Corona Updates You Must Track: Schools, Colleges Open Partially In Some States, Low-Cost COVID Test Gets Nod

India reported nearly 87,000 cases of coronavirus and 1,130 deaths in the last 24 hours. The country’s COVID-19 tally is nearing the 55-lakh mark

Kritika Banerjee Published Sep 21, 2020 11:34:52 IST
Corona Updates You Must Track: Schools, Colleges Open Partially In Some States, Low-Cost COVID Test Gets Nod Passengers at Kolkata airport. Photo: Twitter/@aaikolairport

India cases and toll: With 86,961 fresh cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours (8 am Sunday to 8 am Monday), India’s coronavirus tally rose to 54,87,580, as per the data shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. A total of 7,31,534 tests for COVID-19 were conducted on Sunday. India currently has 10,03,299 active cases of coronavirus; 43,96,399 people have recovered from the illness while 87,882 have succumbed to it.   

Schools, colleges reopen partially: After six months, schools and colleges across the country have been allowed to reopen partially, starting today. Only students of classes 9-12 can come to the school on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from teachers. But before they do that, they must provide a written consent letter from parents or guardians.

Several states, however, have deferred reopening of schools in the wake of the surge in cases of coronavirus. Delhi government, for instance, has said that schools will remain closed till 5 October, while Goa will take a decision on reopening of schools after 2 October. In Punjab, higher education institutions for research scholars and postgraduate students pursuing professional courses have opened.

covid-tracker-21-september_092120112818.jpgCOVID-19 tracker for 21 September. Source: Twitter/@COVIDNewsByMIB

Low-cost COVID-19 test, Feluda, gets nod: A low-cost COVID-19 test, which uses gene-editing CRISPR technology to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has got the nod from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial launch. Named Feluda, a fictional Bengali detective created by auteur Satyajit Ray, this test has an accuracy rate similar to RT-PCR’s, which is considered the gold standard for testing.

Developed by researchers at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) along with the Tata Group, this test can diagnose the presence of the virus in two hours. The test costs around Rs 500 while an RT-PCR test for COVID-19 is priced between Rs 1,600 and Rs 2,000.

AstraZeneca release trial blueprint: The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca released a 111-page trial blueprint for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which is developed jointly with Oxford University. The document has been made public after the pharma firm halted global trials of its vaccine following a participant in its UK trial reporting illness.

As per the blueprint, the firm’s goal is to develop a vaccine with 50 per cent effectiveness as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In India, Serum Institute will begin the phase-3 trials of the vaccine soon.

Global corona update: The global coronavirus tally rose to 3,12,40,262 with 74,39,735 active cases, 2,28,35,459 recoveries and 9,65,068 deaths, as per Worldometer. Of the currently infected patients, 61,220 are in serious or critical condition.

The US with 70,04,768 cases of coronavirus, including 2,04,118 deaths, is the worst-affected country by the pandemic. Meanwhile, a second wave of infections in the UK could lead to tightening of COVID-19 restrictions for people. According to a BBC report, the government could reduce opening hours for pubs and impose a ban on mixing among households. The UK’s overall caseload is 3,94,257, which includes 41,777 deaths.

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