11.01 pm: Delhi reports 2,914 new cases, the highest in over two months. Its tally crosses 1.85 lakh. The Capital’s toll rises by 13 to 4,513.

10.59 pm: Mumbai also reports a record 1,929 COVID-19 cases, taking its tally to 1,52,024 on Friday. The city’s toll rises by 35 to 7,796.

10.57 pm: Maharashtra reports its highest single-day rise of 19,218 coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the state’s overall tally to 8,63,062. The state’s toll rises by 378 to 25,964.

9.07 pm: Uttarakhand registers 831 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the state’s tally to 23,011, ANI reports. The toll from the disease stands at 312 and 15,447 people in the state have recovered so far.

9.03 pm: Goa’s Covid-19 count reached 19,863 after 508 new cases were detected on Friday. The toll touched 220 as eight people succumbed to the infection, PTI reports.

9.00 pm: Chandigarh’s tally of Covid-19 cases rises to 5,265 after 203 new cases were recorded on Friday, ANI reports. The toll from the disease is 68.

8.59 pm: Punjab’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 60,013, after 1,498 new infections were recorded on Friday, ANI reports. The toll rises to 1,739.

8.57 pm: Haryana registers 1,884 new coronavirus cases and 19 deaths on Friday, taking the state’s tally to 57,171 and the toll to 759, ANI reports.

8.55 pm: Madhya Pradesh records 1,658 new cases and 30 deaths in 24 hours on Friday, taking the state’s overall tally to 70,244, ANI reports. The toll rises to 1,513.

8.50 pm: The Delhi government announces that all schools in the city will continue to remain closed till September 30, ANI reports. However, students of Classes 9-12 may be permitted to visit the schools located outside containment zones only on a “voluntary basis”, it adds. “This will be subjected to the written consent of their parents/guardians and will be permitted with effect from September 21 for which, SOP will be issued by the Health Ministry to be followed by the schools.”

8.06 pm: Karnataka reports 9,280 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 3,79,486. The state’s toll rises by 116 to 6,170.

7.59 pm: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro again says coronavirus vaccinations will not be obligatory when they become available, Reuters reports. “Many people want the vaccine to be applied in a coercive way, but there is no law that provides for that,” he says.

7.54 pm: The Railways says it will run special trains for candidates taking the National Defence Academy and Naval Academy exams from Friday till Sunday.

7.41 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 10,776 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 4,76,506. The state’s toll rises by 76 to 4,276.

6.06 pm: Jammu and Kashmir’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 40,990, after 1,047 new infections were recorded on Friday, ANI reports. The toll from the disease stands at 755.

6.03 pm: Kerala registers 2,479 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the number of active cases in the state to 18,000, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says, according to ANI. As many as 58,498 people have recovered so far.

6.00 pm: West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee announces there will be no Question Hour during the upcoming monsoon session due to “shortage of time” and the ongoing coronavirus situation, ANI reports.

5.58 pm: A 64-year-old Covid-19 patient died by suicide on Friday by jumping off the second floor of a hospital in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, PTI reports.

5.55 pm: The Lok Sabha Secretariat in a statement says the decision to do away with the Question Hour was taken because of the “extraordinary situation caused by Covid” and to avoid assembling of large number of officials in galleries of the House, ANI reports. “Holding Question Hour for one or two days is totally different from having it continuously for 18 days,” it adds. “This change is only for the monsoon session and the government has made it clear that the Question Hour will be back in the winter session.”

5.33 pm: Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V has elicited an antibody response without any adverse effect during the early-stage trials, according to preliminary results published in medical journal The Lancet, reports Reuters.

4.20 pm: India’s total Covid-19 recoveries crossed the 30 lakh-mark on Friday, taking the recovery rate to over 77%, the Union Health Ministry says. “Not only is India’s case fatality rate lower than the global average and progressively declining (current figure is 1.74%, but a very small proportion of active cases, amounting to less than 0.5%, are on ventilator support,” the ministry adds.

