Coronavirus India lockdown Day 160 updates | Moratorium period on loan repayment extendable by two years: Centre, RBI tell SC

Seven States have contributed to 70% of the COVID-19 cases reported in 24 hours and of these, Maharashtra has recorded the highest case load of almost 21%, followed by Andhra Pradesh (13.5%), Karnataka (11.27%) and Tamil Nadu (8.27%). Uttar Pradesh with 8.27%, West Bengal with 3.85% and Odisha with 3.84% are the other States, said the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

With 69,921 people testing positive for coronavirus infection, India’s COVID-19 tally mounted to 36,91,166, while recoveries surged to 28,39,882 on Tuesday pushing the recovery rate to 76.94 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The death toll climbed to 65,288 with 819 new fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Meanwhile, the government has allowed considerable relaxation of restrictions, including resumption of metro rail services, as a part of Unlock 4 guidelines.

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:

12.00 pm | New Delhi

Moratorium period on loan repayment extendable by two years: Centre, RBI tell SC

The Centre and RBI told the Supreme Court that the moratorium period on repayment of loans amid the COVID-19 pandemic is extendable by two years.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the RBI, told a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that several steps have been taken for stressed sectors.

The Bench said that it would hear on Wednesday the pleas which have raised the issue of interest being charged on instalments which have been deferred under the central bank’s scheme during the moratorium period amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

The apex court had earlier asked the Centre and the RBI to review the move to charge interest on deferred EMIs during the moratorium period.

– PTI

11.45 am | New Delhi

Devise master plan for affordable health care, especially in times of health crisis: SC

The Supreme Court directed the Centre to convene a meeting of the Health Ministers or Secretaries within a week to devise a master plan which focuses on affordable health care, especially in times of health crisis.

The court found it unfortunate how even the National Health Bill of 2009, which defined ‘affordable’ health care, did not “see the light of the day”.

A Bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said the Bill had specifically defined ‘endemic’, ‘epidemic’ and “health care establishment” in it. The Bill could have acted as a crucial law to provide affordable health care in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

11.30 am | Tamil Nadu

Bus services resume in T.N.

Passengers waiting to board buses at the bus stand in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu on September 01, 2020, after services resumed under Unlock 4 guidelines.

Passengers waiting to board buses at the bus stand in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu on September 01, 2020, after services resumed under Unlock 4 guidelines.
 
| Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan

 

Intra-district public bus services resumed on Tuesday after a gap of two months with the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation authorities making all arrangements for operation of its buses ensuring adherence to the government guidelines.

The services, which resumed with restrictions in June after a gap of over two months when the lockdown was clamped in late March, were suspended later that month in view of the spread of the viral infection.

 

11.15 am | United Nations

Pandemic brings hard times for farmers, worsening hunger: FAO

The coronavirus pandemic has brought hard times for many farmers and has imperiled food security for many millions both in the cities and the countryside.

United Nations experts are holding an online conference to brainstorm ways to help alleviate hunger and prevent the problems from worsening in the Asia-Pacific region — a challenge made doubly difficult by the loss of many millions of jobs due to the crisis.

The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization forecasts that the number of undernourished people will increase by up to 132 million in this year, while the number of acutely malnourished children will rise by 6.7 billion worldwide due to the pandemic.

– AP

11.00 am | Uttar Pradesh

U.P. government should provide insurance cover to all journalists: Priyanka

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urged the Uttar Pradesh government to provide insurance cover to journalists, asserting that scribes are performing the important duty of providing information amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her appeal to the government came after the death of a young journalist due to COVID-19.

“A very sad news. Neelanshu Shukla, a young journalist from Lucknow, is no more. He was battling COVID-19 since many days,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a Facebook post in Hindi.

– PTI

10.45 am | Hong Kong

Hong Kong begins mass-testing for virus amid public doubts

Hong Kong began a voluntary mass-testing programme for coronavirus on Tuesday as part of a strategy to break the chain of transmission in the city’s third outbreak of the disease.

