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Coronavirus Highlights: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad tests positive for Covid-19

Coronavirus India Highlights: At present, India has 8,04,528 active cases, while as many as 64,53,780 people have recovered, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: October 17, 2020 10:28:41 am
Ghulam Nabi Azad

Coronavirus India News Highlights: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday tested positive for Covid-19. He is under home quarantine. “I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am in home quarantine. Those who came in contact with me in last few days may kindly follow the protocol,” he said in a tweet.

India reported 63,371 COVID-19 cases and 895 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Friday. With this, the total number of infections in the country rose to 73,70,469, while the number of fatalities soared to 1,12,161. At present, India has 8,04,528 active cases, while as many as 64,53,780 people have recovered, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Follow Coronavirus India Live Updates

Delhi, which recorded almost 3,500 new cases on Thursday to take its total number of infected people so far 3.21 lakh, has overtaken Pune and regained the number one position amongst cities with the maximum number of coronavirus cases in the country.

More than 38.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,094,947 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

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India's cases at 73,70,469, death toll at 1,12,161; Global cases cross 38.8 million. Read latest news and updates below

21:33 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Surat students wear PPE costumes for garba event, amuses netizens

There may be no traditional garba events this year to prevent crowding and the spread of COVID-19, but a group of Surat students came up with festive PPE suits for the festive occasion. Students came up with protective gear that had accessories like traditional belts and dupattas for their unique performance. Watch the video here.

19:03 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Now, women can board Mumbai local trains during limited hours

Over six months after Mumbai’s suburban train services were curtailed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Maharashtra government Friday decided to resume the local train services for women starting Saturday (October 17).

Women will now be allowed to access train services between 11 am to 3 pm and from 7 pm till the last service. While women have been permitted a limited duration, local train services to all essential service providers shall continue to be available for the entire day.

Mumbai power outage: 86 train services cancelled, people forced to walk

17:26 (IST)16 Oct 2020
How is the novel coronavirus likely to behave in winter?

What kind of seasonality has the novel coronavirus shown so far? Why is winter generally associated with a spike in viral infections? What have the coronavirus trends been like in other countries? Should India be worried? We Explain here.

15:37 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad tests positive

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday tested positive for Covid-19. He is under home quarantine.

15:24 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Sabarimala temple to open today; fitness, Covid-negative certificates mandatory for pilgrims

For the first time since the pandemic began, the hilltop shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala will open its doors to pilgrims Friday evening for the five-day prayers in the Malayalam month of Thulam.

The state government and the Travancore Devaswom Board, that administers the shrine, has strengthened safety arrangements to manage pilgrim crowds at a time when Kerala is experiencing a major spike in infections. More details here.

14:13 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Explained: Why WHO vs Gilead on remdesivir matters

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) Solidarity Trial’s pre-print findings on repurposed antivirals have said that remdesivir is ineffective in reducing Covid-19 deaths. Gilead Sciences, the American biopharmaceutical company that has developed and patented remdesivir, has hit back at the findings, which could also impact India.

‘Repurposing’, or ‘repositioning’, of drugs implies an attempt to put ‘old’ drugs that are already licensed, to new therapeutic uses.

The Solidarity Trial is a global human trial launched by WHO and its partners earlier this year in a bid to help find an “effective” treatment for Covid-19. The findings made public late on Thursday were a result of mortality trials of four re-purposed antiviral drugs — remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon.

13:43 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Storms, covid raise fear of worst North Korea famine since 1990s

Three destructive typhoons, U.S.-backed sanctions and the global pandemic are fuelling concern that North Korea’s 26 million people could slip back into the devastating food shortages the country faced during the rule of Kim Jong Un’s father in the 1990s.

Kim said the country is under “an intensive struggle” to recover from the floods and typhoons, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. Kim has been shown repeatedly exhorting officials to minimize the damage to crops and boost yields.

“How many people have endured and struggled with the difficult environment this year?” Kim said, appearing to cry in his speech during a massive military parade on Oct. 10. “The patriotic devotion of our People’s Army soldiers on the quarantine front and in natural disaster recovery front cannot be treated without tears of gratitude.”

13:02 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise in human trial: Study

One of China's leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, called BBIBP-CorV, was shown to be safe and elicited immune response in a small early-phase human trial, researchers said on Friday. A previous clinical trial reported similar results for a different vaccine that is also based on inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus, but in that study the vaccine was only tested in people aged under 60 years. The latest study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, included participants aged between 18 and 80 years, and found that antibody responses were induced in all recipients. Participants aged 60 and over were slower to respond, taking 42 days before antibodies were detected in all recipients compared with 28 days for participants aged 18-59, the researchers said. Antibody levels were also lower in those aged 60-80 years compared with those aged 18-59, they said.

