Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Seven persons, including four minors, tested positive for COVID 19 on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in Bihar to 535, a top official said.
Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said that 13 personnel of BSF’s 138th Battalion, including a mess worker, had tested positive for the coronavirus pushing the total number of cases in the state to 42.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said that lockdown in the state has been extended till 29 May. He advised people to finish their purchases by 6 pm as there would be a curfew from 7 pm. The chief minister warned of strict action against those found outside their homes after 7 pm.
Noting that the opening of shops in Mumbai has led to the flouting of social distancing norms amid rising number on COVID-19 cases, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi ordered that no permission be given to non-essential shops, including liquor stores, in Mumbai.
The total number of coronavirus infections in Delhi rose to 5,104 as 206 news cases were reported today. The toll stands at 64 with no deaths being reported today.
Mumbai reports 635 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths, pushing the total case count to 9,758 and fatalities to 387, PTI quotes the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation as saying.
The Tamil Nadu health department said that 508 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the state on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases to 4,058. Two deaths have been reported too, taking the toll to 33.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issues standard operating procedures for movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country.
“Passengers found to be symptomatic shall be immediately taken to medical facility. Remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities to be arranged by respective states. These passengers shall be kept under institutional quarantine for 14 days.
“If they test negative after 14 days, they will be allowed to go home and will undertake self-monitoring of their health for 14 more days as per protocol. The remaining people will be shifted to medical facility by states/UTs governments,” the statement said.
All existing visas granted to foreigners, except certain categories, to remain suspended till the prohibition on international air travel of passengers from/to India is lifted by GoI, the MHA said.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said that “it would be dangerous to fly back stranded Indians from abroad without proper coronavirus testing.”
“From 7 May, 2,250 people from abroad will be returning back to Kerala initially. The Centre is learned to have approved to bring back 80,000 expatriates but there are 1.69 lakh people in Kerala’s priority list. This has been taken up with Centre,” he added.
The Ministry of Railways on Tuesday said that so far, 67 ‘Shramik Special Trains’ have been run by various Zonal Railways.
“Till 4 May, we had run 55 trains. Today, trains have been operated from Bengaluru, Surat, Sabarmati, Jalandhar, Kota, Ernakulam, 21 more such trains may leave today,” the statement said.
Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that the coronavirus toll in India rose by 195 in the last 24 hours, adding that the total number of cases of stands at 46,433 nationwide.
In the 4 pm press briefing, he said, “In last 24 hours there have been 3,900 new cases, 195 deaths and 1,020 people have recovered. The recovery rate is 27.41 percent.”
Forty five Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far. Among the 45, 43 of them were deployed for IS duties in Delhi and two of them in the Law and Order duty with Delhi Police, said the ITBP.
Two infants among eight who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Pimpri Chinchwad on Tuesday, ANI quoted the health department as saying.
As many as, 71 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported in Pune on Monday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the district to 2,122.
Putting a close to the uncertainly over engineering and medical exams, the government on Tuesday announced dates for holding of Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
While interacting with students in a webinar, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said the JEE-Mains exams will be held from 18-23 July while, JEE-Advanced exams will be held in August. He also said that the medical entrance exam NEET will be conducted on 26 July.
With eight more people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Karnataka between Monday 5 pm to Tuesday 12 pm, the total number of confirmed cases in the state climbed to 659.
So far, the state has recorded 28 deaths, according to the health department. The COVID-19 recovery rate in the state stood at 49.2 percent after 324 patients were discharged.
The fourth floor of the Shastri Bhawan, office of Department of Legal Affairs, was sealed on Tuesday after a senior law ministry official tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The senior official in the department of legal affairs who is now positive had last attended office on 23 April.
According to a journalist with The Indian Express, gate number 1 and 2 which were often used by the officer have been closed, along with the corresponding lifts, for disinfecting and will remain shut till Wednesday (6 May).
67 new COVID-19 positive cases reported in Andhra Pradesh in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 1717 with the state toll at 34, according to the state health department on Tuesday. Meanwhile, state-run TASMAC alcohol shops will not be opening in the Greater Chennai City police limits on 7 May, the Tamil Nadu government has said.
