Coronavirus cases in India: Cinema halls ready to reopen in New COVID-19 normal

New Delhi:

India’s COVID-19 tally of cases climbed to 73.07 lakh with 67,735 new cases in a day, while 63,83,441 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 87.35 per cent on Thursday, according to the Union Health Ministry data. 

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 73,07,097 and the deaths climbed to 1,11,266 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 680 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed. The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.52 per cent.

There are 812390 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 11.11 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 9,12,26,305 samples have been tested up to October 14 with 11,36,183 samples being tested on Wednesday.

Cinema halls in several parts of the country ready to open after seven months in the shadow of COVID-19. While theatres and multiplexes will remain closed in states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Chhattisgarh, they will open this week in several places, including Delhi and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, with stringent dos and don’ts in keeping with the new COVID-19 normal.

Ushering in a new era of movie watching, the Union government allowed multiplexes, cinema halls and theatres to reopen from Thursday within the framework of a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs). The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) left it to states to take a final call on the matter.

PVR Cinemas, India’s largest film exhibitor with 845 screens in 176 properties across 71 cities, on Wednesday said 10 states and four union territories have given their go-ahead for the reopening of cinemas.

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Coronavirus Update: London Set To Tighten Coronavirus Restrictions From This Weekend
People in UK’s capital city of London are facing more stringent coronavirus restrictions due to a rising number of cases, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Thursday.

“It is my expectation that the government will announce today that London will shortly be moving into tier two or the high alert level of restrictions,” he told the London Assembly.

Oxford scientists develop 5-minute COVID-19 antigen test

Scientists from Britain’s University of Oxford have developed a rapid COVID-19 test able to identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes, researchers said on Thursday, adding it could be used in mass testing at airports and businesses.

The university said it hoped to start product development of the testing device in early 2021 and have an approved device available six months afterwards.

COVID-19 doubling time improves: Health ministry

The doubling time of the coronavirus infection has sharply improved from 25.5 days in mid-August to nearly 73 days now, the Health ministry said on Thursday.

Doubling time for COVID-19 is the number of days it takes for the count of cases to double.

In a statement, the Health ministry said 81,514 new recoveries were added in the last 24 hour. With this, the total number of recoveries are nearly 64 Lakh (63,83,441).

“India has come a long way from registering a doubling rate of 25.5 days in mid August to now registering a doubling rate of nearly 73 days (72.8 days),” it said.

Puducherry adds 245 new coronavirus cases, 570 dead in state

The union territory of Puducherry reported 245 fresh COVID-19 cases while two more deaths pushed the tally to 570, Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao said on Thursday. The 245 new cases were identified at the end of examination of 4,649 samples, he told a virtual press meet.

The Puducherry region had 174 of the new cases followed by Karaikal (39), Mahe (27) and Karaikal (5), he added.

The Minister said that 2.5 lakh samples have been tested so far and it was found that 2.14 lakh samples out of them were negative. Mr Rao said the fatality and recovery rates were 1.75 per cent and 84.24 per cent respectively.

Ensure all official meetings begin with messages on COVID-19 precautions: Government to all departments

All central government departments have been asked to ensure that official meetings begin with messages on COVID-19 precautions so as to sensitise officers and staff about the pandemic, according to a Personnel Ministry order.

The government has issued several instructions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, it said.

“In continuation, it has since been decided that all central government offices shall ensure that every meeting commences with messages on COVID-19 related precautions, so as to sensitise officers and staff about the pandemic,” said the order issued on Wednesday.

The messages may be focused on creating awareness relating to wearing of masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it said.

Odisha reports 2,470 new COVID-19 cases, 17 fresh fatalities

Odisha’s COVID-19 tally rose to 2,62,011 on Thursday as 2,470 more people tested positive for the infection, while 17 fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus deaths to 1,089, a health official said.

As many as 1,462 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 1,008 people tested positive for the infection during contact tracing, he said.

Cinema halls continue to remain shut in Andhra Pradesh

Cinema halls and multiplex screens remained shut in Andhra Pradesh though the Centre permitted them to reopen to half capacity from Thursday under Unlock 5.0.

