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NEW DELHI: The ministry of home affairs on Saturday released fresh guidelines for ‘Unlock 4‘ that will come in force from September 1. Under the new guidelines, the Centre has allowed reopening of Metro services across the country in a graded manner from September 7.
Schools and colleges will continue to remain closed till September 30. Swimming pools, entertainment parks and theatres will also remain prohibited. Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from September 21, the MHA said in a statement.
Here are the top developments:
India

  • In the ‘Unlock 4’ guidelines, the MHA said there will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods. No separate permission or e-permit will be required for such movement. The Centre said that lockdown in all containment zones will remain in force.

  • The government said that social/academic/sports/entertainment/cultural/religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 people from September 21.
  • For every million population, India’s coronavirus cases and fatalities are one of the lowest compared to the global averages, the high-level Group of Ministers on Covid-19 was informed on Saturday. India’s Covid-19 recoveries have crossed 26 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 76.47 per cent, which the Centre said has been made possible due to the strategic policy of “testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently” in supervised home-isolation, facility-isolation and hospitals.
  • India’s Covid-19 tally rose to 34,63,972 with a single-day spike of 76,472 instances of new infections, while the death toll climbed to 62,550 with 1,021 people succumbing to the diseases in 24 hours, the Union home ministry data showed.
  • More than 87,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19, with just six states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat — accounting for three-fourths of the case burden and over 86% of the 573 deaths due to the infection, official data showed. A large number of Covid-19 infections and even deaths of healthcare workers in particular states is being viewed with concern by officials and public health experts, who say risks to frontline workers can jeopardise India’s fight against the pandemic.
  • Covid-19 antibodies may not last more than a couple of months, according to a study carried out on affected healthcare staff of JJ Group of Hospitals. “Our study of 801 healthcare staff from JJ, GT and St George’s Hospitals included 28 who had tested positive for Covid (on RT-PCR) seven weeks prior (in late April-early May),” said the study’s main author Dr Nishant Kumar. None of the 28 showed any antibodies in a sero survey done in June.
  • The BCCI on Saturday revealed that two players are among a total of 13 who have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the IPL after it came to light that over a dozen members of the Chennai Super Kings contingent have been infected by the virus in Dubai. The two players who have tested positive include a white-ball T20 specialist seamer for India and a top-order India A batsman. The Board did not reveal any names.

  • Bharat Biotech’s vaccine candidate based on inactivated virus procured by ICMR and Zydus Cadila‘s candidate based on viral DNA are two Indian Covid-19 vaccines in second phase trial, Niti Aayog member Dr Vinod K Paul said. Taking part in the 20th meeting of the Group of Ministers on Covid-19, he said 29 candidates, including two Indian vaccine candidates, are in clinical trials and six are in third phase trials.

