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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Coronavirus India highlights: Govt issues fresh guidelines for Unlock 2.0

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker, India Lockdown News: The infections in India inched closer to 5.5 lakh-mark with 19,459 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. The toll also rose to 16,459 after 380 deaths were reported.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 30, 2020 9:23:11 am
Of the 5,48,318 cases in India, 3.2 lakh patients have recovered, while 2.1 lakh infections are still active.

Coronavirus India News highlights: The Home Ministry on Monday issued fresh guidelines for the next stage of unlocking. The ministry has allowed more domestic flights to be operated. It has also changed curfew timings from 10 am to 5 pm, and added that not more than 5 people will be allowed in a shop. Educational institutes like schools and colleges will be shut till July 31. However, cinema halls and gymnasiums will be shut. Metro rail operations will also stand suspended.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday at 4 pm.

The infections in India inched closer to 5.5 lakh-mark with 19,459 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. The toll also rose to 16,459 after 380 deaths were reported. Of the 5,48,318 cases, 3.2 lakh patients have recovered, while 2.1 lakh infections are still active. Amid the surge, several states including Assam and Manipur have reimposed full or partial lockdown, while others like Telangana are pondering on imposing fresh curbs. The last one lakh cases in India have been added in less than a week

Globally, over 10 million cases have been reported with 5 lakh deaths. The United States continues to be the worst-affected followed by Brazil, Russia, Indian and UK.

Live Blog

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker, India Lockdown News highlights Over 5.48 lakh cases, 16, 475 deaths in India; Over 10 million cases globally; some states extend lockdown beyond June 30.

00:21 (IST)30 Jun 2020
Dealing with Covid-19: Lessons from the experience of Sri Lanka

India’s small southern neighbour has kept its Covid numbers extremely low, and the number of deaths from the disease to only 11. How did Sri Lanka do it? The country’s Director General of Health Services, Dr Anil Jasinghe, explained the areas that Sri Lanka focussed on, and the steps that it took. Read our explainer here

22:41 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Lockdown Unlock 2.0: Here are the guidelines

The Centre Monday issued new guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to re-open more activities in the country in a calibrated manner. Unlock 2.0 will come into effect on July 1 and extend till the end of the month. The notification was issued a day before Unlock 1.0 guidelines were to expire.

All activities will be permitted outside containment zones, except schools, colleges, education and coaching institutions; international air travel except as permitted by the government; metro rail; cinemas, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls; social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious functions.

The government said more domestic flights will be allowed to operate. Movement of individuals will remain prohibited from 10 pm to 5 am across the country.

Click here to read the full list of what is allowed, and what is not.


22:26 (IST)29 Jun 2020
PM Modi to address nation tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra will address the nation at 4 pm tomorrow. 

21:58 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Home Ministry issues new guidelines for Unlock 2.0

The Home Ministry on Monday issued fresh guidelines for the next stage of unlocking. The ministry has allowed more domestic flights to be operated. It has also changed curfew timings from 10 am to 5 pm, and added that not more than 5 people will be allowed in a shop. Educational institutes like schools and colleges will be shut till July 31. However, cinema halls and gymnasiums will be shut. Metro rail operations will also stand suspended.

21:48 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Kerala records 121 fresh Covid-19 cases

Kerala reported 121 COVID-19 positive cases on Monday, with as many as 2057 people undergoing treatment for the infection and the death toll rose to 23 as the sample of a deceased man tested positive.

Of the positive cases, 78 had come from abroad and 26 from other states and five had been infected through contact. (PTI)

20:51 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Delhi’s plasma bank: What’s the aim, how effective has the therapy been so far?

The Delhi government will set up a plasma bank within the next two days for coronavirus patients at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Monday. The chief minister said that the creation of the repository is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the entire country and appealed to recovered patients to donate their plasma.

The chief minister said the state government will issue dedicated helplines for those willing to donate plasma.

Like in blood banks, where blood is extracted and stored for those who might be in need, the idea is to extract and store plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 and give it to someone suffering from the disease. The CM said it will become operational within two days and is likely one of its kind in the country so far. Click here to read our explainer.

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20:36 (IST)29 Jun 2020
After Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu govt extends lockdown till July 31

Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu governments on Monday extended their state-wide lockdown till July 31 as coronavirus cases in the two cities touched a new high. Maharashtra’s cases touched 164,626, while there are 82,275 cases in Tamil Nadu.

20:20 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Nagaland extends lockdown to July 15

The Nagaland Cabinet Monday decided to extend the state’s existing lockdown to July 15 to contain the spread of the COVID-19. As per an order signed by Chief Secretary Temjen Toy, the state's existing lockdown guidelines “shall continue to remain operative in Nagaland till the 15th July 2020” in line with the order issued on 04.05.2020. However, the earlier order is subject to relaxations regarding the opening of religious places and plying of local taxis and auto-rickshaw in border sub-divisions. Of the 451 COVID-19 cases, 283 are active while 168 have recovered. No deaths have been reported so far.

