India coronavirus tally rose to 73,07,097 on Thursday as it reported 67,708 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 680 to 1,11,266. India’s active cases stood at 8,12,390, a decline from Wednesday, while the recoveries reached 63,83,441.
The Centre on Thursday issued fresh guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for cultural events and other social gatherings, ahead of the festival season. “These guidelines contain Standard Operating Procedures to be followed by the management of theatres and performance spaces, as well as the entertainment, creative agencies, artists and crew or any other persons who hire the auditoria or any other open, closed performance spaces...” the Culture Ministry said in a statement. The ministry also clarified that cultural activities shall continue to be banned in containment zones.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a review meeting to assess the progress in vaccine development against the coronavirus. The prime minister said that the vaccine has to be cost-effective, easily available and scalable.
Former Tamil Nadu MLA and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam treasurer P Vetrivel died of the coronavirus on Thursday at a Chennai hospital. Vetrivel, admitted to the hospital on October 6, died of septic shock, the doctors said.
A negative Covid-19 certificate is mandatory for visiting Sabarimala temple, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday. He added that only 250 people will be allowed to visit on a day. The temple will reopen on Friday.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday said that the doubling time of coronavirus cases in India rose to 70.4 days from 25.5 days in mid-August.The health ministry added that the sharp increase in doubling time was an indicator of a substantial decrease in the number of daily new cases.
Schools in Punjab will reopen for Classes 9 to 12, in non-containment zones from October 19, the state government has announced. Punjab School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said the school education department has also issued Standard Operating Procedures to ensure safety of the students. Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government has allowed schools to reopen on Thursday. However, these will not open for regular classes but for activities such as student-teacher counselling, assignments and submission of work by students of Class 6 and above.
World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that young and healthy people may have to wait till 2022 to get the vaccine against the coronavirus. “Most people agree, it’s starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on,” she said. “There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine.”
United States presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris suspended travel on Thursday after her communications director tested positive for Covid-19, the campaign manager said. A non-staff flight crew member also tested positive. Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon added that Harris need not quarantine as she did not come into contact with either person, but would campaign virtually “out of an abundance of caution”.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.86 crore people and killed 10,94,381, according to Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide recoveries have crossed 2.67 crore.