A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will take at least 12 months to be commercially available and a realistic deadline for it would be some time next year, a group of government officials informed the Parliamentary Panel on Science and Technology headed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh at a meeting held in the Parliament House complex on Friday.
Here are the latest updates:
Dharavi a global role model of COVID management, says Thackeray
Dharavi slum in Mumbai has emerged as a global role model for containing the spread of novel coronavirus, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday against the backdrop of the WHOs praise.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said during a virtual press conference in Geneva on Friday that there were many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control.
And some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi - a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai, he had said.
Mr. Thackeray said that Dharavi has shown to the world that coronavirus spread can be contained via self discipline and community efforts.
7 police personnel test positive for COVID-19 in Kolkata
At least seven police personnel of Kasba police station here have tested positive for COVID- 19, sources in the Health department said on Saturday.
One sub-inspector (SI), three assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) and three others have tested positive for the disease, they said.
The SI and the three ASIs are undergoing treatment at the KPC Medical College and Hospital in Jadavpur, sources said.
No coronavirus patient under home isolation in Delhi has died in July: study
Not a single coronavirus patient under home isolation in the city has died in July and there has been a sharp decline in daily fatality figures in the past two weeks, a Delhi government study on COVID-19 deaths has said. The citys Health department presented these findings to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, days after he directed them to study all COVID-19 deaths in the last fortnight to understand what steps could be taken to further reduce the number of fatalities.
During the June 24 to July 8 fortnight, a total of 691 deaths took place in Delhi, which is an average of 46 deaths per day during this period, the government said in a statement.
PM appreciates efforts of Centre, Delhi government in containing COVID situation in national capital
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appreciated the efforts of the Centre, state and local authorities in containing the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and directed that similar approach be replicated in checking the pandemic in the entire NCR area.
Mr. Modi also directed that real-time national level monitoring and guidance should be provided to all affected states and places with high test positivity rate.
He made these remarks at a meeting to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in various parts of the country and the preparedness of various states, a statement from the Prime Ministers Office said.
Biocon drug receives DCGI nod for use in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients
Biotechnology major Biocon on Saturday announced that its breakthrough drug, Itolizumab has received Drugs Controller General of Indias (DCGI) approval for its use in moderate to severe COVID-19 patients.
DCGI has approved to market Itolizumab (ALZUMAb) injection 25mg and 5mL solution for emergency use in India for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in moderate to severe ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) patients due to COVID-19, Biocon said in a release.
It said Itolizumab is the first novel biologic therapy to be approved anywhere in the world for treating patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 complications.
Madurai sends 800 COVID-19 samples to Chennai, Coimbatore daily
As Madurai ramps up COVID-19 testing, the district administration has been sending over 800 samples collected from the district to Chennai and Coimbatore, to bridge the capacity gap.
District Collector T. G. Vinay said that Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) has the capacity to test 2,200 samples per day currently. Since June 8, the district administration has been averaging 3,000 tests per day.
As cases increased, the Collector said that they have been intensifying testing and implementing the fever clinic model, where those with symptoms of COVID-19 can get their tests done at government-run fever clinics or at private labs.
All the results are uploaded online. We also immediately communicate to those who have tested positive so that we can discuss the severity and treatment options for them, he said.
Mysurus first 600-bed COVID-19 Care Centre ready
The 55-room newly constructed academic building of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) near Mysuru airport at Mandakalli is all set to function as the citys first COVID-19 Care Centre (CCC), equipped with 600 beds and basic facilities for the treatment of patients.
The facility will be thrown open in the next two days for shifting infected patients, with the designated 250-bed COVID-19 Hospital packed to its capacity.
U.P. shuts as govt announces 55-hour-long lockdown-like restrictions
Shops and business establishments, other than those dealing with essential services, remained closed in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday after the government reimposed lockdown-like restrictions across the state to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The government on Thursday had announced that restrictions will be reimposed in the state from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday in the state following the surge in coronavirus cases.
However, it permitted the functioning of essential services and the opening of religious places during this period.
Roads wore a deserted look on Saturday, as tempos, taxis and government buses did not operate. Markets in prominent areas too were shut.
Security personnel testing COVID-19 positive wont be allowed to enter Sikkim
With security personnel comprising a substantial chunk of the COVID-19 cases in Sikkim, the state government has decided to allow only those jawans to enter the Himalayan state who test negative for coronavirus, a senior health official said on Saturday.
Rapid antigen tests will be conducted exclusively on security personnel, including those from the Army and the paramilitary forces, at the Rangpo border check-post from Saturday onwards.
The measure comes after more than three dozen security personnel posted in the Himalayan state, bordering China, tested positive for COVID-19.
