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Coronavirus India lockdown Day 172 updates

The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. P.K. Mishra on Saturday chaired a high-level review meeting to comprehensively review the COVID-19 preparedness and response, noted a release issued by the Health Ministry.

Also read: Experts moot combining vaccine trial phases to speed up rollout in India

“The meeting focused on evidence based learning on management of cases across the Districts and States and also discussed the stage of vaccine development and vaccine distribution plan,” noted the release.

Also read: The Hindu Explains | Why is Phase-3 of COVID-19 vaccine trial complicated?

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

10.30 pm | Mumbai

Mumbai police inspector dies of COVID-19; toll 75

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the Mumbai Police force reached 75 on Sunday with a 53-year- old inspector succumbing to the infection, an official said.

The deceased inspector was attached to Vakola police station in the city. He was briefly hospitalised after a minor road accident and was recovering at his home, the official said.

“Around 5.30 am, the inspector suddenly collapsed inside his bathroom and became unconscious. He was rushed to hospital, where he was declared dead,” the official added.

His samples returned positive for the COVID-19 infection, he said.

10.10 pm | Odisha

Six Ministers, 20 MLAs so far infected with COVID-19 in Odisha

Six Ministers and 20 MLAs of Odisha have so far contracted the novel coronavirus as the State has added 50,000 cases in the past two weeks.

The State on Sunday crossed the 1.50 lakh-mark in 183 days. On August 30, it had gone past the one-lakh mark. For the past two weeks, the daily positive cases have been consecutively exceeding 3,000. The fatalities are 626 though the rate is one of the lowest in the country.

Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Minister Padmini Dian was the latest to be admitted to a COVID-19 hospital along with her husband after they felt uneasiness.

Earlier, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, Rural Development Minister Susanta Singh, Women and Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahu and Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain had taken to social networking sites to announce their infection.

 

10.00 pm | Maharashtra

203 villages under Thane Zilla Parishad now ‘corona-free’

A total of 203 villages under Thane Zilla Parishad do not have any coronavirus positive cases and the panchayats there have put up green flags to highlight the feat, Chief Executive Officer Hiralal Sonawane said on September 13.

He told PTI that villages which do not report any COVID-19 case for 28 days are termed ‘corona-free villages’

The official informed that Thane district has 430 village panchayats in all.

“The recovery rate in the rural parts of the district is 79.24%,” he added.

District Health Officer Manish Renge said doubling rate of cases in the ZP area was now 84 days.

Thane ZP PRO Pankaj Chavan said there were 11,257 coronavirus positive cases in its jurisdiction, led by Bhiwandi with 4,536.

“A total of 8920 people have recovered while the death toll so far is 338. The number of active cases is 1,999,” he said. — PTI

9.45 pm | West Bengal

West Bengal’s COVID-19 caseload surpasses 2-lakh mark

West Bengal reported 3,215 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, going past the 2 lakh mark, while 58 fatalities pushed the death toll to 3,945, the Health Department said in a bulletin.

The State’s caseload now stands at 2,02,708.

Since Saturday, 3,054 people have recovered from the disease, taking the discharge rate to 86.40%, it said.

West Bengal has 23,624 active patients, the bulletin said, adding, 47,318 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. – PTI

9.30 pm | Punjab

Punjab reports highest single-day spike of 2,628 new COVID-19 cases

Punjab on Sunday reported the highest single-day spike of 2,628 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 79,679 in the State, while the death toll reached 2,356 with 68 more fatalities, according to a medical bulletin.

Eleven deaths were reported from Amritsar, 10 from Patiala, six each from Bathinda and Jalandhar, five from Ludhiana, four from Kapurthala and three each from Fazilka, Hoshiarpur, Mohali, Pathankot and Sangrur.

Two fatalities each were reported from Rupnagar, Moga, Mansa and one each from Barnala, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, SBS Nagar and Tarn Taran, the bulletin said.

The fresh cases were reported from Mohali (433), Patiala (327), Ludhiana (274), Gurdaspur (260), Jalandhar (252), Amritsar (188), Bathinda (104) and Hoshiarpur (79), among others.

There are 19,787 active cases in the State, as of now, according to the bulletin. -PTI

9.20 pm | New Delhi

Coronavirus genomes in India have 5.39% mutation similarity with 72 nations: Study

Coronavirus genomes in India have 5.39% mutation similarity with 72 nations, found a study by a group of researchers trying to identify the genetic variability and potential molecular targets in the virus and humans to find the best possible answer for combating COVID-19.

Mutations in an organism’s genetic material are natural ‘errors’ in the cell replication process that may give the virus new ‘powers’ of survival, infectivity, and virulence. It can affect the ability of vaccines and drugs to bind the virus, or to create a specific immune response against it.

