10.40 pm: Here are the top updates from Tuesday:

  1. The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 29,974 on Tuesday evening. The toll has gone up to 937.
  2. The Centre said plasma therapy is in an experimental stage in India and that there is no evidence yet to definitively say that it can be used to treat Covid-19. The procedure involves the transfusion of blood plasma from a Covid-19 patient who has recovered to another patient who is critically ill.
  3. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is expecting a tremendous surge of the coronavirus cases in Mumbai by the end of May. To tackle the crisis, the civic body has planned to create facilities for 70,000 beds in the city’s hospitals in addition to accommodating 40,000 people in public and private schools.
  4. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India’s doubling rate, or the number of days in which the number of coronavirus cases double, is now 8.7 days for the last 14 days. Over the last seven days, the rate was 10.2, and it was 10.9 over the last three days, he added.
  5. Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday cut India’s growth forecast for the year 2020 from 2.5% to 0.2% as the nation grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
  6. The Delhi government has relaxed the lockdown guidelines in the national Capital and allowed veterinary services and self-employed individuals such as electricians, plumbers and water purifier repairmen to operate from Tuesday. Delhi has recorded 3,314 coronavirus cases and 54 deaths so far.
  7. Covid-19 has infected 30.74 lakh and caused 2.13 lakh deaths across 185 countries or regions, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

10.30 pm: The Delhi government says the number of cases has risen to 3,314.

9.24 pm: Moody’s Investors Service cuts India’s growth forecast to 0.2% for 2020, PTI reports. In March, the rating agency had projected a 2.5% growth for the year.

9 pm: The Delhi government urges Centre to promote Class 10 and 12 students based on internal exams. The Aam Aadmi Party has also requested for 30% reduction in course material for all classes and also reduced syllabus in JEE, NEET and other higher education examinations.

8.58 pm: The number of containment zones in Delhi has increased to 100 after authorities added house number 152 to 162 in Block D of Shaheen Bagh to the list.

8.25 pm: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says Covid-19 is severely impacting global economy, reports The Indian Express. He made the comments at a video conference of the foreign ministers of BRICS. “We need to provide support to businesses to tide over Covid-19 crisis and ensure livelihoods are not lost,” he adds.

8.18 pm: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has directed officials to prepare post-lockdown standard operating procedures for various urban missions, including the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and functioning of metro trains, reports PTI. The countrywide lockdown, imposed on March 25 and was supposed to end on April 14, has been extended till May 3.

8.16 pm: Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan has tested negative for the coronavirus, reports PTI. Four of his staff members tested positive two days ago.

8.12 pm: New cases in more states:

  • Gujarat: 226 new cases, total rises to 3,774
  • Telangana: Six new cases, total rises to 1,009. 
  • Bihar: One new case, total rises to 360.

8.10 pm: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is expecting a tremendous surge of the coronavirus cases in Mumbai by the end of May, Scroll.in has learnt. To tackle the crisis, the civic body has planned to create facilities for 70,000 beds in the city’s hospitals in addition to accommodating 40,000 people in public and private schools.

Read more here: Mumbai civic body expects huge surge by May-end, asks hospitals to prepare 70,000 beds

7.10 pm: There are 42 new cases in Dharavi, Mumbai, and four more people have died of the coronavirus, ANI quotes the civic authority as saying. The total cases in the area is 330.

7.07 pm: The Ministry of Human Resource Development says it will continue providing midday meals to children during the summer, PTI reports.

7 pm: Thirty-six Delhi Police personnel are in quarantine after a registry employee at the Supreme Court tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday night. The police personnel were deployed for security at the top court. Contact tracing is now being done to see who else might be infected, reports Livelaw. Two registrars are also in quarantine.

6.51 pm: There are 121 new cases of the virus in Tamil Nadu today, taking the total in the state to 2,058, reports ANI.

6.40 pm: A Central Reserve Police Force official has died of complications after contracting the coronavirus, PTI quotes unidentified persons as saying.

The CRPF sub-inspector was 55 years old and suffered from co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. He was in the 31st battalion, which was based in Delhi. At least 31 other personnel from his battalion also contracted the infection, according to PTI.

6.30 pm: There are 19 new cases in Jammu and Kashmir, ANI reports. The Union Territory now has a total of 565 cases, of which 381 are active cases.

