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Coronavirus News Updates: Odisha prohibits New Year celebrations, allows reopening of cinema, theatre halls from 1 Jan

Coronavirus News Updates: Cinema hall, theatres have been allowed to reopen with up to 50 percent capacity and social, religious, sports and cultural functions and gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 people, said an order

FP Staff December 30, 2020 23:40:47 IST
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Coronavirus News Updates: Odisha prohibits New Year celebrations, allows reopening of cinema, theatre halls from 1 Jan

Representational image. AFP

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Dec 30, 2020 - 23:37 (IST)

Odisha bans New Year celebrations, eases curbs under Unlock 8

The Odisha government totally prohibited zero night and New Years celebrations across the state in the wake of fears about the new strain of the coronavirus but allowed reopening of cinema halls, theatres and other entertainment facilities from 1 January, 2021 as part of Unlock 8. The order said that cinema hall, theatres have been allowed to reopen with up to 50 per cent capacity and operate as per the standard operating procedure.Open air theatres, jatra, entertainment parks will also be permitted by the local authorities to open subject to compliance of safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of masks and physical distancing. Social, religious, sports and cultural functions and gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 people. Marriage related gatherings shall be allowed with aceiling of 200 people and funeral/last rites related gatherings with a ceiling of 100 people, it said.

PTI

Dec 30, 2020 - 22:58 (IST)

1069 new cases, 14 deaths in Chhattisgarh

With 1,069 new cases, the COVID-19 tally in Chhattisgarh reached 2,78,540 on Wednesday while 14 more deaths took the toll to 3,350, a health official said. The number of recoveries mounted to 2,63,251 after 122 people were discharged from various hospitals while 1,348 patients completed their home isolation stay during the day.

The number of active cases in the state stood at11,939, he informed. Raipur district accounted for 175 new cases, taking its overall caseload to 52,529, including 717 deaths.

Durg district saw 118 new cases, Bilaspur 92,Rajnandgaon 83, and Raigarh 75, he said. "Of the 14 COVID-19 deaths, nine took place onWednesday and five on Tuesday," the official added.

With 28,831 new tests, the total number of samplestested for coronavirus so far in the state has gone up to34,86,018. Chhattisgarh's coronavirus figures are as follows:positive cases 2,78,540, new cases 1,069, deaths 3,350,recovered 2,63,251, active cases 11,939, tests today 28,831,tests so far 34,86,018. 

Dec 30, 2020 - 21:31 (IST)

Gujarat revises night curfew timings in four cities from 1 Jan

The night curfew currently in force in four cities of Gujarat on account of coronavirus will start at 10 pm instead of 9 pm from 1 January, the Gujarat government said on Wednesday. The decision to curtail curfew hours in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat cities was taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, said an official release. As Gujarat saw a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases after Diwali, night curfew between 9 pm and 6 am was imposed in these four cities towards the end of November.  From 1 to 14 January, the curfew will be in force between 10 pm and 6 am, the release said.

 
PTI

Dec 30, 2020 - 20:31 (IST)

Full Mumbai train services depend on COVID-19 trend: Rajesh Tope

A decision on allowing general commuters to board suburban trains in Mumbai will be taken after considering the trend of COVID-19 cases in New Year, Maharashtra health Minister RajeshTope said on Wednesday. Currently, only certain categories of commuters, including those providing essential services, and women, can travel by local trains in the Mumbai region after obtaining a special pass in view of the coronavirus pandemic. "If (COVID-19) cases are not spiralling,a decision on resumption of suburban services (for all) will be taken. The government is keeping a close watch on the situation," he said."We understand suburban train services are the lifeline of Mumbai and a decision will be taken after considering how the positive cases are rising," Tope said.
 
PTI

Dec 30, 2020 - 20:21 (IST)

Punjab decides to ease curbs on social gatherings

The Punjab government has also decided to ease curbs on gatherings from 1 Januray. As per a statement, a spokesperson informed that the ceiling of 100 persons and 250 persons in all the indoor and outdoor social gatherings in the state would applicable upto 31 December 2020.  From 1 Januray, restrictions are further relaxed to 200 persons and 500 persons in all the indoor and outdoor social gatherings respectively, he said.

