Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Maharashtra’s 6 districts need to do more on COVID-19 contact tracing, says state health minister Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said at least six districts need to put more efforts in contact tracing of COVID-19 patients to curb the infection spread in their jurisdiction. Speaking to reporters here, Tope said, There is a need to improve contact tracing of COVID-19 patients in Parbhani, Nandurbar, Kolhapur, Satara, Solapur and Ahmednagar. The states COVID-19 mortality rate is 3.35 percent though a clutch of districts, including Mumbai, have a higher death rate, he said.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: 77 virus deaths, 4,336 fresh cases in UP; total count 1,62,434

Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday recorded its worst daily fatality count with 77 more people succumbing to coronavirus even as a minister and two lawmakers are among the fresh 4,336 cases. So far, 2,585 people have died from the infection in the state, a senior official said. The number of COVID-19 cases too has reached 1,62,434 with 4,336 fresh cases in the past 24 hours. According to a government bulletin, among the 77 deaths, the maximum 14 has were reported from Kanpur Nagar followed by 12 from Lucknow, six in Ballia and five in Allahabad. The maximum cases were reported from Lucknow (514), Gorakhpur (267) and Kanpur Nagar (261), according to it. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said the number of those who have been discharged from hospitals after recovery has reached 1,09,607. The state has 50,242 active cases, he said. Prasad said there are 25,008 people who have opted for home isolation while 1,719 are taking treatment at private facilities.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: India COVID-19 recovery cases surpass the 20-lakh mark

The number of patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 infection surpassed the 20 lakh mark in India on Tuesday. In its most recent update, the union health ministry placed the total number of cases at 27,02,742 and the death toll at 51,797. The ministry said that 19,77,779 people have so far recovered from the infection.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Mumbai’s COVID-19 count rises by 931 to 1,30,410; 49 die

The COVID-19 tally in Mumbai rose to 1,30,410 on Tuesday with addition of 931 new cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. With 49 fatalities, the cumulative toll went up to 7,219, it said, adding that 40 of the deceased had underlying health conditions. A total of 892 patients were discharged in the day, taking the number of recoveries to 1,05,193, the civic body said. Mumbai’s case recovery rate now stands at 80 percent, it said. The average doubling rate of cases in the metropolis has improved to 89 days, while the average growth rate came down to 0.79 percent, the BMC said. The number of active cases in the city stood at 17,697. The BMC said it conducted 6.63 lakh COVID-19 tests so far.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Govt to review guidelines to see if ‘on-demand’ testing can be allowed

With nearly nine lakh COVID-19 tests being held per day, the government on Tuesday said it would review the guidelines for testing to see if it can be made available on an on-demand basis for the people. Responding to a question on why on-demand testing is not being implemented for those who are willing to pay for it even as the testing capacity has been significantly ramped up, NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul, at a press briefing on Tuesday, said the government would review the guidelines for testing. “Practically it is already on demand in many ways. We will review this looking at the capacity and access to people. We are almost there. We have to make sure that the resources are used for the very best purpose. Frivolous use of these technologies and resources is not desirable,” he said. At present, an individual needs to get a COVID-19 test prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Daily new COVID-19 cases, deaths showing declining trend but no room for laxity, says govt

The daily new cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to the disease have shown a declining trend since August 13, the Health Ministry said Tuesday but warned against any laxity, underlining that a five-day span was very short in the context of a pandemic. Addressing a press briefing, Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Rajesh Bhushan said in spite of a sustained level of 7-8 lakh coronavirus tests a day, the positivity rate has come down from 10.03 percent in the first week of July to 7.72 percent over the last seven days. Asked to comment over media reports about a deadlier strain of coronavirus found in Malaysia and whether there was an India link with this mutation, Member NITI Aayog, Dr V K Paul said, “We have also seen the reports. At this moment, we have nothing to convey but we have made a note of it.”

