10.45 pm: Here are the top updates from Monday:

  1. The number of coronavirus cases in India reached 28,380 on Monday evening and the toll rose to 886, the health ministry said. With 1,463 new cases, this is the lowest rise in the number in four days. However, the toll jumped by 60 – the highest in a day so far.
  2. The Centre allowed the option of home-isolation for Covid-19 patients who have very mild or no symptoms. The government issued guidelines on the eligibility conditions for such patients to get that option.
  3. The Centre said India has not paid the Chinese firms who provided faulty testing rapid testing kits for Covid-19. This came hours after Indian Council of Medical Research advised states to stop using kits produced by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics as the results led to wide variation.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with the chief ministers via video conference to discuss the strategy post the nationwide lockdown, which is supposed to last till May 3. During the meeting, the prime minister said that the nationwide lockdown to control Covid-19 had led to positive results and also emphasised on the need to give importance to the economy.
  5. The Reserve Bank of India announced a Rs 50,000-crore Special Liquidity Facility for mutual funds, four days after Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund shut six debt schemes in India amid the coronavirus crisis. India’s debt markets have been under stress since the government imposed the nationwide lockdown.
  6. The number of people infected with Covid-19 across the world crossed 30 lakh, while the toll rose to 2.08 lakh, in 185 countries or regions, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

10.35 pm: The number of cases globally crosses 30 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University. The last 10 lakh patients were added in just 13 days.

10.30 pm: Delhi records 190 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of patients to 3,108. The toll rises to 54, ANI reports. Of these 3,108 cases, 877 people have recovered.

10 pm: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren seeks the Centre’s help to bring back students stranded outside the state, PTI reports.

9.50 pm: The West Bengal Health Department clarifies that only primary or secondary contacts of a Covid-19 patient will be allowed to isolate themselves in their homes, ANI reports. The Covid-19 positive patient must be taken to hospitals.

Earlier in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said the state has its limit on quarantining people and so those patients who had the provision to isolate themselves at home should do it.

9.47 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy says the coronavirus cannot be eliminated and “we have to live with it”, PTI reports. “Corona could afflict some Yellaiah or Pullaiah, or even me. Its nothing but fever. It comes and goes. Take medicines when it comes and some care,” Jagan says.

He adds: “Despite the numerous measures taken, the reality is that we cant really contain the virus. Even if one person is left out somewhere, and if he sneezes or cough...the virus spreads. It is a never-ending process. No way the virus gets fully eliminated.”

9.45 pm: The number of containment zones in Delhi rise to 99, ANI reports.

9.40 pm: New cases in more states:

Rajasthan: 77 new cases, total rises to 2,262,

Telangana: two new cases, total rises to 1,003,

Punjab: eight new cases, total rises to 330,

Chandigarh: five new cases, total rises to 45.

9.22 pm: Mumbai reports 395 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 5,589. The toll jumps by 15 to 219, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

9.18 pm: WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, “We have a long road ahead of us, and a lot of work to do. WHO is committed to doing everything we can to support all countries.”

The Solidarity Response Fund has received $200 million from 280,000 individuals, corporations and foundations, Tedros says.

He adds that the pandemic is far from over.

8.36 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government has brought back over 12,000 labourers who were stranded in Haryana amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Read more: UP brings back over 12,000 labourers from Haryana; Bihar CM hits out at inter-state travel

8.32 pm: Maharashtra has 522 new positive cases and 27 deaths, ANI reports. The total number of cases rises to 8,590, and the toll is now 369.

8.06 pm: New cases in more states:

Jharkhand: seven new cases, total rises to 98,

Bihar: 19 new cases, total rises to 345,

Gujarat: 247 new cases, total rises to 3,548,

Kerala: 13 new cases, total rises to 481.

7.59 pm: The Centre issues guidelines for allowing home-isolation for patients with very mild symptoms or no symptoms yet. Home-isolation will be allowed if the patient has requisite facility at their home, family contacts have quarantine facility, and a caregiver is available all the time, among other requirements:

7.46 pm: Haryana will tighten its borders with Delhi, and from Tuesday, those travelling between Delhi and Gurugram or Faridabad will need passes from the state government, NDTV reports.

“So far we have only sealed Sonipat and Jhajjar borders with Delhi,” says Haryana police chief Manoj Yadava. “Gurgaon and Faridabad borders [had] been tightened but not sealed yet.”

7.40 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel says the state has started listing students and labourers who are stranded in other state, ANI reports. He says arrangements will be made to bring them back.

