Coronavirus LATEST Updates: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state plans to raise testing rate for COVID-19 to over one lakh per day.
Kumar, who was joined by his counterparts in nine other states at the video conference meeting on coronavirus situation, said the state was at present testing more than 75,000 samples daily though the number of RT-PCR examinations, which he called "the most important", remained as low as about 6100 per day.
"The RT-PCR facility will soon be introduced at five more medical college hospitals which would help in raising the daily average by about 2300. Moreover, we have plans to purchase 10 RT-PCR and RNA extraction machines which would raise our capacity by another 5,000", he said.
The state government has set a target of conducting more than one lakh tests every day, he said.
Earlier on Monday, Modi had tweeted listing Bihar as one of the states with inadequate testing.
Urdu poet Rahat Indori on Tuesday passed away in a hospital after he tested positive for coronavirus.
"He suffered two heart attacks today and could not be saved. He was admitted to hospital on Sunday, after testing positive for COVID-19. He had 60 percent pneumonia," said Dr Vinod Bhandari, Sri Aurobindo Hospital.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Health Ministry secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, "For the first time, COVID-19 fatality rate in India has fallen below 2 percent and is currently at 1.99 percent."
"More than 2.5 crore tests carried out in the past week, more than 15 lakh recoveries have been recoded so far," he added.
He says these states need to increase testing, a matter that was discussed in the meeting.
An expert committee on vaccine administration will meet on Wednesday to consider "logistics and ethical aspects" of procurement and administration of vaccines against COVID-19.
The committee will be chaired by NITI Aayog's Dr VK Paul. The coronavirus disease has infected more than 2.2 million people and killed over 44,000 in India.
Narendra Modi to hold a video conference with Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh today, to discuss corona related situation
The COVID-19 tally included 6,39,929 active cases, 15,83,490 cured/discharged/migrated and 45,257 deaths.
In yet another staggering landmark, the death toll is expected to surpass 750,000 in a matter of days as the global health crisis that began late last year in China rages on
The total number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 22 lakh with a rise of 62,064 new cases on Monday, while the toll rose to 44,386 with 1,007 new deaths, the Union health ministry said. The total tally includes 6,34,945 active cases.
India's COVID-19 recoveries crossed 1.5 million with the recovery of 15,35,743 patients in the past 24 hours, the ministry said, adding that the achievement was possible "because of the policy of testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently".
"Better ambulance services, focus on standard of care and use of non-invasive oxygen have given the desired results," the ministry said.
With the highest-ever single-day number of recoveries of 54,859, the recovery rate is almost at 70 percent.
The ministry added that the record number of recoveries "have ensured that the percentage of the active cases have reduced and currently comprise only 28.66 percent of the total positive cases".
Early identification of cases has also led to a steep fall in the percentage of active cases, it said.
"Early identification helps to ensure timely and prompt isolation of the mild and moderate cases and hospitalisation of the severe and critical cases thereby leading to effective management of cases," the ministry said.
However, this is the fourth consecutive day that the COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 60,000.
As many as 4,77,023 samples were tested on Sunday, taking the total to 2,45,83,558, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Pranab Mukherjee tests COVID-19 positive
Former president Pranab Mukherjee said that he tested positive for coronavirus and requested people who recently came in his contact to get tested for the virus.
"On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID-19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19," Mukherjee tweeted.
The octogenarian leader is the latest among many political figures in India to have been tested positive for coronavirus.
Several Union ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister of State Arjun Ram Meghwal, MoS for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary have tested positive for the virus.
Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu are among those who got infected with coronavirus.
PTI quoted that former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya as saying that he and his wife Medha had been detected with the coronavirus infection and have been hospitalised.
Additionally, earlier on Monday, Maharashtra Legislative Council member from Osmanabad, Sujitsingh Thakur, said he and some of his family members had tested positive.
The Superintendent of Police (Rural) in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr, Harendra Kumar Singh, also tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.
BS Yediyurappa 'completely' cured of COVID-19
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa has recovered 'completely' from COVID-19 and was discharged from a private hospital nine days after being admitted, the state government said.
The 77-year old leader was admitted to the Manipal Hospital on 2 August after he tested positive for coronavirus.
"After recovering from COVID-19 completely, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has been discharged from the Manipal Hospital," an official statement said. Later, the chief minister himself tweeted about his discharge.
"Thank you everyone for your wishes and prayers. I have been discharged from the hospital and will be in self-quarantine. Deeply grateful for your affection and support. I look forward to getting back to the routine very soon," he said.
