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Coronavirus news highlights: Punjab CM says plasma will be provided free of cost to all those in need; record spike of 11,147 cases in Maharashtra

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Coronavirus news highlights: With the highest single-day spike of 11,147 COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra on Thursday, the infection count in the state surged to 4,11,798, the health department said. As the virus claimed 266 lives during the day, the number of victims in the state rose to 14,729, it said in a statement. A total of 8,860 patients were discharged on Thursday, which took the count of recovered persons to 2,48,615, the department said. There are now 1,48,454 active cases in Maharashtra, it said, adding that the state's recovery rate is now 60.37 per cent, while the mortality rate is 3.58 per cent.

Coronavirus news highlights: Punjab CM says plasma will be provided free of cost to all those in need; record spike of 11,147 cases in Maharashtra
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  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Thane's tally crosses 84,000-mark with 1,579 fresh cases

    The coronavirus tally in Thane district of Maharashtra crossed the 84,000-mark on Thursday with the single-day rise of 1,579 cases, officials said. The count of infected persons now stands at 84,368, the district officials said. The death toll due to the virus reached 2,321 as 37 patients died during the day, they said. Kalyan reported 11 deaths, followed by Thane city at 10. Bhiwandi, known as a powerloom town in the district, which was a COVID-19 hotspot earlier, did not report any death on Thursday. Likewise, no death was reported in Badlapur town. The recovery rate of the district improved to 70.38 per cent, while the mortality rate dropped to 2.75 per cent. Navi Mumbai witnessed a single-day increase of 360 cases, while it was 329 in Kalyan. Thane city reported 277 new cases, followed by Mira Bhayandar at 205. The case count in Kalyan is 19,638 so far, followed by Thane at 18,714.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Puducherry CM accuses Centre of remaining silent on funds to fight COVID-19

    Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Thursday accused the Centre of continuing to remain 'silent' on the territorial government's requests for funds to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and said the situation was being managed by using its own funds. He also said the government would decide its stand on extension of lockdown beyond July 31 or relaxation of curbs at a meeting of the cabinet slated for Friday. "We have made repeated pleas to the Centre to earmark funds to manage the pandemic situation by strengthening the hospitals with equipment and manpower. The Centre however, continues to remain silent which is a matter of concern for the administration," the chief minister told reporters in a video interaction.

  • Coronavirus in Punjab LIVE Updates: CM Amarinder Singh says plasma will be provided free of cost to all those who need it

    Amid rising COVID infections and deaths, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said plasma will be provided free of cost by the state government to all those who would need it. Singh directed the Health Department to strictly ensure that COVID patients are not charged for plasma therapy and that nobody is allowed to buy or sell plasma, which has proven a life-saver in many cases in the absence of any cure for coronavirus. The CM, in an official release here, also appealed to the cured COVID patients to come forward to save lives of others. He urged deputy commissioners and Health Department officials, during a COVID management review meeting, to motivate such cured people to donate plasma. Currently, there are around 10,000 recovered COVID patients in the state, he said, adding his government's priority is as to save each and every life in Punjab.

  • Coronavirus in Goa LIVE Updates: 215 new COVID-19 cases in Goa in a day, 221 recover; three die

    The COVID-19 tally in Goa reached 5,704 on Thursday with the single-day spike of 215 cases, a health official said. A total of 221 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, taking the number of recovered persons to 4,005, he said. There are 1,657 active cases in Goa now, the official said. Three persons, in the age group of 62 to 80 years, succumbed to the infection during the day, taking the death toll to 42 so far. "A total of 6,611 samples were tested on Thursday, of which 215 came positive and 1,564 others negative. The results of 4,832 samples are awaited," the official said. Goa's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 5,704, new cases 215, deaths 42, discharged 4,005, active cases 1,657, samples tested till date 1,29,719.

  • Coronavirus in West Bengal LIVE Updates: With 46 more deaths, toll mounts to 1,536 in WB

    West Bengal reported 46 COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday, the highest number of single-day deaths so far, pushing the toll to 1,536, the health department said. The state's caseload shot up to 67,692 with a record 2,434 fresh cases, it said in a bulletin. The number of active cases stood at 19,900. Since Wednesday, 2,140 patients recovered from the disease, improving the discharge rate to 68.33 per cent, the bulletin said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Govt receives 131 claims under insurance scheme for healthcare providers

    The central government has received 131 claims under an insurance scheme for healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 related duty and payments have already been made in 20 of them, an officer said on Thursday. The claims are coming in a bit slow as families are initially in a state of shock when a death occurs and, therefore, it takes time to do the necessary paperwork, Officer on Special Duty in the Health Ministry Rajesh Bhushan said at a press briefing. "Under the scheme, we have received 131 claims. Out of these 131 claims, payments have already been made in 20 cases. In 64 cases payment has been processed and would be made in the coming few days, while 47 cases are with different state governments. Maximum number of cases are in Maharashtra, Delhi and Telangana," he said.

