The Meghalaya government on Thursday decided to shut all points of entry to the state for one week every month starting September till November.
Punjab has ordered a daily 7 pm to 5 am night curfew in the state and lockdown on weekends amid rising coronavirus cases. Bihar, meanwhile, fixed treatment costs at private hospitals.
India’s coronavirus tally rose to 28,36,925 on Thursday morning as 69,652 new cases were reported in 24 hours. The toll increased by 977 to 53,866. There are now 6,86,395 active cases, while as many as 20,96,664 people have been discharged so far.
The global coronavirus tally, meanwhile, rose to 2,24,86,892 while the toll crossed 7.89 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s tracker. More than 1.43 crore people have recovered from the infection so far.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
10.50 pm: Read today’s top updates here.
10.45 pm: The United Kingdom on Thursday recorded 1,182 new coronavirus cases, the second-highest daily tally June 21, Reuters reports. Britain also reported a further six deaths of people who died within 28 days of receiving a positive test result, taking the total number of fatalities to 41,403.
10.42 pm: Punjab’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 37,824 after the state recorded 1,741 new infections on Thursday, ANI reports. The toll stands at 957.
10.39 pm: Madhya Pradesh registers 1,142 new coronavirus cases, 1,065 recoveries and 12 deaths on Thursday, ANI reports. The state’s tally of infections now stands at 49,493 and the toll is 1,171.
10.35 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s model of tackling Covid-19 has significantly improved the situation and the Capital’s case doubling rate has gone up to 101.5 days as against 28.8 days for rest of India, reports PTI, citing an official statement from the government.
10.30 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 9,742 new coronavirus cases and 95 deaths, reports PTI. With this, the state’s tally rises to 3.25 lakh and the toll goes up to 3,001.
10.25 pm: Rajasthan records 1,330 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, taking the state’s tally to 66,619, reports ANI. The state’s toll stands at 921.
9.43 pm: Mumbai reports 1,275 new coronavirus cases, 976 recoveries and 46 deaths on Thursday, ANI reports. With this, the city’s tally of infections rises to 1,32,817 and the toll stands at 7,311.
9.35 pm: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has launched an interactive video game to spread awareness about Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Vardhan also launched two new promotional videos urging people to take all measures to contain the spread of the infection, the health ministry says in a statement.
9.31 pm: Chief Executive Officer of the Russian Direct Investment Kirill Dmitriev says Russia is looking to partner with India for producing its Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, PTI reports. “The production of the vaccine is a very important issue,” he says. “Currently, we are looking for a partnership with India. We believe that they are capable of producing the Gamaleya vaccine...”
9.28 pm: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava says over 11.2 lakh Indians have returned from abroad under the “Vande Bharat” repatriation programme, PTI reports. He adds that the bilateral air bubbles arrangements with US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Qatar and Maldives are “functioning well”.
8.33 pm: Maharashta reports a record 14,492 cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 6,43,289. The state’s toll rises to 21,359 as it reports 326 more deaths.
8.31 pm: Airbnb bans parties and events in homes listed under it, as a precaution against the coronavirus, Reuters reports.
8.27 pm: Russia’s first potential coronavirus vaccine will be tested on 40,000 people, Reuters reports, citing TASS news agency.
8.22 pm: The number of laid-off American workers seeking unemployment benefits rose to 1.1 million [11 lakh] last week after two weeks of decline, AP reports
8.19 pm: India’s Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu urges Indian students in the country to not to panic over the uncertainties about their academic sessions and assures them that the coronavirus pandemic is temporary, PTI reports.
“The uncertainties, surrounding the academic session and adoption of novel teaching practices, by educational institutions in India as well as in the US may have seemed in-surmountable. However, do remember, the age-old saying tough times don’t last, tough people do,” he tells the students.
8.15 pm: Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar records 79 coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking its total to 6,776, PTI reports. The district’s toll stands at 43.
8.12 pm: Goa records 424 new cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 13,099. The state’s toll stands at 126.
8.08 pm: Karnataka records 7,385 new coronavirus cases and 102 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state’s tally rises to 2,56,975 and the toll reaches 4,429.
7.16 pm: Jammu and Kashmir record 683 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the Union Territory’s tally to 30,717, ANI reports. The toll from the disease rises to 578.
7.14 pm: Srivastava adds that Bangladesh has committed $1.5 million to the creation of a SAARC Emergency Response Fund for Covid-19.
7.11 pm: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava says that India has provided Covid-19-related assistance to Bangladesh, ANI reports. Srivastava adds that New Delhi has also been organising capacity building courses for the medical personnel in the country to help them in their efforts to contain the outbreak.
7.07 pm: As many as 14 people test positive for the coronavirus in Mizoram on Thursday, taking the state’s tally to 874, PTI reports, quoting the state health department.
6.59 pm: Manipur reports 29 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Thursday, ANI reports. Of these, nine are personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces. The state’s tally of infections is now 4,925 and the toll stands at 18.
6.55 pm: The tally of coronavirus cases in Dharavi, Mumbai, rose to 2,697 after the locality reported 17 more infections on Thursday, PTI reports.
