A day after India overtook Russia to become the third-highest country in the world in terms of coronavirus cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research said that the country has tested over one crore samples till date. “The per day testing capacity which was around 1.5 lakh on May 25 is more than three lakh per day now,” said the institution’s scientist and media coordinator Dr. Lokesh Sharma.
Here are the latest updates:
10 pm | Maharashtra
Maharashtra govt extends closure time of shops by two hours
Further relaxing the lockdown restrictions, the Maharashtra government decided to allow markets and shops to remain open for additional two hours from July 9.
Markets and shops can now remain open from 9 am to 7 pm, an extension of two hours from the existing closing deadline of 5 p.m., in non-containment zones.
Issuing a notification to this effect, the government said it aims to control or reduce crowding.
9.45 pm | Tripura
Tripura to conduct rapid antigen test in containment zones & entry points: Minister
The Tripura government decided to conduct rapid antigen test in the State’s 28 containment zones and all the entry points including Agartala Airport following a spike in COVID-19 cases, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said.
“COVID-19 cases are on the rise throughout the world and Tripura is no exception to it. Following the rise in corona cases the state government in the cabinet meeting held here decided to go for a rapid antigen test which would be started from Monday (July 13)”, Mr. Nath told reporters.
9.00 pm | World
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he said in a television interview.
Mr. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in capital Brasilia.
“I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations, he added.
8.45 pm | Maharashtra
No need for prescription for COVID-19 test in Mumbai now
People can test themselves for coronavirus infection at designated private laboratories in Mumbai without a doctor’s prescription, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
The civic body also informed that those kept in institutional quarantine will be discharged only when they test negative for the virus.
Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal took the decision to allow testing without medical prescription in view of increase in the number of private laboratories and their capacity, it said in a release.
It will help people get treatment for coronavirus quicker, it added.
Earlier, a doctor’s prescription was needed for a test.
“If the test comes out positive, a (hospital) bed will be allotted through ward-level ‘War Rooms’ of the municipal corporation,” the BMC release said.
8.30 pm | India
CSIR seeks nod for clinical trial to check efficacy of combination of three drugs
The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), in collaboration with Laxai Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, has sought regulatory approval to undertake controlled phase III clinical trial using a combination of three different drugs to treat COVID-19 patients, a statement said.
The purpose behind the clinical trial is to rationally combine and repurpose antivirals and determine safety and efficacy of the three combination drugs (Favipiravir+Colchicine, Umifenovir+Colchicine and Nafamostat+5-ALA).
8.10 pm | West Bengal
Tougher lockdown to be imposed in Bengal from July 9
The West Bengal government has decided to expand the areas under lockdown and impose tougher restrictions from July 9 to stem the relentless spike in COVID-19 cases, a senior official said.
The containment zones and buffer zones around them will be clubbed together and constitute a “broad-based” containment zone where total lockdown will be imposed from 5 pm on Thursday.
Local authorities will try and arrange home delivery of essential commodities for the residents of these areas, he said.
“These broader containment zones may be subjected to strict lockdown and all offices, government and private, all non-essential activities, congregations, transportations and all marketing, industrial and trading activities be closed,” an order issued by Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Alapan Bandyopadhyay said.
7.40 pm | India
India’s proactive, graded approach ensured plateaued graph of COVID-19 cases: Harsh Vardhan
India’s preemptive, proactive and graded approach ensured a plateaued graph of COVID-19 cases and a significant number of unoccupied beds in the health facilities at any point of time, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.
Mr. Vardhan made the remarks during his conversation with Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Lena Hallengren, who had called upon him virtually to discuss co-operation in the field of health and medicine, according to a statement issued by the Union Health ministry.
Elaborating on the lessons India learned while handling the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Vardhan,said, “India has a recovery rate of more than 61% and a mortality of as low as 2.78 per cent in spite of being a country of 1.35 billion.”
7.00 pm | Kerala
Kerala registers highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases
In the highest single day spike in COVID-19 cases in the State, Kerala reported 272 fresh infections, taking the infection tally to 5894, while over 1.86 lakh people are under observation.
Of the new cases, 157 came from abroad and 38 were from other states, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.
Sixty-eight people were infected through contact, the highest so far, and the source of 15 of the cases was yet to be known.
According to the Chief Minister,66 CISF personnel and 23 Army jawans have tested positive so far.
6.40 pm | Telangana
Process for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials begins at NIMS Hyderabad
The process of conducting clinical trials for Covaxin, a vaccine candidate for COVID-19, began on Tuesday at the Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here, a top official of the state-run medical facility said.
“We will select healthy individuals and draw blood and send the blood samples to designated labs in New Delhi.
