar Pradesh recorded 15 more deaths and 636 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the tally past the 20,000-mark as the fatalities mounted to 611. At 20,193 cases, the State has added 12,370 to the count since June 1 when the Centre began the “Unlock-1” phase, gradually lifting the curbs imposed nationwide to contain the spread of coronavirus. Up to June 1, the State had reported 7,823 cases and 213 deaths due to COVID-19.

Additional Chief Secretary, Information, Awanish Kumar Awasthi said 13,119 of the infected have been treated and discharged from hospitals. The number of active cases stands at 6,463, he told reporters. He said 16,521 samples were tested on Wednesday, taking the number of samples tested so far to over 6.20 lakh.

7.02 p.m. | Gujarat

Gujarat’s COVID-19 infection tally jumps to 29,578 with 577 new cases and fatality count rises by 18 new deaths to 1,754. Today, 410 patients were discharged.

- Mahesh Langa

7 p.m. | Maharashtra

Defer post-graduate medical examinations: Maharashtra government to Centre

The Maharashtra government has written to the Centre seeking postponement of the examinations of post-graduation students pursuing medical courses in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Post-graduation medical students are required to handle COVID-19 and other cases in the State, said Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare Rajesh Tope on Thursday.

Either their examinations should be postponed or those appearing should be declared as having cleared them, he said, adding the State has submitted a resolution in this regard to the Centre.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr. Tope said, We have requested the Centre to postpone the examinations of post- graduation students of various medical disciplines.

The students who are appearing for post-graduate examinations have completed their MBBS and so they are useful to the State in the current situation, Mr. Tope said.

6.54 p.m. | India

Railways produces 1.91 lakh PPE gowns, over 66,000 lakh sanitisers

The Railways has produced 1.91 lakh personal protection gowns, more than 66,000 lakh hand sanitisers and 7.33 lakh masks since the coronavirus lockdown was announced in March. The national carrier is also working to achieve its target of producing 1.5 lakh PPE coveralls each in June and July, it said in a statement.

The Ministry of Railways has designated 50 Railway Hospitals COVID-19 dedicated hospitals and health centres. Protective gears such as PPE coveralls, masks, sanitisers and equipment such as ventilators were in extreme short supply globally during the initial phase of COVID-19. The Railways has converted 5,231 railway coaches to isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients to augment the capacity of health infrastructure in the country. So far, 960 coaches have been placed in service at several locations based on requests received from States.

6.50 p.m. | New Delhi

Corona-positive persons will not have to visit COVID care centres for clinical assessment: Sisodia

Corona-positive persons will not be required to visit COVID care centres for a clinical assessment for home isolation or hospitalisation, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said after an SDMA meeting on Thursday. It has been decided to withdraw the Centre’s order regarding the requirement of COVID care centre visit by corona-positive persons at the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) meeting, he added.

Mr. Sisodia said those found COVID-19 positive through the rapid test will be clinically assessed by medical officers on the spot. In case of those found positive for the disease through the RT-PCR test, the assessment will be done by a home isolation team sent by the district surveillance officer, he added.

6.37 p.m. | Bihar

COVID-19 updates from Bihar: Total death reported so far is 56; total number of positive cases 8,381; total number of recovered persons 6,480; and total sample tests done 1,81,737.

- Amarnath Tewary

6.35 p.m. | Gujarat

Gujarat government slashes charges of COVID-19 testing at private labs

In a relief to citizens, the Gujarat government on Thursday reduced the rates for COVID-19 tests conducted at private laboratories from ₹4,000 to ₹2,500. The announcement has come 10 days after senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel claimed that test rates at private laboratories in Gujarat were higher than many States.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said government-authorised private laboratories will now charge ₹2,500 instead of the present cost of ₹4,000 for COVID-19 tests. Moreover, private laboratories will lose their licenses if they charge more than the stipulated fee, he said.

Although COVID-19 testing in government-run facilities was free, around 500 persons choose to go to private labs every day, said Mr. Patel, who also holds the health portfolio. Meanwhile, reacting to the announcement, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said people should not be charged more than ₹1,000 for coronavirus test.

Earlier in a tweet on June 15, Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel had asked why Ahmedabad-based private laboratories were charging ₹4,500 for a COVID-19 test, when the rate for the same was ₹2,200 in Mumbai.

