Coronavirus India lockdown Day 153 live updates | August 24, 2020 | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

India crossed three million cases on Sunday after adding nearly 69,239 cases the previous day — the fourth straight day that it added over 69,000 cases.

India continued to be placed behind Brazil and the United States in the overall case load and, at 56,706 deaths, had only half as many as Brazil and less than a third as that of the U.S.

Experts said the relentless spread of the virus and infectiousness was inevitable and evident from several epidemiological projections from March.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

11.00 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra to have tele-ICU facility in 5 more districts: Minister

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the tele-ICU facility has been implemented successfully in Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Thane.

He said this facility would now be set up in Jalna, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Solapur and Akola districts.

Mr. Tope told reporters that 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.

Responding to a query, the Minister said the COVID-19 fatality rate in the state is falling.

– PTI

10.30 pm | Delhi

Delhi CM thanks representatives of banquet halls for cooperation in fight against COVID-19

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with representative of banquet halls and thanked them for their cooperation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital. During the rise in coronavirus cases in June, the associations had cooperated by letting their establishments to be attached with the COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.

“When the Centre issued guidelines that the banquets can be opened across the country but not in Delhi, I explained the situation to them (associations).

“The banquet halls have opened in states where the COVID-19 cases are higher and remain shut in Delhi where the cases are lower. Then, they (Centre) permitted us to open the banquet halls after August 15,” a statement quoting Mr. Kejriwal said.

– PTI

10.00 pm | West Bengal

Bengal reports 57 more COVID deaths, 2,967 new positive cases

The COVID-19 death toll in West Bengal mounted to 2,851 on Monday after 57 people succumbed to the disease, the Health Department said.

The State’s coronavirus caseload also went up to 1,41,837 as 2,967 cases of infection were registered, the Department said in a bulletin.

It said that the discharge rate of COVID-19 patients is now 78.46% after 3,285 patients were released from various hospitals on Monday.

So far, 1,11,292 people have recovered from the disease in West Bengal.

The number of active cases stood at 27,694.

– PTI

9.30 pm | Delhi

Weekly markets reopen in Delhi after 5 months, special measures adopted to check COVID-19 spread

Weekly markets reopened in Delhi on Monday after a gap of over 150 days with a number of protective measures against the novel coronavirus such as vendors wearing face masks at all times, space between stalls, sanitiser dispensers and police patrol to check crowding.

The authorities allowed the markets to reopen on a trial basis till August 30.

“Hawkers were instructed not to cause crowding and maintain proper social distance. They were also asked to use mask and sanitiser were provided to them,” said Rajkumar Kataria, the general secretary of Pushp Vihar weekly market near Saket court.

– PTI

9.00 pm | Gujarat

COVID-19 situation in Gujarat ‘quite frightening’: HC

Observing that the COVID-19 situation in Gujarat is “quite frightening,” the State High Court has directed the Chief Secretary to constitute a committee of five senior IAS officers to prepare a report on the condition prevailing at all civil and government hospitals where coronavirus patients are being treated.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J B Pardiwala said, in an order made available on Monday, that the panel shall prepare a comprehensive report regarding the condition prevailing in all government/civil hospitals after minutely looking at the deficiencies, if any, so that they (shortcomings) can be “cured and taken care of“.

– PTI

8.40 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Lockdown hits nutrition of women workers in M.P.: survey

The COVID-19 induced lockdown has negatively impacted the nutrition availability of women workers in Madhya Pradesh, with 57% reporting a reduced frequency of meals, a survey said. This reduction is nearly twice the number of deprived men.

Overall 88.17% women workers reported a decline in food consumption with majority of them engaged in the service sector where the loss of livelihood due to the lockdown has been the most significant, according the NGO ActionAid India, which works for child and women rights and emergency response. The group had conducted a nine-day survey in May across 26 of the 52 districts of the State and involving 782 respondents.
 8.15 pm | India

No hard copies of ordinances will be distributed in upcoming Parliament session

Hard copies of ordinances will not be circulated among MPs in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament to check the spread of COVID-19 and they will be given digitised version of the documents, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said.