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Bihar registers 3,257 fresh cases, 16 more COVID deaths

Sixteen COVID-19 fatalities reported in the past 24 hours increased the death toll in Bihar to 558, while 3,257 fresh infections took the total coronavirus cases in the state to 1,09,875, the health department said on Tuesday. The state also registered more recoveries than new infections for two days in a row. While 4,034 patients were cured of the disease on Tuesday, 4,140 people recovered on Monday when 2,525 others tested positive for the virus. The recovery rate of the state, which was hovering between 62 and 66 per cent during the past one month, improved to 73.48 per cent on Tuesday, the health department said in a bulletin. It said that 1,12,781 samples were tested in the past 24 hours and 18.99 lakh tests have been conducted in the state so far. Of the 3,257 new cases, 368 were reported from Patna, followed by 234 from Madhubani, 200 from East Champaran, 185 from Bhagalpur and 164 from Begusarai. The remaining 2,106 cases were registered in several other districts.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Delhi’s COVID-19 tally reaches 1.54 lakh with 1,374 fresh cases; death toll 4,226

Delhi recorded 1,374 fresh COVID-19 cases pushing the city’s total caseload to 1,54,741 on Tuesday, while the death toll rose to 4,226, authorities said. Twelve fresh fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the health bulletin of the Delhi government issued on Tuesday. As many as 5,419 RT-PCR, CBNAAT and TrueNat tests and 14,857 rapid antigen tests were conducted in the last 24 hours bringing the number of tests conducted per million population to 70,388. The total number of tests conducted in the national capital till date was 13,37,374, the bulletin said. The number of active cases in the city was 11,068 with 1,39,447 patients having been either recovered, migrated out or discharged, it said. Delhi currently has 557 COVID-19 containment zones.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Surat records 252 new COVID-19 cases; 348 recover, 7 die

Surat’s COVID-19 tally neared the 18,000-mark with 252 new cases on Tuesday, the highest for a district in Gujarat, the state health department said. With 252 new cases, Surat district’s tally rose to 17,985, the health department said. It said with seven new deaths, also the highest in the state that reported 20 fatalities, Surat district’s COVID-19 toll increased to 747. As many as 348 patients were discharged on Tuesday, said the department, taking the number of recovered cases to 14,296 in the south Gujarat district. Surat city (municipal corporation areas) reported 175 new cases and the rural parts of the district 77, the department said in a release. Out of the 348 recoveries, 305 were reported from the city and 43 from the rural parts of the district. As per the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), the city has reported a totalof 14,270 COVID-19 cases so far along with 580 deaths.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 37 patients at the Institute of Mental Health test positive for COVID-19

Thirty seven patients at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) here have tested positive for COVID-19, health department officials said on Tuesday. While nine of them have been admitted to a government hospital, the others have been kept in isolation at the Institute itself, they said. The tests were conducted on 290 patients, of whom 37 tested positive, the officials said. Staff members were also being tested, they said. An assistant professor and two other medical professionals, who tested positive last month, have since recovered, they said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 11,119 new coronavirus cases in Maha, 422 deaths, 9,356 recover

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 11,119 new coronavirus patients which took the state’s case tally to 6,15,477, a health official said. With 422 COVID-19 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll in the state reached 20,687, he said. 9,356 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the number of recovered coronavirus patients to 4,37,870. There are now 1,56,608 active cases in the state, the official added. In state capital Mumbai, 931 new cases and 49 deaths were reported. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the city thus rose to 1,30,410, and death toll to 7,222. The number of active cases in the country’s financial capital is 17,693, the official said. Pune city reported 1,267 new cases along with 54 deaths. The total number of cases in Pune city stands at 81,674 and death toll at 2,131, the official said. So far 32,64,384 coronavirus tests have been carried out in the state.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 7,665 new COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, 139 deaths

Karnataka on Tuesday reported 7,665 new cases of COVID-19 and 139 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 2,40,948 and death toll to 4,201, the health department said. The day also saw recoveries overtaking the number of new positive cases, with 8,387 patients getting discharged. Of the fresh cases reported today, 2,242 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone. As of August 18 evening, cumulatively 2,40,948 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which include 4,201 deaths and 1,56,949 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin. Of 79,782 active cases, 79,085 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and stable, while 697 are in ICU. The bulletin said 49 out of 139 deaths reported on Tuesday are from Bengaluru urban, followed by Dharwad (10), Ballari and Dakshina Kannada (9), Bidar (8), Belagavi and Hassan (7), Mysuru (6), Raichur and Tumkur (4); Bengaluru Rural, Haveri, Shivamogga, Vijayapura and Yadgir (3), Gadag, Kalaburagi and Mandya (2), and Bagalkote, Chamarajanagara, Davangere, Koppal and Uttara Kannada (1).

