Coronavirus India lockdown Day 125 live updates | Moderna to begin final phase of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 125 live updates | Moderna to begin final phase of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 125 live updates | Moderna to begin final phase of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine

The number of coronavirus deaths in India have doubled in the past month, according to data compiled from State and Union government bulletins. While the toll stood at 16,075 on June 27, the number has gone up to 32,823 as of today.

Meanwhile, more than 1.613 crore people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 6.44 lakh have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Here is a list of State Helpline numbers. You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here.

Here are the latest updates:

8.00 pm | India

India’s COVID-19 fatality rate progressively falling, currently stands at 2.28%: Health Ministry

India’s COVID-19 fatality rate has been progressively falling and currently stands at 2.28% 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.

It also said that the recovery rate has been improving consistently and the total recoveries have now crossed the nine lakh-mark.

7.40 pm | Delhi

Why continue with rapid antigen tests when false negatives so high: HC to Delhi govt

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government why it was going with Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), which has a high rate of false negative results, as the primary test of COVID-19 infection.

It also made it clear to the Delhi government to “strictly” follow the guidelines on COVID-19 testing as issued by ICMR and not according to its own interpretation.

The High Court also noted that the sero survey of the national capital carried out by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated that more than 22.86 per cent of the population have gone through the COVID illness without even realizing they were infected as they probably were asymptomatic.


7.15 pm | West Bengal

Centre should clear WB’s dues to help state effectively tackle COVID-19: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked the Centre to clear all financial dues of the state to help it fight the COVID-19 pandemic effectively.

Ms. Banerjee, during an online programme where Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated new testing facilities in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, also sought the creation of a separate fund for the combating the disease.

She also said that the money from the State’s disaster relief fund was being used for rehabilitation work after cyclone Amphan.


6.40 pm | Karnataka

Learn to live with COVID-19, focus on development without lockdown: CM

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who has been a vocal opponent of lockdown, went a step ahead on Monday and said he had asked deputy commissioners of all the districts to focus on development of the State instead of opting for lockdown to contain the pandemic.

“We need to learn to live with COVID-19. Instead of talking about lockdown as an option to tackle it, we must focus on development along with the pandemic,” Mr. Yediyurappa remarked hile addressing a programme organised to mark the first anniversary of his government in the State.

6.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu government has issued a Standard Operating Procedure for bringing in guest workers from other States to Tamil Nadu. Companies/agencies have to apply to respective District Collectors through TN ePass website.

The individuals have to be transported at the cost of the company/manpower agency in buses, vans etc. Those who test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival are to be sent to “room quarantine”. All individuals who are asymptomatic and have completed 14 days of room quarantine can be deployed at work sites with proper measures for hygiene.

– Dennis S. Jesudasan

5:50 p.m. | Indore

Congress leader, workers booked for Indore rally

A local Congress leader and several others were booked for holding a rally to protest against what they claimed were harsh lockdown rules amid the coronavirus outbreak, police said.

Nearly 300 Congress workers took part in the rally and its leader Chintu Choukse and four others were booked under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) 341 (wrongful restraint) 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), a sub inspector with Pardeshipura police station said.

More participants will be booked based on CCTV footage, the official added.

Eye-witnesses said the protesters set an effigy of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on fire, and the flames were doused by policemen at the site. – PTI

5:40 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi govt. has taken adequate steps to handle COVID-19 cases, says High Court

The Delhi High Court Monday said the AAP government has taken adequate steps like increasing the number of ambulances, augmenting the capacity of helplines, ramping up testing facilities and creating plasma banks to handle the COVID-19 cases in the national capital.

A Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said that in view of the steps taken by the Delhi government, it was not going to further monitor the PIL initiated by the High Court to assess the preparedness of the authorities here to handle the rising COVID-19 cases now and during the coming days.

The Bench directed the Delhi government to ensure that the official orders and directions issued by it and the court with regard to real time update of data of availability of beds and ventilators as also conducting tests be followed by the hospitals. – PTI

5:30 p.m. | New Delhi

Don’t extend loan moratorium as some entities taking undue advantage, HDFC Chairman tells RBI governor

Noted banker and HDFC Ltd Chairman Deepak Parekh on Monday urged RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das not to extend moratorium on repayment of loans as many entities who are capable to repay are taking undue advantage of the scheme and this is hurting the financial sector, especially NBFCs.

The six-month moratorium on repayment of loan extended by banks and financial institutions on the direction of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will come to an end on August 31.

There are growing demands for extending the facility by another three months, as income disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic still continues since business is not as usual due to renewed lockdown in various parts of the country. – PTI

5:20 p.m. | Patna

Lalu tests negative for COVID-19; three of his attendants diagnosed with disease

Jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad, currently undergoing treatment at a Ranchi hospital for multiple ailments, has tested negative for COVID-19, a senior doctor at the facility said on Monday.

