Coronavirus Updates: Karnataka sees record spike in COVID-19 cases as 9,860 patients test positive; caseload crosses 3.6 lakh


23:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in Punjab LATEST Updates

Punjab slashes charges for rapid antigen tests

The Punjab Health Department on Wednesday reduced charges for a rapid antigen test for coronavirus by private labs to Rs 700. Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said the government has reduced the charges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 700, inclusive of the GST and other taxes. It has been left to the private labs to fix rates for the collection of samples from houses, he said in a statement. There are 45 ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) approved private labs conducting COVID tests in the state. The minister said the government has fixed a maximum of Rs 2,400 for a RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test.

23:26 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan LATEST Updates

Rajasthan reports 1,511 fresh cases, 12 deaths

Twelve deaths and 1,511 fresh infections were reported in Rajasthan today. The total number of positive cases in the state is now 84,674 including 70,674 recovered, 12,919 active cases and 1,081 deaths, said the state Health Department

23:00 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LATEST Updates

Noida Metro to resume services from 7 September

Noida-Greater Noida Metro will resume services from 7 September with curtailed timings, reports PTI. Only passengers with face masks, body temperature not more than 37.7 degrees Celsius will be allowed entry, said officials.

21:49 (IST)

Uttarkhand sees spurt of 836 new cases

Uttarakhand records its highest single-day spike of 836  new coronavirus cases, taking infection tally to 21,234. Toll rises to 291 with 11 more fatalities while the number of active cases stands at 6,442, reports PTI quoting a health department bulletin

21:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka LATEST Updates

Karnataka sees record 9,860 new cases

Karnataka reported its highest single-day spike of 9,860 new COVID-19 cases, taking its overall tally to 3,61,341. 113 more fatalities in the last 24 hours took the state's death toll to 5,950. There are 94,459 active cases in the state, said the state health department in its daily health bulletin. The state capital Bengaluru saw its biggest single-day spike as well with 3,420 new cases, taking its overall tally to 1,35,512, including 2,037 deaths and 93,563 discharges.


20:56 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LATEST Updates

Maharashtra record 17,433 new cases, 292 deaths

Maharashtra reports 17,433 new cases and 292 deaths, taking active cases to 2,01,703, recoveries to 5,98,496 and toll to 25,195: A total of 13,959 patients were cured today, and a total of 5,98,496 patients have recovered so far.

20:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh LATEST Updates

Madhya Pradesh reports 1,424 new cases, 27 deaths

Madhya Pradesh recorded 1,424 new coronavirus cases, taking the total count of infections to 66,914, reports PTI. With 27 people succumbing to the infection since Tuesday evening, the count of fatalities rose to 1,453, officials said.

20:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Centre allows airlines to operate 60% of their pre-COVID flights

Further easing the restrictions imposed to control the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, the government on Wednesday permitted Indian airlines to increase the number of domestic passenger flights to 60 percent of their pre-COVID services, according to an official order. On 26 June, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had allowed the airlines to operate a maximum of 45 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. The ministry had restarted domestic passenger services from 25 May, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. Modifying its previous order of June 26 where it had put the 45 percent limit on the number of domestic flights, the ministry issued an order on Wednesday stating that, "45 percent capacity may be read as 60 percent capacity."


19:47 (IST)

Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh LATEST Updates

Andhra Pradesh reports 10,392 new cases, 72 deaths

Andhra Pradesh reports 10,392 new coronavirus cases, and 72 deaths, taking the total cases to 4,55,531 including 3,48,330 recoveries and 4,125 deaths, said the health department. The number of active cases in the state stands at 1,03,076, it said.

19:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

Delhi Metro Yellow Line to start operations from 7 Sept: DMRC chief

Delhi Metro Yellow Line from Samaypur Badli to Huda City Centre to be operational from 7 September, said  DMRC chief Mangu Singh. In the first stage, Delhi Metro services will operate in two shifts — 7-11 am and 4-8 pm and normal operations will resume from 12 September, PTI quotes Singh as saying.

18:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Mumbai Metro not  to resume services

 Metro services in Mumbai will remain suspended till October but from 7 Sept, but Delhi, Noida, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Maha Metro (Nagpur), Kolkata, Gujarat and UP Metro (Lucknow) have prepared their SOPs, reports quote Puri as saying.

