Team AckoJun 21, 2021
In India, the first case of Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 was reported in Kerala on 30 January 2020 when three students returned from Wuhan in China, where the virus possibly originated. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus as pandemic as it started to impact the lives of people across the world.
The virus continues to spread in more and more communities across the globe and India declared the outbreak as an epidemic under the provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. Here’s all you need to know about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
In simple terms, novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness which has the capacity to spread from person to person. It is an infectious disease caused by a newly found coronavirus. The deadly virus spreads through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose of an infected person when they cough or sneeze.
In medical terms, the novel coronavirus is a virus that can infect both humans and animals, causing respiratory illness which can be as simple as the common cold or as severe as pneumonia. However, older people and those with medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease are more prone to get infected.
Coronaviruses are not new to humans. It was first discovered in the 1960s when people with common cold were infected with the new virus. Other types of coronaviruses include the SARS-CoV which was discovered in 2003 and there were several others which were later discovered. However, the new strain in the virus which has infected several humans across the world was later named Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
While there are several theories about how the virus originated, the first reported case of COVID-19 can be traced back to 1 December 2019 in Wuhan district of Hubei in China, which has since then spread globally.
COVID-19 also referred to as 2019-nCov and 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The WHO announced the official name of the disease as COVID-19, while the virus is called SARS-CoV-2. Just like how HIV is the name of the virus and AIDS is the disease, COVID-19 is the name of the disease and the virus name is SARS-CoV-2.
Using the name SARS could create unavoidable fear among people especially in Asia which was affected by the outbreak of SARS in 2003. Hence, WHO started to refer to COVID-19 as the virus when communicating to the public.
Distinguishing between coronavirus and COVID-19 can be confusing. Do you call it coronavirus or COVID-19? Well, both are different. The name coronavirus is not new to humans. The term or name refers to a group of viruses which are known to cause respiratory illnesses.
The conditions of coronaviruses can be mild to severe such as the common cold to more serious symptoms like lung issues which requires hospitalisation. Previous coronaviruses include the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
A new type of coronavirus was discovered which was previously not known by health experts. And, to distinguish between other types of coronaviruses and the newly found virus, the name or term COVID-19 was given to the new strain of the virus. This was known as the novel coronavirus or the new virus.
Some coronaviruses live in animals and some in humans. However, when it comes to COVID-19, it spreads from an animal to a human, which the WHO calls it “a spillover event”. However, it mainly spreads through droplets from an infected person through a cough or a sneeze. It can also spread through close contact with one another and it can also survive on surfaces for a few days.
COVID-19 symptoms are not the same for all persons. It can affect in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and people infected by the virus can show mild to moderate symptoms who can recover without the need for special treatment. However, persons with existing medical conditions and those above 60 years old have a higher risk of contracting the disease.
Shortness of Breath
Pains and Aches
Diarrhoea, Nausea and Runny Nose in Some Cases.
The WHO recommends that those who are healthy but show mild symptoms should isolate and inform their medical provider for advice on testing and referral. Persons who have cough, fever or difficulty in breathing should consult their doctor and get medical attention.
Also, read: Coronavirus Helpline India
Declared a pandemic, the novel coronavirus termed COVID-19 has caused a wreck across continents, but one thing is clear that the illness can cast a storm on your body. Unlike their common cold causing cousins, zoonotic coronaviruses are transmitted from animals to humans such as SARS and MERS. So, what COVID-19 does to the body?
Droplets transmitted through the air by coughing or sneezing, the novel coronavirus spreads to nearby people who can inhale with their mouth, nose or eyes. These particles travel through the back of your nasal passages and attach themselves to the mucus membrane in the back of your throat and particular receptor cells pick up these viruses.
COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 have spiked proteins resembling crowns, hence the term coronaviruses. These spikes attach to cell membranes thereby entering the human cell. This genetic material of the virus attacks the metabolism of the cell and multiplies.
Now that the genetic material of the novel coronavirus has hijacked the cells, your immune system may start to show the symptoms of COVID-19. This happens within 14 days. Your lungs might experience inflammation making it difficult for you to breathe, This can even lead to pneumonia.
While most cases show mild symptoms, for some the infection can become severe. Symptoms of shortness of breath begin to show in 5 to 8 days. After which the infection causes Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). This may require a ventilator to support your lungs to breathe.
Once the virus hijacks your body cells, it first affects the lining of your throat, airways and lungs. From here the coronavirus multiplies rapidly and goes on to infect other cells. Compared to the SARS and MERS, COVID-19 infection is mild at the initial stages. Persons with the illness might not show symptoms or even be sick. The incubation period is an average of five days.