4.14 pm: The Punjab government rescinds its earlier decision of putting posters outside the houses of Covid patients under home isolation or quarantine, The Hindu reports. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the move is aimed at minimising the stigma attached to the pandemic.

4.12 pm: The Assam government announces that all schools, colleges and other educational institutes in the state will continue to remain closed till September 30, ANI reports.

4.09 pm: The West Bengal government eases lockdown restrictions to allow banks to open on Saturdays, ANI reports.

3.43 pm: World Health Organization spokesperson Margaret Harris says the health body does not expect widespread vaccinations against Covid-19 until the middle of next year, Reuters reports. She further stresses the importance of rigorous checks on the effectiveness and safety of a vaccine before it is released.

2.29 pm: The Union health ministry says that more than 11.70 lakh samples have been tested for the coronavirus daily across the country on Wednesday and Thursday. Of these, 11,69,765 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.

2.25 pm: Around 40% of Covid-19 patients lost antibodies after recovering from the disease, revealed a survey of 1,800 people done by the Ahmedabad civic body, PTI reports. The loss of antibodies makes people who have recovered from the disease susceptible to reinfection, said Dr Bhavin Solanki, medical officer of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

2.02 pm: A set of detailed guidelines have been issued by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariat ahead of the monsoon session of the Parliament, reports News18.

  • All members need to have a negative coronavirus test certificate to enter the premises. The test needs to be done 72 hours before the session commences. No person showing any symptoms will be allowed to enter the Parliament. 
  • The face must be covered at all times and it must be ensured that the mask is safely disposed of.
  • Hard copies of Parliamentary papers such as list of business, copies of bills, ordinances and other documents have been discontinued. 
  • MPs would be encouraged to avoid going out of the Parliament during the course of a day’s proceedings unless necessary.

1.52 pm: The CBSE has opposed in the Supreme Court a plea seeking postponement of compartment exams for Class 12 scheduled this month, saying all “necessary” safety measures for students are being taken in view of the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI.

1.50 pm: New Zealand reports its first death from the coronavirus in more than three months today, according to AFP. A man in his 50s succumbed to the virus at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital. With this, New Zealand’s toll is now 23.

“I acknowledge the anxiety New Zealanders may be feeling about today’s news, both in the wider community and also for the family and whanau [relatives] grieving over this death,” health chief Ashley Bloomfield says in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief.”

11.56 am: Maharashtra’s Thane district adds 1,590 new cases and 29 deaths to its tally, according to PTI. However, the Thane city for the first time records zero fatalities.

11.53 am: Maharashtra minister Sunil Kedar has tested positive, reports PTI. The Congress leader has been admitted to a private hospital. He is the sixth minister in the Maharashtra government to test positive for the infection. Other ministers have recovered from the illness.

11.50 am: Arunachal Pradesh registers its highest single-day surge in cases with 214 people, including 80 security personnel, testing positive, reports PTI. The state’s toll rises to eight with one additional death.

11.43 am: The Hyderabad Metro announces standard operating procedures as services are all set to resume from Monday, reports The News Minute. In the first phase, metro services on the Miyapur to LB Nagar corridor would be made operational from 7 am to noon and then from 4 pm to 9 pm. Next day, the Nagole to Raidurg stretch would be opened. From September 9, all three corridors would be operational with full services from 7 am to 9 pm.

However, five metro stations – Gandhi Hospital, Bharat Nagar, Moosapet, Musheerabad and Yusufguda – will remain closed as they fall under containment zones.

11.41 am: The Ministry of Home Affairs has started “an active engagement” with the Delhi governments amid a sudden spurt in cases, deaths in the national Capital, reports Hindustan Times. “The number of active cases and deaths in Delhi was on a decline, but in the last few weeks both the parametres have gone up,” says Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, ministry of health and family welfare. “Now, the MHA has started an active engagement with the Delhi government. We also held a meeting with the L-G recently, where the representatives from the Indian Council of Medical Research, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, MoH&FW, and NITI Aayog were also present. We have given them some guidelines. If the guidelines are effectively followed, then the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths can be controlled.”

