Updated: April 8, 2021 10:12:50 pm
Coronavirus in India Updates: As Covid-19 cases in India hit a record high, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday held a meeting with state chief ministers to discuss the situation and the ongoing vaccination drive. Modi told chief ministers that the administration appeared lax in many states and urged them to strengthen their efforts for the next 2-3 weeks to check the spread of the virus on a “war-footing”.
Prime Minister Modi also called for observing a “teeka utsav” (vaccine festival) between April 11-14 to inoculate the maximum number of eligible beneficiaries.
Further stating that India had successfully brought down the number of infections when even vaccines were not available, he said that following SOPs to control the disease is the only way to keep the virus away.
Modi told the CMs to focus on micro-containment zones and endorse ‘night curfews’ as ‘corona curfew’. “Test, track and treat should be the formula to fight the virus,” he said, adding that states should not take Covid testing lightly. The meeting was skipped by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
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— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 8, 2021
India detected 1,26,789 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the highest so far. Of the total, Maharashtra recorded a new high of 59,907 cases, while Chhattisgarh’s count went past the 10,000-mark for the first time. Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, too, reported more than 6,000 cases. The country also recorded 685 related deaths, pushing up the toll to 1,66,862.
India on Thursday detected 1,26,789 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the highest so far. Of the total, Maharashtra recorded a new high of 59,907 cases, while Chhattisgarh’s count went past the 10,000-mark for the first time. Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, too, reported more than 6,000 cases.
Here are the top Covid-related developments of the day.
In Punjab, every second infected person below 40
Every second person infected by Covid-19 in Punjab, which is witnessing a second wave of the contagion, is below 40 years of age. An analysis by the state health department of the Covid-19 data for 2021 has also revealed that at least 31 per cent of those who contracted the virus were aged 30 or less. However, a majority 60 per cent of those who died of Covid in Punjab were aged 61 or above.
The figures raise a question mark over the Centre’s stand against opening up vaccination for all. The Centre had said that it aims to protect the vulnerable population and vaccinate “those who require it”, not those who “want it”. Punjab, citing the fresh surge in cases, was one of the first states to urge the Centre to urgently open up vaccination for a larger section of the population.
Punjab, as per Centre, is among three states that are cause of concern. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday, had said that “three per cent of the total cases (across India) are being reported from Punjab now and it accounts for 4.5 per cent of the total fatalities in the country”.
Uttar Pradesh: Noida, Ghaziabad impose night curfew till April 17
In wake of rising Covid cases, the Noida and Ghaziabad administrations have announced a night curfew in the cities.
As per officials, the curfew will be in place between 10 pm to 5 am till April 17th. However, the movement of essential goods and services will be exempted from the order, officials said.
The decision was taken by the administrations after a review meeting on the current Covid situation. The state government on Wednesday had authorised DMs in districts with more than 500 active cases to decide further course of action.
Fresh restriction in Tamil Nadu from April 10
With Covid-19 cases showing an upward trend, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday decided to impose fresh restrictions across the state from April 10.
In an order issued by Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan, the government said that despite effective containment activities, there has been a considerable increase in the number of positive cases across the state in recent days due to the non-adherence of Covid-19 guidelines.
Some of the fresh restriction include:
* The government has prohibited Tiruvizhakkal (festivals) and religious congregations across the state.
* Fruits and vegetable retail outlets at Koyambedu Market Complex in Chennai and in wholesale markets across the districts have also been prohibited.
* All places of worship will be permitted to open only till 8 pm.
* Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes, including those located inside malls, will be allowed to operate with a maximum of 50 per cent capacity.
* All shops, including vegetable shops, provision stores, shopping malls and big showrooms, can remain open only till 11 pm with a maximum of 50 per cent customer capacity at a time.
* Restaurants, food courts and tea shops will be permitted to function with 50 per cent capacity. Takeaways are allowed till 11 pm.
* Entertainment or amusement parks, auditoriums, recreational clubs, assembly halls, zoological parks, museums, and other similar places are permitted to function with 50 per cent capacity by following SOPs. Click here to see the full list.
Night curfew announced in some places in Karnataka
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Thursday announced that a night curfew (‘Corona curfew’) will be imposed from April 10 to 20 in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumkuru, Udupi and Manipal.
