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Coronavirus India Highlights: Delhi registers highest single day spike with 19,486 new Covid cases

Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Lockdown News Highlights: In yet another daily high, India, in the last 24 hours, recorded 2,17,353 fresh Covid-19 cases and 1,185 related deaths.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 17, 2021 9:34:17 am
Women wearing masks walk past a mural in New Delhi on Friday, April 16, 2021 (Express photo By Amit Mehra_

Coronavirus India Highlights: Union minister Prakash Javadekar Friday said he has tested positive for the coronavirus and urged those who came into his contact to get themselves tested. Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also informed that he has tested positve for the virus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday reviewed the current situation of medical-grade oxygen supply in the country. “Inputs from ministries like Health, DPIIT, Steel, Road Transport, etc were also shared with the prime minister. He also stressed that it is important to ensure synergy across ministries and state governments,” a press release issued from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

The Union Home Ministry Friday said that Uttar Pradesh has reported a growth rate of 19.25% in daily new Covid-19 cases, adding that it is among the only three states in the country which have more than one lakh active Covid-19 cases, ANI reported. Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj are the most affected districts, the ministry added. UP CM Yogi Adityanath has imposed a lockdown on Sundays across all districts.

In yet another daily high, India, in the last 24 hours, recorded 2,17,353 fresh Covid-19 cases and 1,185 related deaths. As such, the country’s cumulative count surged to 1,42,91,917 of which 15,69,743 are active cases. This is the second straight day that the country recorded over 2 lakh new cases.

Live Blog

Centre asks states to follow UK's containment and vaccination model; more than 1,700 people test positive at Kumbh Mela between April 1 and April 15; Delhi imposes weekend curfew to curb Covid-19 spread. Follow this space for latest news and updates.

22:34 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Manipur Govt imposes night curfew as COVID-19 surges

Manipur Government has imposed night curfew with immediate effect from Friday night as number of fresh cases of COVID-19 continues to rise. The curfew will be in force from 8 pm to 4 am.

“The number of infections has increased exponentially in the last fortnight necessitating many states to impose partial lockdown and night curfew to reduce unnecessary movement and intermingling of people,” stated Manipur Chief Secretary, Dr Rajesh Kumar in an order.

However, the order stated that good careers, essential services establishments like hospitals, pharmacies fire services, power supply, all government officials assigned for COVID-19 duties among others. --  Jimmy Leivon reports from Manipur

21:19 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Haryana records highest single-day spike of 6,277 infections; 20 more dead

There was no let-up in the COVID-19 surge in Haryana on Friday as the state reported a record 6,277 new cases of the disease which took its cumulative infection tally to 3,42,077.

Twenty more fatalities due to the viral disease were reported in the state in a span of 24 hours, pushing its overall death toll to 3,354, according to a health department bulletin. (PTI)

21:17 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Gurgaon records more than 1,000 new Covid cases for third day in a row

Gurgaon reported 1,919 new coronavirus cases on Friday -- its highest single-day spike in cases since the pandemic began last year -- while two people succumbed to the infection. The district has now recorded more than 1,000 cases three days in a row.

On Thursday, a total of 1,434 people had tested positive for the infection, and a day earlier, on Wednesday, 1,151 new cases had emerged.

With Friday’s new cases, the district now has almost 9,000 active covid cases. According to the health bulletin released by the district health department, there are 8980 active covid cases in Gurgaon, of which 8418 are in home isolation.

The number of tests conducted in the district in a single day also crossed 11,000 on Friday for the first time this year, with the health bulletin indicating 11,003 people were tested on Friday, of which 9200 were RT-PCR tests and 1803 were rapid antigen tests.

Despite this surge in cases, however, Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg had on Thursday offered reassurance that there is no shortage of beds for covid patients at hospitals in the district.

“There is no shortage of beds, oxygen, ventilators or

20:19 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Delhi reports over 19,000 new Covid-19 cases

Delhi reported 19,486 new virus cases on Friday, taking the total active cases to 61,005. The city recorded 141 deaths today.

