Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that the state government had no plan to deploy the army in Mumbai, which is one of the worst-hit cities by coronavirus.
"There has been a rumour for the past 2-3 days that army will be deployed in Mumbai.There is no need for army deployment here.Whatever I've done till today I've done by informing citizens. You all should be disciplined&that will be enough. No need to call army here," he said.
Iqbal Singh Chahal on Friday was appointed as the new Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), former BMC chief Pravin Pardeshi transferred to the Urban Development department as Additional Chief Secretary.
The Tamil Nadu health department said that the number of coronavirus cases has reached 6,009 in the state on Friday, including 1,605 recovered/discharged and 40 deaths. Number of active cases stands at 4,361.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that one person, who returned from Chennai, has tested positive for coronavirus in Ernakulam on Friday, taking the total number of active cases to 16 in the state.
A total of 19,810 people are in home quarantine and 347 others are admitted to different hospitals in the state, he added.
After 64 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Rajasthan, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state climbed to 3,491 on Friday. Of the total, there are 1,475 active cases, said Rajasthan Health Department.
As many as 100 people lost their lives to the deadly virus.
The Maharashtra government has decided to promote all the students of first year and second year, studying in various universities in the state, without any exam. However, it has decided to promote third year students on the basis of examination. The exam will be held in July.
A PG student at the Gauhati Medical College, who was on screening duty, has tested positive for COVID-19. Based out of Karnataka, the student was put up in the college hostel.
"Since he is a hostel resident, boys hostels 1 and 5 are declared containment zones," said Himanta Biswa Sarma during press meet on Friday.
Many staff members, including the superintendent of the college, are in quarantine now,
The COVID-19 situation in Assam has deteriorated since Thursday after four more people, who took a bus journey from Ajmer in Rajasthan to Silchar in Assam, have tested positive for the viral infection, said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during press meet at NHM office, Guwahati, on Friday.
Forty five new COVID-19 positive cases, including that of a five month old girl, were confirmed in Karnataka, taking the total number of infections in the state to 750.
"45 new positive cases have been reported from last evening to this noon. Till date 750 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed. This includes 30 deaths and 371 discharges," the health department said.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing an all-party leaders' meeting via video conference on Thursday, hinted that the coronavirus lockdown may be extended till the end of May in the state's red zones.
Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions have contributed 90 percent of Maharashtra's cases so far. The extended lockdown is scheduled to end on 17 May.
The Supreme Court on Friday advised states to consider "indirect sale, home delivery" of liquor to ensure crowds are minimised at alcohol shops across the country. Disposing off a PIL on the subject, the apex court, however, stressed on the necessity to adhere to social dostancing norms.
"We will not pass any order but states should consider home delivery or indirect sale of liquor to maintain social distancing," a three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai said, while hearing the case via video-conferencing to follow distancing norms.
A 16-year-old girl from Bongaigaon in Assam has reportedly died of the coronavirus pandemic, on Thursday. As per reports, the girl succumbed to the viral infection in Dr B Barooah Cancer Institute Colony, Guwahati.
According to reports, she was detected COVID-19 positive after her body was tested for the infection. Some of her family members are also said to be have contracted the disease.
The number of reported coronavirus cases in India increased by 14 percent over the past two days to 56,342, according to the latest data released by Health Ministry on Friday.
This is a slower rate of increase compared to the previous 48 hours, when the reported case count rose by 16 percent to 49,391.
During his video press conference, Congress' Rahul Gandhi reiterated the need for decentralisation in decision-making in the fight against the novel coronavirus. He further of warned of a "calamity" if centralised decision-making authority continues to mete out the impact of pandemic.
"We need to decentralise fight against COVID-19; there will be calamity if we continue to centralise decision-making," said Rahul.
Rahul Gandhi said it was crucial to restart the economic activities to save the nation from worsening impacts of coronavirus lockdown. "We need to start our domestic economy soon, the more time we lose, the worse impact it will have," said Rahul.