18:46 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Only asymptomatic people will be allowed on Metros

According to the SOPs for Metro services, only asymptomatic people will be avail the services and stations in containment zones will remain closed. Metro Rail corporations can take decisions to skip stations, reported The Hindu.

18:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Centre announces SOPs for resumption of Metro services

With Metro rail operations are set to resume from 7 September in a graded manner, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs announced SOPs. Those metro systems which have more than one line will open different lines from 7 September  in a calibrated manner, so that all corridors become operation by 12 September, he said. The Metro timings will be staggered to begin with and only a limited number of Metros will ply, The Hindu quotes him as saying.Wearing of masks will be mandatory and use of smart cards or cashless transactions will be encouraged.

18:25 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

Delhi reports 2,509 new cases, 19 deaths

Delhi records another spike of 2,509 fresh COVID-19 cases, pushing the case count to 1,79,569 while the toll mounts 4,481 with 19 deaths.

18:11 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka LATEST Updates

Students appearing for exams allowed to travel by KSRTC buses 

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has allowed students appearing for exams for degree courses, post graduate courses and entrance exams to travel by its buses provided they show a student pass for the year 2020-21, reports the Indian Express. The JEE exams kicked off yesterday while NEET is scheduled to be held on 13 September.

17:51 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal LATEST Updates

75% candidates in Bengal could not appear for JEE on Tuesday, claims Banerjee

Seventy-five percent of candidates in West Bengal could not write JEE on Tuesday due to COVID-19 situation, PTI quotes Chief Minister  Mamata Banerjee as saying. Banerjee said that her government had made all the arrangements for the students, but only 1,167 wrote the test though 4,652 candidates were scheduled to appear for it on Tuesday, the first day of the examination. "The students are in great trouble. They were not able to attempt the JEE examinations. In other states, more than 50 percent of the students were not able to appear for it because of the pandemic situation," Banerjee told reporters. The chief minister was among other leaders who had earlier requested the Centre not to hold the entrance exams during the ongoing pandemic.

17:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Health ministry issues SOPs for exams

The health ministry has released SOPs on preventive measures to be followed during exams held during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among others, the SOPs include measures like maintaining a distancing of at least 6 feet as far as feasible, use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory, isolation wards in every centre, neither staff nor examination centres at Containment zones shall be allowed .

16:58 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

Delhi LG directs officers to start testing on demand

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday directed officers to augment the city''s testing capacity by taking a few steps, including ''testing on demand'', testing at the national capital''s border points and at major construction sites to check the spread of COVID-19.Sources said that during a meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority, the lieutenant governor asked officers to prepare detailed SOPs to introduce such testing facilities in the city. They said that a helpline number will soon be launched, where a person, who has COVID-19 symptoms, can book testing and thereafter, can avail the facility at his or her doorstep.
"In first phase, senior citizens, women and children are likely to avail ''testing on demand'' facility. Another option is that people can also book testing at nearby centres by making a call at the helpline number," a source told PTI.

The LG has asked officers to set up testing facilities at Delhi''s border points as well for the screening of those having COVID-19 symptoms. "It will be mandatory for all migrant workers coming to Delhi to undergo tests. However, people, who live in NCR but work in Delhi, can also undergo test if they feel so," the source also said.

16:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LATEST Updates

Journalist dies at COVID-19 facility in Pune, kin blame govt

 A 42-year-old reporter of a Marathi news channel died of COVID-19 infection on Wednesday at a newly-created jumbo care facility at COEP in Pune, Maharashtra, a top civic official said. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Vikram Kumar said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident. District collector Rajesh Deshmukh said deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had given instructions to probe the issue of non-availability of a cardiac ambulance. "I have received information that the journalist was brought from Ahmednagar district in an oxygen-equipped ambulance and was admitted to the jumbo facility here, where he was undergoing treatment," he said.

Sister of the deceased said her brother would have been alive had the cardiac ambulance been made available in time. "My brother died just because he could not get an ambulance in time," she said.She also alleged a gross mismanagement at the 800-bed facility, saying it was managed by trainee doctors. "We had sent food and medicine to my brother, but both the things did not reach him," she alleged.

