Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that plasma therapy helped save him and several other coronavirus patients. He added that the Indian Council of Medical Research must not remove the procedure from the national treatment guidelines.
The Ministry of Health said that 14 states and Union Territories are reporting a Case Fatality Rate of less than 1%. Meanwhile, the number of active coronavirus cases reported in 24 hours remained below 7.5 lakh for the second consecutive day, it said.
India’s Covid-19 case count on Wednesday rose to 76,51,107, with 54,044 new infections in 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 717 to 1,15,914. There are 7,40,090 active cases, 67,95,103 recoveries, and the recovery rate stood at 88.81%.
The Union health ministry on Tuesday said India will vaccinate about three crore people, including healthcare specialists at the frontline in the fight against Covid-19, in the first phase.
Globally, the disease has affected more than 4.07 crore people and killed 11,23,824, according to Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide recoveries have crossed 2.78 crore.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the top updates of the day.
10.47 pm: Maharashtra records 8,142 new cases, which take its tally to 16,17,658. The state’s toll rises to 42,633.
10.44 pm: Delhi reports 3,686 new cases on Wednesday, which take its tally to 3,40,436. The Capital’s toll rises by 47 to 6,128.
8.33 pm: Haryana reports 1,193 new Covid-19 cases, taking its tally to 1,53,367, according to ANI.
8.26 pm: Czech Republic says it would curb the movement of people and shut down shops and services amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, reports AFP. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention had recently ranked the country the lowest in terms of fighting the infection.
8.22 pm: The Covid-19 tally in Punjab goes up by 499 to reach 1,29,088, according to ANI. The toll is 4,060, while the active cases tally stands at 4,808.
8.20 pm: Gujarat reports 1,137 new Covid-19 cases, pushing its tally to 1,62,985, reports ANI. The number of active cases stands at 14,215, while the toll is 3,663.
8.15 pm: The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, says it has signed a with United States-based drugmaker Johnson & Johnson for the supply of 400 million, or 40 lakh, doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, reports Reuters.
8.12 pm: Jammu and Kashmir reports 624 new cases, taking its tally to 89,582, ANI reports. With five new deaths, the toll rises to 1,402.
8.04 pm: The coronavirus tally in Uttarakhand rises to 59,106 with 505 more people testing positive for the infection, reports PTI. The toll goes up by 14 to reach 960.
8.01 pm: Rajasthan records 14 more fatalities because of Covid-19, pushing the state’s toll to 1,778, reports PTI, citing a health department bulletin. The coronavirus tally in the state climbs to 1,78,933 with 1,810 new cases.
5.46 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research says it has approved a diagnostic machine developed by the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur researchers, reports The Times of India. The council says the machine, COVIRAP, was successfully validated for its efficacy in detecting Covid-19.
5.40 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami says commercial establishments, shops, tea stalls and restaurants that are not in the coronavirus containment zones can open till 10 pm from Thursday, reports The Hindu.
5.32 pm: A senior official of Delhi Metro says 5,181 commuters were fined Rs 200 each between September 11-20 for creating nuisance inside the premises when they were inquired for not wearing masks or wearing them improperly, reports PTI. The officer adds 13 cases of spitting were also reported.
5.28 pm: The excise department of the Delhi government directs liquor shops, hotels, clubs and restaurants to ensure strict compliance of standard operating procedures issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority to prevent the spread of Covid-19, reports PTI. Teams will be deployed to check compliance of the order.
5.22 pm: Pakistan’s top body overseeing the response to the coronavirus pandemic says new strict measures, including a lockdown, can be taken if people did not stop violating government guidelines, according to PTI. The statement comes a day after Pakistan Minister for Planning Asad Umar said the Covid-19 mortality rate in the country has risen by 140% in the last week.
5.17 pm: Uttar Pradesh records 41 new deaths because of the coronavirus, taking its toll to 6,755, reports PTI, citing a health department official. The active cases tally stands at 29,364.
4.30 pm: The Kolkata Police say they have arrested over 3,000 people in the last 10 days for not wearing mask and flouting other safety rules, PTI reports.
4.16 pm: The United States is set to resume trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week, Reuters reports, citing unidentified officials. The late-stage trial was paused in September after a participant in the company’s UK trial fell ill.
4.09 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the Indian Council of Medical Research must not remove plasma therapy from the national coronavirus treatment protocol, ANI reports. “Lives of more than 2,000 people, including mine, have been saved through Plasma therapy, so ICMR shouldn’t remove it,” he says. “Even US has said that it’s beneficial.”
4.05 pm: The Election Commission of India advises political parties to strictly follow coronavirus-related safety protocols. “The Commission has taken a serious view of the laxity on the part of political parties and candidates, on the ground, in terms of maintaining crowd discipline, and hereby reiterates and further advises them to demonstrate utmost vigil and care during electioneering,” it says.
1.53 pm: The Ministry of Health says that 14 states and Union Territories are reporting a Case Fatality Rate of less than 1%.
1.45 pm: Schools in Andhra Pradesh will reopen from November 2, but the students can attend the schools only with the written consent of the parents, The Hindu reports. Under the guidelines, the timings will be staggered and all schools will function for half of the day.
