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Coronavirus May 17 Highlights: States to decide delineation of red, green, and orange zones in lockdown 4.0

Coronavirus cases in India Sunday rose to 90,927. Of these, 53,649 are active cases; while 34,109 have already been cured. The death toll stands at 2872. Lockdown 4.0 begins from tomorrow.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 18, 2020 9:51:12 pm
A doctor talking to people who were crossing the border at Rajasthan-UP border during the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

In the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for lockdown 4.0, states and Union Territories (UTs) have been given powers to delineate the Red, Green and Orange Zones as the coronavirus situation demands. Furthermore, inter-state movement of passenger vehicles, buses have been allowed with mutual consent of states.

Coronavirus India LIVE Updates: Biggest one-day jump take cases to 96,169; lockdown 4.0 begins today

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Sunday announced that the nationwide lockdown has been extended till May 31. Meanwhile, hours away from entering into the fourth phase of lockdown from May 18, many states including, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra extended their lockdown till May 31, while Karnataka announced its extension till May 19, earlier in the day. Mizoram and Punjab too extended their lockdown till May 31, while Telangana has announced curbs till May 29. Follow lockdown 4.0 guidelines live updates

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced the fifth and the last tranche of the Rs 20-lakh crore Covid economic package today. Today’s announcements focused on MNREGA, health, and education-related sector, businesses, and COVID-19, decriminalisation of Companies Act, Ease of Doing Business, Public Sector Enterprises- related steps, state governments, and related resources. On Saturday, the government pushed for reforms in Coal, Mineral, Defence, Civil Aviation, Power, Social, Space and Atomic energy.

Coronavirus cases in India Sunday rose to 90,927. Of these, 53,649 are active cases; while 34,109 have already been cured. The death toll stands at 2872. Over 4.6 million have been infected with the virus globally, while over 3 lakh have died so far, with the most number of fatalities from the United States, followed by the UK and Italy.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker India, Lockdown News Highlights: Nearly 91,000 cases in India; Govt likely to give details on lockdown 4.0 that begins tomorrow; FM Sitharaman has announced fifth tranche of the 20-lakh crore economic package.

01:22 (IST)18 May 2020
ACP posted at Rashtrapati Bhavan tests positive for coronavirus

A 58-year-old ACP of Delhi Police posted at Rashtrapati Bhavan has tested positive for coronavirus, following which seven police personnel have been quarantined.

He is posted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Police Lines, which is situated away from the core area of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The core area compromises the residential area of the President, the police said.

The ACP was tested and sent for isolation on May 13. Five other police personnel who came in contact with the officer were also sent on quarantine as a precautionary measure, the police said.

“We were informed about his reports today. He has tested positive for coronavirus but he is found to be asymptomatic. He was in isolation since May 13 and has been admitted to a private hospital,” a senior police officer said.

The officer is posted in the security of Rashtrapati Bhavan Police Lines and is responsible for duty deployment, administration and management of personnel within the premises, an officer said.

00:57 (IST)18 May 2020
Protests at Jammu quarantine centres over poor quality food, inadequate water

Poor quality food, inadequate water, and plastic sheets for bed under the open sky are among the complaints pouring in from various quarantine centres in Jammu division, triggering protests. These quarantine centres mostly house people who have returned from various states in the country, where they were stranded following the call of a sudden coronavirus lockdown.

On Friday morning, inmates at a quarantine centre at Dhalwas in Ramban district were cane-charged by police after they held a demonstration over inadequate supply of water. Three protesters sustained minor injuries.

At Dharmoond in the same district, a large number of people, including women and children, left the quarantine centre for their home in Banihal’s Mahu Mangat area Friday, alleging supply of poor quality food and delay in their test reports. However, police intervened and made them return to the quarantine centre. Read more here

00:31 (IST)18 May 2020
Gujarat: After beating cancer, lady home guard is now on the streets to fight corona

Standing at a police bandobast in sweltering heat of May is 49-year-old Jamnaben Parmar, a Home Guard of Banaskantha and a cancer survivor, who is now a Coronavirus warrior.

