India reported 18,732 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Sunday, the lowest daily spike in infections since June. This is the second time in the week that the daily cases number has dropped below 20,000. Of the 1.01 crore cases, active infections stand at 2.78 lakh. Today also marks the second consecutive day that the toll has remained below 300 — 279 deaths reported on Saturday.
Meanwhile, European countries, including Italy, Germany and France, kicked off their vaccination campaign even as a growing list of countries in the continent identified their first cases of the coronavirus mutation widespread in the UK.
Here are the top Covid-19 developments that you need to know today
MP: 61 Assembly staff, 5 MLAs test COVID-19 positive on eve of session
On the eve of the three-day session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, 61 employees and officials of the Assembly secretariat, and five MLAs, have tested coronavirus positive. Protem Speaker of MP Assembly Rameshwar Sharma told this to reporters on Sunday.
“As many as 61 employees and officials of the state Assembly secretariat have tested coronavirus positive so far. Five MLAs were also found infected as per the reports received till now,” he said, after taking stock of the preparation for the session that begins from Monday. Sharma said that MLAs and their personal staff had been asked to undergo coronavirus test before the session began.
Swab collection for Covid-19 test in progress inside an NMMC mobile testing facility at Vashi.
‘No corona, corona no’: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale coins slogan for new coronavirus strain
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, whose “go corona, corona go” chant earlier this year grabbed attention, has now come up with another slogan to “combat” the new coronavirus strain — “No corona, corona no”. He also said his earlier slogan was effective since “corona is going”, referring to the dipping caseload in the country.
“Earlier I gave the slogan ‘Go Corona, Corona Go’ and now corona is going. For the new coronavirus strain, I give the slogan of ‘No Corona, Corona No,” the Republican Party of India (RPI) chief was quoted as saying by ANI.
Dance historian Sunil Kothari passes away, had tested positive for COVID-19 a month ago
Padma Shri dance historian and critic Sunil Kothari passed away Sunday morning at a Delhi hospital. He suffered a cardiac arrest a month after testing positive for coronavirus. He was 87. “He had tested positive for COVID-19 almost a month back and was not in a good condition,” Vidha Lal, a family friend and dancer, told PTI.
Kothari was recovering at home in Asian Games Village, but was rushed to a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest this morning, she added. Born on December 20, 1933 in Mumbai, Kothari qualified as a Chartered Accountant before turning to the study of Indian dance forms.
Ship captain tests COVID-19 positive after return from London, under isolation in Bareilly
A Merchant Navy captain, who returned from the US and the UK recently, has been put under isolation here after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said on Sunday. Bareilly Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Vineet Shukla said the sample of the ship captain has been sent to CSIR laboratory in Delhi for testing for the new COVID-19 strain, B-117.
“Of the 18 people who have been traced to Bareilly after returning from abroad, only the ship captain tested positive,” he said.
The CMO said the 23-year-old captain, a resident of Civil Lines in Bareilly, had gone to the US in November, and while returning from there, his ship docked in London for nearly three hours. After returning to India, the captain was found negative in an antigen test. He stayed in quarantine in Delhi for seven days, Shukla said.
Samples of some people returning from abroad have been sent for genome sequencing to check for the new strain of coronavirus.
UK COVID-19 strain: Mumbai civic body issues revised SOP
In view of the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in the UK, the Mumbai civic body on Sunday issued revised guidelines to ensure the compulsory 14-day quarantine for all passengers arriving from the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. As per the amended Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), travellers will be kept under institutional quarantine after arrival and RT-PCR test will be conducted on the seventh day at the respective facilities at their own cost.
“If the report of the test is found negative, the passenger would be discharged from the institutional quarantine after seven days with the advice of seven days mandatory home quarantine. A total of 14 days quarantine is to be ensured,” the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release.