With 1,009 deaths on Friday, India’s COVID-19 toll rose to 62,724, surpassing Mexico’s fatality count to become third highest in the world. As many as 75,122 cases were recorded on the day.
India has tested more than nine lakh COVID-19 samples for the second consecutive day on Friday, the Union Health Ministry said in a release, adding that it was keeping a sharp focus on ‘test, track and treat’ strategy. “India has already created a capacity of doing 10 lakh tests per day and 9,01,338 samples were tested in the last 24 hours,” the release said.
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:
4.45 pm | Bangladesh
Bangladesh extends shutdown of educational institutions till Oct 3
Bangladesh has extended the shutdown of educational institutions, except madrasas, till October 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the education ministry has said.
Schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions were ordered to close since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in March. The shutdown has been extended several times since then.
“The ongoing holiday for all educational institutions, except Qawmi madrasas, has been extended to Oct 3 because of the global coronavirus pandemic,” bdnews24 quoted the education ministry as saying on Thursday.
Qawmi madrasas operate without any government monitoring, supervision or support. They run with private donations mostly.
4.40 pm | Berlin
Berlin protesters rally against pandemic restrictions
Tens of thousands of people are taking part in a protest in Berlin against pandemic restrictions after a court overturned a ban issued by authorities in the German capital.
Some among the crowd Saturday waved American, Russian or German Reich flags, while others wore T-shirts promoting the Q conspiracy theory or denouncing Germany’s limited rules requiring the wearing of masks.
The Berlin regional government had sought to ban the protest, citing rallies earlier this month where rules intended to stop the virus being spread weren’t respected. Protest organisers successfully appealed the decision, though a court ordered them to ensure social distancing — a measure that wasn’t being enforced Saturday.
4.35 pm | New Delhi
Amit Shah likely to be discharged
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was admitted to AIIMS, Delhi for post-COVID care is likely to be discharged today, according to the hospital bulletin.
He has recovered and is likely to be discharged in a short time, the bulletin said.
Mr. Shah was admitted to the hospital on August 18, four days after he was discharged from a private hospital in Gurugram after recovering from COVID-19.
4.30 pm | Belagavi
Belagavi Dakshin MLA Abhay Patil tests positive
Belagavi Dakshin MLA Abhay Patil has tested positive for COVID -19.
He declared this in a video message he posted for his followers on Saturday.
“I have tested positive in a test conducted two days ago. I have quarantined myself at home, following medical advice. I am taking medicines advised by doctors and am doing well. I request all of you to take care of yourself. I will be back at your service in a few days,” he said.
— Special Correspondent
4.25 pm | New Delhi
Annual and development fees cannot be charged till schools reopen: HC
The Delhi High Court has held that annual and development charges cannot be taken from the parents of students “during the pendency of the present lockdown”, when schools are yet to reopen.
The prima facie opinion was expressed by Justice Jayant Nath in his order of August 25 while hearing a plea moved by the parents’ association of a private school, which started taking the annual and development charges along with the tuition fees from July.
The court restrained the school from taking the annual and development charges from the parents for the month of July till further orders.
It also issued a notice to the Delhi government and the school, seeking their stand on the plea of the parents’ association, which was represented by advocate Gaurav Bahl.
4.00 pm | Tamil Nadu
Brain dead man breathes new life into COVID-19 patient with severe lung infection
Doctors at MGM Healthcare hospital here have performed a bilateral lung transplant for a COVID-19 affected patient on Thursday.
A statement from the hospital said the lungs of the 48-year-old patient from Delhi were severely damaged because of COVID-19-related fibrosis. He was found to be positive on June 8 and had to be kept on ventilator support since then. As his condition worsened, he was airlifted to MGM Healthcare on July 20 where he was put on ECMO support five days later.
3.40 pm | Madhya Pradesh
Indore sero survey finds antibodies in 8% people
Of the total number of people tested in Indore under the sero survey earlier this month, 7.72% were found to have developed antibodies to COVID-19, an official said.
Indore is the worst-hit district in Madhya Pradesh in terms of the number of coronavirus positive cases and fatalities.
“Blood samples of 7,103 people aged above one year were taken under the survey that was carried out from August 11 to 23 with the help of the National Centre for Disease Control,” Indore Divisional Commissioner Pawan Kumar Sharma said.
Of these, 548 samples, which is 7.72%, were found to be having antibodies to SARS-CoV2. Most importantly, the surveyed men and women had antibodies in equal proportion, he added.
The survey revealed that efforts taken to stem the infection spread in the affected areas of the city have paid off, he added.
3.25 pm | Haryana
Haryana minister Ranjeet Singh tests COVID positive
Haryana Power Minister Ranjeet Singh said that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Singh, who is an Independent MLA supporting the BJP-JJP government, had got his test done just before the one-day Assembly session on Wednesday and his report returned negative. However, he developed symptoms after the session and got himself tested again.
