After Chennai, now Hyderabad is mulling over implementation of a total lockdown after the number of coronavirus cases in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits increased sharply in the past few days.
Besides Maharashtra and Delhi, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have recorded huge spikes in the cases detected, putting enormous strain of the States' facilities. Globally, the death toll from COVID-19 reached half a million people on Sunday. Over 10 million cases have been reported so far.
Here are the latest updates:
NHRC sends report to Delhi govt after its teams visit to LNJP Hospital
The NHRC recommended that the LNJP Hospital should put a list of oxygen-enabled ambulances on the Delhi government website and that their charges be monitored.
It also suggested that psychological counselling be provided to medical and paramedical staff on duty.
Video conference facility available to all prisoners to get in touch with legal aid lawyers: Prison authority to Delhi HC
The prisons authority here told the Delhi High Court on Monday that a video conferencing facility has been started from June 22 for all the prisoners to get in touch with the legal aid lawyers.
All legal consultations had been suspended since March 25 following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Besides, video conferencing facility for women inmates, lodged in Jail no. 6 of Tihar Jail, to consult with their private lawyers has started from June 24, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was informed by Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam, appearing for the Delhi Prisons authority.
Sri Lanka to reopen schools in phased manner
Principals, teachers and other staff in Sri Lanka returned to schools on Monday after three months of lockdown imposed in the country to contain the spread of thecoronavirus.
Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said the students will return to schools next week under four phases.
Maharashtra extends lockdown till July 31
Maharashtra government on Monday said the lockdown in the state is being extended till July 31. The current lockdown was to end on June 30.
An order issued by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta on Monday said wearing face covers or masks, maintaining social distancing, restricted gatherings, and other measures shall continue to prevail.
The state government has also advised that work from home should be followed as far as possible. Private offices can operate with up to 10 per cent strength or 10 people whichever is more.
Uddhav Thackeray launches worlds largest convalescent plasma project
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday launched convalescent plasma therapy-cum- trial project for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients with a state medical education department official calling it the largest initiative of its kind in the world.
Titled Platina, all critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml convalescent plasma free of cost.
Fresh guidelines for blood donation
The National Blood Transfusion Council of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued the second interim national guideline for blood transfusion services in the country in the light of COVID-19 pandemic which stresses on safe functioning of blood transfusion services.
As per the guideline, blood from a person, who tested positive and recovered from the disease, can be collected only after 28 days of the discharge from the hospital or 28 days after the end of the home isolation.
Individuals should be deferred from donating blood for 28 days with the last possible close contact exposure to a person who is confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19, including those under quarantine. Similarly, individuals should avoid donating blood for 28 days after the date of departure from a country with COVID-19 transmission in the community and areas as notified by Government from time to time.
As cases rise, Telangana govt. to intensify tests from tomorrow
Faced with a significant rise in the number of novel coronavirus cases, the Telangana government has decided to intensify testing from Tuesday. Health Minister Eatala Rajender said there had been a spike in the number of cases ever since the restrictions were lifted and the increase was observed mainly in some parts of the west and south Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao held a detailed review meeting on tackling the spread of the virus with senior officials on Sunday and the State Cabinet would meet in the next four to five days for taking a decision on the future course of action.
The Chief Minister stressed the need for strict measures to check the spread of the virus. Reimposing lockdown is a big decision and the State Cabinet will meet soon in this regard, he said.
2 BJP MLAs test positive for COVID-19
A BJP MLA from Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the second legislator who voted in the Rajya Sabha election to have contracted the illness.
Hours after the election at the Vidhan Sabha on June 19, party MLA from Jawad in Neemuch district Omprakash Saklecha and his wife tested positive in Bhopal, sending jitters across party lines.
Sirmour MLA Divyaraj Singh, who returned to Rewa, who was seated next to Mr. Saklecha during the elction, also tested positive.
Congress MLA Kunal Choudhary, who was under treatment for COVID-19 voted in the elections donning a PPE suit. Sidharth Yadav
Karnataka changes quarantine norms again
The State government has changed quarantine rules again making 14 days home quarantine compulsory for all returnees except those coming from Maharashtra. Earlier, the State had imposed 3-day institutional quarantine followed by 11 days home quarantine for those coming from Delhi and Tamil Nadu as well.
