After Chennai, now Hyderabad is mulling over implementation of a total lockdown after the number of coronavirus cases in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits increased sharply in the past few days.
Besides Maharashtra and Delhi, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have recorded huge spikes in the cases detected, putting enormous strain of the States’ facilities. Globally, the death toll from COVID-19 reached half a million people on Sunday. Over 10 million cases have been reported so far.
Here are the latest updates:
12 pm | India
Allow opt-out scheme till last paper: SC tells ICAI
Chartered accountancy aspirants taking exams in July-August should have the option to change exam centres “till the very end,” Supreme Court told the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Monday. The Court said that this is taking into consideration the evolving COVID situation.
“The COVID situation is constantly changing and not static. The place where an exam centre is can, in coming days, be part of a containment zone,” the apex court said.
It added that if a CA student has appeared in one paper and is unable to take the other subjects, it will be deemed that he has opted out, and that he will get benefits of the opt-out scheme.
“The opt-out scheme is available till the last paper. If an aspirant’s family member is tested positive during the exam, you cannot force him to appear in the remaining paper,” the SC said.
In addition to this, the Supreme Court also asked the ICAI to:
– Extend the date allowing students to change exam centres due to COVID
– Allow students to intimate ICAI via email, and opt-out in the middle of exams due to COVID reasons.
– Advised ICAI to follow MHA safety protocol for exams
A draft notification regarding these guidelines is to be presented in the Court on July 2.
11.40 am | Delhi
8 Vande Bharat flights from Australia sold out in 3 hours
Air India on Sunday opened bookings for eight flights from Australia under the Vande Bharat Mission, but many passengers were left disappointed after all seats were sold in less than three hours.
Late on Saturday evening, Air India announced on Twitter that it would operate four flights each from Sydney and Melbourne between July 1 and July 14. The booking window opened at noon on Sunday, and all seats were sold out by 2.30 p.m.
The total number of seats booked are estimated to be 2,048. A Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which Air India typically operates on this route, comprises 256 seats.
11.30 am | Rajasthan
Religious places in rural Rajasthan to reopen from July 1
The Rajasthan government on Sunday allowed religious places in rural areas, where a limited number of devotees visit, to reopen from July 1.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said all precautionary measures, including physical distancing, will be mandatory at these places.
Mr. Gehlot said only those religious sites in rural areas have been given permission to reopen where 50 or less people visit per day on normal days. – PTI
11.10 am | Telangana
Telangana Home Minister tests COVID-19 positive
Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali has tested positive for COVID-19. He was admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad on Sunday night.
Earlier on Wednesday, five of his gunmen had tested positive for the virus.
More details are awaited.
11 am | Tiruppur
Walkers not allowed at Tiruppur Collectorate
District Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan has announced that the public will not be allowed inside the Collectorate premises for walking purposes to ensure personal distancing. The public will be allowed inside the Collectorate from Monday only to make “essential requests”.
All gymnasiums across the district will also be closed from Monday, Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said. Strict action will be taken against gyms that remain open as well as those who enter the Collectorate unnecessarily.
10.40 am | Manipur
Manipur extends lockdown till July 15
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Sunday said his government decided to extend the ongoing lockdown for another 15 days from July 1 to 15 in the State, which has so far reported a total of 1,092 cases.
The lockdown was supposed to be lifted on June 30.
Mr. Singh also announced that inter-district bus service will be operational between July 1 and 15 maintaining all COVID-19 safety measures and no other public transport will ply during this period. – PTI
10.20 am | Mumbai
Don’t travel beyond 2 km of home, urge Mumbai Police
The Mumbai Police has urged residents not to travel beyond a 2-km radius of their homes for the purpose of exercise or visiting shops and salons.
“Movement beyond 2 km is permitted only for attending office or medical emergencies,” a senior police official said.
Directions shared on Twitter by Mumbai Police
The police appealed to residents to follow personal safety and physical distancing norms, or else they will take strict action against offenders. Residents should ensure all outdoor movement is restricted to essential activities only, the official said. “While moving outdoors, wearing face masks is compulsory.”
Shops and markets not following guidelines will be closed down. – PTI
10 am | Maharashtra
As cases rise, Thane-Palghar officials mull stricter lockdown
Thane city reported 341 COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths from the infection on Sunday, while Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivali witnessed 197 and 369 cases and four and six deaths respectively during the day, an official said.
In neighbouring Palghar district, the COVID-19 count increased by 314 while six people succumbed to the infection during the day, he added.
With no let up in cases, Thane Additional Municipal Commissioner Ganesh Deshmukh said there was a chance of some areas of the city, the largest in the district, coming under stringent lockdown from July 1. – PTI
9.30 am | World
WHO announces new worldwide daily virus record
The World Health Organisation has announced another daily record in the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases across the world — topping over 1,89,000 in a single 24-hour period.
The tally on Sunday from the UN health agency eclipses the previous record a week earlier at over 1,83,000 cases, showing case counts continue to progress worldwide.
Brazil recorded the most new cases over the one-day span at more than 46,800, followed by the U.S. at over 44,400. India had nearly 20,000.
Overall the U.S. still has far and away the most total cases, at more than 24.50,000 — roughly twice that of Brazil. – AP
9 am | Meghalaya
Meghalaya CM tests negative for COVID-19
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, who travelled to Manipur and Delhi last week, tested negative for coronavirus infection, according to officials.
The Chief Minister has been under home quarantine for the past four days after his return from Delhi where he took disgruntled National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs of Manipur from Imphal to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The first test was conducted on Sangma, who is also the NPP president, on June 22 and the second one on Sunday, an official at the CMO said. – PTI
8.30 am | Karnataka
Karnataka government now allows online classes
After a blanket ban on any form of online classes [live or pre-recorded], Karnataka government has come out with an order stating that educational institutions can conduct online classes. However, it will be followed only until an expert committee submits its report.
The order, which came on Saturday, comes with some riders. It states that online classes [synchronous] can be conducted for 30 to 45 minutes not exceeding two periods per day. Classes must be conducted on alternate days [only three days in a week]. Interestingly, the order allows educational institutions to conduct 30-minute online classes for LKG and UKG kids under parental supervision.
8 am | India
FIR against Baba Ramdev, others on COVID-19 cure claim
Police have registered a First Information Report against yoga guru Ramdev and four others for allegedly conspiring to sell a fake Ayurveda medicine with the misleading claim to cure COVID-19 following clinical trials on some patients. The FIR said the claim had been made without getting the Union AYUSH Ministry’s approval.
The complainant said that the accused had put the lives of common people at risk and neither the Centre nor the Rajasthan government had been informed about the clinical trials of Coronil. Patanjali Ayurveda, on the other hand, had claimed that it had complied with all legal formalities.