He says that the highlight of Modi’s meeting with chief ministers was that the situation was different in each state, so states should be allowed to take their own decisions on extending the lockdown.

7.37 pm: Jammu and Kashmir has a total of 546 cases so far.

7.30 pm: Fourteen people, including eight healthcare workers, have tested positive in Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, PTI reports. The district has 129 cases so far.

7.25 pm: Another head constable of the Mumbai Police has died, taking the number to three.

7.23 pm: Dharavi area of Mumbai has 13 new cases today, taking the total number of cases in the area to 288, including 14 deaths, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

6.50 pm: Four new cases reported in Chandigarh, taking the total number to 40.

7.25 pm: New cases in more states:

Haryana: five new cases, total now 301

Tamil Nadu: 52 new cases, total now 1,937

6.25 pm: Here’s how the graphs for daily new cases and cumulative cases in India look like.

5.53 pm: The number of new patients confirmed in a day by the health ministry in its 5 pm updates is the lowest in four days. The last time it was lower was when the Centre confirmed 1,229 new patients on April 23.

However, the toll jumped by 60 – the highest in a day so far.

5.42 pm: The number of patients across India has reached 28,380, including 886 deaths. This marks an increase of 1,463 new cases in the last 24 hours.

5.41 pm: Karnataka reports nine new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 512.

5.39 pm: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren says the state has decided not to implement the Centre’s guidelines on the opening of shops due to a rise in the number of cases, ANI reports.

5.23 pm: Mamata Banerjee says the state has its limit on quarantining people. Those patients who have the provision to isolate themselves at home should home-quarantine themselves, she says.

5.13 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says the Centre is making conflicting statements on the lockdown and there is no clarity, PTI reports. She is referring to an order on opening standalone shops.

“The Centre on one hand seeks the enforcement of lockdown, on the other, it issues order to reopen shops,” she says.

5.01 pm: The number of cases in Uttar Pradesh rises to 1,955, including 31 deaths, Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad says.

4.59 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered necessary arrangements to send students preparing for competitive exams in Prayagraj to their homes in 300 state buses, says Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi.

4.46 pm: West Bengal confirms 47 new cases, taking the total to 504, ANI reports.

4.40 pm: The government says the ICMR has not made any payments for the supplies of the kits it has asked states to stop using.

4.36 pm: “No dearth in terms of planning and organisation of testing kits across the country,” says Agarwal.

4.34 pm: Agarwal says the country has sufficient availability of RT-PCR tests.

4.16 pm: Parameswaran Iyer, the chairperson of the empowered committee looking into matters related to supply chains and logistics, says the supply of LPG and milk has been at “pre-lockdown levels” and prices of tomato, onion and potato have been stable during the lockdown. Around 1.5 crore people are being served cooked meals daily, he says.

4.14 pm: “Our fight is not against the infected person, but against the infection,” says Agarwal, urging citizens not to create stigma against any patients, healthcare or sanitary workers, or any particular community.

4.11 pm: Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal says the recovery rate has been improving, and has increased to 22.17% as of Monday morning. Sixteen districts that had cases earlier but have not had any new patients in the last 28 days, he adds.

The number of districts that have not reported any cases in the last 14 days is now 85, he says.

4.09 pm: The team that visited Jaipur suggested that strong measures be taken that the lockdown is not violated in the Walled City in evenings, says Srivastava. The team also recommended more testing.

4.04 pm: The Centre is briefing the media on the situation.

The inter-ministerial central teams that have been sent to some states to monitor the situation have begun their work, says Joint Home Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava.

The one sent to Pune found that the doubling rate of the number of cases in the city is seven days, worse than the overall national rate, she says. It also found that an infected patient is found per nine tests in Pune, whereas the number for the country is 23, she adds.

The team suggested that Pune increase faster identification of high-risk individuals, faster contact tracing and surveillance.


3.55 pm: Kerala Health minister KK Shailaja says there has been no third stage spread or community transmission of the coronavirus infection in the state, reports PTI. “This monitoring will continue and in case there is any rise in such cases we will focus on that area,” she says. “So as of now, there is no community spread. But we cannot be sure that it won’t happen.”

3.47 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research advises states to stop using Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics rapid testing kits for Covid-19. “The results have shown wide variation in their sensitivity, despite early promise of good performance for surveillance purposes,” says ICMR in a statement. “In view of this, states are advised to stop using these kits procured from the above mentioned companies and return them to be sent back to the suppliers.”

