Coronavirus (Covid-19) India News Updates: The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the country zoomed past six lakh on Thursday, with the exact number at 6,04,641. With 2,26,947 active cases and a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, the 6 lakh-mark comes just five days after it crossed the five-lakh mark. The death toll stood at 17,834, with at least 3,59,859 people being cured/discharged. Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus situation in Maharashtra
Of the 434 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 198 are from Maharashtra, 63 from Tamil Nadu, 61 from Delhi, 21 each from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, 15 from West Bengal, nine from Madhya Pradesh, eight from Rajasthan, seven each from Telangana and Karnataka, six from Andhra Pradesh, five from Punjab, four each from Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, three from Bihar and one each from Chhattisgarh and Goa, news agency PTI reported. Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus situation in Delhi
Meanwhile, the ICMR and the Health Ministry on Wednesday in a letter to state governments and Union Territories stated that some states have been utilising testing laboratories, especially private labs, at a “sub-optimal” level and it is “strongly recommended” that laboratories should be free to test “any individual in accordance to ICMR guidelines”. The letter noted that states have made prescription from a government doctor mandatory to allow for a Covid-19 test, and observes that this may pose impediments and lead to delays. Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus situation in Telangana/Andhra Pradesh
Here are the top developments in India:
Amit Shah emphasises on more Rapid Antigen test, early hospitalisation
Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday emphasised on carrying out more test for coronavirus using Rapid Antigen Kits, and suggested that focus should be on reducing death rate by ensuring early hospitalisation of patients. The suggestions were made at a high-level meet chaired by Shah and attended by the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, besides others.
“HM Shri @AmitShah emphasised on, 1. Adoption of more testing using Rapid Antigen Test Kits to help reduce infection transmission rate. These kits can be provided by GoI to UP and Haryana. 2. Focus on early hospitalization to reduce mortality rates. 3. Extensive use of Aarogya Setu & Itihaas App to help mapping of COVID in NCR,” a home ministry spokesperson tweeted.” 4. UP & Haryana can avail AIIMS-Telemedicine consultation through which patients will get advice from experts. 5. Small hospitals in both states can take guidance from AIIMS thru Tele-videography,” the spokesperson said in another tweet.
Arunachal Pradesh reports biggest single day spike with 37 cases
On Thursday, Arunachal Pradesh reported 37 fresh COVID-19 cases taking the state’s total tally of reported cases to 232. According to a release by the Directorate of Health Services, 34 were reported from the Itanagar Capital Complex, 2 from Changlang district, and 1 from Namsai district. The positive cases have returned from Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, among other states. Out of the 37 who have tested positive, 15 are from Assam. “All the cases have been detected from Facility Quarantine and all are asymptomatic,” said the release. The total number of active cases in the state are now 160.
162 cases in Mizoram
With two more COVID-19 cases reported at Aizawl and Champhai districts, Mizoram has now reached 162 coronavirus cases, out of which only 37 active patients remain. The Department of Information and Public Relations informed that 126 patients were cured and discharged from hospital.
Among all districts, Aiza has been worst hit by coronavirus so far with 75 registered cases, 48 cases were found in Kolasib district, three at Champhai and one each at Lunglei, Lawngtlai and Mamir districts.
Commuters breathe sigh of relief in Kolkata, suburbs as pvt buses resume normal services
Transportation woes of commuters in West Bengal were cut down to an extent on Thursday after large fleets of both government and private buses hit the streets in the city and its adjoining areas, state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikary said here. Around 1,800 government buses and 3,800 private buses are plying the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA), comprising the city and its neighbouring districts, he said. “Bus availability is absolutely normal today,” the minister asserted.
Several commuters heaved a sigh of relief after normal services resumed on Thursday, with buses found waiting for
passengers at many places, a departure from what has been the norm since early June as scores of people ran helter-skelter to find a vehicle to reach their destinations.
India crosses nine million Covid tests
India has crossed the nine-million mark in conducting Covid-19 tests, with 90,56,173 samples having been examined till Wednesday, officials said on Thursday. According to PTI, the officials of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said the country now has 1,065 testing labs in the country — 768 in the public sector and 297 in private. The daily testing capacity is going up fast, they said, adding it was around 1.5 lakh per day on May 25 and is more than three lakh per day at present.
As many as 2,29,588 samples were tested on Wednesday, which took the cumulative number to 90,56,173, the country’s apex health research body said. Starting with just one laboratory, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, and having 100 in the beginning of the lockdown, the ICMR on June 23 validated 1000th testing lab, it said. The Union Health Ministry, meanwhile, said the total number of people being tested for Covid-19 in India will soon touch one crore.
