Coronavirus India lockdown Day 165 updates | A.P. records 10,794 fresh COVID-19 cases; tally inches closer to 5-lakh mark

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 165 updates | A.P. records 10,794 fresh COVID-19 cases; tally inches closer to 5-lakh mark

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The Union Health Ministry on Saturday issued an updated advisory for COVID-19 testing simplifying the process and giving more flexibility to the State authorities to facilitate enhanced ease of testing.

Cumulative cases in the country stands at 41,04,497, nearly 11,600 more than Brazil’s tally. However, Brazil’s death toll is about 1.7 times more than India’s. Saturday saw 84,385 confirmed cases and 1,019 deaths. This marked the fourth straight day when more than 80,000 infections were identified.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

7.35 pm | Delhi

The famous Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, which was closed over five months ago after the outbreak of the coronavirus, opened for devotees on Sunday, with a “moderate” number of people visting the shrine to pay obeisance to the Sufi saint.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was among the people who paid obeisance to Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia on the first of the reopening of the shrine, caretakers of the dargah said.

The Minister appreciated measures taken by the shrine to protect devotee from the coronavirus disease, they said.

“The graves of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia and Amir Khusro in the dargah complex have been covered from all sides with plastic sheets “so that people do not touch them while paying obeisance, as it could lead to people getting infected with the virus,” Nazim Nizami, one of the caretakers of the shrine, said.

Qawwali evenings devoted to the Sufi saint have been suspended for the time being to avoid gatherings in the shrine’s courtyard.

“We were able to manage well the devotees who turned up in moderate numbers on the first day of the opening of the dargah. The number of devotees was more in the morning hours and it reduced in the afternoon, and again increased in the evening,” Mr. Nizami said.

People adhered to various safety measures like use of sanitisers and face covers as well as social distancing, he said, adding that there were separate entry and exit gates for devotees, and markings were made on the floor to ensure social distancing by them.

7.25 pm  | Uttar Pradesh

With Lucknow Metro set to resume operations from September 7, it will become the first metro service in India to use ultraviolet (UV) technology for token sanitisation for passenger safety, the organisation said in a statement in Lucknow.

Kumar Keshav, Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC), on September 6 conducted an inspection and checked an overview of operational preparedness from Hazratganj to Munshipulia stations.

A special interactive session was also conducted at CCS Airport metro station for media persons showcasing the safety measures adopted and other arrangements done by Lucknow Metro catering for the safety of commuters.

In a statement issued in Lucknow, the Lucknow Metro said it has laid special emphasis on contactless travel, sanitisation, social distancing, hygiene and cleanliness. Various rigorous steps have been undertaken to ensure a safe and convenient commuting experience for passengers.

Social distancing markers have been placed on alternate seats to maintain sufficient gap between passengers inside the train.

Frequently touched areas inside trains like grab rails, grab poles, grab handles, passenger seats and door surfaces from the inside are sanitised regularly.

Lucknow Metro has also become the first metro with cashless facility of multiple tokens/tickets with GoSmart card.

A GoSmart user has a contactless trip right from entering the metro station, boarding the train to exiting the premises. The automatic sensor of AFC gates detects the card from a distance without tapping it. So, the only thing a GoSmart card user comes in contact with are the sanitised train seats.

Social distancing markings and signages are in place at all stations to ensure an adequate gap among passengers while queuing up near ticket counters, ticket vending machines, security check frisking points, entry-exit AFC gates, etc, the statement further said. — PTI

7.15 pm | New Delhi

After being closed for over five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi Metro is all set to resume services in three stages from Monday, even as it appealed to people to use the rapid transport only if urgently needed.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) authorities on Sunday reiterated that stations located in containment zones, as per the status on the day of journey, will remain closed.

Officials of the urban transporter had earlier cautioned that “trains may not stop at some of the stations” if social distancing norms are not adhered to by passengers.

The Delhi Metro services will be resumed in a staggered manner in three stages from September 7-12, with the Yellow Line or Line 2 connecting Samyapur Bali in Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon and the Rapid Metro to be the first ones to be made operational on September 7.

Trains will operate in batches of four-hour each from 7-11 am in the morning and 4-8 pm in the evening in the first stage, officials said.

Metro services in Delhi-NCR have been closed since March 22 due to the pandemic. The services will be resumed after a gap of 169 days, the DMRC said in a statement on Sunday.

– PTI

6.45 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu on Sunday reported  5,783 new cases, taking the total positive to 4,63,480. No. of those discharged today are 5,820, taking the total to 4,04,186. There were 88  deaths today, taking the death toll to 7,836. Active positive cases as on date are 51,458.

