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Friday, October 30, 2020

Highlights: Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav tests positive for Covid-19

The total caseload in the country stands at 72,39,390, including 8,26,876 active cases, 63,01,928 recovered cases and 1,01,586 deaths.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: October 15, 2020 9:49:41 am
west bengal coronavirus latest updates, bengal covid cases, bengal covid-19, kolkata covid hospitals, kolkata city newsAt a cinema hall in Kolkata. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav tested positive for Covid-19 Wednesday. The 80-year-old leader is presently asymptomatic and under medical observation.

Read Coronavirus India Live Updates

Meanwhile, India on Wednesday recorded 63,509 new Covid-19 cases and 730 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. The total caseload in the country stands at 72,39,390, including 8,26,876 active cases, 63,01,928 recovered cases and 1,01,586 deaths. Active coronavirus cases have remained below 9 lakh for six days in a row. The fatality rate was recorded at 1.53 per cent. Maximum deaths have occurred in the age group of 60 years and above (53 per cent) and lowest in the age group of below 17 (1 per cent) and 18-25 years (1 per cent).

During the weekly briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan highlighted that a significant 35 per cent of deaths have occurred in the age group of 45-60 years, indicating that this age group is highly vulnerable, in the backdrop of resumption of economic activities.

Meanwhile, with active cases below 9 lakh for five consecutive days and the weekly positivity rate at 6.24 per cent, Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul warned that the festive season and winter could likely result in a surge of cases if precautions are not taken.

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India's Covid-19 tally at 72. 39 lakh; death toll stands at 1.10 lakh. Read the latest news and updates here.

00:01 (IST)15 Oct 2020
Second wave of infections likely in winter, need to be alert: Pune Admn

With the Union government and experts warning of a second wave of Covid-19 infections in winter, the district administration on Wednesday stressed on the need to be alert and aware of the situation.

“There is a decline in the number of new cases. So, the current situation of availability of beds and ventilators is satisfactory. Many of the beds are vacant but we are prepared if there is a need to scale up the facility,” said Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao. Read more

23:43 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Manipur records highest single-day spike in COVID-19 death, positive cases

Manipur on Wednesday witnessed six COVID-19 related deaths, highest in a day, taking the total death toll to 103. With 301 positive cases, the state also recorded the highest single-day spike of COVID-19 positive on Wednesday the cumulative positive cases in the state has climbed to 14,094. With this the number of active cases is 3,076 (General Population - 2,709 and Central Security Personnel - 367).

According to Manipur health department, of the total six deaths, two were from Imphal East district, one each from Imphal West, Thoubal, Kangpokpi and Tamenglong districts. The victims were between the ages 40 to 88 years.

The department said of the 301 positive cases reported on Wednesday 281 persons were from general population and 20 personnel from Central Armed Police Force (CAPF). A total of seven persons from IW are returnees while the rest are locals without any significant travel history.

The positive cases are being shifted to the Covid Care facilities. All necessary medical precautionary measures like containment and contact tracing are in place, said the department.

As many as 86 persons were also reportedly discharged and the recovery rate stands at 77.44%.

21:49 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav tests positive for Covid-19

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav tested positive for Covid-19 Wednesday. The 80-year-old leader is presently asymptomatic and under medical observation. 

18:13 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Kerala reports 6,244 new coronavirus cases

Kerala reported 6,244 new coronavirus cases today from 50,056 samples. The recovered patient count stood at 7792 for the day. The positivity rate also fell down to 12.47 per cent.

18:11 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Noida records 139 new coronavirus cases, one more succumbs to disease

Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar recorded one more fatality due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, pushing the death toll to 61, official data showed.

The district also recorded 139 new COVID-19 cases as its overall infection tally reached 15,327, according to the data released by the UP Health Department for a 24-hour period.

The number of active cases came down to 1,528 from 1,557 on Tuesday and 1,579 on Monday, the data showed.

