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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Coronavirus India Highlights: Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur tests positive

With 66,732 new cases, the coronavirus tally in India has now risen to over 71 lakh. As many as 816 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the casualties to 1,09,150.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 13, 2020 8:59:02 am
Coronavirus Live Updates: Recoveries in India surpass 60 lakh, says Health MinistryPeople wearing protective face masks stand in a queue to get tested for COVID-19 at the Nizamuddin Railway Station, in New Delhi, October 08, 2020. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Monday went into home isolation after he was tested positive for coronavirus infection. He had gone into quartine after deputy secretary had tested positive.

Read Coronavirus India Live Updates

With 66,732 new cases, the coronavirus tally in India has now risen to over 71 lakh. As many as 816 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the casualties to 1,09,150. Of the 71,20,539 infections, the recoveries stand at 61,49,536, while 8,61,853 cases are still active. With increasing recoveries, India has sustained its leading global position with the maximum recovered cases.

Laying out the sequence of distribution of Covid vaccines that are expected to be available in India, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said Sunday that the first priority will be for those facing occupational hazards from the virus and exposure risk, indicating that healthcare professionals at the frontline would be among the early recipients.

Globally, the infections topped 37.3 million. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to step up efforts to contain Covid-19 on Monday. South Korea eased social distancing requirements, and the governor of Jakarta relaxed restrictions in Indonesia’s capital.

Live Blog

Over 71 lakh coronavirus cases in India; death toll surpasses 1.09 lakh; Those at high risk, exposure to get covid vaccine first.

20:21 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Explained: The drugs, vaccines being repurposed for Covid-19 treatment 

The Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, originally developed for tuberculosis a century ago, is in focus again, with scientists in the UK starting a large-scale trial on frontline health workers to gauge its effectiveness against Covid-19. As part of the global Brace study, the University of Exeter will inoculate around 1,000 healthcare workers since they are more likely to be exposed to the coronavirus. This will help researchers in knowing quickly if the vaccine is effective against Covid-19. Click here to read the full explainer.


18:53 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency: study

The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus. Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found. Click here to read the full report.

16:48 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Instances of community transmission, contagion becoming air borne: Bengal CM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was speaking after a cabinet meeting, said: "I ask everybody to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols during the festive season. There are instance of community transmission of COVID-19 and also the contagion becoming airborne."

16:23 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Kalyan Singh recovers from COVID, discharged from Ghaziabad hospital

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Kalyan Singh has been discharged from a Ghaziabad hospital after recovering from coronavirus, an official said on Monday. Kalyan Singh was admitted to Ghaziabad's Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital on September 16 after he tested positive for the infection.

He was shifted from Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences to the hospital near the Kaushambi Metro station here. The hospital's Medical Superintendent, Dr Anuj Agarwal, told PTI that the BJP leader tested negative for the infection on Saturday. Singh suffered from other health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, Parkinson's disease, kidney and heart-related issues.

15:49 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Malaysia to impose some movement restrictions in capital

Malaysia on Monday announced that it will impose some restrictions on movement in its capital city and in the neighbouring state of Selangor from Wednesday, as the country grapples with a fresh surge of coronavirus cases. The government will bring in curbs on activities, ranging from attending schools and places of worship to playing sports, from Oct. 14 till Oct 27, Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said. (Reuters)

14:47 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Philippines considers relaxing curfew

The Philippines’ health department is open to easing a curfew, but movement restrictions for the young and elderly are needed to protect vulnerable groups, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday. The country’s virus task force is studying cutting back the curfew in Manila from from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. after it allowed extended operating hours for malls and restaurants last week. Persons below 21 and above 60 years old are required to stay at home except for essential activities.

14:17 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur tests positive

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Monday went into home isolation after he was tested positive for coronavirus infection.

13:28 (IST)12 Oct 2020
French PM does not rule out local lockdown due to COVID-19 spike

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Monday he did not rule out local lockdowns in France due to a resurgence of new coronavirus infections. "Nothing must be excluded," Castex told franceinfo radio after he was asked about potential local lockdowns. Castex also said the country was facing a "strong" second wave of new COVID-19 infections.

