Sat. Sep 19th, 2020

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Coronavirus India LIVE updates: A healthcare staff collects swab samples for Covid-19 test in Ahmedabad. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Coronavirus India News Live Updates:  Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday tested positive for Coronavirus. Taking to Twitter, he said, “I am asymptomatic and feeling healthy. However as per SOP and safety of others, I am self isolating myself and request everyone who came in contact with me to adhere to the SOP.”

A sero-prevalance survey conducted in the first week of August in Delhi has found that 79 of the 257 people, who recovered from COVID-19 and were part of the exercise, did not have antibodies against the virus.

Earlier in the day, the ICMR said that India hasn’t witnessed a huge peak at all compared to other countries. Addressing a briefing, ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava said, “US and countries of Europe had a peak, then they came down&there is a 2nd wave occurring there. We took learning from that. We distributed the curve in a way that we didn’t have many deaths. It was because we had an effective lockdown. We didn’t have a huge peak at all.”

With India reporting 83,809 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am today, the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country crossed the 49 lakh mark to reach 49,30,237. Also, 1,054 deaths during the same period took the toll to 80,776. At present, the country has 9,90,061 active cases and 38,59,400 people have been treated and discharged so far.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates has told PTI that it’s very likely that roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine will take place in fairly big volume (in India) sometime next year. He also said, “Brokering idea of taking a vaccine and manufacturing it in India, even if it comes from AstraZeneca, Oxford, Novavax or J and J.”

Globally, 19,775,100 people have recovered, 29,190,588 have been infected and as many as 927,245 deaths have been recorded.

Live Blog

20:52 (IST)15 Sep 2020

17 people including staff, family members residing inside Delhi BJP office test COVID-19 positive

Seventeen people, including staff and their family members living inside the Delhi BJP office, have tested positive for COVID-19 following which the premises will remain closed for sanitisation on Wednesday, party leaders said. Delhi BJP media cell head Ashok Goel said no party leader or office bearer has tested positive for COVID-19. “All the staff members and their families who live on the Delhi BJP office premises were tested through rapid antigen test on Tuesday. Seventeen of them including a guard, a driver and two peons have tested positive,” Goel said. He said all the people who have tested positive were sent to a COVID care centre and the office premises will be thoroughly sanitised on Wednesday. 

20:40 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Sero-survey conducted in August finds no antibodies in 30 pc of recovered COVID-19 patients

A sero-prevalance survey conducted in the first week of August in Delhi has found that 79 of the 257 people, who recovered from COVID-19 and were part of the exercise, did not have antibodies against the virus. About 15,000 representative samples were taken in the August 1-7 survey from 11 districts?and tested?for antibodies (IgG) against the virus. Blood samples of 257 people who had tested COVID-19 positive earlier and then recovered, were also taken during the survey to test if they had antibodies.

Seventy-nine of these people did not have the antibodies against the virus, according to its report of the August serological survey. The exercise was undertaken for a comprehensive assessment of the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and to formulate strategies based on its findings. The samples collected as part of this exercise spanned different areas and age groups, gender and economic class.

Antibodies against COVID-19 infection were found in 29.1 per cent of people in the August sero-prevalence survey in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said late last month while announcing its results.

19:13 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu tests positive

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday tested positive for Covid. He is asymptomatic. “I had undergone Covid test RT-PCR and have tested positive for Covid19,” Khandu tweeted Tuesday evening.

18:37 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Gujarat BJP chief, state spokesperson recover from COVID-19

Gujarat BJP unit president C R Paatil on Tuesday said he recovered from COVID-19 disease and will be discharged on Wednesday. Paatil tweeted that his latest RT-PCR test report returned negative. “My RT-PCR report came negative today and I will be given discharge on Wednesday. I want to thank everyone who prayed for my recovery,” he tweeted. Paatil was admitted at a private hospital in Gandhinagar on September 9 after testing positive for coronavirus. Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya also tweeted about his recovery from coronavirus infection on Tuesday. Pandya was discharged from a government hospital after undergoing treatment for seven days.

17:12 (IST)15 Sep 2020

India hasn’t witnessed a huge peak at all: ICMR

The ICMR chief said that India hasn’t witnessed a huge peak at all compared to other countries. ‘US and countries of Europe had a peak, then they came down&there is a 2nd wave occurring there. We took learning from that. We distributed the curve in a way that we didn’t have many deaths. It was because we had an effective lockdown. We didn’t have a huge peak at all,’ he said.

17:07 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Only 4 states in India have more than 50,000 active Covid cases

The health ministry in its latest briefing on Tuesday said that there are 14 states & UTs in India where the total number of active cases are less than 5000,taking country’s average positivity rate to 8.4 per cent. 

16:46 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Top 10 developments on Coronavirus from across the world

*India’s coronavirus tally crossed 49 lakh on Tuesday with 83,809 new cases and 1,054 deaths.

*As many as 40 lakh people are kept under surveillance as part of COVID contact-tracing, says Centre.

*Country’s recovery rate is now at 78.28 per cent.

*Vaccine roll-out likely in fairly big volume in India sometime next year, says Bill Gates

*In Maharashtra, now any dead body brought to a government hospital will be subjected to a rapid antigen test.

