Coronavirus LIVE Updates: China authorises emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Chinese companies

22:44 (IST)

 Coronavirus in Bihar LATEST Updates

Bihar’s case count climbs to 1.22 lakh

Bihar’s COVID-19 caseload rose to 1.22 lakh on Sunday as 2,247 more people tested positive for the infection, while nine fresh fatalities pushed the state’s
coronavirus death toll to 610, a health bulletin said. The fresh infections have taken the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 1,22,155, it said. Patna district reported the highest number of new cases at 203, followed by Begusarai (159), Muzaffarpur (127), Bhagalpur (115) and Saharsa (120), the bulletin said.

22:15 (IST)

 Coronavirus in China LATEST Updates

China approved emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines in July, says official

China has authorised emergency usage of COVID-19 vaccines developed by some select domestic companies, a Chinese health official has said. An emergency use authorisation, which is based on Chinese vaccine management law, allows unapproved vaccine candidates to be used among people who are at high risk of getting infected on a limited period. “We’ve drawn up a series of plan packages, including medical consent forms, side-effects monitoring plans, rescuing plans, compensation plans, to make sure that the emergency use is well regulated and monitored,” Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force, told state-run CCTV on  Saturday. One month has passed since China officially launched the urgent use of COVID-19 vaccines on 22 July, while the vaccines were going through clinical trials, Zheng said. Recipients who got their first dose since then revealed they had few adverse reactions and none reported a fever. 

21:54 (IST)

 Coronavirus in Jharkhand LATEST Updates

Jharkhand CM orders probe after photo of COVID-19 positive liquor drinking alcohol goes surfaces

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Sunday orderedan investigation after a photo purportedly showing a COVID-19 positive prisoner drinking alcohol inside a hospital ward in Dhanbad went viral. One person tweeted the photo to the chief minister and he retweeted it directing Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Umashankar Singh to probe the matter and take action against those who were responsible for the irregularity. Singh said that the sub-divisional magistrate and the sub-divisional police officer concerned would carry out the investigation. “The chief minister has been informed of the progress of the probe,” he said.
The man in the viral photo is seen pouring liquor in a glass from a bottle while sitting on a hospital bed while food items served in aluminium foil containers are in front of him. A handcuff is also seen dangling from his right wrist. Katras police station officer-in-charge Ras Bihari Lal identified the man as 30-year-old Shantu Gupta, who was arrested on the charges of extortion on Thursday and was forwarded to jail. As he tested positive for coronavirus infection, the police admitted him to the central hospital of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), which was converted to a dedicated COVID19 facility, on Friday.

21:32 (IST)

 Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Over 4,000 students go on hunger strike, demand exams be postponed

The chorus for postponing various examinations, including NEET and JEE, grew louder on Sunday with over 4,000 students observing a day-long hunger strike to press for the demand in view of rising COVID-19 cases. The protest came on a day Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the government must listen to the ‘mann ki baat’ of students and arrive at “an acceptable solution” and his party demanded that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) be deferred.

Read full report here

21:09 (IST)

 Coronavirus in Gujarat LATEST Updates

Ahmedabad’s case count up by 177 to 30,197

The number of COVID-19 cases in Ahmedabad district rose by 177 to 30,197 on Sunday, the Gujarat health department said. With five more fatalities, all from the city, the toll reached 1,685, it said. This is the fourth day in a row that Ahmedabad has been reporting more than 150 cases in a day. A total of 172 patients were discharged in the day, taking the number of recoveries to 25,104. Of the 177 cases, 153 infections were reported from Ahmedabad city while 24 cases were reported from rural parts of the district, the health department said.

20:52 (IST)

 Coronavirus in Gujarat LATEST Updates

Gujarat registers 1,101 new cases, 14 deaths

With the addition of 1,101 new coronavirus positive cases on Sunday, Gujarat’s COVID-19 count climbed to 86,779, the state health department said. The toll in the state reached 2,897 as 14 patients succumbed to the infection during the day, it said. As 972 patients were discharged from various hospitals on Sunday, the total number of recovered cases in the state rose to 69,229, the department said in a release. The state has now achieved the recovery rate of 80 per cent, it said adding that the number of active cases stood at 14,653.