Three of his attendants, however, have been diagnosed with the disease, he said.

The report of his swab sample test that came late on Sunday showed that Prasad did not contract the infection, Dr Umesh Prasad, who is attending to the ailing RJD supremo at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), told PTI.

His samples, along with those of his attendants, were sent for examination on Saturday as a precautionary measure. – PTI

5:10 p.m. | New Delhi

India’s COVID-19 fatality rate progressively falling, currently stands at 2.28%: Govt

India’s COVID-19 fatality rate has been progressively falling and currently stands at 2.28% 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. It also said that the recovery rate has been improving consistently and the total recoveries have now crossed the nine lakh-mark.

India also recorded more than 30,000 recoveries in a single day for the fourth successive day with 31,991 patients discharged in the last 24 hours, the ministry said.

The number of recovered patients now stands at 9,17,567 with the recovery rate at 64%, it said. – PTI

5:00 p.m. | Mumbai

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, daughter Aaradhya discharged after testing negative for COVID-19

Actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter were discharged from Nanavati Hospital on Monday after having tested negative for COVID-19.

Tweeting about the discharge, her husband and actor Abhishek Bachchan said, “Thank you all for your continued prayers and good wishes. Indebted forever. Aishwarya and Aaradhya have thankfully tested negative and have been discharged from the hospital. They will now be at home. My father and I remain in hospital under the care of the medical staff.”

4:50 p.m. | Andhra Pradesh

Rates fixed for rapid antigen tests in Andhra Pradesh

The government on Monday ordered that the rate for rapid antigen testing of private samples in ICMR – approved and private NABH/NABL – accredited laboratories should not be more than ₹750 per test including the rapid kit cost and PPE and manpower costs.

Once the result is known for symptomatic negative cases, samples should be collected using viral transport media and sent to tied-up VRDL labs for retesting by RT-PCR machine.

In such cases, the patients should not be charged in excess of ₹2,800 per sample

4:35 p.m. | New Delhi

Israeli team working with DRDO to develop rapid COVID-19 testing kit arrives in India

A high-level team of researchers from Israel arrived in New Delhi on Monday to take forward the work it has been doing with India to develop a rapid testing kit for COVID-19 which can give the result within 30 seconds.

Israel’s Ambassador to India Ron Malka said if the testing kit is developed, it could be a “game changer” in the battle against COVID-19.

The team from the Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) in the Israeli Ministry of Defence will conduct a series of “final stages of testing” to determine the effectiveness of a number of rapid diagnostic solutions with their Indian counterparts. – PTI

4:20 p.m. | New Delhi

FICCI suggests reopening of foreign air services, cinemas, metro rail in Unlock 3.0

Industry body FICCI  in its Unlock 3.0 roadmap has suggested the government to reopen multiplexes and cinemas and metro rail, and allow international flight services, among others, with adherence to all safety precautions.

The industry chamber has also favoured reopening of schools and educational institutions keeping in mind the local situation, as it outlined standard operating procedures for lifting of several restrictions as part of Unlock 3.0.

The chamber suggested that Indian and foreign air carriers be allowed to operate between two countries. It also called for permitting usage of restaurant and eateries in hotels, opening up of cinemas and multiplexes and reopening metro rail services. – PTI

4:05 p.m. | Shillong

Shillong goes under 72-hour lockdown amid rising COVID-19 cases

A 72-hour lockdown has started in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong from Monday amid rising cases of novel coronavirus in the State, officials said. Around 30 localities, mostly in the worst-hit East Khasi Hills district, have already been declared containment zones, they said.

The lockdown in Shillong agglomeration — localities within the Shillong municipality and scheduled areas — was announced after 56 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the last two days.

Of these, 37 are armed forces personnel, including 23 troopers of the BSF, Health Services Director Aman War said. – PTI

3:50 p.m. | Chennai

Tamil Nadu CM launches free mask plan for ration card holders

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday launched a scheme for distribution of face masks free of cost through ration shops, as Tamil Nadu is putting up an intense fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Under this scheme, two reusable face masks each would be distributed to 6.74 crore persons attached to 2.08 crore ration cards across the State.

In the first phase, over 69 lakh families in Corporations (except Greater Chennai Corporation), municipalities and town panchayats limits would be distributed over 4.44 crore face masks.

