Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: 20-day-old infant among six deaths reported in Rajasthan today; COVID-19 cases rise to 2,772 with 106 new infections

23:48 (IST)

Coronavirus in Mizoram Latest Updates

Mizoram approves ordinance seeking exemplary punishment for lockdown violations

The Cabinet of Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Saturday approved an ordinance that seeks exemplary punishment for those violating the lockdown,
PTI quotes an official as saying. Officials said the ordinance seeks stringent punishment for lockdown violators but details are not yet available as the document is yet to be published.
The Cabinet’s approval of the ordinance comes a week after eight teenagers were beaten up by members of a local COVID-19 task force for defying the lockdown orders.

23:39 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Case count in Thane rises to 1,108

Thane district in Maharashtra  recorded 97 coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the count to 1,108, with Navi Mumbai accounting for 39 of the new cases, PTI quotes health officials as saying. Two people died of the infection in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of deceased to 31, they said.

23:27 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

10,40,000 tests conducted till date, says ICMR

The number of RT-PCR test for detection of COVID-19 conducted in India crossed the one million mark on Saturday, ICMR officials said, as the total novel coronavirus infections rose to 37,776.  An ICMR official said that 10,40,000 tests have been conducted till Saturday evening, of which 73,709 were done since 9 am on Friday.  According to the officials, testing for COVID-19 has been scaled up significantly over the last two months. Till March 31, as many as 47,852 samples were tested while till April 30, a total of 9,02,654 samples were tested for the novel coronavirus infection, an ICMR official said. From May 1 till evening on Saturday, total 1,37,346 tests were done. 
“The ICMR has reached a per day testing level of about 70,000 and has conducted 10,40,000 tests till Saturday evening,” an official said. The RT-PCR throat/nasal swab test is the best use for diagnosis of COVID-19.

23:22 (IST)

Coronavirus in Meghalaya Latest Update

Meghalaya allows those stranded in Northeast to return by private vehicles

The Meghalaya government has allowed those stranded in other Northeastern states to return to Meghalaya with their own private vehicles. Persons desirous of doing so should apply for a vehicle trnasit pass at covid. Similarly, those who want to pick up family members stranded in other states should also apply for a pass at the website, said the Chief Minister’s Office, with a caveat that only two persons, including the driver will be allowed to drive from Meghalaya.

23:12 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Delhi records 384 new infections, three deaths

384 new COVID-19 cases , 89 recoveries and three deaths were reported in Delhi today, according to a bulletin issued by the state government. With 1,256 recoveries and 64 deaths reported till date, the number of active cases stands at 2,802.

22:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in Kerala Latest Update

ICMR lauds Kerala’s containment strategy

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday lauded the containment strategy and the robust public healthcare system of Kerala and said it would “continue referring to the Kerala model” for testing and containment strategies. Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, chief of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at ICMR, saidIndia has evolved a strong COVID-19 testing regime over the last three months.
“Kerala is offering one of the best containment strategies and it is unparalleled. So we will continue to refer to Kerala Model as far as testing and containment strategies are concerned,” PTI quotes Gangakhedkar as saying.

22:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Update

With 97 new cases, Pune COVID-19 count now 1,912

Pune district reported 97 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its COVID-19 count to 1,912, PTI quotes health officials as saying. The death toll reached 100 with four succumbing to the infection on Saturday, an official said. “Of the 97 cases, 95 are in Pune Municipal Corporation limits, which now has 1,704 patients. The rest two are in Pimpri Chinchwad where the COVID-19 count now stands at 115. The number of cases in rural Pune and Cantonment continues to be 93,” he added

22:42 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan Latest Update

Six deaths, 106 fresh infections reported in Rajasthan

106 persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Rajasthan on Saturday, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 2,772. The toll rose to 68 as six persons succumbed to the disease, ANI quotes the Rajasthan Health Department as saying.

22:32 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu Latest Update

Tamil Nadu reports one COVID-19 death, 231 fresh cases

For the second consecutive day, Tamil Nadu reported a COVID-19 death and over 200 cases while a transgender tested positive, the first in the state, the Health department said on Saturday. A 14-day old girl baby and a four-year old boy were among the total of 231 coronavirus positive cases reported today with Chennai contributing the majority of 174.
A 76-year old woman admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai died on Friday, becoming the latest victim to the contagion, taking the toll in the state to 29, a bulletin from the Health department said.

