Coronavirus India lockdown Day 165 updates | Five States, one UT with high COVID-19 caseload asked to scale up testing

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday issued an updated advisory for COVID-19 testing simplifying the process and giving more flexibility to the State authorities to facilitate enhanced ease of testing.

Cumulative cases in the country stands at 41,04,497, nearly 11,600 more than Brazil’s tally. However, Brazil’s death toll is about 1.7 times more than India’s. Saturday saw 84,385 confirmed cases and 1,019 deaths. This marked the fourth straight day when more than 80,000 infections were identified.

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:

4.55 pm | New Delhi

Immense self-discipline, caution exercised at places of worship during pandemic: Naqvi

Immense self-discipline and caution were exercised at places of worship in India during the coronavirus pandemic, setting an example for the entire world, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Sunday.

He said followers of almost all religions of the world reside in India and various festivals and other auspicious occasions were observed during the coronavirus crisis.

“The people of the country displayed restraint, caution, sensibility, and celebrated all the festivals taking all precautions and followed the guidelines of social distancing to help to curb the coronavirus infection,” Mr. Naqvi said after paying obeisance at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah where he prayed for the health and well-being of the people of the country.

4.40 pm | New Delhi

IIT Guwahati researchers design engineered surfaces to detect, prevent coronavirus

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati have developed methods to detect and prevent the novel coronavirus using bio-interface interactions between the virus and the surface spike protein.

According to the team of researchers, the novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) is composed of inner nucleic acid which is covered with surface spike glycoprotein and the engineered surfaces can be potentially applied for the detection as well as prevention of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus.

“So far we are using antibody-based assays and RT-PCR based methods for testing during pandemic. However, longer assay time, cost, complex procedures and false positive or negative results are a few bottlenecks of these methods,” Lalit M. Pandey, associate professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, told PTI.

4.30 pm | New Delhi

Recovery rate rises to 77.32%; case fatality rate drops to 1.72%

With a record 73,642 patients having recuperated in a day, India’s COVID-19 recoveries have surged to nearly 32 lakh, pushing the recovery rate to 77.32% while the case fatality rate, one of the lowest globally, has further dropped to 1.72% as on date, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

There are 8,62,320 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country accounting for only 20.96% of the total caseload, it highlighted.

“The spike in the daily recovered COVID-19 patients continues in the country. For the second successive day, India has clocked a record recovery of more than 70,000 patients in a single day,” the Ministry said.


4.15 pm | Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh  anganwadis to open from September 7

Anganwadis will reopen from Monday in Chhattisgarh for the first time since they were shut in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.

However, these centres, which provide health and nutrition services to children and pregnant women, will continue to remain closed in containment zones, he added.

There are 51,455 anganwadi centres and the National Health and Family Welfare Phase 4 survey put the malnutrition level in the state at 37%.

“The state Women and Child Development department has written to district collectors, divisional commissioners and district programme officers to ensure preventive measures are in place,” he said.

4.05 pm | Mumbai

Arjun Kapoor tests positive for COVID-19

Actor Arjun Kapoor on Sunday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic. The 35-year-old actor said he is “feeling ok” and will be under home quarantine.

“It is my duty to inform all of you that I have tested positive for coronavirus. I’m feeling ok and I’m asymptomatic.

“I have isolated myself at home under the advice of doctors and authorities and will be under home quarantine,”Arjun posted a statement on Instagram.

4.00 pm | Tripura

604 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths reported in Tripura

At least 604 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura on Sunday, raising the tally in the state to 15,130, a health department official said.

The death toll rose to 144 after eight more people succumbed to the infection, he said.

West Tripura district, of which state capital Agartala is a part, has accounted for 77 of the 144 COVID-19 deaths.

The state currently has 6,220 active cases, while 8,745 people have recovered from the disease.

Twenty-one patients have migrated to other states.

A total of 2,97,103 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far, he added.


3.45 pm | Haryana

Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda tests COVID-19 positive

Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana Deepender Singh Hooda tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The 42-year-old, who is the lone opposition MP from Haryana, is currently in Delhi.

“My Corona# Covid19 report has returned positive. As per the advice of doctors, other tests are being conducted,” Mr. Deepender tweeted.

