Coronavirus India Updates: With three more days left for the third phase of the nationwide lockdown to end, the total number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country rose to 78,003. While close to 50,000 of them are active cases, at least 26,234 people have been cured of the infection. The toll due to the infection is at 2,549. The Centre is yet to make an announcement on the fourth phase of the lockdown, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted there would be more easing of restrictions. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates
Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus infections, with the numbers nearing the 26,000 mark. Mumbai alone accounted for 40 deaths on Wednesday. It’s the highest death figures reported on a single day in both the state and the city.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railways on Thursday cancelled the plying of all regular trains till June 30 but added that the Shramik special trains for migrant labourers and special Rajdhanis for others will continue. “All passengers will be fully refunded,” the Railways said in a release.
Here are the latest coronavirus developments in India:
With the nationwide lockdown restricting most office-goers to the confines of their homes, the Central government is now considering to frame ‘Work from Home’ guidelines for its staff even in a post lockdown scenario, with a draft paper suggesting that employees can be provided the option for 15 days in a year.
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG’s) proposal revolved around moving files to e-office, video conferences to discuss important affairs as well as providing logistic support to the staff by providing laptops on a rotational basis.
The department says that it is quite likely that the Central Secretariat will go for “staggered attendance and variable working hours” for the near future to maintain social distancing at the workplace. “Therefore, a broad framework for Work from Home is important to standardize the operating procedure even post Lockdown situation and to ensure safety and security of information, while accessing Government files and information remotely from home,” the draft says.
Kerala sees spike in COVID-19 cases as 26 more test positive
In a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Kerala in several days, as many as two people, including seven foreign returnees and a polic personnel, tested positive on Thursday, taking the number o people under treatment to 64. The tally of COVID-19 cases in the state has risen to 560 While ten of the new cases were from Kasaragod district Malappuram reported five, Palakkad and Wayanad three each Kannur two and Pathnamthitta, Idukki and Kozhikode district one case each,Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. Three people — two from Kollam and one from Kannur -have recovered, he told reporters.
How will schools function once the lockdown is lifted? HRD Minister answers
Modified seating arrangements, change in timings and further division of the class into different sections could be among the key features in schools when they re-open amid the coronavirus pandemic, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank informed during a live interaction with teachers today.
The NCERT is exploring a new system for opening schools, while the UGC is working out modalities for higher educational institutes, including colleges and universities for the upcoming session, he stated.
While the UGC has stated that classes for enrolled students will begin in August for fresh batch classes will begin from September, there is no clarity on when schools will reopen. “The health of our students is our key concern. The schools will be open only once the situation caused due to coronavirus is normalised,” the HRD Minister commented.
Over a month since the last Covid-19 case was detected on April 3, Goa’s Green Zone classification is now under threat after seven fresh cases emerged on Wednesday. Goa declared it had zero Covid-19 cases on May 1. “All tested positive,” confirmed health minister Vishwajit Rane. All seven are stable and being treated.
Of the seven, five belong to one family: husband and wife, their son and daughter and a one-year-old grand daughter from a second daughter. They were returning from Sholapur back to their home when they were tested at a north Goa facility, according to the state’s testing protocol.
An alert was sounded in Andhra Pradesh after 73 people who returned from other states and 35 who visited Chennai’s Koyambedu market , an infection hub, tested positive for the coronavirus. The state on Wednesday reported 48 new cases, of whom eight returned from other states and seven are associated with the Koyambedu market cluster.
So far, 38 people who returned from Maharashtra, 26 from Gujarat, eight from Odisha and one from Karnataka have tested positive for the virus. Since Monday, 35 people who visited the market have tested positive, alarming health officials who issued an advisory to trace their contacts in the districts of Nellore, Chittoor and East Godavari. The seven new cases on Wednesday were from Chittoor and East Godavari.
Odisha: Infections rise to 611 with 73 fresh cases
As many as 73 people, including 71 lodged in quarantine centres, tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha on Thursday, taking the virus count in the state to 611, a Health Department official said. Ganjam district accounted for 42 of the fresh cases followed by Jajpur (17), Bhadrak (9), Khurda (3) and Sundergarh (2), according to data released by the Information and Public Relations Department.
Fifty of the new COVID-19 patients had returned from Gujarat’s Surat, 20 from West Bengal and one from Karnataka. Two persons are from a containment zone in Sundergarh district, the official said. The number of active cases in the state now stands at 465, while 143 persons have recovered from the disease and three have died.
A total of 4,394 samples were tested on Wednesday, taking the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted in Odisha so far to 77,150, he said. Ganjam is the worst affected district in the state with 252 cases followed by Balasore (90), Jajpur (88), Khurda (53), Bhadrak (40), Sundergarh (25) and Angul (15).
Ten government and private hospitals across India have been shortlisted to undergo a phase III clinical trial of Favipiravir drug for mild and moderately ill Covid-19 patients.
