Kerala on Tuesday recorded the highest single-day spike with 272 new cases ever since the COVID-19 outbreak. However, more than the number of new cases, it is the rising trend in cases occurring in the community through local transmission that is ringing the alarm bells as far as the Health Department is concerned.
Here are the latest updates:
7.05 p.m. | Gujarat
Show cause notice to Ahmedabad hospital for fleecing patient
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has issued a show cause notice to a private hospital for allegedly overcharging a coronavirus patient, an official said Wednesday.
The civic body had received a complaint from the son of the COVID-19 patient stating that the hospital charged them more than the rates prescribed by the government, he said.
6.50 p.m. | Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu students stuck in Kyrgyzstan wish to return
Students from Tamil Nadu studying at various universities in Kyrgyzstan submitted video pleas to India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on June 7, seeking safe return in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday, K. Ganesh Kumar, a student from Madurai who went to Kyrgyzstan’s Osh State Medical University in 2017, said only two flights had been arranged by the Centre to fly to Chennai in the four phases of ‘Vande Bharat’ mission.
The flights accommodated 168 people each in two phases — on July 2 and July 4.
6.30 p.m. | Kashmir
Gardens, parks in Kashmir reopen after three months of lockdown
Gardens and parks in Kashmir reopened on Wednesday morning after remaining closed for over 100 days due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, officials said.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration had on Tuesday announced the reopening of all gardens and parks as part of a gradual unlocking process.
Hundreds of morning walkers and joggers flocked to various parks early this morning, the officials said.
6.15 p.m. | New Delhi
Lockdown in containment zones in Bengal for 7 days from 5 p.m. tomorrow
Lockdown will be imposed in containment zones in West Bengal for seven days from 5 p.m. on Thursday to check the surge in novel coronavirus cases, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
The situation will be reviewed after the seven days and the next course of action will be decided, she said at the State secretariat here.
“This lockdown in containment zones in West Bengal will continue for seven days from 5 pm Thursday. Will review the situation after seven days and then decide next course of action on lockdown,” the Chief Minister said.
5.55 p.m. | New Delhi
Staggered Amarnath Yatra; 500 pilgrims daily due to COVID-19
The annual Amarnath Yatra in the Himalayas will be conducted in a staggered manner and not more than 500 pilgrims will be allowed to visit the sacred cave shrine of Lord Shiva daily due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Wednesday.
The issue of pilgrimages to the Amarnath and Vaishnodevi shrines, both located in Jammu and Kashmir, was discussed at a high-level meeting attended by Union ministers G Kishan Reddy and Jitendra Singh and senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Jammu and Kashmir administration.
The Amarnath Yatra is likely to commence on July 21.
5.35 p.m. | Bihar
Strict lockdown in Patna from July 10
The Bihar government on Wednesday announced to implement strict lockdown in Patna from July 10 to July 16 due to an alarming surge in Covid-19 positive cases. Under this lockdown, government offices, public corporations, all private and commercial establishments will remain closed but essential services like ration, dairy, Vegetables and meat shops will be opened from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.. All places of worship and religious gatherings will also be closed.
5.15 p.m. | Maharashtra
Hospital mix-up causes family to cremate ‘kin’ twice
A family from Kopri in Thane city, who had cremated a stranger due to a goof-up by a COVID-19 hospital, will now again have to perform the last rites of their kin who died of the infection late on Tuesday night.
The matter came to light when the family of a 72- year-old patient filed a complaint with the police stating that the man had gone missing from Global Hub Covid Hospital, where he was shifted for treatment on June 29.
Investigations revealed that the body of the septuagenarian, who had disappeared from the hospital on July 5, was allegedly handed over to the family of another COVID-19 patient who was very much alive at the time, an official said.
4.40 pm | Gujarat
AMC to screen ‘super spreaders’ for COVID-19 in Ahmedabad
The civic body in Ahmedabad city has started screening “super spreaders” for COVID-19 across 48 wards of the city to contain the viral spread.
“Starting Wednesday, we formed 48 teams, one team for each ward of the city, to screen potential super spreaders,” the AMC’s health department said in a release.
