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Friday, December 04, 2020

Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS: Possibility of Covid-19 reinfection if antibodies reduce in five months, says ICMR

With 46,790 new cases reported across the country, the coronavirus infection has now affected close to 7.6 million people in India. As many as 587 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,15,197.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2020 9:41:27 am
Delhi: Over 400 Covid-19 deaths in a week, pollution adds to the worryThere are 39,795 active cases in the city, out of which 25,321 are under home isolation and 8,180 admitted to hospitals. (Express file photo by Amit Mehra)

The Health Ministry in its briefing on Tuesday said that India has the largest number of COVID-19 recovered cases in the world. The ministry added that while many countries have reported a surge, India has recorded 310 cases per million in the last seven days, which is among the lowest globally. Six states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal – account for 64% of the country’s total active cases. ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava said that there is a possibility of reinfection if antibodies reduce in any person in five months. “That is why it is important to wear masks and take precautions even if one was infected earlier”, he added.

In his seventh address to the nation since the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said the lockdown might have been lifted in the country but the “virus is still out there”. “In this festive season, markets are bright again but we need to remember that the lockdown might have ended but Covid-19 still persists. With efforts of every Indian over last 7-8 months, India is in a stable situation we must not let it deteriorate,” PM Modi said.

Meanwhile, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the national transporter will allow women to travel on suburban trains in Mumbai from October 21 between 11 am to 3 pm and after 7 pm. “We were always ready and with the receipt of letter from Maharashtra Govt today, we have allowed this travel,” Goyal said in a tweet. Railway officials said that before the lockdown, 24 lakh women commuters used the suburban railway system daily. Suburban train services were shut down on March 23. Partial resumption of services was announced on June 15. However, only those deemed to be essential service providers are allowed to board these trains after being allotted a special pass.

With 46,790 new cases reported across the country, the coronavirus infection has now affected close to 7.6 million people in India. As many as 587 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,15,197. Of the 75,97,063 cases, 7,48, 538 cases are still active, while recoveries stand at 66,33,328. It was in July when India had reported a spike of 48,513 single-day coronavirus cases. The infections in India have increased since then, going up to over 97,000 one-day cases in September.

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Read coromavirus highlights from across India

22:20 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Centre considering removing plasma therapy from COVID-19 clinical management protocol

The Centre is considering to remove convalescent plasma therapy from the national clinical management protocol for COVID-19, a top ICMR official said on Tuesday. Presently, the use of off-label convalescent plasma for treating COVID-19 patients in the moderate stage of the illness is allowed under “investigational therapies”.

However, a randomised controlled trial, led by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on 464 patients in 39 hospitals in 25 districts across 14 states and UTs has shown that plasma therapy does not reduce mortality or prevent progression of COVID-19 from moderate to severe.

At a press conference, ICMR Director General Balaram Bhargava said, “We have had discussions in the national taskforce and we are in discussion with the joint monitoring group that this (convalescent plasma therapy) may be deleted from the national guidelines. The discussion is ongoing and more or less we are reaching towards that.”

22:11 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Safety, well-being of all Indians priority of Modi govt: Amit Shah

Asserting that security and well-being of Indians was a top priority for the Modi government, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday asked everyone to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal on COVID-19, saying only a united and determined India can overcome this pandemic crisis.

Shah's appeal came soon after the Prime Minister, in an address to the nation, asked people to follow the COVID-19 guidelines, saying this is not the time to be careless as the virus is still around and even a small negligence can dampen the festive spirit. "Safety and well-being of Indians has been a top priority for the Modi government. And saving lives of the citizens in this battle against coronavirus has been a prime responsibility of the Modi government. In his address to the nation today, Prime Minister Modi has reiterated this resolve," Shah tweeted in Hindi.

22:10 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Mumbai records 1,090 new coronavirus cases, lowest this month

Mumbai reported 1,090 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the tally of cases to 2,44,262, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. The death toll in the city due to COVID-19 reached 9,821 with 45 fresh fatalities. Mumbai has 18,444 active COVID-19 cases at present, the BMC said. Tuesday's spike in the cases was lowest so far this month, data showed. On Monday, the city had recorded 1,233 new cases. So far 13.74 lakh coronavirus tests have been conducted in the city.

21:50 (IST)20 Oct 2020
City of London lays out reinvention roadmap to bounce back from COVID-19

The City of London, or the financial hub of the UK capital, on Tuesday set out its vision for reinvention to bounce back stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. A new report published by the City of London Corporation, London Recharged: Our vision for London in 2025', sets out detailed recommendations to maintain its position as a world-leading business hub and aid the City's recovery and enhance its long-term competitiveness by focusing on innovation, collaboration, inclusivity and sustainability. "The capital's success throughout history has been a story of constant reinvention. It is more important than ever that London adapts quickly to today's challenges so that it remains a place where people want to work, live and visit tomorrow, said William Russell, the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London. This report sets out detailed measures that can help the capital thrive and evolve as we get through the current pandemic. A vibrant London will help to drive our recovery forwards as we work with the rest of the UK," he said.