3.42 pm: The headquarters of the Ministry of Civil Aviation at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Delhi has reopened. The office was sealed last week after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus on April 21. “The office at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan is sanitized, safe, up and reopened,” tweets Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri.

3.35 pm: Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh reports first coronavirus case after a 50-year-old tested positive, reports PTI. “Family members and those who came in contact of the man will be quarantined,” Commissioner Jayant Narlikar says. “The entire area in sealed and sanitised.”

3.32 pm: A private hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city has started plasma therapy trials on three coronavirus patients, who are in serious condition, reports PTI. The therapy involves infusion of blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from Covid-19 into severely ill patients.

Indore has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot in the state, with 1,207 coronavirus cases and 60 deaths so far.

3.30 pm: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Mayor Kishori Pednekar says that there has been a significant drop in number of containment zones in Mumbai, reports ANI. “231 zones are out of the containment zone list after they didn’t record a single coronavirus positive patient for last 14 days,” she adds.

3.28 pm: The number of fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic in Spain has risen to 331, taking the overall toll to 23,521, reports Reuters.

3.23 pm: Here is a chart showing the number of coronavirus tests conducted in India so far.

3.20 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat praises the “bold and timely” decision taken by Modi to impose the lockdown, reports PTI.

“Uttarakhand has been a centre of tourism, especially religious tourism, which has suffered due to the lockdown, but we are confident that under the leadership of the prime minister, the situation will improve again,” says Rawat after participating in the prime minister’s video-conference with chief ministers.

3.17 pm: Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo says Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with the chief ministers said that the coronavirus cases could rise in June and July, therefore all the activities must be done accordingly, reports ANI.

3.15 pm: The top court also says that a petition challenging the mass layoffs by media houses amid the coronavirus pandemic raises “serious issues”, reports PTI. The bench headed by Justice NV Ramana gives notice to the Centre in the petition filed by journalists’ unions and will hear the matter after two weeks.

3.13 pm: The Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response within one week on whether inter-state movement of migrants can be allowed and about the proposals or steps taken by the government in the matter, reports Bar and Bench.

3.08 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Karnataka has risen to 511 after eight more people tested positive, reports PTI.

3.03 pm: Bihar reports 17 new coronavirus cases, taking the state tally to 307, reports ANI.

3 pm: The Supreme Court refuses to entertain a petition seeking directions to Centre, other authorities to ensure free unlimited calls, data usage and direct to home facilities are provided to subscribers during the nationwide lockdown, reports PTI.

2.58 pm: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy says most chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states sought an extension of the lockdown, reports ANI. “Most of the chief ministers said the way in which cases are increasing, there should be a cautious approach and that the prime minister should take a call on basis of their observation.”

2.52 pm: The Kerala government has argued against an abrupt lifting of the lockdown restrictions on May 3 in the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports The Hindu. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Tom Jose, who sought a progressive dialling down of curfew stipulations aimed at liberating relatively safe localities first and high-risk areas later.

2.45 pm: Russia reports 6,198 new coronavirus cases, taking the total infections to 87,147, according to Reuters.

2.42 pm: BJP President JP Nadda praises Reserve Bank of India’s Rs 50,000-crore Special Liquidity Facility for mutual funds. “Covid-19 has brought many challenges to our economy,” he tweets. “To deal with this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has taken many prompt decisions. Taking it forward and to protect small investors interests, I welcome RBI’s announcement of Rs 50,000 crore special liquidity facility for mutual funds.”

2.36 pm: The prime minister urges chief ministers to factor weather changes advent of summer and monsoon and the illnesses that can potentially come in this season, while planning ahead.

2.32 pm: Modi says Indians who are stranded abroad should be brought back without any inconvenience and while also ensuring that their families are not under any risk.

2.28 pm: Modi also warns that the danger of the coronavirus pandemic is “far from over”, adding that that “constant vigilance is of paramount importance”.

2.25 pm: “Impact of coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months, masks and face covers will be part of our life,” says Modi in his interaction with the chief ministers.

2.20 pm: Modi says states should try to convert the red zones into orange and thereafter to green zones. “We have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against Covid-19,” he adds.

2.16 pm: “Our aim must be rapid response, need to follow mantra of ‘do gaz doori’ [a distance of two yards],” he adds.

2.15 pm: In his meeting with chief minister’s, Modi says that the nationwide lockdown has yielded positive results and that the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past 1.5 months, says a press release from his office.

