Coronavirus India LIVE updates: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the BRICS had an important role to play in shaping global economic and political architecture.
Coronavirus India LIVE news updates:
In less than 15 days, the number of hotspot districts (red zones) has shrunk to 129 from the 177 that were identified on April 15, after three weeks of implementing the curbs. The number of orange zone districts has risen from 207 on April 15 to 250 now, sources in the Health Ministry said. Coronavirus has spread to more districts over the past few weeks but clusters of larger and faster transmission have emerged in the major urban centers of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Indore, and Ahmedabad.
The government has maintained that due to the lockdown imposed on March 24, the doubling time of coronavirus cases has increased. In the week before the lockdown, the doubling time across India was 3.4 days. By the week ending April 27, it had improved to 10.77 days, an analysis of daily data shows.
While there were 21,632 “active” COVID-19 cases across the country till Monday, only about 80 of them were on ventilators. Top government sources said this is in line with the daily pattern seen so far.
Meanwhile, even as some states have started plasma therapy, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said there is “no evidence to use it as treatment”, and warned against adopting this line of treatment without following proper protocol and getting approval.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) had an important role to play in shaping global economic and political architecture.
India lockdown diary, Day 35: Panchkula resident gets surprise; Thane cop rescues 7-year-old and more
At a video conference of the foreign ministers of BRICS, Jaishankar said, “Covid-19 is not only posing a great risk to health, the well-being of humanity but is also severely impacting the global economy.” Stressing on mutual cooperation in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Jaishankar said, “We need to provide support to businesses to tide over Covid-19 crisis and ensure livelihoods are not lost.”
India has so far lost more than 1,000 lives to Covid-19. (File photo)
Meanwhile, in a major drive to contain Covid-19 before the lockdown ends on May 3, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has started conducting a health audit of its 1.3 crore residents.
With 45,000 field-level officials, including 3,000 doctors from Covid clinics, going door to door, the massive exercise is the first across the country, official sources said. The Union Territory has surveyed about five lakh households comprising nearly 25 lakh people in the past five days, sources added.
The Maharashtra government has said in a new circular that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) may be administered to all high-risk contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients, and those admitted to quarantine centres. It has also recommended that the drug be administered, after obtaining consent, to all health workers, nurses, and frontline workers, including those working in COVID care centres, COVID health facilities, and dedicated COVID hospitals in the state.
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The state health department on Tuesday issued two orders making 14-day rotational duty mandatory for those working in COVID-19 hospitals and forming 11 teams headed by senior bureaucrats and assigned with specific tasks for containing the spread of the virus.
For dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, the policy outlines that there will be four teams comprising physicians, anaesthetists, medical officers, paramedical and service staff with each team working seven days in ICU, seven days in isolation wards and then quarantined for the next two weeks. The quarantined team shall be tested on the seventh day and if negative, “they can be deployed directly to dedicated COVID-19 hospitals’ isolation wards,” the policy states. Read more here
With about 3,000 samples already in a queue for coronavirus testing, Punjab now faces the mammoth task of testing about 7,000 people who have started returning to the state after being stranded for days at Hazur Sahib in Nanded, Kota and Jaisalmer. Earlier, the state had decided to pool test the returnees, but with 26 among them testing positive Wednesday, the government has decided to test each one of them. Read more here
A STARTUP entrepreneur from Gwalior has developed a remote-controlled robot nursing dispenser to help minimise contact between medical staff and coronavirus patients.
Aparnesh Shukla, who runs Webyee, an automation startup in Gwalior, is the son of acting Vice Chancellor of Wardha-based Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwa Vidyalay. He had come to stay with his parents to celebrate Holi but got stuck in Wardha due to the nationwide lockdown. Read more here
NAGPUR reported the death of a 70-year old man, suspected to be due to coronavirus, on Wednesday. Authorities are not yet attributing it to the coronavirus as the patient was asymptomatic.