  • Coronavirus in Maharashtra LIVE Updates: Record spike of 11,147 cases in state; 8,860 recover

    With the highest single-day spike of 11,147 COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra on Thursday, the infection count in the state surged to 4,11,798, the health department said. As the virus claimed 266 lives during the day, the number of victims in the state rose to 14,729, it said in a statement. A total of 8,860 patients were discharged on Thursday, which took the count of recovered persons to 2,48,615, the department said. There are now 1,48,454 active cases in Maharashtra, it said, adding that the state's recovery rate is now 60.37 per cent, while the mortality rate is 3.58 per cent. So far, 20,70,128 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state.

  • Coronavirus in UK LIVE Updates: England records massive spike in excess deaths

    An analysis shows England has had the highest level of excess deaths among more than 20 European countries during the coronavirus pandemic. Britain's Office for National Statistics says there have been 53,000 more deaths in England than the five-year average. The overall national deaths for the year through July 17 stands at 362,229. By the end of May, the cumulative mortality rate in England was 7.55 per cent higher than the five-year average. Spain was second, with 6.65 per cent more deaths than usual. The U.K. statistics office says Britain was hit by a more widespread outbreak than in many other European nations, where the virus was more localised. It says every region of the U.K. had higher-than-average deaths at the height of the outbreak in April.

  • Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh LIVE Updates: Spurt in COVID-19 cases due to ramped up testing, says govt

    The Andhra Pradesh government has attributed the spike in the COVID-19 positive cases over the past few days to ramped up testing besides movement of people from other states with easing of lockdown restrictions. Coronavirus cases surged to 1,20,390 in Andhra Pradesh yesterday as it reported a new single day high of 10,093 infections. Authorities said a record number of 70,584 tests were done during the last 24 hours ending at 9 AM on Wednesday. Deputy Chief Minister (Health) A K K Srinivas has said the prime reason for the severe spurt in number of cases was the "extensive" COVID-19 tests. According to government data as of yesterday, AP has conducted 18,20,009 tests at the rate of 34,083 per million population, stated to be the highest among states. Tamil Nadu is next with 32,154 tests per million.

  • Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir LIVE Updates: Death toll climbs to 365 in J&K; total tally at 19,869

    Jammu and Kashmir recorded its highest single-day spike in the COVID-19 death toll on Thursday as 17 patients succumbed in the last 24 hours, even as the Union Territory recorded 450 new coronavirus cases, taking the number of infected people to 19,869, officials said. "Seventeen persons, who were COVID-19 positive, died in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 24 hours," an official said, adding that all but one death were reported from the Kashmir valley. This is the highest single-day spike in the COVID-19 death toll in the Union Territory so far, the officials added. The death toll due to the disease now stands at 365 in the Union Territory -- 339 from the valley, 26 from the Jammu region -- they added. Jammu and Kashmir recorded 450 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infected people in the Union Territory to 19,869, the officials said.

  • Coronavirus in Delhi LIVE Updates: Delhi govt sets up 4 panels to inspect hospitals reporting higher deaths

    The Delhi government Thursday set up four committees, comprising medical specialists, who will inspect hospitals in the city from where a large percentage of COVID-19 fatalities are still being reported, according to an order. The order issued by the Delhi health department was also tweeted by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who said, these panels will conduct inspections and offer suggestions on reducing mortality. "It has been observed that the percentage of COVID deaths vis-a-vis admissions and the percentage of COVID deaths in wards in 11 hospitals, government and private, is on the higher side during the period July 1-23, 2020," the order said. Four committees comprising four specialists each, two from internal medicine and as many from anaesthesia, have been constituted for inspecting the concerned allotted hospitals to examine whether standard protocols are being followed in treatment of COVID-19 patients there, it said.

