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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS: Kashmir sero survey finds virus antibodies in 39% people

The survey carried out in October found the highest prevalence of antibodies in Pulwama at 43.1 per cent and the lowest in Kulgam at 28.5 per cent.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: November 19, 2020 7:47:37 am
Kashmir sero survey, Kashmir news, Kashmir covid cases, kashmir coronavirus cases, Kashmir antibodies, india news, Indian expressA sanitation worker sprays disinfectant liquid on the premises of a residential house in North Kashmir's Bandipora district.

A sero survey conducted in Kashmir has found that two out of every five people in the valley have developed antibodies against the coronavirus. The survey carried out in October found the highest prevalence of antibodies in Pulwama at 43.1 per cent and the lowest in Kulgam at 28.5 per cent, news agency PTI reported.

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry has announced a slew of measures to aid the Covid-19 situation in the national capital, including conducting a house to house survey; deploying mobile testing vans; flying in more doctors and paramedics; increasing ICU beds, ventilators and BIPAP machines; and placing more equipment in private sector labs.

At the same time, India, as a whole, detected 38,617 cases and 474 deaths in the 24 hours ending 9 am Wednesday, taking the country’s overall coronavirus caseload to 89.12 lakh. India’s 89,12,908 cases includes 4,46,805 active cases, 83,35,110 recoveries and 1,30,993 deaths.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to US President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday night, the first phone conversation between the leaders since the latter won the American presidential elections. PM Modi and Biden discussed their shared priorities and concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, among other things.

With several vaccines for the novel coronavirus in late-stage clinical trials, the Indian government is strategising their distribution. On Monday, Dr V K Paul, member, NITI Aayog, who heads the high-level national expert group on vaccine administration, said the government was relying on the five candidates being clinically tested in India. This is because, he said, candidates like Pfizer and Moderna are yet to be granted licences in India, and are likely to first be delivered to countries that have already signed deals with these firms. The doses are likely to arrive in India months later. Paul said the candidates being tested locally will be able to fulfill the large domestic requirements.

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38,617 cases and 474 deaths take India's tally to 89.12 lakh. Read highlights

21:19 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Gujarat govt issues guidelines for re-opening of schools

The state education department has fixed Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Class X and XII while Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for Class IX and XI for re-opening of secondary and higher secondary schools from November 23.

The state government issued a Government Resolution (GR) on Wednesday outlining the conditions and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed by schools, parents and students once the schools are re-opened.

As per the SOPs issued by the Central Government, capacity building of principals, teachers, parents, students and school management committee members (SMCs) would be undertaken by Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) and District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), the GR stated. More details here.

gujarat schools reopens, gujarat schools lockdown, covid lockdown, school open after lockdown, gujarat news, indian express

21:05 (IST)18 Nov 2020
5,011 new coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, 100 deaths

Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally rose to 17,57,520 with the state reporting 5,011 new cases of infection on Wednesday, the health department said. Notably, the daily spike in the cases had hovered around 3,000 in the last few days. With 100 new deaths being reported during the day, the state's death toll rose to 46,202, the health department said in a statement. A total of 6,608 patients were discharged from hospitals on Wednesday, which took the number of recovered persons to 16,30,111. (PTI)

18:03 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Pfizer ends Covid-19 vaccine trial with 95% efficacy

Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday that final results from the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine show it was 95% effective, adding it had the required two-months of safety data and would apply for emergency US authorization within days.

The drugmaker said the efficacy of the vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE, was consistent across age and ethnicity demographics, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunization could be employed broadly around the world. Click here to read more.

16:32 (IST)18 Nov 2020
UP's Covid-19 tally rises to 5,16,616 with 2,390 fresh cases

Uttar Pradesh's COVID-19 case count mounted to 5,16,616 on Wednesday with 2,390 fresh infections, while the death toll climbed to 7,441 with 29 more fatalities, officials said. The number of active cases in the state stands at 21,954, they said.