"We have to protect job creators, build a wall for them to protect jobs, wages," Rahul Gandhi said it was pivotal to provide them financial support.
During his video press conference, Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that a "visible" clash was evident between economic supply chain and 'red, orange and green zones'.
"Lockdown not an on and off switch, it is a transition which requires cooperation between Centre, states and people," said Rahul.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses the media on Friday on COVID-19 situation and the prevailing economic crisis in light of the lockdown imposed across the nation.
IndiGo is likely to implement a pay cut of up to 37 percent of senior employees for the months of May, June and July, The Economic Times reported. For pilots, the salary reduction could be up to 32 percent, the report added.
Lower level employees will exempted from the salary cut.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan conveyed his condolences and spoke with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, seeking help for the families of the workers who died in the accident. Chouhan also announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for their families.
He is in touch with Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for arrangements related to treatment of the injured migrants, officials in Madhya Pradesh said.
Mokshada Patil, SP Aurangabad, on Friday said 16 people were killed in Aurangabad due to the train accident. She said efforts were ongoing to gather more information about the incident and provide counselling to four others who witnessed the incident.
The Assam government has ordered sanitisation of the entire premise of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Friday after an PG student tested COVID-19 positive. The hospital has been shut for new patients for next few days, said Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
"A PG student at Guwahti Medical College has tested COVID positive last night. Consequently we have to screen everyone who came in contact with him and sanitize the entire GMCH premises," said Sarma.
He further said that special arrangements will be in place for patients already admitted.
With 26 more people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Odisha, the total number of confirmed cases in the state climbed to 245 on Friday.
According to media reports, Kendrapara reported five positive cases and Bhadrak detected two cases while, rest of the 19 cases were registered in Ganjam district.
At least 14 migrant labourers in Maharashtra, who were headed home to Chhattisgarh, were killed by a goods train at Gadhe jalgaon area of Aurangabad on Friday morning.
The tragic incident occurred when the migrant workers were asleep on the rails between Badnapur and Karmad.
They were resting on the railway tracks at the time of the accident and meant to catch a train from Aurangabad to their village.
The toll from COVID-19 disease in India rose to 1,783 while the number of novel coronavirus cases climbed to 52,952 on Thursday, registering an increase of 89 deaths and 3,561 cases in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said.
However, a PTI tally of numbers reported by states and UTs till 6.45 pm put the total number of confirmed cases at 53,950.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 35,902 while 15,266 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.
In what comes as worrying news, as many as 77 inmates and 26 officials of Arthur Road jail in Mumbai have contracted coronavirus. According to India Today, tests were conducted on all inmates and staffers a day after a 45-year-old prisoner facing narcotics-related charges tested positive.
Meanwhile, speaking at a virtual global Buddha Purnima event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is making every effort to save the life of every citizen from coronavirus, but it is also taking its global obligations during the pandemic very seriously.
He also said that India's growth will always be aiding global growth.
The highest number of confirmed cases in the country is from Maharashtra at 16,758 followed by Gujarat at 6,625, Delhi at 5,532, Tamil Nadu at 4,829, Rajasthan at 3,317, Madhya Pradesh at 3,138 and Uttar Pradesh at 2,998.
The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,777 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,516 in Punjab. It has risen to 1,456 in West Bengal, 1,107 in Telangana, 775 in Jammu and Kashmir, 693 in Karnataka, 594 in Haryana and 542 in Bihar.
Representational image. AP
Kerala has reported 503 coronavirus cases so far, while Odisha has 185 cases. A total of 127 people have been infected with the virus in Jharkhand and 120 in Chandigarh.
Uttarakhand has reported 61 cases, Chhattisgarh has 59 cases, Assam and Himachal Pradesh have 45 each, while Tripura has 43 and Ladakh has registered 41 cases so far.
As many as 33 COVID-19 cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Meghalaya has registered 12 cases, Puducherry has nine, while Goa has seven COVID-19 cases.
Manipur has two cases. Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Dadar and Nagar Haveli have reported a case each.
