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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: 61 MP Assembly staff, 5 MLAs test COVID-19 positive on eve of session

India reported 18,732 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Sunday. This is the lowest daily spike in infections since June.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 28, 2020 8:33:07 am
A man cycles past a mural in Mumbai urging people to wear masks. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

Coronavirus India Highlights: On the eve of the three-day session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, 61 employees and officials of the Assembly secretariat and five MLAs have tested coronavirus positive, news agency PTI reported. After taking stock of the preparation for the session, Protem Speaker of MP Assembly Rameshwar Sharma said,  “As many as 61 employees and officials of the state Assembly secretariat have tested coronavirus positive so far. Besides, five MLAs were also found infected as per the reports received till now,”.

India reported 18,732 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Sunday. This is the lowest daily spike in infections since June. This is the second time in the week that the daily cases number has dropped below 20,000. Of the 1.01 crore cases, active infections stand at 2.78 lakh. Today also marks the second consecutive day that the toll has remained below 300 — 279 deaths reported on Saturday.

European countries including Italy, Germany and France kicked off their vaccination campaign as a growing list of countries in the continent have identified their first cases of the coronavirus mutation widespread in the U.K. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte extended the ban on U.K. flights by two weeks and said he’s open to reinstating tighter movement curbs if coronavirus infections spike. Japan will ban entry to most non-Japanese nationals through the end of January.

India is set to hold a dummy vaccination exercise on December 28 and 29, setting stage for the largest and most ambitious mass immunisation programme in its history. The drive will be carried out in 2 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Assam and will be closely monitored by the centre, The Indian Express has learnt. 

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India reports 18,732 new cases; lowest spike since June; India to conduct dummy vaccination drive next week; Covid-19 tally over 1.01 cr, death toll over 1.47 lakh. Follow this space for the latest Covid-19 updates.

23:35 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Kolkata Book Fair postponed: Guild

The Publishers and Booksellers Guild has decided to postpone the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair until the Covid-19 situation improves and a vaccine is available, a guild official said on Sunday. The annual book fair was originally scheduled to be held from January 27 to February 7.

Guild president Tridib Chatterjee told reporters, “The book fair will be held once the Covid-19 situation improves and there is a vaccine in the market. With normal international flight movement yet to begin

and with the school, college campuses closed, we cannot put the health safety of lakhs of people at risk. Regulating the entry of people in a book fair of this magnitude is not possible. It is more advisable to wait for some more time till the situation improves.”

The London Book Fair, another similar international event, had already been postponed.

The book fair in 2019 had attracted over 15 lakh book lovers in 10 days.  

23:35 (IST)27 Dec 2020
In Bengal, active Covid cases drop below 14K

West Bengal’s Covid-19 active caseload dropped below 14,000 on Sunday as recoveries continued to outpace new cases. It settled at 13,774 as the recovery rate rose to 95.73 per cent.

According to the state health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, 1,435 new cases were reported in 24 hours while 1,740 patients were declared recovered. According to the state health department, 29 deaths in 24 pushed up the toll to 9,598.

Among the new positive cases, 315 were from Kolkata while 338 cases were reported from North 24 Parganas. Among the 29 deaths, 13 were reported from Kolkata while seven were reported from the northern district.

The health bulletin said 38,118 tests were conducted in 24 hours, taking the cumulative number of samples examined to 69,65,726. The test positivity rate has dropped to 7.86 per cent.