6.25 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra to conduct antigen tests for quick COVID-19 results: Tope

The Maharashtra government would conduct antigen tests, which would provide results of the COVID-19 tests within an hour, unlike the current waiting period of over 24 hours, State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Tope said that one lakh antigen test kits will soon be made available in the State. “Procurement orders have been given. Priority would be given to conduct this test on the frontline COVID-19 workers, such as essential services staff, health workers, police and others,” he said.

The State government has also decided to undertake rapid antibody tests, whose kits were being supplied by a South Korean company. The number of coronavirus-infected persons in Maharashtra stood at 1,42,900 till Wednesday night, while the death toll till then was 6,739.

6.20 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

A total of 3,509 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, taking the overall tally to 70,977 in the State; 2,236 people were discharged today and the total discharged stands at 39,999; 45 deaths were reported and the total death toll stands at 911.

- Serena Josephine


6.15 p.m. | India

Harsh Vardhan launches mobile app to enable people have easy access to blood

A mobile application that would enable people to access “safe blood” easily, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, was launched by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday.

Developed by the E-Raktkosh team of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) under the Digital India scheme, the application will bring transparency and facilitate single-window access to blood services of the Indian Red Cross Society, officials said.

Mr. Vardhan said, “Through this app, four units of blood can be requisitioned at a time and the blood bank will wait for 12 hours for the person to collect it.” Once a request is placed through the app, the requisite units become visible to national headquarters blood bank in its e-Raktkosh dashboard and this allows assured delivery within the specified time, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

6 p.m. | Telangana

Five of BJP MLA’s staff test COVID-19 positive

Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh on Thursday said five of his staff - two drivers and three gunmen - have tested positive for coronavirus and the results of five more are awaited. He alleged that the State government is making claims that the COVID-19 test result would be out in 48 hours, but even after five days, the outcome of the test done on his staff is yet to come.

He made an appeal to the public representatives like MPs, MLAs and MLCs who are guarded by security personnel to ask them to go for a test immediately. At the same time, the personnel should be away from their family until the test result is negative, he said. Raja Singh had said he tested negative for coronavirus after one of his gunmen contracted the disease.

5.50 p.m. | United Kingdom

U.K.’s Royal Mail to slash 2,000 jobs in pandemic cost-cutting

Royal Mail, the British postal service, is to slash 2,000 management jobs as part of an overhaul of its operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The group said on Thursday that senior executive and non-operational roles will be hardest hit in the plan to save 330 million pounds (USD 410 million) over two years.

In recent years, our U.K. business has not adapted quickly enough to the changes in our marketplace of more parcels and fewer letters, said Keith Williams, interim executive chairman at Royal Mail Group. COVID-19 has accelerated those trends, presenting additional challenges. The assessment came after the company was unable to take advantage of a massive spike in parcel deliveries during the lockdown as the requirements of social distancing sent costs soaring.

The company’s share price fell 6.3% in the wake of the announcement and its warning that it could face a revenue hit of up to 600 million pounds if the U.K. economy contracts by 15% across 2020-21.

Royal Mail said that executive directors and other executives will forgo annual bonuses for 2019-20 and that no shareholder dividends will be paid for the year ahead.

Royal Mail is the latest in a long line of British companies to announce hefty job losses. Others include British Gas owner Centrica, and airlines easyJet and British Airways.

5.30 p.m. | Rajasthan

Over 18 lakh people given ayurvedic concoction against virus: Rajasthan Minister

Over 18 lakh people in Rajasthan were given an ayurvedic concoction as an immunity booster against coronavirus, State Health Minister Raghu Sharma said on Thursday. The Minister said that the process for the distribution of the concoction (kadha) is still on. Around 18.84 lakh people have been given a kadha from March 13 to June 24 for the prevention of the infection, the Minister said, adding that the ayurvedic mixture was also given to corona warriors and their families.

He said the State government is not leaving any stone unturned to promote the ayurvedic medical system. People are also being given immunity boosters mentioned in homeopathy and Unani medical systems, he said.

Apart from this, he said, the Ayurveda Department had started a giloy (a kind of herb) plantation campaign, ‘Amrita’, last month under which 1.50 lakh saplings are being planted.

