A central government committee on Monday said that at least half of India’s population is likely to have been infected with the coronavirus by next February.
India’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 75,50,273 on Monday with 55,722 new cases in 24 hours, the lowest in five days. The country’s toll rose by 579 to 1,14,610 – lowest in nearly four months. India’s active cases stood at 7,72,055, while the recoveries reached 66,63,608. The recovery rate stood at 88.26% and the mortality rate was 1.52%.
Metro services in Mumbai resumed after several months. Schools in Uttar Pradesh reopened for students of Class 9 to Class 12. However, the schools in containment zones will continue to remain shut.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.98 crore people and killed 11,12,588, according to Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide recoveries have crossed 2.74 crore.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the day’s top updates.
11.09 pm: The prime minister says India is witnessing a decline in daily cases and the growth rate of infections.
11.05 pm: Modi adds that India has a strong scientific community, ANI reports. “We also have good scientific institutions. They have been India’s greatest assets, specially during the last few months, while fighting COVID-19. From containment to capacity building, they have achieved wonders.”
11.04 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India’s recovery rate is among the highest in the world because it implemented a flexible lockdown. Modi adds that India is leading vaccine development efforts.
7.07 pm: A central government committee tasked with giving coronavirus projections says at least half of India’s citizens are likely to have been infected with the coronavirus by next February, Reuters reports.
“Our mathematical model estimates that around 30% of the population is currently infected and it could go up to 50% by February,” Manindra Agrawal, a member of the committee and a professor at the Indian Institute for Technology in Kanpur, tells Reuters.
6.54 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s remark on Onam celebrations in the state must be taken constructively, ANI reports. “Union health minister had always praised Kerala for our Covid-19 activities,” Vijayan says. “His remark regarding Onam should be seen in a constructive way because many festivals are coming in North India. We should not let off our guard.”
Vardhan had said on Sunday that Kerala was witnessing a surge in cases due to negligence. “There were huge congregations during Onam and adequate safety measures were not taken,” he had added.
6.50 pm: Delhi’s coronavirus tally rises to 3,33,171 on Monday, as it reports 2,154 new cases. The Capital’s toll rises by 31 to 6,040. Maharashtra, meanwhile, reports 5,984 new cases, which take its tally to 16,01,365. The state’s toll rises by 125 to 42,240.
6.47 pm: Uttar Pradesh records 1,746 new cases on Monday, which take its tally to 4,56,865, PTI reports. The state’s toll rises by 27 to 6,685.
6.45 pm: The academic session for freshers in engineering colleges and technical institutions across India will begin from December 1, PTI reports. The deadline for admissions is extended to to November 30.
6.42 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 2,918 new cases on Monday, which take its tally to 7,86,050. The state’s toll stands at 6,453.
6.40 pm: Tamil Nadu’s coronavirus tally rises to 6,90,936 on Monday, as the state reports 3,536 new cases. Tamil Nadu’s toll rises by 49 to 10,691.
6.35 pm: Kerala records 5,022 new cases and 21 deaths on Monday, ANI reports. The state’s active cases stand at 92,731.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that there have been efforts to defame the state. “Some people are trying to defame Kerala without understanding facts regarding COVID-19 containment by the state government,” he says, according to the news agency. “Kerala was the first state to report COVID in India and at that stage, we contained it successfully. We were the first state to come up with COVID protocol.”
Vijayan refutes the claim that the government allowed relaxations for Onam. “When Kerala government was focusing on Covid-19 activities, the opposition parties sent wrong message to society by organising large scale protests violating all COVID-19 protocol,” he adds.
3.54 pm: Six employees of the Delhi Commission for Women’s 181 helpline have tested positive, PTI reports. Two of them are supervisors while four are helpline counsellors, the women’s panel adds. All of them have been put under home isolation. The helpline’s evening shift staffers have been asked to work from home.
3.48 pm: Tamil Film Active Producers Association asks actors and technicians whose salary is more than Rs 10 lakh to take a 30% pay cut in order to help completion of films stalled due to the pandemic, reports ANI.
3.46 pm: Bihar reports 912 new cases, taking the total count of active patients to 11,533.
1.42 pm: The health ministry also states that India’s active caseload is below 8 lakh for the third day. “India continues to report a trend of steadily declining active cases,” reads a statement. “For the third day after the active cases dropped below the 8 lakh mark after a month and a half, the progressive decline continues.”
1.40 pm: The health ministry says India’s cumulative positivity rate has remained below 8% for four days, showing that the rate of spread of the coronavirus is being effectively contained. “This trend has been sustained without a break for four days,” reads a statement. “The cumulative positivity rate is 7.94% now and is on a continuous decline.”
1.20 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the coronavirus situation in Delhi is slightly better than what it was about a month ago, ANI reports. However, he warns against complacency and urges all citizens to wear masks and practice physical distancing, so that the infection does not spread during the festive season.
11.56 am: Sixty-nine more personnel of the Maharashtra Police tested positive in 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the force to 25,701, ANI reports.
