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Coronavirus highlights: Trials of HCQ for treatment to resume, says WHO

The ICMR has said that the country is still “very far away from the peak”. Over the last few days, over 8,000 new cases have been reported from across the country daily.

Over the last few days, over 8,000 new cases have been reported from across the country daily.

Coronavirus India News highlights: The World Health Organization on Wednesday said that clinical trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine will resume, having been suspended pending a safety review in the search for coronavirus treatments.

“On the basis of the available mortality data… the executive group will communicate with the principal investigators in the trial about resuming the hydroxychloroquine arm,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news briefing.

On the other hand, for the first time in nearly two months, the growth rate of infections in India declined. One of the main reasons for the decline in growth at the national level is the fact that Maharashtra, which accounts for more than a third of all cases in India, has been slowing down for more than two weeks now.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientist Dr Nivedita Gupta said that the country is still “very far away from the peak”. In an infectious disease, a peak signifies the point at which the daily case count will start to fall. Over the last few days, over 8,000 new cases have been reported from across the country daily.

In other news, the Ministry of Home Affairs today relaxed Visa regulations for foreign officials as India entered unlock 1.0. The government has allowed foreign businessmen, healthcare professionals and engineers to visit India but they will have to obtain fresh visas.

The total number of coronavirus infections in India crossed the 2 lakh-mark to reach 2,07,614 on Wednesday. This includes 5,815 deaths and 1,00,302 cured/ discharged. As many as 217 people have died in the last 24 hours across the country. India is currently on the 7th spot on the global list of countries worst-hit by Covid-19. Globally, over 6,378,239 cases have been reported, while 3,80,250 people have succumbed to the infection. The United States continues to be the worst-affected nation with 1,831,821 cases and 1,06,180 deaths.

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Coronavirus India highlights: Over 2 lakh cases in India; curbs relaxed as India enters 'unlock 1.0'; Globally, over 6,378,239 cases have been reported, while 3,80,250 people have died.

04:00 (IST)04 Jun 2020
Stepped forward to bury Covid patients to help govt, say PFI volunteers

When Razi Khan, who runs a construction business in Pune, decided to bury an elderly woman who succumbed to Covid-19 in April, he did not know he would be burying four to five bodies a day.

The two family members of the woman were under home quarantine and there was no one to perform her final rites — a problem that most relatives of those who die due to Covid-19 are encountering. Read more here

01:55 (IST)04 Jun 2020
At least 500 doctors infected in state, over 140 in Mumbai

At least 500 doctors have been infected with Covid-19 across Maharashtra, data gathered by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has revealed. Officials said the actual count may be higher, since they only managed to keep a tab on cases reported by IMA members in Maharashtra.

The most infected are the resident doctors working in government hospitals. In Mumbai, while Sion hospital has 70 infected resident doctors, KEM hospital has 40 and Nair hospital has 35, according to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors. Read more here

00:52 (IST)04 Jun 2020
ICYMI: Centre relaxes visa restrictions for foreigners, allows entry on select purposes

Almost three months after it suspended visas granted to foreigners, the central government has finally allowed arrival of foreigners for purposes of business, healthcare, engineering and technical works. It has said they would be allowed to fly into India on non-scheduled chartered flights.

In an order issued on Monday, MHA said, “Foreign businessmen coming to India on a Business visa (other than on B-3 visa for sports) in non-scheduled commercial/ chartered flights would be permitted.”

The ministry said certain other category of foreigners who could avail of this relaxation included “foreign healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities, including laboratories and factories”.

00:00 (IST)04 Jun 2020
150 new cases in Tripura

Over 150 people tested positive with COVID-19 in Tripura on Wednesday. In a late evening Tweet, Chief Minister Debraj Deb said, "Out of 728 samples tested today, 102 people found COVID-19 #POSITIVE. Most of them have travel history and contact's. #TripuraCOVID19Count".

With these cases, Tripura now has 622 cases, out of which 173 patients have recovered. Rest 449 active COVID-19 patients are under treatment at GB Panth Hospital at Agartala and few COVID care centers set up near it.