As many as 167 patients got discharged during the period and the overall number of recoveries in the district reached 13,738, seventh highest in the state, it showed. (PTI)

18:08 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Kolkata malls focus on safety protocols to tackle increasing footfalls ahead of Durga Puja

With rising footfalls in the run-up to the Durga Puja festival, the authorities of shopping malls in the city are taking all health safety measures, including the use of ultraviolet rays to sanitise elevators and handrails, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said on Wednesday.

Leading shopping malls such as Acropolis, South City and Quest are currently experiencing a surge in footfalls ahead of Durga puja and expecting that number of visitors will further rise with multiplexes reopening from Thursday.

South City mall has witnessed a 20-30 per cent jump in footfall in recent weeks and is also concentrating on the frequent sanitisation of common touchpoints, an official said.

The shopping destination in the southern part of the city recorded over 40,000 footfalls on Sunday. (PTI)

17:49 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Maharashtra: Metro services to resume, libraries allowed to open from tomorrow

The Maharashtra government Wednesday allowed resumption of metro rail services in the state from October 15 in a graded manner as part of its “Mission Begin Again”. According to new guidelines, government and private libraries will also be allowed to resume from October 15 in adherence to strict Covid-19 protocols.

Metro Rail services were stopped in Maharashtra following the announcement of the nationwide lockdown starting March 25 to curb the coronavirus pandemic. The order said Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) would be issued by the Urban Development department.

The government has also allowed marriage and other family functions with number of guest not exceeding 50 and funerals/last rites with number of guests capped at 20. Read more

16:19 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Pandemic underscores need for greater global cooperation for collective health, says President Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind says the coronavirus pandemic has underscored need for greater global cooperation to ensure collective health and economic well-being of people. (PTI)

15:26 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Maharashtra: Over 10 lakh COVID-19 suspects tested in Thane so far

Over 10.15 lakh persons have been tested for coronavirus so far in Maharashtra's Thane district, of which more than 8 lakh tested negative for the infection, an official said on Wednesday.

With the addition of 959 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the count of infections in the district reached 1.94 lakh, the official said.

Apart from this, 39 patients died of the infection, raising the toll to 4,913, he said. (PTI)

13:40 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Odisha's Covid-19 tally jumps to 2,59,541 with 2,604 fresh cases

Odisha's Covid-19 tally surged to 2,59,541 on Wednesday as 2,604 people tested positive for the disease, while 15 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,072, a health department official said.

The state's quarantine centres reported 1,511 infections and the remaining cases were detected during contact tracing.

Khurda district, comprising state capital Bhubaneswar, recorded 385 new cases followed by Angul (216) and Cuttack (209). (PTI)

13:39 (IST)14 Oct 2020
University of Houston partners Indian-American co-founded company for Covid-19 vaccine

The University of Houston has joined hands with an Indian-American co-founded biotech company, AuraVax Therapeutics, to develop a 'differentiated-approach' vaccine against aggressive respiratory diseases, such as Covid-19.

AuraVax, however, has the option to exclusively license a new intranasal vaccine technology developed by its Indian-American co-founder, Navin Varadarajan, M.D. Anderson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston.

"A safe and durable vaccine is urgently needed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic that has infected millions of people and caused over 620,000 deaths globally," Vardarajan told PTI.

"We plan to stop Covid-19, a respiratory virus, at its point of entry -- the nasal cavity -- and we believe our intranasal platform is a differentiated approach that will lead to a vaccine with increased efficacy to create sustained immunity to Covid-19," he said. (PTI)

12:39 (IST)14 Oct 2020
India coronavirus numbers explained: 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.

In fact, on Monday, only about 55,000 new cases were detected. That was the lowest number since August 17. Though part of it could be attributed to the low testing on Sunday, the daily numbers have been falling steadily, leading to a very welcome decline in the active cases as well. In less than a month, active cases have come down by almost two lakh.

11:58 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Private hospitals request West Bengal govt to reduce GST on Covid-19 test kits

Private hospitals in Kolkata have welcomed the state government's decision to reduce the cost of Covid-19 test from from Rs 2,250 to Rs 1,500 as well as fixing rates for ambulance services, PTI reported. 

They have requested the state government to consider lowering the GST on COVID-19 test kits.