6.35 pm  | Andhra Pradesh

The Pithapuram YSR Congress Party MLA Pendem Dorababu, 60, was air lifted in a private helicopter from Kakinada to Bengaluru city for critical care treatment for COVID-19, on September 6 afternoon. His family members accompanied him.

Speaking to The Hindu, East Godavari Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy said, “Mr. Dorababu tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. Permission was given for landing of the helicopter following a request made by him.” — T. Appala Naidu

6.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

The coronavirus positives increased by the new normal 10,000-plus but the number of active cases dropped below the one-lakh mark in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.

With the addition of 10,794 in 24 hours ending 9 a.m on Sunday, the aggregate Covid-19 cases now reached 4.98 lakh- just short of the five-lakh mark..

The latest bulletin said 11,915 patients had recovered from the infection and walked home but another 70 succumbed in 24 hours.

A total of 3.94 lakh coronavirus patients had so far been cured while 4,417 died.

The number of active cases now stood at 99,689, the bulletin said.

With the caseload increasing daily by thousands, the infection positivity rate shot further up to 12.13% after a total of 41.07 lakh sample tests were conducted.

The recovery rate too showed an improvement to 79.10% while the mortality rate remained stable at 0.89%, according to the bulletin. –  PTI

6.15 p.m. | Telangana

Technology Business Incubator of BITS Pilani Hyderabad incubated startup Baiid Auto Technologies has developed an IoT-based smart facemask for a medical condition such as COVID-19 and pulmonary disorder.

This Internet of Things (IoT) facemask helps in protecting an individual from being exposed to infection and also monitors their health parameters remotely, a release from Technology Business Incubator of BITS Pilani Hyderabad said.

“The smart facemask helps COVID-19 warriors to efficiently monitor patients through their smartphones and thereby reducing the time, they spent in the isolation ward to collect basic parameters, which reduces the risks of them being infected,” it said.

The IoT device attached to the mask processes and screens the body’s essential factors such as temperature and blood oxygen levels etc, and monitors the humidity levels that develop inside the mask layers over a period.

The feature called OBV (Oxy-Breathe Ventilators) attached along with the smart mask, which helps the user to expel the heat and removes moisture from the mask so it can be worn continuously without causing any discomfort and also reduces the probability of infection caused due to constantly wearing a mask, according to the release. – PTI

6.00 pm | New Delhi

There has been a rise of 80% in the number of home isolation cases of COVID-19 in the national capital in the last 16 days, and parallely the containment zones count too has spiralled up to 976 over the same period, according to official data.

Amid steady rise in fresh and active coronavirus cases in the last several days, the number of people in home isolation here on Saturday reached the five-figure mark again after over a month’s time.

The number of home isolation cases of COVID-19 on September 5 stood at 10,514. The corresponding figure a day before was 9,822, according to the Delhi health department.

On August 21, the home isolation cases count was 5,818, so from that date, the rise is of 80% in 16 days.

Parallely, the number of containment zones too have multiplied from 589 on August 21 to 976 on September 5, according to official figures. -PTI

5.50 pm | Chennai

After nearly two months, the city witnessed its first lockdown free Sunday on September 6.

As can be expected, personal distancing went for a toss as people ventured out for their morning walk on the Marina Beach, playing cricket and football in the play grounds across the city and purchasing fish in Kasimedu .

From the time complete lockdown on Sundays was enforced in the city on June 21, as many as 11 Sundays have passed devoid of any activity as people stayed indoors. When the government extended the lockdown till September 30 with various relaxations, it also removed complete lockdown on Sundays.

5.35 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh on Sunday reported its highest single-day spike of 6,777 COVID-19 cases and 77 deaths, the state health department said.

With this, the state’s infection tally has reached 2,66,283 and the death toll mounted to 3,920.

Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said 6,777 fresh COVID-19 cases were registered in the state.

The previous single-day highest spike of 6,692 COVID-132535051325350519 cases was recorded on Saturday.

5.25 pm | New Delhi

The Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to ensure necessary follow up of its updated advisory on COVID-19 testing strategy, allowing ‘testing on-demand’, to achieve a higher number of examination with greater flexibility and simplicity.

The ‘Advisory on Strategy for COVID-19 Testing in India’ (version VI) lists the scope for testing in containment zones, non-containment areas, in hospitals, and also for the first time provides for testing on-demand with simplified modalities to be decided by the states and Union territories.

It also indicates the choice of testing in order of priority for each of the settings.

