Coronavirus LATEST Updates: At least 288 more police personnel in Maharashtra have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. With this, the overall count reached to 13,468 on Saturday.
The COVID-19 tally climbed to 29.75 lakh after 69,878 more individuals tested positive for the novel coronavirus, said the health ministry on Saturday.
India’s COVID-19 toll climbed to 55,794 after 945 more patients succumbed to the highly contagious disease.
So far over 3 crore people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, said the ICMR, adding that 10 lakh samples were tested on Friday alone.
India’s COVID-19 tally crossed 29 lakh after registering a single-day spike of 68,898 new cases. Meanwhile, the number of recoveries rose to 21,58,946 on Friday, pushing the recovery rate to over 74 percent, the Union Health Ministry said .
The total cases of coronavirus infections mounted to 29,05,823, while the toll climbed to 54,849, with 983 new fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The case fatality rate declined to 1.89 percent while the recovery rate rose to 74.30 percent. There are 6,92,028 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which is 23.82 percent of the total caseload, the ministry said.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 3,34,67,237 samples have been tested up to 20 August with 8,05,985 samples being tested on Thursday.
EC issues polling guidelines amid COVID-19 pandemic
The Election Commission issued broad guidelines for conducting polls during the coronavirus pandemic on Friday. As per the new guidelines, voters will be provided gloves while using EVMs and COVID-19 patients in quarantine will be allowed to vote in the last hour of the polling day.
A separate set of guidelines would be issued for voters who are residing in areas notified as “containment zone”, the Election Commission said.
The poll panel has also extended the option of postal ballot for electors who are marked as persons with disabilities and those above 80 years.
Electors who are COVID-19 positive or are suspected of having the infection and in quarantine at home or at an institution can also exercise the postal ballot option.
An official explained that this postal ballot facility is different from the one extended to service voters.
Here, those willing to use the facility have to fill up a form. Officials then carry the ballot to the residence of such voters and videograph the voting to ensure transparency.
“COVID-19 patients who are quarantined will be allowed to cast their vote in the last hour of the poll day at their respective polling stations, under the supervision of health authorities… Sector magistrates shall coordinate this in their allocated polling stations,” the guidelines said.
Bihar may become the first state to go for Assembly elections amid the pandemic. The polls are due in October-November.
Asked why the norms have no mention of “virtual” or “digital” campaigning, another official said the “broad guidelines have been framed based on COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Home Ministry to prevent the spread of the virus.”
“Based on our guidelines, states will prepare their own set of three-layered comprehensive guidelines at the state, district and Assembly constituency level.” The state specific guidelines may talk of virtual campaign, he said.
Haryana govt says offices, shops to remain closed on weekends
Haryana minister Anil Vij said all offices and shops, except those dealing with essential services, will remain closed on weekends in the wake of a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
“All offices and shops except essential will remain closed in Haryana on every Saturday and Sunday due to COVID-19,” Vij said in a tweet.
The home and health minister later told PTI that the decision was taken due to a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the state during the past few days.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government on Friday imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the state amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Delhi jails say no new COVID-19 case reported
No prisoner is COVID-19 positive and the situation in jails has much improved, the Delhi Prisons Department said.
So far, 63 inmates of the three jails — Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli — have tested positive for the infection. Sixty-one of them have recovered and two died, the officials said.
In August, only the Tihar Jail reported two cases and both the inmates have recovered. On Friday, there was no inmate who was COVID-19 positive in the three jail complexes of Delhi, PTI reported.
SP Balasubrahmanyam ‘stable’, says hospital
Veteran playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, battling COVID-19 and on ventilator was ‘stable’, the hospital treating him said. The 74 year-old actor-singer “continues to be on ventilator and ECMO support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” Dr Anuradha Baskaran, assistant director-medical services, MGM Healthcare said in a bulletin.
“His condition currently is stable. Our multi-disciplinary team of medical experts is keeping a very close watch on the vital parameters and has been constantly updating Thiru SP Balasubrahmanyam’s family regarding his clinical status and progress,” Baskaran added.
His son SP Charan thanked all for the prayers and pointed out his father was ‘stable’ today though he was ‘critical’ on Thursday.
State-wise cases and deaths
Maharashtra continues to be the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. The state reported as many as 14,161 new cases while 11,749 patients recoved from the virus on Friday. However, 339 died from COVID-19 in the state, the Maharashtra health department said.
The total number of cases rose to 6,57,450 as of Friday, which included 4,70,873 recoveries, 1,64,562 active cases and 21,698 deaths till date.
Tamil Nadu reported 5,995 new cases, 5,764 recoveries and 101 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 3,67,430, including 53,413 active cases, 3,07,677 discharged cases and 6,340 deaths.
Delhi reported 1,250 new COVID-19 cases, 1,082 discharges/recoveries and 13 deaths. The total number of cases in the National Capital is now at 1,58,604, including 1,42,908 recovered cases, 11,426 active cases and 4,270 deaths.
As many as 6,086 RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat tests and 11,649 Rapid antigen tests were conducted in Delhi on Friday. So far, 1,392,928 tests were conducted so far and Tests Per Million (TPM) stood at 73,312, according to the Delhi health department.
Kerala reported 1,983 new COVID-19 cases, 1,419 recoveries and 12 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking active cases to 18,673 and total recoveries to 35,247.
Karnataka reported 7,571 cases (2,948 in Bengaluru), 6,561 discharges and 93 deaths, taking total cases to 2,64,546 including 1,76,942 discharges and 4,522 deaths, as per the state’s health department.
Uttar Pradesh reported 4,991 new COVID-19 cases and 66 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking active cases to 47,785 and death toll to 2,797, as per the State’s Health Department.
In Jammu and Kashmir, 654 new cases of coronavirus reported — 114 from Jammu division and 540 from Kashmir division — taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory to 31,371. The toll is at 593, as per the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
Punjab reported 1,513 new cases, 856 cured cases and 34 deaths on Friday. The total number of cases rose to 39,327, including 14,443 active cases, 23,893 recovered cases. The toll is at 991, as per state’s health department.
In Mizoram, the number of COVID-19 active cases stood at 475, the state government said. The total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 895, while 420 patients have been cured/discharged.
As US deaths mount, COVID-19 takes outsize toll on minorities
As many as 2,15,000 more people than usual died in the US during the first seven months of 2020, suggesting that the number of lives lost to the coronavirus is significantly higher than the official toll, AP reported.
And half the dead were people of colour — Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and, to a marked degree unrecognised until now, Asian Americans.
The new figures from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention highlight a stark disparity: Deaths among minorities during the crisis have risen far more than they have among Caucasians.
As of the end of July, the official death toll in the US from COVID-19 was about 1,50,000. It has since grown to over 1,70,000.
Earlier data on cases, hospitalisations and deaths revealed a especially heavy toll on Black, Hispanic and Native Americans, a disparity attributed to unequal access to health care and economic opportunities.
But the increases in total deaths by race were not reported until now; nor was the disproportionate burden on Asian Americans.
With this new data, Asian Americans join Blacks and Hispanics among the hardest-hit communities, with deaths in each group up at least 30 percent this year compared with the average over the last five years, the analysis found.
Deaths among Native Americans rose more than 20 percent, though that is probably a severe undercount because of a lack of data. Deaths among Caucasians were up 9 percent.
The toll on Asian Americans has received far less attention, perhaps in part because the numbers who have died — about 14,000 more than normal this year — have been far lower than among several other groups.
Still, the 35 percent increase in Asian American deaths is the second-highest, behind Hispanic Americans.
With inputs from agencies