10.56 pm: The Maharashtra government announces that outdoor non-team sports like golf, outdoor firing range, outdoor gymnastics, tennis, badminton will be allowed with physical distancing and sanitation measures from 5 August, ANI reports. However, swimming pools will not be allowed to operate.

10.53 pm: According to the fresh guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government for a statewide lockdown, malls and shopping complexes will be allowed to open between 9 am to 7 pm from August 5 in areas including Greater Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur. However, all food courts, restaurants and cinema halls will remain closed.

10.51 pm: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday extends the parole of convicts who were released to decongest prisons in view of the Covid-19 pandemic by eight weeks, PTI reports. Further, the administration authorised the Director General of Police (Prisons) to extend the parole by eight more weeks in case the situation does not improve or worsens further.

10.49 pm: The Karnataka government orders private hospitals to update bed availability data in the respective software applications, failing which stringent administrative and legal action would be taken against them, PTI reports. In an order issued by the health commissioner, the government says the data should be updated in Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust software and the Centralised Hospital Bed Management System.

10.48 pm: The one-day Monsoon session of the Nagaland Assembly has been deferred from July 30 to August 13 after six staffers of its secretariat tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reports.

10.46 pm: Considering the local conditions, district collectors and municipal commissioners will be allowed to impose certain measures and necessary restrictions in specific local areas to curtail the movement of people, the Maharashtra government adds.

10.45 pm: Under the new lockdown guidelines for Maharashtra, all non-essential activities such as shopping and other outdoor exercises shall be restricted within the neighbourhood areas of a district, the state government says.

10.41 pm: The Maharashtra government issues directions to extend the lockdown in the state till August 31, ANI reports.

9.57 pm: New cases reported today:

Haryana: 755 new cases, 7 deaths; total rises to 33,631, toll now 413,

Rajasthan: 1,144 new cases, 10 deaths; total rises to 39,780, toll now 654,

Madhya Pradesh: 917 new cases, 14 deaths; total rises to 30,134, toll now 844,

Mumbai: 1,118 cases, 60 deaths; total rises to 1,11,964, toll stands at 6,244.

9.30 pm: Filmmaker SS Rajamouli and his family test positive for the coronavirus and are undergoing quarantine at their home in Hyderabad.

“My family members and I developed a slight fever few days ago,” the director, known for the Baahubali movie series, says in a tweet. “It subsided by itself but we got tested nevertheless. The result has shown a mild COVID positive today. We have home quarantined as prescribed by the doctors (sic).”

He adds: “All of us are feeling better with no symptoms but are following all precautions and instructions... Just waiting to develop antibodies so that we can donate our plasma.”

9.10 pm: West Bengal has reported 2,294 new cases in 24 hours, ANI reports. As many as 2,094 people were discharged and 41 deaths were also reported. The total number of cases in the state is now 65,258, including 44,116 discharges, 19,652 active cases and 1,490 deaths.

8.38 pm: Chandigarh registers 44 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, ANI reports. With this, the total tally of infections in the Union Territory rises to 978.

8.33 pm: The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district order a complete lockdown from 5 pm on Fridays to 6 am on Mondays, effective from July 31, till further orders to curb the spread of Covid-19, PTI reports. This is the second district after Jammu to announce a weekend lockdown.

10.31 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asks members of Aam Aadmi Party’s Uttar Pradesh unit to reach out to each and every village in the state and help the people in their fight against Covid-19, senior party leader Sanjay Singh says. In a video conference, Kejriwal asked all party district presidents and state executive members to distribute oximeters in villages and provide all possible help to people in their fight against the coronavirus, Singh adds.

8.26 pm: Owners of more than 1,700 vehicles were penalised across Noida and Greater Noida on Wednesday for allegedly violating curbs imposed due to the Covid-19, PTI reports, quoting the Gautam Buddh Nagar police.

8.24 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath directs officials to set up district-level panels comprising district magistrates, chief medical officers and chief development officers to prepare a work plan to fight Covid-19 more effectively, PTI reports. He also asks senior officials to visit Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Saharanpur on Friday for an on-the-spot review of health services.

8.22 pm: The Union health ministry asks the Drugs Controller General of India to ensure equitable distribution of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs, which have been included as “investigational therapies” in the national treatment protocols for Covid-19, PTI reports. “This ministry may kindly be apprised as to how many states and Union Territories have been covered and which of the states and UTs, if any, are left as far as the availability and distribution of these drugs by the respective companies is concerned,” it says in a letter dated July 27.

