Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The Bihar government's announcement of 'additional restrictions' came a day after the state government dismissed reports that said that the lockdown had been extended in the state as 'fake'.
Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The Bihar government's announcement of 'additional restrictions' came a day after the state government dismissed reports that said that the lockdown had been extended in the state as 'fake'.
India is currently conducting around five lakh COVID-19 tests every day and the plan is to double the number in the next one-two months, Union minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.
During the launch of a compendium on ‘Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Technologies for COVID-19 Mitigation’, Vardhan, who is also the Union health minister, said that the country’s recovery rate of over 64 percent is the best in the world while the fatality rate is nearly 2.2 percent, PTI reported.
"In April, we used to conduct 6,000 tests daily. Today, we are conducting over five lakh tests every day. Our plan is to take it to 10 lakh tests daily in 1-2 months and we are working towards it," Vardhan said.
The health ministry, in a briefing on COVID-19 situation in India, said that herd immunity could be possible in the future, but for now, precaution guidelines must be followed.
Disease expert Fauci made the comment at ICMR's international symposium on COVID19 vaccine science and ethics, while referring to 'human challenge studies', a method of vaccine research which involves intentionally infecting volunteers with the COVID-19 virus
In a briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country on Thursday, the Union health ministry said that the recovery rate has "shown positive trends".
"It was 7.85 percent in April and today it is 64.4 percent, said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health.
He added, "16 states of the country have a recovery rate that is more than the national average. Of these, Delhi has recovery rate of 88 percent, Ladakh 80 percent, Haryana 78 percent, Assam 76 percent, Telangana 74 percent, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat 73 percent, Rajasthan 70 percent, MP 69 percent, and Goa 68 percent."
The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday extended the lockdown in the state till 31 August. Here is a list of the activities that are allowed and prohibited in that duration:
Grocery shops to remain open till 7 pm.
Public transport, trains and metro will remain suspended until August 31
Private industries can function with 75 per cent workforce.
Eateries in Chennai can begin dine-in services with 50 percent capacity.
Online delivery of essential commodities to be permitted.
Food delivery services to be allowed till 9 pm.
Independence Day celebrations to be observed with social distancing and other measures.
No relaxation will be given to containment zones in the state.
Existing ban on religious congregations will continue.
Shopping malls, theatres and bars will remain shut.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy on Thursday extended the lockdown till 31 August. An intense lockdown will be in force on Sundays. An e-pass is mandatory for inter-district travel.
E Palaniswami has been chairing a two-day meeting on Wednesday and Thursday with district collectors and health experts to discuss the containment measures in Tamil Nadu and extension of the lockdown.
With as many as 10,20,582 COVID-19 patients cured and discharged so far, India’s COVID-19 recovery rate now stands at 64.4 percent.
India on Thursday reports 52,123 new cases. With this, India’s tally climbed up to 15,83,792. The toll has also risen to 34,968 with 775 new deaths.
The number of recoveries in India has crossed the 10-lakh mark, according to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Coronavirus cases in India rose by 48,513 on Wednesday, taking the total tally beyond 15 lakh, while the toll rose to 34,193 with 768 new deaths, the Union health ministry said. The Centre also issued guidelines for 'Unlock 3', which is set to be effective from 1 August.
A total of 15,31,669 cases have been recorded so far, which includes 5,09,447 active cases and 9,88,030 patients who have been cured/discharged/migrated.
Yoga centres, gyms to open as part of Unlock 3 guidelines
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued 'Unlock 3' guidelines easing some restrictions on the movement of individuals during the night (night curfew) and allowing yoga institutes and gyms to open from 5 August while schools, metro and cinema halls will continue to remain closed.
The ministry said that lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till 31 August.
According to the new guidelines, metro rail, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations will continue to remain prohibited.
The MHA added that state governments and Union Territories, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
The ministry said that the new guidelines are based on feedback received from states and UTs and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments.
Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols like wearing masks, the release said.
However, there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and no "separate permission/ approval/ e-permit" will be required for such movements.
"Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of national directives. Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes," it said.
It said international air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. "Further opening-up will take place in a calibrated manner," it said.
Lockdown extended in Maharashtra till 31 Aug
The Maharashtra government extended the lockdown in the state till 31 August in view of rising coronavirus cases.
A notification issued by Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said the decision has been taken as an "emergency step to prevent and contain" the spread of COVID-19.
As part of the 'Mission Begin Again' initiative, malls and market complexes without theatres, food courts and restaurants will be operational between 9 am and 7 pm from 5 August, the notification said.
The state government had last month extended the lockdown till 31 July amid a steady growth in the COVID-19 cases in the state.
Meanwhile, the Tripura government also extended the "complete lockdown” in the state till 4 August as COVID-19 cases continued to rise.
“We are going through a phase when only social distancing and masks can protect us. Twenty-one people have regrettably died till now, most of them veterans. The ongoing lockdown that was supposed to continue till Thursday morning would now continue till 5 am on 4 August. All guidelines from the ongoing lockdown would be in force,” Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb said while making the announcement.