They will give the green signal. Then the medicine people will examine and the first shot of the vaccine will be given due observation,” NIMS director Dr K Manohar told PTI.
6.20 pm | India
SC notice to Centre, DGCA on plea for refund of ticket for flights cancelled due to lockdown
The Supreme Court asked the Centre and the DGCA to respond to a plea seeking directions to airlines to refund full amount of tickets for the flights cancelled due to restrictions imposed in India to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notices to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking their replies on the plea which has alleged that airlines have failed to refund the ticket amount and are “illegally imposing” the mechanism of ‘credit shell’ on unwilling passengers.
“Issue notice,” said the bench, also comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah.
6.00 pm | India
India’s COVID-19 tally, fatality rate per million population lowest in world: Health Ministry
India’s total number of coronavirus cases and fatalities per million population is one of the lowest in the world, the Union Health Ministry said on July 7 even as the country’s infection tally went past the 7 lakh-mark and the death toll rose to 20,160. Referring to the ‘WHO Situation Report-168’ dated July 6, the Ministry said India’s COVID-19 cases per million population is 505.37 as against the global average of 1,453.25.
Lancet study casts doubts on herd immunity feasibility
A Spanish study published in The Lancet journal has cast doubt over the feasibility of herd immunity — when enough people become infected with a virus to stop its spread — as a way of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
For herd immunity to work, at least 70% of a population needs to be immune to protect the uninfected people, experts say.
5.30 pm | India
After travelling 400 km for treatment, baby dies within hours of testing COVID-19 positive
An eight-month-old baby who travelled around 400 km from Arunachal Pradesh to Meghalaya via Assam for treatment died within hours of testing positive for coronavirus, officials said. The baby boy was referred to the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) here from Arunachal Pradesh’s Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences for treatment of some ailment, they said.
5.00 pm | New Delhi
CBSE syllabus for Class 9-12 to be reduced by 30% for the coming academic year due to COVID-19 situation, says HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. Core concepts will be retained.
4.45 pm | Himachal Pradesh
HP govt reopens state for tourists with conditions, but not many takers
The Himachal Pradesh government last week reopened the state for tourists after over three months with conditions, but not many hotels have started functioning yet.
The Tourism Department on Saturday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) with which the tourists are allowed to enter Himachal with conditions such as a report by an ICMR-accredited laboratory not earlier than 72 hours, testing negative for COVID-19 and a prior hotel booking of at least five days.
The president of tourism industry stakeholder association, Mohinder Seth, welcomed the decision and said the association was providing training to hotel staff for taking precautions while receiving tourists.
He said the majority of the hotels in the state have not yet opened as they are preparing to receive the tourists.
4.15 pm | West Bengal
COVID-19 hospital in Kolkata earmarks beds for transgender people
The West Bengal government-run M. R. Bangur Hospital, a COVID-19-designated facility located in south Kolkata, has earmarked beds for COVID-19 patients belonging to the transgender community.
On Monday evening, the hospital admitted its first coronavirus patient — a transgender woman — who worked in a diagnostic laboratory and possibly picked up the infection while collecting blood samples.
“This is the first hospital in the entire country to earmark beds for [COVID-19] patients from the transgender community. Two beds each have been earmarked for transgender women and men in the female and male wards respectively,” West Bengal’s Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya told The Hindu.
“The credit goes entirely to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” said Ms. Bhattacharya. – Bishwanath Ghosh
4.00 pm | New Delhi
Face masks, hand sanitisers no longer under Essential Commodities Act: Centre
Face masks and hand sanitisers are no more essential products as their supply is sufficient in the country and, therefore, are now kept out of the purview of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
“These two products were declared as essential items till June 30. We are not extending further as there is enough supply in the country,” Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said.
3.45 pm | Karnataka
No community spread of COVID-19 in Karnataka: state govt tells Centre
The Karnataka government told a central team that community spread of COVID-19 was not happening in the state.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa held discussions with the team consisting of Arti Ahuja Additional Secretary- Health and Family Welfare and P Raveendran, Director- Emergency Medical Relief (EMR), regarding COVID-19 situation in the state. Senior Ministers and officials of the state government were present at the meeting.
“There is no community spread so far, I am making it very clear. We are still in between the second and the third stage, we haven’t reached the third stage yet,” state Health Minister B Sriramulu said.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said, we have informed this to the central team and they too have accepted it and have advised us to see to it that we don’t reach the third stage.
3.15 pm | Goa
Goa seeks ICMR nod for using convalescent plasma therapy
Goa government has sought the permission of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for using convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said the state has all the required facilities to store blood plasma.
