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India has one of lowest COVID cases per lakh population globally, recovery rate 55.77%

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday informed that India has one of the lowest COVID cases per lakh population in the world and continues to widen the gap between recovered and active cases.

The WHO Situation Report 153 dated 21 June 2020 shows that India has one of the lowest cases per lakh population in spite of its high population density. India’s cases per lakh population are 30.04 while the global average is more than its triple at 114.67. The US has 671.24 cases per lakh population while the metric for Germany, Spain and Brazil is 583.88, 526.22 and 489.42 respectively.

This low figure is thus a testimony to the graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach the Government of India along with the States/UTs took for the prevention, containment and management of COVID-19.

So far, a total of 2,37,195 patients have been cured of COVID-19. During the last 24 hours, a total of 9,440 COVID-19 patients have been cured. The recovery rate is 55.77% amongst COVID-19 patients.

Presently, there are 1,74,387 active cases and all are under active medical supervision. Till Monday, the number of recovered patients had crossed the number of active patients by 62,808.

The COVID-19 testing infrastructure is continuously being ramped up. The number of government labs has been increased to 723 and private labs has been increased to 262, adding up to a total of 985.

The break-up is as follows:

Real-Time RT PCR based testing labs: 549 (Govt: 354 + Private: 195)

TrueNat based testing labs : 359 (Govt: 341 + Private: 18)

CBNAAT based testing labs : 77 (Govt: 28 + Private: 49)

The total number of samples being tested per day is also steadily rising, as is the number of total samples tested. In the last 24 hours, 1,43,267 samples were tested. Whereas the total number of samples tested thus far is 69,50,493.

For all authentic and updated information on COVID-19 related technical issues, guidelines and advisories please regularly visit: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/ and @MoHFW_INDIA

Technical queries related to COVID-19 may be sent to [email protected] and other queries on [email protected] and @CovidIndiaSeva

In case of any queries on COVID-19, please call at the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare helpline no.: +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-free).

List of helpline numbers of States/UTs on COVID-19 is also available at  https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/coronvavirushelplinenumber.pdf

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Facebook employee from Ireland flags man’s ‘suicidal activity;’ Delhi, Mumbai cops race to save him

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A timely alert by an Ireland-based Facebook staffer to Delhi Police saved the life of a 27-year-old man, who was under financial stress because of the Coronavirus lockdown and showed “suicidal activity” on the social media platform, officials said Sunday.

The man had been posting videos on Facebook that apparently showed him preparing to end his life which raised a red flag on the social media giant’s network. Facebook feared that any direct contact with the man could drive him to expedite his suicide plans, officials said.

So a company official contacted Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Cyber) Anyesh Roy as the phone number used for the Facebook account was registered in the national capital.

The Facebook staffer shared the details of the “suicidal activity” with Mr Roy on his email just before 8 pm Saturday, and what began then was a race against time to save the man.

The phone number was traced to a woman in east Delhi, DCP Roy said.

Mr Roy reached out to Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh and they immediately sent a police team to the address but found the woman to be completely fine.

The case then took a wild turn when the woman told the officials the Facebook account was used by her husband who had left for Mumbai two weeks ago after a fight with her.

She also said the man was working as a cook in a small hotel in Mumbai, police said.

The woman had her husband’s phone number but did not know his address.

DCP Roy got in touch with his counterpart in Mumbai, DCP (Cyber) Rashmi Karandikar, but the man’s phone number was “unreachable”.

Ms Karandikar said she received a phone call from Mr Roy around 11 pm Saturday, more than three hours after the matter first came to light in Delhi.

“Our biggest challenge was to trace him and our priority was to reach him quickly because we were told he had put out at least four videos of himself preparing to end his life by hanging. Until 12:30 am, we were struck,” Ms Karandikar told PTI over phone from Mumbai.

The Mumbai police then asked the man’s mother to videocall him on WhatsApp, so that they would be able to trace his location, but the call got disconnected after a single ring.

“The man then contacted his mother through another number and that’s how we traced his location. For an hour, one of my officers kept him engaged on phone call and tried to convince him to not take any extreme step,” the senior Mumbai police officer said.

By 1.30 am, a police team reached his address and counselled him.

The man told Mumbai police that he was under severe financial distress for a few months because of lockdown and had fought with his wife. He said he was worried about raising his new-born and decided to end his life, the officer said.

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Kerala rains: 6 districts on red alert, opening of dam shutters aggravate flood situation; Mullaperiyar raises concerns

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As heavy rainfall continues to pound different parts of Kerala, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued red alert for six districts saying that they will receive over 20 cm rainfall over Monday.

The IMD has sounded a red alert and predicted extremely heavy rainfall in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Alappuzha districts.

IMD officials said almost all districts north of Alappuzha are likely to receive over 20 cms rains.

There is likely to be a reduction in rainfall from Tuesday, it said.

In the wake of incessant rainfall, several parts of the state are facing flood-like situation with the administration shifting hundreds of people from low-lying areas to relief camps.

With the tragic memories of the 2018 deluge still fresh in the minds of the people of the state, many have already moved to higher places or shifted to stay with relatives even before receiving alert from the district administration.

The incessant rains, landslides and opening of shutters of dams across rivers have led to rise in water levels in rivers and streams in central Kerala, aggravating the flood situation.

All six shutters of Pamba dam, in Pathanamthitta district opened for 60 cm each Sunday afternoon after its water level rose to 983.45 meter mark, raising concerns about floods in Ranni, Chengannur and Kuttanad regions.