20:35 (IST)

 Coronavirus in Assam LATEST Updates

Three senior Assam Police officers test positive

Three senior Assam Police officers, including two Superintendents of Police, have tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, health officials said. Tinsukia SP Shiladitya Chetia and his Kokrajhar counterpart Rakesh Roushan have tested positive for the infection, they said. Tinsukia’s Additional Superintendent of Police
Ripunjoy Kakoti and Roushan’s wife were also afflicted with the disease, the officials said. Chetia and Kakoti were suffering from fever and cough and their swab samples were tested. Roushan and his wife tested positive for the infection during raping antigen tests and were advised home isolation, they said. Dhubri Superintendent of Police Anand Mishra hadtested positive for COVID-19 last week. A total of 3,310 Assam Police personnel, including Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, have tested positive for the infection till date. Eleven police personnel have died, while 2,698 have recovered and 601 are undergoing treatment, officials said.

20:22 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LATEST Updates

Maharashtra reports 10,441 new cases, 258 deaths

As many as 10,441 new coronavirus cases and 258 deaths were recorded in Maharashtra today, reports ANI quoting the state health department. The total number of caseshas climbed to 6,82,383 including 4,88,271 recoveries and 1,71,542 active cases, it said.

19:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam LATEST Updates

Assam health minister launches first sero survey

The first serological survey in Assam was launched in Guwahati by the Minister of state for Health and Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika on Sunday to assess whether people surveyed have developed immunity to novel coronavirus. A serological survey involves testing of the blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against an infection. The survey titled ‘A.A.S.H.A  Assessment of Anti- SARSCoV2 Seroprevalence in Habitants of Assam: a populationbased cross sectional study’ is an initiative of an NGO in partnership with a diagnostics solutions provider. “The need of the hour today is a seroprevalence study that would identify the proportion of people carrying antibodies against this virus,” the minister said.

19:14 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

Delhi reports highest single-day spike in August

Delhi recorded 1,450 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single-day spike in August, taking the infection tally to over 1.61 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4,300. Sixteen fresh fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, officials said. Sunday’s spike in fresh cases surpassed Saturday’s increase of 1,412 cases, authorities said. The total number of cases stood at 1,61,466. The bulletin said that the number of active cases stood at 11,778, while 1,45,388 patients have either recovered, been discharged or migrated out.

19:09 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu LATEST Updates

Tamil Nadu reports 5,975 new cases, 97 deaths

Tamil Nadu reported 5,975 new COVID-19 cases, 6,047 recoveries and 97 deaths today, taking total cases to 3,79,385 including 3,19,327 discharges and 6,517 deaths. Number of active cases stands at 53,541, reports ANI quoting the state health department.

18:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

Delhi govt has requested Centre to allow resumption of Metro, says CM

“We have requested Centre to allow re-opening of Delhi Metro in a phased manner, on a trial basis, as the COVID-19 situation in Delhi is under control now. I hope the Centre will take a decision soon,” ANI quotes Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as saying.

17:56 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

COVID-19 situation in Delhi under control, says Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the COVID-19 situation in Delhi was under control, adding that it is “perhaps the only city” in the country where a lockdown was not re-imposed. “I am happy that with the help of everyone, the COVID-19 situation in the National Capital is under control now. The way Delhi has been dealing with COVID-19 situation is being discussed in the country as well as across the world,” he said.

17:38 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India could get COVID-19 vaccine by year-end if everything goes well: Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that if everything goes well, India would get a vaccine against the novel coronavirus by the end of this year. Three COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including two indigenous ones, are in different phases of development in India. The phase-one human clinical trials of the two indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidates, one developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the other by Zydus Cadila Ltd, have been completed and the trials have moved to phase-two, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava had said recently. The Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford has been permitted for conducting its phase two and three human clinical trials in India. It is likely to start the trials next week.

