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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS: Section 144 imposed in North, South Goa ahead of festivals

The Maharashtra government banned all types of social gatherings in the state, including religious and political, effective from Mar 27 onwards.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: March 28, 2021 7:54:48 am
Coronavirus India Live Updates: Six states account for almost 80% of new cases; Covovax trial begins in countryA health worker collects swab sample of visitors to test for Covid-19 at the Gateway of India in Mumbai. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Goa administration on Saturday imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in North and South Goa districts, to prohibit public gatherings ahead of Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Easter and Eid-ul-Fitr festivals to control the spread of Covid-19.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government banned all types of social gatherings in the state, including religious and political, effective from Mar 27 onwards. Malls, restaurants and gardens will remain shut in the state from 8 pm to 7 am from March 27, a government statement said. However, home delivery of food in night has been exempted. “Gatherings of more than five people will not be allowed from 8 pm to 7 am effective from midnight on 27th March. Violation will attract penalty of Rs 1,000 per person on offenders,” the statement said.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan Saturday chaired a high-level meeting with 12 states and union territories reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases. States/UTs have been advised to focus on stringent containment and public health measures in 46 high burden districts. The states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab and Bihar.

States and UTs laid out a five-fold strategy for effective containment including increasing testing exponentially, effective isolation and contact tracing, re-invigoration of public and private healthcare resources, ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour and targeted approach to vaccination in districts reporting large numbers.

Live Blog

Maharashtra govt bans social gathering from March 27; Health Secretary holds high-level meet with 12 states/UTs reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases; 62,258 new cases reported on Friday; no lockdown in Pune. Follow the latest updates on Covid-19 here.  

22:24 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Delhi: Over 37,000 people vaccinated on Saturday

Over 37,000 beneficiaries received shots of Covid-19 vaccine in the national capital by 6 pm on Thursday and so far seven of them have reported adverse events, officials said.

6,034 people in the age bracket of 45-59 years have received the shots, while 22,932 senior citizens also got their first jabs by 6 pm, an official said. The second dose of vaccine was given to 4,163 people, while 2,828 frontline and 1,777 healthcare workers got their first shot, he said.
 

A total of 37,734 people were vaccinated across the city and seven cases of minor AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) were recorded by 6 pm, officials said.

Vaccination centres in the city have been operating from 9 am to 9 pm since Monday. (PTI)

22:12 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Delhi: DDMA limits number of guests at marriage, other events after surge in Covid-19 cases

In view of recent surge in coronavirus cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Saturday put a cap of 200 guests in marriage and other events being organised at open-air venues and of 100 people for closed spaces in the city, reported PTI.

Chief Secretary Vijay Dev said in an order that not more than 50 people will be allowed at funerals in the national capital. Dev, who is also chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority's (DDMA) state executive committee, said the order will be in force till April 30.

He, however, said status quo will be maintained regarding permissible and prohibited activities in the city.

21:59 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Section 144 imposed in North, South Goa ahead of festivals

The Goa administration on Saturday imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in both its districts, to prohibit public gatherings ahead of Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Easter and Eid-ul-Fitr festivals to control the spread of Covid-19, PTI reported.

The district collectors of both North and South Goa issued the order banning gatherings under section 144 of the CrPC.

The state health department has imposed local restrictions in observance of these festivals, as contained in the standard operating procedure of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

21:09 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Punjab: Army recruitment exam postponed in view of rising coronavirus cases

In view of the surge in coronavirus cases in Punjab, the Army on Saturday postponed the common entrance examination for recruiting general duty personnel to April 25, reported PTI.

The examination which was scheduled to be held on March 28 has been postponed to April 25 on the advice of the district administration due to hike in coronavirus cases, officials said.

Officials at Army recruiting office Ludhiana said the candidates, who have successfully completed the physical and medical examination, were to appear for the common entrance examination.

20:56 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Kerala Covid wrap: With cases rising, authorities request people over 45 years to get vaccinated on April 1

Kerala reported 2,055 new cases of Covid-19 and 14 fatalities on Saturday. This has taken the active caseload to 24,231 and the death toll has risen to 4,567.

Kozhikode (263) reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases today, followed by Ernakulam (247) and Kannur (222).

Among those who tested positive today, 82 people had come from outside the state and 1,773 people tested positive as a result of maintaining primary or secondary contact with the infected. The sources of 175 cases could not be traced. On the other hand, 2,084 people have recovered from the infection today. Nearly 25 health workers also tested positive today.

20:15 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Negative coronavirus report mandatory for those entering Gujarat

The Gujarat government on Saturday announced that a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report will be mandatory for those arriving from other states, reported PTI.

The government had earlier made negative test report must only for those coming from neighbouring Maharashtra, which has been worst hit by the pandemic.

'The coronavirus infection rate is increasing in many states of the country. It is also seen that prevalence of COVID-19 is high among those who have travel history,' the state health department said in a notification.

