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Coronavirus India May 8 Highlights: Maharashtra may seek deployment of Central forces, if needed, says CM Uddhav

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker India Updates: As far as Covid numbers are concerned, the overall tally stands at 56,342, including 1886 deaths, as per the last update from the Health Ministry.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 9, 2020 8:25:03 am
Health workers in Mumbai’s Dharavi.

Coronavirus India Updates: With Covid-19 cases crossing 19,000-mark in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said his government may seek the deployment of central forces, if needed, to allow police personnel to take rest in phases. He, however, allayed the rumours of Army deployment in Mumbai. “There has been a rumour for the past 2-3 days that Army will be deployed in Mumbai. There is no need for Army deployment here,” Thackeray was quoted as saying by ANI.

Follow the latest LIVE blog on coronavirus here 

As far as Covid numbers are concerned, the overall tally stands at 56,342, including 1,886 deaths, as per the last update from the Health Ministry. While there are 37,916 active cases, as many as 16,539 persons have recovered.

Meanwhile, over 400 stranded Indians, including medical students, were brought back home today from Bangladesh and Singapore in two Air India aircraft as part of the government’s mega repatriation mission Vande Bharat. In other major news, sixteen migrant workers in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district were crushed to death by a local train as they were journeying home. The workers, who were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna to board a “Shramik Special” train to return to Madhya Pradesh, were sleeping on the railway line when the mishap occurred between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Nanded Division.

On the global front, at least 38,15,561 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus worldwide, including 2,67,469 deaths and 12,66,479 recoveries.

Live Blog

Covid-19 Tracker, Coronavirus India Updates: Total cases near 60,000; 'Vande Bharat Mission' underway. Follow LIVE updates

01:29 (IST)09 May 2020
Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive for virus, says Trump

Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, President Donald Trump said, delaying the vice president’s departure for a trip to Iowa. She is the second person working at the executive residence to contract the virus this week.

The White House did not officially announce Miller’s positive test and she hadn’t been identified as the infected aide until a meeting between Trump and House Republicans. In answer to a question from a reporter about the infected aide, Trump said that Pence’s “press person,” whom he identified as “Katie,” had tested positive after a reporter asked him about it. Read report by Bloomberg

00:10 (IST)09 May 2020
COVID-19 in Tripura: 29 more from BSF, truck driver test positive; tally 118

Thirty new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Tripura Friday, raising the count in the state to 118, out of which 116 are active. The fresh COVID-19 cases were again found from BSF 86th battalion and 138th battalion at Ambassa in Dhalai district, both of which were earlier declared ‘containment zones’ for being badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Significantly, a truck driver has also tested positive for the infection. As per standard operating procedure laid down by the government, all truckers coming in the state are required to undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test at Churaibari on the Assam-Tripura inter-state boundary. Read more here

23:59 (IST)08 May 2020
MP death toll climbs to 200

The death toll in Madhya Pradesh climbed to 200 on Friday and the novel coronavirus infection covered 38 out of its 52 districts. The count of positive cases increased by 89 in the last 24 hours to reach 3,341. The death toll was 99 and the count of positive patients was 1945 on April 25. While the number of serious patients was 26 on April 25, it has now risen to 274. Indore, Ujjain and Bhopal, which have so far reported 86, 43, and 24 deaths respectively, accounted for 71 of the new 89 positive cases. Sehore and Guna districts reported a case each. As many as 20 districts have so far reported cases in single digit. The count of the active cases continued to decline for the fifth day on Friday to reach 1,792. - Milind Ghatwai reports from Madhya Pradesh

23:30 (IST)08 May 2020
Highest number of tests, death rate at .68, TN reports 600 cases

As the total number of Covid-19 cases touched 6009 with 600 new cases on Friday, state health minister C Vijayabaskar said it was the increased number of testing and effective tracking and quarantining of suspected cases that helped the state to keep the crucial indicators of the epidemic under control. Vijayabaskar said the state’s death rate, .68, was the lowest among states with similar population and cases, and that samples tested were highest, 2.16 lakh, “compared to even states like Maharashtra that registered more number of cases.” Read more here

23:07 (IST)08 May 2020
Govt gives relief on residency status to NRIs/foreign visitors

Govt gives relief on residency status to NRIs/foreign visitors whose stay in India got prolonged due to lockdown.Prolonged stay in India to be discounted. Further, circular for determining the residential status in such cases for Financial Year 2020-21 would be issued in due course, depending upon normalisation of/ resumption of international flights.

22:44 (IST)08 May 2020
Tamil Nadu: 60 cops test positive; Minister says situation under control with ‘maximum tests, lowest death rate’

As the total number of COVID-19 cases touched 6009 in Tamil Nadu with 600 new cases Friday, state health minister C Vijayabaskar said it was the increased number of testing and effective tracking and quarantining of suspected cases that has helped the state keep the crucial indicators of the pandemic under control.

