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Coronavirus India Updates, 04 July: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar sends swab sample for Covid test after attending event with infected BJP leader

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker India News Updates: Tamil Nadu has become the second Indian state, after Maharashtra, to cross the one lakh mark as 4,329 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 5, 2020 12:51:19 am
Corona testing in progress in Mandala, Anushakti Nagar, in Mumbai, on Friday. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

Coronavirus (Covid-19India News Updates: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has sent swab sample for Covid-19 test after attending an event with a BJP leader infected with coronavirus, officials told news agency PTI on Saturday.

With 22,771 fresh cases within a span of 24 hours, the Covid-19 tally in India rose to 6,48,315 with as many as 18,655 fatalities. Following a steady rise, the number of recoveries increased to 3,94,226 and one patient has migrated, data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare indicated. “Thus, around 60.80 per cent of patients have recovered so far,” an official said.

Tamil Nadu has become the second Indian state, after Maharashtra, to cross the one lakh mark as 4,329 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours. The state’s death count too rose by 64, and currently stands at 1,385, government data revealed.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as many as 2,42,383 samples were tested nationwide on Friday. At least 95,40,132 tests have been conducted so far. While the total number of active cases is at around 2.35 lakh (2,35,433), the overall number of people who have been cured, discharged or migrated is quickly approaching the 4 lakh mark (3,94,227). Meanwhile, the death toll is at 18,655.

Here are the top coronavirus developments from across the country:

Assam crosses 11k mark with biggest single-day spike of 1,202 cases

On Saturday, Assam reported its biggest single day spike with 1,202 cases — with Guwahati reporting 777 cases alone. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted: “In the biggest spike ever, Assam on 4th July reported 1202 cases, 777 of these from Guwahati City alone. Time for all of us to be extra vigilant.”

This takes the total tally of cases to 11,001 in Assam, with 4,657 active cases. The state has reported 14 deaths so far.

Rajasthan’s COVID-19 count nears 20K with record spike of 480 cases

Rajasthan saw a spike of 480 infections, its highest single-day count in Covid-19 cases so far, Saturday, taking the virus tally to 19,532 in the state, according to an official report. Seven more people died due to the infection in the state, raising the death toll to 447, the report said.

While three new deaths were reported from Dholpur, one each were reported from Bharatpur, Jhunjhunu and Sikar. A novel Covid patient from another state also died. With this, the number of deaths due to the coronavirus in Rajasthan has reached to 447. A maximum of 54 coronavirus cases were reported from Alwar Saturday, followed by 46 in Bikaner, 43 in Barmer, 42 in Jalore, 40 in Jaipur, 39 in Dholpur and 30 in Bharatpur.

Rs 50 fine in Bihar for not wearing mask at offices, public places

The Bihar government has decided to impose a fine of Rs 50 on those found not wearing masks at offices and public places. A notification issued by health department of the state to this effect on July 3, under the ‘Bihar Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulation 2020’, also said that people flouting the norm would be given two masks free of cost to motivate them to wear face covers. “Wearing a face mask or face cover has been made compulsory (for people at public places or in offices) and Rs 50 will be imposed as fine for violating the regulation,” PTI quoted Anupam Kumar, the secretary of the Information and Public Relations Department, as saying.

Guwahati lockdown: some relaxations, grocery shops to open as per fixed timings

After one week of an extremely stringent lockdown, where even groceries shops were shut, the Assam government has allowed a few activities for the second week (July 5 to July 12) in Guwahati and the Kamrup (M) district. According to the order by Chief Secretary, Sanjay Krishna, grocery shops are allowed to operate between 11 am and 4 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays (6th and 8th July). Additionally, house to house sale of fruits and vegetables shall be allowed between 8 am and 2 pm on Monday and Wednesday (6th and 8th July). The order also said that veterinary clinics, veterinary medicine shops will be allowed to operate on all days between 10 am and 4 pm. E-commerce distributions activities are allowed between 11 am and 4 pm on Friday (10th July, 2020). However, no roadside vending of any fruits, vegetable , fish will be allowed. The lockdown had been announced on June 28, amid a spike in case reported in Guwahati, without travel history. It is slated to lift on July 12. On Friday, Assam reported 365 new cases, out of which 134 were from Guwahati.

Kolkata bans flights from Mumbai, Delhi and 4 other cities between July 6-19

As novel coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country, Kolkata airport Saturday said that no passenger flights will land in Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Nagpur and Ahmedabad between July 6 and July 19. India resumed its domestic passenger flights from May 25, after a hiatus of two months due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Scheduled international passenger flights are still suspended in India.

