Coronavirus India Updates: With a record single-day surge of 55,078 infections, India’s COVID-19 caseload raced past 16 lakh on Friday, just two days after it reached the 15-lakh mark, while the number of recoveries rose to 10,57,805, according to Union Health Ministry data. The country has so far registered 16,38,870 cases of the coronavirus infection. The death toll increased to 35,747 with 779 fatalities being reported in the last 24 hours. This is the second consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50,000. There are 5,45,318 active COVID-19 cases in the country. The recovery rate rose to 64.54 per cent while the fatality rate dropped further to 2.18 per cent.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh detected more than 10,000 new cases of novel coronavirus infections on Wednesday, and it was the first time since mid-March that any state had reported more cases than Maharashtra on any day. Maharashtra found 9,211 new cases on Wednesday, and the number of people who have been infected in the state so far went past 4 lakh. It was also only the second time that any state had reported more than 10,000 positive cases in a single day. On July 22, Maharashtra had detected over 10,500 new cases. (Follow Coronavirus India Live Updates)
Here are the top stories of the day
Two days after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued fresh guidelines under its Unlock 3 plans, the Odisha government on Friday announced relaxations outside containment zones in the state effective August 1.
While most norms followed the Centre’s guidelines, the state has chosen to continue with night curfews between 9 pm and 5 am till August 31, allowing only essential services to operate.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Pradeep Jena further stated that weekend curfews will be imposed across Ganjam, Gajapati, Cuttack and Khurda districts and in the Municipal Corporation area of Rourkela. Temples, cinema halls, school and colleges will continue to remain shut till August 31.
In another announcement, the state government also increased violation penalties to ensure that people strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety norms. The penalty for not wearing a mask was revised from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 for first two violations and Rs 5000 for subsequent violations.
“Shops, institutes or offices not following COVID19 norms will be penalised of Rs 10,000 and the premise will be sealed for a week for first offence and for a month if found violating the norms again,” Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said.
Punjab sees record single-day surge of 665 cases, tally crosses 16k mark
Punjab on Friday reported its highest single-day spike of 665 COVID-19 cases and 19 more deaths due to the disease, a medical bulletin said.
The death toll has now climbed to 386 and the COVID-19 tally reached 16,119.
Six fatalities were reported in Ludhiana, three in Amritsar, two each in Barnala and Patiala and one each in Jalandhar, Pathankot and Kapurthala, according to the medical bulletin.
Ludhiana district alone reported 248 new cases, followed by 136 in Patiala, 71 in Amritsar, 43 in Pathankot, 32 in Barnala, 25 in Sangrur, 24 each in Jalandhar and Mohali, 15 in Fatehgarh Sahib, 11 in Hoshiarpur, nine in SBS Nagar, eight in Rupnagar, six in Tarn Taran, five in Bathinda, three in Ferozepur, two in Kapurthala and one each in Muktsar, Moga and Gurdaspur. (PTI)
Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday extended the suspension of scheduled international flights to and from the country till August 31. However, this restriction will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.
“The government has decided to extend the suspension on the scheduled international commercial passenger services to/ from India up to 2359 hours IST of 31st August,” the DGCA said in a statement.
Earlier, DGCA had on July 3 extended the ban on international flights until July 31 after it was suspended till July 15. According to senior government officials, the ban was extended because it was felt that it would take some more time for India to prepare before it can resume scheduled international operations.
With 1,195 fresh cases, Delhi Covid-19 tally at 1,35,598
Delhi recorded 1,195 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the tally in the city to over 1.35 lakh, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 3,963.
On Monday, the daily cases count had dipped to 613, the lowest in two months. From Tuesday onwards, cases have been reported in excess of 1,000, news agency PTI reported.
Twenty-seven fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Delhi health department bulletin released on Friday.
The active cases tally on Friday was 10,705, down from 10,743 the previous day.
A day after the central government released guidelines for Unlock 3.0, the Karnataka government has announced to lift the total lockdown on Sunday and the daily night curfew in the state.
The state government had imposed a total lockdown on all Sundays and also had a night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am. “In accordance with the unlock 3.0 guidelines from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Sunday lockdown on 2 August has been lifted along with night curfew from 1 August between 9 pm and 5 am,” state Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar said in an order on Thursday.
The guidelines will be in effect from August 1 and valid until August 31. Meanwhile, the educational institutions, including coaching centres, will remain closed till August 31. Theatres, swimming pools, entertainment parks, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places will be closed.
At least 10 people died in Karichedu Mandal area after allegedly consuming alcohol-based hand sanitiser in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh. While seven persons died Friday morning, three died in the last two days at Darsi Government Hospital where they were admitted after complaints of severe stomach ache and vomiting.