States

  • Delhi: With coronavirus cases increasing in the national capital, authorities have formed enforcement teams in each district of Delhi to ensure strict implementation of Covid-19 guidelines. The move comes days after CM Arvind Kejriwal announced that stringent enforcement of Covid-19 guidelines would be ensured.
  • Karnataka: A 28-year-old woman who spent 14 days in home isolation after being told she had tested positive for Covid-19, got a jolt when she turned up to get a Covid negative certificate in order to donate plasma. Her first test certificate showed she had tested negative while on BBMP and state Covid records, she was a patient.
  • Maharashtra: In a worrying progression of the pandemic, Covid -19 transmission in Maharashtra is rapidly growing in rural and semi-urban areas that have limited access to adequate healthcare. State data has revealed nearly a quarter of coronavirus deaths and 28% of cases are now from villages and non-urban areas. Meanwhile, the state reported a single-day highest spike of 16,867 coronavirus cases which pushed its case tally to 7,64,281.
  • Kerala: A 110-year-old woman got discharged from a Medical College Hospital in North Kerala after winning her battle against the coronavirus. Health minister K K Shailaja said Randathani Variath Pathu is the oldest person who has recovered from the coronavirus in the state.
  • Haryana: Power minister Ranjeet Singh said that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Singh, who is an Independent MLA supporting the BJP-JJP government, had got his test done just before the one-day Assembly session on Wednesday and his report returned negative. However, he developed symptoms after the session and got himself tested again.
  • Goa: Chief minister Pramod Sawant claimed that coronavirus cases in the coastal state were on the rise since Ganesh Chaturthi and this was because people violated safety norms during the festival. People did not wear masks or follow social distancing norms during the festivities, Sawant said.
  • J&K: Jammu and Kashmir reported 546 fresh cases of coronavirus and seven more deaths due to the disease, officials said. The Union territory’s caseload stands at 36,377, while the death toll has mounted to 685.
  • Jharkhand: Two people, who could not give their swab samples due to a long queue at a hospital, “tested positive” for Covid-19, while a BJP functionary was administered treatment for coronavirus for 10 days, only to discover that he had tested negative. The two bizarre incidents have prompted the authorities to order separate probes into the issue.
  • UP: Sixty-two more people died of Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh pushing the death toll to 3,356, while 5,684 new cases took the state’s infection tally to 2,19,457. The latest Covid-19 deaths reported include seven fatalities each in Kanpur and Prayagraj and four in Bareilly.
  • Uttarkhand: Assembly speaker Premchand Aggarwal quarantined himself after he heard about state BJP president Bansidhar Bhagat testing positive for Covid-19. Aggarwal was in touch with Bhagat two days ago, his PRO Tajendra Negi said.
  • Telangana: Telangana logged 2,751 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally to 1,20,166, while the death toll rose to 808 with nine more fatalities. The total number of people who have recovered from the infectious disease so far stood at 89,350 while 30,008 were under treatment.
  • Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu has achieved a recovery rate of 85.45 per cent with 3,49,682 people having been cured of coronavirus, the “highest” in the country, chief minister K Palaniswami said. The state’s mortality rate was a “very low” 1.7 per cent, he said.
  • Tripura: At least 443 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Tripura, raising the state’s tally to 10,879, a health department official said. The death toll rose to 94 with five more persons succumbing to the infection.
  • Rajasthan: Rajasthan recorded eight more fatalities due to the coronavirus, taking the death toll from the disease to 1,025 in the state while 595 new infections pushed the virus count to 77,965, officials said. A total of 14,697 COVID-19 patients are under treatment in the state.
  • Meghalaya: Eight more persons tested positive for Covid-19 in Meghalaya, taking the northeastern state’s coronavirus tally to 2,248. Meghalaya currently has 1,257 active Covid-19 cases, as 981 people have recovered from the disease and 10 patients have died.
  • Ladakh: One more patient died of coronavirus in Ladakh, taking the death toll due to the disease in the Union territory to 28, officials said. Ladakh had so far recorded a total of 2,540 positive cases.
  • Odisha: Odisha registered the highest single-day spike of 14 Covid-19 fatalities, which pushed the death toll in the state to 470. At least 3,252 fresh cases were recorded in all the 30 districts of the state, raising the coronavirus tally to 97,920.
  • Puducherry: Puducherry reported 550 new Covid-19 cases taking the overall tally to 13,556 while 12 deaths pushed the toll past the 200 mark. Of the total 13,556 cases in the Union territory (after transfer of 18 cases to Tamil Nadu account), the active cases were 4,834.
  • HP: Himachal Pradesh recorded 93 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 5,731, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 33 with one more fatality. The number of active Covid-19 cases in the state now stands at 1,500.
  • Gujarat: Gujarat recorded its highest single-day spike of 1,282 new Covid-19 cases, taking its total count to 93,883. With 13 deaths, the toll rose to 2,991.

World

  • The novel coronavirus has killed at least 838,271 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December. At least 24,795,760 cases have been registered. Of these, at least 15,976,700 are now considered recovered.
  • The United States is the worst-hit country with 181,779 deaths from 5,918,381 cases. At least 2,118,367 people have been declared recovered.
  • China registered nine new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, and a total of 35 Covid-19 patients recovered in that period. All of the nine new cases are imported, the commission specified. The country’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 85,022.
  • Nepal reported 12 more deaths from Covid-19 and 884 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s toll to 207 and total infections to 37,340. There were 16,578 active coronavirus cases in the country. The Covid-19 death toll in Nepal has reached 207 with 12 deaths in the past 24 hours.
  • Bangladesh has extended the shutdown of educational institutions, except madrasas, till October 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the education ministry has said. Schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions were ordered to close since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in March.
  • Pakistan is all set to reopen educational institutions from mid-September after a six-month hiatus with the steady improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the country, which recorded just one death due to the disease in the last 24 hours. The coronavirus tally reached 295,372 with the detection of 319 new cases in the last 24 hours.
  • Russia has recorded 4,941 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, up from 4,829 the day before, which brings the cumulative total to 985,346. Over the past day, Moscow has registered 677 cases, St. Petersburg 189, and the Moscow region 163.
  • Peru on Friday extended the national state of emergency for another 90 days due to a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the ministry of health, 621,997 cases have been registered nationwide as of Friday with 28,277 deaths.

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