A number of ordinances promulgated by the government are expected to be taken up by Parliament in the upcoming session.

“Members are informed that in view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic and in order to check the spread of infection which may occur due to handling of physical papers, it has been decided to discontinue circulation of hard copies of ordinances with effect from the ensuing 4th Session of 17th Lok Sabha,” the Secretariat said in a notification.

– PTI

7.50 pm | Maharashtra

SC rejects plea for postponement of Maharashtra engineering, pharmacy test due to COVID-19

The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking deferment of the Maharashtra common entrance test for admissions to undergraduate engineering and pharmacy courses in the state due to COVID-19 pandemic.

A Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy, in a hearing conducted through video conferencing, said the court has already allowed holding of JEE and NEE and how the similar test in one State can be stopped.

We are not inclined to entertain this petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. Accordingly, the Writ Petition is dismissed, the Bench said.

– PTI

7.25 pm | Haryana

Haryana CM, Assembly Speaker test positive for COVID-19

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and State Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta have tested positive for COVID-19.

Both the leaders confirmed about their being tested for COVID-19 on Twitter.

“I was tested for Novel Corona Virus today. My test report has returned positive. I appeal to all colleagues and associates who came in my contact over the last week to get themselves tested. I request my close contacts to move into strict quarantine immediately,” said Mr. Khattar in his tweet.

The Speaker, in a tweet from his official handle said that he has been tested positive for COVID-19. “Yesterday (Sunday) I got my COVID-19 test done and the report has come positive. My health is fine, but I am getting home quarantined on the advice of doctors. I request that everyone who have come in contact with me in the last few days, to please isolate themselves and get examined.”

– Vikas Vasudeva

7.05 pm | Karnataka

No mandatory 14-day home quarantine for inter-state travellers in Karnataka

Interstate travellers coming to Karnataka now do not have to undergo the 14-day home quarantine that was earlier mandatory in view of the COVID 19 pandemic. Besides this, there will no longer be medical check up at the State borders, bus stations, railway stations and the airports.

In an circular issued on Monday, Additional Chief Secretary Jawaid Akhtar has also relaxed other guidelines for all types of inter state passengers. Travellers coming from other states will no longer have to register on the Seva Sindhu portal, be stamped on their hands, be divided into different categories of passengers, screened at the receiving centres in the district.


 

6.55 pm | India

BJP MP, his MLA-son among 12 in family, staff to contract COVID-19

BJP MP from Gulbarga Dr Umesh Jadhav and his MLA-son Avinash Jadhav are among the 12 in his family and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Till now 12 people were tested #COVID19 positive in my family & personal staff. Yesterday my family members, including my wife, daughter, daughter-in-law & my driver were admitted in Bangalore’s Govt #BowringHospital,” the MP tweeted on Sunday.

The senior Jadhav said his two personal assistants and his son’s personal assistant and a driver were infected.

– PTI

6.35 pm | World

WHO says plasma therapy still ‘experimental’

The World Health Organisation says using plasma from the recovered to treat COVID-19 is still considered an experimental therapy and that the preliminary results showing it may work are still inconclusive. President Donald Trump on Sunday approved an emergency authorisation of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients.

WHO’s chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said convalescent plasma therapy has been used in the last century to treat numerous infectious diseases, with varying levels of success. Swaminathan says WHO still considers convalescent plasma therapy to be experimental and said it should continue to be evaluated.

– PTI

6.15 pm | India

AICTE nod for admission to MBA, PGDM courses on basis of marks in qualifying UG exams

The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has allowed business schools and institutions offering MBA and PGDM courses to admit students based on marks obtained in qualifying undergraduate exams as several entrance tests could not be conducted due to COVID-19, officials said.

The technical education regulator has also clarified that the relaxation is being made available only for the 2020-21 academic session and should not be seen as a precedent for future academic years.
 6:00 p.m. | New Delhi

Portion of Delhi BJP office closed after staffer tests positive

A portion of the Delhi BJP’s office on Pant Marg was closed for sanitisation work after a senior staff member tested positive for COVID-19, a party leader said.