16:14 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttarakhand LATEST Updates

India's COVID-19 fatality rate now at 1.76%, says health ministry

India has been reporting one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the world with the figure further declining to 1.76 percent as on date against a global average of 3.3 percent, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday. It also said that COVID-19 deaths per million population in India is one of the lowest in the world. "While the global average is 110 deaths per million population, India is reporting 48 deaths per million population. The comparative figure for Brazil and the UK is 12 and 13 times higher, respectively," the ministry highlighted.


15:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttarakhand LATEST Updates

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Rawat goes into self-quarantine

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has gone into self-quarantine after his officer on special duty tested positive for the coronavirus infection,  reports PTI quoting sources. A meeting of the state Cabinet scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed as a result. Rawat was earlier in quarantine from 25 – 30 August 25 after one of his advisors tested positive.

15:51 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tripura LATEST Updates

Highest single day spike of 566 new cases in Tripura

Tripura reports its highest single-day spike of 566 new COVID-19 cases, taking total case count to 12,722;. The state now has 4,667 active cases, reports PTI quoting an official.

15:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu LATEST Updates

Passenger trains, inter-district buses to resume operations in Tamil Nadu from 7 Sept

Inter-district bus transport and passenger train services within Tamil Nadu would be permitted from September 7, Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced on Wednesday.

While bus transport is allowed only within districts as of now, there were representations from the public to the government seeking facilitation of services to go from one district to another, he said.

"Considering public welfare, following the Standard Operating Procedure, from September 7, inter-district government and private bus transport will be allowed across Tamil Nadu," Palaniswami said in a statement.

Similarly, from the same date, passenger train services within Tamil Nadu shall be permitted, he said. Inter-state train services arealready operational in permitted routes.


15:05 (IST)

Coronavirus in Ladakh LATEST Updates

52 new COVID cases, another death reported in Ladakh

An octogenarian died of the novel coronavirus in Ladakh, taking the toll to 35 today, officials said. The number of cases of the pathogen rose to 2,733 with 52 more people testing positive for the infection, including 46 in Leh and six in Kargil, according to the officials.


15:02 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

OPD services temporarily suspended at AIIMS Delhi

AIIMS Delhi on Wednesday has said that it is temporarily suspending OPD services. "In view of need to optimise usage of available inpatient beds for hospitalisation of seriously ill emergency/ semi-emergency patients, it has been decided to temporarily stop routine OPD admissions," a statement read.

14:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi LATEST Updates

Delhi sees 50% rise in active COVID-19 cases in the past month, says govt date

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Delhi increased by around 50 percent in a month, with the city witnessing a marked uptick in new cases, according to government data.

There were 10,596 active COVID-19 cases on 1 August. The number increased to 15,870 on Tuesday, an analysis of Delhi government's health bulletins showed.

The number of active COVID-19 cases peaked to 28,329 on 27 June. It tapered off to 10,705 active cases by 31 July.

On August 4, it dropped below the 10,000-mark for the first time since 30 May and stood at 9,897, owing to a good recovery rate and fewer new cases.

14:41 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LATEST Updates

Nanded records 312 new COVID-19 cases; collector tests positive

With 312 persons testing positive for coronavirus infection, the caseload in Maharashtra's Nanded district has reached 7,027, an official said on Wednesday.

District collector Dr Vipin Itankar has also contracted the deadly infection and is undergoing treatment at the civil hospital, the official said. As on Tuesday, the recovery rate in Nanded stood at 71 percent as 104 patients were discharged from hospitals, he said.

14:36 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Ministry of Health says fatality rate is on the decline in India

India’s Case Fatality Rate (CFR) stands at 1.76%, one of the lowest globally while global CFR stands at 3.3%, said the health ministry on Wednesday. "India is reporting 48 deaths/million population, also one of the lowest in the world while the global average is 110 deaths/million population", it adds.

14:23 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh LATEST Updates

Noida MLA Pankaj Singh undergoing COVID-19 treatment at AIIMS: Source

The condition of the BJP's Uttar Pradesh vice-president and Noida MLA Pankaj Singh, who is undergoing treatment at the AIIMS here after testing positive for COVID-19, is stable, sources said on Wednesday.

He was admitted to AIIMS' Trauma Centre, which is a dedicated COVID-19 facility, on Tuesday evening and is being attended to by a team of doctors led by Dr Neeraj Nischal, an associate professor in the department of medicine at the premier institute.

"Pankaj Singh is stable and doing fine," a source told PTI.

