Frontline COVID-19 warriors prepare for a felicitation programme to celebrate Independence Day in Kolkata
Even as India recorded a single-day spike of 65,002 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, the country’s recovery rate rose to 71.61 per cent on Saturday. This comes after a record 57,381 patients were discharged in the past 24 hours. According to the health ministry data, the number of people in India who have recuperated from COVID-19 went past 18 lakh. The total number of cases in India stands at 25,26,193 including 49,036 deaths.
Earlier today, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the government will not open schools unless it is “fully convinced” about the improved COVID-19 situation in the national capital. Kejriwal added that the situation is under control as compared to what it was two months back and thanked all the stakeholders, including the central government, ‘corona warriors’, and different organisations.
Meanwhile, the country celebrated its 74th Independence Day today amid the coronavirus pandemic with the revelries and crowds missing as state leaders urged people not to fear the disease and called for a mass awareness movement to combat it. Official celebrations in most states were restricted to unfurling of the national flag and chief ministers and governors addressing the people, with fewer guests in attendance.
Globally, more than 21 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus, with at least 7,59,411 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. The United States has the highest number of confirmed cases at 5,271,087, followed by Brazil (3,224,876), and India (2,461,190).
Coronavirus (Covid-19) India News: Over 2.5 million cases in India; PM Modi says three vaccines being tested. Get latest updates here.
Migrants workers head to Delhi from various part of Uttar Pradesh after leaving the city during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus
Kerala is likely to see a sharp rise in Covid cases in August and September when the daily infections are expected to touch between 10,000 to 20,000, the state's Health Minister K K Shailaja said. "Experts have opined that during the months of August and September we may witness a surge in COVID-19 cases. We may report between 10,000 to 20,000 cases per day," she said in a video campaign.
Twelve days after contracting the disease, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said he has tested negative for the coronavirus. In a Hindi tweet, he wrote, "Today my corona test report has come negative. I thank God and at the moment I express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have blessed me and my family by wishing me well. Will stay in home isolation for a few more days on the advice of doctors."
Tamil Nadu government lifted restrictions on e-Pass for inter-district travel. CM Edappadi K Palaniswami said that from August 17, those applying for the pass will receive it immediately. Meanwhile, Kerala is likely to see a sharp rise in the. umber ion Covid cases in August and September when the daily infections are expected to touch between 10,000 to 20,000, state Health Minister K K Shailaja said.
While Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have seen a dramatic rise in their novel Coronavirus cases in the last month and a half, there are at least four other large states where the disease has been spreading at a very fast rate. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam have seen their Coronavirus numbers grow by several times since July, and are now the biggest contributors to the daily numbers, apart from the usual suspects Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam are currently the biggest contributors to daily numbers in coronavirus cases in India.
Each of these four states have been clocking daily growth rates of more than 4 per cent since July, when the national growth rate has been declining steadily, and now stands around 2.8 per cent. Since the start of July, the infection numbers in Bihar and Assam have grown by more than eight times, while in Uttar Pradesh it has increased by five times. West Bengal has seen its numbers rise by more than four times during this period. The death numbers in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have increased proportionately, and both the states have counted more than 2,200 deaths till now. But in Bihar and Assam, the death counts are relatively low. Bihar has recorded just 474 deaths till now, while in Assam, the number of deaths is 161.
In the third rung of states are Odisha and Kerala, and now, also Punjab, which has been seeing a relatively high growth after a long time. Odisha now has more than 50,000 confirmed cases of the disease, with most of them concentrated in Ganjam and Khurda districts, where the spread had started with the influx of migrant workers in the first week of May.
Kerala, which had offered a lot of hope during the first three months of the epidemic in the way it had been able to contain the spread, has been adding relatively large number of cases for the last one month and a half. Its confirmed case count is now heading towards 40,000, and growing well above the national growth rate.
The United States government has entered into a US$ 1.525 billion deal with Moderna, a US-based biotech company, for securing the supply of 100 million doses of the novel Coronavirus vaccine that the company is developing.
With this, the United States government now has advance supply agreements with five companies whose candidate vaccines are being considered to be the leading contenders to get approved. This is the second deal with Moderna. Earlier, the US government had promised US$ 995 million to the company for the development of technology that is being used for the first time to develop a vaccine. Moderna’s candidate vaccine uses the messenger RNA from the novel Coronavirus to induce immune response in the human beings. An RNA-based vaccine has never been made for any disease till now.
The two agreements combined take the US government’s commitment in the Moderna vaccine to US $2.48 billion. An unspecified part of this money is meant as an incentive for timely delivery of the vaccine, but the company did not reveal the timelines that had been agreed. In a statement, the company said, the agreement also provided for an option for purchase of an additional 400 million doses of vaccine.