20:55 (IST)20 Oct 2020
41 more COVID deaths take Delhi's toll to 6,081; infection tally 3.36 lakh

The national capital recorded 41 COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday taking the death toll to 6,081, while 3,579 fresh cases took the infection tally to over 3.36 lakh, authorities said. These fresh cases were detected due to the 56,593 tests conducted the previous day, according to the health bulletin shared by the Delhi Chief Minister's Office on its Twitter handle. Forty-one more fatalities have been recorded, taking the death toll to 6,081, according to the latest bulletin. The tally of active cases on Tuesday rose to 23,922 from 22,570 the previous day. The total number of cases has climbed to 3,36,750, the bulletin added.

20:54 (IST)20 Oct 2020
101 cops succumbed to COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh so far: DGP

Over a 100 police personnel have succumbed to coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh so far, Director General of Police D G Sawang said here on Tuesday. In all 13,229 personnel had been affected by COVID-19 so far and of them 101 died, he said on the eve of Police Commemoration Day. The DGP said 3,780 personnel with moderate risk and 1,334 with high risk were kept under watch with the help of Unit Medical Officers. All the personnel who have crossed 50 and 55 years of age and suffering from co-morbidities were advised to either work from home or kept on indoor, (police) station duties, he added.

20:15 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Tamil Nadu COVID-19 tally inches towards 7 lakh; logs 3,094 new cases

Tamil Nadu on Tuesday recorded a further dip in the number of COVID-19 cases with 3,094 people testing positive for the virus, pushing the tally to 6,94,030. As many as 50 people have succumbed to the virus taking the death toll to 10,741, a bulletin issued by the health department said. The total number of recoveries continued to outnumber new infections with 4,403 people getting discharged, aggregating to 6,46,555. Active cases including those in isolation were at 36,734. Testing of samples on Tuesday stood at 80,371 cumulatively taking the tally to 91,12,067 specimens being examined till date, the bulletin said.

19:42 (IST)20 Oct 2020
No paucity, India in 'extremely comfortable position' in oxygen supply: Health Ministry

There has been no scarcity of medical oxygen in the last 10 months as daily production capacity was enhanced to 6,862 metric tonnes by September and projected to further increase to 7,191 metric tonnes by the end of October, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. At a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the Centre, as a part of proactive interventions, has begun the process of installing oxygen generation plants in 246 hospitals 18 states and union territories in the first phase, out of which 67 were at various stages of completion.

In the second phase, such plants would be installed in 150 more hospitals across 30 states and UTs, he said while stressing that India was in a "comfortable position" in terms of oxygen availability. "There has been no shortage of oxygen in the last 10 months. There is no paucity at present also. We are in an extremely comfortable position," Bhushan added.

19:12 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Heathrow Airport begins rapid Covid-19 tests for flyers out of UK

Heathrow Airport in London, one of the world's largest aviation hubs, on Tuesday launched new pre-departure rapid COVID-19 testing facilities for travellers flying out of the UK. The private test costs 80 pounds and aims to provide departing passengers with their results in around 60 minutes.

The airport said its new test-on-departure process is aimed at helping passengers leaving the UK to meet requirements of governments worldwide alongside reassuring travellers that everyone who has boarded their plane will have only been allowed to do so by showing a negative test result.

"Many other countries are already using testing to keep their borders safe while restarting trade and travel. These facilities will make it easier for passengers going to those countries to get a test and have the potential to provide a service for arriving passengers," said Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.

18:43 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Latest updates on Covid-19 from around the world

  • 46,790 new cases, 587 deaths reported in India; lowest Covid count in three months
  • Possibility of Covid-19 reinfection if antibodies reduce in five months, says ICMR
  • Six states account for 64% of the country's total active cases: Health Ministry
  • COVID-19 case fatality rate declines from 1.77% to 1.52%
  • Women allowed to travel in local trains from October 21 in Maharashtra
  • Turkey's daily COVID-19 patients top 2,000, at early-May levels
  • California says it will independently review coronavirus vaccine
  • Violations of virus restrictions blamed for Pakistan death rise
  • UK sets deadline for Manchester to accept virus restrictions
  • Argentina passes 1 million cases as virus hits Latin America

18:41 (IST)20 Oct 2020
‘It’s festival time, even small negligence can bring us grief’: Top quotes from PM Modi speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation Tuesday urging people to wear masks and be more careful, especially with festivities around the corner. PM Modi warned that while the lockdown may have been lifted in the country, the “virus is still out there”. 

“In this festive season, markets are bright again but we need to remember that the lockdown might have ended but Covid-19 still persists. With efforts of every Indian over last 7-8 months, India is in a stable situation we must not let it deteriorate,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

“Many people have stopped taking precautions now. This is not right. If you are careless, walking out without a mask, then you are putting yourself, your family, your family’s children, the elderly in as much trouble,” he added.

18:22 (IST)20 Oct 2020
PM Modi warns against complacency as Covid cases decline in the country

PM Modi concludes his address to the nation. In his short speech, the PM warned against complacency as Covid cases decline in the country, and asked citizens to be careful in the festive period. "Jab tak davai nahi, tab tak dhilayi nahi."

