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According to the Health Ministry data, India's average Covid testing has been increased to conduct more than 15 lakh tests per day, and has exceeded the 140/day/million tests as advised by the World Health Organisation by more than 5 times.
"High levels of testing lead to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of COVID-19. This has resulted in sustained low fatality rate," the Health Ministry tweeted.
Maharashtra, the state with most Covid cases, reported 480 deaths. It was followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, together accounting for 763 or almost 65 per cent of all deaths in the country. Maharashtra also has the highest recoveries in India.
Kerala and the four worst-hit states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu reported the highest one-day increases of any state in the past 24 hours. Together they reported around 55 per cent of all new cases.
Schools and colleges, shut since March because of coronavirus lockdown, will be allowed to re-open from October 15, the Centre said while announcing the next phase of lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions. The final call, however, has been left to the states and the institutions involved. Online and distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged, the Centre said.
The government also gave a go ahead to cinema halls, multiplexes, and exhibition halls, which will have to operate "with up to 50 per cent seating capacity". Separate guidelines will be issued, said the government.
International air travel still remains barred. Lockdown will be strictly enforced in containment zones till October 31, the government said.
Oxford University has said it would study whether the world's best-selling prescription medicine, adalimumab (Humira by AbbVie), was an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients - the latest effort to repurpose existing drugs as potential coronavirus therapies. It is a type of anti-inflammatory known as an anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drug. Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 patients already taking anti-TNF drugs are less likely to be admitted to hospital, Oxford said in a statement.
The World Bank has asked its board of directors to approve $12 billion to help poor countries purchase and distribute eventual vaccines against Covid-19. "An effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine is the most promising path forward for the world to reopen safely. The global economy will not recover fully until people feel they can live, socialize, work and travel with confidence," a World Bank spokesman said. The funds would be disbursed over 12-18 months.