New Delhi, Jul 25
It has taken just two days for India’s COVID-19 tally to cross 13 lakh from 12 lakh. As many as 48,916 fresh cases were registered within a span of 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 13,36,861 on Saturday. At least 63.54 per cent people have recovered so far.
The death toll also increased to 31,358 after 757 fatalities were recorded during the same period.
Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 3,57,117, followed by Tamil Nadu (1,99,749), Delhi (1,28,389), Karnataka (85,870), Andhra Pradesh (80,858), Uttar Pradesh (60,771), West Bengal (53,973), and Gujarat (53,545).
A look at the top developments here:
Lucknow streets wore a deserted look on Saturday as most shops and businesses were closed and public transport went off the roads in view of the State’s second-weekend lockdown of the month to combat COVID-19. The Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to impose a strict lockdown across the State on weekends to stop the spread of the virus.
The restrictions will remain in place at least for July, officials had said earlier. Markets were closed in the city and only vehicles carrying essential goods were seen plying on Saturday. The markets in pro- minent areas of Lucknow such as Hazratganj, Amina-bad, Chowk, Gomtinagar, Indiranagar, Latouche Road, Alambagh, Hewett Road, Aliganj and Gudumba remained shut.
Import licenses for rapid diagnostic kits of 3 firms cancelled
India’s drug regulator has cancelled the rapid diagnostic kit import licenses of three firms and suspended that of 16 others saying the USFDA has removed the manufacturers from their list of coronavirus serology test kits with directions that they should not be distributed.
The three firms are Cadila Healthcare, MDAAC International, and NW Overseas, while the 16 companies include Transasia Bio-Medicals, Cosmic Scientific, Inbios India, SD Biosensor, Accurex Bio-medicals, Biohouse Solu- tions and Trivitron Healthcare among others.
The companies were issued a show cause notices on July 17 asking why their import licenses shall not be cancelled since the diagnostic kits of the manufacturers have been removed by USFDA with direction that it should not be distributed from the list of product of serology test kits for COVID-19 disease, according to an official order by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan tests positive for COVID-19
Shivraj Singh Chouhan Saturday became the first Chief Minister to test positive for the novel coronavirus. He is likely to get admitted to Chirayu hospital in capital city Bhopal.
The Madhya Pradesh CM disclosed the news on Twitter. His announcement came days after Cabinet Minister Arvind Bhadoria tested positive for the disease. Bhadoria had attended a Cabinet meeting and had travelled with the CM to Lucknow to attend the funeral of Governor Lalji Tandon earlier this week.
Taking to Twitter, Chouhan said: “I was showing symptoms of Covid-19. I went through the tests and the results have proven to be positive. I urge all those who came in contact with me in recent days to get themselves tested. All those close to me should go into quarantine.
Bengal observes bi-weekly lockdown
All shops remained closed and modes of transport went off the roads as West Bengal observed a complete lockdown on Saturday. The government has decided to clamp the restrictions to two days a week.
Only medical shops and health establishments were allowed to remain open during the lockdown across the state.
Flight operations at the Kolkata airport were also suspended after the government requested the Civil Aviation Ministry to disallow operations during the lockdown. Police patrolled all major traffic intersections in the metropolis to keep a check on people coming out on the streets without any valid reason, news agency PTI reported.
Won’t lift lockdown just to address economic concerns: Uddhav
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said he was not in favour of lifting the lockdown entirely only to address economic concerns.
“I will never say that the lockdown will be lifted completely. But I have started reopening a few things gradually. Once reopened, it shouldn’t be shut again. Hence, I prefer taking steps in phases. You can’t just think about economy or health. There needs to be a balance between the two,” he said in an interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“This pandemic is a global war. It has affected the entire world. Those countries which had lifted the lockdown in haste thinking that it was over, were again forced to impose it to curb the spread. In Australia, they had to rope in the Army,” he added.
The state is observing a lockdown till July 31. From June onward, the government began lifting the restrictions in phase-wise manner under its ‘Mission Begin Again’ initiative.
Assam to reduce home quarantine period post discharge to 7 days
The Assam government has decided to reduce the home quarantine period for Covid-19 patients discharged from hospitals from 14 to seven days.
“With the evolving situation, the government of Assam has decided to reduce the home quarantine period after discharge from hospital to seven days,” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted on Friday night.
A notification from the Health & Family Welfare Department on Friday announced the same.
Additionally, the state has also made a change in its policy for providing essential items to quarantined families. “Essential items worth Rs 2,000 for quarantined families will henceforth provided only to families of the Below Poverty Line category,” the order read. However, Deputy Commissioners are allowed to extend the benefit to elderly, ailing, divvying etc, if necessary.
Meghalaya declares two-day lockdown in Shillong after rise in cases
The Meghalaya government has decided to impose a lockdown in the Shillong agglomeration from midnight of July 26 to midnight of July 29, following a rise in number of Covid-19 cases in the capital. The decision was announced by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday evening.
“The government may decide to continue the lockdown based on the situation, notifications will be updated by the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District,” he said on Twitter while urging people to stay indoors during the period. “
We are using this lockdown to complete the contact tracing of positive cases reported on Thursday from some of the localities within Shillong,” Meghalaya Health Secretary Sampath Kumar said.
Meghalaya currently has 496 active cases.
Varavara Rao’s family approaches NHRC, seek updates on his health
Family members of poet Varavara Rao, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, have moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking direction to a Mumbai hospital and prison authorities to provide “transparent” updates on the Covid patient’s health status.
The petition filed on Friday stated that the family was compelled to approach the body after they were denied any information about his condition or his treatment at the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai.
“Today, we are compelled to write this letter to you, as we are denied any information about his condition or his treatment at the Nanavati Hospital. From the time he was shifted out of Taloja Jail to St Georges hospital to Nanavati hospital, the only official information provided to the family was that he had tested positive for the Covid-19,” they were quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Yogi govt should pay attention to COVID testing: Mayawati
BSP president Mayawati on Saturday asked the Yogi Adityanath-led government to pay proper attention on testing and cleanliness in hospitals as the number of coronavirus cases continue to surge.
Taking to Twitter, she said: “In view of the daily rise of corona epidemic in country’s largest state Uttar Pradesh, the government should immediately give proper attention to corona testing, facilities in hospitals and cleanliness in COVID centres. This is the demand of the BSP.”
The state recorded 50 deaths and 2,667 new infections on Friday, taking the toll to 1,348 and tally to 60,771.
Pending formalities delay plasma therapy in Goa
Despite having the infrastructure in place, the Goa government is yet to begin plasma therapy for Covid-19 patients due to pending formalities, a senior official has said, PTI reported.
At least 15 to 20 recovered coronavirus patients have already donated their plasma, state health secretary Neela Mohanan told reporters on Friday. However, the state government is yet to start plasma therapy, as there are a few more procedures left to be completed, she added.
Covid-19 tally crosses 1,000-mark in Arunachal Pradesh
The Covid-19 tally in Arunachal Pradesh crossed the 1,000-mark on Saturday after 65 more people, including 33 security personnel, tested positive for the disease, a Health Department official said. With the fresh infections, the total number of cases rose to 1,056, State Surveillance Officer Dr L Jampa was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“All the 30 infected people in Papum Pare are Indo Tibetan Border Police personnel and they have been in a quarantine centre, while the 23 cases in the Capital Complex have been detected from various areas of the region,” he said. Courtesy The Indian Express