The study also reveals that the US, the UK and India are the top three nations with a geometric mean of 3.27%, 3.59%, and 5.39%, respectively, of mutation similarity score with other 72 countries.

Indrajit Saha, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Kolkata, and his team have also developed a web-based COVID-Predictor to predict the sequence of viruses online on the basis of machine learning. – PTI

9.10 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reports 22,543 new cases

Maharashtra reported another massive spike of 22,543 fresh Covid-19 cases on Sunday to breach the 10.50 lakh mark and take the total case tally to 10,60,308. Of these, 2,90,344 cases are active.

416 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 29,531. As many as 11,549 patients were discharged today to take the total recoveries till date to 7,40,061.

Pune reported more than 4,000 cases to take its total case tally to 2,32,840. The district reported 59 deaths to take its total death toll to 4,813.

Mumbai reported 2,085 cases to take its total case tally to 1,69,741 of whom 30,316 are active. 41 fatalities saw the city’s death toll rise to 8,150. – Shoumojit Banerjee

9.00 pm | Haryana

Haryana reports 2,526 COVID-19 cases, 19 fatalities

Haryana on September 13 reported 2,526 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths, officials said.

The State’s caseload has reached 93,641 and the death toll mounted to 975.

Haryana had reported the biggest single-day spike of 2,783 COVID-19 cases on September 13.

Of the 19 deaths, four were reported from Karnal, three each from Faridabad and Ambala, two each from Gurugram, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Yamunanagar, and one in Kurukshetra, according to the State health department’s daily bulletin.

Among the districts which reported fresh cases are Gurugram (339), Faridabad (298), Karnal (295), Ambala (182), Sonipat (167), Rohtak (142), Hisar (126), Kurukshetra (130) and Panchkula (120).

The number of active cases in the State is 20,079, while 72,587 people have been discharged.

As of September 13, the State has a recovery rate of 77.52%.

The fatality rate stands at 1.04%, while the rate at which infections are doubling is 28 days. — PTI

8.45 pm | Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand reports record 1,637 COVID-19 cases

A record 1,637 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Uttarakhand on Sunday, taking the State’s infection tally to 31,973, while 12 more patients died.

Dehradun district reported the highest number of 623 cases, Haridwar 318, Udham Singh Nagar 240, Nainital 211, Pauri 57, Uttarkashi 47, Pithoragarh 34, Champawat 32, Tehri 27, Almora 16, Bageshwar 13, Rudraprayag 12 and Chamoli seven, a state health department bulletin said.

Five of the fresh deaths were reported from AIIMS, Rishikesh, four from Haldwani’s Sushila Tiwari Government Hospital, two from Doon Medical College and one from Mahant Indresh Hospital here, it said.

So far, 21,040 people have recovered and 122 migrated.

The State’s death toll stands at 414 and the number of active cases is 10,397, the bulletin said. – PTI

8.30 pm | Mizoram

Mizoram churches offer halls to be used as COVID-19 care centres

Amid a shortage of health facilities for treating novel coronavirus patients in Mizoram, two local churches in the Christian majority State have offered their halls to the state government to be used as COVID-19 Care Centres.

Ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislator and State health and family welfare board vice chairman Dr. Z.R. Thiamsanga said, two Presbyterian churches in Aizawl and Electric Veng branch of the Young Mizo Association (YMA) have extended their help to the State government.

“The church leaders, community leaders and the people are open-hearted. They set a good example by helping the government,” he said.

Mr. Thiamsanga, who is also the chairman of the medical operational team on COVID-19, said that he inspected the halls along with other officials on Sunday. — PTI

8.20 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Record spike of 462 COVID-19 cases in Amravati

Amravati witnessed a record spike in COVID-19 cases for the second day running as 462 people were detected with the infection on Sunday, overtaking the figure of 320 recorded on Saturday, an official said.

The district now has 8,774 cases, while two deaths, that of a 67-year-old woman and 72-year-old man, took the toll to 198, he added.

A total of 359 people were discharged during the day, taking the count of such cases to 6,693, leaving the district with 1,883 active ones, he informed. – PTI

8.10 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka reports record 9,894 cases in a single day

The State on Sunday reported 9,894 new cases, the highest so far on a single day, breaking its previous record of 9,860 cases on September 2.

With this the total number of cases touched 4,59,445. With 104 new deaths, the toll rose to 7,265. This includes 19 non-COVID deaths.

As many as 8,402 persons were discharged on Sunday, taking the total number of recoveries to 3,52,958. Of the remaining 99,203 active cases, 807 are being monitored in the ICUs of various hospitals.

Bengaluru Urban reported 3,479 cases taking the total tally to 1,70,662. With 45 of the 104 deaths from Bengaluru alone, the toll in this district rose to 2,436.

