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Coronavirus India Updates, July 18: ICMR to conduct study on effectiveness of BCG vaccine among elders

Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Updates: The death toll due to the contagious virus rose to 26,273 in the country with 671 deaths in the last 24 hours.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 18, 2020 9:29:24 pm
coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, india coronavirus cases, covid 19 vaccine, corona vaccine, coronavirus vaccine, coronavirus today news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus latest news in india, lockdown news, corona cases news, total corona cases in india, india coronavirus cases today news Healthcare staff collecting throat and swab samples for covid-19 tests from residents of Upendra nagar, Dadar west, Mumbai. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Coronavirus India Updates: India’s coronavirus caseload increased to 10,38,716 on Saturday after as many as 34,884 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. The death toll due to the contagious virus rose to 26,273 with 671 deaths in a day, the Health Ministry data updated at 8 am on Saturday showed.

As many as 6,53,750 persons have recovered, while there are 3,58,692 active cases. This is the third consecutive day when the number of COVID-19 cases increased by more than 30,000. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 1,34,33,742 samples have been tested so far, with at least 3,61,024 samples tested on Friday.

A health worker prepares before entering an Isolation center for Covid19 at CWG in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Of the 671 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 258 are from Maharashtra, 115 from Karnataka, 79 from Tamil Nadu, 42 from Andhra Pradesh, 38 from Uttar Pradesh, 26 each from Delhi and West Bengal, 17 from Gujarat, nine each from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, and eight each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Of the total fatalities reported so far, Maharashtra counts for the highest at 11,452, followed by Delhi with 3,571 deaths, 2,315 deaths in Tamil Nadu, 2,106 in Gujarat, 1,147 in Karnataka, 1,084 in Uttar Pradesh and 1,049 in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila kicked off human trials for their Covid-19 vaccines this week, with some of their centres vaccinating the first set of persons in what is expected to be a closely watched race for immunisation against the novel coronavirus. Both firms inoculated their first set of persons on July 15. Since then, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna, testing Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, has injected nine participants with the inactivated vaccine. PGIMS Rohtak on Friday became the second of the 12 sites testing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to begin phase I of the clinical trials by vaccinating three participants. Both sites aim to vaccinate 18-20 participants in the first round, 7-14 days after which a Data Safety Monitoring Board review is expected to take place.

Here is a list of top developments from across the country:

coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, india coronavirus cases, covid 19 vaccine, corona vaccine, coronavirus vaccine, coronavirus today news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus latest news in india, lockdown news, corona cases news, total corona cases in india, india coronavirus cases today news A health worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) checks the temperature of a resident with an electronic thermometer during a check up campaign for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India, July 13, 2020. (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas)

ICMR to conduct study on effectiveness of BCG vaccine among elders

The ICMR will conduct a multi-centric study to assess whether the BCG vaccine, used against tuberculosis, can prevent the occurrence of coronavirus infection and reduce the severity of the disease and mortality among elderly individuals residing in hotspot areas.

The study will be carried out in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi in approximately 1,500 healthy volunteers above 60-years of age, an ICMR scientist said.

Medical staff wearing PPE kit, taking swab samples of Corona suspects at a COVID Testing center at Swami Parmanand Prakritik Chikitsa Kendra in West Vinod Nagar, in New Delhi on Thursday, July 16, 2020. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

The BCG-COVID trial, under the auspices of ICMR would be held in five other centres — National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, National Institute for Research in Environmental Health in Bhopal, GS Medical College and KEM Hospital in Mumbai, National Institute for Implementation Research on Non-Communicable Diseases in Jodhpur and AIIMS, New Delhi.

Chhattisgarh collectors to take lockdown call as per case count

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Chhattisgarh government on Saturday authorised district collectors to impose lockdown in urban areas in case it is needed after giving three-day prior notice to people. The decision was taken in a meeting of ministers and officials chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel who also asked authorities to increase coronavirus testing to contain the outbreak, a public relations department official said.