The 60-year-old man undertook the COVID test on Sunday and his report came positive, Delhi BJP’s media cell head Ashok Goel said. “The office block where he used to sit has been closed for sanitisation work. Other staff members who sat there have also undergone the coronavirus test,” Mr. Goel said.

The office block is separate from the main Delhi BJP office building where the party president and other senior office bearers have their chambers. – PTI

5:40 p.m. | New Delhi

Metro train services may resume from September 1 but reopening of schools unlikely, say officials

Metro train services are likely to be allowed in the ‘Unlock 4’ phase beginning on September 1, but schools and colleges are unlikely to reopen anytime soon, officials said on Monday.

Bars, which have been not allowed to reopen so far, may be permitted to sell liquor over the counter for takeaway.

Metro services were suspended in late March to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 31 lakh people in the country so far. – PTI

5:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Govt. mulls ‘Mission COVID Suraksha’ with ₹3,000 crore corpus

To accelerate the process of developing and manufacturing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in the country that can be easily accessible and affordable for the public, a ‘Mission COVID Suraksha’ has been proposed to be set up with a corpus of nearly ₹3,000 crore, sources said.

Piloted by the Department of Biotechnology, the proposed mission will focus on end-to-end vaccine development from clinical trial stage to regulatory facilitation to manufacturing, sources added.

The aim of the mission is to accelerate the development of at least six vaccine candidates and ensure that they are licensed and introduced in market for emergency use at the earliest, they said. – PTI

5:00 p.m. | New Delhi

Nearly 3.6 crore COVID-19 tests conducted so far, says Health Ministry

Health workers collecting samples from an employee of the Civil Station in Malappuram on August 20, 2020 for conducting a COVID-19 test.  
| Photo Credit: Sakeer Hussain

 

India’s COVID-19 tests per million rose sharply to 26,016 as cumulative tests surged to 3.59 crore, the Health Ministry said on Monday underlining that a key component in India’s COVID-19 response has been early identification of cases by timely and aggressive testing.

The number of people recuperating from COVID-19 has crossed 23 lakh pushing the recovery rate to over 75%, while the case fatality rate, maintaining a steady downward trajectory, has further dropped to 1.85%, it said.

A cumulative 3,59,02,137 samples have been tested up to August 23 with 6,09,917 being tested on Sunday. Easy access to testing through expanded diagnostic lab network across the country has given a substantial boost to the figures.– PTI

 

4:40 p.m. | New Delhi

Consider online option for NEET from next year, SC tells MCI

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) to consider providing an online option for taking the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance (NEET) from next year.

“If Joint Entrance Examination [JEE] is allowed online, why not NEET? It is the same National Testing Agency (NTA) conducting both exams. Why can’t you think of something next year… You can think about it”, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, heading a three-judge Bench, orally addressed MCI counsel Gaurav Sharma during the virtual court hearing.

But the court refused to order authorities to set up exam centres abroad or have the NEET held online this year to facilitate candidates abroad, especially those in the Middle East. The NEET is fixed for September 13.

 

4:15 p.m. | Bengaluru

BJP MP, MLA-son among 12 in family to contract virus

Umesh Jadhav

Umesh Jadhav  

 

BJP MP from Gulbarga Dr. Umesh Jadhav and his MLA-son Avinash Jadhav are among the 12 members of his family and staff who have tested positive for coronavirus.

“Until now 12 people were tested #COVID19 positive in my family & personal staff. Yesterday my family members, including my wife, daughter, daughter-in-law & my driver were admitted in Bangalore’s Govt #BowringHospital,” The MP tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

The senior Jadhav said his two personal assistants and his son’s personal assistant and a driver were infected. – PTI

3:45 p.m. | Panaji

Goa’s theatre industry hit hard during Ganesh festival

Goa’s professional theatre and cultural groups, which used to be busy organising shows during the annual Ganesh festival, have got no bookings this time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, say some organisers.

The State government said it was aware of the problems faced by theatre artists and was hopeful that the culture sector will be able to resume its activities by October or November.

