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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Coronavirus April 23 Highlights: Stigma over COVID-19 increasing mortality, morbidity, says AIIMS director

A month into the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the total number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 21,700, including 16,689 active cases, 4,325 recoveries and 686 deaths.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 24, 2020 10:57:03 am
Social distancing in practice in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

Stigma over COVID-19 is resulting in increased mortality and morbidity, as patients are opting for treatment only when symptoms worsen, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Thursday. Stating that it is important to reach out to patients missing out on treatment because of the stigma, Dr Guleria urged all to see patients as symbols of hope and victory.

In its daily presser, the Union Health Ministry underlined that the recovery rate of India remains 19 per cent, and that no new cases have been reported in 12 districts in the past 28 days. It also said no new cases have been reported in 78 districts in the last 14 days.

After the nationwide lockdown was imposed, Covid-19 testing has increased 24 times while the number of new positive cases grew by 16 times, the central government has said.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to run special long-distance trains from Mumbai and Pune after the lockdown ends on May 3, to ferry migrants workers stuck in Maharashtra to their native states.

Follow Indian Express COVID-19 tracker for latest updates

A month into the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the total number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 21,700, including 16,689 active cases, 4,325 recoveries and 686 deaths. Despite the high number of cases added in the last few days, the spread of the disease has slowed down considerably as a result of the lockdown. (Here are the latest Covid-19 updates from India)

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COVID-19 Tracker | Coronavirus India Latest News Updates: India completes a month of lockdown; cases cross 21,000; Govt freezes Dearness Allowance at current rates; Sonia Gandhi chairs CWC meeting; global cases over 2.6 million. Follow latest news in Tamil, Malayalam, Bangla

00:48 (IST)24 Apr 2020
Ramzan to start on Friday amid coronavirus panic

Ramzan, the holy Islamic month of fasting and prayers, will start on Friday in the Gulf region amid the global coronavirus outbreak and severe restrictions imposed to check the spread of the killer disease.

In the UAE, the Moon Sighting Committee announced on Thursday that the moon marking the beginning of the month of Ramzan has been sighted and that April 24 will be the first day of the fasting month. This year is expected to be an extremely low-key Ramzan with social-distancing imposed across the world, including Saudi Arabia which is home to Islam's holiest shrines.

"Based on the sighting of the new month's moon, it has been decided that Friday is the start of the month of Ramzan," the Saudi Arabian Royal Court was quoted by the official SPA news agency. However, the country's COVID-19 Follow-up Committee has asked citizens to continue adhering to the advice and instructions of the Ministry of Health during the fasting month. (PTI)

00:18 (IST)24 Apr 2020
Three soldier craftsmen in Vadodara test COVID-19 positive

Three Soldier Craftsmen undergoing training at Military Station Baroda are part of the 217 cases reported in Vadodara until Thursday. Late on Thursday evening, the defence PRO Wing Commander Puneet Chaddha confirmed that three personnel have been shifted to the SSG hospital for further treatment.

According to the defence spokesperson, the three personnel tested Covid19 positive on April 22. "All protocols and necessary actions have been taken by the Army authorities. All three jawans have been admitted to SSG hospital," the statement said. The three personnel-- one aged 32 and two aged 29 -- do not have a travel history and were on training at the military station in Sama area since February 20.

The Army spokesperson said that the three personnel were advised to undergo Covid19 screening during a checkup for the entire formation. Vadodara Municipal Corporation authorities confirmed that the three cases had been reported under the jurisdiction. Further Investigations and contact tracing is underway.

00:08 (IST)24 Apr 2020
In pic: Sun sets at a cleaner Yamuna

With industries shut and people indoors, the Yamuna river appeared cleaner as pollution levels dropped significantly. 

23:17 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Bengaluru: Two arrested in Padarayanapura violence test positive for COVID-19

Two accused in the Padarayanapura violence who were arrested and lodged at Ramanagara district jail test positive for COVID19. Former CM HD Kumaraswamy has urged the Karnataka government to shift all 54 Padarayanapura violence accused from the jail.

At least 54 people were arrested on Monday for allegedly trying to clear the barricades and vandalise a pandal put up at Padarayanapura in Bengaluru, which has been sealed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to contain the spread of COVID19.

According to the officials, the mob started protesting and vandalising the barricades when civic body officials along with the ASHA workers arrived there on Sunday evening to take 58 secondary contacts of a deceased COVID-19 patient into government quarantine centre. The area was sealed after 10 positive cases until 17 April were reported from here.

