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Monday, July 13, 2020

Coronavirus India Update, May 25: Cases near 1.40 lakh; lockdown extended till June 30 in Himachal’s 2 districts

Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Latest Update, May 25: The total number of infections in India rose to 1,38,845 on Monday. Of these 77,103 are active, while 57,720 patients have been discharged.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 25, 2020 10:37:48 pm
Passengers being checked and screened at the Delhi International Airport as domestics flights resumed on Monday. (Express Photograph by Tashi Tobgyal)

Coronavirus India Updates: India is now among the top 10 worst-hit nations, with more than 1.38 lakh coronavirus cases, according to the data put out by John Hopkins University. The total number of infections in India rose to 1,38,845 on Monday. Of these 77,103 are active, while 57,720 patients have been discharged. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates

Meanwhile, domestic flight operations took off across India after a hiatus of two months Monday, ending the complete blackout of the country’s airspace in the backdrop of the coronavirus lockdown. All major airlines such as IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Air Asia and others operated 30% of their regular schedules between destinations, strictly adhering to the safety protocols set by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Airports accordingly have been directed to undertake regular disinfection measures, supply of masks, gloves and sanitisers and thermal scanning.

However, the first day of air schedules was marred by a large number of cancellations at major airports including Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. At least 82 flights, including arrivals and departures, were cancelled at the Delhi airport as some of the states requested the Centre to curtail services to meet their own guidelines. Many passengers were disappointed that they were not informed in advance about the cancellations.

The government devised an “intelligent testing strategy” and scaled up its preparedness to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, taking lessons from the 2009 swine flu outbreak that had “exposed glaring gaps” in the country’s diagnosis infrastructure, the ICMR said on Monday. The apex health research body said to cater to the increasing need for testing, India developed an “intelligent testing strategy to remain ahead of the virus” by significantly shoring up its diagnosis infrastructure. The country now has 610 laboratories — 432 public and 178 private which are currently testing 1.1 lakh samples daily. The testing capacity has been increased to 1.4 lakh samples per day, which is being further raised to 2 lakh, it said.

Here are the top developments today:

Assam: 30,000 affected by first wave of floods; relief camps set up as per COVID-19 guidelines

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As COVID-19 cases rise in Assam, incessant rain has led to the flooding in five districts (Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Darrang and Goalpara) of the state, affecting 30,701 people and 9,804 animals in127 villages.

On Monday, the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Guwahati, predicted heavy rainfall in the Northeastern region for the next five days, issuing a red warning (extremely heavy rainfall) in Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang districts for the next two days. Rain — heavy to medium — is expected in other parts of the state too. “The rain will continue as per the forecast for five days,” said Dr Sanjay O’Neill Shaw of RMC.

However, as per Pankaj Chakravarty, State Project Coordinator, Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the flood situation is still under control. “Yes, waters will rise but the situation is not very bad till now,” he said, “All rivers aren’t flowing above danger levels. It is only when all rivers flow above danger level that we have something to worry about.” Two rivers (Jia Bharali in Sonipur district and Puthimari at Kamrup district) are flowing above the danger level.

Four more test positive for COVID-19 in Ladakh, tally crosses 50-mark

Four more people tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh even as the first COVID-19 testing laboratory was inaugurated by parliamentarian Jamyang Tsering Namgyal on Monday, officials said. The state-of-the-art bio-safety level 2 (BSL-2) laboratory was set up at Chushot Yokma and is the first molecular laboratory in the region, which will be used for testing HIV, Tuberculosis, Swine flu, and Hepatitis-B after COVID-19 pandemic is over, they said. With the addition of the four patients, who are from Kargil district, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the union territory has reached 52, the officials said.

India lockdown diary, Day 62: Akhilesh asks for free chyawanprash supply; Kolkata artisans hope for turnaround; and more

‘Chyawanprash’ and ‘kadha’ (decoction) should be supplied to people for free if these are scientifically proven remedies to prevent coronavirus infection, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday.

“The Ministry of AYUSH is showing on TV that decoction and chyawanprash should be taken to avoid coronavirus. If these are scientifically proven remedies, then in times of crisis the government should supply them free of cost,” he said in a tweet in hindi.

“People will be encouraged if these are given as an award for using ‘Arogya Setu’ application,” the SP leader added.

Lockdown extended in Himachal’s Hamirpur, Solan; curbs till June 30 in Shimla

himachal pradesh coronavirus cases, shimla covid-19 cases, kangra salons, india news, indian express Essential services remain open during the curfew hours as well. (Representational)

Hamirpur and Solan districts in Himachal Pradesh will continue with the coronavirus lockdown for a month after the current nationwide phase ends on May 31. In addition, section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits gathering of people, will also remain in force in Shimla district up to June 30, an official said.

