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Coronavirus India Highlights: Ban on international flights extended till Dec 31; Delhi’s Gopal Rai tests positive

With 44,489 new cases, there are over 92 lakh coronavirus infections in the case. As many as 524 deaths were reported in 24 hours, toll mounts to 1,35,223.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune | Updated: November 27, 2020 8:55:51 am
coronavirus, coronavirus news, covid 19 news, covid 19, coronavirus today news, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, corona cases in india, corona cases in indiaCovid-test being conducted at Delhi-UP border on Tuesday.

Coronavirus India Live Updates: With 44,489 new cases, there are over 92 lakh coronavirus infections in the country. As many as 524 deaths were reported in the 24 hours ending 9 am Thursday, taking the toll to 1,35,223. Of the 92.66 lakh cases, over 4.52 lakh infections are active, while recoveries stand at 86,79,138 with 36,367 new discharges in the last 24 hours.

The Centre Thursday extended the ban on international flights till December 31. A notification issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry said all scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India will remain suspended till 11.59 pm on December 31, 2020. The restriction does not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai tested positive for the novel coronavirus Thursday. Rai is the third minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government to have contracted the virus. Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain were infected with it. An official said Rai, who is also AAP’s Delhi convenor, had met party workers around Diwali. The minister had not attended the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the COVID-19 situation in Delhi on November 19 as he was not feeling well.

In other news, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) on Wednesday issued a fresh set of guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The fresh norms will be effective from December 1, 2020 and will continue till December 31. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel passed away Wednesday morning due to multiple organ failure, more than a month after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Live Blog

Coronavirus India LIVE updates: 44,489 new cases, 524 deaths were reported in 24 hours. MHA issues fresh guidelines. Follow all latest updates here

22:26 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Delhi records 5,475 COVID-19 cases, 91 deaths

Delhi recorded a decline in COVID-19 deaths for the second consecutive day on Thursday with 91 more people succumbing to the disease and 5,475 fresh cases being detected, as the AAP government informed the high court it was "actively considering" whether to impose night curfew to contain the spread of infection. Delhi's Immunization Officer Suresh Seth claimed that once an anti-coronavirus vaccine becomes available, the entire population of the city could be immunised in a month if hospital staff and nurses are involved.

Even as Delhi recorded a daily death toll below 100 for the second day in a row, the case positivity rate increased to 8.65 per cent on Thursday from 8.49 per cent a day earlier.

The 5,475 fresh cases were detected from 63,266 COVID-19 tests, including 28,897 RT-PCR ones, the highest for the city, and 34,369 rapid antigen tests, conducted the previous day, according to a bulletin by the Delhi health department on Thursday.

The city had recorded its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11. As many as 131 COVID-related deaths were recorded on November 18, the highest till date. According to the bulletin, the total number of coronavirus cases climbed to 5,51,262 on Thursday, of which 5,03,717 have recovered. The tally of active cases in Delhi was 38,734 up from 38,287 on Wednesday.

21:14 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Nagpur's COVID-19 count goes up by 452; eight more die

The COVID-19 caseload in Maharashtra's Nagpur district rose to 1,10,332, after 452 persons tested positive for the infection on Thursday, an official.

The district also recorded eight casualties, which took the toll to 3,628, the official said.

Of the casualties reported so far, 2,515 were from Nagpur city alone, while 1,113 were from rural areas and outside the district, he said. As many as 158 COVID-19 patients were discharged from various hospitals during the day, raising the number of recoveries to 1,01,889 in the district, the official said.

There are currently 4,815 patients undergoing treatment for the infection in the districts, he added.

20:40 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Tripura reports 50 new COVID-19 cases

Fifty more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura on Thursday, pushing the coronavirus tally in the state to 32,578, a health department official said. The COVID-19 fatalities of the northeastern state remained at 367, with no person succumbing to the infection since Wednesday, he said.

West Tripura district, under which Agartala falls, has reported 185 coronavirus fatalities so far, the official said. Eighty-five patients were released from GB Pant hospital, the main referral hospital for COVID 19 in the state, on Wednesday.

