Coronavirus India news summary: Friday 24 July

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India coronavirus latest: 04:30 IST on Saturday 25 July (01:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University15,656,042 cases have been detected worldwide, with 636,848 deaths and 8,952,534 people recovered.

In India, there have been 1,288,108 confirmed cases and 30,601 deaths, with 817,209 people recovered from the virus.

Nagaland imposes complete lockdown in Kohima for 7 days

The Nagaland government has decided to impose a week-long complete lockdown in the state's capital, Kohima, due to pandemic complications.

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Tracking the evolution of case numbers in the globe's worst-hit countries

This animated chart shows how Covid-19 case numbers have progressed in the world's worst-hit countries since mid-April:

Bangalore

An Indian shop keeper checks the temperature of a customer in Bangalore on Friday.

(Photo: EFE/EPA/JAGADEESH NV)

WHO reports record daily surge in coronavirus cases

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 284,196 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. Deaths rose by 9,753, the biggest one-day increase since a record high of 9,797 deaths on 30 April.

The previous WHO record for new cases was 259,848 on 18 July. Deaths have been averaging 5,000 a day in July, up from an average of 4,600 a day in June. (Reuters)

Cricket: Indian Premier League set for September start in UAE

The 2020 Indian Premier League is scheduled to get underway on 19 September in the United Arab Emirates, after India was forced to postpone the event in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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India's "digital divide"

Online classes during the coronavirus pandemic are an imperfect solution for many students in India, says this BBC report, which notes that “unequal and patchy access to the internet has meant the experience is vastly different depending on location and household income”.

For example, it points to a statistic reported by the newspaper the Indian Express, which warns that nearly 30% of the state of Jharkhand suffers from poor internet connectivity.

Bangalore

Quiet streets in Bangalore

People in Bangalore walk in front of shops on Mahatma Gandhi Road which are usually busy and bustling, but are now deserted - with some closed - due to the spread of the coronavirus.

(Photo: EFE/EPA/JAGADEESH NV)

With 1,068 new cases, Gujarat's Covid-19 cases reach 53,631

With 1,068 new cases, Covid-19 case tally in Gujarat rises to 53,631, death toll reaches 2,283 with 26 patients succumbing: Health department

Latest figures from Karnataka

Cipla gets India approval to sell COVID-19 drug favipiravir

Cipla Ltd has received Indian regulatory approval to sell anti-viral drug favipiravir to treat COVID-19, the drugmaker said on Friday, as coronavirus infections in the world's third worst-hit nation show no sign of abating.

The Drug Controller General of India granted Cipla accelerated approval to make and sell favipiravir in an effort to meet the 'urgent and unmet' need for COVID-19 treatment options in the country, the company said.

 Indian drugmakers including Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd are racing to supply generic versions of favipiravir, originally developed by Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp as Avigan for treating influenza.

India reported over 49,000 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus with 740 new deaths on Friday, marking the biggest daily surge in cases, as officials in some states complained of shortages of vital drugs for those hospitalized. Globally, coronavirus cases have crossed 15.5 million.

Cipla said it would launch favipiravir as 'Ciplenza' in the first week of August, priced at 68 Indian rupees (91 cents) per 200 mg tablet. Separately on Friday, much smaller Indian drugmaker Jenburkt Pharmaceuticals Ltd said it would launch its own version of favipiravir, priced at 39 rupees per tablet.

Glenmark, meanwhile, sells a tablet of favipiravir for 75 rupees, with a patient typically requiring 122 tablets over 14 days for a treatment course, the company said. On Thursday, Glenmark said its version of the drug had showed promise in a late-stage clinical trial. (Reporting by Reuters)

70-year-old denied admission to hospital in AIIMS Patna

No flight operations at Kolkata airport on July 25 and 29

No flights will operate out of Kolkata airport on July 25 and 29, according to news agency PTI, which quoted an official at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport.

"As of now, it has been decided that there will be no flight operations on July 25 and 29," the official is quoted as saying.

India sees record 49,000 new coronavirus cases, drug shortages in places

India reported over 49,000 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus with 740 new deaths on Friday, marking the biggest daily surge in cases even as officials in some states complained of shortages of vital drugs for those hospitalized.

