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Coronavirus India highlights: Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away after battling Covid-19

The total coronavirus cases in India has mounted to 91,77,840 and the death toll climbed to 1,34,218 with 480 new fatalities, including 121 from the national capital alone.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 25, 2020 10:09:35 am
ahmed patel, ahmed patel death news, ahmed patel news, ahmed patel passes away, ahmed patel dead, ahmed patel age, congress ahmed patel, mp ahmed patel, congress mp ahmed patel dead, congress mp ahmed patel death news, rajya sabha mp ahmed patel, ahmed patel sonia gandhi, ahmed patel latest newsSenior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was admitted to Medanta hospital on Sunday. (file)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away Wednesday morning after he suffered multiple organ failures due to his health condition deteriorating as a result of Covid-19, for which he tested positive a month back.  Ahmed Patel’s son, Faisal Patel announced his father’s demise on Twitter this morning. Faisal wrote, ” I regret to announce the sad and untimely demise of my father, Mr. Ahmed Patel at 25/11/2020, 3:30 AM. After testing positive for Covid-19 around a month back, his health worsened further due to multiple organ failures.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted via video conferencing with chief ministers of states that are witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases to review the COVID-19 situation. The Prime Minister urged all the chief ministers to share their feedback in writing on COVID-19 strategy. “No one can impose any view and all have to work together,” Modi said.

Interacting with chief ministers, Modi also cautioned states and union territories against any laxity in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and called for reducing the positivity rate to at least 5 per cent by focusing on curbing the virus transmission.

A while back, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed the prime minister that Delhi saw a peak of 8,600 coronavirus cases on November 10 during the third wave and since then, the number of cases as well as the positivity rate are steadily decreasing, sources said. Kejriwal told the prime minister that the severity of the third wave in the national capital is due to several factors, including air pollution, and sought his help over the issue of stubble burning in neighbouring states. The Delhi CM also sought reservation of an additional 1,000 ICU beds in central government hospitals till third wave lasts.

India saw 37,975 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day taking the country’s COVID-19 caseload to 91.77 lakh, while the recoveries crossed 86 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The total coronavirus cases mounted to 91,77,840 and the death toll climbed to 1,34,218 with 480 new fatalities, including 121 from the national capital alone. The number of active cases remained below 5 lakh for the fourteenth consecutive day. There are 4,38,667 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country now which comprises 4.78 per cent of the total caseload.

Meanwhile, Oxford-AstraZeneca on Monday announced that interim trial data from the crucial phase 3 trials have shown that its Covid-19 vaccine candidate is 70.4 per cent effective, indicating a high level of protection against novel coronavirus infection. In Pune, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, founder of the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is testing and manufacturing the candidate under licence, said the vaccine would be available in India “very soon”.

Live Blog

India reports 37,975 new Covid cases and 480 deaths in a day; PM Modi holds virtual meet with states over COVID-19 situation. Follow this space for highlights

05:07 (IST)25 Nov 2020
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away Tuesday morning after he suffered multiple organ failures due to his health conditions deteriorating as a result of Covid-19, for which he tested positive a month back.  Ahmed Patel's son Faisal Patel announced his father's demise on Twitter this morning. Faisal wrote, " I regret to announce the sad and untimely demise of my father, Mr. Ahmed Patel at 25/11/2020, 3:30 AM. After testing positive for Covid-19 around a month back, his health worsened further due to multiple organ failures.”

18:30 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Guard against laxity in COVID-19 fight; Bring fatality rate under 1 pc: PM to CMs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cautioned states and union territories against any laxity in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and called for reducing the positivity and fatality rates by focusing on curbing the virus transmission. Interacting with chief ministers, the prime minister also called for more RT-PCR tests, even as he underlined that India's COVID-19 situation is more stable than other countries in terms of recovery and fatality rates. Modi asked them to work towards bringing the positive rate to less than 5 per cent and the fatality rate to under 1 per cent and called for more RT-PCR tests.

18:07 (IST)24 Nov 2020
COVID-19: Telangana ready to vaccinate people when ready, KCR tells Modi

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Tuesday announced the state’s readiness to administer a vaccine against novel coronavirus to its people, if and when scientifically approved. During a video conference call with prime minister Narendra Modi, Rao opined that a batch of vaccines should be first sent to states to check for side effects if any.

“People are eagerly waiting for the vaccine. A scientifically approved vaccine is the need of the hour. The Telangana state government is ready to distribute and administer the vaccine to people on a priority basis. Accordingly, we have drawn an action plan,” Rao informed the PM. “However, one has to take into consideration whether the vaccine has any side effects?”

