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Coronavirus June 13 Highlights: PM Modi meets senior ministers to review pandemic response

With over 11,400 fresh cases, the Covid-19 tally in India rose to 308,993 on Saturday, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepared to hold another round of video-conference with chief ministers from across states next week.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 14, 2020 9:15:56 am
The primary mascot of the McDonald’s restaurant chain seen wearing a mask at a Karve road outlet on Friday. (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday held a detailed meeting with senior ministers and government officials to review India’s response to Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting reviewed the national level status and preparation in the context of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Loss of smell and taste are now among the symptoms of Covid-19 while remdesivir, tocilizumab and plasmatherapy are new additions to the list of investigational therapies for the disease as per the clinical management guidelines notified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The new symptoms had already been added by US’ Centres for Disease Control in the list of coronavirus symptoms in early May.

With over 11,400 fresh cases, the Covid-19 tally in India rose to 308,993 on Saturday, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepared to hold another round of video-conference with chief ministers from across states next week. On June 16 and 17, Modi is scheduled to hold an interaction with state chief ministers, with the second day of the video-conferencing set aside for CMs from states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and others, which are seeing a spurt in cases and death numbers. Globally, 7,632,377 people have been infected with the virus and at least 425,385 have died. The United States, with over 2 million infections remains the worst-hit country.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker, India Lockdown Highlights: Over 3 lakh people infected in India; PM Modi prepares for meeting with CMs next week; more than 7 million test positive worldwide. Follow Highlights here

00:36 (IST)14 Jun 2020
Goa: Faces of accused covered with grocery bags instead of masks, copy say to prevent identification

In an attempt to balance Covid-19 precautions along with identification parade norms, the Goa police recently covered the faces of eight accused with grocery bags, complete with eyes and nose holes cut out.  

According to the law, the accused’s faces can’t be revealed to the general public before an official identification parade. 

A Goa Police spokesperson said: “All precautions were observed and they were all given masks while being ferried to the police station. This was just for the photograph, as giving only masks would have meant revealing scars etc. Often, there are marks of identification on the face.”

The men had been booked after the North Goa Police busted an online gambling unit on June 13. The Panjim Police booked siblings Ajay and Akshay Karol under various sections of the Goa Gambling Act for online gambling running out of a house at Taleigao, according to a press statement. 

The bust involved six others, who were booked for “engaging in online activities”. Property worth Rs 6 lakh, including computers, internet router and other gadgets, was seized.

The photograph announcing the bust shows police personnel all in masks, and the accused lined up with their faces covered with grocery bags.

23:43 (IST)13 Jun 2020
HP tightens rules, address proof must to enter state

The Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday said people entering the state will have to provide address proof, making it clear that those arriving from the red zones will be quarantined. A senior official said there have been cases of people coming from red zones, which are more seriously affected by coronavirus, but claiming that they were staying in a green zone. This allowed them to go directly to their Himachal homes instead of first spending time at a quarantine centre.

The state also issued a revised list of places with a high virus load. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Howrah and Indore are on this list. Travellers from these places must go into quarantine first, Himachal Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said.

He said the system of issuing e-passes has also been changed, making it mandatory for applicants to provide address proof. Following the new order, Kangra and Hamirpur district magistrates issued directions that everyone coming from these cities will be institutionally quarantined. The quarantine period is usually 14 days. PTI

23:19 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Indiscipline inside quarantine centres main reason for rise in Covid-19 cases: Manipur CM

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh Saturday said ‘lack of discipline and violation of safety guidelines inside quarantine centres’ were the main reasons for the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state.

The Chief Minister was speaking to mediapersons during his visit to the new Covid-19 Care Centre at UNACCO School, in Imphal West District.

Reiterating that inmates who misbehave will be put behind bars, the Chief Minister said that eight people had already been sent to jail for breaking safety protocols and creating disturbances inside quarantine centres. Till Saturday evening, the total number of cases in the state was 385, of which with 308 were active, according to the Union government. Read more  

22:32 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Delhi now has 241 containment zones

The total number of containment zones in Delhi is now 241. Total 66 zones have been de-contained till date, said Delhi Government.

22:25 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Over 1,500 workers still stranded in Pune, unions & activists urge dist admn to send them home

The Pune district administration has, till now, run 97 Shramik Special trains to send nearly 1.22 lakh migrant workers back to their home states, but nearly 1,500 workers are still stranded in the district. City-based activists and trade unions, which have worked to provide relief to migrant workers and others during the pandemic, have written a letter to Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram, requesting him to make arrangements to send the stranded workers home. The group of activists have also reminded Ram about the Supreme Court directive earlier this week, which directed state governments to send stranded migrants home within a fortnight. Read full story here

22:11 (IST)13 Jun 2020
2,134 fresh Covid cases surface in Delhi

A total of 2,134 fresh cases of COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 38,958. 57 more people have succumbed to the illness. The death toll in the city was recorded at 1,271.