The district magistrates of Hamirpur and Solan issued orders Monday extending the curfew in their areas up to June 30.
The two orders did not specifically mention the lockdown itself, but its extension is also implied. The state-wide curfew in Himachal Pradesh is meant to enforce the lockdown against coronavirus.

As in the rest of the state, the two districts allow several hours of relaxation in the curfew and the lockdown every day. Essential services remain open during the curfew hours as well. This will continue, officials said.

Four more test positive for COVID-19 in Ladakh, tally crosses 50-mark

Four more people tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh even as the first COVID-19 testing laboratory was inaugurated by parliamentarian Jamyang Tsering Namgyal on Monday, officials said. The state-of-the-art bio-safety level 2 (BSL-2) laboratory was set up at Chushot Yokma and is the first molecular laboratory in the region, which will be used for testing HIV, Tuberculosis, Swine flu, and Hepatitis-B after COVID-19 pandemic is over, they said. With the addition of the four patients, who are from Kargil district, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the union territory has reached 52, the officials said.

As domestic flights resume, 511 passengers land in Imphal

The Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal, resumed operations of domestic flight service on Monday. As many as 511 passengers in four different flights from Delhi and Guwahati landed at the Imphal Airport. The same flights departed with 176 passengers from the Airport to their respective destinations.

Earlier, the Airport Authority announced that seven flights were scheduled to land and depart from the Imphal Airport. However, three flights, which were supposed to fly to Imphal via Kolkata Airport, were cancelled. S S Raju, DGM Imphal Airport said, “We were expecting seven flights but three had to be cancelled as the Koklata Airport did not operate due to flood inflicted by the super cyclone Amphan.”

Have plans on flying more than 200 daily flights until May 31: IndiGo’s flight operations

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IndiGo Airlines Monday said the company plans to fly more than 200 daily flights until May 31. In a statement, the budget carrier said, “IndiGo plans on flying more than 200 daily flights until May 31, 2020. Our customers can be assured that any flight that is on sale during this period is compliant to the latest Covid-19 guidelines issued yesterday night by the different states. Our schedule also takes in to account that some stations could only be opened at a later stage due to certain constraints imposed by different airports and states. IndiGo’s flight operations will support more than 20,000 passengers to be home by tonight.

It added: “IndiGo operations ran smoothly and as of today afternoon, 85% of our flights have reached their final destination within 30minutes of scheduled arrival time. There were no major delays or any other disruptions. IndiGo is ensuring to provide courteous and hassle-free travel experience for its passengers by following additional measures including:

1. Website updated with all state requirements and SOPs for travel

2. Multiple mock drills for the staff whereas to facilitate the new guidelines for flying

Due to the change in state guidelines affected passengers were provided flexibility to either rebook on alternate flights or transfer their complete booking amount into credit shells for future bookings.”

Gurgaon DM warns of action against private facilities refusing treatment to COVID

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The Gurgaon District Magistrate has today warned that action will be taken under the Epidemic Act, 1897, “without any prior notice”, against private facilities refusing to treat patients who have tested positive for coronavirus or those looking for “other critical services”. In an order to this effect issued on Monday, DM Amit Khatri has stated, “With rising cases of persons infected by the coronavirus, it is necessary to ensure optimum utilisation of available resources i.e. Private Hospitals/Nursing Homes for treatment of COVID-19 patients, so as to ensure appropriate Medical care is provided to all the COVID patients. But, in the recent past, it has come to notice that some private facilities are refusing to treat patients with symptoms of corona virus and other critical services which is a grave matter in times of such epidemic.”

In view of this, the DM has ordered, “Private Hospital/Nursing Homes in district Gurugram shall not refuse any patient approaching them for treatment of corona virus infection and other critical services. If any Private Hospital/Nursing Home refuses treatment to any such patient/patients, action will be initiated against them under the Epidemic Act, (1897) without any prior notice.”

Despite being ready, Tripura airport couldn’t operate flights

Tripura’s Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Airport didn’t have any flight operation on Monday even as air travel resumed in the rest of the country. Speaking to indianexpress.com, MBB Airport Director V K Seth said air traffic was not functional due to non functionality of Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport at Kolkata.

The Kolkata airport was damaged by cyclone Amphan two days back. It is still being repaired. “We had everything ready on our end. Frankly, we were a bit disappointed to learn that Kolkata airport wouldn’t be operating any aircraft for next 48 hours. So, we couldn’t have any aircraft movement in coming two days either,” he said.

Asked about next course of action, airport director Seth said Kolkata airport said it would operate limited number of flights even after it resumes operation after May 27. “If Kolkata operates less flights, it is likely to impact our operations. But we can’t say anything as of now. We shall wait for further information,” the official said.

Scenes from airports across India on Day 1 of resumption of domestic flights

Confusion and chaos prevailed on Monday as domestic passenger flight operations resumed after a hiatus of two months amid reluctance by various states to open up their airports in view of rising cases of novel coronavirus. Passengers were greeted with long queues and a large number of flights were cancelled on Monday across the country.