State-wise cases and deaths
Of the 1,007 new deaths on Monday, 390 are from Maharashtra, 119 from Tamil Nadu, 107 from Karnataka, 97 from Andhra Pradesh, 54 from West Bengal, 41 from Uttar Pradesh, 24 each from Gujarat and Punjab, 22 from Jharkhand, 19 from Madhya Pradesh, and 13 each from Delhi, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir.
Of the total 44,386 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum of 17,757, followed by 4,927 in Tamil Nadu, 4,111 in Delhi and 3,198 in Karnataka.
There have been 2,652 fatalities in Gujarat, 2,069 in Uttar Pradesh, 2,059 in West Bengal, 2,036 in Andhra Pradesh and 996 in Madhya Pradesh.
A total of 789 people have died in Rajasthan due to the pandemic, followed by 637 in Telangana, 586 in Punjab, 483 in Haryana and 472 in Jammu and Kashmir. There have been 387 COVID-19 deaths in Bihar, 272 in Odisha, 177 in Jharkhand, 145 in Assam, 125 in Uttarakhand, 108 in Kerala.
Chhattisgarh has registered 96 deaths, followed by 87 in Puducherry, 75 in Goa, 42 in Tripura and 25 in Chandigarh. Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported 20 deaths, Himachal Pradesh reported 15, Manipur reported 11, Ladakh reported nine and Nagaland reported eight.
There have been six coronavirus deaths in Meghalaya and three in Arunachal Pradesh, while Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu reported two and Sikkim reported one.
The health ministry stated that more than 70 percent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.
Maharashtra reported 9,181 fresh cases of COVID-19, taking its tally to 5,24,513. Also, 6,711 patients were discharged from hospitals, pushing up the recovery tally to 3,58,421.
There are 1,47,735 active cases in the state at present.
Meanwhile, Mumbai reported 925 new coronavirus cases and 46 deaths, taking the tally to 1,24,307 and the toll to 6,845. The number of active cases in Mumbai stood at 19,172.
Tamil Nadu reported 5,914 new cases, taking the total number of cases in the state to 3,02,815. The state reported more than 100 deaths for the eighth consecutive day, taking the toll to 5,041, a government COVID bulletin said.
The state took just 16 days to reach the three lakh-mark compared to the 22 days it had taken for the two lakh milestone on 25 July. The one lakh tally was recorded on 3 July. The 6,037 recoveries on Monday eclipsed the fresh infections and cumulatively 2,44,675 people have got cured so far.
There are 53,099 active cases in the state.
Karnataka saw a dip in daily cases, with the numbers dropping from the consistent 5,000-plus infections for the past few days to over 4,000 on Monday.
The state on Monday reported 4,267 new cases of COVID-19 and 114 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 1,82,354 and the toll to 3,312, the health department said.
Andhra Pradesh also saw a sharp fall from the over 10,000 cases on Sunday to 7,665 fresh cases on Monday "on the back of slimmer testing numbers," PTI reported.
The state had reported over 10,000 each for five consecutive days.
The latest bulletin said 46,999 tests, including 24,331 rapid antigens, were conducted in 24 hours ending 9 am on Monday as against 62,000-plus tests per day over the past few days. No reason was cited for the drop in number of tests, PTI reported.
Kerala reported 1,184 COVID-19 cases on Monday and seven fatalities that pushed the overall deaths to 115. As many as 22,620 people have recovered from the disease.
Telangana saw 1,256 new cases on Monday, taking the total infection count in the state to 80,751.
West Bengal saw the highest single-day discharge of 3,208 COVID-19 patients taking the number of recovered people to 70,328, while 2,905 new coronavirus infections were registered, state health department said.
The department in a bulletin also said that 41 patients succumbed to the disease raising the toll to 2,100. The state's caseload has gone up to 98,459, while the active cases stood at 26,031.
Delhi recorded 707 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the city's tally to over 1.46 lakh, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted that with a current recovery rate of over 90 percent, "people of the city are slowly and steadily defeating COVID-19."
The total tally rose to 1,46,134, while the toll from the disease mounted to 4,131, the bulletin said, adding that twenty fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
Antonio Banderas tests COVID-19 positive
Hollywood star Antonio Banderas said he tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, his 60th birthday. The Oscar nominee, who shared his diagnosis on social media, said he feels "relatively good" besides being more tired than usual.
"I want to make it public that today, 10 August, I am forced to celebrate my 60th birthday in quarantine, having tested positive for the COVID-19 disease, caused by the coronavirus," Banderas wrote in Spanish alongside his childhood photo on Instagram.
"I would like to add that I feel relatively good, just a little more tired than usual, and am confident that I will recover as soon as possible following medical instructions that I hope will allow me to overcome the infectious period that I am suffering, and that is affecting so many people around the planet," he added.
With inputs from agencies