COVID test in progress at a center in wanawadi. (Express Photo by Arul Horizon)
Coronavirus India News Live Updates: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday directed states to not restrict inter-state movement of medical oxygen supply as it is “critical to fighting Covid-19 virus.” “Some states trying to curb inter-state movement of oxygen supplies from manufacturing units, such curbs should be ended,” the MHA said in a statement adding that the consumption of oxygen is expected to increase as the the number of cases are rising.
Days after the Union Health Ministry permitted reopening of schools from September 21, the Delhi government on Friday announced that schools shall remain closed till October 5 for all students. “All government and private schools will remain closed for all students till October 5. However, online teaching and learning activities will continue as usual,” an official order issued by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.
India’s coronavirus tally crossed the 52-lakh mark today after 96,424 fresh cases were reported in the span of 24 hours, and stood at 52,14,678. With 1,174 deaths, the death toll now stands at 84,372. There are 10,17,754 active cases and at least 41,12,552 people have been cured/discharged from hospitals.
Meanwhile, India’s coronavirus mortality rate at 1.64 per cent is lowest in the world and the Centre is making efforts to reduce it down to less than 1 per cent, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. While the total cases may have crossed 50 million, active cases are less than 20 per cent, he added.
The total number of coronavirus cases across the world crossed the 30 million mark to reach 30,071,368 on Friday, while the death toll rose to 944,887. As many as 20,439,652 people have recovered as of now. Of the total caseload, the United States has recorded 6,674,458 infections and 1,97,633 deaths followed by India, which has over five million cases.
Over 96,000 coronavirus cases, more than 1,000 deaths in 24 hours in India; overall tally above 5.2 million. Get latest updates here.
A health worker takes swab sample at a mohalla clinic in New Delhi on Wednesday
Describing it as the “most powerful public health tool” against the novel coronavirus, Robert Redfield, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, has said face masks offered much better protection against the infection than a vaccines would.
The CDC is the US equivalent of the Indian Council of Medical Research. Redfield was responding to questions from US lawmakers at a Senate sub-committee hearing.
“We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defence. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid-19 than when I take a vaccine,” Redfield said.
While a coronavirus vaccine is likely to become available by early next year, if not towards the end of this year itself, no one knows as of now how effective these vaccines are likely to be. Prominent scientists and vaccine developers have suggested that the early vaccines might not be the most effective ones, and that we would be lucky if they provide protection to at least 75 per cent of those inoculated. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it would approve a coronavirus vaccine if was found to be safe and was at least 50 per cent effective.