“It is informed that no flights shall operate to Kolkata from Delhi,Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai & Ahmedabad from 6th to 19th July 2020 or till further order whichever is earlier. Inconvenience caused is regretted,” the Kolkata airport said on Twitter on Saturday.

Fresh ‘unlock 2’ guidelines in J&K; religious places to remain closed

New guidelines under the Unlock 2.0 phase came into effect in Jammu and Kashmir Saturday with the administration deciding against opening religious places and educational institutions. However, they allowed hotels to operate with full capacity. There would be no inter-state and inter-district movement except for those carrying valid passes, while the night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am would remain in force till further orders.

The fresh guidelines were issued on Friday night by J&K Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam and would be applicable till July 31. The administration also issued a fresh classification of the districts in “red”, “orange” and “green” categories for a ease in implementation of the instructions aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19.

Apart from Bandipora, all the remaining districts in Kashmir, including Srinagar, and Ramban in the Jammu region have been marked as “red” zones, along with Lakhanpur town of Kathua — the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir bordering Punjab. Bandipora and seven other districts in the Jammu region have been classified as “orange” zones, while Doda and Kishtwar continued to be in the “green” zone.

Health worker gets ready with PPE kit before performing her duty at a Covid centre attached with LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Over 2.75 lakh Covid-19 tests, 17k per day since rapid-antigen testing began in Delhi

Over 45 per cent of the over 5.96 lakh Covid tests in Delhi were conducted in the last 16 days, after the government started rapid-antigen methodology of testing in and around containment zones of the national capital. Since then a total of 2,75,396 tests through the RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) and rapid-antigen methods have been conducted in the city with around 17,000 tests per day.

Of this, around 1.5 lakh people have been tested through rapid-antigen kits. Till June 18, 3,21,302 tests for the disease were conducted using the “expensive but gold standard” RT-PCR method. The number of tests per day has also seen an around four-fold rise from 4,190 tests per day in the first week of June to 15,863 tests per day in the last week. On Friday alone, more than 24,000 tests — 10,577 RT-PCR tests and 13,588 rapid-antigen tests — were conducted in the city, a remarkable increase in the number from 6,538 tests conducted a month ago on June 3.

Opp parties allege ICMR fast tracking COVID vaccine for PM announcement on I-Day

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was trying to fast track the production of a coronavirus vaccine so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could make the announcement on Independence Day, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Saturday.

Asserting that scientific advances cannot be “made to order”, Yechury tweeted: “A vaccine would be the most decisive redemption from the pandemic. The world is waiting for a safe vaccine, which is universally accessible. But…scientific advances can never be ‘made to order’. Forcing the development of an indigenous vaccine as a cure for COVID-19, bypassing all health and safety norms, to be announced by PM Modi on Independence Day is fraught with horrendous human costs.”

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Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan too alleged that the ICMR’s plans to launch a coronavirus vaccine by August 15 was aimed only at prime minister’s big announcement from the Red Fort. “Why is ICMR rushing for an unrealistic timeline of
August 15for Indian corona(virus) vaccinewhen global experts aregiving 12 to 18 months’time frame,” Chavan tweeted. Chavan alleged that the ICMR was in a hurry to develop a vaccine only so that PM Modi could make a major announcement during the Independence Day address. The Union health minister should make a clarification in this regard, Chavan demanded.

Assam opens plasma bank, first donor is doctor who recovered from Covid-19

The Assam government has opened a plasma bank at the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) for treating coronavirus patients. The first donor was Dr Likhitesh, a post-graduate student of medicine at GMCH, who had tested positive for the disease in May, and was later cured.

State Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to Twitter to express his gratitude to Dr Likhitesh for donating plasma, and to the team working at the bank. “Glad to share that we’ve started a Plasma Bank at GMCH. The first convalescent donor is a doctor himself, a COVID-19 patient. My gratitude to Dr Lithikesh for donating his plasma, and to the team who is working on this bank. I encourage cured patients to come forward and donate,” he tweeted.

Meghalaya orders curfew, starts random testing in bordering district

The Meghalaya government has decided to impose a curfew in parts of Ri Bhoi district — which borders Assam — considering the prevailing situation in its neighbouring state. As per a release from the office of the District Magistrate, the curfew, which came into force on Friday, will be applicable to “areas from Tandu bridge via Byrnihat to Jorabat, Pilangkata, Maikhuli, Longkhuli & Umtytnga in Ri Bhoi district till further orders.”