6.29 pm: West Bengal has reported 28 new cases, bringing its total to 522 active cases in the state, ANI quotes the chief secretary as saying.

6.27 pm: Gautam Buddh Nagar, which includes Noida, has five more cases of the coronavirus. This makes the total number of cases in the district 134, PTI quotes District Surveillance Officer Sunil Dohare as saying. The district has 46 virus hotspots as of now.

6.21 pm: Delhi education minister and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tells Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal that it is not feasible to hold board examinations right now, PTI reports.

6.15 pm: Here is a look at how the cases have risen in the past few weeks.

5.58 pm: The Ministry of Health releases its new coronavirus figures, according to which there are 1,594 new cases and 51 deaths over the last 24 hours. The total number of cases is now 29,974, which includes 937 deaths and 7,026 discharged or cured patients.

5.55 pm: Goa’s health minister says each state should chart its own process on removing lockdown restrictions, NDTV reports. Vishwajit Rane says while states cannot be locked down forever, the chief minister has written to Narendra Modi backing a lockdown extension while the state decides on how to come out of restrictions placed.

5.40 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav demands that his father get parole, after reports that some doctors treating him have contracted the coronavirus. Lalu Yadav is currently receiving treatment for other ailments at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences. He was jailed in Jharkhand after being found guilty in a corruption case.

This comes after RIMS on Monday was quoted as saying that Yadav’s doctor and the doctor’s medical unit were treating a patient who was found to be positive for the coronavirus.

5.27 pm: Brazil might be the next coronavirus hotspot, reports AP. President Jair Bolsonaro has earlier claimed the disease is just a “little flu” and has not placed strict restrictions in the country. Scientists say it’s likely over 1 million people are infected in Brazil, though the official numbers are almost at 67,000. This is due to lack of testing and an increasing number of unwell people not going to hospitals, which are extremely overburdened.

5.23 pm: Haryana will be in a comfortable position with regard to the outbreak if its borders are sealed for between 15 and 20 days, PTI quotes minister Anil Vij as saying. Vij says this after the state seals its borders with Delhi. Only essential services from Delhi are being allowed into Haryana now.

5.16 pm: The health ministry says that the number of people getting reinfected with Covid-19 is “minuscule” and since there is no conclusive evidence yet, they must consider that those “cured” of the virus are “perfectly alright”.

5.10 pm: The central team visiting West Bengal is in Darjeeling today to see the situation with regard to the virus outbreak. Here are some images tweeted by ANI:

4.45 pm: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari calls for urgent action to facilitate inter-state border movement of trucks carrying essential goods, reports ANI.

4.36 pm: Coronavirus updates from Rajasthan:

  • 2,328 positive cases   
  • Increase in recovery rate  
  • 10,000 tests per day to be done in a week  

4.28 pm: Agarwal says lockdown, social distancing and government’s containment activity has been effective. “We have reported fewer cases due to lockdown, as our doubling rate shows,” he says. “The doubling rate, which was around 3.5 before lockdown, is currently around 10.20.”

4.25 pm: “Twenty countries with combined population as of India’s have 84 times more coronavirus cases,” says Agarwal.

4.22 pm: Agarwal says Indian Council of Medical Research has stated clearly that there is no approved therapy for Covid-19, including plasma therapy. “Till ICMR concludes its study, please don’t use this therapy for treatment/or claim cure,” he warns. “It is illegal and can also jeopardise the patient’s health.”

He says plasma therapy is only in experimental stage.

4.21 pm: Lav Agarwal says health ministry has recommended mild patients in the country to be home quarantined.

4.20 pm: The home ministry official says Centre’s ICMT teams have held discussions with various stakeholders including textile and diamond industries, who are major employers of labourers, in Surat. “Most labourers have received the pay for last month,” she adds. “Central team has told Surat administration to prepare future plans as well.”

4.17 pm: Agarwal says 17 districts in the country have no new cases in last 28 days, adding that constant vigilance is necessary.

4.15 pm: Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal says 1,543 new cases in India and that the recovery rate is 23.3%.

4.07 pm: Joint Secretary of Home Ministry Punya Salila Srivastava says lockdown is being implemented successfully and police is also using drones to implement it.

4.05 pm: The Centre is briefing about the coronavirus situation in the country.


4 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says BJP is creating hatred against Muslims over the spread of the coronavirus, reports PTI. He also questions Adityanath government’s handling of the crisis in Uttar Pradesh.