Mr. Deepender, who is the son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in his tweet added that “with the prayers of all of you, I will recover soon.

3.35 pm | Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh fixes cost for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals

The Chhattisgarh government has fixed the cost of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals in the wake of a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state, an official said on Sunday.

Patients will have to bear the cost of treatment in the private hospitals, which have been classified in A, B and C categories in various districts, based on the medical facilities available there, he said.

The order was issued on Saturday under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, the Chhattisgarh Public Health Act, 1949, and the Chhattisgarh Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, the public relations department official said.

3.20 pm | New Delhi

Five States, one UT with high COVID-19 caseload asked to scale up testing

The Centre has asked 5 states and one UT from where 35 districts have been reporting high active COVID-19 caseload and fatality rate to strengthen containment measures and scale up testing to bring down positivity rate below 5%.

These 35 districts comprise all 11 districts in Delhi, Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and 24 South Parganas in West Bengal; Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded in Maharashtra; Surat in Gujarat; Pondicherry in Puducherry and East Singhbhum in Jharkhand.

In a review meeting held on Saturday, they were asked to ensure strict perimeter control, strengthen the active case search focusing on comorbids and elderly population, early identification by ramping up testing and optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity to break the chain of transmission of the disease, the Health ministry said on Sunday.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held the review meeting through video conference (VC) with health secretaries of five states and one UT on the containment and management of COVID-19 in 35 districts under their jurisdiction.


3.10 pm | New Delhi

Deepak Punia discharged from hospital, advised home isolation

World championship silver-medallist wrestler Deepak Punia, who tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival at the national camp, has been discharged from hospital and advised home isolation.

Besides the Olympic-bound Punia (86kg), the other two wrestlers who tested positive for the virus were Navin (65kg) and Krishan (125kg).

All three are part of a national camp at the SAI Centre in Sonepat ahead of which the wrestlers are in quarantine.

2.40 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Police constable ends life in Moradabad hospital

A police head constable who had tested positive for COVID-19 ended his life at a hospital in Moradabad on Saturday evening, police said. The deceased has been identified as Diwakar Sharma, 52, and was posted at police complaint’s desk.

Notably, this is the third death by suicide in the Teerthankar Medical College & Research Centre in the last one month. It is a designated COVID-19 facility meant to treat patients from across the Moradabad divison.

On August 19, a 28-year-old COVID-19 positive girl ended her life and on August 28, a 42-year-old bank manager took a similar step. The local police had termed them both as suicide cases.


2.25 pm | Karnataka

 Karnataka Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar tests positive

Karnataka Labour Minister A. Shivaram Hebbar on Sunday said he and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus and would be under treatment in their home itself being asymptomatic.

Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa wished the 63-year old leader a speedy recovery and prayed that he continued with his good works.

“Me and my wife underwent COVID-19 test and have been found positive for the virus. Since there are no symptoms of coronavirus, we decided to remain in home quarantine on doctors’ advice and are getting treatment at home,” Mr.Hebbar tweeted.


2.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

Erode PMK leader dies of COVID-19

Senior PMK leader and Deputy Chairman of the Erode District Panchayat Council Velusamy died of coronavirus in Erode, the Health department said on Sunday.

The 48-year old leader from Anandam Palayam village in Bhavani was admitted to the Perundurai IRT Government Medical College Hospital recently after testing positive for the virus and his end came on Saturday, officials said.

Velusamy was also a former state Deputy General Secretary of PMK.

Party founder leader S. Ramadoss condoled the death of Velusamy, recalling that he had joined the party at a very young age and rose to hold various positions through hard work.

Meanwhile, the Inspector of Modakurichi Police station tested positive on Saturday and had been admitted to the PerunduraiIRT Government Medical College Hospital, officials said.

In view of this, the station was disinfected on Sunday.


2.00 pm | New Delhi

Companies in India responded well to increased cyberattacks after ‘total chaos’ during lockdown: EY

Companies in India have adapted well to respond to increased cyberattacks after witnessing “total chaos” in the first three months of coronavirus-induced lockdown, although it will take time for these firms to upgrade their networks, according to a senior official of consultancy firm EY.

