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Coronavirus May 22 Highlights: Doubling time down from 3.5 days to 13.5 days in lockdown, says Govt

With India reporting 6,088 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, the total number of coronavirus infections rose to 118,447 while the death toll soared to 3.583 on Friday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 23, 2020 10:42:11 am
coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 vaccine news, covid 19 india, coronavirus live news, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, coronavirus latest news in india, coronavirus live update, covid 19 tracker, india covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker live, corona cases in india, corona cases in india 19 symptomatic coronavirus patients get discharged from PGI Chandigarh on Thursday. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

In a routine press briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country, the Health Ministry Friday said that 3,234 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours. A total of 48,534 COVID-19 patients, which is about 41 per cent of total cases, have recovered so far, the ministry added. Even by a simple model, at least 14-29 lakh coronavirus cases and between 37,000 and 71,000 deaths have been averted, said the Centre Friday, highlighting how India has been able to contain the virus through early implementation of nationwide lockdown. Meanwhile, member of NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul said that the growth rate of the virus was controlled by India. “You can imagine how it would have been if growth had continued at 22 per cent. The doubling time has come down from 3.5 days to 13.5 days because of the lockdown,” said Dr Paul.

India reported 6,088 fresh cases in the last 24 hours taking the total number of coronavirus infections to 118,447. The death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic rose to 3,583 on Friday and of the total tally, as many as 48,533 people have been treated and discharged so far. India has the 11th highest cases across the world. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-affected state in the country with 41,642 active cases.

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das Friday said that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Friday unanimously decided to slash the repo rate by another 40 basis points from 4.4 per cent to 4 per cent. The announcement came following a three-day off-cycle meeting of the MPC, held between May 20 and 22.

A section of the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders stranded abroad would now be able to travel back to India as the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday relaxed the travel restrictions for certain categories of these OCIs specified by the ministry. Also, the Civil Aviation Ministry Thursday said that only one-third flight services will be resumed on May 25 and passengers with only web check-in will be allowed to travel.

Live Blog

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker India News Updates: India reports over 6,000 case in a day, total infections touches 118,447; death toll rises to 3,583. Globally, 332,925 people have died, infections cross 5 million. Domestic flights to resume from May 25. Follow LIVE updates

04:45 (IST)23 May 2020
UP: Can’t get image out of our heads, says father of girl crushed by truck

“My wife Seema (31) has not slept for a second. She can’t forget the sight of the girl’s body after it came under the truck. She sat wailing on the highway, with the girl in her lap. How can we get the image out of our heads?” said Shikhwar (35), who lost his six-year-old daughter in a road accident on Tuesday. Priyanka was crushed by a truck in Kisni police station area of Mainpuri district.

Sixteen people, including five children, had on Monday started from Gosgarh village in Gurgaon, where they worked, for a 580-km journey back to Baburi village in Sitapur dictrict. Read more here

04:44 (IST)23 May 2020
UP: Sleeping by road on way home, 3 cousins run over

Three migrant labourers on their way to Gopalganj district in Bihar were killed in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh on Friday after a truck ran over them while they were sleeping on an empty patch of land.

The three, who were cousins, had hired a car for Rs 70,000 to take them from Mumbai to their home in Bihar. Their families had cobbled together the money by borrowing from moneylenders in their village. Read more here

01:12 (IST)23 May 2020
65 patients part of multi-centre clinical trial to test plasma therapy

Sixty five critically ill Covid-19 patients have been enrolled in a multi-centre clinical trial across the country to assess the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy.

So far, 34 patients have received plasma therapy, and three have succumbed to the infection, said Dr R R Gangakhedkar, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Disease division of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “The study had received the go-ahead from the Covid-19 National Ethics Committee on April 29 and the duration of the trial is estimated to be six months,” he told The Indian Express. Read more here

00:03 (IST)23 May 2020
Gujarat: With strict lockdown, rigorous screening, Amreli kept corona cases under control

Until May 13 — 54 days since Gujarat reported the first case of Covid-19 — Amreli district had managed to keep coronavirus at bay. However, a 67-year old woman tested positive in Amreli on May 13, followed by an 11-year old boy on May 17, after which the district declared its first containment zone. Both had come from Surat after the district opened its borders to bring home its migrants from Surat and Ahmedabad, the twin districts which are among the Covid-19 hotspots in the country. Read more here

23:56 (IST)22 May 2020
Punjab records just one new Covid case; recovery rate now 91%

PUNJAB RECORDED only one new coronavirus case on Friday. According to the bulletin issued by the Punjab government, the lone new patient from the state was an Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel from Ludhiana, taking Punjab tally of Covid cases to 2,029.