A letter jointly written by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava to chief secretaries and administrators highlighted that having adequate testing capacities and simplified testing protocol are important components in the management of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The country has so far conducted more than 4.66 crore tests in more than 1,600 laboratories in the country, they said in the letter, adding there has been tremendous progress in upscaling testing infrastructure both in terms of the number of laboratories and daily testing capacity.

-PTI

5.10 pm | Jharkhand

Jharkhand’s COVID-19 tally inched towards the 50,000-mark on Sunday with the detection of 1,774 new cases, while seven fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 462, a health bulletin said.

The fresh infections have taken the state’s caseload to 49,817, it said.

Ranchi district reported the highest number of new cases at 656, followed by East Singhbhum (244), West Singhbhum (164) and Dhanbad (145), the bulletin said.

There are now 15,025 active COVID-19 cases in the state, while 34,330 people have been cured of the disease so far, it said.

4.55 pm | New Delhi

Immense self-discipline and caution were exercised at places of worship in India during the coronavirus pandemic, setting an example for the entire world, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Sunday.

He said followers of almost all religions of the world reside in India and various festivals and other auspicious occasions were observed during the coronavirus crisis.

“The people of the country displayed restraint, caution, sensibility, and celebrated all the festivals taking all precautions and followed the guidelines of social distancing to help to curb the coronavirus infection,” Mr. Naqvi said after paying obeisance at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah where he prayed for the health and well-being of the people of the country.

4.40 pm | New Delhi

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati have developed methods to detect and prevent the novel coronavirus using bio-interface interactions between the virus and the surface spike protein.

According to the team of researchers, the novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) is composed of inner nucleic acid which is covered with surface spike glycoprotein and the engineered surfaces can be potentially applied for the detection as well as prevention of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus.

“So far we are using antibody-based assays and RT-PCR based methods for testing during pandemic. However, longer assay time, cost, complex procedures and false positive or negative results are a few bottlenecks of these methods,” Lalit M. Pandey, associate professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, told PTI.

4.30 pm | New Delhi

With a record 73,642 patients having recuperated in a day, India’s COVID-19 recoveries have surged to nearly 32 lakh, pushing the recovery rate to 77.32% while the case fatality rate, one of the lowest globally, has further dropped to 1.72% as on date, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

There are 8,62,320 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country accounting for only 20.96% of the total caseload, it highlighted.

“The spike in the daily recovered COVID-19 patients continues in the country. For the second successive day, India has clocked a record recovery of more than 70,000 patients in a single day,” the Ministry said.

4.15 pm | Chhattisgarh

Anganwadis will reopen from Monday in Chhattisgarh for the first time since they were shut in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.

However, these centres, which provide health and nutrition services to children and pregnant women, will continue to remain closed in containment zones, he added.

There are 51,455 anganwadi centres and the National Health and Family Welfare Phase 4 survey put the malnutrition level in the state at 37%.

“The state Women and Child Development department has written to district collectors, divisional commissioners and district programme officers to ensure preventive measures are in place,” he said.

4.05 pm | Mumbai

Actor Arjun Kapoor on Sunday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic. The 35-year-old actor said he is “feeling ok” and will be under home quarantine.

“It is my duty to inform all of you that I have tested positive for coronavirus. I’m feeling ok and I’m asymptomatic.

“I have isolated myself at home under the advice of doctors and authorities and will be under home quarantine,”Arjun posted a statement on Instagram.

4.00 pm | Tripura

At least 604 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura on Sunday, raising the tally in the state to 15,130, a health department official said.

The death toll rose to 144 after eight more people succumbed to the infection, he said.

West Tripura district, of which state capital Agartala is a part, has accounted for 77 of the 144 COVID-19 deaths.

The state currently has 6,220 active cases, while 8,745 people have recovered from the disease.

Twenty-one patients have migrated to other states.

A total of 2,97,103 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far, he added.

-PTI

3.45 pm | Haryana

Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana Deepender Singh Hooda tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The 42-year-old, who is the lone opposition MP from Haryana, is currently in Delhi.

“My Corona# Covid19 report has returned positive. As per the advice of doctors, other tests are being conducted,” Mr. Deepender tweeted.

Mr. Deepender, who is the son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, in his tweet added that “with the prayers of all of you, I will recover soon.

3.35 pm | Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh government has fixed the cost of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals in the wake of a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state, an official said on Sunday.

Patients will have to bear the cost of treatment in the private hospitals, which have been classified in A, B and C categories in various districts, based on the medical facilities available there, he said.

The order was issued on Saturday under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, the Chhattisgarh Public Health Act, 1949, and the Chhattisgarh Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, the public relations department official said.