19:59 (IST)29 Jun 2020
No more demand for Shramik Special trains, says Railways

There is no demand for Shramik Special trains from any state now, the Railways said Monday, but offered to run more if states request for them.

At a press conference, a railway spokesperson said that no Shramik Special ran on Sunday and none is scheduled for Tuesday either.

"There was a demand for just one train from Karnataka and that train is running today (Monday) from Bengaluru to Muzaffarpur. There is no demand for such trains tomorrow as well. We will run them if demand arises from states," a spokesperson for the national transporter was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

He also said that so far 4,596 Shramik trains have operated since May 1.

19:30 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Uddhav launches world's largest convalescent plasma project

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Monday launched world's largest convalescent plasma project and allocated Rs 16.65 crore from CM relief fund for this. The plasma trial under this project will be carried out in 21 medical colleges covering 500 patients. A critical Covid-19 patient will get two doses of plasma, 200 ml each, from recovered patients.  Convalescent plasma is antibodies retrieved from recovered Covid-19 patients. It is used in critical patients to boost their fight against the virus. This is free of cost for patients. Until now, in Maharashtra, only mumbai was running plasma trial in Kasturba and Nair hospital.

19:08 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Bengal to procure 3 crore masks, give them to students, frontline workers, others for free

'The Government of West Bengal has decided to procure 3 crore masks, which shall be provided absolutely free of cost to school students, 100-day scheme beneficiaries, frontline healthcare workers, police, fire services staff, municipalities, civic volunteers, etc,' Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

18:25 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Uddhav Thackeray launches world’s largest convalescent plasma project

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday launched convalescent plasma therapy-cum- trial project for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients with a state medical education department official calling it the largest initiative of its kind in the world.

Convalescent plasma therapy, also called passive antibody therapy, seeks to obtain plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from the infection to inject into patients undergoing treatment. “The project, titled ‘Platina’, is the largest convalescent plasma therapy-cum-trial project in the world. (PTI)

18:12 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Maharashtra lockdown extended: Here are the fresh guidelines

In Municipal Corporations of Region including Municipal Corporations of Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon. Akola, Amravati and Nagpur following activities are permitted with restrictions as specified in the Orders issued from time to time:-

What is allowed

*All essential shops which are allowed to remain open before this order. shall continue
to do so.

*All non-essential shops will be allowed to continue as per relaxations and guidelines issued vide Order 31st May 2020 and 4th June 2020. and are in operation as per the policy Of respective Municipal Corporation. All non-essential markets. market areas & shops except malls and market complexes will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm. Liquor shops will continue to operate if permitted. home delivery or otherwise.
E-commerce activity for essential as well as non-essential items & material.

*All the industrial units which are presently open will continue to operate.

*All construction sites (Public/Private) which are allowed to remain open and
operational. All such pre-monsoon works (Public and Private) which are allowed.

*Home delivery restaurants / Kitchen.

*Online/ distance learning and related activities.

*All Government offices (excluding Emergency, health & Medical, treasuries. disaster management. police. NIC. food & Civil Supply, FCI. N.Y.K..

*Municipal Services to function with strength or 15 persons whichever is higher.

*All private offices can operate up to strength or 10 people, whichever is more. Activities related to self-employed people like plumbers, electricians, pest-control and technicians

*Garages to mend vehicles with prior appointment.

Click here for more details. 

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17:35 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Parents not ready to send children to school, demand reduced syllabus

Even as the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) is mulling reopening schools after August 15, the government is yet to share guidelines on how schools will function after the lockdown. While school administrations have less than two months to prepare, it is parents who are more concerned.

Many parents are not willing to send their children to school and demand to continue classes through the online mode. But for those who do not have access to the online infrastructure, the situation is worse. An online petition on change.org by the Parent Association demands that schools remain shut until “zero COVID cases in the (respective) state”. The petition has over 9.06 lakh signatures as of June 22. It claims, “Not a single child to be sent to the schools for their own safety” and demands that the entire “academic session should continue in e-learning mode.” Click here to know more.


(Express photo: Shuaib Masoodi)
16:47 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Increase Covid-19 testing facilities in UP: CM to officers

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday directed officers to increase COVID-19 testing facilities in the state and operate available TrueNat machines at full capacity.

Use of TrueNat machines should be promoted in private hospitals, he said addressing an unlock review meeting with senior officers and ministers.

"The testing capacity for COVID-19 should be increased. Available TrueNat and rapid antigen machines should be operated at full capacity for doing maximum tests in the state," an official release said quoting the chief minister. (PTI)

UP has potential to become $1 trillion economy: CM Yogi Adityanath ...