8.18 pm: Gujarat registers 1,144 coronavirus cases and 24 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday, ANI reports, quoting figures by the state health department. This is the biggest single-day jump in infections recorded so far. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rises to 59,126 and the toll stands at 2,396.

8.16 pm: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar decides to extend the lockdown enforced in the state till 5.00 am of August 4, ANI reports, quoting state minister Ratanlal Nath.

8.14 pm: Maharashtra registers 298 deaths and 9,211 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, ANI reports, quoting the health department. The total number of cases in the state now stands at 4,00,651 and the toll is 14,463. With 2,39,755 recoveries recorded so far, the state’s recovery rate stands at 59.84%.

8.08 pm: Goa records 202 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 5,489, ANI reports. The toll from the disease stands at 39.

8.05 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami says over 14 lakh people in Chennai have benefitted from the 500 medical camps operating in the city, ANI reports. “Door-to-door check-up drive boosted [was] in Chennai with over 20,000 members on duty,” he adds. “Seventy mobile hospitals [have been] started in Chennai and 1,126 mobile hospitals [are being operated] in other districts.”

8.03 pm: Manipur registers 141 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 2,458, ANI reports, quoting the state health department.

8.02 pm: Punjab registers 568 new coronavirus cases and 25 deaths on Wednesday, ANI reports. The total number of cases in the state now stands at 14,946 and the toll is 361. As many as 10,213 people have recovered.

8.00 pm: Kerala registers 903 coronavirus cases and 641 recoveries on Wednesday, Health Minister KK Shailaja says, according to ANI. “A total of 11,369 patients have recovered from the disease so far,” she adds. “There are 10,350 active cases now.”

7.59 pm: Under the new advisory, gyms and yoga institutes have been allowed to resume services from August 5. The new guidelines allow more activities outside containment zones. However, the lockdown in these containment areas has been extended till August 31.

7.17 pm: The Centre releases the guidelines for “Unlock 3”, which is the third phase of a calibrated exit strategy from the countrywide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus, The Indian Express reports. Under this, restrictions on the movement of individuals during the night have been removed.

6.47 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 2,364 on Wednesday, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. There are 1,012 active cases, 1,323 recoveries and 12 deaths.

6.44 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says emerging evidence suggests that smoking increases risk of contracting Covid-19, as well as worsens the outcome in people infected with the virus, PTI reports. “Alcohol intoxication can also increase the risk and the other effects including a reduction of immunity can increase the risk,” he adds.

6.42 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi area registers two new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation says, according to ANI. With this, the total tally of infections in the locality rises to 2,545.

6.40 pm: Jammu and Kashmir record 540 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. Of these, 151 were reported from Jammu and 389 are in Kashmir. The total tally of infections in the Union Territory now stands at 19,419 and the toll is 348.

6.38 pm: Karnataka registers 5,503 coronavirus cases and 92 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday, ANI reports. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rises to 1,12,504 and the toll is now 2,155.

6.36 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 6,426 coronavirus cases and 82 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rises to 2,34,114 and the toll stands at 3,741.

6.34 pm: Delhi records 1,035 coronavirus, 1,126 recoveries and 26 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday, ANI reports. With this, the total tally of infections in the Capital rises to 1,33,310 and the toll is 3,907.

6.30 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 10,093 coronavirus cases and 65 deaths in 24 hours on Wednesday, ANI reports. This is the biggest single-day jump in infections reported in the state. The total number of cases in the state rises to 1,20,390 and the toll is 1,213.

5.48 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan meets President Ram Nath Kovind about the Covid-19 situation in the country, reports ANI.

4.24 pm: The Union health ministry says India’s coronavirus recovery rate is now 64.51%. The government adds that the death rate is 2.23%, the lowest since April.

4.14 pm: A 56-year-old coronavirus-positive man dies of multiple health complications at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Manipur, PTI reports. The medical superintendent of RIMS Arunkumar Singh says the man was suffering from chronic kidney disease, lower respiratory tract infection, diabetes mellitus and hypertension.

4.02 pm: Madhya Pradesh minister Ramkhelawan Patel tests positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports.

3.52 pm: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit goes into isolation for seven days after three new coronavirus cases at Raj Bhavan, The Hindu reports.

2.32 pm: The Bihar government will hold a meeting to decide on extending lockdown in the state in the evening, ANI reports.

1.52 pm: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the authorities at Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital to submit a report within three days on the health and medical treatment of poet-activist Varavara Rao, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.

Read more here:

Bombay HC directs Nanavati Hospital to submit report on Varavara Rao’s health

1.48 pm: A photo of a face mask vendor in Hyderabad.