For those coming from Maharashtra, the 7-day institutional quarantine rule followed by 7-day home quarantine stays, stated that an order by N. Manjunath Prasad, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department (Disaster Management).
Asymptomatic cases keep officials on their toes
Even as the authorities are leaving no stone unturned to check the spread of coronavirus, the rise in asymptomatic cases, which is said to be 90%-95% of the infections across Andhra Pradesh, has kept the health officials on their toes.
There is no proper method to measure such cases with no symptoms, but are potential carriers, seriously affecting those who have comorbid conditions, they say.
The health officials are now laying focus on preventing the deaths.
Central team visits containment zone in Hyderabad
A Central team, led by Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal, is in Hyderabad to coordinate with officials in strengthening COVID-19 management efforts.
The team visited a containment zone in Hyderabad to take stock of the situation.
Hyderabads high COVID-19 positivity rate coupled with low tests per 10 lakh population compared to other cities has been repeatedly red-flagged by worried Central government experts.
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Abdul Kalam Technological University postpones final-year engineering exams indefinitely
APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) has decided to indefinitely postpone the final-year engineering examinations on account of the widespread panic and travel uncertainty induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The eighth-semester B.Tech regular and supplementary examinations had been scheduled to commence on July 1.
The Tamil Nadu medical expert committee met the Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday. The expert committee said that it had not recommended extension of lockdown. -- Sujatha
Puducherry CM, his staff test negative for COVID-19
Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and 51 of his staff working at the Assembly and residence have tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday.
The Health Department conducted PT-RCR tests on Sunday after a staff working at his office and a gunmans father tested positive for the virus two days ago.
Delhi to get its first plasma bank
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal paid tribute to Dr. Assem Gupta, the senior doctor of city government-run LNJP Hospital who died battling coronavirus, and announced a 1 crore compensation to his family.
He said that while the city has addressed the shortage of hospital beds, shortage of plasma is persisting.
To this end, the Delhi government will create a first-of-its-kind plasma bank in the city, he said. "This plasma bank will cater to both government as well as private hospitals, and will be created at the ILBS Hospital," said Mr. Kejriwal.
"The Delhi government will make arrangements for those wishing to donate plasma. We will make calls too to encourage such individuals to step forward," he added.
Allow opt-out scheme till last paper: SC tells ICAI
Chartered accountancy aspirants taking exams in July-August should have the option to change exam centres "till the very end," Supreme Court told the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Monday. The Court said that this is taking into consideration the evolving COVID situation.
"The COVID situation is constantly changing and not static. The place where an exam centre is can, in coming days, be part of a containment zone," the apex court said.
It added that if a CA student has appeared in one paper and is unable to take the other subjects, it will be deemed that he has opted out, and that he will get benefits of the opt-out scheme.
"The opt-out scheme is available till the last paper. If an aspirant's family member is tested positive during the exam, you cannot force him to appear in the remaining paper," the SC said.
In addition to this, the Supreme Court also asked the ICAI to:
- Extend the date allowing students to change exam centres due to COVID
- Allow students to intimate ICAI via email, and opt-out in the middle of exams due to COVID reasons.
- Advised ICAI to follow MHA safety protocol for exams
A draft notification regarding these guidelines is to be presented in the Court on July 2.
8 Vande Bharat flights from Australia sold out in 3 hours
Air India on Sunday opened bookings for eight flights from Australia under the Vande Bharat Mission, but many passengers were left disappointed after all seats were sold in less than three hours.
Late on Saturday evening, Air India announced on Twitter that it would operate four flights each from Sydney and Melbourne between July 1 and July 14. The booking window opened at noon on Sunday, and all seats were sold out by 2.30 p.m.
The total number of seats booked are estimated to be 2,048. A Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which Air India typically operates on this route, comprises 256 seats.
Religious places in rural Rajasthan to reopen from July 1
The Rajasthan government on Sunday allowed religious places in rural areas, where a limited number of devotees visit, to reopen from July 1.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said all precautionary measures, including physical distancing, will be mandatory at these places.
Mr. Gehlot said only those religious sites in rural areas have been given permission to reopen where 50 or less people visit per day on normal days. - PTI
Telangana Home Minister tests COVID-19 positive
Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali tested positive for novel coronavirus on Sunday night. The Minister has been admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Jubilee Hills here.
