Amid surge in COVID-19 infections, Centre on Sunday directed the states to ensure that the use of liquid oxygen is not allowed for any non-medical purpose. (Pavan Khengre)
Coronavirus India Highlights: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to US President Joe Biden and thanked him for all the support his country is providing India in its battle against the Covid. Taking to Twitter, Had a fruitful conversation with Joe Biden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India.” Their discussion also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines, Modi added. “India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the US Ambassador to the UN said the US will “work around the clock” to help India as it fights a “devastating” spike in COVID-19 cases and Washington is doing everything it can to help, including sending across raw materials for vaccines, ventilators, oxygen generation supplies and financial support for vaccine expansion.
Amid demands for medical oxygen coming in from various states, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday claimed that India has enough oxygen stock but the issue is its transportation. Assuring that there is absolutely no need to panic for oxygen, MHA Additional Secretary Piyush Goyal said, “We are trying to resolve issue of its transportation. The government is monitoring oxygen-carrying tankers on real-time basis through GPS, making them available to hospitals as early as possible.”
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday announced 14-day lockdown in the state that will come into force from 9 pm on Tuesday to curb the spread of Covid-19 among its residents. During the period no public transport will be allowed to ply on the roads, but the shops of essential commodities will remain open from 6 am to 10 am every day, Yediyurappa said.
India recorded over 3.52 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Monday, taking the country’s total infections to over 1.73 crore. Out of these, over 28 lakh cases are currently active while 1.43 crore people have recovered after testing positive. With 2,812 new fatalities, the death toll is now over 1.95 lakh.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal extends lockdown by another week.
At a crematorium in New Delhi amid the second wave of Covid-19. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)
Air India on Monday brought 328 oxygen concentrators to India in its New York-Delhi flight, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. "All efforts to strengthen India's fight against the pandemic are on. 318 Philips oxygen concentrators on @airindiain flight from JFK airport land at @DelhiAirport," Puri tweeted on Monday.
In an all party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, a resolution was passed to allow the reopening of the Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi to manufacture oxygen for a period of four months. This comes after Sterlite Copper plant, owned by the Vedanta group of companies, sought approvals Tamil Nadu government and the Centre to operate its oxygen plants to meet the rising demand for Covid-19 patients across the country.
As Delhi continues to grapple with the ongoing Covid surge, the Delhi government on Monday announced that it will provide free vaccines to everyone above 18 years of age when the drive begins on May 1. “Today we have given the approval for the purchase of 1.34 crore vaccines. We will make an effort to ensure that it is purchased soon and administered at the earliest to people, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced.
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the state government to set up more virus testing centres and expand its sample collection infrastructure. The court was replying to Centre’s representative, who said that testing numbers have gone down in the national capital.
A week after indicating that it would not be lifting a ban on exports of key ingredients required in vaccine manufacture, the United States has now vowed to support India in its battle against an aggressive second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the country was working around the clock to deploy supplies to help India tide over the crisis.
"The US is deeply concerned by the severe Covid outbreak in India. We're working around the clock to deploy more supplies and support to our friends and partners in India as they bravely battle this pandemic. More very soon," Sullivan said at a press briefing, according to ANI.
Days after Serum Institute of India came up with the prices of Covishield, Bharat Biotech on Saturday announced the prices of Covaxin which are pegged at Rs 600 per dose for state hospitals, Rs 1,200 for private hospitals.
Uttar Pradesh Saturday recorded its highest single-day rise in fresh infections and deaths with 38,055 fresh cases and 223 fatalities, pushing the tally to 10,51,314 and toll to 10,959. West Bengal's tally too reached 7,28,061 with 14,281 new COVID cases -- highest till now. Karnataka and Gujarat too added record number of cases -- 29,438 and 14,097 respectively -- to their total infection counts that crossed 17 lakh and 4.8 lakh in respective states.
Ahead of the roll-out of immunisation of people between 18 and 45 years of age from May 1, the Centre Saturday asked states to register additional private vaccination centres and ensure effective crowd management at sites, reported PTI. The Union government also emphasised on inoculation through "only online registration" for beneficiaries eligible for vaccines.
Taking a slew of measures to boost the availability of medical oxygen in the country amid Covid surge, the central government Saturday decided to waive basic customs duty and health cess on the import of oxygen and related equipment for next three months with immediate effect, PTI reported. At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was also decided to exempt basic customs duty on the import of Covid vaccines with immediate effect for a period of three months, a government statement said.
India recorded over 3.46 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours ending 8 am Saturday. The rapid uptick in new cases has taken India’s total infection count to over 1.66 crore. Out of these, over 25.52 lakh cases are currently active while over 1.38 crore people have recovered after testing positive. With 2,624 new fatalities the death toll is now over 1.89 lakh.
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