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Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Supreme Court on Thursday while referring to the Rath Yatra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple in Odisha, said they will not allow it, according to Live Law. Lord Jagannath will not forgive us if we allow this to continue,’ Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said.

The Delhi government has decided to fix the price limit of RT-PCR tests for coronavirus at Rs, 2400, PTI quoted Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia as saying on Thursday. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launches India’s first mobile lab for COVID-19 testing in Delhi, ANI reports.

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the annual Rath Yatra and related activities at Puri’s Jagannath Temple in Odisha, scheduled for 23 June this year, in view of the coronavirus outbreak, PTI reported.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that as per the new testing protocol approved by ICMR, testing for COVID-19 will be done from today onwards as per the new Rapid Antigen methodology. ‘This technique will be faster and cheaper, 169 testing centers set up in the National Capital. Priority for the supply of kits will be given to Delhi,’ he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the launch of the auction of 41 coal mines for commercial mining today said: India will turn this Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity. It has taught India to be self-reliant. India will also reduce its dependence on imports.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah to hold a meeting today at 12 pm with senior administrative officers of Delhi-NCR, in view of COVID-19 management and situation in the national capital, reports ANI.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said as many as 62,49,668 samples have been tested till 17 June. Of these, 1,65,412 samples tested in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate has further improved to 52.95% with the recoveries/deaths ratio stands now at 94.07%.

India on Thursday reported 12,881 new cases and 334 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the latest update from the Union health ministry. With this, the country’s overall count rises to 3,66,946, including 12,237 fatalities.

Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has been given additional charge of the health ministry and other departments allocated to Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain after Jain tested for positive COVID19 yesterday, reports ANI.

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in its large multi-country trial of treatments for COVID-19 patients had been halted after new data and studies showed no benefit, reports Reuters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked states to make full use of the expanded COVID-19 testing capacity stating that saving lives is a top priority as India recorded a spike of 2,003 coronavirus deaths after Maharashtra and Delhi added earlier fatalities not attributed to the disease.

Modi also called for fighting the stigma associated with the novel coronavirus and that people should be assured there is no need to panic if somebody has contracted the infection as the number of recovered patients has also been rising. The COVID-19 recovery rate for the country currently stood at around 53 percent.

The prime minister’s exhortations came on a day the country registered 2,003 COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry, pushing the death toll to 11,903. This was after Maharashtra and Delhi added earlier deaths that were not attributed to the disease.

According to the health ministry, India’s caseload rose to 3,54,065 with 10,974 new infections being reported in the last 24 hours. The active cases stood at 1,55,227, while 1,86,934 people have recovered, the ministry added.

 Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: SC stays all Rath Yatra activities in Odishas Puri this year, says Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow it

Home Minister Amit Shah held meeting with

senior officials of Delhi-NCR over COVID19 situation. PTI

Administrative measures

As COVID-19 cases spike, some states came out with new strategies to check the spread of the disease.

In a first, Tamil Nadu tested as many as 25,463 samples in a single day while 2,174 people tested positive for the coronavirus, the state’s highest increase in a 24-hour period, propelling its tally to over 50,000.

The Maharashtra government has been testing samples aggressively and tracing new cases under “chase the virus” strategy, and has also ramped up health infrastructure, according to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

With this strategy, the virus spread has been significantly contained in Dharavi, the biggest and thickly-populated slum sprawl in Mumbai, an official release quoted Thackeray as having told the prime minister during a video conference.

Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally stood at 1,16,752, according to a state health bulletin.

The Karnataka government has decided to conduct random testing on slum dwellers, vendors and bill collectors at markets, delivery and courier boys among others, aimed at effective surveillance, an official circular said. On Wednesday, the state’s toll reached 102, while the number of cases rose to 7,734 with 204 patients testing positive.

In Delhi, health surveys were conducted for 1.78 lakh people in 242 containment zones between 15 and 16 June in a bid to improve contact mapping in the National Capital, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs, days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah stepped in and announced a slew of measures to fight the pandemic.

Saving lives should be top priority: Modi

Saving lives should be the top priority, Modi told the chief ministers, as he called for expanding the health infrastructure of the states, according to an official statement.