3.20 pm | New Delhi

The Centre has asked 5 states and one UT from where 35 districts have been reporting high active COVID-19 caseload and fatality rate to strengthen containment measures and scale up testing to bring down positivity rate below 5%.

These 35 districts comprise all 11 districts in Delhi, Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and 24 South Parganas in West Bengal; Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Kolhapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Raigad, Jalgaon, Solapur, Satara, Palghar, Aurangabad, Dhule and Nanded in Maharashtra; Surat in Gujarat; Pondicherry in Puducherry and East Singhbhum in Jharkhand.

In a review meeting held on Saturday, they were asked to ensure strict perimeter control, strengthen the active case search focusing on comorbids and elderly population, early identification by ramping up testing and optional utilization of RT-PCR testing capacity to break the chain of transmission of the disease, the Health ministry said on Sunday.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held the review meeting through video conference (VC) with health secretaries of five states and one UT on the containment and management of COVID-19 in 35 districts under their jurisdiction.

– PTI

3.10 pm | New Delhi

World championship silver-medallist wrestler Deepak Punia, who tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival at the national camp, has been discharged from hospital and advised home isolation.

Besides the Olympic-bound Punia (86kg), the other two wrestlers who tested positive for the virus were Navin (65kg) and Krishan (125kg).

All three are part of a national camp at the SAI Centre in Sonepat ahead of which the wrestlers are in quarantine.

2.40 pm | Uttar Pradesh

A police head constable who had tested positive for COVID-19 ended his life at a hospital in Moradabad on Saturday evening, police said. The deceased has been identified as Diwakar Sharma, 52, and was posted at police complaint’s desk.

Notably, this is the third death by suicide in the Teerthankar Medical College & Research Centre in the last one month. It is a designated COVID-19 facility meant to treat patients from across the Moradabad divison.

On August 19, a 28-year-old COVID-19 positive girl ended her life and on August 28, a 42-year-old bank manager took a similar step. The local police had termed them both as suicide cases.

2.25 pm | Karnataka

Karnataka Labour Minister A. Shivaram Hebbar on Sunday said he and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus and would be under treatment in their home itself being asymptomatic.

Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa wished the 63-year old leader a speedy recovery and prayed that he continued with his good works.

“Me and my wife underwent COVID-19 test and have been found positive for the virus. Since there are no symptoms of coronavirus, we decided to remain in home quarantine on doctors’ advice and are getting treatment at home,” Mr.Hebbar tweeted.

2.10 pm | Tamil Nadu

Senior PMK leader and Deputy Chairman of the Erode District Panchayat Council Velusamy died of coronavirus in Erode, the Health department said on Sunday.

The 48-year old leader from Anandam Palayam village in Bhavani was admitted to the Perundurai IRT Government Medical College Hospital recently after testing positive for the virus and his end came on Saturday, officials said.

Velusamy was also a former state Deputy General Secretary of PMK.

Party founder leader S. Ramadoss condoled the death of Velusamy, recalling that he had joined the party at a very young age and rose to hold various positions through hard work.

Meanwhile, the Inspector of Modakurichi Police station tested positive on Saturday and had been admitted to the PerunduraiIRT Government Medical College Hospital, officials said.

In view of this, the station was disinfected on Sunday.

-PTI

2.00 pm | New Delhi

Companies in India have adapted well to respond to increased cyberattacks after witnessing “total chaos” in the first three months of coronavirus-induced lockdown, although it will take time for these firms to upgrade their networks, according to a senior official of consultancy firm EY.

EY in its Global Integrity Report 2020 had found that cybercriminals, trying to exploit the fears and uncertainties around the virus, have stepped up phishing and ransomware attacks, increasing the risks for organisations already struggling to operate during a pandemic.

The rapid shift to employees working remotely also made cybersecurity an even bigger challenge — one that organisations had little time to prepare for and such attacks have happened in various sectors, including healthcare organisations.

– PTI

1.50 pm | Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday allowed resumption of water tourism in the State with 50% capacity and asked boat and cruise operators to strictly follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

Water tourism activities in the State were shut since March when the lockdown was enforced to curb the spread of the infection.

“Boats and cruises used for tourism and water sports at various locations in Madhya Pradesh can now be run with 50 per cent of the total capacity of tourists,” State tourism department’s Principal Secretary Shivshekhar Shukla said in a statement.

– PTI

1.40 pm | Telangana

The monsoon session of Telangana Legislature commencing on Monday with preventive measures for COVID-19 will debate various issues, including measures taken to contain the spread of the pandemic, GST compensation and recent fire accident at Srisailam Hydel project.