Earlier, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Agriculture Minister J P Dalal, Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma, Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta and four other BJP MLAs had tested positive for the infection.
3.15 pm | Jharkhand
Jharkhand allows public transport within state; hotels, lodges to reopen in view of JEE/NEET exams
The Jharkhand government has allowed reopening of hotels, lodges as well as restaurants and also given a go-ahead to public transport to ply within the state for a month till September 30 in view of the JEE-NEET examinations scheduled next month.
3.10 pm | Delhi
35% rise in demand for hospital beds in Delhi since July-end
The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital has led to a 35 per cent increase in the demand for beds in hospitals in the city, according to government data.
On July 30, the occupancy of beds reserved for coronavirus patients was 18 per cent, with only 2,958 out of 16,038 beds being occupied.
It was 23.02 per cent on August 10 and 23.40 per cent on August 11.
It increased to 28 per cent on Saturday, with 4,004 out of 14,135 beds occupied, according to data shared by the hospitals on Delhi Corona app.
Out of 1,229 COVID ICU beds with ventilator support, 473 (38 percent) were occupied. The occupancy was 33 per cent on July 30.
2.55 pm | Tamil Nadu
COVID-19 test results are now online in Ariyalur
Results of COVID-19 test done in Ariyalur district will henceforth be available online. The initiative is an attempt to ensure that patients do not have to visit the hospital to collect their report, officials said.
The results will be available in the district portal: https://ariyalur.nic.in
2.30 pm | Delhi
COVID-19 survivor Satyendar Jain asks people to perform yoga, take herbal drinks
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, a coronavirus (COVID-19) survivor, on Friday appealed to those who have recovered from coronavirus to perform regular yoga and take immunity-boosting herbal drinks to stay healthy.
In a short video titled “Post COVID care: Things you must do after recovering from coronavirus” released on his Facebook page, he said, he was talking to people “as a COVID-19 survivor and not as a minister.”
The video shows Mr. Jain performing various yoga ‘asanas’ in his house. “I appeal to all those who have recovered from COVID-19 infection to perform yoga every day. Breathing problem is one of the major issue in COVID-19 patients and yoga postures will help you have healthy breathing,” he said.
2.15 pm | New Delhi
Number of COVID-19 tests crosses 4-crore mark in country
With more than nine lakh samples tested for the third consecutive day, the number of tests for detection of COVID-19 has crossed the four-crore mark in India, while the number of such tests per 10 lakh people has also increased to 29,280, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday as the total number of coronavirus cases mounted to 34,63,972 in the country.
The number of daily tests has also seen an upsurge. Already having achieved the testing capacity of 10 lakh per day, 9,28,761 COVID-19 tests were conducted on Friday.
The number of tests for detection of COVID-19 had crossed the three-crore mark in the country on August 17.
2.00 pm | Maharashtra
BJP stages protests, demands reopening of temples in Maharashtra
Several BJP activists staged protests outside temples in Maharashtra’s Thane and Palghar districts and Pune city demanding the reopening of places of worship, which have remained shut amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
BJP MLAs, legislators, corporators and office-bearers led the protests in all cities of Thane and Palghar districts, with activists resorting to ‘ghanta naad’ (ringing of bells) and banging of plates outside temples.
1.45 pm | Jharkhand
Jharkhand allows public transport within State; hotels, lodges to reopen in view of JEE, NEET exams
The Jharkhand government has allowed the reopening of hotels, lodges as well as restaurants and also given a go-ahead to public transport to ply within the State for a month till September 30 in view of the JEE, NEET examinations scheduled next month.
The relaxations under “Unlock 4” were announced in a notification issued late Friday night.
The Hemant Soren government also gave a green signal to reopening of malls outside the containment zones with immediate effect.
1.30 pm | West Bengal
Bengal govt. writes to Railway Board, says metro, local train services can be resumed
The West Bengal government has written a letter to the Railway Board, stating that metro and local train services can be resumed in a limited manner in the State but with all health safety protocols.
The government also requested the board to put in place the required logistics for smooth operations of the services.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday said her government was willing to allow one-fourth of suburban trains services and full Metro Railway services with adequate safety protocols, including social distancing from September 1.
The letter, however, did not suggest any date from which metro and local train services could be resumed.
1.15 pm | Pakistan
Pakistan set to reopen educational institutions from mid-September
Pakistan is all set to reopen educational institutions from mid-September after a six-month hiatus with the steady improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the country, which recorded just one death due to the disease in the last 24 hours, officials said on Saturday.
Education institutions are closed from March 16 due to the coronavirus.
The death toll now stands at 6,284 in the country. The cumulative tally reached 2,95,372 with the detection of 319 new cases in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.