Film exhibitors made it clear that they could not resume shows given the various constraints, primarily the steep maintenance costs. Besides the financial burden, the other major issue that is deterring exhibitors from resuming business is the lack of new movies for screening.

Go after COVID-19 virus, not the vulnerable: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

As the countries continue to register news cases of coronavirus every day, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged the leaders to maintain peace and focus on combatting against the virus and “not the vulnerable”.

“It’s a pandemic: go after the virus, not the vulnerable,” said Ghebreyesus on Twitter.

In another tweet, he said, “Shanti” (peace). Interestingly, the WHO Director-General tweeted in Hindi.

Arunachal Pradesh’s reports 207 new COVID-19 cases, 1 fresh fatality

Arunachal Pradesh’s COVID-19 tally rose to 12,768 on Thursday as 207 more people tested positive for the infection, while one fresh fatality pushed the northeastern state’s coronavirus deaths to 29, a senior health official said. 

The state has so far registered 12 coronavirus fatalities this month.

Cop donates plasma to COVID-19 patient in Maharashtra

A COVID-19 patient urgently requiring plasma approached Thane police for help, following which a cop promptly responded to his request, the city police said.

The police here in Maharashtra received a message on its WhatsApp group about a 65-year-old patient suffering from coronavirus infection urgently in need of B+ve plasma.

After reading the message, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Natrajeshwar Andhalkar, who was posted in the wireless section here, did not waste any time and rushed to the hospital and donated his plasma, the Thane city police tweeted on Wednesday.

Telangana adds 1,432 fresh COVID-19 cases

Telangana reported 1,432 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 2,17,670 while eight more deaths pushed the toll to 1,249, the state government said on Thursday. 

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 244, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (115) and Bhadradri Kothagudem (99) districts, it said in a bulletin, providing data as of 8 pm on October 14. 

The cumulative recovered cases stood at 1,93,218 while 23,203 were under treatment.

As many as 38,895 samples were tested on October 14. Cumulatively, 37,03,047 samples have been tested. The samples tested per million population was 99,490, the bulletin said.

Unlock 5: Punjab schools reopening date to be finalised after SOPs nod by Health Department

Punjab Government has decided to reopen schools, however the date of reopening will be announced after the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) receive approval from the State Health Department, said Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Wednesday.

Schools in Punjab are shut since March this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, online classes are being conducted.

“Punjab government has decided to reopen schools. SOPs for the reopening have been made and sent for approval of the Health Department. We will announce the date of reopening once the SOPs get approved,” Singla said while speaking to media.

10 new cases push COVID-19 tally of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to 4,046

The COVID-19 tally of Andaman and Nicobar Islands rose to 4,046 on Thursday as 10 more people tested positive for the infection, a health official said.

Three new patients have travel history, while seven fresh infections were detected during contact tracing, he said.

Fourteen more people have been cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 3,796, the official said.

The Union territory now has 195 active COVID-19 cases, while 55 patients have succumbed to the infection so far, he said.

Eight new COVID-19 cases in Mizoram, total count at 2,220

Mizoram’s COVID-19 count has reached 2,220 with eight new cases, according to the State government on Thursday.

As per the State’s Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), the number of active cases in the state stands at 112, while 2,108 patients have been cured and discharged so far. The State has not reported any death due to the disease.

India crossed the nine-crore mark of COVID-19 testing on Wednesday after 11,45,015 tests were conducted for the disease, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Germany posts record daily increase in coronavirus cases

Germany posted a record daily increase in confirmed coronavirus cases, adding 6,638 cases and bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 341,223, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

Germany’s previous record daily increase was 6,294 on March 28, according to RKI data.Thursday’s tally showed the reported death toll rose by 33 to 9,710.

By European standards, Germany has experienced relatively low infection and death rates so far during the pandemic, but new daily cases have jumped in recent weeks and Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned there could be 19,200 infections per day if current trends continue.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviews COVID situation

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday reviewed the COVID situation and its management in the state with senior government officials and collectors.