As many as 67,955 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours including 31,657 rapid antigen tests. With this the total number of tests rose to 38,00,976.

– Afshan Yasmeen

8.00 pm | Chhattisgarh

All possible steps being taken against COVID-19: Chhattisgarh CM

Amid a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said all possible measures are being taken to curb the spread of the infection and treatment of patients in the State.

In the tenth edition of his monthly radio address programme ‘Lokvaani’, he also spoke on the topic ‘Samaveshi vikas- aapki aas’ (Inclusive development, your hope) pointing that the inclusive development is the only solution to the socio-economic problem of the State and the nation, an official Statement in Raipur said. The CM said the State has significantly enhanced its testing capacity for COVID-19 in the last couple of months, it added.

“In March this year, only All India Institute of Medical Sciences [AIIMS] Raipur had the facility for COVID-19 testing, and it was a big challenge to expand the testing facilities,” Mr. Baghel said.

At present, all six government medical colleges in the State and four private labs have RT-PCR testing facility. In all, the community and primary health centres and 28 district hospitals, arrangements have been done for rapid antigen testing, while TrueNAT tests are being conducted in 30 labs, he said.

Similarly, initially coronavirus treatment was available only at AIIMS Raipur, but the State government has now established 29 government hospitals, 29 dedicated Covid Hospitals, 186 Covid Care Centres across the State, he added. Besides, 19 private hospitals have also been accredited for the treatment of COVID-19, he said.

The government hospitals earlier had 148 ventilators for emergency cases, which has now increased to 331, he said asserting that “all possible measures are being taken for prevention of the viral infection and treatment of patients”.

Sharing his views on ‘inclusive development — your hope’, the CM said, “I firmly believe that economic and social problems of the country and the State can only be solved through inclusive development.”

He also underlined the importance of participation of farmers, villagers, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes and women in the economy. “We can achieve inclusive development only when we consider the farmers as the axis of the economy. Chhattisgarh government has put farmers at the centre of the economy. In addition, the State government is making serious efforts to increase the participation of farmers, villagers, people of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes, and women in the economy,” he added. — PTI

7.45 pm | India

Vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most: Harsh Vardhan

“I shall be the first to offer myself for receiving COVID-19 vaccine if people have a trust deficit,” said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan while interacting on the Sunday Samvad social media platform.

The Minister answered queries concerning the situation, the government’s approach, the likely changes one expects to see in the post-pandemic world and the steps taken by the government in its facilitation.

He said while no date has been fixed for the vaccine launch, it may be ready by the first quarter of 2021.

 

7.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh coronavirus tally reaches 5.67 lakh with 9,536 new cases

The total number of coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh touched 5.67 lakh on Sunday after about 46 lakh sample tests were conducted so far, with a positivity rate of 12.33%.

The latest Covid-19 bulletin said 10,131 patients had recovered from the infection in 24 hours ending 9 a.m. on Sunday while 9,536 more tested positive.

The State recorded 66 more coronavirus deaths, taking the toll to 4,912.

Till date, a total of 4.67 lakh patients had recovered from the pandemic, leaving 95,072 active cases in the State, the bulletin said.

The menacing rise in cases continued in East Godavari district, one of the worst performers in the country now, as 1,414 were added afresh in 24 hours, pushing its overall count to 76,808.

Its neighbour West Godavari crossed the 50,000 cases mark, adding 1,076 in a day. –PTI

7.20 pm | Kerala

Kerala adds 3,139 fresh cases, 15 deaths push toll to 439

Kerala reported 3,139 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday taking the overall tally to 1,08,278 while 15 deaths pushed the toll to 439.

As many as 1,855 recoveries were recorded today, while 30,072 people are presently undergoing treatment for the infection that has so far claimed 439 lives.

Of the new positive cases, 2,921 were infected through contact and the source of infection of 251 persons is not known, Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said.

While 36 of those infected by the virus had come from abroad, 126 had come from other states.

Thiruvananthapuram accounted for 412 cases, followed by Kozhikode (399), Malappuram (387) and Ernakulam (326), while the hilly district of Idukki logged 40 cases, the lowest and Wayanad (56), the Minister said. – PTI

7.10 pm | Puducherry

Lt Governor thanks Centre, ICMR for help to contain COVID-19

Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi on Sunday said the Centre and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have come to the rescue of the territorial government in evolving and implementing measures to contain COVID-19.

In her address to the people on virtual mode, she thanked the Centre and ICMR on behalf of the people of Puducherry and its administration for helping in controlling the coronavirus.

She said that in addition to the Union Home and Health Ministry’s steps taken to help the Union Territory, the local government has strengthened its machinery by assigning the Secretary-cum-Commissioner for Relief and Rehabilitation A Anbarasu and the Health Secretary T Arun the task to monitor and ensure various measures were in place to prevent the people from suffering.

