India’s Covid-19 tally as of Sunday evening stood at 16,116 patients, according to the health ministry. Of these, 13,295 people are being treated while 519 have died. As many as 2,301 people have recovered so far.
The home ministry said migrant labourers can be screened and those who are asymptomatic can be allowed to move within the state to reach their place of work. It added that the supply of non-essential goods by e-commerce firms will continue to stay banned during the lockdown period.
Covid-19 has affected 23.28 lakh people, and caused 1.6 lakh deaths in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. More than 1 lakh people have died of the coronavirus in Europe. Russia registered a record 6,060 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
8.55 pm: Here are the top updates of the day.
8.48 pm: Maharashtra reports 552 coronavirus cases, taking the total cases to 4,200. The state now has 223 deaths after 12 more fatalities.
8.22 pm: The toll in Europe reaches more than 1 lakh, while the UAE and Gulf countries report high rates of infection among migrant workers.
7.56 pm: Dharavi in Mumbai now has 138 cases of the coronavirus, according to NDTV.
7.51 pm: The director general of civil aviation issues a notice to all domestic and international airlines saying tickets cannot be booked for the post-lockdown period until it issues directions. All ticket bookings now remain closed.
7.45 pm: The Lok Sabha Secretariat will resume partial operations tomorrow. A quarter of the staff will be called in, while 75% can work from home, ANI quotes unidentified officials as saying.
7 pm: The health ministry has updated the coronavirus figures. India now has 16,116 cases and the toll has risen to 519.
6.56 pm: Karnataka reports six new cases, bringing the total to 390, according to ANI.
6.50 pm: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja says two new cases have been reported in the state today. “13 patients have recovered today and currently 129 patients are under treatment in the state; 270 cured so far,” she tweets.
6.48 pm: The Lok Sabha secretariat will resume work from Monday amid the lockdown, reports PTI.
6.45 pm: A 12-day-old girl has tested positive for the coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal city, reports PTI. Her father says she possibly got the infection from a health worker who was on duty during the birth and tested positive later.
6.44 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh rules out any relaxation of the curfew in the state, except for wheat procurement till May 3, reports The Indian Express. He adds that no special curfew passes should be issued to the people on account of Ramzan.
6.40 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 105 new coronavirus cases, says the state health department. The state has 1,477 cases now with 15 deaths.
6.38 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal says nine new coronavirus cases have been reported in the region, taking the total to 350.
6.33 pm: Air India stops all flight bookings after the Centre clarifies that it has not decided when flight operations will resume, reports PTI. On Saturday, the airline opened bookings on some domestic flights from May 4 and for select international flights from June 1.
6.20 pm: “India, with the right blend of the physical and the virtual can emerge as the global nerve centre of complex modern multinational supply chains in the post Covid-19 world,” the prime minister writes in a LinkedIn post. “Let us rise to that occasion and seize this opportunity.”
5.37 pm: “Covid-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking,” Modi says in another tweet. “Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. We are in this together.”
5.35 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says coronavirus has resulted in disruptions. “These days, home is the new office,” he says in a LinkedIn post. “The Internet is the new meeting room. For the time being, office breaks with colleagues are history.”
4.34 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says the state has not reported any positive coronavirus case after April 3. “A moment of satisfaction and relief for Goa as the last active Covid-19 case tests negative,” he tweets. “Team of doctors and entire support staff deserves applause for their relentless effort. No new positive case in Goa after 3rd April 2020.”
4.28 pm: Agarwal adds that India is monitoring vaccine development initiatives. He also says that task force co-chaired by Niti Aayog member and principal scientific advisor to government will coordinate the science and technology response.
4.27 pm: “We need to make sure that asymptomatic people who are at high risk, should be quarantined, at home or facility where they can be monitored effectively,” says Lav Agarwal.
4.25 pm: Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla writes to all chief secretaries of states and Union Territories regarding e-commerce companies excluded from supplying non-essential goods. However, they will continue to supply essential goods.
4.17 pm: Lav Agarwal adds that there are 755 dedicated hospitals and 1,389 dedicated health care centers in the country, taking the total dedicated facilities to treat coronavirus patients to 2,144.
4.16 pm: Agarwal says relaxation of the lockdown guidelines will not be implemented in containment areas, only essential services will be allowed.