11.54 am: Odisha records 1,982 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing the state’s tally to 2,70,346, ANI reports. The toll rises by 17 to 1,152.
11.51 am: The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad rises to 36,576 on Monday, after 120 more people tested positive, PTI reports. The toll rises by eight to 1,034.
11.49 am: A 57-year-old pilgrim bound for the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, The Hindu reports.
11.47 am: Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja refutes reports that Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan criticised Kerala for the manner in which it allowed Covid-19 containment activities to lose steam, resulting in over 8,000 cases a day now, The Hindu reports.
Vardhan, in his Sunday live talk show, had said despite the admirable way in which Kerala handled the initial phases of containing the spread of Covid-19, it had been “grossly negligent” during the Onam festivities.
10.27 am: The number of coronavirus recoveries in Arunachal Pradesh surpassed the tally of new cases on Monday, with 237 people recuperating from the disease, PTI reports. The state’s tally of cases rises to 13,406 with 55 new infections reported in 24 hours.
10.25 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research says India has tested a total of 9,50,83,976 samples for the coronavirus so far, of which, 8,59,786 were tested on Sunday.
10.14 am: Europe passed the milestone of 2,50,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday as Israel and Australia’s second-largest city of Melbourne began to gradually ease restrictions, AFP reports.
10.10 am: Australia eases lockdown restrictions in Melbourne as people were allowed two hours of outdoor activist in a day, after more than 100 days, Reuters reports. However, people must stay within 25 kilometres of their homes, public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders.
10.06 am: America’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he is “absolutely not” surprised that United States President Donald Trump contracted Covid-19 after seeing him surrounded by people not wearing face masks and flouting best public health practices.
In an interview with CBS News, Fauci said: “I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded – no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.”
10.02 am: Twitter on Sunday removed a “misleading” tweet downplaying the efficacy of masks posted by Scott Atlas, a top coronavirus adviser to President Donald Trump, Reuters reports.
“Masks work? NO,” Atlas wrote. Twitter Inc removed the tweet, saying it violated its misleading information policy on Covid-19, which targets statements that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts.
9.58 am: Bihar Inspector General of Police of Purnia range Vinod Kumar died of Covid-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, on Sunday, the Hindustan Times reports. This is the first coronavirus-related death of a senior police official in Bihar.
9.55 am: The Rajasthan Police books Gujjar community leader Kirori Singh Bainsla and 33 others for holding a mahapanchayat in Bharatpur district without taking permission from the district administration, The Indian Express reports. The FIR lodged at Bayana police station states that about 2,500-3,000 people had gathered for the mahapanchayat over their six demands related to reservation.
9.50 am: Haryana reported no coronavirus-related death on Sunday for the first time in four-and-a-half months, even as its caseload increased by 952 taking the tally to 1,50,033, The Indian Express reports.
9.47 am: China’s economic growth accelerated to 4.9% over a year earlier in the latest quarter as a shaky recovery from the coronavirus pandemic gathered strength, according to the figures announced by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, AP reports. The ruling Communist Party had declared the outbreak under control in March and began reopening factories, shops and offices.
9.36 am: India’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 75,50,273 with 55,722 new cases in 24 hours. The country’s toll rises by 579 to 1,14,610. India’s active cases stand at 7,72,055, while the recoveries reach 66,63,608. The recovery rate stood at 88.26% and the mortality rate is 1.52%.
9.03 am: Schools in Uttar Pradesh reopen for students of Class 9 to Class 12. The state has issued Standard Operating Procedure on health, sanitation and necessary protocols. However, the schools in containment zones will continue to remain shut.
9.01 am: Metro services in Mumbai resumes today. Passengers will undergo thermal screening at the stations, and will have to follow physical distancing norms. They will also have to use face masks at all times – whether in trains or on the platform.
8.59 am: Jharkhand reports 385 new cases and seven additional fatalities, pushing the state’s to 96,35, PTI reports. The toll rises to 839.
8.58 am: The toll in West Bengal crosses the 6,000-mark with 64 more fatalities, reports PTI.
8.57 am: Mizoram has reported no new cases in the last 24 hours, reports ANI citing the health department.
8.55 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday admitted that community transmission of Covid-19 was detected in parts of the country, but claimed this was limited to “certain districts occurring in a limited number of states”. During the community transmission stage of a pandemic, new cases cannot be traced to any source of infection. This indicates that the infection is well-established in the community.
8.53 am: A scientific committee appointed by the Centre on Sunday said the coronavirus pandemic has peaked in India, and predicted that it will end by February next year. The panel said the country is likely to have 10.6 million (106 lakh) active cases by then.
8.51 am: Researchers in Japan have found that the coronavirus can survive on human skin for up to nine hours, offering further proof that regular handwashing can curb the spread of Covid-19, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
8.50 am: Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are likely to conduct late-stage clinical trials of intranasal vaccine for coronavirus once the regulatory approval is in place, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday. He added that the late-stage trial, which usually involves thousands of participants, is likely to start in a few months.