Coronavirus India lockdown Day 198 live updates | IMA voices concern over Harsh Vardhan’s pitch for Ayush treatment

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has questioned Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about issuing Ayush treatment protocol for COVID-19 treatment and asked him to explain on what basis these recommendations were made.

AYUSH secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, speaking about the protocol earlier this week at a Health Ministry press conference, had specified that the protocol is not COVID treatment and should be only considered as a support to those having mild COVID symptoms.

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:


COVID-19 protocol violators cough up ₹2.49 lakh in fine

The Corporation, which has deployed a special team each in all the four zones to conduct surprise checks in the business establishments across the city to look for COVID-19 protocol violations, has so far collected fine to the tune of ₹2.49 lakh in the past 25 days.

As the number of fresh COVID-19 cases getting admitted in the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital and other designated hospitals in the district, especially from the Corporation area, refuses to subside, the urban local body announced that those who fail to wear masks and maintain physical distancing when they come to public places would be fined.

This was decided as per the recently enacted ordinance.



Online darshan ticket mandatory at Durga temple during Dasara

Queue lines being readied on the Canal Road leading to the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada. V. Raju V RAJU

Queue lines being readied on the Canal Road leading to the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada. V. Raju V RAJU


Devotees seeking darshan of Goddess Kanaka Durga atop Indrakeeladri hill during Dasara festivities must possess online darshan ticket, said Krishna District Collector A. Md. Imtiaz and City Police Commissioner B. Srinivasulu.

Addressing a coordination meeting attended by officials of different departments on Friday, they said only people who show online darshan ticket would be allowed inside the temple.

Vast crowds of devotees from the deprived sections of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts had been traditionally visiting the temple during Dasara festivities. The online darshan ticket rule applied to them also, they said, adding that local devotees would also have to register online for darshan.



Kerala safest place in COVID times, says Health Minister Shylaja

Kerala is the safest place during the COVID-19 pandemic with only 0.36% mortality rate and medical value tourism has immense potential in the State, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja has said.

The State has a number of advantages in attracting foreign tourists and the expertise in indigenous medicine can play a vital role in health tourism, she said. She was addressing through videoconference the month-long CII’s 9th Edition of Kerala Health Tourism programme – a conference and exhibition on health care, medical value travel, medical devices – that began on Friday.


COVID-19 vaccine delivery to begin in January, says U.S. official

A Trump administration official leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.S. can expect delivery of a vaccine starting in January 2021, despite statements from the President that inoculations could begin this month.

And a growing, bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, experts and public health officials says the country is ill prepared for a projected winter surge of COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Kadlec said in an email Friday that the administration “is accelerating production of safe and effective vaccines … to ensure delivery starting January 2021.” Dr. Kadlec is the Department of Health and Human Services’ assistant secretary of preparedness and response. HHS says a vaccine could be approved before the end of the year but will take time to distribute.



Police ask Kolkata Durga Puja organisers to follow COVID- 19 regulations

Kolkata Police on Friday asked Durga Puja organisers in the city to rigorously follow all COVID-19 regulations and ensure that revellers mandatorily wear masks while entering the marquees during the five-day festival which will begin on October 23.

City Commissioner of Police Anuj Sharma also said that puja committees should ensure that revellers adhere to the physical distancing norms inside pandals and are given masks by puja committees if they do not have them.

He asked organisers to mark spaces for revellers near the pandals in keeping with the physical distancing norms and make separate entry and exit points in them.



Odisha moves Centre against Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi

File photo of Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha MP Aparajita Sarangi speaking

File photo of Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha MP Aparajita Sarangi speaking
| Photo Credit:
Biswaranjan Rout


The Odisha government on Friday urged the Centre to rein in Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament from Bhubaneswar and recently appointed national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who has been accused of habitually violating COVID-19 guidelines.

Odisha Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra shot off a letter to his counterpart Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, pointing out that Ms. Sarangi was surrounded by hundreds of women who were neither wearing masks nor maintaining social distance at the MP’s birthday celebration on Thursday.

“They were indulging in in song and dance with utter disregard to COVID guidelines issued under the National Disaster Management Act and the earnest repeated appeals made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the same,” Mr. Mishra mentioned.



Odisha government falls prey to fake news on Oxford University study

The Odisha government seems to have fallen prey to fake news. A dubious news report citing a purported Oxford University study that praised measures to contain COVID-19 spread in Ganjam district was promoted by the top Odisha administration on social media.

Quoting the news report, Office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik jumped to highlight the ‘recognition’ by tweeting, “Ganjam earned praise from @UniofOxford for its successful model of #COVID-19 infection prevention. The district excelled in #CovidManagement by empowering sarpanchs, forming committees in villages for intensive screening and by ensuring proper healthcare.”

As soon as the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) put out the tweet on Thursday, the official handle of the district magistrate of Ganjam too tweeted, “Ganjam Model of COVID Management got recognized by @UniofOxford for successful infection prevention strategies. Our gratitude and appreciation to Team Ganjam.”



COVID-19 patients can vote through postal ballot in Karnataka Bypolls

A file photo of people queuing up to exercise postal ballot in Vijayapura.

A file photo of people queuing up to exercise postal ballot in Vijayapura.


To ensure that none misses out on voting in the bypolls amid the pandemic, the Election Commission has extended postal ballot facility for voters with physical disabilities, those aged above 80, and active COVID-19 positive patients or suspected patients who are either in institutional or home quarantine.

The bypolls to Sira and Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly segments are scheduled for November 3.


New Delhi

SARS-CoV-2 not the last virus to spark a pandemic, says expert

The SARS-CoV-2 wouldn’t be the last such virus of its kind — in terms of its ability to rapidly spread among people — and the next such virus of its kind could be a “MERS-2” even (a reference to the Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus that is more lethal but less contagious), said Susan Weiss, Professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Weiss was the key note speaker at the first TNQ-Janelia India COVID-19 Seminar, 2020. The first of the three online-only talks commenced on Friday.


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