"The state-reported 2,390 new cases in the past 24 hours, while 2,529 people were discharged during the same period," Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters. (PTI)

15:42 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Kashmir sero survey finds virus antibodies in 39% people

A sero survey conducted in Kashmir has found that two out of every five people in the valley have developed antibodies against the coronavirus. The survey carried out in October found the highest prevalence of antibodies in Pulwama at 43.1 per cent and the lowest in Kulgam at 28.5 per cent, news agency PTI reported. More details here.

Kashmir sero survey, Kashmir news, Kashmir covid cases, kashmir coronavirus cases, Kashmir antibodies, india news, Indian express

15:14 (IST)18 Nov 2020
No firm evidence of food trade spreading coronavirus -FAO

There is no significant evidence of coronavirus being spread through food trade and such reports "need to be minimised", Maximo Torero Cullen, chief economist of the United Nations food and agriculture agency, said on Wednesday.

The FAO has previously said it does not see food production in supplier countries as a source of the novel coronavirus, he told the Global Grain conference. China says it has found the virus on the packaging of products from 20 countries but foreign officials say the lack of evidence produced by authorities means it is damaging trade. (Reuters)

14:11 (IST)18 Nov 2020
HC upholds Delhi govt’s decision to ban Chhath puja celebration at public places

The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the ban on holding of Chhath Puja at public places like ponds and riverbanks in the national capital, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It appears the petitioner is not alive to COVID-19 situation in Delhi. Any such permission if granted would necessarily result in such function turning into a super spreader. The right to health must be respected first. The person has to live to be able to practice any religion,” the court said. Read more here

14:03 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Centre steps in to aid Delhi; slew of measures announced by MHA

The Union Home Ministry Wednesday announced a slew of measures to aid the Covid-19 situation in the national capital. These measures includedL:

  • Deployment of doctors and paramedics from the CAPF
  • DRDO to add 250 ICU beds to its already existing 250 ICU beds, and create 35 BIPAP beds in next 3 to 4 days at its Covid hospital near Delhi airport
  • Indian Railways making available train coaches with 800 beds at Shakur Basti Railway Station. Doctors and para-medics from CAPFs to man these coaches as Covid care-cum-isolation facility
  • Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has dispatched 250 ventilators from Bengaluru. Expected to reach Delhi by weekend
  • Health Ministry has delivered 35 BIPAP machines to DRDO Covid facility near Delhi airport
  • To bring testing closer to Delhi residents, ICMR to help Delhi goverment in deploying 10 mobile testing labs for Covid with total capacity of 20,000 tests in phased manner beginning next week
  • MHA is planning a house to house survey, expected to begin by the weekend and end by November 25
  • ICMR to help in augmenting capacity by 2,000 tests of Delhi labs by deploying more manpower, increasing number of shifts and placing more equipment and involving private sector labs. It is aiming to reach a testing level of 60,000 RT-PCR tests per day by November end
13:14 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Delhi restricts number of guests at weddings to 50

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has given his nod to a proposal from the Kejriwal government to restrict guests at wedding functions to 50, down from 200. The proposal was sent a day earlier, on Tuesday, in light of the wedding season amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said “considering the recent spike in the number of corona cases, the Delhi government has decided to withdraw this relaxation. Only 50 people will be allowed in wedding ceremonies in the capital.” The national capital reported 6,396 new cases on Tuesday, taking its total number of infections to 4,95,598.

Also read | Strained wedding industry says guests reduction move could be the final straw

12:29 (IST)18 Nov 2020
India's Covid-19 numbers dip, could be a result of low testing

Less than 39,000 new cases were detected from across the country on Tuesday, the third consecutive day when this number has remained below 40,000. But these low numbers seem to be a result of unusual dip in the testing levels. For five days now, the testing numbers have remained below ten lakh. This hasn’t happened in the last three months.