22:36 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Security beefed up at Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur

In an effort to keep strict vigil along the Indo-Myanmar border with increasing cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar, security have been beefed up in the border areas, particularly in Churachandpur district of Manipur. A company of India Reserve Battalion (IRB) has been dispatched to Behiang village, bordering Myanmar in Churachandpur district, as an unconfirmed report surfaced that four villagers of Tiddim village in Myanmar tested positive for COVID-19.

22:20 (IST)23 Apr 2020
IIT-Delhi’s COVID-19 test method gets ICMR nod, could mean affordable testing kits

A low-cost method of testing coronavirus or COVID-19 developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, has reportedly been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). According to a press release from the institute, the COVID-19 detection assay was developed by a research team from IIT-Delhi’s Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS).

The institute claims “the assay was validated with a sensitivity and specificity of 100 per cent”. This makes IIT-Delhi the first academic institute to have obtained ICMR approval for a real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay. Read the full story here

22:13 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Caretakers jobless, disabled in this Tripura slum struggle to make ends meet

While the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus has brought a baggage of woes for everyone, the disabled living in a Tripura slum are faced with an uncertainty and no respite in sight.

At least one sixth of 60 families living at the Purba Pratapgarh Ramakrishna Basti in the outskirts of Agartala city consist of members suffering from physical disabilities. Barring one, none has, so far, received any government benefit, including the disabled pension scheme, despite having credentials certifying their physical or mental challenges. Read the full story by Debraj Deb here

21:53 (IST)23 Apr 2020
75-year-old woman dies in Karnataka

A 75-year-old woman from Bantwal with history of hypertension, stroke and pneumonia died of COVID-19 at Wenlock District Hospital, Dakshina Kannada, on Thursday.With this, the death toll in Karnataka now stands at 18.

21:50 (IST)23 Apr 2020
COVID-19 Update: Two newcases in Gurgoan

Two more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Gurgaon Thursday, while nine others recovered and were discharged. Total cases in the district now 47, of who 35 have recovered. Gurgaon District Magistrate revised the list of containment zones — 10 in Gurgaon city, 11 in Sohna, three in Pataudi. Gurgaon areas include Sun City, Sector 47, Sector 39, Jharsa village, Devi Lal Colony, Jharsa village, Om Nagar, Meghdoot Apartments.

21:26 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Covid-19: Indian diaspora among worst-affected minority groups in UK

The Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom has emerged as being among the worst affected minority groups in the coronavirus pandemic, according to official data on the deaths in hospitals across England. Those identifying with Indian ethnicity made up the largest chunk under the ethnicity breakdown of data, at around 3 per cent of the overall death toll, adding up to 420 deaths. More details here.

(AP Photo)
21:17 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Kannur and Kottayam Medical Colleges in Kerala get ICMR approval for testing

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today announced that the Covid labs set up at the Pariyaram Government Medical College at Kannur and the Kottayam Medical College has got the approval from ICMR for Coronavirus testing. The lab at Kannur Medical College will start functioning from tomorrow.
The UV sterilised lab, spread over 2,200 sq. ft., is equipped with four real-time PCR machines. In the first phase, this lab will be able to do 15 tests per day which will be gradually increased to conduct 60 tests in the next phase.

21:14 (IST)23 Apr 2020
'Changing world of corona era diplomacy': S Jaishankar

Minister of External Affairs talked with his counterparts in Russia, Brazil, United States, Saudi Arabia and Oman. "The changing world of corona era diplomacy. Strong friendships thrive even virtually. A busy day talking to Foreign Ministers of Russia, Brazil, United States, Saudi Arabia and Oman," Jaishankar wrote on Twitter.

21:11 (IST)23 Apr 2020
CM Biplab Deb declares Tripura corona-free after second patient tests negative

After the first COVID-19 patient recovered and was discharged from hospital on April 16, the second coronavirus patient from Tripura tested negative on Thursday. With this the state has become corona-free, declared Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. Taking to Twitter, Deb wrote “UPDATE! The Second corona patient of Tripura has been found NEGATIVE after consecutive tests. Hence our State has become Corona free. I request everyone to maintain Social distancing and follow Government guidelines. Stay Home Stay Safe."

21:07 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Eight test positive in Maharashtra's Yavatmal

Eight more persons tested positive for Covid-19 at Yavatmal on Thursday, taking the cumulative total in the district to 24. "We had taken some people into institutional quarantine after tracing those who had come in contact with a Tablighi traveller who had tested positive earlier. Of them, eight more were found to be Covid-19 positive on Thursday taking the cumulative total in the district to 24," Yavatmal Collector M D Singh said. "Ten persons have so far been discharged after treatment," he added.

