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Coronavirus July 28 updates: France sends ventilators, test kits to assist India in Covid-19 fight

With India reporting 47,704 Covid-19 cases and 654 deaths in the last 24 hours, the total number of infections on Tuesday rose to 14,83,157 including 33,425 casualties, 4,96,988 active cases, and 9,52,744 recoveries.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 29, 2020 8:33:54 am
India has reported 47,704 Covid-19 cases and 654 deaths in the last 24 hours.

France on Tuesday handed over to India ventilators, test kits and other medical equipment as part of its assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The medical equipment was handed over to the Indian Red Cross Society by French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain at the Palam Air Force Station after the assistance material was flown to New Delhi on board a French Air Force aircraft, news agency PTI reported.

India reported 47,704 Covid-19 cases and 654 deaths in the last 24 hours, the total number of infections on Tuesday rose to 14,83,157 including 33,425 casualties, 4,96,988 active cases, and 9,52,744 recoveries. The government has conducted over 10 lakh Covid-19 tests in the past two days, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Globally, as many as 16,426,919 people have been infected with the virus and 6,53,353 have lost their lives.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) India News Updates: Nearly 50,000 cases reported in 24 hours; Nearly 15 lakh cases in India; 16 million infected globally; PM Modi says covid-19 still fatal. Follow latest news

22:14 (IST)28 Jul 2020
West Bengal govt withdraws complete lockdown on Aug 2 and 9

"After announcing state-wide complete lockdown dates in the state the government has been receiving request and appeal from different quarters not to observe state-wide lockdown on certain dates coinciding with festivals and important community occasions. Respecting the sentiments of the people we are withdrawing complete lockdown announcement for 2 August and 9 August," the government said. 

Complete lockdown will be observed in the state on Aug 5, 8, 16, 17, 23, 24 and August 31 now.

20:56 (IST)28 Jul 2020
COVID-19 beds to be increased to 10,000 in Puducherry: CM

Hospitals in Puducherry should soon be able to accommodate 10,000 coronavirus patients as steps were on to post additional doctors and other staff for them, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said on Tuesday.

The government had already requested the centrally administered JIPMER to augment the number of beds and also the daily testing of samples, he said adding seven private medical hospitals should also ramp up their facilities.

"Our initiative is to ensure that10,000 beds are totally available in government-run hospitals and also in private medical college hospitals in the Union Territory," the chief minister said in a video interaction with media persons. (PTI)

20:09 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Mumbai sero-survey: 57% respondents in slums exposed to coronavirus

A sero-survey conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on 6,936 people from three wards found that 57 per cent respondents in slums had been exposed to and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus, as opposed to 16 per cent in residential societies.

Those who were associated with the survey said that shared facilities like toilets, high population density and lack of physical distancing may be the reasons why those living in slums were 3.5 times more exposed to the virus than people living in housing societies.

Overall, the survey found that 40 per cent had an infection. A surprise finding is that more women had been infected than men. Click here to read our report.

No let-up: 3,578 fresh Covid cases in 24 hours

19:25 (IST)28 Jul 2020
France sends ventilators, test kits to assist India in Covid-19 fight

France on Tuesday handed over to India ventilators, test kits and other medical equipment as part of its assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The medical equipment was handed over to the Indian Red Cross Society by French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain at the Palam Air Force Station after the assistance material was flown to New Delhi onboard a French Air Force aircraft, news agency PTI reported.

"Delighted to hand over COVID-19 medical equipment from France to Shri RK Jain, Secy General @IndianRedCross," Lenain tweeted along with pictures of the handover.

"France earlier granted 200 million euros in financial aid to India through @AFD_en (French development agency). With @IFCCI1 CSR committee, French companies, too, have contributed to relief efforts in India," he said.

18:54 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Former Karnataka minister passes away due to coronavirus

Former Karnataka Minister Raja Madangopal Naik has died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Kalaburagi, a health department official said on Tuesday.
He was 69 and is survived by his wife and two sons. "He was admitted to the ESIC hospital in Kalaburgi about a week ago and passed away on Monday," the official told PTI.

