Coronavirus Updates: Odisha announces weekend shutdown in 10 districts with high case load; schools, colleges to remain shut till 31 August

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Coronavirus Updates: A day after the Centre unveiled unlock 2.0 guidelines, Odisha Chief Secretary AK Tripathy said that schools, colleges, coaching centres and other educational institutions in the state will remain shut for teaching purposes till 31 August.

Maharashtra reports 245 deaths and 4,878 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. According to a bulletin released by the state health department, out of 245 deaths, 95 occurred in the last 48 hours and 150 are from the previous period. The total number of cases in the state reaches 1,74,761 including 75,979 active cases while the toll climbs to 7,855.

The Health Ministry today said that India's recovery rate is now inching closer to 60 percent and the active case load in country is more than 2,15,000.

The key takeaway from the speech was the extension of Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana till the end of November so that at least basic food security is ensured for the poor in these times.

As India's moves into the second phase of the Unlock, and the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh continues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing the nation shortly. This would be Modi's sixth address to the nation since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The historic Jama Masjid, which had closed earlier this month due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city, will reopen for congregational prayers (namaz) from 4 July, Shahi Imam of the mosque Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Tuesday. Delhi registers 85,161 COVID-19 with toll at 2,680.

The total number of containment zones in Mumbai stands at 750 as of Tuesday, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Meanwhile, Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with over 1.6 lakh cases.

India recorded 18,522 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the overall count to 5,66,840, according to the figures by the health ministry. The toll from the virus has now risen by 418 and is now 16,893. Over 3.3 lakh people have recovered so far.

The country's 'first' indigenous COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN, developed by city-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and NIV, has got the nod for human clinical trials from the Drug Controller General of India. The Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, approved after pre-clinical studies demonstrated safety and immune response, would start across the country next month.

The Centre on Monday issued Unlock 2.0 guidelines allowing for further re-opening of activities outside containment zones even as a single-day spike of 19,459 new COVID-19 cases took India's total to 5,48,318. The toll climbed to 16,475 with 380 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry's data.

MHA issues Unlock 2 guidelines

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued detailed guidelines that will be applicable from 1 July after the 'Unlock 1' phase ends on 30 June.

The fresh guidelines said schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31 July. It added metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will also remain shut. Similarly, social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations will continue to be prohibited.

"Dates for opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation," the home ministry said.

Domestic and international (under the Vande Bharat mission) flights and passenger trains, already operational in a limited manner, will be further expanded in a calibrated manner, it said.

The new guidelines, the ministry said, are based on feedback received from states and Union Territories and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments.

"Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till 31 July. These zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the state, UT governments with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," it said.

As per the guidelines, strict perimeter control shall be maintained within the containment zones and only essential activities shall be allowed.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland extend lockdown

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu extended existing lockdown curbs and relaxations till 31 July while Nagaland too extended existing lockdown restrictions till 15 July.

A day after the Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ruled out lifting lockdown after 30 June, the state government issued an order extending lockdown in the state till 31 July. The order issued by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta said wearing face covers or masks, maintaining social distancing, restricted gatherings, and other measures shall continue to prevail.

No new loosening of curbs has been announced and relaxations granted earlier under "Mission Begin Again" will continue for citizens.

The state government has also advised that work from home should be followed as far as possible. Mehta's order said private offices can operate with up to 10 percent strength or 10 people whichever is more. However, for state government employees the ratio is 15 percent or 15 people, whichever is higher.

According to ANI, the government has empowered district collectors and municipal commissioners to impose restrictions on non-essential activities in areas where cases are on the rise.

The order clearly prohibited inter-district movement of people as well as long-distance travelling without any emergency.

The order came on a day when the state recorded 5,257 new COVID-19 cases, taking the number of the infections in the state to 1,69,883 while fatalities rose by 181 to 7,610.

The Tamil Nadu government said that the current relaxations and curbs shall be in force till July 31 across the state, except in Chennai and Madurai where the intense lockdown will continue till 5 July. Schools, colleges, malls, resorts, lodges, cinema halls, and bars would continue to be shut and religious congregations and prayers in places of worship in urban regions are banned.

Travel to tourist places like Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Yercaud for non-residents and for tourism purposes is not allowed, an official release said.

The Nagaland government decided to extended the lockdown in the state till 15 July during the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Planning and Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs minister Neiba Kronu, who is also the government spokesperson on COVID-19, told PTI.

The state Cabinet after thorough deliberation and recommendations of the respective district taskforce on COVID-19, decided to maintain status quo on the current lockdown measures, he said.

The state government through different notifications earlier had relaxed agricultural activities, movement of essential commodities, opening of religious places, or public and plying of local taxis and also rickshaws.

Kronu said that the inter-state borders connecting Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will continue to remain sealed and the number of police personnel on duty in the inter-state check gates will be increased.

