Coronavirus Updates: Maharashtra’s case count increased to 7,18,711, while the toll due to the pandemic reached 23,089 with the addition of 295 fatalities.

Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The Maharashtra Cabinet decided to postpone all exams being conducted by the state Public Services Commission (MPSC) in view of the COVID-19 situation. The revised schedule for the exams will be announced later, state Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar told the council of ministers during its meeting.

Amid the scramble to produce a vaccine against the deadly COVID-19,Tamil Nadu’s Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Sri Ramachandra Hospital, in Chennai, will join the Oxford University in conducting human clinical trials of ‘Covishield’ on nearly 300 health volunteers aged 18 and above.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced a series of relaxations by allowing to resume flights operations from six COVID hotspot states, but extended the closure of educational institutes till 20 September.

At a virtual meeting of Opposition chief ministers called by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh urged the states to approach the SC again for postponing the NEET, JEE exams.

The record high recoveries have ensured that the number of active cases of COVID-19, which is the “actual caseload” of the country, comprises only 21.87 percent of the total cases, the health ministry highlighted.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that his government will double coronavirus testing in the Capital since there has been a small increase in the number of new cases. At present, 20,000 tests are being conducted per day in the city.

The recovery rate rose to 76.30% with 63,173 more people having recuperated, while the case fatality rate has declined to 1.84%, the health ministry said.

Supreme Court asked Centre to file a reply and make its stand clear on giving moratorium on charging interest on loan as well as interest-on-interest during moratorium period declared during COVID-19 pandemic.

“You cannot be interested only in business and not about sufferings of people,” the top court said.

The next hearing on the matter will be on 1 September.

India’s toll rises by 1,059 to 59,449. As many as 24,67,758 people have recovered from the infection in the country

The Union health ministry on Tuesday said that the COVID-19 positivity rate in the country has been steadily falling even though the testing has increased exponentially.

The testing for the coronavirus infection has gone up from 363 tests per 10 lakh per day on 1 August to more than 600 tests per 10 lakh per day at present, the ministry claimed. However, the positivity rate of COVID-19— calculated on the basis of a seven-day rolling average, has come down from 11 percent during the first week of August to 8 percent at present, Union Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said during a press briefing.

India registered 60,975 new cases of the novel coronavirus infection, taking the overall case count to 31,67,323, while the toll climbed to 58,390 with 848 fatalities being reported in a span of 24-hours, the health ministry said in its morning update.

Over half of India’s dead include people aged 60 and above, it added.

Recoveries also surged to 24,04,585, pushing the recovery rate to 75.92 percent, it said.

According to the health ministry national recoveries, are now 3.4 times the number of active cases. Currently, there are 7,04,348 active cases in the country, which comprises 22.24 percent of the total caseload, the data updates at 8 am showed.

However, many states continued to reported rising tallies on Tuesday with Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh reporting their biggest spike in COVID-19 cases in a single day, while Maharashtra crossed seven lakh in total confirmed cases.

On Tuesday, Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, Punjab Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora and Manipur’s social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen tested positive for the virus.

Active cases drop by 6,423 in 24 hrs, says health ministry

In a press briefing, the Union health ministry said that the active coronavirus cases in the country have reduced by 6,423 to 7,04,348 in the past 24 hours.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that 2.70 percent of the patients undergoing treatment are on oxygen support while 1.92 percent are in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 0.29 percent are on ventilators.

Stressing that the fatality rate has dropped to 1.84 percent, Bhushan added that 69 percent of COVID-19 deaths have been reported in men and 31 percent in women.

“Thirty-six percent of the deaths were reported among patients in the age group between 45-60 years and 51 percent among  people aged 60 and above. Eleven percent deaths were reported in the age group of 26-44 years and one percent each among people aged 18-25 and those below 17,” he said.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that the testing capacity has gradually increased to reach a landmark of 10 lakh samples in a day on 21 August.

“COVID-19 testing capacity has increased significantly, from 10 tests per day on 30 January to touching 10 lakhs tests per day on 21 Augus,” said ICMR director general Balram Bhargava.

“We have 1,524 COVID testing laboratories in India and as on 24 August, 3,68,27,520 tests have been done,” he further said.