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Maharashtra govt to provide Rs 25 lakh insurance cover for NGOs performing last rites of COVID-19 victims

The Maharashtra government has decided to provide Rs 25 lakh insurance cover to non-government organisations (NGOs) from rural areas which perform final rites of people who die of COVID-19, Minister Hasan Mushrif said on Tuesday. The insurance cover to NGOs will be provided till September 30, the rural development minister said, according to an official statement here. Mushrif said the government issued a circular in this regard on Tuesday. “A decision has been taken to give Rs 25 lakh insurance cover to non-government organisations from rural areas and their staffers who perform final rites of those who die due to COVID-19,” he said, according to the statement. The cover is being offered considering the risk of members of such organisations getting infected by the disease, he said. NGOs and their members, however, need to be registered with the local gram panchayats for availing the cover, the statement said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 89 new COVID-19 cases in Chandigarh

Chandigarh’s COVID-19 tally rose to 2,305 with 89 more people testing positive for the disease on Tuesday. The fresh cases include a two-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, according to a medical bulletin. Chandigarh has been witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases for the past several days. The city now has 1,030 active COVID-19 cases. The death toll stands at 30. Sixty patients were discharged after they recovered from the infection. A total of 1,243 people have been cured so far, the bulletin said. A total of 22,198 samples have been taken for testing so far and of them, 19,787 have tested negative while reports in 86 cases are awaited, it said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Steepest daily spike of 1,704 cases in Punjab take tally to 34,400

The steepest single-day spike of 1,704 coronavirus cases pushed Punjab’s tally to 34,400 on Tuesday, while the death toll reached 898 with 35 more people succumbing to the viral disease, according to a medical bulletin. Eight deaths were reported from Ludhiana, four each from Amritsar, Patiala and Sangrur, three from Mohali and SBS Nagar, two each from Tarn Taran and Rupnagar and one each from Kapurthala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar and Muktsar. Among the districts which reported new cases include Ludhiana (483), Patiala (338), Jalandhar (132), Mohali (103), Bathinda (94), Fatehgarh Sahib (52), Sangrur (52), Hoshiarpur (50), Muktsar (49), Amritsar (46), Fazilka (46) and Faridkot (46). A total of 1,582 coronavirus patients were discharged after recovering from the disease on Monday. So far 21,762 people in the state have been cured of the infection leaving 11,740 active COVID-19 cases, the bulletin stated.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Record 896 new COVID cases in Haryana; 7 deaths

Haryana recorded the highest single-day jump of 896 novel coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 48,936 on Tuesday, while the death toll rose to 557 with seven more fatalities, the Health Department said. There are 7,081 active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state and number of recoveries rose to 41,298 with 688 more people being discharged, according to the bulletin. Four out of the seven new fatalities were from Karnal, while one death each was from Faridabad, Panipat and Rohtak, it said. On Monday, there were 12 more coronavirus deaths and 887 infections in the state. Out of the 896 new COVID-19 cases, 116 were from Panipat followed by 99 in Faridabad, 98 in Gurgaon, 95 in Karnal and 81 in Rewari. Sixty-three more people were afflicted with the disease in Ambala, 55 in Rohtak, 44 in Yamunanagar districts, 43 in Panchkula and 33 in Kurukshetra (33), the bulletin said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Goa’s COVID-19 cases rise by 339 to 12,333; five die

The number of COVID-19 cases in Goa rose by 339 to 12,333 on Tuesday, state health department said. With five deaths in the day, the toll went up to 116, it said. A total of 298 patients were discharged during the day, taking the number of recoveries in the state to 8,356. Goa’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 12,333, new cases 339, deaths 116, discharged 8,356, active cases 3,861, samples tested till date 1,70,125.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Sikkim reports second COVID-19 fatality, 20 fresh cases

Sikkim on Tuesday registered its second fatality due to COVID-19 while 20 new cases have pushed the state’s tally to 1,207, an official said. Director General (DG)-cum-Secretary, Health, Dr Pempa T Bhutia, said that the 56-year-old man was brought dead to STNM hospital here from the border town of Rangpo where a test conducted on him had confirmed that he was COVID-19 positive. The victim, a native of Bihar, was working at a pharmaceutical company in the border town, Bhutia said. The first COVID-19 fatality in Sikkim was reported on July 26 when a 74 year-old man, a native of Rongli Sub-Division in East Sikkim, had died due to novel coronavirus though he had comorbidites like hypertension and diabetes. Meanwhile, the Himalayan state reported 20 new COVID-19 cases, the official said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Ahmedabad’s COVID-19 count rises by 165 to 29,327; four die