12:40 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Untold story of lockdown: sharp surge in child trafficking

As the pandemic struck, and the government imposed a nationwide lockdown, the country woke up to countless images of migrant workers returning to their villages with their children, on cycles, buses, lorries and trains, many walking hundreds of kilometres. But as the economic distress began to sink in, a more sinister movement of children gathered pace — of those being taken away from their homes for illegal labour, trafficking and forced marriages.

The crisis led to a spike in “interventions” where officials or aid workers stepped in to rescue children in distress, and exposed an ill-equipped government apparatus with too many holes to stem the flow, let alone prevent it, an investigation of Childline data obtained by The Indian Express has found.

A 1098 Childline booth at the New Delhi railway station on Sunday. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)
11:45 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Poland not considering state of natural disaster, says PM's aide

Poland is not currently considering introducing a state of natural disaster, although no scenario can be ruled out as the coronavirus pandemic develops, the Polish prime minister's top aide told public radio. Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily reported on Monday that one option the Polish government was considering was introducing a state of natural disaster, one of three emergency states that exist in Poland. "We obviously cannot exclude any scenarios, but at the moment no such option is considered," Michal Dworczyk told PR1 radio.

11:01 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Nepal: Education Minister tests positive for coronavirus

Nepal's education minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel has tested positive for COVID-19 -- the second Cabinet minister to have contracted the deadly viral infection, according to media reports. Pokharel, who was admitted to Patan Hospital on Saturday evening after developing mild fever, tested positive for the virus on Sunday afternoon during a PCR test, MyRepublica reported on Sunday. His health is stable, according to a member of the minister's secretariat. Pokharel is the second minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to have contracted the contagion, which has so far infected over 107,750 people and claimed 636 lives in the Himalayan nation. On Saturday, Nepal's tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai announced on social media that he has tested positive for the COVID-19 and requested all those who came in his contact to be on alert.

09:34 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Over 71 lakh cases in India

With 66,732 new cases, the coronavirus tally in India has now risen to over 71 lakh. As many as 816 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the casualties to 1,09,150. Of the 71,20,539 infections, the recoveries stand at 61,49,536, while 8,61,853 cases are still active. With increasing recoveries, India has sustained its leading global position with the maximum recovered cases.

09:10 (IST)12 Oct 2020
New Zealand signs deal with Pfizer, BioNTech for COVID-19 vaccine

The New Zealand government signed a deal on Monday to buy 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Germany's BioNTech, with delivery potentially as early as the first quarter of 2021. The government did not disclose financial terms of the deal, its first vaccine purchase, which will provide enough doses to vaccinate 750,000 people. Officials said talks were continuing with other drug companies to secure more vaccine supplies for the country of 5 million people and further announcements were expected next month. "The additional agreements will ensure that once the portfolio is completed, we will have sufficient COVID-19 vaccines for the whole population," Research Minister Megan Woods said in a statement.

08:18 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Singapore, Indonesia to start travel green lane

Singapore and Indonesia will establish a reciprocal green lane for travel, according to a joint statement from the countries’ ministries for foreign affairs. The green lane will enable cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes. Applications for the green lane will open on Oct. 26 and travel will commence soon after.

08:05 (IST)12 Oct 2020
Johnson set to tighten UK restrictions as virus cases mount

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to step up efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus on Monday, announcing a new tiered system of alert levels that would see millions of Britons subject to more stringent curbs on their everyday lives. The premier will unveil plans to divide England into areas of “medium,” “high” and “very high” alert, with the levels determining the extent of restrictions imposed. The government said it’s working with local leaders to decide which places need to be in the top category, and what curbs are required in those areas.