14:09 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan LATEST Updates

Four more MLAs test positive in Rajasthan

Four more MLAs have tested positive for COVID-19 in Rajasthan which recorded five more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. A Congress MLA and three BJP legislators had tested positive for the virus last week.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wished speedy recovery to the MLAs.

13:47 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan LATEST Updates

Rajasthan BJP leader Rajendra Rathore tests positive for COVID-19

13:03 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates

Security Council to meet on post-COVID-19 security threats

The UN Security Council will hold a high-level summit during the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly later this month to discuss security threats in the world after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Niger''s UN Ambassador Abdou Abarry, who took over the rotating council presidency on Tuesday, told a virtual press conference on Tuesday that the meeting of the UN''s most powerful body will take place online on 24 September.

Abarry said the meeting "on post-COVID-19 global governance in relation to the maintenance of international peace and security" will address traditional security threats such as conflicts but also crime and pandemics as well as “adjustments” to the current international system.


12:38 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra LATEST Updates

Thane COVID-19 tally crosses 1.25 lakh; Palghar nears 25,000

The number of COVID-19 cases in Thane crossed 1.25 lakh on Wednesday after 1,175 more people tested positive for the disease in the Maharashtra district, officials said. Besides, the COVID-19 tally in neighbouring Palghar district reached close to 25,000-mark, they said.

In Thane, 1,175 new cases were reported on Tuesday, taking the total count to 1,25,352, a district official said. The district also reported 27 more deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 3,577, he said.


12:35 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Rajasthan LATEST Updates

Rajasthan records 83,853 COVID-19 cases, 68,265 recoveries

Five deaths and 690 new coronavirus cases were reported in Rajasthan on Wednesday, said the State Health Department. The Health Department also informed that 141 people recovered from the infection.

At present, 68,265 people have recovered and 67,093 have been discharged.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 83,853, which includes 1,074 deaths.

12:05 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Odisha LATEST Updates

Over 1.09 lakh COVID-19 cases in Odisha

Odisha registered 3,219 new COVID-19 infections, taking the total number of coronavirus cases to 1,09,780, said the state health department on Wednesday. The COVID-19 toll climbed to 514 after 11 more patients succumbed to the highly contagious disease. 

Of the total, there are 80,770 recoveries and 28,443 active cases, said the health department.

11:52 (IST)

Coronavirus in Telanagana LATEST Updates

2,892 new COVID-19 cases in Telangana; 10 deaths up toll to 846

Telangana continued to record an increase in coronavirus cases with 2,892 fresh infections and 10 more deaths, taking the tally in the state to 1.30 lakh. 

Cumulatively, 14.83 lakh samples have been tested. The samples tested per million population was 39,952, the bulletin said. The case fatality rate in the state was 0.64 percent, while it was 1.76 percent at the national level.

The total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 so far stood at 97,402 while 32,341 are under treatment. The recovery rate in Telangana was 74.5 percent.


11:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Arunachal Pradesh LATEST Updates

Arunachal Pradesh reports over 100 new cases, takes total to over 4,000

Arunachal Pradesh's COVID-19 tally rose to 4,212 as 100 more people including 17 security personnel tested positive for coronavirus, a senior Health department official said on Wednesday.

Arunachal Pradesh now has 1,226 active cases, as 2,979 people have recovered from the disease and seven have died of the infection.

A total of 2,152 people have been cured of the disease during August while, 2,609 people, including 989 security personnel, have been diagnosed with the disease in the state during August, the official said.

The recovery rate of the state stands at 70.72 percent, he said.


11:28 (IST)

Coronavirus in Telanagana LATEST Updates

Hyderabad Metro Rail to resume operations from 7 Sept

The Telangana government has permitted operation of metro rail services here in a 'graded manner' from 7 September. The announcement comes after the Centre allowed the metro services to resume operations across the country, as part of Unlock-4 guidelines.

"Managing Directors of all Indian metros held a video conference on Tuesday (September 1) to recommend protocols for necessary precautions and safety measures.

The protocols will be decided in a day or two by the ministry of housing and urban affairs, government of India with the approval of the Home ministry," Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd MD, NVS Reddy said in a statement on Tuesday night.

