10.58 pm: The University Grants Commission tells the Bombay High court that the Maharashtra government does not have the power to cancel final year examinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, NDTV reports. The higher education regulator filed the affidavit in response to a petition filed by Dhananjay Kulkarni, a retired teacher and former university senate member from Pune. Kulkarni had challenged the state government’s decision to cancel examinations of final year students of both professional and non-professional courses.

10.51 pm: Rajasthan registers 958 coronavirus cases and eight deaths till 8.30 on Friday, ANI reports. The total number of cases in the state stands at 34,178, including 602 deaths.

10.48 pm: A virtual review meeting was chaired by the Cabinet Secretary with the health secretaries of nine states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha,West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh – that are driving present spurt of active caseload in country, the health ministry says. The states were advised to ramp up testing with special focus on containment zones.

10.47 pm: A police station in Himachal Pradesh’s Bilaspur district was sealed after a policeman posted there tested positive for coronavirus, PTI reports. As many as 90 police personnel ,including homeguard jawans were quarantined, Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Diwakar Sharma says.

10.45 pm: Telangana records 1,640 coronavirus cases and eight deaths on Friday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 52,466, including 455 deaths, ANI reports.

10.43 pm: West Bengal registers 2,216 new coronavirus cases and 35 fatalities on Friday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 53,973, including 1,290 deaths, ANI reports, quoting state health department’s figures.

10.42 pm: Maharashtra registers 9,615 new coronavirus cases and 278 deaths, ANI reports. The state now has 3,57,117 infections, including 1,3132 deaths.

10.40 pm: Mumbai registers 1,062 new Covid-19 infections and 54 deaths on Friday, ANI reports. With this, the city’s caseload rises to 1,06,891, while the toll is now 5,981.

10.38 pm: Delhi registers 1,025 new coronavirus cases and 32 deaths, taking the total tally of infections in the city to 1,28,389, ANI reports, quoting the daily health bulletin. The toll from the disease stands at 3,777.

8.48 pm: The aviation ministry says the cap on domestic airfare will remain in place till November 24 or until further orders, The Indian Express reports.

8.42 pm: Goa registers 109 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 4,540, ANI reports. The toll from the disease stands at 29.

8.41 pm: Uttarakhand registers 272 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 5,717, ANI reports.

8.39 pm: Punjab records 482 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total tally of cases in the state to 12,216, including 282 deaths, ANI reports.

8.38 pm: Haryana registers 780 new coronavirus cases on Friday, ANI reports, quoting the figures by the state health department. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rises to 29,755 and the toll stands at 382.

8.36 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi area reports six new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total number of infections in the locality to 2,519, ANI reports.

7.21 pm: The strain of the novel coronavirus in a majority of cases in India is the predominant subtype found in other parts of the globe, says Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Director Rakesh Mishra, according to PTI. The scientist adds that the uniformity bodes well for the efficacy of a vaccine or drug developed anywhere in the world. Mishra says that detailed gene mapping of the coronavirus also indicated that it is unlikely that it will mutate into a more dangerous strain.

7.06 pm: Uttar Pradesh registers 2,667 Covid-19 cases and 50 deaths in its biggest single-day jump in infections and fatalities, so far, PTI reports. With this, the total number of cases in the state rises to 60,771 and the toll is 1,298.

7.01 pm: The deputy commissioner’s office in Kokrajhar district of Assam has been declared as a containment zone from Friday after an employee and a guard tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reports, quoting the District Disaster Management Authority.

7.00 pm: A woman was arrested in Ulhasnagar in Thane district for allegedly selling an injection being used to treat coronavirus patients at inflated prices, PTI reports, quoting officials from the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration.

6.58 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that an all party meeting was held on Friday to discuss the coronavirus situation in the state, ANI reports. “Opposition parties have given their suggestions regarding the containment of the virus, we will consider it,” he adds.

6.54 pm: Jammu and Kashmir reports 353 new coronavirus cases on Friday, ANI reports. Of these, 129 cases were reported from Jammu, while 224 were registered in Kashmir. The total tally of infections in the Union Territory now stands at 16,782 and the toll is 296.

6.51 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that at 864 cases and less than 21 deaths per million (10 lakh) population, India has one of the lowest Covid-19 infection and death rate in the world, according to the health ministry. The remarks were made by Vardhan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Health Ministers’ Digital Meet.

6.47 pm: A wing of Indian Council of Medical Research and a healthcare initiative formed by Indian and Norwegian governments have launched a study to detect coronavirus infection from cough sounds of people using artificial intelligence, PTI reports.