5.20 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Area around Shravasti court declared hotspot as steno contracts coronavirus

The area up to 500-metre radius of the Shravasti District Courts complex, Uttar Pradesh, was sealed and declared a hotspot after a steno of a judge tested positive for coronavirus, an official said on Thursday. Earlier on Monday, the authorities had sealed and declared the courts complex a containment zone after a doctor on screening duty there contracted the infection.

Chief Medical Officer A.P. Bhargava said the steno’s medical report confirming the infection was received on Wednesday. Mr. Bhargava said after the doctor tested positive for coronavirus, they had collected samples of 99 employees in the courts complex for testing.

5.10 p.m.| New Delhi

Kejriwal launches video-call facility for COVID-19 patients at LNJP hospital

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched a video call facility for coronavirus patients admitted at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital in New Delhi to talk to their loved ones. LNJP was declared a COVID-19 hospital on March 17 and since then, it has successfully treated 2,700 coronavirus patients and sent them home. It is the only COVID-19 hospital in the country with 2,000 beds, he said.

The Chief Minister said that till now, relatives of coronavirus patients were not able to talk to them, but that that issue has been resolved. “We have installed tablets in coronavirus wards and at a counter outside. These can be used by patients and their relatives for video calling,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

After the launch, Mr. Kejriwal used the facility to talk to a few patients admitted to the hospital’s COVID-19 ward. Lauding LNJP doctors, the Chief Minister said the medics don’t go home or meet their family members for days on end fearing that the infection may spread.

5 p.m. | France

Eiffel Tower reopens, ending 104-day coronavirus shutdown

Marking another milestone in France’s recovery from coronavirus lockdown, the Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors on Thursday after its longest-ever closure in peace time: 104 days. Tourists who are trickling back to Paris were delighted to find the landmark open when some other attractions in the French capital remain closed. The Louvre Museum isn’t reopening until July 6.

Lifts that usually whisk visitors up the 324-meter (1,063-feet) tall wrought-iron Eiffel Tower remain closed, so for now people have to take the stairs. Of the tower’s three decks, only the first two reopened. Those who made the climb on Thursday were rewarded with far-away views and a light breeze in scorching summer weather.

The tower lost 27 million euros ($30 million) from the lockdown that started in March, according to its director general, Patrick Branco Ruivo.

4.55 p.m. | Indonesia

Indonesia’s surpasses 50,000 cases as business resumes

The number of coronavirus infections in Indonesia surpassed 50,000 on Thursday, an increase that is worrying experts at a time when the government is allowing businesses to resume operations amid increasing economic pressure. The spiking case numbers in the world’s fourth-most populous country align with the country’s increasing testing capacity, which have averaged close to the government’s daily target of 20,000 over the past week, said Achmad Yurianto, the spokesman for the National COVID-19 Task Force.

The task force said on Thursday afternoon the coronavirus has infected 50,187 people and killed at least 2,620 in Indonesia, the highest number of cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia. That’s up from just two positive cases in early March. There are 20,449 patients who have recovered from the illness nationwide.

4.50 pm | Puducherry

Case against mask making firm in Puducherry after 70 employees test positive

A case has been registered against a private company in Puducherry that manufactures masks, for negligence in following lockdown norms, leading to rise in cases.

Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy told reporters that there was alleged failure on the part of the factory to adhere to the norms of lockdown and consequently around 70 workers in the industry had tested positive for COVID-19.

The village, where these workers were coming from was also taken up for a thorough investigation and testing of the people. The factory was also closed.

“The negligence on the part of the factory has resulted in workers contracting the pandemic and hence criminal action is being taken against the proprietor,” the Chief Minister said.

4.45 pm | Maharashtra

People gather at Mumbai mosque, five booked

A case has been registered against five persons, including the trustees of an Andheri-based mosque, for allegedly violating the COVID-19 lockdown norms after a group of people assembled in the premises on June 25, police said.

The DN Nagar police received a call that some people had assembled at Eidgah Masjid in Andheri in the morning, following which a team was sent there, an official said.

The police found that no social distancing norms were followed in the premises and further probe revealed that people had not gathered for prayers, but were there for some discussion, he said.

“As of now, we have mentioned the names of five people, including the trustees, in the FIR. A case has been registered under Section 188 [disobeying an order issued by public servant] and other relevant provisions of the IPC,” senior inspector Parmeshwar Ganame of DN Nagar police station said.