Once the coronavirus enters the body and hijacks the cells, they begin to reproduce in the host cell, after which they spread to other cells of the body. They primarily affect the respiratory system such as lungs and typically infect the throat and airways.
Severe symptoms or complications of a COVID-19 infection can be in the form of viral pneumonia. Tiny sacs in your lung which exchanges oxygen and Carbon dioxide, are infected by SARS-CoV-2. These sacs are filled with pus or biological fluid and make it harder for the infected person to breathe easily.
While people of all ages can get infected by the virus, people with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart ailments, lung disease, HIV, asthma, etc. are more at risk of contracting the virus.
The very important thing to do is to wash your hands with soap and water regularly and thoroughly. The WHO recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds to avoid contracting the virus.
Also, using face masks could stop you from spreading the virus but it may not be effective in preventing you from catching the virus. This is because you will have to clean, wash or change the mask regularly and dispose of surgical masks of properly.
The prime source of infection can be because of touching your nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands. Hence, following personal hygiene can go a long way in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) which termed the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 says that the virus spreads when a person comes in close contact with an infected case. An infected person with respiratory symptoms such as sneezing or coughing is at risk of spreading the virus through the discharge of droplets from their nose or mouth. The distance of 1 metre is enough for the virus to infect the person who is in close contact with a COVID-19 symptomatic person.
Also, the spread of the virus can happen in the immediate vicinity of the infected person. Therefore, the spread of coronavirus between people can happen through direct contact with the infected individual and indirect contact with surfaces in the close environment or with objects touched by the infected person.
Since humans are social beings, they are bound to be contacted in some form or the other. Hence, guidelines issued by the government of India and organizations such as WHO recommend Social Distancing and to keep at least 1-metre distance between persons to avoid any possible transmission of the disease.
Also, read: Corona Kavach Policy
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed several COVID-19 prevention methods to contain the spread and prevent infection. Below are the details:
Washing hands regularly with soap and water.
Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your face.
Maintain 1-metre or 3-feet distance between people.
While coughing or sneezing, ensure you cover your mouth.
If you are feeling unwell stay at home.
Smoking weakens the lungs, hence refrain.
Avoid unnecessary travel.
Stay away from large gatherings.
Practise physical distancing.
The WHO has listed several facts about coronavirus which are as below:
Exposing yourself to temperatures higher than 25-degree Celsius or to the sun does not prevent COVID-19 or coronavirus disease.
You can recover from COVID-19 or coronavirus disease and it does not mean you will have it for life.
Holding your breath for 10 seconds or more without feeling discomfort or sneezing or coughing does not mean you will not get infected by the coronavirus or any other lung disease.
Consuming alcohol does not mean you are protected against the infection of coronavirus disease or COVID-19. In fact, it could mean more dangerous.
COVID-19 can be spread in areas with humid and hot climates.
Snow and cold weather does not kill the Novel coronavirus.
Bathing in hot water does not kill or prevent COVID-19 or coronavirus disease.
Thermal scanners can detect people who have a fever; however, it does not detect people with coronavirus disease.
Hand dryers are not effective in killing the coronavirus.
Vaccination such as pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenza type B does not provide protection against the virus.
Regularly rinsing your nose with saline does not prevent protection against the coronavirus disease.
Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body does not kill the virus.
While garlic has some antimicrobial properties, there is no evidence that consuming garlic will protect you against the new coronavirus.
Ultraviolet lamps or disinfection cannot be used to kill the virus. In fact, UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
The Novel coronavirus does not spread through mosquito bites.
Anybody can contract the novel coronavirus; however, older people and those with existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, lung issues, diabetes, cancer and asthma appear to be more vulnerable.
Antibiotics work only against bacteria and not against viruses.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions about novel coronavirus and COVID-19:
How likely am I to get infected by COVID-19?
It depends on where you are and if there is an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in your area. While the risk is low for most people to catch COVID-19, there are now places across the world where the disease is spreading. Those living in these areas are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Ensure social distancing, and comply with the local authorities will reduce the risk of spreading or catching the infection.
Who is at a higher risk of contracting severe illness?
While there are several research and learnings about how the disease affects people, persons with existing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma or cancer and older persons appear to develop severe illness more than the others.
Is there a vaccine to treat novel coronavirus?
As of 07 April 2020, there is no vaccine available to treat COVID-19; however, those who are infected are to seek medical attention and hospitalization as most patients recover if taken timely medical help. The WHO is coordinating several clinical trials to find a vaccination for the COVID-19. The most effective way to prevent novel coronavirus is to wash hands regularly, cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing and maintain social distancing of at least 3 feet (91.44 cm) from people who are sneezing or coughing.