22:03 (IST)11 Oct 2020
9,523 new cases in Karnataka, 75 deaths

Karnataka posted 9,523 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 75 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 7.10 lakh and the toll to 9,966, the health department said on Sunday. The day also saw 10,107 patients getting discharged after recovery. Out of 9,523 new cases reported on Sunday, 4,623 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone. As of October 11 evening, cumulatively 7,10,309 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 9,966 deaths and 5.80 lakh discharges, the health department said in its bulletin. (PTI)

21:18 (IST)11 Oct 2020
Delhi's COVID-19 tally rises to 3.09 lakh with 2,780 fresh cases

The national capital's COVID-19 tally rose to 3.09 lakh on Sunday with 2,780 fresh cases, while the death toll climbed to 5,769 as 29 more people succumbed to the disease, authorities said. The total number of cases in the national capital stands at 3,09,339, they said. This is the 10th day on the trot that the city has reported less than 3,000 new cases. A total of 2,866 cases were recorded on Saturday, 2,860 on Friday, 2,726 on Thursday and 2,871 on Wednesday. The city reported 29 deaths on Sunday -- the lowest since September 25 when 24 fatalities were recorded. The fatality count was 48 on Saturday, 39 on Friday, 37 on Thursday and 35 on Wednesday. (PTI)

21:03 (IST)11 Oct 2020
Pak imposes mini smart lockdowns in several cities; COVID-19 positivity rate surges

Pakistan has imposed mini smart lockdowns in several cities after a surge in the COVID-19 positivity rate, a senior minister said on Sunday, amid fears of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. On Sunday, Pakistan reported 666 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections to 318,932, according to the Ministry of National Health Services. Minister for Planning Asad Umar in a post on Twitter said that mini lockdowns have been imposed in some cities after positivity rate crossed 2 per cent after remaining below 2 per cent for six weeks. Positivity rate is the percentage of positive results out of the total number of tests sampled. Mini smart lockdowns have been imposed in Karachi, Islamabad and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. "Instructions have been issued to administrations across the country to ensure that precautionary measures are followed. But like in the past, success is impossible without the cooperation of the people," he said in the tweet.

20:29 (IST)11 Oct 2020
Maharashtra's COVID-19 case count grows by 10,792, death toll by 309

Maharashtra recorded 10,792 new coronavirus positive cases on Sunday, which pushed the state's overall tally to 15,28,226, the health department said. The death toll due to the virus reached 40,349 as 309 patients succumbed to the infection, it said. A total of 10,461 patients were discharged from hospitals following recovery during the day, it said in a statement. So far, 12,66,240 patients have recovered across the state. There are 2,21,174 active cases in Maharashtra at present, while the number of people tested so far is 76,43,584.

19:52 (IST)11 Oct 2020
Kerala adds 9,347 fresh cases, toll climbs to 1,003 with 25 fatalities

Kerala's COVID-19 caseload mounted to 2,87,202 with 9,347 fresh infections on Sunday as the toll crossed the 1,000 mark with 25 fatalities, Health Minister K K Shailaja said. In the last 24 hours, as many as 61,629 samples were tested and specimens of 8,924 people returned negative, taking the total recoveries so far to 1,91,798 while 96,316 people are presently undergoing treatment, the Minister said in a press release. As many as 105 health workers were among those who tested positive. Three districts accounted for over 1,000 cases--Malappuram (1,451) being the highest, followed by Ernakulam (1,228) and Kozhikode (1,219), while five districts accounted for over 500 cases.

Doctors and nurses on COVID-19 duty protest against North MCD administration over alleged non-payment of pending salaries, at Hindu Rao Hospital in New Delhi, Friday , Oct. 09, 2020. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

Meanwhile, a handful of coronavirus vaccine candidates near the end of late stage clinical trials. At least two vaccine frontrunners — Pfizer and Moderna Inc — are set to release late-stage and Phase 2 results this month.

While experts have said vaccines were likely to reach the general public in the March-April 2021, drugmakers have been more ambitious with their calculations, with some firms like Moderna Inc eyeing the emergency-use authorisation route to launch their shots by year end. In fact, Pfizer may also file for US FDA approval of its vaccine this month itself, Bloomberg reported.

There are 182 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials across the world. Of these, 36 are in clinical trials and nine in final states of human trials. In India, where two vaccines are in phase II trials and the one by Oxford in phase III, the Union Health Ministry has said it was expecting supplies to be available from January next year.

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