18:16 (IST)20 Oct 2020
PM Modi quotes Ramcharitmaanas, Kabir to drive home message

PM Modi quotes Kabir, says the poet had said one should not rest till crops are brought home from the field. Similarly, we should not relax till Covid is brought under control. PM also quoted Ramcharitmaanas as saying an enemy, a mistake and an ailment should never be underestimated. Hence, we too should not underestimate Covid threat.

18:12 (IST)20 Oct 2020
PM Modi: India's death rate at per million population is 83

'In India, the death rate at per million population is 83. On the contrary, in several countries such as US, UK and Brazil, the number is over 600. India has been successful in saving lives of its citizens better than more prosperous countries', Prime Minister Modi said in his address to the nation. He also added, “In this festive season, markets are bright again but we need to remember that the lockdown might have ended but Covid-19 still persists. With efforts of every Indian over last 7-8 months, India is in a stable situation we must not let it deteriorate.'

18:06 (IST)20 Oct 2020
‘Lockdown may have been over, but virus is still there': PM Modi

Addressing the nation over Covid-19 crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said that the lockdown may have been lifted in the country but warned saying that the “virus is still out there”.

17:47 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Delhi: Rise in home isolation cases again; pollution, festive season could be factors, say experts

The number of COVID-19 patients under home isolation in Delhi has steadily increased by a margin of 1,804 in the last six days, with experts saying that opening of cinema halls, pollution and greater public activity in the festive season could be the possible factors behind it. On October 18, the number of people under home quarantine stood at 13,742 with 2,770 containment zones in the city. On Monday, the count rose to 14,164 and 2782 respectively, according to official data.

The national capital recorded 31 COVID-19 fatalities on Monday, taking the death toll to 6,040, while 2,154 fresh cases took the infection tally to over 3.33 lakh. After showing a gradual decline since September 22, except on two days, the number of patients under home quarantine had again risen on October 1, the count being 15,899. However, from October 2-13 the cases of home isolation gradually dipped, except on two days when it registered a minimal rise. On October 2 the count was 15,852, which came down to 12,176 on October 13, as per official data. (PTI)

17:21 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Women allowed to travel in local trains from October 21 in Maharashtra

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the national transporter will allow women to travel on suburban trains in Mumbai from October 21 between 11 am to 3 pm and after 7 pm. "I am happy to announce that Railways will allow women to travel on suburban trains from 21 Oct between 11 am to 3 pm & after 7 pm. We were always ready and with the receipt of letter from Maharashtra Govt today, we have allowed this travel," Goyal said in a tweet.

16:58 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Possibility of Covid-19 reinfection if antibodies reduce in five months, says ICMR

"If antibodies reduce in any person in five months, then there is a possibility of reinfection. That is why it is important to wear mask and take precautions even if one was infected earlier", said ICMR's Balram Bhargava Tuesday.

16:46 (IST)20 Oct 2020
WHO solidarity trial is a 30-country trial in which India has been a participant: ICMR

WHO solidarity trial is a 30-country trial in which India has been a participant and interim results of this have been put on the website, which has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, we find that these drugs are not performing as good as it was expected, said ICMR's Balram Bhargava.

16:23 (IST)20 Oct 2020
New COVID-19 cases reported in last 24 hours below 50,000 after 84 days: Health Ministry

COVID-19 case fatality rate has declined from 1.77 per cent on September 1 to 1.52 per cent as on date, said Health Ministry in its briefing on Tuesday. New COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours were below 50,000 after a gap of 84 days, the Health Ministry added. For the first time since July end, India recorded less than 50,000 new infections of novel coronavirus on Monday. The 47,000 cases detected on Monday was the lowest in nearly three months.

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Ramleela artists of Sector 17 ride bicycles to spread awareness to wear masks onthe road towards Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Sunday. (Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Officials at the World Health Organization reiterated the importance of adhering to quarantine rules for those who test positive and those who have come in contact with a positive case, as Europe faces a surge in numbers. Globally, the infections have topped 40.2 million, with over 1.1 million deaths. Soaring cases in US battleground states pose a challenge for President Donald Trump two weeks before the election.

The reasons for the continuous decline in coronavirus infection numbers since last month have not been clear. The numbers have fallen sharply – even though travel restrictions have eased, economic and other activities have resumed and, to a large extent, normalcy has returned.

There has also been no reduction in the number of tests, nor has the disease prevalence in the population reached a stage where ‘herd immunity’ would have to be factored in. The use of face masks, and physical distancing are far from being universal.

The government-appointed scientific committee has not spelt out the possible reasons for the decline in coronavirus numbers. But two of its members offered insights into what could be happening.

“A recent case study of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu published in the journal Science a few weeks ago showed that almost 70 per cent of infected people were not passing the disease to others. The virus was spreading only through a small set of people who are referred to as super-spreaders,” Prof Manindra Agrawal, a member of the committee, told The Indian Express.

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