Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: Two police stations have been sealed partially after a head constable was tested positive for COVID-19. According to police, the infected head constable was overseeing the arrangements to quarantine people who came from Mumbai.
"Yes," Superintendent of Police of Mandya district Parashurama K told PTI when asked about the head constable
being tested positive for COVID-19. He said the two police stations have been sealed to disinfect them.
The Maharashtra health department said that the state recorded its highest spike of coronavirus cases on Friday, with 2,940 new patients recorded. The total number of positive cases in the state are now 44,582.
The Karnataka government on Friday said that it would bear the travel cost of migrant workers in the state returning to their home towns in Shramik Special trains till 31 May.
“The Government has considered the plea of migrant workers who were unable to bear the travel expenditure to go back to their hometown. The government considers migrant workers, who have come from far-flung parts of our country, as our own people and it is my firm belief that they too must be supported by the State,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in a tweet.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar said, “Thank you CM Yediyurappa for favourably considering the Congress party’s demands to take up the cause of our nation builders.”
The BSF said that 24 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of active cases in BSF to 108.
Reports said that 42 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Kerala on Friday, which is the highest single-day jump in cases in the state. The update said that of the 42 new patients, 21 travelled to Kerala from Maharashtra while one each travelled from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
17 arrived in the state from abroad.
VK Paul, Chairman of Empowered Group 1, reading the number of coronavirus cases reported in cities across the country, said that the pandemic spread in India had been "contained in cities" by the measures implemented by authorities.
"Current active COVID-19 cases (as of 21 May) are concentrated in a few states and cities/districts; around 80 percent in five states, over 60 percent in five cities, over 90 percent in 10 states and over 70 percent in 10 cities," he said.
He added, "At the beginning of the lockdown, the doubling rate of the cases was .4, but today, it is doubling in 13 days. (13.3)."
The Railways has ferried over 31 lakh migrant workers on board 2,317 Shramik Special trains since May 1, almost seven lakh more than the initial projection of 24 lakh, according to official data.
The initial estimation of migrant workers to be transported back to their home towns were based on details provided by various state governments to the zonal offices of the Railways in late April when it was deciding on protocols to run the special trains, officials said. However, the national transporter said that it does not have current details of the total numbers of stranded migrant labourers who want to return to their homes and are operating trains based on the requirements of the states.
The Shramik Special trains are being operated primarily on the requests of the states which want to send the migrant workers to their home states. The Railways is bearing 85 per cent of the total cost of running each of the trains while the share of the states is 15 per cent.
The Council for the Indian School Certification Examinations (CISCE) on Friday announced the revised schedules for the remaining subjects/exams of the ICSE and ISC Year 2020 examinations.
The ICSE or Class 10 exams will be held from 2 July to 12 July whereas the ISE exams for Class 12 will be held from 1 July to 14 July.
Air India on Friday started booking for domestic flights amid the COVID-19 lockdown. "We have started bookings for domestic flights," said Air India in a statement.
The airlines will operate a total of 8,428 flights each week for the next three months from 25 May to 25 August as the Central government has announced the resumption of domestic flights.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that a minimum and maximum fare for three months has been set for the domestic flight services, which resume from 25 May.
The Bombay High Court on Friday said the Mumbai civic corporation has power to designate any cemetery or burial ground for disposal of bodies of COVID-19 victims and noted there was no scientific study to show that the novel coronavirus spreads through cadavers.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice S S Shinde made the observations while dismissing a bunch of petitions challenging an April 9 circular issued by the BMC designating 20 burial grounds and cemeteries here for disposing of bodies of persons who died due to COVID-19.
Delhi reported 660 new COVID-19 positive cases and 14 deaths in the past 24 hours. Total positive cases stand at 12,319 and toll is at 208, reported ANI. Of the total 12,319, there are 6,214 active cases in the state.
Rajasthan registered a total of 6,281 COVID-19 cases after 54 more individuals tested positive for the novel coronavirus till 9 am on Friday. Of the total, there are 2,587 active cases, said the state health department.
After one more COVID-19 death on Friday morning, the toll in the state rose to 152.
