Coronavirus India lockdown Day 179 | Punjab to open higher education institutions from September 21

India has overtaken the U.S. and become the top country in terms of global COVID-19 recoveries, said the Union Health Ministry on Saturday, adding that the country has reported the highest number of total recoveries, with more than 42 lakh (42,08,431) COVID-19 patients having recovered.

Of the new recovered cases, about 60% are being reported from five States — Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

10.00 am | New Delhi

DMRC sells over 80K smart cards

With the discontinuation of tokens in the Delhi Metro as part of precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has sold around 8,500 smart cards per day between September 7 and 16.

Under Unlock 4 guidelines issued by the Centre, metro services got the nod to resume operations from September 7 after a five-month hiatus. The DMRC had said that tokens had been discontinued to curb chances of virus transmission and had made the use of smart cards mandatory.

The public transporter had also launched a new version of smart cards having an auto top-up feature, while existing smart card users can get the feature activated.


9.30 am | West Bengal

W.B. adds 3,188 COVID-19 cases, infections cross 2.20 lakh

West Bengal on Saturday recorded 3,188 COVID-19 infections taking the number of cases to 2,21,960. It recorded 56 deaths in the past 24 hours taking the total to 4,298. The number of active cases stood at 24,648 and the discharge rate at 86.96%.

Kolkata and the North 24 Parganas, two worst-affected regions, recorded 15 deaths each. The toll in Kolkata climbed to 1,566 and in the North 24 Parganas to 965.


9.00 am | Punjab

Punjab to open higher education institutions from September 21

The Punjab government on Saturday allowed the opening of higher education institutions for Ph.D scholars and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratories and experimental works from September 21.

However, schools, colleges and coaching centres will remain closed. The orders were issued in compliance with the directives of Unlock 4.0 issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to the guidelines issued by the Special Chief Secretary (Home), Satish Chandra, open air theatres will be allowed to function with strict adherence to social distancing norms. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and similar places would continue to remain closed.


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