17:21 (IST)

Coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh LATEST Updates

Madhya Pradesh health minister says he tested COVID-19 positive

Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Prabhuram Choudhary on Sunday said he has tested coronavirus positive. “My COVID-19 test report came out positive. I request those who had come in my contact to undergo a coronavirus test. Those in close contact should quarantine themselves,” he tweeted. “With your prayers and blessings, I will return amidst you soon to serve the people,” he said.

Choudhary is the seventh minister in Madhya Pradesh, besides Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, to test positive for the infection. In the last week of July, CM Chouhan had tested positive and recovered after treatment.

17:06 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LATEST Updates

COVID-19 toll in Uttar Pradesh climbs to 2,926

Fifty-nine people succumbed to COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, raising the toll due to the disease to 2,926 in the state, Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said. Briefing reporters,  the official said the case fatality rate stands at 1.56 percent. As many as 5,325 fresh coronavirus cases were reported in the state, taking the state-wide tally to 1,87,781, he said. So far, 1,35,613 COVID-19 patients have been discharged after recovering from the disease with the recovery rate at 72.21 percent, he further said. The count of active cases in the state stands at 49,242.

The senior official said 1.3 lakh samples were tested in UP on Saturday.


16:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Recovery rate nears 75%, says health ministry

A steadily increasing number of recoveries has pushed India’s recovery rate to nearly 75 percent, said the Union health ministry. With  57,989 COVID-19 patients recuperating in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries has reached 22,80,566. The total recoveries in the country now exceed the total active cases (7,07,668) by nearly 16 lakhs (1,572,898), it said in a statement. Active cases now comprise 23.24 percent of the country’s total case load, it said. “This has also resulted in a gradually falling mortality rate. Currently at 1.86 percent, India’s case fatality rate (CFR) is one of the lowest globally,” the ministry said.

The ministry said the average daily number of recoveries is on a “constant upward move” from 15,018 between July 1 and 7 to 60,557 between August 13 and 19.

16:12 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India has conducted around 3,52 crore COVID-19 tests so far, says health ministry

Testing over eight lakh samples for six days in a row, India’s total COVID-19 tests have touched 3.52 crore, while the average daily positivity rate has come down from 9.67 per cent during August 3-9 to 7.67 pc over the last week, the Centre said on Sunday. So far, 3,52,92,220 samples have been tested for detection of COVID-19 with 8,01,147 being tested on Saturday.
The steep rise in testing is a result of effective implementation of the aggressive testing strategy of the Centre through a focussed and graded approach, the ministry said. “The rising average daily tests during the past three weeks present a strong depiction of the progress made in the enhancement of COVID-19 tests across the country. The rise in daily testing has been followed by a decrease in the average daily positivity rate,” the health ministry highlighted. Keeping a sharp focus on the ‘test, track and treat’ policy, tests per million population have seen a boost, touching 25,574 as on date, it further stated.

15:43 (IST)

Coronavirus in Puducherry LATEST Updates

No e-pass required to travel to and from Puducherry

E-passes are not required to travel to and from Puducherry, announced the Union Territory administration today, reports ANI.

15:18 (IST)

Coronavirus in Singapore LATEST Updates

New COVID-19 cluster reported at Singapore’s biggest dormitory

A new COVID-19 cluster has been reported in Singapore’s biggest dormitory housing foreign workers, including Indian nationals, about a month after it was declared to be fully cleared of the coronavirus.

Two of the new COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore on Saturday were linked to 55 previous cases to form a new cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge dormitory at 500 Old Choa Chu Kang Road, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge was among the largest in Singapore before the dormitory was declared cleared of COVID-19 by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Jul 21, the Channel News Asia reported.

15:01 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

RTI finds 1.78 crore rail tickets cancelled in five months due to COVID-19

The Railways has cancelled more than 1.78 crore tickets since March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and refunded an amount to the tune of Rs 2,727 crore, a RTI has found.

The RTI has found that the Railways, which had suspended its passenger train services since 25 March, cancelled 1,78,70,644 tickets.

PTI has earlier reported how perhaps for the first time the Railways has refunded more than it has earned from ticket bookings, registering a negative passenger segment revenue of Rs 1,066 crore in the COVID-19-hit first quarter of 2020-21.

14:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in Gujarat LATEST Updates

Homeopathic drug given to half of Gujarat population since March

The Gujarat health department has said it distributed homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album-30 to more than half of the state’s population as prophylaxis since March after the outbreak of COVID-19, reports PTI.

In its presentation made before the World Health Organisation on August 20 on Gujarat’s COVID-19 prevention strategy, the health department said it distributed Arsenicum Album-30 to 3.48 crore people, which is more than half of the state’s population of 6.6 crore.

There is no scientific evidence that the drug works against COVID-19, a fact stressed not only by medical scientists but by some homeopathic practitioners themselves.

13:51 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Media reports over availability of COVID-19 vaccine are false, says Serum Institute of India

Serum Institute of India clarified on Sunday that the current claims over COVISHIELD’s availability, in the media are completely false and conjectural.

“Presently, government has granted us permission to only manufacture the vaccine and stockpile it for future use.” the company said, reports ANI.

“COVISHIELD will be commercialized once trials are proven successful & requisite regulatory approvals are in place. Phase-3 trials for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are underway. Only once vaccine is proven immunogenic & efficacious,SII will confirm its availability officially,” the company said.

A Business Today report had said that India’s first Covid vaccine-Serum Institute’s ‘Covishield’- will be commercialised in 73 days.

13:43 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates

Children aged 12 and older should wear masks, says WHO

Children aged 12 and older should wear masks like adults while those aged 6-11 should wear them on a “risk-based approach”, the World Health Organisation has said, reports moneycontrol.

Risk-based approach includes considerations such as intensity of transmission in the area, the child’s ability to use masks, access to masks, adequate adult supervision, potential impact on learning and psycho-social development and interactions with people at high risk of developing serious illness, the organisation said in a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) document uploaded on August 21.

13:13 (IST)

Coronavirus in Odisha LATEST Updates

Odisha reports record 2,993 COVID-19 cases, 10 more deaths

Odisha on Sunday registered its highest single-day spike of 2,993 COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths due to the infection. With this, the state’s COVID-19 death toll has mounted to 409 and the infection tally reached 78,530, a health official said.

Fifty-three other coronavirus patients have also died, but the cause of their deaths was attributed to some other reasons. Of the new 2,993 cases, 1,879 were reported from different quarantine centres, while the remaining 1,114 were detected during contact tracing, he said.

The state had last reported its highest single-day surge of 2,924 cases on 15  August.

12:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

No change in Pranab Mukherjee’s health, says hospital

There is no change in the health of former President Pranab Mukherjee and he continues to remain on ventilator support, the Army”s Research and Referral hospital told PTI on Sunday. Doctors attending on the 84-year-old Mukherjee said his vital parameters are stable.

Mukherjee was admitted to the hospital in Delhi Cantonment on 10 August and was operated for removal of a clot in the brain. He had also tested positive for COVID-19.

12:51 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Prakash Javadekar announces SOPs for resuming film, TV shooting

According to Hindustan Times, Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said film and television programme production can be resumed with all the necessary health protocols in place amid Covid-19 pandemic.

After consultation with the home ministry and the health ministry, a standard operating procedure (SOP) has been firmed up, he said. According to the SOP, the actors facing the camera will be exempt from wearing masks. And crew members will have to adhere to the guidelines of the health ministry, reports NDTV.

Read full report here

12:48 (IST)

Coronavirus in Puducherry LATEST Updates

412 new COVID-19 cases push total to 10,522 in Puducherry

The COVID-19 tally in the union territory rose to 10,522 and the toll mounted to 159 with the addition of 412 fresh cases and eight deaths, the Health Department said on Sunday. There were 3,706 active cases after the discharge of 350 patients in the last 24 hours ending at 10 AM.

The cumulative recoveries stood at 6,657, Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release here. A total of 1,282 samples were tested during the period.

12:37 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

Experts flag risks in India’s use of rapid tests for virus

In June, India began using cheaper, faster but less accurate tests to scale up testing for the coronavirus — a strategy that the United States is now considering.

