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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Coronavirus Highlights: Govt forms committees for inspection of Covid hospitals

The infections in India crossed the 54-lakh mark after 92,605 new cases were added in the past 24 hours. The toll has risen to 86,752 after 1133 casualties were reported in the country.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 21, 2020 7:04:23 am
Dedicated 'post-Covid care' to be available at five facilities in Pune for recovered patientsTraining of doctors, who will be available in the out-patient department (OPD), will commence from Wednesday and five centres will become functional in three to four days. (Representational/Express photo by Ashish Kale)

The Centre has formed expert committees for inspection of government and other Covid facilities following directions of the Supreme Court, which took cognizance of shortcomings in the care of coronavirus patients in different hospitals in the country.

The expert committees constituted by the Ministry of Health have been tasked to inspect, supervise and guide government and other hospitals dedicated to COVID-19, the MoS Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 infections in India crossed the 54-lakh mark after 92,605 new cases were added in the past 24 hours. The toll has risen to 86,752 after 1133 casualties were reported in the country. Of the 54,00,620 infections in the country, 10,10,824 are active cases, while 43,03,044 patients have already been cured. Globally, over 30.6 million have been infected, of which, nearly 21 million have recovered so far. At least 955,841 people have succumbed to the virus so far.

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Over 5.4 million coronavirus cases in India; Centre asks states to ensure movement of oxygen supply

21:32 (IST)20 Sep 2020
In Tripura, sales of a fermented dry fish rise amid Covid-19

As people seek out natural immunity boosters amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Tripura, a local preparation has seen its sales shoot up considerably – the shidol, or fermented dry fish.

Shidol or berma has been eaten in Tripura for over a thousand years. While dry fishes are extensively consumed in different parts of India and in countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, what makes shidol special is its immunity-boosting benefits. Read our dispatch from Agartala.


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20:01 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Kerala records its highest number of cases in a day

Kerala reports 4,696 positive cases Sunday from a total of 41,630 samples. Highest daily figure so far in the coastal state- 4,425 local transmission cases. Source of infection is not known in 459 cases. Yesterday, 4644 cases were discovered from a total of 47,452 samples.

 
19:53 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Karnataka to set up panel to study long-term effects of Covid-19

Karnataka will set up a special committee for research into the long-term effects of the novel coronavirus, the government announced Sunday.

According to Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, the panel will comprise medical experts who will look into the details of how the viral infection takes form in patients with both mild and severe symptoms.

“Karnataka will constitute a special technical committee of medical experts to study the long-term effects of Covid-19 in people who have recovered from the infection. We will evaluate those who had mild or severe symptoms, with a special focus on patients with comorbidity,” Sudhakar said.

Sudhakar said the research will help the medical community further improve Covid-19 treatment. Read full report here.

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Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar announced the setting up of the panel on Sunday. (Express photo)
19:50 (IST)20 Sep 2020
JK: 14 more Covid-19 fatalities; tally of cases 63,990

Fourteen more fatalities related to coronavirus infection in a day took the death toll in Jammu and Kashmir past the 1,000-mark, while 1,457 fresh cases pushed the COVID-19 tally to 63,990 on Sunday.

Of the fresh deaths, nine were reported from Jammu and five from the Valley. The total number of fatalities has increased to 1,001, they said, adding the Jammu region has recorded 817 fresh COVID-19 cases in a day and the Kashmir Valley 640.

17:36 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Govt says 32,238 paramilitary personnel infected by coronavirus

The government on Sunday said a total of 32,238 paramilitary personnel were infected by the Coronavirus so far. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in Lok Sabha that 9,158 personnel of the CRPF, 8,934 personnel of the BSF, 5,544 personnel of the CISF, 3,380 personnel of the ITBP, 3,251 personnel of the SSB, 1,746 personnel of the Assam Rifles, and 225 personnel of the NSG were infected by the virus. (PTI)

17:35 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Kerala MP NK Premchandran tests positive

Kerala MP NK Premachandran has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He made the announcement through a social media post.

