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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: 8 states account for over 84% of India’s new Covid-19 new cases

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily rise of 40,414 Covid-19 cases, followed by 3,082 in Karnataka, 2,870 in Punjab, 2,276 in Madhya Pradesh, 2,270 in Gujarat, 2,216 in Kerala, 2,194 in Tamil Nadu and 2,153 in Chhattisgarh.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai |
Updated: April 1, 2021 11:26:23 am
Social workers distribute pamphlets in Mumbai urging people to not celebrate Holi this year. (PTI)

Eight states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab, account for 84.5 per cent of the 68,020 fresh cases recorded in the country in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said Monday. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily rise of 40,414 Covid-19 cases, followed by 3,082 in Karnataka, 2,870 in Punjab, 2,276 in Madhya Pradesh, 2,270 in Gujarat, 2,216 in Kerala, 2,194 in Tamil Nadu and 2,153 in Chhattisgarh, the ministry informed.

With 291 deaths in the last 24 hours, the overall death toll touched 1,61,843. There are 5,21,808 active coronavirus cases in the country while as many as 1,13,55,993 people have recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, as the number of currently active Covid-19 cases touched a new record in Maharashtra, the state appeared headed towards a lockdown in the coming week, officials told The Indian Express on Sunday. The lockdown option was discussed at a meeting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had with Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas, and the Covid Task Force to consider ways to bring the surge in cases under control. Over the last three days, Maharashtra has recorded more than 1.13 lakh new infections; 40,414 new cases were detected on Sunday.

Live Blog

India records 68,020 new Covid-19 cases; 291 deaths in last 24 hours; Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray mulls limited lockdown in state. Follow this space for the latest updates.

23:25 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Pune: Restrictions in place for Tukaram Beej ceremony today, curfew in Dehu area

On the occasion of the Tukaram Beej ceremony in the temple town of Dehu near Pune -- which is attended by lakhs of devotees from across Maharashtra -- only 50 persons will be allowed on the premises of Sant Tukaram Maharaj Devsthan on March 30 this year, Pimpri-Chinchwad Police have said.

Police had earlier declared a curfew in Dehu and surrounding areas from Sunday morning till midnight of March 30, due to rising Covid-19 cases.

The Tukaram Beej ceremony is observed every year to mark the day on which, devotees believe, saint-poet Tukaram, during his last keertan (sermon), left for heavenly abode.

The ceremony is important for the Warkari sect in Maharashtra, and is usually attended by 3 to 5 lakh devotees every year. Last year, the ceremony was observed with restrictions due to the lockdown at the time. Read more

22:28 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Pune Covid: City private hospitals again asked to reserve 80 pc beds for Covid patients

With the city likely to face shortage of beds for treatment of critical Covid-19 patients, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to revert to its earlier strategy of reserving 80 per cent of beds in private hospitals for treatment of Covid-19 patients.

“The number of Covid-19 patients in the city is rapidly increasing... in September and October last year, patients had to struggle to find available beds. The situation is similar now... reports of various government and private agencies have indicated that the number of Covid-19 patients is likely to increase in large numbers in coming days...,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar on Monday.

He said, “The state Health department had directed private hospitals to provide 80 per cent of their total beds for treatment of Covid-19 patients. Accordingly, private hospitals in the city should make available 80 per cent of their operational beds for Covid-19 patients within the next two days, by March 31”. Read more

22:08 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Hit hard by lockdown last year, Maharashtra farmers oppose any such move to tackle second wave

In the wake of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray indicating that a state-wide lockdown could be imminent to deal with rising cases of Covid-19, a section of farmers in the state have opposed such a move, pointing out the financial hardships it will entail.

Farmers say they would face severe losses in sale of products such as milk, fruits and vegetables if markets close.