12:54 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Arunachal students beat Covid and connectivity odds to learn
A music session at Jackson Pul’s residence. (Express Photo)

It is around four that Ashapmai Dellang and Behelti Ama visit Jackson Pul every evening. In the musician’s tin-roofed one-roomed wooden home, a space between the bedroom and the kitchen is cleared, the harmonium is brought out, and the singing begins. And then, notes of a Carnatic song fill the room, and beyond into the quiet outskirts of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tezu town.

They do not have a shruti box, the acoustics may not be ideal and the electricity goes off often. But these practice sessions, which began in earnest in early October, are hard-earned. “When it comes to learning music, you need to be in a group, you need to discuss, you need to get feedback,” says Dellang, who hails from Medo village under Wakro circle in Lohit district.'

Till last month, the 18-year-old student of Chennai-based Kalakshetra Foundation was literally running around her village, 20 km from Tezu, in the hope of finding “more than one [network] stick” to attend her online music lesson. A Class 12 humanities student, classical music is Dellang’s main subject, something the daughter of a farmer says she wanted to “make a career” in. Read more here

12:30 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Coronavirus news: Top 10 states with maximum caseload

12:16 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Bengaluru has been growing at a very fast rate in the last two weeks

Bengaluru has been growing at a very fast rate in the last two weeks. On three occasions during this period, the city reported more than 5,000 cases in a day. Delhi has never crossed even 4,500 mark. Bengaluru has been driving the rise of Karnataka which is the second fastest growing state in the country right now, after Kerala. On several occasions in the last three weeks, Karnataka has reported more than 10,000 cases a day.

With more than 2.97 lakh cases, Bengaluru is all set to hit the three-lakh figure on Friday. On Thursday, it reported almost 3,800 cases while a day before that more than 4,500 new cases were found in the city. At this rate, Bengaluru has the potential to even overtake Pune and Delhi in a couple of weeks. It has been steadily closing the gap with these two cities in the last couple of weeks.

12:00 (IST)16 Oct 2020
India coronavirus numbers explained, Oct 16: Delhi overtakes Pune, is again the city with highest Covid-19 cases
Coronavirus news: Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru Covid-19 graphs

With its daily case count beginning to rise again, Delhi has regained the number one position amongst cities with the maximum number of coronavirus cases in the country.

On Thursday, Delhi recorded almost 3,500 new cases to take its total number of infected people so far 3.21 lakh. In the process, it overtook Pune, which had been carrying the maximum burden of infected people for the last one and half months.

After reporting more than 5,000 cases a day on a few occasions in late August and early September, Pune has seen its daily numbers come down steadily in the last on month. For the last three days, it has been reporting less than 1,500 new cases a day.

11:55 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Bengal: Record 3,720 cases in a day, Kolkata patient count crosses 7,000

A day after reporting record Covid-19 deaths, West Bengal on Thursday again registered the highest single-day spike in cases as 3,720 infections pushed up the case count to 3,09,417. The toll rose to 5,870 following 62 fatalities.

The massive increase in daily cases over the last week and a half has dented the discharge rate, which fell to 87.77 per cent despite the recovery of 3,179 patients. The active caseload swelled to 31,984, just four days after crossing 30,000.
A bulk of the new cases, 58.54 per cent, and 45 deaths were recorded in the South Bengal infection hotspot comprising Kolkata and four nearby districts. Of the lot, the situation is the worst in Kolkata, where the active caseload crossed 7,000 on Thursday to settle at 7,106.

11:48 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Soumitra Chatterjee’s health condition improves
A few normal and regular tests will be conducted on Soumitra Chatterjee on Friday. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

The health condition of legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee improved a lot on Friday morning following which doctors have removed him from the BiPAP and put on the nasal mask.

The 85-year-old thespians oxygen saturation has also improved while his sodium and potassium have been both corrected, doctors, treating him at the city-based private hospital, said.

“Mr Chatterjee has slept well last night. His restlessness has also improved. He was on BiPAP in the night but now (in the morning) put on nasal mask. His oxygen saturation is normal and both Sodium and Potassium levels have been corrected. This is a very good sign,” Dr Arindam Kar, leading the team of 15 doctors, treating the veteran actor, said.

11:46 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Kumar Sanu tests positive for coronavirus
Kumar Sanu has tested positive for coronavirus. (Photo: Kumar Sanu/Facebook)

Singer Kumar Sanu has tested positive for coronavirus. The singer’s team took to his Facebook page to inform fans and followers about the COVID-19 diagnosis. The post on the page read, “Unfortunately Sanuda has tested Corona positive, please pray for his good health. Thank you.”