All members, including ministers, Telangana legislature employees and mediapersonnel will have to undergo COVID-19 test and only those found negative would be allowed to enter the assembly or the Legislative Council premises, a senior state government official said on Sunday.

– PTI

1.30 pm | New Delhi

The COVID-19 testing facility at the Delhi international airport will initially handle up to 2,500 samples per day in mid-September and if required, the capacity can later be ramped up to 15,000 samples per day, a top official of Genestrings Diagnostic Center stated.

The Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) on Friday said it has set up a COVID-19 testing facility at the multi-level car parking area of Terminal 3, in collaboration with Genestrings Diagnostic Center, for arriving international passengers who have to take connecting domestic flights.

The test will cost a passenger ₹2,400, as mandated by the Delhi government, the centre said.

– PTI

1.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Fifty-four inmates of the district jail here have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said on Sunday. Banda’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. N.D. Sharma said, so far, 500 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the jail.

On Saturday, 41 new COVID-19 cases were reported from the district.

There are 436 active COVID-19 cases in Banda, and so far, 10 people have succumbed to the disease in the district, the officials added.

– PTI

1.10 pm | New Delhi

Multiplex major PVR has deferred its capital expenditure plans in a bid to control costs as the company braces for a significant impact on its profitability in the current fiscal due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Cinema halls in India have remained shut since March this year, after the government imposed nationwide lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19.

“We have temporarily deferred a substantial portion of our planned capital expenditures that we were undertaking, prior to the shutdown. All major capital expenditures will now be re-assessed once the shutdown is over,” PVR Ltd. Chief Operating Officer (CFO) Nitin Sood said in the company’s Annual Report for 2019-20.

– PTI

1.00 pm | Assam

A young IPS officer is winning hearts in Assam by treating people during the coronavirus pandemic while simultaneously donning the khaki uniform.

Barpeta Superintendent of Police Robin Kumar is performing the dual duties of a corona warrior – a police officer and a doctor – as the district is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Mr. Kumar, a 2013 batch IPS officer, is a specialist in medicine (MBBS, MD), which has helped him respond to the call of duty and provide treatment to the needy during the ongoing medical emergency.

Besides heading the district’s police department, he is currently running a 50-bed COVID-19 care centre with four ICUs in Barpeta Police Reserve for police personnel and their families.

– PTI

12.45 pm | New Delhi

The peak power demand of Delhi has increased by over 50% with resumption of normal activities due to easing of COVID-19-related lockdown restrictions, distribution companies (discom) officials said.

Peak power demand in the city has been muted this year as compared to the last year due to lockdown and weather conditions.

“However, since easing of restrictions on May 18, 2020, Delhi’s peak power demand has increased by over 5%. If we compare the peak power demand since April 2020, it has already increased by over 87%,” officials said.

– PTI

12.30 pm | Puducherry

As part of the government’s effort to scale up testing to 3,000 per day, the Health Department on Saturday launched door-to-door swab collection of people to test for COVID-19.

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao launched the programme at Krishna Nagar and Kurinji Nagar in the town on Saturday.

In an audio message to reporters, the Chief Minister said the government would carry out the door-to-door swab collection in the town and conduct camps in public health centres in rural areas to do testing.

12.15 pm | Assam

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Sunday said the recent rise in smuggling in the northeast can be attributed to economic distress caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) lauded the efforts of paramilitary force Assam Rifles and congratulated its Director General along with other officers for their anti-smuggling operations.

Reports suggest that smugglers and insurgents are using people from the local tribal areas to transport smuggled goods by taking advantage of their financial vulnerability caused due to COVID-19, it added.

12.00 pm | Kerala

In a shocking incident, a COVID-19 patient from Pathanamthitta was subjected to sexual assault while being shifted to a COVID care centre in the wee hours of Sunday. The police have arrested the ambulance driver, Noufal of Kayamkulam, in connection with the incident.

The case came to light when the victim revealed the incident to the health authorities. The victim, a 20-year-old woman, was being shifted to a COVID care centre at Kozhencherry from Pathanamthitta Town when the molestation took place.

11.45 am

Participation of women in equity markets has surged during COVID-19 pandemic and experts believe the growing need to share household expenses with rampant pay cuts and lay-offs has brought them to trading.

Additionally, women are looking for alternatives to the decreasing bank’s fixed deposit (FD) rates, they added.

Interestingly, most of such women are first time investors and a large number of them are homemakers.

11.30 am | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reported the fastest growth is coronavirus infection in August, registering over 3.70 lakh cases, a senior State Health official said.

According to data of the Maharashtra Health department, the State reported 3,76,587 COVID-19 cases last month; 2,41,820 cases in July and 1,04,748 cases in June.

