India's COVID-19 tally hurtled past the 30-lakh mark on Saturday night, just 15 days after it crossed 20 lakh, while the total number of recoveries too surged to 22.71 lakh, according to data from states and union territories.
Union health ministry data updated on Saturday 8 am showed a record single-day spike of 69,874 infections, taking the country's COVID-19 caseload to 29,75,701, while the death count due to the disease climbed to 55,794 with 945 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours.
However, by night, India's COVID-19 cases rose to 30,05,281, up by 29,580 since the last update 24 hours ago.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said Friday it hopes the planet will be rid of the coronavirus pandemic in less than two years -- faster than it took for the Spanish flu. "We hope to finish this pandemic before less than two years," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters from the WHO's headquarters in Geneva, insisting that it should be possible to tame the novel coronavirus faster than the deadly 1918 pandemic.
Here are the Highlights on Coronavirus Pandemic:
The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi has risen from 539 on August 1 to 591 on August 21, with officials attributing the rise to smaller areas being contained now.
In a first in India, the country's top medical research body is working to create an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) vaccine portal, as a repository for all information related to vaccine development in India."
In Uttar Pradesh, treatment of COVID-19 patients referred by the district authorities to private hospitals will be done as per the rates charged under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office, in a tweet in Hindi, said, "For patients referred by the district administration and Chief Medical Officer in private COVID hospitals, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has provided for their treatment in 50 per cent of beds in these private hospitals, to be done under the rates charged in Ayushman Bharat."
"For this, the Chief Minister has made an approval under the Epidemics Act, 1897 and Uttar Pradesh Epidemics Ordinance, 2020," the chief minister's office said.
Meghalaya's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,811 with the detection of 93 fresh infections, while one more fatality pushed its coronavirus death count to seven, Health Minister A L Hek said on Saturday.
A 58-year-old man succumbed to the infection at a COVID-19 hospital on Friday night, he said.
The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the northeastern state to 1,035, the minister said.
Twenty more people have been cured of the disease, taking total the number of recoveries to 769, Mr Hek said. Twenty-five security personnel are among the new patients, Health Services Director Aman War said.
Haryana on Saturday registered another big spike of 1,161 novel coronavirus cases, a day after recording its highest single-day jump in infections so far, while the death count from the disease mounted to 597 with 12 more fatalities.
The state has witnessed a spike in COVID-19 cases in the past few days. The fresh cases pushed the infection count to 53,290 in Haryana, according to the state health department's daily bulletin.
Three of the new fatalities were from Yamunanagar, which also reported 157 cases, two were from Kurukshetra while one death each was reported from Jind, Sirsa, Jhajjar, Panchkula, Panipat, Rohtak and Sonipat, the bulletin said.
Besides Yamunanagar, among the districts which reported fresh cases include Gurugram (102), Faridabad (97), Karnal (91), Ambala (90), Panipat (78), Panchkula (66), Rewari (62), Kurukshetra (51) and Kaithal (65), it said.
The state's active case count stands at 8,680 while 44,013 people have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the infection, according to the bulletin.
Madhya Pradesh on Saturday saw its highest single-day spike of 1,226 coronavirus cases, taking the total count in the state to 51,866, health officials said.
The coronavirus death count rose to 1,206 after 21 patients succumbed to the viral infection since Friday evening, they said.
Four patients died in Bhopal, three each in Gwalior and Indore, two in Betul and one each in Alirajpur, Barwani, Damoh, Jabalpur, Khargone, Sagar, Sehore, Shivpuri and Vidisha districts, officials said.
The highest 181 new infections were reported from Indore, followed by 159 in Gwalior, 135 in Bhopal and 111 in Jabalpur.
On the other hand, 872 persons were discharged from hospitals after recovery in the state on Saturday.
The COVID-19 caseload of West Bengal went up to 1,35,596 after 3,232 new infections were reported on Saturday, the health department said.
The death count also mounted to 2,737 with 48 more people succumbing to the disease, the department said in a bulletin.
It said that 3,088 COVID-19 patients were released from hospitals taking the states discharge rate to 77.41 per cent.