As the number of cases neared 1.3 million in India, local authorities scrambled to procure generic versions of remdesivir, the drug that has shown promise in clinical trials in treating severely-ill patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

'Demand is huge as cases are rising rapidly in the state,' said a senior drug regulatory official in the western state of Maharashtra. 'Supplies of the drug are limited, but companies have assured us they will provide more in a week.'

India has reported 30,601 deaths from the disease, with more than 40% of these deaths coming from Maharashtra state. The western state is the worst-affected, having recorded nearly 350,000 cases, of which almost 60% were reported in the country's financial capital, Mumbai, and its satellite towns.

Remdesivir, made by the U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc , has been in high demand globally amid the pandemic, and Gilead in May and June authorized six Indian companies, and three foreign ones, to make and sell generic versions of the drug in 127 developing nations. Only three of these firms with operations in India - Hetero Labs Ltd, Cipla and Mylan NV have so far been able to start supplying. Others are either awaiting regulatory approvals or still setting up production.

Several hospitals have struggled to get the drug as patient numbers increased in a county whose public health system is one of the world's most poorly-funded. India has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases after the United States and Brazil. Drug industry and government officials in the country said that they are doing their best.

'These things cannot be done in a hurry,' said P.D. Vaghela, an official at India's Department of Pharmaceuticals, adding the drug regulator was working on granting approvals to companies for generic remdesivir at the earliest. 'Some people were engaging in black marketing but we have taken strict action against them,' Vaghela said. (Reporting by Reuters)

Seven Thiruvananthapuram councillors test positive for coronavirus 

A total of seven councillors of the Thiruvananthapuram municipal corporation in Kerala have now tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the corporation Mayor to self-quarantine.

There has been a sharp increase in cases in Kerala, with 16,110 total cases registered as of Thursday evening, with 9,458 deaths. 

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In pictures

 A healthcare worker wearing protective gear squeezes the sweat out of his face masks as he takes a break from taking swab from the residents for rapid antigen test, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a residential area in Ahmedabad, India, July 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Amit Dave)

MHA issues guidelines on Independence Day Celebrations

The Ministry of Home affairs has issued guidelines for Independence Day Celebrations in a letter published this Friday. 

“Every year, the Independence Day is celebrated with grandeur, gaiety, fervour and enthusiam. This year also, the Independence Day will be celebrated in a manner befitting the occasion," the letter reads. 

"However, in view of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, while organizing various programmes or activities for the Independence Day celebrations, it is imperative to follow certain preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper sanitization, avoiding large congregations, protecting vulnerable persons, etc.; and follow all guidelines related to Covid-19 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health a Family Welfare.

“The ceremony at Red Fort will consist of Guard of Honour to the Prime Minister, firing of 21-gun salute, speech by the PM and the singing of the national anthem."

India among lowest numbers of cases/deaths per million people

With more than 1.28 million coronavirus cases and 633,000-plus deaths, India is the third-worst affected country after the U.S. and Brazil. However, according to Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, India has one  has one of the lowest numbers of cases and deaths per million population. Dr Vardhan also highlighted that the recovery rate stands at 63.45%, while the mortality rate is at 2.3%.

Pakistan surpasses 270,000 cases

With 5,763 new coronavirus cases registered in the last 24 hours, Pakistan has surpassed the 270,000 mark, while total deaths now stand at 5,763. 

219,783 people have recovered from the disease, while another 1,316 patients are in a critical condition. Pakistan now stands as the 11th worst affected country in terms of number of cases (270,400), ahead of Spain and Saudi Arabia, according to John Hopkins University stats. 

India's Covid-19 trends

Professor Shamika Ravi shares some of the trends being seen across the country as it continues to battle to stem the spread.

A reminder...

US President holds up India testing

During his recent briefing, Donald Trump reflected on India's efforts to get control of the spread of Covid-19.

Tokyo 2020 must be simple and safe, says IOC's Coates

Senior Olympic official John Coates has reiterated that Tokyo must stage a simplified Summer Games next year with the health and safety of athletes the most important consideration in the planning.