“On August 1, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the State was 4,31,719, which jumped to 8,08,306 on September 1. This is probably the fastest growth of cases in the State since January,” the Health official said.

One of the reasons for the growth in number of positive cases is the increased number of tests, he said, adding that last month, the state carried out 20,16,809 tests.

– PTI

11.15 am | Australia

Australia’s Victoria state announced a slight easing of restrictions in Melbourne but the country’s second-largest city will remain in lockdown until at least October 26.

State police charged a protester with assault after an officer suffered cuts to the head during an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on Saturday. Police said that seven others have been charged with breaching COVID-19 directions after about 200 gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance and Albert Park.

Scuffles between protesters and police resulted in more than 160 fines for contravening lockdown measures or not wearing a mask.

– AP

11.00 am

India’s COVID-19 cases tally went past 41 lakh with a record 90,632 people reported  infected in a day, while 31,80,865 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 77.32% on Sunday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 41,13,811, while the death toll climbed to 70,626 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 1,065 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further declined to 1.72%.There are 8,62,320 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 20.96% of the total caseload, the data stated.

10.45 am | Maharashtra

The Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to deploy additional doctors and nurses at a newly-created COVID-19 jumbo facility following complaints of shortage of manpower there, a senior civic official said.

Last week, a news channel journalist died at the facility, set up in the premises of the College of Engineering here in Maharashtra. His family members alleged that he did not get a cardiac ambulance in time.

Following his death, there were allegations about mismanagement at the hospital. Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar had also sought issuance of show-cause notice to the agency operating the facility.

– PTI

10.30 am | Karnataka

In what doctors claim to be a first case of COVID-19 reinfection in south India, a 27-year-old woman from Bengaluru has tested positive again nearly a month after she was treated and discharged from hospital.

Doctors at Fortis Hospital’s Bannerghatta Road unit, who confirmed that the hospital had reported the first reinfection case, said the woman had no history of any comorbidities.

Taking note of the case, the State Health Department now wants to get the recurrence studied in detail by doctors.

10.15 am | Punjab, Chandigarh

The Union Health Ministry has decided to deploy central teams in Punjab and Chandigarh to assist them in strengthening public health measures for containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of COVID patients with an aim to reduce the mortality rate.

The two-member teams will comprise a community medicine expert from PGIMER, Chandigarh and an epidemiologist from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

These teams shall be stationed in Punjab and Chandigarh for 10 days to provide extended guidance in managing coronavirus infection.

10.00 am | New Delhi

At a time when the country is in the grips of widespread hunger leading to fears of rising levels of malnutrition, government data shows that children with increased risk of mortality could not receive urgent in-patient care at special wards known as nutrition rehabilitation centres following the nationwide lockdown on March 25. These were either shut due to the lockdown or turned into quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients.

The latest National Health Mission (NHM) data shows that the number of children admitted in Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRC) from April to June were only a fraction of the same period last year.

There were only 1,315 children admitted across nearly 966 NRCs in the country in April 2020, which is a mere 9% of those admitted in April 2019 (15,792).

9.30 am | Kerala

The measures implemented by the State government for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic lacked perspective and a sense of direction, according to a study by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Development Studies (RGIDS).

The study calls for well-thought-out projects with short and long-term objectives for overcoming the crises faced by various sectors. The study report containing a set of recommendations covering multiple sectors was released here by Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala by handing over a copy to KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran.

9.00 am | New Delhi

On the day when Delhi conducted a record number of COVID-19 tests, the city witnessed the highest number of new cases in over 70 days.

On Saturday, the city reported 2,973 cases in the past 24 hours, according to a Delhi government health bulletin. The tally now stands at 1,88,193.

On June 26, the city had reported 3,460 new cases.

8.30 am | New Delhi

Due to COVID-19 and staggered lifting of curbs, business at the iconic Indian Coffee House in different cities have been hit badly and salaries of employees of at least eight branches in five cities of north India under The Indian Coffee House Workers’ Co-operative Society Ltd., Delhi, (Delhi Society) have not been paid for the past five months.

The deputy general manager (DGM) of Delhi Society said sales of all their eight branches were down by about 60% and Delhi by 70%.

8.00 am | Israel

Thousands of Israelis protested outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, pressing ahead with a monthslong campaign demanding the embattled Israeli leader resign.

The protest came as Israel is coping with record levels of coronavirus infections. Demonstrators have been protesting Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has led to soaring unemployment, and they say he should step down while on trial for corruption charges.

7.30 am | Andhra Pradesh

The Union Home Ministry has responded to the grievance on an “unauthorised private COVID care centre” and directed the officials to act on the complaint.