1.45 pm: Singapore’s unemployment rate jumps in the second quarter to a new 10-year high of 2.9% amid the Covid-19 outbreak, reports Reuters, citing provisional data.

1.41 pm: The Union health ministry releases a document on the risk of coronavirus among smokers. Weakened lungs, finger-lips contact, sharing of smoke increase chances of contracting the infection, the ministry says.

1.37 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami conducts a virtual review meeting with district collectors on the coronavirus situation. “So far, the state has recorded 3,659 deaths,” he says, according to ANI. “The fatality rate in the state at 1.6%.”

1.33 pm: Gangotri temple in Uttarakhand will remain closed for devotees till August 15 amid the outbreak of the coronavirus. “We have decided to keep Gangotri Dham and adjoining areas completely closed and entry for devotees will be blocked two km away,” Suresh Semwal, president of the Gangotri Temple Samiti tells ANI.

1.30 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s coronavirus case count goes up to 2,334. The state has 1,043 active cases, 1,262 recovered cases, reports ANI, citing the state health department bulletin.

1.27 pm: In Maharashtra, 236 more police personnel test positive for Covid-19, and one official died in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 98. The total number of cases in the force is 8,958, of which 6,962 have recovered and 1,898 are being treated, reports ANI, citing the Maharashtra Police.

1.20 pm: China reports 101 new coronavirus cases in the mainland on Tuesday – the highest in more than three-and-a-half months, the country’s health commission said, amid fears of a second wave of infections, according to Reuters.

1.14 pm: In India, the state of Telangana sees a sharp increase in coronavirus cases with 1,764 new infections and 12 more deaths, reports PTI. The state tally rises to 58,906, and toll is 492.

1.09 pm: Pakistan’s Covid-19 tally rises to 2,76,287 after 1,063 new cases in the last 24 hours, the country’s health ministry says, according to PTI. The toll stands at 5,892.

12.17 pm: Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra cancels Independence Day “At Home” event, ANI reports citing the Raj Bhavan.

12.12 pm: The UK government has signed an agreement with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for 60 million doses of possible Covid-19 vaccine, reports The Telegraph. Britain minister Alok Sharma says it is imperative to sign and secure early access as there are “no guarantees”.

12.10 pm: The Andaman and Nicobar administration has decided to impose a total lockdown on weekends beginning August 1, says Chief Secretary Chetan B Sanghi.

12.08 pm: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has gone into seven-day isolation as a precautionary measure after three people in Raj Bhavan test positive, reports News18. The governor is “fit and healthy”, says a Raj Bhavan press release.

12.05 pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal orders delinking of hotels attached with hospitals, in view of improving situation in the national Capital.

12.03 pm: Odisha’s tally crosses the 29,000-mark with 1,068 new cases, reports PTI. The toll rises to 159 with five more deaths.

11.16 am: The chief of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says he very concerned about the coronavirus situation in the country, BBC reports. “We are in the middle of a rapidly developing pandemic,” Lothar Wieler says. He adds that the Germans had become negligent and urges them to wear masks and follow physical distancing guidelines. Germany has reported 2,06,242 cases and 9,122 deaths so far.

11.13 am: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warns of a large-scale community outbreak of the coronavirus in the region and says the health system could collapse due to rising cases, BBC reports.

11.08 am: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday showed that biotech Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine induced a strong immune response in monkeys and stopped the infection from replicating in their noses and lungs.

11.06 am: Rajasthan reports 328 new cases as of 8.30 am on Wednesday. The state’s overall count rises to 38,964. The toll stands at 650.

11.03 am: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday said that he had contracted the coronavirus and recovered without showing any symptoms, according to Reuters. He had earlier dismissed coronavirus fears as a “psychosis”.

10.59 am: The Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal in Manipur reports its first coronavirus death on Wednesday, ANI reports.

10.53 am: American biotech firm Moderna is planning to price its coronavirus vaccine at $50 to $60 (approximately Rs 3,739 to Rs 4,486) per course, The Financial Times reports. The price of Moderna’s vaccine will be at least $11 (Rs 822) more than those from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech.

10.48 am: Poonam Khetrapal Singh, World Health Organisation’s regional director for South East Asia says the COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to coronavirus vaccines worldwide, is aiming to deliver 2 billion (200 crore) doses by end of 2021, The Hindu reports.

10.43 am: The World Health Organization on Tuesday said that the coronavirus pandemic was “one big wave” and not seasonal, according to Reuters. “We are in the first wave,” WHO official Margaret Harris said. “It’s going to be one big wave. It’s going to go up and down a bit. The best thing is to flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet.”