Wednesday’s interaction virtual meeting was the second and final segment of Modi’s sixth round of consultations with chief ministers of states and L-Gs of Union Territories in the last three months on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Referring to the rise in number of infections, Modi underscored the need for testing, tracking, tracing and isolating COVID-19 patients to deal with the pandemic.

Noting that the spread of COVID-19 is more in a few big states and cities, he asked the states to make full use of their existing testing capacity and also work to augment the health infrastructure.

India has stepped up testing capacity significantly to three lakh samples per day with a network of 924 laboratories including 674 in the government sector.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 60,84,256 samples have been analysed for coronavirus in the country till 16 June with 1,63,187 tested on Tuesday.

The prime minister said big crowds, lack of physical-distancing, daily movement of large number of people and small houses in some cities have made the battle against the coronavirus “more challenging”.

State-wise figures

Of the 2,003 new deaths, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 1,409 fatalities taking its COVID-19 death tally to 5,537, while coronavirus deaths in Delhi surged by 437 taking its toll to 1,837, according to the Health Ministry data updated at 8 am.

Besides, Tamil Nadu has reported 49 deaths followed by Gujarat at 28, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana at 18 each, Madhya Pradesh 11, West Bengal 10, Rajasthan 7, Karnataka 5 and Telangana 4. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Punjab, Puducherry and Uttarakhand have reported one fatality each in the last 24 hours.

Of the total 11,903 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 5,537 fatalities followed by Delhi with 1,837 deaths, Gujarat with 1,533, Tamil Nadu with 528, West Bengal with 495, Madhya Pradesh with 476, Uttar Pradesh with 417, Rajasthan with 308 and Telangana with 191 deaths.

The COVID-19 toll reached 118 in Haryana, 94 in Karnataka, 88 in Andhra Pradesh, 72 in Punjab, 63 in Jammu and Kashmir, 41 in Bihar, 25 in Uttarakhand, 20 in Kerala and 11 in Odisha.

Maharashtra has reported maximum number of cases at 1,13,445 followed by Tamil Nadu at 48,019, Delhi at 44,688, Gujarat at 24,577, Uttar Pradesh at 14,091, Rajasthan at 13,216 and West Bengal at 11,909, according to the Health Ministry’s data.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 11,083 in Madhya Pradesh, 8,272 in Haryana, 7,530 in Karnataka and 6,778 in Bihar. It has risen to 6,841 in Andhra Pradesh, 5,406 in Telangana, 5,298 in Jammu and Kashmir, 4,319 in Assam and 4,163 in Odisha.

Punjab has reported 3,371 novel coronavirus cases so far, while Kerala has 2,622 cases. A total of 1,942 people have been infected by the virus in Uttarakhand, 1,839 in Jharkhand, 1,781 in Chhattisgarh, 1,092 in Tripura, 649 in Ladakh, 629 in Goa, 560 in Himachal Pradesh and 500 in Manipur.

Chandigarh has registered 358 COVID-19 cases, Puducherry has 216 cases, Nagaland has 179, Mizoram has 121, Arunachal Pradesh has 95, Sikkim has 70, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 45 COVID-19 cases. Meghalaya and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have registered 44 infections so far.

Ensure payment of salaries to doctors, says SC

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to issue directions to states for payment of salaries and providing necessary quarantine facilities to doctors and healthcare workers engaged in treating COVID-19 patients.

The government told the court it would issue the necessary directions.

A bench of justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah said that doctors and healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients should not be denied quarantine facilities.

The top court asked the Centre to file a compliance report within four weeks on payment of salaries and quarantine facilities to doctors and healthcare workers and warned that non-compliance would be viewed seriously.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by a private doctor raising questions on the Centre’s 15 May decision that 14-day quarantine was not mandatory for doctors.

Doctor Arushi Jain, in her petition filed through advocates Mithu Jain and Arjun Syal, had alleged that front line healthcare workers engaged in the fight against COVID-19 are not being paid salaries or their wages are being cut or delayed.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said that government would issue the directions to states and Union territories within 24 hours to ensure timely payment of salaries to doctors and health care workers.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 18, 2020 14:41:30 IST

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