Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The decision comes hours after the state reported its first COVID-19 death. The same guidelines which were applicable till Sunday will continue for the extended lockdown period.
Coronavirus LATEST Updates: The Sikkim government has extended the statewide lockdown till August 1 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a notification.
At least 3,338 people who have tested positive for coronavirus, are “untraceable”, according to media reports. A search is currently underway to locate them.
On Sunday, Sikkim reported its first COVID-19 death — a 74-year-old with comorbidities from East Sikkim. Meanwhile, India’s recovery rate is now at 63.92%.
“Whenever you feel like taking off your masks, think of frontline soldiers. Villages have been making extraordinary efforts against COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Mann Ki Baat address on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India’s recovery rate is better and fatality is much less than most other nations. He also highlighted that the coronavirus is not yet gone, it’s spreading fast in many areas, and is still as dangerous as before.
India reports 48,661 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking its overall tally to 13,85,522. The toll rises by 705 to 32,063. More than 8.85 lakh people have recovered.
India on Sunday registered a record number of single-day COVID19 tests on the second consecutive day. In the last 24 hours, 4,42,031 samples were tested.
Many high-risk areas across the country observed lockdown on Saturday as part of restrictions announced by different state and local authorities to contain the spread of the infection. While some states have announced a weekend-lockdown, others have clamped down restrictions for varying periods in areas with the high caseload.
While Uttar Pradesh observed another weekend lockdown, similar curbs were imposed for the second time this month in four Uttarakhand districts—Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, and Udham Singh Nagar districts — which have reported 1,348 cases since 18 July.
Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday announced a three-day total lockdown in the state from Monday to curb the spurt in infections.
A complete lockdown till Monday morning was imposed in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, which has been enforcing shutdown every Sunday, similar to that in Madhya Pradesh. Lockdown restrictions also kicked-in in the state’s capital Bhopal from Friday night. Bihar and Manipur have imposed a state-wide shutdown from 16 and 23 July, respectively.
In Maharashtra, civic authorities of Nagpur city announced a voluntary ‘janta curfew‘ on Saturday and Sunday, with only essential services remaining functional.
All shops were shut and transport services were suspended in West Bengal as part of the twice-a-week lockdown in the state.
Jammu went under a 60-hour lockdown from 6 pm on Friday, while a six-day complete lockdown has been imposed across the Kashmir Valley except Bandipora since Thursday.
Amidst this, India’s COVID-19 tally went past 13 lakh on Saturday, just two days after it crossed the 12 lakh mark, while the recoveries mounted to 8,49,431, according to the Union Health Ministry.
With 48,916 fresh cases as of 8 am Saturday, the country’s coronavirus infection count stands officially at 13,36,861 with 31,358 fatalities. Of them, 757 succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, data updated by the ministry showed.
West Bengal observes two-day lockdown
Normal life came to a grinding halt in the eastern state on Saturday as shops were shut and all modes of transport went off the roads as part of the West Bengal government’s plan to clamp restrictions two days a week.
A similar lockdown will take place next Wednesday.
More than 3,800 people were arrested for flouting lockdown guidelines on Thursday when it was first imposed. Flight operations at the Kolkata airport were also suspended during the lockdown.
Police patrolled all major traffic intersections in the metropolis to keep a check on the movement of people. Barricades were also put up in various parts of the state to stop people from coming out of their homes, officials said.
In Karnataka, the civic chiefs of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi confirmed that the districts will follow the Sunday lockdown starting 9 pm on Saturdays. The week-long lockdown imposed in Dakshina Kannada was lifted Thursday morning, while Udupi has closed its district borders till the month-end.
According to news agency ANI, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said that lockdown curbs will in place in the city over the weekend and legal action will be taken against those who violate the norms.
Karnataka also reported a record 5,072 new case, with nearly half of the cases coming from capital Bengaluru urban alone. The state also reported 27 deaths, taking the number of casualties to 1,796.
In Maharashtra’s Nagpur city a voluntary ‘janta curfew‘ was announced for Saturday and Sunday but the civic chief has warned of strict curfew if the rules are not followed.
