Is coronavirus an airborne infection? Uncertainity surrounds this as the World Health Organisation admitted that there is evidence emerging of that possibility, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.
This is particularly worrying for the densely-populated metro cities in India, which have already emerged as hotspots of COVID-19. The Union Health Ministry has said that it is “closely watching the dynamic evolution of the virus situation in India.”
Here are the latest updates:
2.30 pm | Meghalaya
Rs 500 fine for violating COVID-19 protocols
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the state government has decided to impose fine of Rs 500 on people who violate the COVID-19 safety protocols which include social distancing, wearing of mask, not spitting in public places.
“For first time violators, a fine of Rs 500 will be imposed and this will be increased to Rs 1,000 for repeated offence. We need to ensure people take the protocols seriously. These are simple rules which will help you to protect your family,” he said.
2.00 pm | Karnataka
Karnataka CM to ‘work from home’ after staff test positive for coronavirus
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said he would work from home as a precautionary measure after some of the staff in his office- cum-residence tested positive for coronavirus.
In a statement, Mr. Yediyurappa said, “I am going to discharge my duties from home from today for the next few days in view of some of the staff in the office-cum-residence Krishna testing positive for coronavirus.”
He said he would give necessary directions and suggestions online.
Noting that he was healthy, Mr. Yediyurappa appealed to the people not to panic.
1.20 pm | Karnataka
ASHA workers boycott work; contact tracing hit
Demanding a fixed honorarium of ₹12,000 and adequate personal protection equipment, ASHA workers in the State stopped work on Friday.
Following this, tracing of primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 positive patients and coordination work for quarantining of asymptomatic patients, apart from regular activities including immunisation and mother/child tracking, have been hit across the State.
12.50 pm | Maharashtra
With record spike of 1,803, Pune COVID-19 tally reaches 34,399
Pune district in Maharashtra reported its highest single-day spike of 1,803 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed its overall count to 34,399.
This single-day rise was reported on Thursday, an official said.
The death toll in the district reached 978 with 34 more people succumbing to the infection on Thursday, the official said.
“Of the 1,803 cases, as many as 1,032 were reported from the areas located in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits, where the number of patients has reached 24,977,” he said.
A total of 581 patients were discharged from hospitals post recovery across the district during the day.
12.20 pm | Tamil Nadu
Nurses at Ramanathapuram government hospital stage protest
Opposing the ‘sudden’ transfer of two senior male nurses from the Ramanathapuram headquarters hospital to taluk units in the district, about 50 nurses resorted to a demonstration by sitting in front of the Government Hospital on Friday morning.
Representatives of the agitating nurses, affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Nurses Association (Ramanathapuram branch), told journalists that substandard food was served to quarantined nurses, who had worked in the COVID-19 ward. “Last week, two of our colleagues complained of vomiting and diarrhoea,” a nurse alleged, adding that authorities had dismissed the issue.
The nurses said that they had a strong suspicion that those who questioned the quality of food have been shifted out of the hospital.
12 pm | India
Housing sales down 67% in April-June: Report
Housing sales fell 67% at 21,294 units across nine major cities during April-June due to outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and natiowide lockdown, according to data analytics firm PropEquity.
Recently, property consultant Anarock had released its data that showed an estimated 81% fall in sales at 12,740 units across seven cities during April-June this year.
According to PropEquity, total housing sales during April-June 2020 stood at 21,294 units, down 67% from 64,378 units in the year-ago period.
Barring Noida, all other eight cities witnessed a decline in sales.
|City||Decline in sales|
11.30 am | China
WHO experts to visit China as part of COVID-19 investigation
Nearly eight months after the emergence of coronavirus in China’s Wuhan, two World Health Organisation experts have headed to Beijing to lay the groundwork for a larger mission to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One animal health expert and one epidemiologist during their visit will work to fix the scope and terms of reference for the future mission aimed at learning how the virus jumped from animals to humans, the statement from the United Nations body said.
The last WHO coronavirus-specific mission to China was in February, after which the team’s leader, Canadian doctor Bruce Aylward, praised China’s containment efforts and information-sharing. Canadian and American officials have since criticised him as being too lenient on China. – AP
Patterns get complicated
In Kerala, about 500 homesteads, mainly comprising women belonging to the Mannadiyar community, have been making ‘murukku’ for around 300 years. The homesteads are concentrated at Mangalamkunnu, Cherpulasseri, Karipode, and Koduvayur. The COVID-19-imposed lockdown and subsequent drop in demand have hit the business hard.
For more interesting snaps and photo stories, follow us on Instagram @the_hindu
11 am | Maharashtra
Mumbai Metropolitan Region needs to catch up in COVID-19 battle, says CM
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed concern at the surge in COVID-19 cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in recent days and urged municipal commissioners of Mumbai’s neighbouring districts to emulate the efforts made by officials in the State capital, where fresh infections have been slowed down and healthcare capacity ramped up in the past few months.
The MMR, including Thane, Navi Mumbai, Vasai-Virar, Palghar, Raigad, Panvel and Kalyan-Dombivli, reported 2,816 cases on Thursday, while Mumbai city reported 1,268 cases. These corporations now account for over 70,000 of the nearly 1.6 lakh cases from the region, which in turn forms a bulk of the 2.3 lakh plus cases in the State.
10.30 am | Uttar Pradesh
UP govt imposes ‘curbs’ from Friday night to Monday morning
The Uttar Pradesh government has imposed what is essentially a lockdown in the State from 10 p.m. on Friday till 5 a.m. on Monday, except for essential and some other services.
The curbs have been imposed in the State to check the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, Chief Secretary R.K. Tiwari said in an order communicated to all district authorities in the State.
The government, however, insisted that it is not a lockdown. – PTI
10 am | India
Update on India’s COVID-19 numbers:
India has registered another record single-day jump of 26,506 COVID-19 cases. With this, the country’s tally is now 7,93,802.
The death toll has climbed to 21,604 with 475 new fatalities, according to Union Health Ministry data.
According to government’s data, there are currently 2,76,685 active cases in India.
9.30 am | West Bengal
West Bengal’s containment zones go into 7-day complete lockdown
With 27 deaths in the past 24 hours, the overall toll rose to 854. Thirteen deaths were recorded in Kolkata, six in North 24 Parganas, three in Howrah, two in South 24 parganas and Darjeeling districts. The total number of cases in the State has touched 25,911 with 8,231 active cases.
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8 am | Chennai
Chennai accounts for less than a third of fresh cases in TN
Chennai accounted for less than a third of the 4,231 fresh COVID-19 cases recorded in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. While the total number of persons discharged after treatment went past 50,000 in the city, a 25-day-old baby with a congenital anomaly was among the 65 fatalities reported across the State.
Chennai continued to stay at the 1,200-mark for the third day running. With 1,216 fresh cases, the city’s overall count stood at 73,728.