Naik, who had stints in Congress, BJP and the JD(S), was a minister in the Congress government headed by M Veerappa Moily. About a week ago, Naik developed health complications and tested positive for COVID-19, the official said

18:43 (IST)28 Jul 2020
High altitude, high UV rays keep Ladakh’s COVID-19 numbers low, say experts

With 1,327 cases and six fatalities in four months, the trajectory of COVID-19 in the cold desert region of Ladakh validates the view that people living at altitudes of 3,000 metres and above are less likely to get infected compared to those in lowland areas, say experts here.

The recovery rate of the disease in the union territory is 82 per cent, substantially higher than the national average of 64.24 per cent. While 1,067 have recovered, there are 254 active cases, according to the Directorate of Health Services on Tuesday. All are under medical supervision in hospitals, corona care centres or in-home isolation and none are on a ventilator.

“The good news and the most surprising finding was the timely recovery of all infected patients despite the fact that majority of the patients belong to an area where environmental silicosis is prevalent which impairs lung defence mechanism,” said Tsering Norboo, retired physician and MD of the Ladakh Institute of Prevention. Click here to know more.

18:18 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Govt has taken comprehensive steps to reduce impact of pandemic, says Lok Sabha speaker

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla Tuesday praised the Modi government for its “comprehensive steps” in the fight against the coronavirus and said their results in reducing the impact of the pandemic have been encouraging. Birla said he has great faith in the strength and resilience of the Indian people, and added that the path to victory can be difficult but never impossible, news agency PTI reported.

The Lok Sabha speaker made these remarks while chairing the Empathy Conclave 2020 on World Hepatitis Day in Parliament House.

(Source: Twitter/ombirlakota)
17:59 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Bi-weekly lockdown in Bengal: Exceptions during festivals and national holidays

In a bid to arrest the rising Covid-19 cases in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced an extension of the biweekly lockdown till August 31. Besides, the lockdown in containment zones has also been extended till August 31.

Complete lockdown will be observed in the state on 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th and 31st August, the government said.

“We are extending the two-day lockdown every week in the state, which was in force till July 31, till August 31,” Mamata Banerjee said. According to the Union Health Ministry, West Bengal has reported 1,411 deaths and over 60,000 cases.

However, exceptions have been made for religious festivals and national holidays such as Bakri Eid, Rakhshabandhan, and Independence Day. “We will not do any lockdown this week because of Bakri Eid. We want the minorities to cooperate and avoid any gatherings. I request them all to celebrate indoors,” Mamata Banerjee said. Click here to read more.

17:33 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Bengal govt issues dates for bi-weekly lockdown

Complete lockdown will be observed in the state on 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th and 31st August, the West Bengal government said. 

17:07 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Bi-weekly statewide lockdown extended till August 31: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced that the Bi-weekly statewide lockdown in the state will be extended till August 31. However, exceptions have only been made for religious festivals including Eid, Rakshabandhan and Independence Day.

16:25 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Tripura: Villagers claim virus only affects urban people

Tripura’s week-long door-to-door survey for COVID-19, which started on Monday, ran into severe resistance among villagers at Khowai district, who feel coronavirus afflicts urban people alone and not villagers. On Monday, when the medical teams tried to enter tribal hamlets like Twimadhu, Mungiakami, Jumbari, Tulashikhar and few other villages in the vicinity, the villagers cut off all entry and exit points in these areas and demanded the local administration to exclude them from the survey process.

Speaking to, Khowai District Magistrate Smriti Mol said: “The villagers have expressed their conviction that coronavirus afflicts only urban people and doesn’t affect villagers. They set up a road blockade on all major roads in and out of their village, preventing medical teams to access their areas.”

The official stated that since the door-to-door COVID-19 survey is a voluntary process, the agitators were not coerced. Click here to read our dispatch from Agartala.

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15:39 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Test children, elderly, pregnant women on priority: Yogi Adityanath to officials

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Tuesday directed officials to test children, pregnant women and elderly for Covid-19 on priority.

