Coronavirus India Updates: The Union Health Ministry Tuesday said more than two crore COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the country so far, including more than 6.6 lakh tests in the last 24 hours. Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health, said the recovered cases are now double of the active cases, adding that the case fatality rate is lowest since the first lockdown at 2.10 per cent.
India on Tuesday added 52,050 new cases of coronavirus, taking the country’s total caseload to 18,55,745, data from the Union Health Ministry showed. The death toll due to the virus touched 38,938, with 803 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
Presently, there are 5,86,298 active cases, while as many as 12,30,509 people have recovered from the infection. The health ministry data stated that at least 50 per cent deaths due to COVID-19 have taken place among the age group of 60 years or above while 37 per cent deaths took place in the age group between 45-60 years.
Tuesday marks the sixth consecutive day when new cases have increased by over 50,000.
A cumulative total of 2,08,64,750 samples have been tested so far, with nearly 6,61,892 samples being tested on Monday, the highest done in a single day so far, said Dr Lokesh Sharma, scientist and media coordinator at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Here are some developments from across the country
Dharmendra Pradhan tests positive of COVID-19, admitted to Medanta
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday tested positive for coronavirus and has been admitted to Medanta Hospital.
In a tweet, Pradhan said he has been admitted to hospital after testing positive of COVID-19. “After seeing symptoms of COVID-19, I got tested. The report has come positive,” he tweeted. “On the advice of doctors, I have been admitted to hospital and I am healthy.”
Pradhan, 51, had developed COVID-like symptoms on Monday and was tested on Tuesday.
Sources said Pradhan had last week met Home Minister Amit Shah, who was admitted to Medanta on Sunday after testing positive of coronavirus.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan Tuesday said India’s testing rate is low when compared to some of the countries such as Germany, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan that are successfully trying to curb the coronavirus, adding that without adequate testing, fighting the virus is like “fighting fire blindfolded”, PTI reported.
In an interactive session through video conference, Swaminathan said, “India as a whole, the testing rates are much lower compared to some of the countries, who have done well like Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan.”
“Even the United States is testing a huge number of people. So we need to have some benchmark and every public health department needs to have benchmarks on what is the rate of testing per lakh or per million, what is the test positivity rate,” she was quoted as saying by PTI.
Swaminathan said the number of tests being conducted is not adequate if the Covid-19 test positivity rate is above five per cent. According to Health Ministry statistics, India’s positivity rate 8.89 per cent.
Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja Tuesday dismissed charges that the state is covering up COVID-19 deaths, clarifying that not all deaths detected as COVID-positive in the preliminary examination can be recorded as part of the official tally.
Deaths arising as a result of coronavirus infection in the state are certified in consonance with the International Guidelines for Certification and Classification (Coding) of COVID-19 as cause of death of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the health minister said in a statement. These guidelines have been established as part of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases. A COVID-death, according to these guidelines, can only be one where a patient succumbs to coronavirus infection in a critical condition as a result of severe damage to his internal organs. An expert team of the health department takes the final decision in this regard.
Health Ministry: Fatality rate at lowest since first lockdown
Addressing a press conference, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health, said the recovered cases are now double of the active cases, adding that the case fatality rate is lowest since the first lockdown at 2.10%. The fatality rate has seen a progressive decline and it is continuing, which is a good sign, he said.
Bhushan said many states have increased their testing capacity, including Goa, Delhi, Tripura, and Tamil Nadu. He said 28 states and UTs performing more than 140 tests per day per million population.
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He also said that the country’s cumulative positivity rate has fallen to 8.89 per cent from last week’s 11 per cent. Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, West Bengal, and Karnataka are some of the states with positivity less than 10 per cent.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said that the Oxford vaccine, being manufactured by Serum Institute of India, has got approval for phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, which are starting within a week at 17 sites.
Karnataka: Siddaramaiah tests positive for Covid-19
Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly and former chief minister Siddaramaiah Tuesday became the latest high-profile leader in the state to test positive for the novel coronavirus. The 71-year-old Congress leader was admitted to a hospital on the advice of doctors.
