Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India reports record 70,000 new cases in past 24 hrs, takes total to 28.3 lakh

10:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jharkhand LATEST Updates

Jharkhand govt beings special rapid antigen tests to identify patients

The Jharkhand government will start a Special rapid antigen testing Drive in all districts of the state to identify coronavirus patients, says the state Directorate of Information and Public Relations.

10:09 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India reports highest single-day spike of 70,000 cases

India reports 69,652 cases in 24 hours, taking the tally to 28,36,925. The toll increases by 977 to 53,866. There are now 6,86,395 active cases, while as many as 20,96,664 people have been discharged after undergoing treatment so far.

09:04 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

US hands over second shipment of 100 ventilators to India

The US on Wednesday handed over to India 100 ventilators, as part of President Donald Trump’s offer of assistance to New Delhi in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, reports PTI.

The ventilators are manufactured in the US and are compact, easy to deploy and provide India with flexibility in treating patients affected by the virus, the US embassy said in a statement.

09:01 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Global COVID-19 total rises to 2.2 crores; toll at 7.84 lakh

The global coronavirus tally rose to 2,22,62,946 while the toll crossed 7.84 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s tracker. More than 1.42 crore people have recovered from the infection so far.

08:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

More than 9 lakh tests done in the past 24 hours

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, more than 9 lakh COVID19 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, while the positivity rate drops to 8 percent.

08:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

One in four Indians may have COVID-19, says report

At least one in four people in India may have been infected with the coronavirus – a much higher number than official government figures suggest, the head of leading private laboratory told Reuters.

Dr. A. Velumani said an analysis of 270,000 antibody tests conducted by his company Thyrocare across India showed the presence of antibodies in an average of 26% of the people, indicating they had already been exposed to the coronavirus.

“This is a much higher percentage than we had expected. The presence of antibodies is uniform across all age groups, including children,” Velumani told Reuters.

08:09 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

DDMA approves reopening of hotels, weekly markets in Delhi on trial basis

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday gave approval for the opening of hotels and weekly markets, a move that is expected to help revive the city’s economy pandemic and months of lockdown.

The move to open gyms, however, failed to get DDMA approval, said a Delhi government statement. The decision was taken in a meeting of the DDMA which was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal through video conference.

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08:04 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Three SC courts to resume physical hearing in a week’s time on pilot basis

After nearly five months of restricted functioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has decided to start physical hearing of cases within a week’s time, though in a limited manner.

The top court administration has informed bar body Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) that three among the bigger courtrooms will be readied within that time for physical hearing, while adhering to the prescribed distancing and other norms and as per medical advice.

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07:58 (IST)

Coronavirus in Australia LATEST Updates

Vaccine should be mandatory says Australia PM as race heats up

Australia’s leader called Wednesday for coronavirus immunisations to be mandatory, wading into ethical and safety debates raging around the world as the race to develop a vaccine gathers pace.

Almost 30 potential vaccines are currently being tested on humans across the globe in hope of ending a pandemic that has now killed more than 775,000 people and infected nearly 22 million, according to an AFP tally.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wants all 25 million Australians to get the jab after the country secured access to a vaccine currently under development by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

07:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in US LATEST Updates

COVID-19 vaccine won’t be mandatory in US, says Fauci

Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious diseases official, said Wednesday the government wouldn’t make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public – though local jurisdictions could make it mandatory for some groups, like children, reports AFP.

“You don’t want to mandate and try and force anyone to take a vaccine. We’ve never done that,” said Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, during a video talk organized by George Washington University.

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07:44 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal LATEST Updates

West Bengal’s COVID-19 total climbs to 1,25,922 with 3,169 new cases

West Bengal’s COVID-19 tally rose to 1,25,922 on Wednesday following a single-day spike of 3,169 cases, while the death toll mounted to 2,581 with 53 more fatalities, the state health department said.

The discharge rate in the state improved to 75.97 per cent after 2,973 patients recovered from the disease since Tuesday, it said in a bulletin. The total number of recoveries stood at 95,663.

07:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam LATEST Updates

Assam’s COVID count rises to 84,317; toll reaches 213

The COVID-19 death toll in Assam mounted to 213 on Wednesday after 10 people succumbed to the disease, while the state’s coronavirus caseload has gone up to 84,317 with 2,116 fresh infections, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Of the fresh fatalities, two each were reported from Kamrup Metropolitan, Cachar and Karimganj districts while one each was registered in Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Nagaon and Hailakandi, Sarma said.

Coronavirus LATEST Updates: India reports 69,652 cases in 24 hours, taking the tally to 28,36,925. The toll increases by 977 to 53,866. There are now 6,86,395 active cases, while as many as 20,96,664 people have been discharged so far.

With a record 60,091 people recovering from the novel coronavirus in a day, the total recoveries on Wednesday crossed 20 lakh, pushing the recovery rate to 73.64 percent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate fell to 1.91 percent, the Union Health Ministry said.

The number of active cases in the country stands at 6,76,514, accounting for 24.45 percent of the caseload as the total recoveries have surged to 20,37,870, it said.

The total caseload increased to 27,67,273 as 64,531 people tested positive in 24 hours while the toll climbed to 52,889 with a spike of 1,092 deaths, the health ministry said in its morning update. India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on 7 August.

India tests over 8 lakh samples for second consecutive day

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 3,17,42,782 samples have been tested till 18 August with 8,01,518 samples being tested on Tuesday.