Ms. Bedi said the territorial government had ramped up testing centres resulting in the increase in number of samples being tested. “Now, we are able to zero in on the actual number of people suffering because of the pandemic,” she said. – PTI

7.00 pm | Nepal

Nepal resumes visa services

Nepal resumed the visa services for foreign nationals on September 13, a month after one of the staffers at the immigration department tested positive for COVID-19.

Issuing a notice, the Department of Immigration said it will not charge any late fees and penalties for visa renewal till September 27 keeping in view the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

The department had closed all visa services as per the decision of the government.

The department has urged all the service seekers to contact it within 15 days after the resumption of services for the exemption of late fee and penalty.

Nepal’s coronavirus cases on Sunday inched closer to the 55,000-mark with 1,039 new cases while the death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 345. — PTI

6.30 pm | New Delhi

Delhi records 4,235 coronavirus cases; over 4,000 infections reported for 5th straight day

Delhi recorded 4,235 coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the tally to over 2.18 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4,744 with 29 new fatalities, authorities said.

This is the fifth successive day when over 4,000 coronavirus cases were recorded in the national capital.

According to a Delhi government health bulletin issued this evening, 29 fresh fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours.

The positivity rate in the last 24 hours stands at 7.48%, while the cumulative positivity rate stands at 10.20%.

The number of active cases stands at 28,812, while 1,84,748 patients have either recovered, been discharged or migrated out of the city.

The total number of cases stands at 2,18,304, the bulletin said. The number of containment zones in the city is 1,488.

Delhi’s biggest single-day jump was reported on Saturday when 4,321 fresh cases were recorded.

6.20 pm | U.K.

Experts warn of second wave as COVID-19 cases rise in U.K.

Scientific experts have warned of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and another complete nation-wide lockdown in the UK unless stricter measures are adhered to amid a rising number of infections in the country over the past week.

Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine and an expert respiratory medicine at Imperial College London, said the new rule of six restrictions on large gatherings which comes in force from Monday is extremely crucial.

“I think everyone is in agreement that we really need to act very quickly now in order to prevent this from growing exponentially and that’s the main point, is that we must act fast because it is so much harder to get this sort of thing under control if you delay even a few days, Mr. Openshaw told Sky News.

“But if we don’t do this [rule of six] now we are going to be right back in hard lockdown in short order, that’s the only way we have at the moment for controlling this but there are other things on the horizon. We need to act quickly,” he said.

“This isn’t a game. We shouldn’t be out trying to party as hard as we can in the run up to Monday’s lockdown. We should all be thinking about what we can do to slow down the spread,” he added.

 – PTI

6.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu’s cumulative positive cases passes 5 lakh mark

An increase of 5,693 cases on Sunday took Tamil Nadu’s positive tally past the 5 lakh mark, with the total cases now at 5,02,759.

There were 74 more deaths reported, taking the death toll to 8,381.

The number of recoveries on Sunday stood at 5,717, taking the total recovries to 4,47,366. There are 47,012 active cases in the State.

5.45 pm | Nepal

Nepal resumes visa services

Nepal resumed the visa services for foreign nationals on Sunday, a month after one of the staffers at the immigration department tested positive for COVID-19.

Issuing a notice, the Department of Immigration said it will not charge any late fees and penalties for visa renewal till September 27 keeping in view the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

The department had closed all visa services as per the decision of the government.

The department has urged all the service seekers to contact it within 15 days after the resumption of services for the exemption of late fee and penalty. – PTI

5.30 pm | Dubai

Ruturaj Gaikwad to undergo 2 more COVID tests; 11 others back in CSK bio-bubble after testing negative

Young Chennai Super Kings batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, will undergo two fresh tests starting on Sunday and could miss the first few games of the IPL.

Thirteen members of the CSK contingent tested positive for the virus and two of them were players – Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar. Chahar, along with 11 others, has recovered and resumed training after clearing his mandatory two tests.

 

5.15 pm | Maharashtra

Nagpur mask violation fine up from ₹200 to ₹500: Minister

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said people in Nagpur will be fined ₹500 instead of ₹200 from Monday for not wearing masks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to reporters here, he said all precautions must be taken and social distancing norms have to be followed strictly till such time as a vaccine is developed for COVID- 19.

“Despite appeals, many people are not wearing masks.

From Monday, the fine here will be ₹500, up from the current ₹200,” he said. – PTI

5 pm | New Delhi

Delhi slum eviction: COVID pandemic took away everything, now roof being taken away, say residents

The COVID-19 pandemic took away her family’s livelihood and now 48-year-old Veeramma fears she will lose her roof in the wake of the Supreme Court ordering the removal of 48,000 slum dwellings along railway tracks in Delhi.

