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Coronavirus Highlights: Amarnath Yatra 2020 Turns Virtual as Pilgrimage Cancelled, Aarti to be Telecast; No Lockdown in Bengaluru from Tomorrow

File photo of pilgrims travel on ponies or on foot, along a track besides a glacier-fed stream on their way to the cave for Amarnath Yatra. (Reuters)

File photo of pilgrims travel on ponies or on foot, along a track besides a glacier-fed stream on their way to the cave for Amarnath Yatra. (Reuters)

Coronavirus Highlights: The annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sources told CNN-News18 on Tuesday.

Coronavirus Highlights: The annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sources told CNN-News18 on Tuesday. The 42-day-long yatra to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas was earlier curtailed and was to be held only from the Batal route for 15 days.

"To keep the religious sentiments alive, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board shall continue live telecast/virtual darshan of morning and evening aarti. The traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice. Chhadi Mubarak shall be facilitated by the government," the government of Jammu and Kashmir said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced that there will be no lockdown in the state from Wednesday but urged the people to comply by the norms and ensure wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Brazil has commenced advanced clinical testing of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine. The first doses will be administered to close to 900 volunteers on Tuesday, officials said. This development comes a day after preliminary data on Oxford University’s Phase-1 and Phase-2 trials on their coronavirus vaccine revealed that it induced a strong antibody and T cell immune response among participants without any major adverse reaction.

HERE ARE HIGHLIGHTS ON CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:

◕ Maharashtra on Tuesday recorded 8,396 new cases, taking the total tally to 3,27,031. With 246 deaths, the toll rose to 12,276. Mumbai alone reported 992 cases.

◕ "A total of 1,349 COVID-19 positive cases, 1,200 recovered/discharged/migrated and 27 deaths reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours. The total number of positive cases in the national capital rises to 1,25,096 including 1,06,118 recovered/discharged/migrated and 3,690 deaths," the Delhi government said.

◕ Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took on the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government on Tuesday over the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. "The state of the corona pandemic in Bihar is critical and out of control of the state government. Unclaimed bodies lying in the hospital ward expose the 'good governance' of the Bihar government."

◕ Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has launched a crackdown on Mumbai's private hospitals for overcharging Covid-19 patients. The civic agency has received 1,115 complaints so far and close to Rs 1.5 crore has been refunded. It is being reported that patients were overcharged by 10.48%.

Rajasthan's Covid-19 Tally Reaches 30,741 | Six more people succumbed to COVID-19 in Rajasthan on Tuesday, taking the toll to 574, while 351 fresh cases pushed the state's tally to 30,741, an official statement said. It said 21,494 patients have been discharged so far and the state now has 7,868 active COVID-19 cases. Read the full story here.

Sero-prevalence Study Finds 23.48% People Affected by Covid-19 in Delhi | Delhi's sero-prevalence study has discovered that 23.48 per cent of the people have been affected by the novel coronavirus in the national capital, which has several pockets of dense population, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The study, which was done from June 27 to July 10 by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in collaboration with the Delhi government, also revealed that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic, news agency PTI reported.

‘Unsubstantiated Allegations’: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals after DCGI Notice | Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd on Tuesday issued a statement after India's drug regulator sent a notice to the firm on overpricing and false claims of its Covid-19 drug FabiFlu. The pharma company said that it was dismayed that despite being the only company to conduct a “robust 150-patient randomized control trial” it was at the receiving end of such “careless, unsubstantiated allegations that are devoid of merits whatsoever…”

India's Covid-19 Tally Climbs to 11,55,19 | India reported 37,148 novel coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally to 11,55,191, while the total number of recoveries rose to 7,24,577, according to Union health ministry data on Tuesday. The fatalities due to the disease climbed to 28,084 with 587 deaths reported in a day, the data updated at 8 am showed. There are 4,02,529 active cases of the coronavirus infection currently in the country, while 7,24,577 people have recovered till now, news agency PTI reported. Thus, 62.72 per cent people have recovered so far, it said. The total number of confirmed cases includes foreigners.