Tripura now has 770 active coronavirus cases, while 31,418 people have been cured of the disease and 23 patients have migrated to other states, he said. The state has conducted 5,19,865 COVID-19 tests so far, including 2,03,369 RT-PCR and 3,16,496 rapid antigen tests, the official added.

19:44 (IST)26 Nov 2020
COVID-19 testing has reached 'saturation level' in Delhi: Jain

Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said the testing capacity for COVID-19 has reached the "saturation level" in the national capital and laboratories here are finding it difficult to release results of all RT-PCR tests within a day.

As many as 61,778 tests, including 26,080 RT-PCR -- the highest till date for the city -- and 35,698 rapid antigen tests, were conducted on Tuesday for the detection of COVID-19.

"The testing has reached the saturation level? Many people now say they were tested just two to three days ago," Jain told reporters.

The minister said the government had issued directions to increase the number of RT-PCR tests to 35,000, but the laboratories are now finding it difficult to release all test results within a day.

16:49 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Delhi records over 2,300 COVID deaths in less than a month

The national capital has witnessed 2,364 deaths due to coronavirus since October 28, when the daily rise in infections breached the mark of 5,000 cases for the first time, according to official data.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, 99 more fatalities on Wednesday pushed the city's total death toll due to the disease to 8,720. It was after five days that Delhi recorded single-day deaths below 100.?

The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.?

While 131 COVID-related deaths were recorded on November 18, the highest till date, Delhi registered its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11.?

On Thursday, Delhi had recorded 7,546 cases, followed by 6,608 on Friday, 5,879 on Saturday, 6,746 on Sunday, 4,454 on Monday, 6,224 on Tuesday and 5,246 on Wednesday, according to the government data.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 5,45,787 on Wednesday, of which 4,98,780 have recovered from the virus, the data shows.

16:02 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Schools won't be reopened till govt convinced about student safety: Delhi health minister

Schools in the national capital will not reopen till the government is convinced about students' safety, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Thursday.

Universities and schools across the country were closed on March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25.

"There is no plan to reopen schools (in Delhi) as of now. We are hopeful that a vaccine will be available soon. Schools will not be reopened till the time we are convinced that students will be safe," Jain told reporters.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had on Tuesday said reopening of schools is unlikely till a vaccine is available.

While several restrictions have been eased in different 'unlock' phases, educational institutions continue to remain closed. (PTI) 

15:44 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Increase COVID-19 testing in rural areas of Rajasthan: CM to officials

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday stressed on the need to increase COVID-19 testing in rural areas of the state and directed officials to intensify awareness programmes on the coronavirus.?

The chief minister issued the directions during a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation of the state.

He asked officials to further intensify public awareness campaigns on COVID-19, especially in rural areas. Testing for the coronavirus should also be increased in villages, the chief minister said.

The Centre's guidelines on COVID-19 were also discussed in the meeting.

The chief Minister reviewed the implementation of the measures such as night curfews put in place to check the spread of the coronavirus.

14:43 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Avoid cash fines for COVID-19 norms violation, HC tells Delhi govt, police

The Delhi High Court Thursday said the police and the authorities concerned should avoid collecting fines in cash for violation of COVID-19 norms and the AAP government should create a portal for it. On the Delhi government's decision to bring down the number of attendees at weddings to 50, the high court asked as to how the rule was being enforced and whether there were any protocols in place to implement it as a lot of weddings are held during this time of the year. A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said that in the present day and time, "cash transactions need to be avoided" and there should be a provision for paying the fines electronically. It said the government should have a portal for collecting fines, in case it is not there already.

14:35 (IST)26 Nov 2020
6 states/UTs contributed to 60.72% of 44,489 fresh COVID-19 cases: Health Ministry

The Union health ministry on Thursday said 60.72 per cent of the 44,489 fresh COVID-19 cases registered in a span of 24 hours have been contributed by six states and UTs, with Kerala leading the tally followed by Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It said 60.50 per cent of the 524 latest fatalities are concentrated in six states and Union territories-- Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Kerala leads the tally with 6,491 new COVID-19 cases registered in a span of 24 hours, while Maharashtra has reported 6,159 new cases followed by Delhi with 5,246 new cases. Delhi with 99 deaths reported the maximum new fatalities. Maharashtra saw a fatality count of 65 followed by West Bengal with 51 deaths, the ministry said.