EY in its Global Integrity Report 2020 had found that cybercriminals, trying to exploit the fears and uncertainties around the virus, have stepped up phishing and ransomware attacks, increasing the risks for organisations already struggling to operate during a pandemic.

The rapid shift to employees working remotely also made cybersecurity an even bigger challenge — one that organisations had little time to prepare for and such attacks have happened in various sectors, including healthcare organisations.


1.50 pm | Madhya Pradesh

M.P. allows water tourism to resume with 50% capacity

The Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday allowed resumption of water tourism in the State with 50% capacity and asked boat and cruise operators to strictly follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

Water tourism activities in the State were shut since March when the lockdown was enforced to curb the spread of the infection.

“Boats and cruises used for tourism and water sports at various locations in Madhya Pradesh can now be run with 50 per cent of the total capacity of tourists,” State tourism department’s Principal Secretary Shivshekhar Shukla said in a statement.


1.40 pm | Telangana

Telangana legislature session to begin from Monday amid COVID-19 preventive measures

The monsoon session of Telangana Legislature commencing on Monday with preventive measures for COVID-19 will debate various issues, including measures taken to contain the spread of the pandemic, GST compensation and recent fire accident at Srisailam Hydel project.

All members, including ministers, Telangana legislature employees and mediapersonnel will have to undergo COVID-19 test and only those found negative would be allowed to enter the assembly or the Legislative Council premises, a senior state government official said on Sunday.


1.30 pm | New Delhi

Delhi airport’s COVID testing facility can be ramped up to 15,000 samples per day: Genestrings

The COVID-19 testing facility at the Delhi international airport will initially handle up to 2,500 samples per day in mid-September and if required, the capacity can later be ramped up to 15,000 samples per day, a top official of Genestrings Diagnostic Center stated.

The Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) on Friday said it has set up a COVID-19 testing facility at the multi-level car parking area of Terminal 3, in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Center, for arriving international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights.

The test will cost a passenger ₹2,400, as mandated by the Delhi government, the centre said.


1.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

54 jail inmates test positive in U.P.’s Banda

Fifty-four inmates of the district jail here have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Sunday. Banda’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. N.D. Sharma said, so far, 500 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the jail.

On Saturday, 41 new COVID-19 cases were reported from the district.

There are 436 active COVID-19 cases in Banda, and so far, 10 people have succumbed to the disease in the district, the officials added.


1.10 pm | New Delhi

PVR defers capex plans to control costs amid COVID-19 disruptions

Multiplex major PVR has deferred its capital expenditure plans in a bid to control costs as the company braces for a significant impact on its profitability in the current fiscal due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Cinema halls in India have remained shut since March this year, after the government imposed nationwide lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19.

“We have temporarily deferred a substantial portion of our planned capital expenditures that we were undertaking, prior to the shutdown. All major capital expenditures will now be re-assessed once the shutdown is over,” PVR Ltd. Chief Operating Officer (CFO) Nitin Sood said in the company’s Annual Report for 2019-20.


1.00 pm | Assam

Assam cop’s medical degree comes handy in running COVID care centre

A young IPS officer is winning hearts in Assam by treating people during the coronavirus pandemic while simultaneously donning the khaki uniform.

Barpeta Superintendent of Police Robin Kumar is performing the dual duties of a corona warrior – a police officer and a doctor – as the district is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Mr. Kumar, a 2013 batch IPS officer, is a specialist in medicine (MBBS, MD), which has helped him respond to the call of duty and provide treatment to the needy during the ongoing medical emergency.

Besides heading the district’s police department, he is currently running a 50-bed COVID-19 care centre with four ICUs in Barpeta Police Reserve for police personnel and their families.


12.45 pm | New Delhi

Peak power demand in Delhi surges

The peak power demand of Delhi has increased by over 50% with resumption of normal activities due to easing of COVID-19-related lockdown restrictions, distribution companies (discom) officials said.

Peak power demand in the city has been muted this year as compared to the last year due to lockdown and weather conditions.

“However, since easing of restrictions on May 18, 2020, Delhi’s peak power demand has increased by over 5%. If we compare the peak power demand since April 2020, it has already increased by over 87%,” officials said.