“A 70-year old man from the city’s Mominpura locality died on Wednesday afternoon at the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College. He was admitted on April 21 but was asymptomatic. He was administered nebuliser earlier in the day and he also had his lunch. But later, he suddenly collapsed. But since he was asymptomatic despite being positive, with some co-morbidity factors like blood pressure abnormality, our death committee will ascertain the cause of death. Only after that will we be able to comment on it,” Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe told The Indian Express. Read more here
Madhya Pradesh Wednesday announced that the Secretariat and the other two main government buildings in the state capital will open from Thursday, by ensuring that attendance does not exceed 30 per cent.
Class I and II officers will decide on the staff they want, but will have to ensure no one is called from containment areas. Drivers will not be allowed to enter the main secretariat building. Thermal screening and sanitisers will be available at the entrance.
The government also asked collectors to give permission for marriages in home by limiting the number of guests to five. ``There is no bar on marriage ceremonies held in homes. If someone asks permission, collectors should give it,’’ health minister Narottam Mishra said.
Indicating that the government will allow many more economic activities in green zones after May 3, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said by May 1, the number of workers engaged in MNREGA works could reach 10 lakh. ACS Manoj Shrivastava said 7.24 lakh workers have already been provided work under MNREGA.
TO DRAW the attention of state and central governments to the plight of stranded migrant labourers stuck for over a month now, various organisations working with the underprivileged will observe a day’s fast on May 1, observed as International Labour Day and Maharashtra Day, to press for the demand to send workers back to their home states. Read more here
Gilead Sciences Inc on Wednesday said its experimental antiviral drug remdesivir helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19, and provided data suggesting it worked better when given earlier in the course of infection.
The closely watched drug has moved markets in the past few weeks following the release of several studies that painted a mixed picture of its effectiveness.
Gilead provided information on two clinical trials underway. The company said a study being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAIS) met its main goal in helping patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
At the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, Sofia Marin Banu glanced down at her precious bundle of joy in her arms for the first time on Wednesday, 15 days after the baby girl was born in a hospital in Nagercoil. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown,officials of Kerala and Tamil Nadu witnessed the emotional reunion of mother and child at Kaliyikkavila. The healthy newborn was handed over to Marin by medical staff of the private Erankulam Lisie Hospital, where she underwent a complicated surgery for a serious heart problem soon after her birth through cesarean section. Read more here
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Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday welcomed the government's decision to allow inter-state movement of stranded migrants and students and suggested running sanitised point-to-point trains to help move these people, saying buses would not be sufficient for the task. "I welcome the decision of the government to allow inter-state movement of migrant workers and students after testing them by bus. This has been a demand of the Congress party since mid-April," he said on Twitter.
In a bid to ensure food security and employment generation, Kerala today announced a Rs. 3,000 crores package for the revival of the agriculture sector. Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the government plans to spend Rs. 3,000 crores in the next one year to boost food production and revive agriculture. Out of this, Rs. 1,500 crores will be raised from the plan allocation of LSG bodies and various departments and the remaining Rs. 1,500 crores will be provided as loans from NABARD and the Co-operative Sector.
The agriculture department has come up with a massive programme to use the fallow land for farming from next month. The project will be implemented in all LSG bodies by utilising the wasteland in their areas. The aim of the Agriculture Department is to revitalize agriculture, increase the revenue of farmers, attract youths to farming, and also as a rehabilitation project for expatriates who have lost their jobs.
The Agriculture Department has prepared a draft plan and it has been decided to finalise the plan and start the implementation soon. The plan also envisages increasing livestock, milk and egg production, and aquaculture development. All local bodies will make necessary changes to the annual plan before May 15th for the implementation of this plan to include food security projects.
Maharashtra inched towards the 10,000-mark with the addition of 597 coronavirus cases, while 32 more patients succumbed to the disease - 26 of them in Mumbai - taking the toll to 432 on Wednesday, said a state health department official. With the addition of 597 new coronavirus cases, the tally in Maharashtra stood at 9,915 on Wednesday, just 85 shy of the 10,000-mark. Mumbai city alone reported a jump of 475 COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 6,644 along with death of 270 patients so far.