2.10 pm: Singapore confirms 799 new coronavirus infections, taking the city-state’s tally of cases to 14,423, reports Reuters.

1.57 pm: A 50-year-old man in Bengaluru, who tested positive for the coronavirus, allegedly committed suicide, PTI reports. The patient allegedly jumped from the trauma centre building of the Victoria Hospital. Further investigation is underway.

1.55 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also supports the extension of the countrywide lockdown, which ends on May 3. He says that while relaxations should be allowed to carry out economic activities, all state borders should continue to remain sealed.

1.53 pm: Odisha Health Minister Naba Das, who was present along with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Modi’s meeting, says he has demanded the countrywide lockdown be extended beyond May 3, ANI reports.

1.44 pm: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi raises the issue of faulty PPEs supplied to medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh. “It was good that this [the scam] was detected early and the same were returned and no one could play with the safety of our warrior doctors,” she tweets. “Surprisingly, the Uttar Pradesh government is not bothered about the scam but is concerned about who leaked the information about these faulty kits.”

1.42 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says certain sections of the society are trying to reap benefits from the supply of rapid testing kits for Covid-19 to the government. “When the entire country is fighting against the Covid-19 disaster, some people are still profiteering,” he tweets. “One detests and feels ashamed of such a corrupt mindset. We demand from the prime minister strict action against these profiteers.”

1.37 pm: Spain has eased restrictions on movement of people to allow children outside for the first time in six weeks, BBC reports. Spain is one of the worst-affected countries in the coronavirus pandemic and has had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

1.35 pm: Chile’s government has said it will go ahead with the plan to issue certificates to people who have recovered from Covid-19, BBC reports. The documents would be given to people to allow them to return to work, Deputy Health Minister Paula Daza said.

1.32 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to Downing Street on Sunday night, a month after being diagnosed with the Covid-19, The Guardian reported.

1.27 pm: The health department of the Delhi government has requested the National Centre for Disease Control to do an assessment and audit of implementation of guidelines and standard operating procedure at seven hospitals in the Capital, The Hindustan Times reports.

1.22 pm: The Meghalaya government announces relaxations in the lockdown for activities such as sale of essential commodities, courier and e-commerce operations dealing with essential goods and the Common Service Centres. However, the exemptions will not be applicable in Shillong, and Mylliem Block of East Khasi Hills District, PTI reports.

1.17 pm: Experts in Gujarat say the high numbers of Covid-19 related deaths in the state could be because of the dominance of the L-type strain of the coronavirus, which is found to be more prevalent in Wuhan, China, PTI reports. However, there is no scientific evidence to confirm the claim till now.

1.05 pm: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma says his government has mooted for the countrywide lockdown to continue beyond May 3, with some relaxations on activities in Green Zones and areas that are not affected by Covid-19.

1.01 pm: In Karnataka, 511 coronavirus cases have been reported till now with 19 deaths. Out of these, 8 new cases have been reported from 5pm yesterday till 12 noon, ANI reports, quoting state health department figures.

12.57 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat’s Office releases a statement on the meeting with chief ministers on the Covid-19 situation, reports ANI. “For the economic revival of the state, a committee of ministers and a committee of experts has been constituted. [The] chief minister has suggested that duration of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 wage employment be increased to 150 days from the present 100 days.

12.55 pm: Prime Minister Modi concludes his meeting with chief ministers of states on the coronavirus situation in the country.

12.52 pm: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram welcomes RBI’s decision to open a special liquidity facility for mutual funds of Rs 50,000 crore. “I am glad that RBI has taken note of the concerns expressed two days ago and requesting prompt action,” he tweets.

12.43 pm: A Mumbai Police officer’s hand has been injured while he was trying to disperse a crowd that had assembled defying lockdown regulations, reports Hindustan Times. Four people have been detained in the incident.

12.39 pm: Around 110 doctors, all postgraduate students of the Delhi government’s Maulana Azad Medical College and posted to shelter homes, quarantine facilities and government dispensaries in the city, claim they have no medicines, infrastructural setup or even equipment to treat patients, reports Hindustan Times.

12.25 pm: In Maharashtra’s Pune district, three more deaths and 55 new Covid-19 cases have been found. The toll in the district rises to 80 and the total number of cases stand at 1,319, reports PTI, citing health officials.