19:46 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Mohan Bhagwat discharged from hospital

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat was discharged from hospital on Friday after successful treatment of Covid infection. Bhagwat was admitted to city's Kingsway Hospitals eight days ago after he had developed Covid symptoms.

A medical bulletin by Director, Medical Services of the hospital Shubhrajit Dasgupta said, "All his vital parameters like pulse, blood pressure, respiration, oxygenation were normal. All blood investigation including markers were normal today. The attending doctors have decided discharge today. He had a good sleep and had his usual diabetic high protein diet. His blood sugar levels are within control and was able to perform 6 minute walk test on room air. He has been examined in the morning by Dr Rajan Barodkar and his tean expressed satisfaction with his condition. Team of attending doctors have decided to discharge him today with advice to remain in home quarantine for next five days."

Bhagwat will remain quarantined at his regular residence in the RSS headquarters in Mahal area of the city.

Meanwhile, RSS sources said former Sarkaryavah (General Secretary) Suresh 'Bhayyaji' Joshi, who is also down with covid, is recuperating under home quarantine treatment. 

19:41 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Seers of other akhadas demand apology from Niranjani Akhada for announcing 'end' of Kumbh

Seers of other akhadas in Haridwar on Friday demanded an apology from Niranjani Akhada for announcing the "conclusion" of the Kumbh Mela in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases, saying it did not have the right to do so.

"The main Shahi Snan (held on the occasion of Mesh Sankranti on April 14) is over. Many in our akhada are showing symptoms. So, for us the Kumbh Mela is over," Niranjani Akhada Secretary Ravindra Puri had said.

Nirvani Ani Akhada president Mahant Dharmdas said that only the mela officer or the chief minister has the right to announce the "end of the Kumbh Mela".

"By announcing the conclusion of the Kumbh Mela without the agreement of other akhadas, Niranjani Akhada has committed an unpardonable crime of creating chaos and confusion among the seers. Niranjani Akhada must apologise to the Akhada Parishad for what it has done or else it is difficult to keep up ties with them," he said. (PTI)

19:26 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Tamil Nadu: COVID-19 toll crosses 13,000; 8,449 new cases, 33 deaths

Tamil Nadu reported 8,449 new COVID-19 infections and related 33 deaths on Friday, pushing the caseload to 9,71,384 and 13,032 respectively, said the Health Department.

Recoveries mounted to 8,96,759 today with 4,920 patients being discharged, leaving 61,593 active infections, a bulletin said.

Chennai continued to constitute the major chunk of the new cases, accounting for 2,636 new infections aggregating to 2,77,300. It leads in the number of fatalities, too, with 4,364.

A total of 97,201 samples were tested today, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined so far to 2,09,76,696. (PTI)

19:24 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Karnataka reports biggest single day spike of 14,859 COVID

Karnataka reported its biggest single day spike of 14,859 COVID-19 cases, and 78 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 11,24,509 and the toll to 13,190, the Health department said on Friday.

The state had previously reported its biggest single day spike of 14,738 cases on Thursday.

Bengaluru Urban accounted for the bulk of the cases, with 9,917 infections.

The day also saw 4,031 patients getting discharged after recovery.

Cumulatively 11,24,509 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 13,190 deaths and 10,03,985 discharges,the Health department said in a bulletin. (PTI)

18:44 (IST)16 Apr 2021
IndiGo to waives-off change fees on domestic bookings made till April 30

Budget air carrier IndiGo has announced that it will waive-off change fees on new bookings made from April 17 till April 30. The airline also announced that the passengers can now do unlimited changes for new bookings made till April 30 on regular fares under this offer. However, there is no change in the cancellation fee, and that will be chargeable.