The 58,355 Covid-19 deaths in US exceeded the number of American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War that lasted for two decades. The US accounts for nearly one-third of the 3.1 million cases globally and one-fourth of the over 213,000 global fatalities.
“We continue to pray for the victims as well as for those Americans who are grieving their lost ones and their loved ones. There’s never been anything like this. We suffer with one heart but we will prevail. We are coming back, and we’re coming back strong,” US President Donald Trump said at the White House during his remarks on the Paycheck Protection Programme.
“Now that our experts believe the worst days of the pandemic are behind us, Americans are looking forward to the safe and rapid reopening of our country, he said.
Caught in a constitutional entanglement over his membership in the state legislature, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray has approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi for cooperation in resolving the crisis, sources said.
“He (Thackeray) called Prime Minister to talk about his nomination. He asked for help saying if it does not happen he would have to resign,” said a source. The source added that the Prime Minister said he would look into the matter and get more details.
Although the Maharashtra cabinet had recommended Thackeray’s name to be nominated to the Legislative Council, the upper House in Maharashtra, from the Governor’s nomination quota, Governor B S Koshyari has not approved it. BJP leaders have pointed out that the approval had legal barriers, as it would be violating the provisions in The Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Five ministers of the Karnataka government have been asked to quarantine after they were identified as primary contacts of the cameraperson of a private Kannada news channel who tested positive for the COVID-19 on April 24. According to the sources at state health department, the cameraperson had interacted with the five ministers in the duration of April 20 to April 23 in various press meets. He had also conducted an interview with a minister.
The state health department has quarantined his 40 other primary contacts, including his wife and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter in a private hotel. On Tuesday his wife and daughter tested negative.
The Home Ministry Wednesday said the government will issue fresh guidelines on May 4, a day after the nationwide lockdown ends on, to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Gadchiroli and Chandrapur police have arrested nine and 11 foreign nationals respectively on charges of visa violations. From Kazagistan and Kirgyzstan, the foreigners had come to the cities in connection with the Tablighi Jamaat programme in March.
"They were earlier booked under Foreigners' Act for violating visa rules and were put into quarantine. We arrested nine in Gadchiroli on Wednesday and a local court has remanded them in magisterial custody," Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Shailesh Balkawde said.
He added: "They had come here on tourist visa and were participating in religious programmes. That's violation of visa rules."
In Chandrapur, however, the 11 nationals from the same two countries were arrested on Tuesday but were released by the local court there on bail.
Nagpur police have also booked eight Myanmar Tablighi nationals but haven't yet arrested them.
Dairy major GCMMF, which markets its products under the Amul brand, on Wednesday launched a milk-based beverage product 'haldi doodh' (turmeric latte) to boost immunity, amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) posted a turnover of over Rs 38,000 crore last fiscal.
"Amul has launched an affordable and easily accessible immunity booster beverage - Amul Haldi Doodh. Haldi doodh or golden milk also called turmeric latte is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties," the cooperative said in a statement.
The price is Rs 30 for 200 ml easy-open-end can.
"This product is being packed at state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in west and north India having a production capacity of 2,00,000 packs per day," the cooperative said. (PTI)
Manipur Government on Wednesday have sent four busses to Guwahati to bring back as many as 84 stranded passengers who are currently lodged at the Manipur Bhawan, Guwahati.
The buses left Imphal around 5:30 pm and will return to the state on May 1.
Manipur police department reportedly requested its counterparts in Assam and Nagaland police for the smooth evacuation operation.
According to the health department of Manipur, the passengers will be received at Mao entry point (Manipur-Nagaland border) between 6 am to 12 noon.
It said that those who are symptomatic will be referred to RIMS and JNIMS hospitals while the non-symptomatic persons will be escorted to quarantine centres at Imphal for testing.
During the testing, if anyone is found negative they will be sent to their homes for home quarantine, said the department.