COVID-19 cases in border guarding force BSF have climbed to 67, with the maximum reported in a Delhi battalion, deployed in the Jamia area for law and order duties, and from the frontier state of Tripura, officials said on Tuesday.
A special train carrying about 1,200 migrant workers left for Khagaria in Bihar from Ghatkesar near Hyderabad on Tuesday.
“The Shramik Special Train left for Khagaria in Bihar on Tuesday morning. All the passengers were screened before they were allowed to board,” a senior south central railway official said.
This is the second train arranged for the workers in Telangana. Similarly, another train from Rayannapadu near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh left for Chandrapur in Maharashtra, the SCR official added.
India registered 46,433 COVID-19 positive cases on Tuesday with 1,568 fatalities due to the viral disease, according to the latest data released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The figure includes 32,134 active cases.
After the Delhi government raised the VAT on auto fuel, the petrol price per litre is hiked by Rs 1.67 to Rs 71.26 while, the price of diesel increased by Rs 7.10 to Rs 69.39 in the National Capital on Tuesday.
Aadhaar-based claims for public distribution system (PDS) would have saved a lot of misery for the poor, said Abhijit Banerjee during discussion on economic impact with Congress’ Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday.
He further claimed that many names still missing in the system.
“We should try to be optimistic about overall economic revival in India post-lockdown,” said Banerjee.
Abhijit Banerjee advised that India should take a cue from the United States and insisted on putting money into people’s hands, “as the current US administration is doing”.
“We have to take a chance on widening the reach of PDS,” Banerjee told Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday while discussing the state of Indian economy.
Handing out temporary ration card to anybody who requires one at the current moment would be a good idea to tackle the food crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee to Rahul Gandhi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s dialogue with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on dealing with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis will be aired on Tuesday as part of his series of deliberations with experts on economy and health.
The Congress party has tweeted a 1.44-minute clip from the conversation which will be aired in full at 9 am Tuesday.
In an order released on Monday, the Mumbai Police stated that Section 144 has been imposed in the city till 17 May between 8 pm and 7 am. The order clarified that during those hours, only vehicles addressing medical services and the ones used for essential services will be allowed to ply.
From Tuesday, stand-alone shops will issue tokens for customers to avoid crowding at shop counters.
Even as India’s COVID-19 fight entered its third phase on Monday with considerable relaxations to the lockdown curbs, confirmed cases surged to 42,836 with 2,573 fresh cases. The death toll rose to 1,389 with 83 fatalities reported in 24 hours.
The government said a record high number of 1,074 patients recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours but cautioned that the restrictions can be reimposed if there is any complacency in following the containment and social distancing norms.
The Centre also announced that it will facilitate the return of Indians stranded in other countries in a phased manner from 7 May.
Country records highest number of recoveries in 24 hours, says health ministry
According to the 5 pm update issued by the Union health ministry, India now has 42, 836 confirmed cases of coronavirus while 1,380 persons have died due to the disease. Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases (12,974), followed by Gujarat (5, 428 cases), Delhi (4,549) cases, Tamil Nadu (3,023 cases) and Madhya Pradesh (2942).
Maharashtra also recorded the highest number of fatalities with 548 deaths followed by 290 in Gujarat and 165 in Madhya Pradesh.
According to the health ministry, the number of active cases stood at 29,685 as 11,761 persons were cured/discharged while one has migrated.
Earlier, while addressing a press briefing, Joint Secretary at the health ministry Lav Agarwal said that as many as 1,074 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours, the highest number of recoveries recorded in one day.
The rate of recovery stands at 27.52 percent , he said, but stressed that there is a need for rigorous implementation of the containment strategy while people also need to strictly adhere to hygiene as well as social distancing habits.
Agarwal cautioned that if the virus spread is detected in areas that do not have any active cases for now, restrictions can be reimposed there.
Kerala did not report a single new case for the second consecutive day, but neighbouring Tamil Nadu saw its tally rising by a record number of 527 new cases. Gujarat and Maharashtra also reported significant rise in their numbers. Several other states including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha also reported a rising number of cases.