1.00 pm | New Delhi
Second player in the Chennai Super Kings team tests positive
It has emerged that a second player in the Chennai Super Kings team has tested positive for COVID-19, even as all-rounder Suresh Raina pulls out of the Indian Premier League citing “personal reasons”.
The player in question is a right-handed top-order batsman, who has been a part of India A teams in the recent past. On Friday, a T20 specialist pacer had tested positive along with 12 members of the contingent in Dubai.
CSK’s quarantine period in Dubai has already been extended till September 1.
12.45 pm | Karnataka
Govt. intends to allow some sevas in temples from Sept. 1: Muzrai Minister
Endowment Minister Kota Srinivasa Poojary said the Muzrai department intends to allow some sevas in temples in Karnataka from September 1 and has consulted the Health department on the same.
Speaking to reporters, he said, if the Health department recommends that sevas can be resumed, they will be allowed.
However, “Anna santarpane” (mass feeding) and crowding in temples will not be allowed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, he said.
– Ravi Kamila
12.30 pm | Odisha
No shutdown or lockdown in cities where JEE, NEET exam will be held: Odisha
The Odisha government has lifted lockdown in seven cities where the JEE and NEET examination will be held in the state, an official said on Saturday.
The Special Relief Commissioners (SRC) office released a set of guidelines for the smooth conduct of the examination. “No lockdown or shutdown will be in force in the seven examination cities from August 30-September 7 (JEE) and from September 9-14 (NEET),” the notification said.
The notification lifting the shutdown in seven cities was issued after Chief Secretary A.K. Tripathy on Friday announced that the State government will provide free transport and accommodation to students appearing in the JEE(Mains) and NEET.
12.15 pm | Assam
Cases cross 1 lakh in Assam
Assam on August 28 crossed 1 lakh COVID-19 positive cases as the total number of people who died of novel coronavirus infection across the eight north-eastern States increased to 436.
Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said 2,560 positive cases were added to the State’s tally of COVID-19 cases by 10 pm on Friday, with the rate of positivity increasing from 5.75% to 6.38% from the previous day.
“COVID-19 claimed the lives of eight people on Friday, taking the death toll to 286. But the encouraging part is more people are recovering,” a Health Department spokesperson said on August 29.
Of the total of 1,01,367 positive cases in Assam, 79,307 people have recovered so far, while 21,771 are undergoing treatment.
Sportspersons receive national honours in online ceremony
India’s sporting heroes were bestowed the annual national awards in an unparalleled online ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic during which athletes logged in from multiple cities to be honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind.
This year, 74 sportspersons were picked for the national honours, including an unprecedented five Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratnas and 27 Arjuna awardees. Of these, 60 attended the virtual ceremony conducted across 11 Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres in various cities.
President Kovind applauded as names of the attending awardees were called out and their achievements cited as is the convention. Missing, however, was the grandeur of the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Durbar Hall.
“This is the first awards ceremony in COVID times during which the President has participated,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said at the beginning of the ceremony.
11.45 am | Andhra Pradesh
A.P. reports surge from one lakh to four lakh cases in 33 days
More than five and a half months into the COVID pandemic, A.P.’s tally of infections crossed the four-lakh mark on Friday. Andhra Pradesh is the third State to see more than four lakh cases after Maharastra and neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
While Maharashtra’s tally jumped from one lakh to four lakh in about 48 days, Tamil Nadu witnessed the same surge in 56 days, but Andhra Pradesh witnessed the last three lakh cases in just 33 days. It took 138 days to see the first one lakh cases and around 11 days each for the cases to jump by one lakh.
11.30 am | Uttar Pradesh
U.P. Minister Satish Mahana tests positive
Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Satish Mahana said that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was in home isolation. Mr. Mahana requested those who had come in contact with him in the past few days to get coronavirus tests done.
11.15 am | China
China’s Wuhan says all schools to reopen on Tuesday
Wuhan, Ground Zero for the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chinese city hardest hit by the coronavirus, will reopen all its schools and kindergartens on Tuesday, local authorities said.
As many as 2,842 educational institutions across the city are set to open their doors to almost 1.4 million students when the autumn semester gets underway, the local government announced on Friday. Wuhan University reopened on Monday.
11.00 am | Andhra Pradesh
Tirumala Brahmotsavams to be confined to inner precincts of temple
The annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara scheduled to commence from September 19 will be conducted in ‘ekantham’ (private). The decision was taken at the TTD board of trustees meeting here on Friday.
Briefing the media, TTD Chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy said the “rather unpleasant” decision to perform the religious carnival on a low key note was taken in view of the COVID-19 situation. The two-time daily processions of the Lord on various vahanams (carriers) that form the core part of the festival would not be organised, and the festivities would be confined to the inner precincts of the hill temple. The town shall experience two Brahmotsavams this year.
