Coronavirus India Updates: India recorded 67,151 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in the country to 32.34 lakh, data from the Health Ministry showed. With 1,059 more fatalities, the death toll from the disease climbed to 59,449. The total number of COVID-19 recoveries in India has surged to 24,67,758 and exceeds the active cases of the infection by 3.5 times as on date, pushing the coronavirus recovery rate to over 76 per cent, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
The record high recoveries have ensured that the number of active cases of COVID-19, which is the “actual caseload” of the country, comprises only 21.87 percent of the total cases, it highlighted. Recovery of 63,173 COVID-19 patients in 24 hours has resulted in 24,67,758 cumulative recoveries, according to the data updated at 8 AM. This has contributed to the rapidly widening chasm between the percentage of recovered cases and percentage of active cases, the ministry said. There are 17,60,489 more recovered people than the active cases. “With this, India’s recovery rate amongst COVID-19 patients has risen to 76.30 per cent today,” the ministry.
Here are the top developments:
Highest single-day spike of 1,397 COVID-19 cases in Haryana; death toll climbs to 634
Haryana reported the highest single-day spike of 1,397 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, while 11 more fatalities took the death toll due to the disease to 634 in the state. The state continued to record a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases for the last more than 15 days, with its tally currently standing at 58,005. Of the 11 fresh fatalities, two each were from Faridabad, Panipat and Fatehabad while one person each died in Kurukshetra, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Karnal and Ambala districts, according to the state health department’s daily bulletin. The districts that reported fresh cases include Panchkula (172), which witnessed the highest single-day spike, Hisar (139), Gurugram (126), Faridabad (111), Karnal (99), Panipat (92), Sonipat (91) and Kaithal (78), according to the bulletin.
Two days ahead of Punjab Assembly session, 23 ministers, MLAs test positive, says Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said twenty-three ministers and MLAs were coronavirus positive two days before the Vidhan Sabha session on August 28. He gave the figure during a video conference convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi with the chief ministers of seven Opposition-ruled states to discuss various issues. As three more MLAs tested positive today, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh madecoronavirus negative test report mandatory for ministers, MLAs, officers and employees to attend the session.
Tamil Nadu reports 118 COVID-19 deaths; 5,958 new cases
Tamil Nadu on Wednesday saw 5,958 fresh coronavirus cases that pushed the tally close to the four lakh mark while 118 deaths took the toll to 6,839. Recoveries were 5,606 as the cumulative number of people cured rose to 3,38,060, a health department bulletin said. While the total infection count reached 3,97,261, active cases stood at 52,362, it said. The state tested 75,500 samples as the total specimens examined so far rose to 44,22,361. Meanwhile, the government said it has introduced a new SMS facility at the testing centre in the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital here for sending COVID-19 test results on mobile phones of patients or relatives within 24 hours. The state capital, which has been seeing a slight increase in the cases in recent days, accounted for 1,290 new COVID-19 infections.
Sikkim reports 11 new cases of COVID-19, tally rises to 1,486
Sikkim on Wednesday recorded 11 new cases, taking the COVID-19 tally to 1,486, an official said. All the new cases have come from East Sikkim district, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) officer Sonam Bhutia said.
There are 407 active cases and 1,076 patients have been cured of the disease, the official said. Three persons have died due to COVID-19 in the state, Bhutia said.
East Sikkim district has registered the highest number of cases where 981 people tested positive followed by 461 in South Sikkim district, 43 in West Sikkim district and one in North Sikkim district, the official said. The state has tested 38,951 samples so far.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced a complete shutdown on September 7, 11 and 12. The state government also extended the existing partial lockdown which ends on August 31 to September 20 . Banerjee also announced a series of relaxations by allowing to resume flights operations from six COVID hotspot states, but extended the closure of educational institutes till September 20.
Banerjee said Metro Railway can resume services by observing social distancing and other precautionary norms. “We have received several requests to resume flight operations from six COVID hotspot states. So from September 1, flight services from these six states can resume thrice a week,” she said after a Cabinet meeting.
COVID-19: Steady rise in no. of active cases in Delhi since Aug 5, barring three days
The number of active COVID-19 cases has shown a steady increase in Delhi since August 5, except on three days, when the city recorded a marginal fall compared to the previous days’ figures, according to official data. The count of active cases was 10,072 in Delhi on August 5, while it stood at 9,897 on August 4. Since then, the number of active cases reported daily has been in five digits.
Delhi recorded 1,544 fresh coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day spike in the city so far in August, taking its tally to over 1.64 lakh, while the death toll from the disease mounted to 4,330, authorities said. The tally of active cases rose to 11,998 on Tuesday from 11,626 the previous day, according to a Delhi health department bulletin.
Oxford vaccine trials in India begin; India in talks with Russia on Sputnik-V
Phase-2 trials of the Oxford University vaccine for novel Coronavirus begin in India today, with the first doses being given to a set of six volunteers at Pune’s Bharati Vidyapeeth medical college and hospital. This vaccine, developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca, is considered the most promising to be successful, and is undergoing phase-3 trials in some other countries. Indian regulatory rules require a vaccine to be tested within India for it to be authorised for use on Indian population. Accordingly, Pune’s Serum Institute of India, which has an agreement with AstraZeneca to produce and market this vaccine in India and many other countries, has initiated human trials. Both phase-2 and phase-3 trials would take place in India. Phase-1, during which the vaccine’s safety is assessed, is not mandatory to be repeated in India.
