10.23 pm: The Union health ministry issues Standard Operating Procedures on precautionary measures to be followed in entertainment parks and similar places to contain the spread of Covid-19.

9.55 pm: Himachal Pradesh reports 199 new coronavirus infections and 277 recoveries on Friday, pushing the state’s tally to 16,977. The toll stands at 240.

9.50 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa appeals to the public not to pay heed to speculation about reopening of schools amid the coronavirus, PTI reports.

In a statement, Yediyurappa says his government will hold meetings between politicians, experts and senior officials before arriving at a decision. “Till then, I appeal to the parents not to heed to the speculations regarding the opening of schools and I appeal to the media to spread awareness about it,” he adds.

9.42 pm: The Central Railway on Friday announced 22 additional special services in Mumbai starting October 10, PTI reports. Of the 22 additional services, 18 will be operated on the Main Line, while our will run on Harbour Line, a release stated.

9.41 pm: Haryana records 1,250 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s infection tally to 1,39,932 on Friday, while 14 more fatalities push the toll to 1,562, PTI reports.

9.39 pm: Maharashtra records 12,134 new coronavirus cases, 302 deaths and 17,323 recoveries on Friday, pushing the state’s overall count to 15,06,018, ANI reports. The toll from the disease rises to 39,732.

8.57 pm: Gujarat records 1,243 new cases and 10 deaths today, ANI reports. Total cases in the state rise to 1,49,194, including 1,29,441 discharges and 3,550 deaths. Active cases stand at 16,203.

8.52 pm: “Covid-19 has reminded us of our interconnectedness and dependence on each other,” says Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs V Muraleedharan at a virtual ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. “We can’t fight this alone. Just as this disease doesn’t respect borders, our fight against it must be coordinated to be effective.”

8.44 pm: Eight hundred and twenty nine cases and 35 deaths have been reported in Punjab today, taking the total number of cases to 1,22,459, including just 10,153 active cases and 3,773 deaths. Over 30,000 samples were tested today.

8.30 pm: Pune district has reported 798 new cases on Thursday, a tweet its municipal corporation made on Friday says. This is lower than the 969 cases recorded on Wednesday.

8 pm: Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports issues SOPs for training of sportspersons at swimming pools.

7.49 pm: As many as 10,913 new cases, 114 deaths and 9,091 discharges have reported in Karnataka today.

5.50 pm: The coronavirus may linger on human skin for up to nine hours, according to a study by researchers, including those from Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan, PTI reports. The influenza A virus, in contrast, remained viable on human skin for nearly two hours, the study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases added.

The research also found that both the viruses were rapidly inactivated on skin with a hand sanitiser. The finding underscores the importance of hand washing or using a sanitiser to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

5.45 pm: Himachal Pradesh registers 64 new coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the state’s overall count to 16,864, ANI reports. The toll from the disease in the state is 238.

5.42 pm: Odisha Minister of State Divyashanka Mishra writes to Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, alleging that Aparajita Sarangi, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Bhubaneswar, violated coronavirus-related restrictions while celebrating her birthday on Thursday, ANI reports.

5.34 pm: No new coronavirus cases were recorded in Mizoram in 24 hours on Friday, ANI reports. The state’s tally is 2,157.

4.49 pm: The containment zones in Chennai has risen to 70, reports The Hindu. The number was 10 in the first week of October and climbed to 42 before reaching 70.

4.43 pm: Delhi’s Hindu Rao Hospital doctors announce that they would stop attending to coronavirus patients from Saturday, claiming that they have not been paid their salaries for months in a row, reports News18.

4.00 pm: Bihar reports 1,155 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its tally of active cases to 12,539, ANI reports.

2.30 pm: Puducherry records 371 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally to 30,904, reports ANI. The toll rises by 2 to reach 558. The recoveries tally is 25,543.

2:16 pm: Aruncahal Pradesh reports 212 new Covid-19 cases, including five security personnel, taking the tally to 11,479, says a health department official, according to NDTV.

12.51 pm: Union health ministry says active Covid-19 cases in India dipped below the 9-lakh mark after a month, ANI reports. There are 8.93 lakh active cases.

12.28 pm: At least 10 priests of the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, including the chief priest and the joint chief priest, test positive for the coronavirus, The Hindu reports. The entry of devotees to the temples has been banned till October 15.