Is COVID-19 the same as SARS or MERS?
Should I wear a mask at all times?
Wear a mask only if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 symptoms or if you are taking care of a person who may have contracted COVID-19. Also, you can wear a disposable mask only once. If you are not ill or not taking care of a COVID-19 patient, the WHO urges you to use masks wisely since it will be useful from others who really need it.
What is the incubation period for COVID-19?
Several estimates as per the WHO states that the incubation period for COVID-19 ranges between 1 to 14 days; however, these estimates will be updated by the WHO as more data is available.
Can humans catch COVID-19 from an animal source?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are usually common in animals. Occasionally, people can get infected with the virus which may then spread from humans to humans. For example, SARS-CoV came from civet cats while the MERS-CoV came from dromedary camels. However, the possibility of an animal source of the novel coronavirus is still yet to be confirmed.
Is COVID-19 airborne?
The virus is primarily spread through droplets caused by the infected person when they cough or sneeze or talk; however, the WHO states that the droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall on surfaces or floors. If you are within 3 feet of the infected person or by touching a surface which is possibly contaminated and then touching your nose, face, eyes or mouth before washing your hands there is a possibility of contracting the disease.
Are tobacco users and smokers at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 infection?
Smokers are more prone to contracting COVID-19 infection as fingers and cigarettes which are possibly contaminated comes in contact with lips increases the possibility of spreading the virus from hand to mouth. Also, smokers’ lungs have reduced capacity which would increase the risk of contracting the disease.
Should I be physically active during the COVID-19 pandemic?
When there is so much restriction in our movements, it is important for people of all ages to be active. Physical activity such as walking or stretching will ease muscle strain, improve blood circulation and muscle activity and most importantly relieve mental tension.
Pune: Rickshaw Panchayat Launches ‘Corona-Free Rickshaw’
– August 19, 2020
The Rickshaw Panchayat is Pune’s largest auto rickshaw drivers’ union. They have launched a new initiative in Pune called ‘Corona-Free Rickshaw’. As per this initiative, at least 100 rickshaws have been modified. These rickshaws feature a transparent barrier between the driver and the passenger. A sanitiser spray is also provided. The drivers of such rickshaws use a mask and a face shield. All these measures are undertaken keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic and the people’s fear associated with it. The ‘Corona-Free Rickshaw’ service was greenlighted by the Pune Divisional Commissioner. Commuters can identify the autorickshaws that are a part of this initiative via stickers. As per the Union’s convenor, the ‘Corona-Free Rickshaw’ came as a response to low auto rickshaw ridership. Auto Rickshaws could again ply on roads in Pune from 1 August 2020 but the response was not that encouraging due to the fear associated with the virus.
COVID-19: Karnataka CM Tests Positive for Coronavirus Infection
– August 3, 2020
Chief Minister of Karnataka tweeted on Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He added that he was fine and wanted to take precautionary measures. So, he is being hospitalised on the advice of doctors. He further asked those who came in contact with him to get themselves tested for the novel coronavirus and follow self-quarantine. The state has witnessed an unexpected increase in cases in the month of July. The capital city of Bengaluru accounts for more than 50% of cases in the state. In the last 24 hours, the state recorded 5,532 cases while 84 deaths were reported. The total cases in the state stand at 1.34 lakhs as of Sunday. The novel coronavirus referred to as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in early March after it spread across the world.
Centre: No Large Gatherings During Independence Celebrations
– July 24, 2020
The Central Government has asked all states to avoid large gatherings for Independence Day celebrations and stream the events through the internet. The announcement comes amid the rising positive cases of COVID-19 infections in the country. The Centre through the Health Ministry asked states to invite frontline warriors such as doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to the event and even people who have recovered from the infection. With the announcement, all events should be organised without large gatherings and technology should be harnessed to celebrate the event. It should be webcast so that it can reach to large sections of people, especially those who are unable to participate. The ministry also asked to promote Aatma Nirbhar Bahrat in suitable activities and messages.