Six RPF personnel posted in Ludhiana tested positive on Friday. Of them, three are natives of Haryana (Karnal, Sonipat, Faridabad) and one each from Jammu, Punjab (Jalandhar) and Himachal Pradesh (Kangra). Till now, 45 personnel from the 6th Battalion (Delhi), three from 15th Battalion (Udhampur) and nine from RPF Ludhiana post have tested positive in Ludhiana, a total of 57 personnel.

Meanwhile, the recovery rate of the state further improved to 91 per cent as 1,847 Covid patients have recovered. The number of active cases further reduced to 143. Punjab has reported 39 Covid deaths so far. Of 62,399 samples, 55,777 have tested negative and results of 4,593 are awaited. (Express News Service)

23:51 (IST)22 May 2020
Pune cases cross 5,000, toll rises to 257

The number of coronavirus cases in Pune crossed the 5,000 mark on Friday. As many as 358 new cases were detected on a single day, taking the number of patients to 5,167. A total of 15 deaths due to the infection were reported on Friday, with the toll climbing to 257.

Of the 15 deaths, six took place on Friday, and the deceased included a 90-year-old man and a 93-year-old man. The 90-year-old, from Yerawada, was admitted on May 15 to Jehangir Hospital. The 93-year-old man from Bhawani Peth was admitted on May 14 at Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital. Read more here

23:27 (IST)22 May 2020
Trump says places of worship 'essential' in lockdown

Urging Governors to open churches across states, US President Donald Trump Friday declared places of worship as essential places that provide essential services. The US is under a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that has so far claimed over 95,000 lives in the country. 

23:17 (IST)22 May 2020
Punjab: Hundreds of migrants make flyover opposite Covid screening centre their temporary home

A flyover in Jalandhar has becomes home to hundreds of migrants for the past ten days in hope of getting a nod to enter a Covid screening centre which the last stop for Shramik train journey. This screening centre just across the road is where Shramik train tickets are issued after medical check-up.

Near this flyover at the Pathankot bypass on National Highway-1 in Jalandhar, there are no public toilets and no facility for washing hands. But over the last 10 days, makeshift huts have come up. Read more here

23:08 (IST)22 May 2020
Amid Covid-19 scare, Punjab braces up for locust attack

Amid the spread of coronavirus, Punjab is bracing up for locust attack after warning by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of possible egg-laying of locusts and swarm attack in eight districts of Punjab bordering Rajasthan and Pakistan.The fears have been confounded after a swarm attacked crops in Gharsana in Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan, 125 km from Punjab’s Fazilka during the last few days.

The agriculture department of the state has sounded an alarm to all districts bordering Rajasthan and Pakistan after FAO warnings and attack in the neighbouring Rajasthan.

Kanchan Vasdev reports from Chandigarh

22:31 (IST)22 May 2020
Day One of reopening: Not too many customers at Pimpri market, and not much social distancing

A day after the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation allowed shops at market places to open, confusion prevailed among shopkeepers in Pimpri market about which parts of the market were allowed to be open on day one. The few customers who turned up did wear masks but didn’t bother keeping a distance from each other.

In an order issued on Thursday, Pimpri-Chinchwd Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar had allowed opening of all shops, including salons, beauty parlours and garages, from 9 am to 5 pm. The order also allowed all key markets in the twin city, where non-essential shops sell an array of articles and clothes, to re-open.

Raja Sawant, a local activist, said,”PCMC did a good thing by allowing Pimpri market to open. For the last two months, the shopkeepers and their families have suffered a lot. But since it was the first day, social distancing was not observed. We will be going around the market tomorrow and trying to spread awareness about social distancing”.

22:14 (IST)22 May 2020
Spirit of federalism ‘forgotten’ as all power is concentrated in PMO: Sonia Gandhi at Oppn meet

Addressing a meeting of 22 opposition parties to discuss the situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic, Congress president Sonia Gandhi came down heavily on the government and accused it of functioning unilaterally.