A mother-daughter duo arrive at Mumbai airport on Monday morning. (Express photo/Nirmal Harindran)

The resumption of air travel came with a few hiccups in the first few hours itself as several flyers took to social media to register their grievances against airlines, particularly Air India. Several people travelled long distances only to find that their flights had been cancelled. Of the approximately 380 flights that were scheduled for today in the national capital, 82 (both departures and arrivals) were already cancelled by afternoon. And more than 20 flights were also called off in Bengaluru.

‘Where is list for 125 trains from Maharashtra?’: Piyush Goyal’s 2 am tweet

Hours after Maharahstra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accused the Railways of not providing enough migrant special trains, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal lashed out at the state government for providing a list of only 46 trains on Monday despite making preparations for 125 trains.

“Where is the list for 125 trains from Maharashtra? As of 2 am, received list of only 46 trains of which five are to West Bengal and Odisha which cannot operate due to cyclone Amphan. We are notifying only 41 trains for today despite being prepared for 125!!!” – Mr Goyal tweeted.

Nagpur: Over 75% covid patients recovered, early identification helped, says civic chief

More than 75 per cent of people who got infected with novel coronavirus in Nagpur have since recovered and been discharged, and the death rate of 2 per cent is also among the best in Maharashtra and the country, Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe said on Monday. He said measures like early identification, tracing, isolation, treatment and mass institutional quarantine played an instrumental role in ensuring Vidarbha’s largest city managed to keep the outbreak in check, Mundhe added.

As on Monday, Nagpur civic limits have 406 cases, of which 313 have been discharged after recovery and eight have died of the infection. “Some 15-20 systems were employed to manage the outbreak. The recovery rate of 75 per cent and mortality rate of less than 2 per cent is among the best in the country. Our contact tracing system is very robust. Within 15-20 minutes of a person testing positive, we started contact tracing and completed it in around 3-4 hours, and the people traced were quarantined for 14 days”, he told PTI.

Special service: The Shillong Chamber Choir is now delivering for those who can’t step out

Last month, just before the shoot of their now-viral video, the members of the Shillong Chamber Choir were scrambling to answer phone calls, jot down orders, and push out deliveries. Five minutes later, however, twelve of them were in front of the camera, singing in pitch perfect harmony.

The video — a mash-up of hit Bollywood classic ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye’ and ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ from American musical drama The Sound of Music — is illustrative of the choir’s talent and reach: in just a few days, it raked over a million views.

But the lockdown has got the choir not just making music, as a Facebook post on April 12 pointed out.

“This is what the Shillong Chamber Choir is doing now. They are meeting the needs of the elderly, the sick and others that can’t go out shopping in this difficult situation. Trust the Choir to be of service to humanity at its most difficult hour” wrote senior journalist Patricia Mukhim from Shillong.

COVID situation in Delhi under control, says Kejriwal as govt readies more beds across private hospitals

Arvind Kejriwal, official suspended, delhi government, Delhi news, Indian express news Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)

The coronavirus situation in the national capital is under control and there is no reason to worry, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday. While addressing citizens via video-conferencing, the Aam Aadmi Party chief said: “The situation is under control and there is no reason to worry. The cases were expected to rise with the relaxations in the lockdown. We need to worry if the recovery rate is going down and more people are succumbing to the disease.”

He added: “In Delhi, the number of active cases is equal to the number of people who have recovered. Secondly, we need to look at the health infrastructure and monitor the rise in the number of severe cases.”

Record 6,977 new COVID-19 cases in India in last 24 hours

India registered its biggest single-day spike of COVID-19 cases for the fourth consecutive day with 6,977 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s tally to 1,38,845. The death toll rose to 4,021, according to the Union Health Ministry. A total 154 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours till Monday 8 am.

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The number of active COVID-19 cases climbed to 77,103 while 57,720 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said. Of the 154 deaths reported since Sunday morning, 58 were from Maharashtra, 30 from Delhi, 29 from Gujarat, nine in Madhya Pradesh, eight from Tamil Nadu, six from Uttar Pradesh, four from Telangana, three each from Rajasthan and West Bengal, two from Bihar and one each from Punjab and Uttarakhand.

Manipur reports 2 new cases, count rises to 34

Manipur reports two new active cases of COVID-19, one each from Churachandpur and Noney district. The total number of positive cases has risen to 34 and the number of active cases stand at 30.

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Nagaland reports three cases, state no longer Covid-free

Three COVID-19 cases were reported from Nagaland on Monday morning. The three had returned to the state from Chennai. While two are symptomatic, one is asymptomatic. “Our appeal is that do not stigmatise our patients and be supportive of our health workers,” said Menukhol John, Principal secretary for Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland, adding that all three patients are stable at the moment.

