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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Coronavirus highlights: Mumbai closes non-essential stores, liquor shops

The death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic rose to 1,583 on Monday while the total numbers of infections jumped to 46, 711.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 7, 2020 1:05:57 pm
coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, lockdown guidelines, lockdown india, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, coronavirus latest news in india, coronavirus live update, covid 19 tracker, india covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker live, corona cases in india, corona cases in india, corona latest news, coronavirus latest news in india According to the latest update by the Health Ministry, the total number of cases now stand at 46,711 and the death toll jumped to 1,583.

Coronavirus India Updates: The Telangana government on Tuesday extended lockdown in the state till May 29. Addressing the media, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that all non-essential shops in the state will remain shut in red zones. Curfew has also been imposed from 7 pm to 6 am every day across all the 33 districts in the state. Meanwhile, Mumbai closed all its non-essential stores and liquor shops. Only essential services will be available from Wednesday. The death toll in the state touched 617. Mumbai alone reported 26 deaths since Monday.

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According to the latest update by the Health Ministry, the total number of cases in the country now stand at 46,711 and the death toll jumped to 1,583. As many as 3,900 new COVID-19 cases and 195 fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, the biggest spike in a single day, the health ministry said on Tuesday. The government Tuesday also  suspended all existing visas granted to foreign nationals, barring a few categories, till international air travel to and from India remains shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs said. The ministry said it has kept in abeyance multiple-entry life-long visas given to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders till international travel remains suspended.

On the global front, the number of cases has now surpassed 3.5 million with 2,51, 510 deaths, although the rate of fatalities and new cases has slowed from peaks reached last month. The Donald Trump-led United States continues to be the worst-affected with 11,66,083 cases and 67,913 deaths.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker India updates: India's death toll rises to 1,568, infections at 46,433; Globally, over 2.5 lakh have died more than 3.5 million cases so far. Follow LIVE updates on COVID-19 here.

01:05 (IST)06 May 2020
Punjab to buy own testing kits, to provide hotel quarantine for NRIs

Considering the pressure on testing in Punjab following influx of returnees, the state has decided to purchase testing kits from the open market to ramp up its testing capacity.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed such centres to purchase kits for testing in Punjab from the open market, for which the state government will bear the expenses. The state is currently testing 2,800 people a day, a significant increase from 1,500 a day last week, a government statement said. It added that the Central government testing facilities are unable to enhance their capacities due to unavailability of kits from ICMR. As the state prepared to handle a large influx of NRIs from other nations and stranded people from across the country, Amarinder on Tuesday issued a series of directives to check the spread of COVID-19, including strict directives to the Health Department, to ensure mandatory screening of all such returnees, with institutional quarantine for those coming back from high-risk regions of India, and hotel/home quarantine for the NRIs.

00:57 (IST)06 May 2020
Haryana: ‘Despite pressure from high and mighty, borders with Delhi will remain shut,’ says Anil Vij

A day after Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij said he fears the consequences of the relaxations enforced in the third phase of the lockdown, he told The Indian Express that “opening all markets at once can be fatal”. Speaking to The Indian Express, he emphasized that “despite the pulls and pressures from high and mighty”, he stands firm on keeping the borders with national capital Delhi “shut”.

Vij also spoke on how prepared his state is to tackle the increasing number of coronavirus cases and unlike other states where the Council of Ministers takes decisions and assesses the Covid situation, “no such practice exists in Haryana” and the “CM was taking all the decisions”.

23:48 (IST)05 May 2020
Excise duty hiked by Rs 10 per litre on petrol, Rs 15 on diesel; consumers unaffected

The government Tuesday announced a Rs 13 per litre hike in excise duty on diesel and a Rs 10 per litre hike in excise duty on petrol in an attempt to shore up more revenues even as demand remains subdued due to the lockdown to counter the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Ministry officials said the hike in excise duty, which comes into effect from Wednesday, will not result in hike in retail prices of petrol and diesel for the consumers. This is the second hike in excise duty on fuel in two months by the Centre and comes after a hike in value added tax by several states over the last few days.

22:39 (IST)05 May 2020
Telangana extends lockdown till May 29

Telangana government on Tuesday night extended lockdown in the state till May 29. Addressing the media, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that non-essential shops in the state will remain shut in red zones. Curfew has also been imposed from 7 pm to 6 am every day across all the 33 districts.

22:16 (IST)05 May 2020
PM Modi reviews status of India's efforts in coronavirus vaccine development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed the current status of India's efforts in coronavirus vaccine development, drug discovery, diagnosis and testing. He chaired a meeting of a task force on coronavirus vaccine development. The review by the prime minister took note of the extraordinary coming together of academia, industry and government, combined with speedy but efficient regulatory process, an official statement said.