Australian Coates heads up the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games, which have been postponed until 2021 because of the global Covid-19 pandemic. 'The good news is that all 42 Games' venues ... have been resecured. The competition schedule is the same,' the IOC Vice President wrote in Sydney's Daily Telegraph on Friday, a day after the one-year countdown to the opening ceremony.

'But we must reduce the cost impact of postponement as well as simplify the Games to ensure they can be organised efficiently, safely and sustainably, in this new context. 'With one year to go, there is no clear picture of what shape the simplified Games will take. The situation with COVID-19, both domestically and internationally, is constantly changing.' 

T-Cells play a more important role than antibodies in Covid-19 treatment

AstraZeneca Plc, Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE, as well as China's CanSino Biologics Inc. all hailed the presence of T-cells in vaccine patients as a sign their experimental shots show promise. 

Antibodies are only a very small part of the picture," said Paul Griffin, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, who is leading clinical studies in Australia of two potential Covid-19 vaccines. But "we're really not there yet in terms of fully understanding" people's immunity to the new coronavirus".

Israel to send medical experts to India 

Israel announced that it will be sending a high-level research delegation to India to conduct a series of "final stages of testing" as part of a joint effort to develop rapid testing kits for Covid19 to detect the presence of the virus in the body within 30 seconds, in what could help provide the much needed respite from the global pandemic and also open opportunities for both the countries to market the solution together.

A high ranking team from the Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D), in the Ministry of Defence, which has been working with India's DRDO to develop rapid testing for COVID-19 in under 30 seconds, is to leave from Tel Aviv to New Delhi on a special flight in a few days, Israel's Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

63% of beds with ventilators in Delhi are now vacant

Pressure on ventilator facilities in the city has eased over the past month, with almost 63% of ICU beds with ventilators earmarked for Covid-19 patients lying vacant at hospitals, The Indian Express reports.

Official Delhi government data shows that of the total 1,180 ICU beds with ventilators, 749 are lying vacant. With the number of active cases decreasing and fewer people being admitted to hospitals, the pressure has eased, giving healthcare workers a slight breather.

Close to a month ago, when the city had 743 ventilators, 500 of them — or close to 67% — were occupied.

India's Amazon Prime Day 2020: dates and offers

Amazon's discount day in India is set to take place on 6-7 August and is expected to surprise people with some outstanding offers.

Read more here

Mumbai to start large-scale Covid-19 testing for front line staff from Friday

As part of its jumbo antigen testing drive, starting July 24, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will begin test 10,000 Covid-19 frontline workers, including police officers, medicos and volunteers. Additionally, eight private laboratories will also begin testing residents quarantined in housing societies in north Mumbai.

BMC has been testing around 500 people every day since July 3. The jumbo antigen testing drive will target more than 3,000 people daily.

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WHO says U.S. Brazil and India can 'deal with' pandemic

(Reuters) The World Health Organization said on Thursday that the United States, Brazil and India, which are all suffering fast rises in coronavirus cases, can still get on top of the pandemic.

They are "powerful, able, democratic countries who have tremendous internal capacities to deal with this disease", Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies programme, told a Geneva briefing.

U.S. coronavirus cases exceeded 4 million on Thursday, with over 2,600 new cases recorded every hour on average, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters tally.

India's Covid-19 death toll exceeds 30,000

The Covid-19 death toll in India surpassed 30,000 on Thursday as the country became the sixth worst affected nation in the world. New cases rose to another new high, crossing 48,000 for the first time.

The country recorded 750 fatalities during the last 24 hours - the highest recorded in a single day so far. India’s Covid-19 death toll has risen by more than 5,000 in the last seven days

Delhi policeman tests positive for Covid-19 for a second time

A 50-year-old policeman has reported a recurrence of Covid-19 infection. The policeman, who is currently admitted to Indraprastha Apollo hospital, first tested positive in May but had no symptoms so resumed duty. On 10 July, he complained of fever and dry cough and was tested through rapid antigen and RT-PCR on 13 July. Both reports were positive.

It is still not known whether someone can catch Covid-19 more than once - one theory being that positive tests reveal dead virus left in her body from the previous infection.

Coronavirus live news: India

Hello and welcome to our coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic as it affects India, including breaking news, stats and figures. 

India has now seen over 1.2 million cases of the new disease, and over 29,861 people have lost their lives to the pandemic. 

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