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Friday, September 25, 2020

Highlights: Maharashtra govt slashes RT-PCR test charges

According to the government's decision, the charges for picking test samples from collection sites have been reduced to Rs 1,200 from Rs 1,900, which was fixed last month.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune | Updated: September 8, 2020 10:33:39 am
coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, india coronavirus cases, corona news, coronavirus today news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news,chennai coronavirus, tamil nadu coronavirus, covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus latest news in india, lockdown news, corona cases news, total corona cases in india, india coronavirus cases today newsOn Sunday, the state recorded the highest single-day spike of 23,350 virus cases, taking the overall tally to 9,07,212, the health department said.

With the testing kit production cost falling after Maharashtra eased lockdown norms, the state government Monday further reduced the rates for RT-PCR COVID-19 tests conducted by private laboratories. According to the government’s decision, the charges for picking test samples from collection sites have been reduced to Rs 1,200 from Rs 1,900, which was fixed last month.

Read Maharashtra Coronavirus Live Updates

Earlier today, at least two MLAs and 37 government staffers who were to attend the Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra legislature from Monday have tested positive for Covid-19. Sources said that while around 2,200 people, including legislators and government officials, have been tested since Saturday, the reports of some are yet to come in.

On Sunday, the state recorded the highest single-day spike of 23,350 virus cases, taking the overall tally to 9,07,212, the health department said. The death count in the state reached 26,604 with 328 people succumbing to the infection, including 243 fatalities in the last 48 hours. A total of 7,826 patients were discharged in the day, raising the count of recoveries in the state to 6,44,400, the department said.

With unlock 4.0 coming into effect, for the first time this monsoon, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city on Sunday reached 100, or moderate category.

Live Blog

Over 9 lakh coronavirus cases, 26,000 deaths in Maharashtra; Monsoon Session begins.

22:26 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Mumbai: CSMIA becomes India's first airport to get ACI Health accreditation

In wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has become the first Indian airport to be accredited under the Airport Council International (ACI) Health Accreditation programme. This accreditation comes after the airport authorities took numerous health and safety initiatives to safeguard passengers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

22:04 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Maharashtra govt slashes RT-PCR test charges

With the testing kit production cost falling after Maharashtra eased lockdown norms, the state government Monday further reduced the rates for RT-PCR COVID-19 tests conducted by private laboratories. According to the government's decision, the charges for picking test samples from collection sites have been reduced to Rs 1,200 from Rs 1,900, which was fixed last month.

17:43 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Presence of antibodies may not guarantee protection from COVID-19, say scientists

The presence of antibodies indicates previous exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus but may not always translate into protection against the disease, say scientists, citing imponderables such as what kind of antibodies, how many, and how long they last.

Antibody presence in itself tells us nothing about disease progression in individuals, said the scientist from New Delhi’s National Institute of Immunology (NII).

There are neutralising antibodies (nAbs) and also ‘simple’ antibodies. While nAbs produced against the novel coronavirus can block its entry into the host cell, other antibodies are also generated against many parts of the virus, added Vineeta Bal from Pune’s Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER). The ‘simple’ antibodies are an indication of host response to viral presence but are not that useful to stop further spread of the virus, Bal told PTI.

Why the threat of a virus appears distant and delusional in our  interconnected world and how it isn't | Eye News,The Indian Express

15:26 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Nagpur: Man dies of Covid-19, kin allege ambulance delays

A 53-year-old COVID-19 patient died here in Maharashtra as he could get an oxygen-equipped ambulance in time, his family members have alleged.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation said it will have to find out why the delay took place and that it has not received any complaint in the matter.

The patient tested positive for coronavirus on August 29 and was under home isolation as he was initially asymptomatic. However, around 8.30 am on Saturday, his pulse rate went down and he started gasping for breath, his cousin told PTI on Monday.

14:50 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Pune: No more than 50 guests allowed in marriages

Amid the unabated surge of COVID-19 cases in Pune, the district administration has issued fresh directives to be followed in urban as well as rural areas with special emphasis on marriage functions. The directives, issued in conjunction with the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government a few days ago as part of ‘Mission Begin Again’, lay special emphasis on management of containment zones, faster contact tracing, management of hospitals, and ensuring that the patients and family members are not exploited at private facilities.

The notification issued by Pune Collector Rajesh Deshmukh instructs citizens s well as owners of marriage halls to ensure that social distancing norms are followed during functions and that not more than 50 persons attend a marriage – inclusive of those providing services such as cooks, waiters, and musicians.