While growers of non-perishable commodities like chana, tur and wheat might not face problems with disposal of their produce, a lockdown would result in huge losses to them. Last year, the nationwide lockdown in March had hit farmers hard, with many vegetable and fruit growers forced to throw away market-ready produce. Read more

20:21 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Karnataka CM says "no lockdown", amidst surge in cases

19:21 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Kerala adds 1,549 new Covid-19 cases, active count over 24,000

Kerala reported 1,549 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday, while 1,897 people have been cured, and 24,223 people are undergoing treatment for the infection, the government said. The toll mounted to 4,590 with addition of 11 recent deaths. (PTI)

17:58 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Maharashtra's Nagpur records 3,177 fresh cases

Nagpur reported 3,177 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The district also saw 2,600 recoveries and 55 deaths. The cumulative case count now stands at 2,21,997. (ANI)

17:55 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Delhi records 1,904 new cases in last 24 hours

Delhi reports 1,904 new Covid-19 cases, 1,411 recoveries and 6 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state currently has 8,032 active cases. (ANI)

17:52 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Andhra Pradesh logs 997 fresh Covid-19 cases, five deaths

With four hotspot districts contributing more than half the load, Andhra Pradesh on Monday added 997 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the infection count to 8,99,812, even as five people succumbed to the infection, the highest toll in a day in about three months. Also, 282 more patients recovered from the infection, taking the total recoveries to 8,86,498.

According to the latest bulletin, the toll now stood at 7,210 and active cases 6,104. The state also crossed another milestone completing 1.50 crore tests for coronavirus at 2.81 lakh per million and an overall positivity rate of 5.99 per cent. (PTI)

17:48 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Govt will not impose lockdown suddenly, says Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare secretary

Tamil Nadu’s Health and Family Welfare Department secretary, J Radhakrishnan, on Sunday said that the government will not take any sudden decision on imposing another lockdown in the state as it causes unnecessary panic among the public.

He said that there is laxity among workers and the government in taking steps to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases in the state. “We should not squander the gain achieved through effective monitoring measures,” he added.

Radhakrishnan and a team of health officials visited the Rajiv Gandhi Government General hospital to inspect the allocation of 300 additional beds for Covid-19 patients. (Read Janardhan Koushik's report)

17:34 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Indian Army donates 1 lakh doses Covid-19 vaccines to Nepal counterpart

The Indian Army has gifted one lakh doses of India-made Covid-19 vaccines to the Nepal Army as part of the efforts of the militaries of the two neighbours to enhance bilateral cooperation.

The vaccines were handed over by the Indian Army officials to their counterparts from the Nepal Army at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Sunday, the Indian Embassy here tweeted. "100,000 doses of #MadeInIndia COVID-19 vaccine gifted by Indian Army to the Nepali Army were received at Tribhuvan Airport," the mission tweeted. (PTI) 

17:19 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asks CM to impose restrictions rather than lockdown

As Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray hinted at another lockdown as cases keep surging across the state, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has appealed to the CM to not impose a shutdown but put in place restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.

The state BJP, too, is not in favour of another lockdown.

“A complete lockdown will hit the economy of the state. The poor will suffer again. Industries, shopkeepers, traders and the working class will be hit hard. This is why I am not in favour of a complete lockdown,” Raut said. (Read Manoj Dattatrye More's report)

16:23 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Odisha reports 208 fresh Covid-19 cases, one fatality

Odisha's Covid-19 caseload mounted to 3,40,402 on Monday after 208 people tested positive for the virus, while one more fatality pushed the death toll to 1,921, a health department official said.

Nuapada district reported the highest number of new cases at 36, followed by Khurda (33) and Kalahandi (22). Odisha, for the fifth consecutive day on Monday, reported above 200 fresh cases, he said. The number of active cases now stands at 1,737, while 3,36,691 patients have recovered from the disease so far, the official said. (PTI)

16:22 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Lockdown not a solution for Covid-19 surge, says BJP's Chandrakant Patil

A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked officials to prepare a plan for implementation of a lockdown, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil said lockdown is not a solution for the rise in cases.

Talking to reporters here after meeting Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta, Patil said not the only BJP, but all traders and workers from unorganised sectors will oppose the lockdown. "Lockdown is not an answer to the increasing Covid-19 cases in the state. If the lockdown is imposed, you (state government) will not give any package (for relief to affected people). How people have spent the last one year cannot be understood by sitting inside Matoshree," Patil said. (PTI)

16:10 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Madhya Pradesh's Barwani seals border with Maharashtra to check Covid-19 spread

Authorities in Barwani have decided to seal the Madhya Pradesh district's border with neighbouring Maharashtra to check the spread of coronavirus infection, an official said on Monday.

