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Covid deaths in Telangana breach 1,000 mark

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Mahabubabad: Telangana Health Minister E. Rajender and Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Rural Water Supply Minister E. Dayakar Rao interact with Coronavirus patients and inquire about the medical services being provided to them during their visit to the Mahabubabad District Hospital on Aug 24, 2020. (Photo: IANS)
Mahabubabad: Telangana Health Minister E. Rajender and Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Rural Water Supply Minister E. Dayakar Rao interact with Coronavirus patients and inquire about the medical services being provided to them during their visit to the Mahabubabad District Hospital. (Photo: IANS)

 The number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Telangana crossed the 1,000-mark on Thursday with nine more deaths while 2,159 new cases pushed the state’s tally to over 1.65 lakh.

Telangana is 13th state in the country to see over 1,000 Covid deaths. Five of these states have fewer cases than Telangana.

Telangana health officials say the case fatality rate in the state is low at 0.60 per cent compared to many states. The national average is 1.62 per cent.

According to the director of public health, 53.87 per cent of the deceased in Telangana had comorbidities.

Seventy per cent of 1,65,003 cases reported so far in the state were asymptomatic.

As many as 65.23 per cent of those tested positive were in the age group of 21-50 years. Officials said that the ratio of those above 51 years dropped to 21.82 against 24.71 per cent earlier. Those below 20 years are now 12.95 per cent against 10 per cent earlier.

Officials said 64.83 per cent of those tested positive were male while the remaining 38.17 per cent were female.

During the last 24 hours ending Wednesday 8 p.m., Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) reported 318, a slight drop from 325 reported the previous day. Its neighbouring districts Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri reported a daily jump of 176 and 121 cases respectively. Sangareddy, another district bordering the state capital, recorded 64 cases.

Outside Hyderabad and surrounding districts, Nalgonda topped the list with 141 cases followed by Siddipet (132), Karimnagar (127), Warangal Urban (98), Nizamabad (84) and Khammam (77).

The state also saw 2,108 people recovering from the virus during the same period. With this the total number of recoveries have gone up to 1,33,555

The state’s recovery rate has further improved to 80.94 per cent against the national average of 78.59 per cent.

The number of active cases in the state stands at 30,443 including 23,674 in home/institutional isolation.

The authorities conducted 53,094 tests during the last 24 hours. With this the number of samples tested so far mounted to 23,29,316.

The authorities permitted five more private laboratories to conduct the tests, taking the total number of laboratories to 60 including 17 government-run laboratories. There are also 1076 rapid antigen tests in the state. They tested 53,094 samples including 23,361 primary and 6,371 secondary contacts. However, no break-up of RT PCR and rapid antigen tests was available.

The state health authorities said samples tested per million population improved further to 62,740. This is much higher than the daily testing target of 5,600 per day as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark of 140 per million per day.

Out of 20,396 beds under government, 17,823 beds are vacant including 1,505 ICU beds.

The number of private hospitals treating Covid patients increased to 225 with the government adding one more hospital to the list. They have a total of 11,340 beds, out of which 7,125 are vacant.

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Global Covid-19 cases top 38.4mn: Johns Hopkins

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New York, Sept. 14, 2020 (Xinhua) -- People walk through Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, the United States, Sept. 13,
New York, Sept. 14, 2020 (Xinhua) -- People walk through Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, the United States, Sept. 13,

Washington, Oct 15 (IANS) The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 38.4 million, while the deaths have soared to more than 1,091,240, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Thursday morning, the total number of cases stood at 38,426,373 and the fatalities increased to 1,091,245, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 7,911,497 and 216,734, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 7,239,389, while the country’s death toll soared to 110,586.

The other top 15 countries with the maximum amount of cases are Brazil (5,140,863), Russia (1,332,824), Argentina (931,967), Colombia (930,159), Spain (908,056), Peru (853,974), Mexico (830,502), France (820,376), South Africa (696,414), the UK (657,459), Iran (513,219), Chile (485,372), Iraq (413,215), Bangladesh (382,959), and Italy (372,799), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 151,747.

The countries with a death toll above 10,000 are Mexico (84,891), the UK (43,245), Italy (36,289), Peru (33,419), Spain (33,413), France (33,058), Iran (29,349), Colombia (28,306), Argentina (24,921), Russia (23,069), South Africa (18,151), Chile (13,415), Ecuador (12,264), Indonesia (12,156), Belgium (10,244) and Iraq (10,021).