Early detection of cases through timely testing played pivotal role in fighting COVID-19: Govt
Early identification of the COVID-19 infections through timely and aggressive testing has played a pivotal role in India’s strategy to fight the pandemic, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday as the cumulative testing reached 3,76,51,512. Following the Centre-led policy of ‘test-track-treat’, collaborative efforts of the state and UT governments have led to India consistently ramping up its testing infrastructure to touch a capacity of 10 lakh tests/day, the ministry said. The cumulative testing as on date has reached 3,76,51,512, with 8,23,992 tests being conducted in a span of 24 hours on Tuesday. “Such high level of testing on a sustained basis leads to early diagnosis. Early diagnosis provides opportunities to isolate or hospitalise the positive cases adequately in advance.
As cases rise in Delhi, CM Kejriwal says COVID-19 testing to be doubled
Addressing an online media briefing, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Covid-19 tests in Delhi would be doubled to 40,000 per day within a week as there had been a marginal increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the city. Kejriwal said that at present, 20,000 tests were being conducted per day in the city.
The CM further said that the government had issued directions for stringent enforcement of Covid-19 guidelines, adding that everyone should wear face mask and maintain social distancing at public places.
In the last 24 hours, 1,693 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Delhi, he said, adding that the government has a total of 14,130 COVID beds and of those, 10,448 are vacant. “Only 3,700 beds have so far been occupied by coronavirus patients and of these, 2,900 are occupied by Delhiites and 800 by those from other states,” Kejriwal said.
Indian scientists find N95 masks to be most effective in stopping COVID-19 spread
N95 masks may be the most effective at reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a study by researchers, including those from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which suggests that any mask is better than no mask for preventing COVID-19, reported PTI.
The researchers noted that airborne transmission by respiratory aerosol droplets produced during coughing and sneezing is the dominant mode of spreading for infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
The study, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, found N95 masks to be the most effective at reducing the horizontal spread of a cough. The researchers said N95 masks reduced a cough’s initial velocity by up to a factor of 10, and limit its spread to between 0.1 and 0.25 meters. An uncovered cough, in contrast, can travel up to three metres, but even a simple disposable mask can bring this down to 0.5 metres, they added.
Holding NEET, JEE will risk exposing 28 lakh students to Covid: Manish Sisodia
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday reiterated his demand that medical and engineering entrance exams NEET and JEE be postponed and the Central government should work on alternative methods for selecting students, reported PTI.
“They (Centre) are saying protocols will be followed. Following the same protocols that the Centre wants 28 lakh students to follow, lakhs of Indians have tested positive,” he told reporters.
Sisodia said the Central government should immediately postpone the exams and work on “alternative methods” of admission.
“I appeal to the government to not be adamant on admission only through these exams. We are not at all saying that the year be declared as a zero academic year. We are not in favour of admitting students just like that as we will need quality doctors and engineers but banking upon only a three hour exam and expecting it to work like a magic wand in identifying talent, is a very conservative thought,” he added.
SC disposes of plea seeking payment of salary to healthcare workers
The Supreme Court Wednesday disposed of a plea seeking payment of salary to doctors and healthcare workers on the ground that the Delhi High Court was already seized of the matter, PTI reported.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said the high court had already taken suo motu cognizance of multiple media reports about the non payment of salary. “In light of the suo motu proceedings being taken up by the Delhi High Court, we dispose of the plea with liberty to petitioner to raise issues, if any before the Delhi High Court,” the bench also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, said.
The apex court noted that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has started paying salary to doctors.
The bench was hearing a plea by Arushi Jain, a private doctor, questioning the Centre’s May 15 decision that 14-day quarantine was not mandatory for doctors. She had also alleged in her plea that frontline healthcare workers engaged in the fight against COVID-19 are not being paid salaries or their wages are being cut or delayed.
Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi tests positive for COVID-19
Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, 85, Wednesday said that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and urged all those who came in contact with him recently to get tested.
“I have been tested COVID-19 positive yesterday. People who came in contact with me during the last few days, should go for Covid test immediately,” Gogoi tweeted.
A Congress spokesperson said that Gogoi has “mild symptoms” and is currently in home isolation. “Of course, at his age, we might have to shift him to a hospital if doctors suggest so,” he said.
West Bengal Assembly session to begin on September 9
A session of the West Bengal Assembly will begin on September 9, Speaker Biman Banerjee said on Wednesday, reported PTI. The Speaker said an all-party meeting has been convened on September 7 to discuss the business of the House.
“The Assembly Session will begin on September 9. The duration of the session and the business of the House will be decided in the all-party meeting,” Banerjee said. He added that the modalities of holding the session by maintaining COVID-19 protocols are being worked out.
Over 3,000 new cases in Telangana
Telangana recorded 3,018 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the state tally to 1.11 lakh, PTI reported.
With ten more fatalities, the death toll rose to 780, a state government bulletin said on Wednesday, providing data at of 8 pm on August 25.
As per the bulletin, the case fatality rate in the state saw a marginal decline and stood at 0.69 per cent, while it was 1.84 per cent at the national level.
As many as 85,223 people have recovered from the disease so far, while 25,685 remain under treatment. The recovery rate in the state was 76.30 per cent, as compared to 75.92 at the national level.
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