A total of 89 deaths deaths have been reported since Wednesday, of which 34 people died in Maharashtra, 28 in Gujarat, nine in Madhya Pradesh, four each in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, three in Rajasthan, two each from Punjab and Tamil Nadu and one each from Delhi, Haryana and Orissa.
Of the 1,783 fatalities in the country, Maharashtra tops the tally with 651 deaths, Gujarat comes second with 396 deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 185, West Bengal at 144, Rajasthan at 92, Delhi at 65, Uttar Pradesh at 60 and Andhra Pradesh at 36.
The death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 35 in Tamil Nadu while Telangana and Karnataka have reported 29 fatalities each due to the disease. Punjab has registered 27 COVID-19 deaths, Jammu and Kashmir eight and Haryana seven. Kerala and Bihar have reported four deaths each.
Jharkhand has recorded three COVID-19 fatalities. Odisha and Himachal Pradesh have reported two deaths each.
Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Assam and Uttarakhand have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.
77 inmates of Mumbai jail test positive
As many as 77 inmates and 26 staff members of Arthur Road prison were found to have contracted coronavirus after coming in contact with a cook who had caught the infection.
"The prisoners will be quarantined with the help of the Mumbai civic body," Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said.
Deshmukh also said that to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in jails, the state government had decided to release on parole some 5,000 prisoners who have been sentenced to less than seven years' imprisonment.
Hindustan Times quoted an unnamed senior police official claiming that the state-run JJ Hospital authorities have already collected swab samples of 150 people from the prison and more samples are being collected.
“The possibility of COVID-19 having entered the prison through BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) cleaning staff, sanitisation workers, or through essential services that used to come to the jail cannot be ruled out,” the officer told the newspaper requesting anonymity.
Repatriation of Indians stranded abroad begins
The first of the two flights from the UAE carrying 177 Indian nationals left for Kerala on Thursday, as India began its biggest ever repatriation exercise to bring back its citizens stranded abroad amidst the international travel lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 354 Indian nationals, including 11 pregnant women and a pair of twins, will return home on Thursday in the two flights from the UAE to Kerala as part of the repatriation exercise named 'Vande Bharat Mission'.
The Air India Express flight IX452 took off from Abu Dhabi to Kochi, which will be followed by a Dubai-Kozhikode flight of the same airline.
Passengers started arriving at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports as early as 9.30 am on Thursday. Some of the passengers were carrying the Indian flags.
"All of them have cleared the tests,” Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.
Harsh Vardhan holds meeting with state home ministers
On Thursday, Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with the health ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, and senior officials from both Centre and state governments to review the situation, actions being taken and preparedness for management of COVID-19.
He noted that in comparison to other countries, India is in a better condition as the fatality rate is 3.3 percent and recovery rate is 28.83 percent.
The minister also said that among the active cases, 4.8 percent patients are in ICU, 1.1 percent on ventilators and 3.3 percent on oxygen support.
The testing capacity has increased in the country and it is 95,000 tests per day. Cumulatively, 13,57,442 tests have been done so far for COVID-19.
There are 180 districts with no new cases in less than 7 days, 180 districts with no new cases in 7-13 days, 164 districts which have not had reported any new cases in 14-20 days and 136 districts with no new cases since the last 21-28 days.
In view of the increase in the number of migrant labourers expected to reach their native states in the days to come, the Union health minister noted that a robust strategy and mechanism need to be drawn up for their testing, and quarantine and treatment of the positive cases.
Japan approves Gilead Sciences' Remdesivir as COVID-19 drug
Japan has approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s Rmdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19, the country's health ministry said on Thursday, making it the country’s first officially authorised drug for the coronavirus disease.
Japan reached the decision just three days after the US drugmaker filed for fast-track approval for the treatment.
Remdesivir will be give to patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms, a Japanese health ministry official said at a press briefing. With no other approved treatments for COVID-19, interest in the drug is growing around the world.
With inputs from agencies