Sources close to Mr. Ali toldThe Hinduthat three days ago, a team of health officials took his swabs for testing after he showed symptoms three days ago, and the result came positive on Sunday evening.
Earlier on Wednesday, five of his gunmen had tested positive for the virus.
Walkers not allowed at Tiruppur Collectorate
District Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan has announced that the public will not be allowed inside the Collectorate premises for walking purposes to ensure personal distancing. The public will be allowed inside the Collectorate from Monday only to make essential requests".
All gymnasiums across the district will also be closed from Monday, Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said. Strict action will be taken against gyms that remain open as well as those who enter the Collectorate unnecessarily.
Manipur extends lockdown till July 15
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Sunday said his government decided to extend the ongoing lockdown for another 15 days from July 1 to 15 in the State, which has so far reported a total of 1,092 cases.
The lockdown was supposed to be lifted on June 30.
Mr. Singh also announced that inter-district bus service will be operational between July 1 and 15 maintaining all COVID-19 safety measures and no other public transport will ply during this period. - PTI
Dont travel beyond 2 km of home, urge Mumbai Police
The Mumbai Police has urged residents not to travel beyond a 2-km radius of their homes for the purpose of exercise or visiting shops and salons.
Movement beyond 2 km is permitted only for attending office or medical emergencies, a senior police official said.
The police appealed to residents to follow personal safety and physical distancing norms, or else they will take strict action against offenders. Residents should ensure all outdoor movement is restricted to essential activities only, the official said. While moving outdoors, wearing face masks is compulsory.
Shops and markets not following guidelines will be closed down. - PTI
As cases rise, Thane-Palghar officials mull stricter lockdown
Thane city reported 341 COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths from the infection on Sunday, while Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivali witnessed 197 and 369 cases and four and six deaths respectively during the day, an official said.
In neighbouring Palghar district, the COVID-19 count increased by 314 while six people succumbed to the infection during the day, he added.
With no let up in cases, Thane Additional Municipal Commissioner Ganesh Deshmukh said there was a chance of some areas of the city, the largest in the district, coming under stringent lockdown from July 1. - PTI
WHO announces new worldwide daily virus record
The World Health Organisation has announced another daily record in the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases across the world topping over 1,89,000 in a single 24-hour period.
The tally on Sunday from the UN health agency eclipses the previous record a week earlier at over 1,83,000 cases, showing case counts continue to progress worldwide.
Brazil recorded the most new cases over the one-day span at more than 46,800, followed by the U.S. at over 44,400. India had nearly 20,000.
Overall the U.S. still has far and away the most total cases, at more than 24.50,000 roughly twice that of Brazil. - AP
Meghalaya CM tests negative for COVID-19
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, who travelled to Manipur and Delhi last week, tested negative for coronavirus infection, according to officials.
The Chief Minister has been under home quarantine for the past four days after his return from Delhi where he took disgruntled National Peoples Party (NPP) MLAs of Manipur from Imphal to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The first test was conducted on Sangma, who is also the NPP president, on June 22 and the second one on Sunday, an official at the CMO said. - PTI
Karnataka government now allows online classes
After a blanket ban on any form of online classes [live or pre-recorded], Karnataka government has come out with an order stating that educational institutions can conduct online classes. However, it will be followed only until an expert committee submits its report.
The order, which came on Saturday, comes with some riders. It states that online classes [synchronous] can be conducted for 30 to 45 minutes not exceeding two periods per day. Classes must be conducted on alternate days [only three days in a week]. Interestingly, the order allows educational institutions to conduct 30-minute online classes for LKG and UKG kids under parental supervision.
FIR against Baba Ramdev, others on COVID-19 cure claim
Police have registered a First Information Report against yoga guru Ramdev and four others for allegedly conspiring to sell a fake Ayurveda medicine with themisleading claim to cure COVID-19 following clinical trialson some patients. The FIR said the claim had been made without getting the Union AYUSH Ministry's approval.
The complainant said that the accused had put the lives of common people at risk and neither the Centre nor the Rajasthan government had been informed about the clinical trials of Coronil. Patanjali Ayurveda, on the other hand, had claimed that it had complied with all legal formalities.