4.14 pm: Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, says no new coronavirus cases have been reported in Mahe in Puducherry and Karnataka’s Kodagu in the last 28 days. He adds that 54 other districts in 23 states/Union Territories did not report any cases in the last 14 days.
4.11 pm: R Gangakhedkar of the Indian Council of Medical Research says 3,86,791 coronavirus tests have been conducted so far.
4.10 pm: “States should ensure security to medical teams,” says Punya Salila Srivastava, joint secretary, home ministry.
4.08 pm: The health ministry says that the lockdown guidelines should be followed strictly.
4.04 pm: The Centre begins it daily press conference on the coronavirus situation in the country.
3.56 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urges the Uttar Pradesh government to evolve a plan to help migrant workers from the state reach their home amid the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus spread.
“These workers are our own,” she says in a video. “It is the responsibility of all of us to help them. We cannot leave them like this. We have to find a way out,” she said. “I urge the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a helpline and a control room of 1,000 persons so that these stranded workers can be reached out. You have to evolve a plan to bring them back.”
3.55 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary Avnish Awasthi says that the chief minister has ordered to set up a committee to provide employment to five lakh workers who have come to the state in the last 45 days from different parts of the country, reports ANI.
3.50 pm: The Ministry of Finance says that more than Rs 36,659 crore has been transferred to the bank accounts of 16.01 crore beneficiaries during the nationwide lockdown to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
3.42 pm: NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant has said that the coronavirus pandemic is the “biggest disruption” that the world will ever see and will lead to permanent changes in the nature of work.
3.37 pm: Javadekar says India is tackling the coronavirus spread much better than western countries, reports PTI.
3.36 pm: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi not in two minds about the way forward and knows what needed to be done and when,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar tells PTI.
3.30 pm: A one-and-a-half-month-old baby has died of the coronavirus at a hospital in Delhi, reports PTI, citing unidentified officials.
3.26 pm: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says that they will implement the lockdown to tackle the spread of the coronavirus inside six jails in the state, reports ANI. “Prisons in Maharashtra have more inmates than their actual capacity,” he adds. “So we’ve decided to implement lockdown at Aurangabad jail – arrangements for food and stay of police personnel will be made inside jail. Similar decision has been taken for five more jails in Maharashtra.”
3.20 pm: The new home ministry guidelines say that migrant labourers can be screened and those who are asymptomatic can be allowed to move within the state to reach their place of work. All such workers living in relief camps will have to be registered with the local authorities, adds the ministry.
3.13 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that the rate of doubling of coronavirus cases in India has reduced, reports ANI. “The doubling rate of patients in the last 14 days was 6.2 days,” he adds. “When it was calculated for the last 7 days it turned out to be 7.2 days. It has turned out to be 9.7 days for the past 3 days. It is a good indication.”
3.10 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urges women to report domestic violence cases amid the countrywide lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.
He says they can use two helpline number being run by private players for complaints and counselling. “These private-operated numbers are 1800120820050 and 18001024040,” he adds.
3.06 pm: Pakistan records 514 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections in the country to 7,993 with 159 deaths, reports PTI.
3 pm: Rajasthan reports 80 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 1,431, according to ANI.
2.56 pm: The home ministry in an order says that there shall be no movement of labourers outside the state/Union Territory where they are currently located amid the nationwide lockdown.
2 pm: “The industries will have to arrange the accommodation for their workers,” Thackeray says, adding that the workers will get food grain supply and permission for raw material. “They would not travel long distance for work.”
All district borders, except for the movement of essential services, would remain sealed, he adds.
1.55 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says industries in green and orange coronavirus zones will be able to resume operations in a restricted manner, PTI reports.
1.54 pm: India is fighting on war footing and all government agencies are working in close coordination, Rajnath Singh adds.
1.52 pm: The fight against Covid-19 is the biggest invisible war in our lifetime, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tells PTI. He says it is a war against humanity.
1.50 pm: Russia registers a record 6,060 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, reports The Moscow Times. The country now has nearly 43,000 cases.
1.35 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan pays a visit to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in the national Capital to take stock of the recovery levels of Covid-19 patients. “I’m being told around 95 patients out of the 177 admitted here will be discharged by evening,” he says. “The doubling rate of patients in the last 14 days was 6.2 days. For the last seven days the doubling rate is 7.2 days. It has turned out to be 9.7 days for the past three days,” he adds. “This is a good indication.”
