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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Coronavirus India highlights: Centre to deploy medical teams in DR Congo, South Sudan to help combat Covid-19

With over 80,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths for yet another day, the Covid-19 tally in India on Friday rose to 3,936,747 with 68.472 fatalities, latest data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 5, 2020 8:00:33 am
Travellers from Dubai, UK contributed maximum COVID-19 importations into India: IIT studyThe study has also found that infected cases from Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh played less role in spreading the disease outside their communities. (Express file photo by Amit Mehra)

India, which is among the largest troop contributors to the UN peacekeeping, will deploy two medical teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan after a request by UN chief Antonio Guterres to scale-up health infrastructure in the areas managed by the Indian peacekeepers to help contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.

India’s Permanent Mission to the UN said in a statement that the country responded to a request from UN Secretary-General Guterres and mobilised all efforts to assemble two teams of medical specialists to be deployed in hospitals at the UN missions in DR Congo and South Sudan.

With over 80,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths for yet another day, the Covid-19 tally in India on Friday rose to 3,936,747 with 68,472 fatalities, the latest data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed.

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Over 83,000 cases for yet another day; overall tally above 3.9 million; more than 1,000 deaths in 24 hrs. Get the latest updates here.

07:44 (IST)05 Sep 2020
Big rural credit push from RBI, start-ups put in priority sector
The RBI has also brought loans to farmers for installation of solar power plants for solarisation of grid-connected agriculture pumps. (Representational/File photo)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday brought financing of start-ups under the priority sector lending (PSL) category of the banking sector, proposed more credit flow to districts with lower PSL, and doubled loan limits for renewable energy and health infrastructure “to align it with emerging national priorities and bring sharper focus on inclusive development.”

In a bid to address regional disparities in the flow of priority sector credit, the RBI, in its revised PSL guidelines, decided to rank districts on the basis of per capita credit flow to the priority sector, and build an incentive framework for districts with lower flow of credit and a disincentive framework for districts with higher flow of priority sector credit.

05:22 (IST)05 Sep 2020
UP: 6,193 fresh coronavirus cases, 72 deaths in 24 hrs

Uttar Pradesh on Friday reported a total of 6,193 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours and a total of 72 deaths. The highest single-day jump in the state in fresh cases till date was reported on Sunday at 6,233. State capital Lucknow reported the highest number of fresh cases in the state with 924 cases in the past 24 hours, followed by Kanpur Nagar with 382 cases, Gorakhpur with 346 cases, and Prayagraj with 320. Read More

03:49 (IST)05 Sep 2020
Punjab: In battle against Covid, 948 frontline workers infected, 5 dead

Ram Singh (49) was working as multi-purpose health worker in Tapa block of Barnala district. He was deputed for contact tracing and Covid awareness in Tapa. He was performing his duties as usual until last week, when he felt weak and took off for a day. He developed fever, cold and cough on August 31. However, his family attributed it to a change of season. He self-medicated until Wednesday, when he felt breathless and suffered a cardiac arrest. He was rushed to hospital, where he was declared dead. Read More

03:24 (IST)05 Sep 2020
Panchkula: Antigen tests help identify cases at root, prevent deaths

Expecting the numbers to stop surging by the third week of September, the health authorities launched a systematic sampling plan on September 1 in an attempt to survey at least 50 per cent of the urban population and 100 per cent of its rural population via monitoring led by ASHA workers. Read More

03:23 (IST)05 Sep 2020
Mohali sees 4 deaths, highest single-day surge of 272 cases

Mohali district saw its highest single-day surge in Covid-19 cases, as 272 fresh cases were reported on Friday. The district’s tally of cases stood at 4,495, with 2,058 active cases. Meanwhile, four more deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 94. Read More

01:35 (IST)05 Sep 2020
Haryana: 81 staff positive at two Murthal dhabas, massive contact-tracing drive on

The Sonipat district administration has launched a massive contact-tracing drive after 81 workers at two popular eateries in Sonipat’s Murthal, nearly 50 km away from Delhi, tested positive for Covid-19. Read More

00:47 (IST)05 Sep 2020
Punjab reports 49 deaths, 1,498 new cases

Forty-nine more deaths were reported from Punjab, driving up the total count of deaths due to Covid-19 in the state to 1,739 on Friday.

