Coronavirus India Updates: The Covid-19 tally in India climbed to 28,380 positive cases and 886 fatalities on Monday even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with Chief Ministers to discuss the situation and the 40-day lockdown which is due to end on May 3. Sources told The Indian Express that prohibitions are likely to remain in most places post May 3 and that states with a growing number of Covid-19 cases are likely to see a stricter lockdown.
According to sources, the states that have a number of Covid-free districts wanted some restrictions to be eased so that more economic activities could be revived. However, all the states wanted to continue the restrictions on inter-state transportation as well as air and railway transport, indicating that the ban on such travel would continue post May 3.
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As per data released by the Union health ministry, the number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 20,835 while 6,184 people were cured and discharged, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.
Here is a look at some of the top developments:
Recovered aren’t infectious, don’t stigmatise, says Health Ministry
The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 28,380 and the death toll rose to 886 in the country on Monday, registering a record increase of 60 deaths in 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. There has been a spike of 1,463 cases since Sunday evening, while 6,361 people have recovered. Stating that those who have recovered from the disease are not infectious, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the stigma associated with the disease keeps people with symptoms away from treatment for longer time.
Danger of Covid-19 far from over: PM Modi
According to an official note, Prime Minister Modi underlined that the lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months. Pointing out that India’s population is comparable to that of the combined population of several countries, Modi said that the country could protect its people because of the timely measures.
“However, he forewarned that the danger of the virus is far from over and constant vigilance is of paramount importance,” sources said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said former prime minister Manmohan Singh has accepted his request for guiding a group of experts formed to come out with a post-COVID-19 revival strategy for the state.
“I had written to Dr Manmohan Singh Ji to guide us along with the group of experts headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia & I am grateful to him for accepting. We have been working hard to steer Punjab to the path of economic growth & post Covid-19 we will again focus on same,” he tweeted.
On April 25, the state government had constituted the group of experts, headed by noted economist and former deputy chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia to revive the state’s economy.
In Kerala, 13 new Covid-19 cases, 13 recoveries
Kerala reported 13 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, ten out of which were reported in Kottayam and Idukki districts. At the same time, 13 persons have also recovered from the illness. The total number of active cases in the state stands at 123.
With the reporting of new cases, Kottayam and Idukki have been categorised under the red zone where stringent lockdown regulations apply. Six districts are now in the red zone, with the remaining eight in orange zone where certain relaxations have been approved. Four districts, including state capital Thiruvananthapuram, are free of the virus.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan in his daily press briefing said the state has recommended to the Centre that partial lockdown must be continued till May 15. Tight lockdown must be enforced in hotspots, while relaxations for industrial and agricultural work must be allowed in other districts. Kerala has also conveyed to the Centre that there is a growing shortage of PPE kits and PCR testing kits and that the latter must take responsibility for both in the coming weeks.
It also recommended running non stop trains to ferry migrant workers back to their states. It also said expatriates from abroad must be brought home on the basis of their priority. The most vulnerable such as students, workers who have lost jobs, those in labour camps must be brought on priority, with their airfares to be borne by the Centre. Kerala has conveyed that it is making arrangements for quarantining at least 1 lakh people who come from abroad.
In Jharkhand, Covid-19 cases cross 100-mark
Over a month into the lockdown, Covid-19 cases in Jharkhand crossed 100-mark.Out of 8,757 samples, 103 tested positive. The total tally includes 83 active cases,17 recoveries and three deaths (1 after being tested negative). Ranchi’s count highest with 75 cases (63 active). Total 11 districts affected.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh urges Centre to allow opening of small shops, businesses
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has once again drawn the Centre’s attention to the critical needs of the state in the light of the unprecedented crisis and lockdown, while also urging the Union Home Minister to allow opening of small shops, businesses and industries in all areas except the containment zones, with full compliance of COVID prevention measures.
In a letter sent to Home Minister Amit Shah, in response to the Centre’s request for a written submission of issues faced by the state, the Chief Minister has highlighted the pending issues that need the urgent attention of the Government of India, for reference and follow up.
Meghalaya proposes extending lockdown post May 3
After Maharashtra, the Meghalaya government on Monday said it was mulling continuation of the shutdown with some relaxation in non-Covid-19 affected areas. Telangana has already extended the lockdown till May 7.
Following a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other chief ministers, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma tweeted, “At the video conference called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. We have mooted to continue with the lockdown post May 3rd with relaxation on activities in Green Zones or non-Covid-19 affected districts in Meghalaya.”
At the video conference called by the Hon’ble PM @narendramodi ji and Hon’ble Home Minister, @AmitShah ji. We have mooted to continue with the lockdown post May 3rd with relaxation on activities in Green Zones or Non-Covid affected districts in #Meghalaya.#CovidUpdates pic.twitter.com/rMrS6j3cPP
— Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) April 27, 2020
Naveen Patnaik wants lockdown to be extended till June 3, two CMs agree
Following Monday’s meeting of Chief Ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources have told The Indian Express that the lockdown will be extended in the hotspots, while restrictions will be eased in districts not affected by the infection. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wanted the lockdown to be extended by one more month. According to sources, Patnaik who led the chorus for extension of lockdown said it has to be extended on May 3 to June 3. Sources said at least two states backed him.
SC gives 1-week time to Centre to respond after examining matter of inter-state transport of migrants
Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to respond in one week whether the matter of inter-state transport of migrant labours was being examined. The apex court said this while hearing a plea by advocate Prashant Bhushan where he asked the court to allow inter-state movement of the migrants, remarking that the state government seemed to have closed its eyes on the matter.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi the state is scrupulously adhering to the central guidelines on lockdown, and it will not be possible to bring back students from places like Kota until the directions are suitably amended.
