India crossed the 7-million mark on Sunday, adding a million cases in just 13 days.
India’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 7.37 million on Friday, having risen by 63,371 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed. Deaths from COVID-19 infections rose by 895 to 112,161, the ministry said.
India crossed the 7-million mark on Sunday, adding a million cases in just 13 days. It has the world’s second-highest tally after the United States, where the figure is nearing 8 million.
Here are the latest updates:
Novel test to detect loss of smell in asymptomatic patients
Loss of smell, which is one of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection, can now be quickly and accurately measured using a novel method developed by researchers at IISER Pune.
Using a custom-built olfactory action meter, which determines how well one can smell, the team led by Dr. Nixon Abraham from the Department of Biology at IISER Pune, were able to identify people infected with the virus but have no typical symptoms such as fever, fatigue etc.
To access the olfactory functions of asymptomatic people, the researchers tested 34 patients admitted in isolation wards at B.J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospitals, Pune. The researchers were able to detect olfactory deficits in 82% of people with asymptomatic infection. That only 15% of those with asymptomatic infection were aware of their inability to smell before participating in the test, highlights the ability of the new method to detect asymptomatic cases that might otherwise not be detected. The results were published in the journal EClinical Medicine.
India’s COVID-19 fatality rate 1.52%, lowest since March 22: Health Ministry
India has one of the lowest COVID-19 deaths per million population in the world with less than 1,000 fatalities registered daily since October 4, while the fatality rate of 1.52% on Friday was the lowest since March 22, the Union Health Ministry said.
These results have been boosted by 22 states and Union Territories which have demonstrated better performance and are reporting even lower deaths per million population compared to the national average, it said.
“The COVID-19 case fatality rate has been on the slide continuously. At the current figure of 1.52%, it is the lowest since March 22,” it highlighted.
Thirteen states and Union Territories, including Puducherry (403), Maharashtra (335), Goa (331), Delhi (317), Karnataka (152), Tamil Nadu (135) and Punjab (131), had deaths per million population more than the national average.
Ghulam Nabi Azad tests positive for COVID-19
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has tested positive for COVID-19 and has quarantined himself at home.
Earlier senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora and Abhishek Singhvi had tested positive for COVID-19.
While Mr. Singhvi has recovered, other leaders are still under treatment
Bihar minister Kapil Deo Kamat dies of COVID-19
Bihar’s Panchayati Raj Minister Kapil Deo Kamat succumbed to COVID-19 early on Friday at AIIMS, Patna, family sources said. He was 70.
Kamat is survived by two sons and four daughters. His wife died a few months ago.
The JD(U) MLA from Babubarhi assembly constituency was admitted to the hospital on October 1 after he tested positive for the disease.
Central teams sent to five States
High-level central teams have been deputed to Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, which have been reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases, to support them in management of the disease.
The Union Health Ministry on Friday said these teams will support the state towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases.
Each team comprises a joint secretary (nodal officer for the respective state), one public health expert to look after the public health aspects, one clinician to look after infection prevention practices and clinical management protocol being followed by the State. – PTI
Priority to people’s health over Navratri celebrations: Rupani
Justifying restrictions placed on Navratri events in Gujarat this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday said his government gave priority to public health over celebrations.
The Gujarat government has banned organisation of ’garba’ events, a key feature of Navratri involving traditional dance, across the state.
Only COVID-19 negative for Sabarimala
All devotees preparing to undertake the Sabarimala pilgrimage trek will have to produce a certificate showing that they are COVID-19 negative within 48 hours of starting the trek.
They would also have to produce a medical certificate certifying that they were fit enough to make the Sabarimala trek, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
He said that the insistence on the certificate of good health should not be seen as harassment of devotees. On the other hand, it was for the safety and protection of the devotees.
Most COVID-19 hospitals practising ‘rooming-in’ newborns with mothers
Following emerging evidence that transmission of COVID-19 from mother to baby is very rare, most COVID-19 hospitals that were initially separating newborns from the infected mothers are now practising “rooming-in”.
Paediatricians, who assert that benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks of transmission, are of the view that COVID-19 antibodies in breast milk protect the babies. Hence, infected mothers are being advised to continue breastfeeding with adequate precautions.
Remdesivir did not cut hospital stay or mortality in COVID-19 patients, WHO says
Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients’ length of hospital stay or chances of survival, a clinical trial by the World Health Organization (WHO) has found.
Remdesivir was among the first to be used as a treatment for COVID-19, and was one of the drugs recently used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.
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The results are from WHO’s “Solidarity” trial, which evaluated the effects of four potential drug regimens, including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, in 11,266 adult patients across more than 30 countries. The results of the trial have yet to be reviewed and were uploaded on the preprint server medRxiv.
“We’re looking at what’s next. We’re looking at monoclonal anti-bodies, we’re looking at immunomodulators and some of the newer anti-viral drugs that have been developed in the last few months,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.
Theatres reopen to poor response
After staying shut for more than six months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, theatres and multiplexes reopened to a poor response on Thursday. Multiplexes across the city resumed operations as per the guidelines issued under Unlock 5. However, theatre owners are hopeful of bouncing back to business during the festive season when new multistarrer movies are scheduled to release.
Following the protocol, all theatres have maintained that auditorium occupancy will not be more than 50%, adjacent seats on either sides will be left vacant. Floor markers will be placed at ticket counter and food counters. Digital modes of transactions have been encouraged. Availability of PPE kits for purchase has also been made.
Even Pakistan, Afghanistan handled COVID better than India: Rahul Gandhi on IMF projections
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Centre on Friday over IMF’s projection that the Indian economy is set to contract by a massive 10.3% this year, saying it was another “solid achievement” by the government.
Mr. Gandhi took a swipe at the government on Twitter by tagging a chart that showed IMF growth projections for 2020-21 for Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India.
The chart showed that the Indian economy is projected to contract by a massive 10.3% this year, the highest contraction among the countries mentioned.