11:11 (IST)

Coronavirus in Goa LATEST Updates

Goa CM Pramod Sawant tests positive for COVID-19

10:37 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India's COVID-19 recovery rate rises to 76.9%; case fatality at 1.76%

India's COVID-19 tally of cases galloped past 37 lakh on Wednesday with 78,357 new instances of the disease reported in a day, while the number of recoveries crossed 29 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 76.98 percent, the Union health ministry data showed.

The toll climbed to 66,333 with 1,045 more fatalities reported in 24 hours. India has so far reported 37,69,523 cases of the viral disease, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The total number of COVID-19 recoveries in the country has surged to 29,01,908, while the fatality rate has further declined to 1.76 percent. There are 8,01,282, active cases in the country which comprises 21.26 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.


10:19 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

Maharashtra remains worst-hit state

With over 8.08 lakh cases, Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally remains the highest among Indian states and union territories, according to the Union Health Ministry's latest update.

10:05 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates

Golf's HSBC Champions in Shanghai canceled due to COVID-19

The International Federation of PGA Tours confirmed the inevitable on Wednesday when it canceled the HSBC Champions World Golf Championships event in China, reports PTI

The tournament was scheduled for Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai. The Chinese government announced in July that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country would not host international sports events for the rest of 2020.

09:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India's COVID-19 total reached 37.6 lakh; toll now at 66,333

India’s coronavirus case count reaches 37,69,523 on Wednesday after 78,357 new cases registered in 24 hours. The toll rises by 1,045 to 66,333. There are 8,01,282 active cases, and more than 29 lakh patients have recovered.

09:43 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

India yesterday tested 10,12,367 samples, says ICMR

08:38 (IST)

Coronavirus in US LATEST Updates

US says it won't join global effort to find COVID-19 vaccine

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine because it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization.

The decision to go it alone, first reported by The Washington Post, follows the White House's decision in early July to pull the United States out of the WHO. Trump claims the WHO is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China.

Some nations have worked directly to secure supplies of vaccine, but others are pooling efforts to ensure success against a disease that has no geographical boundaries.


08:01 (IST)

Coronavirus in US LATEST Updates

US govt aid 'essential' to weather downturn: Fed official

Government spending will be "essential" to help struggling businesses and families weather the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard said Tuesday.

With the White House and Congress still at an impasse over a new emergency relief package, Brainard warned that "the economy continues to face considerable uncertainty associated with the vagaries of the COVID-19 pandemic" and business shutdowns risk becoming permanent.

"Fiscal support will remain essential to sustaining many families and businesses," she said.


07:59 (IST)

Coronavirus in Brazil LATEST Updates

Brazil joins recession train

Brazil joins India in reporting a historic second-quarter drop in national economic output, contracting by a record 9.7 percent.

Only China, of the leading global economies, has escaped a recession sparked by the pandemic.


07:58 (IST)

Coronavirus in Europe LATEST Updates

Europe tops four million COVID-19 cases

More than four million people have been infected with the coronavirus in Europe, according to a tally by AFP at 1640 GMT.

Russia, which on Tuesday topped one million cases, along with Spain and Britain recorded the highest number of infections, while 216,080 people have died in Europe.

The pandemic has killed more than 851,000 people worldwide since surfacing in China late last year, according to the AFP count. More than 25.5 million cases have been registered.

07:55 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates

UN summit to discuss post-pandemic global governance

Niger, the current president of the UN Security Council, said Tuesday it will organize a 24 September video conference between heads of state to discuss the future of global governance following the coronavirus pandemic.

The summit will debate "post-Covid-19 global governance in relation to the maintenance of international peace and security," Niger's UN Ambassador Abdou Abarry told journalists while presenting the Council's program for the month.

The session will take place during the annual UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders, which will take place this year mainly by videoconference due to the pandemic


07:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in India LATEST Updates

54% of COVID-19 between 18-44 years, says Centre

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 54 percent  of COVID19 cases are between the 18-44 years while 51 percent of deaths are in the 60 years and above age group.

Coronavirus LATEST Updates: Karnataka reported its highest single-day spike of 9,860 new COVID-19 cases, taking its overall tally to 3,61,341. 113 more fatalities in the last 24 hours took the state’s death toll to 5,950. There are 94,459 active cases in the state, said the state health department in its daily health bulletin.

With Metro rails set to resume services from 7 September in a graded manner, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs announced SOPs for their operation. The Metro timings will be staggered to begin with and only a limited number of Metros will ply, he said.

