Coronavirus India Roundup, April 25: Growth rate down to 6%, non-essential shops can be opened with conditions
According to the latest estimates by the Health Ministry, India now has over 24,942 cases of COVID-19 and 779 people have lost their lives.
According to the latest estimates by the Health Ministry, India now has over 24,942 cases of COVID-19 and 779 people have lost their lives. About 1,490 of these cases were reported in the last 24 hours, along with 56 deaths. Over 5,000 patients have recovered so far.
Here are major developments from across the country.
Centre allows non-essential shops to open, with conditions
In a Friday night notification, the central government said that all shops within residential areas will now be allowed to open. However, malls will continue to be closed and shops will not open in containment areas either. Local authorities will have the final say.
The shops must be registered under the Shops and Establishment Act of the concerned state. Restaurants, bars, barbershops will not be opened yet. Only 50% of staff will be allowed, and social distancing and wearing masks or face covers will be required.
In areas outside municipalities, shopping complexes can open as well.
In a clarification today, the government added that e-commerce firms can only sell essential goods as of now.
Decreasing COVID-19 growth rate
The Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the country witnessed the lowest COVID-19 growth rate in the previous 24 hours since cases exceeded 100. As of Saturday evening, the rate of increase was 6% with 1,429 new cases reported. For comparison, 1,752 cases were reported on Friday.
The government has said that the progression of COVID-19 in the country so far has been linear and not exponential and that doubling rate has been improving as well. The Health Ministry has also said that the recovery rate of 20% (the proportion of those patients who have so far been declared 'cured') also compares favourably with other countries.
Ujjain, in Madhya Pradesh, sees a surge in cases
Ujjain has 102 confirmed cases and 15 deaths from COVID-19 . About 70 of these cases have been reported over the last 4 days, suggesting outbreaks in several hotspots within the city. The city also has the highest mortality rate amongst those districts where there are over 100 cases. According to local health officials, most of the patients were detected later on in the course of the disease and had comorbidities. Further, most cases seem to be imported from nearby Indore. A total of 28 doctors have been asked to report to Ujjain to confront the situation.
Various states indicate keenness to bring back migrant labour
The UP CM Yogi Adityanath has said that up to 10 lakh migrant workers are expected to return to the state in the next couple of months. Officials have been asked to chalk out the specifics of the plans that will enable migrants to return in a phased manner.
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan made a similar statement and said migrants from across the country will be brought back - he said discussions with Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and UP have been constructive. The Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel has also sought permission to bring back citizens.
State officials familiar with the developments have said that migrants may be transported to state borders and then taken by bus to various districts where they will be quarantined for 14 days - food will be provided as well.
The Centre has not made any official comments on this yet - official word is that interstate travel is prohibited barring transportation for essential services.
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