22:09 (IST)05 May 2020
Lockdowns do not eliminate virus, livelihoods imperative to save lives: The Lancet

A one-size-fits-all approach to the coronavirus pandemic is likely to increase inequalities in the long term, so countries with less resources must let people get on with their lives — to work, earn money and put food on the table – researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School said in The Lancet on Tuesday.

Dr. Vikram Patel, the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School and Richard Cash from the Harvard T Chan School of Public Health, in their perspective on ‘The art of medicine-Has COVID-19 subverted global health?’, urged countries with less resources to allow the average citizen to travel freely with restrictions only applied to clusters where lockdowns are necessary.

Dr. Patel told The Indian Express that it has been repeatedly stressed that the primary objective of a lockdown is to delay and reduce the spike of severely affected persons, allowing time for the health system to prepare for future waves and caring for the sick.

22:08 (IST)05 May 2020
India lockdown diary, Day 42: Tripura has a new pastime; Gurdaspur ‘memsahab’ works overtime; and more

The skies above Tripura have a welcome new addition: soaring, colourful kites. Youngsters are no longer interested in violating the lockdown to get a peek of life outside their homes, but have instead taken to flying kites on their rooftops every afternoon.

The fact that the business of making kites has picked up pace is testimony to this popular new hobby — as kite runners are busy buying kites, ‘latai’ (rollers) and tempering threads with ‘manja’. On Day 42 of India’s lockdown, here are some of the most striking stories

21:57 (IST)05 May 2020
Mumbai closes non-essential stores, liquor shops

Mumbai civic body Tuesday withdrew lockdown relaxations in the city; allowing only essential services from Wednesday. The death toll in Maharashtra touched 617. Mumbai alone reported 26 deaths since Monday.

21:35 (IST)05 May 2020
Assam announces further relaxations; reprieve for businesses and industries

Assam Tuesday ordered fresh directives for the implementation of lockdown 3.0 in the state. Here are guidelines in addition to those issued earlier on May 3.

While the state remains under a curfew from 6pm to 6 am, the new notice, signed by Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, has relaxed timings for a number of services — especially those involved in industries, businesses and other economic activities.

21:15 (IST)05 May 2020
Cases in Maharashtra cross 15,000-mark, 34 deaths in last 24 hours

Maharashtra reported 841 new COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing total cases to 15,525 and death toll at 617.

21:04 (IST)05 May 2020
In Covid-19 red zone Bengaluru, fine for not wearing masks down to Rs 200 from Rs 1,000

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the local civic authority, Tuesday revised the fine for not wearing masks in public places from Rs 1,000 to Rs 200. On April 30, the BBMP had issued an order making facial masks – covering the mouth and the nose – compulsory in public places and in any workplace with more than five people.

On Tuesday, BBMP Commissioner BH Anil Kumar issued a revised order. The order said the fine amount of Rs 200 for the first and subsequent offence had been stipulated as per the government notification of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Regulations, 2020.

21:00 (IST)05 May 2020
Tripura youngsters are beating the lockdown blues by flying kites

With the third phase of the nationwide lockdown in effect, Tripura skies have a welcome new addition: soaring, colourful kites. Youngsters are no longer interested in violating the lockdown to get a peek of life outside their homes, but have instead taken to flying kites on their rooftops every afternoon.

The fact that the business of making kites has picked up pace is testimony to this popular new hobby — as kite runners are busy buying kites, ‘latai’ (rollers) and tempering threads with ‘manja’. Read Debraj Deb's report here

20:35 (IST)05 May 2020
Manipur child rights commission asks private schools to exempt fees

Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) has asked private run schools in the Manipur to exempt the monthly school fees of students during the lockdown period. Sumatibala Ningthoujam, MCPCR said during this stressful juncture, no child should be harassed or discriminated due to any non-agreement or conflict between parents and schools owing to non-payment of school fees. It also asked vehicles commuting students not to charge fees from parents and guardian during this period.

Manipur Government ordered the closure of all educational institutions, both government and private schools, since March 12 as precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Further, to ensure the school's children remain engaged in education during the lockdown, the state government has also started online classes in the state.

Subsequently, Manipur Education Minister Th Radheshyam also recently launched the electronic format of comic textbooks for classes III, IV and V and e-textbook for Manipur board from Class 1 to 10.

20:20 (IST)05 May 2020
In ‘significant breakthrough’, Israel develops antibody against coronavirus

A “significant breakthrough” in developing an antibody to the novel coronavirus has been made by Israel’s main biological research institute IIBR that can attack the virus and neutralise it within the bodies of those who contract it, country’s Defence Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed, news agency PTI stated.

A statement issued by Bennet’s office said the Israel’s Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), mandated to develop a vaccine for coronavirus, has isolated an antibody “that attacks the virus in a monoclonal way and can neutralise it within the bodies of those ill.