But India’s experience also highlights the inherent pitfalls of relying too heavily on antigen tests, at the expense of more accurate tests. The danger is that the tests may falsely clear many who are infected with COVID-19, contributing to new spread of the virus in hard-hit areas.

Rapid test results can be backstopped with more accurate laboratory tests, but these are slower and expensive. Experts also warn that since the two types of tests vary in accuracy, they need to be interpreted separately to properly assess the spread of infection — something India isn’t doing.

12:22 (IST)

Coronavirus in Telangana Latest Updates

2,384 new cases in Telangana

The total number of coronavirus cases in Telangana rose to 1,04,249 after 2,384 new infections were reported on Saturday. The total number of cases includes 22,908 active cases, 80,586 recoveries and 755 deaths.

11:44 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LATEST Updates

Three COVID-19 patients untraceable in UP’s Muzaffarnagar

Three people who tested COVID-19 positive in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district cannot be traced as they provided fake information and phone numbers during sample collection, officials said on Sunday.

Two of them claimed to be staffers of a hospital here, while the third person had given his address as Saket Colony, they said.

Health teams went to Saket Colony on Friday and to the hospital mentioned by the other two persons on Saturday to take them for treatment at a medical facility, the officials said. It was found that they had provided fake information, Chief Medical Officer Dr Praveen Chopda said.

11:37 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan LATEST Updates

Rajasthan reports 697 new cases, 6 deaths today

Rajasthan reports 697 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths today, taking the total cases to 69,961 including 950 deaths, 54,252 recoveries and 14,759 active cases

11:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam LATEST Updates

Weekend lockdown being observed in Guwahati today

11:02 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LATEST Updates

Thane district reports 1,284 new COVID-19 cases, 26 deaths

The number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra’s Thane district has gone up to 1,13,884 with 1,284 more people testing positive for the disease, a health official told PTI on Sunday. The fatality count in the district has reached 3,240 as 26 more people succumbed to the viral infection on Saturday, he said.

10:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India’s COVID-19 recovery rate rises to 74.9%

India’s COVID-19 tally sprinted past the 30-lakh mark, just 16 days after it crossed 20 lakh, while 22,80,566 people have recuperated in the country so far pushing the recovery rate to 74.90 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

With a single-day spike of 69,239 infections, the country’s COVID-19 caseload mounted to 30,44,940, while the death toll climbed to 56,706 with 912 fatalities being reported in a span of 24-hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.The COVID-19 case fatality rate has declined to 1.86 percent.

There are 7,07,668 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 23.24 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

10:24 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

ICMR says over 8.1 lakh samples tested yesterday

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that 3,52,92,220 samples were tested for COVID-19 in the country till yesterday (August 22). Of these, 8,01,147 were tested yesterday.

09:55 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LATEST Updates

23 people test positive for COVID-19 in UP’s Shamli district

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district has increased to 150 with 23 people testing positive for the infection, officials told PTI on Sunday. The district also reported a death from the novel coronavirus and the toll now stands at 15, they said.

“Twenty-three people have tested positive for COVID-19. Their reports were received on Saturday evening. On the same day, six patients recovered,” District Magistrate Jasjit Kaur said. The officials said that a woman from Thanabhawan town died at a hospital on Saturday, taking the death toll to 15 in the district.

09:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India’s COVID-19 total crosses 30 lakh with over 56,000 deaths

India’s coronavirus tally on Sunday breached the 30-lakh mark after the country reported 69,239 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 912 to 56,706. Of the overall tally of 30,44,940, India now has 7,07,668 active cases while more than 22 lakh people have recovered from the infection

09:07 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jharkhand LATEST Updates

Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh tests COVID-19 positive

09:05 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LATEST Updates

Weekend lockdown being observed in Prayagraj today

08:55 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam LATEST Updates

Toll due to COVID-19 rises to 234 in Assam

The toll in Assam due to the pandemic rose to 234 with seven more succumbing to it, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday. The seven deceased are from Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Cachar, Kamrup, Sonitpur and Kamrup Metropolitan districts, Sarma tweeted.

