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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Coronavirus May 30 Highlights: Centre extends lockdown in containment zones till June 30

With nearly 8,000 fresh cases reported within a span of 24 hours, the COVID tally on Saturday rose to 1,73,763 even as states continued to chalk out the next phase of lockdown from Monday. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 2, 2020 2:32:32 pm
A staffer santising Pune APMC Gultekdi Market as the city’s largest wholesale market for vegetable, fruits and grains, prepares to open from Sunday. (Express Photo By Pavan Khengre)

A day before the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown ends, Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday said it will be in place in containment zones till June 30. Releasing guidelines for Lockdown 5.0, the ministry said the restrictions at other places would be lifted in phases.

In the first phase, places of worships, hotels, restaurants and shopping malls would be allowed to open while classes in schools, colleges, and other educational institution would resume in the second phase after consultation with the state authorities. The third phase will see opening of cinema halls, gymnasiums and resumption of international lights, apart from other activities social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

With more than 8,000 fresh cases reported in 24 hours, India’s tally rose  to 1,73,763.  The death toll stood at 4,971. Over 59,00,000 people have been infected with the virus worldwide with the death toll at 3,64,867. As many as 24,93,535 people have recovered so far, according to a tally by John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

Live Blog

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker, India Lockdown Extension News Updates: Cases in India cross 1,70,000 mark; over 59,0,000 infected worldwide; states chalk out strategies for lockdown 5.0. Follow LIVE updates | Read in Malayalam and Tamil here

22:57 (IST)30 May 2020
65,000 migrants refuse to return to native states from Haryana as industries open up

With industries opening up in Haryana, almost 65,000 migrant workers have refused to return to their native states now, say officials who contacted them.

“At least 50-60 per cent of the migrants, who had earlier registered themselves for returning to their natives states, are not turning up at the railway stations. Eleven (Shramik Special) trains have already been cancelled due to low turnout of the passengers,” Haryana CID chief Anil Kumar Rao told The Indian Express. Rao monitors the movement of migrant workers while coordinating with the officers of states concerned. Read more here

22:20 (IST)30 May 2020
Pune sees 151 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths on Saturday

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by 151 to reach 7,465 in Pune district in the last 24 hours, while the death toll touched 329 as eight people succumbed to the infection, an official said on Saturday. Of the 151, Pune city accounted for 115, and it now has 6,201 cases, he added. 'Pimpri Chinchwad's count rose by 17 to 512 and that of the rural and cantonment areas reached 683,' he said. (PTI)

22:18 (IST)30 May 2020
COVID is a challenge, but a big opportunity: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Coronavirus is a big challenge but also presents an opportunity in the technology space that Indians can leverage to make the country a great nation, IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday. The minister launched a national artificial intelligence portal, which will share all developments and resources available for the development of the emerging technology in India. He also launched a nationwide programme 'Responsible AI for Youth' in collaboration with US electronic chip maker Intel. (PTI)

22:14 (IST)30 May 2020
Hospitality sector welcomes govt's decision to allow re-opening of hotels, restaurants

The beleaguered hospitality sector has welcomed the government's decision to allow hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services to re-open from June 8. Apex industry body Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said it is a welcome move, but more clarity on guidelines is required.

"It is a welcome move. But there is no clarity on guidelines. There should be proper coordination between the centre and states on these. It is good move for the hotels and restaurants which do not serve liquor," FHRAI Vice President Gurbaxish Singh Kohli told PTI. (PTI)

22:12 (IST)30 May 2020
96 new COVID-19 cases in Odisha, total climbs to 1,819

Ninety-six more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha on Saturday, taking the state's tally to 1,819, a health department official said. A total of 73 people were discharged from different hospitals as they got cured from the disease. The total number of recoveries now stands at 1,050, the official said.

