Coronavirus news highlights: India recorded 38,079 new coronavirus cases, which took the infection tally to 3,10,64,908, while the death toll reached 4,13,091 with 560 more fatalities, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday. The active cases have declined to 4,24,025 and comprise 1.36 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID19 recovery rate stands at 97.31 percent, the data updated at 8 am showed.
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COVID-19 can make one more susceptible to developing active tuberculosis: Health Ministry
COVID-19 can make a person more susceptible to developing active tuberculosis as it is an "opportunistic" infection like black fungus but currently there is not enough evidence to suggest TB cases have risen due to the viral disease, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday. The ministry said notification of tuberculosis cases had decreased by about 25 per cent in 2020 due to Covid-related restrictions and special efforts are being made to mitigate this impact through intensified case findings.
In a statement, the Health Ministry said there have been some news reports alleging that a sudden rise in TB cases have been noticed among patients infected with COVID-19 recently, leaving doctors, who have been receiving around a dozen similar cases every day, worried. "It is clarified that tuberculosis screening for all COVID-19 patients and COVID-19 screening for all diagnosed TB patients has been recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," it said. The ministry said SARS-CoV-2 infection can make an individual more susceptible to developing active TB disease, as it is an "opportunistic infection like black fungus".
Vietnam curbs movement in southern areas as COVID-19 cases hit record
Vietnam will impose restrictions on movement in 16 southern provinces for two weeks from Monday as the country faces its worst COVID-19 outbreak so far, the government said on Saturday.
Vietnam has managed to keep coronavirus cases relatively low due to targeted mass testing and strict contact tracing, border controls and quarantine measures, but new clusters of infections in recent weeks have triggered concern among health officials.
"The current outbreak we are facing is getting more complicated," the government said in a statement. "The curbs are to protect people's health."
Indonesia considers extending restrictions on movement as COVID-19 cases climb
Indonesia is evaluating whether to end COVID-19 restrictions on movement as planned or extend them, as the country battles with a surge of new infections and a crumbling economy, senior minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Saturday.
The curbs on movement, which include the closure of shopping malls and a work-from-home order for non-essential workers, on the islands of Java, Bali and 15 other cities across the archipelago, are set to end on July 20.
Active COVID-19 cases goes up slightly over 25,000 in Andhra Pradesh
The active coronavirus caseload went up slightly over 25,000 on Saturday, after dropping down the mark on Friday, as fresh cases outnumbered the recoveries in a day in Andhra Pradesh. While 2,672 fresh positives were reported in 24 hours ending 9 AM, 2,467 patients had recovered from the infection, a health department bulletin said.
The state reported 18 more deaths in a day, it said. The number of active cases is now 25,041 after a total of 18,98,966 recoveries and 13,115 deaths so far.
16,148 fresh COVID-19 cases, 114 deaths in Kerala
Kerala on Saturday recorded 16,148 fresh COVID-19 cases, pushing the infection caseload to 31,46,981, while the toll rose to 15,269 with 114 more deaths. As many as 13,197 people were cured of the infection, taking the total recoveries to 30,06,439, leaving 1,24,779 active cases, a state government release said.
Kozhikode logged the most number of cases (2105), followed by Malappuram (2033), Ernakulam (1908), Thrissur (1758), Kollam (1304), Palakkad (1140), Kannur (1084) and Thiruvananthapuram (1025). Of the new cases, 75 are health workers, 62 had come from outside the state and 15,269 were infected through contact, with the source of contact being not clear in 742 cases, the release said.
Mizoram church body calls for state-wide prayer to contain COVID-19
A conglomerate of major churches in Mizoram has called for a state-wide prayer on Sunday to contain the spread of COVID-19 as the Northeastern state grapples with the second wave of the pandemic. The Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC) asked people to hold the prayer in their homes at 7 pm, a church leader said on Saturday.
A prayer programme will be organised at Zarkawt Presbyterian Church building in Aizawl, which will be aired live through local cable televisions, he said. "The state of Mizoram has tried its best, our doctors and medical experts are putting in their best efforts.
Although these have helped us to a great extent, the number of COVID-19 cases did not subside till today. "We should seek forgiveness for our sins and also seek divine intervention so that this pandemic leaves us at the earliest," he said.
Joint pain, backache common among many post-COVID cases: Delhi hospital
A leading private hospital in Delhi on Saturday claimed that joint pain and backache were the most common problems reported among post-Covid patients at its orthopaedic department. Even after recovering from the coronavirus infection, a large number of people are struggling with post-Covid complications, ranging from weakness to hair fall and skin complications.