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France to implement curfew to stem coronavirus: Macron

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French President Emmanuel Macron. (File Photo IANS)
French President Emmanuel Macron. (File Photo IANS)

Paris, Oct 15 (IANS) A curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be implemented in the greater Paris region and eight other big cities in France starting from Friday midnight, and it will last for at least four weeks to stem the spread of coronavirus, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday.

“A curfew will apply to the Ile-de-France region…and eight metropolitan areas — Grenoble, Lille, Rouen, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Montpellier and Rouen,” Macron said in a televised interview, Xinhua news agency reported.

France has been in a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic with an average of 20,000 new infection cases per day. “We have now entered a phase to which we must react… The virus is everywhere in France,” Macron added.

The situation is worrying and the curfew is a “pertinent” measure while having the whole country locked down again would be “disproportionate”, he explained.

“We have not lost control. We are in a situation which is worrying and which justifies that we are neither inactive nor in panic. We have learned from the first wave,” Macron said.

The curfew does not ban driving between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., but travel will be strictly limited unless with good reasons.

“We must continue to be able to go to work in all sectors,” said Macron. “For those who have emergencies, health for example, there will be authorisations.”

Prime Minister Jean Castex will address a press conference on Thursday to unveil details of these measures, Macron added.

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Cinema halls reopen in Bengal with Covid restrictions

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New Delhi Sanitisation drive underway at the INOX cinema hall in New Delhi on Oct 13, 2020. Cinema halls in the national capital shall
New Delhi Sanitisation drive underway at the INOX cinema hall in New Delhi on Oct 13, 2020. Cinema halls in the national capital shall

Kolkata, Oct 15 (IANS) Almost seven months after a nationwide lockdown was imposed, movie theatres and multiplexes have reopened in West Bengal on Thursday with strict Covid-19 safety protocols for the viewers.

The theatres have reopened with only 50 per cent of its total seating capacity so that there is a minimum distance of at least 3-metres between two people watching the movie.

“We are encouraging paperless entry and digital payments at the ticket counter. One has to enter inside the movie theatre after thermal screening and a thorough sanitisation process. Masks and gloves are also being distributed to every person at the entry point before getting inside the auditorium,” said Puneet Gupta, spokesperson for INOX Leisure Ltd.

He said that all the standard Covid safety protocols are being maintained at INOX theatres across the country, including Kolkata, to avoid any health hazards. People can book movie tickets online, through both website and mobile application. People can also drop in and get an e-ticket at the counter.

“We are expecting a decent response. Most of shows will start from the afternoon. So, we would be able to share the response of tickets selling tomorrow,” he said.

“It’s a good news that movie theatres have re-opened with restrictions but we must keep the safety protocols in mind. People should not think that they can once again go watch a movie with a bid group of friends and family. We must take necessary precautions to avoid any kind of spread of Covid-19,” said actor Saswata Chattopadhyay.

Sources said that every person entering the hall must have the Aarogya Setu app installed on his phone. Person having fever or any kind of Covid symptoms will not be allowed inside the theatre.

As per guidelines, it is also mandatory to maintain a minimum of six feet distance between two individuals in the common area, waiting area and entry point at the cinema halls. Private security personnel have been deployed in adequate numbers to monitor the movements of movie buffs who will throng multiplexes Thursday onwards in Kolkata and its adjoining areas, said an official of a city multiplex.

The temperature of the air conditioner should be set at 24-30 degrees Celsius and there should be cross ventilation in the theatre. The screens should also be cleaned after every show and Covid-19 protocol should be strictly followed by the hall owners failing which action would be taken under the IPC and Disaster Management Act.

“It’s a big positive for the audience and industry people as well. It’s a great feeling that life is slowly getting back to normalcy. I am sure that the hall owners and multiplexes will take necessary precautions and carry out sanitising drives. Watching a movie in theatres has been the real mode of entertainment for people in India.

I guess people have become habituated with the safety guidelines in last seven months and going back to cinema halls will add on a whole new level of positivity in their social lives,” filmmaker Dhrubo Banerjee told IANS.

Banerjee said that a lot people involved with Kolkata’s Tollywood entertainment industry and re-opening of theatres would give them a fresh impetus in the new normal scenario.

Arijit Dutta, the owner of Kolkata’s iconic Priya Cinema hall, said: “It’s just a start. The movie theatres are re-opening in phases. It’s not that that all cinema halls and multiplexes have re-opened today. I’m sure the business will restore in next two-three months as the process has been initiated.”