There are 760 active COVID-19 cases in the state and seven people have succumbed to the infection due to the disease till Saturday evening, according to the official. The fresh cases were reported from 18 districts. The patients had returned from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Telangana and Rajasthan, an official of the information and public relations department said. (PTI)

21:30 (IST)30 May 2020
Gujarat borrows Rs 5,000 crore as revenues dip during lockdown

Revenues of the Gujarat government have taken a major hit during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. Earnings from various taxes imposed by the state are down by more than 50 percent, prompting the state to borrow Rs 5,000 crore in the first two months of the financial year 2020-’21. “Our revenues are down by 50 percent due to the lockdown. This includes revenues from Value Added Tax (VAT), stamp duty, Motor Vehicle Tax (MVT), electricity duty, among others,” a senior state government official told The Indian Express. Read Avinash Nair's story here

21:24 (IST)30 May 2020
The journey of Covid face masks: From boring monotones to stylish and designer

It began with people wearing masks as protective gear against air pollution that saw a spike in recent times in many parts of the country. As the coronavirus pandemic hit us, masks have become a necessity, so much so that medical stores and other suppliers are having a hard time meeting its burgeoning demand. Amid the shortage of supply of N95 masks came in benefactors who took the initiative to stitch and distribute masks to those in need. Celebrated fashion designers, from Masaba Gupta to Ritu Kumar, among many others, shifted their existing resources to non-surgical, three-layered reusable mask production. Read the full story by Disha Roy Choudhury


Neha Dhupia and Shamita Shetty wearing face masks designed by Payal Singhal
20:44 (IST)30 May 2020
Delhi government's GTB hospital turned into complete Covid hospital

Delhi government's GTB hospital has been turned into a complete COVID-19 hospital. On Friday, the govt had earmarked only 500 beds from the hospital for the patient's treatment.

20:16 (IST)30 May 2020
17 new Covid cases reported in Tripura

Seventeen more tested positive for coronavirus in Tripura on Saturday — all among those who recently returned from Bangladesh and Maharashtra. Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb wrote, "798 people tested today for COVID-19 out of which 17 people found #POSITIVE. Among them, 15 returnees from Maharashtra & 2 Bangladesh returnees. #TripuraCOVID19Count." With these new patients, Tripura now has 271 cumulative COVID-19 cases, out of which 171 were discharged from hospital. A hundred patients are currently under treatment. Tripura is currently testing 6,355 persons per million, one of the highest testing rates across India.

20:00 (IST)30 May 2020
In lockdown 5.0, night curfew between 9 pm to 5 am

According to the guidelines of lockdown 5.0, the night curfew shall remain in operation but its timings have been changed from 7 pm-7 am to 9 pm-5 am. India will enter its fifth phase of the lockdown starting June, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Saturday said, adding the nationwide lockdown will be extended till June 30 in containment zones. “Reopening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones to be done in phased manner,” it said in its fresh guidelines. 

19:55 (IST)30 May 2020
Fear of extended lockdown casts shadow on Himachal’s already crumbling tourism sector

Reports of Himachal Pradesh extending the lockdown till June 30 has sent shivers down the spine of the state’s already crumbling tourism sector. Even as tourism industry across the country may be badly hit, things become worse for hill states like Himachal who are solely dependent on summer tourism.

“Extending the lockdown will be the last nail in the coffin of the state’s tourism sector. Even if things open up for travelling and hotels by August-September, we have lost practically an entire year since we have few arrivals between July and March owing to adverse weather,” says Anil Walia, who runs three hotels in Shimla and the neighbouring Mashobra. Read the full story by Divya A

19:41 (IST)30 May 2020
Lockdown 5.0: Only essential activities allowed in containment zones till June 30

  • Lockdown shall continue to remain in force in the containment Zones till June 30, 2020.
  • Containment Zones will be demarcated by the District authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW.
  • In the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required.

19:39 (IST)30 May 2020
Movement of individuals to remain prohibited between 9 pm to 5 am

Movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9.00 pm to 5.00 am throughout the country, except for essential activities. Local authorities shall issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance.

