Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The Indian Navy on Wednesday said it has completed Operation Samudra Setu, which began on 5 May, by bringing nearly 4,000 Indians back home from three countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Private hospitals have agreed to provide 3,500 beds for COVID-19 treatment. Together with beds and COVID care centres, private hospitals will add 6,000 to 7,000 beds in coming days, said Karnataka medical education minister Dr K Sudhakar.
People rushed to essential goods shops and ATMs in the containment zones in West Bengal ahead of a strict lockdown being imposed by the state government from Thursday, News18 reported.
“Yes, we are panicked because no shops will be open from tomorrow in my area. I came to Spencer's to buy daily essentials for at least one month. The situation is very concerning as children are unable to attend their classes in schools, office-goers can’t go to their respective workplaces, traders are crying, patients will be having a harrowing time...God knows what is in store for us,” Gurmeet, an interior designer, who stays in Rajarhat was quoted by the report as saying.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan is scheduled to chair a meeting of Group of ministers (GoM) on the coronavirus situation in the country on Thursday morning.
Congress MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev reportedly tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. Barak Bulletin quoted her as saying that, "I am asymptomatic and will follow the protocol."
The Tripura government is likely to start "phase-wise door-to-door" rapid COVID-19 antigen testing from Monday, NDTV reported.
"The announcement comes a day after the Assam government adopted a similar strategy in view of rising coronavirus cases," the report said.
Tamil Nadu electricity minister P Thangamani on Wednesday has tested positive for COVID-19, The Indian Express reported.
"He participated in a couple of events on Tuesday at the secretariat with Chief Minister Edappadi and other officials. The total number of MLAs who have tested #COVID19 positive in the state has risen to 11," the report said.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday addressed the media after the Union Cabinet's meeting. He said that the Cabinet had approved the extension of the scheme that provides additional food grains to ration card holders till November 2020.
He said, "In view of the need for continuous support to the poor and needy, Cabinet approves extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana – allocation of additional foodgrain for further five months from July to November 2020. So far, about 74.3 crore beneficiaries have been covered in April, 74.75 crore in May and about 64.72 crore in June 2020."
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has quarantined himself after a cabinet minister, whom he had met recently, tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Narendra Singh Tomar will be addressing a Cabinet briefing at 3.30 pm today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday wished Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro a speedy recovery from COVID-19. Bolsonaro had on Tuesday said that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
India reported a spike of 22,752 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the overall count to 7,42,417 on Wednesday, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Of the total cases reported, 4,56,830 patients have been cured/discharged while one patient has been migrated, the Health Ministry informed.
The US Department of Homeland Security has announced its plan for temporary modifications to F-1&M-1 nonimmigrant visa requirements for the fall 2020 semester. This will allow a mixture of both in-person&some online coursework to meet requirements for nonimmigrant student status, said the US Department of State.
Coronavirus cases in India crossed 7 lakh on Tuesday, with a single-day spike of 22,252 cases, only five days after it crossed the six lakh-mark. The toll crossed 20,000 with 467 new deaths, the Union health ministry said.
It took 110 days for coronavirus infections in the country to reach the one lakh, while just 49 days to go past the seven lakh-mark. This is the fifth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 20,000.
The country's coronavirus infection case load increased to 7,19,665 on Tuesday, while the toll climbed to 20,160. The number of recoveries stands at 4,39,947, while there are 2,59,557 active cases of coronavirus infection presently in the country.
"Thus, around 61.13 percent of patients have recovered so far," an official said. The total number of confirmed cases included foreigners.
According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 1,02,11,092 samples have been tested up to 6 July with 2,41,430 samples being tested on Monday.
The health ministry also said that India’s total number of coronavirus cases and fatalities per million population is one of the lowest in the world.
Referring to the ‘WHO Situation Report-168', dated 6 July, the ministry said India's COVID-19 cases per million population is 505.37 as against the global average of 1,453.25.
"The WHO Situation Report also shows that India has one of the lowest deaths (due to COVID-19) per million population. India's cases of death per million population is 14.27 while the global average is more than its four times, at 68.29," the ministry said.
BMC to permit COVID-19 testing without prescription
People can test themselves for coronavirus infection at designated private laboratories in Mumbai without a doctor's prescription, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
The civic body also informed that those kept in institutional quarantine will be discharged only when they test negative for the virus.
Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal took the decision to allow testing without medical prescription in view of increase in the number of private laboratories and their capacity, it said in a release.