22:21 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Lokpal member Ajay Kumar Tripathi dies in Delhi

Lokpal member Justice (retired) Ajay Kumar Tripathi, who tested positive for COVID-19, died after suffering a cardiac arrest at the AIIMS Trauma Centre here on Saturday, PTI quotes official sources as saying. Tripathi (62) breathed his last around 9 PM.
A former chief justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court, he had been in the AIIMS Trauma Centre, which has been converted into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital, since the first week of April. “He was very sick. He was in the ICU and on ventilator for last three days,” one of the sources said.
Tripathi was one of the four judicial members of the anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokpal. 

22:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in Telangana Latest Update

Total in Telangana rises to 1,061

Telangana reported 17 new COVID-19 cases — 15 from GHMC and 2 from Ranga Reddy district, taking the total number of infections in the state to 1,061. 29 people have died while 499 people have been discharged till date and the number of active cases stands at 533, said the state government.


22:11 (IST)

Coronavirus in Gujarat Latest Update

Their buses stopped at Gujarat border, UP-bound men throw stones at cops

Migrant workers from Surat being ferried to Uttar Pradesh on Saturday pelted Gujarat police with stones after their buses were stopped at a check post in Vadodara and not allowed to proceed further due to administrative issues, PTI quotes officials as saying. The buses were stopped at Halol check post near Waghodia in Vadodara as they did not have permits to proceed, after which agitated labourers clashed with police and indulged in stone pelting, an official said.
Unidentified persons have been charged under IPC sections pertaining to rioting, unlawful assembly, voluntarily causing hurt, as well as provisions of Disaster Management Act but no arrests have been made, he added.

22:05 (IST)

Coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh Latest Update

73 new coronavirus patients, six deaths in Madhya Pradesh; total touches 2,788, 

With 73 people testing positive since previous night, 30 of them in Indore, the number of coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh rose to 2,788 on Saturday, PTI quotes health officials as saying.The death toll due to virus rose to 151 with six COVID-19 patients dying during the same period, they added. Of the total deaths due to the pandemic in the state, Indore, the worst-affected district, accounts for 74. It also has 1,545 confirmed cases with 30 new coronavirus patients found since Friday night.

21:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

One dead, one injured after bus carrying migrant workers overturns in Odisha

A bus carrying stranded migrants from Surat in Gujarat to Berhampur in Odisha, overturned near Kalinga Ghat in between Phulbani and Berhampur, reports ANI. “One person died and another was injured in the incident. Over 40 persons have been rescued,” said Southern Range DIG Satyabrata Bhoi.


21:48 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Update

 Malegaon count touches 298 as 14 test positive

Fourteen people tested positive for novel coronavirus in Malegaon in Nashik district on Saturday, taking the district’s COVID-19 count to 333, of
which 298 are from Malegaon, PTI quotes health officials as saying. Twelve people have died of the infection in the district so far.

21:43 (IST)

Coronavirus in Bihar Latest Update

Eight PMCH medicos suspended for refusing to work in Covid ward

Eight doctors of Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) were on Saturday suspended for creating disturbances and refusing to work in the COVID-19 isolation ward of Bihar’s premier hospital, reports PTI. These medicos allegedly manhandled Dr M P Singh, head of the Medicine department, Dr APN Jha and other doctors when told by the Superintendent to approach Singh for any relaxation in duty, PMCH Superintendent Dr Bimal Karak said.

21:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal Latest Update

West Bengal records 70 new cases, seven COVID-19 deaths

70 persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in West Bengal on Saturday ,while seven persons have died due to the disease in the last 24 hours. 45 patients have been discharged in the last 24 hours, ANI quotes the state health department as saying. Overall, 20,976 samples have been tested in the state of which 2410 were tested today.

21:27 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Delhi to set up ‘welfare cell’ for COVID-19 positive govt officials, their families

Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on Saturday directed a senior officer to set up a ‘Staff Welfare Cell’ for regular interaction with COVID-19 positive government officials as well as their family members, reports PTI. The chief secretary also appointed Delhi Jal Board CEO Nikhil Kumar as state nodal welfare officer to provide assistance to the patients, corporations andautonomous and local bodies.
According to a Delhi government order, the state nodal welfare officer has been asked to take necessary steps to set up a 24×7 helpline for such officials. The chief secretary has directed Kumar to identify and earmark two dedicated hospitals and an exclusive testing laboratory for treatment and testing of suspected and COVID-19 infected Delhi government officials and their family members on cashless basis.
“All district magistrates are also directed to provide details of officers/officials found COVID-19 positive in their districts on daily basis to state nodal welfare officer for further action as mentioned,” the chief secretary said in the order.