12.30 pm | Puducherry

Door-to-door swab collection launched in Puducherry

As part of the government’s effort to scale up testing to 3,000 per day, the Health Department on Saturday launched door-to-door swab collection of people to test for COVID-19.

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao launched the programme at Krishna Nagar and Kurinji Nagar in the town on Saturday.

In an audio message to reporters, the Chief Minister said the government would carry out the door-to-door swab collection in the town and conduct camps in public health centres in rural areas to do testing.


12.15 pm | Assam

Rise in smuggling in Northeast due to economic distress caused by COVID- 19: FICCI

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Sunday said the recent rise in smuggling in the northeast can be attributed to economic distress caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) lauded the efforts of paramilitary force Assam Rifles and congratulated its Director General along with other officers for their anti-smuggling operations.

Reports suggest that smugglers and insurgents are using people from the local tribal areas to transport smuggled goods by taking advantage of their financial vulnerability caused due to COVID-19, it added.


12.00 pm | Kerala

Patient molested on board ambulance

In a shocking incident, a COVID-19 patient from Pathanamthitta was subjected to sexual assault while being shifted to a COVID care centre in the wee hours of Sunday. The police have arrested the ambulance driver, Noufal of Kayamkulam, in connection with the incident.

The case came to light when the victim revealed the incident to the health authorities. The victim, a 20-year-old woman, was being shifted to a COVID care centre at Kozhencherry from Pathanamthitta Town when the molestation took place.


11.45 am

Women participation in equity market grows during the pandemic

Participation of women in equity markets has surged during COVID-19 pandemic and experts believe the growing need to share household expenses with rampant pay cuts and lay-offs has brought them to trading.

Additionally, women are looking for alternatives to the decreasing bank’s fixed deposit (FD) rates, they added.

Interestingly, most of such women are first time investors and a large number of them are homemakers.


11.30 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra sees fastest growth in COVID-19 cases in August

Maharashtra reported the fastest growth is coronavirus infection in August, registering over 3.70 lakh cases, a senior State Health official said.

According to data of the Maharashtra Health department, the State reported 3,76,587 COVID-19 cases last month; 2,41,820 cases in July and 1,04,748 cases in June.

“On August 1, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the State was 4,31,719, which jumped to 8,08,306 on September 1. This is probably the fastest growth of cases in the State since January,” the Health official said.

One of the reasons for the growth in number of positive cases is the increased number of tests, he said, adding that last month, the state carried out 20,16,809 tests.


11.15 am | Australia

Melbourne lockdown to stay; 8 charged for protest rally

Australia’s Victoria state announced a slight easing of restrictions in Melbourne but the country’s second-largest city will remain in lockdown until at least October 26.

State police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on Saturday. Police said that seven others have been charged with breaching COVID-19 directions after about 200 gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park.

Scuffles between protesters and police resulted in more than 160 fines for contravening lockdown measures or not wearing a mask.


11.00 am

Over 90,000 COVID-19 cases recorded in India in single day

India’s COVID-19 cases tally went past 41 lakh with a record 90,632 people reported  infected in a day, while 31,80,865 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 77.32% on Sunday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 41,13,811, while the death toll climbed to 70,626 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 1,065 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.72%.There are 8,62,320 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 20.96% of the total caseload, the data stated.

10.45 am | Maharashtra

Pune COVID-19 hospital to get more doctors, nurses: official

The Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to deploy additional doctors and nurses at a newly-created COVID-19 jumbo facility following complaints of shortage of manpower there, a senior civic official said.

Last week, a news channel journalist died at the facility, set up in the premises of the College of Engineering here in Maharashtra. His family members alleged that he did not get a cardiac ambulance in time.

Following his death, there were allegations about mismanagement at the hospital. Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar had also sought issuance of show-cause notice to the agency operating the facility.


10.30 am | Karnataka

Bengaluru reports ‘first’ case of COVID-19 reinfection

In what doctors claim to be a first case of COVID-19 reinfection in south India, a 27-year-old woman from Bengaluru has tested positive again nearly a month after she was treated and discharged from hospital.

Doctors at Fortis Hospital’s Bannerghatta Road unit, who confirmed that the hospital had reported the first reinfection case, said the woman had no history of any comorbidities.

