Speaking during a press conference organised by the Health Ministry, on Tuesday, NITI Aayog Member V.K. Paul said that “while our vaccine candidates are progressing well there is no 100% guarantee that they will succeed”. India, then needs to remain strict about its containment and surveillance efforts, he said.
“We cannot afford to relax and lower our guard against COVID-19 as this can prove to be dangerous for India,” he warned.
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:
2:00 p.m. | U.S.A.
Senate Republicans preparing $500 billion virus relief proposal
Senate Republican leaders are preparing a slimmed-down virus relief package of roughly $500 billion that will include extended payments for unemployed people and smaller businesses, a GOP senator has said.
The package will also include $10 billion for the embattled Postal Service, said one top GOP aide on Tuesday. The agency has become the focus of a campaign-season battle over whether it will have enough resources to handle an expected flood of mail-in ballots for this November’s presidential and congressional elections.
1:50 p.m. | London
Scientists decode immune system changes in children with rare COVID-19 related syndrome
Scientists have uncovered how the immune system is altered in a rare COVID-19 related illness in children which can cause severe inflammation and heart damage, findings that may lead to better treatment for some of the youngest patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
According to the researchers, including those from King’s College London in the UK, the rare disease, referred to as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS), has emerged in a small number of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1:40 p.m. | Odisha
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally rises to 67,122; toll mounts to 372
As many as 2,589 new cases pushed Odisha’s COVID-19 tally to 67,122 on Wednesday, while its death toll mounted to 372 as 10 more patients succumbed to the infection, a health official said.
A total of 1,574 new infections were detected in quarantine centres, while 1,015 people tested positive for the coronavirus during contact tracing, he said.
1:20 p.m. | Rajasthan
COVID-19: 10 fresh fatalities reported in Rajasthan
Rajasthan recorded 10 more fatalities due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking the state’s death toll to 908, while 699 fresh cases pushed its tally to 64,676, a health department official said.
Of the latest fatalities, three each were reported from Jaipur, two from Nagaur and one each from Ajmer, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Kota and Udaipur, the official said.
COVID-19 recoveries cross 2 million; case fatality rate declines to 1.91%
With a record 60,091 people recuperating from coronavirus infection in a day, the total recoveries on Wednesday crossed 2 million pushing the recovery rate to 73.64%, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate hit a new low of 1.91 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said.
The recoveries have surged to 20,37,870 in the country, while there are 6,76,514 active cases of COVID-19, according to the data updated at 8 a.m.
Hong Kong bars Air India flights till August-end after passengers test positive for COVID-19
Hong Kong has banned Air India flights till the end of August after some passengers on one of its flights tested positive for COVID-19 post arrival, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Healthcare infrastructure in smaller towns, villages inadequate to handle COVID-19: Survey
Most Indians don’t believe that India’s tier three, tier four cities, small towns and villages have the health infrastructure to fight COVID-19.
A survey said, 58% of the citizens believe the smaller towns and rural areas are underprepared to handle the fast-spreading virus cases. Only 5% believed they were prepared while 25% said they were somewhat prepared. Some 31% said they were quite unprepared while 27% said they were extremely unprepared.
11.00 am | Uttar Pradesh
Union minister Balyan goes into self-quarantine after meeting coronavirus-infected UP minister
Union minister Sanjeev Balyan has gone into self-quarantine after he came in contact with Uttar Pradesh minister Atul Garg who tested positive for COVID-19, his aide said on Wednesday.
According to the aide of Mr. Balyan, the Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries went into self-quarantine in Delhi after he came to know about Garg’s infection on Tuesday.
10.30 am | Kerala
Strict regulations to be in place for Onam season
Strict regulations will be enforced in Kochi to check the spread of COVID-19 during this Onam season.
A district-level COVID review meeting chaired by Collector S. Suhas on Tuesday took a decision in this regard. The meeting also decided to close down the Kothamangalam market on account of increase in the spread of the disease. More tests will be conducted in the area.
10.00 am | Andhra Pradesh
‘COVID-19 spreading due to forcible discharge of patients’
Patients being forcibly discharged from COVID-19 Hospitals and COVID Care Centres after 10 days in order to make way for new admissions, regardless of their health condition, is being cited as one of the major reasons behind the spike in coronavirus cases in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts.
9.30 am | Maharashtra
‘Hefty fine if hospitals found overcharging’
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday directed all district collectors to take strict action against those hospitals that were covered under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY), yet continued to overcharge COVID-19 patients.
In a letter to all district collectors, Dr Sudhakar Shinde, CEO of MJPJAY, asked the officials to impose a fine five times the amount of bills that was charged to patients.
9.00 am | Puducherry
COVID-19 hits war room operations
The novel coronavirus has struck at the nerve-centre of COVID-19 operations in Puducherry with positive cases being reported at the war rooms of both the health and police departments.
8.00 am | Andhra Pradesh
Return of migrants led to spike in Prakasam, says Collector
Attributing the spike in positive cases to migrants returning to their native places, Prakasam District Collector P.Bhaskar on Tuesday said the district had zero cases for three days when all those who returned from New Delhi after attending a religious congregation recovered. Stating that there was no scarcity of funds, he said oxygen facility would be provided to all the beds in the Government General Hospital.
7.00 am | Assam
Lockdown may return to Guwahati if situation worsens
Guwahati and some other parts of Assam may see a reimposition of the lockdown if the COVID-19 situation spirals out of control, said State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
His warning came hours after a four-day lockdown was imposed in Mizoram capital Aizawl from Monday night after a spike in cases.