Favipiravir is an anti-viral that prevents viral duplication in body by inhibiting the enzyme that drives the viral replication. It is commonly used as an anti-influenza drug in Japan and China. In India 150 patients will be undergoing the trial, a 14 day dosage will be administered on patients. The phase III trial results are expected by July-August period this year.
Cab services from Delhi airport to Noida, Ghaziabad could cost upto Rs 12,000
A cab service between Delhi airport and Noida or Ghaziabad may cost up to Rs 12,000 for those returning from foreign countries as part of the ongoing evacuation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent notification by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has stated that Indian nationals landing at the IGI airport will have to shell out Rs 10,000 for a sedan or Rs 12,000 for an SUV to reach their homes in Noida and Ghaziabad.
Public transport across red zones of the national capital, as well as cab facilities, are unavailable in the wake of the ongoing lockdown.
“As per a state government order dated May 6th, the state agency will be providing transport for those returning from abroad and having their houses in UP. Both buses and taxis will be available for the travel. Passengers having no symptoms after the preliminary medical check-up will be allowed to avail the service,” an order dated May 9th and signed by Raj Shekar, MD UPSRTC, read.
Indore: 78-year-old man jumps from hospital’s fourth floor, dies
A 78-year-old man admitted to a government hospital here on suspicion of coronavirus infection committed suicide by jumping from the fourth floor on Wednesday morning, officials said. The hospital administration said that the man, who was suffering from severe pneumonia, had not tested positive for coronavirus.
Satyapal Ahuja, the man, was hospitalized 19 days ago. Dr Sumit Shukla, in-charge of Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar (MTH) Hospital, told PTI that Ahuja, admitted to a ward on the the fourth floor of the hospital, jumped from the window near his bed. He was seriously injured and could not be saved despite best efforts.
“He was taking time to respond to the treatment due to his age. He might have taken the step due to depression,” Dr Shukla said.
Pune: Four arrested for ‘sale, home delivery of hookah pots and tobacco products through online ad’
The Crime Branch of Pune Police on Thursday arrested four persons for the alleged home delivery of hookah pots and banned tobacco products to customers by posting an advertisement on a website, despite a nationwide lockdown imposed by the government in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh got information about an advertisement posted on a website regarding the sale and home delivery of hookah.
A police team laid a trap and nabbed three persons at Talab Chowk in Lulla Nagar, Kondhwa area. Police identified them as Meet Vijay Oswal (19) of Wanavdi Bazar, Royal Jayram Madhuram (28) of Lulla Nagar, Kondhwa, and Parmesh Mahesh Thakkar (24) of Bhavani Peth.
According to police, the three accused were delivering hookah. During a search, police seized six hookah pots, six tobacco-flavoured packets, four mobile phones and other items, all worth Rs 84,100.
Death toll in Rajasthan climbs to 122
The death toll due to coronavirus infection rose to 122 in Rajasthan, with one more person succumbing to the virus on Thursday, an official said. The state has also recorded 66 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the virus tally to 4,394. “One more death has occurred and 66 fresh cases have been reported in 10 districts of the state today, including 20 in Udaipur district,” Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Rohit Kumar Singh, said.
A total of 4,395 cases of the virus have been reported in the state so far. Apart from these, 177 migrants who travelled from other states have also been tested positive. He said so far 2,575 patients have tested negative for the infection after treatment, of which 2,346 have been discharged from hospitals. The state has 1,697 active cases.
Coronavirus cases in Himachal climb to 70
A 30-year-old woman and her 7-year-old daughter have tested positive for COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district, taking the total number of cases in the state to 70, a state health official said on Thursday. The two had returned from Delhi on May 4. Sirmaur deputy commissioner RK Pruthi said the two were quarantined after they had returned to Hari Om Colony in Paonta Sahib on May 4 and their samples were randomly taken for testing on May 12.
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With this, the number of positive cases in Sirmaur district has risen to four. Two people have been cured in the district. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has now climbed to 70 and three people have died due to the virus so far.
While most of the focus on the novel Coronavirus spread has been on the top ten states which account for more than 90 per cent of the entire caseload in the country, many other states also have accumulated substantial number of patients.
Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, and Karnataka are all nearing 1,000 confirmed cases now, while Haryana, with 793 cases, and Odisha, with 538, have many more than Kerala.
On Wednesday, more than 3700 new cases were discovered across the country, taking the total number of confirmed cases beyond 78,000. Maharashtra recorded nearly 1500 of these cases, while Tamil Nadu, compared to its record in the last few days, added a relatively lower number of 509.
In yet another accident involving migrant workers returning home, eight were killed and 54 others were injured, at least two of them critically, when a truck carrying them collided with a bus around 2 am Thursday near Guna bypass in Madhya Pradesh.
The truck carrying 65 workers from Mumbai was on way to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh while the bus was returning from Bhind to Ahmedabad after dropping of passengers. The bus driver was among those injured. They have been shifted to the district hospital.
On May 10, six migrant workers returning to UP on a mango laden truck from Hyderabad had died near Narsinghpur in MP. Early on May 9, sixteen migrant workers belonging to Shahdol and Umaria districts in MP were run over by a goods train near Aurangabad.