20:57 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Global coronavirus update: WHO chief says virus will be with us for a long time

Meanwhile, these are the top devlopments on corovairus situation globally

  • US sees 1,738 new coronavirus deaths in last 24 hours
  • US President Donald Trump signs executive order temporarily suspending immigration into US
  • China reports 10 new coronavirus cases in mainland versus 30 a day earlier
  • Over 1,000 more foreign workers in Singapore test positive for COVID-19
  • WHO chief says virus will be with us for a long time
20:55 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Jaishankar, Pompeo talk over phone; discuss cooperation to contain COVID-19

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his American counterpart Mike Pompeo on Thursday spoke over phone and discussed bilateral and international cooperation to contain and mitigate the novel coronavirus.

20:53 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Four children under 10 years age test positive in Tamil Nadu

Four children under the age of 10 years tested COVID-19 positive today in Tamil Nadu.

20:44 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Pakistan says concerned over ‘systematic campaign’ against Muslims in India

Pakistan said on Thursday that it was concerned over what it called a “systematic campaign” against Muslims in India amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country. India on Sunday trashed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments alleging targeting of Muslims in the country in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said, “a systematic campaign is unfortunately underway in India to demonize Muslims who face increased exclusion as well as threat of mob violence.” Read more

20:42 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Def Min unveils mobile lab that will enhance fight against COVID-19

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday unveiled via video link a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) developed by DRDO that will help in speeding up COVID-19 screening, a statement said. The first such Mobile Viral Research Lab (MVRL) that will speed up coronavirus screening and related R&D activities was developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad-based laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in consultation with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad, the statement said. (PTI)

20:31 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Watch | Here's today's top developments in coronavirus situation across India and world

Watch today's top developments in coronavirus situation across India and world

coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, coronavirus latest news in india, covid 19, coronavirus live update, coronavirus vaccine, covid 19 tracker, india covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker live, india covid 19 tracker latest news, india covid 19 tracker state wise, covid 19 world tracker, corona cases in india, corona cases in india, corona latest news, covid 19 vaccine, covid 19 tracker worldwide, coronavirus latest news in india, coronavirus latest update, covid 19 india news The ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, will cover all healthcare personnel (Express Photo)

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Finance issued a notification this afternoon freezing Dearness Allowance (DA) to its employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners at current rates till July 2021. The additional installments, due on January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021, will not be paid. However, DA and DR at current rates will continue to be paid.

The government is likely to save Rs. 37,530 crore in the Financial Year 2020-21 and 2021-22 on account of this decision, sources told The Indian Express. As state governments normally follow the Centre's orders on DA/DR, it is estimated that states could save Rs. 82,566 crore by implementing similar orders. Thus, the total anticipated saving of the Centre and states will be Rs. 1.20 lakh crore, which will be used to fight the Covid-19 battle and its fallout.

In other news, a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was held this morning, during which party president Sonia Gandhi said an extension of the lockdown would be even more devastating as it has caused acute hardship and distress to society. During the meeting, former PM Manmohan Singh said the key to success against the virus was cooperation between the Centre and states.

AMID INCIDENTS of violence against healthcare personnel deployed in fighting COVID-19, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared an ordinance to make such attacks a non-bailable offence, with a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh.

Briefing reporters on the Cabinet decision, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, will cover all healthcare personnel, including ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers at the community level. The amendments will also apply to harassment by landlords and neighbours.

According to the proposed amendments, if the injuries inflicted are not grievous, the jail term may range from three months to five years, and the fine will be Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

Lack of virus testing stokes fears in world’s refugee camps

There are over 70 million people worldwide who have been driven from their homes by war and unrest, up to 10 million are packed into refugee camps and informal settlements, and almost none have been tested for the coronavirus.

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While the relative isolation of many camps may have slowed the virus’ spread, none is hermetically sealed. Without testing, the virus can spread unchecked until people start showing symptoms. If it does, there will be few if any intensive care beds or ventilators. There might not even be gloves or masks.

Explained: Can Covid-19 spread from the faeces of an infected person?

If someone going outdoors during the lockdown needs to use a public toilet, or if someone shares a toilet at home with someone who might have contracted COVID-19, is there a risk of being infected through the faeces of the infected person? The short answer: it is possible in theory, but very unlikely to happen.

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Emerging information on the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, which causes COVID-19 disease, suggests that the virus can be present in some cases. But as the Health Ministry notes in its FAQs, spread of the novel coronavirus through the faecal route is not the main feature of the outbreak. The primary route remains droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing. Spread through this route is far more common than spread through touching infected objects and then touching one’s face, mouth or nose.

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