Coronavirus India lockdown Day 185 updates | IISc. develops indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic kit

Those unable to afford a probable COVID-19 vaccine will get it for free and the government is considering a large immunisation programme to make the vaccine widely available, a highly placed official involved in the strategy told The Hindu.

The cost of the vaccine would likely retail between $2-3 (₹140-210), the official said.

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:

1.45 pm | Maharashtra

Singer Himanshi Khurana tests positive

Punjabi singer and former Bigg Boss contestant Himanshi Khurana on Sunday said she has tested positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old singer requested those who had come in contact with her to get tested for coronavirus.

“I want to inform you all that I have been tested positive for COVID-19 even after taking proper precautions. As you all know that I was part of the protest day before yesterday and the area was crowded so I thought to get the test done before I go for my shoot today evening,” Ms. Khurana tweeted.

Ms. Khurana urged those taking part in the protests to take proper precautions. “It’s my request to all the people protesting to not forget that we are going through pandemic so please take proper care,” she added.


1.30 pm | Karnataka

Congress MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao tests positive

Karnataka Congress leader and MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao on Sunday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I have tested #Corona positive today. Therefore will be quarantining myself for 10 days. I request all my primary contacts to get themselves checked and take necessary precaution,” Mr. Rao tweeted.

The former State Congress president said he was asymptomatic and will recover soon because of the good wishes from everyone.

Mr. Rao had taken part in the proceedings of the monsoon session of the Karnataka Assembly till late last night.

He was recently appointed as AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Goa and Puducherry.


1.00 pm | Karnataka

Son, who lost parents to COVID-19, under treatment for infection in Hassan

A 24-year-old youth under treatment for COVID-19 in Hassan lost both his parents to the infection. All three members of the family, residing in Hassan, had tested positive for the infection recently.

His father, a 60-year-old priest in a temple at Kattaya, died on Friday. His mother, a primary school teacher, succumbed to the infection on Saturday. Their only son took part in the last rites of his parents wearing a PPE kit.

According to his relatives, his mother, who visited villages to conduct classes for her students as part of Vidyagama programme, was the first to test positive for the infection. Later, her husband and son also underwent COVID-19 test and both were found infected.

So far 300 people have died of the infection in Hassan district.

Satish G.T.

12.30 pm | Karnataka

IISc. develops indigenous COVID-19 diagnostic kit

An indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit has been developed by a start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.). The test kit, based on reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), has been approved for use in authorised COVID-19 diagnostic labs by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Developed by Equine Biotech, founded by Utpal Tatu, professor in the Department of Biochemistry, IISc., the test using the “Global diagnostic kit” takes about one-and-a-half hours to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples, and its run time is shorter compared with the kits available in the industry, according to its founders. The company is currently seeking to licence its new COVID-19 test kit and work with med-tech companies and other industries for mass production, marketing, and distribution of these kits.

“Our start-up has been working on testing for coronavirus infections for many years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic started. This experience has helped us engineer the kit for COVID-19,” an IISc. release quoted Prof. Tatu as saying.


12.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

30 out of 33 child marriages stopped during lockdown

As many as 33 child marriages were reported in Madurai district from March 25 to August-end, during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown. Data obtained from the district administration shows 30 child marriages were stopped by the officials and the first information report was filed in the remaining three cases.

Collector T.G.Vinay says officials from the Social Welfare Department, Childline, District Child Protection Office and the police department worked in tandem to stop the child marriages. Out of the 13 blocks in Madurai district, the highest number of child marriages were reported in Usilampatti. There were no child marriage cases reported in Chellampatti, Tirumangalam and T. Kallupatti during that period.

“There was no significant increase in child marriages reported in the district during the lockdown period, when compared to pre-COVID-19 times,” said Mr. Vinay.


11.30 am | Kerala

Curbs hit distribution of worksheet to students

The worsening pandemic situation has affected the distribution of worksheets for evaluation of the online learning process among students in lower primary sections in Ernakulam.

The Education department had entrusted the Sarva Shiksha Kerala with the task of providing the forms at the doorsteps of the students in view of the pandemic crisis. The worksheets have been distributed as a continuation of the evaluation of the online learning modules offered to the students through the Victers channel and YouTube.

With the number of positive cases going up, the block resource persons and representatives of various schools in the district have not been able to initiate the distribution of worksheets. They have not been able to provide them among students in containment zones as entry has been restricted, said senior officials of the Education department.


11.00 am | U.K.

Police and protesters clash in London over restrictions

London police clashed with demonstrators on Saturday as they broke up a protest in Trafalgar Square against COVID-19 restrictions amid rising tensions over limits on everyday life as the government tries to stem a sharp rise in infections.

Police and protesters were injured when officers moved in after three hours of speeches in front of thousands of people who packed the iconic square in London waving placards opposing mandatory vaccinations, face mask requirements and limits on civil liberties.

Nine police officers were injured, including two who required hospital treatment for head injuries. Sixteen persons were arrested for a variety of offences including breaching coronavirus regulations, assaulting a police officer and violent disorder.


10.30 am | Gujarat

No garba in Gujarat this year due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak in Gujarat would deprive the people of the State of the famed garba celebrations during the Navaratra festival, as the Gujarat government on Saturday announced that it would not permit any garba event anywhere due to the pandemic.

The government said it would also not hold the State-level Navratri Mahotsav this year during the festival period from October 17 to October 25. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani after a review meeting.

In a statement, the government said, “in public interest in view of the pandemic, CM has taken a decision to not allow the garba celebrations and also not hold the State level event at Ahmedabad.”


10.00 am | New Delhi

Patience key to resumption of sporting activities: Sjoerd Marijne

The hockey players reassembled for the national camps in early August but with six men testing positive for COVID-19, the quarantine period and SAI restrictions, the players — both men and women — began proper training only last week. And the coaches are in no hurry to rush them on.

“One of the most important things is to manage expectations. They will not come back at their old levels immediately. It is important to accept things as they are and give yourself and your players that time. I know the NFL has had 26 hamstring and six ACL injuries in two weeks. We have to be careful, not rush in too soon because you really need to have patience,” women’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said during a Hockey India webinar on Saturday on resumption of activities.


9.30 am | Karnataka

COVID-19 positivity rate highest in Bengaluru Rural last week

As the number of coronavirus infections in India and Karnataka continues to soar, the positivity rate among both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases over the last week in the State has been the highest in Bengaluru Rural.

Data from the Karnataka State COVID-19 War Room as of September 24 evening shows that the positivity rate among asymptomatic cases in the last seven days since the date of the report in Bengaluru Rural stands at 29.7 — for 2,331 tests conducted and 692 cases. Mysuru had the second highest positivity rate of 26.9 for 7,228 tests and 1,943 cases. Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Hassan, and Shivamogga are among the other districts with higher positivity rates for asymptomatic cases.


9.00 am | Karnataka

668 prisoners tested positive for COVID-19, Karnataka govt. tells HC

The State government has told the High Court of Karnataka that 668 prisoners lodged in 47 prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 as of September 18 and 585 of them have fully recovered from the infection after being treated at designated hospitals or care centres.

Also, the government said that 16,418 tests for COVID-19 were conducted for prisoners.

While 11,116 tests were conducted for those brought to prisons for the first time, 4,794 tests were conducted for the existing inmates, and 508 for prisoners who returned from parole, as of September 18.

The data was submitted before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi during the hearing of a petition filed by Amol Kale, a prime accused in Gauri Lankesh murder case lodged at the central prison in Mysuru. The petitioner had sought various measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the prison.


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