The notification also asked the organisers to videograph the event and provide the footage to the local police station within five days. They are also required to submit a list of attendees prior to the function. Read the full story here.




14:24 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Maharashtra Assembly pays tributes to Pranab Mukherjee

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray paid tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee on the first day of the state legislature's monsoon session on Monday, describing him as a sensitive human being who treated others with respect. Speaking on the condolence motion in the Legislative Assembly, Thackeray said he first met Mukherjee when the latter visited his home 'Matoshree' here with NCP chief Sharad Pawar as part of his campaign for the presidential polls. "I realised he was a sensitive human being who treated others with respect. This is a rare quality," Thackeray said.

13:41 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Doctors stress on clean air as country recovers from Covid-19

Dr Maria Neira, Director, Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health Department (PHE), World Health Organization, has urged governments to refrain from giving subsidies to fossil fuels. “As a health professional, I have seen first hand what air pollution does to our bodies, to our lungs, and to our brains. Polluted air, largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels, affects almost all major organs in our bodies. It is responsible for the premature death of over 1 million Indians every year, and brings huge healthcare costs to Indian families and the economy,” Dr Neira said. Dr Neira was giving the keynote address at the inauguration of a virtual event on air pollution. Organised by Doctors for Clean Air, a pan-India network of doctors advocating clean air, the event was a first of its kind full-day conclave by doctors on air pollution on the occasion of the United Nations’ first ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies’.

13:27 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Pune: After doctors and nurses quit, private agency opts out of managing COEP jumbo facility

After a slew of resignations from doctors and nurses, Lifeline, the agency appointed to run the jumbo Covid facility at College of Engineering Pune (COEP), has decided to withdraw from the task of managing the hospital. The private agency has conveyed its inability to run the hospital “in the face of intense political pressure and drama” that has unfolded since the hospital started functioning more than 10 days ago. “We cannot run the hospital in a situation like this. The atmosphere has been vitiated by undue political pressure… we have conveyed our inability to run the jumbo facility to the divisional commissioner. They will have to take a decision on this…” Sujit Patker, director of Lifeline, told The Indian Express on Sunday.

13:13 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Maharashtra Assembly underway

In the Assembly, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zhirwal asked members to observe physical distancing and wear face masks in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Members were also seated in the students and visitors gallery to ensure physical distancing among them. The deputy speaker also asked members to keep their masks on while speaking in the House. He presided over the House proceedings since Speaker Nana Patole is indisposed as he tested positive for coronavirus last week.

12:27 (IST)07 Sep 2020
NEET on September 13: Parents complain several aspirants allotted exam centres far away from home

Since September 1, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) aspirant Yogita Choudhari’s father has been writing a minimum of two emails to the National Testing Agency (NTA) every day, requesting that his daughter’s exam centre be changed. On August 31, when the admit cards for the exam for medical courses were released, the family from Galandwadi village in Pune’s Indapur taluka was shocked to find that Yogita would have to travel over 3,200 km to Imphal in Manipur to appear for the test. With less than a week to go before the exam is conducted across the country on September 13, the family is yet to hear from the NTA. Helpline numbers have not been of any help so far. Click here to read more

12:11 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Tablighi Jamaat: Being stranded was ‘lesson in patience’, but these foreigners still wish to return to India

With some members of the Tablighi Jamaat pleading guilty to smaller charges to expedite their return to their countries and some being recently discharged by court, many such foreign nationals still stranded in Maharashtra say their extended stay in the country was a lesson in patience. From farmers, shopkeepers, engineers, IT professionals, retired government officials, teachers to small businessmen, many people against whom cases were filed on alleged charges of violation of Covid-19 restrictions and visa norms in the state await trials. Many also await exit formalities to conclude before they can return home to their families.

11:45 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Chaos in Assembly over Covid reports

Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan premises as several MLAs were not allowed inside since their coronavirus test reports were not available, PTI reported. Former speaker Haribhau Bagade and other legislators, who were not able to enter the Assembly, complained to state Deputy Chief minister Ajit Pawar when he arrived there. Pawar called legislature secretary Rajendra Bhagwat and asked him to ensure that all legislators whose test reports are negative be allowed inside at the earliest. "Check the badges of members and their test reports first. Many members have got their tests done privately, allow them in if their reports are negative," Pawar told the legislature staff.