“The government has abandoned any pretence of being democratic and all power is now concentrated in only one office — the PMO,” Gandhi said in the meeting held via video-conferencing.

Stating that “the spirit of federalism, which is an integral part of our Constitution, is all but forgotten”, Gandhi said there is no indication either as regards whether Parliament or its standing committees will be summoned to meet to discuss the situation.

21:50 (IST)22 May 2020
Vardhan takes charge as WHO Executive Board chairman, calls for shared response to fight COVID-19

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan took charge as the chairman of the WHO Executive Board on Friday and asserted that a worldwide crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for strengthening global partnerships to re-energise investment in global public health.

Vardhan’s elevation to the chairmanship of the 34-member World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board comes amid growing calls, including by US President Donald Trump, to investigate how coronavirus originated in China’s Wuhan city and subsequent action by Beijing.

Tensions are running high within the UN health body after Trump warned WHO that he would reconsider America’s membership and “permanently freeze” the body’s funding if it does not demonstrate its “independence” from China in the next 30 days.

21:23 (IST)22 May 2020
More than 50 per cent Metro project workers leave, Maha-Metro says work will slow down but continue

Of the over 2,800 labourers working for the Pune Metro project in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, nearly 1,600 have left for their home states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Jharkhand and West Bengal in the last 15 days, since Shramik Special trains and buses started plying. But officials of Maha-Metro, the implementing agency for the project, said Metro work will continue despite the departure of hundreds of workers.

“The work will slow down for sure. But we will not stop the work, it will continue,” Maha-Metro spokesperson Hemant Sonawane told The Indian Express on Thursday.

Maha-Metro officials said they tried to convince the workers to stay back, but they refused to do so. “We held several round of meetings with them. We urged them to stay as Metro had ensured all facilities for them, besides taking care of their health. We even urged them to go back in batches… however, they refused to heed our pleas. We don’t know the exact reason but we guess… they wanted to be with their loved ones at this point of time,” said Sonawane.

21:15 (IST)22 May 2020
Hopeful migrants continue to arrive at Bengaluru travel camp as govt tries to shut it

Despite the Karnataka government attempting to close down one of Bengaluru’s biggest camps sheltering nearly 6,000 migrant workers since May 4 by putting them on trains to their home states or convincing them to return to their workplaces, groups of migrant workers continue to arrive at the camp.

The number of workers at the camp at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre – a sprawling convention facility converted into an emergency camp for migrant workers on May 4 after large numbers of migrant workers began thronging railway stations in Bengaluru in the hope of catching trains home – has dwindled but workers continue to arrive at the centre.

20:55 (IST)22 May 2020
Manipur govt fully prepared to tackle prevailing situation: CM Biren Singh

As the number of COVID-19 cases increased in Manipur, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has appealed to the people not to panic asserting that his government is fully prepared to tackle the situation. Stating that all necessary precautionary and preventive measures are in place, the Chief Minister said the primary task of the state is to prevent community spread of the disease. “All the positive cases so far detected in the state are imported and there has been no single report of further spread of the virus these cases. This is possible due to the cooperation of the people who strictly adhere to advisories and guidelines issued by the Centre, ICMR and state”, he said.

The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state has increased to 26 on Friday with one more tested positive for the virus. The 22 year old from Churachandpur district had returned from Delhi by road. With the latest positive case, the number of active cases stands at 24. All those who have tested positive are returnees.

Singh said that the number of tests conducted at the laboratories in RIMS and JNIMS has been increased to over 200 per day against the earlier around 100 samples a day. The state government is planning to further increase the testing to 1500 samples daily. This was done in view of the government’s plans to commence domestic flights amid the evacuation by the train and road, Singh added. He said that a total of 700-800 samples are being collected every day and as such the number of freezers storing samples has also been increased.

20:41 (IST)22 May 2020
Home delivery of liquor allowed in Mumbai’s non-containment zones

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Friday allowed home delivery of liquor in Mumbai, except in containment zones. The civic body, however, said over-the-counter sale of liquor will not be allowed.

This comes a week after the Maharashtra government allowed liquor to be home delivered in the state barring certain districts in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Beed.

“E-commerce platforms may be utilised by the liquor shops permitted to do home delivery,” said the BMC order.
The sale of liquor was earlier completely banned in the city, which is among the worst affected by Covid-19.

