10.47 pm: Delhi government issues revised guidelines for home isolation of patients, ANI reports. One of the new rules says that every Covid-19 patient isolated at home must have a pulse oxymeter.

10.28 pm: Sixty-three new cases have been detected in Jharkhand on Friday. The total number of cases is now 2,697.

10.12 pm: A coronavirus patient has died on the road in Bengaluru’s Hanuman Nagar as the ambulance could not reach him even four hours after he had called for it, ANI reports. “I’ve ordered an inquiry into the incident. Action will be taken against guilty,” Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner Anil Kumar says.

10 pm: A family living in Odisha’s Rayagada district has been accused of being a “super spreader”, with village officials alleging that they were responsible for infections to 87 people, PTI reports. Odisha government’s Covid-19 spokesperson Subroto Bagchi says the family of three had returned to Bijaypur Village from Andhra Pradesh 15 days ago. They were asked to home-quarantine, but allegedly did not follow the instructions.

Rayagada District Collector Pramod Kumar Behera says the family, as well as 87 other villagers had tested positive for the coronavirus by Thursday.

9.29 pm: New coronavirus cases reported today:

Delhi: 2,520 new cases, 59 deaths; total rises to 94,695, toll now 2,923,

Mumbai: 1,372 new cases, 73 deaths; total rises to 81,634, toll now 4,759,

Goa: 94 new cases, state tally rises to 1,576; toll now 4,

Rajasthan: 390 new cases, 10 deaths; tally rises to 19,052, toll at 440,

Haryana: 494 new cases, total rises to 16,003; toll now 255.

8.30 pm: Maharashtra records 6,364 new coronavirus cases and 198 deaths today, according to ANI. Total number of cases in the state is now at 1,92,990 and the toll has increased to 8,376.

8.15 pm: More new coronavirus cases in states, according to ANI:

  • Manipur: 37 new cases, total rises to 1,316.
  • Gujarat: 687 new cases, total rises to 34,686. 
  • Madhya Pradesh: 191 new cases, total rises to 14,297.
  • Uttarakhand: 64 new cases, total rises to 3,048.    

8.08 pm: Karnataka reports 1,694 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s count to 19,710. The toll stands at 293.

7.52 pm: Punjab records 152 new coronavirus cases, taking the total count to 5,937, reports ANI. The toll stands at 157.

7.45 pm: The Joint Entrance Examination and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test have been postponed to September due to the coronavirus crisis. JEE-Main will be held from September 1 to 6, JEE Advanced will be held on September 27 and NEET will be held on September 13, says Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank”.

7.33 pm: The Lok Sabha Secretariat has issued guidelines on holding meetings of parliamentary standing committees, reports PTI. “With further relaxations in the lockdown made with effect from July 1, the sittings of the parliamentary committees can now be held while observing some restrictions,” says the notification.

The guidelines include:

  • Seating arrangement in the committee room may be made strictly adhering to the physical distancing norm of six feet.
  • Arrangements should be made for sanitiser at the entrance of the committee room.
  • No printed material should be used for the purpose of sitting and all documents related to the sitting should be sent to the members in soft form.
  • Ministry/Departments appearing before the committee may be advised to restrict the number of officials to a maximum of five.

7.20 pm: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb says 53 coronavirus patients have been discharged today. The state has 1,441 cases and one person has died due to the infection.

6.52 pm: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has tested positive for the coronavirus. “This afternoon I felt a slight fever and immediately quarantined myself at home,” he tweets. “I have now tested positive for Covid 19. By the grace of Allah, I feel strong and energetic. I will continue to carry on my duties from home. Please keep me in your prayers.”

6.40 pm: More new cases in states/Union Territories:

  • Bihar: 519 new cases, total rises to 10,911.
  • Chandigarh: Four new cases, total rises to 454.
  • Nagaland: Four new cases, total rises to 539. 

6.33 pm: Independent experts have criticised the Indian Council of Medical Research’s letter that directed clinical trial sites of Covaxin to fast-track approvals, saying that the experimental coronavirus vaccine was the “top priority project” of the government. The letter said ICMR wanted to “launch the vaccine for public health use latest by August 15”.

“I don’t think anywhere in the world has anyone ever given a date in advance for the release of a new vaccine before a clinical trial has even begun,” said Amar Jesani, editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics and a public health activist. “That is not how science works.”