He stressed on enhancing the testing capacity and ordered the officials to everyday conduct one lakh rapid antigen tests, 40,000-45000 RT-PCR and 2,500 to 3,000 tests through truenat machines, news agency PTI reported.

The chief minister asked doctors and researches to study the case history of fully recovered patients to develop an effective treatment for the infected persons. He said the skill mapping of the labourers and workers, who have returned to the state due to a nationwide lockdown, has been done. He stressed on providing them employment according to their skills.

Under Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh is making a break from its ...

15:22 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Amidst race for vaccine, govt readies trial sites, detailed data on volunteers

The government has at least five sites ready across four states for late-stage human clinical trials expected by the end of this year for several Covid-19 vaccine candidates, including those developed by the University of Oxford, Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech. An additional six sites are being set up to ensure ready availability of healthy participants.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Department of Biotechnology Secretary Dr Renu Swarup said that with trial sites ready, companies would have a handy and large database of volunteers, “a couple of thousands” at each site, as well as trained personnel, at a time when efforts are being fast-tracked to find a vaccine against rising cases.

Locating the right volunteers — who have not been infected with Covid-19 earlier, are not asymptomatic and are healthy — has been a problem in conducting clinical trials. Click here to read more.

Amidst race for vaccine, govt readies trial sites, detailed data on volunteers

14:51 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Shivraj Singh Chouhan reveals how doing laundry helped him at Covid hospital
On July 25, Chouhan had tweeted the news of him testing positive for coronavirus. (Photo: ANI)

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minsiter Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who tested positive for Covid last week, said he prepares tea and does his own laundry during his stay at a Covid dedicated hospital in Bhopal. Chouhan shared this while interacting with his ministers over video conference from his hospital bed on Tuesday.

Chouhan said washing clothes has benefited him other ways, too. “In the hospital, I make my own tea and wash my clothes on my own because one cannot give clothes for laundry when they are Covid positive. Washing clothes myself has benefited me in another way. My hand was operated and despite of physiotherapy it did not work properly. Now, because of washing clothes using my hands it works just fine”, Chouhan said during virual cabinet meet.

Chouhan, who is 61 and a diabetic, is seen wearing a blue gown and a face mask in a video of the meeting.

14:45 (IST)28 Jul 2020
200 nurses boycott work at Pune hospital, demands better pay

About 200 nurses at the Jehangir Hospital have not been attending work since Sunday, complaining of low salaries and excessive workload. Negotiations to bring about a compromise remained unsuccessful, and by the end of the day, the stands seemed to have hardened. The hospital admitted that some nurses who were not part of the original agitation on Sunday had also joined the strike.

14:44 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Telangana lists containment zones: Mahabubnagar tops with 192, Medchal-Malkajgiri has none
Medics screen people for COVID-19 diagnosis, at a government hospital in Hyderabad (PTI Photo)

Telangana has 1,057 containment zones as of date. Nearly five months after the first SARS-COV-2 positive case was reported in Hyderabad, the state health department has officially issued a list of containment zones across the state Tuesday morning.

This comes after repeated criticism from the Telangana High Court that has been directing the state to reveal all necessary information about the COVID-19 situation.

According to the list, Mahabubnagar district tops the list with 192 containment zones, followed by Rangareddy with 164 containment zones. The jurisdiction of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is third in the list of maximum containment zones with 92 areas.

14:43 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure found in household cats, dogs in Italy

Scientists have found neutralising antibodies to the SARS CoV-2 virus, that causes COVID-19, in a small proportion of household cats and dogs sampled in Italy, suggesting that the pets may be susceptible to the disease.

The researchers, including those from the University of Liverpool in the UK, tested samples from over 500 pets collected during visits to vets in Northern Italy.

While no animals tested PCR positive for the virus itself, 3.4 per cent of dogs and 3.9 per cent of cats had measurable SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies, the researchers said.

14:28 (IST)28 Jul 2020
China’s northeast cluster spreads to Beijing as resurgence grows
A health worker carries out a Covid-19 test in Dalian, July 27. Photographer: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Beijing reported one new coronavirus case on Tuesday, its first in 21 days, reflecting the fragility of the Chinese capital’s success at stamping out infections earlier this month.