12.20 pm: Haryana’s Minister Anil Vij says people who work in Delhi and stay in Haryana are “corona carriers”. “I appeal to the Delhi Chief Minister that stay arrangements of people who work in Delhi should be made in Delhi itself,” he says, according to ANI. “They should not be issued passes to travel to Haryana as this is increasing Covid-19 cases here [in Haryana].”

12.10 pm: Andhra Pradesh’s Health Department reports 80 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. Of these, 23 are in Guntur district, 33 in Krishna district and 13 in Kurnoo. The total number of confirmed cases in the state rise to 1,177.

12.07 pm: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis has said the state government is “suppressing” the magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic and not testing asymptomatic patients, reports PTI.

11.55 am: In Uttar Pradesh, Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh says 10 new Covid-19 cases have been found in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. The total number of positive cases in the district is now 381.

11.50 am: Maharashtra’s Health Department records a total of 8,068 positive coronavirus cases and the toll in the state rises to 342. The mortality rate in the state stands at 4.24%, reports ANI.

11.45 am: A migrant worker from Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district has died in Maharashtra after attempting to walk home without food or water on foot, reports The Times of India.

11.35 am: Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao has said an extended lockdown could push millions of Indians into the “margins of subsistence”, reports PTI.

11.30 am: In Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur city, nearly one-third of the total 170 Covid-19 cases may have concentrated in three madrasas, reports The Indian Express. Around 53 students, between the ages of 10 and 20 years have tested positive at the madrasas.

11.19 am: Multinational corporations, BPOs and IT-enabled services in Gurgaon may have to allow their employees to work from home till the end of July, says Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority CEO VS Kundu, according to PTI.

11.15 am: In Delhi, 33 healthcare workers have tested positive for the coronavirus at a hospital in East Delhi’s Patparganj. “These [people who tested positive] include two doctors and 23 nursing staff, while the remaining are technicians and support staff,” the hospital has said, reports The Indian Express.

11.12 am: The Delhi Police has said it found 25 migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh in a truck near South Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur area, reports The Indian Express. A case has been registered against the driver and his helper and the truck has been seized. The labourers have been sent to a shelter home.

11 am: Kerala’s Idukki and Kottayam districts, earlier categorised as green zones, have suddenly recorded a surge of 21 Covid-19 cases in four days, reports The Indian Express. As of Sunday, 11 people from the two districts have contracted the infection.

10.58 am: Union minister Nitin Gadkari says India should consider turning the world’s “hatred” for China into an economic opportunity for itself so that large scale foreign investments may trickle in, reports Hindustan Times.

10.55 am: The central government has flagged that Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam have inadequate ventilators, intensive care unit beds and isolation beds, reports The Indian Express.

10.51 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says India’s strategy to tackle the coronavirus will continue to include an aggressive look within the community for all those who have been infected. “Look for them, test them, isolate them, and treat them,” he says in an interview to Hindustan Times.

10.43 am: The Jammu and Kashmir administration says all the students returning from Rajasthan’s Kota city are being facilitated to reach their respective districts. “First batch arrived. They will undergo their administrative quarantine in their own districts as per protocol,” the official account of the Jammu and Kashmir’s Department of Information and Public Relations says.

10.41 am: Telangana Police have been deployed and only essential service providers are allowed in Hyderabad’s Malakpet area, after the area was declared as a coronavirus hotspot by the district authorities, reports ANI.

10.39 am: Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal taking part in the chief minsters’ meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

10.23 am: The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will open a special liquidity facility for mutual funds of Rs 50,000 crore. “...the RBI shall conduct repo operations of 90 days tenor at the fixed repo rate,” the notification from the central bank reads. This is an attempt to ease liquidity pressures on mutual funds.

10.20 am: People purchase essential items at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district, reports ANI.

9.47 am: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation says blood samples of four survivors have tested positive for antibodies. “Their plasma will now be used to treat other patients,” it adds, according to ANI. “BMC appeals other also who’ve recovered to come forward and help others recover by opting for plasma donation.”

9.34 am: The Uttar Pradesh government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is under scanner after a video of patients at a quarantine facility in Agra scrambling and squatting behind locked gates started doing the rounds. The clip shows the inmates desperately trying to grab bottles of water and packets of biscuits thrown at them.

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9.32 am: Bihar’s total count touches 290 after 13 more people test positive, says Sanjay Kumar, the principal secretary (health).

9.30 am: Officials at King George’s Medical University in Lucknow say they tested 461 samples on Sunday. Of these, six are positive, reports ANI.

9.29 am: Rajasthan reports 36 fresh cases. With this, the state’s tally rises to 2,221.

