Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: A junior assistant at the office of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting authorities to conduct coronavirus tests on around 40 staff members, PTI reported.
Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: A junior assistant at the office of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting authorities to conduct coronavirus tests on around 40 staff members, PTI reported.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday issued revised testing guidelines for COVID-19. The statement said, "COVID-19 test not mandatory for emergency surgery, pregnant women (even asymptomatic) who are likely to deliver in next five days to be tested, and COVID-19 test not mandatory for treating Hemodialysis patients."
Two migrants were found dead in a special shramik train at a Varanasi railway station on Wednesday morning. North Eastern Railway spokesperson Ashok Kumar said the train had arrived at the Manduadih station of Varanasi from Mumbai''s Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at 8.21 am.
They were found dead by the Government Railway Police, he added. He said during a medical examination, it was found that both suffered from serious health issues.
One of them, identified as Dashrath Prajapati (30), was a resident of UP''s Jaunpur. He was differently abled and getting treatment for a kidney-related problem in Mumbai.
The other victim was identified as Ram Ratan (63), a resident of Azamgarh district. A relative of Dashrath, who was travelling with him, said he had complained of some health problem when they reached Allahabad and then slept.
He did not wake up when they reached Varanasi.
The Tamil Nadu governemnt said that 817 people tested positive for coronavirus in the state on Wednesday, and six deaths were also reported. Additionally, 567 people have been discharged on Wednesday.
The total number of cases in the state stands at 18,545, including 133 deaths and 9,909 discharged.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that 40 new coronavirus cases reported in the state on Wednesday. Of these, nine returned from abroad, 16 returned from Maharashtra, five from Tamil Nadu and three from Delhi.
The total number of cases in the state are 1,004, of which 445 are active cases.
He added that till Tuesday, 173 Keralites have died due to COVID-19 in various countries.
"With people returning to the state, Kerala has entered the next phase of COVID-19 prevention and containment. There is a spike in the number of cases," he said.
792 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Delhi in the last 24 hours, which is the highest single-day spike in infections in the National Capital so far, The Indian Express reported. The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 15,257 on Wednesday.
"The toll in the city rose to 303 after 15 more casualties were updated by the state health department after examining the death summaries shared by the hospitals," the report said.
Addressing a joint press conference of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, Congress leader and state minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the government was working to alleviate the problems being faced by migrant workers in the state.
He said, "It has been two months since lockdown. We are all working together under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. We are a major industrial hub. The number of our migrant labourers is also high. Each day, we are giving 7 lakh meals."
He also said that the coronavirus in Mumbai "continues to be a concern".
"Mumbai continues to be a matter of concern but the chief minister is making sure, nobody is inconvenienced. We had expected cooperation from the Opposition but they have opened new avenues to destabilise us. But we will not let them succeed," he added.
Kerala excise minister TP Ramakrishnan on Tuesday said that 576 bar hotels, 291 beer parlours and 301 government outlets will be allowed to sell liquor from Thursday.
He was quoted by India Today as saying, "We have decided to create a mobile application for crowd management at liquor shops. This is not for home delivery, but to book tokens. Our plan is to create a virtual queue management system. Only five people will be allowed at an outlet at a time."
One person can make a booking once in 4 days, the report said.
Amid escalating tensions between India and China over a border dispute, Sun Weidong, Chinese envoy to India said that the two countries were fighting coronavirus pandemic "together".
"China and India are fighting together against COVID-19 and we have an important task to consolidate relations. Our youth should realise the relation between China and India, the two countries are opportunities for each other and pose no threat.
"We should never let differences overshadow our relations. We should resolve differences through communication."
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government had not been informed about 36 trains that are set to arrive in the state from Mumbai.
"Without our knowledge, 36 trains are coming from Mumbai. I spoke with Maharashtra, they also got the information late. Railways is planning it on their own," she said. This came a day after Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan also said that two trains from Mumbai and Delhi had arrived in Kerala without the state government being informed.
The Goa Cabinet decided to make COVID-19 test compulsory for every person entering the state if they are unable to produce a 'COVID negative' certificate, said chief minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday.
"The 14-day home quarantine option will be no longer available. Either you bring the negative certificate or have to take the test," said the chief minister.
The move comes amid the state losing its green zone tag recently when people from neighbouring Maharashtra entered the border and tested positive for the disease.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in the state was at 21 days.
Speaking at a review meeting on Tuesday, Chouhan had said that the state's COVID-19 recovery rate has gone up to 53 percent, while the national average was 41.8 percent, the official said.
