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India Coronavirus Updates, 24 June: Over 73.5 lakh samples tested till June 23, says ICMR; Delhi’s infections top 70,000

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: June 24, 2020 7:32:37 pm


Doctors assist patients outside the Covid Casualty Area at LNJP Hospital in Delhi.

India Coronavirus Latest Update: With a record 15,968 coronavirus cases reported in the past 24 hours, the total count in India crossed the 4.5 lakh-mark. The death toll has gone up to 14,476 as Covid-19 claimed 465 lives in 24 hours. Of the 4,56,183 cases, over 2.5 lakh have recovered, while 1.8 lakh are still active infections. Maharashtra has reported 1,39,010 cases, followed by Delhi at 66,602 and Tamil Nadu at 64,603. Maharashtra has reported 6,531 coronavirus deaths followed by Delhi at 2,301 and Gujarat at 1,710.

Delhi, which has the second-highest cases, on Tuesday reported close to 4,000 new cases, more than any state has disclosed in the last 24 hours. Even Maharashtra, which has more than double the number of cases in Delhi, has never reported these many new infections. Delhi, whose caseload is currently growing at almost twice the national growth rate, can potentially overtake Mumbai as early as today. Mumbai, which has 68,410 cases, is growing much slowly, and on Tuesday added only 842 new cases.

Another state where increased testing has triggered a surge in confirmed cases has been Telangana. Delhi, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are likely to drive the India number for the next few days. But the numbers could start flowing in from other places as well, as new rapid antigen tests are deployed. Follow Coronavirus in India LIVE UPDATES

Here are the top COVID-19 developments from across India

Delhi’s Covid cases exceed 70,000, death toll rises to 2,365

Delhi recorded 3,788 new coronavrus cases on Wednesday taking the total tally to 70,390, wile the death toll climbed to 2,635, authorities said, according to PTI. On Tuesday, the national capital reported a record of 3,947 cases, the highest single-day spike till now. The Delhi health department confirmed that 64 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours. From Friday-Sunday, 3,000 or more fresh cases were being reported per day in the national capital. On Monday, 2,909 cases were recorded.

Relatives of Covid-19 patients wait outside LNJP’s Covid Casualty area.

Over 73.5 lakh samples tested for Covid-19 till June 23: ICMR

A cumulative total of 73,52,911 samples have been tested for coronavirus till June 23, of which 2.15 lakh were examined on Tuesday, the highest in a day since the beginning of the pandemic, ICMR officials said, PTI reported. The apex health reaserch body had validated the 1,000th testing laboratory, ramping up the capacity for detection of COVID-19 in the country. Currently, three lakh samples can be tested per day, an official said.

Of the 1,000 COVID-19 testing laboratories, 730 are in government setups while 270 are in the private sector. This includes RT-PCR labs (557), TrueNat Labs (363) and CBNAAT Labs (80).

Attendant of a patient outside the Covid Casualty Area at LNJP Hospital in Delhi.

Karnataka armed reserve cop kills himself after contracting virus

A 50-year-old head constable of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) Force died by suicide after testing for the coronavirus, PTI reported. According to the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Alok Kumar, the head constable was on the way to a hospital here on Monday night when he strangulated himself to death with a rope.

The commandant, who is an IPS officer, was tested positive on Tuesday and has been quarantined, a police official told PTI. More than 50 eprsonnel have contracted the virus. “I have visited various battalions and spoken to the commandants and other personnel wherever they are deployed. I have told them that even if they test positive, there is nothing to panic,” Kumar said.

Army revises Covid policy: No virus test needed before, after quarantine

The Indian armed forces personnel, who return from leave or temporary posting, will not be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before, during and after the quarantine period unless symptomatic, as per the revised protocol, stated by PTI. “As per the revised policy, Indian Army personnel will undergo 14 days of quarantine on returning from leave or reporting on temporary duty/permanent posting. They will not be tested before, during or after quarantine unless symptomatic,” Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand said.

The revised protocol also suggested avoiding short duration duties of up to seven days unless deemed crucial for the interest of the services. Under the previous guidelines, all personnel coming to any military station from home or other stations were mandated to go for a 14-day quarantine period if they did not fulfill certain conditions.

Under the previous guidelines, all personnel coming to any military station from home or other stations were mandated to go for a 14-day quarantine period if they did not fulfill certain conditions.

Railways isolation coach in Delhi gets first suspected Covid patient

The Covid isolation railway coaches deployed in Delhi’s Shakur Basti Station Wednesday received the first suspected COVID-19 patient, PTI quoted an official as saying, adding that another 15 persons are expected to arrive. Around 50 such modified coaches are currently stationed at the Shakur Basti Railway Station’s maintenance depot. Each coach has the capacity of 16 beds.

About 500 Covid isolation coaches have been provided to the Delhi government. So far, 5,321 non-AC sleeper class coaches of ICF variety (older design) have been converted by the 16 zonal railways through their workshops spread across India.

First patient arrived at Shakur Basti COVID Care Center of Railways in New Delhi.