12:15 pm: Odisha reports 2,697 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 2,46,839, ANI reports, citing state health department. The recoveries stand at 2,16,984 and the active cases tally is 28,811.

12.10 pm: The Maharashtra Police say that 154 police personnel tested positive for the coronavirus and two died because of the infection in the last 24 hours, according to ANI. The tally of Covid-19 cases in the Maharashtra force is 24,735, including 22,082 recoveries, 2,394 active cases and 259 deaths, they said.

12.05 pm: A study published in journal Science shows that scientists have found the persistence of antibodies that target the coronavirus in the blood and saliva of patients with the infection at least three months after the onset of symptoms, PTI reports. The finding may lead to alternative methods of testing for the infection.

10.20 am: India’s recovery rate is now 85.52%, while the death rate is 1.54%.

10.14 am: Scientists in Chile are looking into a possible mutation of the novel coronavirus in southern Patagonia, Reuters reports. The region, which is situated near the tip of South America, has seen an unusually infectious second wave of coronavirus in the last few weeks.

10.09 am: The National Institutes of Health in the United States says it has begun a late-stage trial of a combination of remdesivir and a highly concentrated solution of antibodies that neutralise the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

10.08 am: Mainland China recorded 21 new coronavirus cases on Friday, up from 11 a day earlier, Reuters reports.

10.05 am: Tripura reports 223 new cases on Friday, taking its tally to 27,982, PTI reports. The state’s toll rises by seven to 308.

9.56 am: China joins the global coronavirus vaccine initiative called Covax, which is being led by the World Health Organization, Reuters reports.

9.44 am: India’s coronavirus count rises to 69,06,151 with 70,496 new cases on Friday. The toll rises by 964 to 1,06,490.


8.48 am: The health ministry says recoveries in India have exceeded the new cases for 3 continuous weeks.

8.46 am: Mizoram reports seven new cases.

8.45 am: Donald Trump’s doctor says the US president is safe to return to public life on Saturday. “Today, the president completed his course of therapy for Covid-19 as prescribed by his team of physicians,” Dr Sean Conley says in a memorandum. “Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time.”

8.41 am: The Indian Medical Association has questioned the scientific basis of the government’s protocol based on ayurveda and yoga for the prevention as well as treatment of asymptomatic and mild patients of Covid-19, reports PTI. “Whether the proponents of this claim and his Ministry are prepared to subject themselves as volunteers to an independent prospective double-blind control study in prevention and treatment of Covid?” asked the IMA. “How many of his ministerial colleagues have so far made the informed choice of getting treated under these protocols?” “What is stopping him from handing over Covid care and control to AYUSH ministry? IMA demands that the Union health minister should come clean on the above posers. If not, he is inflicting a fraud on the nation and gullible patients by calling placebos as drugs.”

8.35 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday

  • India’s coronavirus tally rose to 68,35,655 on Thursday morning after 78,524 new cases were reported in 24 hours. The country’s toll went up to 1,05,526 after 971 additional deaths. India’s recovery and fatality rates are 85.25% and 1.54%.
  • Delhi reported 2,726 fresh cases, taking its tally beyond the three-lakh mark. The toll due to the disease mounted to 5,653, with 37 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.
  • The Union health ministry said that India had performed “remarkably” on following the World Health Organization’s advice to do 140 coronavirus tests per day per million population. The national average of tests per day per million population stood at 865, it said.
  • The World Bank said that India’s Gross Domestic Product is likely to contract by 9.6% in the 2020-’21 financial year, amid the coronavirus pandemic. India had registered a negative growth rate of 23.9% for the first quarter of the financial year.  
  • United States President Donald Trump said he will not participate in a virtual debate with his Democratic Party opponent Joe Biden for the presidential elections. The Commission on Presidential Debates had announced earlier in the day that the second debate will be held virtually on October 15, as Trump has Covid-19.
  • The Election Commission reduced the maximum number of “star campaigners” for recognised parties in the Bihar elections from 40 to 30. For unrecognised registered political parties, the maximum number of such campaigners was slashed from 20 to 15.  
  • India on Wednesday declined a proposal from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to conduct a large study on the effectiveness of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus. An expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation observed that there was not enough data available on the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine from early-stage trials abroad. The panel also pointed out that no inputs were available about Indian participants.
  • The global coronavirus count crossed 3.62 crore and the toll rose to 10,57,043, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of recoveries crossed 2.52 crore.