21:24 (IST)

Coronavirus in Chandigarh Latest Update

Shops in Chandigarh to remain open from 7 am to 7 pm

In a relaxation for city residents, the Chandigarh UT administration on Saturday allowed opening of shops from 7 am to 7 pm with effect from May 4 in non-containment zone areas. The administration also allowed residents to use their vehicles to come to the markets without passes, an official said. Besides, the city administration has also decided to lift curfew on May 3 midnight but impose lockdown till May 17.
Now, the containment zone in the city will be restricted to six pockets — Kachi colony, Dhanas, part of sector 30-B, part of Bapu Dham colony, part of sector 38, part of sector 52 and part of Shastri nagar, Manimajra, an official said, adding thati intensive screening and testing will take place in these areas. 
An odd-even formula will be applied in respect of both opening of shops and use of vehicles. “For example on Monday beginning May 4, only shops with ending even numbers such as 2, 4, 6 and similarly vehicles carrying registration numbers whose last digit is 2, 4, 6, etc. will be allowed. The rotation will continue accordingly,” a statement said.

21:19 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

17 BSF personnel have tested COVID-19 positive till date

A total of 17 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Delhi and Tripura have tested positive for COVID-19 till date, PTI quotes a BSF spokesperson as saying.

21:10 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Update

Karnataka allows one time inter-district movement with mandatory health screening

The Karnataka government on Saturday permitted movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and others ‘as one-time measure from district to district with one-time, one-day, one-stay passes’. Health screening of pass holders will be conducted at check points at the border of the receiving district, said a order by the state health department.


21:00 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Update

547 new cases, 27 deaths in Mumbai

547 new COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths have been reported in Mumbai on Saturday, taking the total number of cases to 8,172 and deaths to 322, according ot the public health department of Mumbai. 137 patients were discharged today after recovery; a total 1,704 patients have been cured and discharged till date, it said.

20:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

790 new COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra, 36 deaths

With 790 persons testing positive on Saturday in Maharashtra, 547 of them in Mumbai, the number of coronavirus cases in the state reached 12,296, the health
department said. With 36 coronavirus patients dying, 27 of them in the state capital, the death toll due to the pandemic in Maharashtra reached 521.

20:51 (IST)

Over 100 cases registered, 2,374 detained for defying lockdown norms in Delhi


Over 100 cases have been registered and 2,374 people detained in Delhi for violating government orders during the coronavirus lockdown, say police. According to a police data, 161 cases were registered under IPC section 188 (for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) till 5 PM. A total of 2,374 people have been detained under section 65 (persons bound to comply with reasonable directions of police officers) and 155 vehicles impounded under section 66 of the Delhi Police Act. 

20:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in Punjab Latest Update

With 187 new cases, corona tally surges to 772 in Punjab; Nanded returnees account for 44% of state’s cases

Punjab on Saturday registered the steepest surge in Covid-19 patients till date with 187 more people, including 142 pilgrims returning from Nanded in Maharashtra, testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total count of infected persons in the state to 772. The tally of corona-infected persons in the state has been surging aggressively ever since over 3,500 pilgrims from Hazur Sahib Gurdwara at Nanded early this week.

Out of 187 new coronavirus-positive cases, reported on Saturday, 142 had returned from Nanded, a health official said. Out of total 772 confirmed cases in the state, Nanded-returned pilgrims coronavirus-positive pilgrims accounted for 44 per cent of total Covid-19 tally.

20:34 (IST)

Coronavirus in Kerala Latest Update

Two fresh cases in Kerala,tally now 499

After remaining free from  any positive cases for a month, Wayanad reported a lone COVID-19 case on Saturday, following which the district was shifted from the green to the orange zone, Chief Minister​ Pinarayi Vijayan said,even as he asserted that the State cannot afford to lower its guard. The other positive case in the state was from​ Kannur, which has the highest number of cases at present.

20:31 (IST)

Remdesivir Reduces Patients’ Hospital Stay, says ICMR ex-DG

During trials, it has been found that Remdesivir helps reduce patients’ hospital stay periods and prevent them from going to ventilators. However, mortality difference was not significant. It didn’t show any severe reactions in patients, Dr Nirmal Kumar Ganguly, former Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) told ANI.

20:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

Rahul Gandhi raises security, privacy concerns over Arogya Setu app

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said Arogya Setu mobile application is a “sophisticated surveillance system” outsourced to a private operator, raising serious data security and privacy concerns. Technology can help keep us safe, but fear must not be used to track citizens without their consent, he said. The mobile application helps users identify whether they are at risk of the COVID-19 infection. It also provides people with important information, including ways to avoid coronavirus and its symptoms.

20:26 (IST)

Coronavirus in Gujarat Latest Update

Ahmedabad records highest single-day fatality count with 20 deaths

Gujarat’s capital city Ahmedabad recorded the highest single-day fatality count with 20 deaths, and a spike of 250 new cases. The city’s total number of deaths have reached 185. With this, the number of coronavirus cases in Gujarat reached 5,054 after 333 cases were reported on Saturday

20:16 (IST)

AIIMS makes it mandatory for patients to wear masks in emergency, other patient-care areas

The AIIMS has made it mandatory for patients to wear masks while visiting the emergency or other patient-care areas in the hospital and will provide one to anybody who does not have a mask. The decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of the Director, AIIMS on Friday. 

The administration asked the ANS/administrative in-charges of all patient-care areas in the hospital and all the centres to get the requisite quantity of triple-layer surgical masks issued from the store sections concerned and ensure its availability at all times.

20:03 (IST)

Coronavirus in Gujarat Latest Update

Gujarat reports 333 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hrs

19:56 (IST)

Aarogya Setu aap compulsory for public, pvt sector employees and 100% population in containment zones

The government has made the use of Aarogya Setu app mandatory for all public and private sector employees while announcing another extension of the ongoing lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also made the app compulsory for people residing in COVID-19 Containment Zones to enable intensive surveillance and contact tracing in those areas. 

MHA has allowed privates offices in Red Zone, leaving aside the containment zones, to open with up to 33 percent strength. It is also implied that in Orange and Green Zones, 100 percent strength is allowed. Government offices in the Red Zone will be allowed to operate at full strength for senior officers of the level of deputy secretary and above, with “remaining staff attending up to 33 percent as per requirement.”

19:32 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

MP lockdown pass used for marriages, ferrying COVID-19 woman

Two people have been booked in Morena in Madhya Pradesh for obtaining a medical emergency pass during the coronavirus-induced lockdown by posing as patient and driver and then traveling in a private vehicle to Agra in Uttar Pradesh to get married, police said on Saturday. Three others, including the vehicle owner and his wife who tested positive for the coronavirus infection, have also been booked, a Kotwali police station official said. 

Collector Priyanka Das said the five have been booked because they had misused medical permission to travel during the lockdown and had also sneaked in a COVID-19 patient into the district in the process.

19:21 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Update

COVID-19 cases cross 600 mark in Karnataka: 12 cases, 2 deaths

COVID-19 cases crossed the 600 mark in Karnataka on Saturday as 12 new cases were added, while two deaths took the total fatalities in the state to 25.     “Today 12 new confirmed cases and two deaths were reported in the state. Total positive cases are 601, out of which 271 patients were discharged.

19:08 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Hindu Rao hospital doctor tests coronavirus positive

A doctor of the NDMC-run Hindu Rao Hospital has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said on Saturday. Two nurses of the hospital have tested positive for the disease in the last one week. After the first nurse tested positive last Saturday, samples of 78 other staffers, including the doctor, were sent for testing. Reports of 11 staffers are awaited, they said.

19:05 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

First special train to bring back UP migrant workers from Nashik on Sunday

The first special train bringing migrant workers back to Uttar Pradesh from outside the state will arrive here on Sunday and talks are on with officials of many states to ensure their return, said an official. The first special train with 845 migrant workers from Maharashtra has started from Nashik on Friday and it will arrive in the state capital via Jhansi and Kanpur on Sunday, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi.

18:59 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

COVID-19 death toll rises to 1,223, no. of cases climbs to 37,776 in India: Health ministry

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,223 and the number of cases climbed to 37,776 in the country on Saturday, registering an increase of 71 deaths and a record jump of 2,411 cases in 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 26,565, while 10,017 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said. “Thus, around 26.52 per cent patients have recovered so far,” a senior health ministry official said. The total number of cases includes 111 foreign nationals.

18:49 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Update

Maharashtra govt says DCPs may sanction travel outside district but Pune, Mumbai no-go zones

The Maharashtra government said on Saturday that in the cities with police commissionerates, a concerned deputy commissioner of police (DCP) will have the power to allow inter-state or inter-district journey. But the movement of people will not be allowed between the areas under Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority and other parts of the state during lockdown, it said.

18:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Haryana Latest Update

19 Test Positive in Haryana

19 new Covid-19 positive cases have been reported in Haryana, taking the total number of positive cases to 376, says State Health Department

18:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in France Latest Update

France extends health emergency till 24 July

A proposal to be put to parliament on Monday said the planned lifting this month of the emergency, which began on 24 March, would “be premature” and “could see a risk of the outbreak” intensifying. More than 24,500 people have died of the Covid-19 disease so far in France. The country is preparing to ease restrictions on May 11 following a strict nationwide lockdown, which was imposed on 17 March.

18:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

135 troops from single CRPF battalion in Delhi test positive; more results awaited

The number of COVID-positive personnel in a Delhi-based battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the country’s largest paramilitary force, has risen to 135, officials said on Saturday. The men belong to the 31st battalion of the paramilitary, based in Mayur Vihar Phase-III area of the national capital, that has been entirely sealed after the huge numbers of the COVID-19 infection started building up over the last few days. “A total of 135 troopers of this battalion have tested positive for the virus,” a senior official said. A total of 480 samples were taken from the unit, out of which 458 results have come and 22 are awaited.

18:23 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Delhi govt launches exercise to open liquor shops in non-containment zones

The Delhi government on Saturday launched an exercise to open liquor shops in those areas where such activity is allowed according to the latest guidelines issued by the home ministry. The excise department has directed four government-run agencies, which are responsible to sell liquor in the city, to identify such outlets which fulfil all conditions prescribed by the the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, liquor shops will not be allowed in COVID-19 containment zones.

18:19 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir Latest Update

Stranded Kashmiris, migrant labourers demand their evacuation to their homes 

Dozens of stranded Kashmiris and some migrant labourers on Saturday assembled outside the Divisional Commissioner office here and demanded early evacuation to their home, officials said. The protesters alleged that the administration was not paying heed to their pleas and are shuttling them from one office to another for redressal of their grievances. However, all of them dispersed off peacefully later, the officials said.

18:00 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Delhi Police constable tests positive for COVID-19 in Jahangirpuri

Another Delhi Police constable has tested positive for novel coronavirus, officials said on Saturday.  He was posted at the Jahangirpuri Police Station in northwest Delhi, they said.  “The constable used to live in a barrack at the police station. His reports of being positive for COVID-19 came on Friday. He has been admitted to a hospital here,” a senior police officer said. Ten police personnel from the Jahangirpuri Police Station have so far been tested positive for COVID-19.  

17:52 (IST)

RBI Governor Meets MDs, CEOs of Public and Private Sector Banks via Video-conference

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das holds meetings with the Managing Directors and Chief Executive Officers of major private and public sector banks in two separate sessions through video conference. The meetings were attended by Deputy Governors and other senior officers of RBI. 

17:47 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

Migrant workers in Bengaluru, forced to pay double and triple price for bus tickets as KSRTC hikes fares

A large number of people gathered at Majestic Bus Terminal here on Saturday morning to travel back to their respective home States amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. A majority of them are the migrant labourers who were rendered jobless after the imposition of lockdown in March to check the spread of coronavirus.

17:39 (IST)

Madonna says she has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies

Pop diva Madonna has revealed that she has tested positive for the COVID-19 anitbodies. The singer shared the news in the 14th edition of her Quarantine Diary on Instagram TV. Took a test the other day and I found out that I have the antibodies. So tomorrow I’m just going to go for a long drive in the car, and I’m gonna roll down the window and I’m gonna breathe in the COVID-19 air. Yup. I hope the sun is shining, Madonna said.

17:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

Three trains with migrants to leave for UP and Odisha from Gujarat

Three special trains, carrying 1,200 migrant workers each, will on Saturday night leave for​ Uttar Pradesh and Odisha from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Surat
stations, a senior official said. While two trains will leave from Ahmedabad to Agra, another will depart from Surat to Behrampur in Odisha, said​ Ashwani Kumar, secretary to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

17:31 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

First special train to Bihar carrying nearly 1,200 migrant labourers arrives at Patna

The first “Shramik Special” train to Bihar, carrying 1,187  stranded migrant labourers, reached the Danapur railway station here from Rajasthan’s Jaipur on Saturday afternoon after a 16-hour journey. The 24-coach train left Jaipur at 10 pm on Friday and reached the Danapur railway station around 2 pm, Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO), East Central Railway, Hajipur, Rajesh Kumar told PTI.

