Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday said that herd immunity was not a strategic option in a country with the size and population of India. Earlier in the day, India reported a record 52,123 new daily cases. With this, the country’s tally climbed up to 15,83,792. The toll also rose to 34,968 with 775 fresh fatalities. But Bhushan said India’s recovery rate – 64.4% – and fatality rate – 2.21% – were better than that of many other countries.
The Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown in the state till August 31 but allowed relaxations like dine-in services in hotels and restaurants. Bihar and Nagaland also extended the shutdown till August 16 and August 31, respectively. Meanwhile, Karnataka registered its biggest single-day rise of 6,128 coronavirus cases and 83 deaths, taking the state’s total tally to 1,18,632. The toll rose to 2,230.
The global coronavirus count crossed 1.7 crore and the toll reached 6,68 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The number of recoveries went up to 99.99 lakh.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
11.02 pm: Read today’s top updates here.
11.00 pm: Jharkhand registers 371 coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 10,399. The toll stands at 103.
10.55 pm: Assam registers 2,112 coronavirus cases on Thursday, Health Minister Himanta Sarma says, according to ANI. The total tally of infections in the state now stands at 38,407 and the toll is 94.
10.53 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 2,506, ANI reports. The toll is 12.
10.42 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited Pune to review the Covid-19 situation, PTI reports. The city has recorded more than 78,000 cases so far. Thackeray chaired a meeting of elected representatives, including MP and MLAs, and took stock the local administration’s response to the pandemic so far.
10.40 pm: Madhya Pradesh registers 13 deaths and 834 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 30,968 and the toll to 857, ANI reports.
8.45 pm: Nagaland extends lockdown till August 31, PTI reports. Nagaland has so far reported 1,561 cases. Of this, 961 are active and 595 have recovered. Five people have died so far.
8.44 pm: New cases reported today:
Goa: 215 new cases; tally rises to 5,704, toll now 42,
Manipur: 47 new cases; total rises to 2,505, toll now 4,
Punjab: 511 new cases; total rises to 15,456, toll stands at 370,
Haryana: 623 new cases; total now 34,254, toll stands at 417.
8.35 pm: The suspension of flights from Kolkata to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad has been extended till August 15.
8.30 pm: Maharashtra registers a record single-day rise of 11,147 coronavirus cases, PTI reports. The state now has 4,11,798 infections. This includes 14,729 deaths, 2,48,615 recoveries and 1,48,454 active cases.
7.57 pm: Delhi records 1,093 new coronavirus cases and 29 deaths on Thursday, ANI reports, quoting the daily health bulletin. With this, the total tally of infections in the state rises to 1,34,304. The toll stands at 3,936.
7.50 pm: The Bihar government imposes additional restrictions in the state headquarters, district headquarters, sub-divisional headquarters and all municipal areas in the state from August 1 to August 16.
7.45 pm: The Jharkhand government issues measures for the implementation of interstate quarantine protocol, ANI reports. According to the order, in case a person quarantines at home, authorities will make random visits to check the status of compliance of instructions. In case the instructions are not being complied then the district administration will immediately shift the person to institutional/paid quarantine.
7.41 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says Muslims in the state will be allowed to offer Eid al-Adha prayers in mosques with limited number of persons, ANI reports. However, he adds the situation is not suited for large gatherings. “Some mosque committees have decided to cancel prayers in view of Covid-19, which is a welcome step,” he adds.
7.35 pm: Karnataka registers 6,128 coronavirus cases and 83 deaths on Thursday, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 1,18,632, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. The toll rises to 2,230.
7.31 pm: Jammu and Kashmir records 450 new coronavirus cases and 17 deaths on Thursday, ANI reports, quoting the government’s figures. Of these, 83 were reported from Jammu and 367 infections were recorded in Kashmir. The total number of cases in the Union Territory now stands at 19,869 and the toll is 365.
7.30 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 10,167 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the total tally of infections in the state to 1,30,557, ANI reports. The toll rises to 1,281.
6.14 pm: Australian High Commissioner says India’s swift and decisive actions clearly saved lives. “India used its lockdown to increase the number of Covid-19 hospitals, isolations beds and strengthen its testing and its health system generally,” Barry O’Farrell tells ANI.