“My theatre group used to perform at least 40 to 45 shows during the Ganesh festival. We are blank this time as there are no bookings due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Rajdeep Naik, promoter of Kala Chetana Volvoi, one of the oldest theatre groups in Goa. – PTI

3:20 p.m. | New Delhi

Pranab Mukherjee continues to be in deep coma, says hospital

Pranab Mukherjee. File

Pranab Mukherjee. File
 

 The condition of former President Pranab Mukherjee remained unchanged on Monday and he continues to be in deep coma, the Army’s Research and Referral hospital said.

Doctors attending on the 84-year-old Mr. Mukherjee said he is being treated for respiratory infection. His vital parameters are stable and he continues to be on ventilator support, they said.

Mr. Mukherjee was admitted to the hospital in Delhi cantonment on August 10. He was operated for removal of a clot in the brain. He had also tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of his admission. – PTI

 

2:50 p.m. | Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad starts denotifying designated COVID-19 hospitals

The Ahmedabad civic body on Monday said it has decided to denotify some designated COVID-19 hospitals in view of the number of coronavirus cases coming down in the city.

In the first phase, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has denotified nine private hospitals so that beds reserved there for COVID-19 cases are released for the treatment of non-coronavirus patients, the civic body said in a release.

These nine private hospitals were among 70-odd facilities which were roped in by the AMC since May to accommodate COVID-19 patients. – PTI

2:30 p.m. | New Delhi

UGC asks higher education and research institutes to deploy RT-PCR machines at district hospitals and labs

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked higher education and research institutions to facilitate deployment of RT-PCR test machines available with them at nearby district hospitals and government labs conducting COVID-19 tests to aid the fight against the pandemic, officials said.

The higher education regulator has noted that temporary deployment of such machines can create additional facilities for around 60,000 tests per day. – PTI

2.00 pm | New Delhi

Case fatality rate drops to 1.85%

India’s COVID-19 recoveries have crossed 23 lakh and are more than three times the number of active cases of the infection in the country, while the case fatality rate, maintaining a steady downward trajectory, has further dropped to 1.85%, the Union Health Ministry said.

With 57,469 patients having recuperated in a day, total recoveries have surged to 23,38,035, pushing the recovery rate to 75.27% as on date. They exceeded the active cases by 16,27,264. – PTI
 1.50 pm

COVID-19 tally in India breaches 31-lakh mark, recovery rate over 75%

A single-day spike of 61,408 COVID-19 cases took India’s virus caseload past the 31-lakh mark on Monday, a day after it crossed 30 lakh, while recoveries surged to 23,38,035 pushing the recovery rate to over 75%, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

India’s COVID-19 caseload mounted to 31,06,348, while the death toll climbed to 57,542 with 836 fatalities being reported in a span of 24-hours, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

– PTI

1.40 pm | Pakistan

Pakistan reports 496 new cases

Pakistan has registered 496 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of infections in the nation to 2,93,261, the Health ministry said. The Ministry of National Health Services said the new cases were detected as the number of diagnosis tests have been intensified across the nation.

The Ministry also said the number of deaths due to the coronavirus currently stands at 6,224 after 9 more patients suffering from the disease succumbed to the infection.

– PTI

1.30 pm | New Delhi

AICTE allows admission to MBA, PGDM courses based on marks in qualifying UG exams

Institutions offering MBA and PGDM courses have been allowed to admit students based on marks obtained in qualifying undergraduate exams as several entrance tests could not be conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) said.

The technical education regulator also clarified that the relaxation is being made available only for the 2020-21 academic session and should not be seen as a precedent for future academic years.

“All-India tests like CAT, XAT, CMAT, ATMA, MAT, GMAT and the Common Entrance Test of respective States are the qualifying tests for admission to MBA or the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) course. In many States, some of these entrance tests could not be conducted due to the fear of coronavirus spread, and there is no indication as to whether these tests are postponed or likely to be held or cancelled,” AICTE Member Secretary Rajive Kumar said.

