10.30 pm: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  1. The number of coronavirus cases in India has gone up to 31,787, according to data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Covid-19 has killed 1,008 people in India.
  2. The Centre on issued guidelines to allow states, with conditions, to bring back migrant workers, tourists and students stranded in other states because of the nationwide lockdown. The stranded people can be allowed to move only after states consult with each other, the government said.
  3. The home ministry said new guidelines that will come into effect from May 4 will give “considerable relaxations” to many districts. The details about this will be announced in the “days to come”, the ministry said.
  4. Punjab extended its curfew by two more weeks after May 3. Lockdown guidelines in the state will be relaxed from 7 am to 11 am everyday. The state has reported 322 cases of Covid-19 and 19 deaths, according to the Union health ministry.
  5. The University Grants Commission told universities and colleges that they could start the academic session for new college students in September and for already enrolled students from August due to the disruption in the academic calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Central Board of Secondary Education reiterated its decision to hold Class 10 and Class 12 examinations only for the 29 subjects which it had enumerated in an April 1 release.
  6. The number of Covid-19 cases in the United States surpassed 10 lakh on Tuesday – the first country to cross the figure. Covid-19 has infected 31.57 lakh and caused 2.2 lakh deaths across 185 countries or regions, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

10.10 pm: Srinagar district authorities make it mandatory to wear face mask or face covering at all public places from May 1, ANI reports.

10.05 pm: Rajasthan has 74 new cases and three deaths.

9.56 pm: The number of patients in Mumbai rises by 475 in a day to 6,457, says BMC. The toll rises by 26 to 270.

9.43 pm: Maharashtra reports 32 new deaths and 597 cases. The total number of cases rises to 9,915.

9.42 pm: Eleven more persons test positive in Bihar, taking the total to 403, says state Principal Secretary (Health) Sanjay Kumar.

9.40 pm: The number of cases in Jharkhand rises to 107, ANI reports.

9 pm: The home ministry says that new guidelines that will come into effect from May 4 will give “considerable relaxations” to many districts. The details about this will be announced in the “days to come”, the ministry says.

8.40 pm: Gujarat reports a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, with 308 positive cases and 16 deaths. Of these, Ahmedabad records 234 cases and nine deaths.

8.37 pm: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation says an inspector with the civic body has died of the coronavirus. “Our very own, Madhukar Haryan [Inspector, Assessment Dept, BMC] passed away today,” the civic authority tweets. “He had devoted himself in the service of Mumbaikars & the needy. May his soul rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Haryan family. He tested Covid positive.”

8.33 pm: Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal says CBSE exams that were not conducted due to the coronavirus outbreak will be conducted once situation becomes normal, reports ANI.

8.26 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports 81 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 2,134, according to ANI. Meanwhile, 510 patients have recovered and the state has registered 39 fatalities.

8.22 pm: Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey says the state government will conduct door-to-door screening for the coronavirus in all districts from May 1, reports ANI.

8.18 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and discusses the coronavirus situation.

“Spoke to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to greet her and the people of Bangladesh on the holy month of Ramzan,” he tweets. “We discussed Covid-19 situation and ways India and Bangladesh can collaborate in the fight against it. Our relationship with Bangladesh will continue to be one of our highest priorities.”

8.15 pm: The University Grants Commission or UGC, the higher education regulator, has released exam details and academic calendar for the year. Here are the details:

  • New academic session for freshers to begin in universities from September and for already enrolled students in August.
  • Universities may follow six-day week pattern, devise proforma to record travel or stay history of staff, students for the lockdown period.
  • Extension of six months to be granted to MPhil, PhD students; viva-voice be conducted through video conference.

8.08 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he is in touch with state governments after home ministry allowed inter-state movement of stranded migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims and others. “Will inform you in a day or two,” he tweets. “Until then, stay at home and follow the lockdown.”

8 pm: The University Grants Commission says that intermediate semester students will be graded based on the internal assessment of the present and previous semester amid the coronavirus crisis, reports ANI. States where the coronavirus situation has normalised will have exams in July, it adds.

Additionally, a Covid-19 cell will be constituted in every university to solve the problems of students related to academic calendar and examinations.