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal  directed officers to augment the city”s testing capacity by taking a few steps, including ”testing on demand”, testing at the national capital”s border points and at major construction sites to check the spread of COVID-19.

India has been reporting one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the world with the figure further declining to 1.76 percent as on date against a global average of 3.3 percent, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The announcement came amid complaints from the public about difficulties faced in travelling long distances within the state since only allowed intra-district bus operations were allowed from 1 September 

The COVID-19 toll in India increased by 1,045 to 66,333. There are 8,01,282 active cases, and more than 29 lakh patients have recovered.

Five months after its services were suspended, Hyderabad Metro Rail will resume its operations from 7 September in the city.

As India entered Unlock 4.0 on Tuesday, the total coronavirus case count in India rose to 36,91,166 with 69,921 people testing positive in 24 hours. The toll due COVID-19 climbed to 65,288 with 819 new fatalities while the recovery rate increased to 76.94 percent with 65,081 persons recuperating in 24 hours, the health ministry data updated at 8 am showed.

Five states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh — accounted for over half of the fresh COVID-19 cases and close to 60 percent of the recoveries reported in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said.

Cumulatively, these five states reported 536 deaths in a day which is over 65 percent of the total fatalities registered in the country during the period.

In the 24 hours between 8 am on Monday and on Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 11,852 new coronavirus infections, Andhra Pradesh 10,004, Karnataka 6,495, Tamil Nadu 5,956, and Uttar Pradesh 4,782. Together, they account for 56 percent of the cases added in a day, the official statistics revealed.

These five states have also reported the maximum number of patients that were cured and discharged in 24 hours, cumulatively accounting for 58.04 percent of the total 65,081 people who have recovered during the 24-hour period across the country.

While Maharashtra reported 11,158 recoveries in a day, the corresponding figures for Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka stand at 8,772 and 7,238 respectively. Tamil Nadu registered 6,008 recoveries, while Uttar Pradesh reported 4,597.

While the recovery rate in the country neared 77 percent, the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.77 percent, said the health ministry. The number of recoveries is 3.61 times the active cases of the viral infection.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative 4,33,24,834 samples have been tested up to 31 August, with 10,16,920 of them being tested on Monday.

In Delhi, which reported its biggest single-day jump in nearly two months, the third round of the monthly sero-survey kicked off. Health minister Satyendra Jain said the all 272 wards and two Assembly areas in the state will be covered to arrive at a micro-level analysis of the situation.

Tripura, Chhattisgarh were among other states which reported a record rise in cases on Tuesday. While Tripura registered  509 fresh infections and 10 fatalities, 1,694 more tested positive in Haryana while 17 succumbed to the infection.

Karnataka allows bars to re-open, Uttar Pradesh revises weekend lockdown

As the country entered the fourth phase of the “unlocking” process, with more activities and services, the Uttar Pradesh government announced that markets would remain shut only in Sundays instead of on the weekends, while the Karnataka government said it has allowed bars, pubs to resume services with 50 percent capacity from Tuesday.

The Unlock process of the country had begun on 1 June with the graded reopening of commercial, social, religious and other activities.  Unlock 4 came into effect from 1 September and will continue till 30 September.

The Karnataka government has allowed bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants in the state to serve liquor from Tuesday with 50 percent of their seating capacity.

There were restrictions on serving liquor since March, when the lockdown was first imposed , and until now only takeaways were allowed at these establishments.

The order by the Excise Commissioner said that such relaxations were already in place in states like Assam, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. It also cited the government’s revenue as one of the reasons behind the decision.

Bars also opened in Goa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

State-run buses were running again in Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, while places of worship, parks, shopping malls, hotels and clubs too reopened across the state.

In Uttar Pradesh, shops will remain closed only on Sundays, instead of the two-day weekend lockdown, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi. “The chief minister has instructed that there will be no weekly closure on Saturdays, and shops can remain open from 9 am to 9 pm. However, shops will remain closed on Sundays from midnight of Saturday to midnight of Sunday,” he said.

The government had in July announced that shops and offices would remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays to stop the spread of the coronavirus infection.

However, under the recently released Unlock-4 guidelines, the MHA said that states should not impose lockdowns outside containment zones without taking the Centre into confidence.

In line with the directives, Madhya Pradesh revoked its decision on Sunday lockdowns but West Bengal decided to go ahead with a total shutdown on three days in September. Punjab too announced that existing restrictions like weekend curbs and night curfew will continue in all towns of the state.