The civic body has added street food vendors, paan shop owners and salon owners and employees to its list of “super spreaders”, the notice stated.
4.10 pm | Tamil Nadu
TN Electricity Minister tests positive for coronavirus
Electricity Minister and AIADMK leader, P Thangamani has tested positive for coronavirus. The Minister was admitted to a private hospital for treatment today following the test result.
He is the second Minister to test positive after Higher Education Minister K P Anbalagan.
3.50 pm | New Delhi
Centre to provide affordable homes on rent for migrant workers
The Union Cabinet has approved a scheme to provide affordable housing accommodation on rent for migrant workers in 107 cities.
There are 1.08 lakh houses in 107 cities that are ready, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
This will be done through municipal corporations under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
3.40 pm | New Delhi
Cabinet has approved extension of the time limit for availing benefits of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for Ujjwala beneficiaries by three months.
In April, the Prime Minister had announced that Ujjwala beneficiaries would get three LPG cylinders for free. The scheme has been extended upto September now.
Cabinet has also approved extension of the scheme for EPF contribution by government for small establishments from June to August.
3.30 pm | New Delhi
Cabinet approves extension of free foodgrain scheme till November
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet has approved extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently made an announcement regarding this during his address to the nation.
As many as 81 crore people will be benefitted by this scheme by getting free ration for eight months now, from April to November. It will cost the exchequer Rs. 1,49,000 crore, Mr. Javadekar said.
Migrant workers who have returned to cities will continue to get ration, he added.
3.00 pm | Delhi
AIIMS starts tele-consultation guidance on COVID-19 for State doctors
Aimed at reducing coronavirus (COVID-19) mortality, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Delhi) has started tele-consultation guidance for State doctors on COVID-19 clinical management.
Ten hospitals with more than 1,000 beds participated in the first session. The sessions will be held twice every week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
2.25 pm | Jharkhand
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren goes into home quarantine
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has quarantined himself at his Ranchi residence after a cabinet minister whom he had met recently tested positive for COVID-19, an official statement said on Wednesday.
Drinking and Sanitation Minister Mithilesh Thakur was tested positive for COVID-19. Another Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLA Mathura Mahato is also undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
1.50 pm | Puducherry
Raj Nivas shut down for two days
The Raj Nivas, home-office of Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, was shut down for 48 hours on Wednesday to disinfect the premises after an office assistant tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a source in Raj Nivas, the staff had been tested on Monday and the results came in on Wednesday morning. “The person worked in one section of the Raj Nivas and was not in contact with the office of the Lt. Governor,” he said.
The health department has launched contact tracing and will be testing about 15 persons who were working at close quarters with the COVID-19 patient. All possible contacts are placed in quarantine.
1.10 pm | Assam
Assam police launch probe into partying by personnel during lockdown
The Assam police have initiated a probe into a few of their officers allegedly “attending a party with alcoholic beverages” aboard a luxury cruise during curfew hours and lockdown.
The inquiry follows an instruction from State Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna on July 7 with reference to a “damaging report” regarding the partying on the evening of July 6. “This reflects very poorly on the policemen and displays total disregard to orders under the Disaster Act,” the Chief Secretary said in the order, seeking a report and disciplinary proceedings against the personnel involved.
12.40 pm | Arunachal Pradesh
Capital Complex SP office in Arunachal sealed after woman constable tests COVID-19 positive
The office of the Superintendent of Police in Arunachal Pradesh’s Capital Complex region, where a week-long total lockdown is underway, has been sealed after a woman constable deployed there tested positive for COVID-19, a top police officer said on Wednesday.
Director General of Police (DGP), R P Upadhaya, said that the Capital Complex SP office was sealed on Tuesday evening and its 80 staff members will be tested for COVID-19 during the day.
“The office will reopen only after proper disinfection of the building and campus,” he said.
12.25 pm | Odisha
BJD MLA becomes second legislator in Odisha to test positive for COVID-19
Ruling BJD MLA Prasant Behera has tested positive for COVID-19, the second legislator in Odisha to have contracted the disease. The lawmaker from Salipur in Cuttack district was admitted to a COVID-19 hospital.