Taking note of the case, the State Health Department now wants to get the recurrence studied in detail by doctors.

10.15 am | Punjab, Chandigarh

Central teams to assist Punjab, Chandigarh in reducing COVID-19 deaths

The Union Health Ministry has decided to deploy central teams in Punjab and Chandigarh to assist them in strengthening public health measures for containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of COVID patients with an aim to reduce the mortality rate.

The two-member teams will comprise a community medicine expert from PGIMER, Chandigarh and an epidemiologist from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

These teams shall be stationed in Punjab and Chandigarh for 10 days to provide extended guidance in managing coronavirus infection.


10.00 am | New Delhi

Lockdown impeded care for children at high risk of mortality

At a time when the country is in the grips of widespread hunger leading to fears of rising levels of malnutrition, government data shows that children with increased risk of mortality could not receive urgent in-patient care at special wards known as nutrition rehabilitation centres following the nationwide lockdown on March 25. These were either shut due to the lockdown or turned into quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients.

The latest National Health Mission (NHM) data shows that the number of children admitted in Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRC) from April to June were only a fraction of the same period last year.

There were only 1,315 children admitted across nearly 966 NRCs in the country in April 2020, which is a mere 9% of those admitted in April 2019 (15,792).


9.30 am | Kerala

RGIDS study criticises Kerala’s COVID handling

The measures implemented by the State government for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic lacked perspective and a sense of direction, according to a study by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Development Studies (RGIDS).

The study calls for well-thought-out projects with short and long-term objectives for overcoming the crises faced by various sectors. The study report containing a set of recommendations covering multiple sectors was released here by Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala by handing over a copy to KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran.


9.00 am | New Delhi

Delhi records 70-day high in new cases

On the day when Delhi conducted a record number of COVID-19 tests, the city witnessed the highest number of new cases in over 70 days.

On Saturday, the city reported 2,973 cases in the past 24 hours, according to a Delhi government health bulletin. The tally now stands at 1,88,193.

On June 26, the city had reported 3,460 new cases.

8.30 am | New Delhi

Delhi’s iconic Indian Coffee House battles massive slump in business, unable to pay salaries for months

Due to COVID-19 and staggered lifting of curbs, business at the iconic Indian Coffee House in different cities have been hit badly and salaries of employees of at least eight branches in five cities of north India under The Indian Coffee House Workers’ Co-operative Society Ltd., Delhi, (Delhi Society) have not been paid for the past five months.

The deputy general manager (DGM) of Delhi Society said sales of all their eight branches were down by about 60% and Delhi by 70%.

8.00 am | Israel

Israelis protest against PM as infections spike

Thousands of Israelis protested outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, pressing ahead with a monthslong campaign demanding the embattled Israeli leader resign.

The protest came as Israel is coping with record levels of coronavirus infections. Demonstrators have been protesting Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has led to soaring unemployment, and they say he should step down while on trial for corruption charges.

7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

Centre directs action on ‘unauthorised’ COVID centre in Eluru

The Union Home Ministry has responded to the grievance on an “unauthorised private COVID care centre” and directed the officials to act on the complaint.

BJP Yuva Morcha State RTI Cell convenor Adidam Vamshi Krishna had filed a complaint with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, alleging that the centre in Eluru was sealed but no criminal action taken against the management.

The complainant said the centre started operating 45 days ago in a private residential complex and was providing treatment “without obtaining any permission”. Officials raided the hospital on August 23 and seized injections, rapid test kits and other material worth lakhs of rupees, he alleged. During inquiry, it was revealed that the centre management had collected fees in lakhs of rupees from each patient. “More than 10 patients died due to the poor treatment facilities, but no action has been taken,” he alleged.

7.00 am | Madhya Pradesh

M.P. Board of Secondary Education to begin online session despite constraints

The Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education has decided to begin the academic session from Monday for classes 9 to 12 through the online mode despite merely 30% of students having reached through online modules after schools shut and just 9.7% of households in rural areas having an Internet connection.

The Board will broadcast audio-visual lessons on Doordarshan from 7 to 10 a.m., after students and teachers first register themselves on a mobile application called ‘MASHIM’’, said an order issued to principals of schools on Thursday.


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