According to Dr Vishal Nigam, orthopedic and spine surgeon at the Moolchand Hospital, "Back pain and joint pain after Covid have been the most common presentation in orthopaedic clinics. Almost 15 per cent patients present with joint pains or arthralgia, and 45 per cent patients present with muscle pains or myalgia". Joint pain can be temporary or can last longer, he said.
One of the wrong steps that patients take is to try to get back to normal routine quickly despite weakness. This leads to injury rather than recovery. Exercises and routines should be progressed gradually, respecting the fact that body is weak and needs time to regenerate, doctors said. "Post-covid fatigue leads to tiredness and prevents resumption of normal activities," Nigam said.
Puducherry logs less than 100 new coronavirus cases second time in a week
Puducherry recorded 94 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, making it the second time in a week the union territory has seen less than 100 infections on a single day. With the addition of new cases the overall tally touched 1,19,603.
Puducherry region alone registered 70 cases, Karaikal 19, Yanam two and Mahe region three. The new cases were identified at the end of examination of swabs of 6,395 people.
Director of the Department of Health S Mohan Kumar said the active cases were 1170 of whom 230 were in hospitals and the remaining 940 were in home isolation. The overall recoveries stood at 1,16,657.
Assam govt to provide financial help to families of people who died due to COVID-19
The Assam government will provide one-time financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to families of people who have died of COVID-19, State Finance Minister Ajanta Neog said on Friday. Presenting the budget for 2021-22 in the assembly, Neog claimed this is a first-of-its-kind scheme by any government in the country.
The state government had already announced the 'Chief Minister Shishu Seva Scheme' for children who lost their parents due to coronavirus and the 'Chief Minister COVID-19 Widow Support Scheme' for widows. Under the scheme for children, an amount of Rs 3,500 will be provided per child each month.
For those below 10 years who may not have an extended family or guardian, the Assam government will take steps to house them in child care institutions and provide adequate funding towards their upkeep and education. In the other scheme, each widow is eligible for a one-time grant of Rs 2.5 lakh.
Lok Sabha Speaker urges civil societies to spread awareness about COVID-19 to avoid third wave
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday asked non-government organisations to work towards spreading awareness about Covid-appropriate behaviour in the society to avoid the risk of a third wave, asserting that civil societies act as a bridge between the government and the people. Birla also emphasised the need for generating employment by these organisations for those who have lost their job due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the event organised by Rotary Club of Delhi South virtually, Birla said, "The pandemic is not yet over and it is our responsibility to spread social awareness about COVID-19-appropriate behaviour to avoid a third coronavirus wave. "We have to prepare ourselves to meet future challenges by developing adequate healthcare infrastructure in small towns and cities." It should be the endeavour to create medical infrastructure in deprived areas of the country where even the government has not reached, he said, adding, civil societies like Rotary should put in place medical infrastructure in the deprived areas so that underprivileged people can be protected from future pandemic.
COVID-19 drugs case: Prosecution launched against Gautam Gambhir Foundation, 2 AAP MLAs
Delhi's drugs control department has told the Delhi High Court that it has launched prosecution against Gautam Gambhir Foundation and AAP MLAs, Imran Hussain and Praveen Kumar, before a court for allegedly illegally stocking and distributing Covid drugs during the infection's second wave.
Based on inquires made by the investigating team, a prosecution in the court of law was launched against Gautam Gambhir Foundation, its trustees and CEO on July 8 for contravening the provisions of section 18(c) read with section 27(b)(ii) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the Delhi Drugs Control Department (DDCD) said in a response which was in the form of a status report.
Odisha logs 2,182 fresh COVID-19 cases, 67 more fatalities
Odisha's COVID-19 caseload surged to 9,52,111 on Saturday after 2,182 more people tested positive for the virus, while 67 fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 4,992, a health department official said. The state now has 21,540 active cases, and 5,25,526 patients have so far recovered from the disease, including 2,317 since Friday, he said.
Of the new fatalities reported from 15 districts, Khurda alone accounted for 25 deaths, followed by Ganjam (8), Sundargarh (7), Mayurbhanj and Puri (6 each), Bargarh (4) and Nayagarh (3). A total of 53 other COVID-19 patients have also died due to comorbidities, the official said.
France to reinforce COVID-19 restrictions for travellers
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday that France would reinforce restrictions on travellers from a series of countries to counter a rebound in COVID-19 cases.
From Sunday, July 18, non-vaccinated people coming from the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Greece will need to present a COVID-19 test dating from less than 24 hours before travel to enter France.
Currently tests can date from 48 hours for UK travellers and 72 hours for the other mentioned countries.
Fully vaccinated travellers from any country of departure will be able to enter France without a test, Castex said.