According to latest reports, out of 35,254 people placed under surveillance for coronavirus, 21,480 completed their 14 days observation period and were discharged from hospital. 507 others are still housed in different quarantine centers and 13,267 are under home quarantine.

Debraj Deb reports from Agartala

23:55 (IST)03 Jun 2020
16 sailors test positive for Covid at naval base in Porbandar

In the last two days, 16 sailors of the Indian Navy have tested positive for Covid-19 at the naval base in Porbandar of Gujarat, official sources said on Wednesday.

The infected sailors are being shifted to the military hospital in Jamnagar where a Covid-facility has been created for defence personnel. "Eight of the nine sailors who were tested for Covid-19 reported positive on Wednesday. This is in addition to eight others who tested positive on June 2 at the same naval base in Porbandar," an official told The Indian Express. Read more here

23:46 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Active cases in Arunachal Pradesh now at 37

Arunachal Pradesh reported 9 new cases on Wednesday taking the state's active cases count to 38. However, at least 27 of those who have tested positive are asymptomatic.

23:17 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Highest single-day spike in Assam with 269 cases

Assam’s COVID-19 tally went up to 1830 as 269 cases were reported on Wednesday. These cases are spread across different districts of the state. The surge in cases has been reported following a large number of people returning to the state after the relaxation on inter-state movement on May 4. The state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also said that 76 people recovered and discharged today. The state currently has 1410 active cases.

23:12 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Maharashtra: State records 122 deaths, toll climbs to 2,587

WITH 122 deaths on Wednesday, Maharashtra’s toll due to Covid-19 rose to 2,587, while an addition of 2,560 new cases took the total number of positive cases to 74,860. Mumbai, with 1,276 new cases, touched a total of 43,492 positive cases. There are 39,935 active Covid-19 cases in the state, of which 24,597 are from Mumbai alone. Read more here

23:01 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Delhi reduces 14-day mandatory home quarantine to 7 days for asymptomatic travellers

The Delhi government on Wednesday reduced the 14 days mandatory home quarantine period to seven days for all asymptomatic travellers arriving in the national capital.

In an order, the government also instructed all district magistrates to keep a watch on the implementation of the norm. The airport, railway and transport departments will submit passenger manifests to the office of the principal secretary of revenue department on daily basis, said the order by Delhi Chief secretary and chairman of executive committee of Delhi Disaster Management Authority(DDMA) Vijay Dev.

"All asymptomatic passengers who enter/deboard in NCT of Delhi shall home quarantine themselves for 7 days (in place of 14 days of self monitoring of health...)," said the order, which came on a day Delhi recorded 1,513 fresh coronavirus cases, highest single-day spike.

22:35 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Trials of HCQ for treatment to resume, says WHO

The World Health Organisation Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tody said that the organisation continues to work through regional and country offices to monitor the COVID19 pandemic. Addressing a presser, the WHO chief said that the Executive Group endorsed continuation of all arms of the Solidarity Trial, including hydroxychloroquine.

21:55 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Goa reports highest single-day spike till date

GOA recorded its highest number of positive cases in a single day on Wednesday with the state government shifting 47 patients to the Covid Hospital at Margao, south Goa. Of the 47, 42 are residents from the containment zone at densely populated Mangor hills, Vasco. The rest include two who traveled by road from Maharashtra, another two passengers from Dubai who had traveled in the first Vande Bharat flight that arrived in Goa early hours of Wednesday. One passenger from a Hyderabad flight also tested positive, confirmed the daily bulletin by Directorate of Health Services.

With Mangor hills declared a containment zone, the residents of the cluster were being supplied essentials on price through government channels. The Chief Minister also confirmed the three access routes to the cluster were heavily policed with arrangements made to ensure no one leaves the cluster till they are tested.

In the last two days 553 swabs have been collected in this containment zone itself, with 353 collected on Wedneday. The Health officials are relying on interviews and symptoms and also perimeter distance on collecting swabs.