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Australian state stalls easing Covid-19 curbs

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Sydney, Aug. 8, 2020 (Xinhua) -- People rest in front of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 6, 2020. (XinhuaBai XuefeiIANS)
Sydney, Aug. 8, 2020 (Xinhua) -- People rest in front of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 6, 2020. (XinhuaBai XuefeiIANS)

Sydney, Oct 15 (IANS) Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) has stalled easing Covid-19 restrictions after new cluster outbreaks were reported in the state capital of Sydney, authorities said on Thursday.

On Thursday morning, the state registered six new locally acquired infections, which followed 11 local transmissions the day before, Xinhua news agency reported.

State leaders have described the present situation it as the most concerning since mid-July, when an outbreak at a western Sydney pub resulted in over 50 cases and a clampdown on the hospitality sector.

“This is the most concerned we’ve been since that first incident when the Victorian citizen came up, infected his colleagues and went for a drink at a hotel,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a briefing.

Health officials flagged several new areas where a person had been while infected with the virus, including public transport services, a tutoring service and shopping mall.

On Tuesday, the government announced that up to 500 people would be allowed to attend outdoor music performances, as long as they remained seated and groups remained four meters apart.

Restrictions for outdoor dining venues were also relaxed, allowing one patron per two square meters, as long as venues use an electronic contact tracing system to record patrons’ contact details.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged anyone with even the slightest of symptoms to get tested, as well as to cooperate fully with questions to assist health officials with contact tracing.

“We are aiming to have at least 20,000 (tests) a day and while we have these positive cases still amongst us the emphasis is… Please get tested,” he added.

Of Australia’s 27,341 overall case tally, NSW accounts for 4,310 infections.

The country’s death toll stands at 904.

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Andhra registers 3,892 more Covid cases, tally 7.67 lakh

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future covid related stories
future covid related stories

Amaravati, Oct 14 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday registered 3,892 new Covid positive cases, increasing the state’s tally to 7.67 lakh cases, even as 5,050 recoveries outnumbered fresh infections.

East Godavari accounted for the highest number of cases at 607, followed by West Godavari (518), Krishna (458), Chittoor (405), Guntur (345), Kadapa (332), Anantapur (290), Nellore (219), Visakhapatnam (163), Srikakulam (154), Vizianagaram (151), Prakasam (146) and Kurnool (104).

East Godavari continues to battle the highest number of infections at 1.07 lakh. At the lower end, Krishna district has witnessed 32,910 cases so far.

Not just having the highest Covid tally among the 13 districts, East Godavari is also shouldering the highest active cases at 7,135.

Meanwhile, 28 patients succumbed to the virus in the past 24 hours, one of the lowest daily Covid death counts in the recent past.

With the new additions, the statewide Covid death toll has reached 6,319.

As always, the positive trend of higher recoveries continues to occur in the southern state. On Wednesday, 5,050 more patients recovered from the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 7.19 lakh.

Of the total 7.67 lakh cases, the number of active cases currently stands at 41,669.

The state’s positivity rate stands at 11.3 per cent at present.

Andhra Pradesh tested 69,463 samples on Wednesday. In total, the state has tested 67.7 lakh samples for Covid until now.

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After Sputnik V, Russia approves another Covid-19 vaccine: Putin

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Moscow, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sputnik via XinhuaIANS)
Moscow, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sputnik via XinhuaIANS)

Moscow, Oct 14 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced that the country has registered the second Covid-19 vaccine, according to media reports.

Russia became the first country to give regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine in August when Sputnik V was officially registered ahead of large-scale clinical trial, drawing criticism from some quarters in the scientific community.

The second Russian vaccine to get regulatory approval has been developed by the Vector State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology.

Vector’s vaccine, dubbed “EpiVacCorona”, relies on chemically synthesized peptide antigens of SARS-CoV-2 proteins, conjugated to a carrier protein and adsorbed on an aluminum-containing adjuvant, according to details posted at ClinicalTrials.gov, a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world.

Putin said that a third Russian vaccine against Covid-19, developed by the Chumakov Centre, would also be registered in the near future, Sputnik news agency reported.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that she tested EpiVacCorona vaccine herself and experienced no side effects, said the report.

“The Vector centre is also initiating post-registration clinical trials in the various regions of Russia that would include 40,000 volunteers,” she was quoted as saying.

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