1.29 pm: Union minister Prakash Javadekar categorically states that the Centre has not taken any decision on resuming train or airline services, so far, PTI reports. “It has to start one day but which is that one day you don’t know at this moment,” he says. “Discussion about it is futile because we are examining the situation every day and drawing new lessons.”
1.08 pm: A total of 141 people who had apparently recovered from Covid-19 have tested positive again in South Korea, country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, according to CNN.
1.06 pm: A teacher in Goa claims he can cure coronavirus in six days, IANS reports. The “cure” according to the school teacher involves crushing a mix of lemon and ginger juice with powdered fennel, some petals of garlic and a locally available wild bitter gourd.
1.00 pm: Abba Kyari, chief of staff to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, dies of Covid-19, AP reports. Africa now has more than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
12.53 pm: Economist Arvind Panagariya says India should resist demands for mega relief or economic stimulus packages and instead focus on a more “measured approach” by limiting interventions to provision for working capital, and ensure availability of basic necessities for all its people, PTI reports.
12.51 pm: Ahmedabad reports another 140 Covid-19 cases, as the overall tally in the district crosses the 1,000 mark, PTI reports quoting health officials.
12.50 pm: The New Delhi Municipal Council says those who are found spitting or urinating in public will be fined Rs 1,000, PTI reports.
12.28 pm: Coronavirus cases are increasing due to the Tablighi markaz incident, Kejriwal adds, according to PTI.
12.25 pm: Kejriwal adds that all the 186 people who tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday were asymptomatic and did not know they had it. “This is more worrying,” he says.
12.20 pm: The situation will be reviewed after a week, he adds.
12.15 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says there will be no relaxations to the lockdown restrictions in the national Capital. “Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Delhi but it’s still under control. No need to panic,” he says, according to ANI.
11.55 am: United States President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened China with consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.
“It [the coronavirus outbreak] could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it,” Trump said in his daily White House briefing, as US cases topped 7,30,000 and fatalities in the country approached 39,000. “If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences.”
Read more here:
11.40 am: The supply of non-essential goods by e-commerce firms will continue to stay banned during the lockdown period, the Ministry of Home Affairs announces.
11.35 am: Andhra Pradesh reports 44 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total cases to 647, ANI reports.
11.30 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath holds a meeting with senior government officers to review the coronavirus situation in the state.
11.05 am: Social distancing norms are violated in Nagpur on Sunday morning.
11 am: Haridwar and Nainital districts of Uttarakhand are declared red zones, ANI reports. Officials say that 80% of the 42 cases in the state are from Dehradun, Haridwar and Nainital.
10.55 am: The Maharashtra Police put up effigies in Nagpur to spread awareness on coronavirus.
10.50 am: The daily toll in New York dropped under 550 for the first time in nearly two weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo says, PTI reports. “If you look at the past three days, you could argue that we are past the plateau when we’re starting to descend, which would be very good news. Again, it’s only three days but that’s what the numbers would start to suggest,” he says.
10.45 am: At least two doctors and six nurses at the Lady Hardinge Medical College in Delhi test positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. They were all working at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
A 10-month-old baby who was admitted to the emergency ward of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge hospital for respiratory ailments tested positive for Covid-19. The father of the child also tested positive, while the mother’s test report is awaited. The pediatric ICU of the hospital is now being sanitised.
10.40 am: China classifies Wuhan, the coronavirus epicentre, a low-risk area, PTI reports.
10.30 am: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram urges the government to transfer cash and distribute free foodgrain to the poor. “There is overwhelming evidence that more and more people have run out of cash and are forced to stand in lines to collect free cooked food. Only a heartless government will stand by and do nothing,” he says.
He adds: “Why cannot government save them from hunger AND protect their dignity by transferring cash to every poor family? Why can’t government distribute, free of cost, a small part of the 77 million tonnes of grain with FCI to families who need the grain to feed themselves? These two questions are both economic and moral questions.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have failed to answer both questions, as the nation watches helplessly, he adds.
10.10 am: A 10-month-old baby who was admitted to the emergency ward of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge hospital for respiratory ailments tests positive for Covid-19, ANI reports.The father of the child also tests positive, while the mother’s test report is awaited. The pediatric ICU of the hospital is now being sanitised.
10.07 am: The Tamil Nadu police arrest two men who attempted to produce their own alcohol based on “do it yourself” steps posted on a popular video sharing website in Namakkal, PTI reports.