Protesting Lankan teachers released from forced COVID isolation
Teachers in Sri Lanka, who protested against the government's move to allow a military academy to conduct higher education courses and were forced to quarantine after being found guilty of breaching COVID-19 regulations, have been released from the state isolation centres. Speaking to the media on Saturday, the teachers' union said they were released from the quarantine centres on Friday. They vowed to continue their agitation.
Mizoram registers 483 new COVID-19 cases, one more death
At least 483 more people, including 127 children, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, pushing the state's tally to 26,690, an official statement said on Saturday. One more fatality pushed the toll to 120, the statement said.
Aizawl district reported the maximum number of new cases at 279, followed by Kolasib at 59, Lunglei at 52, Mamit at 36, Lawngtlai at 28 and Siaha at 27. According to the statement, 58 new cases were detected through RT-PCR test at Zoram Medical College (ZMC) here, eight via TrueNat and 417 with the help of Rapid Antigen test.
Arunachal Pradesh reports 443 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths
Arunachal Pradesh reported 443 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally in the northeastern state to 42,089, a senior health official said here on Saturday. The COVID-19 death toll in the frontier state increased to 199, as two more persons succumbed to the infection on Friday, the official said.
A 70-year-old man from Leparada district died at the Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) in Basar due to acute respiratory distress syndrome with Covid Pneumonia, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said. The other fatality was that of an 83 year-old-man from Lower Dibang Valley district, who died at his residence on Friday due to Covid Pneumonia, he said.
Jharkhand reports 55 new COVID-19 cases; Zero virus-induced deaths
Jharkhand's COVID-19 tally rose to 3,46,588 as 55 more people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, a health department bulletin said on Saturday. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 5,120 as no new fatality due to the contagion was reported in the last 24 hours, it said.
Of the 55 new cases, a maximum of 17 new cases were reported from East Singhbhum followed by seven cases from Ranchi and four each from Gumla and West Singhbhum. No new COVID-19 case was reported from Chatra, Giridih, Godda, Hazaribag, Khunti, Pakur, Sahbeganj, Saraikela and Simdega.
Jharkhand now has 340 active COVID-19 cases, while 3,41,128 patients have recovered from the disease including 51 during the last 24 hours, the bulletin said. The COVID-19 mortality rate in the state remained at 1.47 per cent, higher than the national average of 1.30 per cent.
Six fresh Covid cases reported in Ladakh; tally reaches 20,240
The Union Territory of Ladakh on Saturday recorded six fresh coronavirus cases, taking the overall tally to 20,240, while nine more patients were cured of the disease. The total number of recoveries in the region rose to 19,929, officials said.
UGC asks colleges to complete first-year admissions by September 30; classes to start from October 1
The University Grants Commission (UGC), in its fresh guidelines on examinations and academic calendar in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, has asked colleges to complete admissions to first-year courses for 2021-22 by September 30 and start the academic session by October 1.
Mizoram reimposes total lockdown in AMC area as COVID-19 cases rise
The Mizoram government has reimposed a seven-day complete lockdown in Aizawl Municipal Corporation area in the wake of rising COVID19 cases, over two weeks after easing restrictions, officials said. The shutdown will be in force from July 18 till midnight of July 24, an official order said.
First resident of Olympic Village tests positive for COVID
The first resident of the Olympic Village has tested positive for COVID19, Tokyo Olympic organizers said on Saturday.
Olympics-Taekwondo-No risks as Jones hopes COVID does not scupper gold medal bid
British taekwondo athlete Jade Jones said she is petrified by the prospect of COVID19 ruining her chances of winning a third Olympic gold medal, but her "antisocial" nature means she has a ready excuse to keep distance from people and stay safe.
Govt hikes procurement price of vaccines supplied by Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech
The government has hiked the procurement price of COVID-19 vaccines to be supplied by Serum and Bharat Biotech, sources informed CNBC-TV18. While the price for a dose of Covishield has been hiked to Rs 205 plus 5 percent GST, the price for a dose of Covaxin has been increased to Rs 215 plus 5 percent GST, sources said.
Officials advise wearing masks in Vegas as COVID cases rise
Masks are back in Las Vegas, after regional health officials on Friday cited a rising number of coronavirus cases and advised everyone vaccinated or not to wear facial coverings in crowded indoor places.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands report 4 new COVID-19 cases
Four new COVID19 cases were reported in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally in the union territory to 7,505, a health department official said on Saturday. Two cases were detected during contact tracing and two were airport arrivals, the official said.
Mizoram reimposes total lockdown in AMC area as COVID-19 cases rise
The Mizoram government has reimposed a sevenday complete lockdown in Aizawl Municipal Corporation area in the wake of rising COVID19 cases, over two weeks after easing restrictions, officials said. The shutdown will be in force from July 18 till the midnight of July 24, an official order said.