20:22 (IST)22 May 2020
1,751 new cases in Mumbai; highest single-day jump

Mumbai recorded 1,751 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day jump so far, pushing its tally above 27,000.

20:19 (IST)22 May 2020
Assam reports biggest one-day spike with 46 new cases

On Friday, Assam reported 46 fresh cases of COVID-19. The bulk of the cases were reported from the Sarusajai Quarantine Centre in Guwahati where hundreds of people returning to the state are currently being kept. “Alert ~ In the biggest one-time spike in cases, 26 cases are confirmed #COVID19 +. They are all from Sarusajai Quarantine Centre” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted on Friday. Earlier in the day, cases were reported from Cachar, Tezpur and Jorhat districts. All had travel history and were already in quarantine. Total reported cases in Assam are now at 256, with 195 active cases and four deaths.

20:08 (IST)22 May 2020
Keen to give more relaxations: Gujarat govt

Claiming that people in Gujarat are following social distancing norms and wearing masks, the state government on Friday said that it was keen to give more relaxations in the coming days.

Ashwani Kumar, Secretary to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, said that there has been “a lot of improvement” regarding the crowding scenes witnessed on Monday. “People are following social distancing norms and almost all of them are wearing masks… The government is keen to give more relaxations in the coming days,” Kumar said.

The official said that the shops selling essential items and services need not follow the “odd-even” rule which is applicable to other shops and can remain open everyday. “Similarly, petrol pumps on highways do not have to follow the 8 am-6 pm timings and can remain open for longer hours,” he said.

19:41 (IST)22 May 2020
From Monday, no frisking at airports, contactless security check

As flights begin operations this Monday, passengers will no longer be required to get their tickets physically verified or go through frisking.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which handles security at all major airports in the country, has worked out a system of contactless ticket verification and security check where adequate distance between passengers and security personnel would be maintained at all times.

Now, there will be a glass partition at all airports between the CISF personnel and passengers at the gate. “The passengers will be required to show their tickets and IDs from across this barrier. At certain airports such as Hyderabad, technology is available for bar code reading or blowing up the ticket and ID on a screen through use of cameras. There even further distance can be maintained,” CISF DG Rajesh Ranjan told The Indian Express.

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Coronavirus India LIVE Updates:

Globally, 5,103,278 people have been infected with the virus, while 332,925 have died. The United States has recorded almost 95,000 deaths so far. As scientists across the world work frantically to find a vaccine against COVID-19, all eyes are on US-based company Moderna's encouraging early results on a small group of healthy volunteers.

Domestic passenger flight operations are expected to commence from Monday, May 25 in a calibrated manner, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said in a tweet. To this extent, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will share standard operating procedures with all airports and airlines.

To which destinations will flights operate?

While the earlier indications were that flights may start between airports situated in green zone areas, airlines had raised the issue of viability for operating such flights. Even as most major centres such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, etc are still classified as red zone areas, a green light from certain state governments will ensure flights can be operated from these areas.

Will flying be any different?

A detailed set of standard operating procedures is being worked on by the government in consultation with the aviation industry and going by the initial feedback, a number of new rules and regulations are expected to be put into place that will change the flying experience.

These new guidelines include mandatory social distancing at airports, revisions in the way security procedures are conducted to ensure minimal contact, use of face masks and personal protective equipment by passengers and employees, among others. A variety of new health checks may also be instituted that could result in longer queues at airports and increased wait times.

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Seventeen Jan Shatabdis, five Durontos and a number of traditionally popular mail or express trains to various parts of India are among the list of 100 trains to be reintroduced from June 1 in the second phase of graded resumption of passenger train operations in India.

Sources said the decision has been taken with the twin objective of opening up the options for willing migrants to come back to the states of work from their home states in the interest of resumption of economic activity, along with giving the stranded and others willing to travel the option.

New lockdown rules from today, no special exemptions for Mumbai

Meanwhile, starting Friday, when the state starts implementing new guidelines for designated red zones and non-red zones, Mumbai does not get any relaxations, barring the opening of non-essential shops from 9 am to 5 pm for non-commercial purpose of upkeep or maintenance of material, plant and machinery.

Also, pre-monsoon works at both public and private properties will be allowed to begin, but only with permission from the local ward office. The Maharashtra government had on Tuesday issued revised guidelines for lockdown 4.0, keeping in place most of the curbs for red zones.

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