3:30 p.m. | New Delhi

Varsity exams: Supreme Court gives 48 hours to UGC to respond to pleas

The Supreme Court on Monday gave the University Grants Commission (UGC) 48 hours to respond to a series of petitions filed by students challenging the Commission’s July 6 circular directing varsities and colleges to complete the final exams by September 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court refused to stay the circular but granted an early hearing on July 31.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, senior advocate A.M. Singhvi said the circular gave the States no discretion to take a call on the exams even as cases were increasing every day. “This is unreal, forced and harsh. Many States are opposed,” he submitted.

3:00 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi’s COVID-19 tally rises to 1,31,219 with 613 fresh cases; toll mounts to 3,853

Delhi recorded 613 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the national capital’s tally to over 1.31 lakh, while the death toll due to the disease mounted to 3,853, authorities said.

Twenty-six fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, a Delhi Health Department bulletin released on Monday afternoon showed.

The number of active cases stood at 10,994, down from 11,904 the previous day. – PTI

2:20 p.m. | New Delhi

SC reserves order on plea for transferring funds collected under PM CARES to NDRF

The Supreme Court reserved its order on Monday on a plea, which said all the money collected under the PM CARES Fund for the COVID-19 pandemic should be transferred to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that the PM CARES Fund is a “voluntary fund” while funds to the NDRF and SDRF are made available through budgetary allocations.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for petitioner NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), said they are not doubting the bona fide of anyone but the creation of the PM CARES Fund is allegedly in contravention of provisions of the Disaster Management Act. – PTI

1:55 p.m. | Thiruvananthapuram

Special session of Kerala Cabinet conducted via videoconference

In what was widely viewed as a classic vignette of life in the time of COVID-19, the Council of Ministers in Kerala convened for a special session of the Cabinet via videoconference, arguably for the first time in the history of the State.

Officials said the worrying pandemic situation in Kerala had forced several Ministers to remain in their home districts to manage the outbreak.

Hence, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had abandoned a conventional face-to-face Cabinet meeting for a secure web conference. A few Ministers in the capital, including Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan and Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, participated in the meeting in person.

1:15 p.m. | New Delhi

Infrastructure push can re-ignite economic growth: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday made a strong case for stepping up investments in the infrastructure sector to restart the economy reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his address to India Inc at a CII event, Mr. Das said both private and public sectors have to play an important role in developing infrastructure that requires huge investments.

Stating that recent agriculture reforms have opened new opportunities, the RBI Governor said the farm sector is emerging as a bright spot. – PTI

A medical staff takes the throat swab of Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy in the Legislative Assembly committee hall, after a legislator tested positive for COVID-19, in Puducherry on Monday.

A medical staff takes the throat swab of Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy in the Legislative Assembly committee hall, after a legislator tested positive for COVID-19, in Puducherry on Monday.  
| Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar


12.50 pm | Telangana

Capped charges not applicable for those who avail insurance, says Telangana

An announcement by the Telangana Health department on capped prices for COVID-19 treatment has shocked people. State’s Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said that the prices capped by the State government for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals were not applicable to patients who subscribe to insurance schemes.

So higher rates might be charged for those holding insurance policies. However, it remains unclear whether corporate hospitals will accept insurance schemes at all for COVID-19 treatment, even if the rates for the treatment are high. A few people complained that they were asked to pay in cash.

12.20 pm | Delhi

Delhi CM launches new job portal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday appealed to citizens to play their part in reviving the economy of the city while taking adequate precautions against COVID-19.

He also announced the launch of a job portal,, intended to bridge the gap between potential employers and employees and appealed to migrant labourers who had left the city during the lockdown to return.

“It is my appeal to all the 2 crore people of Delhi who have managed to control the Coronavirus with their hard work, understanding and care that now we have to fix the economy of Delhi too, we have to bring it back on track,” he said.– Jatin Anand

12 pm | Karnataka

Source unknown in 55% of cases in Karnataka

With surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, the source of 55% of the total 90,942 positive cases reported in Karnataka is unknown.

According to analysis of the State war room of 90,942 cases reported till Saturday, the source of how 50,151 individuals contracted the virus is still not known and multiple agencies are unable to track this.

While the largest chunk of cases fall under the “under investigation category”, cases with domestic travel history comprise of 33% of the total cases. Meanwhile, 10% of the cases are contacts of patients who tested positive. Out of the total 90,942 cases, only 0.8% cases are learnt to have an international travel history.

11.30 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra hospital loses COVID-19 facility tag due to lapses

A private hospital in Bhiwandi township of Maharashtra’s Thane district has been stripped of its status as a COVID-19 treatment facility after several lapses were found in its functioning, a civic official said on Monday.

It was observed that the COVID-19 death rate at the hospital was high. The facility, located in Kamatghar area, also did not have specialist doctors to treat the patients and lacked physicians, Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation’s medical officer of health Dr. Nitin Mokashi said.