(Reported by Jimmy Leivon)
An angry mob of migrant workers Wednesday ransacked their site manager’s office at IIT-Hyderabad and pelted stones at a police party, demanding pending wages and permission to travel back home.
A sub-inspector of police sustained injuries and a police vehicle was damaged as tension mounted at the campus, located in Kandi of Sangareddy district on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The outburst of workers, officials say, was waiting to happen. As many as 2,354 workers are employed in construction works on the campus by a private contractor. Since the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, work has been stalled. They workers have been restricted to their camp adjoining the IIT campus, and being provided ‘bland food’. They were also frustrated by the non-availability of alcohol, gutka, meat, etc., said the police. Read more
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday spoke to Bangaldesh PM Sheikh Hasina and greeted her and the people of Bangladesh on the Holy Month of Ramzan. The two leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation and ways India and Bangladesh can collaborate in the fight against it.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi rose to 3,314 on Tuesday, even as 201 coronavirus patients recovered from the disease, the highest so far in a day with no fatalities, authorities said. No death was reported for the third consecutive day in the national capital.
Among the 3,314 cases includes a Delhi Police constable attached to the crime branch. The constable had visited the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation in Nizamuddin, which had last month become the epicentre of the COVID-19 spread.
Fifteen members of the crime branch team, who came in touch with the constable, have been advised home quarantine.
So far, 1,078 COVID-19 patients have recovered and there are 2,182 active cases in Delhi.
The number of containment zones in the city reached 100. (PTI)
The vegetable supply in Azadpur Mandi was severely affected on Wednesday as traders could not get fresh arrivals due to sealing of Haryana border amid fears of COVID-19 infection at the Asia's largest wholesale market in the wake of 11 traders testing positive.
Adil Ahmad Khan, chairman of Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketting Committee, said there was no supply of vegetables from Sonipat.
"On Wednesday, 5,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables were supplied to Azadpur Mandi. Since the lockdown has been announced, supply of 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day was being recorded at the mandi," Khan said. (PTI)
The state government offices in Madhya Pradesh, including the secretariat, will resume work from Thursday with only 30 per cent staff everyday.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chuouhan made this announcement in a video-statement on Wednesday.
He said the number of coronavirus positive cases in the state is coming down, while the tally of people recovering from the infection has been on the rise.
"We are gradually controlling the situation with people's cooperation...Taking all the care, we have decided to resume the work in all the state-level offices, including the secretariat and directorates. They will start functioning with 30 per cent staff, so that normalcy can be brought back," Chouhan said.
He also said that the state government has also started normal economic activities in the green zone districts (where no COVID-19 case was reported). (PTI)
A team of cops were attacked by a group of people when they tried to enforce the lockdown at a local market in Tikiapara in West Bengal's Howrah district on Tuesday. Two policemen were injured. Howrah has been declared as one of the four red zone districts in the state.
Tamil Nadu reports more than 100 COVID-19 positive cases for the 2nd consecutive day. With 104 cases today, the total number of cases stands at 2,162. Two deaths reported today, taking the toll to 27. 82 people discharged, 922 cases are active.
The southern Swedish city of Lund says it is spreading stinking chicken manure on the grounds of a central park to discourage a public celebration there on Thursday.
It's traditionally a big festive day among Swedish students and youth.
Gustav Lindblad from Lund's environmental committee tells Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan that "we get the opportunity of fertilizing the lawns in the park and, at the same time, it will stink and it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park."
The city says up 30,000 people from different parts of Sweden -- mostly students from Lund University -- have in previous years gathered to the Stadspark to celebrate Valborg, a spontaneous fest that marks the arrival of spring for Swedes. (AP)
The Haryana government has got the Centre's nod to use testing kits manufactured by a South Korean company to conduct COVID-19 rapid tests, state minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday.
The state government had received its first lot of 25,000 rapid test kits from SD Biosensor, a South Korean bio-diagnostic company, a week ago.