“My husband was born here. My son was born here. My in-laws breathed their last in this house. This is all we have,” said Veeramma as she sat on crushed stones outside her home at a slum cluster alongside a railway track near Jal Vihar in Lajpat Nagar.

The 48-year-old, who works as a domestic help, said her employers haven’t called her back to work yet.

“My husband cannot move. My son is a daily wager, he doesn’t have much work, too. We don’t have enough ration to feed the family for another week,” said Veeramma looking at her two-year-old granddaughter, a third generation to be born in the slum cluster.

“We don’t have the money for my granddaughter’s milk. Even if we beg, we won’t get anything. The times were never so bad,” she said.

The Supreme Court had on August 31 ordered the removal of 48,000 slum dwellings along railway tracks in Delhi within three months. As per rough estimates, there are around 2,40,000 people living in slums in Naraina Vihar, Azadpur, Vihar, Shakur Basti, Mayapuri, Sriniwaspuri, Anand Parbat and Okhla among others. – PTI

4.45 pm | Singapore

Eight of 10 imported COVID-19 cases in Singapore came from India

Eight of the 10 imported COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore came from India, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Two of those eight were Singaporeans and five permanent residents who returned on August 30-31. The other one was a short-term visit pass holder and a spouse of a Singaporean, who arrived from India on September 5.

The other two imported patients are work pass holders employed here who arrived here from Germany on August 30 and the Philippines on August 29.

Singapore reported 49 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, taking the national tally of cases to 57,406. The sole community infection is a foreigner holding work pass, officials said. – PTI

4.30 pm | Mizoram

Mizoram’s lone BJP MLA tests positive for COVID-19

Mizoram’s lone BJP legislator Budhha Dhan Chakma has tested positive for COVID-19, official sources said on Sunday.

He was among the 35 people who were diagnosed with coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours, they said.

Mr. Chakma, 47, is the only legislator in Mizoram to have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I am very surprised that I have tested positive for COVID-19. But I am asymptomatic and doing very well. Luckily, all my other family members have tested negative,” he said.

He said he will be shifted to Zoram Medical College (ZMC) for treatment.

“I have asked the health department to shift me to ZMC as being a COVID-19 patient it is not safe to be at home. I hope I will be shifted to the medical college in the evening,” he said.

A former Congress member, Mr. Chakma was the Minister of State for Sericulture and Fisheries in the previous Lal Thanhawla government. – PTI

4.15 pm | New Delhi

Five inmates under treatment for COVID-19 in Delhi prisons: Official

Five inmates, who recently arrived in jails in Delhi, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are undergoing treatment, officials said on Sunday.

This comes less than a month after the Delhi Prisons Department declared there was no active COVID-19 case among the inmates in its three jail complexes.

According to the data shared by the officials, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Delhi Prisons now stands at 25, including 20 jail staff.

“A total of 70 prison inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Sixty-three of them have recovered and two died, leaving five active cases. There were 188 prison staff exposed to the novel coronavirus. Of them, 168 have recovered and 20 are still under treatment for the disease,” Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said.

Earlier, on August 21, the Delhi Prisons Department had stated that none of the inmates in the three jail complexes of Tihar, Rohini and Mandoli are COVID-19 positive and that the coronavirus situation in jails here has improved.

Among prisons in the national capital, the first case of the coronavirus was reported in Rohini Jail on May 13. Two coronavirus positive inmates of Mandoli Jail died on June 15 and July 4. Both were senior citizens, according to the officials. – PTI

4 pm | Assam

Assam’s Cachar DC refuses to go on leave for wedding as COVID-19 cases spike, instead groom flies in

The deputy commissioner of Assam’s Cachar district who is leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic from the front preferred duty over personal life as she refused to take leave even for a day for her marriage and instead the groom flew in for the ceremony.

Keerthi Jalli, a 2013 batch IAS officer, surprised family and friends when she told them that she could not come home in Hyderabad for her wedding by leaving aside her crucial official responsibilities.

Rather, she told them, she would be happy to get married at her official bungalow in Silchar if the groom comes to her place of posting.

“I just could not think of taking leave for my wedding. I understand it is the most important event of anyone’s life, but I could not imagine going away from my district where the average positive cases is about 100 and I am fighting to save lives,” Ms. Jalli said.

Her family, in-laws, especially the groom, appreciated her decision.

The groom, Aditya Shashikant, who is from Pune, came to Silchar well in advance so that he could remain in mandatory quarantine, following the local COVID-19 protocols. – PTI

3.45 pm | Goa

After discharge, Naik thanks PM, ministers, doctors

A day after he was discharged from hospital post recovery from the coronavirus infection, Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik on Sunday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and Goa CM Pramod Sawant.