17:21 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Top 10 Covid-19 updates from across the world

India saw 37,975 new Covid infections in a day taking the country’s caseload to 91.77 lakh

The death toll climbed to 1,34,218 with 480 new fatalities

PM Modi cautioned states against laxity in fighting COVID-19 pandemic

Modi called for reducing the positivity and fatality rates to under 5 and 1 per cent, respectively

Pollution played key role in high severity of third wave of COVID-19 in Delhi, says Kejriwal

Globally, more than 59.09 million people have been infected and 1,397,239 have died

Daily Covid-19 cases in France at near two-month low

Spain’s king self-isolating after virus contac

New infections in Gaza spiralling out of control

Hong Kong to shut bars again as Covid cases spike

16:46 (IST)24 Nov 2020
After devotees, COVID-19 negative report mandatory for shop employees in Sabarimala

After Lord Ayyappa pilgrims, a COVID-19 negative test report has been made mandatory for those working in temporary shops operating in Sabarimala and the temple premises now. With the annual pilgrimage season progressing at the Lord Ayyappa temple here, a high level committee, which reviewed the arrangements made for devotees, took a decision in this regard on Monday.

16:45 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Frontline workers should get COVID-19 shots on priority: MP CM

The Madhya Pradesh government has made preparations like cold-chain storage for COVID-19 vaccine and is also imparting training to health personnel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday even as he demanded the shots be administered to frontline workers on priority. The CM made this demand during a meeting of chief ministers of eight states, which have reported higher number of COVID-19 cases, addressed by the PM via video conferencing. The chief minister also informed that services of NCC (National Cadet Corps) cadets, local bodies, and NGOs will be taken for vaccination in urban and rural areas of the state. "We have made preparations for training vaccinators (a person who administers a vaccine) and for the cold chain storage of the vaccine. I request you to give a priority to frontline workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine," the CM is quoted as saying by a public relations department official.

15:22 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Focus on bringing positivity rate below 5%, says PM Modi in meet with CMs

"Seeing good recovery rates, many think virus is weak & they'll recover soon, this has led to rampant carelessness. Those working on vaccine are doing it but we need to focus on ensuring that people are alert & transmission is curbed. We've to bring positivity rate under 5%," said PM Modi. 

15:20 (IST)24 Nov 2020
How do you plan to take vaccine to lowest levels: PM Modi to CMs

Asserting that mission of Coronavirus vaccination of each citizen is like a national commitment, PM Modi urged all the states to send a detailed on how they plan to take vaccine to lowest levels. " It'll help us in making decisions as your experiences are valuable. I hope for your pro-active participation. Vaccine work is ongoing but I request you there should be no carelessness," PM Modi

15:17 (IST)24 Nov 2020
All states need to establish cold storage facilities for Covid vaccine: PM Modi

PM Modi urged all the States to establish cold storage facilities for COVID19 vaccine. " It is not certain whether there will be one, two or three doses of a vaccine. It is also not decided what will be the price of the vaccine. We still don't have answers to these questions: PM Modi during interaction with CM's on COVID19 situation."

15:10 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Govt is keeping track on vaccine development: PM Modi

Giving updates on the vaccine development, Prime Minister Modi said, "government of India is keeping a track of each development in vaccine development. We are in touch with Indian vaccine developers and manufacturers. We are also in touch with global regulators, governments of other countries, multinational orgs and international companies."

15:06 (IST)24 Nov 2020
No one can impose any view, all have to work together, PM tells CMs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted via video conferencing with chief ministers of states that are witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases to review the COVID-19 situation. The Prime Minister urged all the chief ministers to share their feedback in writing on COVID-19 strategy. ” No one can impose any view and all have to work together,” Modi said.

14:02 (IST)24 Nov 2020
China reports 2 virus cases after mass testing

China on Tuesday reported two new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones. The National Health Commission said that there were two new locally spread cases in the previous 24-hour period, one in each city. It also reported 20 cases among people who had arrived from overseas.

In Shanghai, the mass testing of 17,719 workers at the city's Pudong aiport found one infection, a Fedex employee. Everyone else tested negative. Three UPS workers at the airport have also tested positive in recent days, along with the wife of one of them. In all, Shanghai has reported eight non-imported cases since Friday.

13:33 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Task force set up in Maharashtra to manage vaccine distribution: Uddhav Thackeray

The Maharashtra government has formed a task force to manage the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine and how vaccination will be carried out in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday. According to an official statement, Thackeray made the
remarks during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting via video conferencing with chief ministers of eight states which have reported higher number of COVID-19 cases.

"A task force has been set up to manage the distribution and vaccination in Maharashtra and the government is in constant touch with Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India to track development of the coronavirus vaccine," the statement said quoting Thackeray. (PTI)

13:32 (IST)24 Nov 2020
SC seeks Centre's response on PIL seeking to fix maximum rate for RT-PCR test

The Supreme Court Tuesday sought the Centre's response on a PIL seeking direction for fixing the maximum rate for the RT-PCR test for COVID-19 uniformly all over India. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice to the Health Ministry and listed the PIL filed by lawyer Ajay Agrawal for hearing after two weeks.  The bench, in a hearing conducted via video conferencing, said that the plea would be heard with another pending plea pertaining to the cost of treatment for COVID-19.