Gujarat reported 376 new cases and 29 more deaths — the highest for a day — to take its total tally of confirmed cases to more than 5,800 and fatalities to 319. Ahmedabad alone reported 259 new cases and a record number of 26 deaths on Monday, taking its tally of confirmed cases to above 4,000 and the death toll to 234.
In Maharashtra’s Mumbai, the case count crossed the 9,000-mark and jumped to 9,123 with the addition of 510 new patients, while 18 more died due to the viral infection.
While several big urban centres across the country continued to report rise in the number of cases, several smaller states and Union Territories — including Goa, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Meghalaya, Assam, Aruranchal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Tripura — have witnessed nil or very few cases getting detected in the last few days.
Confusion prevails as restrictions are eased in green, orange zones
In the third phase of the lockdown, more categories of stores including of apparel and electrical goods, as also various kinds of repair centres, and even barber shops in some places, reopened in several parts of the country. Liquor shops saw the biggest of the crowds and had to be closed at many places, including in the National Capital, after social distancing norms appeared totally missing.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said whatever happened on Monday was not right and all have to follow the social distancing norms . “It is sad that people were not following social distancing norms at some shops today. I request everyone to not take any risk,” he said.
#WATCH It was unfortunate that chaos was seen at some shops today in Delhi…If we come to know about violations of social distancing and other norms from any area, then we will have to seal the area and revoke the relaxations there: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pic.twitter.com/0eFgaqrKsB
— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020
On the other hand, confusion prevailed in large industrial and business clusters across the country, including in Noida and Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi, on reopening of offices and industrial establishments due to lack of clarity on daily commute of their staff given continuing restrictions on major modes of the public transport.
Row over rail fares of migrant workers
The transport of migrant workers back to their home states continued for the third consecutive day on Monday. Kerala opened its borders at six places for Keralites stranded in other states due to the COVID-19 lockdown to return to their native places.
A total of 21,500 migrant workers and their family members stranded in Gujarat for over 40 days were sent back to their native states, including UP and Bihar, through 18 trains in the last three days, a senior official told PTI.
Union health ministry officials also said the process of transporting stranded migrant labourers was being coordinated by states, though the central government guidelines have clearly stated that the infectious disease management requires everyone to stay where he or she is.
“Based on the request given from states for particular cases, permission was given to run special trains. Be it the government of India or the Railways, we have not talked about charging from workers. Eighty-five per cent of the transportation cost is borne by the Railways, while states have to bear 15 percent of the cost,” Agarwal told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi lashed out at the Centre and said the party’s state units will bear the cost of rail travel of needy migrant workers and labourers stranded at their workplaces due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“What is particularly disturbing is that the central government and the Rail Ministry are charging them (migrant workers) for train tickets in this hour of crisis,” she said. “When the government can spend nearly Rs 100 crores on transport and food for just one public programme in Gujarat, when the Rail Ministry has the largesse to donate Rs 151 Crores to the PM’s Corona fund, then why can’t these essential members of our nation’s fabric be given a fraction of the same courtesy, especially free rail travel, at this hour of acute distress?,” the Congress president asked.
Centre to facilitate return of Indians stranded abroad
Separately, the Union Home Ministry said the government will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad and the process will begin from 7 May in a phased manner. Only asymptomatic people would be allowed to travel and it would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships, and the facility will be available on a payment basis.
After their arrival in India, medical examinations will be conducted on everyone and they will be subsequently put under quarantine for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional facility, the ministry said.
Modi calls for new template of globalisation at NAM virtual conference
At a video-conference of leaders of the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM), Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi called for a new template of globalisation post COVID-19, saying humanity is facing a major crisis.
“COVID-19 has shown us the limitations of the existing international system. In the post-COVID world, we need a new template of globalization, based on fairness, equality, and humanity,” the prime minister said. “We need international institutions that are more representative of today’s world. We need to promote human welfare, and not focus on economic growth alone. India has long championed such initiatives,” he said.
— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: May 06, 2020 07:14:18 IST