Punjab Announces New Penalties for Violations of COVID-19 Guidelines
– July 24, 2020
As per the new guidelines issued by the State government of Punjab, those found flouting COVID-19 guidelines will have to pay Rs. 5,000 as a penalty. Chief Minister Amrinder Singh announced the new penalties for violating guidelines issued by the government for curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state. He also announced that owners of restaurants and eateries found flouting COVID-19 guidelines will attract a penalty of Rs. 5,000, especially for flouting social distancing norms to make sure citizens comply with the guidelines. Also, social gathering of more than stipulated norms and violating social distancing guidelines will attract a penalty of Rs. 10,000. The CM announced the new penalties in a video conference to review the situation of the pandemic and the preparation in Punjab. This penalty is in addition to the existing penalties announced in May for violation of home quarantine, which attracts Rs. 200, not wearing face masks will attract a penalty of Rs. 500 and Rs. 500 for spitting at public places. Also, commercial establishments and shops found flouting social distancing will attract a penalty of Rs. 2,000, while it is Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 2,000 for buses and cars, respectively.
COVID-19: Centre Discourages General Public from Wearing Valved Respirator N-95 Face Masks
– July 22, 2020
The Union Health Ministry issued a written letter to states and union territories discouraging the use of valved respiratory N-95 masks. The ministry said that this type of masks did not help in containing the spread of the virus and discouraged the public from wearing such masks. The ministry further added that the use of masks should be as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). It noted that these types of masks are recommended when pollution levels are high and do not prevent germs from passing through the valve.
COVID-19: Number Of Fresh Cases Reduced In Delhi
– July 20, 2020
The daily number of fresh cases seems to have reduced in the capital as compared to before. As about 1211 cases were reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours. This is the lowest number of reported cases in Delhi since June 09, 2020, in a 24-hour timeframe. Sadly, about 31 people succumbed to COVID-19 in the state in the past 24 hours. Experts believe that the number of new cases has hit its highest and now this number will reduce on a daily basis. It is also believed that all regions will hit their highest in the near future and the current load on India’s Healthcare system will reduce. The credit of decrease in the number of fresh cases can be given to the efforts of the State Government. Strict, implementation of rules and joint efforts with the frontline workers helped in reducing the number of new cases of infection. Currently, there are 16031 active cases in the capital, over 103134 people have been either cured or discharged, and 3628 people have lost their lives to the deadly disease.
COVID-19: With 40 Thousand Fresh Cases, Daily Tally Creates A New Record
– July 20, 2020
Until yesterday about 350034 active cases were under treatment for COVID-19 in the country. However, now 40425 new cases have been added to the tally. This has set a record for the highest number of fresh cases in 24 hours. The death toll stands at 27497, out of which 681 cases are from the last 24 hours. With more than 40 thousand fresh cases, the overall tally has crossed 11 Lakh in the country, this includes active cases, cured/discharged cases, people who have succumbed to the disease and 1 migrated case. On the plus side, the mortality rate is decreasing progressively and currently stands at 2.49%. This is one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. However, with 11,18,043 cases, India is ranking at the third position on the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, West Bengal, and Rajasthan are currently the top 10 states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in India.
COVID-19: More Than 27 Thousand People Have Succumbed To The Infection In India
– July 20, 2020
The coronavirus infection has claimed the lives of more than 27 thousand people from the time it began spreading in the country. Around 681 deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours. This increased the number of fatalities to 27,497, as per the Health Ministry’s data. The addition of 40 thousand new cases spiked the number of active cases in the last 24 hours. The number has now reached to 390459 making this jump the highest ever in the record of active COVID-19 cases reported in the country. On the plus side, the number of daily cases has been reducing in the capital. This was expected because cases start to decline once a region hits its peak number, experts believe. On the other hand, more hospitals are being roped in to treat the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Two private hospitals were granted approval to treat COVID-19 patients in Patna. Earlier, COVID-19 patients were allowed treatment in government hospitals only.
COVID-19: The Current Recovery Rate Is 62 Percent In India
– July 20, 2020
There are currently 390459 active COVID-19 cases in the country and more than 7 Lakh people have been cured or discharged from medical facilities. This takes the recovery rate to 62.61%. The authorities are taking active measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease which seems to be spreading like wildfire. More number of medical facilities are being made available for providing treatment to those who are suffering from the Coronavirus infection. Such facilities are divided into three main categories – Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC), Dedicated COVID Hospital (DCH), and Dedicated COVID Care Centre (DCCC). These centres are categorized upon the severity of a COVID-19 case. DCHs are for critically ill patients, DCHCs are for moderately ill patients, and DCCCs are for those cases which have mild symptoms. As mentioned earlier, there are 390459 active cases in India, 700086 have been either cured or discharged and unfortunately, about 27497 people have lost their lives to the disease. Overall, 1118043 people are affected by COVID-19 in the country.