Nagaland’s first case was reported a month ago, but the patient migrated to Guwahati, Assam shortly after. “These cases are not local but imported from travellers who have come back home but rest assured we have everybody on our radar and have gone in for active contact tracing,” he said.

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Assam crosses 400-mark with 35 fresh cases

35 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday morning in Assam, bringing the state’s total tally to 427. These cases were reported from different districts spread across Assam: Golaghat, Kokrajhar Karimganj, Tinsukia, Sivasgar, Dhemaji and Jorhat. In the past 24 hours, 46 cases were reported in Assam.

As of Sunday evening, when active cases were at 352, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that 271 of them were those who had returned to Assam from other states. According to him, the state has carried out about 60,000 tests till Sunday. The total number of cases in the state is 427, out of which 363 are active and four have died.

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Over 21,000 requests pending after Karnataka bars entry from three states

Days after the Karnataka government decided to ban the entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu into the state, the step has resulted in the stalling of as many as 21,607 requests by people currently located in these states to enter Karnataka. These include 10,568 requests from Maharashtra and 10,351 from Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa on May 18 ordered the state authorities to stop processing requests from people in Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu to enter into Karnataka, citing the growing number of coronavirus cases among returnees.

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Earlier in March this year, the Karnataka government had barred the entry of people from Kerala, amid the detection of over 100 positive cases in the neighboring district of Kasargod. The matter was resolved after an elected representative from Kerala approached the courts. Following the intervention of the Supreme Court the Karnataka government allowed movement of essential services on the basis of medical clearances.

70 new coronavirus cases in Rajasthan

Rajasthan on Monday recorded 70 new cases of coronavirus, officials said. The number of cases in the state now stands at 7,100 and fatalities at 163. “As many as 70 fresh cases were reported in the state,” additional chief secretary (health), Rohit Kumar Singh said. Of the 70 fresh cases, Pali recorded 25 cases followed by 22 in Sikar, 11 in Jaipur, seven in Kota, five in Alwar, one each in Dholpur and Swai Madhopur, officials said.

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A total of 3,856 patients have recovered and 3,420 have been discharged. There are 3,081 active cases in the state as of now, they said.

Jaipur had recorded 78 deaths and 1,826 positive cases in the state followed by 24 deaths and 1,224 cases in Jodhpur, according to state government data.

Hamirpur district continues to have over one-fourth cases in Himachal

Hamirpur district continues to have the highest number of novel coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh with one more person, a Mumbai returnee, testing positive for the disease, deputy commissioner Harikesh Meena said on Monday. The number of infected people in Hamirpur district has risen to 63 out of total 210 in the state as of Monday morning, as per state government data.

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The district now has 57 active cases out of total 142 active cases in the state. One COVID-19 patient has died and five have recovered, according to the data.

Bihar records 180 new COVID-19 cases, tally nearing 2,600

Bihar has reported 180 new cases of COVID-19 from 15 districts, pushing the tally to 2,574 in the state, the health department said. Of the fresh cases, Nawada and East Champaran accounted for 11 each and the state capital Patna recorded four new infections, it said.

The health department, in a tweet late on Sunday evening, said,”63 more COVID-19 +ve cases in Bihar taking the total to 2,574… We are ascertaining their trail of infection”. Earlier on Sunday, the state had registered 117 new positive cases and two fatalities due to the contagion, taking the death toll to 13.

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Last 10 days, positivity curve begins to steepen

While the government has maintained that the low positivity rate (share of tests that yield positive cases) does not warrant more intensive testing for Covid, ICMR records show a steady rise in positivity rates over the last four weeks. More so in the last 10 days when migrant workers have started returning home on board Shramik Special trains.

ICMR records show that between April 16 and 28, the positivity rate slumped from 4.8 per cent to 3.0. But this began inching up since then to 7.0 at the end of day on May 23. Replying to a question from The Indian Express, ICMR DG Balram Bhargava admitted that rising positivity is a cause for concern.

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Maharashtra accounts for a third of all cases, shapes Covid map

In the nearly three months the Coronavirus has been in India, the one enduring trend has been the dominance of Maharashtra in the growth of Covid in the country. If anything, this has steadily strengthened with time.

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On March 24, when the first countrywide national lockdown was imposed, Maharashtra had one-fifth of all the Coronavirus infections in the country. Two months later, as India’s caseload has gone past 1.3 lakh, Maharashtra’s share has increased to more than one-third. In the last ten days, more than 40 per cent of new infections detected in the country have come from Maharashtra.

Such is the dominance that whenever Maharashtra has managed to slow down its growth for a while, it has slowed the national growth rate as well. And, the opposite has been true as well. In fact, the curve for the national growth rate very closely resembles that of Maharashtra (see chart). Same is true when it comes to doubling time of cases.

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