We are committed to provide all necessary help in this fight against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/JJoTxYt00U

Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 24, 2020

Dairy, poultry, meat units to get Rs 15,000 cr as infra fund

In a Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar Wednesday announced a new Rs 15,000 crore infrastructure fund to provide interest subvention of up to 3 per cent to private players for setting up of dairy, poultry and meat processing units. “A Rs 15,000 crore fund has been approved by the Cabinet that will be open to all and will help in increasing milk production, boost exports and create 35 lakh jobs in the country,” he said. While, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh said that the new infrastructure fund is part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced to help those affected due to the lockdown clamped to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Cabinet Briefing https://t.co/wH78wzub8o

— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) June 24, 2020

Trinamool MLA Tamonash Ghosh, who tested Covid positive, passes away at 60

Senior Trinamool MLA Tamonash Ghosh (60), who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the last week of May, passed away in a hospital in West Bengal on Wednesday. Ghosh, who was a three-time MLA from Falta, had tested positive along with his two daughters and three aides last month. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to express her condolences to his family. Governor Jagdeep Dhankar also expressed his sadness over Ghosh’s demise. Ghosh, a resident of Harish Chatterjee Street in South Kolkata, was also Banerjee’s neighbour.

Ghosh, a resident of Harish Chatterjee Street in South Kolkata, was also Banerjee’s neighbour. (Source: Facebook)

Don’t visit Puri, ‘darshan’ of trinity not allowed: Odisha DGP

A day after the Jagganath Rath Yatra started, Odisha Police has appealed to people not to visit Puri as “darshan” of the deities is not allowed. No one is allowed to congregate near the ‘raths’ and the temple. In order to avoid any congregation, restrictions have been imposed in some parts of the town. Modifying its earlier order, the apex court on Monday gave the go-ahead for the Rath Yatra after taking note of the Odisha government’s assurance that it “can be held in a limited way without public attendance”. One of the servitors of the temple had tested positive yesterday.

Priests participate in the annual chariot procession of Lord Jagannath in Puri (AP Photo)

12 trainee sailors of INS Shivaji test coronavirus positive

At least 12 trainee sailors of the Lonavala-based INS Shivaji, one of the premier training establishments of the Indian Navy, have so far tested positive for coronavirus, officials said. The first case was found on June 18 and the infected cadet was part of a batch of 157 trainee sailors who had reported back after leave following the easing of lockdown earlier this month, a release issued by the naval station on Tuesday said.

Bengaluru may impose lockdown again; Karnataka revises discharge policy

Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu has hinted at a complete lockdown in Bengaluru if the rise in cases continues. However, a final decision will be taken only after holding discussions with CM BS Yediyurappa and experts in the COVID-19 task force, he added.vWith 107 fresh cases on Tuesday, Bengaluru recorded a triple-digit surge in the Covid-19 cases for the third straight day as the death toll in the state crossed the 150-mark.

The state government has also revised the discharge policy. For asymptomatic patients, oximetry checks and regular temperature checks will be done mandatorily. Such patients shall be discharged only if they exhibit no symptoms, no fever and maintains a saturation above 95 per cent. For mild and moderate cases, the patient will be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms, while severe cases will be discharged only after complete clinical recovery.

A man pulls a handcart as another rides a motorcycle carrying goods near a wholesale vegetable market which was closed after a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru (AP)

Seven-day intense lockdown in TN’s Madurai begins today

With the lockdown in Madurai having commenced from today, over 1400 corporation officials in the district will carry out door-to-door surveys for 300 households each, to identify residents with symptoms of COVID-19 and help detect the virus early. Over 100 mobile fever clinics have been set up in each zones to carry out tests, while contact tracing teams have been deployed to collect details of patients and their primary and secondary contacts.

Sisodia writes to Amit Shah over new rule to ferry all patients to Covid care centres

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has written to Home Minister Amit Shah over the new rule mandating individuals testing positive to show up at Covid care centres for further assessment. Earlier, Sisodia had urged L-G Anil Baijal to roll it back, saying the rule was “nearly impossible” to impose. “I had requested Lt Governor to change the rule. It has been 2 days, I haven’t received any reply. This new system has created pressure on the administration. Today I have written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting him to do away with this system as it will create chaos. This is not a fight between Amit Shah’s model and Kejriwal’s model; we should implement system in which people don’t face problems,” he said.

120 Beds gets ready at Emergency Covid-19 Care Center opposite LNJP Hospital in New Delhi (Express photo/Praveen Khanna)

Can’t hold exams from July 2, Maharashtra govt tells HC

Maharashtra Government told the Bombay High Court that it cannot permit holding the pending Class X and Class XII ICSE exams from July 2 amid the pandemic. The decision was taken in a State Disaster Management Committee meeting held on June 22 through videoconference, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. A similar decision was taken for not conducting the University exams.

Sachin Tendulkar lookalike tests positive; Unwell Saroj Khan is negative

Sachin Balvir Chand used to be part of advertisements for brands that Sachin Tendulkar endorsed during his playing days. (File Photo)

Balvir Chand, a doppelganger of Sachin Tendulkar, lost his job in the lockdown and returned to his village in Punjab earlier this month, only to find on reaching there that he had contracted the virus. “They (Goli Vada Pav No 1, Chand’s employers) lost business after the lockdown and let go of a lot of staff. I too was asked to leave; they said they would hire me back when things improve,” Chand was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

In another development, choreographer Saroj Khan, who was admitted to hospital following breathing problems, has tested negative for the virus. “She was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra East for breathing issues. She is doing well now and will be discharged in a day or two. She doesn’t have COVID-19 symptoms. Her report has come out negative,” the relative said.

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24th June 2020