6.44 pm: World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan warns that the concept of herd immunity, or a large section of the population developing antibodies against Covid-19, is still a distant reality. In a social media event organised by WHO from Geneva on Friday, the scientist says that more waves of the infection would be required to get to a stage of natural immunity. Therefore, at least for the next year or so, the world needs to be geared up to do everything possible to keep the novel coronavirus at bay while scientists work on vaccines, she adds.

6.42 pm: A Biju Janata Dal MLA, his wife and five employees of the Odisha Assembly test positive for Covid-19, PTI reports. Srikant Sahu, who represents Polasara in the Assembly, is the fourth legislator in the state to have contracted the infection. “Both of us are in home isolation as the symptoms are mild,” Sahu says. “I have not been to the state Assembly for the last two months.”

6.38 pm: Karnataka reports 5,007 new coronavirus cases and 110 deaths on Friday, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rises to 85,870, including 1,724 deaths.

6.35 pm: Tamil Nadu registers 6,785 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 1,99,749, ANI reports, quoting the figures by the state health department. The toll rises to 3,320 after 88 more fatalities were recorded.

6.31 pm: The Karnataka government revises rates for RT-PCR or Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests, and the price for Rapid Antigen Testing at private labs, ANI reports. While an RT-PCR test will cost Rs 2,000, the price of Rapid Antigen Testing has been fixed at Rs 700 per sample. The costs will be inclusive of the price of personal protection equipment.

6.26 pm: Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe announces that the district will observe a “janata curfew”, or a people’s curfew, on July 25 and July 26, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, PTI reports. However, essential services will remain functional during the period.

6.23 pm: No flight will operate to and from the Kolkata airport on July 25 and July 29, amid the total lockdown in place in West Bengal, PTI reports, quoting an official at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

6.21 pm: Chandigarh reports 23 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 823, ANI reports.

6.18 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 8,147 new coronavirus cases and 49 deaths in 24 hours on Friday, ANI reports. The total tally of infections in the state rises to 80,858 and the toll is 933.

4.42 pm: The Reserve Bank of India says a combination of fiscal, monetary and regulatory interventions has ensured normal functioning of financial markets amid the coronavirus crisis.

3.14 pm: A three-year-old Belgian girl has died of Covid-19, AFP reports. It is unusual for children and young adults with no co-morbidities to die of the virus.

3.09 pm: Seven councillors of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation have tested positive, ANI reports. Following this, the city’s Mayor VK Prasanth has gone into self-quarantine.

3 pm: Bihar reports 1,820 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total number of cases to 33,511, ANI reports.

2.48 pm: The response to a call for donating convalescent plasma for coronavirus patients in Delhi has been “lukewarm”, doctors in the national capital say, reports PTI. “The main reason behind this low response...is that people are still feeling apprehensive even though there is no risk involved,” a doctors says. Since the initiative was started on July 2, only 320 persons have donated plasma.

2.06 pm: Meghalaya records 24 new coronavirus cases and one death on Friday, PTI reports, quoting the state’s health department. The state’s tally rises to 558 while the toll reaches five.

2.02 pm: The Delhi High Court says it is extending interim bails repeatedly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among inmates, from those who are returning to jail after the expiry of their bail or parole period, PTI reports.

1.59 pm: SpiceJet says it has been designated as an “Indian scheduled carrier” to operate flights to the United Kingdom, PTI reports.

1.49 pm: Odisha reports record 1,594 new cases on Friday taking its overall count to 22,693, PTI reports. The state’s toll rises to 120 with six new deaths.

1.46 pm: As many as 160 inmates of the district jail in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district test positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports.

1.31 pm: Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh has tested positive for Covid-19, reports News18. His family members have now been tested, results for which will be available on Saturday.

12.09 pm: Germany records 815 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its overall count to 2,04,183, Reuters reports. The country’s toll rises by 10 to 9,111.

12.07 pm: The Central Railway Mumbai Division launches an app for safe ticket checking.

11.20 am: Australia’s Victoria state records six new coronavirus deaths on Friday, Reuters reports. This is the highest daily toll for the state so far. Victoria also reports 300 new cases.

11.05 am: Rajasthan records 375 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths. With this, the state’s tally has risen to 33,595 and the toll stands at 598.

11.02 am: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, who is part of the core team monitoring the pandemic in India, says Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and certain parts of the South are showing a decline in new coronavirus cases, reports News18.

10.55 am: The home ministry has issued advisory for Independence Day celebrations on August 15, reports ANI. It has asked all government offices, states, governors to avoid gathering in public and use technology in the best possible manner for celebrations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

10.07 am: Air India’s attempts to assuage its employees concerns by assuring there would be no layoffs have been rejected by workers’ unions, who demand the withdrawal of the airline’s cost-cutting measures, reports The Hindu.