11:42 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Monsoon Session underway in Maharashtra Assembly
10:43 (IST)07 Sep 2020
International fliers passing through Mumbai to undergo RT-PCR test at airport

International passengers, who have to take connecting flights from Mumbai, will have to undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for Covid-19 at the airport on arrival, fresh guidelines issued by the state government on Sunday said. “They (passengers) can get tested and will be allowed to take connecting flights on having a negative test report,” the guideline states. Those found positive may not be allowed to take the connecting flight and sent for institutional quarantine in Mumbai, it further reads. The state government has also advised passengers to book connecting flights accordingly, preferably with a time gap of at least 8-12 hours, as an RT-PCR test takes 7 to 8 hours to generate the report.

10:12 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Pune's Covid cases rise by 2,093 to over 1.05 lakh; 44 die

Pune city in Maharashtra reported 2,093 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total infection count to 1,05,905, a health official said on Sunday. The number of fatalities reached 2,512 with 44 people succumbing to the infection, he said. A total of 1,569 patients were discharged in the day.

09:52 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Maharashtra Monsoon Session from today: Two MLAs, 37 govt staffers test positive

At least two MLAs and 37 government staffers who were to attend the Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra legislature from Monday have tested positive for Covid-19. Sources said that while around 2,200 people, including legislators and government officials, have been tested since Saturday, the reports of some are yet to come in. Maharashtra’s legislators are set to converge at the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai for a two-day Monsoon Session – the first since the pandemic – amid strict safety measures place by the Legislative Secretariat. “The number of those infected may increase further as some MLAs have tested themselves at their district headquarters and the reports are yet to be compiled,” said an official, adding that the final figure of how many have been infected would be known on Monday.

02:01 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Maharashtra generated 45% more biomedical waste till May end than pre-Covid period

Biomedical waste generated across the state increased by 45 per cent till end-May as compared to the pre-Covid-19 period, a pandemic impact study by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has revealed. The study compared the biomedical waste generated before the pandemic and during the lockdown, between March 21 and June 1. Read More

00:12 (IST)07 Sep 2020
Pune: After doctors and nurses quit, private agency opts out of managing COEP jumbo facility

After a slew of resignations from doctors and nurses, Lifeline, the agency appointed to run the jumbo Covid facility at College of Engineering Pune (COEP), has decided to withdraw from the task of managing the hospital. The private agency has conveyed its inability to run the hospital “in the face of intense political pressure and drama” that has unfolded since the hospital started functioning more than 10 days ago. Read More

23:34 (IST)06 Sep 2020
Maharashtra police records highest single-day spike again with 511 new Covid-19 cases

The state police force recorded the highest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases once again with 511 police personnel and staff testing positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday. The police force also reported seven deaths on the same day. Read More

22:31 (IST)06 Sep 2020
At Mumbai airport: RT-PCR tests for passengers with connecting international flights

International passengers who have a connecting flight from Mumbai and are not carrying a Covid-19 negative report will now have to undergo RT-PCR tests at the airport, the Maharashtra government said on Sunday.

If the test report comes positive, the passenger may not be allowed to take the flight and will be sent for institutional quarantine in Mumbai, said the government guidelines. This is applicable as of now only for transit passengers who want to take an onward connecting flight.

“They can get tested and will be allowed to take a connecting flight on having negative test report,” the guideline read.

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The recovery rate in the state now stands at 71.03 per cent while the case fatality rate is 2.93 per cent, an official told PTI.

The state now has 2,35,857 active cases while 46,47,742 samples have been tested so far.

Among cities, Mumbai saw the record spike of 1,910 new cases, taking its tally to 1,55,622. With 37 deaths, the toll in the city reached 7,869, the department said.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), including Mumbai, added5,407 new cases to its tally at 3,61,799.

With 85 casualties, the cumulative toll mounted to 13,309 in the MMR, it said.

The number of cases rose by 2,638 in the day in Punecity while neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad added 944 new patients.

Kolhapur city reported 519 cases while Sangli city added 530 patients, it said.

The number of new cases in Aurangabad and Nagpur rose by 377 and 1,518, respectively. Nashik city recorded 1,146 new cases.

The Covid-19 figures in Maharashtra are as follows: positivecases 9,07,212, deaths 26,604, recoveries 6,44,400, active cases 2,35,857, people tested 46,47,742.