COVID-19 Update: Coronavirus Cases in India Cross 5.48 lakhs
– June 29, 2020
As per the data available on 29 June 2020 at 9:30 AM, the number of COVID-19 cases in India has crossed 5.48 lakhs. The number of deaths has increased beyond 16,400. 19,459 cases and 380 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours. Such a spike makes it the highest the country has witnessed as of now. The precise number of cases is 5,48,318 including 2,10,120 active cases. The rising number of cases has placed India in the fourth position; USA is first, Brazil second, and Russia third among the worst-affected COVID-19 countries. Within India, Maharashtra is the epicentre of the virus and within Maharashtra, Mumbai has become the hotbed. Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are second, third, and fourth, respectively in the Coronavirus case count in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that as of 28 June 2020, the total number of tested samples stood at 83,98,362.
Close To 17,000 Coronavirus Cases Recorded in India In A Day
– June 26, 2020
As per an update from the Union Health Ministry on 25 June 2020 at 8 AM, the number of active COVID-19 cases in India climbed to 1,86,514. The update highlighted that 16,992 cases and 418 deaths were recorded in a 24-hour period. Such a jump has taken the nation-wide number of COVID-19 cases to 4,73,105 and the death toll to 14,894. This is the highest day-wise recording of cases so far. The number was close to 16,000 for the previous day. The data also states that the recovery rate stands at 57.43 per cent. The number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi has surpassed the number of cases in Mumbai. The cases in Delhi have crossed 70,000, while the number of cases in Mumbai stands at 69,625. The Delhi government plans to accomplish house-to-house screening in areas marked as containment zones by the end of June. The plan includes covering the remaining areas by 6 July 2020.
Tamil Nadu Registers 3509 COVID-19 Cases in One Day
– June 26, 2020
The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in India. As per reports on 25 June 2020, Tamil Nadu registered 3509 cases in a span of 24 hours, making it the highest daily spike in the number of cases in the south Indian state. This rise has taken the total number of cases in Tamil Nadu beyond 70,000. The death toll in the state has increased to 911 as the daily spike included 45 fatalities. Reports suggest that close to 40,000 patients have recovered from COVID-19 and discharged from the hospital. There are 41 private and 47 government COVID-19 testing facilities in Tamil Nadu. Testing of more than 10 lakhs samples has been completed in these facilities. The southern state is among the worst-hit regions concerning the number of COVID-19 patients and deaths. The number of cases in India is now beyond 4.73 lakhs.
COVID -19: High Number Of Cases Registered In 24 Hours Yet Again
– June 25, 2020
According to the Union health ministry data, India saw yet another highest number of COVID-19 confirmed cases registered in a single day. The number of active cases increased by 15,968 and 465 deaths were recorded. The month of June has seen some serious spike in the number of active cases with 265,648 people getting infected with the disease. The COVID-19 recovery rate now stands at 56.70%. According to the World Health Organisation, India has the lowest death/lakh rate i.e. 1.00 as compared to the global average of 6.04. Topping the list of COVID-affected states in the country, Maharashtra has 139,010 cases and 6,531 deaths. Followed by Delhi with 66,602 cases and 2,301 deaths. On a lighter note, the city of Mumbai, the worst affected city in India, saw the lowest number of recorded cases in 41 days i.e. 824.
COVID-19: Large Screening Campaign “Kill Corona” To Be Launched In Madhya Pradesh
– June 25, 2020
The government of Madhya Pradesh is looking to launch one of the most ambitious campaigns against Coronavirus – “Kill Corona Campaign” from July 01, 2020. The population of this state is almost 8 crore people and according to the authorities, it may take around 14 to 15 days for the campaign to complete. Many healthcare workers like medical practitioners, Asha and Anganwadi workers, and COVID Mitra will be roped in to speed up the process. The campaign will kickstart in the capital and continue over various locations including both urban and rural regions. Apart from screening people for Coronavirus, tests for other vector-borne diseases will also be conducted if deemed necessary. People of Madhya Pradesh will get access to door-step consultations regarding various symptoms for diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, etc. To achieve this large target, around 10 thousand teams will visit around 10 lakh houses each day. The Kill Corona Campaign received a green signal in the meeting chaired by CM of Madhya Pradesh Mr Shviraj Singh Chouhan.
COVID-19: Delhi Sees Highest Single-Day Increase in Positive Cases
– June 24, 2020
Delhi saw its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases as it reported 4,000 new cases. The total number of cases stands at 66,000. In the last 24 hours, Delhi reported a total of 3,947 new cases as per the concerned authorities. Death toll in Delhi stands at 2,301 after 68 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Active cases in Delhi stand at over 24,500 and over 39,000 patients have been discharged so far. The national capital has over 260 containment zones. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that a 1,000-bed hospital with ICU beds is being set up exclusively for COVID-19 patients, which will be ready in 10 days. The hospital will be manned by armed forces personnel. He added that a total of 8,000 additional beds are at the Delhi government’s disposal for developing COVID care centres.