11.33 am: Telangana registers 2,478 new cases and 10 additional deaths. With this, the state’s tally rises to 1.35 lakh.

10.18 am: The Samajwadi Party has sealed its Uttar Pradesh headquarters in Lucknow for six days after some employees tested positive for Covid-19 positive on Wednesday, reports Hindustan Times.

10.17 am: Telangana records 18% Covid-19 positivity rate among health workers – which is the highest in the country, reports The Indian Express. Maharashtra has the second highest rate at 16%.

10.12 am: US drugmaker Pfizer says it is likely to know by the end of October whether the development of its coronavirus vaccine has been successful, The New York Times reported. The company will submit it for approval immediately.

9.59 am: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says home isolation is an effective tool for the clinical management of asymptomatic patients in the state, reports PTI. “The IMA Goa state unit, along with its dedicated member doctors, is doing a valuable job by extending telemedicine support and monitoring patients round-the-clock,” he adds.

9.55 am: Over 2,700 people have been fined by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in Mumbai in the last five months for not wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI. Masks have been mandatory in public places since April 9.

9.44 am: India’s coronavirus count goes up to 39,37,017 on Friday with 83,341 new cases. The toll rises by 1,096 to 68,472.

9.20 am: Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia tests positive for the coronavirus. He is asymptomatic and under home-isolation.

9.19 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research says a total of 4,66,79,145 samples have been tested for the coronavirus till Thursday. Of these, 11,69,765 samples were tested on Thursday.

9.15 am: An independent panel reviewing the global response to the coronavirus pandemic will have full access to any internal UN agency documents, materials and emails necessary, reports AP. The panel’s co-chairs, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, announced the 11 other members during a media briefing on Thursday. This includes Dr Joanne Liu, who was an outspoken WHO critic while leading Medecins Sans Frontieres during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

8.58 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the increased contact among people may result in “Onam clusters” amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports NDTV. “The next two weeks are crucial as we may see Onam clusters being formed in the state due to increased outdoor public activity and travel during the festival time,” the chief minister says. “We can expect a hike in Covid cases.”

8.50 am: Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said that five states Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for 70% of total coronavirus deaths in the country.

8.42 am: The Government Institute of Medical Sciences in Gautam Buddha Nagar claims that it has performed over one lakh RT-PCR tests for the coronavirus, the maximum by any facility in Uttar Pradesh, reports PTI.

8.38 am: The Supreme Court will hear a petition filed jointly by ministers from six non-BJP-ruled states against conducting JEE Mains and the NEET examinations amid the pandemic.

8.35 am: Two food joints in Haryana’s Murthal have been sealed after 75 workers tested positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. Sixty-five of these tested positive at the Amrik-Sukhdev dhaba, while 10 others belonged to another food joint, says Sonipat Deputy Commissioner Shyam Lal Poonia.

8.30 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday:

  • India’s coronavirus count jumped to 38,53,407 after the country reported its highest single-day rise of 83,883 new cases. The toll rose by 1,043 to 67,376. As many 29,70,492 patients have recovered from the infection, pushing the recovery rate to 77.09%. The Union health ministry said the number of recoveries was 3.5 times higher than active cases.
  • The Centre defended its decision to open up economic activities despite the rise in coronavirus cases. “The Government has adopted a graded approach to unlock and open up various economic activities,” Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at the Centre’s press briefing. “At the end of the day, the Government firmly believes that while lives are important, livelihoods are equally important.”
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking at the United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum, said that the coronavirus crisis is testing India’s resilience, health system and economic situation. He added that India was among the first countries to step up their fight against the health crisis.
  • Maharashtra reported its biggest one-day rise of 18,105 coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 8,43,844. The state’s toll rose by 391 to 25,586. Delhi reported 2,737 new cases and 19 deaths. This is the national Capital’s highest rise in cases in over two months and third consecutive day of reporting more than 2,000 cases. Its tally rose to 1,82,306 and the toll reached 4,500. Despite this, bars and restaurants will begin serving alcohol from next week, albeit on a trial basis. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had denied earlier in the day that the Capital was witnessing a second wave of infections.