Behera had come in contact with BJP’s Nilgiri MLA Sukanta Kumar Nayak, who tested positive for the infection on Monday, and has been undergoing treatment at a hospital in Balasore, an official said. Behera’s personal security officer and driver have also contracted the disease
12.10 pm | Delhi
Kejriwal seeks report from health secretary on COVID-19 deaths
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought a detailed analytical report from the Delhi government’s health secretary on factors responsible for COVID-19 deaths in the city in the last fortnight, officials said.
Delhi reported 736 deaths in the last two weeks, with 397 people succumbing to the disease in the first week of July.
Officials said the objective of seeking the report is to take all possible measures to reduce coronavirus deaths in the national capital.
11.55 am | Karnataka
Bengaluru Mayor under quarantine after PA tests positive
Mayor M. Goutham Kumar is under home quarantine, after his personal assistant tested positive for COVID-19. According to highly-placed sources in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Mayor’s personal assistant went on leave after developing some symptoms. Swab samples were collected and the test results came in on Tuesday.
Incidentally, the Mayor attended a meeting with Revenue Minister R. Ashok and several councillors on Monday. This means that the Minister too will be considered as secondary contact.
11.25 am | Tamil Nadu
Now, a machine to ensure physical distancing in Tiruvallur
Thali Nilunga (stand apart) – a voice blares out outside a shop at the busy Thirumazhisai market. Curious vendors look around to find the source of the voice, and finally identify it as coming from a white box fitted to a speaker.
This is Iris — a sensor-based device installed by the Tiruvallur police in the market, to ensure that people follow physical distancing norms. The device has been installed first at the market, and will be introduced in other parts of the district in the coming days.
The device has been made by P. R. Rajesh Kumar and M. Sakthi, two engineers from a private company, Global Thermal Control System Private Limited.
10.15 am | Andhra Pradesh
In Vijayawada, not wearing a mask in public places will cost you ₹100
Many road users were in for a rude surprise on Tuesday, when plainclothed men stopped them at Benz Circle and were asked to pay ₹100. The same was observed at Daba Kotlu Centre, Chitti Nagar and other places too.
What bewildered them even more was that these men did not ask for their driving licence or RC. Instead, the fine, collected instantaneously, was for not wearing masks.
10.00 am | Telangana
HC notices to govt., four private hospitals over treatment, billing
Telangana High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the State government, the Centre and four private hospitals in Hyderabad in a PIL petition over lack of transparency in treatment and billing of COVID-19 patients.
A bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy directed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to file a counter affidavit in response to the petition. The bench ordered that ‘emergent notices’ be issued to the Chief Medical Officer of the State Council of Clinical Establishment (Medical and Health department) along with the private hospitals of Medicover-HiTec City, Yashoda-Raj Bhavan, Sunshine-Secunderabad and Care-Banjara Hills.
West Bengal to impose strict lockdown from July 9
Battling a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the West Bengal government on Tuesday decided to impose a strict lockdown from 5 p.m. on July 9 in containment zones and buffer zones after merging them.
“These broader containment zones may be subjected to strict lockdown,” State Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said in an order addressed to officials, including district magistrates, the municipal commissioner of Kolkata and the city police commissioner.
IMA calls out Assam’s handling of pandemic
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has found fault with the way the Assam government has been handling the COVID-19 situation. The IMA’s Assam branch on Tuesday said it would be difficult for the government to control the situation without proper planning in view of the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the State.
8.00 am | Karnataka
Kasaragod-Mangaluru daily commuters’ e-passes suspended
Kerala police questioning daily pass holders at the border at Talapady near Mangaluru on Tuesday.
Hundreds of daily commuters between Kasaragod district of Kerala and Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka were in for a shock on Tuesday following an abrupt decision by the Kerala government to suspend their e-passes for daily commute.
7.00 am | Tamil Nadu
Marginal dip in cases; Chennai’s daily tally continues to fall
Tamil Nadu on Tuesday saw a marginal dip in the number of fresh infections, with 3,616 persons testing positive for COVID-19. Chennai, in particular, continued to witness a fall in new cases, compared with the previous days, while the cases remained high in districts, especially Madurai.