At the same time, the government is also planning to conduct random testing in these areas. “This is just to know whether there is any community transmission in the adjoining areas,” Meghalaya Health Commissioner and Secretary Sampath Kumar said. At present, there are 22 active cases in the state.

Arunachal Pradesh orders lockdown in Itanagar Capital Complex

The Arunachal Pradesh government today announced a six-day lockdown in the Itanagar capital complex.

“Itanagar capital complex will be under lockdown from 6th July (Monday) till 12th July (Sunday). Detailed Guidelines and SOP for compliance will be issued shortly. #StayHomeStaySafe” Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted.

On Thursday, the state reported its highest single day spike with 37 cases, 34 out of which were reported from the Complex. Currently, the Capital Complex has the highest number of active cases: 81.

So far, the state has reported, 252 Covid cases, out of which 176 are active.

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Tripura records 93 new Covid cases

With 93 fresh coronavirus cases detected in Tripura, the state’s tally rose to 1,533 on Saturday. However, there are only 334 active cases as 1,199 patients have already recovered and have been discharged.

On Friday, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted: “Alert. 93 people found Covid-19 #POSITIVE today out of 1325 samples tested. The count includes : Dhalai Dist : 24 West Dist: 17 Gomati Dist: 15 North Dist: 13 Sepahijala Dist: 11 Khowai Dist : 9 Unokoti Dist: 2 South Dist: 2 #TripuraCOVID19Count”.

Tripura has tested 68,634 people till now. The state has reported only one casualty so far.

Mizoram postpones opening of schools for 2020-21 academic session

The Mizoram government has postponed the opening of schools for the 2020-21 academic session for an indefinite period in an attempt to curb the pandemic, a minister said.

The government had earlier decided to open educational institutions for the current academic session from July 15.

“We would not be able to open schools during this month as the Union Ministry of Home Affairs directed all the states not to open educational and training institutes till July 31 due to the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country,” Mizoram education minister Lalchhandama Ralte was quoted as saying by PTI on Friday.

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Gujarat CM visits Surat to assess measures

Concerned over the recent rise in virus cases in Surat, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel arrived in the city on Saturday to take stock of preparedness to tackle the pandemic.

Rupani and Patel, who is also the state health minister, is scheduled to hold a meeting with the district collector, city civic chief and health officials to take stock of the outbreak and steps being taken to contain the spread. The chief minister is accompanied by chief secretary Anil Mukim and chief secretary to the chief minister K Kailasanathan.

Ahmedabad: 26 new micro containment zones identified

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has identified 26 new micro containment zones in the city, which is the biggest coronavirus hotspot in the state, PTI reported.

The civic body said that intense door-to-door surveillance will be carried out to detect new cases in these micro containment zones, where movement of people is restricted. These newly-identified areas took the number of micro-containment zones in the city to 84, where around 35,000 people live.

“There were 60 existing micro containment areas in Ahmedabad. After detailed discussions, two areas were removed from that list and 26 new areas were added after fresh coronavirus cases were reported from there,” the AMC said in a statement issued late on Friday.

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Spike in cases, Tamil Nadu govt tries to break Covid chain in Madurai

Seeing the alarming numbers, the Madurai administration is taking every possible step to break the infection chain. Since the beginning of June, there has been a surge of cases in the city. This is partially attributed to the number of cases in Chennai. As per sources, many people had entered the city from Chennai without a valid E-pass, although strict conditions on inter-district travel were put in place.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, B Chandra Mohan, the Zonal Monitoring officer for Madurai said the health department is taking every possible step to break the chain. “Because of mobilization and active screening we can detect more and more cases. The effort is to early diagnose and isolate, those measures are currently on. Fever clinics have been set up across the districts and people walk-in to get themselves evaluated. The lockdown has helped to slow down the curve,” he said.

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UP Rural Development Minister, his wife test positive for Covid-19

Uttar Pradesh Rural Development Minister Rajendra Pratap Singh (Moti Singh) and his wife were admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences after they tested positive for the virus on Friday, PTI reported.

When asked about his health, Singh told the news agency, “I am fine. I came here only on Friday. I will follow the doctors’ advice.”

PCMC corporator Datta Sane dies of coronavirus

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) corporator and former opposition leader Datta Sane succumbed to Covid early this morning. He was 48.

The three-time corporator had tested positive for the deadly virus on June 25, according to local media reports.

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