The shutters were opened to bring down the water level in the dam to 982 meters in nine hours, Pathanamthitta district officials said.

District Collector PB Nooh IAS said that 82 cubic ft of water will flow out because of the opening of the shutters and added that the water level in Pamba river may rise up to 40 cm.

Anticipating breach of the river in areas downstream of Pathanamthitta, the district administration has sought the assistance of fishermen to carry out rescue operations. Fishermen from Neendakara and Alappad in neighbouring Kollam district will reach vulnerable areas of Pathanamthitta, including Thiruvalla and Adoor with 15 boats, officials said. Last month, 30 fishermen arrived from Kollam with 10 boats deployed at Kozhencherry and Ranni, officials said. Nearly 100 families living in the vulnerable areas in Ranni have been shifted to safety, they said.

Normal life of people in low-lying areas of Kottayam and Alappuzha has been badly affected with flood waters entering their homes.

Hundreds of families have been shifted to relief camps from-low lying areas, including Kumarakom and Kuttanad regions of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.

Farming in Kuttanad ‘Below Sea Level Farming System’, the only such one in India practicing rice cultivation below sea level for the past two centuries, has been affected due to the breach of bunds due to floods, farmers of the area said.

An airport taxi driver was washed away in flood waters at Manarcad area in Kottayam district in the wee hours of Sunday. The body of the man, identified as Justin from Angamaly, was later recovered by the rescue personnel. Officials said four cases of drowning have been reported from Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Alappuzha districts in the past 24 hours. Considering the spread of COVID-19, the authorities have opened separate camps for different categories of the flood affected people.

Meanwhile, the water level at Mullaperiyar reservoir in Idukki district of Kerala reached 136 feet late Sunday night. This has raised concerns for those living on banks of Periyar river where the water level will rise. Hundreds of people from the area have been shifted to relief camps.

“The water level has reached 136 feet. I have talked to the Theni collector. No decision has been made as of now with regard to opening of the shutters. They have assured us that we will be informed prior to opening,” Idukki district collector H Dineshan told PTI.

In a letter, Kerala Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta had asked his Tamil Nadu counterpart to inform the state government, 24 hours prior to opening of the shutters.

“The state is receiving heavy rains especially in the Idukki district. The water level in the catchment area of Mullaperiyar has been steadily rising. The water level, which was at 116.20 feet on August 3, reached 131.25 feet by 2 pm on August 7,” Mehta said in his letter.

Meanwhile, four shutters of Neyyar dam have been opened in Thiruvananthapuram district following heavy rainfall in the region.

Three shutters of Aruvikkara dam in the state capital have also been opened, as the catchment areas of both the dams are receiving heavy rainfall since Saturday.

Considering the spread of Coronavirus, the authorities have opened separate camps for different categories of the flood-affected people.

In Ernakulam district, 1,203 flood affected people have been shifted to relief camps. While 1,118 people have been lodged in general relief camps, 67 senior citizens are in camps for those above 60 years of age. Eighteen people are staying in the camps set for quarantined people, district administration officials said.

The Shiva temple located in Aluva continues to stay submerged in the water despite the water level of Periyar river going down. The river had swelled up due to heavy downpour from the past couple of days.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the massive landslide at Rajamala in Kerala’s Idukki district, triggered due to heavy rainfall in the last few days, has risen to 43 with 17 more bodies including that of a 6-month-old baby being retrieved on Sunday.

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‘Lessons from Swachhta Mission important in fighting Covid’: PM Modi at launch of Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurates the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra – an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission in the national capital.

The centre was inaugurated at the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti at Rajghat.

During his address to the nation at the launch event, PM lauded the people of India for making swachhata a ‘jan andolan’ and urged them to continue to do so in the future.

He reiterated the importance of swachhata in our daily lives, especially during our fight against the coronavirus.

Prime Minister also launched ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’, a special week-long campaign for swachhata in the run-up to Independence Day, during which each day till 15th August will have special swachhata initiatives in urban and rural India to re-enforce the jan andolan for swachhata.

PM Modi briefly visited the RSK souvenir centre. He then interacted with 36 school students from Delhi, representing all States and Union Territories of India at the amphitheatre of the RSK, adhering to social distancing protocols.

The children shared with the Prime Minister their experiences with swachhata activities at home and at school, and their impressions of the RSK. One of them also asked the Prime Minister what his favourite part of the RSK was, to which the Prime Minister replied that he most enjoyed the portion dedicated to the inspiration of the SBM, Mahatma Gandhi.

He took a tour of the three distinct sections of the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra. He first experienced a unique 360° audio visual immersive show in Hall 1 which provides an overview of the Swachh Bharat journey. He then moved to Hall 2 which contains a series of interactive LED panels, hologram boxes, interactive games and much more on the SBM.

PM Modi also saw the installations in the lawn adjacent to RSK which showcase three exhibits which are synonymous with the SBM – Mahatma Gandhi leading people to the Swachhata pledge, Rani Mistris of rural Jharkhand and children swachhagrahis who call themselves Vaanar Sena.

The Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra will be open to the public from 9th August from 8 AM to 5 PM, in accordance with the prescribed guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. As the number of people who may visit the RSK at a given point in time will have to be limited, no tours will be organized for students in the short term. However, virtual tours of the RSK will also be organized till such time as physical tours are possible. The first such virtual tour will be organized on 13th August with Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. For ticket bookings and more information on the RSK, one may log on to rsk.ddws.gov.in

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