Nagaland on Monday reported 36 new COVID-19 cases, including that of 18 army personnel, taking the northeast state's tally to 451, Health and Family Welfare Minister S Pangnyu Phom said.

Recovery rate rises to 58.67 percent, says health ministry

The new guidelines and lockdown extensions came as India's case count climbed to 5,48,318, while the toll mounted to 16,475 with 380 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

According to PTI, his is the sixth consecutive day that coronavirus infections have increased by more than 15,000. The country has seen a surge of 3,57,783 infections from 1 June till date.

The number of active cases stands at 2,10,120, while 3,21,722 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, according to the updated data, taking the recovery rate to 58.67 percent.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 83,98,362 samples have been tested up to 28 June, with 1,70,560 samples tested on Sunday.

Of the 380 new deaths reported since Sunday morning, 156 are from Maharashtra, 65 from Delhi, 54 from Tamil Nadu, 19 from Gujarat, 16 from Karnataka, 12 from Andhra Pradesh, 11 from Uttar Pradesh, 10 from West Bengal, eight from Rajasthan, seven from Madhya Pradesh, five each from Haryana and Punjab, four from Telangana, three from Odisha and one fatality each was reported from Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand and Bihar.

Of the total 16,475 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra has reported the highest with 7,429 deaths, followed by Delhi with 2,623, Gujarat with 1,808, Tamil Nadu with 1,079, Uttar Pradesh with 660, West Bengal with 639, Madhya Pradesh with 557, Rajasthan with 399 and Telangana with 247 deaths.

More than 70 percent deaths took place due to comorbidities, it said.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 1,64,626, followed by Delhi at 83,077, Tamil Nadu at 82,275, Gujarat at 31,320, Uttar Pradesh at 22,147, West Bengal at 17,283 and Rajasthan at 17,271, according to the ministry data.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 14,419 in Telangana, 13,829 in Haryana, 13,241 in Andhra Pradesh, 13,190 in Karnataka, and 13,186 in Madhya Pradesh.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR," the ministry said, adding that 7,285 cases are being reassigned to states. State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it added.

States report new cases

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi are the three worst-hit states by the pandemic. With 3,949 new cases, Tamil Nadu returned to the second position after Maharashtra for a total of 86,224. Delhi, which was in the second spot for the past few days, came back to the third slot with a total of 85,161, according to data from the states.

Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose by over 5,000 for the fourth consecutive day to take the total to 1,69,833. Besides Maharashtra, several states continued to record a big jump. The COVID-19 tally in Andhra Pradesh spiralled to 13,891 as 783 fresh cases were added while 11 more deaths took the toll to 180. Telangana has also recorded big surge in cases which has crossed the 14,000 mark.

Himachal Pradesh's tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti, meanwhile, reported its first COVID-19 case on Monday after a 25-year-old labourer from Bihar tested positive, officials said. The sample of the labourer, who is working with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), was taken at the Keylong regional hospital, they said. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh has risen to 918.

Maharashtra launches plasma therapy project

A Maharashtra government official said all critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml convalescent plasma free of cost under the world's largest plasma therapy project. "The project, titled 'Platina', is the largest convalescent plasma therapy-cum-trial project in the world. With it, we intend to save lives of some 500 critical COVID-19 patients. The trial will be held in 17 medical colleges under the department of medical education and drugs, and four BMC-run colleges in Mumbai," he added.

Addressing an online media briefing, Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal said a planned plasma bank will start working in the National Capital in the next two days, adding the AAP government will encourage those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.

He said the AAP government has so far conducted clinical trial of plasma therapy on 29 COVID-19 patients and the result was "encouraging".

Haryana to start Plasma Therapy for treatment of Covid-19 patients in all its medical colleges after approval from ICMR, said state Health Minister Anil Vij in a tweet.

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria recently said the number of people infected is not important as long as the mortality is low. Our aim is to work towards keeping a low mortality.

As states ramp up testing, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officers to increase COVID-19 testing facilities in the state and operate available TrueNat machines at full capacity. Use of TrueNat machines should be promoted in private hospitals, he said addressing an unlock review meeting with senior officers and ministers.

"The testing capacity for COVID-19 should be increased. Available TrueNat and rapid antigen machines should be operated at full capacity for doing maximum tests in the state," an official release said quoting the chief minister.

As part of its efforts to ramp up the testing capacity, the ICMR had approved the use of TrueNat, a diagnostic machine for tuberculosis, for conducting coronavirus tests.

With inputs from PTI

Also See: Coronavirus Updates: Narendra Modi to address nation at 4 pm; Centre issues guidelines for Unlock 2.0

Highlights of PM Narendra Modi's Speech: Prime Minister extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till end of November, urges caution ahead of Unlock 2.0

Maharashtra extends lockdown till 31 July; what's allowed: Non-essential markets in Mumbai to stay open from 9-5; private offices can start with 10% strength

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