Coronavirus Updates: No lockdown in Odisha for 12 days in September to aid JEE, NEET examinees, says govt

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Coronavirus Updates: Odisha chief Secretary AK Tripathy had on Friday announced that the state government will provide free transport and accommodation to students appearing in the examinations




Coronavirus LATEST Updates: After being closed since 22 March in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi Metro has received the nod from authorities to resume services from 7 September in a “calibrated manner”, officials said.

The Union Home Ministry on Saturday issued the Unlock 4 guidelines under which metro trains will be allowed to resume services from 7 September in a graded manner, while political, social and religious congregations of up to 100 people will be permitted from 21 September.

Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that classes for standard 12 and final year of undergraduate programmes will commence on 15 September in an informal and experimental way.

For every million population, India’s coronavirus cases and fatalities are one of the lowest compared to the global averages, the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was informed on Saturday.

The Jharkhand government has allowed the reopening of hotels, lodges as well as restaurants and also given a go-ahead to public transport to ply within the State for a month till 30 September in view of the JEE, NEET examinations.

With more than nine lakh samples tested for the third consecutive day, the number of tests for COVID-19 has crossed the four-crore mark in India.

Nevada officials are reporting what may be the first documented case of coronavirus reinfection in the United States, following similar reports earlier this week from Hong Kong and Europe.

Over four crore COVID-19 samples have been tested so far, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), adding 9,28,761 samples were tested on Friday alone.

With 1,021 more COVID-19 patients succumbing to the contagious disease, the toll in India reached 62,550 on Saturday.

Speaking about the GST Compensation gap, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday took a swipe at the Centre over mismanagement of economy before COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the pandemic is an ‘Act of God’, how do we describe the mismanagement of the economy during 2017-18 2018-19 and 2019-20 before the pandemic struck India? Will the FM as the Messenger of God please answer?, asked Chidambaram.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has requested all MPs willing to participate in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament to undergo RT-PCR test.

At a preparatory meeting, chaired by Birla on Friday, it was decided that the RT-PCR test that usually takes 24-48 hours to come up with the results will be conducted.

A record single-day rise of 77,266 coronavirus cases pushed India’s total to over 33 lakh cases, the Union health ministry said on Friday. This spike in new cases is the highest in the world, crossing the number of new infections reported in the United States in the last 24 hours, reports said.

However, in terms of the total caseload, India is still at the third-highest rank, after the US and Brazil. The US has a total of over 58 lakh cases, while Brazil has a tally of over 37 lakh cases.

These figures were reported on a day the debate over whether or not to hold NEET, JEE exams continued and a sitting Member of the Parliament, Congress leader H Vasanthakumar, died of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, a current India cricketer is among multiple members of the Chennai Super Kings contingent who have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the IPL franchise to extend its quarantine period in Dubai and causing  upheaval ahead of the event starting on 19 September.

The franchise is yet to issue a formal statement but a league source told PTI that the number of positive cases could be between 10 and 12.

Amid the rising cases, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announced that every MP attending the Monsoon Session fo the Parliament will be asked to undergo to COVID-19 testing 72 hours before the session in September.

Meanwhile, recoveries in India surged to 25,83,948 on Friday, and the toll climbed to 61,529 with 1,057 new deaths in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The recovery rate stood at 76.28 percent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate further declined to 1.82 percent, the ministry added.

There are 7,42,023 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country, which comprises 21.90 percent of the total caseload, the data showed.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 3,94,77,848 samples have been tested up to 27 August, with 9,01,338 samples being tested on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu Congress MP H Vasanthakumar dies of COVID-19

Congress MP from Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari, H Vasanthakumar, died of COVID-19 at a hospital on Friday.

The 70-year old first time MP, and working president of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, who was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals on 10 August after he tested positive for coronavirus. Vasanthakumar is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter, PTI reported.

Apollo Hospitals in a statement later said the MP was treated in a critical care unit for severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

“Despite all active medical measures, his condition deteriorated gradually due to COVID-19 complications and he passed away today,” the hospital said.

Vasanthakumar, a two-time MLA (2006-11 and 2016-19) was elected to the Lok Sabha last year.