So far, 1,04,959 people have recovered from the disease in West Bengal.
Forty-five COVID-19 fatalities in Punjab pushed the death count to 1,036 while 1,320 fresh cases took the state's infection tally to 40,643 on Saturday, according to an official bulletin.
The coronavirus fatalities include 15 deaths reported from Ludhiana, eight from Jalandhar, five from Sangrur, three from Mohali, two each from Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur and Amritsar and one each from Bathinda, Rupnagar, Moga, Faridkot, Mansa, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and SBS Nagar, according to the bulletin.
Meanwhile, five security personnel posted at the residence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Muktsar district tested positive for coronavirus, a senior health official said.
Gujarat on Saturday recorded its highest single-day spike of 1,212 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total infection count to 85,678, state health department said.
With 14 deaths, the cumulative toll rose to 2,883, it said.
As against 1,212 new cases, 980 patients were discharged in the day, taking the number of recoveries to 68,257, the department said, adding that the recovery rate has reached 80 per cent.
At 75,258, the highest number of samples were tested in the last 24 hours, which comes at 1,157.82 tests per day per million population, it said.
Single-day recoveries outnumbered new COVID-19 cases in Nagaland for the eighth consecutive day as 92 people were cured of the disease and 16 tested positive for the infection on Saturday, a health official said.
One more patient has succumbed to the infection, taking the state's coronavirus death count to nine, he said.
The recovery rate among the COVID-19 patients in the northeastern state has increased to 59.58 per cent from 36 per cent last week, the official said.
The state has been registering more recoveries than new cases since August 15, with the highest single-day recovery of 215 people reported on Thursday.
For the first time in the country, anti-fibrotic drugs have been used to treat patients suffering from COVID-19-related lung fibrosis and breathlessness which has helped in the recovery of four such patients in Maharashtra's Pune, the Army has said.
"The researchers at the Pune-based Army Institute of Cardiothoracic Sciences (AICTS) have found this therapy very effective in this subset of COVID-19 patients and they were safely tolerated as well. This is a novel strategy to tackle the lung fibrosis to treat subset of COVID-19 patients," the release said.
It said these are early results and more research is being undertaken in this field to identify the patients who are likely to benefit from the therapy.
"Scientists have achieved a breakthrough in management of severe cases by commencing anti-fibrotic therapy in four such patients who were difficult to wean from oxygen due to extensive lung fibrosis. The patients have been discharged from the hospital after the recovery," it said.
After a 13-day gap, Andhra Pradesh once again reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a day, pushing the tally to 3,45,216 on Saturday.
With four districts reporting cases in excess of one thousand each, the state registered 10,276 fresh Covid-19 infections.
Also, 97 more fatalities were reported in 24 hours ending 9 am on Saturday, taking the death toll to 3,189.
The latest bulletin said 8,593 coronavirus patients were discharged from hospitals after they got cured.
The state now has 89,389 active cases after a total of 2,52,638 people got cured.
The infection positivity rate climbed further up to 10.82 per cent after a total of 31,91,326 tests were conducted so far.
As many as 5,375 new COVID-19 and 70 deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh, taking the total number of active cases to 48,294 in the state, the health department said.
According to the official data, a total of 4,638 discharges were also reported in the state. The death toll rose to 2,867 in the state.
Meanwhile, India's coronavirus cases stand at 29,75,702. The total cases are inclusive of 6,97,330 active cases, 22,22,578 patients who have been cured/discharged, or have migrated.
Kerala recorded 2,171 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the infection count to 56,353 while 15 deaths took the count to 218, Health minister K K Shailaja said.
Fifty four health workers, including 14from Palakkad and 11 from Malappuram, were among those who tested positive.
While Thiruvananthapuram recorded 464 cases, Malappuram 395, Kozhikode 232, Palakkad 184, Thrissur 179, Kasaragod 119, Ernakulam 114and Kottayam 104 cases.
Of the positive cases, 52 had come from abroad and 102 from other states, the minister said.