States like Maharashtra and Nagaland allowed intra-state travel while many states, including West Bengal and Delhi said that Metro services will be allowed to resume. However, Delhi has decided to maintain status quo on all other restrictions and has not not issued fresh guidelines.

Railways to run more special trains

Meanwhile, to ease passenger movement in high-demand areas, the Railways said it will run more special trains in addition to the 230 plying currently, The consent for running these trains has been sought from state governments, said an official. The Railway ministry spokesperson, however, did not say how many trains will be added to the network.

Currently, all regular passenger services are suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

Tripura, Chhattisgarh report record rise in daily cases

Several states including Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu recorded fresh infections and deaths.

Tripura registered its highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases with 509 new cases, while a record 10 fresh fatalities pushed the northeastern state’s coronavirus toll to 113, a health official told news agency PTI. The fresh infections have taken the state’s COVID-19 caseload to 12,156, he said.

Chhattisgarh witnessed the biggest spike in COVID-19 cases in a single-day with 1,514 people testing positive on Tuesday, taking the tally to 33,017, while 10 more patients died, pushing up the fatalities to 287, a health department official told PTI.

The state has 15,163 active cases at present as 17,567 people have been discharged after recovery, he said.

The National Capital recorded its biggest spurt in daily cases in nearly two months, with 2,312 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total to over 1.77 lakh. The toll mounted to 4462 with 18 fatalities, said a bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

Maharashtra’s caseload surpassed eight lakh (8,08,306) with 15,765 more testing positive, while the toll reached 24,903 with 320 deaths.

As many as 10,368 new coronavirus cases and 84 deaths were reported in Andhra Pradesh, taking the state’s tally to 4,45,139 and toll to 4,053.

Tamil Nadu reported 5,928 new COVID cases pushing the total to 4,33,969, while the toll stood at 7,418 with 96 more fatalities. Of the over 5,900 new infections, the state capital reported 1,084 and the remaining were scattered across Tamil Nadu. The state tally of 4.33 lakh plus positive cases till date includes Chennai’s 1,36,697 infections.

80% of Chennai population still susceptible to infection, finds study

A sero-survey in Chennai found that over a fifth of the city’s population had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2  and around 80 percent of the population was still susceptible to the infection, said the Greater Chennai Corporation.

The sample size was around 12,000, of which 2,673 individuals had evidence of past SARS-CoV-2, it informed. The field data / sample collection activities happened between 18 and 28 July and the testing of the samples were completed by 6 August, the GCC said in an official release adding that samples were collected from individuals above the age of 10.

“The reading (inference) is 21.5 percent of Chennai’s population reached the immunity levels by July-end,” GCC commissioner G Prakash told reporters. “Now, the (immunity) levels will be more and it would also mean a (comparatively) lower transmission rate,” he said adding the scientific study would be useful to alter strategies to tackle COVID here.

Around 80 percent of the population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 in Chennai and “we need to understand the reasons for varying sero- prevalence across zones to improve our control measures,” the civic body said. “There is huge variation in seroprevalence across zones ranging between 7.1 percent in Madhavaram and 44.2 percent in Tondiarpet,” it said.

Sero-surveys involve testing of blood serum of people to check for the prevalence of antibodies which indicate past exposure to the virus.

Previous such surveys have found that 51 percent of the population in five areas of Pune had developed anti-bodies while in Mumbai, there was a 57 percent sero-prevalence in slums and 16 percent sero-prevalence in non-slum areas.

Delhi begins latest round of sero-survey

Delhi which has in the past conducted two rounds of such a survey, began the lastest round on Tuesday. The sample size this time will be 17,000 and the exercise will be carried out for seven days, said the state’s health minister.

“The fresh round of sero-survey began today. This time we will be doing it ward-wise, so all 272 municipal wards of Delhi will be covered, plus two Assembly areas. Sampling will be done for a week. After that, results should come in 7-10 days,” Jain said.

The previous surveys were done district-wise. But this time, it is being done ward-wise to analyse the COVID-19 situation in the city at a “micro-level”, he said.

The last sero-prevalence survey was held between 1 and 7 August, which showed that 29.1 percent of the people surveyed had antibodies against the coronavirus infection.

With inputs from PTI

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