Dec 30, 2020 - 20:15 (IST)

Punjab decides to lift night curfew from 1 Jan

The Punjab government has decided to lift night curfew in the state from 1 January and advised people to follow COVID- appropriate behaviour.  A government spokesperson said restrictions regarding night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am in all cities/ towns and regarding closing down hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces by 9.30 pm in the state shall continue upto 31 December 2020 but will not apply from 1 January.

Dec 30, 2020 - 19:59 (IST)

Three US companies engaged with domestic cos for mass production of COVID-19 vaccines: Commerce Ministry

Three US-based companies are currently engaged with their Indian counterparts for mass production of COVID-19 vaccines in India, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday.   Without giving more details, the ministry said COVID-19 has led to increased trade and cooperation between India and the US.  "Three USA companies are currently engaged with their Indian counterparts for mass production of COVID-19 vaccines in India," it said while listing major highlights of the Department of Commerce during 2020.  It also said the proposed free trade agreement between India and Mauritius is near finalisation as negotiations for trade in goods and services have been completed. 

Dec 30, 2020 - 19:40 (IST)

No recommendation for approval today, SEC seeks more data from Bharat Biotech, SII

The Subject Expert Committee has concluded and it has not recommended granting emergency use authorisation to the vaccine candidates of Bharat Biotech and AstraZeneca-Oxford with Serum Institute of India, said reports. As per CNBC-TV18, the SEC has sought more information on both vaccine candidates. As per CNN-News18, Pfizer, which was has also applied for approval, requested for more time and the next SEC meeting will be held on 1 January.

Dec 30, 2020 - 19:26 (IST)

Puducherry LG, staff take COVID tests after employee found positive

Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi along with her entire team of staff at the Raj Nivas underwent COVID-19 tests on Wednesday after a woman employee reported positive for the virus and was hospitalised. The 26-year old woman employee attached to the social media wing in the Raj Nivas had visited her native Coimbatore and also Karaikal in the last few days, Bedi said. "I and all the staff in my office were tested today... we will be getting the result tomorrow. We will again undergo another screening five days later," the former IPS officer told PTI when contacted. The woman employee was admitted to premier health institute JIPMER on Wednesday, a Health department spokesman said.

PTI

Dec 30, 2020 - 19:06 (IST)

Punjab to send 5% positive samples per week to check for mutated strain

The Punjab government will send five per cent of the total positive samples per week to premier central units of epidemiology to check the prevalence of the mutated strain of coronavirus, an official said. Medical Education and Research Principal Secretary D K Tiwari said the move was part of a state government master plan to contain the spread of the new strain of the deadly virus in Punjab.
 
"In order to check the mutation of new mutated strain (N501Y) SARS-CoV-2 virus in Punjab, the state government has decided to send five percent positive samples per week to the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and NCDC, Delhi- Division of Biotechnology, Epidemiology and Central Surveillance Unit," Tiwari stated. He said Punjab has already sent to NIV Pune random positive samples — 80 from Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) GMC Patiala, 40 each from VRDL GMC Amritsar and VRDL GGMC Faridkot — to check the emergence of the mutated strain. The officer said that the samples were selected from September to December. 
 
PTI

Coronavirus News LATEST Updates: The Odisha government totally prohibited zero night and New Years celebrations across the state in the wake of fears about the new strain of the coronavirus but allowed reopening of cinema halls, theatres and other entertainment facilities from 1 January, 2021 as part of Unlock 8. The order said that cinema hall, theatres have been allowed to reopen with up to 50 per cent capacity and operate as per the standard operating procedure.

Social, religious, sports and cultural functions and gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 people. Marriage related gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 200 people and funeral/last rites related gatherings with a ceiling of 100 people, it said.

The Punjab government has decided to lift night curfew in the state from 1 January and advised people to follow COVID- appropriate behaviour. A government spokesperson said restrictions regarding night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am in all cities/ towns and regarding closing down hotels, restaurants, marriage palaces by 9.30 pm in the state shall continue upto 31 December 2020 but will not apply from 1 January.