17:25 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

Odisha warns cancellation of license if hospitals deny service to non-COVID patients

The Odisha government has issued a warning to all hospitals and clinics, particularly those in the private sector, to ensure essential critical services to non-Covid19 patients or face cancellation of their licenses, official sources said on Saturday. It has come to the notice of the authorities that some hospitals in the private sector are hesitating to provide critical services such as dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries to their regular patients, the health and family welfare department said in an order on Friday.

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: Rajasthan reported death of a 20-day-old infant and five others due to COVID-19 on Saturday with the state recording 106 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the infection tally to 2,772. The 20-day-old child breathed his last at J K Lon hospital in Jaipur on Friday. With six more deaths, the fatality count has increased to 68 in the state.

 384 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths were reported in Delhi today, according to the bulletin issued by the state government.

For the second consecutive day, Tamil Nadu reported a COVID-19 death and over 200 cases while a transgender tested positive, the first in the state, the Health department said on Saturday. A 14-day old girl baby and a four-year old boy were among the total of 231 coronavirus positive cases reported today with Chennai contributing the majority of 174.

With 73 people testing positive since previous night, 30 of them in Indore, the number of coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh rose to 2,788 on Saturday, PTI quotes health officials as saying.The death toll due to virus rose to 151 with six COVID-19 patients dying during the same period, they added

Punjab on Saturday registered the steepest surge in Covid-19 patients till date with 187 more people, including 142 pilgrims returning from Nanded in Maharashtra, testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total count of infected persons in the state to 772.

Ahmedabad on Saturday reported 20 fatalities due to COVID-19, its highest single-day tally, and 250 new cases.

A 20-day-old infant died due to coronavirus at a hospital in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, an official said on Saturday. The state reported two more deaths apart from that of the child from Jaipur and Jodhpur, he said, adding that with the three deaths the fatality count reached 65 in the state.

The number of COVID-positive personnel in a Delhi-based battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the country’s largest paramilitary force, has risen to 135, officials said on Saturday.

With 127 more people testing positive for COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, the number of confirmed cases in the state rises to 2,455, officials said.

The coronavirus death toll climbed to 65 after three more people, including a minor, succumbed to the infection in Rajasthan, which reported 54 fresh cases on Saturday. So far, 2,720 virus cases have been reported from the state. According to an official, two of the deaths were reported from the worst-hit Jaipur and one from Jodhpur

Tripura, which was declared corona-free on 23 April, after last of its COVID-19 patient was cured and discharged, has again reported fresh outbreak. Two BSF jawans from Ambassa unit have been found positive, chief minister Biplab Deb informed via a tweet.

One of the persons arrested in connection with the Palghar lynching case, who was lodged in a police lock-up, has tested coronavirus positive, an official told PTI on Saturday. The accused tested positive for the infection on Friday night, the official said.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that there are a total of 3,738 COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi, of which 223 cases were reported on Friday. Meanwhile, in Karnataka, 9 new COVID19 positive cases have been reported from 1 May, 5:00 pm to 2 May, 12:00 noon.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced that all citizens will be covered under the state government’s health scheme, and Maharashtra will be the first state to provide free and cashless insurance protection to its people.

Andhra Pradesh on Saturday reported 62 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 1,525. The toll stands at 33, according to the Andhra Pradesh Health Department, reports ANI.

In a relief to migrant labourers stuck in various places across the country, the Indian Railways on Friday started operating ‘Shramik Special’ trains to move them to their home states. ‘Zonal railways to run these trains as per the demand of state administrations. Local DMs and DRMs are coordinating. Specific details can be obtained from the zonal CPROs.’ the Indian Railways said in a statement.

Seven labourers who had arrived from Maharashtra via Jhansi in government buses to Basti, have tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, said DM Basti. Meanwhile, 22 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Agra on Saturday, taking the total number of positive cases in the district to 501.

Test results of 68 jawans have shown them to be COVID-19 positive. All jawans are attached to a battalion camped in East Delhi, reports ANI.  The total positive cases in this battalion have reached 122 and overall figure of COVID-19 cases in CRPF is 127, including 1 recovered and 1 death, said CRPF officials,

2293 new cases, 71 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in India. This is the highest number of cases reported in one day, said Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

A 68-year-old patient who had tested positive for COVID-19 had passed away in Pune. The cause of death is reported to be an acute respiratory failure due to ARDS with Myocarditis with COVID-19 infection. Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das is expected to meet with bank chiefs on Saturday to take stock of the financial sector and deliberate on steps to be taken to boost industry amid the COVID-19 crisis, sources said.