3.53 pm: The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin would give a speech about the coronavirus situation in the country later in the day, reports Reuters. “President Putin has a big speech planned, but I am not going to announce anything, let’s wait until the meeting,” says Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

3.50 pm: The Delhi government has relaxed the lockdown guidelines in the national Capital and allowed veterinary services and self-employed individuals such as electricians, plumbers and water purifier repairmen to operate from Tuesday.

Read more here: Delhi government relaxes lockdown guidelines, here is a list of what is allowed

3.42 pm: Workers in Surat are alleging that they were made to work amid the coronavirus lockdown, reports ANI.

3.37 pm: The Karnataka government has eased restrictions for industries located in rural areas in a few more districts, taking the total number of districts to 14.

3.35 pm: Hundreds of migrant workers in Gujarat’s Surat city protest for the third time in less than a month demanding that they be allowed to go to their hometowns, reports The Hindu. Migrants reportedly damaged several vehicles and threw stones damaging glass windows at the construction site. Police have urged the migrants to remain calm.

3.32 pm: The Asian Development Bank has approved Rs 1.5 billion loan to India to help the country tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI. This includes support for immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society.

3.28 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi discusses the coronavirus crisis with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. “As close maritime neighbours and comprehensive strategic partners, close cooperation between India and Indonesia will be important to deal with the health and economic challenges posed by this crisis,” he tweets.

3.26 pm: The Ministry of Shipping has announced Rs 50 lakh compensation for the port employees and workers in case of loss of life due to the coronavirus, reports ANI.

3.23 pm: Congress says the nation is awaiting Narendra Modi government’s clear response on how to exit the lockdown, reports PTI.

3.20 pm: Singapore’s central bank says the city-state is likely to enter into a recession this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the current forecast for GDP is -4% to -1%, reports Reuters.

3.11 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati asks the Centre to exercise utmost care while procuring testing equipment from abroad to ensure that the fight against Covid-19 is not weakened. She is referring to the corruption in import of equipment during the 2010 Commonwealth Games when the Congress was in power and alleges diversion of funds.

3.05 pm: Here is a look at India’s testing numbers so far.

3.02 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says experts have suggested “increasing the periphery of sealed areas” in Delhi to better manage the coronavirus, ANI reports. There are around 100 virus hotspots in the Capital right now.

Vardhan adds that the number of health workers who have the virus now is “worrying”.

2.45 pm: The Supreme Court seeks the central government’s reply on pleas against its decision asking companies to pay workers their entire salaries during the lockdown period, PTI reports. The Centre has two weeks to reply.

The plea was filed by three private companies against an order issued by the home ministry asking them to pay full salaries during the lockdown.

2.35 pm: China says it is “deeply concerned” by India’s decision not to use testing kits they have supplied, and hopes India will resolve the problem “reasonably and properly”, PTI reports.

Coronavirus test kits made by two Chinese companies Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics have shown wide variation in results. The Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday asked states not to use these testing kits.

2.24 pm: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tells ANI that India will be able to produce its own antibody 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 test per day by May 31,” he says.

2.18 pm: The Supreme Court asks the government to consider a “one nation, one ration card” scheme during the lockdown period to help migrant workers and poorer sections of people get food, reports PTI.

2.06 pm: The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t brought under control by next year, the organising committee’s president says. The pandemic has already forced a year-long delay of the Games, which are now scheduled to open on July 23, 2021, but Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori says no further postponement is possible.

Read more: Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled if Covid-19 is not controlled by 2021, says event president Mori

1.58 pm: Argentina prohibits operations for all internal and international commercial flights until September 1 due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports .

1.45 pm: Australia opens Sydney’s Bondi Beach to the public. Surfers and swimmers return to the beach after social distancing restrictions are eased to allow exercise in the water. There are 6,721 cases in the country and 83 patients have died so far.

1.41 pm: The United Kingdom is at the moment of maximum risk due to the coronavirus, the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. Johnson has urged citizens not to lose patience amid the lockdown, reports BBC.

The country has 1,58,348 cases and 21,157 Covid-19 patients have died.

1.30 pm: British energy giant BP reports a $4.4-billion net loss in the first quarter as the pandemic continues to crush demand for oil, reports AFP. The company had reported a profit after tax of $2.9 billion in the first-quarter of 2019.