Maharashtra crossed a million mark in testing with 10,20,368 Covid-19 tests conducted until Thursday. It crossed a lakh mark in recording recoveries. Till Thursday 1,01,172 lakh people had been treated and discharged.
ASI monuments to be reopened for public from July 6
Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel Thursday said that all the monuments protected by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) will be reopened for the public from July 6. In June, the culture ministry had thrown open the gates of 820 of the over 3,000 ASI-maintained monuments, where religious events take place.
As many as 3,691 centrally-protected monuments and archaeological sites maintained by the ASI were shut from March 17 due to the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown put in place to arrest the spread of the infection in the country.
The minister said all coronavirus-related protocols issued by the Union Health Ministry would be followed by the monument authorities. According to sources, wearing of masks might be made the norm for the visitors at such sites.
However, this will be done with the compliance of the state and district administration.
Bodies of suspected COVID-19 cases be handed over to kin without waiting for test result: Health min
The Union Health Ministry has asked all states and UTs to hand over bodies of suspected Covid-19 cases to their families without waiting for confirmation of the infection but said the mortal remains should be disposed of as per government guidelines, PTI reported.
A letter was sent to all states and UTs on Wednesday in the wake of issues raised regarding death of suspected COVID-19 patients and bodies not being handed over to relatives pending confirmation of test report by hospitals. “I would like to clarify that the dead bodies of such suspected COVID cases should be handed over to their relatives immediately and laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 should not be awaited,” the letter written by Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Health Ministry, Dr Rajiv Garg said.
These bodies can as a matter of abundant precaution be disposed as per the ‘Guidelines on Dead Body Management’ available on the website of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which directs that handlers in PPE accompany the body for final rites, the letter stated.
Pfizer, BioNTech experimental vaccine shows promise in early trial: Study
American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and European biotechnology company BioNTech SE have conducted an experimental trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate and found it to be safe and capable of generating antibodies in patients. The study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, describes the preliminary clinical data for the candidate vaccine — nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA), BNT162b1. Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus situation in Karnataka
It said the amount of antibodies produced in participants after they received two shots of the vaccine candidate was greater than that reported in patients receiving convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
Researchers, including those from New York University in the US, who were involved in the study, said the candidate vaccine enables human cells to produce an optimised version of the receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen — a part of the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 which it uses to gain entry into human cells.
Two more deaths in JK takes total fatalities to 107
Two more COVID-19 positive patients in Jammu and Kashmir died at a hospital on Thursday, taking to 107 the number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the union territory, officials said.
They said a 55-year-old man from Yaripora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district died around midnight. He was admitted to the hospital on June 22 with “hypertension with T2 DM with multifocal encephalopathy,” they said.
A 65-year-old man from Sopore area of Baramulla district of north Kashmir passed away at around 3 am, the officials said. They said he was also admitted to the hospital on June 22 and was suffering from hypertension and community-acquired pneumonia. The cause of the death was sudden cardiopulmonary arrest, the officials added.
251 fresh cases in Odisha
Odisha recorded 251 fresh COVID-19 cases, including that of 43 frontline health workers and an NDRF personnel, taking the state’s tally to 7,316, a health department official said on Wednesday. One COVID-19 patient died in Ganjam district, but the state government attributed the death to terminal lung cancer.
“A 52-year-old male COVID-19 patient of Ganjam district passed away due to terminal cancer of the lungs with brain metastasis,” the department said in a statement. In seven cases earlier, deaths were attributed to “non-COVID reasons”, the official said. The state has so far confirmed 25 deaths due to coronavirus.
2,442 fresh COVID cases take tally to over 89K in Delhi
Delhi recorded 2,442 fresh coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally in the city to over 89,000, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 2,803, the authorities said. Recently, Delhi had eclipsed Mumbai as the city worst-hit by the pandemic in the country.
Sixty-one fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours, the Delhi health department bulletin said on Wednesday. The death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi stood at 2,742 on Tuesday.
Assam reports 548 coronavirus cases
Assam reported 548 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the total number of infections in the state to 8,955, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday. So far, 12 people have died from the infection in the state.
In the past 24 hours, 378 cases were reported from Guwahati City alone, which is under a complete lockdown for 14 days since June 28 following a surge in the number of cases. This is so far the second highest daily increase in infections. On Tuesday, the state had reported 613 cases, the highest in a day so far.
“In the past 24 hours, 378 cases were reported from Guwahati City. We request all to follow lockdown rules sincerely”, the minister tweeted. Meanwhile, 184 patients were discharged from hospitals in the state, taking the number of recovered patients to 5,831. The state has 3,109 active cases as of now.
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