The persons affected included a 77-year-old from Kamrup Metropolitan district, which primarily cinsists of the Guwahati city. The others are a 77-year-old and a 60-year old from Dibrugarh district the fourth one is a 46-year old man from Jorhat, Sarma said.

Three more persons aged 63 years, 55 years and 60 years of age lost their lives in Cachar, Kamrup and Sonitpur districts respectively, he added.

08:18 (IST)

Coronavirus in Indian LATEST Updates

Sharp rise in recoveries and recovery rate key to India’s success against COVID-19, says Centre

07:49 (IST)

Coronavirus in Italy LATEST Updates

Italy sees over 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a day

Italy recorded 1,071 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the worst daily number since lockdown was lifted in May, the health ministry reported on Saturday.

The ministry’s figures showed that three people died from disease caused by the virus, bringing total deaths to 35,430 in Italy since the pandemic began. Total infections number 258,136.

07:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Odisha LATEST Updates

Odisha’s COVID-19 total climbs up to over 75,000 cases

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally rose to 75,537 on Saturday with the detection of 2,819 fresh infections, while nine more fatalities pushed its coronavirus death toll to 399, a health official told PTI.

Three fresh fatalities were registered in Cuttack, two in Sundargarh and one each in Bolangir, Ganjam, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts, he said.

The fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from 29 of the 30 districts of the state.

07:36 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

World virus deaths top 8,00,000 as nations ramp up measures

The global toll from the new coronavirus has surpassed 800,000, according to an AFP count on Saturday, with numerous countries ramping up restrictions in an effort to battle an eruption of new cases.

Western Europe, particularly Spain, Italy Germany and France, has been enduring infection levels not seen in many months, sparking fears of a fully-fledged second wave.

And in Asia, South Korea, which had largely brought the virus under control, became the latest country to announce it would boost restrictions to try to stem a new outbreak.

Across the world, the number of deaths has doubled to just over 800,000 since June 6, with 100,000 fatalities in the last 17 days alone, while more than 23 million cases have been registered. 

Coronavirus LATEST Updates:  China has authorised emergency usage of COVID-19 vaccines developed by some select domestic companies, a Chinese health official has said.

The first serological survey in Assam was launched by the Minister of state for Health and Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika on Sunday to assess whether people surveyed have developed immunity to novel coronavirus.

Children aged 12 and older should wear masks like adults while those aged 6-11 should wear them on a ‘risk-based approach’, the World Health Organisation has said

According to the SOP, the actors facing the camera will be exempt from wearing masks. And crew members will have to adhere to the guidelines of the health ministry

Of the overall tally of 30,44,940, India now has 7,07,668 active cases while more than 22 lakh people have recovered from the infection

India’s coronavirus case count raced past 30 lakh on Saturday, showed an unofficial tally based on information provided by staes and Union territories, while the toll rose to 56,762 and recoveries climbed to 22,71,054.

India is the third-worst affected country by the viral infection, said news agency PTI, which compiled the data.

The virus has claimed over eight lakh lives globally.

However, according to data released by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday morning, the overall case count in India has climbed to 29,75,701 with the country recording its highest single-day spike of 69,874 new coronavirus cases. The toll climbed to 55,794 with 945 fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

But the number of recoveries also surged to 22,22,577 pushing the recovery rate to 74.69 percent on Saturday while the fatality rate dipped to 1.87 percent, said the ministry.

India on Saturday also crossed the significant milestone of having conducted over 10 lakh tests in a day for the detection of the novel coronavirus, with more than 3.44 crore such tests conducted so far.

The COVID-19 case count in Telangana crossed the one-lakh mark with 2,474 new cases while the toll touched 744. In Jharkhand, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said his father, veteran Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren, and his mother Roopi, tested positive for the viral infection and are placed in home quarantine.

Recoveries exceed active cases by 15 lakh, says health ministry

The home ministry, in its morning update, said that there are 6,97,330 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country, comprising 23.43 percent of the total caseload in the country.