14:01 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Out of COVID isolation, British PM to give news conference

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a news conference on Thursday to explain local COVID-19 restrictions, emerging from self isolation two weeks after attending meeting with a lawmaker infected with the novel coronavirus. Downing Street announced on Nov. 15 that Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care in a London hospital earlier this year with the coronavirus, was self isolating.

Johnson on Thursday will chair a cabinet meeting and later give a news conference to explain which areas in England will continue to local restrictions after the end of the monthlong national lockdown next month, finance minister Rishi Sunak said. The details of the curbs are due to be announced with many parts of England expected to continue to face a ban on indoor socialising when national restrictions end next week.

Boris Johnson. (Bloomberg)
13:42 (IST)26 Nov 2020
PM Modi to visit Pune's Serum Institute of India on Saturday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit the Serum Institute of India — which has an agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture the Oxford University vaccine — on Saturday to understand the process of vaccine production and distribution.

"Honourable Prime Minister's visit to Pune has been confirmed and he will visit Serum Institute. The minute-to-minute programme is expected soon," Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said. Top administrative and police officials from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have already held meetings for various arrangements to be made for the visit of PM Modi.

In view of this, a 'familiarisation visit' to Pune of foreign ambassadors and high commissioners on November 27 has been postponed to December 4.

12:58 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto tests positive for COVID-19, in self-isolation

Pakistan's leading opposition politician Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The 32-year-old chief of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and son of former two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto went into isolation after being infected with the virus. “I have tested positive for #COVID-19 & am self-isolating with mild symptoms. I'll continue working from home & will be addressing PPP foundation day via video link. Wear a mask everyone, see you on the other side IA (Insha Allah),” Bilawal tweeted. On Wednesday, he decided to stay away from any political activity after his political secretary Jamil Soomro was tested COVID-19 positive.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (Reuters/File)
12:30 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Moscow extends self-isolation period for COVID-19 risk groups until Jan. 15

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Thursday extended a recommended self-isolation period for residents older than 65 and those in COVID-19 risk groups through New Year until Jan. 15 as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic. Virus cases have surged nationwide since September, but authorities have resisted imposing a stringent lockdown, saying that targeted measures should be enough. Sobyanin also said at least that 30% of staff at companies in the capital who had already been told to work remotely as a precaution should continue to do so until Jan. 15. Moscow, a bustling city of more than 12.5 million people, reports thousands of new coronavirus cases on a daily basis.

12:09 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Ban on international commercial flights extended till December 31

The Centre Thursday extended the ban on international flights till December 31. A notification issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry said all scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India will remain suspended till 11.59 pm on December 31, 2020. The restriction does not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

10:54 (IST)26 Nov 2020
As Punjab grapples with worst Covid fatality rate, expert warns of crucial month ahead

With Punjab continuing to reflect the worst fatality rate of Covid-19 patients in the country, the advisor to Punjab government on Health, Medical Education and Research, Dr KK Talwar, has sounded a word of caution that the month of December will be critical in the fight against the virus and that the people should not let their guard down by ignoring precaution measures.

With the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of Covid patients still almost double the national rate at nearly 3.2 per cent and not showing any signs of going down, the Centre has once again deputed a team of doctors to advise the state government on measures to tackle the pandemic. Punjab has a recovery rate of 92.5 per cent even as certain districts such as Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar, Tarn Taran, Kapurthala and Ludhiana continue to record a very high death rate - much higher than the national average.

10:16 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai tests positive

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai tests positive for COVID-19, news agency PTI reported. 

09:54 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Colombia extends health state of emergency until end of February

Colombia's government will extend its health state of emergency by three months, President Ivan Duque said on Wednesday, as he urged people to avoid crowds and keep up safety measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Andean country has had over 1.27 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and nearly 36,000 deaths. Active cases number 57,260. It held a gradually-loosened national quarantine for five and a half months earlier this year, sending economic growth into negative territory and unemployment soaring. Most economic activities are now allowed, as are international flights, but face masks are required in public. Concerts and other large events are banned.