4.30 pm | Karnataka

Over 8.40 lakh students appeared for Class X exam in Karnataka

Over 8.40 lakh students appeared for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam in Karnataka on Thursday.

Taking lessons from the pre-university college exam on June 18 where people thronged the examination centres ignoring social distancing norms, KSEEB officials in association with the health, police and transport departments made adequate arrangements inside and outside the examination halls today.

The Board also roped in the Scouts and Guides at some places to make proper arrangements.

At all the examination centres students were thermally screened and their hands sanitised before being allowed inside.

The exams will go on till July 4.

4.10 pm | Kerala

Police station temporarily shut over Covid-19 fear in Kochi

The Perumbavur police station along the eastern suburbs of Kochi was temporarily shut to the public after it emerged that a person arrested on Wednesday evening had come into contact with a COVID-19 patient more than a month ago.

The police station and the jeep in which they were taken for medical examination have already been disinfected. The shift at the station has not yet changed in the wake of the development and the same batch of police personnel continue te be on duty in a state of self quarantine.

3.50 pm | Tamil Nadu

Viral video of ‘body being dumped’ in Tiruchi causes stir

A video clip showing the body of a COVID-19 infected person, who died at the Tiruchi SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre in Irungalur on June 16, being dumped in a thicket in Kottamedu, near the hospital, has gone viral on social media.

The hospital has, however, claimed that the video clip has been edited to bring disrepute to the institution. The district administration has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Read more

3.25 pm | New Delhi

'33.39 people for every one lakh affected by COVID-19'

The Union Health Ministry said there are 33.39 COVID-19 cases in India for every one lakh population, against the global average of 114.67. Also, the country has 1.06 deaths per lakh population, which is amongst the lowest in the world and the global average is 6.24.

Following efforts to ramp up facilities across the nation, there are in total 1,007 diagnostic labs, of which 734 are in the government sector and 273 private. From limited COVID-19 tests in January, a cumulative total of 75,60,782 samples have been tested up to June 24 with 2,07,871 samples being tested on Wednesday.

3.15 pm | New Delhi

Central team to visit Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana to bolster COVID-19 management efforts

Central team, led by Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal, will visit Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana between June 26 and 29 to coordinate with the state officials in strengthening COVID-19 management efforts in those areas.

According to officials, the team will also review the measures undertaken by the states for containment of COVID-19.

3.00 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Flight carrying 158 Indians stranded in UAE arrives in MP

AnAir Arabia flight carrying 158 Indians, who were stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to coronavirus-induced restrictions, arrived at Madhya Pradeshs Indore airport on Thursday.

The 158 passengers who landed here hail from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.

2.40 pm | New Delhi

CBSE, ICSE cancel pending Class X, Class XII exams

The Central Board of Secondary Education and Union government informed the Supreme Court that board examinations for Class X and XII will be cancelled in view of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Class XII students can opt for assessment scheme to be notified by CBSE shortly or they can opt to appear in exams when conditions become conducive, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a Supreme Court Bench.

Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had conveyed their inability to conduct CBSE exams.

ICSE also agreed with the government's decision to cancel remaining exams. - Krishnadas Rajagopal

2.30 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra won’t allow ‘spurious’ medicine sale: Minister to Ramdev

Amid the ongoing controversy over Baba Ramdev’s company Patanjali Ayurveda introducing a "cure" for COVID-19, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh warned the yoga guru that the state government won’t allow sale of ‘spurious’ medicines.

Mr. Deshmukh said the Union AYUSH Ministry has not allowed the company to sell the product as the firm has not conducted clinical trials.

“An offence will be registered against them if they try to sell the medicine in Maharashtra or advertise that COVID-19 can be cured with it,” Mr. Deshmukh said.

2.25 pm | Gujarat

No leaves for cops in Gujarat

The Gujarat Home Department has asked the state Director General of Police (DGP) and other senior officers not to grant any leave to the police personnel, saying that their presence was necessary for the effective implementation of Unlock-1.

The department also asked all the senior officers, including the state DGP, Range Inspector Generals and all the district Superintendents of Police, not to grant any leave to their subordinate staff, except for medical reasons or any other emergencies.