– PTI

1.20 pm | New Delhi

Delhi HC extends all interim orders till Oct. 31

The Delhi High Court extended till October 31 all the interim orders which were to expire on or after August 31 in cases that are before it as also the district courts in view of the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.

A Special Bench, headed by Chief Justice D.N. Patel, also extended the relief in cases related to those who were enlarged on interim bail or parole and may carry the COVID-19 infection.

– PTI

1.20 pm | New Delhi

SC refuses to entertain plea for national policy for compensation to COVID-19 victims

The Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking formulation of a national policy for uniform compensation for families of those who have died due the coronavirus disease.

A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R.S. Reddy dismissed the plea saying that every State has a different policy and gives compensation as per its financial power.

– PTI

1.15 pm | NewDelhi

PM CARES to fund two 500-bed COVID hospitals in Bihar

The PM CARES Fund Trust will finance two 500-bed COVID-19 makeshift hospitals in Bihar, the Prime Minister’s Office said, asserting that this will go a long way in improving the COVID care in the State.

Announcing the decision, the PMO tweeted “PM-CARES Fund Trust has decided to allocate funds for fight against COVID-19 by way of establishment of 500-bed COVID-19 Makeshift Hospitals at Patna and Muzaffarpur, Bihar by DRDO.”

– PTI

1.10 pm | Haryana

Haryana Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, 2 MLAs test positive: Health Minister

Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta has tested positive for COVID-19, Health Minister Anil Vij confirmed.

Gian Chand Gupta. File

Gian Chand Gupta. File
 

 “The Assembly Speaker and two other MLAs have tested positive for coronavirus,” Mr. Vij, who is also the State’s Home Minister, told PTI.

Notably, the Speaker has tested positive two days before the monsoon session of the Assembly starts here on August 26. As a result, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

– PTI

1.00 pm | France

France reports post-lockdown daily record of 4,897 new COVID-19 cases

France reported 4,897 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Sunday, the highest daily level since the end of a two-month lockdown in May.

Health Minister Olivier Veran warned earlier that the situation was risky, and said infections were essentially happening among 20 to 40-year-olds at parties.

Cases among older people were starting to rise too, Mr. Veran said, but he ruled out another total lockdown in France.
 12.45 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka government lays down guidelines for plasma therapy

People who have recovered from COVID-19 and wish to donate their plasma should be in the 18 to 60 age group. Besides this, donors should either be male or women who have not given birth. All donors must weigh over 50 kg. This is to mitigate the risk of transfusion related to acute lung injury.

These are some of the eligibility criteria laid down by the Karnataka government in the guidelines specified for convalescent plasma therapy.
 12.30 pm | West Bengal

Mamata urges Centre to postpone NEET, JEE

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged the Centre to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE).

“Now with the directive of the Ministry of Education to conduct NEET, JEE 2020 in September, I would again appeal to the Centre to assess the risk and postpone these examinations until the situation is conducive again. It is our duty to ensure a safe environment for all our students,” the Chief Minister said on Twitter.
 12.15 pm | USA

Trump announces emergency authorisation for plasma treatment

President Donald Trump announced emergency authorisation to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma – a move he called “a breakthrough,” one of his top health officials called “promising” and other health experts said needs more study before it’s celebrated.

The announcement on Sunday came after White House officials complained there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Mr. Trump’s re-election chances.
 12.00 pm | Maharashtra

17 COVID-19 hospitals in Thane overcharge ₹1.82 crore

As many as 17 private hospitals in Maharashtra’s Thane city overcharged COVID-19 patients to the tune of ₹1.82 crore and are yet to refund ₹1.40 crore out of it, civic officials said on Monday.

Following several complaints from patients, Thane Municipal Commissioner Dr. Vipin Sharma constituted audit teams to check the billings of 17 hospitals in the city.

The audit teams checked 4,106 bills from July 10 to August 21 and found an excess amount totalling ₹1.82 crore in 1,362 bills, the civic body said in a statement.

11.45 pm | Maharashtra

IIT-Bombay holds convocation in ‘virtual reality’ mode

IIT-Bombay on Sunday held its 58th annual convocation ceremony in a virtual reality mode in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute said.