1.25 pm: The Supreme Court of India has asked the Centre to make suggestions in the guidelines for the rational use of personal protective equipment or PPE so that the kits are provided to all healthcare professionals working in non-Covid treatment areas in the country, reports PTI.

1.21 pm: The Manipur government has approved the promotion of Class 11 students of state-run schools to the next class, reports PTI, citing a notification.

1.10 pm: The National Green Tribunal announces that its officials, including the chairperson and its members, will attend office with 100% attendance, reports ANI. However, only 33% of the remaining staff members will “physically attend office”.

1 pm: In Assam, a 16-year-old girl from Salmara Bongaingaon area has tested positive for the coronavirus, says state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. She is a secondary contact of a person who attended the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi in March.

The total number of coronavirus patients in Assam now stands at 36. However, of these, only eight cases are active.

12.55 pm: US President Donald Trump has said he “can’t imagine why” American hotline calls about disinfectants have risen, days after he suggested that injecting the substance will treat the coronavirus.

Also read:

After Trump’s remarks, Lysol and Dettol maker says disinfectant is not to be used to treat Covid-19

12.48 pm: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has cautioned that nations violating the rule of law on the pretext of battling the coronavirus will trigger a “human rights disaster”, reports AFP.

12.41 pm: Mumbai police personnel above 55 years of age have been asked to stay at home until May 3.

Read more here

12.38 pm: Counselor and Spokesperson of the Embassy of China Ji Rong says it is irresponsible to call Chinese products “faulty”. This comes a day after the Indian Council of Medical Research urged the states to stop using the rapid antibody test kits.

Also read:

Coronavirus: ICMR asks states to return Chinese rapid test kits, Centre says won’t ‘lose a rupee’

12.33 pm: One NITI Aayog official has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports ANI. “The required protocol is being followed and the building will be sealed for two days for thorough disinfection and sanitisation,” says Ajit Kumar, the deputy secretary (administration) of NITI Aayog.

12.29 pm: Karnataka reports eight new Covid-19 cases in the state from 5 pm of April 27 to 12 pm of April 28, reports ANI, citing a government bulletin. This takes the total number of cases in the state to 520.

12.06 pm: Maharashtra’s Health Department says 522 new cases and 27 deaths have been reported in the state, reports ANI. A total of 8,590 Covid-19 cases and 369 deaths have been reported in the state till date. The mortality rate stands at 4.30%.

12 pm: Vardhan says no fresh case has been reported from 80 districts in the last one week. In 47 districts, no case has been reported in the last 14 days and 39 districts have not reported a case in the last 21 days. In the last 28 days, 17 districts have not reported, he said, according to ANI.

11.49 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases is 8.7 for the last 14 days, while it has been 10.2 days in the last one week. In the past three days, the rate is 10.9 days roughly.

11.28 am: Smelly toilets, no fans, bad food: Delhi Police report lists problems at shelter homes for migrants

Read more here

11.27 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath chairs a meeting on the management of the coronavirus situation in the state, reports ANI.

11.27 am: Why is Modi government contradicting itself on whether the Covid-19 lockdown has been a success?

Read more here

11.15 am: Maharashtra’s Pune city has been notified as a containment zone till May 3, reports News18. “We have already imposed a curfew in Pune city to check the spread of the coronavirus,” Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve has said.

11.12 am: The Delhi government is planning to purchase around 500 ventilators for its hospitals, reports Hindustan Times. The city reportedly has 1,106 ventilators – 306 in government facilities and 800 in private ones.

11.05 am: The Mumbai Police has arrested 10 Indonesian nationals who visited the Tablighi Jamaat gathering at the Nizamuddin Markaz in New Delhi in March, reports Hindustan Times. They have been arrested after completion of 20 days in quarantine.

11.02 am: A long queue of vehicles seen at the Delhi-Gurugram border as police officials check passes of people commuting through the route, reports ANI.

Also read:

Haryana residents travelling to and from Delhi for work are ‘corona carriers’, claims state minister

10.47 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said his administration will prefer a partial lockdown to continue till May 15, reports NDTV. “The state is of the opinion that in districts where no cases are reported in the previous week of May 15, relaxations on public movement and public transport can be partially allowed by adhering to all safety precautions. Inter-district and inter-state traffic should be regulated till May 15,” he has said.