Virudhunagar comes up with containment plan
The movement of people and commercial activities in 57 containment zones across Virudhunagar district has been completely banned from Sunday.
An order issued by Virudhunagar Collector and District Disaster Management Authority, R. Kannan, said that the movement of people, transport and commercial activities would be prohibited from Sunday till the containment plan is over.
People should follow physical distancing norms and wear masks. Besides, autorickshaws with public address systems should make frequent announcements about the containment plan to the people living in the zones.
Fever camps would be conducted and door-to-door surveillance will be done.
Proactive screening helped curb Dharavis COVID-19 spread: BMC
With the WHO lauding the efforts taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Mumbais Dharavi, one of the worlds largest slums, the local civic body said proactive screening with the assistance of private doctors and community support helped it in the fight against the disease.
Talking to PTI on Saturday, Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Commissioner of the G North ward of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the civic body had to change its traditional approach of waiting for patients, contact tracing, isolation and home quarantine to begin proactive screening instead.
PM appreciates efforts of Centre, Delhi govt in containing COVID situation in national capital
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appreciated the efforts of the Centre, state and local authorities in containing the COVID-19 situation in Delhi and directed that similar approach be adopted with other state governments in checking the pandemic in the entire NCR area.
He made these remarks at a meeting to review the coronavirus situation in the country, a statement from the Prime Ministers Office said.
Ariyalur Collectorate closed till Monday after employee tests COVID-19 positive
The Ariyalur Collectors Office has been closed for three days after an employee of the Department of Cooperation tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
The employee was said to have contracted the virus from his wife, also a government employee in the neighbouring Perambalur district. After the swab sample taken from the employee turned out to be positive, he was immediately admitted to the Government Hospital.
Though he was a field worker, he was said to have visited the Collectors Office during the last few days. Following this, Collector D. Rathna issued an order to close the office for three days from Saturday to Monday. - C. Jaisankar
Three-day lockdown in Kashipur
A three-day lockdown was imposed from Saturday in Kashipur in Uttarakhands Udham Singh Nagar district in view of rising cases of COVID-19.
Barring essential services, all commercial activities in the market area will remain suspended during the period, it said advising people to stay at home and not venture out unless it was absolutely necessary.
Only, medicine shops, private and government hospitals and shops dealing in milk will remain open during the period.
All upcoming semester, final exams of universities under Delhi govt cancelled
Delhi government has decided that in Delhi state universities, upcoming exams will be cancelled," said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while addressing a video briefing.
"This decision is for Delhis state universities. Delhi also has central government-run universities such as Delhi University, JNU, and for these, the central government will have to take a decision," he clarified.
All universities have been told that without written exam, promote students based on previous exams or based on previous semesters or other evaluations till now, he said. - Nikhil M. Babu
Strict lockdown restrictions reimposed after spike in coronavirus cases in Rajouri
Strict lockdown restrictions were reimposed on Saturday in parts of Jammu and Kashmirs Rajouri district following a spike in coronavirus cases.
The entire Rajouri city and adjoining areas were sealed and people were asked to stay indoors as part of the efforts to slow the spread of the infection.
We have five active red zones and all the residents of these areas are being subjected to COVID testing, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Sher Singh told PTI.
He said the restrictions would continue till the completion of the contact tracing of all the positive cases, their sampling and receipt of the reports.
Local spread spiralling in Kerala
The emerging COVID-19 situation in Kerala has now begun to resemble the situation in any major metropolis in the country with the pace of disease transmission in the community surpassing all efforts at containment, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
The pace at which a superspreader event had transmitted the disease fast and wild across three urban wards in the capital city was an indication how fast the disease could spread across a small and densely populated State such as Kerala, he said.
Flights to UAE from Sunday
In a major relief, thousands of United Arab Emirates (UAE)-bound Non-Resident Indians (NRI) stranded in the country since the lockdown from March will now get an opportunity to fly back to their workplaces and join the families there from Sunday. This arrangement will be in place for a period of 15 days till July 26.
Data | Most COVID-19 deaths occurred within two days of hospital admission in Chennai, Karnataka
Most deaths related to COVID-19 in Chennai and Karnataka occurred within two to three days of admission to hospitals. These regions were chosen as they were among the few which provided the date of admission. Notably in Chennai, younger people died relatively sooner after hospitalisation compared to elders.
The analysis includes deaths in Chennai and Karnataka between April 10 and June 13, and for which data is available.
Psoriasis injection okayed for limited use to treat COVID-19 patients: Drug controller
Indias drug regulator has approved Itolizumab, a drug used to cure skin ailment psoriasis for restricted emergency use to treat COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress, officials told PTI on Friday.