09:28 (IST)26 Nov 2020
Over 92.66 lakh cases in India

With 44,489 new cases, there are over 92 lakh coronavirus infections in the case. As many as 524 deaths were reported in 24 hours, toll mounts to 1,35,223. Of the 92.66 lakh cases, over 4.52 lakh infections are active, while recoveries stand at 86,79,138 with 36,367 new discharges in the last 24 hrs

07:34 (IST)26 Nov 2020
South Korea reports more than 500 new coronavirus cases, highest since March

South Korea reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases, the highest since March, as the country grapples with a third wave of infections, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said on Thursday. Park did not specify the exact daily tally, but said it was the first time it exceeded 500 since March 6, when South Korea battled the first major COVID-19 epidemic outside China. The government re-imposed tough social distancing rules on the capital Seoul and surrounding regions this week after the daily numbers began hovering above 300 new coronavirus cases last week.

Health authorities have warned the current wave might be tougher to control than earlier infections as most of the second wave has occurred in offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the wider general community around Seoul. Park also expressed concerns that the rate of confirmed patients in their 20-30s had spiked to 28% of total cases over the past month.

Police officers wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus, walk in downtown Seoul (AP)
20:50 (IST)25 Nov 2020
State wise record on fresh Covid-19 cases


Madhya Pradesh reported 1,773 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections to 1,98,284. With 14 more people succumbing to the viral infection, the state's death toll rose to 3,197.

Karnataka added 1,630 new cases of coronavirus and 19 deaths taking the total infections to 8,78,055 and the toll to 11,714,

Maharashtra reported 6,159 fresh cases, taking the count of infections to 17,95,959 With 65 more people succumbing to the viral infection, the cumulative toll in the state mounted to 46,748.

Haryana recorded 42 more coronavirus-related deaths, its highest single-day fatality count so far, pushing the toll to 2,291 while 2,197 fresh cases took the state's infection tally to 2,24,489.

Delhi records 99 more COVID-19 deaths; 5,246 new cases take infection tally to 5.45 lakh

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Coronavirus India LIVE Updates

In an online interaction with Chief Ministers on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned against any laxity in fighting the pandemic and called for measures to reduce the positivity and fatality rates. The Indian Express takes a look at what the states told the Prime Minister:

Maharashtra: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct all the political parties to refrain from holding political protests and not to play politics with lives of people during the pandemic. “All our efforts may fail and it may invite the Covid wave,” he said. Thackeray’s request comes against the backdrop of the protests that the BJP organised across the state over the reopening of places of worship and on inflated power bills in Maharashtra. He said the government is working as per the Centre’s instructions and a task force has been set up to manage vaccination in the state.

Kerala: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pointed to the financial crisis being faced by Kerala and demanded the Centre to allot funds to give financial assistance for the families of those who have died of Covid-19. He said the delay in allotting GST compensation to the state should be avoided and the demands of the states should be factored in the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, he said, according to a statement. The states should be given more freedom in the utilisation of the state disaster response fund, said Vijayan.

West Bengal: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Covid situation is under control, urging the PM to send funds to tackle the pandemic. Lamenting the non-payment of Rs 8,500 crore in GST dues, she said the state has already spent around Rs 4,000 crore for Covid management but the Centre has only released Rs 193 crore. Participating in the video conference from Bankura, Banerjee said the country is looking forward to an early vaccination programme and assured that her state is fully prepared for it with adequate human resources and infrastructure. She said that despite massive rail movement and Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Chhatth festivities, West Bengal has seen improvement in terms of the fatality, positivity and recovery rates.

Haryana: Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said testing in Haryana has reached 1.24 lakh per million, higher than the national average. He said an analysis of data pointed to high case load from districts around NCR. After the meeting, the Chief Minister announced restrictions on gatherings across the state from November 26, especially in six districts adjoining NCR. He also said that Haryana will not impose night curfew but “more strictness is being focused upon during the day hours when people tend to gather and crowds are formed”.

Chhattisgarh: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the Covid situation was “under control” in the state. He said the positivity rate was 4 per cent in July, 8 per cent in August, 15 per cent in September, 10.5 per cent in October, reducing to 7 per cent in November. He said the fatality rate stood at 1 per cent in October-November. He said the state has enough testing equipment and beds.

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