8.54 am: The Tamil Nadu government issues an ordinance stating that any attempts to block the funeral or last rites of a person who died of the coronavirus will be a criminal offence, inviting up to three years in prison. The government says those who block the burial or cremation of bodies of persons who died due to notified diseases will be punished under Tamil Nadu Public Health Act. Such an offence would attract a fine and a jail term of minimum one year which may go up to three years, it adds.

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Covid-19: Tamil Nadu makes blocking funerals a crime, offenders to face up to three years in prison

8.51 am: In the last 24 hours, India reported 1,396 cases and 48 deaths.

8.44 am: Jamtara in Jharkhand reports its first case, says state Health Secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni. The total number of cases in the state rise to 83.

8.43 am: The total number of cases in India soar to 27,892, according to the Union health ministry’s Monday morning update. The toll has gone up to 872.

8.41 am: The Rajasthan government is identifying and tracking the medical history of people above the age of 60 in containment zones, reports Hindustan Times. “The objective is to quickly identify them for respiratory and other vulnerabilities like kidney, hypertension, diabetes or such similar conditions,” Rohit Kumar Singh, the additional chief secretary of medical and health department, tells the newspaper. “We are focusing on them for targeted attention and care.”

8.27 am: The Centre on Sunday rejected a proposal made by officials of the Indian Revenue Service suggesting the government should increase taxes to cushion the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The Centre called it “an act of indiscipline”. In a 44-page report titled FORCE, or Fiscal Options and Response to Covid-19 Epidemic, officials made a series of suggestions for revenue generation. This includes increasing tax on the super rich to 40% from the present 30% and imposing higher tax on foreign companies.

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Covid-19: Centre rejects IRS’ proposal of taxing the super rich, calls it an ‘act of indiscipline’

8.23 am: Hindu Rao Hospital in Delhi will resume services of casualty and emergency wards including the flu clinic and the three outpatient departments of gynaecology, pediatrics and medicine with restricted entry of patients and attendants from today, says NDMC Commissioner Varsha Joshi.

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Delhi: Two hospitals temporarily shut within a day as several employees test positive for Covid-19

8.10 am: 5 new cases in Balasore district of Odisha. With this, the total number of positive cases in the state rise to 108, says the Odisha Health Department.

7.30 am: Italy will allow factories and building sites to reopen from May 4 and permit limited family visits, says Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, according Reuters. “We expect a very complex challenge,” Conte adds. “We will live with the virus and we will have to adopt every precaution possible.”

7.17 am: Gujarat Congress leader Badruddin Shaikh dies, says party leader Shaktisinh Gohil.

7.14 am: 391 students return from Kota to Assam. “To ensure they and their families remain safe, we are putting them into 14-day quarantine,” Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tells ANI.

7.13 am: People visit Delhi’s Okhla vegetable market to buy essentials.

7.12 am: The United States recorded 1,330 more deaths in the past 24 hours, according to figures reported late Sunday by the Johns Hopkins University. With this, the country’s overall toll is now 54,841.

7.10 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:

  • The total number of Covid-19 cases in India reached 26,917 on Sunday evening and the toll rose to 826. The number of cases has jumped by 1,975 in 24 hours – surpassing the biggest single-day spike yet again. The toll jumped by 47.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet chief ministers on a video conference on Monday morning to discuss the way ahead in the fight against Covid-19.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that 80% of the Covid-19 patients in the state are asymptomatic. Thackeray said that his government will take a decision on extending the lockdown by the end of April. The state, the worst-hit by the pandemic, reported 440 new cases and 19 deaths in a day, taking the total number of cases above 8,000.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government will allow shops in neighbourhoods to open after the Centre relaxed certain guidelines to permit the functioning of select shops amid the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19. Kejriwal, however, clarified that no such relaxation will be permitted in containment zones and that no malls or shopping complexes will be allowed to operate in the Capital. Delhi has 95 containment zones.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Indians for being the driving force behind the country’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In his address to the nation on Mann Ki Baat, Modi lauded the citizens for helping each other amid the health crisis.
  • The Congress demanded that the Centre make public details about the availability of RNA extraction kits that are used in the testing for Covid-19 infection. Earlier in the day, The Indian Express had reported, quoting unidentified officials, that the country was left with only 3 lakh such kits, which would last only about a week.
  • Globally, Covid-19 has infected nearly 29.2 lakh people and caused over 2.03 lakh deaths in 185 countries or regions, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.