Residents wait for their turn to collect dry ration being distributed for BPL card holders in Chandigarh on Saturday. (Express Photo: Kamleshwar Singh)
Maharashtra recorded a staggering count of 818 Covid-19 positive cases on Saturday, the state’s highest-single day jump so far. This takes the total number of cases to 7,628 in the state, including 323 deaths. Gujarat is the second worst-affected state with 3071 total cases and 133 deaths.
Meanwhile, the number of cases in India inched close to 25,000 as the tally stood at 24,942, including 779 deaths, as per the last update from the Health Ministry. As many as 5,209 persons have been cured or discharged.
Taking cue from a late Friday night order from the Union Home Ministry, some state said they are taking steps to open more categories of shops, including those selling garments, mobile phones, hardware and stationery items. However, these relaxations would not be allowed for shops located in market places, malls and COVID-19 hotspots and containment zones. In rural areas, all shops barring those in malls have been allowed to open. Read |Govt eases curbs on shops: what is open, and what is not
Uttar Pradesh government has started bringing back stranded labourers with 2,224 returning from Haryana in the first phase of the initiative, PTI quoted a senior official as saying on Saturday. Briefing reporters, Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi said the first batch of workers was brought back in 82 buses from Haryana on Saturday, and 11,000 workers will return by Sunday.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker India State Wise Latest News Updates: Maharashtra, Gujarat see jump in number of cases, the Centre eases curbs on shops, overall number of cases in India near 25,000 and more than 750 deaths. Follow LIVE updates
Residents of Old Delhi look out for the moon by the illuminated Jama Masjid as Ramzan begins, Friday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)
A month into the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Home Affairs Friday allowed opening of shops in market complexes outside municipality areas with 50 per cent workers and mandatory precautions like wearing of masks and social distancing norms.
In his monthly Mann ki Baat address on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to speak on the measures the country has taken against the novel coronavirus. On Monday, he is also scheduled to have a virtual interaction with chief ministers to discuss how states are dealing with the lockdown situation and their efforts in flattening the curve of fresh coronavirus cases.
The Ramzan moon was sighted Friday evening and Muslims in India will begin fasting from Saturday as they welcomed the holy month amid unprecedented circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown.
Ramzan is usually a festive season, with the daylong fast followed by lavish meals and evening get-togethers. But this year many are confined to their homes, travel is heavily restricted and public venues like parks, malls and even mosques are shuttered.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that stage three (community) transmission has been avoided so far.
Dr Sujit Singh, director of the National Centre for Disease Control, said that currently 9.45 lakh people in India are under community surveillance for suspected contact with positive cases. “Our weekly doubling time (of cases) has increased from 4.2 on April 6 to 8.6 on April 20,” he said.
And, in a video conference with state health ministers and officials, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that stage three (community) transmission, when the source of infection is not easily traceable, has been avoided so far.
In a statement, meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that apart from the new Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs), the one that is already monitoring Mumbai and Pune will also cover Thane.
Migrant labourers at a transit camp (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)
In another news, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Friday directed officials to draw up a plan for the return of UP’s migrant workers in a phased manner from other states where they have completed 14 days of quarantine.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R K Tiwari told The Indian Express: “Chief Minister has directed today that a plan be prepared. No estimated number (of such migrant workers) is available at present, but it could be lakhs. That is why a plan has to be prepared to bring back such people in a phased manner. Ultimately, these people will have to reach their destination.”
Don't inject disinfectant: Blunt pushback on Trump musing
President Donald Trump's comment that disinfectants perhaps could be injected or ingested to fight COVID-19 received heavy pushback from health and other officials Friday and even prompted the maker of Lysol to warn its product should never be used internally.
The White House claimed Trump's comment was misrepresented, but the government also leapt in to caution the nation (Getty images)
As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route), said the statement from Reckitt Benckiser, parent company of the maker of Lysol and Dettol.
The White House claimed Trump's comment was misrepresented, but the government also leapt in to caution the nation.
The Surgeon General's office tweeted Friday: "A reminder to all Americans- PLEASE always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment/ medication to yourself or a loved one. Your safety is paramount, and doctors and nurses are have years of training to recommend what's safe and effective." (AP)
Business tycoon Anand Mahindra shared a video of an e-rickshaw was modified to isolate passengers during Covid-19 pandemic, and suggested his company’s automobile division should consider hiring the person who did it.
Mahindra, who frequently shares innovations spotted on social media, was impressed by how plastic and metal sheets had been used to create separated seating for all four passengers. Given the restrictions on public transport, the modified e-rickshaw allowed people to remain separated from other passengers.
In the undated video, a man is heard explaining the idea in Bengali and called it a “corona innovation”. The video shows how the driver is separated from passengers by a metal sheet.