2.10 pm | Delhi

AIIMS restarts OPD

AIIMS resumes OPD services in New Delhi after nearly three months, on Thursday. Photo By

AIIMS resumes OPD services in New Delhi after nearly three months, on Thursday. Photo By   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar


The All India Institute of Medical Science in Delhi has restarted its outpatient department (OPD) services, which have been shut for three months, from June 25 with priority to follow-up patients.

The administration said that it will be the prerogative of departments to call patients directly or screen them through teleconsultation before giving a physical appointment.

1.50 pm | Karnataka

Cooperate if you don’t want Bengaluru to be under lockdown once again: Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa asked people to cooperate by following the measures put in place for the control of COVID-19 if they don’t want another lockdown or sealing in Bengaluru.

Amid talks about re-imposing lockdown in the city following the recent spike in cases, the Chief Minister said he will hold discussions on Thursday and Friday regarding the strict measures that need to be taken to control the virus.

“COVID pandemic is increasing, we are making all efforts and we have even sealed some areas. Today afternoon at Krishna (the CM’s home office) I have called a meeting with Ministers and officials and will discuss the strict measures to be taken to control COVID,” Mr. Yediyurappa said.

1.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

29 Naval personnel at INS Parundu test COVID-19 positive

As many as 29 personnel attached to the Naval Air Station -- INS Parundu -- in Mandapam tested positive for COVID-19.

102 personnel from different States had returned to work at INS Parundu during this week. On arrival, they were all quarantined and subjected to the mandatory swab test for COVID-19.

The results, which came on Thursday, indicated that 29 had tested positive. They have all been admitted for treatment at the COVID Care Centre in Mandapam, while the rest of the 73 personnel would continue to be under quarantine.

1.15 pm | Arunachal Pradesh

First COVID-19 death in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh has recorded its first COVID-19 fatality after a 43-year-old woman succumbed to the disease, while two new coronavirus cases have been reported, taking the northeast state’s tally to 160.

The woman, a resident of West Kameng district, was suffering from chronic kidney disease and had returned from Delhi on June 11. She was kept at an institutional quarantine at Dirang. As her health deteriorated, she was tested for COVID-19 and was found positive on June 23.

12.45 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Two workers at Annavaram temple test positive for COVID-19

Two persons engaged in the construction of a shed on the premises of Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swami Vari Devasthanam tested positive for COVID-19.

The duo, carpenters, was hired by the temple authorities on a contractual basis. They were part of a 16-member team constructing the shed outside the main temple. The rest of the staff who worked with them have been sent to home quarantine. The man and his son were admitted to the COVID Care Centre in Bommuru.

Meanwhile, the district authorities have declared the devasthanam campus as ‘buffer zone’ in which the temple activities would be allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. until further orders

12.20 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka SSLC examination begins amidst precautions

SSLC examinations began on Thursday across 2879 centres in Karnataka.

The examinations are being conducted amidst unprecedented precautions. Over 8.48 lakh students have registered for the exam and over 1 lakh officials have been deployed.

The Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board has said that each classroom will have around 18 to 20 students. Students appeared for the first language examination on Thursday and the examination will end on July 4.

Students in containment zones and those with symptoms such as cough, cold and fever were provided N95 masks and made to sit in another classroom and write the examination.

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12.10 pm | Maharashtra

IIT-Bombay to go completely online next semester

Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay will go completely online next semester in view of the COVID-19 pandemic so there is no compromise on the safety and well being of students, its director said on Thursday.

This is the first time in the institute’s 62-year history that a new academic year will start with no students on campus. Other IITs are likely to follow suit with similar announcements for the autumn semester that runs from July till December.

11.50 am | Sri Lanka

29 from Mumbai test positive in Sri Lanka

Twenty nine of the 40 new COVID-19 cases that Sri Lanka reported on Tuesday are seafarers who travelled from Mumbai, according to Sri Lankan health authorities.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Sri Lanka has reported a total of 1,998 cases, 11 deaths and 1,562 recoveries. The last local case was reported on April 25, according to Anil Jasinghe, Director General of Health Services.

However, dozens of Sri Lankan returnees from other countries have tested positive on arrival.

11.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

Concern over rise in cases in mandals bordering T.N.

The COVID-19 Task Force officials expressed concern at the growing number of positive cases in Nagari Assembly Constituency, which borders with Tamil Nadu along Nindra, Vijayapuram, Nagari and Puttur mandals. So far, the constituency registered close to 150 cases, including a death. The positive cases in Gate Puttur locality under Puttur municipality limits are steadily on the raise, forcing the officials to implement complete lockdown.