In a chat with Bombay Times, Sanu had recently revealed that he was planning to fly to the US to spend time with his wife Saloni. He had said, “I have been eagerly waiting to be with my wife Saloni, daughter Shannon and Annabel for a long time and now finally, I will be spending my birthday, October 20, with them.”

11:03 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Former MLA, AMMK leader P Vetrivel dies of Covid -19

Former Tamil Nadu MLA and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam treasurer P Vetrivel Thursday passed away due to Covid-19 at a private hospital in Chennai. Vetrivel was admitted to the hospital on October 6 and was later shifted to the Intensive Care Unit on October 9. In the past few days, his health had deteriorated and he was on ventilator support. According to the hospital, Vetrivel passed away at 18:40 due to septicemia.

AMMK said party flags will fly at half-mast and all activities have been suspended for a week as a tribute to the senior leader.

10:31 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Even Pakistan, Afghanistan handled Covid better: Rahul Gandhi on IMF projections

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Centre on Friday over IMF’s projection that the Indian economy is set to contract by a massive 10.3 per cent this year, saying it was another “solid achievement” by the government.

Gandhi took a swipe at the government on Twitter by tagging a chart that showed IMF growth projections for 2020-21 for Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India.

The chart showed that the Indian economy is projected to contract by a massive 10.3 per cent this year, the highest contraction among the countries mentioned.

10:22 (IST)16 Oct 2020
EU chief self-isolates as virus makes its mark at a summit

As a renewed wave of the coronavirus sweeps across much of Europe, the reality of the disease struck a summit of European Union leaders on Thursday when one of the 27-nation bloc's top officials abandoned the meeting to go into self-imposed quarantine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen left the summit venue in Brussels shortly after the meeting began because one of her close staffers tested positive for COVID-19. "I myself have tested negative," von der Leyen, a doctor by training, tweeted. "However, as a precaution I am immediately leaving the European Council to go into self-isolation."

09:59 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Chinese company offers coronavirus vaccine to students

A Chinese drug developer is offering an experimental coronavirus vaccine to students going abroad in a strategy health experts say raises safety and ethical concerns. China National Biotech Group has two vaccine candidates out of five from Chinese developers that are in the final stages of clinical trials. They are part of a global race to develop a vaccine that, if they are successful, offers the fledgling Chinese industry the potential for prestige and worldwide sales.

CNBG's vaccine has been given to medical workers and employees of Chinese companies being sent abroad under an emergency authorization for people in high-risk categories. Now, CNBG says it will provide the vaccine for free to Chinese students who study abroad.

09:28 (IST)16 Oct 2020
Just In | India reports 63,371 Covid-19 cases, 895 deaths in last 24 hours

India reported 63,371 COVID-19 cases and 895 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Friday. With this, the total number of infections in the country rose to 73,70,469 While the number of fatalities soared to 1,12,161. At present, India has 8,04,528 active cases, while as many as 64,53,780 people have recovered, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

coronavirus, coronavirus news, live news, coronavirus today news, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news At a Covid-19 centre in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

For first time ever, Covid-19 growth rate below 1%

The nearly month-long declining trend in detection of new infections has ensured that, for the first time since the epidemic started in India, the growth rate of coronavirus cases has dropped below one per cent a day. The seven-day compounded daily growth rate, for the country as a whole, fell to 0.99 per cent on Tuesday.

At its height, growth rate of coronavirus cases had exceeded 7 per cent per day in the first week of May, but there has been a steady decline after that. This process has been expedited in the last one month which has seen a considerable decline in the daily numbers, from a high of about 98,000 cases to less than 70,000 cases right now.

The three Covid-19 trials that hit a bump

The quest in finding a fast and effective treatment for Covid-19 suffered twin setbacks in a span of 24 hours after two major American drugmakers — Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly and Company — announced they were halting late-stage clinical trials over safety concerns. This comes a month after AstraZeneca briefly halted its trial.

However, experts have said it was not uncommon to pause drug trials to investigate safety concerns, and such actions do not necessarily indicate a serious problem.

A four-day work week? Why this model is gaining ground

Several world leaders and trade unions, too, have proposed a four-day week to help secure jobs. In August this year, Germany’s largest trade union IG Metall pushed for a four-day working week to prevent mass layoffs and salary cuts. Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev are among the many world leaders pushing for a shift to a four-day working week.

Compressed work schedules have been the subject of many studies, which have pointed out a significant increase in both productivity and work-life balance.

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