India’s active COVID-19 case load is less than 6 lakh for the last seven consecutive days and stands at 5,27,962, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. It said the active cases were now only 6.31% of the total positive cases.
Following the national trend, 27 States/Union Territories have less than 20,000 active cases. Ten States/Union Territories account for 78% of the total active cases in the country.
Here are the latest updates:
Delhi could soon become ‘corona capital’, says HC
Expressing displeasure over the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Capital, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said the city could soon become the “corona capital of the country”.
A Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad made the remark while hearing a bunch of petitions relating to non-payment of salaries to doctors, paramedical staff, safai karamcharis, teachers and retired engineers among others, employed with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The Bench noted that the Delhi government had made many claims of topping the charts in testing but the number of cases had also soared. “The city could soon become ‘corona capital’ of the country, thanks to the number of cases shooting up,” the Bench said, adding it was going to take the matter very seriously.
China bars travellers from India, U.K. citing COVID-19 cases
China on Thursday effectively barred travellers from India, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Philippines by temporarily suspending valid visas, with measures targeting other countries also expected as Beijing moves to tighten international travel restrictions citing a rising number of imported COVID-19 cases.
The moves have left unclear whether four repatriation flights announced by India for this month will go ahead on schedule. The Indian Embassy in Beijing said a Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) Delhi-Wuhan-Delhi flight set for November 6 will be rescheduled because the embassy “has not received the required clearances from the Chinese authorities”. Air India had scheduled further VBM flights for November 13, 20, 27 and December 4 to China.
On Tuesday, health authorities in Hubei province said 23 passengers on an October 30 Air India flight from New Delhi to Wuhan tested positive, of whom 19 were asymptomatic. Four symptomatic patients, including a couple travelling with a six-year-old, are being treated in hospital.
UGC issues guidelines for reopening of colleges and universities
Reopening of colleges and universities should start with libraries and laboratories, research scholars, science and technology postgraduates, and final year students, according to the University Grants Commission guidelines issued on Thursday. For all other students, online and distance learning would continue to be the preferred method.
More than seven months after educational institutions across the country were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are now set to return to campuses in a cautious and gradual manner.
Only institutions outside the containment zones could be reopened, and students and staff living in these zones would not be allowed to attend physical classes, the guidelines said.
Celebrate Deepavali without crackers: Health Minister
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday appealed to the people of the State to celebrate a firecracker-free Deepavali this year to reduce air pollution and prevent a surge in novel coronavirus cases.
Following a review meeting with officials and members of the State Task Force and Death Audit Committee set up to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Tope said he would take up the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. “People should be extra careful ahead of Deepavali and must follow all safety norms. Smoke due to firecrackers leads to respiratory problems. I appeal to the people of Maharashtra to celebrate the festival without crackers. I will be placing the demand before the Chief Minister and the State Cabinet,” Mr. Tope said.
The State government has also decided to continue with the decision to reserve 80% beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients. The government has also directed the setting up of death audit committees at hospitals where the COVID-19 death rate has witnessed a spike.
50 teaching, non-teaching staff affected by COVID-19 in Visakhapatnam
Around 50 teaching and non-teaching staff from various schools in the district have tested positive for COVID-19 in Visakhapatnam.
According to District Education Officer (DEO), B Lingeswara Reddy, when the schools were re-opened on Monday, they began conducting COVID-19 tests. All these cases were reported from various schools across various mandals, he said. The DEO also said that the staff who tested positive have been asked to quarantine themselves strictly and are under treatment.
Meanwhile, officials expect that this would have an impact on attendance in the coming days. A number of parents seem to be reluctant to the idea of sending their children to schools.