Vij had earlier brought to the Union health ministry's notice that Haryana had procured 25,000 rapid test kits from a South Korean company and it was not using the Chinese ones, but the state was asked to put these also on hold for the time being. (PTI)
The Maharashtra government is in talks with chief ministers of other states over facilitating return of migrant workers to their native places in a planned manner, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Wednesday.
Thousands of workers from other states are stranded in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai, due to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown and they have been demanding that transport arrangements be made for them to go back to their hometowns.
Deshmukh said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will announce a decision on sending back migrant workers after the discussion with his counterparts from other states.
Deshmukh did not name the other states, but workers hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, among others, form a sizeable chunk of migrant labourers living in Maharashtra. (PTI)
UP CM Yogi Adityanath has ordered to impose Gangsters Act, 1986, and NSA against those who attacked 'Corona Warriors' in Kanpur, along with action under Pandemic and Disaster Management Act.
Divisonal Commissionar Kashmir PK Pole says: "More than 15000 people from Kashmir are in other parts of the country. We cannot bring them all back together because that will defeat the purpose of the lockdown. We are doing what we can following protocol."
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said experts and doctors are of the opinion that the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 should continue in the state till the end of May.
She also announced a few relaxations, in accordance with the orders of the central government, such as opening stand alone shops in green zones and non-containment zones, following all precautionary and social distancing measures.
"Nobody can say when this crisis will end. Most of the countries have already announced the lockdown till the end of May and the first week of June. Our experts and doctors believe that the restrictions regarding COVID-19 should continue till the end of May," she said. (PTI)
The Ministry of Home Affairs Wednesday issued revised guidelines, allowing movement of migrant workers, students, tourists and pilgrims stranded in different states. The movement would happen only in groups and those travelling will be screened before movement. The movement will require mutual agreement between the sending and receiving states.
Karnataka Covid-19 cases: Total cases 534, 20 deaths and 216 discharges.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, has thanked the World Bank for allocating $196M to over 60 of the poorest countries to fight COVID-19. "We are only as strong as our weakest link & to end this pandemic we must act in solidarity," he said in a tweet.
The board exams for class 10 and 12 pending due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown will be conducted at the first possibility and there is no move to do away with the remaining exams, CBSE officials said on Wednesday.
The board is prepared to conduct the exams for class 10 and 12 for crucial 29 subjects, while the HRD Ministry has directed states to start the evaluation process for the exams already conducted and facilitate the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in evaluation of answer sheets.
"Recently, there has been a lot of speculation regarding CBSE Board exams. The board's decision to take exams for 29 subjects of class 10 and 12, stands the same. There is no change in position of conducting board exams. Therefore, exams will be conducted," Sanyam Bhardwaj, CBSE's Controller of Examinations said.
The clarification by the CBSE officials came amid uncertainty over when the exams will be conducted leading to speculations that the exams will be done away with in a one-time arrangement. (PTI)
A string of new infections in double digits in districts that had been declared Covid-19-free has heightened worries among health officials in Kerala at a time when the state has been leading from the front in combating the pandemic.
Between April 12 and April 20, the state recorded only 34 new cases of coronavirus in a sign that the curve of new infections was beginning to stabilise. In those days, the number of patients who recovered from the infection each day remained consistently higher than new cases. But between April 21 and April 27, the state saw 74 new cases added to its tally, taking by surprise doctors and health officials in war-rooms who had been keeping a watch on the situation.
In fact, Kottayam district in central Kerala, which had the last of its coronavirus patients getting discharged in the first week of April, accounted for 17 of those new cases. The neighbouring hilly district of Idukki, which was also Covid-free by the second week of April, reported 14 cases. Both districts, plotted under ‘green zone’ had been enjoying the fruits of lockdown relaxations when they were swept by new cases of infection. Read more
In a video message, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said the lockdown in the state will be lifted from 7 am to 11 am every day. During this time people can come out of their houses and shops will be opening. He also said the state government has decided to extend the curfew by two more weeks.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on Wednesday said its employees have pledged Rs 9.85 crore towards the PM-CARES Fund to help the government fight COVID-19 pandemic.