The state Cabinet brought down the rate of Covid-19 tests at private sector from Rs 2,250 to Rs 1,500 on Monday, apprehending a surge in the infection in the coming weeks as the state will witness Durga Puja festivals.

11:01 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Hospitals in Pune see steady decline in new Covid cases

Hospitals in Pune have started reporting fewer cases of new Covid-19 infections. An analysis till October 11, conducted by the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) health department, shows a definite easing of burden on health facilities.

As on Monday, of the total 15,417 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients by PMC in government and private hospitals as well as Covid care centres, only 6,651 were occupied while 8,766 were vacant.

The 1,902 vacant beds in dedicated Covid hospitals included 193 normal beds without oxygen, 1,440 beds with oxygen, 174 ICU beds without ventilators and 95 ICU beds with ventilators. The maximum beds were vacant at Covid care centres set up across the city. Of the 7,911 beds, only 1,047 were occupied while 6,864 were vacant, with the PMC keeping many centres closed temporarily.

06:11 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Bengal: Covid count tops 3 lakh, recovery rate stagnant

West Bengal’s caseload crossed the three-lakh mark on Tuesday to rise to 3,02,020 after the state added a record 3,631 cases in 24 hours. Read More

01:52 (IST)14 Oct 2020
Covid cases drop for seventh day in Gujarat

With cumulative coronavirus cases in Gujarat nearing 1.55 lakh, the state saw its seventh consecutive day of decline in fresh Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, with the addition of 1,158 cases. Ten others succumbed to the infection, including one death reported from Mahisagar and three deaths in Vadodara — the maximum fatality in the district since September 25. Read More

23:11 (IST)13 Oct 2020
Pimpri-Chinchwad: New Covid-19 cases hit three-month low, PCMC now concerned about rising mortality rate

Even as the number of new Covid-19 cases in Pimpri-Chinchwad dropped further on Tuesday, the civic administration has expressed concern over the sudden spike in mortality rate, which has crossed 2 per cent. Read More

21:03 (IST)13 Oct 2020
India expected to have Covid vaccine by early next year: Health minister

India is expected to have a Covid-19 vaccine from more than one source by early next year and the government is formulating distribution strategies for the immunisation of people across the country, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday. More details here.

20:07 (IST)13 Oct 2020
World economy in deep recession in 2020, growth to be -4.4% : IMF

The IMF on Tuesday predicted a deep global recession this year and the world growth to be – 4.4 per cent, asserting that the global economic crisis is far from over mainly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund also said the swift recovery in China has surprised on the upside while the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks. Click here to read the full report.

20:03 (IST)13 Oct 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus and Portugal football superstar, has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, according to the Portugal Soccer Federation. More details here.

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

On Tuesday, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief said that with at least three cases of Covid-19 reinfection having been identified in the country, India is taking 100 days as the cut-off period in identification of reinfection of novel coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, with the Covid pandemic not showing any sign of abating in the near future, insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has allowed renewal, migration and portability of Covid-specific standard health products — Corona Rakshak, Corona Kavach and Group Corona Kavach policies.

Irdai said Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies of any tenure will be allowed to be renewed for further terms of three-and-a-half months, six-and-a-half months or nine-and-a-half months, as per the option exercised by policyholder. The renewal should be subject to the underwriting policy of the insurer, it said.

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Herd immunity or Covid-19 vaccines?

Once again, the debate over herd immunity has surfaced. This time, it was triggered by three well-known scientists -- Sunetra Gupta, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, and Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University — who released a declaration, expressing “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing Covid19 policies” of governments across the world, and recommended an approach called “Focussed Protection” based on the concept of herd immunity.

Herd immunity is when a sufficiently large proportion of the population is infected with a virus and generate natural immunity against the disease.

Also read | Covid-19 impact on brain explained: What research says on types of damage, who’s more vulnerable 

This declaration has garnered signatures of nearly 9,000 medical and public health scientists, and over 22,000 medical practitioners apart from close to four lakh other people.

In the wake of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a statement saying herd immunity is “scientifically and ethically problematic”. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference, “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

Ghebreyesus said the right way to reach herd immunity was by vaccinating more and more people.

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