Coronavirus live | Odisha to launch State-level sero survey from August 29

As many as 14 children lodged at a government-run juvenile home at Ulhasnagar in Thane district of Maharashtra have tested positive for coronavirus, a civic official said on August 28. With cases on a rise in Kerala, the State government has introduced a slew of measures to bring down the positivity rate

The cumulative COVID-19 vaccines doses administered in the country has crossed 63 crore, the Union Health Ministry said on August 28.

Over 65 lakh doses were administered on August 28, according to the 7 pm provisional report. Final reports for the day would be completed by late in the night, the ministry said.

Also Read: ZyCoV-D vaccine safe and effective for adolescents, says expert

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Singapore fully vaccinates 80% of population against COVID-19

Singapore has fully inoculated 80% of its 5.7 million people against COVID-19, the health minister said on August 29, becoming the world’s most vaccinated country and setting the stage for further easing of curbs.

"We have crossed another milestone, where 80% of our population has received their full regimen of two doses," Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post. -REUTERS

UAE resumes issuing tourist visas to vaccinated travellers – WAM

The United Arab Emirates said it will resume issuing tourist visas to vaccinated travellers from Aug. 30, the state news agency (WAM) reported on August 28.

The decision also covered people coming in from countries from which the UAE had previously barred entry, WAM reported. In those cases, visitors would have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival, it added. -REUTERS

Reopen Classes VI to VIII after September 13, says Karnataka TAC

The State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended that the government should consider reopening schools for classes VI to VIII from September 13 onwards. This can be done after studying the impact of the current reopening of classes (for Class IX onwards) in the coming three weeks, the TAC has suggested.

Classes for IX, X and pre-university students commenced from August 23 in the State. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had earlies this month announced the reopening of classes for students of Class IX onwards from August 23, had said that a decision regarding classes VI to VIII would be taken by the end of August. In this background, the Chief Minister has convened a meeting of the TAC and other COVID-19 experts on Monday. There are 29 lakh children in the age group of 11-13 studying in Classes VI to VIII. The TAC that discussed the reopening of schools at its 123rd meeting held on August 26 has said that with the Ganesha festival falling on September 10, a three-week wait before resuming Classes VI to VIII was advisable as it would cover one incubation period.

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Vaccination camps to be held in colleges

From August 29, the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine will conduct special COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to inoculate students aged 18 and above, studying in government, aided and private arts and science colleges and professional courses, such as agriculture, engineering and polytechnic.

In a letter to all Deputy Directors of Health Services (DDHS) and city medical officer of the Greater Chennai Corporation, T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health, said the Health Minister and Higher Education Minister had announced that all students above 18 had to be vaccinated immediately.

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India unlikely to witness a surge in cases in September

NITI Aayog’s penchant for projecting unrealistic trends of daily COVID-19 cases without sharing the basis on which such projections are made continues.

On April 24 last year, at the daily Health Ministry briefing, NITI Aayog member Dr. V.K. Paul presented a chart predicting the trend of COVID-19 cases in India. With over 1,500 daily new infections, it showed the cases peaking on May 3, 2020 and then dropping to 1,000 cases by May 12 and down to zero by May 16, 2020. In reality, on May 16, India saw 4,987 cases, the highest single-day spike. In the fourth week of May last year, Dr. Paul clarified that no one had ever said that the number of cases would go down to zero on a particular date. He called it a “misunderstanding”.

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Odisha to launch state-level serological survey from August 29

The Odisha government on August 28 asked authorities of 12 districts to extend support to the city-based Regional Medical Research Centre of ICMR, which will commence a state-level serological survey from August 29.

RMRC Bhubaneswar of the Indian Council of Medical Research will conduct the exercise in Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Khurda, Puri, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur, an official said.

“The serological survey will be conducted to assess the age-specific prevalence of SARC-CoV-2 antibodies among common people and healthcare workers in the State,” Health and Family Welfare Department’s Additional Chief Secretary PK Mohapatra said. -PTI

PDP accuses J-K administration of applying Covid protocol only to party’s meetings

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on August 28 accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of selectively applying the COVID-19 protocol only to the party’s meetings while overlooking it for others.

It was referring to a musical event at Sher-e-Kashmir Park where Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was the chief guest. -PTI

Kerala

Kerala Govt. reinstates night curfew, weekend lockdown

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has reinstated night curfew (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and weekend lockdown from Sunday.

He said the restrictions were necessary to moderate the steepening curve of COVID-19 infections, reduce hospitalisations, and prevent deaths.

Mr. Vijayan asked Kerala to brace for a third wave. Infections had spiked after Onam. The pandemic showed no sign of slackening its vice-like grip. The days ahead were fraught with danger and warranted utmost caution. The road back to normalcy was exasperating and protracted.

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CM rejects opposition charges on rising COVID-19 cases; cites low CFR

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on August 28 reacted sharply to the Opposition Congress allegations over "mismanagement’ in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the State’s Case Fatality Rate was below the national average, none had died due to lack of oxygen facility and no patient had to scramble to get a hospital bed.

Amid the rising cases and the opposition attack, Mr. Vijayan met the media after over a one month gap and alleged that certain elements were trying to malign the state and said the people had seen the reality, "which cannot be erased." He also announced that night curfew would be enforced in the state from next week from 10 PM to 6 AM to prevent the spread of pandemic. -PTI

CM asks people to behave responsibly, focus on COVID-19 fight

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on August 28 said the Centre’s directives to States to ensure there is no crowding during the upcoming festivals underlines the need to prioritise lives of people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a public appeal, Mr. Thackeray sought cooperation from political and social groups as well as all spheres of society as COVID-19 continued to hang over everyone’s heads like the "sword of Damocles". -PTI

Delhi BJP accuses AAP govt of shrugging off responsibility of students’ safety

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta on August 28 called the city government’s decision of reopening schools "hollow", adding that Education Minister Manish Sisodia himself was "unclear" about the preparations of schools in this regard.

Following a marked improvement in the coronavirus situation in the national capital, the AAP government had on August 26 announced that schools for classes 9 to 12, colleges and coaching institutions would reopen from September 1.

Mr. Gupta also accused the government of not owning the responsibility of "life, health and safety" of the students. -PTI

COVID-19 curbs extended till Sep 15, coaching centres told to operate with 50% capacity

The West Bengal government on Saturday extended COVID-19 restrictions in the State till September 15, with an additional relaxation allowing coaching centres to operate with 50% capacity from next month.

The restrictions, imposed on May 16, were last extended till August 31.

"Coaching centres for competitive examinations may remain open with 50% capacity”, provided the premises are sanitised regularly and other COVID-19 norms are adhered to. -PTI

Russia’s COVID-19 deaths hit new high in July

A new report from Russia’s state statistics agency shows the country recorded a record number of deaths in July of people infected with coronavirus.

The report from the Rosstat agency said 50,421 people suffering from COVID-19 died during the month, sharply higher than the previous record of 44,435 in December. -AP

Around 7,000 ICU beds to be added in Delhi, says CM

Around 7,000 ICU beds will be added in government-run hospitals of the national capital in view of an impending third wave of COVID-19, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on August 28.

This will increase the ICU bed capacity in the capital by 70%, he said. -PTI

Amid third wave fears, Kolkata Police to arrest people without masks

Amid warnings of probable arrival of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by September, Kolkata Police has decided to arrest people venturing out without masks, a senior officer said on August 28.

The arrested persons, however, would be granted bail on payment of Rs 100 as a fine, he said.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of senior police officers and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials on August 26, he said. -PTI

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