10.45 am: In Uttarakhand, the annual procession of the Panchmukhi Doli Yatra has been conducted in the absence of pilgrims, reports NDTV. The shrine is expected to open its doors to the public on April 29.

10.36 am: A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Uttar Pradesh has asked people in Deoria district not to purchase vegetables from Muslim vendors amid the pandemic.

Read more here

10.31 am: In Odisha, 25 fisherfolk reach their hometowns in Ganjam district after undertaking an over 1,000-km sea voyage from Chennai where they were stuck amid the nationwide lockdown, reports PTI.

10.25 am: The Bharatiya Janata Party in Kerala has criticised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for not taking part in the video-conference between chief ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country, reports PTI.

“While the whole country is fighting the pandemic together, his [Vijayan’s] absence cannot be justified,” BJP state chief K Surendran has said.

10.24 am: Villagers attack police, doctors during cremation of suspected patient in Haryana.

Read more here

10.15 am: West Bengal’s Covid-19 hotspot districts – Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Howrah and East Midnapore – have 348 containment zones in total, reports NDTV. In Kolkata, there are 227 containment zones, 57 in North 24 parganas, 56 in Howrah and eight in East Midnapore.

10.13 am: A vaccine against the coronavirus could be available in the market by the end of September, Adar Poonawalla, the chief of Serum Institute of India has told NDTV.

10.06 am: In Goa, people are seen practicing social distancing at a vegetable market in Panaji.

9.53 am: Maharashtra Police act against violators of the regulations amid nationwide lockdown at a vegetable market in Narendra Nagar in Nagpur. “Only 10 vehicles are allowed inside the market at a time, so other vehicles were moved out and required action was taken,” Inspector Vijay Akot tells ANI.

9.42 am: Punjab says it will put all those returning from Hazur Sahib in Nanded, Maharashtra, in quarantine facilities after five asymptomatic returnees tested positive in Tarn Taran. “...it has been decided that all returnees coming from Hazur Sahib are to be put in quarantine facilities. They will be tested for COVID-19,” a statement from the Punjab health department says, according to ANI.

9.35 am: Punjab Health Department says all people coming from Hazur Sahib in Maharashtra’s Nanded city will be put in quarantine facilities and tested. This comes after five asymptomatic persons returning from Hazur Sahib tested positive in Tarn Taran.

9.30 am: Rajasthan reports 66 new cases. This takes the total cases in the state to 2,328. Rajasthan has so far reported 51 deaths.

8.48 am: A 69-year-old doctor dies in West Bengal, reports ANI. The West Bengal Orthopaedic Association demands state honour for him.

8.37 am: In the last 24 hours, India has reported 1,543 cases while the toll rose by 62 – the highest in a day so far.

8.35 am: India’s total count of cases goes up to 29,435, according to the Union health ministry’s Tuesday morning update. Of this, 934 people have died and 6,868 people have recovered.

8.10 am: The Delhi government has revoked the prohibition from working on veterinarians, plumbers and electricians amid lockdown. The administration has allowed inter-state travel of health workers, laboratory technicians and scientists, reports ANI.

8 am: Police officers check passes and identity cards of those travelling between Delhi and Gurugram.

7.45 am: Haryana will step up vigilance at its borders with Delhi, restricting travel to its cities of Gurgaon and Faridabad after several recent coronavirus cases were traced to the Capital, reports NDTV. “So far we have only sealed Sonipat and Jhajjar borders with Delhi. Gurgaon and Faridabad borders have been tightened but not sealed yet,” Haryana police chief Manoj Yadava says.

7.40 am: In India, Delhi has recorded 190 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of patients to 3,108. The toll has risen to 54. Of these 3,108 cases, 877 people have recovered.

7.35 am: Oil prices have plunged amid concerns about limited capacity to store crude worldwide, reports Reuters.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped by around 16% and were off 14.7%, at $10.90 a barrel as of 7.28 am Indian Standard Time. WTI fell 25% on Monday.

7.30 am: The United States records 1,303 new Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours. The nation has an overall toll of 56,144 and 9,87,022 infections, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Here are the top updates from Monday:

  • 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.
  • 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 Modi said the nationwide lockdown to control Covid-19 had led to positive results and also emphasised on the need to give importance to the economy.
  • 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.
  • The Centre said India has not paid the Chinese firms who provided faulty testing rapid testing kits for Covid-19. This came after the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.