The development finance institution's 3,554 employees have contributed the amount from their salary, a statement said.
The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) was set up on March 28 to raise money for combating the coronavirus outbreak and to provide relief to the affected. (PTI)
A large number of new COVID-19 cases are coming to the fore in Madhya Pradesh's worst-hit Indore despite the curfew being in place in urban areas of the district for more than a month now.
Though the steady rise in cases has raised questions over enforcement of preventive measures as well as the very nature of the viral spread, a government data also suggested a drop in the COVID-19 mortality rate in the district over the last 20 days.
With 94 new coronavirus positive cases in the last 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 patients in Indore district has mounted to 1,466, officials said on Wednesday.
Chunk of these cases have been reported from urban areas of the district, where the curfew was clamped on March 25 after detection of the first coronavirus positive case. (PTI)
NEET exams for admission to graduate and PG medical and dental courses do not violate rights of minorities under the Constitution to administer unaided/aided institutions, rules Supreme Court.
“Regulatory measures by prescribing NEET is to bring the education within the realm of charity which character it has lost. It intends to weed out evils from the system and various malpractices which decayed the system” & don’t interfere with Article 30 rights," the apex court said.
A 55-year-old railway employee, who was under quarantine at a medical college here, allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday, police said. The employee was under quarantine at F H Medical College and Hospital, Tundla. His body was found hanging in the medical college, Gyanendra Kumar, SHO, Tundla said. The victim, a resident of Railway Colony Tundla, was sent into quarantine on April 20 after his senior tested positive for coronavirus, the officer said.
African leaders are asking what China can do for them as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to destroy economies and wipe out some 20 million jobs across a continent where Beijing is both the top trading partner and top lender. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have announced immediate relief measures, including freeing up billions in debt payments and expectations for help from China are high across resource-rich Africa, but Beijing has remained silent. Click to read more
Microsoft launched its Bing COVID-19 tracker last month to help users keep a check on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company has now released some new features to help citizens of India stay up-to-date with information related to coronavirus pandemic. Some of the new features Bing has added to its tracker include the integration of the self-assessment created Apollo Hospitals and a hub for telemedicine support from reputed healthcare firms. READ MORE
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday urged the government to announce a scheme to protect the salaries and wages of 12 crore people as employers are facing financial crunch in the wake of the COVID-19-induced lockdown. He also called upon the government to announce a financial package for the MSME sector, as proposed by his party, and provide financial assistance to states to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic. The former finance minister asked the government to prepare an exit strategy in view of the lockdown and look into the issue of migrants stranded in different place due to it.
A new data released by the UN Population Fund and partners reveal that the current lockdown measures as well as disruptions of health services as a fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to prevent around 47 million women in low and middle income countries to use the modern contraceptives, leading to 7 million unintended pregnancies.
As part of its lockdown exit strategy Luxembourg plans to test the whole of its population for COVID19. The Luxembourg government says tests will be conducted on a voluntary basis and aim at avoiding a second wave of infections As of Tuesday 3741 people had tested positive for the coronavirus in the tiny country of 6,00,000 inhabitants including 89 deaths.
Russian President Vladimir Putin extended the coronavirus lockdown measures for another two weeks while planning for a gradual lifting of curbs, beginning mid-May. The measure that was to expire Thursday is now extended till 11 May. Putin, while reiterating the stabilising of coronavirus cases in Russia, told Russians to still expect the worst of the outbreak.
China has decided to hold the annual meeting of its ceremonial parliament late next month after postponing it for weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that the National People’s Congress that comprises 3000 members would open in Beijing on 22 May. The convening of the full session was decided by its standing committee and reflects the growing confidence of overcoming the coronavirus in China.
The 58,355 Covid-19 deaths in US exceeded the number of American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War that lasted for two decades. The US accounts for nearly one-third of the 3.1 million cases globally and one-fourth of the over 213,000 global fatalities.