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, IndiGo said, "It is our constant endeavour to create customer delight and enhance our customer experience. This offer is in line with our philosophy of providing our customers a hassle-free experience, and giving them much needed flexibility, especially in these times. As always, we look forward to welcoming our customers on our Lean Clean Flying Machine." 

18:38 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Telangana: Gandhi hospital to now treat only Covid-19 cases

Telangana government Friday issued orders to once again convert Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad into an exclusive Covid-19 hospital.

The decision was taken in view of the rapid surge in the number of Covid-19 patients all over the state. Hence all non-Covid services and out-patients services in the hospital come to an immediate halt.

A circular from the hospital superintendent on Friday instructed heads of departments "not to admit the non-Covid cases, but emergency and terminally ill patients should be stabilised and then transferred." Further, "The cases which are present in their respective wards should be cleared at the earliest and all the beds should be made available for Covid patients," it said.

In the beginning of the pandemic last year, the hospital was designated as the nodal center for treatment of coronavirus patients. After setting up of Covid wards and necessary infrastructure in districts later, and with easing of cases, the hospital had started regular treatment for other diseases as before.

(input by Rahul Pisharody from Hyderabad)

18:18 (IST)16 Apr 2021
COVID-19: Centre ropes in PSUs to ramp up vaccine production

The production of indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin will be ramped up significantly and increased to 10 crore doses per month by September, the Department of Biotechnology said on Friday.

Covaxin's production will be doubled by May-June and the department has roped in three public sector companies to increase the capacity of vaccine production, it said.

Few weeks ago, inter-ministerial teams had visited the sites of two main vaccine manufacturers in India to get their inputs on how production can be ramped up.  

During this period, there have been extensive reviews and feasibility studies on the plans being discussed with vaccine manufacturers, it said. (PTI)

17:49 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Union minister Prakash Javadekar tests positive for Covid-19

Union minister Prakash Javadekar Friday said he has tested positive for the coronavirus and urged those who came into his contact to get themselves tested. Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also informed that he has tested positve for the virus.

17:09 (IST)16 Apr 2021
UP reports 19.25% surge in daily Covid cases, 1 lakh active cases, says Health Ministry

The Union Home Ministry Friday said that Uttar Pradesh has reported a growth rate of 19.25% in daily new Covid-19 cases, adding that it is among the only three states in the country which have more than one lakh active Covid-19 cases, ANI reported. Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Prayagraj are the most affected districts, the ministry added.

16:06 (IST)16 Apr 2021
PM Modi calls for increasing production of medical grade oxygen

Amid a steep rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday undertook a comprehensive review to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country and called for ramping up its production.

Prime Minister Modi took a comprehensive review to ensure adequate medical grade oxygen supply in the country, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement. 

Inputs from ministries like health, steel, road transport, and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) were also shared with the prime minister during the review, it said. Prime Minister Modi stressed that it is important to ensure synergy across ministries and state governments, the PMO said. (PTI)

16:05 (IST)16 Apr 2021
BJP responsible for Covid surge in Bengal, will urge EC to prevent entry of outsiders during campaigning: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday she will call upon the Election Commission to stop the BJP from bringing "outsiders" during campaigning, squarely blaming the saffron party for exacerbating the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Banerjee, during a public meeting here in Nadia district, said the BJP brought people from "worst-hit" states like Gujarat for erecting marquees for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's poll rallies.

"I will tell the EC to stop the inflow of outsiders from states like Gujarat who are responsible for the COVID-19 spread in Bengal.

"We have nothing to say if the PM or other leaders come for campaigning... Why should the BJP bring people from worst-affected states to set up podiums and pandals for rallies," she said. (PTI)

15:11 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Weekend curfew announced in Chandigarh

Weekend curfew announced in Chandigarh from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday. Only essential services allowed in the weekend curfew.

14:57 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Yogi Adityanath orders setting up of 1,000-bed makeshift Covid hospital in Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday ordered the establishment of a 1,000-bed makeshift Covid hospital here to tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases.

