India

The COVID-stricken Air India flight that brought 17 cases to NZ

On August 28, the Ministry of Health confirmed seven imported cases of COVID-19; three men in their 30s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 20s, and two children.  

They arrived in New Zealand on the flight in question - an Air India flight from Delhi, on August 23. 

India surpasses US for highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases

The nation, the world's third-most infected, on Sunday reported 78,761 new cases in 24 hours, passing the number posted in the US on 17 July.

The rise comes as the government continues to lift restrictions to try to boost an economy that lost millions of jobs when the virus hit in March.

An upsurge of Covid-19 in many rural areas continues to be a major concern.

On Sunday, global infections passed the 25 million mark, with 843,000 deaths. The US remains the most affected nation, closing in on six million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University research.

Amazon launches online pharmacy in India

Amazon Pharmacy will make its debut in Bangalore and it may be trialled in other Indian cities.

The move comes as the online drugs business has been given a major boost during the coronavirus pandemic.

This year US technology giants have invested billions of dollars in the Indian economy.

The Amazon Pharmacy service offers prescription, over-the-counter and traditional Ayurveda medication as well as basic health devices.

Tonga is facing problems trying to repatriate its nationals from overseas

They have not been able to return home since Tonga’s borders closed in March 23.

Ministry of Health CEO, Dr Siale ‘Akau’ola said there’s no viable pathway home for these patients, without stronger collaboration in the region.

“We have difficulty in repatriating back our folks from India, because no one can help us. It is quite a bit frustrating!” he said in a regional conference at the Fa'onelua Centre Thursday.

India becomes third country to pass two million cases

The country confirmed the last million cases in just 20 days, faster than the US or Brazil which have higher numbers.

Testing has been expanded considerably in India in recent weeks but the situation varies across states.

Spurred by a low death rate, the nation continues to reopen even as new hotspots drive the surge in cases. But some states have imposed restrictions.

The recent measures include local, intermittent lockdowns, sometimes limiting activity in specific cities or districts.

10 die drinking sanitiser after Indian state shuts liquor shops

The village of Kurichedu has been placed in lockdown after a local surge in cases of coronavirus.

District police chief Siddharth Kaushal said the people who died had mixed the sanitiser with water and soft drinks.

They were alcohol-dependent, he added, and had started drinking the mixture about 10 days before they died.

"We are investigating whether the sanitiser had any other toxic content," Mr Kaushal told reporters.

He added that they had sent samples of the sanitiser away for chemical analysis.

India to hold human trial of coronavirus vaccine in July

An unspecified number of people will have the vaccine, as part of a trial by Hyderabad-based firm Bharat Biotech.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

The trials are among many across the world - there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way. Half a dozen Indian firms are developing vaccines.

This is the first India-made vaccine and developed from a strain of the virus that was isolated locally and weakened under laboratory conditions.

India bans TikTok, WeChat and dozens more Chinese apps

In a statement, it said the apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

In total, 59 apps were banned - among them popular messaging app WeChat. It follows escalating tensions along the disputed border between the two powers.

Both India and China deployed more troops to the Ladakh region in June.

Clashes have left at least 20 Indian troops dead. Satellite images also appear to show that China has built new structures overlooking the Himalayan border region.

Covid-19 cases in India cross 500,000 as big cities reel from surge

India has the world's fourth-biggest outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, after only US, Brazil and Russia in confirmed infections, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections are expected to continue rising steadily in India. Experts advising the federal government say the authorities should now prioritise reducing mortality over containing the spread of the virus.

India's Mumbai escapes its worst cyclone in decades

The eye of the storm narrowly missed the city, while nearby coastal areas to the south bore the brunt. The extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Officials moved tens of thousands of people along the coast to higher ground as the storm approached.

India's most populous city has 20 million residents and has also been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mobile phone footage of the storm in Raigad, about 50km (30 miles) south of Mumbai, showed huge waves crashing into the shore, with trees being whipped into a frenzy by the strong winds.