Meanwhile, former Karnataka minister and JD(S) leader HD Revanna also tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and was admitted to a hospital, PTI reported.

State health minister B Sriramulu said he was praying for Revanna’s recovery and added, “HD Revanna has tested positive for coronavirus. I pray that he recovers and gets back to serve people.”

Amarinder Singh goes into self-quarantine after  MLAs test COVID-19 positive

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh quarantined himself after two Congress MLAs who met him during the one-day Assembly session on Friday tested positive for COVID-19.

The MLAs, Nirmal Singh and Kulbir Singh Zira, got tested for the disease after the one-day monsoon session.

“Punjab chief minister @capt_amarinder has decided to go into 7-day self quarantine, as per government protocol and the advise of his doctors, after two MLAs who met him in the Vidhan Sabha tested positive for #COVID19,” tweeted Raveen Thukral, the media advisor to the chief minister.

Meanwhile the Chandigarh administration suspended the order of closing weekend markets, The Indian Express reported, quoting the order as saying that “congested markets will continue to open on odd-even formula till 3 September.”

MPs to get tested for COVID-19 before Monsoon Session of Parliament

With the Monsoon Session of the Parliament set to begin in September, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that MPs will be asked to get themselves tested for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before the start of the session.

Besides MPs, Parliament staff and media personnel, among other entrants to the building, will also be required to get tested for the novel coronavirus.

Birla said arrangements have also been made for zero-touch security checks during the session and if required, random tests for COVID-19 can be conducted during the session.

Visitors will not be allowed during the session, which will be held as per the guidelines, including those on social distancing, issued by the health ministry in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Monsoon Session is likely to start from 14 September and conclude on 1 October.

To finalise the arrangements for the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Parliament, Birla on Friday chaired a meeting of officials from the health ministry, ICMR, AIIMS, DRDO, Delhi government, and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats.

Second round of serological survey launched in Bhubaneswar

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday launched the second round of serological survey to assess prevalence of COVID-19 among people in the city, as the Odisha capital is witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases this month.

Five teams will collect 1,500 samples from various locations in the city, PTI reported.

“The current exercise will provide an indication of the community exposure level which was found to be very low during the first round of the serological survey,” the report quoted an official as saying.

The Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) is providing technical support to the BMC to carry out the two-day survey in the city.

A serological survey is conducted to assess the prevalence of a disease in a society or population to see if people have developed antibodies against a virus. It shows how many or what percentage of population had contracted a particular disease and have acquired immunity against it.

State-wise deaths

Of the 1,057 fresh deaths, 355 are from Maharashtra, 141 from Karnataka, 109 from Tamil Nadu, 92 from Andhra Pradesh, 68 from Uttar Pradesh, 53 from West Bengal, 37 from Punjab, 24 from Madhya Pradesh, 22 from Delhi, 17 from Gujarat, 14 each from Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, 13 from Rajasthan, 12 from Haryana, 11 each from Telangana and Jharkhand.

Ten casualties have been reported from Kerala and Puducherry, nine from Uttarakhand, eight from Bihar, seven from Odisha, six from Goa, four each from Assam and Tripura, two each from Chandigarh and Ladakh, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Himachal Pradesh have registered one fatality each.

Of the total 61,529 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum at 23,444 followed by 6,948 in Tamil Nadu, 5,232 in Karnataka, 4,369 in Delhi, 3,633 in Andhra Pradesh, 3,217 in Uttar Pradesh, 3,017 in West Bengal, 2,962 in Gujarat, and 1,306 in Madhya Pradesh.

So far, 1,256 people have died of COVID-19 in Punjab, 1,005 in Rajasthan, 799 in Telangana, 671 in Jammu and Kashmir, 646 in Haryana, 538 in Bihar, 448 in Odisha, 373 in Jharkhand, 278 in Assam, 267 in Kerala, 245 in Chhattisgarh and 228 in Uttarakhand.

Puducherry has registered 190 fatalities, Goa 171, Tripura 89, Chandigarh 43, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 42, Himachal Pradesh 33, Ladakh 27, Manipur 25, Nagaland nine, Meghalaya eight, Arunachal Pradesh five, Sikkim three and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 percent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

With inputs from agencies





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