There were 1,498 new cases of infection, taking the total tally of persons testing positive for the contagion to 60,013, breaching the 60,000 mark. Read More

23:47 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Bengal: Software engineer locks up COVID-19 patient and family inside flat

An elderly COVID-19 patient and her family were locked up inside their flat by a neighbour, who claimed that he feared that his newborn might get infected, a police officer said. Read More

23:33 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Mumbai: 300 volunteers register for Covishield trial at KEM, Nair hospitals

More than 300 people have volunteered for the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trials in Mumbai at two sites, KEM and Nair hospitals. Both hospitals are awaiting Pune’s Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital to record vaccine efficacy in its first 100 participants before beginning trials in Mumbai. Read More

21:37 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Punjab to give free oximeters to Covid-19 patients in home quarantine

Two days after AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal announced that his party workers “will provide oximeters to every village, street and neighbourhood of Punjab”, CM Amarinder Singh’s government on Friday decided to provide oximeters to all Covid-19 patients in home quarantine.

Punjab government has already floated tenders for procurement of 50,000 pulse oximeters as the state is witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases. The government plans to start distributing the oximeters as soon as the first lot is received.

Delhi’s AAP government has been distributing pulse oximeters to Covid-19 positive residents there. After Kejriwal announced that his party will do so in Punjab too, CM Amarinder Singh and other Congress leaders had hit back at him for trying to use the pandemic for political gains.

A Punjab government official, however, said that the state government’s oximeter decision is not an afterthought.

20:47 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Opinion: Caring for the caregivers

As India and the world grapple with the COVID-19 global pandemic, frontline healthcare workers are facing some of the most challenging times of their lives. Doctors, nurses, ward boys, sanitation workers, security guards are continuing to risk their lives to treat patients and ensure their dignity. Medical professionals work demanding shifts wearing uncomfortable personal protective equipment (PPE) while making life-saving decisions under extreme pressure. Some of these decisions include allocating limited resources for severely ill patients. Combined with fatigue, this can lead to an imbalance in their own physical and mental well-being.

Healthcare professionals have been infected by the coronavirus and many have lost colleagues to this disease. This also has a huge impact on their mental health. Hospital staff who are quarantined often feel guilty about leaving the facilities understaffed. Periods of self-isolation and time away from family also add stress, Kapil Sharma, project coordinator, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) writes. Click here to read the article.

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20:18 (IST)04 Sep 2020
India to deploy medical teams in DR Congo, South Sudan to help combat Covid-19

India, which is among the largest troop contributors to the UN peacekeeping, will deploy two medical teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan after a request by UN chief Antonio Guterres to scale-up health infrastructure in the areas managed by the Indian peacekeepers to help contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. India's Permanent Mission to the UN said in a statement that the country responded to a request from UN Secretary-General Guterres and mobilised all efforts to assemble two teams of medical specialists to be deployed in hospitals at the UN missions in DR Congo and South Sudan.

19:07 (IST)04 Sep 2020
What a study from China tells us about airborne transmission in public transport

A new study published in the journal JAMA Network suggests airborne transmission in a bus in China led to one infected individual spreading of COVID-19 to 23 other fellow passengers.

Analysing community transmission in China’s Zhejiang province, the study reports that 128 individuals took two buses on January 19, 2020 — 60 in bus 1 and 68 in bus 2 — on a 100 minute round trip to attend a 150-minute worship event.

The source patient was a passenger on bus 2 and both the buses had central air conditioners functioning in indoor recirculation mode. Among these 128 individuals, 15 were men, 113 were women with a mean age of 58.6 years. On bus 2, 24 individuals turned out to be positive after the event, while none of the individuals in bus 1 were affected. Seven others who turned positive after the outdoor event had all come close to the index patient. Read the full explainer here.

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17:46 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Banks allowed to operate on Saturdays in West Bengal

The West Bengal government has allowed banks to operate on working Saturdays as part of further relaxations in COVID-related restrictions.

Banks, which usually operate on alternate Saturdays, were asked by the state government to remain shut on weekends in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to allow banking operations on Saturdays was taken in view of the current Covid situation and the relaxation in different activities permitted by the government outside the containment zones, PTI reported citing a government order.