  • Coronavirus in Maharashtra LIVE Updates: Swab taken from woman's private parts, lab technician held

    A lab technician in Maharashtra's Amravati district has been arrested for rape after he allegedly took swab samples from a woman's private parts during a coronavirus test, the police said on Thursday. The incident took place at Badnera in the district. While Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur said strict action will be taken against the accused, Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande demanded measures to ensure security of women at COVID hospitals/centres. The complainant works at a mall. After one of the staff members tested positive for coronavirus on July 24, nasal swabs of 20 to 25 other employees were taken at a testing centre, inspector Punjab Wanjari of Badnera police station told PTI. After taking a nasal swab of the complainant, the technician allegedly took a swab sample from her private parts, he said. After the woman lodged a complaint, the accused was arrested on Tuesday night under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 376 (rape), the police offfier said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: TN reports 5,864 new COVID-19 cases, 97 deaths

    In a dip in fresh COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, a total of 5,864 people tested positive on Thursday compared to around 7,000 in the last few days while the total infection count rose to 2,39,978. The toll due to the disease shot up to 3,838 with 97 more deaths, a health department bulletin said. The state recorded 5,295 recoveries, taking the cumulative number of those discharged to 1,78,178. Active cases, including those in isolation, were 57,962. Testing of samples continued to remain high as 61,202 specimens were examined on Thursday, taking the total to 25,97,862 the bulletin said. Chennai saw 1,175 people contracting the contagion to touch an aggregate of 98,767. On Monday, the state recorded an all-time high of 6,993 fresh COVID-19 cases, followed by 6,962 on Tuesday and 6,426 cases on Wednesday.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Maharashtra CM reviews COVID-19 situation in Pune district

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Pune district, which has recorded more than 78,000 cases so far and seen a spurt in infections in recent weeks. He chaired a meeting of elected representatives, including MP and MLAs, and took stock of the COVID-19 situation and the local administration's response to the pandemic so far. This was Thackeray's first visit to Pune since the COVID-19 outbreak more than four months ago. At the meeting, elected representatives put forth their views on the situation and suggested steps to curb the spread of the viral disease which has killed more than 1,800 people so far in the district.

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    Coronavirus news highlights: Punjab CM says plasma will be provided free of cost to all those in need; record spike of 11,147 cases in Maharashtra
  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Herd immunity can't be strategic choice or option in India, says health ministry

    Given the size of India's population, herd immunity "cannot be a strategic choice or option", the health ministry said on Thursday as it urged people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour till a vaccine is developed. At a press briefing, when asked whether India was approaching herd immunity against the coronavirus infection, Officer on Special Duty in the Health Ministry Rajesh Bhushan replied that herd immunity is a kind of indirect protection from an infectious disease like COVID-19. It happens only when a population becomes immune either through vaccination or immunity is developed through a previous infection, he said. "In a country with the size of the population like India, herd immunity cannot be a strategic choice or option. It can only be an outcome, and that too at a very high cost as it means lakhs of people would have to be infected, get hospitalised and many would die in the process," Bhushan said. He said herd immunity can be achieved through immunisation but that is in the future.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: E-commerce spends surpass pre-COVID-19 levels in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, says report

    E-commerce spends surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels after the lockdown across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru as more individuals opted to shop online for their discretionary and non-discretionary spends, according to a report by credit card bill payment platform CRED. The report is based on an analysis of credit card spending patterns of over three million members across the three cities. The data takes February 2020 spending as a baseline and compares it to spends in subsequent months under which the lockdown and unlock time periods fall, said the report. CRED said there were two topline insights gathered from the study. The study was done to understand larger trends reflected in spending behaviour of affluent consumers pre-, during and post the lockdown. More individuals opted to shop online for their discretionary and non-discretionary spends during the lockdown but have continued after the lockdown as well, indicating a larger behavioural trend, the report said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Karnataka issues Unlock 3 guidelines

    The Karnataka government has allowed yoga institutes and gyms to reopen from August 5 as it announced guidelines under its unlock 3 initiative. SoPs for the next stage of opening the economy will be issued soon. The government said that there will be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement. "No separate e-permit will be required for interstate movement and Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing, where wearing masks will be compulsory," a note from the government said. Moreover, night curfews and Sunday lockdowns have also been lifted.

  • Coronavirus in India LIVE Updates: As economy reopens, labs get mass test requests from corporates

    With economic activities resuming gradually, corporate houses are increasingly opting for rapid antigen and antibody tests to screen and protect their employees from coronavirus, several diagnostics labs and hospitals in the NCR have said. The Rapid Antigen Test was introduced in the national capital last month and is a quicker and cheaper alternative to the "gold standard" RT-PCR test, which is considered more reliable. "We are getting antigen test queries mostly through the government. We are also getting queries from corporates that have large employee population who want to get it done for their employees since one or two of their employees have tested positive," said Chetan Kohli, COO of the Seeds of Innocence and Genestrings Lab. Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection kit (rapid antigen test kits) is a quick chromatographic immunoassay for qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2 or the novel coronavirus. The Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection can be interpreted as positive or negative within 15 minutes of putting the sample into the well by the appearance of test and control lines, which can be read with a naked eye, requiring no specialised equipment.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 15 more private hospitals in Ahmedabad designated for COVID care

