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Coronavirus India Aug 21 Updates: Offices and shops in Haryana to remain closed on weekends

The overall tally rose to 2,905,823 after 68,898 fresh cases were registered within a span of 24 hours. As many as 983 deaths were also recorded on Thursday, taking the total to 54,849.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 22, 2020 1:08:57 am
BMC latest guidelines for COVID patients, Maharashtra coronavirus cases, Mumbai coronavirus cases, mumbai home quarantine bmc guidelines, mumbai city newsThe Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) modified its guidelines to make institutional isolation mandatory for all Covid-19 positive patients aged above 50 years in Mumbai

Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij Friday announced that as a precautionary measure, all offices and shops except those selling essential item will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays in the state. “Despite best efforts, cases continue to rise. There is a need to re-impose the weekend restrictions. We hope that by doing this, at least the chain will break and there will be some impact,” Vij told The Indian Express.

India’s coronavirus recovery rate soared past 74 per cent on Friday after 62,282 patients recovered and were discharged in a day, taking the total recoveries to 21.5 lakh, the Union Health Ministry announced. The case fatality rate has dropped further to 1.89 per cent as on date, it added. (Follow Covid-19 vaccine updates here)

The overall tally rose to 2,905,823 after 68,898 fresh cases were registered within a span of 24 hours. As many as 983 deaths were also recorded on Thursday, taking the total to 54,849.

Globally, over 22.5 million people have been infected with the virus so far, including over 7.9 lakh who died. The United States continued to be worst affected followed by Brazil and India.

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Over 29 lakh cases, nearly 1,000 deaths in 24 hours. Get latest updates here.

22:05 (IST)21 Aug 2020
‘Online darshan, eco-friendly pandals’: Ganesh Chaturthi in Covid times to be a low-key event

Amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Maharashtra government has urged people to celebrate Ganeshotsav, beginning from Saturday, in a low-key manner and avoid crowding. Here's what Ganesh Chaturthi in Covid times looks like. 

22:02 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Punjab’s Covid death count nears 1,000, state reports 1,513 new cases

The Covid-19 death count in Punjab neared 1,000 mark on Friday as 34 more deaths were reported, driving up the total death count in the State to 991. Also, 1,513 fresh cases of infections were reported in the state, taking the total tally to 39,327 on Friday.

Kapurthala SSP Jaspreet Singh was among those who tested positive for the infection on Friday.

Eight more deaths were reported from Ludhiana, five each from Jalandhar and Patiala, four from Kapurthala, three from Amritsar, two from Moga and one each from Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Mansa and Mohali.

21:08 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Noida: 127 fresh Covid-19 cases take tally to 6,901

Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar on Friday recorded 127 new Covid-19 cases which pushed the district's caseload to 6,901, news agency PTI reported. The number of active cases stood at 793, down from 794 on Thursday, 785 on Wednesday and 774 on Tuesday, according to the data released by the state health department. With this, the district dropped to the 15th position in the state in terms of active cases.

19:26 (IST)21 Aug 2020
DU reopens hostels, residents to follow 14-day quarantine

The University of Delhi (DU) is planning to reopen its hostels, however, due to the pandemic, the working of the hostels will be different. At first only “registered bonafide PhD students” will be allowed to come back to the hostels in a phased manner. The first preference will be given to senior PhD students followed by other PhD students, as per a notice issued by the varsity. Further final-year students who wish to vacate their hostel rooms will be allowed to visit their hostel rooms.

The varsity has asked hostels not to charge the mess and only 50 per cent of the monthly electricity and water charges for residents. Common room and gym will remain closed, however, the computer room, TV room, library, and reading will be open with safe distancing norms. The residents will not be allowed to leave the hostel premises except for a medical emergency.

Students coming back to hostels will have to mandatory follow 14-days self-quarantine in their respective hostel rooms followed by a screening by the WUS Health Center. Only after completing the quarantine period, the students will be allowed to attend their respective research laboratories. Fellows will have to provide evidence that they are visiting their respective research laboratories only in the form of a letter from their research supervisors. Read the full report here.

18:39 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Schools shut in pandemic, Tripura invites students to ‘neighbourhood classes’

With schools shut in the wake of the novel coronavirus, Tripura became the first state in Northeast India to start makeshift schools for students in open ground, ensuring social distancing and Covid protocols.

Over 1 lakh students, most of whom cannot afford resources for online education, attended the ‘neighbourhood classes’ that commenced from Thursday. The classes start with an introduction to Covid-19 and precautionary measures against the virus. Click here to read our dispatch from Tripura.

The state has a total 4,400 government schools where 27,000 teachers are in service.
One teacher is appointed to teach a class of five students. (Express Photo)
18:04 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Weekend restrictions re-imposed in Haryana

In wake of rising Covid cases, Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij Friday announced that as a precautionary measure, all offices and shops except those selling essential item will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

"Despite best efforts, cases continue to rise. There is a need to re-impose the weekend restrictions. We hope that by doing this, at least the chain will break and there will be some impact," Haryana's Health and Home minister Anil Vij told The Indian Express.