Vijayabaskar said the state’s death rate – at .68 — was the lowest among states with a similar population and cases, and that samples tested were highest, 2.16 lakh, “compared to even states like Maharashtra that have registered more number of cases”. The state has 52 labs, including 36 in the government sector and 16 in private facilities. Read more

22:22 (IST)08 May 2020
Here is a list of interesting stories from across country on Day 45 of lockdown

* Students take to the radio for lessons in Meghalay

Doordarshan and All India Radio will start broadcasting lessons to students in Meghalaya, as many have been confined to their homes due to the coroanvirus-induced lockdown. Officials believe the move will help at least 2.5 lakh students in the primary, middle and high school levels, who are studying the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBoSE) curriculum.

* In Kolkata, a part of a mosque may soon become a quarantine centre

A mosque in Kolkata’s Garden Reach area has offered the government a part of its premises to set up a quarantine centre. Maulana Qari Md Muslim Razwi, the imam of Bangali Bazar Masjid, said the gesture was in keeping with the spirit of Ramadan. The area, about 6,000 square feet, comes after the government sought places to set up treatment centres for people with Covid-19. 

(Read more)

22:16 (IST)08 May 2020
Vande Bharat mission: Three flights land in India, more scheduled to touch down tonight

On Day two of the government's Vande Bharat Mission, at least three flights have landed in India so far. Just before noon Friday, Air India flight AI 381, carrying 234 passengers, landed in New Delhi from Singapore. At 2 pm, an AI 1242 flight from Dhaka in Bangladesh touched down in Srinagar. The third flight, from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, landed in Kerala’s Kozhikode at around 8.10 pm. More flights are scheduled to land in various cities tonight, stay tuned. Follow live updates on the Vande Bharat Mission here

21:41 (IST)08 May 2020
Watch today's Covid-19 video with latest figures & news

The overall virus tally stands in the country stands at 56,342, including 1,886 deaths, as per the last update from the Health Ministry. While there are 37,916 active cases, as many as 16,539 persons have recovered.

21:27 (IST)08 May 2020
Indian Museum Kolkata sealed after CISF personnel dies of COVID-19

The Indian Museum in Kolkata was sealed after a CISF officer posted there succumbed to the coronavirus, PTI quoted an official as saying.

About 33 CISF personnel were deployed at the gallery's security unit. All have been asked to quarantine, Indian Museum director A D Choudhury said. The entire museum premises and the security quarters are being sanitised and the staffers have been asked not to come to the office for the time being, he said. "... After a report of a CISF jawan testing coronavirus positive, these security personnel have been quarantined," the director said.

Kolkata has witnessed 55 of the total 72 deaths in West Bengal as on Friday with 572 active Covid-cases, while the state has recorded a total of 1,678 cases as 130 new cases surfaced.

21:15 (IST)08 May 2020
May ask for Central `manpower' to give rest to police: Uddhav

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray refuted speculation about the Army being called in Mumbai which has become a major coronavirus hotspot. In a live webcast, he said additional manpower may be sought from the Union government if needed so that the state police force gets some respite. Asking people not to believe rumours, the chief minister said the government might ask for additional manpowerfrom the Centre, if needed, to enable the police personnel to take rest in a phased manner. "This doesn't mean that Mumbai will be handed over to the Army. Police personnel are tired after working round-the- clock, some have fallen sick and a few of them have succumbed to the virus. They need rest," Thackeray said. (PTI)

21:02 (IST)08 May 2020
Maharashtra may seek deployment of Central forces amid continuous rise in Covid-19 cases

Amidst surging coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, CM Uddhav Thackeray said the state may seek deployment of Central forces, if needed, to allow police personnel to take rest in phase. The chief minister further admitted that there has been no success yet in breaking the 'chain' of the virus. The cases in the state have dramatically risen to 19,063 including 731 deaths, the state health department stated. The cases in the state have dramatically risen to 19,063 including 731 deaths, the state health department said. 

Referring to video showing patients at Mumbai hospital being treated next to dead bodies, Thackeray said, mismanagement at hospitals will not be tolerated.

20:27 (IST)08 May 2020
Maharashtra: 25 fresh new Covid-19 cases in Dharavi, total past 800

The coronavirus cases in Mumbai's Dharavi slum have touched 805 cases with 25 new cases recorded today, according to PTI.

The central team had on Thursday advised Maharashtra to aggressively expand its isolation facilities and shift high-risk people in containment zones of Dharavi — which as on Thursday has reported 783 cases — to institutional quarantine to curb community spread.

19:46 (IST)08 May 2020
Tamil Nadu to close liquor shops, home delivery to begin

Following the Supreme Court's order on liquor, passed earlier in the day, Madras High Court today directed the state to close all TASMAC shops, allowing online sale and home delivery of liquor.

The court took the decision as social distancing guidelines were violated by people across the state. Heavy crowds were witnessed after Tamil Nadu opened liquor stores on Wednesday. The order shall be followed till the end of the lockdown. 

19:29 (IST)08 May 2020
In Pictures | Migrants across nation make their way home

Migrant workers stand in queues after their medical screening at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium in Ludhiana. These workers will board one of the Shramik Special trains.

