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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

India Coronavirus Updates, 18 August: Uddhav calls for avoiding crowd during Ganeshotsava; No room for laxity on COVID, says Health Ministry

India Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: The number of cases also crossed another grim milestone of 27 lakh with a spike of 55,079 cases. There are 6,73,166 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which is 24.91 per cent of the total caseload

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 18, 2020 8:49:20 pm
PPE kit rates, private hospitals, Bombay HC, Maharashtra govt, Mumbai news, Indian express newsThe state government informed the court it’s decision to constitute a committee for regulating prices of masks and sanitisers, however, the same exercise has not undertaken for PPE kits so far. (Representational)

Coronavirus India Updates:  A day after the country’s death toll crossed the 50,000-mark, 876 fresh deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry data. However, the case fatality rate is still below 2 per cent.

The number of cases also crossed another grim milestone of 27 lakh with a spike of 55,079 cases. There are 6,73,166 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which is 24.91 per cent of the total caseload, while the number of recoveries has risen to 19,77,779. India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has citizens to take precautions during the ongoing monsoon season, noting that this is the time when tropical and vector-borne diseases spread. “This is the season of tropical and vector-borne diseases. I urge you all to take the right precautions. The government is also closely monitoring the situation and ensuring care to those affected. Stay safe, be happy,” he tweeted.

Here are the top COVID-19 stories of the day:

Avoid crowding during Ganesh festival: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday appealed people to avoid crowding during the Ganesh festival and follow guidelines about the height of idols and their immersion.

uddhav thackeray, mumbai ganesh Chaturthi, mumbai coronavirus latest update, mumbai coronavirus ganesh festival, mumbau ganesh festival special trains, mumbai city news The Ganesh festival, which in normal times brings lakhs of people on roads in a city like Mumbai, will begin on August 22 under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thackeray was speaking at a review meeting with top officials through video conference where Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope were also present.

“The forthcoming Ganeshotsav which comes against the backdrop of COVID-19 crisis should be celebrated peacefully, keeping social responsibility in mind,” Thackeray was quoted as saying in an official statement.

“Care should be taken to avoid crowding and it should be ensured that the disease does not spread,” he said.

BJP MP Srinivas Prasad tests COVID positive, CM’s son Vijayendra in home quarantine

BJP MP V Srinivas Prasad on Tuesday said he has tested positive for COVID-19. Prasad, a former Minister, said he was following doctor’s instruction and there was no reason to worry.

He has also requested all those who had come in contact with him during the last one week to undergo tests and go into home quarantine.

Meanwhile, state BJP vice president and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra, who had met Prasad earlier in the day, said he was under home quarantine.

Himachal CM’s 12 security personnel, driver among 56 fresh COVID-19 cases

Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday reported 56 fresh COVID-19 cases, including 12 security personnel and a driver of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

They were in institutional quarantine after a security guard and a driver of Thakur had contracted the infection a few days ago.

With this, the state’s COVID-19 tally has reached 4,231, while the death toll is 18. Shimla and Mandi reported 14 fresh cases each, Una and Kullu 11 each, Kangra four and Chamba two, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said.

Daily COVID-19 cases, deaths declining but no room for laxity: Health Ministry

The daily new cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to the disease have shown a declining trend from August 13, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, but warned against any laxity, underlining that five days are a short span in the context of a pandemic.

Addressing a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that in spite of a sustained level of 7-8 lakh coronavirus tests a day, the positivity rate has come down from 10.03 per cent to 7.72 per cent.

“The daily new cases from August 13 are down from over 64,000 to 55,079 now. There is a declining trend. But five days are a short span in the context of a pandemic and there is no room for laxity on containment, testing and surveillance,” Bhushan said.

“Absolute deaths have also declined during the same period. These two parameters do give us some satisfaction but there is no reason for us to slacken our guard,” he said.

Delhi airport likely to get COVID-19 testing facility

International passenger can get themselves tested on arrival if and when a Covid-19 testing facility comes up at the Delhi airport. Those tested negative will get exemption from the seven-day mandatory institutional quarantine, said senior government officials on Tuesday.

As per the Union health ministry, passengers arriving from abroad have to undergo seven days of institutional quarantine followed by seven days of home quarantine.