“Depending on the outbreak situation, collectors can issue prohibitory orders under Epidemic Diseases Act and CrPC section 144. These orders can be implemented in some wards or in half of the city or even in the whole town as per impact of the infection. Collectors need to give three-day prior notice before implementing prohibitory orders which will be effective initially for seven days,” the official said.

13 more test positive for COVID-19 in Himachal

A healthcare staff collects throat and swab samples for COVID-19 tests from residents of Upendra nagar, Dadar west. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Thirteen more people tested positive for coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, taking the state’s caseload to 1,431, an official said. Six cases were reported from Kangra, three from Una, two from Shimla and one each from Kullu and Mandi, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said.

The virus has claimed 10 lives in Himachal Pradesh so far. A total of 1,021 people have recovered and 15 have migrated out of the state, as per the official data. The number of active COVID-19 cases in the state now stand at 383, Dhiman said.

Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Mutt seer tests positive for coronavirus

coronavirus news, 1 million, coronavirus cases, coronavirus vaccine, indian express The NSS (National Service Scheme), volunteers, students of Sukhamoy HS School, are making a wall painting in their school, on COVID-19 to raise awareness among people about COVID-19, in the outskirts of Agartala. (Express Photo by Abhishek Saha)

Senior pontiff of the Shree Pedda Jeeyar Swamy Mutt of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) that governs the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, near here, has tested positive for coronavirus. Speaking to PTI on Friday, chairman of the TTD Board Y V Subba Reddy said the 63-year-old seer was to be shifted to a corporate hospital in Chennai but he declined and expressed his wish to take treatment at the mutt itself.

Since the temple was re-opened for devotees on June 11, about 160 TTD staff members, including 16 ‘archakas’ (priests) were infected by the virus so far, he said. Nevertheless, the devotees can still visit the shrine, he added.

Complete weekend lockdown begins in four districts of Uttarakhand

A complete weekend lockdown began on Saturday in four districts of Uttarakhand with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat observing that the decision was taken in view of the recent surge in cases of COVID-19.

According to an order issued late on Friday night, the districts of Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar that have reported the highest number of coronavirus cases over the past few days will observe complete lockdown till Sunday in a bid to break the cycle and contain the spread of the infection.

A boy wearing a face mask as a precaution against coronavirus walks past a notice displayed by authorities on a makeshift barricade set up to restrict entry in a containment zone during lockdown in Bengaluru, India, Sunday, July 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

However, essential services including operations of industrial units in multiple shifts, agricultural and construction activities, liquor shops, hotels, movement of persons and vehicles associated with these activities, movement of goods on national and state highways, loading and unloading of cargo and people travelling to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and airplanes have been exempted from the ambit of the weekend lockdown.

Special plasma donation drive organised in Patna

A special plasma donation drive has been launched in Bihar’s Patna division, officials said on Saturday. AIIMS, Patna has got the nod from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct plasma therapy to treat serious COVID-19 patients in the state.

In view of the fast-spreading of Coronavirus cases in the state and low rate of plasma donation, a special plasma donation drive has been launched on Friday at the initiative of Patna, Divisional Commissioner, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal. Of the nine persons who came forward to donate plasma on the first day of the special drive, three persons were not found fit on the parameters set for donating plasma while six other persons from Nalanda, Khagaria, Buxar and Begusarai districts donated their plasma, Agarwal said in an official release.

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Guwahati to be unlocked partially from Monday for 2 weeks

The Assam govt on Saturday announced partial Guwahati unlock from Monday for next 2 weeks. Offices will function with 30 per cent staff, private vehicles still stand suspended but autos and cabs will be allowed. Shops will open (on one side of road one day, other side next). However, there is a curfew time — 6pm-6am and Saturdays and Sundays will be total lockdown.

Telangana to launch app for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients

The Telangana government is all set to introduce an app for monitoring the health of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who are in home isolation, a senior official of the state government said on Saturday. The state government will provide data of the patients to doctors who in turn through the app can interact with the assigned ones.