On June 3, Goa has recorded 126 Covid cases with a total of 69 active cases. 57 have recovered so far. Out of the 2418 samples sent, 1230 are negative with reports for 1141 awaited. 391 people continue to be home quarantined.

21:50 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Delhi coronavirus: 1513 cases recorded today

Delhi reported a surge in cases on Wednesday. The latest update shows a rise of 1513 cases today and 50 more deaths.

21:08 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Manipur reports 19 cases today, tally 108

Manipur reported six more COVID-19 positive cases on Wednesday evening, taking the total number for the day to 19. Earlier in the morning 13, positive cases were reported. Adding up the latest figure, the total number of positive cases in the state has reached 108, with 70 active cases.

As many as 12 COVID-19 patients hospitalised at JNIMS were also discharged on Wednesday after testing negative. The total of recovered has increased to 38 with 35.18 per cent recovery rate.

Manipur government has increased the testing capacity of samples for COVID-19 to 1400 per day. So far, the labs at JNIMS and RIMS have tested 11,653 samples.

19:44 (IST)03 Jun 2020
TN reports biggest single-day spike, reports over 1,000 cases
19:10 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Govt allows foreign businessmen, technocrats to visit India

For the first time since the nation-wide lockdown was announced in March, the government has allowed foreign businessmen, healthcare professionals and engineers to visit India but they will have to obtain fresh visas. In an order, the Home Ministry said the foreign nationals, holding a valid long-term multiple-entry business visa, would also have to get their travel documents re-validated from the Indian missions.

Those who are allowed to visit India are: foreign businessmen coming to India on a business visa (other than on B-3 visa for sports) in non-scheduled commercial and chartered flights.

*Foreign healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians who wish to come for technical work at Indian health sector facilities, including laboratories and factories.

*This is subject to a letter of invitation from a recognised and registered healthcare facility, registered pharmaceutical company or accredited university in India.

*Foreign engineering, managerial, design or other specialists who wish to travel to India on behalf of foreign business entities located in India.

19:02 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Karnataka COVID19 tally crosses 4000-mark

Karnataka COVID19 tally crossed 4000-mark with 267 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Total: 4063. Deaths: 53. Discharges: 1514 (June 3). Over 3000 cases reported since May 15.

17:59 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Noida’s Sec 18 market battles low footfall; traders foresee change in market culture

Traders in Noida’s Sector 18 market opened their shops after over two months, following the relaxation in lockdown guidelines as well as in curfew timings for citizens. With overhead costs increasing by the day, traders are hopeful that sales will pick up over the next few weeks as people begin stepping out.

“Customers usually shop if they are around the market for lunch or dinner. If restaurants are not opened, we won’t have footfall,” says Shalabh Gautam, managing a shop selling opticalware. Gautam says most of his customers are buying only what is essential, that too on an order basis. “In my shop, the sale of sunglasses have gone down at least 75 per cent since all the orders have been for spectacles.” 

17:39 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Operation of shramik trains ends in Delhi: Railways

The Ministry of railways on Wednesday said that the operation of Shramik trains from Delhi ended as no new demand emerged from the Delhi government. A total of 242 trains originated from railway stations in Delhi since May 1; 101 went to Uttar Pradesh, 111 trains terminated in Bihar.

Last three Shramik trains from Delhi operated on May 31; Anand Vihar to Purnia, Anand Vihar toBhagalpur, H. Nizamuddin to Mahoba, said the ministry of railways. 

17:08 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Coronavirus evening update:

*India reported 8,908 covid-19 cases in last 24 hours taking the tally to 2,07,614 on Wednesday. The numbers include 5,815 deaths and 1,00,302 recovery.

*For the first time in two months, the growth rate of infections in Maharashtra declined. And because the state accounts for more than a third of the national caseload in the country, this has slowed down the national growth rate as well. ( Can cut and make two-points)

*Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientist Dr Nivedita Gupta has said that the country is still “very far away from the peak”.

*India is currently on the 7th spot on the global list of countries worst-hit by Covid-19.

