Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday said that the new guidelines issued to fight COVID-19 will come into effect from 4 May, 'which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come.'
Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday said that the new guidelines issued to fight COVID-19 will come into effect from 4 May, "which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come."
The Centre allowed stranded migrant workers, students, tourists, etc to travel back home, with some conditions.
The MHA on Wednesday said that migrants, students, tourists travelling from one state to another will be screened and only those who are asymptomatic will be allowed to proceed.
On arrival to the destination, each traveller should be quarantined by local health authorities.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued directions allowing the movement of migrant workers, tourists, students who are stranded at various places.
"The movement would happen only in groups and those travelling will be screened before movement. The movement will require mutual agreement between the sending and receiving states," The Indian Express reported.
Reports said that the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to allow the operations of brick klins and gave permission for contruction material shops to open. "The State Home department writes to district magistrates, to allow such operations in non-hotspot rural areas," News18 reported.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said that the coronavirus lockdown in the state "will be lifted from 7 am to 11 am every day".
"During this time people can come out of their houses and shops will be opening. Also, we have decided to extend the curfew in the state by two more weeks," he added.
A large number of new COVID-19 cases are coming to the fore in Madhya Pradesh's worst-hit Indore despite the curfew being in place in urban areas of the district for more than a month now. Though the steady rise in cases has raised questions over the enforcement of preventive measures as well as the very nature of the viral spread, government data also suggested a drop in the COVID-19 mortality rate in the district over the last 20 days.
The government on Wednesday has mandated all Central government officers and staff to download the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones "immediately".The staff has been advised to leave for office only when the app shows 'safe' or 'low risk' status,
A first-year postgraduate student of the Kasturba Hospital here has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, senior officials said on Wednesday. Her test was conducted at the LNJP Hospital and her report came on Wednesday night. The student's condition is stable and she is in-home quarantine, they said.
A 35-year-old man suffering from coronavirus died at a hospital here, the first death due to the virus in the district, officials said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Announcing a cabinet decision, Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac told reporters that as per the ordinance, the Kerala government has been empowered to defer 25 percent of the salary of its employees in the event of a disaster.
The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said the four-day total shutdown in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore Corporation limits ending by today will not be extended.
Karnataka health department said on Wednesday that 9 new COVID-19 cases have been reported from 28 April 5 pm to 29 April 12 pm. The total number of COVID-19 cases rise to 532 in the state including 20 deaths and 215 discharges.
According to the latest data provided by the department of health and family welfare in Andhra Pradesh, the state recorded 73 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of cases to 1,332. An 11-month old baby among 73 new coronavirus cases reported in the state, PTI reports.
Some sections of the sprawling APMC market in Vashi in neighbouring Navi Mumbai will remain shut for 14 days after two COVID-19 cases were detected there on Tuesday. Meanwhile, about 11 traders associated with Delhi's Azadpur vegetable market have tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
Maharashtra reported 729 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the state's tally to 9,318, a health official said. The state also reported 31 more deaths due to the disease, raising the toll to 400, he said. Meanwhile, road accidents in Gujarat came down by 71 percent during the lockdown as compared to normal days, according to an analysis by an emergency services agency quoted by PTI.
A medical team which went to Makhanpur village in Uttarakhand's Haridwar district on Tuesday was misbehaved with and manhandled while carrying out a COVID-19 survey. Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 31,332.
Travel of government employees and common people from neighbouring states and districts to Faridabad is now prohibited under the new guidelines issued by the government. 'Doctors, paramedical staff, police & bank employees to be permitted on producing their identity cards, only till 12 pm on Wednesday', Yash Pal, Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad told ANI.
CRPF jawans are being posted in three shifts at Ranchi's COVID-19 hotspot Hindpiri locality to ensure that people strictly follow lockdown rules, an official said on Tuesday. Residents of Hindpiri are not allowed to enter or leave the area, Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray said.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India inched towards 30,000, with 1,594 new infections reported on Tuesday. The total deaths due to COVID-19 rose to 937 on Tuesday, with 50 new patients succumbing to the virus in 24 hours. Additionally, more than 7,000 have recovered.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra and Gujarat, among others states, reported more fatalities, but the Union health ministry said that there wasn't enough evidence to use plasma therapy as a treatment for coronavirus.
Addressing the daily press conference, Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal also cautioned that there could be "life-threatening complications" if guidelines were not followed in administering the plasma therapy, in which blood plasma is transfused from a recovered COVID-19 patient to a critically-ill person.
The therapy, which is currently in trial stage, works on a principle that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using antibodies in convalescent plasma.
Aggarwal said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched a national-level study to check efficacy of the plasma therapy, but till this study is completed and a robust scientific proof is available, this therapy should be used only for research or trial purpose.
Recovery rate on the rise, says health ministry
While according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, COVID-19 cases had risen to 29,974, latest figures announced by various states and union territories indicated that the figure had climbed to 30,255 cases, PTI reported. The PTI tally also reported that the toll stood at 947 while the MOHFW has reported 937 deaths.
The health ministry figures suggest that an average of about one in 25 have tested positive so far. Among those having tested positive, one in 30 has died on an average, while the ratio of those having recovered is approximately one in four.
Monks stand apart as they wait in a queue to receive free ration during lockdown to curb the spread of new coronavirus in Dharmsala. AP
Aggarwal added that the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has as such improved to 23.3 percent of total cases. The number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 22,010, while 7,026 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.
