Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Friday announced that the JEE and NEET exams have been postponed to September in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus LATEST Updates: Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Friday announced that the JEE and NEET exams have been postponed to September in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) decided to suspend all the international flight operations in the country till 31 July.

Earlier, the aviation regulator had cancelled the international flights till 15 July. However, the DGCA may permit international flights on some selected routes during this period.

“The international scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes on case-to-case basis,” said the aviation regulator on Friday.

Locket Chatterjee, BJP MP from West Bengal, said that she has been in home quarantine for the past week and complained of mild fever. The West Bengal MP tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday.

The former actress took to Twitter to say, “I have tested positive for COVID-19 this morning, having mild fever and was in self-isolation for the past one week. I will keep everyone posted. All is well.”

Andhra Pradesh reported 837 fresh COVID-19 infections and eight deaths in the past 24 hours, said the State Health Department.

With this, the total number of positive cases in the state has now reached 16,934. Of the total, there are 9,096 active cases. The COVID-19 toll in the state climbed to 206, said the health department.

Goa has re-opened its doors for domestic tourists amidst the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reported. This, a day after it reported its highest single- day spike of 95 COVID-19 cases.

People from across the country can now visit the coastal state though there are several restrictions still in place.

With the death of 359 more people after contracting the novel coronavirus, the COVID-19 toll in India rose to 18,213 on Friday. This takes the mortality rate to 2.91 percent.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday said that it aims to launch the COVID-19 vaccine being developed in partnership with Hyderebad-based Bharat Biotech for public health use by 15 August.

India registered over 6.25 lakh COVID-19 infections on Friday after 20,903 new cases were reported for the first time in single day. With 379 more fatalities, the COVID-19 toll across the nation stood at 18,213.

A woman MLA has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Thane district of Maharashtra, becoming the fourth legislator from the area to contract the disease, a senior civic official said on Thursday.

The MLA tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Her husband tested positive for the infection on Thursday and both of them have been home quarantined, the official said.

India’s COVID-19 tally went past six lakh on Thursday with a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, just five days after it crossed the five-lakh mark, while the toll rose to 17,834, according to the Union health ministry’s data.

It took 110 days for coronavirus infections in the country to reach one lakh, while it took just 44 days more to go past the six lakh mark.

The country’s COVID-19 caseload increased to 6,04,641 on Thursday, while 434 persons have succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

This is the sixth consecutive day when coronavirus infections increased by more than 18,000. There has been a surge of 4,14,106 COVID-19 cases from 1 June till date.

Meanwhile, the country has also crossed the nine-million mark in conducting COVID-19 tests, with 90,56,173 samples having been examined till 1 July, officials said on Thursday.

Number of people tested to touch 1 crore soon

The Union Health Ministry said the total number of people being tested for COVID-19 in the country will soon touch one crore.

“This has been (made) possible due to the removal of all bottlenecks by the government of India. Various steps taken by the Central government have paved the way for enhanced testing for COVID-19,” the ministry said.

Representational image. AP

Through a significant step announced by the Central government on Wednesday, COVID-19 testing can now be done on the prescription of any registered practitioner, and not exclusively of a government doctor.

The Centre has strongly advised states and Union Territories to take immediate steps to facilitate testing at the earliest by enabling all qualified medical practitioners, including private ones, to prescribe COVID-19 test to any individual fulfilling the criteria for testing as per ICMR guidelines.

Officials of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also said there are now 1,065 testing labs in the country — 768 in the public sector and 297 in private.

The daily testing capacity is also growing fast, they said, adding it was around 1.5 lakh per day on May 25 and is more than three lakh per day now.

As many as 2,29,588 samples were tested on Wednesday, which took the cumulative number to 90,56,173, the country’s apex health research body said.

Starting with just one laboratory, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, and having 100 in the beginning of the lockdown, the ICMR on June 23 validated 1000th testing lab, it said.

Amit Shah holds meet with CMs of Delhi, UP and Haryana

Amit Shah held a meeting with the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the national capital and its adjoining areas, located in the two neighbouring states.