22:36 (IST)27 Dec 2020
362 new Covid cases in Haryana, 9 deaths

HARYANA RECORDED another 362 new Covid cases, 9 deaths and 620 recoveries on Sunday.
While Gurgaon reported 71 new cases, Faridabad (48), Sonipat (16), Hisar (10), Ambala (36), Karnal (21), Panipat (16), Rohtak (12), Rewari (0), Panchkula (36), Kurukshetra (22), Yamunanagar (19), Sirsa (6), Mahendragarh (6), Bhiwani (3), Jhajjar (6), Palwal (8), Fatehabad (6), Kaithal (4), Jind (12), Nuh (1) and Charkhi Dadri (3).
Among the nine patients who died, two each died in Hisar and Yamunanagar, and one each in Faridabad, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Jhajjar and Charkhi Dadri.
The number of active cases Sunday evening was 4,268 including 152 in critical condition (138 on oxygen support, 14 on ventilator support).
In the last 24 hours, Haryana took 29,978 samples. The Covid-19 positivity rate in the state came down to 5.88 per cent, while the recovery rate was 97.26 per cent and fatality rate was 1.10 per cent, according to state health department's bulletin Sunday evening.

21:12 (IST)27 Dec 2020
3 UK returness among 911 fresh COVID-19 infections in Karnataka

Karnataka on Sunday reported 911 fresh coronavirus infections and 11 deaths taking the total cases and fatalities to 9,16,256 and 12,062 respectively. Three more UK returnees were among those who tested positive, taking their total to 26, the state government said. The total infections comprised 8,91,095 cumulative discharges of them 1,214 on Sunday and 13,080 active cases, including 209 in the intensive care units of various hospitals, a health department bulletin said. More than half of the cases and fatalities of the day in the state were contributed by Bengaluru Urban district which reported 542 infections and eight deaths. (PTI)

20:12 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Tamil Nadu records 1,009 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

Tamil Nadu added 1,009 fresh infections to its coronavirus tally on Sunday, taking the total count to 8.14 lakh while 10 more fatalities pushed the toll to 12,069, the health department said. Daily recoveries continued to outnumber the new cases with 1,091 people getting cured, taking the aggregate to 7,93,154, a bulletin said.

The number of active cases stood at 8,947. A total of 64,283 samples were tested on Sunday, taking the cumulative to 1.39 crore specimens examined so far. According to the bulletin, three more returnees from the United Kingdom tested positive for the virus, raising the total number of such cases to 13.

19:06 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Maharashtra sees 3,314 new COVID-19 cases, 66 deaths

The COVID-19 tally in Maharashtra rose to 19,19,550 on Sunday with the addition of 3,314 fresh infections, the state health department said. With 66 more people succumbing to the viral disease, the overall death toll in the state mounted to 49,255, it said in a statement. A total of 2,124 patients were discharged in the state during the day, taking the number of recoveries to 18,09,948, it said. The state has 59,214 active cases. (PTI)

18:00 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai revises quarantine guidelines for passengers arriving from UK/Europe/Middle East/South Africa

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has revised quarantine guidelines for passengers arriving from UK/Europe/Middle East/South Africa, reported ANI. Tests will be conducted on day 7 of arrival, if found negative, then the passenger will be discharged from institutional quarantine and has to undergo 7-day home quarantine.

17:44 (IST)27 Dec 2020
MP: 61 Assembly staff, 5 MLAs test COVID-19 positive on eve of session

On the eve of the three-day session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, 61 employees and officials of the Assembly secretariat and five MLAs have tested coronavirus positive. Protem Speaker of MP Assembly Rameshwar Sharma told this to reporters on Sunday.

"As many as 61 employees and officials of the state Assembly secretariat have tested coronavirus positive so far. Besides, five MLAs were also found infected as per the reports received till now," he said, after taking stock of the preparation for the session that begins from Monday. Sharma said that the MLAs and their personal staff had been asked to undergo coronavirus test before the session began.

17:02 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Pune remains in focus during pandemic for various reasons

From earning the dubious distinction of reporting the first coronavirus positive case in Maharashtra in March this year to being the headquarter of one of the country's leading manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccine, Pune has remained at the centre-stage of the pandemic.