The state had on Thursday reported 104 deaths and 22,439 fresh cases, pushing the fatality count to 9,480 and the total infection number to 7,66,360.

The Chief Minister made the direction for setting up the hospital during a review meeting with divisional commissioners, district magistrates, chief medical officers and his Team-11 (a core team of 11 officers).

"A 1,000-bed Covid hospital should be established in Lucknow. The venue of the Defence Expo may be a good place for this," said a government spokesperson, quoting the Chief Minister.

He directed the officials to review the availability of medical oxygen on a daily basis. "Continuous supply of oxygen to Covid hospitals in all districts must be ensured. The control room set up by the Food Safety and Drug Administration Department in connection with this, should remain active 24 hours," he said. (PTI)

14:24 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Adar Poonawala urges Joe Biden to lift embargo on export of materials need to ramp up vaccine production

Adar Poonawala, the Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute of India that manufactures the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, urged US President Joe Biden to lift the embargo on export of raw materials that are crucial to ramp up vaccine production across the world.

14:18 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Karnataka CM tests positive for Covid-19

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa tests positive for Covid-19. He'll be shifted to Manipal hospital from Ramaiah Memorial hospital where he was admitted earlier today: Karnataka Chief Minister's Office. (ANI)

13:18 (IST)16 Apr 2021
Uttar Pradesh imposes lockdown on Sundays to curb spread of virus

As Uttar Pradesh struggles to bring down the daily rise in cases, the Yogi Adityanath government has imposed a lockdown on Sundays across all districts. The government has also said that a fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed on those found moving in places without masks.

Naga sadhus proceed to take a dip in the Ganga during Kumbh Mela on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry on Wednesday postponed the CBSE Class 12 board exams and cancelled the Class 10 exams amid growing concerns over the surge in Covid-19 infections in the country. For the Class 12 exam, the Ministry will review the situation on June 1 to decide fresh dates and make an announcement at least two weeks before the start of the exams.

The Bihar government has been struggling to fight the new surge in cases as the state is running short of hospital beds to treat critical patients. Covid beds at about 20 government and private hospitals are already full. AIIMS, Patna Director PK Singh said: “We have been increasing beds but it is not enough. It is very difficult to accomodate referred cases”.

Amid Covid surge, 13.5 lakh take shahi snan at Kumbh

Despite steep rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, more than 13.5 lakh devotees turned up at the ghats of Ganga in Haridwar for the third shahi snan during the Kumbh Mela on Wednesday, officials said.

While the authorities said adequate measures, such as mandatory negative RTPCR reports for those coming in, have been in place to ensure safety of the devotees, many of the visitors The Indian Express spoke to said belief was more important than the pandemic. Kumbh happens once in 12 years and they can’t miss it, the devotees said.

“It is a matter of faith which is bigger than anything else. I am a believer in god. How can I miss this opportunity to take bath on this auspicious day,” said Vicky Tyagi, a railway employee posted in Delhi who arrived here on Tuesday with three of his friends. In their 20s, they said they took the Narsan route to enter Uttarakhand from Uttar Pradesh.

Revised Covid-19 guidelines in place, curfew from 6 pm to 5 am across Rajasthan

The Rajasthan government on Wednesday revised the curfew timings across the state from 6 pm to 5 am, officials said Wednesday.

Last week, it had announced night curfew in urban areas of ten districts between 8 pm and 6 am, bar Udaipur, where it was between 6 pm and 6 am. Now, a curfew will be in place across the state from 6 pm to 5 am. As per the order, all workplaces, bazaars, and business establishments — bar exempted categories such as IT companies, chemists, bus/railway stations etc — will be shut by 5 pm.

The cap on the number of people attending weddings has been brought down to 50, from 100 persons, while for conducting last rites only 20 persons will be allowed. Also, while the number of people at social, political, entertainment, etc programmes were earlier capped at 100, all such gatherings have now been prohibited.

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