    The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Thursday roped in another 15 private hospitals in the city to accommodate COVID-19 patients coming for treatment here from other parts of Gujarat. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting attended by Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar and officer on special duty Rajiv Kumar Gupta, among others. The AMC had earlier designated 59 other private hospitals to treat coronavirus patients in order to ease the burden on government-run facilities in the city. As per the agreement, each hospital can utilise 50 per cent of their beds for private quota patients, while the remaining 50 per cent beds should be reserved for patients sent by the civic body. While the government has already capped the treatment charges on private quota COVID-19 patients, it is the AMC which pays a stipulated amount to these hospitals for each coronavirus patient sent to them.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Johnson & Johnson says its vaccine showed protection against virus, starts human trials

    Johnson & Johnson on Thursday kicked off U.S. human safety trials for its COVID-19 vaccine after releasing details of a study in monkeys that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered strong protection in a single dose. When exposed to the virus, six out of six animals who got the vaccine candidate were completely protected from lung disease and five out of six were protected from infection as measured by the presence of virus in nasal swabs, according to the study published in the journal Nature. "This gives us confidence that we can test a single-shot vaccine in this epidemic and learn whether it has a protective effect in humans," Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J's chief scientific officer, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

    Read the complete article below.

  • COVID-19: Johnson & Johnson says its vaccine showed protection against virus, starts human trials
    Johnson & Johnson on Thursday kicked off U.S. human safety trials for its COVID-19 vaccine after releasing details of a study in monkeys that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered…
    Coronavirus news highlights: Punjab CM says plasma will be provided free of cost to all those in need; record spike of 11,147 cases in Maharashtra
  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 3 vaccines in phase-3 trials, 2 vaccines in India in phase-1 and 2 trials

    The health ministry in a press briefing said that there were 24 vaccine candidates under clinical evaluation across the world. Around 141 vaccine candidates are in pre-clinical evaluation stage. Three vaccine candidates are in phase 3 trials, which are currently happening in US, UK and China. There are two indigenous Indian vaccines under phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, the ministry said. The first Indian vaccine candidate was administered to 1,150 volunteers across eight cities. The second Indian vaccine was administered to 1,000 volunteers at five sites.

  • Coronavirus in Gujarat LIVE Updates: Under Unlock 3, state lifts night curfew, shops to operate until 8 pm

    In line with the Centre's guidelines for Unlock 3 to ease curbs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gujarat government on Thursday decided to lift the night curfew, allow shops to operate till 8 pm and permit restaurants to stay open till 10 pm. As per a release issued after a high-level meeting headed by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, gyms and yoga centres will also be allowed to open from August 5. "Night curfew will be completely lifted in the state from August 1," the statement said. Apart from this, all shops will be allowed to remain open till 8 pm, while restaurants can operate till 10 pm, it stated. In keeping with the Centre's guidelines, the state government has decided not to allow schools, coaching classes, and cinema halls to open in the month of August. "The state will follow the guidelines of the Centre regarding things that are not allowed to be open (like schools etc), the release stated. Rupani had on Wednesday said the state government's aim was to ensure that the deadly infection does not spread even as economic activities continue in the state. Religious functions will not be allowed for upcoming festivals in August and if the COVID-19 situation continues like this, festivals like Navratri will not be observed, the chief minister said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 40 students with COVID-19 among 1.94 lakh to write CET in Karnataka

    As many as 40 students who have tested positive for coronavirus were among the 1.94 lakh students appearing for the Karnataka Common Entrance Test, which began on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said. Taking a cue from the SSLC examination and the pre-university examination conducted by the Department of Public Instruction, the Karnataka government decided to proceed with the CET for PUC students. The two-day examinations on Thursday and Friday are being conducted at the 497 centres across Karnataka, the Deputy Chief Minister, who holds the higher education portfolio, said after visiting a few of the examination centres. He also said of the 1.94 lakh students enrolled for the test, 40,200 are appearing in Bengaluru at 83 centres. He said 40 students writing the exam are infected by the coronavirus including 12 in Bengaluru.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates:
The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced the extension of coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state till August 31, but with more relaxations, including scaling up workforce in private
establishments and allowing dine-in services in hotels and restaurants.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in India crossed the 50,000 mark in a single day for the first time, pushing the virus tally to 15, 83,792, while the recoveries went past 10 lakh. The country registered a record increase of 52,123 infections in a span of 24-hours, while the death toll climbed to 34,968 with 775 people succumbing to the disease in a day. There are 5, 28,242 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country presently.
The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients was recorded at 64.44 percent, while the fatality rate was at 2.21 percent. The number of tests for detection of COVID-19 has crossed the 18-million mark in the country.
According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 1, 81, 90,382 samples have been tested up to July 29 with 4, 46,642 samples being tested on Wednesday.