India has one of the lowest COVID-19 deaths per million population in the world with less than 1,000 fatalities registered daily since October 4, while the fatality rate of 1.52% on Friday was the lowest since March 22, the Union Health Ministry said.
These results have been boosted by 22 states and Union Territories which have demonstrated better performance and are reporting even lower deaths per million population compared to the national average, it said.
Here are the latest updates:
Three more nonagenarians recover from COVID-19 in Chennai
Since the start of this week, three nonagenarians have been discharged from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) after undergoing treatment for COVID-19. With this, as many as 27 patients, who were aged above 90 years and tested positive for COVID-19, have undergone treatment and have been discharged from the hospital.
One of the three patients, P. Vaidyanathan, who was born in 1921, completed 99 years of age on October 2. He and his wife, V. Janaki, 89, tested positive and were treated in RGGGH. The couple were discharged on Monday.
Another nonagenarian, Jayalakshmi, 93, was discharged after treatment from RGGGH on Friday. She was in respiratory distress and was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Use Durga Puja dole only for COVID-19 prevention steps: HC
The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed that the money allocated by the West Bengal government to Durga Puja committees should be used only for improving community policing and procuring masks and sanitizers for containing the spread of COVID-19.
A division bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee, in an interim order, said the money allocated could not be used for any other purpose such as conducting any Puja activity, musical soiree or entertainment of the organisers.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on September 24, announced that the government would give ₹50,000 to each of the 37,000 clubs across the State.
According to the court, 75% of the money should be used only for procurement of masks, sanitizers and face shields and 25% for strengthening police – public bonding and inclusion of more women in community policing.
Novel test to detect loss of smell in asymptomatic patients
Loss of smell, which is one of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection, can now be quickly and accurately measured using a novel method developed by researchers at IISER Pune.
Using a custom-built olfactory action meter, which determines how well one can smell, the team led by Dr. Nixon Abraham from the Department of Biology at IISER Pune, were able to identify people infected with the virus but have no typical symptoms such as fever, fatigue etc.
To access the olfactory functions of asymptomatic people, the researchers tested 34 patients admitted in isolation wards at B.J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospitals, Pune. The researchers were able to detect olfactory deficits in 82% of people with asymptomatic infection. That only 15% of those with asymptomatic infection were aware of their inability to smell before participating in the test, highlights the ability of the new method to detect asymptomatic cases that might otherwise not be detected. The results were published in the journal EClinical Medicine.
The method has 82% sensitivity, 87% specificity and accuracy of 85%.
Private Dasara of the Wadiyars to be a muted affair this year
The private Dasara of the Wadiyars to be held from Saturday within the Amba Vilas Palace will be a restricted affair and not open even to immediate family members in view of the pandemic.
The elaborate affair used to start with rites and rituals supervised by priests. It was followed by a private durbar of the Wadiyars, which drew a good number of people, to witness the symbolic ascension of the golden throne. No invitation has been sent out this year.
Palace secretary Lakshminarayan said there will be no one to witness the Khas Durbar this year, though Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar will perform all the religious rites associated with Navaratri. The rites and rituals used to include a battery of priests to chant the hymns, dharmadhikaris to supervise the proceedings apart from their assistants, but the numbers have been curtailed this year, he said.
As COVID-19 cases surge, Centre rushes teams to 5 States
The Union Health Ministry on Friday deputed teams to Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, which have been reporting a surge in the number of new COVID-19 cases in recent days.
A Ministry release said the teams would support the States’ efforts towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures, and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. They shall also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow-up.
“Each team comprises a Jt. Secretary (nodal officer for the respective State), one public health expert to look after the public health aspects, one clinician to look after infection prevention practices, clinical management protocol being followed by the State,’’ said the Ministry.