16:34 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Antibodies found in 8% people in Haryana: Anil Vij

Antibodies against the COVID-19 infection were found in eight per cent of people in the seroprevalence survey done in Haryana last month and those living in urban areas and NCR districts were found more affected, Health Minister Anil Vij said on Friday.

As many as 850 samples each were collected from 22 districts and the collection was done both in urban and rural areas, news agency PTI reported.

Overall, 18,905 samples were collected and the seroprevalence study showed that the seropositivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is eight per cent in the state, Vij said.

He said that the urban population was affected more than the rural population.

Haryana's Covid-19 cases: 28% in private job or business, 9% students |  India News,The Indian Express

15:54 (IST)04 Sep 2020
In Indonesia, shock coffin tactics nail coronavirus risks

Each day in Jakarta at 9 a.m. sharp, local government official Ricky Mulyana and three colleagues don full personal protective equipment, hoist a wooden coffin onto their shoulders and set out on a 'funeral' procession down busy city streets.

The coffin, wrapped in plastic, contains only an effigy. But as Indonesia struggles to contain a surge in coronavirus cases, authorities are trying shock tactics to catch the public's attention and drive home crucial health messages in a country that has the highest virus death toll in Southeast Asia. Click here to read the full report.

Indonesia Coronavirus


15:28 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Widespread Covid vaccinations not expected until mid-2021: WHO

A World Health Organization spokeswoman said on Friday it does not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 until the middle of next year, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

"We are not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year," spokeswoman Margaret Harris was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"This phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is," she added referring to vaccine clinical trials.

Moscow varsity 'completes trial of Covid-19 vaccine', claims Russian  embassy | coronavirus outbreak News,The Indian Express

15:23 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Delhi airport sets up Covid testing facility for international passengers

Delhi airport has set up a Covid-19 testing facility at the multi-level car parking area of its Terminal 3 for arriving international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights, its operator DIAL said on Friday. It will be operational within a few days.

The testing facility has been established by the Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, which is currently associated with the Delhi government to test Covid-19 samples, news agency PTI reported. 

The Civil Aviation Ministry had on Wednesday said that international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights after landing in India will have the option of getting themselves tested for Covid-19 at the entry airports.

Delhi: Lounge managers at T-3 held for 'sexually harassing' woman | Cities  News,The Indian Express

15:12 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Senior scientists question device that claims to kill coronavirus in closed spaces

The science behind a device that claims to have the capability of killing coronavirus in closed spaces by using electron particles, produced by a serial inventor in Bengaluru, has been called into question by several senior scientists in the country.

Shycocan, a device created by Rajah Vijay Kumar, who runs a firm called Organization de Scalene, has received wide publicity over the past few months following claims of approval from FDA and EU-CE for its marketing in the US and Europe.

The official Twitter account of the US Consulate General in Chennai tweeted on August 29, congratulating Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar for developing a device “approved by @US_FDA to control the spread of #COVID19”.

Vijay Kumar and Organization de Scalene have claimed that Shycocan, which is a cannon-like device, produces electrons that travel across a room and kills the SARS Cov 2 virus when a superalloy in the device is activated with electricity from a powerpoint. Click here to read the full report.


14:51 (IST)04 Sep 2020
Mangaluru-Bengaluru train to resume services from Friday

Train services between Mangaluru and Bengaluru, suspended since March due to COVID-19, would resume services from Friday.

This is part of the three special trains the Railway Board has permitted to operate in the South-Western railway division, news agency PTI reported.

The Yeshwanthpur-Karwar train would begin operations from 6.45 pm on Friday. In the return direction, the train would leave Karwar at 6 pm on Saturday, the railway said.

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With the Centre allowing gradual resumption of metro train services across the country under ‘Unlock 4.0’ from September 7, almost all the states with metro connectivity, except Maharashtra, are set to begin operations keeping in mind local requirements.

Announcing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for restarting metro services, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said multi-route metro networks should resume trains from September 7 in a graded manner so that all lines were operational by September 12. Metro stations in containment zones will remain closed.

Mandatory wearing of masks, thermal screening at entry gates, leaving alternate seats vacant — travelling in metro trains amid the Covid-19 pandemic is not going to be the same.

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