*Globally, over 6,378,239 cases have been reported, while 3,80,250 people have succumbed to the infection.

*The United States continues to be the worst-affected nation with 1,831,821 cases and 1,06,180 deaths.

*Italy has opened its borders for tourists within Europe in an attempt to revive its flailing tourism sector.

*With over 233,515 recorded COVID-positive cases and 33,530 deaths, Italy is the third worst-hit European nation after the UK and Spain.

*A record 1,262 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Brazil - taking the country’s total death toll to 31,199 - but the president continues to downplay the pandemic. 

Patients wait for medical help outside the LNJP Hospital in New Delhi 
16:41 (IST)03 Jun 2020
Road construction work starts despite large number of migration at Sahibabad, UP

The number of coronavirus cases in the state surged to 8,361 byTuesday evening, with an addition of 296 cases in the past 24 hours. For the second consecutive day, Noida recorded the highest number of cases in UP at 27, taking the number of active cases there to 194 — the highest in the state. Most of the  news cases reported are  by are inter-state migrants coming back from Delhi, Mumbai, Surat.

Road construction work starts despite large number of migration at Sahibabad, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. 

As relaxations under Unlock 1.0 were announced in Gujarat, state transport buses started their operations on Monday.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said one in every two COVID-19 deaths in India has been of senior citizens who constitute 10 per cent of the total population, while 73 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the country are of people with comorbidities.

Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Annual Session 2020, said that India will get back its growth after the coronavirus lockdown and is already on that path with 'Unlock phase-1'. Stressing on the need for self-reliance, PM Modi said, "World is looking for a trusted, reliable partner; India has potential, strength, ability. India now needs to manufacture products that are 'made in India' but 'made for the world'." He said that strengthening the economy is one of the top priorities alongside fighting coronavirus.

On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also launched a mobile app for information on the availability of beds and ventilators in the city's COVID designated hospitals. Called 'Delhi Corona', the CM said, the app will help in reducing the 'information gap' in the capital.

CSIR research identifies unique trait in virus in India

Indian scientists have identified a unique trait in the genetic make-up in the novel coronavirus circulating in India, which is different from the virus that is prevalent in other parts of the world. Besides, other things, this particular trait could potentially make the virus weaker, one of the scientists involved in the study said.

This particular genetic difference, named ‘Clade I/A3i’, was found in 41 per cent of the genome sequences done on the virus collected from Indian patients. Globally, only 3.5 per cent of all the genome sequences done on this virus has this particular trait.

The researchers, who sequenced 64 genomes (the complete set of genetic material) linked the Clade I/A3i cluster to the predominant SARS-CoV-2 strain circulating in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Delhi. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has so far maintained that there are three principal variants in India of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: those that came from Wuhan, the US, and Europe via air travellers.

NREGA May demand is highest for month in 8 years: 2.19 cr households

Migrant workers from Hardoi of UP resides at Jawaddi in Ludhiana wait for the confirmation of their ticket to Shramik train.

With the lockdown sending lakhs of migrant labourers back to their villages, over 2.19 crore households utilised the rural job guarantee scheme in May, which is the highest for the month in the last eight years, according to official data.

An analysis of data in this category — available currently from 2013-14 on the MGNREGA portal — shows that the number of households that worked in May was 7.10 lakh higher than the 2.12 crore during the same month last year. Sources in the Ministry of Rural Development told The Indian Express that jobs adding up to over 41 crore person-days were generated in May 2020 as against about 36.95 crore in the same month last year.

IITs ask govt for extra year to fill EWS quota

Faced with the challenge of ensuring physical distancing in crowded hostels upon reopening, the IITs have sought a year’s extension to the 2021 deadline set by the government to add new seats for accommodating the 10 per cent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota, The Indian Express has learnt. The 23 premier engineering institutes collectively approached the Centre with the request last month, citing the COVID lockdown.

Government sources said the HRD Ministry will refer the request to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which had moved the EWS quota proposal that was later approved by the Union Cabinet early last year.

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