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have seen a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, leading to the home minister stepping in to handle the situation and improve the health infrastructure.

Shah reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Delhi-NCR with the three chief ministers, a home ministry official said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was also present in the meeting.

The NCR comprises districts belonging to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The prominent ones being Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) and Ghaziabad (both Uttar Pradesh) and Gurgaon, Faridabad (both in Haryana).

Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi — Yogi Adityanath, Manohar Lal Khattar and Arvind Kejriwal respectively — attended the meeting through video-conference.

The novel coronavirus has infected 89,000 people in Delhi and killed 2,803 as on Wednesday.

In Uttar Pradesh, the coronavirus tally has reached 24,056 cases and 718 deaths.

In the NCR district of Gautam Buddh Nagar, 2,362 COVID-19 cases have been detected positive and 22 people have lost their lives so far.

In Ghaziabad, so far 851 people have been infected by the coronavirus and 56 have died.

State-wise cases and deaths

Of the 434 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 198 are from Maharashtra, 63 from Tamil Nadu, 61 from Delhi, 21 each from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, 15 from West Bengal, nine from Madhya Pradesh, eight from Rajasthan, seven each from Telangana and Karnataka, six from Andhra Pradesh, five from Punjab, four each from Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, three from Bihar and one each from Chhattisgarh and Goa.

Of the total 17,834 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 8,053 fatalities followed by Delhi with 2,803 deaths, Gujarat with 1,867,Tamil Nadu with 1,264, Uttar Pradesh with 718, West Bengal with 683, Madhya Pradesh with 581, Rajasthan with 421 and Telangana with 267 deaths.

The COVID-19 death toll reached 253 in Karnataka, 240 in Haryana, 193 in Andhra Pradesh, 149 in Punjab, 105 in Jammu and Kashmir, 70 in Bihar, 41 in Uttarakhand, 25 in Odisha and 24 in Kerala.

Jharkhand has registered 15 deaths, Chhattisgarh 14, Assam and Puducherry 12 each, Himachal Pradesh 10, Chandigarh six, Goa four and Meghalaya, Tripura, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh have reported one fatality each, according to the health ministry.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 1,80,298, followed by Tamil Nadu at 94,049, Delhi at 89,802, Gujarat at 33,232, Uttar Pradesh at 24,056, West Bengal at 19,170 and Rajasthan at 18,312 according to the ministry data.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 17,357 in Telangana, 16,514 in Karnataka, 15,252 in Andhra Pradesh, 14,941 in Haryana, and 13,861 in Madhya Pradesh.

It has risen to 10,249 in Bihar, 8,582 in Assam, 7,695 in Jammu and Kashmir and 7,316 in Odisha. Punjab has reported 5,668 novel coronavirus infections so far, while Kerala has 4,593 cases.

A total of 2,947 people have been infected by the virus in Uttarakhand, 2,940 in Chhattisgarh, 2,521 in Jharkhand, 1,396 in Tripura, 1,387 in Goa, 1,260 in Manipur, 990 in Ladakh and 979 in Himachal Pradesh. Puducherry has recorded 714 COVID-19 cases, Nagaland 459, Chandigarh 446 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 215 COVID-19 cases.

Arunachal Pradesh reported 195 cases, Mizoram has 160 cases, Sikkim has 101, Andaman and Nicobar Islands has registered 100 infections so far, while Meghalaya has recorded 52 cases.

Odisha to start plasma therapy

The Odisha government decided to start plasma therapy for treatment of critically-ill COVID-19 patients in the state, official sources told PTI.

According to the sources, the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the state”s Health and Family Welfare Minister NK Das, who asked the department officials to constitute a technical team to prepare a line of treatment for critically-ill COVID-19 patients through plasma therapy.

The minister also asked the officials to set up a plasma bank to facilitate the treatment, they said. The state took the decision keeping in view the high rate of recovery of patients.

With inputs from PTI

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