BJP Yuva Morcha State RTI Cell convenor Adidam Vamshi Krishna had filed a complaint with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, alleging that the centre in Eluru was sealed but no criminal action taken against the management.

The complainant said the centre started operating 45 days ago in a private residential complex and was providing treatment “without obtaining any permission”. Officials raided the hospital on August 23 and seized injections, rapid test kits and other material worth lakhs of rupees, he alleged. During inquiry, it was revealed that the centre management had collected fees in lakhs of rupees from each patient. “More than 10 patients died due to the poor treatment facilities, but no action has been taken,” he alleged.

7.00 am | Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education has decided to begin the academic session from Monday for classes 9 to 12 through the online mode despite merely 30% of students having reached through online modules after schools shut and just 9.7% of households in rural areas having an Internet connection.

The Board will broadcast audio-visual lessons on Doordarshan from 7 to 10 a.m., after students and teachers first register themselves on a mobile application called ‘MASHIM’’, said an order issued to principals of schools on Thursday.

Source: www.thehindu.com

Author: The Hindu Net Desk

September 06, 2020 09:22 IST

Updated:

September 06, 2020 19:50 IST


Why Is No One Talking About This Emerging Renewable Energy Stock?

Why Is No One Talking About This Emerging Renewable Energy Stock?

Equinor (NYSE:EQNR) is shaping up to be a leader in the fast-growing offshore wind industry, but no one is talking about it. Maybe it’s because Equinor is currently Norway’s largest oil and gas company, so it’s difficult to see a transition to offshore wind. Or it could be that offshore wind is just too niche for there to be enough notice — yet. 

Oil and gas company or not, what should matter to investors is where Equinor is going, not so much where it’s coming from. Here’s why people should be talking about Equinor and why it could be an excellent long-term addition to your portfolio right now.

An offshore wind farm at sunset.

Image source: Getty Images.

Like other oil majors, Equinor’s stock is down for the year. But although it’s underperforming the market, it’s outperforming the energy sector and its main competitors.

EQNR Chart

EQNR data by YCharts

For now, Equinor is associated with oil and gas, placing it on the wrong side of a tide that continues to lift renewable energy stocks and lower oil stocks.

But like other European oil giants that want to turn into renewable energy stocks, Equinor is laying the groundwork for a full-blown transformation that could lead to renewable energy dominating its portfolio and largely replacing oil and gas in the next 10 to 15 years. 

The past few months have seen a flurry of exciting updates for Equinor’s renewable future.

Most recently, Equinor announced its plans to double the capacity of its two oldest offshore wind farms from about 720 MW to over 1,400 MW, increasing its total active and planned capacity from 8.6 GW to nearly 9.5 GW. 

Name

Location

Current Capacity

Equinor Share

Cost So Far

Production Started 

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm

About 11 miles off the coast of Norfolk, U.K., in the North Sea

317 MW

40%

$1.8 billion

2011

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm

20 miles off the coast of Cromer, U.K., in the North Sea

402 MW

35%

$1.78 billion

2017

Data Source: Equinor.

Equinor’s project pipeline puts it well ahead of its ambitious goals of 4 GW to 6 GW of production capacity by 2026 and a portfolio of 12 GW to 16 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2035. Of course, the company still has to execute on its planned projects, and prove that they can be profitable, but if it does it could become the world’s leading offshore wind energy operator.

Another recent development is Equinor’s decision to get a new CEO, Anders Opedal. Opedal, who will step in on Nov. 2, has promised that renewable energy will be a central focus for the company.  

It’s reasonable to be skeptical about big oil stocks saying they are embracing renewables, given today’s widespread “greenwashing” for positive PR. However, naysayers of Equinor’s transition should be aware of the many reasons why offshore wind is a good fit for this energy giant.

For starters, Equinor’s main cash cow has an expiration date as most of the low- and mid-hanging fruit from the North Sea has been picked dry over the past few decades. All that’s left is lower-margin reserves. Although the firm has done a good job at making its operations more efficient to profit from these reserves, the company estimates that its North Sea assets could become unprofitable over the next 10 years. 

That leaves Equinor with two options: Find new oil and gas assets, or go in a different direction.

Luckily for Equinor, the shallow and extensive Norwegian continental shelf and the shelf along the U.K. side of the North Sea are both ideal for offshore wind. Most of Equinor’s offshore wind plans are in these two areas, although it also has an operation in the works that’s 20 miles south of Long Island in addition to a few projects in the Baltic Sea. 

