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India


Fresh Covid cases lowest in nearly 2 months but winter can upset downward trend

Fresh Covid cases lowest in nearly 2 months but winter can upset downward trend

New Delhi, Oct 13 (UNI) Even as India reported 55,342 fresh COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, lowest in nearly two months, the government on Tuesday cautioned about a possible surge in infections in coming months of festivals and winters if laxity is shown by people.
"Winter is conducive to the spread of respiratory viruses and therefore, more precautions need to be taken. In Europe and the US, it is clear that with the onset of winter, the number of cases have gone up, though there may be several other factors," Member (Health), Niti Aayog, Dr V.K. Paul said during a media briefing.
As per the latest update from the Union Health Ministry, the total number of cases in the country have reached 71,75,880. The death toll from the virus has also surged to 1,09,856 as 706 more lives were lost in the past 24 hours.
The active cases stand at 8,38,729, which comprises 11.69 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. The COVID-19 case fatality was recorded at 1.53 per cent.
In a setback to vaccine development, pharma major Johnson & Johnson has halted the late-stage study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate to investigate unexplained illness in the volunteer.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the government will support all vaccine manufacturers in research and development, trials and other requirements.
"In India, through the Department of Biotechnology, direct financial assistance is being given already to the designated vaccine manufacturers to assist in R&D and pre-clinical trials, and may get extended to clinical trials. Sufficient financial resources are, however, available with the government to procure the vaccine, the official said.
On the possibility of getting re-infected from the virus, Indian Council of Medical Research Director Balram Bhargava said,"Regarding the study on re-infection study, we are taking the cut off of 100 days, it is still in progress."
Meanwhile, a social campaign "Unite2FightCorona" has been launched by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
"Banners and posters are to be put up at public places till the block level. Front-line workers, including teachers, anganwadi workers, ASHAs, Panchayat sevaks, will be involved," I&B Secretary Amit Khare said.
As per reports,Uttar Pradesh Excise Minister Ram Naresh Agnihotri has tested positive for COVID-19.The 63-year-old leader is undergoing treatment at Max Hospital in Delhi after his diagnosis.
The Delhi government removed the civic-run Hindu Rao Hospital, where resident doctors are agitating over unpaid salaries, from the list of designated COVID-19 facilities in Delhi.
The Meghalaya government decided to postpone the elections to Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) for an indefinite period in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, following consultations with Health Department officials, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said.
The Punjab government said that a decision had been taken to reopen schools and coaching institutions from October 15 in a graded manner.
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee will inaugurate the most awaited Durga pooja virtually. She has urged people to exercise extreme caution for COVID-19 as she reiterated that community spread of the infection had begun in the State.
State-wise, Maharashtra remains the worst infected with 15,35,315 cases and 40,970 deaths, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 7,58,591 cases which includes 6,256 fatalities. Karnataka at the third spot, has recorded 7,17,915 cases and 10,055 deaths.
UNI Team PS JW2015

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