As many as 1,964 people were infected through contact and the source of infection of 153 was not known, the minister said in a press release.
As many as 240 people have been arrested across Noida and Greater Noida in a month for allegedly flouting restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, police said on Saturday.
Also, 388 vehicles have been impounded and challans issued to owners of 53,059 vehicles from July 22 till August 22, the Gautam Buddh Nagar police said.
CrPC Section 144, which bars assembly of more than four people at a spot, is in force in the district, adjoining Delhi, while wearing of face cover/masks and social distancing norms are also mandatory outdoors due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The district police said it registered 83 FIRs under Indian Penal Code section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) during the month.
The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi has risen from 539 on August 1 to 591 on August 21, with officials attributing the rise to smaller areas being contained now.
According to data, the number of containment zones had decreased to 496 in the national capital on August 2 and had witnessed a marginal increase to 499 on August 4.
The following days, the number declined to 481 and 466. On August 12, the number of containment zones went past 500.
In July, the number of such areas was more than 700 in Delhi, but it gradually declined in August owing to the government allowing the "red" zones to be denotifified 14 days after the discharge of the last confirmed case, instead of the earlier norm of 28 days.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on public movement, the 10-day Ganesh festival or Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Chaturthi) started in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra today, although the usual pomp and glory was missing this year.
It also said that the heights of Lord Ganesh idols installed by sarvajanik (community) mandals and at household-level should be limited to four feet and two feet, respectively, this year.
Seventy more people died from coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday as the state reported its highest daily count of 5,375 cases, pushing the number of infections to 1,82,456, according to a Health Department bulletin.
So far, the infection has claimed 2,867 lives, it said.
Among the fresh fatalities in the past 24 hours, 15 were reported from Lucknow; six each from Allahabad and Bareilly; four each from Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Pilibhit; three each in Kanpur Nagar, Moradabad, Kushinagar, the bulletin said.
The maximum cases were reported from Lucknow (769), followed by Gorakhpur (363) and Allahabad (300), the bulletin said, adding that the state recorded 5,375 infections on Saturday.
The number of active cases is now 48,294 while 1,31,295 people have recovered from the disease, it said.
The overall tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,01,865 as 2,474 new cases were added, it said 1,768 people were discharged on Friday taking the total number of people getting discharged to 78,735 so far, while 22,386 were under treatment.
A record 63,631 patients have recuperated from COVID-19 in a day pushing the recovery rate to 74.69 per cent, while the case fatality rate has dropped to 1.87 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.
While the country's COVID-19 tally neared the 30-lakh mark, the total number of recoveries has surged to 22,22,577 and exceed active cases by over 15 lakh as on date.
"Record-high recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country, which is the active cases, has reduced and currently comprises only 23.43 per cent of the total cases," the ministry said.
The country on Friday also crossed a significant milestone of testing 10,23,836, samples in 24 hours, in line with the commitment of exponentially increasing daily testing. With this, cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 rose to over 3.4 crore.
The Union Home Secretary wrote to the governments of all states and union territories on Saturday, reminding them that underguidelines for "Unlock3" there were no restrictions on either inter- or intra-state movement of people or goods" itemprop="description
Five more people died in Rajasthan due to coronavirus on Saturday, taking the death count to 938, while 612 fresh cases pushed the tally in the state to 68,566, a health department official said.
Out of the fresh deaths, three were reported in Jaipur and one each in Kota and Tonk, he said.
Among new cases, 167 were reported in Jaipur, 140 in Jodhpur, 80 in Ajmer, 78 in Bharatpur, 45 in Nagaur, 26 in Banswara, 25 in Hanumangarh, 24 in Rajsamand, 18 in Jhunjhunu and nine in Barmer.
The state has 14,907 active cases and a total of 52,059 have been discharged after the treatment.
At least 280 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura, pushing the caseload in the northeastern state to 8,389, a senior health department official said on Saturday.
One more person succumbed to the infection, raising the death count to 70, he said.
According to the official, the patient, a resident of West Tripura district, breathed his last at Agartala Government Medical College in Tripura. Tripura currently has 2,240 active cases.