It did not follow treatment protocols of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), hence it was decided to strip the hospital of its status as a COVID-19 treatment facility, he said. Patients currently undergoing treatment at the facility will be immediately shifted to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Bhiwandi for further treatment, he said. – PTI

11 am | USA

Moderna to begin final phase of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine

The United States has doubled its investment — to nearly $1 billion — to expedite development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine by American firm Moderna, which on Monday begins the decisive final phase of clinical trials.

The government now plans to spend up to $472 million on top of the previously announced $483 million, the Moderna biotechnology company announced Sunday.

Moderna said the added investment was justified by its decision, in conjunction with the government, to “significantly” expand a Phase Three clinical trial of a candidate vaccine to include 30,000 participants. – AFP

A mask and flower petals as a tribute to a person who died of COVID-19 in New Delhi.

A mask and flower petals as a tribute to a person who died of COVID-19 in New Delhi.  
| Photo Credit: V. V. Krishnan


10.30 am | China

China reports highest daily domestic infections since March 6

China reported 61 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 26, up from 46 cases a day earlier, the health commission said on Monday, with new infections not involving people returning from overseas hitting the highest number since early March.

Of the 61 new cases, some 57 were domestic transmissions, the health commission said, the most since March 6 when 75 new infections were reported. – Reuters

10 am | Manipur

Computer operator in Manipur CM’s office tests positive

A computer operator in the office of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and health officials have declared the Durbar Hall and some other portions as containment zone.

Health officials said that as of Sunday, there were 2,573 positive cases and 1,524 had recovered. The active cases were 652. There has been no death in Manipur due to the virus so far.

9.30 am | India

Nearly 50,000 new COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

India has registered nearly half a lakh COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, according to the daily bulletin from the Union Health Ministry. A record single-day spike of 49,931 COVID-19 cases has pushed India’s caseload to 14,35,453, it said.

The death toll has risen to 32,771 with 708 new fatalities, it added.

According to government data, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stands at 4,85,114, while 9,17,567 people have recovered. – PTI

9 am

PM Modi to launch COVID-19 testing facilities in Noida, Mumbai and Kolkata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch “high throughput COVID-19 testing” facilities capable of testing up to 10,000 samples daily, on Monday, according to a statement from the Press Information Bureau.

“These facilities have been set up at the ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida; ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai; and ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, and will be able to test over 10,000 samples in a day. These labs will also reduce turn-around-time and exposure of lab personnel to infectious clinical materials. The labs are enabled to test diseases other than COVID as well, and post the pandemic, will be able to test for Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cytomegalovirus, Chlamydia, Neisseria, Dengue,” the press statement said.

8.30 am

COVID-19 task force not in favour of emergency use of psoriasis drug itolizumab

The COVID-19 task force, at a meeting on Friday, recommended against the emergency use of psoriasis drug, itolizumab, according to a person privy to proceedings.

Task force recommendations usually reflect in periodic guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research on what drugs, therapies may be used under what conditions for COVID-19 patients.

Because the ICMR is yet to issue fresh guidelines on itolizumab, the drug can still be used by physicians as it still has been approved this month for emergency use by the drug regulator.

8 am | Education

Most parents in Karnataka, Delhi, T.N. want longer online classes: poll

Although the Centre has recommended a three-hour limit on live online classes for school kids, it is up to States to actually frame and enforce mandatory norms. An online poll on the Local Circles has found that a majority of the over 20,000 respondents thought the limits were too restrictive, with parents from Karnataka, Delhi and Tamil Nadu especially keen to allow longer classes.

Opinions differed by State. In Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, a majority of parents believed that the overall cap of three hours proposed by the government should be followed. Only about a sixth of parents in these States wanted a 5-hour cap instead.

Meanwhile, online classrooms have exposed teachers to cyberbullying from their students. Here is how schools can deal with this problem.

7.30 am | Sikkim

Sikkim extends coronavirus lockdown till August 1

The Sikkim government has extended the Statewide lockdown till August 1 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a notification.

A complete, six-day lockdown, imposed by the hilly state, was scheduled to end on Sunday.

The State reported its first COVID-19 death on Sunday after a 74-year-old man succumbed to the disease at a State-run hospital here, the official said. – PTI

7 am | Nagaland

8-day lockdown begins in Nagaland’s Dimapur district

An eight-day total lockdown began in Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, from Sunday to stem the spread of COVID-19, district task force officials said.

Out of the 1,339 coronavirus positive cases in the State, Dimapur district with 527 has the highest number of people infected by the virus followed by Kohima with 334 confirmed cases, health officials said.

The Kohima district administration had already announced a seven-day lockdown starting from July 25 in the State capital. – PTI

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