Another advantage is that Equinor thinks it will able to utilize much of its offshore oil and gas prowess for offshore wind. In the meantime, projects like its floating offshore Hywind Tampen project will be the first renewable wind farm to power offshore oil and gas platforms when it’s completed in late 2022. Hywind Tampen is just one of many projects that could lead to Equinor’s business looking much different in five years.

Equinor’s current renewable capacity is just 0.5 GW. However, the next few years should see a ramp-up in renewable spending — $0.5 billion to $1 billion in 2020 and 2021 and then $2 billion to $3 billion in 2022 and 2023. For context, Equinor expects organic investment to be $10 billion in 2021.

Given Equinor is still in the early stages of bringing projects online, and that offshore wind is a relatively new subcategory of renewable energy, it’s difficult for Equinor to estimate the profitability of its planned projects. For now, the company’s best guess is that its renewable projects will return between 6% and 10%, but this is just an estimate and remains largely unproven. Like other companies that are pushing the bounds of emerging industries, Equinor seems more concerned with gaining a competitive edge in offshore wind, and then trusting that its first-mover advantage and ongoing declines in renewable energy costs will naturally result in profitability down the road. 

As one of the largest integrated oil companies in the world, Equinor is a gem that’s hiding in plain sight. The company has shown that it has the management, motivation, and dedication to transition away from oil and gas, yet it is still being weighed down with the broader energy sector. Equinor already has a first-mover advantage into offshore wind, and given the capital intensity, challenging engineering, and sophisticated technology needed to pull off a lot of these endeavors, there’s a short list of companies that could realistically catch up to Equinor anytime soon.

No one is talking about Equinor stock, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good buy for long-term investors right now.

Source: www.fool.com

Author: Daniel Foelber


China's Xi promises more market opening at trade fair

China’s Xi promises more market opening at trade fair

President Xi Jinping has pledged to open China’s service industries wider to foreign competitors as its first in-person trade fair since the coronavirus outbreak opened under intensive anti-disease controls

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping pledged to open China’s service industries wider to foreign competitors as its first in-person trade fair since the coronavirus outbreak opened under intensive anti-disease controls.

Xi gave no details in his speech Friday night, but Chinese leaders are emphasizing development of tourism, retailing and other services. They are part of a campaign to nurture economic growth driven by consumer spending instead of exports and investment.

China will “relax market access for service industries” and “actively expand imports of high-quality services,” Xi said at the China International Fair for Trade in Services.

Xi appeared on a video screen before Chinese businesspeople and a handful of foreign VIPs who wore masks and sat in widely spaced chairs at a convention center adjacent to the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Most exhibitors from abroad are participating via the internet because Beijing has yet to relax curbs that bar most foreign visitors from the country.

The annual export-oriented Canton Trade Fair in southern China, the world’s biggest sales event, was held online in June.

China’s manufacturers are flexible, efficient global competitors, but its fledgling tourism, finance, health care and other service industries lag their Western counterparts. Regulatory barriers limit the ability of foreign banks and other providers to compete in China two decades after Beijing joined the free-trading World Trade Organization.

U.S. officials who are waging a tariff war with Beijing over its trade record point to services, in which the United States runs a surplus with China, as a promising area.

Organizers say 18,000 companies and 100,000 people from 148 countries and regions signed up to take part in the trade fair, which runs through Wednesday.

China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first economy to shut down and the first to begin the struggle to revive business after the ruling party declared victory over the disease in March. Factories, office towers and shopping malls have reopened but visitors to public buildings in Beijing still are checked for fever by masked guards.

China became the first economy to return to growth with a 3.2% expansion over a year earlier in the three months ending in June, rebounding from the previous quarter’s 6.8% contraction.

The trade fair has three-dimensional technology for foreign vendors to show goods and secure online communications to talk to customers, the director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce, Yan Ligang, told reporters on Thursday.

Guests and staff must wear masks and will be checked throughout the day for fever, according to Yan. He said organizers will “restrict the flow” of people and the building will be tested for the virus and disinfected every day.

Some 200 medical, disease control and first aid staff will be on duty, Yan said.

Chinese companies plan to showcase possible coronavirus vaccines that are under development, according to the Beijing Health Commission. It said some will display tools that can detect the virus in 30 minutes.

Other planned exhibitions include cultural, financial and public health services, next-generation telecoms and service robots.

The coronavirus “cannot stop the development of service trade, nor can it stop our confidence and action to work together,” Xi said.

ABC News

Source: abcnews.go.com

Author: ABC News


Coronavirus India lockdown Day 165 updates | A.P. records 10,794 fresh COVID-19 cases; tally inches closer to 5-lakh mark


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