Movie-goers wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus are spaced apart as they watch a movie in a newly reopened cinema in Hangzhou in eastern China. (Chinatopix via AP)

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Cheif Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Saturday became the first CM to test positive for the novel coronavirus. He is likely to get admitted to Chirayu hospital in capital city Bhopal. His reports came days after Cabinet Minister Arvind Bhadoria, who had attended a Cabinet meeting and had travelled with the CM to Lucknow to attend the funeral of Governor Lalji Tandon earlier this week. tested positive for the disease.

Rigorous implementation of pandemic lessons, systematic containment, and proper planning and procurement to plug the gaps in health infrastructure are key, the Centre has told nine states that are currently facing a surge in novel coronavirus infections. At a high-level review meeting that went on for three hours over a video link on Friday, the Centre emphasised six main issues to the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, top sources told The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, AIIMS Delhi on Friday administered first dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to a 30-year-old male. The subject will be monitored for two weeks after which he will be given the second dose.

Beijing partially reopened movie theatres Friday as the threat from the coronavirus continues to recede in China’s capital. Cinemas in parts of the city deemed at low risk of cross-infection began admitting moviegoers under social distancing rules. Tickets must be booked in advance, attendance is capped at 30% of capacity and no eating or drinking is allowed during the show.

In India, Andhra Pradesh, which is in a midst of a big surge, reported almost 8,000 new cases of novel Coronavirus, pushing India within touching distance of 50,000-cases-a-day mark.

Odisha, meanwhile, has been contributing over 1,000 cases for the last two days, but is yet to report its daily numbers. For the last few days now, India has been more Coronavirus patients than any other country in the world except the United States. Brazil’s daily numbers have fallen in the last week, while India has risen from the level of about 35,000 to almost 50,000 now.

For the last two days, even Tamil Nadu seems to be searching for a new level. For more than a week, the state reported almost identical number of new cases, around the 4,500-mark. But it showed a jump on Wednesday with more than 5,800 new infections, and on Thursday, this went even further to 6,400.

These numbers have suddenly made Karnataka look much better. Karnataka was the fastest growing state till about a week ago, before Andhra Pradesh took over. It had surged past many states to become the state with the fourth-largest caseload. Even on Thursday, Karnataka added 5,000 cases, which till two days back, could have been the highest outside if Maharashtra. But because of the surge seen in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka’s numbers look much more modest.

Explained: CDC’s new guidelines on when to end isolation for Covid-19 patients

On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for ending isolation and precautions for Covid-19 patients. With these new guidelines, the CDC is now focussing on a “symptom-based” strategy for ending isolation rather than a test-based strategy.

What are the new recommendations?

The CDC now says that for most persons with Covid-19, isolation and precautions can be discontinued after a period of 10 days from symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications.

Exceptions to this include those patients that have severe illness due to which they may produce replication-competent virus even after 10 days. For such patients, the duration of isolation and the period for taking precautions may be extended to 20 days after symptom onset.

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