16:45 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Work from home should be followed as far as possible: Maharashtra govt

An order issued by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta on Monday said wearing face covers or masks, maintaining social distancing, restricted gatherings, and other measures shall continue to prevail in Maharashtra. The state government has also advised that work from home should be followed as far as possible.

15:47 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Maharashtra govt extends lockdown in state till July 31

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government on Monday extended lockdown in the state till July 31. It has also applied Mumbai police's diktat on allowing only neighbourhood movement to all municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Municipalities have been empowered to decide on easing of curbs outside the containment zones.

15:36 (IST)29 Jun 2020
Puducherry CM tests negative for COVID-19

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and the staff at his residence on Monday tested negative for COVID-19. However, the Chief Minister has been advised seven days home quarantine.

CM Narayanasamy and staff at his residence had undergone the examination for COVID-19 on Sunday after one of the staff had tested positive a few days ago.

15:04 (IST)29 Jun 2020
BJP MLA from Rewa tests positive for coronavirus

A BJP MLA from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh test positive for novel coronavirus on Monday, news agency PTI reported. The swab sample of the MLA was collected on Sunday and contract tracing had begun as per protocol.

Three legislators, two from the BJP and one from the Congress, have been detected with the infection this month.

14:35 (IST)29 Jun 2020
‘Struggling to breathe, doctors not providing ventilator’: Covid patient shares video before dying in Hyderabad hospital

A coronavirus patient at Government Chest Hospital in Hyderabad died after doctors allegedly refused to put him on ventilator support last week. In a video, which he shot at the isolation ward of the hospital before he died, and was addressed to his father, 35-year-old V Ravikumar said doctors did not provide him with a ventilator even after he complained of breathing problem. Hospital authorities, however, refuted the allegations and said the patient died after he developed myocarditis.

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Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray too made it clear that the the lockdown curbs in his state would continue beyond June 30. In an address to the state, Thackeray said, “Will lockdown be lifted after June 30? The clear answer is no. We can not leave this war halfway in this final phase. The crisis is not over yet. I am sure that you will continue to co-operate with the government to ensure that the lockdown is not re-imposed.”

In an interview to news agency ANI, Home Minister Amit Shah stressed that there is no community spread in Delhi. Shah also added that the government of India fought well against the virus and that the country will win both the battles (one against coronavirus and other along the India-China border) under the leadership of PM Modi.

Addressing the nation during his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat, PM Modi said that India has always emerged out stronger from adversities. "People are commonly talking about one thing- when will 2020 end. They feel it has been a year of many challenges. There could be any number of challenges but our history shows that we've always overcome them. Guided by its strong cultural ethos, India has turned challenges into successes."

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Saturday that Delhi saw a shortage of beds for Covid-19 patients in the first week of June, because of which the death toll rose.

“In the first week of June, we started noticing a shortage of beds, of testing in Delhi. And because of the shortage, when some people couldn’t get beds, the death toll started to rise,” he said during a webcast.

Kejriwal also said that the speed at which Covid-19 cases rose in the city after the lockdown was eased in May was more than what the government had expected.

Of the total cases in Delhi till Friday, 73% have been reported since June 1 — the numbers surging from 20,834 then to 77,240 on June 26. From 426 Covid-19 deaths in the first week of June, the toll is now 2,492.

There have been several complaints in the Capital of people being turned away by hospitals — some because their Covid report was awaited. Kejriwal said Saturday that the situation has improved considerably and Delhi is in a comfortable position now regarding hospital beds.

Even though RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) remains the gold standard of frontline testing for the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry has introduced a range of other tests from time to time as the country ramps up its testing to nearly 2.15 lakh per day.

Besides an expansion in testing strategy, including all “symptomatic individuals in every part of the country”, facilities and types of kits have also been gradually increased. With India’s strategy to combat Covid-19 being ‘test, track, and treat’, other types of tests like antibody, TrueNat and CBNAAT (tuberculosis tests) and antigen were introduced as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) faced a backlash for lack of testing.

However, it must be noted that unlike RT-PCR tests, which continue to be the most accurate method available for the detection of the pathogen that causes Covid-19, antibody tests are only for surveillance purposes, and can determine if a patient has previously had coronavirus. The ICMR has advised antibody testing as “supplementary” to RT-PCR testing.

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Meanwhile, the United States registered the largest single day increase in coronavirus cases since the virus originated with over 40,800 new cases on Friday. In the US, new cases reported per day increased on an average of 60 per cent over the past two weeks, according to an AP analysis. The country has reported a rise in cases mostly in the south and west.

South Korea and China, in the last 24 hours, reported cases in double digits as what is being seen as a second wave of coronavirus.

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