India’s coronavirus tally crossed the 29-lakh mark on Friday morning. With 68,898 new cases in 24 hours, the count rose to 29,05,823, while the toll increased by 983 to 54,849. There are now 6,92,028 active cases in India, while as many as 21,58,946 people have recovered.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hoped the coronavirus crisis can be over in less than two years. “Our situation now with more technology, of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast,” he told a media briefing. “At the same time we have the technology and knowledge to stop it.”
Maharashtra recorded 14,161 new cases and 339 deaths. With this, the state’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 6,57,450 and the toll stood at 21,698. Tamil Nadu’s count of Covid-19 infections rose to 3,67,430 after 5,995 new cases were reported in 24 hours. The toll rose by 101 to 6,340. Andhra Pradesh, meanwhile, registered 9,544 new coronavirus cases and 91 deaths. With this, the state’s tally rose to 3,34,940 and the toll is 3,092.
Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh said “latest corona negative report” will be mandatory for ministers, MLAs, officers and employees for attending the Assembly session that begins on August 28.
The Election Commission issued new guidelines for conducting polls in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The rules will be applicable for both Assembly and bye-elections. The poll body said door-to-door campaigns will be allowed only with five people and the candidates can file nominations online. The Election Commission added that polling officers will be given a safety kit, which will include a mask, face shield, sanitiser and gloves. Voters will also be given gloves.
The Supreme Court allowed three Jain temples in Mumbai’s Dadar, Byculla and Chembur areas to hold prayers for two days during the auspicious Paryushan period. The top court emphasised that the temple authorities will have to strictly follow all coronavirus safety precautions.
Health officials in China’s capital Beijing said that protective masks would no longer be mandatory for citizens outdoors. Beijing has not reported new coronavirus cases for 13 consecutive days.
Veteran playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam remained on ventilator support in the intensive care unit of MGM healthcare in Chennai, the hospital said in a statement. The singer’s health condition is stable, the hospital added.
The Hong Kong government said it has banned all Air India passenger flights till the end of the month after 14 travellers from Delhi, who visited the region on August 14, tested positive for the coronavirus.
The global coronavirus tally rose to 2,25,93,363, while the toll crossed 7.92 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s tracker. More than 1.44 crore people have recovered from the infection so far.