COVID-19 is a mega-pandemic, if ever there was one. No other outbreak, even if it was called a pandemic by the World Health Organization, affected people in as many countries as this one has. Nothing in my lifetime (and I am 55 now) has ever caused the world to shut down. Every country that has tried to follow a different path, calibrated or otherwise, has discovered that a shutdown is inevitable. The impact was so swift and widespread that we were forced to learn new lessons and rediscover the value of some old ones much to our chagrin. Here are 11 lessons that we re-discovered or learnt. The list is by no means exhaustive but provides food for thought.
The government has mandated all Central government officers and staff to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones "immediately". Staff have been advised to leave for office only when the app shows 'safe' or 'low risk' status.
As more countries mull lifting Covid-19 lockdowns, airlines are examining how social distancing can be factored in while flying. Most airlines are trying to come up with measures that can instill confidence among the travellers. From airport practices to cabin layouts, things may look very different once we start traveling again. Here’s what some airlines in the United States are up to
A 25-year-old youth who tested negative for coronavirus was recalled by Jalandhar Civil Hospital authorities within hours after he was discharged. The Lava Bazaar area resident said he got a call on Tuesday saying his test report had come back positive after he went home and met his family and friends.
Talking to The Indian Express, the patient said: “Doctors told me that your report had come negative and you can go home. I was discharged at 2:00 pm. I returned home and met all my family members and few relatives. Then at 11:30 pm Dr. Kashmiri Lal, Senior Medical Officer (SMO), of Civil hospital called me and told to return to hospital. They told me that my report was positive.”
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is prepared to hold the remaining board exams approximately 10 days after the day the nationwide lockdown ends, state education ministers were told in a meeting with the HRD minister on Tuesday, even as some of them suggested that Class 10 and 12 students be promoted based on internal assessment.
The minister also asked state governments to start evaluating their board exam answer scripts and assist the CBSE in doing the same. According to ministry sources, the Centre-run school board is planning to deliver the answer sheets to examiners at home and, hence, needs the state administration’s cooperation.
With the national lockdown coming to a close on May 3 and record highs in confirmed cases in the last one week, it is a crucial juncture to re-examine a cohesive policy pathway and come up with a viable lockdown exit strategy. While a number of states have put forth ideas on phasing out the lockdown, the emphasis should be placed on a more comprehensive and responsive exit strategy, accounting for real progress and preparedness, writeT. M. Pranathi and Shruti Prasad. Read the full piece here
At the national level, the current crisis consolidates a populist rapport between a person — Modi — and a fictional representation of the people. Here, populism does not refer to irresponsible economic redistribution. It is understood not only as the enactment of stands against corrupt elites, but as a practice of democracy in which a political leader personifies in his/her style and governance a direct, imitative relation to the imagined people. This entails institutional disintermediation and the “flaunting of the low” that Pierre Ostiguy has pointed out. Several aspects of the management of the COVID-19 outbreak by Modi confirm the populist rooting of India’s democracy, write Christophe Jaffrelot and Jean Thomas Martelli. Read the full column here
Total in Karnataka rises to 532 as 9 new cases confirmed. While 8 these are from Kalaburagi, one new case each has been recorded in Belagavi.
Deaths: 20. Discharges: 215 Active cases: 296
The All India Institute Of Medical Sciences is planning to conduct a clinical trial of the convalescent plasma therapy in the treatment of COVID-19 and modalities of taking approvals from the Drug Controller General of India are being worked out. AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said the mode of treatment in COVID-19 is still at an "experimental stage" and there is a need for good and well-conducted research trials before its benefit and this mode of therapy can be recommended for routine use in coronavirus patients.
"AIIMS is working with the ICMR to conduct a clinical trial on the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in COVID-19 patients," he said. The doctor said it is necessary for all institutes to take necessary approvals from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Drug Controller General of India and follow proper clinical practice guidelines for this research. "In very limited studies, globally, convalescent plasma as an adjunct to other supportive therapies and treatments has shown some benefit in the management of severe patients of COVID-19," Guleria said.