“A personalised avatar of each graduate received the degree certificate from the personalised avatar of director professor Subhasis Chaudhari. The medallists also received their medals from the personalised avatar of the chief guest,” the institute said.
 11.30 am | Kerala

Champakkara wholesale market reopens after two months

The Champakkara wholesale market reopened Monday as Kerala gears up to meet a much subdued Onam week. The Corporation of Cochin health authorities and the police department have issued strict instructions to adhere to social distancing norms, wear masks and use hand sanitisers frequently as the COVID-19 pandemic continued its threat.

The market reopened about 2 a.m. and remained open till 6 a.m., said a person working in the market. Only wholesale operations are allowed and “we are not sure what will happen to the stocks as days go by,” he said after the market closed.

The Champakkara fish market is one of the busiest in Kerala and caters to most of the rural areas surrounding Kochi.

11.15 am | Karnataka

Students urge KSLU to postpone or cancel exams for intermediate semesters

A section of students are up in arms over the Karnataka State Law University’s (KSLU) decision to conduct examinations even for intermediate semesters. According to a notification by the varsity, exams for final semesters will commence from September 21 while those for intermediate semesters are scheduled to commence from October 5.

Students said the decision to go ahead with examinations for intermediate semesters goes against the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.

However, P. Ishwara Bhat, Vice Chancellor, KSLU, told The Hindu the university also comes under the Bar Council of India (BCI) whose orders were ‘abiding’ for KSLU.
 11.00 am | New Delhi

Delhi Metro prepared to resume operations whenever directed by govt.: DMRC

“The DMRC shall be prepared to commence operations whenever directed by the government. All necessary guidelines in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 shall be implemented, and all efforts shall be made to make travel safe for our valued commuters,” DMRC Executive Director Anuj Dayal was quoted as saying in a statement.

The statement from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) came on a day Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said metro train services in Delhi should be resumed on a trial basis as the COVID-19 situation was improving in the city, and hoped the Centre would soon take a decision on it.

10.45 am | Puducherry

Centre appoints experts to study COVID-19 situation in Puducherry

The Union Health Ministry has set up a three-member team of experts from Jipmer to review and help in the clinical management of the COVID-19 situation in Puducherry.

This follows Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi reaching out to the Centre for help in controlling the worsening COVID situation in the Union Territory.
 10.30 am | Puducherry

Puducherry DMK MLA tests positive

DMK legislator R. Siva tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. The Orleanpet legislator, who is the party leader in the Assembly, was first admitted to Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research here. Later on Sunday evening, he was shifted to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, for better medical care.

10.15 am | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu sticks with e-passes; Puducherry abolishes system

A day after Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla wrote to the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories, asking them not to impose restrictions on inter- and intra-State movement, Puducherry removed all travel restrictions on Sunday. However, Tamil Nadu continued to enforce the e-pass system.
 10.00 am | Singapore

COVID-19 cases reappear at Singapore’s largest dormitory

Around 4,800 workers have been issued a stay-home notice at Singapore’s largest foreign workers’ dormitory after fresh coronavirus emerged there.

The Sungei Tengah Lodge dormitory was among the largest COVID-19 clusters in Singapore with over 2,200 confirmed cases before it was declared cleared of the disease by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) last month.

On Sunday, 58 fresh coronavirus cases were confirmed in the dormitory, a day after a new COVID-19 cluster emerged there.

9.45 am | Tamil Nadu

Film-makers try to navigate restrictions

The Centre’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Sunday released an SOP for resuming television and movie shoots, stressing minimal contact and adherence to distancing norms. While shoots for television serials have been allowed in Tamil Nadu since May, the film industry is currently in talks with the State government for resuming film shoots.