3.00 pm | New Delhi
Govt to come up with SOP for shooting films
The government is coming up with a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for shooting films in India in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and is also set to provide incentives for production to accelerate restarting of film-making, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.
to accelerate the restart of film-making that had come to a standstill as a result of COVID, it is also coming up with incentives of production in all sectors, including TV serials, film-making, co-production, animation, gaming. We will be announcing these measures shortly,” he said. – PTI
2.50 pm | Karnataka
Central team hails state’s contact-tracing and data base initiative
A team of officers from the Union Health Ministry met Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa at his home office Krishna on Tuesday as part of their two-day official visit to the state and discussed on various issues about containing COVID 19.
According to an official communiqué from the chief minister’s secretariat, the central team appreciated the efforts of the State Government in containing COVID 19.
The central team said that the priority of the Government should be to save lives and to provide treatment. They also advised that the government should strictly follow the guidelines concerned at containment zones.
2.00 pm | Bihar
Testing lowest in Bihar among 19 States, says NITI Aayog CEO
In Bihar, where over 25 lakh migrant workers have returned from other States due to the lockdown, testing for COVID-19 has been the lowest among 19 States of the country, even lower than the neighbouring States of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
According to data shared by Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, on his Twitter handle on July 4, Bihar stands lowest among 19 States with regard to testing.
The doctor-population ratio in Bihar too is among lowest in the country with one doctor (allopathic) for a population of 28,391 and one hospital bed per 8,645 people. – Amarnath Tewary
1.40 pm | Karnataka
Karnataka expert committee submits report allowing online learning, sets guidelines
The expert committee formed by the State government to look into the modalities of online classes submitted its report on July 7. The committee has allowed both live as well as pre-recorded classes but has set some guidelines.
The report titled “Continuation of Learning in School Education of Karnataka”, which lays down guidelines for technology-enabled education during the COVID-19 pandemic, states that parental supervision will be mandatory for students up to grade two.
The report stipulates the maximum screen time per session at 30 minutes with 15 minutes extra time for grades VI and upwards.
1.00 pm | Tamil Nadu
Quarantined COVID-19 patients in Chidambaram break open lock to play kabbadi on terrace
A group of COVID-19 patients at the quarantine facility in Annamalai University, Chidambaram, allegedly broke open a lock to go to the terrace to play kabbadi. After a video of the kabbadi match was widely shared on mobile messaging platforms, Chidambaram Sub-Collector Vishu Mahajan went to the quarantine centre and warned the patients.
According to an official, 90 patients were admitted at the institutional quarantine facility at the Golden Jubilee hostel block in the varsity. Of these, around 30 persons went to the terrace of the building and played kabaddi two days ago. Scenes of the match were filmed by one of the patients and shared on social media, drawing the attention of the police and revenue authorities.
12.20 pm | Maharashtra
Over 400 employees affected by Covid-19 in Bajaj Auto’s Waluj plant
A section of workers at Bajaj Auto’s Waluj manufacturing plant are seeking temporary suspension of operations after 400 employees at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
“We are demanding that due to increased number of COVID-19 cases, work should be suspended for few days to break this cycle of transmission of disease. We are just seeking temporary suspension of work for few days,” Bajaj Auto Workers’ Union President Thengade Bajirao told PTI when contacted over the matter. – PTI
12.00 noon | Maharashtra
Over 15 lakh quarantined in Mumbai since virus outbreak: BMC
More than 15 lakh people have been quarantined in Mumbai after contact-tracing so far since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city civic body said.
Out of these, 5.34 lakh people were identified as high-risk contacts, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
So far, 13.28 lakh people have completed their 14-day quarantine.
As of now, 2.46 lakh people are under home quarantine and 14,288 under institutional quarantine, the BMC said on its website.
11.30 am | Odisha
Union minister Pratap Sarangi goes into home quarantine
Union minister and Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi has quarantined himself at his New Delhi residence after a BJP MLA from Odisha he shared the dias with at two events last week tested positive for COVID-19.
In a series of tweets on Monday night, the Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) said he is “hale and hearty”. Sarangi said he had shared the dais with Sukanta Kumar Nayak, the MLA from Nilagiri constituency in Balasore district, at two events on July 2 and 3.
“On being informed that MLA Nilagiri has been tested positive for #COVID-19, I self quarantined myself at my official residence in Delhi as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” he said.
11.00 am | West Bengal
Total shutdown in parts of West Bengal for a week
Total shutdown would be imposed in English Bazar and Old Malda towns for a week, starting Wednesday in the wake of the rising cases of COVID- 19, officials said.
