Coronavirus live updates: IIT Madras shuts down after the campus turns into a COVID-19 cluster – The Hindu

Chennai News

With a COVID-19 vaccine now seemingly just round the corner in India, vaccine literacy, and not publicity blitz about emergence of one or more vaccines, is essential to build public trust in the vaccine, say health experts.

Experts opined that it is essential to engage civil society organisations, which enjoy the confidence of the public, in a dialogue, sharing the data with them and asking them to disseminate to the people at large.

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:

New Delhi

Increase testing in districts where COVID-19 infection numbers are high: High Court to AAP government

The Delhi High Court on Monday said it expects the AAP government to increase the number of COVID-19 tests in those districts of the national capital where the infection numbers are high.

A Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad orally suggested to the Delhi government to find out in which districts of the city the infection numbers were increasing and said “we expect you to increase tests in those areas“.

The suggestion came during the brief hearing of a plea by advocate Rakesh Malhotra seeking increase in the COVID-19 testing numbers in the national capital and getting speedy results.

As the matter could not be heard in detail due to paucity of time, the Bench asked the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Satyakam, to file a fresh status report within a week indicating the updated figures of tests carried out, district-wise infection numbers in the city, number of containment zones. The Bench, thereafter listed the matter for hearing on December 23.

New Delhi

SpiceHealth signs MoU with CCMB to launch dry swab RT-PCR tests

SpiceHealth has signed a memorandum of understanding with premier research organisation CSIR-CCMB to launch dry swab RT-PCR tests in the company’s mobile testing labs, an official statement said on Monday.

“The dry swab testing method will be a game-changer in testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The method is safer, faster and cheaper than the current testing method without compromising the quality of test results,” Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIR-CCMB was quoted as saying in a statement.

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is a constituent lab of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

“Over the past few weeks, SpiceHealth has launched five mobile testing laboratories across Delhi-National Capital Region, with 10 more labs in the pipeline for the next two weeks,” its CEO Avani Singh said. The Indian Council of Medical Research had last month approved the dry swab RT-PCR test developed by the CSIR-CCMB. – PTI


Uncertainty over admission process for next academic year

If it weren’t for the pandemic, private school managements would have completed admissions for the 2021–22 academic year by this month. However, with the academic calendar thrown into disarray, schools are still uncertain over when and how the current academic year will end.

While some top schools in the city have started conducting virtual tours of their campuses and hosting online workshops for prospective parents, most budget schools have not even started the admission process.

Parents, too, for the most part, are adopting a wait-and-watch approach. Schools, which are usually inundated with enquiries from prospective parents, said it was not the case this year.



Kerala staring at the chance of a surge in new COVID-19 cases

Kerala could be witnessing a surge in COVID-19 soon, going by the previous weeks’ (December first week) trend when new cases, which had shown a negative growth all through November, suddenly showed an increase by 5.6%.

Case doubling time trends and test positivity rates, two key indicators of the rate of infection or the spread of the virus, have gone up in many districts like Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, Wayanad, Malappuram and Kottayam.


Caseload update

Daily new infections dip below 30,000 again this month

The daily new COVID-19 cases fell below 30,000 for the third time this month taking India’s virus caseload to 98.84 lakh, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 93.88 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 98,84,100 with 27,071 infections being reported in a day. The death toll rose to 1,43,355 with 336 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 93,88,159 pushing the national recovery rate to 94.98%, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45%.

The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 4 lakh for the eighth consecutive day.

There are 3,52,586 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 3.57% of the total caseload, the data stated.



IIT-M turns COVID-19 cluster, 71 test positive since December 1

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has shut down all departments after the campus turned into a COVID-19 cluster with 71 persons, including 66 students, testing positive since December 1.

In a circular on Sunday, the institute said it decided to close all departments, centres and the library immediately until further notice.

All faculty members, project staff members and research scholars would work from home, while students, scholars and project staff members staying on the campus were advised to confine themselves to their hostel rooms.



Fresh infections outweigh recoveries in Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s case surge once again outpaced its recoveries, with 3,717 new COVID-19 cases being reported on Sunday, while just 3,083 patients were discharged.

The State’s active infections have increased to 74,104, while the total case tally stands at 18,80,416. While the cumulative recoveries stand at 17,57,005, the State’s recovery rate declined marginally to 93.44%.

As many as 70 deaths were reported, pushing the fatality count to 48,209.