India reported another surge of COVID-19 cases on Friday with a record 1,755 patients testing positive and 77 people dying from the novel coronavirus that has claimed over 2,33,000 lives and shattered global economies since it originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year.

The confirmed cases in the country climbed to 35,365 while deaths reached 1,152 as the Centre extended the nationwide lockdown till 17 May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had first announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown from 25 March, which was later extended by two more weeks till 4 May to contain the virus spread.

On Friday, the Centre announced a third extension but this time, it provided some relaxations for various business activities and people’s movement within areas with limited or no COVID-19 cases.

In fact, on Friday morning, the first train carrying around 1,200 people left Lingampally in Telangana to Hatia in Jharkhand by a 24-coach special train on a pilot basis, while another train carrying migrant workers stranded in Kerala left for Odisha’s Bhubaneswar on Friday night.

Later in the day, the Centre announced that states and Union Territories will be able to avail “special train service” to bring stranded migrant workers, students and tourists home, provided they are willing to pay for it and both host and destination governments mutually agree to the movement of the people.

The government on Friday also announced that it has ramped up production of COVID-19 protective gear and medical equipment, giving a boost to its fight against COVID-19 and reducing it dependency on foreign countries for these items which are in high demand globally due to the pandemic.

The Centre on Friday said it has placed order for 2.22 crore personal protection equipment (PPE), of which around 1.43 crore will be procured from domestic manufacturers and the rest imported.

Separately, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat announced at a special press briefing, along with the three service chiefs, that the armed forces will express their gratitude to all “corona warriors” on Sunday by conducting fly-pasts, showering petals on hospitals treating COVID-19 patients and illuminating naval vessels.

Besides, the Army will conduct mountain band displays along some COVID-19 hospitals in almost every district.

Rawat also said it is not proper to conclude that the novel coronavirus outbreak is a result of biological warfare.

US president Donald Trump has often claimed that the deadly virus originated from a virology lab, but his comments undercut a rare public statement from his own intelligence community, which stated no such assessment has been made by them, whether the COVID-19 outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.

COVID-19 cases as of Friday

In its 5 pm update, the Health Ministry said the toll due to the novel coronavirus rose to 1,152 with 77 fatalities reported since Thursday evening, while the number of cases saw a record jump of 1,755 to go up to 35,365 cases on Friday.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 25,148 while 9,064 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.

“Thus, around 25.63 percent patients have recovered so far,” a health ministry official said.

The total number of cases include 111 foreign nationals.

A total of 77 deaths were reported since Thursday evening, of which 27 fatalities were reported from Maharashtra, 17 from Gujarat, 11 from West Bengal, seven each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, three from Delhi, two from Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and one from Karnataka.

Of the 1,152 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 459 fatalities. Mumbai on Friday recorded 751 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in a day, taking the number of coronavirus positive cases in the city to 7,625, civic officials said.

Gujarat reported 214 deaths, follwed by Madhya Pradesh at 137, Delhi at 59, Rajasthan at 58, Uttar Pradesh at 41 and West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh at 33 each.

The death toll reached 27 in Tamil Nadu, 26 in Telangana, while Karantaka has reported 22 deaths.

Punjab has registered 19 fatalities so far. The disease has claimed eight lives in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Kerala while Jharkhand and Haryana have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each.

Bihar has reported two deaths, while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to ministry data.

According to the ministry’s data updated in the evening, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 10,498 followed by Gujarat at 4,395, Delhi at 3,515, Madhya Pradesh at 2,719, Rajasthan at 2,584, Tamil Nadu at 2,323 and Uttar Pradesh at 2,281.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,463 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,039 in Telangana.

The number of cases has risen to 795 in West Bengal, 614 in Jammu and Kashmir, 576 in Karnataka, 497 in Kerala, 426 in Bihar and 357 in Punjab.

Haryana has reported 313 coronavirus infection cases, while Odisha has 143 cases. A total 111 people have been infected with the virus in Jharkhand and 57 in Uttarakhand.

Chandigarh has reported 56 cases, Assam has 42 while Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have registered 40 infections each so far.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands has 33 COVID-19 cases while Ladakh has reported 22 infections so far.

Meghalaya has reported 12 cases, Puducherry has eight cases while Goa has seven COVID-19 cases.

Manipur and Tripura have two cases each, while Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh have reported a case each.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR,” the ministry said on its website adding, ” 393 cases are being assigned to states for contact tracing.”

States wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it said.

