Here are the latest developments:
* Covid-19 situation in numbers: 33,10,234 with 75,760 cases added in last 24 hours; Death toll: 60,472, with 1,023 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours; Fatality rate: 1.83 per cent; Patients recovered: 2.5 million with 56,013 recovered in last 24 hours; Recovery rate: 76.24 per cent; Total Covid-19 tests: 3.9 crore with 9,24,998 lakh conducted in last 24 hours.
* Lok Sabha has begun preparation for the upcoming Monsoon Session (Sept 14-Oct 1) with Speaker Om Birla on Thursday chairing a meeting of secretary generals of Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha along with CPWD and NDMC representatives to review Covid protocols ensuring social distancing will be thoroughly practised during the session. Read more here.
* One of the three volunteers to be inoculated with Oxford Covid-19 vaccine candidate in phase II trials, a 48-year-old doctor, who was inspired by immunology pioneers Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner, said on Thursday his vital signs are normal and he has resumed routine work. Read more here.
* Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said that over 17 lakh candidates have already downloaded their admit cards for JEE and NEET which shows that the students want the exams to be conducted irrespective of Covid-19. Meanwhile, directors of several IITs said that any further delay in entrance exams will lead to a ‘zero academic year’. Read more here.
* On the other hand, several states continue to contemplate over NEET and JEE exams. DMK president M K Stalin on Thursday urged the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Odisha to join seven other states and approach the Supreme Court to seek deferment of this year’s National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test and the Joint Entrance Examination.
* Due to the Covid-19 lockdown across India, this year’s carbon emissions are predicted to fall by around eight per cent, a senior official of the environment ministry has said.
* The Supreme Court has declined permission for carrying out Muharram processions across the country and asked Lucknow-based petitioner to move before the Allahabad high court with his plea. The bench said that a particular community will be targeted for spreading Covid and there will be chaos. Read more here.
* Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday spoke to PM Modi over the phone and requested him to postpone NEET and JEE exams. The chief minister explained PM Modi that Odisha is in the grip of a pandemic as well as flood, and students might face difficulties in appearing for the examinations.
* The cabinet secretary held a video conference with chief secretaries and health secretaries of nine states and one Union Territory today where he reviewed and discussed the Covid-19 management and response strategy implemented in these states/UT.
* Phase 6 of Vande Bharat Mission is scheduled to begin on September 1. Based on an assessment of demand by our missions abroad, flights are being rescheduled by Air India group & private carriers, said ministry of external affairs.
* For complete coverage on Covid-19 outbreak, visit here
STATES & CITIES
* Punjab: Government has imposed lockdown in the state from 7pm to 5am on all days. Earlier in the day, chief minister Amarinder Singh appealed to legislators who had come in contact with 29 lawmakers who had tested positive to avoid attending the one-day Monsoon session of the assembly scheduled to be held on Friday.
* Jammu & Kashmir: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba on Thursday announced a five-day lockdown in the district to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown from August 28 to September 1 midnight was ordered by Samba District Magistrate Rohit Khajuria, officials said.
* Andaman & Nicobar: Four members of a dwindling tribe in Andaman Islands have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said. The Great Andamanese are one of the six tribes of Mongoloid and African origin, who have lived in the Andamans in the Bay of Bengal for thousands of years. Read more here
* Uttar Pradesh: In a meeting with senior officials on Thursday, chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed authorities to further strengthen medical facilities in Lucknow, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Shahjahanpur to break the chain of the infection, for which, he said surveillance, contact-tracing and door-to-door survey also have an important role to play. Read more here.
* Bengaluru: As India prepares for Unlock 4.0 from September 1, TOI accessed 17 cities out of which Bengaluru and Delhi are the most open while Chennai has the maximum restrictions in place. Both the cities have opened malls, liquor shops, salons, sports hubs, parks, city buses, local trains, taxis and airports. Read more here.
* Pune: Two men from the city on Wednesday became the first in the country to receive doses of Covishield, a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and made by the city-based Serum Institute of India. Covishield is the third vaccine candidate to enter human trials in the country, after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D began tests in July. Watch the volunteers share their experience here.
* Delhi: Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta and Leader of the Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri called upon Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri to seek resumption of Delhi Metro services in the next round of relaxations due next month. An AAP member said that the BJP plays out a drama of putting up different demands before its own government at the Centre. Read more here.
* Telangana: Four prisoners undergoing treatment for Covid-19 have gone missing from the prison ward of the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad early Thursday. The prisoners are suspected to be within the hospital premises and the search operation is underway. Read more here.
* Tamil Nadu: A consumer body has requested Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to do away with the scheduled total lockdown on August 30 (Sunday), on the eve of Onam. The forum said the total lockdown would cause hardships to people celebrating Onam the next day. Read more here.
More on Covid-19
* Covid-19 pandemic has killed at least 826,512 people worldwide since surfacing in China late last year, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Thursday. More than 24 million cases have been registered positive in 196 countries and territories.
* The United States has recorded the highest number of deaths with 179,743, followed by Brazil with 117,665, Mexico with 62,076, India with 60,472 and Britain with 41,449 fatalities.
* In European Union, trade commissioner Phil Hogan, an Irish national and key figure in Brexit talks and one of the bloc’s most senior officials, resigns after a week of pressure from the Irish government over a breach of coronavirus guidelines.
* Meanwhile in France face masks will be made compulsory throughout Paris. Prime Minister Jean Castex has expressed concern over an “undeniable” trend of expanding infection in the country as 21 of France’s 94 departments get classified as “Red Zones”.
* South Korea’s National Assembly was shut down on Thursday after a photojournalist who covered a ruling party meeting later tested Covid-19 positive, prompting more than 10 top lawmakers undergoing self-isolation.
* Rwanda has lengthened its evening curfew in and out of the western area of Rusizi after a recent surge in cases, which authorities blame on complacency and fatigue with social distancing measures.
(With inputs from agencies)