Considering the unmet medical needs to treat COVID-19, Drugs Controller General of India, Dr.V.G. Somani, approved monoclonal antibody injection Itolizumab, an already approved drug of Biocon, for restricted emergency use for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients due to COVID-19, they said.
The approval was given after its clinical trials on COVID-19 patients in India was found satisfactory by the expert committee comprising pulmonologists, pharmacologists and medicine experts from AIIMS, among others, for treatment of cytokine release syndrome, an official told PTI.
It is already an approved drug of Biocon for treating psoriasis for last many years, the official said. Written informed consent of each patient is required before the use of this drug, he said.
Bengali film actor Koel Mallick, husband, parents test positive
Bengali film actor Koel Mallick on Friday tested positive for COVID-19, along with her parents and husband Nishpal Singh Rane who is a film producer. Koel said in a tweet, Baba Ma Rane & I are tested COVID-19 Positive...self quarantined!
Industry sources said Koels husband Rane was running a fever for the past two days and advised swab test by a doctor. As he came to visit his wife and in-laws at their residence, swab samples of Koel and his parents were also sent for test.
The reports came on Friday confirming that Koel, her father Ranjit Mallick, who is also a veteran actor, mother Deepa Mallick and Rane were infected with novel coronavirus.
They are all in home quarantine.
Kolkata Police asks Cricket Association of Bengal to allow using Eden Gardens as quarantine facility
The Kolkata Police on Friday requested the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to make use of under galleries for makeshift quarantine facility for police personnel on an urgent basis.
There was an emergent meeting held at the Kolkata Police Headquarters in Lalbazar with CAB senior officials and it was followed by a joint inspection at the Eden Gardens. CAB president Avishek Dalmiya and Hony. Secretary Snehasish Ganguly were present during the inspection.
It has been decided that under galleries of E, F, G and H blocks would be used to set up such facilities. In case, more space is required, then J block might also be used, the statement said.
It is our duty to help and support the administration in this hour of crisis. The quarantine facility would be used for police personnel who are covid warriors. The arrangement agreed between Kolkata Police and CAB would ensure that areas used for cricket and administrative activities remain unaffected, Dalmiya said.
Citing Dharavi, WHO says coronavirus can be brought under control
The World Health Organization said Friday that it is still possible to bring coronavirus outbreaks under control, even though case numbers have more than doubled in the past six weeks.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the examples of Italy, Spain, South Korea and Dharavi (India's biggest slum) showed that however bad an outbreak was, the virus could still be reined in through aggressive action.
Positivity rate in Gurugram nearly double the national average
Though Gurugram has the highest recovery rate of 83% nationwide, the positivity rate, which is the number of samples testing positive per hundred, is almost double the national average, Chief Medical Officer Virender Yadav said on Friday. He also announced that guidelines on setting up of plasma bank and plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients were expected next week.
15-20% tested developed antibodies against virus
At least 15-20% of the over 22,000 people tested randomly across New Delhi as part of a serological survey have developed antibodies against COVID-19, according to officials. The survey report being prepared by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which was supposed to be submitted to the Central government and Delhi government, was not submitted till 9 p.m. on Friday.
Govt. allows 50% staff in Chennai IT/ITeS firms
The State government on Friday modified its earlier orders and allowed 50% staff in IT/ITeS firms located within Chennai police limits to work on their company premises.
However, 90% of the employees must commute through company-arranged transport facilities, from July 13, in such a case.
West Bengal records highest single-day spike of 1,198 cases
West Bengal on Friday recorded yet another highest single-day spike of 1,198 COVID-19 cases. Twenty-six deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. The total number of cases has increased to 27,109, of which 8,881 are active.
Of the 26 deaths, 13 were recorded in Kolkata, six in North 24 Parganas and four in Howrah. One death each was recorded in Hooghly, Purba Medinipur and Howrah. The total number of deaths in the State due to the infection stands at 880.
1,500 Indians to be repatriated from South Africa on July 12
Around 1,500 Indians, who were stranded in South Africa due to coronavirus-related restrictions, will be repatriated on July 12. This will be the second repatriation flight arranged by the India Club, an ethnic socio-cultural group.
Over 50 of the passengers are IT employees from Bengaluru who have been stuck in South Africa after their contracts with various local companies expired prematurely with businesses scaling down operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, 14 South Africans, who were on home-leave will be returning to their jobs in Indian mines.
Maharashtra reports highest single-day surge of 7,862 cases
With a staggering single-day high of 7,862 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, Maharashtras total case tally reached 2,38,461. A total of 226 new deaths pushed the total death toll to 9,893.
The State has reported over 7,000 cases in a single day twice in less than a week, with the previous highest single-day spike of 7,074 cases recorded on July 4.