The Centre has asked States and Union Territories to ensure that upcoming festivals are celebrated in a safe and cautious manner with “utmost precautions” in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to States and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said standard operating procedures issued last month for curbing any spike in cases must be followed.
Here are the latest updates:
Active cases decline to 1,72,594
India added 15,906 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 3,41,75,468, while the active cases declined to 1,72,594, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on October 24.
The death toll climbed to 4,54,269 with 561 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.
The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 30 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 119 consecutive days now.
The active cases comprise 0.51% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.17%, the highest since March 2020, the Ministry said. -PTI
DCPCR launches journal on impact of COVID-19 on children
The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) on Saturday launched a journal, Children First: Journal on Children’s Lives with the first issue highlighting the COVID-19 impact on the lives of children.
The articles in the first issue of the journal range from challenges of online education to socio-emotional growth struggles during the pandemic to learning losses on account of school closures, social audits and POCSO victims’ plight.
Many private schools may restart physical classes after Deepavali
Not all schools are ready to open their doors to students from Classes I-V on Monday. Many private schools are likely to restart physical classes after Deepavali, while others are considering delaying it even further.
Though the Karnataka Government has allowed managements to resume physical classes for primary school students from October 25, principals – after seeking feedback from parents – have decided to defer the reopening date as families are out of town.
Cinemas in Tamil Nadu to operate with full occupancy from November 1
In a fresh set of relaxations announced on Saturday, the Tamil Nadu government has allowed cinemas to operate with 100% occupancy from November 1.
In schools, Classes I-VIII can function on shift basis from November 1.
Namibia to suspend use of Russian COVID-19 vaccine- Ministry
Namibia will suspend its rollout of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, its Health Ministry said on October 23, days after the drugs regulator in neighbouring South Africa flagged concerns about its safety for people at risk of HIV.
The Gamaleya Research Institute, which developed Sputnik V, said Namibia’s decision was not based on any scientific evidence or research. -Reuters
Romania tightens COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge
The Romanian government will reintroduce a night curfew and make health passes mandatory for entry to most public venues from October 25, as well as sending school children on vacation for two weeks, as it seeks to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The measures, expanding nationwide measures that had mostly already been taken in towns with high case numbers, were approved by the interim government late on October 22. -Reuters