Chittoor district recorded 40 new COVID-19 positive cases on Wednesday, taking the total to 1,042, which included six deaths.

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11.00 am | Karnataka

With patrons wary, restaurants re-think dine-in services

Vidyarthi Bhavan at Gandhi Bazar was among the eateries to open its doors to customers once lockdown restrictions were eased.

Vidyarthi Bhavan at Gandhi Bazar was among the eateries to open its doors to customers once lockdown restrictions were eased.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K


Many restaurants and hotels are reconsidering offering dining in services on account of low patronage and people becoming increasingly wary as the number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru is rising by the day.

Vidyarthi Bhavan, a popular restaurant in south Bengaluru, has announced that dine-in service will be temporarily suspended from Saturday. Another popular restaurant, Hotel Sanman at South End Circle, has also decided to suspend dine-in service. These popular restaurants have, however, decided to continue offering takeaway/parcel services.

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10.00 am | Delhi

Delhi secretariat gets UV light file sterilisation machines

The file sterilisation machine with UV light.

The file sterilisation machine with UV light.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement


The Delhi government has started to install file sterilisation machines with UV light in offices in the Delhi Secretariat from this week as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. Besides, 25 contactless hand sanitiser machines were installed in the Secretariat in the last two weeks while more will be installed in the coming days, the officials said.

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9.45 am | Telangana

TIMS ready to treat COVID patients

Health Minister Eatala Rajender inspecting the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Gachibowli on Wednesday. G. Ramakrishna

Health Minister Eatala Rajender inspecting the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Gachibowli on Wednesday. G. Ramakrishna  


The Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (TIMS) at Gachibowli has finally been readied to admit COVID-19 patients.

Announcing this on Wednesday, Health Minister Eatala Rajender said 1,000 of the 1,224 beds at the institute have oxygen line facility while mechanical ventilators are provided for 50 beds. Recruitment of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals will be completed within two days. In-patients would be admitted by next week.

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9.15 am

Kerala not to insist on COVID-negative certificate

Ending a week-long suspense, the Kerala government has decided not to insist on COVID-19 negative certificate for expatriates coming on Vande Bharat flights, chartered flights, and private aircraft to the State from Thursday.

The change in stance comes in the wake of the Centre rejecting the State’s request for the relatively speedier and cheaper TrueNat Beta CoV test abroad and practical difficulties cited by Indian missions where Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs) are in large numbers.

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9.00 am | Karnataka

80% of 10,000 cases reported in June

The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Karnataka have been on a steady rise since the beginning of this month. In fact, 80% of the total 10,118 positive cases, as on Thursday in the State, have been reported from June 1 till June 24.

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8.30 am

Bengaluru to have dedicated private COVID-19 hospitals

A day after the State fixed rates for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals, the government has now notified 20 big corporate healthcare institutions that run a chain of hospitals as Dedicated COVID-19 Health Care Centres (DCHCs) and COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs).

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8.00 am

Tamil Nadu suspends intra-zone transport till June 30

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday announced that public and private transport services in various zones, each of which comprises a cluster of districts, will be suspended from June 25 to 30.

With effect from June 1, Tamil Nadu was divided into eight zones for the purpose of transport services. Free vehicular movement was being allowed in six of these zones. However, from Thursday till the end of the month, an e-pass will be mandatory for vehicle owners to be able to travel between districts within a zone.

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7.30 am

Maharashtra records highest surge

Maharashtra recorded its highest single-day surge of 3,890 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing its tally to 1,42,900. The State also reported 208 more deaths, taking its toll to 6,739.

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7.00 am | Andhra Pradesh

Officials adopt trace-test-treat method in virus hotspots

With the spurt in COVID-19 cases from Appughar and Peda Jalaripeta clusters, officials have adopted the formula of trace-test-treat to control the spread of virus. Massive sample testing is being conducted in both the areas from Zone II which contributed nearly 106 cases from the city.

According to officials, Appughar area reported 65 cases till June 23, while Pedajalaripeta registered 41. First case was reported from the Fishermen Colony, Appughar, on June 13. In a span of 10 days, 65 cases were reported.

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(With inputs from Agencies)

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 5:45:55 PM |

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