"All those who have come into close contact with in the past few days are requested to undergo necessary procedures as per COVID protocol," he wrote in a Facebook post.

17:26 (IST)20 Sep 2020
What is the Rs 500 Feluda test for Covid-19 approved by India

An accurate and low-cost paper-based test strip to detect Covid-19 in less than 30 minutes has been approved for commercial launch by the Drugs Controller General of India. Developed by a research team led by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata Group, the test has been named ‘Feluda’ — a fictional private detective from West Bengal created by renowned writer and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. The development comes at a time when India has been conducting an average of 10 lakh tests daily. Click here to read our Explainer.


15:18 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Govt forms committees for inspection of Covid hospitals

The Centre has formed expert committees for inspection of government and other Covid facilities following directions of the Supreme Court, which took cognizance of shortcomings in the care of coronavirus patients in different hospitals in the country.

The expert committees constituted by the Ministry of Health have been tasked to inspect, supervise and guide government and other hospitals dedicated to COVID-19, the MoS Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

15:08 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Gujarat BJP MLA, who recovered from Covid, dances inside temple without mask

Gujarat BJP MLA Madhu Shrivastav, who is known for his flamboyance as much as his controversial statements and actions, has embarrassed the ruling party once again.

Shrivastav, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, flouted safety protocols as he danced and sang bhajans along with his supporters inside a crowded temple in Gajrawdi area in Vadodara.

A video of Shrivastav is being widely shared on social media, where the MLA, who has acted in self-produced Gujarati films, is seen inside the temple dancing to the tune of the bhajans as his supporters cheer him. Except for two musicians, no one, including the temple priest, is seen wearing masks. Read the full report here.

Gujarat BJP MLA, who recovered from Covid, dances inside temple without mask

14:14 (IST)20 Sep 2020
South Korea’s records lowest daily rise in Covid-19 cases in 38 days

South Korea’s coronavirus tally has fallen to below 100 for the first time in a more than a month, the Associated Press reported. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) Sunday said that the 82 new cases took the country’s total to 22,975 with 383 deaths.

South Korea’s tally has held in the 100’s for over two weeks, down from 400 in late August. Health officials say the downward trend is a result of social distancing rules imposed on the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area. The government is urging the public not to lower their guard as small-scale clusters are still being reported.

Pastors wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus pray during a service at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo)
13:34 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Covid grows less deadly as doctors gain practice, drugs improve

Covid-19 continues to kill close to 1,000 Americans a day. But for those who develop dangerous cases of the infection, advances in medical care and the growing experience of doctors are improving the chances of survival. Since the first case arrived in the U.S. at the start of the year, medical professionals have gone from fumbling in the dark to better understanding which drugs work — such as steroids and blood thinners, and the antiviral medicine remdesivir. Allocation of intensive medical resources have improved. And doctors have learned to hold off on the use of ventilators for some patients, unlike with many other severe respiratory illnesses. Doctors and experts say that improved medical tactics and earlier treatment are helping improve the outcomes for very sick patients, said Andrew Badley, head of Mayo Clinic’s Covid Research Task Force.

12:49 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Dwayne Johnson returns to work after recovering from coronavirus, see photo
12:11 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Desk spacing to hand hygiene: Unicef suggests classroom safety tips during COVID-19

Several schools across the country, from Himachal Pradesh to Chandigarh, are to gradually reopen, now that the Health Ministry has permitted it. But before children start going to school, it is important to ensure their safety by taking some precautionary measures. United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has come up with some suggestions for the school administration and also teachers who would play a crucial role in making students abide by the precautionary rules.

Unicef recommended “daily cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, taps, phones and toys.”

11:31 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Social distancing, digital cheerleaders, canned applause, few lapses: IPL is on

It was befitting that the first IPL game in the pandemic age was kickstarted by a cricketer who has just recovered from Covid-19. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pacer Deepak Chahar, who bowled the first ball this season, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus within days of landing in the UAE earlier this month. Near the end of the Mumbai Indians innings, Chahar was seen cramping. Australian commentator Dean Jones said the physios will have to monitor the player. The heat at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi was taking a toll on the players, playing the IPL in front of empty stands. At the end of the match, which it lost to CSK by five wickets, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said, “We are used to people cheering for us but we knew that this was on the cards. Anyway, this is the new normal and I hope things get better soon.”