The new case is linked to the outbreak in the northeastern port city of Dalian, where more than 40 people have become infected. The cluster, which first started from a man working at a seafood processing plant, has also spread to other northeastern provinces as well as China’s southern Fujian province.

The infection threatens to undercut Beijing’s efforts that brought new cases to zero after a local outbreak that started last month infected over 300 people. Authorities had started to relax restrictions in the capital after aggressive testing and targeted lockdown measures, but resurgences elsewhere in China may now pose a threat to normalization.

13:42 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Nitrogen dioxide levels fell by more than 70% during COVID-19 lockdown in New Delhi: UN
“Levels of nitrogen dioxide fell by more than 70 per cent during the lockdown in New Delhi.” (Express photo by Shreyasi Jha)

Levels of nitrogen dioxide fell by more than 70 per cent during the lockdown in New Delhi, a UN policy brief said on Tuesday, warning that the environmental gains could be temporary if the cities re-open without policies to prevent air pollution and promote de-carbonisation.

The UN Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on ‘COVID-19 in an Urban World’ said that with an estimated 90 per cent of all reported COVID-19 cases, urban areas have become the epicentre of the pandemic. It also pointed out that several new scientific studies suggest that poor air quality is correlated with higher COVID-19 mortality rates.

13:21 (IST)28 Jul 2020
Gujarat hikes fine for not wearing mask and spitting in public from Rs 200 to 500

The Gujarat government Tuesday increased the penalty for not wearing masks and spitting in public from Rs 200 to Rs 500. The hiked fine to be implemented from August 1. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani declared that the existing penalty for both these violations will be implemented in the entire state. Also, for easy availability of masks, these would be sold at Rs 2 at the Amul milk parlors.

There were already demands being raised for some time now for raising this fine as blatant violations were reported from across the state.

Before the state government decided to hike this fine, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had already increased it from Rs 200 to Rs 500 on July 13. The fine has been hiked after it was brought to the notice of the civic body that many residents were not wearing masks in public which stated that the practice of people stepping out of their homes without masks is noted in abundance posing a risk to public health. Thus, after deliberations, the fine of Rs 200 imposed on the violation of wearing masks and spitting in public was increased to Rs 500. -- ENS

Healthcare staff conducting screening and swab collection for Covid-19 test at an apartment complex in Dadar west

Delhi’s recovery rate among corona patients reached nearly 88 per cent on Sunday, with CM Arvind Kejriwal saying the national capital is now at the 10th rank among the states and union territories as the number of active cases are “steadily” declining. The number of active cases is 11,904 now, against 12,657 on Saturday, 13,681 on Friday, 14,554 on Thursday and 14,954 on Wednesday, according to health department bulletins. The recovery rate in Delhi has climbed to 87.95 per cent from Saturday’s figure of 87.29 per cent, while the positivity rate rose to 6.13 per cent from 5.56 per cent on Saturday, the department said in its latest bulletin.

No mass prayers in Eidgah for Bakrid: Karnataka govt

The Karnataka government has allowed Eid-ul-Azha prayers in the mosques only and that too with a maximum of 50 attendies at a time and said mass prayers at Eidgah and other places are prohibited in view of the coronavirus pandemic. People visiting the mosques for prayers will have to wear face masks and maintain the required social distancing, Minority Welfare and Wakf Department Secretary A B Ibrahim said in an order issued on Friday. It said the Hilal committee has decided that the Eid-ul-Azha, also known as Bakrid, would be celebrated on July 31 in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts while it would be on August 1 in the rest of the state.

Gap between fresh cases, recoveries widens in West Bengal

On June 20, the number of fresh Covid-19 positive cases in one day in West Bengal stood at 441, while that of patients discharged was 562. The dedicated number of Covid-19 beds in both state-run and private hospitals stood at 10,340. A month later on July 20, the daily new positive cases stood at 2,282 and the daily discharge 1,535. The dedicated Covid beds increased to 11,239.

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