Students of Classes 1, 3, 5 and 7 will be attending school on one day and those of Classes 2, 4, 6 and 8 will attend the other day. If the student strength is more than 750, classes will be conducted once in every three days.
1.35 pm: One in five people, who died of Covid-19 in Delhi between March and October, were suffering from both diabetes mellitus and hypertension, the Delhi government’s reply to a Right to Information application filed by The Indian Express states. These two co-morbid conditions were the most common, followed by pneumonia.
1.32 pm: Amazon says it will allow employees to work from home till June next year amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Mint reports. “We continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email. “Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until June 30, 2021.”
1.30 pm: Andaman and Nicobar Islands report 15 new cases of the coronavirus, pushing its tally to 4,141, PTI reports.
1.29 pm: An eight-month-old baby in Mizoram tests positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports.
1.14 pm: The bar licence of Gymkhana Club in Delhi has been cancelled for allegedly selling liquor during the lockdown to members as well as the Delhi Police, in violation of guidelines, The Indian Express reports. The suspension order, dated October 20, was issued by Deputy Commissioner (Excise) Ranjeet Singh. The club’s management has been directed to appear before the department on October 27 for further proceedings.
1.12 pm: Odisha’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 1,74,181, after 1,931 more infections were recorded on Wednesday, PTI reports. The toll rises by 12 to 1,181.
1.10 pm: The number of active cases of the coronavirus reported in 24 hours remained below 7.5 lakh for the second consecutive day, the health ministry says.
1.08 pm: As many as 113 personnel of the Maharashtra Police tested positive in 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the force to 25,918, ANI reports. The toll stands at 270.
12.55 pm: The Calcutta High Court modifies its order that declared all Durga Puja pandals as no entry zones and increased the number of people allowed inside at a time, the Hindustan Times reports. Earlier, the court had permitted the entry of 15 to 25 committee members. This has been increased to 45 for big pandals. The committees are required to prepare a list of 60 names in advance, although the names can keep changing on a daily basis.
In case of small pujas the list would contain only 15 names and not more than 10 members would be allowed to enter at a time.
10.45 am: The Thane Municipal Corporation starts virtual yoga classes for coronavirus patients at a civic-run hospital in the city, reports PTI. “Since the coronavirus infection also causes breathing issues, the introduction of yoga classes will help in the speedy recovery of patients,” says Mayor Naresh Mhaske.
10.43 am: Actor Soumitra Chatterjee’s neurological condition has deteriorated slightly in the last 24 hours, reports PTI. He is currently undergoing treatment for coronavirus at a private hospital in Kolkata.
10.40 am: US First Lady Melania Trump has decided against accompanying President Donald Trump to a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday because of a lingering cough, says her chief of staff Stephanie Grisham. Melania Trump has recently recovered from Covid-19.
10.37 am: Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd will slash 8,500 jobs worldwide, reports Bloomberg. Of these, about 5,300 jobs are based in Hong Kong, another 600 Cathay workers outside of Hong Kong may also be affected. Nearly 2,600 currently vacant positions will be eliminated. It will also close down its Cathay Dragon unit.
10.35 am: India’s first indigenously developed testing tool for coronavirus is likely to hit the market within a month, Hindustan Times reports. The test, which was developed by researchers from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, will be marketed by Tata Sons. The cost-effective and quicker test has been named after the fictional Bengali detective Feluda.
9.35 am: India’s Covid-19 case count breaches the 76-lakh mark to reach 76,51,107 after 54,044 new infections. The toll in the country goes up by 717 to 1,15,914.
8.59 am: Odisha’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 2,72,250 on Tuesday as 1,904 more people tested positive for the infection, while 16 fresh fatalities pushed the toll to 1,168, PTI reports.
8.57 am: One in six children, or 356 million globally were living in extreme poverty before the Covid-19 pandemic began, and this is set to worsen significantly, according to a new World Bank Group and UN Children’s Fund analysis, PTI reports.
The analysis shows that the number of children living in extreme poverty decreased moderately, by 29 million, between 2013 and 2017. However, UNICEF and the World Bank Group warn that any progress made in recent years, has been “slow-paced, unequally distributed, and at risk” due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
8.53 am: A court in Mumbai on Monday acquitted 20 foreign Tablighi Jamaat attendees, who had been charged for violating coronavirus-related lockdown orders. The court noted that there wasn’t an “iota of evidence” to show that the foreign nationals had flouted the orders.
8.51 am: The health ministry says India will vaccinate about three crore people, including healthcare specialists, who are on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus in the first phase once protection against Covid-19 becomes available, the Hindustan Times reports.
This will include 70 lakh doctors and paramedics, in addition to two crore other frontline health workers, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said on the sidelines of a Covid-19 media briefing on Tuesday. “The country has the infrastructure already in place to vaccinate the 30 million,” Bhushan said. “We have the cold chain, vials, syringes and everything.”
8.49 am: Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava on Tuesday said that there is a possibility of coronavirus reinfection if antibodies reduce in five months, ANI reports.“That is why it is important to wear mask and take precautions even if one was infected earlier,” he said.