It took note of the submission of Agrawal that the plea needed an urgent hearing.  The petition has sought a direction to the governments to fix the maximum rate for the RT-PCR (real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test to Rs 400 uniformly across the country, instead of Rs 900 to Rs 2800 as fixed by different state governments, Union Territories and NCT of Delhi.

12:40 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Pak provincial authorities introduce new COVID-19 restrictions; national tally reaches 379,883

The provincial authorities in Pakistan have introduced new guidelines to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, including restricting office attendance and shutting down indoor gathering places like cinemas and shrines, as the national tally of infected cases reached 379,883 on Tuesday after 2,954 new cases were detected in the last 24 hours. The health department in the largest Punjab province issued new guidelines for government and private offices to restrict attendance.

It said that only 50 per cent of the staff should come to the office while the rest of the employees should work from home. The Sindh government also imposed more restrictions to control COVID-19. It has made wearing of face masks at government and private offices and public mandatory, saying a fine will be imposed in case of violation.

11:54 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Delhi crossed third peak on Nov 10, Kejriwal tells PM Modi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed the prime minister that Delhi saw a peak of 8,600 coronavirus cases on November 10 during the third wave and since then, the number of cases as well as the positivity rate are steadily decreasing, sources said. Kejriwal told the prime minister that the severity of the third wave in the national capital is due to several factors, including air pollution, and sought his help over the issue of stubble burning in neighbouring states. The Delhi CM also sought reservation of an additional 1,000 ICU beds in central government hospitals till the third wave lasts.

11:41 (IST)24 Nov 2020
PM Modi holds virtual meeting with 8 CMs over Covid situation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting with chief ministers of eight states over COVID19 situation. Home Minister Amit Shah was also part of the meeting.

11:03 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Quixplained: The optimal temperature for storage of front-runner Covid-19 vaccines

There are several vaccines for Covid-19 in the works. As some enter the final stages of testing, the next big challenge is storage and transportation. The storage of a vaccine depends on the temperature they need to be kept at for their potency to remain intact. This varies with each vaccine candidate, even if they are developed using the same technology.

We look at the leading vaccines, their optimal temperature for storage, and whether India has the required cold chain.

10:56 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Maharashtra: From tomorrow, Covid test must for travellers from Delhi, Goa, Gujarat

Starting November 25, people arriving in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa by air and train must carry with them a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report done three to four days before arrival, or they will be tested on arrival.

The Maharashtra government introduced the requirement a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar hinted at the possibility of putting in place curbs over the movement of people in view of the threat of a second wave of coronavirus cases post Diwali.

10:02 (IST)24 Nov 2020
Delhi CM orders immediate procurement of 1,200 BiPAP machines for new ICU beds

Amid a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered for an immediate procurement of 1,200 BiPAP machines for the new ICU beds being added in the national capital this week, an official said on Tuesday. He said the move will allow immediate operationalisation of the new ICU beds. A total of 1,200 BiPAP machines will be procured immediately from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the official said.

On Monday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain attributed the high COVID-19 death rate in the city to the pollution caused by stubble-burning and said he expects a downtrend in the next two-three weeks. (PTI)

Workers cleaning Tilak Tank near Deccan Gymkhana after Government decided to allow tanks to open for practice of State, National and International swimmers. The tank will open on Monday, 23rd November. (Express photo by Pavan Khengre)

Meanwhile, the last two weeks have seen a string of encouraging results from coronavirus vaccine trials. One of India’s leading medical scientists, Dr Gagandeep Kang addresses key issues in an interview to the Indian Express.

A good vaccine for India is an affordable vaccine that can be made in large numbers and delivered easily — preferably as a single dose. It should give long-term protection — I would like lifetime protection. We don’t know this will happen, but one dose eases the burden on the immunisation programme, because you don’t have the problem of needing to track the person down for the second dose.

We don’t have a vaccine as expensive as the AstraZeneca vaccine (Covishield) in our programme at the moment, and that’s at $3 a dose — the lowest price announced. It still means you need $6 just for the vaccine and more to deliver it in campaign mode. If you’re talking $10 per person per set of vaccination, that already makes it the most expensive vaccination program this country has ever had — at the individual, per person, cost and not just in terms of the number of people that would need to be immunized.

Read | Night curfews, restrictions back in some north, central states; south sees dip

The first-wave vaccines that are going to come out quicker than others [globally] are the two mRNA candidates and probably AstraZeneca’s.

Concerning ramping up of manufacturing with AstraZeneca — though we’ve heard about how they’re going to make hundreds of millions of doses (of Covishield) — [Serum Institute of India CEO] Adar Poonawalla said this month we have 40 million doses and, in subsequent months, we will have more. That’s not the message we got 3-4 months ago, when we were told about hundreds of millions of doses being made every month.

Explained |  What serosurvey results tell us about neutralising antibodies and ‘herd immunity’

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