7.59 pm: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says over 20 lakh people of the state are stranded in other parts of the country due to the nationwide lockdown, reports ANI. “We are happy that the Centre has accepted our demand and allowed people to return to their homes,” he says. “People will be thoroughly screened at the place of departure and arrival.”

The home ministry has directed state governments to make arrangements to facilitate inter-state movement of stranded tourists, pilgrims, students, migrant workers and others.

7.57 pm: Madhya Pradesh has so far recorded 2,560 coronavirus cases and 130 fatalities. Of these, Indore city has the highest cases, followed by Bhopal.

7.50 pm: Almost 18,000 people with cancer in England could die after the coronavirus pandemic as hospitals have suspended treatment and deterred patients from seeking National Health Service care, reports The Guardian, citing a research.

7.47 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik says next few days will be “extremely challenging” as a large number of people are likely to return from other states, reports PTI. “The Covid-19 situation in Odisha is now well under control,” he adds. “A large number of Odia brothers and sisters will return from states like the worst-hit Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and neighbouring West Bengal.”

7.42 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 104 fresh coronavirus cases and two deaths, reports PTI.

7.40 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says of the total active coronavirus cases in the country, only 0.33% patients are on ventilators, 1.5% are on oxygen support and 2.34% are in the intensive care unit, reports PTI. He also adds that India is well equipped with isolation beds, ventilators, personal protection equipment and masks to tackle the pandemic.

7.38 pm: A television journalist and three healthcare workers were among the ten people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Kerala today, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, according to The Hindu.

7.33 pm: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accuses West Bengal government of concealing facts regarding Covid-19 deaths and cases in the state, reports ANI. “Doctors at Murshidabad Medical College have been instructed not to mention Covid-19 as cause of death even if someone dies of the infection,” he claims. “This is an injustice.”

7.27 pm: Five ministers in Karnataka, who came in contact with the video journalist of a Kannada news channel who had tested positive for Covid-19 last week, are undergoing tests, reports PTI. However, reports allege that the ministers had flouted mandatory period of quarantine.

7.25 pm: New cases in more states:

7.20 pm: Dharavi in Mumbai has 14 new coronavirus cases, taking the total there to 344, reports PTI.

7.19 pm: The Gauhati High Court directs the Nagaland government to set up at least two testing centres in the state within 10 days, reports PTI. Nagaland does not have any Covid-19 testing centres, and so far has sent all samples to Assam and Manipur for testing.

7.13 pm: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changes its rule that allows only movies that have been released in cinema halls to contend for an Oscar. “Until further notice, and for the 93rd Awards year only, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on a commercial streaming... platform may qualify,” AFP quotes the Academy as saying.

The next Oscars is scheduled to happen on February 28 next year.

7.03 pm: A letter from the Bhopal Gas Peedit, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, and Children Against Dow Carbide points out that 12 of the 13 coronavirus deaths in the city have been victims of 1984’s Bhopal gas tragedy. The letter says that prior information released showing that victims of the gas leak were five times more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus than people in the general population.

“The analysis of 12 deaths clearly shows that: all were male, all were gas victims and were taking chronic care for their lung, heart & kidney illnesses, 95% of them were above the age of 55years,” the letter states. “Out of 12 deaths, 4 died outside the gates of the hospital, 7 died within 24hrs of admission and only 2 got prolonged care, which is a clear indication that lack of prompt care was one of the reason of their deaths.”

It adds that families of these victims have not been given medical records or Covid-19 positive reports.

The National Institute for Research in Environmental Health has not yet carried out testing on any of the other gas leak victims, which the letter says is a “dereliction of duty”.

6.43 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami claims the coronavirus outbreak is “largely under control”, reports PTI. However, he adds, the disease can easily spread in state capital Chennai due to the large population.

He says contact tracing needs to be improved upon and that random sampling will be done in areas where people have been infected.

6.40 pm: Indian domestic air traffic dropped 11.8% in March, PTI quotes the International Air Transport Association as saying. International air traffic fell by 52.9% as compared to March 2019. The association says it expects even larger declines to follow.

India stopped all air travel, both domestic and international, on the night of March 24, while international flights were stopped from March 22.

