Coronavirus Outbreak Updates:With 729 new coronavirus cases recorded in Maharashtra , count reaches 9,318; with 31 deaths, toll mounts to 400, says state health department.
Delhi recorded a total of 206 positive cases today, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital to 3,314, including 1,078 recoveries and 54 deaths.
393 more test positive for coronavirus in Mumbai, taking count to 5,982; 25 patients die, raising toll to 244, PTI quotes BMC as saying.
Total number of COVID-19 positive cases Madhya Pradesh has reached 2,387 of which as many as 1,372 positive cases have been reported in Indore, 458 in Bhopal and 123 in Ujjain.
Gujarat reported 226 new coronavirus positive cases, taking the total number of the affected people in the state to 3,774, a health department official said. With 19 fatalities, all from Ahmedabad, in the last 24 hours, the death toll in the state rose to 181.
Mumbai's Dharavi saw the highest jump in coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 42 new cases reported. Four deaths were also reported, taking the toll up to 17.
The Union health ministry's 5 pm update said that 1,594 new coronavirus cases and 51 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. India's total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 29,974.
This includes 22,010 active cases, 7,027 cured/discharged/migrated and 937 deaths.
China on Tuesday said it was "deeply concerned" over the evaluation result of the COVID-19 rapid testing kits supplied to India by two Chinese companies and subsequent decision by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to not use the equipment, and hoped that New Delhi will resolve the issue "reasonably and properly".
The ICMR on Monday asked states and union territories to stop using the test kits procured from the Chinese companies — Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics — due to "wide variations" in their performance.
"We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by the Indian Council of Medical Research. China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products," Chinese embassy Spokeperson Ji Rong said.
Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal on Tuesday said that the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in India now stands at 10.2 days.
With 1,543 new cases in the last 24 hours, the total COVID-19 cases in the country are now at 29,435. Meanwhile, 684 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours.
"Our recovery rate is now 23.3 percent. This is a progressive increase in recovery rate," said Lav Agrawal, joint secretary, Health Ministry
Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal reiterated that although there is a lot of speculation around the effectiveness of plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients, it's necessary to be cautious with the possible method of treatment until there is concrete information after proper research.
"Plasma therapy is being experimented with, however, there is no evidence yet that this can be used as a treatment. National level study has been launched by the ICMR to study the efficacy of the method," the statement said.
The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday said, "$1.5 billion loan approved to Government of India to help fund its response to COVID-19 pandemic, incl support for immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society."
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said that India will be able to produce RT-PCR and antibody test kits in India by May. 'All processes are in advanced stage and production will start after getting approval from ICMR. It will help us in meeting our target of 1 lakh tests per day by 31 May,' he added.
Two police personnel and a vendor in Koyambedu market in Chennai tested positive for coronavirus, officials told PTI. Meanwhile, 8 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Karnataka from Monday 5:00 pm to Tuesday noon. This takes the total number of cases to 520, according to the Karnataka government's latest bulletin.
The NITI Aayog building in the National Capital has been sealed for 48 hours, after a director-level officer tested positive for coronavirus, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Mumbai Police have asked their personnel who are above 55 years of age and having some pre-existing ailment to go on leave, in a bid to protect them from the coronavirus infection.
One officer in NITI Aayog has tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said no fresh case has been reported in 80 districts since last seven days.
The rapid spread of coronavirus continues in Andhra Pradesh as 82 fresh cases were reported on Tuesday, the state's case count is now at 1,259. Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated 15 paise to 76.40 against the US dollar in opening trade on Tuesday.
The total number of positive cases in Delhi stands at 3,108 now, of which 190 cases were reported on Monday. 877 patients have been cured, while 11 are on a ventilator. The toll stands at 54 with the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in Delhi at 13 days, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain told ANI.
A doctor has tested positive for COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district on Tuesday. He has been admitted to isolation ward hospital in Meerut.
The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued guidelines for home isolation of people who either have very mild COVID-19 symptoms or are in the pre-symptomatic phase. Such patients with requisite self-isolation facility at their residence will now have the option for home isolation.
The Maharashtra government has decided to send about 100 buses to Kota in Rajasthan to bring back nearly 2,000 students stranded there due to the lockdown, Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab has said. Buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will be sent to Kota in the next two days, Parab said late Monday night.
India records 62 deaths and 1543 new cases in last 24 hours due to coronavirus, which is the sharpest ever increase in death and cases in India so far.
Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have risen to 29,435, according to the latest update from the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday morning, with the toll in the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rising to 934.
The Delhi government on Monday had lifted the bar on veterinarians, plumbers, and electricians after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the national capital. In the order, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) also allowed inter-state travel of health workers, lab technicians, and scientists.
India on Monday recorded its highest single-day spike in toll due to COVID-19 as 60 deaths and 1,463 new infections were reported in the last twenty-four hours, taking the countrywide total to 28,380 and the number of deaths to 886.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video conference with chief ministers said the lockdown has been successful as thousands of deaths had been prevented but cautioned that the crisis was far from over.
In another significant development, the Indian Council of Medical Research has asked states to stop using the COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits procured from two Chinese companies.
India reports highest daily jump in COVID-19 toll
The Union health ministry, in its evening update, said there has been a spike of 1,463 cases since Sunday evening, taking the case count to 28,380. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 21,132, while 6,361 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said. The total number of cases includes 111 foreign nationals. With 60 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the toll rose to 886.