The Covid-19 tally in the state currently stands at 50,926 with 578 deaths.

17:42 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Scientists decode how severe COVID-19 patients develop low blood oxygen levels

COVID-19 is causing significant dilation of the blood vessels of the lungs, contributing to the very low oxygen levels seen in patients with respiratory failure, according to new research that may help provide better treatment to those who are severely affected by the disease.

The pilot study of 18 patients, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, helps explain how COVID-19 behaves differently than classic acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in which lung inflammation leads to leaky blood vessels in the organ.

In ARDS, the study noted that the leaky blood vessels in the lungs flood the organ with fluid and make it stiff, impairing oxygenation. Click here to read the full report

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17:40 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Nepal's Covid-19 cases reach 30,483

Nepal on Friday reported 838 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections in the country to 30,483, the health ministry said.

According to Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, 250 coronavirus patients have been discharged from different health facilities in the past 24 hours.

With this, the total number of patients who have recovered from the disease stands at 18,214.

At present, there are 12,132 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at different isolation centres across the country. (PTI)

17:06 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Seoul Covid-19 surge appears to spread around South Korea

South Korea added its most new virus cases in months on Friday, driven by a surge around the capital that appears to be spreading nationwide.

The 324 new infections were its highest single-day total since early March and the eighth consecutive triple-digit daily increase.

Most of the new cases are in the densely populated Seoul region, where health workers are scrambling to track transmissions from sources including churches, restaurants, schools and workers. Click here to know more.

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(AP Photo)
16:47 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Election Commission issues guidelines for conduct of elections during Covid-19

The Election Commission of India has issued guidelines for the conduct of general elections/by-elections during COVID-19.

* All voters are to wear face masks, which they will be asked to remove briefly for identification at the time of voting

* Only 2 people can accompany candidate at the time of nomination

* If a voter, on the day of voting, shows symptoms then they will be provided with a token and asked to come back at the last hour of polling

* Hand gloves will be provided to voters at the time of signing the register and pressing EVM button

* Only group of 5 people can campaign door to door

* Candidate convoy for roadshows restricted to 5 vehicles

* Max 1,000 voters, instead of 1,500, can vote at a polling station

* Quarantined Covid patients will be allowed to vote at the last hour of poll under supervision of health officials, strictly following preventive measures.

Bihar Assembly elections: Centre extends postal ballot facility to ...
(Representational Image)
15:58 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Millions escaped caste discrimination. Covid-19 brought it back

Millions of migrant workers made arduous journeys to their villages after India imposed the world’s largest lockdown in March. Back in the rural hinterland, many say caste discrimination is reversing even the small economic and social gains they eked out in the cities. Read this Bloomberg report to know more.

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A woman carries monthly ration from a ration distribution center at Aston village, Madhya Pradesh. (Bloomberg Photo: Dhiraj Singh)
15:54 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Maharasthra police records over 300 new Covid cases; 5 deaths

Over 300 personnel of the Maharashtra police tested positive for coronavirus, while five died of the infection in the last 24 hours, PTI reported on Friday. The latest casualties have taken the death toll in the police force to 136. (Click here to follow Covid-19 updates from Maharashtra)

15:38 (IST)21 Aug 2020
14 Air India passengers have tested Covid positive till Thursday, says Hong Kong govt

Fourteen passengers who travelled from Delhi to Hong Kong on an Air India flight on August 14 have tested positive for COVID-19 till Thursday, the Hong Kong government said.

Due to this incident, Air India's passenger flights have been barred from landing in Hong Kong till August-end, it added on Friday.

A passenger from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if he or she has a COVID-19 negative certificate from a test done 72 hours prior to the journey, according to the rules issued by the Hong Kong government in July.

Interests of Air India employees would be protected: Govt ...

15:15 (IST)21 Aug 2020
New features added to Aarogya Setu app

Aarogya Setu app is being updated with new features every other day to smoothen the user experience. We had a look at some of the latest updates that have been added to the app. Click here to know about them.

15:11 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Beijing says residents can go mask-free

Health authorities in China’s capital Beijing have removed a requirement for people to wear masks outdoors, further relaxing rules aimed at preventing the spread the novel coronavirus after the city reported 13 consecutive days without new cases.

Despite the relaxed guidelines, a large proportion of people continued to wear masks in Beijing on Friday.

Some said the mask made them feel safe, while others said social pressures to wear the masks were also a factor.”I think I can take off my mask anytime, but I’ll need to see if others accept it. Because I’m afraid that people would be scared if they see me not wearing mask,” one 24-year old Beijing woman surnamed Cao told Reuters.