The Chief Minister said that Odisha has consistently performed well in the management of Covid. All indicators are better than the national average. New infections are declining in most districts.

The situation has also improved in districts with higher infections such as Cuttack, Khordha and Puri.

Mainland China reports 11 new COVID-19 cases vs 20 a day earlier

Mainland China reported 11 new COVID-19 cases on October 14, down from 20 a day earlier, the country’s health authority said on Thursday. The National Health Commission said 10 of the cases were imported infections originating from overseas, compared with 14 a day earlier. 

One new local infection was reported in Qingdao, where the city government is seeking to test every person this week due to recent cases linked to a hospital treating imported infections

Coronavirus news: World Health Organization fears rise in deaths after global COVID-19 surge
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned against any complacency in the coronavirus death rate, saying with the increasing number of cases, mortality would also rise.

New cases are hitting 100,000 daily in Europe. Nearly 20,000 infections were reported in Britain, while Italy, Switzerland and Russia were among nations with record case numbers.

While deaths globally have fallen to around 5,000 per day from April’s peak exceeding 7,500, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said caseloads were rising in intensive care units.

COVID-19: Nagaland reports 53 fresh cases, 85 recoveries

The COVID-19 tally of Nagaland went up to 7,416 after 53 more people tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, while 85 patients recovered from the infection taking the number of cured people to 5,855, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said.

“53 positive cases of COVID-19 were detected today. Kohima 25, Mon 14, Dimapur 10, Peren 2, and one each in Tuensang and Zunheboto districts,” the Minister tweeted.

He also said that 80 patients recovered from COVID-19 in Kohima, three in Dimapur and two in Peren.

Nagaland’s recovery rate is 78.95 per cent. The state now has 1,473 active cases, said Additional Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Denis Hangsing.

Altogether 27 COVID-19 infected patients have died so far and it is confirmed that 17 of them succumbed to the disease.

COVID-19: Tripura reports 181 fresh cases, tally rises to 28,859

At least 181 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura on Wednesday, pushing the tally to 28,859, a health department official said.

The death count rose to 315 with one more person succumbing to the virus, he said.

West Tripura district, comprising state capital Agartala, has accounted for 170 COVID-19 deaths so far.

Tripura now has 3,503 active cases, while 25,018 people have recovered. Twenty-three patients have migrated to other states, the official said.

Coronavirus news: 1,237 new cases in Pune district
Pune district reported 1,237 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its case count to 3,10,430, a health official said on Wednesday evening.

The death countreached 7,297 with 47 fatalities.

“Of the 1,237 cases, 528 are in Pune Municipal Corporation limits, which has recorded 1,55,595 patients till now.
However, 1,413 patients were also discharged from city hospitals during the day,” the official said.

COVID-19: Germany tightens restrictions to fight virus surge
Germany will introduce tougher measures on gatherings and mask-wearing to fight a surge in coronavirus infections, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday after talks with the heads of Germany’s 16 federal states.

Europe’s biggest economy will begin imposing limits on people gathering at events as well as mandatory mask wearing at crowded places when new infections in an area reach 35 per 100,000 in seven days, earlier than under the previous yardstick used of 50 per 100,000.

“I am convinced that what we do now in these days and weeks will be decisive for the question of how we come through this pandemic,” Merkel said.

“We can see that … infection rates are rising and that we have a very high infection rate in some regions,” she added.

“We must therefore prevent an uncontrolled or exponential increase.”

COVID-19: Karnataka allows cinema halls, multiplexes to open from today
Karnataka government has allowed from Thursday the reopening of cinema halls and multiplexes, with 50 per cent seating capacity.The state government issued guidelines that include Thermal screening, social distancing, Seats that are ”Not to be occupied” shall be marked as such during booking and proper sanitization.

As per the guidelines, No Exhibition of Film shall be allowed in containment zones.

Film exhibition activities through cinemas/theatres/multiplexes shall be governed as per the prevalent guidelines of Home Department, Health & Family Welfare department, Department of information and public relations and other related departments and District administrations.

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