The police, who visited the area on Tuesday, found sanitisers in at least 20 homes. “We found empty as well unopened sanitiser bottles in some these homes. Family members confirmed that the victims were consuming it in place of liquor. We are looking for more people who are consuming sanitisers. Almost all of them are daily wage labourers or beggars. We have seized some stock of sanitisers from some shops while those with medical shops would be examined for chemical contents. Apart from the post-mortem report, we have also sought a toxicology report to ascertain what exactly happened. At least 10 people have died so far in the last three days,’’ Prakasam District SP Siddharth Kaushal said.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has quarantined himself at his home after a few staffers of his residential complex have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Thursday.
The residential complex is being sanitised and all the standard operating procedures are being followed, they said. “Few persons in the Chief Minister’s Residential Complex have tested positive for COVID-19. All SOPs are being implemented. The complex is being sanitised and the residential office closed for 48 hours. The normal functioning of the CMO is continuing following all guidelines.
“As a safety precaution, the Honourable Chief Minister is in home quarantine while strict adherence to SOPs has been put in place for primary and secondary contacts,” the CMO said in a tweet.
Maharashtra: Public gatherings banned in Bhiwandi, Palghar on Bakrid
The civic body in Bhiwandi city of Maharashtra today urged citizens to celebrate Bakrid at their homes and not assemble in public places, especially mosques, PTI reported. The gathering of people in large numbers is not advisable in light of the pandemic, said Dr Pankaj Ashiya, municipal commissioner of the Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation, was quoted as saying by PTI. Issuing an order to the effect, he also appealed to the citizens to conduct the ‘qurbani’ ritual in a symbolic manner during the celebrations on August 1. Palghar district collector Dr Kailas Shinde also issued a similar order banning Bakrid celebrations in public places.
The Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre to ensure the salaries of doctors and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle were paid on time. When the Centre, in response to the direction, placed the onus on state governments, the apex court ordered it to take steps under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
“You are not helpless. You have to see to it that your order is implemented. You have power under the DM Act. You can take steps also,” Justice M R Shah said, unhappy with the Centre’s stand.
The Centre had argued that it issued directions to states, but four were yet to implement the same. According to news agency ANI, these four states were Punjab, Maharashtra, Tripura and Karnataka.
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally crosses 31,000-mark, death toll mounts to 177
Odisha’s COVID-19 count crossed the 31,000-mark with 1,499 fresh cases, while eight more deaths due to the disease pushed the toll to 177, a Health Department official said on Friday. The number of total coronavirus patients in the state now stands at 31,877, he said. Of the new fatalities, four were reported from Ganjam district and one each from Gajapati, Khurda, Nayagarh and Sundargarh.
Delhi hotels to open, gyms to remain shut for now
A day after the Centre issued guidelines for phase 3 of its Covid unlockdown, the Delhi government Thursday allowed hotels to reopen in a move that was welcomed by the hospitality industry although concerns remain on the challenges involved, ranging from a severe staff crunch to the renewal of licences that have lapsed.
The state government said that a decision has been taken to allow the normal functioning of hotels, along with hospitality services — these were already permitted under the Union Home Ministry’s guidelines issued on June 4.
However, official sources said that a decision on reopening gyms, which has been allowed under the Centre’s latest guidelines, has been deferred in the capital till next week amid concerns over the potential spread of Covid in closed spaces. “Officials will discuss the apprehensions and revisit the decision next week,” sources said.
Even as the state government has allowed malls in the state to re-open amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the experience of going to the mall is about to change dramatically, perhaps ushering in the post-Covid-19 world that many had imagined through the lockdown.
Starting August 5, a visit to the mall could entail downloading the Aarogya Setu App, pre-booking for mall entry, restricted use of elevators and sanitisation of fitting rooms and washrooms after each use.
With the doubling rate of a month, Chandigarh likely to have at least 2,000 cases by August-end
After recording the highest single-day spike of 44 cases on Wednesday, 38 more COVID-19 patients were diagnosed in the city on Thursday, taking the total tally of patients in the city to 1,016. With the current growth rate of 3.2 per cent, it is likely that cases will double to at least 2,032 patients roughly by the end of August.
The doubling rate of cases, which is calculated by using the average growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the city in the past seven days, is only a rough parameter by which one can project the growth of the pandemic in the future. This is because the rate of growth of cases is likely to change, and considering the surge of cases in the city recorded in July, likely to increase, thereby shortening the doubling rate further.
The UT Administration has made similar projections regarding the number of COVID-19 by August in the city.
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