22:05 (IST)13 Jun 2020
PIB DG K S Dhatwalia dischared from AIIMS after testing negative for virus

PIB DG K S Dhatwalia has been discharged from AIIMS after testing negative for COVID-19. He was admitted to the institute on June 7.

22:00 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Kerala allows some relaxations in Sunday clampdowns

Kerala has decided to allow some exemptions in its complete clampdown on Sundays, in view of the relaxations been provided since Monday. The exemptions will apply only in non-containment zones. With places of worship reopening partly since June 9, devotees moving to or back from such places are exempt from the Sunday shutdown.

Also, with several university and entrance exams scheduled on Sunday, the administration will allow the movement of students and personnel, albeit on producing their relevant admit and identification cards. Students joining their allotted medical or dental colleges and other educational institutions too have been exempted from the Sunday lockdown. Read the full story here

21:58 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Tripura records 45 new Covid cases

Tripura recorded 45 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday. The infected persons were all returneed from other states Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted: "Alert. Out of 1860 samples tested for #COVID19, more 45 people found #POSITIVE in Tripura today. All of them have travel history. The count includes : Sepahijala District : 44 West District : 01 #TripuraCOVID19Count". With these cases, the state's total Covid case tally now stands at 1,046, out of which 768 are active. 

20:59 (IST)13 Jun 2020
PIL in SC seeking national plan to deal with COVID-19 pandemic

A PIL has been filed by an NGO before the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to prepare, notify and implement a 'national plan' as prescribed under the Disaster Management Act to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The petition, filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) through advocate Prashant Bhushan, has also sought a direction to the Centre to transfer all contributions made to the PM CARES Fund, set up for COVID-19 relief, to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). 'In line with Section 46(1)(b) of the DM (Disaster Management ) Act, all present and future collections, contributions, and grants for the fight against COVID-19 should be credited towards the NDRF,' the PIL said. 'A National Plan under Sections 10 and 11 of the DM Act must be prepared, notified, and implemented to deal with the pandemic,' it said. (PTI)

20:52 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Maha reports 3,427 new COVID-19 cases and 113 deaths in a day

Maharashtra, which is worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the country, on Saturday reported 3,427 new COVID-19 cases and 113 deaths, including 69 from Mumbai, state Health department said. With this, the latest case count in the state stands at 1,04,568 and fatalities at 3,830, an official release said. Of the totalcases, 78,134 cases are concentrated in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) which has reported 2,650 deaths, including Mumbai with 56,831 cases and 2,113 fatalities, it said. (PTI)

20:44 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Watch | Coronavirus update on June 13

Watch | Coronavirus update on June 13

20:41 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Top developments in coronavirus across the globe

  • Worldwide, number of infections has crossed 7.6 million, toll over 4.2 lakh
  • Italy, Germany, France and Netherlands sign contract with Astrazeneca for vaccine
  • Ex-Pak PM Yousuf Raza Gilani tests positive for virus
  • Former Pakistan Cricket team skipper Shahid Afridi tests positive for Covid-19
  • Amid rise in infections in Africa, China offers tests, ventilators
  • Russia’s Covid tally exceeds 520,000
  • Coronavirus hitting Americans hardest, says WHO
  • Beijing in ‘wartime emergency’ as new cluster of Covid cases emerges
  • South Africa reports huge delays in test results
  • Mexico prepares to reopen half the country

20:02 (IST)13 Jun 2020
1,989 fresh COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, total now over 42,000

With 1,989 fresh COVID-19 cases today, a total of 42,687 people have tested positive in Tamil Nadu till date. Chennai recorded 1,484 cases. With 30 deaths today, the toll rose to 397 in Tamil Nadu. A total of 1,362 persons got discharged, there are 18,878 cases still active.

19:30 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Telangana: Covid positive doc writes to Guv to postpone exams, says difficult to face exam stress and health problem

A junior doctor from the Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, who is presently undergoing treatment along with many of his fellows for Covid-19 at the state-run Gandhi general hospital, has written a letter to the Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan seeking her intervention regarding postponement of the final year exams for PGs scheduled to be held between June 20 and 29.

“I personally faced and experienced how difficult it is to be isolated in this critical situation. To prepare for exams in such an atmosphere is simply not possible. Due to this mental agony, I am not able to concentrate to study for the exams. I fear that I may not perform well in the exams and risk losing an academic year because of an unfortunate incident. It is simply not possible to face everything simultaneously: the health problem, studies, the exam anxiety, and the social stigma,” the 29-year-old wrote in his letter. Read full story here  

19:28 (IST)13 Jun 2020
UP's Muzaffarnagar to observe complete shutdown on Sundays

In view of the spike in coronavirus cases, a complete shutdown will be imposed in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar every Sunday starting June 14. All activities except essential services will be suspended, notified the district administration on Saturday. According to District Magistrate Selvakumari J, it has been decided to impose Janata Curfew with all business establishments including shops, hotels, and malls suspended every Sunday. Only the essential services will be allowed, reported PTI. The DM also warned that strict action will be taken against those found violating the curfew. 