“I have been tested positive for #Covid19 and also been admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors as a precaution. I request all those who had come in contact with me to check out for symptoms and to quarantine themselves,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.
No flight ops at Kolkata airport on revised total lockdown days
Authorities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Tuesday announced that flight operations at the airport will remain suspended on all the revised seven days of total lockdown in West Bengal this month starting from August 5.
The airport had suspended flight operations on July 25 and 29 due to total lockdown announced by the state government.
“As per the state government order dated 03.08.2020, flight operations at #KolkataAirport will remain suspended on the revised lockdown days: 5th, 8th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th & 31st August 2020,” the Kolkata airport said in a tweet.
The West Bengal government had earlier decided to impose a biweekly complete lockdown in the state to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
Puducherry COVID-19 death toll touches 57
A 55-year-old woman died of coronavirus at hospital in Puducherry while 168 nee cases of the infection were reported, pushing the overall case tally in the union territory to 4,146, reported PTI.
The woman was admitted to JPIMER Hospital on Monday morning with progressive onset of breathlessness and she had pumonary embolism, a release from the Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said, adding she died four hours later.
The Director said there were nearly 1,552 active cases in the UT and 96 patients had been discharged during the last 24 hours.
Independence day celebrations to be subdued in Sikkim
Celebrations for the 74th Independence Day will be subdued in Sikkim due to Covid-19 outbreak, PTI quoted officials as saying on Tuesday.
The event will be held on a smaller scale with limited invitees and will be live-streamed across various digital platforms, an official said,
Sikkim has reported 688 coronavirus cases till date, out of which 390 are active.
Odisha death toll crosses 200
The death toll due to coronavirus crossed 200 in Odisha, with ten more fatalities on Monday, PTI quoted a Health Department official as saying.
With 1,384 new confirmed cases, the state tally touched 36,297, with at least 207 deaths, the official said.
As many as 1,119 patients recovered from the disease, the highest single-day increase so far, taking the total number of those who have been cured to 23,074.
The state government, meanwhile, directed closure of restaurants in a modified order, just two days after they were allowed to reopen. Restaurants can, however, deliver takeaway/home delivery of food items, just like they had been doing earlier.
60 new COVID-19 cases in Arunachal; tally rises to 1,758
Sixty more people, including 13 security personnel and four health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh, taking the northeastern state’s caseload to 1,758 on Tuesday, PTI reported. The state now has 692 active cases, while 1,063 people have recovered from the disease and three have died.
Of the 60 new cases, 14 were reported from East Siang followed by Namsai (13), Changlang (9), Lower Siang (6), five each from East Kameng and Capital Complex, three each from Papum Pare and West Siang and one each from Longding and West Kameng districts respectively, State Surveillance Officer Dr L Jampa said.
“Thirteen security personnel of various central paramilitary forces – six in Changlang, four in Lower Siang and three in West Siang districts – are among fresh patients,” he told PTI.
Four health care workers were also infected by the virus in East Siang district, Jampa said. Four asymptomatic patients and have been shifted to COVID Care Centres, he said.
Sixty-seven people including 45 from the Capital Complex region, seven from Lohit, Upper Siang (6), Papum Pare (5) and one each from Changlang, Lower Dibang Valley, Lower Siang and Kamle have recovered from COVID-19 and were discharged from hospitals on Monday, he said.
Punjab collects Rs 15 crore in Covid fines, mostly from non-mask wearers
THE PUNJAB government has collected a whopping Rs 15 crore in fines amid the Covid-19 pandemic for violations ranging from not wearing masks, to spitting in public places to flouting home quarantine and social distancing guidelines.
The lion’s share of the amount (Rs 14.90 crore) came from those not wearing masks in public places (till July 31), showed official data accessed by The Indian Express. As many as 3,54,173 people were fined in the state and 1,460 FIRs were registered for this violation.