In a statement issued here, the North Goa BJP MP also thanked Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane, AYUSH secretary Rajesh Kotecha and doctors Randeep Guleria of AIIMS, Manjunath Desai, GMCH Dean Shivanand Bandekar and Manipal Hospitals’ Shekhar Salkar. – PTI

3.30 pm | Washington

Scientists publish images of coronavirus infected cells

Scientists have produced images of the novel coronavirus infecting lab-grown respiratory tract cells, findings that illustrate the number of virus particles that are produced and released per cell inside the lungs.

The researchers, including Camille Ehre from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Children’s Research Institute, captured these images to illustrate how intense SARS-CoV-2 infection of the airways can be in very graphic and easily understood images.

The generated high-powered microscopic images show a large number of the virus particles on human respiratory surfaces, ready to spread infection across tissues, and to other people.

In the research, the scientists inoculated the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 into human bronchial epithelial cells of the lungs, which they then examined 96 hours later using the high-powered scanning electron microscopy.

The images, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were re-colorised, and show infected hairy ciliated cells with strands of mucus attached to cilia tips.

The scientists explained that the cilia are hair-like structures on the surface of airway epithelial cells that transport mucus and trapped viruses from the lungs.

Using a higher power magnification, they showed the structure and density of SARS-CoV-2 produced by human airway epithelia.

These virus particles, the researchers said, are the complete, infectious form of the virus released onto respiratory surfaces by infected host cells. – PTI

3.15 pm | New Delhi

’Future Is Not Fixed’: Virtual art show highlights impact of pandemic

A unique virtual art show, inspired by the lingering sense of uncertainty about the future in the times of coronavirus, is showcasing works of 24 distinguishing artists in what is claimed to be a first of its kind joint presentation by two noted art galleries — Nature Morte and Vadhera.

The art exhibition titled “Future is not Fixed” will showcase several artworks including paintings, digital prints, and sculptures made using building blocks of architecture like frames, doors, windows and furnishings, among others.

“Fuelled by a perspective unacquainted, a narrative unknown,” the virtual show appeals to the “imagination of the tainted fixtures of the worlds we once lived and sought to live”, said the organisers.

“This period will go down in history. It will never be forgotten. It will be documented in umpteen ways and interpreted by visual artists in a million more. This show is an attempt to illustrate these feelings as we live through this point in history. This is the reality of today and this is the truth. The future is not fixed. Not at all anymore,” said Arjun Sawhney, curator of the show.

The show features works of 24 distinguished artists including Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, Thukral & Tagra, Dhruvi Acharya, Anju Dodiya, Gigi Scaria, Sudhir Patwardhan, Jitish Kallat and Riyas Komu. – PTI

3 pm | New Delhi

COVID-19 treatment accounted for 11% of health insurance claims in April-Aug: Study

Treatment for COVID-19 accounted for as much as 11% of the total health insurance claims paid by insurance companies during the first five months of the current financial year, says a research conducted by Policybazaar.com.

The research further revealed that 89% of health insurance claims during April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 were for other major illnesses, including cancer, heart problems, kidney and treatment.

Policybazaar.com, which accounts for about 10% of India’s retail health insurance market, said the data pertains to April 1 to August 31.

The insurtech brand further said the increasing incidence of coronavirus cases and the rising cost of treatment have been promoting more and more people to opt for health insurance in these uncertain times.

“As per Policybazaar data, COVID claims are only 11% out of overall claims. The rest 89% are of other major illnesses…,” it said. – PTI

2.45 pm | New Delhi

Yoga, chyawanprash part of new management protocol for recovered COVID-19 patients

Yogasana, Pranayama, meditation and intake of chyawanprash are among some of the suggestions given by the Union Health Ministry in its new management protocol for patients who have recovered from COVID-19.

Calling for a holistic approach for follow up care and well-being of all post-COVID recovered patients, the Health ministry said such patients must continue COVID appropriate behaviour by use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing.

The protocol provides an approach for managing patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for care at home. – PTI

 

2.30 pm | Maharashtra

Amid high demand, tempo with oxygen cylinders stolen

A tempo carrying seven oxygen cylinders meant for hospitals amid the coronavirus outbreak was stolen in Pune’s Chakan area, police said on Sunday.

The complainant has a business of transporting such cylinders and he had parked his tempo outside his house on Thursday night from where it went missing a few hours later, Inspector Balaji Sontake of Mhalunge post said.

“We have registered a theft case and efforts are on to trace the tempo and nab the accused who stole it,” said the official.

There is high demand for oxygen in hospitals due to the coronavirus outbreak and the district administration here has even formed dedicated teams to oversee and coordinate supply between oxygen manufacturing units and medical facilities. – PTI

2.15 pm | West Bengal

BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar tests positive for COVID-19

BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar said on Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament.

