Coronavirus India Updates: India has 3,31,146 active COVID-19 cases, which is approximately a third of the country’s total tally that rose to 9.68 lakh on Thursday, the Union Health ministry said and attributed the targeted measures for the steady decline in active caseload. The ministry also said that the recovery rate rose to 50 per cent mid-June and thereafter there has been a steady rise in the number of recoveries and a decline in the number of active cases.
“Of the total COVID-19 cases, 63.25 per cent have recovered so far. Simultaneously, there has been a steady dip in the number of active cases, from around 45 per cent in mid-June to around 34.18 per cent as of now,” the ministry.
The number of Covid-19 cases in India is inching towards the one million mark, with the country having reported 968,876 infections as of Thursday. In the last 24 hours, India has reported 32,696 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus. At least 24,915 people have succumbed to the disease.
India took nearly four months to cross 50,000 cases. However, it took less than three weeks to rise from there to a million cases.
There are only two countries with more Covid-19 cases than India. The United States has almost 3.5 million cases, while Brazil has nearly 2 million cases. Together, the three countries make up nearly half the world’s 13.5 million cases.
India’s numbers are currently being powered by high growth rates in Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. These states have seen sharp increases this month — they were reporting 400 to 600 cases every day till the end of June, but are now adding over 1,000 cases a day. (Follow Coronavirus India live updates)
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Here are some updates from across the country:
Over 6.87 lakh Indians have returned under Vande Bharat mission: MEA
The government has so far brought back over 6.87 lakh Indians from abroad under its “Vande Bharat” evacuation mission in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday. The fourth phase of the Vande Bharat mission, which is underway, has been augmented with the addition of around 120 flights between July 15-31, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
“These additional flights will cater to the demand for repatriation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, Europe, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine,” news agency PTI quoted Srivastava as saying. With this augmentation, this phase now has 751 international flights operating from 34 airports in India, he said. “If feeder flights to different states are included, there would be a total of 926 flights under the fourth phase. These include around 180 flights by Indian private carriers IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet,” Srivastava said.
Over 450 universities have either conducted final exams or are planning to do so: UGC
The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday said that more than 450 universities have either conducted their final examinations or are planning to do so in offline or online mode. The update from the higher education regulator came amid opposition by several states to conducting examinations in universities in view of the spurt in coronavirus cases.
The UGC, which had asked universities for a status report on the conduct of examination, received responses from 640 universities including 120 deemed ones, 229 private universities, 40 central universities and 251 state universities.
“Out of the 640 universities, 454 universities have either conducted the examination or are planning to conduct,” the UGC said in a statement. “While 182 universities have already conducted examination either online or offline, 234 are planning to conduct examination in August or September and 38 are planning to conduct examination as per the directions of the relevant Statutory Council,” it added. There are 177 more universities which are yet to decide on the conduct of examination.
Kolkata has recorded 496 fresh COVID-29 cases and 12 deaths
According to data provided by the West Bengal government, COVID-19 infection numbers have peaked in the state. 1,690 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on July 16, with 23 deaths in the state. Kolkata has recorded 496 fresh COVID-29 cases and 12 deaths. Infection numbers in the North 24 Parganas district also witnessed a spike with 403 new cases today.
COVID-19: Meghalaya to close all entry points to state from July 24-31
The Meghalaya government has decided to seal all entry points to the northeastern state from July 24 to 31 to ramp up COVID-19 protection, as its caseload rose to 354 on Thursday with 16 more security personnel testing positive for the infection, officials said. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said only people involved in providing essential services will be permitted to enter the state during the period.
“To reduce the burden on our health workers and administration engaged in intensive surveillance for the past four months, the state government has decided to close all the entry points to the state from July 24 to 31,” he said. The entry points of Byrnihat, Ratacherra, Bajengdoba, Tikrikilla, Mirjumla and Hallidayganj will be shut during the period. They all will be reopened on August 1, Sangma said, adding that the one at Byrnihat will be shifted to a new location to ensure smooth movement of traffic. The state government has also decided against allowing wedding functions in the districts of East Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi for the time being, he said.