The spokesperson informed that the ceiling of 100 persons and 250 persons in all the indoor and outdoor social gatherings in the state would applicable upto 31 December 2020. From 1 Januray, restrictions are further relaxed to 200 persons and 500 persons in all the indoor and outdoor social gatherings respectively, he said.

The Subject Expert Committee has concluded and it has not recommended granting emergency use authorisation to the vaccine candidates of Bharat Biotech and AstraZeneca-Oxford with Serum Institute of India, said reports. As per CNBC-TV18, the SEC sought more information on both vaccine candidates.

The number of coronavirus cases in the Chinese city where the pathogen was first detected may have been 10 times higher than official figures suggest, according to a study by health authorities in Wuhan.

About 4.4 percent of the city's 11 million residents had developed antibodies against the coronavirus by April, the report by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said. That correlates to around 4,80,000 infections in Wuhan by April, nearly 10 times the official tally to date of 50,000 cases in the city.

Hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars in Maharashtra will remain open till 11 pm on 31 December, said state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. Speaking to reporters, he said gathering of five or more people at public places is prohibited, but there are no restrictions on people stepping out for the purpose of buying medicines, and visiting friends and relatives (after 11 pm in view of the night curfew).

Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of single day recoveries with 5,572 newly recovered cases. A total of 5,029 people have recovered in Kerala followed by 1,607 in Chhattisgarh.

Covishield is Serum Institute’s version of the vaccine originally developed by Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

The activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall continue, the state government circular added.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses from the manufacturer AstraZeneca to vaccinate 50 million people.

The green light represents the third emergency-use approval of a Western-developed vaccine this month and comes as cases rise sharply in the US and Europe.

"The activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued and all earlier orders shall be aligned with this order and shall remain in force up to 31 January, 2021," said the state government.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had last week suspended all flights between the European country and India from 23 December to 31 December as a mutated variant of the coronavirus was detected there.

According to the ICMR, 17,09,22,030 COVID-19 samples have been tested up to 29 December. At least 11,20,281 samples were tested on Tuesday alone.

The number of people who have recuperated from the novel coronavirus surged to 98.34 lakh pushing the national recovery rate to 95.99 percent, according to the Union health ministry.

The ministry on Tuesday said six UK returnees were found positive for the mutated UK variant genome and that all these people have been kept in single room isolation at designated health care facilities by respective state governments and their close contacts have also been put under quarantine.

Twenty people who returned to India from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the new UK variant genome of SARS-CoV-2 so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The tally includes six people who were found positive for the new virus strain on Tuesday.

The ministry said the mutated UK strain was detected in eight samples at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), one at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani (near Kolkata), one at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, seven at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences Hospital (NIMHANS)Bengaluru, two at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad and one at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi.

"Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on.

"The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs," the ministry had said.

The presence of the new UK Variant has already been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.

The ministry said that from 25 November to 23 December midnight, about 33,000 passengers disembarked at various Indian airports from the UK. All these passengers are being tracked and subjected to RT-PCR tests by states and Union Territories.

The Government of India took cognizance of the reports of virus reported from the UK and put in place a proactive and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant, it said.

This strategy includes temporary suspension of all flights coming from the UK with effect from the midnight of 23 December till 31 December and mandatory testing of all UK-returned air passengers through RT-PCR test.

The samples of all UK returnees found positive in RT-PCR test will be genome sequenced by a consortium of 10 government labs i.e. INSACOG.

Also, a meeting of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 was held on 26 December to consider and recommend testing, treatment, surveillance and containment strategy.

Besides, standard operating protocol for states and UTs to tackle the mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2 was issued on 22 December.

The entire issue was examined at length by the NTF on 26 December and the NTF concluded that there is no need to change either the existing National Treatment Protocol or existing testing protocols in view of the mutant variant.

The NTF also recommended that in addition to the existing surveillance strategy, it is critical to conduct enhanced genomic surveillance, the ministry had said.

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