India’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tally zoomed past 29 lakh, a day after it crossed 28 lakh, with a single-day spike of 68,898 infections, while the recoveries have increased to 21,58,946 today, pushing the recovery rate to over 74%.
COVID in India
India recorded more than 12 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases in August, higher than in any previous month and the highest count by any country during this month.
Nine security personnel deployed for Lalu Prasad’s security tested positive for COVID. They were removed from their duties.
Election Commission of India issues guidelines for the conduct of general elections/by-elections during COVID-19; candidates can file nomination online, people to wear face masks during election-related activities.
Fitch Ratings expects India’s electricity demand to drop by 4% during the financial year ending March 2021 given the expectations of only a gradual pick-up in economic activity since pandemic-related lockdowns were relaxed in June.
The Centre is considering initial procurement of around 50 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine for front-line workers, army personnel and certain other categories of individuals.
Testing in India has steeply increased to more than 9 lakh tests per day. This is bolstered with all states and union territories testing more than 140 tests/day/million population as advised by the WHO (World Health Organisation).
COVID in states
The ICMR is undertaking a study in Mumbai to evaluate whether the BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) vaccine, primarily used against tuberculosis, is effective in preventing COVID-19 in the elderly population, Mumbai’s civic body said today.
The Supreme Court has allowed Jain community temples at Dadar, Byculla and Chembur in Mumbai to open to worshippers for the last two days of Paryushan on 22 and 23 August to worship Tithankars while observing union government’s SOP on opening religious places.
Normal life came to a grinding halt in Kolkata as a complete shutdown was enforced across West Bengal for the second consecutive day this week to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases, while violation of the lockdown restrictions was witnessed in some towns and rural areas in the state.
A 107-year-old woman and her 78-year-old daughter have recovered from COVID-19 in Maharashtra, overcoming the odds of high mortality rate among elderly people.
“All offices and shops except those selling essential items will remain closed in Haryana every Saturday and Sunday due to COVID-19.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting on COVID-19 situation in the state. He told officials that the strength of COVID hospitals should be increased to 287 with the addition of 149 more hospitals & doctors should be made available as soon as possible,” the CMO said.
Coronavirus infections worldwide
Hong Kong will offer free, universal testing to its residents starting 1 September. The testing programme, which will last a maximum of two weeks, is on a voluntary basis.
Almost 11% of Pakistanis have developed protective immunity against the novel coronavirus, according to a study conducted in 25 cities across the country.
Former US surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy slammed President Donald Trump over lack of leadership in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, stating that “we need a leader who inspires us to practice distancing and wear masks”.
A Chinese mining company in Papua New Guinea claims to have immunised employees against COVID-19 in an apparent vaccination trial, a newspaper reported on 21 August.
Health authorities in China’s capital Beijing have removed a requirement for people to wear masks outdoors, further relaxing rules aimed at preventing the spread the novel coronavirus after the city reported 13 consecutive days without new cases. Despite the relaxed guidelines, a large proportion of people continued to wear masks in Beijing today.
Australia headed for its lowest daily increase in coronavirus infections in five weeks today as the hotspot state of Victoria neared the midway point of lockdown, prompting the prime minister to hail “a week of increased hope”.
South Korea has reported 324 new cases of the coronavirus, its highest single-day total since early March as the recent surge of COVID-19 in the greater capital area now appears to be spreading nationwide.