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The app, developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, allows each doctor to access the data of 50 patients and constantly monitor them, the official said. The Telangana government is advising asymptomatic patients to confine to their respective homes taking necessary care. “We are roping in retired doctors who will be assigned 50 patients each. Data of those 50 patients will be given to them who in turn will interact with the patients continuously and monitor their health,” the official told news agency PTI.

Antigen testing may be behind rise in Pune COVID-19 cases

The surge in COVID-19 cases in Pune district of Maharashtra since the last few weeks can be attributed to the use of rapid antigen detection tests, district officials said on Saturday. Simultaneously, the case recovery rate has gone up to 65 per cent while the mortality rate has fallen to 2.65 per cent, stated a report released by the district health officer on July 17.

As per reports, Pune has emerged as a new urban COVID-19 hotspot like Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The number of COVID-19 cases in Pune city reached 34,040 after 1,705 people were detected with the infection on July 17. The single-day rise on Friday was more than the number of cases reported in Mumbai. The death toll in Pune city rpt city stood at 917.

Delhi hospitals see Kawasaki-like symptoms in children with Covid

Coronavirus India Updates, 18 July:Coronavirus India Updates, 18 July: West Bengal reports over 1,800 new cases; two firms begin human trials for vaccines A health worker at an isolation center for Covid-19 at CWG Village in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Over the last few months, several hospitals in Delhi have reported children with Covid-19 reporting symptoms similar to those associated with a rare illness called Kawasaki disease — such as rashes and inflammation. Such cases were earlier reported from Mumbai.

Kawasaki disease is a syndrome of unknown cause that leads to fever and mainly affects children under the age of 5. It is a form of vasculitis where blood vessels become inflamed throughout the body. The fever typically lasts for more than five days, and does not respond to usual medications.

One of the country’s top children’s hospitals, Kalawati Saran in Delhi, has reported five-six cases of children presenting with fever, rashes, respiratory and gastrointestinal issues — some of the symptoms of Kawasaki disease. They had all tested positive for Covid-19.

Apprised PM Modi on Covid situation in Maharashtra: Fadnavis

Coronavirus India Updates, 18 July: West Bengal reports over 1,800 new cases; two firms begin human trials for vaccines Healthcare staff conducting screening for Covid-19 symptoms at a housing society in Dharavi on Thursday. (Express file photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said that he apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, PTI reported. “As a leader of opposition, it is my job to apprise the government of the loopholes in the system and the improvements required to be made. I have been demanding that testing in Mumbai should be increased,” he said.

Fadnavis said that the PM asked about the situation in Mumbai, Pune and other parts of the state.

Mizoram: Covid-19 cases touch 282

Ten people, including four National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Mizoram, taking the state’s caseload to 282 on Saturday, PTI quoted a health official as saying. Five new cases were recorded from Aizawl, three from Siaha and two from Champhai district, he said. The total number of active cases in the state now stands at 122 while 160 people have recovered from the infection, the official said.

A family wears mask to prevent from Covid19 infection in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Odisha’s cases inch closer to 17,000

Odisha’s Covid-19 tally rose to 16,701 with 591 fresh cases while the death toll reached 86 with three more patients succumbing to the disease, PTI quoted a Health Department Official as saying. Two deaths were recorded from Ganjam district and one from Gajapati, the official said. The new cases were reported from 25 districts, and 394 cases were detected in quarantine centres, while the rest 197 were detected during contact-tracing, the official added.

West Bengal reports over 1,800 new cases

West Bengal’s coronavirus cases increased to 38,011 after it reported a single-day spike of 1,894 cases, while the death toll jumped to 1,049 with 26 more deaths on Friday. Kolkata accounted for the maximum number of deaths-12 and 563 new cases. The state now has 14,709 active cases.

A health worker at a Covid19 testing center in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

291 new Covid-19 cases in Jharkhand

Four more Covid-19 deaths were recorded in Jharkhand on Friday, taking the total number of fatalities in the state to 46, a government bulletin said, PTI reported. The state now has 5,096 coronavirus cases, out of which 2,473 are active, while 2,577 patients have recovered.

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