During the nine difficult months, the pandemic forced the city, like several other places in India, to witness a large-scale exodus of migrant workers, indefinite closure of educational institutes and financial impact on people's lives. The district has so far reported over 8,700 deaths due to the virus. However, during this tough time, people from different walks of life, including healthcare, administration and police department, not only experienced the severity of the pandemic from close quarters, but also took it head-on. (PTI)

15:51 (IST)27 Dec 2020
EU nations eagerly kick off mass COVID-19 vaccinations

European Union nations kicked off a coordinated effort on Sunday to give COVID-19 vaccinations to the most vulnerable among the bloc's nearly 450 million people, marking a moment of hope in the continent's battle against the worst public health crisis in a century.

Health care workers, the elderly and leading politicians got some of the first shots across the 27-nation bloc to reassure the public that the vaccinations are safe and represent the best chance to emerge from the pandemic. "It didn't hurt at all," said Mihaela Anghel, a nurse at the Matei Bals Institute in Bucharest who was the first person to get the vaccine in Romania. Open your eyes and take the vaccine."

In Rome, five doctors and nurses wearing white scrubs sat in a semi-circle at the Spallanzani infectious diseases hospital to receive their doses. (AP)

14:50 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Ship captain tests COVID-19 positive after return from London, under isolation in Bareilly

A Merchant Navy captain, who returned from the US and the UK recently, has been put under isolation here after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said on Sunday. Bareilly Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Vineet Shukla said the sample of the ship captain has been sent to CSIR laboratory in Delhi for testing for new COVID-19 strain B-117.

"Of the 18 people who have been traced to Bareilly after returning from abroad, only the ship captain tested positive," he said.

The CMO said the 23-year-old captain, a resident of Civil Lines in Bareilly, had gone to the US in November, and while returning from there, his ship docked in London for nearly three hours. After returning to India, the captain was found negative in an antigen test. He stayed in quarantine in Delhi for seven days, Shukla said.

Officials of the health department however said it does not have any information regarding the departure of the captain from India or his arrival in the country. They said the mobile phones of the captain and his wife were found switched off. (PTI)

14:35 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Virus variant found in Canadian couple with no travel history

The Canadian province of Ontario announced that it had found two cases of the coronavirus variant now widespread in the U.K. They were identified as a couple “with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts,” according to a statement.

“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” said Barbara Yaffe, the province’s chief medical officer. The lockdown restricts gatherings, limits in-person shopping and prohibits indoor and outdoor dining.

14:11 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Dance historian Sunil Kothari passes away, had tested positive for COVID-19 a month ago

Padma Shri dance historian and critic Sunil Kothari passed away Sunday morning at a Delhi hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest a month after testing positive for coronavirus. He was 87. "He had tested positive for COVID-19 almost a month back and was not in a good condition," Vidha Lal, a family friend and herself a dancer, told PTI. Kothari was recovering at home in Asian Games Village but was rushed to a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest this morning, she added. Born on December 20, 1933 in Mumbai, Kothari qualified as a Chartered Accountant before turning to the study of Indian dance forms.

12:37 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Oman starts vaccinations with 1st batch of shots

The Persian Gulf state of Oman has launched its COVID-19 inoculation campaign, with the sultanate's health minister receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. State-run media reported that the first batch of 15,600 doses was flown in industrial freezers to Muscat International Airport last week to vaccinate a priority group of older adults, health care workers and those with underlying health conditions starting on Sunday. Another 28,000 doses of the vaccine by American drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are expected to arrive next month.

Oman says it aims to vaccinate 60% of its roughly 5 million people. The Health Ministry said the initial phase of the vaccination campaign would cover 20% of the population due to temporarily limited supply. The virus outbreak in Oman has infected over 128,000 people and killed more than 1,400. The country closed all official points of entry last week over fears of the fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus.