India's CFR is lowest since 1 April, says Centre
The total number of recoveries from COVID-19 is fast approaching the 10-lakh mark, while the case fatality rate has been falling progressively due to coordinated implementation of the 'test track treat' strategy by the Centre, states and Union Territories, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
India's COVID-19 case fatality rate (CFR) is lower than what it is globally. On Wednesday, the CFR stood at 2.23 percent, the lowest since 1 April, the health ministry said in a statement.
"Not only has the CFR been kept low, but successful implementation of effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardised clinical management protocols based on a holistic standard of care approach have in tandem resulted in a consistent trend of more than 30,000 recoveries per day for the sixth consecutive day," it said.
'Baahubali' director SS Rajamouli tests COVID-19 positive
Filmmaker SS Rajamouli on Wednesday said he and his family members have tested positive for coronavirus and are currently quarantined at home.
The director, best known for his epic fantasy hit "Baahubali" series, said they got tested after they developed mild fever recently which subsided by itself.
"My family members and I developed a slight fever few days ago. It subsided by itself but we got tested nevertheless. The result has shown a mild COVID positive today. We have home quarantined as prescribed by the doctors (sic)" he said.
In a subsequent tweet, Rajamouli said he and his kin are asymptomatic and "feeling better". They are, however, following all the precautions and instructions.
"Just waiting to develop antibodies so that we can donate our plasma," he added.
State-wise cases and deaths
Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 9,211 new COVID19 cases 298 deaths. The total number of cases is now at 4,00,651, including 2,39,755 recovered cases, 1,46,129 active cases and 14,463 deaths.
The recovery rate in the state is at 59.84 percent, as per the state health department. Two new COVID-19 cases were reported in the city's Dharavi area, taking the total number of cases in the area to 2,545 including 83 active cases, according to the BMC.
Tamil Nadu reported 6,426 new cases and 82 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 2,34,114. A total of 5,927 patients were discharged, while 57,490 are active cases, according to the state's health department.
Delhi reported 1,035 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The number of patients recovered/discharged in the last 24 hours are 1,126 while 26 deaths were reported in the national capital in the last 24 hours.
The total number of cases in the National Capital is now at 1,33,310, including 1,18,633 recovered/discharged, 10,770 active cases and the death toll is at 3,907, according to state government.
In Delhi, 5,074 RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNat tests and 12,318 rapid antigen tests were conducted on Wednesday.
Andhra Pradesh reported 10,093 COVID-19 cases, 2,784 discharged and 65 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state is now at 1,20,390, including 55,406 discharged, 63,771 active cases, according to the state's COVID Control Room. The toll is at 1,213 in the state.
In Jammu and Kashmir, 540 COVID-19 cases have been reported on Wednesday, 151 from Jammu division and 389 Kashmir division. The total number of cases in the Union Territory is now at 19,419, including 7,749 active cases, 11,322 recovered. The toll is at 348.
Manipur reported 141 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of cases in the state to 2,458. The number of active and recovered cases are 805 and 1,653 respectively, as per the state government.
Goa's COVID-19 tally reached 5,489 with 202 new cases reported. The number of active and recovered cases in the state is 1,666 and 3,784 respectively. The death toll is at 39, according to the state government.
US is expected to report a record-breaking economic plunge
Having endured what was surely a record-shattering slump last quarter, the US economy faces a dim outlook as a resurgent coronavirus intensifies doubts about any sustained recovery the rest of the year, AP reported.
A huge plunge in consumer spending, as people stayed home and avoided shopping, travelling or gathering in crowds as the virus raged, is estimated to have sent the economy sinking at a roughly 32 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter.
That would be more than triple the previous worst quarterly economic fall, a 10 percent drop set in 1958. Depressed activity in such areas as business investment, home construction and government spending also likely contributed to the worst quarterly contraction on records dating to 1947.
On Thursday, the government will issue its first of three estimates of economic activity, as measured by the gross domestic product, for the April-June quarter.
Moderna's experimental COVID-19 vaccine induced robust immune response in monkeys
US biotechnology company Moderna's experimental vaccine to prevent COVID-19 induced robust immune response and rapidly controlled the novel coronavirus in the upper and lower airways of monkeys exposed to SARS-CoV-2, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The candidate vaccine, mRNA-1273, was co-developed by scientists at Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, complements recently reported interim results from an NIAID-sponsored Phase 1 clinical trial of mRNA-1273.
On Monday clinics around the US began a Phase 3 trial of the vaccine candidate, with the aim of enrolling 30,000 people to test for safety and effectiveness.
In the latest study, three groups of eight rhesus macaques received two injections of 10 or 100 microgrammes ( g) of mRNA-1273 or a placebo. Injections were spaced 28 days apart.
Vaccinated macaques produced high levels of neutralising antibodies directed at the surface spike protein used by SARS-CoV-2 to attach to and enter cells, the researchers said.
With inputs from agencies