More than 89.12 lakh people have so far been detected with the virus, of which more than 83,35 lakh, or about 94 per cent, have recovered from the disease. The death toll is touching 1.31 lakh now. Amitabh Sinha explains the numbers

12:09 (IST)18 Nov 2020
A footballer’s Covid dribble from Fiji to Goa: 40 days, quarantine in 3 countries

Roy Krishna boarded a flight from Labasa, his hometown in Fiji, on September 24. Ten Covid tests, 40 days and four connecting flights later, the Fijian footballer of Indian origin stepped onto the training field in Goa, where this season of the Indian Super League (ISL) will start Friday. The 33-year-old spent 30 days in quarantine, in three countries, to make it in time to play for defending champions ATK Mohun Bagan. Read Mihir Vasavda's story

11:59 (IST)18 Nov 2020
India coronavirus update: Top 10 states with maximum caseload

11:50 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Coronavirus: Kerala seems to have left the worst behind

Though it is still reporting a large number of new cases of coronavirus infections every day, Kerala seems to have crossed the hump, at least for the time being, and left the worst behind. There has been a steady decline in the number of active cases for the last three weeks. Active cases have come down from a high of about 97,000 to about 70,000 now. This is still the second highest in the country right now, after Maharashtra.

For almost a month in September and October, Kerala had seen its Covid cases grow at the fastest rate in the country. It had also started to report the highest number of cases, even more than Maharashtra. On a few occasions, it had reported more than 10,000 cases in a single day. And yet, the state seems to have avoided the worst predictions that were being made.

In the last one week, the state has reported less than 7,000 cases every day. Though these numbers are still the second highest in the country, after Delhi, a declining trend seems to have been established. Amitabh Sinha explains the numbers

10:57 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Odisha crosses 3 lakh mark

Odisha now has over 3 lakh Covid-19 cases. The state reported 644 new cases on Tuesday, taking its caseload to 3,10,052. With 17 additional deaths, its toll rose to 1,560. Of the new cases detected yesterday, 371 were reported from quarantine centres while 273 were local contact cases, reported PTI.

10:41 (IST)18 Nov 2020
Bengaluru Covid-19 fatality rate lowest among big cities: Karnataka health minister

Karnataka Health Minister Sudhakar K says the Covid-19 fatality rate in Bengaluru is the lowest among major Indian cities. The city's fatalities rate is 1.1 per cent, he said, quoting a report in the Times of India. "With 3,36,880 recoveries and 17,707 active cases as on Tuesday, city's recovery rate stands at a healthy 93.94 per cent and active rate stands at 4.93 per cent", he tweeted this morning.

09:40 (IST)18 Nov 2020
38,617 cases, 474 deaths in 24 hours; tally 89.12 lakh

India detected 38,617 cases and 474 deaths in the 24 hours ending 9 am Wednesday, taking the country’s overall Covid caseload to 89.12 lakh. India’s 89,12,908 cases includes 4,46,805 active cases, 83,35,110 recoveries and 1,30,993 deaths.

08:48 (IST)18 Nov 2020
New research: Hepatitis C drugs shown to inhibit coronavirus enzyme

Several Hepatitis C drugs have been found to inhibit a crucial protein enzyme in the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The experiments were led by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The results are published in the journal structure.

Once it has entered the human cell using its spike protein, the coronavirus uses an enzyme called the main protease to replicate. The coronavirus expresses long chains of compounds, which must be cut by the main protease to become functional proteins. Inhibiting the functioning of the main protease, therefore, is vital to stopping the virus from spreading in patients with Covid-19.

The new study is part of efforts to quickly develop treatments for Covid-19 by repurposing existing drugs for other viral diseases. Read more here

08:32 (IST)18 Nov 2020
PM Narendra Modi and Joe Biden talk; flag Covid-19, climate change and Indo-Pacific
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President-elect Joe Biden (Source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

In their first conversation since the results of the US election earlier this month, US President-elect Joe Biden called Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday night, during which the PM congratulated Biden and reiterated New Delhi’s commitment to the Indo-US strategic partnership and discussed their “shared priorities and concerns”.