As many as 6,061 people have recovered from the disease, 410 alone on Friday, the official said.
Eighteen people have migrated to other states. A total of 2,37,753 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in Tripura so far.
Keeping its commitment of exponentially increasing daily COVID-19 tests, India has "crossed a significant milestone" of testing more than 10 lakh (1 million) samples in a day, taking the cumulative tests to more than 3.4 crore, Union Health Ministry said.
As has been reported from states and Union Territories that have pushed ahead with aggressive testing, there is a commensurate decline in the positivity rate, the Health Ministry said.
"Although higher number of tests will initially lead to a rise in the positivity rate, it will eventually lower when combined with other measures such as prompt isolation, efficient tracking, and timely effective and clinical management," the ministry said.
Of the total of 10,23,836 samples tested on Friday, around 3.8 lakh samples were tested through rapid antigen tests, sources told news aency PTI.
All shops except those dealing with essential items remained shut in Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh with weekend lockdown restrictions coming into force on Saturday amid rising coronavirus cases.
The Punjab government had announced weekend lockdown in all cities and towns on Thursday, while authorities in Haryana and Chandigarh ordered the closure of all shops except those providing essential services on Friday to check the spread of COVID-19.
Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh have come up with stricter restrictions in the wake of rising cases of the infection.
While in Punjab and Haryana, the COVID tally has reached 39,327 and 52,129 respectively, in Chandigarh, there are 2,631 cases so far.
The weekend lockdown to combat COVID-19 was observed in Assam on Saturday following the guidelines issued by the state government on August 14.
Guwahati also wore a deserted look today with people staying indoors in the fight against coronavirus.
Earlier on August 14, the state government issued new COVID-19 lockdown guidelines with relaxations between August 16 and 31.
"All permitted activities mentioned in our earlier orders shall continue to be allowed between 5 am and 9 pm between Monday and Friday. Inter-District movement of passenger vehicles and people are allowed between Monday and Friday only. Inter-District movement of vehicles is allowed with 50 per cent capacity," the state government order read.
Himachal Pradesh's coronavirus tally stands at 4,780 as of Saturday, according to the state health department.
The total figure includes 1,438 active cases and 3,268 recovered cases.
So far, 25 deaths have been reported in the state.
India's COVID-19 tally neared the three million mark after 69,878 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday.
Ludhiana: Streets wear a deserted look as weekend lockdown measures are enforced in the city.- ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2020
"Only essential shops will remain open. Violators will be fined," says a police officer. #Punjabpic.twitter.com/UwVMK6KNNO
Assam: Devotees offer prayers outside a Lord Ganesh temple in Guwahati, on the occasion of #GaneshChaturthi.- ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2020
A weekend lockdown has been imposed in the state to contain the spread of #COVID19 till 31st August. pic.twitter.com/JWkDDtKh4N
The total tally of #COVID19 positive cases rises to 4,780 in Himachal Pradesh, including 1,438 active cases, 3,268 recovered cases & 25 deaths till date: State Health Department, Himachal Pradesh pic.twitter.com/weX4nlO2It- ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2020
Maharashtra: Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati Mandal is conducting a blood & plasma donation camp in Mumbai while celebrating its Arogya Utsav on the occasion of #GaneshChaturthi.- ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2020
President of Mandal says, "Due to #COVID19, we are conducting this camp instead of a Ganesh pandal." pic.twitter.com/OVuqA4IIck
Hotels in Delhi will open as per SOPs issued by the central government and weekly markets will begin functioning while maintaining social distancing: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain https://t.co/II0fhyIoh2- ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2020
Himachal Pradesh: Shopkeepers at Tibetan Market in Shimla say their businesses have been adversely affected due to #COVID19. A shopkeeper says, "Market condition is poor. We are out of business after March and this was the peak season for tourists to visit." pic.twitter.com/tx1RgsN8Nm- ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2020
Coronavirus cases in Bengaluru, one of the worst-affected metro cities in the country, crossed the one-lakh mark today with 2,948 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Karnataka health department data this evening.