“Focusing on the “test, track and treat” strategy, India has tested more than eight lakh samples for COVID-19 for the second consecutive day,” said the health ministry in a statement. “The Tests Per Million too have seen a sharp rise to 23,002,” the ministry said.

“It is only by aggressive testing that positive cases can be identified, their contacts tracked and isolated as well as prompt treatment can be ensured through timely medical care. The sustained level of high testing has played a key role in India’s increasing rate of recovery, widening gap between the recovered and active cases, and also progressively declining fatality rate,” the ministry said.

Dr Reddy’s launches Avigan (Favipiravir) tablets

In another development, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd announced the launch of Avigan (Favipiravir) 200 mg tablets in India.

The launch is part of the global licensing agreement with Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. that grants the Indian drug maker the exclusive rights to manufacture, sell and distribute the tablets in India, Chief Executive Officer of Branded Markets (India and Emerging Markets), Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, MV Ramana told news agency PTI.

Avigan(Favipiravir) has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

Avigan comes in a complete therapy pack of 122 tablets with a two-year shelf life. Ramana said that as of now, the company is importing the drug from Japan but will start manufacturing it in India soon.

Replying to query, he said they have already approached regulatory authorities of two or three countries including the US seeking approvals to sell the drug and seek fast track approvals from them once trials are completed. Dr Reddy’s is set to launch another COVID-19 treatment drug, Remdesivir in the first week of September, he added.

Vaccine’s emergency authorisation could be considered if govt decides: ICMR

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava told members of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs that phase-two clinical trial of two indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed and emergency authorisation of a vaccine could be considered if the Centre decides to do so.

He informed the committee that the vaccine candidates developed by Bharat Biotech, Cadila and the Serum Institute of India are at different stages of trial, an MP present in the meeting told news agency PTI.

The COVID-19 vaccine candidates coordinated by Bharat Biotech and Cadila are nearing completion of phase-two trails. The one being handled by the Serum Institute of India and developed by Oxford University will enter phase-2 (b) trials this weekend for which 1,700 patients have been identified at 17 centres across the country, the MP said.

According to MPs who attended the meeting, when asked how long people will have to live with the pandemic, Bhargava replied that normally the final trial takes about six to nine months but if the governments decides, an emergency authorisation could be considered.

Responding to queries by the panel about the saliva test cleared by the US FDA for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2, Bhargava said that taking samples from gargled water is already under consideration and further details will be available soon, said another MP who attended the meeting.

DDMA gives nod to reopening hotels, weekly markets

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) gave its approval for the opening of hotels and weekly markets but refused to allow gyms to reopen, said a Delhi government statement.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the DDMA which was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal through video conference.

The proposal to open gyms was not approved in the meeting headed by Lt Governor Anil Baijal. The LG said gyms can be allowed to open in the coming days. The weekly markets will be first opened on trial basis to assess the situation on the ground.

Hotels, weekly markets and gyms were closed in the city with the announcement of the lockdown in March in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. In the last week of July, the AAP government had decided to allow hotels and gyms to reopen in the city, and start weekly markets on a trial basis for seven days with social distancing and all other COVID 19 measures in place.

However, on 31 July the Lt Governor Anil Baijal “rejected” the Delhi government’s decision, citing the fragile situation due to coronavirus pandemic in the city. The state government then sent a fresh proposal to the LG, arguing that the condition of Delhi was improving and the number of COVID-19 cases were coming down.

Delhi on Wednesday reported 1,398 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the case count in the city to over 1.56 lakh, while the toll mounted to 4,235 with nine fatalities.  The positivity rate stood at 6.7 percent while the recovery rate was over 90 percent, said a bulletin issued by the state government.

Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh report record new cases

Maharashtra saw its highest single-day spike of 13,165 new COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to 6,28,642, while 346 fresh deaths pushed the toll to 21,033 Also, 9,011 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the count of recovered coronavirus patients to 4,46,881. There are 1,60,413 active cases in the state at present.

Arunachal Pradesh added a record 133 COVID-19 new cases to its tally, taking the total caseload to 2,875. Twenty-nine paramilitary personnel and a health worker were among those found positive on Wednesday, said State Surveillance Officer Dr L Jampa. Fifty-five more people have been cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 1,949, the official said. Arunachal Pradesh, which had reported its first COVID-19 case on 2 April, has 921 active cases at present. Five patients have died so far, he said.

Sikkim reported its third fatality due to the novel coronavirus infection as a 57-year-old man succumbed to the disease while under treatment. Director General (DG)-cum-secretary in the department of health, Pempa T Bhutia said that the victim, a native of Pelling was admitted to STNM hospital on 14 August for cellulitis in his right leg with multi-organ dysfunction syndrome. He tested positive in the RT-PCR test and died on Wednesday.

In Uttar Pradesh, another state minister was among the 5,156 fresh COVID-19 cases. The cumulative case count in the state rose to 1,67,510. while the toll climbed to 2,638 with 53 fatalities. Minister of State for MSME, Khadi and Village Industry, Chaudhary Udaybhan Singh, tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, the institute’s director Prof. RK Dhiman said.

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Atul Garg, is presently undergoing treatment in a Ghaziabad hospital for coronavirus. Besides, two other state ministers Kamal Rani Varun and Chetan Chauhan had recently died of COVID-19

With inputs from PTI

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