5.30 pm: Tamil Nadu’s coronavirus case count rises to 2,39,978, after 5,864 new cases. The toll in the state goes up by 97 to 3,838. The state health bulletin puts the number of active cases at 57,490 as of Wednesday.
4.46 pm: Madhya Pradesh government orders that all schools will be shut till August 31, in line with the Centre’s guidelines.
4.45 pm: Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says three vaccine candidates are in phase 3 of clinical trials. These are in the US, UK and China. “In India, two indigenously developed vaccine candidates are in phase 1 & 2 of clinical trials,” he says. “Trial of first vaccine involves 1,150 subjects at eight sites, and the second involves 1,000 subjects across five sites.”
4.35 pm: “Over 1,81,90,000 tests have been conducted in the country including RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests,” Health Ministry Secretary R Bhushan says. “There has been week on week increase in average tests per day. India is conducting 324 test per 10 lakhs population per day.”
4.32 pm: Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says herd immunity in a country of the size and population of India can’t be a strategic option. “It can only be achieved through immunisation,” he says. “Health Ministry thinks it’s possible in future but for now we’ve to follow COVID appropriate behaviour.”
4.28 pm: India’s case fatality rate is 2.21%, Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says, adding that it is the lowest in the world. He says 24 states and Union Territories have a lower fatality rate than that of the country.
4.24 pm: In 16 states, the recovery rate is more than that of the national average, Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says. “Of these, Delhi has recovery rate of 88%, Ladakh 80%, Haryana 78%, Assam 76%, Telangana 74%, Tamil Nadu & Gujarat 73%, Rajasthan 70%, MP 69% and Goa 68%,” he adds.
4.20 pm: Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says the recovery rate in India has shown a positive trend, ANI reports. Fom 7.85% in April, it has gone up to 64.4% now, he says. “More than 1 million people have recovered from Covid-19 in the country,” Bhushan says. “This landmark recovery has been achieved because of the selfless work and dedication of our doctors, nurses and frontline workers.”
3.45 pm: Gyms in Bengaluru begin sanitisation of their premises after the Centre allows them to resume services under “Unlock 3”, reports ANI.
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3.30 pm: Senior Communist Party of India leader Atul Kumar Anjaan has tested positive for Covid-19 and is undergoing treatment in a hospital in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, reports PTI.
3.18 pm: Rajasthan’s coronavirus tally rises to 40,145, after 365 new infections. The state’s toll goes up to 663 after nine more deaths, according to PTI.
3 pm: The Indian Red Cross Society has placed an order to buy 1.80 lakh face masks from the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, reports PTI.
2.45 pm: Bihar’s Health Minister Mangal Pandey visits the Patliputra Ashok Hotel, which has been converted into a coronavirus hospital, reports ANI.
1.32 pm: China records 105 new coronavirus cases, up from 101 cases on Tuesday, the health commission says, according to Reuters.
1.22 pm: Tamil Nadu government extends lockdown in the state to tackle the coronavirus crisis till August 31, with more relaxations, reports PTI. Chief Minister K Palaniswami says strict curbs will be in place on August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.
1.20 pm: The Ram temple priest in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya city, who was supposed to take part in the foundation stone-laying ceremony next week, has tested positive for the coronavirus along with 16 police personnel on duty, reports NDTV.
11.52 am: Manipur records its second coronavirus death after a 48-year-old patient succumbs to the infection at a state-run hospital in Imphal, reports PTI.
11.15 am: Telangana reports 1,811 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths on Thursday. The state’s overall count rises to 60,717 and the toll reaches 505.
11.11 am: South Korean healthcare firm Celltrion Inc says it has received approval from British regulators for a phase I clinical trial of its experimental COVID-19 treatment drug, Reuters reports.
11.08 am: The Maharashtra government says indoor gyms and fitness centres will stay shut in “Unlock 3”, ANI reports. Outdoor fitness spaces will be allowed to open from August 5.
11.05 am: Rajasthan reports 365 new coronavirus cases as of 10:30 am on Thursday. The state’s overall count rises to 40,145. The toll rises to 663 with nine new deaths.
11.04 am: Congress President Sonia Gandhi holds a meeting with party leaders over the coronavirus crisis.
10.21 am: Himachal Pradesh registers 73 new cases, taking the tally to 2,404, says Special Secretary (Health) Nipun Jindal.
