1. India’s coronavirus count rose to 58,18,570 on Friday, as the country reported 86,051 new cases in 24 hours. India’s toll rose by 1,141 to 92,290. As many as 47.56 lakh people have recovered from the infection so far. The Union health ministry said a record 14,92,409 tests were done in the country in the last 24 hours.
  2. The Election Commission of India announced the schedule for Assembly polls in Bihar, which is the first election to take place in the country amid the escalating coronavirus crisis. The election will take place in three phases between October 28 and November 7 and the results will be announced on November 10. In view of the coronavirus crisis, the voting time has been increased by an hour (7am to 6pm). Coronavirus patients and people suspected to be infected would be allowed to vote in the last hour.
  3. The Assam government announced that air passengers would have to mandatorily take the RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the coronavirus, in addition to the rapid antigen tests. State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the test results would be given within 24 hours to reduce the quarantine time.
  4. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the coronavirus situation in the state is grave. “There is a steep hike in the number of positive cases in many districts,” he said. “We are moving to a serious situation.” According to The Indian Express, Kerala has reported a daily growth rate of 3.38%, which is higher than every other state, except Chhattisgarh. The national growth rate of cases is about 1.63%. On Thursday, Kerala reported 6,324 new cases, its highest daily count so far. The state now has more than 1.54 lakh confirmed cases.
  5. The Centre said that there will be no refund for international flights booked during the lockdown period. “The ambit of the regulatory mechanism of the DGCA [Directorate General of Civil Aviation] does not cover international flights, which originate from any foreign destination,” the government said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, according to Hindustan Times. “It is stated that the said flights are governed by the regulatory mechanism of the country of origin, irrespective of the fact whether the carrier is Indian or not.”
  6. Medical journal The Lancet on Friday called on Indian leaders to respect scientific evidence and not provide false optimism to people amid the raging coronavirus crisis. The journal said that a “too positive spin” on the situation would not only cloud the reality but also adversely affect public health initiatives.
  7. Health authorities in China’s Qingdao city found coronavirus contamination on some packages stored by a seafood importer. The discovery was made after two of the importer’s handlers tested positive for the contagion.The Qingdao Municipal Health Commission said in a statement that the discovery was made on Thursday, though none of the 147 contacts of the two infected employees tested positive.
  8. Russia agreed to supply up to 35 million [3.5 crore] doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to Uzbekistan.
  9. Dr Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of the US government’s program to develop a coronavirus vaccine, said that he was in favour of stricter rules to grant emergency use of new inoculations against the disease. He expressed support for the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation that firms wait for two months after the last administration of their vaccine before asking permission for emergency use authorisation.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.22 crore people and killed 9,83,492 others, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide recoveries is more than 2.22 crore.