Read more here

‘It’s unscientific’: Doctors entrusted with Covid-19 vaccine trial slam ICMR’s August 15 deadline

6.26 pm: Kerala reports 211 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s tally to 4,964, reports ANI.

6.20 pm: The number of coronavirus infections in Tamil Nadu has crossed the 1 lakh-mark, reports The Hindu. As many as 4,329 persons tested positive today, taking the state’s count to 1,02,721. With 64 deaths, the toll rose to 1,385.

6.16 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the state government has decided to continue 14 days of home quarantine for those coming from outside, reports ANI. “Request people to generate a self-declaration from Cova app to enable hassle-free transit,” he says. “Have also ordered rapid antigen testing from next week for surveillance.”

6.12 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi area reports eight new coronavirus cases, taking the total in the area to 2,309. The toll stands at 84.

06.10 pm: The Indian School Certificate Examination has released the assessment scheme for the remaining board exams.

6 pm: The Odisha government has decided to fix maximum price for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction – or RT-PCR test – at Indian Council of Medical Research approved private laboratories at Rs 2,200. This is inclusive of GST and other incidental charges.

4.55 pm: Authorities in Singapore say they are taking a cautious approach in the phase 2 reopening of the country as coronavirus infections are rising in community areas, reports PTI.

4.49 pm: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah alleges that the state government has paid three times more than the market price in purchase of coronavirus-related equipment, reports ANI. “I strongly feel that there is misappropriation by government,” he adds. “I demand them to declare list of bought items and their prices.”

4.44 pm: The Centre says a high-level review meeting on the coronavirus situation was convened today by the cabinet secretary.

“Early detection and timely clinical management of Covid-19 cases have resulted in increasing daily recoveries,” says a press release. “During the last 24 hours, a sharp rise of recoveries was observed with 20,033 Covid-19 patients having been cured, taking the cumulative figure to 3,79,891.”

4.40 pm: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has closed two isolation facilities in Mumbai’s Dharavi area after reduced number of coronavirus cases, reports IANS. “Cases have significantly reduced there and we don’t want to waste resources,” G/North Assistant Municipal Commissioner Kiran Dighavkar says. “Of the total 3,800-beds capacity in eight quarantine centres, we have reduced the numbers by 1,000 to touch around 2,800 beds.”

4.38 pm: The Barmer district collector in Rajasthan has imposed a seven-day curfew in the municipal council and adjoining areas due to rising coronavirus cases, reports ANI. The restrictions will come into effect from 7 pm today.

4.33 pm: The Punjab government has allowed to launch a pilot project for coronavirus rapid antigen testing from the coming week, reports ANI. There will also be e-registration for persons entering the state through Shambhu border.

4.25 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says Congress leader Kamal Nath is a “bigger problem” in the state than coronavirus, reports ANI. “Was Kamal Nath capable of fighting Covid-19,” he asks.

4.18 pm: India will operate nine more flights today to evacuate citizens stranded in the United Arab Emirates because of travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.

4.10 pm: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in Odisha says business organisations cannot bring workers from outside the state July 31. “Recently in Bhubaneswar it was found that one industrial organisation has brought workers from other state and put all of them in quarantine from which 34 of them were found to be Covid-19 positive after testing,” says an order.

3.55 pm: The Union Health Ministry praises Accredited Social Health Activists in Karnataka for their role in tackling the coronavirus crisis. “Karnataka’s 42,000 ASHAs have emerged as a crucial pillar in the State’s success in combating Covid-19,” says a press release. “They have been actively participating in the Covid-19 household surveys and screening inter-state passengers, migrant workers, and others in the community for symptoms of Covid-19.”

3.40 pm: Uttar Pradesh records 982 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. The state now has 7,451 active cases and 749 patients have died so far. Meanwhile, more than 17,550 people have recovered from the infection.

3.33 pm: Over 35% of all active coronavirus cases in Uttar Pradesh are in six districts of the Meerut administrative division, reports PTI, citing official data. Chief Minister Adityanath has asked officials to focus on Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Meerut and Baghpat districts.

3.25 pm: Four Central Crime Branch police personnel test positive for the coronavirus in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, reports PTI.