The number of COVID-19 cases in Ahmedabad district increased by 165 to 29,327 on Tuesday while the death toll rose by four to 1,666, the Gujarat health department said. With 178 patients getting discharged in the day, the number of recoveries went up to 24,242, it said. Of the 165 new cases, Ahmedabad city reported 149 patients while 16 cases were reported from rural areas, the department said. All four deaths occurred in the city area, it said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Australia PM Scott Morrison says, will manufacture COVID-19 vaccine and give free doses to citizens

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the country has reached a deal with AstraZeneca to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Swedish-British pharmaceutical company is working with Oxford University to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus. Morrison said: “If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians.” The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is in Phase 3 trials.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Lockdown hits milk sale in Aurangabad

The sale of milk and dairy products has been hit due to the lockdown in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district. The Aurangabad district Coperative Milk Producers Union (ADCMPU) said on Tuesday the sale of milk packets has come down as hotels are out of business now. “We generally collect 80,000-85,000 litres of milk everyday directly from farmers. Prior to the lockdown, we were selling 50,000 litres of milk in packets. This sale has now fallen to 30,000 litres (per day) in the district,” ADCMPU vice president Nandlal Kale told PTI. He said the slump in demand has also adversely affected the sale of milk products. “Earlier, we used to utilise about 7,000 litres of milk everyday to prepare 11 products. But, we are now using only 1,000-1,200 litres of milk for preparing dairy products,” Kale said. He said Mahanand in Mumbai buys around 15,000 litres of milk every day at the rate of Rs 25 per litre. “Remaining milk is currently sold to private firms at the rate of Rs 21 per litre,” Kale explained. Mahanand Dairy is a venture of the Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Dudh Mahasangh Maryadit. He said the ADCMPU is currently suffering the loss of Rs 1 lakh per day, after the state government stopped paying grant since July 27.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: BJP minister Atul Garg tests positive for COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Atul Garg was hospitalised on Tuesday after he tested positive for COVID-19. The 63-year-old Garg, an MLA from Ghaziabad, requested all those who came in contact with him recently to get tested for the disease. “On August 15, RT-PCR test was done and I had tested negative. Yesterday, in the rapid test conducted at around 9 pm, I tested positive. People who came in contact with me from August 16 to August 18 should get themselves tested,” he said in a tweet in Hindi. Garg was admitted to the private Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital, Kaushambi in Ghaziabad, where doctors stated his condition to be stable. “The minister was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday. According to preliminary investigations done at the hospital, his condition is stable now. He is under observation and a team of doctors attending on him, as he is a known diabetic and hypertensive,” a hospital official told PTI. Two UP ministers, Kamal Rani Varun and Chetan Chauhan, recently succumbed to COVID-19.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: 434 new COVID cases in J&K, 13 deaths

The novel coronavirus cases in Jammu and Kashmir rose to 29,326 on Tuesday with 434 new infections, while 13 more deaths took the toll to 561, officials said. There are 6,879 active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVD-19), while 21,886 patients have recovered so far, the officials said. All the 13 more deaths were from Kashmir, taking the toll to 561, includng 520 from the Valley and 41 from the Jammu region, according to the officials. Eighty-eight out of the 434 new cases were from the Jammu region, while 346 were from Kashmir, taking the tally to 29,326. Srinagar and Kupwara districts reported the highest number of 66 new cases each, followed by 59 in Bandipora district, officials said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Maharashtra CM Thackeray appeals people to avoid crowding during Ganesh festival

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday appealed people to avoid crowding during the Ganesh festival and follow guidelines about the height of idols and their immersion. The festival, which in normal times brings lakhs of people on roads in a city like Mumbai, will begin on August 22 under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. Thackeray was speaking at a review meeting with top officials through video conference where Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope were also present. “The forthcoming Ganeshotsav which comes against the backdrop of COVID-19 crisis should be celebrated peacefully, keeping social responsibility in mind,” Thackeray was quoted as saying in an official statement. “Care should be taken to avoid crowding and it should be ensured that the disease does not spread,” he said.