11:47 (IST)27 Dec 2020
EU launches vaccine rollout, historic day in virus fight

Medical workers, nursing home residents and politicians are set to be vaccinated against the coronavirus across the European Union on Sunday, part of an effort by the bloc's 27 nations to roll out shots in a coordinated and equitable fashion. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen released a video celebrating the vaccine rollout, calling it “a touching moment of unity” in the battle to protect the bloc's nearly 450 million people from the worst public health crisis in a century. As it turned out, some EU immunisations began a day early in Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. The operator of a German nursing home where dozens of people were vaccinated on Saturday, including a 101-year-old woman, said “every day that we wait is one day too many.” The rollout marks a moment of hope for a region that includes some of the world's earliest and worst-hit virus hot spots — Italy and Spain — and others like the Czech Republic, which were spared earlier in the year only to see their health care systems near collapse in the fall.

10:12 (IST)27 Dec 2020
India reports 18,732 new cases; lowest spike since June

India reported 18,732 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Sunday. This is the lowest daily spike in infections since June. This is the second time in the week that the daily cases number has dropped below 20,000. Of the 1.01 crore cases, active infections stand at 2.78 lakh. Today also marks the second consecutive day that the toll has remained below 300 — 279 deaths reported on Saturday.

09:46 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Sydney awaits verdict on New Year's Eve festivities as COVID-19 outbreak grows

Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak continued on Sunday with more than a quarter million people in lockdown as Australia's largest city awaited word on whether any public New Year's Eve celebrations will be allowed. Seven cases of the new coronavirus were reported in New South Wales state, six linked directly to the outbreak in Sydney's northern beach suburbs, which are under a stay-at-home order until Wednesday. Infections stand at 122.

Public countdowns to New Year's Day in big cities such as Sydney have in the past been an occasion for parties and gatherings at barbecues, urban parklands or on beaches in the Southern Hemisphere summer. But the outbreak has thrown many plans into chaos as state authorities focus on measures to quell the resurgence.

People wear Santa hats at a bar and eatery in the city centre in Sydney (Reuters)
22:34 (IST)26 Dec 2020
Maharashtra: 16 UK returnees test positive for virus since screening began

positive for virus since screening began Mumbai, Dec 26 (PTI) Sixteen persons who had recently returned from the UK and two family members of such returnees have tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra so far, a health official said. "Their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune to find out if they are carrying the new strain of the virus that was detected in the UK," he said. Screening of passengers arrived from the UK began after a new variant of the coronavirus was detected in that country. Flights from the UK were barred earlier this week. --PTI

22:32 (IST)26 Dec 2020
UK returnee, 2 of hiskin test positive for coronavirus in Jalore

One United Kingdom returnee has tested positive in Jalore. He had tested negative on Dec 7 after arriving in Delhi. He along with two members of his family has tested positive now. They've been admitted to Jalore Trauma Hospital: Jalore Chief Medical & Health Officer

22:30 (IST)26 Dec 2020
Russia allows domestically designed COVID-19 vaccine for people over 60

It is going to get very cold in north India, and drinking alcohol at home or year-end parties won't be a good idea, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). In its latest impact-based advisory, the IMD said "severe" cold wave is expected over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and northern Rajasthan from December 28 and there is increased likelihood of various illnesses like flu, running nose or nosebleed which usually set in or get aggravated due to prolonged exposure to cold. --PTI

Chennai. Chennai COVID-19, Coronavirus test, COVID-19 test According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,35,23,032 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date. Express Photo: Srinivas K

 

Fifty-one lakh people in Delhi -- comprising healthcare staff, frontline workers, people with co-morbidities, and those aged above 50 -- will be administered Covid-19 vaccine in the first phase, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. The Delhi government's plan is in line with the recommendations made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC). Kejriwal said Delhi has made all arrangements to receive and store vaccine doses.

Five Covid-positive flyers from the UK went untraceable after landing at the Delhi airport on Tuesday. While three of them were traced by Tuesday night and admitted to Lok Nayak hospital in the capital, one managed to reach Ludhiana while another reached Andhra Pradesh before they were brought back on Wednesday, The Indian Express has learnt. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain Thursday said that the Delhi govt. will will approach the Delhi airport authorities over the same.

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