Similarly, the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases was at 21 days in Madhya Pradesh, while the average in the country was 15.4 days, the Chief Minister said in the meeting.
Eighteen more individuals, including one passenger who landed in Guwahati from Ahmedabad, tested positive in Assam, tweeted health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday.
Of the 17 other COVID-19 cases, 14 were reported in Golaghat alone, two in Karbi Anglong while one in Lakhimpur.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday dismissed the rumours of Mumbai and Pune going under military lockdown for 10 days. He clarified that that there was no proposal for Army deployment in the two cities.
Deshmukh strongly denied the messages which went viral on social media on Army deployment and appealed the people not to believe in it. He added that Maharashtra cyber cell has initiated action against those spreading the rumour.
A total of 792 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the National Capital to 15,257 on Wednesday.
The Union Territory has so far reported 303 deaths, bringing the COVID-19 mortality rate to 1.9 percent.
Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: In the past 24 hours, 75 Maharashtra Police personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. This takes the total number of positive cases in the force to 1,964 with the toll at 20.
A total of 849 personnel have recovered while 1,095 are active cases.
Essential services related to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health should be continued in a restricted manner in areas defined as containment and buffer zones, the Union Health Ministry said, underlining that COVID-19 testing is not mandatory for providing such services.
BSP president Mayawati on Wednesday termed as most unfortunate the continued sufferings of the migrants amid an ongoing dispute between the Centre and the Maharashtra government. 'It is important to stop levelling of charges and pay attention to these helpless people so that their lives can be saved from being completely ruined,' she said in a tweet in Hindi.
With four more individuals testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Assam, the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state climbed to 686 on Wednesday, said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Of the total, there are 617 active cases, Sarma said.
Professor Johan Giesecke of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, speaking to Congress' Rahul Gandhi on COVID-19 crisis in India said the country needed a graded exit plan from the lockdown to protect the economy.
Claiming that a severe lockdown may disrupt the economic growth, Giesecke on Wednesday said, "India has to ease restrictions one by one, it may however take months to completely come out of lockdown."
The Indian Council of Medical Research has removed the price cap of Rs 4,500 for the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test used to detect COVID-19, asking states and UTs to negotiate with private labs to fix "mutually agreeable" rates for the test.
In a letter to the state chief secretaries on Monday, ICMR Director General (D-G) Dr Balram Bhargava said the COVID-19 diagnostic supplies are stabilising because of the indigenous production of the kits.
Of the total 1,51,767 confirmed COVID-19 cases, there are 83,004 active cases, according to the latest data released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
India's COVID-19 recovery rate was at 42.45 percent after 64,425 patients were cured of the disease.
India reported 6,387 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus to 1,51,767 on Wednesday, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The COVID-19 toll was at 4,337 across the nation after 170 more patients succumbed to the viral infection.
Sixteen new COVID-19 cases were reported in Assam as of 11.55 pm on Tuesday, said health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Of the new cases, six were reported in Hojai and Golaghat each, two in Darrang while one each in Kamrup Metro and Kamrup.
India reported 6,535 coronavirus cases and 146 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 1,45,380 and the total fatalities to 4,167.
The number of active COVID-19 cases climbed to 80,722. As many as 60,490 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the Union health ministry said.
This came on a day that the Supreme Court took note of the plight of migrants stranded due to the lockdown and issued notices to the Centre and all state governments.
Of the 146 deaths reported since Monday morning, 60 were in Maharashtra, 30 in Gujarat, 15 in Delhi, 10 in Madhya Pradesh, seven in Tamil Nadu, six in West Bengal, four each in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, three in Telangana, two each in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka and one in Kerala.
Of the total 4,167 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,695 deaths followed by Gujarat with 888 deaths, Madhya Pradesh with 300, West Bengal with 278, Delhi with 276, Rajasthan with 167, Uttar Pradesh with 165, Tamil Nadu with 118 and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with 56 deaths each.
The death toll reached 44 in Karnataka and 40 in Punjab.
Representational image. PTI
Jammu and Kashmir has reported 23 fatalities due to the disease, Haryana has 16 deaths, while Bihar has registered 13 and Odisha has seven deaths.
Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have reported five deaths each so far, while Jharkhand and Assam have recorded four deaths each so far.
Chandigarh and Uttarakhand each have recorded three COVID-19 fatalities each, while Meghalaya has reported one fatality so far, data showed.
More than 70 percent of the deaths are due to comorbidities, authorities said.