19:51 (IST)27 Mar 2021
No dearth of Covid-19 vaccines in Odisha: Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Saturday reassured that there is no dearth of availability of Covid-19 vaccines in Odisha.

"Spoke to my senior cabinet colleague Dr Harsh Vardhan regarding panic being created by Odisha Govt. regarding availability of #COVID19 vaccines in Odisha. He assured me that there is no dearth of availability of doses of #COVID19 vaccines," he said.

He said he has been briefed about the state being provided with 34.46 lakh doses of the vaccine, out of which only 23 lakh doses have been administered. The state will also receive an additional 5.50 lakh doses on March 28, he added.

19:09 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Maharashtra govt bans social gatherings from today

Maharashtra government Saturday banned all types of social gatherings effective from Mar 27 onwards, closed drama theatres.

Malls, restaurants and gardens will remain shut in the state from 8 pm to 7 am from March 27, a government statement said. However, home delivery of food in night has been exempted.

18:24 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Maharashtra govt extends Covid-19 restrictions till April 15

Maharashtra government Saturday extended Covid-19 restrictions in the state till April 15, news agency ANI reported.

18:14 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Covid-19 safety protocols maintained in polling stations; Assam voters happy

Assam's voters stepped out of their homes on Saturday to exercise their franchise seemed satisfied with the facilities to check the spread of coronavirus in polling stations in the first of the three-phased election in 47 of the 126 assembly constituencies, PTI reported.

Besides, voters were happy with arrangements to take care of children while their mothers voted, and ferry people with disabilities to polling stations.

17:27 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Celebrate Holi at home, avoid public gatherings: Delhi Police

The Delhi Police on Saturday appealed to people to avoid public gatherings on Holi and celebrate the festival at home in compliance with coronavirus guidelines.

It also warned of strict action against those found indulging in public celebrations during the festival.

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on Tuesday ordered that there would be no public celebrations in the national capital during the upcoming festivals such as Holi and Navaratri.

Chief Secretary Vijay Dev had directed the authorities to ensure strict compliance with the order.

Citing the DDMA order, Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal urged the people to follow COVID-19 protocol, adding that public celebrations and gatherings during Holi shall not be allowed in public places like grounds, parks, markets or religious places. (PTI)

16:57 (IST)27 Mar 2021
BMC to seal all residential societies with five or more cases

BMC will seal the residential societies with five or more cases, said Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar. “We are seeing a higher positivity rate in high-rises than in slums and 'chawls'. Hotels and pubs to remain closed during the night curfew. Only essential services will be allowed,” she added. (ANI)

16:38 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan urges people to celebrate Holi at home

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan urged people to celebrate Holi at home. “To prevent Covid spread, I urge you all to celebrate the festival (Holi) at your home. Your contribution is important to fight the disease. So, practice your rituals by staying at home,” he said. (ANI)

15:51 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Six states account for almost 80% of new infections reported in span of 24 hours: Health Ministry

Six states — Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh — continue to report a high surge in daily Covid-19 cases and account for 79.57 per cent of the new infections reported in a span of 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

India's total active cases have reached 4,52,647 and currently comprise 3.8 per cent of the country's total infections, it said. (PTI)

15:41 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Covovax trials begin in India, hope to launch it by September 2021: Adar Poonawalla

Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said clinical trials of Covovax have begun in India and the company hopes to launch it by September this year. In August 2020, American vaccine company Novavax, Inc had announced a licence agreement with SII for the development and commercialisation of NVX-CoV2373, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, in low and middle-income countries and India. (ANI)

15:31 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Punjab: Many people commute during silence hour

Many people kept moving in their vehicles in Punjab from 11 am till noon on Saturday as they say they were unaware of the state government's decision to observe an hour's silence in memory of those who succumbed to Covid-19, reported PTI

Police stopped intra city traffic at some places and it led to long queues of vehicles, causing inconvenience to commuters.

The Punjab government had announced observing an hour of silence from 11 am on every Saturday starting March 27 in memory of all those who lost their lives to coronavirus.

During that hour, the traffic movement would not be allowed, except on state and national highways. Intra-city vehicular traffic should not be plied during this hour, as per orders.

Sirens were sounded in the districts to indicate the beginning and end of the silence period.

15:08 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Rise in number of active Covid-19 cases a cause for concern in Pune

One of the many little-understood facts of the coronavirus pandemic has been the large number of infections in Pune. On Friday, Pune scaled a new high by reporting 7,147 positive cases. This was preceded by two days of 6,000-plus cases, which were also more than the previous peak that the city had achieved.

With Friday’s addition, Pune has now seen over five lakh confirmed infections since the start of the epidemic, more than any other city in the country, apart from Delhi, which has a total caseload of over 6.5 lakh. With more than 50,000 currently infected patients, Pune also has the highest count of active cases in the country right now.