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(AP Photo)
14:46 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Kejriwal hands over Rs 1 crore cheque to family of sanitation work who died of Covid

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday met the family members of a sanitation worker who recently died of coronavirus and handed over a cheque of Rs 1 crore as an ex-gratia to them. Talking to reporters during his visit in North Delhi's Majnu Ka Tilla area, Kejriwal said that sanitation worker Raju contracted the infection when he was on Covid-19 duty and died while serving the people of Delhi. "We are proud of such 'corona warriors' who are sacrificing their lives while saving the citizens of Delhi," he said.

14:20 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Covid recovery rate in India rises to 74.30 per cent

India's coronavirus recovery rate soared past 74 per cent on Friday with a record 62,282 patients having recuperated and discharged in a day taking the total recoveries to 21.5 lakh, the Union Health Ministry said. The coronavirus case fatality rate has dropped further to 1.89 per cent as on date. With more patients recovering and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation, the total recoveries have surged to 21,58,946 and exceeds active cases of coronavirus infection by 14,66,918 as on date. India's Covid-19 recovery rate has risen to 74.30 per cent which is further bolstered by 33 states and UTs reporting recovery rate more than 50 per cent, it said.

13:44 (IST)21 Aug 2020
Amid Covid pandemic, Supreme Court allows prayers at three Jain temples

The Supreme Court today allowed prayers at three Jain temples — in Dadar, Byculla and Chembur — on August 22 and 23 for the holy Paryushana season on condition that standard operating procedures to deal Covid will be strictly complied with.

13:42 (IST)21 Aug 2020
India coronavirus numbers explained: Covid-19 doubling time down to 30 days

With the daily growth rate continuing to slow down, the doubling time of novel Coronavirus cases in India has now dropped to 30 days. As on Thursday, there were 29.05 lakh confirmed cases in the country. The halfway stage was crossed on July 27, which means the present doubling has happened in 24 days. But the next doubling, at the current rate of growth, would happen only after 30 days, signalling a slowdown. Doubling time is a function of the growth rate. Lower the growth, higher is the doubling time. It is one of the several metrics used to assess the pace at which the epidemic has been spreading in the population. At the start of the outbreak, in April and May, when the cases were rising rapidly, a doubling period of ten days was considered healthy for the stage of epidemic India was in at that time. Click here to read more.

13:32 (IST)21 Aug 2020
KGMU VC tests positive for coronavirus

Vice Chancellor of the King George's Medical University in Lucknow, Lt Gen (Retd) Dr. Vipin Puri, has tested positive for coronavirus, a university spokesman said on Friday. The driver and another staff member of Dr. Puri had tested positive for Covid-19 after which he got himself tested and found that he had contracted the disease, university spokesperson, Dr Sudhir Singh, said. The vice chancellor is in home isolation as a precautionary measure and has appealed to all those who came in contact with him to take all precautionary measures and get themselves tested. Dr Puri had recently taken over as the new Vice Chancellor of the university.

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High humidity can extend the airborne lifetime of medium-sized virus-laden droplets by as much as 23 times, according to a study which suggests that maintaining physical distancing would significantly remediate the spread of COVID-19.

The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread through natural respiratory activities, such as breathing, talking and coughing, but little is known about how the virus is transported through the air, the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, analysed how airflow and fluid flow affect exhaled droplets that can contain the virus.

The model developed by researchers at the University of Missouri in the US includes a more accurate description of air turbulence that affects an exhaled droplet's trajectory.

"If the virus load associated with the droplets is proportional to the volume, almost 70 per cent of the virus would be deposited on the ground during a cough," said study author Binbin Wang.

Coronavirus vaccine update

India has asked developers of three vaccines that are currently undergoing human trials in the country to disclose estimates of the price at which their respective vaccines can be made available.

Two Indian companies, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and Ahmedebad-based Zydus Cadila, are carrying out phase-1 and phase-2 human trials of their vaccine candidates. A third candidate, being developed by pharma major AstraZeneca and Oxford University, has also been approved for human trials in India, which are expected to begin soon.

NITI Aayog member V K Paul, who also heads the national expert group on vaccine administration, on Tuesday said the trials of the three vaccine candidates were “on track”, and that it was being reviewed regularly.

“Pricing is perhaps complex because some of them (candidate vaccines) are at an early stage (of development). This information will be refined as we move along. There is no firm information. But we have asked about the price range (of the potential vaccines) from individual manufacturers,” Paul said.

Pune-bases Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, has entered into an agreement with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which will enable it to make vaccines available for about Rs 240 per dose. According to this agreement, Serum would produce 100 million doses of one of the vaccines that would eventually become successful for supply to middle and low income countries. It is expected that at least 50 per cent of this tranche would be supplied within India.

Meanwhile, state-owned Chinese company Sinopharm has claimed that a candidate vaccine it is developing would be available in the market by December this year, and would be priced lower than 1,000 yuan (about Rs 10,000) for two doses, according to a report in The Global Times.

The vaccine being developed by Sinopharm is in phase-3 human trials which is being carried out in United Arab Emirates. It is one of the six Chinese vaccines that are currently undergoing human trials.

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