Mr. Majumdar, who represents the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal, is in Delhi where he went through a test for COVID-19 and was found to be positive, party sources said.

The Monsoon session will start from Monday and COVID tests have been made mandatory for those attending it.

“Have tested #Covid19 positive today. I am doing well & taking doctor’s advice,” Majumdar tweeted.

“Requesting all those who have come in close contact with me in the last few days to monitor their health and get tested in case of any symptoms,” he added.

Mr. Majumdar is among a slew of senior politicians from West Bengal to be diagnosed with COVID-19.

On September 11, Jalpaiguri BJP MP Jayanta Roy was found to be positive for COVID-19, party sources said. – PTI

2 pm| Goa

Goa extends ₹50 lakh insurance cover to health workers

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said an insurance cover of ₹50 lakh has been extended to all health workers who are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19.

The insurance cover is provided under the central governments flagship Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

“Insurance cover of ₹50 lakh has been extended to all health workers in Goa,” Mr. Sawant tweeted.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana provides an insurance cover of ₹50 lakh per health worker in case of loss of life due to COVID-19 or accidental loss of life on account of coronavirus-related duties, he said.

The scheme is funded through the National Disaster Response Fund, operated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. – PTI

1.45 pm | New Delhi

Stress, self-injuries and suicide: India battles mental health crisis as COVID tally spikes

Hemmed inside their homes for months on end as a pandemic raged outside, millions of people are emerging timorously into a world that has drastically changed — an uneasy adjustment process resulting in a spectrum of mental health issues ranging from depression to that final step, suicide. The dread of contracting the disease combined with the realisation that the incidence of COVID-19 spiralled instead of being contained in the lockdown and that the days of suspending life as they knew it could extend indefinitely has been profoundly disturbing for many.

Add to this new normal, ill-health, joblessness, financial crises and the everyday stresses that people anyway had to deal with and the COVID-19 tunnel stretches dark and seemingly endless with no light at the end of it.

This prolonged uncertainty has led people to feel a lot more anxious. So people who were on a mild anxiety spectrum earlier have moved to moderate and severe anxiety. When anxiety gets severe, the kinds of behaviour of self harm increase, said Arvinder Singh, psychologist, psychotherapist and director of the Ashoka Centre for Well-Being in New Delhi.

As India’s COVID-19 tally crossed 47.5 lakh with 94,372 new cases reported on Sunday, Mr. Singh’s concerns find echo across the country.

The worries are rooted in reports of more people inflicting injuries on themselves, several ending their lives and many complaining of depression and severe anxiety.

In Gujarat, for instance, the 108 emergency ambulance service received about 800 cases of “self injuries” and 90 cases of suicide in April, May, June and July, officials said. The numbers began to spike soon after the nationwide lockdown, which came into effect on March 25. – PTI

1.30 pm | New Delhi

Delhi govt. directs 33 private hospitals to reserve 80% of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Sunday the city government has instructed 33 big private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 80% of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients, amid a shortage of such beds at some facilities.

Delhi has been witnessing a surge in novel coronavirus cases from the last week of August. Delhi recorded its biggest single-day jump of 4,321 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the city’s tally to over 2.14 lakh, authorities said. It was for the fourth day in a row that over 4,000 fresh cases were recorded in Delhi.

“Yesterday, we instructed 33 private hospitals to reserve 80 per cent of their ICU beds for coronavirus patients. This has been done since issues were being faced with regards to ICU beds in some private hospitals. I also held a video conference over this and an order has been issued in this regard,” he said.

Mr. Jain said there are sufficient number of ICU beds in state-run and Centre-run hospitals, and also said there are sufficient number of other beds in hospitals.

“We have also instructed hospitals to increase bed strength by 30% for coronavirus patients, in case they want to. More than 50% beds are available in hospitals. Out of the total 14,372 beds available for COVID-19 patients, 7,938 are vacant, according to live status on Delhi Corona app,” he added. – PTI

1.15 pm | New Delhi

58% of recovered cases coming from five states

A total of 37,02,595 people have recuperated from COVID-19 in the country so far, with 58% of the recovered cases being reported from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, the Centre said on Sunday.

The same five states account for 60% of total 9,73,175 active cases in the country.

The national recovery rate now stands at 77.88%.

While Maharashtra has reported 17.2% recovered cases, Tamil Nadu has 13.1%, Andhra Pradesh 12.2%, Karnataka 7.9% and Uttar Pradesh 7.8%, the Union Health Ministry said.

Maharashtra continues to lead with more than 13,000 recoveries while Andhra Pradesh has contributed more than 10,000 to the single-day recoveries, it said.

A total of 78,399 recoveries have been registered in a span of 24 hours in the country, according to the Health Ministry’s data updated at 8 a.m.