Even last year, Pune had been detecting very high numbers. It had reported close to 6,000 cases on September 10, that remained the record for any city before Delhi surpassed it in November. (Read Amitabh Sinha's report)

14:28 (IST)27 Mar 2021
No intention of curtailing flight services, says Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

There is no intention of curtailing flight services, says Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. “Domestic flights were halted in March (2020) and resumed on 25th May. We've been further reopening it. The only intention was to open it 100% when the summer schedule begins from 1st April. We are at 80% right now,” he says.

He adds, “We can't open it 100% now due to the second spike of Covid...I've told the airport operators and airlines to put into the no-flyers list such passengers who are not wearing masks and not maintaining social distancing norms.” (ANI)

13:27 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Mumbai reports record high of new cases in last 24 hours ending 12 pm

In the last 24 hours ending 12 pm on Saturday, Mumbai reported a record high of 5,964 new cases. 

13:11 (IST)27 Mar 2021
Why second Covid-19 wave could be much worse than the first

The most striking feature of India’s second wave of infections has been the speed at which the numbers have been growing. On Friday, more than 62,000 positive cases were detected in the country. Just ten days ago, this daily count of cases was less than 30,000.

Last time, it had taken 23 days for India to move from 30,000 cases a day to 60,000. And, at that time, in July and August last year, there were far greater number of susceptible people who could have been infected. After infecting a critical proportion of the population, the spread of the epidemic is expected to slow down.

This critical proportion is not necessarily 50 per cent. The slowdown can occur even after 30 or 40 per cent of the population has been infected. This is because of the corresponding reduction in the number of uninfected people who can potentially get infected. (Read full report by Amitabh Sinha)

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry Saturday said six states — Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh — continue to report a high surge in daily Covid-19 cases and account for 79.57 per cent of the new infections reported in a span of 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said clinical trials of Covovax have begun in India and the company hopes to launch it by September this year. In August 2020, American vaccine company Novavax, Inc had announced a licence agreement with SII for the development and commercialisation of NVX-CoV2373, its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, in low and middle-income countries and India.

A total of 62,258 new cases of coronavirus infections were detected in India on Friday, out of which 36,902, or 60 per cent, came from Maharashtra. Mumbai reported a record high of 5,964 new cases in the last 24 hours. Punjab and Gujarat have also reported their highest numbers till now. There are more than 4.52 lakh active cases at present, with more than 62 per cent of them in Maharashtra. A total of 291 deaths were reported on Friday, which included 117 in Maharashtra and 59 in Punjab.

Top United Nations officials, including the UN peacekeeping chief, have expressed gratitude to India for its gift of 2,00,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses for peacekeepers, saying the donation will enable the Blue Helmets to continue their life-saving work in a safe manner. The 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, announced as a gift by India for UN peacekeepers, left Mumbai in the early hours of Saturday and will arrive at Copenhagen, Denmark. They will then be distributed to all UN peacekeeping missions.

Maharashtra has said it would impose a night curfew from 28th March as the Covid cases are showing a steady rise in the state. The order also directs malls to remain shut from 8 pm to 7 am in the state. The Disaster management and rehabilitation department will be issuing a separate order in this regard, said the Chief Minister's office.

Covid cases on upswing: States impose restrictions on festivities, focus on testing & vaccination drive

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the recent surge in the country's coronavirus cases is being closely monitored and strict enforcement of COVID protocols will be implemented to curb the pandemic. Earlier in the day, he had said the government is planning to include more population under the vaccination drive. Everyone above 45 years was made eligible for vaccination yesterday.

India added over one lakh coronavirus infections in just two days as the second wave of the virus grew stronger in big cities and states. Considering this, the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, and Rajasthan today placed restrictions on public gathering for the upcoming festivals in the respective states.

Mumbai, registering record virus cases daily, has planned to increase the bed capacity in hospitals besides ramping up testing and vaccination efforts in the city.

First time since November, daily cases surge past 50,000 in 24 hours

For the first time in the last four months, India on Thursday morning reported more than 50,000 fresh cases of Covid-19 infection in a 24-hour window.

Daily deaths continued to surge: after reporting 275 deaths on Wednesday, the country reported 251 deaths on Thursday morning.

With several states reporting major surges in daily new cases, India’s total active caseload is now 3.95 lakh, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. A total of 53,476 fresh cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, the Ministry said.

Pune Municipal Corporation scrambles to contain rising cases with new measures: 24-hr vaccination centres, 50,000 doses a day

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is aiming to scale up its vaccination drive soon and administer 50,000 doses every day to inoculate the maximum number of local residents. It also plans to start 24-hour vaccination centres in five places across the city, where the number of active Covid-19 cases is over 49,000.

“The PMC is aiming to vaccinate 20,000 local residents on Thursday. We want to take the number of people vaccinated every day to 50,000 in next few days by increasing number of vaccination centres,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal.

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