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India reports 18,870 new Covid cases in last 24 hours




India reported less than 20,000 Covid-19 cases for the third straight day, recording 18,870 new cases in the last 24 hours and taking the total caseload to 3,37,16,451, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

India had reported 18,795 new cases on Tuesday and 19,859 on Monday.

With 378 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, India’s cumulative Covid related fatalities has risen to 4,47,751, till Wednesday morning. The fatality rate remained at 1.33 per cent for the last few weeks.

The decline in daily Covid cases was witnessed as Kerala, which has been reporting almost half of the total cases for the last few weeks, has improved marginally. According to the Union health Ministry’s report, 11,196 new cases were registered in Kerala on Tuesday against 11,699 reported on Monday.

Maharashtra, which has the second highest daily Covid cases after Kerala, had registered 2,844 cases on Tuesday.

The country’s active caseload further dropped to 2,82,520, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data.

The active cases comprise 0.84 per cent of the total infections — the lowest since March 2020 — while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.81 per cent — the highest since March 2020.

A total of 3,29,86,180 Covid infected patients recovered, out of which 28,178 were discharged in the last 24 hours.

The cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 87 crore (87,66,63,490), out of which 54,13,332 were administered in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry’s report.

Only five states — Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Mizoram — are currently reporting more than 1,000 cases every day. In three states — Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, and union territories — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and also Chandigarh — the active case count has fallen below 100.


Schools in Delhi shut down till further orders due to pollution




Due to ‘very poor’ air quality, all schools in Delhi will remain closed from December 3 onwards till further order, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday.

Earlier on November 13, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced to shut down physical classes in schools for a week, adding that education will continue in virtual mode. After a gap of almost two weeks, all schools in the national capital were reopening on November 29.

This move of the Delhi government came after the Supreme Court of India gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Centre, Delhi and its neighbouring states to act against rising air pollution. Despite the ban, CBSE exams would go ahead with necessary precautions and safety measures.

The state government took a similar decision on Monday when it announced a blanket ban on all the construction and demolition (C&D) activities in the city until further orders. Besides, the entry of non-CNG and non-electric trucks from outside of Delhi was also prohibited on the same date till December 7 to reduce vehicular emission.

While stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab is reported to be a major source of pollution in the capital, dust from the construction and demolition activities, vehicular emission and pollution from open burning contribute as the city’s own source of pollution.

On Thursday, Delhi’s overall AQI at 9.30 a.m. stood at 382 with the level of PM2.5 and PM10 standing at 227 and 401, respectively, as per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

According to the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, the air quality is likely to remain in the ‘Very Poor’ category on December 3 and December 4. “Winds are likely to remain slow/calm during December 3 to 5 which are unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants. The Outlook for subsequent five days: The air quality is likely to remain in Very Poor category with PM2.5 to be the predominant pollutant,” It added.

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India registers 9,765 fresh Covid cases, 477 deaths





 India logged 9,765 fresh Covid cases in the past 24 hours, below the 10,000-mark for sixth day in a row, the Ministry of Health and Family welfare said on Thursday morning.

With the addition of 477 fatalities, the total death toll has climbed at 4,69,724.

The recovery of 8,548 people in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of the recovered patients to 3,40,37,054. Consequently, the recovery rate stands at 98.35 per cent, the highest since March 2020.

India’s active caseload presently stands at 99,763. It constitutes 0.29 per cent of the country’s total positive cases, which is lowest since March 2020.

Also in the same period, a total of 10,98,611 tests were conducted across the country pegging the cumulative tests at 64.35 crore.

Meanwhile, the weekly positivity rate at 0.85 per cent has remained less than 1 per cent for the last 18 days now.

The daily positivity rate stands at 0.89 per cent, which has also remained below 2 per cent for last 59 days and less than 3 per cent for 94 consecutive days now.

With the administration of 80,35,261 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage has reached 124.96 crore as of Thursday morning.

This has been achieved through 1,29,79,828 in sessions.

More than 22.78 crore balance and unutilised Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered, according to the ministry. India has administered over 124.96 crore vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.

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After 6 infectees, Mumbai airport ‘segregates’ passengers from ‘high-risk’ countries




In view of the threat from Covid-19 variant Omicron, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Wednesday started segregating passengers arriving here from the ‘high-risk’ countries, after six were found infected in the past few days, an official said.

The new exercise was implemented after six international passengers have tested positive for Covid-19, including two from South Africa and the rest from other high-risk countries in the past few days.

According to a state government official, one each was found positive in Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali and Mira-Bhayander, while one is from Pune and two others from Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Though all have tested positive, they are asymptomatic or displaying mild symptoms, but their samples have been sent for genetic sequencing and their contact tracing has been taken up.

As per the current guidelines, all passengers arriving from Europe and 11 other nations will be tested and samples of those found positive will be sent for genomic sequencing.

Those found negative shall also undergo quarantine for seven days before testing again, and random tests on 5 per cent of all passengers landing here shall be conducted with positive reports to be sent for genetic sequencing.

The CSMIA has also made adequate RT-PCR testing facilities at 48 registration counters and 40 sampling booths for international arrivals.

Besides three labs have been set up — Lifenity, Suburban Diagnostics and Acu-MDx (Mylabs) for the testing purposes.

Besides the existing regular RT-PCR, 30 Rapid PCR machines are made available for the passengers intending to catch connecting onward flights with short gaps, and the facilities shall be upscaled further if required.

For those passengers who have not pre-booked online RT-PCR tests, QR codes are displayed at various locations in the arrival corridor.

Physical forms for RT-PCR registration are available to the passengers on board which they can fill up before disembarking from the flight to avoid queues on arrival.

“The CSMIA has undertaken all necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of the new covid variant. For CSMIA, passengers safety, well-being, and security is of utmost importance,” said a spokesperson.

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