It was last year in February 2019 that Parmar was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer third stage and was put to bed rest for the next 10 months. A dejected Parmar had learnt to accept the disease and had stayed home in Palanpur of Banaskantha, even as her husband continued his job as a private security personnel. Read more here

00:29 (IST)18 May 2020
Manipur civil bodies demand suspension of Senapati DC for violation of Covid-19 protocols

Civil society organisations in Manipur’s Senapati district have demanded the suspension of the deputy commissioner (DC), for allegedly flouting COVID-19 safety protocols.

A 48-hour ultimatum to the state government, in the form of a memorandum signed by three apex bodies of the district, namely Naga People’s Organisation (NPO), Senapati District Women Association (SDWA) and Senapati District Students’ Association (SDSA), was submitted to Chief Minister N Biren Singh Sunday.

The outcry against the DC, Salam Somorjit, followed after a picture of him allegedly inside a bus carrying 36 stranded people, who had returned from Mumbai, went viral on social media. Read more here

00:05 (IST)18 May 2020
Rajasthan reports 242 new COVID-19 cases, five deaths

Rajasthan on Sunday recorded the highest single day spike of 242 new cases and five more fatalities, officials said. The number of cases in the state stands at 5,202 and fatalities at 131. On Sunday, two more deaths were reported from Jaipur and one each from Bharatpur, Bikaner and Kota. Of the 242 fresh cases, Jaipur recorded the maximum of 60, followed by Jodhpur 43, Dungarpur 18, Udaipur 17, Pali 14, Churu 13, Sikar 12, Nagaur 11, Rajsamand and Sirohi 10 each, Bhilwara, Kota and Bikaner five each, Barmer four, Jalore three, Alwar, Chittorgarh and Jhunjhunu two each, Ajmer, Dausa, Jhalawar, Karauli, Pratapgarh and Sawaimadhopur one each. A total of 3,055 COVID-19 patients have recovered and there are 2,016 active cases in the state, the officials said. PTI

23:42 (IST)17 May 2020
Pune: Contact tracing, door-to-door survey help PMC find 73.6 per cent Covid-19 patients

To find Covid-19 cases from among the 55 lakh population of the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has adopted different means to trace patients but first contact tracing and home survey has been the most effective way.

As on May 15, the PMC has traced 3,093 Covid-19 patients and isolated them for treatment at dedicated Covid hospitals, Covid centres and quarantine centres across the city. Read more here

23:28 (IST)17 May 2020
Goa now has 22 active cases of Covid-19

Goa now has 22 active cases of Covid-19. 8 new patients are from the list of passengers who traveled in Rajdhani to Goa. All are stable. 469 people are currently in quarantine at various tourism residencies and hotels in Goa.

23:26 (IST)17 May 2020
Doubling rate slowing down, need 5,500 beds against earlier estimate of 10,000: Pune civic body chief

With the doubling rate of patients slowing down from five days to 13, the Pune Municipal Corporation has predicted that there will be a need of 5,500 beds for Covid-19 patients by the end of May as against the earlier estimate of 10,000 beds.

The PMC is working to set up quarantine centres across the city with an objective of 10,000 beds by the end of May, based on the earlier doubling rate of five days.

“The PMC is all prepared to scale up the capacity for Covid-19 patients. However, the slowing of the doubling rate has brought down the estimated need to half of what was expected,” said Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad. Read more here

23:00 (IST)17 May 2020
Assam: Job Cards under MGNREGA, skill development, loans to returning migrant worker

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said returning migrant workers will be given Job Cards and provided work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) at the earliest. In the past week, at least 12 'shramik' special trains have brought migrants workers from different parts of the country to Assam. More are on their way. CM Sonowal also directed the Skill Development Department to undertake steps to train workers to enhance their existing skills. According to a release by the DIPR, CM Sonowal also directed the Industries Department to prepare a “district-wise list of MSMEs for providing benefits to the sector under Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The Finance Department was asked to coordinate with banks for “hassle-free provision of loans to migrant workers wanting to engage in constructive works.”