3.18 pm: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation tells the Bombay High Court that it is taking adequate safety measures and following the guidelines prescribed for the safe disposal of bodies of those who died due to the coronavirus, reports PTI.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, alleging that there were several lapses in handling of bodies in crematoriums at Shivaji Park in Dadar, at Sion and at the Chandanwadi crematorium.

3.13 pm: BJP MP Locket Chatterjee has tested positive for the coronavirus. “I have tested positive for Covid-19 this morning, having mild fever and was in self-isolation for the past one week,” she tweets.
“I will keep everyone posted. All is well.”

3.06 pm: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation says it is extending the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights in the country till July 31, but some international scheduled services on selected routes may be permitted on a case to case basis.

All passenger flights were suspended when a countrywide lockdown was enforced late in March to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Domestic passenger services were resumed from May 25.

3 pm: Facebook says it would offer reminders to its users to wear masks as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country. “With the rise in Covid-19 cases in the US, we’re putting an alert at the top of Facebook and Instagram to remind everyone to wear face coverings,” the company says in a statement.

2.52 pm: The upcoming monsoon session of the Goa legislative Assembly will be curtailed to a day, instead of two weeks as scheduled earlier, due to the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI. The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Speaker Rajesh Patnekar with all party leaders, says an official.

2.47 pm: The United States has donated 100 ventilators worth $3 million to Pakistan to help in the coronavirus containment measures, reports PTI. The ventilators arrived in Karachi on July 2 and will be sent to hospitals across Pakistan.

2.40 pm: Chicago will quarantine for 14 days all arrivals from US states, where coronavirus cases are surging, says its Public Health Commissioner. It currently covers 15 states, including California, Florida, Texas and Arizona, and it makes provision for adding or removing states as their coronavirus figures change, according to the city’s official website.

2.28 pm: Three more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Meghalaya, reports ANI. The state now has 18 active cases.

2.20 pm: Maharashtra minister Rajendra Shingne says the drug manufactured by yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved does not cure coronavirus, reports PTI. “Action will be taken with the help of the home department under the act if Patanjali creates confusion among people or misleads the people claiming the drug cures coronavirus,” an official statement quotes Shinge.

2.12 pm: The Delhi High Court has ruled that coronavirus treatment cannot be made conditional on a person giving an undertaking that he or she will mandatorily donate plasma after recovering, reports The Hindu.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan were hearing a petition to make mandatory for all the hospitals to obtain plasma from the recovered patients, both who were admitted in hospitals as well as who were under home isolation, after framing proper guidelines.

2.02 pm: Uttarakhand has constituted a technical committee to provide inputs to the government on coronavirus containment in the state, reports ANI.

1.03 pm: The Aurangabad Police impose curfew from 7 pm to 5 am to contain the spread of infection, reports PTI. The curfew will be in force till July 15.

1.01 pm: State BJP units will make presentation before PM Narendra Modi on Saturday to showcase the welfare works undertaken during the pandemic, says General Secretary Arun Singh.

12.59 pm: State-wise figures

Andhra Pradesh: 837 new cases and eight deaths; tally is now 16,934

Bihar: 231 new cases; tally to 10,914

12.54 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s tally rises to 1,016, says state health department.

12.51 pm: Uttarakhand government sanctions Rs 11.25 crore to increase the testing capacity in the state, reports ANI.

12.41 pm: A 97-year-old woman dies in Puducherry, reports PTI. The Union Territory reports 24 new cases, taking the tally to 824.

12.33 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says the resumption of domestic tourism will kickstart the coastal state’s economy, reports PTI.

12.31 pm: Assam’s tally crosses the 9,000-mark with 479 new infections, says Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

12.23 pm: The Centre says it has till now supplied over 2.02 crore N95 masks, 1.18 crore PPEs to states and Union Territories and central institutions.

11.43 am: South Africa confirms 8,728 new cases, a record high. With this, South Africa’s total confirmed cases is now more than 1,68,000.

11.02 am: There are 123 new cases and five deaths in Rajasthan till 10.30 am today, reports ANI citing the state health department. With this, the state’s total count goes up to 18,785 including 435 deaths.

11.01 am: Odisha reports 561 new cases. The state’s tally rises to 8,106.

10.54 am: Goa Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar asks all MLAs to get themselves tested for Covid-19 before the start of the monsoon session from July 27, reports PTI.

10.38 am: The Income Tax Department extends the deadline to furnish TDS/TCS statements for financial year 2019-‘20 till July 31. Deadline to issue TDS/TCS certificates has also been extended till August 15.