Abu Dhabi: CSK and Mumbai Indians players after the first cricket match of IPL 2020, at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Chennai Super Kings won the match by 5 wickets. (PTI Photo/Sportzpics)
11:10 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Chandigarh: 10,185 people challaned for not wearing masks, Rs 52.02L fine collected

As many as 10,185 people have been challaned for not wearing face masks in Chandigarh in the last six months. Fine worth Rs 52.02 lakh has been collected from violators until now. Face masks were made compulsory for everyone in Chandigarh on April 10 and not wearing it was made a punishable offence.

10:29 (IST)20 Sep 2020
UK penalties for rule violations

The Telegraph reported that fines for those who refuse to self-isolate after being asked to do so start at 1,000 pounds and can go up to 10,000 pounds for repeat offenders. Police will be ordered to patrol areas with the highest infection to make sure people are complying with the new laws, the paper reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also considering several proposals to ease the latest surge. Under consideration is a three-week national shutdown of pubs, bars and restaurants, The Telegraph said. Johnson is also considering raising the 100 pound fine for breaking the rule of six to as much as 1,000 pounds for first-time offenders. Announcement of new curbs could come as early as Tuesday.

Shoppers pass a branch of Marks and Spencer in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
09:57 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Over 54 lakh cases in India

The infections in India crossed the 54-lakh mark after 92,605 new cases were added in the past 24 hours. The toll has risen to 86,752 after 1133 casualties were reported in the country. Of the 54,00,620 infections in the country, 10,10,824 are active cases, while 43,03,044 patients have already been cured. 

09:19 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Week-long lockdown in Raipur as cases surge

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh's Raipur, the local administration on Saturday announced lockdown in the district between September 21-28. Raipur Collector S Bharathi Dasan issued an order declaring Raipur district as a containment zone and restricted several activities from 9 pm on September 21 till midnight of September 28, a state public relations department official said.

07:45 (IST)20 Sep 2020
Australia heads for lowest virus count in three months

Australia looked set to record its lowest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in three months on Sunday as a hard lockdown in the city of Melbourne brought the country's virus epicentre down sharply. The second-most populous state Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, reported 14 new infections in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, down from 21 new cases the day prior and its lowest since June 19. That put Victoria, which has spent months under lockdown to slow a second wave of infections, on track to meet a target of keeping average daily increases below 50 by Sept. 28 when the authorities have said they may lift restrictions.

An empty Hosier lane famed for its street art and a popular tourist attraction sits empty as lockdown due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus starts in Melbourne (AP)
21:09 (IST)19 Sep 2020
COVID-19: Former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh tests positive

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister and senior BJP leader Raman Singh on Saturday tweeted that he contracted COVID-19. He said he got himself tested after exhibiting symptoms. He also appealed to those who came in contact with him in the past few days to check if they too were infected.

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After the issue of poor availability and black marketing of oxygen in some states was raised in Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to states not to block movement or supply of oxygen as it is essential to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to chief secretaries of all states, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has said that some states are curbing the supply of oxygen by issuing orders under Essential Commodities Act or Epidemic Diseases Act.

“It has come to the notice that some States are trying to curb the inter-State movement of oxygen supplies from manufacturing units situated in their respective States by exercising provisions under The Epidemic Disease Act 1897, The Disaster Management Act, 2005, The Essential Commodities Act or any State / UT specific Essential Services Act, The Indian Penal Code of 1860 (or any other such related Acts) and also mandating the manufacturers/ suppliers located in the state to restrict their oxygen supplies to the hospitals of the State,” Bhalla wrote.

He said medical oxygen is an essential public health commodity and any impediment in its supplies may critically impact the management of Covid-19 patients.

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