The virus-testing programme has become a flash point of political debate in Hong Kong, with many distrustful over resources and staff being provided by the China’s central government and fears that the residents’ DNA could be collected during the exercise.

The Hong Kong government has dismissed such concerns, saying that no personal data will be attached to the specimen bottles and that samples will be destroyed in Hong Kong after the exercise.

– AP

10.30 am | Odisha

Odisha lifts lockdown; cinema halls, places of worship to remain closed till Sept. 30

Odisha government Monday lifted lockdown restrictions for September and announced its guidelines for Unlock-4 even as it stuck to its decision to keep the religious places and cinema halls closed to the public till the end of the month.

The places which will remain closed to the public also include swimming pools, entertainment complexes, auditoria, assembly halls and similar places till September 30.

Open air theatres will be allowed to open after September 21.

10.15 am | China

Chinese students begin full return to school

Chinese students on Tuesday began a full return to regular classes following two weeks without new cases of local transmission in the country.

About 75% of students had already returned to school and the remainder will return beginning from Tuesday.

Reports said students had their temperatures checked on arrival but rules on social distancing and mask wearing varied depending on the region.

– AP

10.00 am

Single day spike of 69,921 COVID-19 cases pushes India’s virus caseload to 36,91,166; death toll rises to 65,288, according to the Union Health Ministry. COVID-19 cases in country stand at 7,85,996, while 28,39,882 people have recovered.

– PTI

9.45 am | USA

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine reaches phase 3 clinical trials in U.S., says Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that the vaccine for coronavirus being developed by AstraZeneca has reached phase three clinical trials in the country and is very close to being finalised for approval.

The phase 3 trial is being implemented as part of Operation Warp Speed, a multi-agency collaboration led by the US Health and Human Services, which aims at accelerating the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures for COVID-19 and delivering 300 million doses of an effective vaccine by January 2021.

– PTI

9.30 am | Tamil Nadu

Temples reopen in T.N.

K.V. Srinivasan

Devotees at the Triplicane Sri Parthasarathy temple in Chennai on September 1, 2020. Temples in T.N. opened after more than four months of coronavirus-related lockdown.
 
| Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Tamil Nadu government on Monday restricted the number of persons to be allowed inside places of worship of different faiths to 20, and also advocated for a token system in case of bigger temples by residents providing Aadhaar or ID card in order to get specific time slots to visit.

Not more than 20 persons should be allowed in an area of 100 sq. mtr. or 1,075 sq.ft. in case of temples and Hindu religious places, the SOP issued by Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said. Physical distancing of a minimum of six feet should be maintained when queueing up for the purchase of darshan tickets.

9.15 am | U.K.

Schools, colleges reopen after months of Covid lockdown in England

Hundreds of thousands of children and young people across England are set to resume their classes at schools and colleges after months of lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus since March.

The Department for Education said pupils will return to school environments with a system of controls in place to keep all pupils, teachers and staff safe by minimising direct contacts and maintaining social distancing wherever possible.

Face coverings will be mandatory in public areas and corridors at schools and colleges within areas of the country deemed at high risk of COVID-19 infections.

– PTI

9.00 am | Andhra Pradesh

A.P. becomes second worst-hit State in India in just two months

The State on Sunday surpassed Tamil Nadu to take the number two spot after Maharashtra in COVID-19 infections and it happened in just 60 days.

On June 1, infection count in State were 3,679, when the same in Maharasthra was 70,013, followed by Tamil Nadu (23,495), Delhi (20,834) and Gujarat (17,217). On July 1, the tally in A.P. was 14,595 when compared to Maharashtra (1,74,716), Tamil Nadu (90,169) and Delhi (85,161).

However, in the last two months, the State, with 4,24,767 cases, have broken all records, leaving behind Tamil Nadu (4,22, 085)to take the number two spot after Maharashtra (7,80,689).