‘Corona curfew’ (night curfew) will be imposed between 10pm-5am from 10th to 20th April in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumkuru, Udupi and Manipal. Essential services to be exempted: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa pic.twitter.com/6q4LQYINB2
— ANI (@ANI) April 8, 2021
The curfew will be from 10 pm to 5 am. Essential services will be exempted.
Rising Covid cases force courts in Delhi to return to virtual mode
In the wake of an “alarming rise” in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered that all courts, including lower courts in Delhi, will function through virtual mode only starting Friday.
Physical hearings in courts started on March 15.
As per the order, the High Court judges will hold the courts through virtual mode till April 23 and the district courts till April 24.
The High Court also ordered the Principal District and Sessions Judges to hold consultation with the DG (Prisons) for necessary arrangements for extension of remand of undertrial prisoners.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan tests positive for coronavirus
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and will undergo treatment at the Government Medical College in Kozhikkode.
I have been confirmed Covid +ve. Will get treated at the Government Medical College, Kozhikkode. Request those who have been in contact with me recently to go into self observation.
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) April 8, 2021
Taking to Twitter, the CM said, “I have been confirmed Covid +ve. Will get treated at the Government Medical College, Kozhikkode. Request those who have been in contact with me recently to go into self-observation.”
His daughter Veena had turned positive earlier and had come out to vote in a PPE. Her husband Mohammed Riaz, a CPM candidate in the Assembly elections, has also tested positive. Read this story in Malayalam
Madhya Pradesh announces lockdown from 6 pm tomorrow to 6 am on Monday
A lockdown will be enforced in all cities of Madhya Pradesh from 6 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday to check the spread of the coronavirus infection, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Thursday.
Talking to reporters after chairing a meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in MP, Chouhan said his government aims to increase the number of beds for Covid-19 patients in the state to one lakh.
“A lockdown will be enforced in all cities of the state from 6 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday,” Chouhan said.
In the past three weeks, the state government imposed lockdowns in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Gwalior on Sundays and extended the curbs to some other cities last Sunday.
Chouhan said various crisis management groups will hold meetings to review the situation in cities where there has been a spurt in Covid-19 cases and will decide the course of action to contain it.
In 10 days, Delhi hospitals see spike in occupancy of ICU ventilator beds
In the past 10 days, the occupancy of ICU beds (with ventilators) for Covid-19 patients has gone up by 369 even as cases surge in the city.
While there were 278 Covid patients admitted in ICUs (with ventilators) across hospitals on March 30, the number has gone up to 647 on April 8. The number of these beds, meanwhile, has also gone up from 787 to 959 in the same time period, as the Delhi government set aside more beds in private and government facilities, keeping the caseload in mind.
However, there are no directions yet on starting new Covid Care Centres or taking over hotels and linking them with hospitals in case hospitals start to get full.
According to Delhi government officials, a Delhi Disaster Management Authority meeting is scheduled for Friday, in which the issue of hospital bed availability will be taken up. At present, a total of 8,846 beds are available for Covid patients in the city, of which 959 are those with ventilators.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday received his second dose of coronavirus vaccine at Delhi’s premier All India Institutes of Medical Sciences. The prime minister was administered the first dose of the covaxin on March 1.
“Got my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS today. Vaccination is among the few ways we have, to defeat the virus. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get your shot soon,” PM Modi tweeted and shared a link to the CoWin website, a portal to register for the vaccine.
The two nurses who administered the vaccine to the prime minister today are P. Niveda from Puducherry and Nisha Sharma from Punjab.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday temporarily suspended entry for all travellers from India, including its own citizens, following a high number of positive coronavirus cases arriving from that country. The suspension will start from April 11 and will be in place until April 28. During this time the government will look at risk management measures to resume travel.
The move comes after New Zealand recorded 23 new positive coronavirus cases at its border on Thursday, of which 17 were from India. “We are temporarily suspending entry into New Zealand for travellers from India,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference in Auckland.
“I want to emphasize that while arrivals of Covid from India has prompted this measure, we are looking at how we manage high risk points of departure generally. This is not a country specific risk assessment…,” Ardern said.
Ardern added that the rolling average of positive cases has been steadily rising and hit 7 cases on Wednesday, the highest since last October.
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