6.30 pm: Kerala makes it mandatory to wear masks in public places, reports News18. People will be fined Rs 200 for not wearing masks, and a repeat offender can be fined Rs 5,000.

6.26 pm: Boeing announces cost-cutting measures after a $641-million loss incurred in its first quarter due to the pandemic, reports AFP.

6.24 pm: The Monsoon Session of Parliament might begin around its usual time in mid-July, Business Standard reports. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu says due to the efforts on the ground to contain the virus outbreak, “one may hope for a normal [Parliament] schedule”.

5.55 pm: The Centre eases restrictions on inter-state travel to allow states to send those stranded in other states, such as migrant labourers, back home. They will be screened at the place they leave and destination too.

Read more: Centre allows states to bring back stranded migrants, students during lockdown, with conditions

5.47 pm: A look at the increase in cases.

5.41 pm: According to the Ministry of Health’s evening figures, there are 31,787 cases of coronavirus in the country, and 1,008 people have died of it so far. The number of cases has risen by 1,813 in the last 24 hours, and 71 deaths have been recorded.

5.33 pm: The World Bank allocates $195 million to 64 “poor countries” during the pandemic, reports The Guardian. “This funding is in addition to the World Bank Group’s commitment of up to US$160 billion to fight Covid-19,” The Guardian quotes the bank’s Vice President for Human Development Annette Dixon as saying. “PEF funding will supplement the critical emergency support operations underway to help save lives, detect, prevent and respond to coronavirus in poor countries.”

5.26 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tells ANI that over the past three days, the doubling rate in India is 11.3 days, and the country’s mortality rate is 3% while it is 7% internationally. He says 86% of the deaths are due to co-morbidities. Harsh Vardhan adds that only 0.33% of Covid-19 patients in the country are on ventilator support, 1.5% of them are on oxygen support, and 2.34% are in the ICU.

The government is also working towards increasing coronavirus testing to 1 lakh a day, he says.

5.11 pm: Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Tomar says the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi has benefited farmers during the lockdown as the ministry has transferred Rs 17,986 crore to them since March 24, ANI reports.

5.08 pm: Mamata Banerjee claims there have been rumours that there are no beds in Kolkata hospitals for coronavirus patients, and denies this, ANI reports. She says there are 790 beds ready for the virus patients in the state capital.

4.55 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announces a plan on slowly exiting the lockdown from Monday, May 4, reports News18. However, no relaxations in restrictions will be allowed in the coronavirus red zones. Her plan includes includes:

  • Emergency taxi services to be allowed
  • Private buses to ply in green zones with no more than 20 passengers at a time
  • Doctors to be allowed to open practices while maintaining social distancing
  • No crowding in shops and on roads to be allowed
  • Some travel and economic work in green and orange zones will be permitted
  • In green zones, small shops outside markets to be allowed to open
  • Hardware, stationery and book shops to be open
  • Barber shops to remain closed

4.33 pm: Around 2,400 migrant labourers working at construction sites in IIT Hyderabad demand that they be allowed to return home, reports ANI. “Few of the migrant labourers pelted stones at police team deployed there; one cop received injuries and police vehicle was also damaged,” says Sangareddy Rural Police.

4.28 pm: A Delhi government panel reports says that the supply of import-dependent items, such as coffee, diapers, oil and cereals, is expected to take a hit if the nationwide lockdown continues beyond May 3, reports PTI.

4.25 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says around 2,500 to 3,000 students from Rajasthan’s Kota city will board buses today evening to reach the state in three days, reports ANI.

4.22 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami says the coronavirus spread in the state is “largely under control” due to the implementation of various government guidelines, reports PTI.

“Barring Chennai, the spread is largely under control in other districts,” he says. “Chennai is a big city. More people reside here. Further, many visit the city. Moreover, there are narrow streets where a large population lives and due to this, the virus easily spreads from one person to another. This is the reason for the increased spread of the disease here.”

4.20 pm: The Serum Institute of India plans to produce up to six crore doses of a coronavirus vaccine this year. The potential vaccine is under trial at the University of Oxford in Britain, with whom Serum is working.

Read more here.