10.31 am: Britain has decided to ease quarantine rules for travellers from a dozen countries from July 10, reports BBC. People arriving in England from countries like France, Spain, Germany and Italy will not need to quarantine, says the Department for Transport. About 60 countries are expected to be included in the full list of exempt countries posing “a reduced risk” that will be published later today.

10.27 am: Texas Governor Greg Abbott makes wearing masks in public mandatory, reports BBC. Texas hit a record of more than 8,000 cases in a day on Wednesday.

10.02 am: Mexico reports 6,741 new cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the country’s tally goes up to 2,38,511. Mexico is now the 10th worst-affected nations, according to Reuters.

9.58 am: Nagaland Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom says there are four new cases in the state today, reports ANI. With this, the total number of infections in the state is 539. Nagaland has not yet reported any death.

9.55 am: India’s recovery rate is now 60.7%. Of the total 6,25,544 cases, 3,79,891 people have recovered, shows data from the health ministry.

9.38 am: The Centre has issued revised guidelines for home isolation, reports The Indian Express. According to the new guidelines, patients under home isolation will stand discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for three days. Earlier, patients’ home isolation ended after 17 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for 10 days.

9.27 am: India’s Covid-19 tally goes up to 6,25,544 as the country reports 20,903 cases. The toll rises to 18,213 with 379 new fatalities. As many as 3,79,891 people have recovered so far.

9.25 am: United States President Donald Trump once again attacks Beijing over the outbreak of coronavirus. “Plague from China, that is what it is, should have never happened but they did allow it to happen,” he says during the “Spirit of America Showcase” in the Grand Foyer of the White House. “We had just signed a brand new trade deal and the ink wasn’t even dry when it came over.”

9.13 am: ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava, in an internal letter, has asked Bharat Biotech and principal investigators of medical colleges to complete the trial procedure of indigenous Covid-19 vaccine in a fast-track method, reports ANI. They plan to publish the results of clinical trial by August 15.

Also read

Coronavirus: ICMR asks clinical trial sites of Covaxin to fast-track approvals on ‘top priority’

9.11 am: The total number of samples tested up to July 2 is 92,97,749. Of these, 2,41,576 samples were tested on Thursday, says the Indian Council of Medical Research.

8.50 pm: The United States reported around 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday – the highest single-day increase recorded in any country, according to a Reuters count.

8.40 pm: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday revised the home isolation guidelines to include asymptomatic coronavirus patients in the list of mild or pre-symptomatic infection cases, reports PTI.

8.30 am: Two more Covid-19 patients die in Assam, taking the toll to 14, while the total number of positive cases moved towards the 9,000-mark, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Thursday.

8.20 am: Arunachal Pradesh records 37 new coronavirus cases till Friday, reports ANI, citing Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The total number of cases in the state stands at 232, including 160 active cases, 71 recoveries and one death.

8.16 am: The Drug Controller General of India gives approval to pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila to start the first two phases of human clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, NDTV reports. This is the second vaccine after Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s “Covaxin” to get the approval.

8.09 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday:

  1. Tamil Nadu recorded 4,343 new coronavirus case in the evening, taking the state’s tally to 98,392. Meanwhile, Delhi reported 2,373 new cases and 61 deaths. The total number of cases in the national Capital stood at 92,175 and the toll has increased to 2,864. Maharashtra hit a single day record, reporting 6,330 infections, however, 8,018 patients recovered, reducing the number of active cases.
  2. The postal ballot facility was extended to people who are infected or those who are suspected of having contracted the coronavirus and are in quarantine.
  3. The Centre directed all states and Union Territories to hand over bodies of suspected coronavirus patients to their relatives without waiting for laboratory confirmation of the infection. However, it added that the mortal remains should be disposed of as per the guidelines issued by the government.
  4. Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel announced that all the monuments in the country will be reopened from July 6 with precautions. They have been shut since March, when the Centre announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus crisis.
  5. The Delhi High Court suggested that the Aam Aadmi Party-led government could open a helpline exclusively for frontline healthcare workers in the Capital, where they could make an anonymous complaint if they were not given personal protective gear.
  6. The Delhi government inaugurated its plasma bank at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences Hospital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged those who have recovered from the coronavirus to come forward and donate plasma to help others recover.