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LIVE Updates: District collectors to take action against hospitals for overcharging COVID-19 patients

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday directed district collectors to take strict action against hospitals covered under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) that are overcharging COVID-19 patients. In a letter to all district collectors, Dr Sudhakar Shinde, CEO of MJPJAY, asked the officials to impose a fine five times the amount of bills charged to patients. Apart from this, he also asked collectors to cancel registration of such hospitals and file a police complaint. The state government has already capped charges for various treatments under MJPJAY, but several hospitals covered under the scheme are found violating the guidelines.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: West Bengal’s migrant workers are now ‘COVID-19 warriors’

Migrant workers who were diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning to West Bengal and recovered, have now been roped in by the state government to help hundreds of those suffering from the pandemic and are undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the metropolis, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Around 50 migrant workers have been inducted by the state government as members of its ‘COVID-19 Warriors Club’ to assist the coronavirus patients. They hail from Birbhum, Coochbehar, Purba and Paschim Medinipur, Murshidabadand and are given a monthly honorarium of Rs 15,000, he said. “The primary job of these COVID-19 warriors is to keep up the morale of the patients currently undergoing treatment in the coronavirus wards in hospitals by sharing with them their own stories of recovery. These men will also provide updates to the relatives of those being treated,” he said.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Explain steps taken to rehabilitate beggars, HC to Maha govt

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government to explain the steps taken to rehabilitate and reform beggars, including child alms seekers. The court sought the state’s response while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Pune resident Dhyandeshwar Darwatkar raising concerns over beggars not following social distancing norms or other rules like wearing face masks while approaching people on road at the time of COVID-19 pandemic. The petitioner’s counsel, Shekhar Jagtap, told the court that while the state and civic authorities had rescued some beggars and sent them to government-run homes, it was very likely that they might comeback on the streets once the lockdown norms were relaxed further. A bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta said that one needed to take a holistic approach, and see what could be done to rehabilitate and reform beggars, particularly children involved in seeking alms. The bench directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to present the state’s arguments in the matter on the next hearing.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Man defies lockdown to celebrate birthday; booked

A case was registered against a man for allegedly violating norms of the coronavirus-induced lockdown by celebrating his birthday in the presence of over 50 people in Kalwa town of Maharashtra’s Thane district, police said on Tuesday. The Thane police have registered an offence under sections 188 (disobeying an order issued by a public servant), among other provisions of the IPC, National Disaster Management Rules and Maharashtra COVID-19 Rules, an official said. A resident of Vitawa area of Kalwa, Santosh Todkar celebrated his birthday on the evening of August 15 in the presence of 50 to 60 guests at a school ground in the area, he said. While a case has been registered in this regard, no arrest has been made so far, the official added.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: Daily new COVID-19 cases and deaths showing declining trend, says Health Ministry

The daily new cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to the disease have shown a declining trend from August 13, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, but warned against any laxity, underlining that five days are a short span in the context of a pandemic. Addressing a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that in spite of a sustained level of 7-8 lakh coronavirus tests a day, the positivity rate has come down from 10.03 per cent to 7.72 per cent. “The daily new cases from August 13 are down from over 64,000 to 55,079 now. There is a declining trend. But five days are a short span in the context of a pandemic and there is no room for laxity on containment, testing and surveillance,” Bhushan said. “Absolute deaths have also declined during the same period. These two parameters do give us some satisfaction but there is no reason for us to slacken our guard,” he said.

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LIVE Updates: UP reports highest 70 deaths in a single day, tally mounts to 2,585

Uttar Pradesh reported its worst single-day spike of 70 fatalities on Tuesday, pushing the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 2,585, a senior official said. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said the number of those who have been discharged from hospitals after recovery has reached 1,09,607. The number of COVID-19 cases has reached 1,62,434 with 4,218 fresh cases in 24 hours. The state has 50,242 cases of active infection, he said. Prasad said there are 25,008 people who have opted for home isolation while 1,719 are taking treatment in private facilities and another 283 in others. He said the government has issued an advertisement, urging private doctors to contribute in the “war against pandemic” by serving in L2 and L3 hospitals. The government will give honorarium and insurance cover among other facilities to those coming forward for it, he said. He said special arrangements are being made for the coming session of the state legislature by setting up testing facilities for the legislators and their associates. The government has also issued a separate phone number to facilitate those who are facing problems in getting themselves admitted to hospitals, he added.

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