*In the Rajya Sabha today, a demand was made for using the term ‘physical distancing’ on the grounds that using the term ‘social distancing’ was promoting social stigma of coronavirus patients and their families.

*Globally, the number of people infected is inching closer to the 30 million mark with over 29.27 million current infections.

*Pakistan reopens schools and universities after near-5 month COVID-19 break.

*South Korea to secure coronavirus vaccines for 60% of population, says PM Chung

*China coronavirus vaccine may be ready for public in November, says official

*US continues to lead the world with over 6.5 million cases and over 1.94 lakh deaths. India, second after the US is inching closer to 5 million cases.

14:47 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Explained: How far can singing/talking spread Covid-19?

Visitors at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on September, 13, 2020. (Express Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

The act of singing emits particles into the air, and the novel coronavirus spreads through particles. So, what is the risk of Covid-19 spreading when a person sings — or talks? Two studies have examined the amount of particles emitted when singing and talking.

The broad findings

One paper, from Lund University in Sweden and published in Aerosol Research and Technology, found that:

* The louder you sing, the more particles you spread

* Consonants — particularly P, B, R, T — are bigger aerosol spreaders than vowe

14:36 (IST)15 Sep 2020

ABD forecast: India economy to shrink 9% next fiscal

Amid the pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted India’s economy will shrink 9 per cent in the fiscal April 2020 to March 2021 fiscal. It said the growth outlook “remains highly vulnerable to either a prolonged outbreak or a resurgence of cases, with the country now having one of the highest number of Covid-19 cases globally.”

“India imposed strict lockdown measures to contain the spread of the pandemic and this has had a severe impact on economic activity,” ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada was quoted as saying by PTI.

Sawada also noted “it is crucial that containment measures, such as robust testing, tracking, and ensuring treatment capacities, are implemented consistently and effectively to stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide a sustainable platform for the economy’s recovery for the next fiscal year and beyond.”

14:17 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Maharashtra govt launches ‘My Family, My Responsibility’ campaign

The Maharashtra government has launched the Majhe Kutumb, Majhi Jababdari (My Family, My Responsibility) campaign to help reach out to people in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. As part of the drive, officials will contact residents in door-to-door surveys, assess their health and provide medical help and guidance if needed.

“This campaign will prove to be a key weapon in making people understand the importance of self-protection,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Tuesday. “While normalcy is being restored in the state, it is important to break the chain of transmission. For that, we need to learn to live with the disease and need to change our lifestyle.”

“The initiative, therefore, is important and public representatives and administration should not remain off-guard and reach out to the last man,” he added, reported PTI.

14:17 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Rahul Gandhi to Centre: You did not count means no migrant deaths?

A day after the government told Parliament it did not have data on migrant deaths during the lockdown, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday targeted the government for being “unaware”. Taking to Twitter, Gandhi wrote: “Did the death not take place if you did not count? It is sad the government was unaffected by it. The world saw their deaths, only the Modi government was not aware of it.”

When questioned on the thousands of migrant labourers who had lost their lives during the lockdown, the Ministry of Labour and Employment Monday, in a written reply, said, “No such data is available”.

13:55 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Vaccine roll-out likely in fairly big volume in India sometime next year, says Bill Gates

Bill Gates Tuesday told PTI that it’s very likely that roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine will take place in fairly big volume (in India) sometime next year. He also said, “Brokering idea of taking a vaccine and manufacturing it in India, even if it comes from AstraZeneca, Oxford, Novavax or J and J.”

13:53 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Rajya Sabha to discuss COVID-19 tomorrow

Vice President Naidu asked if a short duration discussion on the pandemic can be taken up tomorrow. House agrees. The discussion will be held tomorrow.

13:52 (IST)15 Sep 2020

India has been able to limit its cases: Dr Harsh Vardhan on Covid-19

The discussion in Rajya Sabha has now switched to coronavirus pandemic. Addressing Rajya Sabha, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “COVID-19 fatality and recovery rates stand at 1.67% & 77.65% respectively. India has been able to limit its cases & death per million to 3,320 cases per million and 55 deaths per million which is one of the lowest in the world. Lockdown prevented approximately 14 lakh to 29 lakh cases & 37,000 to 78,000 deaths. These 4 months were utilised to created additional health infrastructure, enhance human resource & produce within Indian critical elements such as PPE kits, N95 masks&ventilators.”

13:52 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Battle against covid-19 still far more over, says Dr Harsh Vardhan

“COVID-19 testing is about 1 million tests per day which translates to 720 tests per million population per day, much higher than that stipulated by WHO which 140 tests per million per day. A total of 55189226 samples were tested as of Sept 11. I want to remind the members that battle against COVID-19 is far from over. I wish to inform the house that government is taking all necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in India,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

13:38 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Pune: Covid warrior dies of coronavirus, family says doctors failed to diagnose his illness

Munir Ramdurg.