22:33 (IST)17 May 2020
Watch | India's latest news & Covid-19 figures

India has recorded 90,927 coronvirus cases till Sunday, including 2,872 deaths and 34,109 receovered or discharged. As number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country, the Centre released new guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown starting tomorrow, relaxing restrictions placed across the nation. 

21:48 (IST)17 May 2020
All domestic, international flights restricted till May 31: DGCA

Soon after MHA issued the new guidelines for the extended lockdown, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a statement saying all domestic passenger flight operations and scheduled international commercial passenger services have been extended till May 31.

21:29 (IST)17 May 2020
Over 50,000 stranded people returned to J&K so far

Over 50,000 stranded people have returned to Jammu and Kashmir as 2,470 persons arrived to the Valley on Sunday. Besides the total 54,866 persons, another set of 11,456 passengers reached Jammu and Udhampur via the special trains. Meanwhile, Jammu district administration on Sunday received the fourth train carrying 898 passengers of various districts of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. So far, four trains have reached Jammu with a total of 3768 stranded passengers belonging to different districts.

20:54 (IST)17 May 2020
Only special trains, parcel and freight services to run during lockdown 4.0: Railways

In wake of the new guidelines issued by the MHA for the fourth phase of lockdown, the Indian Raiwlays stated only Shramik special and other special trains along with parcel and freight services will be operational beginning from May 18.

"There is no change in rail operations. It will be same as in Lockdown 3. The Shramik Special trains and the 15 pairs of special trains will continue to run along with our freight and parcel services," railway spokesperson RD Bajpai said.

20:35 (IST)17 May 2020
Centre's guidelines in right direction, will have to learn to live with virus: Delhi govt

After MHA issued its new guidelines on lockdown 4.0, the Delhi government in its statement said the Centre's fresh guidelines is in the right direction of opening up the economy and leaving it to states to work out the details."We have always been saying that we all will now have to learn to live with coronavirus. We used the last two month lockdown period to prepare ourselves for dealing wid corona by improving necessary logistics and health infrastructure," the statement read.The state government said it expects a slight increase in the coronavirus cases when the economy reopens, affirming faith that Delhi is prepared for it.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said the state government will prepare a detailed plan for the national capital based on the MHA's guidelines and announce tomorrow. "We used lockdown period to prepare our healthcare system if COVID-19 cases increase, but it is time to relax restrictions," Kejriwal said.

19:56 (IST)17 May 2020
New guidelines for lockdown 4.0: All shops to open with staggered timings

The new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs include:

* All shops shall have to ensure six feet distance among customers; not allow more than five people at one time.

* Local authorities should ensure that shops and markets, except in containment zones, open with staggered timings.

* All shops, except those in containment zones and malls, will be allowed to open from Monday with staggered timings during lockdown 4.0.

* People above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, children aged below 10 shall stay at home.

* Movement of people will remain strictly prohibited across country from 7 pm to 7 am, except for essential activities.

19:09 (IST)17 May 2020
New guidelines for lockdown 4.0: States to decide delineation of red, green, and orange zones

Moments after the Centre extended the nationwide lockdown till May 31, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued new guidelines for the fourth phase of lockdown. The new guidelines include:

* All domestic, international air travel of passengers, except domestic air ambulance, remains prohibited till May 31.

* Metro rail services, schools, colleges to remain closed till May 31.

* Hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, malls, swimming pools, gyms to remain shut till May 31.

* All social, political, religious functions, and places of worship to remain shut during extended lockdown till May 31. 