Over thousand migrants from Bihar boarded a train from New Delhi Railway Station on Friday arranged by the Delhi government.

Migrants on their way to Uttarakhand, boarded a truck in Bihar, passing through UP's Lucknow.

18:40 (IST)08 May 2020
NHRC issues notice to Maha govt over deaths of migrant workers on rail tracks

The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary and the District Magistrate of Aurangabad over the train accident that occured earlier in the day, which claimed 16 migrant workers' lives, PTI stated. The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about mowing down of 16 migrant workers by the goods train in the early hours of Friday, it said in a statement. The officers have been directed to submit a detailed report within four weeks. It should also include details of the steps taken by the state and the district authorities to provide food, shelter and other basic amenities to the poor people, especially migrant labourers, who are facing extreme difficulties from every angle during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, it said.

18:16 (IST)08 May 2020
Railways ferried over 2.5 lakh people stranded in 222 trains

The Railways has so far run 222 special trains to ferry over over 2.5 lakh people, including migrant workers, to different parts of the country. MHA Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava said the government's efforts have been to give maximum relaxations to people within the lockdown guidelines. She said the next step is to bring back Indians stranded abroad in a phased manner which started on Thursday using non-scheduled commercial flights and naval ships.

17:37 (IST)08 May 2020
Assam: 16-year-old tests Covid positive after death

The sample of a 16-year-old girl tested positive for Covid after she died in Guwahati on Thursday night, making her the second in the state to die of the novel virus.Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam’s health and finance minister, said that it needed to be checked with the Centre whether she would be added in the official state toll because her diagnosis was after her death. Last month, a 65-year-old man from Hailakandi district succumbed to Covid.

The girl, a Guwahati resident, had complained of pain in her legs and fever on April 27 and was taken to a local hospital. She was checked and prescribed medicines. Then, she moved to her grandmother’s house in the staff quarter of a cancer hospital in Guwahati. The grandmother works as a support staff in the hospital.

16:47 (IST)08 May 2020
Health Ministry briefing: India's doubling time reduced, 'challenge is to learn to live with virus'

The ICMR has received approval to conduct clinical trials of convalescent plasma therapy in 21 hospitals, the Health Ministry said. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, informed that India's doubling time has reduced now. Two days ago it was 12 days. 'Challenge is to learn to live with the virus and it is imperetive to follow the guidelines.'

16:44 (IST)08 May 2020
Health Ministry briefing: Indian visas to extend for 30 days; hotels to be used as quarantine centres

The MHA Joint Secretary PS Srivastava said Indian visas for stranded nationals abroad will be extended for a period of 30 days after online applications. Further, guidelines have been issued for using hotels, lodges etc for quarantine purposes, provided these facilities have an in-house doctor and a nurse and there are options of monitoring.

"It is important to srengthen containment efforts in hard-hit states inlcuding Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh," Agarwal said. 

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India on Thursday launched one of its biggest evacuation exercises, bringing back the first batch of expatriates stranded overseas amid the COVID-19 shutdown. At 10.20 pm, an Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi landed in Kerala’s Kochi international airport with 177 passengers and four children.

Minutes later, in North Kerala’s Kozhikode airport, another flight landed from Dubai with 177 passengers and five children.

India had earlier announced that as part of Phase 1 of an evacuation plan titled ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, 64 flights and three Navy ships would be operated to bring home nearly 15,000 Indians stranded overseas.

On Thursday, passengers who landed in Kochi and Kozhikode came home to an unusual welcome. Instead of crowds of relatives thronging the arrivals gate, they were greeted by officials and health workers who stood in PPE gear in the disinfected terminal.

The passengers were ushered in batches into a triage area, where they were made to undergo mandatory health screening. Those symptomatic will be shifted to Covid hospitals while the asymptomatic will be moved to institutional quarantine centres for 14 days in their home districts.

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Karnataka to restart trains for migrants, but many start walking

Meanwhile, a day after its decision to stop train services for stranded migrant workers came under severe criticism, the BJP government in Karnataka on Thursday decided to resume train services.

They were among several groups of migrant labourers in Bengaluru who set off on foot for their home states, after the state government halted train services for migrants on Wednesday. The Opposition and others reacted angrily to the government decision, alleging it had stopped trains under pressure from the construction and infrastructure lobby, which feared the long-term stalling of their projects if migrant workers left the state capital.

As the government reversed its decision, the state revenue secretary wrote to the governments of other states, asking them to prepare for the arrival of migrants.

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COVID-19 testing capacity mostly dependent on foreign firms

India’s testing capacity continues to be majorly reliant on global supply chains even as domestic manufacturing of other COVID-19-related requirements has been rapidly ramped up.

An examination of procurement and company approvals shows that foreign firms account for the largest chunk of company approvals for COVID-19 diagnostic materials in the country.

According to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) list released on Wednesday, 85 of 95 (close to 90 per cent) approved antibody test kit manufacturers are foreign companies. Similarly, 11 out of 21 (more than 50 per cent) ICMR-approved RT-PCR manufacturers are foreign. Sixty per cent of the approved rapid antibody test manufacturers are Chinese.

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