6.51 pm: Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan expresses concern over the estimates of a new study by the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, and the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, that at least six lakh people in Hyderabad may have been infected by coronavirus.
The researchers of the study harvested sewage samples of different sewage treatment plants in the city to estimate the number of potentially infected individuals, as those infected by SARS-CoV-2 shed virus not only through nasal and oral routes, but also through faeces.
6.42 pm: Kerala on Thursday recorded 1,968 new coronavirus cases and nine deaths, taking the state’s tally to 52,000, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says, according to ANI. The toll rises to 191.
6.39 pm: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma says his government has decided to close all entry points of the state for one week every month in the next three months, starting from September. “This is being done to unburden our health, frontline workers and their respective district administration engaged in intensive surveillance of Covid-19,” he says.
6.26 pm: Tamil Nadu records 5,986 new cases and 116 deaths on Thursday. The state’s tally rises to 3,61,435 and the toll reaches 6,239.
6.14 pm: Punjab imposes daily night curfew and weekend lockdowns amid rising cases.
5.56 pm: Delhi records 1,215 new cases and 22 deaths on Thursday. The Capital’s tally rises to 1,57,354 and the toll reaches 4,257.
5.36 pm: The Chandigarh administration directs private hospitals to reserve 25% beds for Covid-19 patients, Hindustan Times reports.
5.23 pm: The Bihar government caps coronavirus treatment costs in hospitals.
5.21 pm: The Punjab government says 27.7% of the people in the state’s containment zones have been found to have developed antibodies against the coronavirus.
5.17 pm: White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow says the United States’ economy is rebounding “very, very strongly” amid the coronavirus crisis and unemployed Americans will get more government aid within the next two weeks, Reuters reports.
5.14 pm: The European Commission and German biotech firm CureVac say there are in advanced talks for the supply of least 225 million [22.5 crore] doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine for EU countries, Reuters reports.
5.07 pm: Dr Swapnil Kulkarni, a chest specialist at the pulmonology department of Mumbai-based KEM Hospital, says there is no evidence of re-infection in recovered coronavirus patients, PTI reports.
3.35 pm: As many as 25 new cases have been recorded in Nagaland today. But 215 people have recovered in the last 24 hours.
3.25 pm: Tripura reports 190 new cases of the coronavirus, according to PTI. The state’s tally is now 7,835, including 2,205 active cases and 65 deaths.
3.19 pm: As many as 26 of the volunteers who helped the passengers of the crashed Air India Express plane at Kozhikode airport have tested positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. “As far as my information from the airport sources goes, as many as 26 local people, involved in the rescue operations, have tested positive for the virus so far and are now under medical care,” the Malappuram District Medical Officer Dr K Sakeena tells the agency.
2.41 pm: The Delhi government directs excise department to “issue necessary permission for service of liquor in restaurants and clubs, at the table and in hotel rooms”, ANI reports.
1.57 pm: Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. “On feeling unwell I underwent a coronavirus test and my results have come back positive,” he tweets in Hindi. “I am getting admitted to hospital based on doctors’ advice. I appeal to everyone who came in contact with me over the past few days to isolate themselves and get tested.”
1.01 pm: The inter-district bus services of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation resumes after almost five months, reports The Hindu.
12.57 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s tally rises to 4,400 cases with 29 new infections in the last 24 hours.
11.56 am: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says the world would never be the same again. Speaking at the 6th roundtable conference of ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks, he adds that the impact of coronavirus had been beyond collective imagination. “Current estimates put cumulative loss in the range of $5.8 to $8.8 trillion or approximately 6.5 or 9.7% of the global GDP,” says Jaishankar. “The contraction of world economy being predicted will surely be largest since great depression.”
11.55 am: Telangana registers 1,724 new infections and 10 additional deaths as of 8 pm on August 19. With this, the state’s tally rises to 97,424 and toll stands at 729.
11.44 am: A new serological survey conducted by the Delhi government has shown that 29% of people in the national Capital may have been exposed to the coronavirus, says Health Minister Satyendar Jain. These individuals were asymptomatic and may have quietly recovered from Covid-19, given the presence of antibodies in their bodies.
“29.1% prevalence has been found in the second sero survey,” Jain adds. “Scientists say that herd immunity is when up to 40% population have virus antibodies.”
11.42 am: Rajasthan’s tally rises to 65,979 with 690 new cases reported till 10.30 am today. The state’s toll is now 915.
11.40 am: Shops down their shutters as West Bengal observes bi-weekly lockdown.
11.35 am: Puducherry registers 554 new cases and 8 fatalities, reports ANI. The total cases and deaths in the Union Territory is now 9,292 and 137, respectively.
11.34 am: Odisha reports 8 additional deaths and 2,898 new cases in the last 24 hours, says the state health department. With this, the state’s tally rises to 70,020.
10.12 am: The head of the World Bank calls for a more ambitious debt relief plan for poor countries amid the coronavirus crisis, reports The Guardian. “The immediate problem is one of poverty,” says David Malpass. “There are people on the brink. We have made progress in the last 20 years. Whole populations have come out of extreme poverty. The risk as the economic crisis takes hold is that people fall back into extreme poverty.”