18:24 (IST)17 May 2020
Lockdown 4.0 enforced till May 31

The Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown till May 31. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) asked Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State Governments and State Authorities to continue the lockdown measures up to May 31, 2020. It has also directed National Executive Committee (NEC) to issue modifications in the guidelines, as necessary keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of the coronavirus.

18:21 (IST)17 May 2020
No fresh lockdown advisory from Centre; Bengal to continue status quo: Home Department

As several states rush to extend their respective lockdowns, hours away from entering into the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, West Bengal decided to carry on with the arrangements already in place, stating it received no fresh advisory from the Union government on Sunday, the state department said.

"No advisory yet received from GOI till today evening on lockdown update. Status quo with same arrangements to continue in WB until further notification. We will notify our comprehensive plan tomorrow afternoon," the home department tweeted. Till Saturday, West Bengal recorded 160 COVID-19 deaths with at least 2,576 confirmed cases. 

17:58 (IST)17 May 2020
SC issues new guidelines for hearing matters from May 18 to June 19

The Surpeme Court has issued new guidelines to hear all cases via video and aurdio links between May 18 and June 19 and has scaled up its '1881' helpline to assist advocates and litigants in e-filing and virtual hearing, according to a standard operating procedure (SoP) released on Sunday.

"In order to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), considering the prevailing situation, and taking into account the suggestions received from various quarters and the guidelines issued by the Government of India and Government of NCT of Delhi from time to time, the Chief Justice of India has been pleased to direct the constitution of the bench(es) to hear matters in the coming weeks since the Virtual Courts will be functioning from May 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020 (both days inclusive), that is, during the earlier notified summer vacations through video conferencing/ tele-conferencing mode only," the top court said.

The fresh matters lying in the pool which could not be listed due to the pandemic have been scheduled to be listed before the virtual court for hearing during the period, it said. "Once the pool of fresh matters is exhausted, matters belonging to Short Categories, which are ready for listing, will be listed before the court for hearing. In addition to the fresh matters and short category matters, such other matters shall also be listed for hearing, as may be directed," it said.

17:47 (IST)17 May 2020
Karnataka extends lockdown till May 19

Karnataka, which has reported 1,147 coronavirus cases, has extended its lockdown till May 19. Officials have clarified, all directives that were put in place on May 4 shall continue. The state has recorded 37 COVID-19-linked deaths. The Ministry of Home Affairs is expected to issue new guidelines on nationwide lockdown today as the country is set to enter its fourth phase of lockdown on May 18.

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“One cannot control his/her tears after seeing the pathetic condition of migrant labourers shown in the media for the past one month,” the Madras High Court said on Friday, and sought a detailed report from the Centre and the state on their numbers and status in the next six days — by May 22.

Host states must be made accountable for the safety and well-being of migrant workers, the court said. The court was hearing a habeas corpus plea moved by advocate A P Suryaprakasam seeking a direction to the police of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra to locate and produce over 400 Tamil workers alleged to be under illegal detention in Maharashtra.

The division Bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice R Hemalatha said that while governments have taken care of every section of the society to the maximum extent possible, “guest workers and the agricultural work force are the neglected lot and they are the sufferers to the maximum”.

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Explained: When does a disease become endemic?

A top official of the World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday said that like HIV, the novel coronavirus could become endemic and “may never go away”, and urged for a “massive effort” to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and may never go away,” Dr Mike Ryan, WHO emergencies director said during a press briefing.

What is an endemic disease?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a disease is endemic when its presence or usual prevalence in the population is constant. When the cases begin to rise, it is classified as an epidemic. If this epidemic has been recorded in several countries and areas, it is called a pandemic.

Some examples of endemics include the chicken pox and malaria, where there are predictable number of cases every year in certain parts of the world.

The dictionary of epidemiology defines an endemic disease as, “the constant presence of a disease or infectious agent within a given geographic area or population group; may also refer to the usual prevalence of a given disease within such an area or group.”

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