COVID-19 Cases in India Cross The 3.5 Lakh Mark
– June 17, 2020
India reported its first COVID-19 case on 3 January 2020. As per data from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total case count is around 3.54 lakhs. Close to 11,000 cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The past 24 hours also brought the news of 2,203 deaths due to the deadly virus. This massive spike has taken the overall death toll in the country to 11,903. The state of Maharashtra is the worst-hit among Indian regions. The total COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra is more than a lakh. The death toll in the state stands at 5537. Tamil Nadu and Delhi are second and third, respectively concerning the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Out of the total cases, India’s recovery rate is more than 50 per cent. For nine continuous days, the recovery number is greater than the active number of cases.
Over 1.60 Crore FASTags Issued Until Beginning Of May
– May 13, 2020
The National Highways of India (NHAI) said that over 1.60 crores FASTag has been issued until the beginning of May since it was launched. It said that this number could increase further once the lockdown ends and commercial and private vehicle traffic resumes on national highways as the technology allows zero human contact. FASTags is based on the Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology which enables electronic toll payments at national highway toll plazas. The NHAI said that RFID technology ensures safety during times like COVID-19 as it helps prevent human touch points while making payments.
COVID-19: People Can Now Move Without Pass in Rajasthan
– May 12, 2020
The State Government of Rajasthan has announced that people can move between districts without the need of a pass. This comes into effect from today. The government has also relaxed some guidelines with new exemptions for travel from 7 am to 7 pm. However, this is not applicable in areas which are under curfew where cases of COVID-19 are large. Earlier, one had to avail a pass to travel within districts in Rajasthan which is now relaxed. Also, travel to other states by bus or train will require a pass, this is also applicable in curfew areas.
COVID-19: Seized Vehicles To Be Released Soon, Says Hyderabad Cops
– May 11, 2020
Vehicles seized for violations during the lockdown will be released, announced the Hyderabad police. The police said that owners need to pay a fine of Rs.500 before taking their vehicles back. The fine can be paid through several modes such as PayTM, Mee Seva or Phone Pe UPI services. They added that vehicles seized under the Epidemic Disease Act will be released only after a court order. Hyderabad cops seized more than 1.60 lakh vehicles during the lockdown which was announced to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. While the traffic police seized more than 50,000 vehicles, the civil police seized more than 1 lakh vehicles for violation of the lockdown rules. The police cautioned vehicles owners to continue to follow the strict lockdown rules to avoid vehicles being seized.
COVID-19: Auto Dealerships Begin Operations in India
– May 8, 2020
Two-wheeler and four-wheeler dealerships have begun operations in the country after 40 days of lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Auto dealerships are being opened in areas which are not considered as risk zones. Car manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Hyundai, Honda Cars, Hyundai among others have opened their dealerships, others have begun for disinfection and fumigation purposes. Also, those who bought before the lockdown will get priority when it comes to delivery. Maruti Suzuki has already begun operations in about 600 dealerships and Hyundai has opened about 50 dealerships across the country. Most of these dealerships are opened in Goa, Karnataka, North East and Odisha especially in green zones and then in orange zones.
COVID-19: Odisha Government Launches Insurance Coverage for RTO Staffs and Officials
– May 7, 2020
The Government of Odisha has introduced a new insurance scheme for RTO staff and Officials involved in COVID-19 duty. The insurance cover is worth Rs.50 lakhs and will cover drivers and helpers of vehicles who are responsible for the transportation of returnees engaged in COVID-19 duties. Also, those who are posted at border check posts, railway stations and requisitioning of vehicles for transportation of stranded persons arriving from other states will also be eligible for the scheme.
COVID-19: More Than 30 Vaccines In The Works in India
– May 06, 2020
Top scientists of the country briefed the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi that over 30 vaccines are being developed to fight the deadly COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the country. At a meeting with the Task Force, the PM reviewed the current development of the vaccine. Out of the 30 vaccines being developed, about four are undergoing synthesis and examination in this category. The statement said that new vaccines are being developed by linking a high-performance computational approach with verification of the drug in the laboratory.