The number of Covid-19 cases has been increasing in Barwani, district Collector Shivraj Singh Verma said. The main reason is that the district shares border with Maharashtra, where there has been a spike in coronavirus infection, he said. 

Verma said the district shares 150 to 200-km-long border with Maharashtra and a large number of people cross the border every day for work. (PTI)

15:22 (IST)29 Mar 2021
AIADMK candidate in Karaikal tests positive for Covid-19

A U Asana, the AIADMK candidate for Karaikal (South) in the April 6 Assembly poll in Puducherry, tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. A Health Department spokesman said that Asana underwent a check cup as he planned to come here on Tuesday to attend the rally to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

14:19 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Holi revellers violate Covid-19 norms in Mumbai suburb

A large number of people, most of them without masks, gathered on a road in Mahim area of Mumbai on Monday morning and celebrated Holi while dancing to loud music, in violation of the Covid-19 guidelines.

Around 100 to 150 people came out of their homes to celebrate the festival on the road located in Mahim Koliwada, even as police officials present there apparently did nothing to stop them. Some women danced to loud music, while a few persons in the crowd were seen wearing PPE suits. (PTI)

12:42 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Madhya Pradesh: Nine arrested from farmhouse for violation of Covid-19 rules

Police have raided a farmhouse in Madhya Pradesh's Indore city and arrested nine people for allegedly violating the lockdown and other Covid-19 norms, an official said on Monday, PTI reported.

After the raid conducted on Sunday evening, the police sealed the farmhouse located in Sunshine Colony, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Pratul Sinha said.

In the wake of the rising coronavirus cases, the Madhya Pradesh government had last week announced Sunday lockdown in 12 cities - Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Betul, Chhindwara, Ratlam, Khargone, Vidisha, Ujjain, Gwalior, Narsinghpur and Saunsar.

Sinha said that despite the lockdown and other Covid-19-related restrictions, the accused organised a party at the farmhouse where liquor was also served.

11:51 (IST)29 Mar 2021
Pune logs highest-ever single day spike in Covid-19 cases

Pune on Sunday reported 8,324 new coronavirus infections, its highest-ever single day count, and powered Maharashtra to a new peak. The state detected 40,414 new cases, a new record.

Along with Pune, Mumbai also scaled a new high, reporting 6,933 cases.

Last year, the maximum number of cases reported by Pune on a single day was 5,939, recorded on September 10. But in the last one week, this number has been exceeded multiple times. For the last five days, Pune has consistently reported more than 6,000 cases, more than any other city in the country. In this month, Pune has added more than one lakh infections.

11:14 (IST)29 Mar 2021
WHO findings says animals likely source of COVID: Report

A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.

The findings were largely as expected and left many questions unanswered. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis.

11:04 (IST)29 Mar 2021
 IIT, Bhubaneswar campus "Covid-19 free": Director

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhubaneswar claimed that its campus is completely "Covid-19 free" though some coronavirus cases have been detected in the isolated quarantine centre.

So far the campus has been coronavirus free except for 5 cases in September, 2020 and now some are in the isolated quarantine centre, IIT, Bhubaneswar, Director, Prof RRV Rajakumar said in a statement on Sunday. (PTI)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: 'Uddhav Thackeray wants lockdown plan with least impact on economy' A health worker collects swab sample from a person for Covid-19 test, at the India Gate in New Delhi on Saturday. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan chaired a high-level meeting with state health secretaries, municipal commissioners, and district collectors of 46 districts, the most affected in terms of rising cases and rising mortality. In the meeting, the Centre highlighted that 90 per cent of the Covid-19 deaths continue to be in the category of those aged above 45 years.

Significantly, of the total 36 districts in Maharashtra, the most affected 25 account for 59.8 per cent of the total cases reported in the country in the past one week.

In the meeting, the Centre spelled out a multi-prong strategy — on effective containment and contact tracing for at least 14 successive days — for the 46 districts, which together account for 71 per cent of cases and 69 per cent of deaths this month.

It also focussed critically on the alarming rate of deaths being reported in Punjab and Maharashtra, sources said.

Top government sources, who were present in the meeting, told The Indian Express that a detailed discussion was specifically held with district magistrates of Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, and Yavatmal.

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