10.45 am | Puducherry
Puducherry records 12 deaths, Odisha 14
Puducherry recorded 12 more COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours to push the toll to 211 even as 550 new admissions took the active cases to 4,834 on Saturday.
The tally is 211 deaths, a cumulative total of 13,556 cases, 4,834 active cases and 8,511 patients treated and discharged.
– Rajesh B. Nair
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally reached 97,920 with addition of 3,252 new cases on Saturday. After recovery of 67,826 patients, active cases stood at 29571. The State’s death-toll increased 470 following 14 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday.
– Satyasundar Barik
10.30 am | New Delhi
Lok Sabha MPs to be asked to take COVID-19 test 3 days before session
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Friday that Members of Parliament (MPs) will be requested to get themselves tested for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before the start of the Monsoon Session of Parliament that gets under way on September 14.
The Monsoon Session that was delayed because of the pandemic will now start in the second week of September and conclude on October 1.
Apart from MPs, anyone who enters the Parliament complex, including officials from Ministries, personal staff of Ministers, journalists covering the session and employees of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha secretariats, will also have to get themselves tested for the virus before the start of the session.
10.15 am | Odisha
Odisha announces free transport, accommodation to JEE candidates
The Odisha government on Friday announced to provide free transportation and accommodation to 37,000 candidates of Joint Entrance Examinations for reaching 26 different examination centres in seven towns.
The JEE (Main) examinations are scheduled to be held between September 1 and 6. National Testing Agency (NTA) is going ahead with the examinations despite Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressing reservations on holding it in wake of COVID-19 pandemic and flood situation.
10.00 am | Maharashtra
Maharashtra VCs to chalk out plan for final year exams
The Maharashtra government on Friday convened an urgent meeting of vice-chancellors (VCs) of universities in the State to chalk out plans for conducting the final year examinations after the Supreme Court ruled that students cannot be promoted without exams.
State Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said, “We respect the Supreme Court’s decision. We will be discussing with all vice-chancellors how to conduct the exams. We had informed the court that the COVID-19 situation will create problems. The court has still asked us to go ahead with the exams. We will act accordingly.”
9.45 am | Malaysia
Malaysia extends ban on foreign tourists
Malaysia has extended its movement restrictions, including a ban on foreign tourists until the end of the year. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address late Friday that global cases have been rising and the country has seen sporadic virus clusters even though the situation was under control.
Malaysia has recorded more than 9,000 cases with 125 deaths.
9.30 am | Maharashtra
HC allows conditional Muharram procession in Mumbai
The Bombay High Court on Friday granted permission to hold the Taziya procession on Muharram in Mumbai provided not more than five people take part in it and stringent COVID-19 precautions are followed. The court said no other such processions would be allowed in the State.
9.15 am | Goa
Shripad Naik recovering steadily, vitals stable: official
Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik, who is undergoing treatment for COVID-19, is recovering steadily with “stable vitals and good respiratory efforts”, a senior Goa health official said. Mr. Naik was admitted to a private hospital near Panaji on August 12 after he tested positive for the infection.
9.00 am | Haryana
Malls, shops to remain shut on Mondays and Tuesdays
Sudden spike has been registered in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Millennium City this week, mostly due to holding of social and family gatherings, said Gurugram Chief Medical Officer, Virender Yadav on Friday. In a related development, the shopping malls and shops, except those dealing in essential services, will remain shut on Mondays and Tuesdays in the State instead of over the weekend.
8.00 am | Telangana
COVID deaths are govt. murders: Bhatti
CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and MLC Jeevan Reddy at a district government hospital on Thursday.
Stating that all coronavirus deaths were government murders, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said on Friday that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao should take the blame for his ‘failure’ to wake up to the reality of COVID.
Mr. Bhatti, who is on a tour of government hospitals in the State for the last three days, visited Adilabad and Nirmal hospitals on Friday.
7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh
Make 650 more beds ready at VIMS by September 1: Collector
Visakhapatnam District Collector V. Vinay Chand instructed the Health Department officials to get 650 beds ready for the COVID-19 patients at Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) by September 1.
Mr. Vinay Chand inspected VIMS here on Friday and said that the 650 beds, including 434 with oxygen facility and 216 in ICU, should be made available. He instructed the officials to recruit necessary staff and make other arrangements at the earliest.
7.00 am | West Bengal
West Bengal’s recovery rate goes past 80%
West Bengal on Friday registered 2,982 new cases of COVID-19, taking the total cases to 1,53,754 . The State also reported 56 fatalities in 24 hours, taking the death toll to 3,073.
However, this was offset by a high number of 3,286 people being discharged, taking recovery rate to 80.86%. So far, 1,24,332 people have recovered from the viral infection.