While the country’s COVID-19 case count has surged to 29.75 lakh, the total number of recoveries has surged to 22,22,577 and exceed active cases by over 15 lakh as on date, it said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, at the inauguration of a make-shift NDRF hospital in Ghaziabad, said that India has the “best” COVID-19 recovery rate, which is improving every day, and the “lowest” mortality rate in the world.

Taking a potshot at government critics, Vardhan said “many intelligent people, scientists and naysayers” had estimated that India, with a population of about 135 crore, will see 30 crore COVID-19 cases and about 50-60 lakh people will die by July-August, and the country’s healthcare system was “incapable” to combat the disease.

“However, I am happy to say that in the eighth month of the battle, India has the best recovery rate of 75 percent and against an estimate of 30 crore affected we have not even reached 30 lakh cases.”

“In fact, 22 lakh patients have recovered and gone home and another seven lakh are going to be cured very soon,” he said.

The minister said these successes were achieved due to the “coordinated” efforts with the participation of everyone — the government and the people.

Centre asks states to ensure unrestricted movement of goods, people

Meanwhile, the Centre asked all states to ensure that there are no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods during the ongoing unlocking process. In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said there were reports that local level restrictions on movement were being imposed by various districts and states.

Drawing attention to the Unlock-3 guidelines, Bhalla said such restrictions are creating problems in inter-state movement of goods and services and are impacting supply chains, resulting in disruption of economic activity and employment.

The unlock guidelines clearly state that there shall be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, he said in the letter. The guidelines also stated that no separate permission, approval or e-permit will be required for movement of persons and goods for cross land border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries.

The home secretary said the restrictions amount to violation of the guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs under provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005.

JMM chief Shibu Soren tests positive

Rajya Sabha MP and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Shibu Soren and wife Roopi have tested positive for COVID-19, his son and Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren said.

Taking to Twitter, the chief minister said “respected father Dishom Guru ji” and mother were diagnosed with the disease on Friday night, and they are undergoing home quarantine. The 76-year-old president of the ruling JMM in the state is revered as ‘guruji’ (master) by his followers.

“With the blessings of the people of Jharkhand and the entire country, they will soon be among us, the CM tweeted.

Seven other members of the JMM chief’s household have also tested positive for the viral infection, reported news agency PTI quoting official sources.

The chief minister, who lives at his official residence, close to the JMM chief’s government bungalow, will undertake the test on Monday — third time in two months. Earlier, Hemant had taken the test on two separate occasions — first time after coming in contact with infected
Cabinet colleague Mithilesh Thakur, and the second time after 17 employees at his office were diagnosed with the disease.

On Tuesday, state health minister Banna Gupta was diagnosed with the disease.

Punjab minister tests positive

In Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to him joining us at work soon,” said Singh.

Former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s residence in Muktsar district was declared as a micro containment zone after five security personnel posted there tested positive, a health official told PTI.

Punjab on Saturday reported 45 deaths and 1,320 fresh infections, pushing the death count to 1,036 and total infections to 40,643.

Telangana’s case count crosses one lakh

Telangana’s overall case count rose to 1,01,865 as 2,474 new cases were added. With seven more people succumbing to the virus, the toll in the state mounted to 744. However, the state’s recovery rate at 77.29 percent was higher than the country’s recovery rate of 74.69 percent.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal were among the other states which added high numbers to their case tallies.

While Maharashtra reported 14,492 new cases and 297 deaths, Andhra Pradesh reported over 10,000 fresh infections. The overall count in the southern state climbed to 3,45,216 and the toll mounted to 3,189.

Gujarat its highest single-day spike of 1,212 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total count of infections to 85,678, the state health department said. The number of fatalities rose by 14, including six in Surat, which is the highest in the state, to 2,883, it said.

A total of 980 patients were discharged in the day, taking the number of recoveries to 68,257, the department said, adding that the recovery rate has reached 80 percent.

With a record 3,232  new cases in a single day, West Bengal’s caseload went up to 1,35,596. The toll reached 2,737 with 48 more people succumbing to the disease, said a bulletin issued by the state health department.

With inputs from agencies

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