19:28 (IST)30 May 2020
What opens in which phase

Activities allowed/organisations to open in

Phase I

    • Religious places/places of worship for public
    • Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services
    • Shopping malls

Phase II

  • Schools, colleges, educational/ training/coaching institutions

Phase III

  • International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA. Metro Rail
  • Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places
  • Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations
19:28 (IST)30 May 2020
Lockdown limited to containment zones, businesses to open up in phases

19:23 (IST)30 May 2020
Schools, colleges will not reopen in June

Schools, higher education institutions and coaching institutions will not re-open in June, the order stated, adding that dates for reopening of the education institutions will be decided in July, after consulting the state governments.

19:17 (IST)30 May 2020
Phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones

The Home Ministry order stated that yhe following activities will be allowed with effect from June 8: 

* Religious places and places of worship for public
 * Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services
 * Shopping malls.

18:55 (IST)30 May 2020
Madhya Pradesh extends lockdown till June 15

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister announced that lockdown in his state will be extended till June 15.

18:27 (IST)30 May 2020
J&K: Two cops in Kathua Police Station test positive for coronavirus

In a first, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday sealed Kathua Police Station after two policemen posted there tested positive. Both the personnel were stated to be asymptomatic and were among nearly 250 cops whose samples were taken for the routine testing in view of them being the frontline workers amid this pandemic, sources said.

"First corona positive case in Kathua police today. ASYMPTOMATIC,’’ tweeted Kathua SSP Shailendra Mishra." The police station of Kathua is out of bounds till all the personnel are tested negative,’’ he said, adding that women police station shall take complaints till then.Meanwhile, sources said that there were nearly 70 people inside the police station and they have been quarantined there itself till their test reports come. -Arun Sharma reports from Jammu

18:00 (IST)30 May 2020
Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 will take long time to be ready: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

A safe vaccine to prevent COVID-19 could take quite a long time to be ready, so there is a need to deal with the pandemic for the next few years and invest more in healthcare, Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said on Saturday. She was speaking at a webinar on 'Pharma and Healthcare's New Normal: Engaging With Customers in Uncertain Times; Business Model Post-COVID-19'. "...We believe that it will take a very long time before you can actually have a safe vaccine that can be accessible to the entire country. We must understand that vaccine development is a very complex process. Shortest time taken for any vaccine is not less than 4 years," PTI quoted Mazumdar-Shaw as saying.

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Coronavirus India LIVE Updates

As countries scramble to stem the spread of Covid-19, the US government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, has provided some hope of a vaccine being ready as early as November even as epidemiology experts have warned that the novel coronavirus might not go away with the development of an injection.

The experts have said the novel coronavirus would likely remain for years to come, and may eventually, become endemic like HIV, measles and chickenpox, a report in The Washington Post said.

Meanwhile, US biotechnology company Novavax, which started human trials of its NVX-CoV2373 vaccine for Covid-19 earlier this week in Australia, is buying a manufacturing plant from Serum Institute of India in its bid to produce one billion doses next year, Reuters reported.

The government Thursday said there are about 30 groups in India, big industry to individual academics, who are trying to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. Dr K Vijayraghavan, principal scientific advisor to Government to India, said it takes a long time to develop a vaccine but since we need to develop it in one year, the world is investing in over a 100 vaccines at the same time. The entire process will cost 2-3 billion dollars.

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An increase of more than 300 infections of novel Coronavirus in last one week has ensured that Kerala is now growing at a rate faster than the national average. Kerala had been extremely successful in containing the spread of the disease till about the middle of this month, but a fresh wave of infections triggered by incoming travellers from within the country, and abroad, has seen the numbers go up rapidly.

In the last one week, the total number of confirmed infections in the state has gone up from 666 to 1,003. It means the current doubling time for the state (calculated on seven day compounded growth rate) is just below 12 days. The national doubling time of total infections right now is 14 days.

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Loss of the sense of smell (and taste), one of the more recently identified symptoms of Covid-19, is now recognised as such by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the health authorities of some countries, including the US.

A new study in mice has sought to explore why this symptom appears in some Covid-19 patients. They have reported their findings in the American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

Tracking the proteins

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, hijacks two human proteins to invade cells. One is the ACE2 “receptor” on the cell surface (it opens the door for the virus) while the other is called TMPRSS2, which the virus uses to replicate its genetic material. Here's all you need to know

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