The influx of migrant workers in Uttar Pradesh during the coronavirus-induced lockdown has caused COVID-19 positive cases to surge in the state, taking the positive case percentage around 22 percent among migrant workers.
Amit Mohan Prasad, Principal Secretary, Health department, was quoted by The Hindu as saying, "So far 1,230 people, who had returned, had tested positive. Over 46,000 samples were also collected from them."
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed everyoen to inform about suspect cases in villages and small towns.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is of the view that inflation in first half of 2020 will be intact but, by 3rd and 4th quarter it may fall below the target of 4 percent in FY21, said the RBI governor on Friday.
The loan moratorium will be extended till 31 August, said RBI governor Shaktikanta Das. This makes it a six month moratorium.
He added that the lending institutions are being permitted to restore the margins for working capital to the origin level by 31 March, 2021.
After an off-cycle meeting of the monetary policy committee over the last three days, MPC voted to reduce repo rate by 40 basis points to from 4.4 percent to 4 percent, said RBI governor Shaktikanta Das.
"Over the last three days, the MPC reviewed the implications of COVID-19 on economy, it has been decided to reduce in repo rate to revive growth. This will be done by 40 basis points, from 4.4 % to 4%," said RBI chief.
India saw an increase of of coronavirus cases by 6,088 number of infections in the past 24 hours. With this, the total confirmed cases across the nation climbed to 1,18,447 on Friday.
While, 140 more COVID-19 patients succumbed to the infectious disease in the past 24 hours bringing the toll to 3,583.
The government has said it will evacuate stranded Indians from abroad till 13 June and the extended phase will cover 47 countries. The second phase of the 'Vande Bharat Mission' was to end on 22 May.
However, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said the ongoing phase will last till 13 June and that India is looking at making Frankfurt a hub for the mission.
As of Thursday, a total of 23,475 Indian nationals were brought back home under the mission which began on 7 May.
This will be the third presser held by RBI governor Shatikanta Das in the context of COVID-19 related measures. The first one was on 27 March and the second on 17 April.
There is a widespread expectation that the governor may announce an extension of the loan moratorium for term loans for a few more months in the backdrop of extension of the nationwide lockdown till 31 May.
India may witness COVID-19 cases peaking in mid-July if the current lockdown is lifted on 30 May, a noted epidemiologist warned on Thursday as authorities announced guidelines to resume domestic air travel. Meanwhile, the toll from the virus rose to 3,435 and confirmed cases climbed to 1,12,359, according to health ministry figures.
India, the ministry said in its 8 am update, registered 132 deaths and 5,609 cases in the last 24 hours with most of the new cases being people having returned from other states or in some cases from abroad.
The mortality rate of COVID-19 patients in India, however, has remained less than half of the global average of 6.65 percent, the ministry said.
Representational image. PTI
Maharashtra remained the worst-affected state on Thursday with cases, as per Union health ministry, rising to 39,297 and deaths at 13,90, followed by Tamil Nadu which has 13,191 cases and 87 deaths and Gujarat with 12,537 cases and 749 deaths. Delhi with 11,088 confirmed cases and 176 deaths is the fourth-worst affected state followed by Madhya Pradesh with 5,735 cases and 267 deaths.
Meanwhile, West Bengal is staring at fresh problems with Cyclone Amphan killing 72 people and leaving thousands homeless.
Though the Central Government has promised all help to the state government, the fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years, is likely to mount problems for the state already grappling with the COVID-19 situation.
West Bengal has reported 3,103 cases as per health ministry's data, but the mortality rate is relatively high with 253 patients having lost their lives from the virus. Bengal has the fourth highest number of deaths after Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
COVID-19 cases from sates
Though the health ministry put the confirmed cases at 1,12, 359, as per a PTI tally of figures announced by different states and Union territories, as of 6.55 PM, showed a higher number of confirmed cases at 1,13,136 and recoveries at over 46,000.
Several states and UTs continued to report new cases on Thursday, with the national capital itself recording a spike of 571 fresh cases to take its total to 11,659. This was the third consecutive day when 500 or more fresh cases have been reported in a day in Delhi.