4.02 pm: “The chief minister has also ordered that testings be done on an extensive level,” says Awasthi. “He has also given directions that pool testing be done for those people, who are coming from outside the state.”

4 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered authorities to expand capacity of hospitals and make arrangement for 52,000 more beds, reports ANI.

3.56 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the first experiment to use plasma therapy has been successful, reports PTI. The procedure involves the transfusion of blood plasma from a Covid-19 patient who has recovered to another patient who is critically ill.

3.42 pm: BJP leader Sanjay Paswan says Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s refusal to the return of students who are stranded in Kota will hurt the NDA in the upcoming elections, ANI reports.

“It’s chief minister’s duty to bring back our children,” he adds. “It’s also causing us political loss. He should bring all children before May 3. Election going to be held this year. Almost all middle class families have at least one child studying in Kota.”

3.38 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announces that the lockdown will be lifted from 7 am to 11 am every day in the state, reports ANI. “During this time people can come out of their houses and shops will be opening,” he says. “Also, we have decided to extend the curfew in the state by two more weeks.”

3.36 pm: Former Union minister Suresh Prabhu says Andhra Pradesh is sending special buses to Veraval in Gujarat to bring back nearly 6,000 fishermen stranded due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the country, reports PTI.

3.32 pm: China will hold its annual political meeting in May following a two-month delay, reports CNN. The National People’s Congress Standing Committee says that the parliamentary session will start on May 22, citing the “continuously improving situation of epidemic prevention and control on Covid-19” and a “gradual return to normal of economic and social life” in China.

3.29 pm: Wayanad Superintendent of Police R Ilango announces that anyone seen in public in the district without a mask will be fined Rs 5,000, reports ANI. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi represents the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.

3.25 pm: Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily says the fight to tackle the coronavirus pandemic is turning out to be more of a demonstration of “one-upmanship” between the Centre and states, reports PTI. “There are fundamental questions on which there has been no assurance through any of the actions of states or the Centre,” he adds.

3.18 pm: Singapore reports 690 new coronavirus cases, a vast majority of whom are foreign workers, according to PTI.

3.15 pm: Spain records 325 deaths from the coronavirus, taking the total toll to 24,275, reports Reuters. The number of diagnosed cases rose by 2,144 from Tuesday to 212,917.

3.13 pm: The Kerala government is likely to promulgate an ordinance to clear the legal hurdles to its decision to defer the salary of government employees and teachers amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Hindu.

3.10 pm: “Rajasthan’s count of more than 2,000 Covid-19 cases is not a cause of worry because state government’s objective is to ensure not a single case goes undetected,” says Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, according to PTI.

3.08 pm: Four policemen including a senior sub inspector posted at Ramgarh police station in Firozabad city of Uttar Pradesh have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI.

3.03 pm: The Meghalaya government has decided to defer the salary of Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, and its 80,000 employees due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports PTI.

2.58 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Bihar has risen to 378 after 12 more people test positive, reports ANI.

2.55 pm: Azerbaijan will keep its borders closed until May 31 to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters. The former Soviet republic has so far recorded 1,717 coronavirus cases and 22 deaths.

2.45 pm: A look at India’s updated testing data:

2.40 pm: Twenty-nine new cases are reported in Rajasthan, says ANI. This takes the state’s total coronavirus cases to 2,393. Fifty-two people have died of the disease in the state.

2.30 pm: Alphabet chief Sundar Pichai says Google employees will not return to their offices before June 1, CNBC reports. “Not everyone at a site will go back at once. There will be no one-size-fits-all approach, and the specific guidance will vary from location to location,” he said in an email to employees.

2.15 pm: The Aarogya Setu app has been made mandatory for all central government employees. If the app shows an employee is “moderate” or “high risk”, they are not to go to work. Employees can only go to work if they are “low risk” or “safe” according to the app, the government says in a notification.

2.03 pm: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says it will be difficult to hold the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021 unless the pandemic is contained. “The Olympic Games must be held in a way that shows the world has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic,” The Guardian quotes Abe as saying. “Otherwise, it will be hard to hold the Games.”