Participating in a video conference along with chief ministers of other states, Kumar spoke about many states having arranged for return of students from the Rajasthan town, and also made an oblique reference to the pressure from opposition parties that his government has been facing on the issue.
“Our students are not just in Kota but also many other parts of the country… it would not be possible to bring them back until the Centre amends its guidelines, which we are adhering to suitably,” he said.
Covid-19 curve almost started flattening in last few days, says Telangana Governor
The Telangana government is doing its best to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and the situation is under control, Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has said. Telangana has reported over 1,000 cases so far.
Soundararajan added that the “positive cases’ curve has almost started flattening in the last few days” in the state.
“Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s government is doing its best to contain the disease. The spread of the infection is under control and the positive cases’ curve has almost started flattening in the last few days,” Soundararajan said.
People of Bengal stuck outside need not worry as long as I am there: Mamata
Assuring all possible help to people stuck outside the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would personally oversee the measures being undertaken to reach out to them.
The AITC chief also said that the process to bring back students stuck in Rajasthan’s Kota has been initiated and they would soon start their journey back home.
“GoWB (Government of West Bengal) will initiate every possible help to people of Bengal stuck in diff (different) parts of the country due to lockdown, in returning home. I’ve instructed my officers to do the needful. Till the time I’m here, nobody from Bengal should feel helpless. I’m with you in these tough times,” she tweeted.
A patient who was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru allegedly committed suicide on Monday morning. VV Puram police said that the 50-year-old patient jumped from the 6th floor of the hospital’s trauma centre at around 9 am.
According to Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar, the deceased was admitted to the hospital on April 24 with a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI). He was also suffering from a kidney disorder and was undergoing dialysis.
The police are investigating the incident and also questioning the hospital staff.
Restrictions tightened in Kashmir due to spike in Covid-19 cases
The lockdown prohibitions imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease were intensified in Kashmir on Monday following a sudden spike in detection of fresh Covid-19 cases over the past few days, officials said.
While main roads in most places in the valley have been sealed, barriers have been erected at several other places to check the unwanted movement of people, they added.
The administration has said essential services including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions, while otherwise, only persons with valid movement passes are being allowed passage.
Priyanka raises issue of faulty Covid-19 kits supplied to UP medical colleges
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday raised the issue of “faulty” personal protective equipment (PPEs) supplied to medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh and asked the Yogi Adityanath government if those behind the “scam” will be punished. She also accused the UP government of being concerned about who leaked the information rather than go behind the scam.
“Faulty PPEs were supplied to many medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh. It was good that this was detected early and the same were returned and no one could play with the safety of our warrior doctors. Surprisingly, the UP government is not bothered about the scam but is concerned about who leaked the information about these faulty kits,” she wrote on Twitter.
यूपी के कई सारे मेडिकल कालेजों में खराब PPE किट दी गई थीं। ये तो अच्छा हुआ सही समय पर वो पकड़ में आ गईं तो वापस हो गईं और हमारे योद्धा डाक्टरों की सुरक्षा से खिलवाड़ नहीं हुआ।
लेकिन हैरानी की बात ये है कि यूपी सरकार को ये घोटाला परेशान नहीं कर रहा है बल्कि .. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/ef4PHpE1lb
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) April 27, 2020
“It was good that the news came out, otherwise the issue of faulty kits would not have come to light and would have been pushed under the carpet. “Will the perpetrators of this face action,” she asked while sharing the letters.
SC refuses to entertain plea for free calls, data usage facilities during lockdown
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking directions to the Centre and other authorities to ensure that free unlimited calling, data usage and DTH facilities are provided to the subscribers to ease “psychological stress” amid the nationwide lockdown.
“What kind of petitions are being filed?”, a bench of Justices N V Ramana, S K Kaul and B R Gavai, which was hearing the plea through video-conferencing, observing.
Following this, the petitioner, advocate Manohar Pratap, said he would withdraw the plea, which also sought a direction to the health ministry to take appropriate steps to deal with psychological pressure mounting on individuals due to the lockdown or being kept in quarantine.
Centre should arrange for migrant workers to go home: Shiv Sena
Taking note of the several labourers residing in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, the Shiv Sena on Monday said it is the Centre’s responsibility to make arrangements to ensure migrants reach their homes.
In the party’s editorial mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Sena said, “It is the Centres responsibility to arrange trains and buses so that labourers could reach their homes.”
If these people continue to flock the streets, it is not safe for their health, the Marathi publication said, adding that the Centre cannot shrug off its responsibility.
“We wish that the kind of promptness shown by the Centre for the return of some Gujarati tourists from Haridwar (in Uttarakhand), should also be shown for migrant labourers,” it said. “These people are homesick and we cannot assess what would happen if they gather on streets,” it added.
Kumaraswamy calls for lowering cost of living
Former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy today expressed concerns over the impact of the nationwide lockdown and called for citizen-centric measures, stressing the need to lower the cost of living.
Taking to Twitter, the JD(S) leader called for measures like partial waivers of EMIs, rents, school fees, cut in petrol and diesel prices, saying the loss of revenue may be offset partially by imposing Covid cess on the ultra rich.
“According to RBI and international economic assessment agencies, the GDP growth rate of the country is expected to fall to a historic low. Such a dire situation calls for citizen centric measures like full or partial waivers of EMIs, rents, school fees and other levies,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.