Read more here:

Coronavirus pandemic ‘one big wave’, not seasonal, says WHO as global cases cross 1.67 crore

10.41 am: The Taj Mahal is unlikely to open for the public before August 15, The Indian Express reports. Several other monuments in the country had been opened earlier this month.

10.38 am: Madhya Pradesh minister Tulsi Silawat and his wife tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

10.25 am: India’s registers 48,513 new cases in last 24 hours. With this, the country’s tally climbs up to 15,31,669. The toll rises to 34,193 with 768 fresh fatalities. India now has over 5 lakh active cases while more than 9.8 lakh patients have recovered.

9.59 am: The central government will not be able to pay the Goods and Service Tax share of states, reports The Hindu. The newspaper quotes Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey as telling the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, headed by BJP leader Jayant Sinha, this at a meeting Tuesday.

9.55 am: The railways will suffer a loss of Rs 35,000 crore due to the pandemic and lockdown, reports Livemint.

“Passenger segment is not doing well,” railway board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said earlier in a virtual briefing. “We are running only 230 trains and these trains are not fully occupied. Overall occupancy is 75%. Earnings from the passenger segment was ₹50,000 crore (last year). We don’t know how the corona situation will unfold.”

9.11 am: The Centre allows the export of four crore surgical masks and 20 lakh medical goggles every month.

9.08 am: The total of 4,08,855 samples were tested in India on Tuesday, says the Indian Council of Medical Research.

8.49 am: Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary Awanish K Awasthi says temporary jails will be set up in the districts to ensure that new inmates be lodged there, reports ANI. Antigen test of new inmates will be mandatorily before putting them in these temporary jails. “Those who test positive for Covid-19 will be taken to L-1 hospitals for treatment and those who test negative will be kept in quarantine for 14 days at the temporary jail itself,” he adds.

8.24 am: US President Donald Trump again defends the use of hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus. He argues that the anti-malaria drug was rejected as a Covid-19 treatment only because he had suggested it.

Read more: Covid-19: Trump backs hydroxychloroquine again, claims drug was rejected only because he endorsed it

7.48 am: Madhya Pradesh minister Tulsi Silawat and his wife have tested positive and are under home isolation.

7.47 am: Mizoram reports 11 fresh cases, taking the state’s tally to 395.

7.45 am: US records its highest deaths in a single day in the last two-and-half months as 1,592 people succumb to the infection. Montana and Florida report record number of fatalities.

7.40 am: Brazil registers 40,816 confirmed cases of new coronavirus and 921 deaths.

7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday

  • India on Tuesday registered 47,703 new cases and 654 fresh fatalities in the last 24 hours. With this, the country’s tally is now 14,83,156 and toll stands at 33,425. More than 9.5 lakh people have recovered so far.
  • The number of coronavirus cases in Kerala crossed the 20,000-mark after 1,167 new Covid-19 infections were reported. The total tally of infections in the state is now 20,896, including 67 deaths. In Delhi, 1,056 new infections and 28 deaths were recorded. The total number of coronavirus cases in the Capital stood at 1,32,275 and the toll is 3,881. Meanwhile Tamil Nadu reported 6,792 cases and 88 deaths. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rose to 2,27,688 and the toll is 3,659.
  • The government has identified five sites across the country for the third and final phase of the human trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The five sites are at INCLEN Trust International in Palwal, Haryana; KEM in Pune; the Society for Health Allied Research in Hyderabad; the National Institute of Epidemiology in Chennai; and Christian Medical College in Vellore.
  • Mumbai reported only 717 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the lowest in three months. The city’s total tally of infections stood at 1,10,846 and the toll is 6,184. Maharashtra registered 7,717 cases and 282 deaths, taking the state’s total to 3,91,440. The toll climbed to 14,165. 
  • The Sassoon General Hospital in Pune, Maharashtra, has claimed to have reported India’s first case of vertical transmission of the coronavirus from a mother to her child through the placenta. Vertical transmission takes place when the baby is in the uterus and the virus crosses the placental barrier. 
  • The Odisha government on Monday night allowed the cremation of the bodies of people suspected of having Covid-19 without waiting for their test results, to avoid a delay in the final rites.
  • The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the Aam Aadmi Party government for choosing Rapid Antigen Testing, RAT, which has a high rate of false negative results, over the RT/PCR or Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, testing method. The High Court cited the serological survey carried out by the National Centre for Disease Control to question the government’s decision to go with rapid tests. The survey revealed that 23.48% of Delhi residents had antibodies – that is, they may have at some point been exposed to the coronavirus.