Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Covid Deaths in India Much Lower Than in Many Big Nations, Says PM at Launch of 3 Testing Facilities

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched hi-tech Covid-19 testing facilities of the ICMR in the cities of Noida, Kolkata and Mumbai on Monday via video conferencing. He said that the labs will not remain restricted to testing of Covid-19, but will be expanded for testing of many other diseases including Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and Dengue in the future.

The new coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 16 million people is easily the worst global health emergency the World Health Organization (WHO) has faced, its director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today appealed migrants to return as he said that the industries, shops and construction were facing labour shortage. He offered them more job opportunities through online portal — jobs.delhi.gov.in. "The government is launching a new online employment portal. People who are looking for job and people who are looking for employees, all can use this. There was some issue around the operations of hawkers, we will be issuing a new order for allowing hawkers to operate," he said.

Here are the latest updates on the pandemic:

• Only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, would the world manage to beat it, Tedros Ghebreyesus said at a virtual news briefing in Geneva. "Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they are not, cases go up," he said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks.

• India's COVID-19 fatality rate has been progressively falling and currently stands at 2.28 per cent which is among the lowest in the world, the government said on Monday, attributing the dip to factors like aggressive testing and an effective containment strategy.

• Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi calls a virtual meeting of Rajya Sabha MPs on July 30 to hold discussions on the current political situation and COVID-19.

• A record rise of nearly 50,000 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours took India’s tally to over 14.35 lakh today. The health ministry’s dashboard showed there are 485,114 active cases of Covid-19 and 32,771 people have succumbed to the viral disease till date. The recovery rate of patients of the coronavirus disease went slightly up to 63.92% from Sunday’s 63.91% after 31,991 people were discharged from hospitals across the country. So far, 917,567 people have recovered from Covid-19.

• The United States on Sunday recorded 55,187 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the total caseload of the world's hardest-hit country to 42,29,624. An additional 518 deaths brought the overall death toll to 146,909. After a drop in infection rate in the late spring, the US has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly in southern and western states such as California, Texas, Alabama and Florida. The last time the daily number of new cases clocked in below 60,000 was almost two weeks ago, on July 13. Scientists agree that an increase in death rates follows the spike in infections by three to four weeks. The daily death toll for the past four days exceeded 1,000.

• As US struggles to control its virus outbreak, China recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday -- the highest daily figure since April -- propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. The bulk of 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, according to the National Health Commission, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July. Fourteen domestic cases were also recorded in the northeastern province of Liaoning where a fresh cluster broke out in the city of Dalian last week. Two more local cases were found in the neighbouring province of Jilin near the North Korean border -- the first since late May. The last four infections confirmed on Monday were imported from overseas.

• Saudi Arabia on Wednesday begins hosting the annual hajj pilgrimage, dramatically downscaled due to the coronavirus pandemic that has barred millions of international pilgrims for the first time in modern history. Up to 10,000 people residing in the kingdom will participate in the Muslim ritual, a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million that attended last year, after what many saw as an opaque selection process that left a wave of applicants rejected. The foreign press are barred from this year's hajj, usually a huge global media event, as the government tightens access to the holy city of Mecca and puts in place strict health restrictions to prevent a virus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage -- a key pillar of Islam.

• Japan's companies spent less than initially estimated in the first quarter of the year, revised data showed on Monday, suggesting the coronavirus pandemic's hit to the economy was deeper than first thought. Capital expenditure rose just 0.1% in January-March from the same period a year earlier, government data showed, much lower than the preliminary reading of 4.3% growth reported last month. The weaker data, which is used to calculate revised gross domestic figures (GDP) due next Monday, signalled the world's third-largest economy shrank at a faster pace than initially estimated in the first quarter, said analysts. "There's no mistake that there will be a downward revision (of GDP)," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

• Florida on Sunday became the second state after California to overtake New York, the worst-hit state at the start of the U.S. novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a Reuters tally. Total COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 on Sunday, just one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases. New York is in third place with 415,827 cases. Still, New York has recorded the most deaths of any U.S. state at more than 32,000 with Florida in eighth place with nearly 6,000 deaths. On average, Florida has added more than 10,000 cases a day in July while California has been adding 8,300 cases a day and New York has been adding 700 cases.

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