Three-day lockdown in Tripura from Monday
In a televised address, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said that a state-wide lockdown will begin at 5 am on 27 July and last till 5 am on 30 July.
“Our fatality rate is only 0.29 percent while the infection rate is far less than the national average. But, since there is no other more effective way of fighting the coronavirus, we have to go for a brief lockdown period again,” he said, adding that rapid antigen test will commence soon.
The lockdown will have 21 exemptions, including that to emergency and essential services as well as to print and electronic media but those violating the curbs will be fined, said a government order.
Those not wearing masks will be fined Rs 200 for the first time and Rs 400 the next time, the government order stated, adding a penalty of Rs 1,000 will be imposed on those flouting social distancing norms.
Lockdown restrictions have also been announced in the northeastern states of Nagaland and Meghalaya. Nagaland capital Kohima will be under a shutdown till 31 July, while curbs will come into effect in Dimapur from Sunday till 2 August. The Meghalaya government has also decided to impose a complete lockdown in Shillong agglomeration from 26 to 29 July.
Southern states continue reporting high numbers
Besides Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, the second-worst-hit state by the virus, too recorded its biggest daily spike. The state breached two lakh coronavirus cases on Saturday with 6,988 fresh infections, pushing the aggregate infections in the state to 2,06,737.
The upward trend in new cases continued in Andhra Pradesh as well with 7,813 patients testing positive, taking the overall case count to 88,671. Another 52 COVID-19 patients succumbed while 3,208 were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, the latest bulletin said.
The total number of COVID-19 patients discharged so far touched 43,255 and the toll mounted to 985.
Kerala saw its biggest single-day spike so far, recording 1,103 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection count to 18,098. As many as 9,420 persons are under treatment. Thiruvananthapuram, where the government had declared that two areas are witnessing community transmission, has 2,666 active cases, the highest in the state.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan tests positive
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he has tested positive for the virus. “I had symptoms of COVID-19. In the test report I was found positive. I appeal to all my colleagues that whoever has come in my contact to get tested for coronavirus. My close contacts should move to quarantine,” Chouhan said in a tweet.
मेरे प्रिय प्रदेशवासियों, मुझे #COVID19 के लक्षण आ रहे थे, टेस्ट के बाद मेरी रिपोर्ट पॉज़िटिव आई है। मेरी सभी साथियों से अपील है कि जो भी मेरे संपर्क में आए हैं, वह अपना कोरोना टेस्ट करवा लें। मेरे निकट संपर्क वाले लोग क्वारन्टीन में चले जाएँ।
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) July 25, 2020
Talking to PTI, state BJP’s media in-charge Lokendra Parashar said that Chouhan was shifted to COVID-19 designated Chirayu Medical College and Hospital in the state capital.
Maharashtra CM stresses on balance between health and economy
Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the worst-hit state by COVID-19, Saturday said that he was not in favour of complete lifting of the coronavirus-induced curbs in the state only to address the economic concerns.
“I will never say that the lockdown will be lifted completely. But I have started reopening a few things gradually. Once reopened, it shouldn’t be shut again. Hence, I prefer taking steps in phases. You can’t just think about the economy or health. There needs to be a balance between the two,” he said in an interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana‘.
From June onwards, the government had started lifting the restrictions in a phase-wise manner under its ‘Mission Begin Again’ initiative.
Maharashtra on Saturday registered 9,251 new COVID-19 cases, taking the cumulative count in the state to 3,66,368 while fatalities mounted by 257, including 116 in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), to 13,389, the state health department said.
Record 4.2 lakh samples tested in a day, says health ministry
With 4,20,898 samples tested in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said in a separate statement, the Tests Per Million (TPM) has increased to 11,485 and continues to maintain an upward trend.
Till Friday, a total of 1,58,49,068 tests for COVID-19 had been done in the country with 3.50 lakh tests being conducted every day over the last one week, the ministry said.
With increased testing of samples for COVID-19, the fatality rate has significantly dropped to 2.35 percent on Saturday and the recovery rate has surged to 63.54 percent, it said.
With inputs from agencies