◕ Himachal Pradesh reports 10 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 1,641 including 547 active cases, 1,067 recoveries and 10 fatalities, the state health department said.

◕ Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi criticised the Centre today over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi questioned the BJP's priorities and alleged that amid the crisis, the party was trying to topple the governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

"Achievements of the Government during the Corona period: February - Hello Trump, the MP government toppled in March, April - asked to burn candles, May - Sixth anniversary of the government, June - Virtual rally in Bihar, July - Tries to topple Rajasthan government. That is why the country is 'self-sufficient' in the Battle of Corona," Gandhi wrote on the micro-blogging site.

◕ Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that with 954 new cases, the total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi rises to 1,23,747 and 1,04,918 have recovered so far. He added that Delhi’s recovery rate is 84%.

11 BSF Jawans, 1 Army Personnel Test Positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram | At least 13 more people, including 11 BSF jawans, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, taking the infections tally in the state to 297, a senior official told PTI on Tuesday. One of the 13 patients is an Army personnel, who recently returned to the state from Kashmir, he said.

China 'Chose' Not to Stop Coronavirus from Spreading Across the World, Says Trump | Accusing China of not being open about the coronavirus outbreak, US President Donald Trump has said that Beijing could have prevented the virus from spreading across the world but they "chose" not to. Trump has repeatedly shown his disappointment over China's handling of the pandemic. In May, he claimed that it was the “incompetence” of Beijing that resulted in the killing across the globe.

◕ Brazil will start advanced clinical testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against Covid-19 today. The Covid-19 vaccine, developed by private Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, is the third in the world to progress to Phase 3 trials, or large-scale testing on humans — the final stage before regulatory approval. It will be given to doctors and other health workers who volunteer for the program across six states in the country. "Trials of CoronaVac, one of the vaccines that has advanced furthest in testing in the world, will begin at the Clinical Hospital of Sao Paulo," the state's governor, Joao Doria, was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

◕ The United States on Monday reported over 60,000 new cases of coronavirus cases for the seventh consecutive day, Johns Hopkins University reported in its real-time tally. With another 488 deaths and 61,288 cases registered in 24 hours, the country has a total of 140,922 deaths and 3.82 million cases, the Baltimore-based university was quoted as saying by AFP.

◕ China recorded 11 new cases of novel coronavirus in the mainland on Monday, down from 22 cases from a day earlier, the health commission said on Tuesday. Out of the fresh cases, eight were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. The remaining three were imported cases, Reuters said.

◕ US President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted a picture of himself in a black mask with the presidential seal. "Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance," Trump wrote. "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President”

Trump also said that he would recommence televised briefings on coronavirus after polls showed him performing poorly in the upcoming elections.

South Africa's COVID-19 Death Toll Crosses 5K-mark | Health Minister Zweli Mkhize urged citizens to help the government in the fight against the novel coronavirus as death toll in the country surged past 5,000.

There are now 3,64,328 confirmed coronavirus infections, 1,91,059 recoveries and 5,033 deaths in the country.

New Vaccine Candidate Induces Immune Response in Mice, Primates: Scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which they say generates antibodies that "potently neutralise" the novel coronavirus in mice and primates with a single immunisation. The researchers, including Amit Khandhar from the US-based biotech company PAI Life Sciences, noted that the vaccine candidate offered effects within two weeks after administration through injection into a muscle with the level of antibodies generated comparable to those in people who are recovering from COVID-19. According to the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the "Replicating RNA vaccine" induced coronavirus-neutralising antibodies robustly in both younger and older mice.

5 booked for operating spurious tocilizumab drug racket: Five persons were booked here in Gujarat on Tuesday for allegedly manufacturing and distributing spurious tocilizumab injections being used in the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients, police said. Two of the five accused have been detained, an officer said. The action follows the state Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) busting a racket involved in running a bogus pharma company based in Surat, police said.

◕ 19 States and Union Territories are performing more than 140 tests per day per million population, says the Union Health Ministry. 30 States/Union Territories have positivity rate lower than India average.