Bill Gates: India’s pharma industry capable of producing vaccines for the world
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said the Indian pharmaceutical industry will be able to produce Covid-19 vaccines not just for the country, but for the entire world. Gates was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, “I am excited that the pharmaceutical industry there will be able to produce not just for India but also for the entire world.”
Commenting on the situation in India, Gates said, “India is still at the beginning of this, but there’s a lot of very important things have been done… It’s a huge challenge with India because you’ve got a gigantic country. You’ve got your urban centers with a lot of density, and so that drives the spread. You have people moving around.
“Yet people are stepping up… Looking at how we reduce the spread while trying not to reduce food availability, equipment that people need,” he reportedly added.
Maharashtra’s first woman chief election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan passed away at a hospital in Mumbai on Thursday at the age of 71. The had tested positive for Covid-19. Satyanarayan, also a celebrated author and poet, is the first IAS officer in the state to succumb to the disease.
Maharashtra is expected to report over three lakh Covid-19 cases by this weekend. On Wednesday, the state reported 7,975 new infections, taking its tally to over 2.75 lakh cases. Mumbai, which has 96,474 cases, is expected to breach the one lakh mark this week. (Follow live updates on Coronavirus in Maharashtra, Mumbai)
Andhra Pradesh will require the services of an additional 17,000 doctors and 12,000 nursing staff in the coming months to handle the pandemic. This is an estimate put forth by health officials on the direction of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The state is seeing a surge in cases; it reported 2,432 new infections and 44 deaths on Wednesday, taking the total number of positive cases and deaths to 35,451 and 458, respectively. The state has so far conducted 12,17,963 tests.
Based on a suggestion by an expert committee, the Karnataka government has announced an incentive of Rs 5,000 to recovered Covid-19 patients who come forward and donate their plasma. An order issued by the government stated: “A one-time incentive will be given to plasma donors who have recovered within 14-28 days from Covid-19.”
Of the five Covid-19 patients who have been administered plasma therapy in the state so far, three have recovered. The other two patients succumbed to the disease.
Karnataka reported 3,176 cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, taking the state’s tally to 47,253. According to the Karnataka health department, 1,076 patients were treated and discharged, while 87 deaths were reported Wednesday.
A doctor in Kerala took care of a six-month-old boy for a month after his parents tested positive for Covid-19 and were isolated. Dr Mary Anitha handed over Elvin to his parents on Wednesday, after they were discharged from the hospital.
The child’s parents are nurses at a healthcare facility in Gurgaon. They had returned to Ernakulam district, where they had been treated for the disease.
Three Mumbai football coaches — Prasad Bhosale, Siddhesh Srivastav, and Samrat Rana — have been forced to change their line of work due to the pandemic. Bhosale is selling vegetables, Srivastav is making kebabs at home, while Rana works as a delivery man for a restaurant.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Bhosale said, “When I sold vegetables, I did feel awkward for the first few days. I am a Masters in Physical Education, a double graduate, and selling vegetables now. But when your stomach is empty and there are more hungry people at home, you stop thinking all that. I carry grain bags and vegetables on my shoulders, fill my cart, and sell on the streets.”
Srivastav, meanwhile, said, “We were not paid for the last few months… We wrote to the company a few times and they replied last month that they can’t pay us salaries and have terminated our contracts. My father is retired and I have to take care of my family, so we decided to sell kebabs.”
Rana said he became a delivery boy for a nearby restaurant after popular companies like Zomato and Swiggy said there were no vacancies. “I had small savings and was forced to sell mother’s gold. My brother also lost his job. We had nine centres and I was the overall head. I have three brothers (one plays football) and they are all into sports. Now, we have to support our families through other means,” he said.
Former Uttar Pradesh minister Ghoora Ram dies of Covid-19
Former minister and Samajwadi Party leader Ghoora Ram passed away this morning at the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow, his family said. According to his son Santosh Kumar, he was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday after he had difficulties in breathing. He tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, Kumar said, adding that his condition deteriorated last evening.
Ghoora Ram, a confidant of BSP founder Kashi Ram, was elected from the Rasra (reserved) Assembly seat in 1993, 2002 and 2007, and was also health minister in the Mayawati government. Recently, he had joined the Samajwadi Party and was made a member of the national working committee.
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