“The government is considering establishing a COVID-19 testing facility at the Delhi airport. It takes around eight hours to get the results, which means the international passenger will have to remain at the airport premises for that duration,” a government official told PTI.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (L) inspects a mobile clinic before a flagging off ceremony, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

‘Over 600 people in Bhubaneswar recovered at home in 1 month’

More than 600 people in Bhubaneswar have recovered from the disease without having to undergo treatment at a hospital, a senior official told PTI. At least 1,035 people who have tested positive for the infection since mid-July in the state capital underwent home isolation, and 608 have recovered, the senior Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said on Tuesday.

“Only those with no comorbidity are allowed to stay at home under the supervision of a nodal or a ward officer, provided they self-isolate themselves. During the phase, the patient should be giving mandatory updates to the state-level and city-level control rooms.

“A care giver could be assigned if necessary. People under home isolation will have to ensure their own safety along with that of the household and the community at large,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ajay Parida, director of city-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) said the coronavirus situation in the state is likely to improve from the second week of September. He claimed that the situation will gradually normalise after reaching peak in the first week of September.

“This (fall in cases) has happened in Ganjam district and will occur in other parts of the state,” Dr Parida said on Monday.

Wrestler Vinesh pulls out of national camp citing health risk

The only Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for Tokyo Olympics, Vinesh Phogat, has pulled out of the national camp citing health safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rescheduled national camp for Olympic weight category wrestlers is set to begin from September 1 in Lucknow (women) and Sonepat (men).

However, Vinesh said she is not comfortable travelling to Lucknow as she is fearful of her health.

“I am not going to attend the camp. I am training everyday with coach Om Parkash, who follows the plan which my personal coach Woller Akos sends me every week. The situation is not good to travel to Lucknow,” Vinesh told PTI.

Class X pass outs collecting their marksheet from a school in Pune. (Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

SC refuses to direct transfer of contributions made to PM CARES to NDRF

The Supreme Court Tuesday said the money deposited in the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM Cares) Fund need not be transferred to the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). Dismissing a petition filed by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the apex court said no order could be issued for transferring money from the PM Cares Fund.

The NGO had moved the Court seeking direction to the government to transfer funds in light of the coronavirus pandemic. It claimed the Centre was “refraining from divulging information” about the money “contributed to the PM CARES Fund till date”.

No change in Mukherjee’s health condition: Hospital

There is no change in the condition of former President Pranab Mukherjee who continues to be on ventilator support, the Army’s Research and Referral hospital said on Tuesday. Doctors attending on him said his vital parameters are stable.

The 84-year-old former president was admitted to the hospital in Delhi Cantonment on August 10.
He was operated for removal of a clot in the brain and has been in a coma ever since. He also tested positive for COVID-19.

Home Minister Shah admitted to AIIMS for post COVID care

Days after he tested negative for Covid-19, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was on Tuesday admitted to AIIMS, Delhi after complaining of “fatigue and body aches”. According to a statement issued by the premier hospital, Shah has been hospitalised for post-Covid-19 care. “He has been admitted to AIIMS for post-COVID care. He is comfortable and is continuing his work from hospital,” the statement added.

Shah had earlier been admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon for the treatment. He was the first member of the Union Cabinet to test positive for the disease.

The Home Minister had tested negative for the disease on August 14, nearly a fortnight after contracting the novel coronavirus. He had even hoisted the national flag at his residence on Independence Day. He was advised by doctors to stay in home isolation for a few days.

A Jumbo Covid facility with 200 ICU beds and 600 beds with oxygen support in final stages of completion in Pune.
(Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

Telangana records eight COVID-19 deaths, 1,682 new cases

Telangana reported 1,682 fresh coronavirus cases and 8 deaths, pushing the state’s tally of positive cases to 93,937. With eight more fatalities the toll rose to 711, a state government bulletin said on Tuesday, providing data as of 8 PM on August 17.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corpoation (GHMC), the COVID-19 hotspot in the state, continued to witness low number of infections with only 235 cases being reported. The GHMC was followed by Rangareddy 166, Warangal Urban 107 and Medchal-Malkajgiri 106 districts. Except Kumram Bheem Asifabad 9 and Vikarabad 7, all other districts reported cases in double digits.

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