India's total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 28,380. AP
However, on the positive side, more than 6,300 patients have been discharged, pushing the recovery rate to over 22 percent, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Among major cities, Mumbai alone has reported 5,589 cases, while Delhi has more than 2,900 and Ahmedabad more than 2,100 cases.
Besides, more than 200 have died in Mumbai, over 100 in Ahmedabad and at least 54 in the National Capital. These three major urban centres also impact a significant part of the country's overall economic activities.
Of the nationwide toll of 886, Maharashtra has reported the most fatalities (342), followed by Gujarat at 151, Madhya Pradesh at 106, Delhi at 54, Rajasthan at 41, and Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh at 31 each.
The death toll reached 26 in Telangana, 24 in Tamil Nadu while West Bengal and Karnataka have reported 20 deaths each.
Punjab has registered 18 fatalities so far. The disease has claimed six lives in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Kerala while Jharkhand and Haryana have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each.
Bihar has reported two deaths, while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.
According to the health ministry data, Maharashtra also has the maximum number of confirmed cases at 8,068, followed by Gujarat at 3,301, Delhi at 2,918, Rajasthan at 2,185, Madhya Pradesh at 2,168, Uttar Pradesh at 1,955 and Tamil Nadu at 1,885.
The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,177 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,002 in Telangana.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Reddy asked people to take precautions to prevent the infection as he warned, "We cannot eliminate it, so we have to live with it."
On the positive side, the Health Ministry said 85 districts have not reported a single positive case in the last 14 days, while 16 districts have not witnessed even one case in the last 28 weeks.
Separately, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said five Northeastern states — Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura — are now completely coronavirus-free and the other three —Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram— have not added any new COVID-19 positive case in the last few days.
Narendra Modi holds video conference with chief ministers
As the final week of the second phase of lockdown began, Modi conveyed to chief ministers that the country will have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against the novel coronavirus.
In his fourth video conference with the chief ministers over the pandemic, Modi also underlined that the nationwide lockdown has "yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months."
"The prime minister said that the country has seen two lockdowns till now, both different in certain aspects, and now we have to think of the way ahead. He said that as per experts, the impact of coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months," according to an official statement.
The first lockdown was announced by Modi on 24 March in a bid to combat the coronavirus endemic. It was later extended till 3 May.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Chief Ministers of all States on COVID-19 situation through video conference. ANI
Reiterating the mantra of 'do gaz doori' (six feet distance),Modi said masks and face covers will become part of people's lives in the days ahead. He emphasised on the importance of the use of technology as much as possible, and also on a need to embrace reform measures. He, however, forewarned that the danger of the virus is far from over and a constant vigil is of paramount importance.
Several news reports said that the prime minister had also hinted at extending the lockdown in red-zones or coronvairus hotspots after 3 May while asking the chief minister to prepare a graded exit plan depending on the situation in each state.
During the virtual interaction, chief ministers also put forth their concerns and suggestions. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought framing of a national standard operating procedure (SOP) for smooth movement of lakhs of people stranded across the country due to the lockdown imposed to combat COVID-19.
On similar lines, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said it would not be possible for the state to bring back students from places like Kota until the Centre amended its lockdown guidelines.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani favoured a gradual lifting of the coronavirus lockdown, while the chief ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Meghalaya favoured extending the lockdown.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, after his interaction with the prime minister, asked state officials to make specific plans for the period after 3 May, when the second phase of the lockdown is scheduled to end.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, however, alleged that the Centre was making contradictory statements on enforcement of the lockdown, and wanted greater clarity on the recent union home ministry order on reopening shops. Claiming that many states were not allowed to speak during Modi's video conference with chief ministers owing to the rotation system, Banerjee said given a chance she would have raised several questions, including the need to send central teams to Bengal.
Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami sought more RT-PCR kits for COVID-19 screening to help the state ramp up its testing capacity to 10,000 a day against the existing 7,500.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, in a written submission to the Centre demanded that GST arrears of over Rs 4,000 crore be released and also demanded a grant due to meet the revenue deficit.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who did not participate in the interaction, said that the state government favours a partial lockdown in the state till 15 May and sought aspecial financial package from the Centre for various sectors, including rehabilitation of expatriates who
wish to return.
ICMR asks states to stop using China-made antibody testing kits
In the meantime, the country's apex health research body ICMR asked states to stop using the COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits procured from two Chinese companies and return them to be sent back to the suppliers.
Some states including Rajasthan had flagged issues with results given by these kits. Citing media reports, Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that some people were indulging in profiteering while supplying rapid test kits for COVID-19 to the government.
However, the health ministry explained the procedure followed for procuring the kits and clarified that no payment had been made for them.
"The ICMR has not made any payment in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), Government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee," it said in a statement.
Uttar Pradesh brings back migrant workers
Over 12,000 workers from Uttar Pradesh who were stranded in Haryana due to the coronavirus lockdown have been brought back to the state and are now being sent to their home districts, reported PTI. Within Uttar Pradesh, the state government is preparing to send nearly 10,000 students stranded in Allahabad to their home districts in a phased manner.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sought a reply from the Centre on a plea seeking direction to authorities to allow migrant workers across the country to return home after conducting coronavirus tests.
With inputs from agencies