Of the 94,372 new infections that have been reported in 24 hours, Maharashtra alone has contributed to more than 22,000 cases followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with more than 9,000 cases each, the Ministry highlighted.

“Nearly 57% of the new cases are reported from five states. These are also contributing 58% of the new recovered cases,” the Ministry underlined. – PTI

1 pm | Chhattisgarh

COVID-19 disrupts Maoists’ supply chain in Chhattisgarh: Police

Maoists are facing a crisis, specially disruption of supplies, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and also suffered “huge causalities” during an encounter with security forces in Sukma district in March, an official said citing Naxal documents seized by Chhattisgarh Police.

Cashing-in on the situation, security forces have stepped up anti-Naxal operations in strongholds of ultras in the state’s Bastar division, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI on Sunday.

These documents, including some letters written by cadres, were recovered by a joint team of security forces following an exchange of fire with Naxals in a forest near Entapad village of Sukma on September 8, he said.

The gunfight lasted for about half-an-hour after which Naxals escaped into the dense forest leaving behind their bags, documents and other camping material, he said.

“An analysis of the recovered documents has revealed that Maoists have been experiencing tremendous hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic following the lockdown imposed in March this year,” the official said. – PTI

12.45 pm | West Bengal

Crisis-hit tourism industry pins hope on festive season

The tourism sector, crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, hopes to see some businesses in the upcoming Durga puja and Diwali seasons with queries from interested travellers coming in, officials of the industry bodies said on Sunday.

In the domestic and short-haul segments, people are showing interest, Travel Agents’ Federation of India (TAFI) eastern region head Anil Punjabi said.

“There is interest and queries are coming in about destinations and safety measures, but these are yet to be translated into bookings,” he said, adding that people have changed their priorities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“There will be businesses in the Durga Puja and Diwali seasons with interest growing among people, though it is likely to be much less than what it used to be in the previous years,” Mr. Punjabi said.

With people starting to learn to live with the pandemic, at least some of them are likely to start travelling with requisite safety measures, he said.

The TAFI eastern region head said the tour operators are providing people with all kind of information regarding tourists’ destinations and the safety of the places.

A lot depends on how the COVID-19 situation emerges in the next few days as people would not want any cancellation. – PTI

12.30 pm | Rajasthan

COVID-19 claims lives of seven more people in Rajasthan

Rajasthan recorded seven deaths and 731 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a health department bulletin.

While the number of positive cases in the state has increased to 1,01436, the total number of fatalities climbed to 1,228.

Bikaner reported two fresh deaths, Dungarpur (1), Jaipur (2), Jhalawar (1) and Udaipur (1). – PTI

12.15 pm | Odisha

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally crosses 1.5-lakh mark, death toll mounts to 626

The COVID-19 tally in Odisha rose to 1,50,807 with 3,913 more people testing positive for the disease on Sunday, while 10 fresh fatalities pushed the state’s death toll to 626, a health department official said.

The new cases were reported from all the 30 districts of the state, he said.

Of the fresh cases, 2,348 were reported from various quarantine centres, and 1,565 were detected during contact tracing, the official said.

Three new deaths were registered in Khurda district, two in Cuttack and one each in Balasore, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj and Subarnapur.

Ganjam accounted for 215 of the 626 fatalities in the state, followed by Khurda (92).

Fifty-three COVID-19 patients have died in the coastal state due to comorbidities, the official said. – PTI

12.00 pm | West Bengal

Kolkata Metro resumes services with NEET special trains

The wheels of Kolkata Metro started rolling again with passengers on Sunday after nearly six months with special services for NEET examinees and their guardians.

Regular passenger services will commence on Monday with social distancing measures and other safety protocols in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Metro official said.

NEET aspirants, many accompanied by their guardians, queued up in front of metro stations to reach their examination centres well before 10 am when the first trains started from both ends of the North-South line Noapara and Kavi Subhash.

The examinees and their guardians were allowed inside the stations upon showing the admit cards to police personnel posted at the entry gates.

The candidates and their guardians went through thermal checking and sanitised their hands before buying paper tickets at the counters.

The special services will continue till 7 p.m. at intervals of 15 minutes, officials said.

Regular passenger services on the North-South and the East-West lines will commence on Monday.

Officials said that 110 trains will be operated on the North-South line every day, except Sundays when the services will be shut for sanitisation of rakes and stations.

The East-West Metro will also recommence services from September 14 between Sector V and Yuva Bharati Krirangan stations with 36 trains in each direction, they said.

PTI

11.45 am | Tripura

Social, political events responsible for surge in COVID-19 cases in Agartala: study

Passengers undergo thermal screening at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, during the COVID-19 lockdown, in Agartala, Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Passengers undergo thermal screening at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, during the COVID-19 lockdown, in Agartala, Tuesday, June 2, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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