Coronavirus can last up to 28 days on glass and stainless steel, shows study; India's tally crosses 71 lakh
India's COVID-19 recoveries have surged to over 61 lakh, while active cases of coronavirus infection remained below nine lakh for the fourth consecutive day, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.
India's COVID-19 tally went past 71 lakh with 66,732 fresh cases, while the number of people who have recuperated crossed 61 lakh, pushing the recovery rate to 86.36 percent, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Monday.
Meanwhile, the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass, and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.
China's Qingdao has launched a city-wide nucleic acid test campaign that will cover its nine million residents over the next five days, amid apprehensions of a second wave after the coastal city reported six COVID-19 cases.
With increasing recoveries, India has sustained its leading global position with the maximum recovered cases.
The country's COVID-19 caseload stands at 71,20,538. The toll climbed to 1,09,150 with the virus claiming 816 lives in a day, the data updated at 8 am showed. For the fourth day in a row, the number of active COVID-19 cases remained below 9 lakh.
There are 8,61,853 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which account for 12.10 percent of the total caseload, the data showed. The case fatality rate due to the coronavirus infection has dropped to 1.53 percent.
Over 18,000 tonnes of COVID-19 waste since June
India generated 18,006 tonnes of COVID-19 biomedical waste in the last four months, with Maharashtra contributing the maximum (3,587 tonnes) to it, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
Around 5,500 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated across the country in September: the maximum for a month so far.
According to the data received from state pollution control boards, all states and Union Territories have since June generated 18,006 tonnes of COVID-19 -related biomedical waste which is being collected, treated, and disposed of by 198 common biomedical waste treatment facilities (CBWTFs).
COVID-19 biomedical waste includes PPE kits, masks, shoe covers, gloves, human tissues, items contaminated with blood, body fluids like dressings, plaster casts, cotton swabs, beddings contaminated with blood or body fluid, blood bags, needles, syringes.
According to the data, Maharashtra, which has reported over 15 lakh coronavirus cases so far, generated 3,587 tonnes of COVID-19 waste in four months – 524 tonnes in June, 1,180 tonnes in July, 1,359 tonnes in August, and 524 tonnes in September.
Tamil Nadu generated 1,737 tonnes of COVID-19 waste, Gujarat (1,638 tonnes), Kerala (1,516 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (1,432 tonnes), Delhi (1,400 tonnes), Karnataka (1,380 tonnes) and West Bengal (1,000 tonnes).
The National Capital generated 333 tonnes of such waste in June, 389 tonnes in July, 296 tonnes in August, and 382 tonnes in September, according to the CPCB data.
Around 5,490 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated in September, with Gujarat contributing the maximum 622 tonnes, followed by Tamil Nadu (543 tonnes), Maharashtra (524 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (507 tonnes), Kerala (494 tonnes), and others.
Around 5,240 tonnes of COVID-19 waste was generated in August, of which 1,359 tonnes was in Maharashtra, and 588 tonnes each in Kerala and Karnataka, followed by others.
Virus can survive on things for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions
Researchers at CSIRO's disease preparedness center tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter, the agency said Monday.
The scientists found that at 20 degrees Celsius, SARS-CoV-2 was "extremely robust" on smooth surfaces — like mobile phone screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel and plastic banknotes.
At 30 degrees Celsius, the survival rate dropped to seven days and plunged to just 24 hours at 40 degrees Celsius.
The virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces such as cotton — up to 14 days at the lowest temperatures and less than 16 hours at the highest — the researchers said.
Cloth masks prevent virus only if washed daily
Cloth masks may reduce the transmission of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 , only if they are washed daily at high temperatures, according to a study.
"Both cloth masks and surgical masks should be considered 'contaminated' after use," said professor Raina MacIntyre, from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
"Unlike surgical masks, which are disposed of after use, cloth masks are re-used. While it can be tempting to use the same mask for multiple days in a row or to give it a quick hand-wash or wipe-over, our research suggests that this increases the risk of contamination," Macintyre said.
The researchers analysed data from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) they published in 2015.
The latest study, published in the journal BMJ Open, is still the only RCT ever conducted on the efficacy of cloth masks in preventing viral infections, they said.
Himachal Pradesh CM test positive
Thakur, in a tweet, said he had quarantined himself at his residence last week after coming in contact with someone who had coronavirus .
"On doctor's advice, I have isolated myself at my official residence," he added.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Prema Khandu too tested positive last month but a repeat test came out negative.
Before that, Power minister Sukhram Chaudhary and Jal Shakti minister Mahender Singh Thakur tested positive for COVID-19 . Both the ministers have recovered from the virus.
Chaudhary and Doon MLA Paramjeet Singh had attended the Monsoon Session last month after their recovery.
7,000 pilgrims per day allowed at Vaishno Devi from Oct 15
As many as 7,000 pilgrims will be allowed per day to pay obeisance at the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in the Trikuta hills of Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district from 15 October, an official of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board told PTI.
Reviewing the "yatra" arrangements for the Navratras commencing from 17 October, chief executive officer (CEO) of the board Ramesh Kumar said the earlier limit of 5,000 pilgrims per day is being increased to 7,000 pilgrims per day from 15 October, irrespective of any limit on the number of pilgrims from within or outside the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
He added that the registration of pilgrims will continue to be done online to avoid people gathering at the yatra registration counters.
Kumar said keeping with past practice, the work of floral decoration of the Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan, Atka, and the area surrounding it, which is done on the occasion of the holy Navratras twice a year, has started and will be completed well before the commencement of the Shardiya Navtratras.
China to test nine million in five days
China aims to test more than nine million residents of the port city of Qingdao within five days following a minor coronavirus outbreak, health officials said Monday, the first mass testing in months.
The cases were connected to Qingdao Chest Hospital which is a designated medical institution for the COVID-19 patients from overseas.
In May, China tested 11 million people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Qingdao health authority has said that a citywide testing program has been launched. The five districts, home to about six million people, will be fully covered in the next three days.
The whole city will be tested within five days, covering roughly nine million people, State-run Global Times reported.
State-wise deaths in India
The 816 fatalities include 309 from Maharashtra, 75 from Karnataka, 65 from Tamil Nadu, 59 from West Bengal, 41 from Uttar Pradesh, 35 from Punjab, 30 from Andhra Pradesh, and 29 from Delhi.
Of the total 1,09,150 deaths reported so far in the country, 40,349 are from Maharashtra, 10,252 from Tamil Nadu, 9,966 from Karnataka, 6,394 from Uttar Pradesh, 6,224 from Andhra Pradesh, 5,769 from Delhi, 5,622 from West Bengal, 3,833 from Punjab, and 3,566 from Gujarat.
The health ministry stressed that more than 70 percent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.
With inputs from agencies
India logs 14,306 new COVID-19 cases, 443 fresh fatalities; number of vaccines administered crosses 102 crore
The active cases comprise 0.49 percent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national recovery rate is at 98.18 percent, highest since March 2020
'Unprecedented' curbs on freedom of expression since outbreak of pandemic, says Amnesty International report
The report, "Silenced and Misinformed: Freedom of Expression in Danger During COVID-19" stated that amid the pandemic, journalists and health professionals have been silenced and imprisoned
The cumulative vaccine doses administered so far under the nationwide COVID-19 inoculation drive, which was launched on 16 January by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has exceeded 99 crore