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10.05 am: Private carrier SpiceJet announced on Thursday that it will collaborate with actor Sonu Sood for the return of 1,500 Indian students stranded in Kyrgyzstan.

10.02 am: A cancer patient from Bihar’s Sheikhpura district, admitted to the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna after testing Covid-19 positive on July 3, has been missing since July 6, claims his family, according to The Indian Express.

10 am: The Congress alleges that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Karnataka government has misappropriated funds upto Rs 2,000 crore while procuring equipment to tackle Covid-19, reports News18.

9.55 am: A coronavirus patient at a care centre in south Delhi allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl, undergoing treatment at the facility in south Delhi’s Chhattarpur area, police said on Thursday, according to PTI.

9.52 am: Civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad apologised for sealing off residents inside their homes with barricades of corrugated metal sheets that blocked the doorways to two apartments on Thursday.

9.32 am: More than 3.5 lakh samples were tested in India on Thursday, says the Indian Council of Medical Research.

9.28 am: India registers a record 49,310 new cases. With this, the country’s tally is now 12,87,945. The country’s toll rises to 30,601 with 740 new deaths.

8.32 am: Walt Disney postpones the release of three major films, reports BBC. The new ‘Avatar’ and ‘Star Wars’ films have been delayed a year, while ‘Mulan’ has been removed from schedules completely.

7.27 am: As many as 18,388 people have arrived to Jaipur till now from abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission, says Additional Chief Secretary Subodh Agarwal. Two more flights from Bishkek and one each from Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah and Doha will come to Jaipur between July 25 and August 4.

7.26 am: All international tennis tournaments, including the Shanghai Masters and WTA Finals, in China have been cancelled.

7.24 am: South Africa has the highest number of infections on the continent with 4,08,052 cases and 5,940 deaths, reports AFP.

7.22 am: Donald Trump scraps main Republican convention event due to coronavirus. ‘It’s just not right with what’s happened recently, the flare-up in Florida,” says Trump. “To have a big convention it’s not the right time.”

7.21 am: A study in Brazil finds no benefit of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients, reports AFP.

7.14 am: United States records 76,570 new cases and 1,225 deaths in last 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University. With this, the country’s tally is now over 40 lakh.

7.11 am: The tally in Assam reaches 28,791 with 1,047 more cases and the toll climbs to 70 with four new fatalities.

7.07 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday

  • India on Thursday registered a record 45,720 new cases and 1,129 additional deaths. With this, the country’s tally rose to 12,38,635 and toll stood at 29,861. There are 4,26,167 active cases, and 7,82,606 patients have recovered so far. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that till a vaccine is introduced, the country will have to fight “vigorously against the coronavirus”, adding that “development works also have to be carried forward with full force”. 
  • A total of 84 security and fire services personnel tested positive for the coronavirus at the Raj Bhavan premises in Chennai, the official residence of the Tamil Nadu governor. A statement said none of them came in contact with Governor Banwarilal Purohit or senior officials. Tamil Nadu on Thursday reported 6,472 new cases and 88 deaths, taking the state’s total to 1,92,964 and the toll to 3,232.
  • A senior delegation from Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development will travel to New Delhi in the coming weeks to develop new and rapid coronavirus tests in cooperation with their Indian counterparts. The delegation plans to test four different technologies for detecting coronavirus: sound waves, breathalyzers based on terahertz waves, isothermic identification and checking polyamino acids.
  • Maharashtra reported 9,895 new cases of the coronavirus and 298 deaths on Thursday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 3,47,253, including 12,854 deaths. Delhi, meanwhile, has recorded 1,27,364 cases and 3,745 deaths so far.
  • Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan dismissed reports that he has tested negative for the coronavirus. The 77-year-old, admitted to Mumbai’s Nanavati hospital, announced on July 11 that he has contracted the infection.
  • A three-member central team, which visited Bihar to assess the coronavirus situation, on Wednesday warned that the state’s low testing rate may affect its case fatality rate  the number of deaths among the cases detected. The team asked health authorities to keep a weekly tab of the case fatality rate to improve the state government’s preparedness.
  • The United Nations on Wednesday decided that world leaders will not travel to New York to attend the annual meeting of the General Assembly in September amid the coronavirus crisis and can instead submit recorded messages. The General Assembly meeting to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN will take place on September 21.
  • The global coronavirus count is now over 1.52 crore, and the toll has crossed 6.24 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 87.11 lakh people have recovered so far.