According to the ministry data updated in the morning, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 52,667 followed by Tamil Nadu at 17,082, Gujarat at 14,460, Delhi at 14,053, Rajasthan at 7,300, Madhya Pradesh at 6,859 and Uttar Pradesh at 6,532.
The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 3,816 in West Bengal, 3,110 in Andhra Pradesh and 2,730 in Bihar. It has risen to 2,182 in Karnataka, 2,060 in Punjab, 1,920 in Telangana, 1,668 in Jammu and Kashmir and 1,438 in Odisha.
Haryana has reported 1,184 coronavirus infection cases so far, while Kerala has 896 cases. A total of 526 people have been infected with the virus in Assam and 377 in Jharkhand.
Uttarakhand has 349 cases, Chhattisgarh has 291, Chandigarh has reported 238 cases, Himachal Pradesh has 223, Tripura has 194 and Goa has registered 67 cases so far.
Ladakh has reported 52 COVID-19 cases, Puducherry has 41 instances of the infection, Manipur has 39 while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has registered 33 infections
Meghalaya has registered 14 cases. Nagaland has reported three cases of the infection, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Arunachal Pradesh have reported two cases of the virus each, while Mizoram and Sikkim have reported a case each till how
"2,970 cases are being reassigned to states," the ministry said on its website, adding, "Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR."
State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it said.
SC takes suo motu cognisance of migrant crisis
The Supreme Court said there have been “inadequacies and certain lapses” by the Centre and the states, and asked them to provide transport, food and shelter immediately free of cost.
Referring to various media reports showing the “unfortunate and miserable conditions” of migrant labourers walking on foot and cycling long distances after the lockdown, the top court issued notices to the Centre, the states and Union territories and sought their replies by 28 May.
Although the Centre and the states have taken measures to provide relief to the migrants, the court said there have been “inadequacies and certain lapses”. Effective concentrated efforts are now required to redeem the situation, it added.
“The adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and State Governments free of cost,” said the court which took the suo motu (on its own) cognizance of the situation.
The order by the court came amid criticism by activists and lawyers that the judiciary was not doing enough in tackling the migrants crisis after the coronavirus lockdown and in making the executive accountable.
The national lockdown was imposed on 25 March leading to job losses and forcing lakhs of migrant workers to head to their faraway native states.
The apex court on 15 May observed that it is impossible for the courts to monitor or stop the movement of migrant workers across the country and it is for the government to take necessary action in this regard.
“We take suo motu cognizance of problems and miseries of migrant labourers who had been stranded in different parts of the country. The newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances,” said a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah.
The top court added that “in the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section of the society (migrant labourers) needs succour and help by the concerned governments especially steps need to be taken by the Government of India, State Governments/ Union Territories in this difficult situation to extend helping hand to these migrant labourers”.
'COVID-19 fatality rate in India among lowest in the world'
The COVID-19 fatality rate in India is among the lowest in the world at 2.87 percent, the Union government said, attributing the timely lockdown, early detection and management of coronavirus infection cases as the main reasons for the low death toll.
From 3.38 percent in April, the fatality rate in the country has come down to 2.87 percent as against 6.4 percent globally.
The toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,167 and the number of cases climbed to 1,45,380 in the country registering an increase of 146 deaths and 6,535 cases in a 24-hour span till Tuesday 8 am, according to the Union health ministry.
Responding to a question at a press briefing on why the country's death rate is one of the lowest in the word, ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said there is no substantiative factor behind it.
"We have surprisingly found a low fatality rate in India and which is a very good thing. Ultimately, we are interested in a patient surviving whether he gets COVID-19 or not.
"There are several hypothesis such as we are living in bad hygiene, have higher immunity and have been given certain vaccines like BCG and those for tuberculosis, but these all are hypothesis and we cannot say anything clearly on any factor. So long as the fatality rate is low it a good thing and I hope it continues," he said.
Joint secretary Lav Agarwal, however, said that the country's graded response to COVID-19 and timely identification of cases along with their clinical management played a major role in keeping the death rate low.
One of the main components of an infectious diseases is early identification, he said.
"We had started screening of passengers and activated our healthcare workers even 13 days before the WHO declared it a public health emergency of international concern. If cases are detected on time they do not turn serious and to the extent automatically the fatality rate will be low," he said.
France has a fatality rate of 19.9 percent followed by Belgium at 16.3, Italy at 14.3, UK at 14.2, Spain 12.2, Sweden 11.9, Canada 7.6, Brazil 6.3, the US at 6.0, China 5.5 and Germany at 4.6 percent.
With inputs from PTI