Harsh Vardhan says India to be able to produce RT-PCR kits from May
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, while addressing the media on Tuesday said, "No fresh case has been reported in 80 districts for last seven days. In 47 districts, no case has been reported in the last 14 days, while 39 districts have not reported a case for the last 21 days. 17 districts have not reported a case for the last 28 days."
He also said, "For the last 14 days, our doubling rate is 8.7, while for the last 7 days, it is 10.2 days. In the last 3 days, it is 10.9 days roughly."
The minister added that India will be able to produce RT-PCR and antibody test kits 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.
In Delhi, 4.11 percent of health workers, including 13 paramedics, 26 nurses, 24 field workers, 33 doctors, are affected by COVID-19, Vardhan added.
"This is worrying and there are currently about 100 hotspots in Delhi. This number should go down," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
"According to experts, we need to increase the periphery of sealed areas in Delhi to fight COVID-19 better," he added while reviewing meeting on the coronavirus situation in Delhi.
Maharashtra cases cross 8,500; Gujarat, Delhi top 3,000 infections
Maharashtra has reported the maximum cases at over 8,500 and at least 369 deaths. Meanwhile, Gujarat has over 3,700 cases, while Delhi also has more than 3,100 confirmed cases.
On Tuesday, Mumbai Police asked 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. The move comes after COVID-19 claimed lives of three Mumbai Police personnel in the last three days.
During an analysis, it came to light that the three deceased and the other police personnel currently undergoing treatment for coronavirus disease were above the age of 50, a senior Mumbai Police official said on Tuesday.
"In view of this, we have decided to protect our policemen and officers - who are above 55 years of age and having some pre-existing ailment — and asked them to take leave," he said.
"Because of their age, these police personnel are at a higher risk. Therefore, we are allowing them to take leave during these days," the official said.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh each have reported more than 2,000 cases.
A 55-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel succumbed to the coronavirus infection on Tuesday in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital. This is the first COVID-19 death reported in paramilitary forces that function under the MHA.
In Delhi, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal directed all district magistrates to implement a "micro-containment zone strategy" in their respective areas to arrest the spread of COVID-19, an official said. Under this plan, small clusters reporting cases of the dreaded virus will be identified and declared containment zones instead of big ones.
At present, the authorities block the entry and exit points of an area where COVID-19 cases emerge and people are not allowed to step out of their houses. Essential items are delivered at the doorstep.
The National Capital also saw the NITI Aayog building getting sealed for 48 hours, after a director-level officer tested positive.
In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state as people have a casual attitude to norms like social distancing and do not understand the gravity of the contagion.
The state reported 121 more people testing positive on Tuesday, taking the state's tally to 2,058, while a 68-year old man died of coronavirus in Chennai. The new positive cases included two police personnel and a flower vendor in Chennai.
In Assam, where fewer new cases have emerged in the last few days, two people tested positive, taking the total infections to 37. Some of the northeastern states have not reported a single case for quite some time.
In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asked officials to increase testing capacity while also seeking preparation of work plans to restart industrial units after the end of the lockdown on 3 May, and for giving employment to migrant labourers.
He also said emphasis should be on social distancing and continued patrolling by the police.
In Surat, Gujarat, hundreds of migrant workers came out on roads and vandalised the office of an under-construction building and some vehicles while demanding that they be sent back to their native places.
West Bengal saw attacks on some policemen trying to enforce lockdown in 'red zone' Howarah district. The state reported 28 new cases, taking its total to 663, while the number of fatalities rose to 22 with two new deaths.
MHA, MoHFW issue guidelines for home isolation
The MHA and health ministry issued guidelines regarding health facilities in the country, and the treatment of non-coronavirus-infected patients requiring facilities like dialysis, etc.
The MHA asked all states and Union Territories to ensure that health facilities, especially in the private sector, remain functional and those needing critical healthcare such as dialysis, blood transfusion and chemotherapy are not denied such services amid the ongoing lockdown.
This followed reports that many hospitals in the private sector were hesitating in providing critical services to their regular patients either on account of fear of contracting COVID-19 or because they are keeping their hospitals or clinics closed.
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.
Clarity on COVID-19 lockdown likely in coming days
In the coming days, some clarity is expected to emerge about the ongoing lockdown in India. A nationwide lockdown has been imposed till 3 May by the Centre to check the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than two lakh lives worldwide and infected over 30 lakh since it first emerged in China last December.
Several countries have implemented lockdown and other containment measures, though some of them including New Zealand, France and Switzerland have begun relaxing those curbs.
The question of when to reopen schools loomed large as European countries and US states drew up plans to restart their battered economies.
Despite alarm among some teachers, parents and mayors, France detailed plans on Tuesday to start opening schools on 11 May, with limits on class size and rules requiring face masks.
Hard-hit Italy intends to keep schools closed until September. And in the US, where President Donald Trump said states should seriously consider resuming classes before the end of the academic year, dozens have said it would be unsafe for students to return until the summer or the fall.
Elsewhere around the world, the virus appeared all but vanquished in New Zealand. Australia opened the beach in Sydney.
Brazil, however, was emerging as a new hot spot for infections. And new doubts were raised over whether Japan will be able to host the already postponed Summer Olympics next year without the development of a vaccine.
With inputs from agencies