It will help people get treatment for coronavirus quicker, it added. Earlier, a doctor's prescription was needed for a test.
"If the test comes out positive, a (hospital) bed will be allotted through ward-level 'War Rooms' of the municipal corporation," the BMC release said.
CBSE reduces syllabus for classes 9- 12
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has reduced the syllabus for classes 9 to 12 for the academic year 2020-21 by up to 30 percent to make up for academic loss caused due to COVID-19, Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced on Tuesday.
"Looking at the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country and the world, CBSE was advised to revise the curriculum and reduce course load for the students of classes 9 to 12.
"To aid the decision, a few weeks ago I also invited suggestions from all educationists on the reduction of syllabus for students and I am glad to share that we received more than 1.5K suggestions. Thank you, everyone, for the overwhelming response," Nishank tweeted.
Ventilator-equipped hospital to be set up at Nitish Kumar's residence
A ventilator equipped hospital will be set up at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's home in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Six doctors and three nurses from the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH), which is incidentally the only COVID-19 hospital in the state, will work in three shifts at the chief minister's residence to assure round the clock duty.
The medical equipment for the hospital too will come from PMCH, as per an order by the PMCH after the health secretary directed the hospital to do so as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.
This comes after test reports of the niece of the Chief Minister returned positive for COVID-19. According to sources, she has been taken to the isolation ward at a hospital here for treatment and the official residence of the chief minister is being sanitised.
Jair Bolsonaro tests COVID-19 positive
Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus' severity.
Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in capital Brasilia."I'm well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can't due to medical recommendations," Bolsonaro said.
The president has often appeared in public to shake hands with supporters and mingle with crowds, at times without a mask. He has said that his history as an athlete would protect him from the virus, and that it would be nothing more than a "little flu" were he to contract it.
He has also repeatedly said that there is no way to prevent 70 percent of the population falling ill with COVID-19, and that local authorities' measures to shut down economic activity would ultimately cause more hardship than allowing the virus to run its course.
State-wise COVID-19 numbers
Of the 467 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 204 are from Maharashtra, 61 from Tamil Nadu, 48 from Delhi, 29 from Karnataka, 24 from Uttar Pradesh, 22 from West Bengal, 17 from Gujarat, 11 each from Telangana and Haryana, nine from Madhya Pradesh, seven from Andhra Pradesh, six from Jammu and Kashmir, five each from Rajasthan and Punjab, two each from Bihar, Kerala and Odisha and one each from Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Of the total 20,160 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 9,026 fatalities followed by Delhi with 3,115 deaths, Gujarat with 1,960, Tamil Nadu with 1,571, Uttar Pradesh with 809, West Bengal with 779, Madhya Pradesh with 617, Rajasthan with 461 and Karnataka with 401.
More than 70 per cent deaths took place due to comorbidities, the health ministry said.
Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 2,11,987 followed by Tamil Nadu at 1,14,978, Delhi at 1,00,823, Gujarat at 36,772, Uttar Pradesh at 28,636,Telangana at 25,733 and Karnataka at 25,317, according to the ministry data.
The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 22,987 in West Bengal, 20,688 in Rajasthan, 20,019 in Andhra Pradesh,17,504 in Haryana and 15,284 in Madhya Pradesh.
It has risen to 12,160 in Assam, 12,125 in Bihar, 9,526 in Odisha and8,675 in Jammu and Kashmir. Punjab has reported 6,491 novel coronavirus infections so far, while Kerala has 5,622 cases.
A total of 3,305 people have been infected by the virus in Chhattisgarh, 3,161 in Uttarakhand, 2,847 in Jharkhand,1,813 in Goa,1,680 in Tripura,1,390 in Manipur,1,077 in Himachal Pradesh and1,005 in Ladakh.
Puducherry has recorded 802 COVID-19 cases, Nagaland 625,Chandigarh 489 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 297 cases.
Arunachal Pradesh reported 270 cases, Mizoram has 197 cases,Andaman and Nicobar Islands has 141, Sikkim has registered 125 infections so far, while Meghalaya has recorded 80 cases.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR," the ministry said, adding that 5,034 cases are being reassigned to states.
State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it added.
International students in US could be deported if universities move online
In a decision that will adversely impact hundreds of thousands of Indian students in the US, the federal immigration authority has announced that foreign students pursuing degrees in America will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only classes in this fall semester.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a press release on Monday that for the fall 2020 semester students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the US.
“The US Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programmes that are fully online for the fall semester nor will US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States,” the release said referring to the September to December semester.
With inputs from agencies