10.05 am: A special Air India flight to China’s Guangzhou airlifted three lakh rapid antibody test kits to be sent to Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, NDTV reports.
10.03 am: The governments of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra, issue advisories to medical shops and pharmacies to note down the name, address and phone numbers of anyone purchasing medicines for fever, cold and cough, The Indian Express reports.
9.59 am: The Karnataka government reaches an agreement with private labs in the state to send samples for Covid-19 testing to them, provided they charge a capped price of Rs 2,250 per test, The Indian Express reports.
9.56 am: The Punjab government will allow construction activity in the state along with mining of sand and gravel from April 20, The Indian Express reports. In guidelines to deputy commissioners of the districts, the state also permitted the operation of stone crushers, besides opening of outlets selling cement and steel. The final decision, however, will be taken by the Deputy Commissioners of all 22 districts.
9.54 am: A 78-year-old man in Kolkata killed his 45-year-old physically challenged son after he refused to wear a mask while going out amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Hindustan Times reports.
9.52 am: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant says India’s supply chain will get “massively disrupted” because of the ongoing countrywide lockdown to contain Covid-19 outbreak, The Hindustan Times reports. “The pandemic has created a unique challenge, which is complex and unpredictable. How do we skill our people for new kinds of jobs? We are heading into a totally new world,” he says.
9.48 am: The Assam government decides to not use the personal protection equipment kits imported from China, NDTV reports. The decision was taken after a section of health workers and doctors raised doubts on the quality and efficacy of the kits following a media report, state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says.
9.45 am: A senior police official from Punjab’s Ludhiana, who tested positive for the coronavirus, dies from multiple organ failure, NDTV reports. Assistant Commissioner of Police Anil Kumar Kohli, 52, was scheduled for a plasma surgery but died before he could be operated on.
9.43 am: A labourer from Madhya Pradesh, who was desperate to reach home amid the countrywide lockdown, chopped off his tongue at a temple in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, The Hindustan Times reports.
9.40 am: The World Health Organisation says India has had fewer coronavirus cases than anticipated because of “early and aggressive action to contain the outbreak,” The Hindustan Times reports. “The topmost leadership is driving a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to the pandemic,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the organisation’s director for South East Asia region tells the newspaper in an interview.
9.30 am: The Rajasthan Health Department says the cases have risen to 1,395.
9.15 am: Better planning and more thoughtful policymaking could have softened the blow to Indian migrants left adrift because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Read more here:
9.10 am: Turkmenistan is rebooting its football season on Sunday, with fans flocking back to stadiums in one of the few countries yet to declare a case of coronavirus. The reclusive Central Asian state followed other countries around the world when it suspended its eight-team league in March just three games into the season. The national football federation cited recommendations by the health ministry and the World Health Organisation for preventing the spread of the illness. A month later, and despite international concerns that Turkmen authorities are underplaying the threat of the virus, football is returning.
Read more here:
9 am: A man who had recovered from the coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh has tested positive again, reports PTI.
8.58 am: India’s Covid-19 tally rises to 15,712 patients, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, 12,974 people are being treated while 507 have died. As many as 2,230 people have recovered so far.
8.50 am: The Delhi High Court on Saturday asked the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party-led government in the Capital to file responses on a plea seeking measures to provide protection to victims of domestic violence and child abuse amid the countrywide lockdown to contain coronavirus.
Read more here:
8.40 am: The Manipur Police on Saturday arrested 580 people for violating lockdown norms and not wearing masks in public, PTI reports.
8.35 am: Epidemics, much like wars or natural disasters, profoundly influence the course of history. Covid-19 will have its own lasting political effects. History offers us lessons on how epidemics transform society – and how diseases leave their imprint on the world’s social and political fabric.
Read more here:
8.30 am: In Italy, volunteers are delivering food via gondolas to elderly people and others in vulnerable groups.
8.25 am: Spain will extend its nationwide lockdown until May 9, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday, PTI reports. Restrictions will be eased from April 27. The country, which has been under lockdown since March 14, has a toll of 20,043.
8.20 am: The Rajasthan government has issued new guidelines for the Covid-19 lockdown from April 20. These will allow some industries and enterprises to operate from April 20. Industries or enterprises that are located in rural areas or industrial areas established in municipalities/municipal areas, export based industries or Special Economic Zones, where movement is controlled and adequate arrangements are made to accommodate workers in their factory premises or nearby areas, can be begun after April 20, PTI reports.