Of the three issues that Modi flagged, the first two, Indo-Pacific and Covid-19, are areas of continuity between the Trump and Biden presidencies, while climate change is an old favourite of the Democratic administration.

22:57 (IST)17 Nov 2020
Delhi records 6,396 fresh cases, 99 fatalities

Delhi recorded 6,396 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 4.95 lakh, while 99 more fatalities pushed the toll to 7,812, authorities said. These fresh cases came out of the 49,031 tests conducted the previous day, while the positivity rate stood at 13.04 per cent amid the festive season and rising pollution in the city, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department. The highest single-day spike till date here -- 8,593 cases -- was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded. (PTI)

22:43 (IST)17 Nov 2020
Bihar reports 513 new COVID-19 cases, 5 fresh fatalities

Bihar's COVID-19 tally rose to 2,27,945 on Tuesday as 513 more people tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said. Five more patients succumbed to the infection, pushing the state's coronavirus death toll to 1,194, it said. Bihar's recovery count surged to 2,21,210 as 749 more people were cured of the disease, the bulletin said. The recovery rate among the COVID-19 patients in the state has improved to 97.04 per cent, it said. The state now has 5,541 active coronavirus cases, the bulletin said. (PTI)

coronavirus, coronavirus news, live news, coronavirus today news, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, corona news Testing for Covid-19 in progress in Mumbai. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

* Farooq, Omar Abdullah in quarantine

National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have self-isolated after one of their secondary contacts tested positive for the disease. Taking to Twitter, Omar said "My father and I have been in contact with a person who was in turn staying with a relative who tested Covid-19 positive. Based on medical advice, we will be self-isolating for a week before getting a precautionary Covid test."

* Govt advises 'Covid appropriate behaviour' amid festive season

The Union Health Ministry Tuesday reiterated the need to be careful and properly implement “Covid appropriate behaviour”. Keeping in mind the festive season, the ministry said the “effects of polls, Durga Puja, Diwali may be seen in coming weeks. We have to keep watching new cases very carefully.” Strictly following all the precautionary measures like not visiting crowded places, taking extra care of vulnerable sections of the society and maintaining “2-feet” distance are still very important. “Don’t be hesitant to get yourself tested” in case of symptoms, the health ministry secretary said.

* WHO praises Uttar Pradesh govt for Covid-19 management

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised the Uttar Pradesh government for its Covid-19 management strategy terming it as a good example for other states to follow. "The UP government’s strategic response to Covid-19 by stepping up contact tracing efforts is exemplary and can serve as a good example for other states,” Roderico Ofrin, WHO Country Representative, said in a statement issued here by the state government.

* Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' enters phase-3 trials

Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech, is now undergoing phase-3 trials, Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech said Monday. Speaking virtually at a programme organised by the Indian School of Business, Ella said the company was also working on another vaccine for Covid-19 which would be in the form of nasal drops, and may be ready by next year. "We partnered with ICMR for a Covid-19 vaccine... as we speak it entered the phase 3 trials," he said, reported PTI.

* Nearly 160 tonnes of biomedical waste generated during Bihar elections

Nearly 160 tonne of biomedical waste in the form of gloves, face masks and empty sanitiser bottles used by polling personnel and voters was generated during the Bihar Assembly polls held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, poll authorities in the state have said. They relied on an inexpensive but effective technology used to track EVMs to ensure that the waste reached public health centres for its onward journey to the incinerator.

To ensure safety of voters, polling staff and security personnel, the Election Commission had procured 18 lakh face shields, 70 lakh face masks, 5.4 lakh single use rubber gloves for polling and security personnel and 7.21 crore ‘one hand’ single use polythene gloves for voters to press the EVM button and sign the register at the polling stations.

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