10.19 am: As many as 16,789 inmates of different jails in Odisha have been released on parole to decongest prisons, News18 reports quoting Director General of Prisons S K Upadhay.
10.16 am: The total number of containment zones in Mumbai stands at 622, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
10.15 am: Italy extends state of emergency till October 15, reports AP. The country added 289 new cases, taking the total to 2,46,776. The toll also rises to 35,129 with six new deaths.
10.14 am: Spain reports 1,153 new cases – the highest since May. Madrid, Catalonia and Aragón have recorded most of these cases.
10.12 am: Odisha registers 1,203 new cases. With this, the total number of cases in the state is now at 30,378.
10.09 am: Flight operations at Kolkata airport will remain suspended on August 5, 8,16,17, 23, 24 and 31, ANI reports citing the authorities.
9.31 am: India for the first time records 52,123 new cases. With this, India’s tally climbs up to 15,83,792. The toll also rise to 34,968 with 775 fresh fatalities.
9.06 am: Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar says 38 woman police officers who had contracted Covid-19 resumed duties today, reports ANI.
8.33 am: India on Wednesday tested 4,46,642 samples, says the Indian Council of Medical Research
8.27 am: Brazil registers record 69,074 new cases and 1,595 deaths, reports The Guardian.
7.54 am: Brazil reopens international flights to tourists, reports Reuters.
7.42 am: The number of recoveries in India crosses the 10-lakh mark, reports ANI citing the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
7.40 am: The United Kingdom is likely to increase the isolation period for anyone with symptoms of possible Covid-19 to 10 days, reports The Telegraph.
7.37 am: US Attorney General to be tested for Covid-19 after he came in contact with Congressman Gohmert, reports Reuters.
7.25 am: US’ toll surpasses 1,50,000 with more than 1,200 deaths, reports AFP. Florida, Texas and California report huge spike in death rates.
7.21 am: The Australian state of Victoria records 723 new cases along with 13 fatalities. Most cases were reported from the Melbourne’s metro areas.
7.18 am: The toll in West Bengal rises to 1,490 after 41 people succumb to the infection, reports PTI citing the the state health department’s bulletin. A total of 2,294 new cases take the state’s tally to 65,258.
7.15 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday
- India’s tally on Wednesday crossed 15 lakh with 48,513 new cases. The toll rose to 34,193 with 768 fresh fatalities. India now has over 5 lakh active cases while more than 9.8 lakh patients have recovered. The Union health ministry said India’s coronavirus death rate as of Wednesday was 2.23% – the lowest since April while the recovery rate was 64.51%.
- The Centre on Wednesday released guidelines for Unlock 3, the third phase of lifting of restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The guidelines will come into effect from August 1. Under the new advisory, night curfew will no longer remain in force and gyms and yoga institutes have been allowed to resume services from August 5. The lockdown in containment areas has been extended till August 31.
- Maharashtra’s coronavirus tally crossed the four-lakh mark with 9,211 new cases and 298 deaths reported in 24 hours. The state’s total tally is now 4,00,651 and the toll is 14,463. The Maharashtra government issued directions late o Wednesday to extend the lockdown in the state till August 31.
- Coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh crossed the one-lakh mark, with 10,093 new infections and 65 deaths. This was the biggest single-day rise in infections the state has seen so far, taking its total tally to 1,20,390. The toll stood at 1,213. Gujarat also recorded its highest single-day jump of infections with 1,144 cases and 24 deaths. The state’s total tally is 59,126 and the toll is 2,396.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed health officials to strictly follow the rule to conduct Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, or RT-PCR, tests on people who show coronavirus symptoms but test negative in a rapid antigen examination. His order came two days after the Delhi High Court pulled up the Aam Aadmi Party government for choosing Rapid Antigen Testing, or RAT, which has a high rate of false negative results, over the RT-PCR method. Meanwhile, Delhi registered 1,035 coronavirus cases, 1,126 recoveries and 26 deaths, taking the total tally of infections in the city to 1,33,310, including 3,907 deaths.
- American biotech firm Moderna may price its coronavirus vaccine at $50 to $60 (approximately Rs 3,739 to Rs 4,486) per course. The price of Moderna’s vaccine will be at least $11 (Rs 822) more than those from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech.
- The global coronavirus count has now crossed 1.68 crore while the toll has gone up to 6,61,917, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 98 lakh people have recovered.