Responding to question, the ICMR DG said that “irresponsible, less cautious” people are driving the pandemic in India.

Bhargava said, “I would not say young or old, I would say irresponsible, less cautious people who are not wearing masks  and not maintaining social distancing are driving the pandemic in India.”

Minors in 5-17 age group most exposed to virus, shows Delhi sero-survey

Meanwhile, data from a serological survey conducted in Delhi this month showed that minors between the ages of 5 and 17 are most exposed to the novel coronavirus Conducted between 1 and 7 August, the survey, second in the city, showed that 29.1 percent of the population in the National Capital has now developed antibodies against the SARS CoV-2 virus.

As many as 15,000 people from different age groups participated in the survey — around 25 percent of them below the age of 18, 50 percent were between the age of 18 and 50, and the rest aged above 50.

A prevalence rate of 34.7 percent was found among the participants aged between 5 and 17, the survey results show.

As many as 31.2 percent of the people aged above 50 have recovered from COVID-19, it shows. Among those in the 18-50 age group, 28.5 percent people have developed antibodies against the virus.

ICMR data suggests that people aged between 21 and 50 account for 61.31 percent of the COVID-19 cases recorded in India till 21 August.

Congress leader DK Shivakumar tests positive

Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Tuesday said he has tested positive for coronavirus and has been hospitalised.

I had fever and have tested positive for the Corona Virus. I am doing well, but as a precaution have been hospitalized and am under the good care of doctors.

With your wishes and blessings, I will soon be back. I appeal to all those who came in contact with me to be cautious.

— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) August 25, 2020

Congress sources told news agency PTI that the 58-year-old leader got admitted to a private hospital in the Bengaluru’s Rajajinagar last night.

“…. he (Shivakumar) had symptoms since Monday morning like cough and fever, and had back pain for two days. On getting tested the reports came out positive,” the sources said.

In Punjab, Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora said he contracted the infection.

“I have been tested positive for COVID-19 and have quarantined myself at my Chandigarh residence. I request all those persons who came in contact with me during last few days please get tested for coronavirus infection. Otherwise, I am at present not having any physical problem,” Arora wrote on his Facebook page.

Arora, who is a legislator from Hoshiarpur seat, is the fourth minister of Amarinder Singh-led Congress government to have contracted the virus.

Congress MLA from Rajpura Hardial Kamboj and Akali MLA from Sanaur Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra also tested positive for COVID-19.

In Manipur, social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen said she has tested positive for COVID-19.

After getting symptoms of coronavirus, I got myself tested and the report came back positive. I sincerely request all of you who came in contact with me in the past few days to kindly isolate yourselves and get yourselves tested.

— Nemcha Kipgen (@KipgenNemcha) August 25, 2020

Kipgen (57) is the first minister in the state cabinet to have contracted the disease. A spokesperson of the COVID-19 control centre told news agency PTI that she has been asked to undergo home isolation.

Meanwhile Jharkahnd Mukti Morach (JMM) chief Shibu Soren, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, was shifted to a private hospital late on Monday night as a precautionary measure.

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh report record increase in cases

Several states including Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh reported, an increase in daily cases and deaths. Chhattisgarh witnessed the biggest spike in COVID-19 cases in a single day with 1,145 people testing positive, taking the state’s case count to 23,199, while 12 more deaths pushed the toll to 218.

Madhya Pradesh too recorded its highest single-day spike of 1,374 coronavirus cases, taking the case count to 55,695, health officials told PTI. The toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,263 after 19 patients succumbed since Monday evening, they said.

The coronavirus infection positivity rate jumped past 11 percent in Andhra Pradesh as nearly 10,000 fresh cases were reported, taking the overall tally to 3,71,639 on Tuesday. While 9,419 patients got cured and discharged from hospitals, 92 succumbed to coronavirus in 24 hours ending 9 am on Tuesday, according to a bulletin.

Maharashtra reported 10,425 fresh cases of coronavirus infection, taking the state’s tally to 7,03,823. With this, cases in Maharashtra crossed the seven lakh-mark. The state had crossed the six lakh-mark on 17 August. The toll due to the pandemic in the state rose to 22,794 with 329 fatalities being reported during the day.

With inputs from PTI



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