COVID-19: Telangana to Jharkhand Special Trains Announced for Migrant Workers
– May 05, 2020
Special trains from Telangana to Jharkhand were arranged by the railways to help migrant workers reach their homes. About 1200 migrant workers were ferried from Lingampally to Hatia, a first since the lockdown was announced. With a migrant workers crisis across the country due to the lockdown which has crippled the transport sector especially government-run railways and buses, state governments have been urging the Centre to address the issue. The special train from Telangana to Jharkhand left at 4.50 am on Friday and incidentally, the day was also the international labour day.
Lockdown Extended Until 17 May: MHA
– May 04, 2020
Under the Disaster Management Act 2005, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory to extend the lockdown by two weeks that is until 17 May 2020. The decision was taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Also, the ministry has issued guidelines to regulate activities during these two weeks based on the risk factors of the districts. This has been divided into Green, Orange and Red Zones. Activities such as industrial and construction activities are allowed in rural areas and a large number of activities have been allowed in Red Zones as well. And, considerable activities have been allowed in Orange and Green Zones.
COVID-19: Dedicated Helpline for Corona Warriors Launched by Rajasthan Police
– May 04, 2020
In an effort to help healthcare professionals, the Rajasthan Police has launched a dedicated helpline number for ‘Corona Warriors’. The initiative comes after several attacks on medical care professionals from different parts of the state. The dedicated number will help paramedical staff, ASHA workers and other medical staff to safeguard themselves involved in survey and screening of the novel coronavirus. To take up their grievances, nodal officers have been appointed to take up their case. They will share information with the Indian Medical Association and the state government. Those involved in attacking healthcare professionals will be booked under the Epidemic Disease Act and the Disaster Management Act.
Amazon Launches Amazon Pay Later in the Country
– May 02, 2020
Amazon has launched the Amazon Pay Later, a personal credit score service in the country. The feature offers instant interest-free credit score on all of the goods available on its Amazon app. The feature allows you to pay utility bills and buy groceries during the lockdown period. You can get up to a maximum of Rs.20,000 as instant interest-free credit. It even allows you to repay the credit in monthly instalments of up to 12 months. Also, bills can be converted to EMI with an interest rate ranging from 1.5% to 2%.
COVID-19: Works in National and State Begin In Zones Other Than Red Zones in Karnataka
– April 30, 2020
Works in national and state highways in Karnataka will be taken up in areas other than red zones. Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol confirmed the directive stating that 16 out of 18 projects of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have begun in the state and state highway projects numbering 43 have started. He added that the construction of storage of water below bridge structure has also begun by the state. He said that necessary steps are being followed as per the directives of the Centre to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus during the construction by workers.
COVID-19: MNCs in Gurgaon May Have To Work From Home Until July End
– April 28, 2020
The Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority said that MNCs, IT Enabled Services (ITES) and BPOs may have to work from home until the end of July. Part of the National Capital Region (NCR), Gurgaon is home to several MNCs, BPOS and ITES and is popularly known as the Millenium city. The district administration had issued an advisory early March directing IT companies and other MNCs to allow its employees to work from home due to the lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Now, the district administration wants to continue it until the end of July. While this might be challenging for industries and manufacturing sectors, the DA said that work from home should be followed as much as possible.
Swiggy, Aavin Partner To Deliver Dairy Products
– April 28, 2020
Food delivery aggregator Swiggy has tied up with Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation which is known as AAVIN to deliver dairy products in the state. Swiggy will deliver Aavin products from 21 outlets across the city. Customers need to click on the Aavin store category under the groceries tab on Swiggy to place the order and get it delivered to their doorstep. About eight categories of Aavin are available for delivery through Swiggy. Customers can order Aavin products especially during this time of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19: Google, Apple To Launch Tracking Tool Soon
– April 27, 2020
Tech giants Google and Apple have been working on a COVID-19 tracking tool in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Both the companies also said that they are putting stringent privacy protections in the tracking tool. They added that a developer’s version will also be launched. As per the tech companies, the tracking tool is a “two-phase exposure notification solution.” The tracker utilises the Bluetooth technology to help in contract tracking.
COVID-19: Curve Bends in Tamil Nadu and Haryana
– April 24, 2020
From the time the lockdown was announced in India, the doubling of cases increased from every four days to nine days currently. Compared to some of its neighbours, India has performed better and the trajectory of cases is much slower. While Maharashtra and Gujarat have witnessed the highest cases in the country so far, Tamil Nadu and Haryana have shown an improvement in bending the curve. While Maharashtra and Gujarat cases are doubling at nine and six days, respectively, Tamil Nadu and Haryana coronavirus cases are doubling at 19 and 17 days respectively.