Forty-nine-year-old Munir Ramdurg, a well-known civic activist from Pimpri-Chinchwad and former vice-president of Ammunition Factory Workers’ Union, Khadki, died of coronavirus on Monday. He is survived by his wife, two sons, a brother and two sisters. A Covid warrior, Ramdurg helped several Covid patients find hospital beds and cremate victims’ bodies.

His family alleged there was delay of seven days in getting proper treatment for him as doctors failed to diagnose his medical condition. His family and three local corporators have urged Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar to probe the matter and create awareness so that no other citizen meets the same fate.

His son Adil said, “My father first went to a doctor in Kasarwadi after he developed fever. The doctor said he had throat infection and gave antibiotics. When he again had fever next day, he went to a doctor in Akurdi. The doctor told my father not to worry as he didn’t have coronavirus. He gave some antibiotics.”

13:19 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Demand made in Rajya Sabha for using term physical distancing instead of social distancing

A demand was made in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday for using the term ‘physical distancing’ for fighting COVID-19 on the grounds that the use of the term ‘social distancing’ was promoting social stigma of coronavirus patients and their families. Agreeing to the suggestion, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said an appropriate term should be used and suggested ‘safe distancing’ . In a special mention made in the Upper House, Trinamool Congress leader Shantanu Sen said the term ‘social distancing’ is regularly used to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

“Actually, it is physical distancing of nearly six feet between two persons. On the contrary, the use of the term social distancing has promoted social stigma which has led to nearly an attitude of boycotting of COVID patients socially,” he said.

12:52 (IST)15 Sep 2020

PMC deputes officers at private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients to monitor bed status

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has deputed civic officers at private hospitals to monitor the status of beds round the clock after several complaints from Covid-19 patients and their families about struggle for beds.

“Civic officers have been deputed at those private hospitals that have an agreement with PMC to treat Covid-19 patients,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal.

Three civic officers would be deputed in a hospital to monitor and coordinate bed availability on a real-time basis, she said. The three officers would work in shifts — one stationed at the hospital in each shift, 6 am-2 pm, 2 pm-10 pm and 10 pm-6 am.

12:41 (IST)15 Sep 2020

Over 200 Maharashtra police personnel have died due to Covid-19 so far

The death toll among the Maharashtra police personnel crossed the 200 mark with eight cops succumbing to COVID infections on Monday. Total number of COVID positive cases in two lakh strong state police force stands as 19,756 as per the data shared on Tuesday morning. There are 3,724 active cases.

Eight cops died due to coronavirus infection across Maharashtra on Monday taking the total death toll to 202 which includes 20 officers and 182 constabulary staff.

11:42 (IST)15 Sep 2020

India coronavirus numbers explained: 11 districts account for 42% deaths

Daily rise of Covid-19 cases in India.

There are eleven districts in India right now which have reported more than 1,000 deaths of people infected with novel coronavirus. Together, they account for more than 42 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths in the country, which exceeds 80,000 now.

While most of that list of 11 districts comprise of usual suspects like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune, it also includes three relatively smaller urban centres from Maharashtra. Nagpur, Nashik and Jalgaon have all reported more than 1,000 deaths till now. Their presence in the list is not entirely unexpected though. Nashik and Nagpur figure towards the bottom of the top ten list of cities with maximum number of infected people. Jalgaon has much lesser caseload, but that too figures in the top 25 cities.

In fact, there are three more districts from Maharashtra that are now approaching 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths. Solapur, Kolhapur, and Raigad have all reported more than 900 deaths till now.

 

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Coronavirus India LIVE updates: A NEET aspirant waits for the metro train in Kolkata (Express Photo/Partha Paul)

Coronavirus India LIVE updates

Monday’s four-hour session of the Lok Sabha on the first day of Monsoon Session was, in a way, dominated by the pandemic. From members arriving in masks to their seats rearranged in keeping seating with physical distancing norms, and from Opposition members’ criticism of the move to do away with Question Hour to repeated reminders by Speaker Om Birla that the House is meeting in an “extraordinary situation”, the pandemic loomed large over the proceedings.

More than two dozen MPs belonging to various parties tested positive, sources confirmed. The Lok Sabha secretariat refused to divulge details.

Contrary to apprehension, the turnout seemed to have surprised secretariats of both Houses. In Lok Sabha, Birla expressed satisfaction over the elaborate preparations and cooperation he received from MPs, cutting across party lines. “I am happy that MPs in large numbers have turned up,” he said. Sources said more than 300 MPs attended the proceedings.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca, which is creating a vaccine for the novel coronavirus in partnership with Oxford University, paused its global vaccine trial on September 6 after a participant in the UK showed signs of severe illness. Several news reports described it as a neurological disorder affecting the spinal cord.

Days later, the company resumed human testing of the vaccine candidate in the UK. It said it would work with health authorities “across the world” and “be guided” as to when other clinical trials can resume. There remains uncertainty in India, where the vaccine candidate is undergoing phase-2 and phase-3 trials simultaneously.

Serum Institute of India (SII), which is conducting the trials, had to pause testing after a notice by India’s top drug regulator about the global issue. So far, around 100 participants have been administered the vaccine in India. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was among the front-runners of the global candidates.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the pause was not a setback, but a “wake up call” as vaccine development was not always a “fast and straight road”.

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