Centre extends lockdown till 17 May, names 130 districts as red zones

While several countries including Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Austria and various states of the US have begun easing their respective lockdowns, the MHA on Friday announced that the nationwide lockdown will extended by another two weeks, starting from 4 May, a day after the second phase ends, till 17 May.

The MHA’s announcement came after the Ministry of Health issued a new list of districts categorised into red, orange and green zones depending on the virus-load. The updated list shows 130 districts in red zone, 284 in orange zone and 319 in green zone.

This classification of districts is to be followed by states and UTs till 10 May and the will be revised on a weekly basis or earlier if required.

All major urban centres including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad have been designated as red zones in the new classification.

Announcing the guidelines to be followed for third phase of the lockdown, the MHA said that some activities such as air travel, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road, running of educational and training institutions, hospitality services, cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums and sports complexes, will remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the zone.

All social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings and religious places or places of worship for public will also remain shut, as per an order issued by the Union Home Ministry.

Outside the containment zone falling within red zones, certain more activities will be prohibited and these include plying of cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, running of taxis and cab aggregators, intra-district and inter-district plying of buses, as also barber shops, spas and saloons.

Activities allowed in red zones with restrictions would include movement of individuals and vehicles for permitted activities, with a maximum of two persons (besides the driver) in four-wheelers and with no pillion rider in two-wheelers.

E-Commerce activities in red zones are permitted only for essential goods. Private offices can operate with up to 33 percent strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home.

Commercial and private establishments allowed in red zones include print and electronic media, IT and IT enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed persons, except for barbers.

In orange zones, taxis and cab aggregators will also be permitted with one driver and one passenger only, while inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only. Four-wheeler vehicles will have maximum two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.

In green zones, all activities are permitted except those prohibited throughout the country irrespective of the zone. However buses and bus depots can operate with maximum 50 percent capacity.

MHA allows movement of stranded migrants, students, pilgrims by special trains

On Friday, the MHA also announced that states will be able to use trains for ferrying people stranded due to the nationwide lockdown to their respective states.

Exercising the powers conferred under the Disaster Management Act, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places is allowed by special trains to be operated by the Ministry of Railways (MoR).

The MoR will designate nodal officers for coordinating with the states and Union territories for their movement, he added

“The MoR will issue detailed guidelines for sale of tickets, and for social distancing and other safety measures to be observed at train stations, platforms and within the trains,” the home secretary said.

These trains will run provided “on request from both the Originating and Destination State Governments”.

News agency PTI quoted railways officials as saying that state governments will be charged the fare of ferrying stranded people in special trains back to their native places.

Joint Secretary in the MHA Punya Salila Srivastava said that states and the Railway Board will make the necessary arrangements for the transportation of stranded people.

Underlining that some problems are cropping up in the movement of trucks and load carriers, Srivastava also said the MHA has again written to the states, reiterating that no separate pass is needed for trucks and load carriers, including the empty vehicles.

Centre orders 2.2 crore PPEs; 1.43 crore to be manufactured in India

The Centre on Friday said it has placed order for 2.22 crore personal protection equipment (PPE), of which around 1.43 crore will be procured from domestic manufacturers and the rest imported.

“Earlier, there was no domestic manufacturing of PPE in the country and almost all of them were imported. We now have 111 indigenous manufacturers,” said PD Vaghela, the Secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of the Empowered Group-3, adding that the number of PPEs ordered is higher than the projected demand of two crore PPEs.

Vaghela also said about 19,398 ventilators are available in India and orders have been placed for 60,884 more, and of these 59,884 will be made by domestic manufacturers.

The Ministry of Health has indicated a projected demand of 75,000 ventilators till June, 2020.

“Against the same, the present availability is about 19,398. Out of the total orders placed, 59,884 ventilators have been ordered to domestic manufacturers and imports are to the tune of 1,000 ventilators,” he said.

He said of the total 2.49 crore N-95/N-99 masks to be procured, 1.49 crore have been ordered from domestic manufacturers and about one crore N- 95 masks are being imported.

On production of drugs and other medical equipment, he said, “HCQ (hydroxychloroquine) production has increased from 12.23 crore to 30 crore (tablets) per month.”

He further said that over four lakh oxygen cylinders are available which is “sufficient for today’s requirements”.
“Orders for more than 1 lakh oxygen cylinders have been placed and industrial oxygen is being converted into medical oxygen,” he added.

He also informed that against a demand for 35 lakh combined RT-PCR testing kits, the ICMR has ordered more than 21 lakh and close to 14 lakh kits have already been received.

With inputs from agencies

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