All shops will remain shut during this period, except those selling essential items, they said. Pharmacies have also been excluded from the purview of the shutdown, officials said.
Private vehicles will not be allowed on the roads, they said, adding that state-run buses after leaving the Gour Kanya terminal will stop only at a single point in any of these two towns. Cycle-rickshaws and e-rickshaws will also be not allowed, officials said. However, some rickshaws would be made available at three designated locations for emergency purposes.
The vegetable market in English Bazar, the district headquarters, will remain open till 11 a.m.
Malda, the home to lakhs of migrant workers from West Bengal, has so far reported 859 cases. Of them, 331 are currently undergoing treatment while 524 people have been discharged after recovery. Four deaths have been reported from the district, which is on the India-Bangladesh border.
10.30 am | Uttar Pradesh
UP’s Muzaffarnagar, Shamli districts seal borders to prevent entry of kanwariyas
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar and Shamli on Monday sealed the borders of the districts with neighbouring states of Uttarakhand and Haryana, respectively, in view of the cancellation of the annual Kanwar Yatra due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Kanwar Yatra is an annual pilgrimage of devotees of Lord Shiva known as kanwariyas. The devotees visit Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of river Ganga during the auspicious Hindu month of Shravan.
Fifty-eight checkpoints have been set up on the Delhi-Haridwar national highway and at other places along the Uttarakhand border to check the arrival of kanwariyas headed to Haridwar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Abhishek Yadav told reporters on Monday. They will not be allowed to proceed to Haridwar, he said. In Shamli, police have sealed the Yamuna bridge on the Panipat-Khatima highway, the officials said.
10.00 am | Kerala
Kerala bars daily movement of workers between Kasaragod and Dakshina Kannada
The Kerala government has barred movement of daily pass holders — professionals and workers — between the State’s Kasaragod district and Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district following a spurt in COVID-19 cases.
Kerala Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekaran announced the decision at a meeting on Monday in Kasaragod. Both district administrations had in June issued passes to daily travellers in their districts to travel in connection with their work.
9.30 am | Goa
Ex-health minister of Goa dies of COVID-19
Former Goa health minister Suresh Amonkar died of COVID-19 infection on Monday, a health official said. He was 68. “Amonkar remained admitted in the ESI hospital (in Margao) after testing positive for coronavirus since the last week of June. He succumbed to the infection on Monday evening,” the official said, adding that Amonkar had been critical since the last few days.
9.00 am | Kerala
Restrictions eased in capital amid widespread confusion
Day 1 of the week-long triple lockdown in the city was marked by widespread confusion with the public struggling to come to terms with the curbs introduced without putting adequate preparations in place.
Taking into account the plight of the large sections that scrambled to stock up on essential commodities, the district administration have announced certain relaxations. Milk booths, vegetable stalls, grocery shops, shops selling cattle feed, poultry feed and veterinary medicine can function from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
8.30 am | Tamil Nadu
Focus shifts from Chennai to other districts with high case loads
Shifting its focus outside Chennai and its neighbouring areas, the Tamil Nadu government has instructed the Collectors of 15 districts that have reported a high number of COVID-19 cases in the past few days to consolidate their efforts, actively identify cases of influenza-like illness (ILI)/severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and adopt the successful ‘fever clinics model’.
8.00 am | Maharashtra
70 policemen have succumbed to COVID-19, says Deshmukh
Seventy policemen have died of COVID-19 in Maharashtra so far, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Twitter on Monday. He also said of the 5,454 police personnel, who have tested positive for the virus, 4,250 have recovered.
“In Maharashtra, as many as 1,51,333 offences have been registered under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code since the lockdown leading to 29,635 arrests and seizure of 88,330 vehicles. ₹11,23,17,987 have been collected in fines from offenders,” the minister tweeted.
7.30 am | Karnataka
Dedicated facilities for pregnant COVID-19 patients
Amidst a growing number of complaints of patients being refused admission, the city will soon have two facilities dedicated for pregnant women who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Revenue Minister R. Ashok directed Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar to set up the dedicated facilities in northern and southern parts of the city. This was following a meeting with a few councillors at the BBMP head office here on Monday.
7.00 am | New Delhi
If trend of low cases continues, Capital may have passed peak, says AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria
People waiting for COVID-19 testing at the GTB Hospital in New Delhi on Sunday.
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria told The Hindu that if the trend of comparatively low new cases continues for the next 5-7 days, then Delhi could have passed the peak of COVID-19 cases. “If this trend continues, then we could say that we have had a peak and now we are on the downward side. Cases have come down from almost 4,000 to 2,500,” he said.