8.15 am: Netflix has uploaded 10 documentaries, series and short films on YouTube to boost online learning and “help teachers around the world” during the coronavirus lockdown, the streaming platform said in a press statement on Friday.
Read more here:
8.10 am: In Haryana’s Nuh district, locked-down and hungry residents are living off sporadic acts of charity. Read more about the immense human cost of the lockdown and the suffering of the poor here.
8 am: Italy records 3,491 new coronavirus cases and 482 deaths, raising the overall toll to 23,227. Overall, Italy has nearly 1,76,000 confirmed cases.
7.55 am: More than 1 lakh people have died of the coronavirus in Europe, AFP reports. This is nearly two-thirds of the overall global toll. Europe, the worst-hit continent, has 1,00,501 deaths out of 11,36,672 infections.
7.50 am: In Turkey, 121 more people died on Saturday, taking the total deaths to 1,890, PTI reports. The total number of confirmed infections is 82,329.
7.45 am: Agra reports 45 new Covid-19 cases, taking the count to 241, ANI reports.
7.40 am: France on Saturday reported 642 more deaths in hospitals and nursing homes, PTI reports. This takes the toll in the country to 19,323. However, the total number of patients fell for the fourth consecutive day – by 551 to 30,639 in hospitals and by 194 to 5,833 in intensive care.
France has been under lockdown since March 17 and is expected to stay that way till May 11.
7.35 am: US President Donald Trump says Muslims should be held to the same social distancing norms during Ramzan as Christians were doing Easter.
7.30 am: Hundreds of people protested against coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions across the United States of America on Saturday, PTI reports. President Donald Trump explicitly encouraged them. Protests were held in Concord in New Hampshire, Annapolis in Maryland and Austin in Texas.
7.25 am: Twenty workers in Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s palace test positive for the coronavirus, AFP reports.
7.20 am: As many as 1,891 coronavirus deaths recorded in the US in 24 hours, AFP reports.
7.15 am: Visuals of people out on Sunday morning in Delhi.
7.10 am: Covid-19 has affected 23,28,124 people, and caused 1,60,518 deaths in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
7.05 am: The Indian government on Saturday clarified that it had not yet decided on allowing flight operations to resume from May 4. “The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations. Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet.
The clarification came after state-run carrier Air India said it has reopened bookings for select domestic flights for travel from May 4, and for international flights for travel from June 1. All domestic as well as international flights in India were suspended last month as the country went in a lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. This suspension was extended earlier this week when the nationwide lockdown was extended to May 3.
- The number of Covid-19 patients in India rose to 14,792 on Saturday evening after 957 new cases were reported, according to the health ministry. The toll increased by 36 to 488, while the number of patients who have recovered crossed 2,000.
- The Centre said that as of Saturday morning, 4,291 cases of Covid-19 were related to a “single source” – an event held in Nizamuddin in Delhi last month. In Tamil Nadu, one of the worst-hit states by the pandemic, 84% of all cases were linked to this source. The government also said that in 47 districts in 23 states, no cases have been reported in the last 14 days.
- Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the situation with top officials in New Delhi and took stock of the supply of essential commodities. He also reviewed the working of a 24x7 control room set up to monitor the pandemic and coordinate with states and Union Territories.
- The Delhi government increased the number of containment zones in the city from 68 to 76. In Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, the number of coronavirus patients reached 3,648 after 328 new patients were found.
- The Centre changed FDI norms to prevent “opportunistic takeovers” of Indian firms by foreign entities. Firms which operate in countries bordering India will now have to take government permission before investing in India.
- The Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed all courts in the Union Territory to treat the cases of domestic abuse as urgent. In Delhi, the High Court sought responses of the Centre and the Delhi government on a petition seeking measures to safeguard victims of domestic violence and child abuse amidst the Covid-19 lockdown.
- At least 26 Indian Navy officials at the Western Naval Command in Mumbai have tested positive for Covid-19. This is the first confirmation of coronavirus cases in the naval force that came a day after the Indian Army said there were eight cases among its troops.
- Globally, the number of Covid-19 patients reached 22.73 lakh, including 1.56 lakh deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University. The number of cases in the United States rose to 7.06 lakh. The number of deaths in Africa crossed 1,000.