COVID-19: Growth Slows Down in Most States in the Country
– April 23, 2020
When India went into lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, it had over 500 cases across the country. Currently, the figure stands at more than 18,500 cases and 590 deaths. In the last four weeks of lockdown, the growth of COVID-19 cases has slowed down in several states in India. While the numbers doubled every five days during the first week of lockdown, it has taken about 9 days to double in the fourth week of the lockdown. Except for Maharashtra and Gujarat, all other states have shown a decline in the number of coronavirus cases. Maharashtra currently has over 4,600 cases while it was 128 on the first day of the lockdown. In the case of Gujarat, it had 38 cases on the first day of lockdown and currently, it is at 2272 cases. India first went into a 21-day lockdown from 25 March 2020 which is now extended to 3 May 2020 to contain the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 in the country.
Karnataka Creates Unified COVID-19 Portal
– April 21, 2020
An official release by the Karnataka Government states that as per the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa direction a “Unified COVID-19 Portal” has been created for information and statistics about the deadly disease which has taken several lives in the last couple of months. Information such as statistics, awareness materials, advisories from the government, messages, fake news busters, helpline numbers, clinical centres and state war room analysis about COVID-19 will be updated in this new unified portal. The portal offers real-time dashboard-style information about positive COVID-19 cases, discharges and deaths as well as other information related to the pandemic.
COVID-19: Karnataka Announces Hotspot Districts in the State
– April 20, 2020
Karnataka has identified COVID-19 hotspots across 18 districts in the state. Of these eight districts have been declared as Red Zones from where the majority of cases have been reported. Among the hotspots, Bengaluru Urban, Belagavi, Mysuru, Kalaburgi, Dakshin Kannada, Bagalkot, Bidar, and Dharwad which have been declared as Red Zones. Other districts such as Hassan, Chamrajnagar, Kolar, Chikmagalur, Koppala, Shimoga, Ramanagara, Yadgiri and Raichur have been declared as Green Zones. The remaining zones have been declared as non-hotspot districts which include Mandya, Bengaluru Rural, Davangere, Ballari, Udupi, Tumakuru, Gadag and Kodagu. The COVID-19 war room in the state has revised the list with new hotspots in Bengaluru as BBMP said that hotspots are dynamic and keeps changing.
COVID-19: Government Notifies New Guidelines For Implementation During 2nd Lockdown
– April 15, 2020
The government of India has notified a new set of guidelines to be followed during the 2nd lockdown until 3 May 2020. Select activities will be allowed from 20 April 2020 in areas which are not specified as containment zones. All agricultural and horticultural activities which include farming operations, agencies engaged in procurement of agricultural products, including Mandis operated by the Agricultural Produce Market Committee MSP operations and shops of agriculture machinery will be functional. Movement of goods carriers and trucks with two drivers and a helper will remain functional during this period. Also, financial institutions and health-related services will be operational during this time. Additionally, all facilities in the supply chain of essential goods and eCommerce operations will be allowed to operate. Services provided by self-employed individuals such as IT repairs, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and motor mechanics will be allowed to operate in non-containment zones.
Punjab Announces Extension of Coronavirus Lockdown
– April 13, 2020
The state government of Punjab has announced the extension of the lockdown in the state which ends on 14 April 2020. The Punjab government announced that the lockdown will be extended till 1 May 2020. The government said that the decision was taken after apprehensions of community spread of COVID-19 and to stop overcrowding of Mandis in the wake of the wheat harvesting season. The Capt. Amrinder Singh led government said that the extension of the lockdown was required so that the burden of medical infrastructure does not increase beyond its capabilities. A multi-disciplinary task force has been set up by the Punjab government to find ways to exit the lockdown in a gradual manner.
COVID-19: Digital Platform To Train Frontline Corona Workers Launched by Centre
– April 9, 2020
The Indian government has launched an exclusive digital platform to train frontline corona workers. The Department of Personnel and Training, which launched the platform, said that through this platform they will offer specialised training and updates in handling the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic in the country. This will also help them prepare for the next stages of the pandemic. The digital platform, known as iGOT, will help train all healthcare warriors. The centre said that it understands the need to train second-line healthcare workers so that the country will be well-prepared to contain the virus that has affected several lives across the country. The primary healthcare professionals who will receive training are nurses, paramedics, doctors, hygiene workers, auxiliary midwives, technicians, state and central government officials, different types of police organisation, civil defence officials, National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Bharat Scouts and Guides as well as other volunteers.
Coronavirus, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1
Coronavirus, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_3
Coronavirus, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_2
Myth busters, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19), World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precaution recommendations: Scientific brief, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19-implications-for-ipc-precaution-recommendations
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