10.10 am: France, Italy, and Spain have recorded high number of coronavirus cases post the lockdown, reports The Guardian. “All indicators continue to climb and transmission of the virus is intensifying,” says France health ministry.
Meanwhile, Walter Ricciardi, a senior adviser to the Italian health ministry on the coronavirus outbreak, says: “Italy is at a crossroads right now. If we do not apply containment measures and the numbers continue to rise, localised lockdowns will be required.”
10.05 am: The Jharkhand government will start a Special rapid antigen testing Drive in all districts of the state to identify coronavirus patients, says the state Directorate of Information and Public Relations.
10.02 am: Almost half of the total inmates of the Kadapa Central Prison in Andhra Pradesh have been tested positive for Covid-19, reports The Hindu.
10 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research says 3,26,61,252 samples have been tested for the coronavirus till Wednesday.
9.55 am: West Bengal’s coronavirus tally rises to 1,25,922 on Wednesday with a single-day spike of 3,169 cases, while the toll is at 2,581 with 53 more fatalities, reports PTI.
9.45 am: Chinese newspapers defend the electronic dance music festival held in Wuhan, where people were seen without masks, reports Reuters. A story in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, cites Wuhan residents as saying the pool party reflected the city’s success in controlling the pandemic.
9.40 am: Sweden’s statistics office says the country has recorded its highest tally of deaths in 150 years in the first half of 2020, reports Reuters. The coronavirus pandemic caused about 4,500 deaths in six months to end of June as Sweden opted against strict lockdown.
9.28 am: India reports 69,652 cases in 24 hours, taking the tally to 28,36,925. The toll increases by 977 to 53,866. There are now 6,86,395 active cases, while as many as 20,96,664 people have been discharged after undergoing treatment so far.
8.05 am: US health expert Anthony Fauci says the country would not make any future coronavirus vaccine mandatory for all, AFP reports.
“You don’t want to mandate and try and force anyone to take a vaccine,” Fauci, who is a member of the White House coronavirus task force, says. “We’ve never done that. You can mandate for certain groups of people like health workers, but for the general population you can’t.”
Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious diseases official, said Wednesday the government wouldn’t make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public – though local jurisdictions could make it mandatory for some groups, like children.
His comments came hours after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that everyone in his country would be made to take the vaccine.
7.58 am: “We are very pleased to hand over the final tranche of 100 ventilators to India, fulfilling President Trump’s commitment to provide these critically needed supplies to support India’s pandemic response,” US ambassador Ken Juster says.
7.55 am: The United States has donated a shipment of 100 ventilators to India to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Hindustan Times reports. This was the second shipment from the US to India since the health crisis began.
The first shipment of machines, donated in June, have been set up at the eight regional All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.
7.50 am: The tally in Odisha rose to 67,122 on Wednesday after 2,589 new infections were detected. The toll rose to 372, PTI reports.
7.45 am: West Bengal’s Covid-19 tally rose to 1,25,922 on Wednesday after 3,169 cases were reported in 24 hours, PTI reports. The toll, meanwhile, rose to 2,581 with 53 more fatalities.
7.40 am: Over 9 lakh Covid-19 tests done in a day, claims the Ministry of Health, according to ANI.
7.35 am: The global coronavirus tally rose to 2,22,62,946 while the toll crossed 7.84 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s tracker. More than 1.42 crore people have recovered from the infection so far.
7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:
- India’s coronavirus tally rose to 27,67,273 on Wednesday morning as the country reported 64,531 new cases in 24 hours. The toll increased by 1,092 to 52,889. India reported a record 60,091 recoveries in a day, taking the total number of discharged cases to 20,37,870. India’s recovery rate rose to 73.64%, while the death rate fell to 1.91%.
- Maharashtra reported its biggest single-day rise of 13,165 coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 6,28,642. The toll rose by 346 to 21,033. Andhra Pradesh recorded 9,742 new coronavirus cases and 86 deaths in the evening. With this, the state’s tally rose to 3,16,003 and the toll stood at 2,906.
- The Supreme Court said it will begin limited physical hearings in about two weeks on an “experimental basis”. A seven-judge committee led by Justice NV Ramana has asked court officials to ready three big courtrooms within a week, strictly adhering to the “prescribed distancing and other norms”.
- The Delhi Disaster Management Authority allowed the reopening of hotels and weekly markets in the Capital. Gymnasiums, however, will continue to remain closed. The decision was taken in a meeting of DDMA, which was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal through video conference.
- A court in New Zealand ruled that the first nine days of the coronavirus lockdown in the country (from March 26 to April 3) were justified, but unlawful. The court noted that stay-at-home orders were not passed by the government till April 3, so the liberties of people were “unlawfully limited” for those days.
- Brazil’s coronavirus count crossed 34 lakh. The country reported 47,784 new cases in 24 hours on Wednesday, taking its tally to 34,07,354. Brazil’s toll rose by 1,352 to 1,09,888.