Gujarat reported 371 new cases to take its tally to 12,910, while 233 fresh cases were found in Ahmedabad itself. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani launched a week-long campaign to educate citizens on issues related to COVID-19 and said that people should learn to live with coronavirus while fighting against it.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in India, recorded 2,345 new cases, taking the tally in the state to 41,642. This was the fifth consecutive day when the state has reported more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases.
New cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as well, among other states.
In many of these states, the new cases largely included people having returned from other states or in some cases from abroad.
Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters that migrant workers coming from other states are being monitored by health workers and a number of them have tested positive.
"Over 5.42 lakh migrant workers were screened by health workers and among them 1,230 have been found positive for coronavirus. Samples of 46,142 have been sent for testing," he said.
In Barabanki itself, 245 samples were sent for testing on 15-16 May, out of which 95 have been found positive for the virus infection.
Among those who tested positive, 49 are migrants who had recently returned from other states, while the remaining 46 are those who had come in contact with six infected persons and had been kept in isolation, district administration officials said.
In Bihar also, detection of more than 1,000 cases in the last three weeks has been mainly attributed to the large-scale influx of people who have been returning to the state from places they had been stuck in during the lockdown.
A similar trend has been seen across various states after special trains began operating on 1 May to ferry migrant workers back to their native places, while there have also been cases, including in Goa and Kerala, of those people testing positive who were brought back from abroad in special flights.
Epidemiologist warns peak in mid-July
A noted public health expert and epidemiologist, cautioned that India may witness COVID-19 cases peaking in mid-July if the current lockdown is lifted this month-end, but also hoped that there could be a "lower surge" in the wake of strong containment measures taken in the past two months.
India is currently, the 11th worst-affected country in the world with India's tally of active cases at 63,624 as of Thursday, the fifth largest in the world after the US, Russia, Brazil and France.
The government officials, however, stressed that the time taken in India for the case count to move from 100 to one lakh has been much better at 64 days, which was better than many other badly-hit countries and actually double the time taken in the US and Spain.
India reported its first COVID-19 case on 30 January and reached 100 cases 45 days later on 15 March. However, the country crossed 1,000 cases reached much faster on 29 March and breached 10,000 cases on 13 April. India reached 50,000 cases on 6 May, while it took less than two weeks for the next 50,000 cases with the country crossing one lakh cases on 18 May.
Globally, more than 50 lakh people have tested positive for the deadly virus infection since its emergence in China last December, while nearly 3.3 lakh have lost their lives. More than 19 lakh people have recovered so far.
Mortality rate less than half of global average, says health ministry
The Union Health Ministry also said that India's mortality rate is at 3.06 per cent, which is less than half of the global average of 6.65 percent.
Timely case identification and proper clinical management have helped India keep its mortality rate lower, it said in a statement.
It also said that more than 3,000 people have been cured in the last 24 hours itself and the overall recovery rate is improving continuously and has crossed 40 percent now. Close to 46,000 patients have recovered from the deadly virus in India.
The Ministry said all patients are under active medical supervision, while around 2.94 per cent of all active cases in ICU.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said there has been a 1000-fold increase in the number of COVID-19 tests done per day in the last two months. More than 25 lakh tests have been done so far.
Govt caps airfares, limits check-in baggage
Meanwhile, authorities announced detailed guidelines for resumption of domestic flights after a gap of two months, while business activities and public movement gained further momentum on the fourth day of the much-relaxed fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown that has been in place since 25 March.
Unveiling a set of detailed pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight guidelines to be mandatorily followed by airlines and passengers, the civil aviation ministry said that air travel resumes on 1/3 of the approved summer schedule for domestic routes and gradually scaled up.
The government has also capped airfares as per seven price bands based on time of travel till 24 August, while also making baggage sanitisation, thermal screening and Aarogya Setu app must except for kids under 14.
On Thursday, the Union Home Ministry sought strict adherence to its guidelines, including for wearing of face covers, ensuring social distancing at work, transport and in public places, while also asking states to ensure strict implementation of night curfew from 7 pm to 7 am, saying it has noticed violation of the restrictions at several places.
With inputs from PTI