Film-makers and producers are finding ways to “get back on sets” and make films again. But what does it take to get back on the sets, even as Tamil Nadu continues to clock over 5,000 cases a day? Meticulous planning in the pre-production stage, online meetings for script readings and discussions, strict adherence to safety protocol on sets and more.
 9.30 am | United Kingdom

Missing school is worse than COVID-19 for kids: U.K. government health advisers

The chief medical officers of the United Kingdom have said children should return to school after the summer holidays, warning that missing out on their education posed much bigger risks to them than catching COVID-19.

vidence showed that a lack of schooling increased inequalities, reduced opportunities and could exacerbate physical and mental health issues, the statement said. By contrast there was clear evidence of a very low rate of severe disease in children, even if they caught COVID-19, and an exceptionally low risk of dying.

The rare joint statement from the top health advisers to the governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland represents a boost for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has said getting children back to school is a national priority.

9.15 am | USA

Trump considering fast-tracking U.K. vaccine before election, reports Financial Times

The Trump administration is considering fast-tracking an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University for use in the United States ahead of the Nov. 3 elections, the Financial Times reported.

One option being explored would involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarding “emergency use authorization” in October to the potential vaccine, which was developed by Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca, the FT reported.
 9.00 am | West Bengal

West Bengal touches 1.38 lakh COVID-19 cases; 2,794 deaths

West Bengal on Sunday recorded 3274 cases of new COVID-19 in the past 24 hours taking the number of total cases to 1,38,870. The State recorded 57 deaths in the past 24 hours taking total deaths due to the viral infection in the state to 2,794.

Kolkata recorded 563 infections in the past 24 hours taking the total infections in the city to 36,257. Kolkata has recorded 1,174 deaths while deaths in North 24 Parganas have touched 647.

8.45 am | South Korea

Seoul mandates face masks as S. Korea battles spike in coronavirus

South Korea’s capital Seoul on Monday mandated the wearing of face masks in both indoor and outdoor public places for the first time, as the country battles a surge in coronavirus cases centred in the densely populated city region.

In May, Seoul’s government had ordered that face masks be worn on public transport and taxis, but the latest spike in cases has health officials worried that the country may need to impose its highest level of social distancing.
 8.30 am | Tamil Nadu

Allow libraries to reopen, urge magazine publishers

The Tamil Nadu Magazine Publishers’ Association has appealed to the Chief Minister and the School Education Secretary to allow public libraries to reopen.

The association said that readers were approaching them, wanting to know when the libraries would reopen.

“Rural students depend on libraries for information. Many go to the libraries to read newspapers. When Tasmac shops have been allowed to reopen, why not public libraries,” asked Arasu Alagappan, association general secretary.

8.15 am | Puducherry

Puducherry records 8 deaths and 412 new cases

Puducherry recorded eight more COVID-19 deaths taking the toll to 159 even while the cumulative tally of cases crossed the 10,500 mark with 412 admissions on Sunday.

The new cases were detected during the testing of 1,282 samples. The active cases aggregated to 3,706, including 2,097 patients in home isolation.

The tally stood at 159 deaths, 3,706 active cases, a cumulative total of 10,522 cases with 6,657 patients discharged.
 8.00 am | Kerala

Champakkara market to reopen today, no retail sales

The Kochi district administration has accorded permission for the Champakkara market to reopen on Monday.

There will be no retail sales at the market, as only a limited number of people will be allowed inside and there are serious space constraints.

A communication from the district administration said here on Sunday that the market was closed in the wake of a serious spread of COVID-19, on July 4. It will now operate in accordance with anti-pandemic spread protocol.

7.45 am | Karnataka

Karnataka records recovery rate of 68.23%

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare’s media bulletin, as many as 4,996 patients have been discharged. With this, the numbers of discharges is 1.89 lakh. The recovery rate in Karnataka is now 68.23%.

Meanwhile, as many as 68 new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the State on Sunday, taking the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 4,683.
 7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

‘40% people in Vijayawada had contracted the virus and recovered without showing any symptoms’

Krishna district Collector A.Md. Imtiaz has said that 20% of the population in the district and 40% in Vijayawada may have already contracted COVID-19 without the affected persons actually knowing about it according to the results of the sero surveillance, a scientific study to estimate the presence of antibody levels among citizens who aren’t tested so far.

As part of the study, Mr. Imtiaz said that 3,750 samples across the city and district were tested.
 


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