19:07 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Seven more test positive for Covid-19 in Himachal Pradesh

Seven more people tested positive for Covid-19 in Himachal Pradesh today, taking total number of active cases to 177, said State Health Department

18:56 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Bengali filmmaker dons doctor's hat to treat patients in cyclone-hit Sundarbans

Bengali filmmaker Kamaleswar Mukherjee, who is also a qualified doctor, is now treating patients in Cyclone Amphan-ravaged Sundarbans region of West Bengal. He had been a full-time medical practitioner, having worked in government and private hospitals, before taking a plunge into the world of cinema in 2011. Read the story in Bengali

18:46 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Delhi govt restarts RT PCR testing for Covid-19 t Sir Ganga Ram hospital

Delhi govt has restarted the RT PCR testing for Covid-19 at Sir Ganga Ram hospital. The lab services at the hospital were suspended on June 3.

18:40 (IST)13 Jun 2020
Testing, number of beds and services to be augmented: PMO

PMO: Meeting also took stock of situation in different states & UTs including Delhi. It was attended by Home Minister, Health Minister, Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Health Secretary, DG ICMR & other related conveyance of the Empowered Groups. It was observed that out of total cases two-thirds are in 5 states with an overwhelming proportion of cases in big cities. In view of the challenges being faced, particularly by the large cities, it was discussed to augment testing as well as the number of beds and services to effectively handle the peak surge of daily cases.

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Coronavirus India News Live Updates

The Delhi High Court Friday directed the AAP government in Delhi and the Centre to increase the number of beds and ventilators for Covid patients in the national capital. The Delhi government is also planning a 10,000-bed makeshift hospital for the coronavirus patients under a sprawling tent in south Delhi as part of the preparations to address the projected surge in cases in the city.

Meanwhile, estimating that the “90 per cent dip” in public transport ridership volumes during the lockdown is unlikely to pick up any time soon, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has called on states and Union Territories to come up with “alternative modes of transport” and “encourage and revive Non-Motorised Transport (NMT)” such as bicycles.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday said that no coercive action will be taken against private firms which failed to pay full wages during the lockdown period, adding that industries and labourers need each other and efforts should be made to resolve dispute over wage payments. The court asked states to facilitate settlement between firms and employees over wage payment and submit reports before labour commissioners. It also asked the Centre to file an affidavit within 4 weeks on the legality of March 29 circular that mandated payment of full wages during the lockdown.

The ICMR has termed the lockdown phases as "successful" in containing the rapid spread of the virus. Less than one per cent of 26,400 people, randomly chosen from 65 districts with varied caseloads, were exposed to the coronavirus in the first month of the national lockdown, according to the first phase of a nationwide sampling to check for the pandemic’s spread via testing for antibodies.

The spike in cases has pushed states to seek requisitions of isolation coaches from the Indian Railways to accommodate as beds for Covid positive patients and avoid overwhelming the health infrastructure. The Centre has warned that five most affected states — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh — going by current trends, are projected to fall short in terms of ICU beds and ventilators between June and August.

After almost two months, the railways' isolation coaches have finally found takers -- Uttar Pradesh has asked for 240 such coaches for 24 locations, Telangana has requisitioned 60 for three places and Delhi has asked for 10 such coaches as COVID-19 cases in India close in on the three lakh mark.

The railways' first such COVID-19 care centre was deployed at Shakur Basti railway stations in Delhi on May 31. It consisted of 10 coaches with a capacity of 160 beds. The coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the coronavirus care centres according to guidelines issued by the health ministry.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: Even though the US and China seem to be on the global frontline in terms of developing a Covid-19 vaccine, an Italian Health Ministry official said Europe was far ahead in the race and the results of an ongoing research could lead to first doses “by autumn-winter”.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has decided to expedite the start of human clinical trials for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine by two months to the second half of July. The move saw its shares rising nearly 2 per cent to $148.69. On the other hand, Moderna Inc has started testing its vaccine candidate in a 600-subject mid-stage trial.

Coming to India, New Delhi-based biotechnology company Panacea Biotec has partnered with US-based Refana Inc to develop, manufacture and distribute an experimental Covid-19 vaccine, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 disease in India is now more than those who are still sick. However, apart from being an interesting milestone, this statistic has little relevance.

This doesn’t mark the beginning of the end of the epidemic, nor is it the arrival of the “peak”. It does not mean either that the number of cases would be declining from now on. In fact, once the number of deaths is brought into the equation, 8,102 at last count, it becomes clear that less than 50 per cent of the total infected people (2.86 lakh) have recovered so far. The total recoveries, in fact, work out to 49 per cent of all cases.

More importantly, total recoveries and the number of active cases are not comparable metrics. Total recoveries account for everyone who has recovered from the disease since the start of the outbreak. It is an accumulated number. Active cases, on the other hand, are only those that have been infected in the last 14 days, if it is assumed that every infected person, apart from those who die, is recovering in 14 days. So the comparison being made is between a number that has accumulated over three months, and increasing, which is the case in India right now, and a number that has emerged in the last two weeks.

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