20:12 (IST)05 May 2020
Govt issues SOP for return of Indians stranded abroad

The government on Tuesday issued a standard operating protocol (SOP) for the return of Indians stranded abroad and those who are stuck in India and wish to travel to international destinations for urgent reasons. In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said priority will be given for return to India to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers, labourers who have been laid off and those faced with expiry of short term visas. 'Persons with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students will also be given preference', the order said. The cost of travel will be borne by such travellers.

20:05 (IST)05 May 2020
Govt suspends all visas, bars travel by OCI card-holders till ban on air services

The government Tuesday suspended all existing visas granted to foreign nationals, barring a few categories, till international air travel to and from India remains shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs said. The ministry also said it has kept in abeyance multiple-entry life-long visas given to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders till international travel remains suspended.

19:53 (IST)05 May 2020
BMC mulls crowdfunding to provide ration to 20,000 families in Dharavi

The BMC is set to start a crowdfunding drive to provide ration, medicines and sanitary kits to 20,000 families in Dharavi for the next two months.

The move comes after the civic body observed that around 70 per cent of Dharavi’s population is daily wage earners — working in small-scale leather and packaging industries – and auto-rickshaw drivers among others. It noted that these people, mostly without savings, were stepping outside their homes amid the lockdown to arrange for food and essential items.

The BMC has prepared a list of 20,000 families – mostly senior citizens, single mothers and widows – who would be provided with ration, medicines and sanitary kits initially. As per the plan, by donating Rs. 3,000, one can arrange these things for a family of four.

19:40 (IST)05 May 2020
Vande Bharat Mission: 64 flights to bring back citizens from abroad, govt announces ticket prices

In one of the largest evacuation exercises, named “Vande Bharat Mission”, the government will operate 64 flights from May 7 to 13 to bring home nearly 14,800 Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown.

India will conduct 10 flights to the UAE, seven flights each to the US and the UK, five flights to Saudi Arabia, five flights to Singapore and two flights to Qatar to repatriate Indian nationals between May 7 and May 13, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

During this period, India will also conduct seven flights each to Malaysia and Bangladesh, five flights each to Kuwait and Philippines, two flights each to Oman and Bahrain, Puri said.

19:25 (IST)05 May 2020
Govt suspends all visas, bars travel by OCI card holders

The government Tuesday suspended all existing visas, barring a few exceptions, granted to foreign nationals till international air travel to and from India remains shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, an order said. In a separate order, the Union Home Ministry said it has extended on 'gratis' basis the visas of foreigners stranded in India due to the lockdown.  The extension will be for a period of 30 days beyond the opening of international travel.
The Home Ministry also said it has kept in abeyance multiple-entry life-long visas given to Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders till international travel remains suspended. However, the OCI card holders who are already in India can stay in the country for "any length of time", it said. (PTI)

19:23 (IST)05 May 2020
4 new COVID-19 cases in Odisha, total 173

Four people, who recently returned from Gujarat and West Bengal, tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Odisha on Tuesday, taking the number of cases in the state to 173, an official said. The number of active COVID-19 cases now stands at 112. Of the four new cases, two hailed from Balasore, one from Ganjam and the other from Cuttack districts, the official said. Cuttack last reported a COVID-19 case on April 3, while Ganjam falls in the orange zone. The new cases in the two districts are two persons who recently from Surat in Gujarat. (PTI)

Coronavirus India LIVE updates: Outside a liquor store in New Delhi.

Coronavirus India LIVE updates:

If the scenes on the first day of the third phase of lockdown are any indication, the number of Coronavirus infections are likely to rise sharply in the coming days. Large crowds were seen at many places, not just in front of liquor shops, and physical distancing norms were largely ignored. In many states, the movement of migrant workers is also resulting in similar situations.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs also said that the government will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad on “compelling grounds” from May 7 in a phased manner. “The travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships. The Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) has been prepared in this regard,” said a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs. “Indian Embassies and High Commissions are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens. This facility will be made available on payment basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel. The travel would begin in a phased manner from May 7”, it added.

Coronavirus India LIVE updates: The total number of Covid-19 cases jumped to 42,835 with nearly1,400 deaths.

The statement further said that the passengers will be medically screened before taking the flight. Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel. During the journey, all passengers will have to follow protocols, such as the Health protocol, issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

In a good news fro Kerala, for the second consecutive day, no new case of infection was reported. At the same time, a total of 61 people recovered from the illness, the highest in a single day, taking the number of active cases from 95 to 34 in the state. Among those who recovered, 19 were from Kannur district, 12 from Kottayam, 11 from Idukki, nine from Kollam, four from Kozhikode, two each from Malappuram, Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a gathering of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) leaders through video conference, said that the coronavirus crisis has shown the world the limitations of the existing international system and the need for a new template of globalisation, based on fairness, equality and humanity.

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