1.49 pm: The Kerala government will issue an ordinance cutting employees’ salaries in order to keep more funds aside to manage the pandemic, reports PTI. This comes a day after stayed a state order cutting salaries, saying it had no legal backing. Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac says the state is empowered to cut 25% of salaries in the event of a disaster.

1.36 pm: According to a report by the UN Population Fund, as many as 7 million unintended pregnancies may occur in the coming months due to the pandemic, PTI reports. The number of women unable to access contraception and family planning, and facing gender violence will skyrocket during this period. The report estimates that 47 million women in low-income and middle-income countries will be unable to get contraceptives.

“This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally,” UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem says. “The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health.”

1.29 pm: Indore has 94 new cases of the virus, ANI reports. The total cases in the city is 1,466, and 65 people have died so far.

1.08 pm: Maharashtra has 9,318 cases now and 400 people have died of the virus in the state, says the Ministry of Health’s figures. The state has reported 728 new cases in the last 24 hours.

12.59 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram urges the Centre to announce an “assistance package to protect” the salaries due in the next few days. He suggests that employers’ contributions EPF and ESI be waived for three months to cut payroll costs and that a Paycheck Protection Program is announced soon. He warns that if the Centre does not act soon, the private sector will be forced to layoff huge numbers of people.

12.42 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the state education portfolio, says CBSE examinations should be cancelled for this year and students should be evaluated based on internal tests and assessment, ANI reports. Sisodia also recommends that the syllabus for the next academic year be curtailed by 30%, and that this be done for related exams such as JEE too.

12.32 pm: At least 70 buses leave from Maharashtra to Kota in Rajasthan to bring back students stranded in the city amid the coronavirus lockdown, PTI reports. ABout 1,780 students from the state are stuck in Kota. “The buses will leave from Kota on Thursday morning,” a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation official says. Only 20 students will be allowed in each bus.

12.25 pm: SpiceJet says pilots won’t be paid salaries for April and May. Those who have been operating cargo flights will be paid based on the hours they have flown, PTI reports.

12.20 pm: The number of cases in Karnataka rises to 532, ANI reports.

12.10 pm: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and others even in the “non-Covid treatment areas”. The order, passed on Monday, found relevance in a petition that said all those working with patients amid a rise in asymptomatic cases should also be protected.

Read more here:

SC asks Centre to provide PPEs to those working in ‘non-Covid treatment areas’

12.03 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami says essential items will be sold at shops from 6 am to 5 pm on April 30. From May 1, they will be open between 6 am and 1 pm, ANI reports.

11.50 am: The Central Board of Secondary Education reiterates its decision to hold Class 10 and Class 12 examinations only for the 29 subjects which it had enumerated in a press release on April 1, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Of these, 23 are Class 12 subjects, and exams for six Class 10 subjects will be held only in North East Delhi. In the rest of India, no further exams will be held for Class 10.

11.39 am: A fishing boat carrying 33 migrant workers travelled from Chennai and reached Odisha’s Ganjam district on Tuesday, The Hindu reports. This is reportedly the third such boat to navigate a dangerous route amid the coronavirus lockdown.

11.34 am: Mumbai, Delhi police welcome colleagues who recovered from Covid-19 with flowers and applause. Watch here.

11.32 am: At least 36 Delhi Police personnel, part of the security detail at the Supreme Court, have been quarantined as a precautionary step to contain the coronavirus. This came a day after an employee at the top court reportedly tested positive.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: 36 Delhi Police officers quarantined after SC staffer tests positive, say reports

11.30 am: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday halted the home testing facility for Covid-19, due to “panic use” and private laboratories allegedly stacking up samples. Residents of Mumbai will now have to visit clinics or private laboratories to get themselves tested.

Read more here:

Covid-19: Mumbai civic body halts home testing facility

11.29 am: The Supreme Court, like many other institutions in India, has been severely hampered by the Covid-19 crisis. Since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March 25, the court has been hearing what it considers to be urgent matters. But can India afford to allow the country’s highest Constitutional court to suspend its most important function of interpreting the Constitution in major disputes?

Read more here:

Why Supreme Court cannot afford to let Covid-19 pandemic halt hearings on key Constitutional cases

11.27 am: Only three of 529 media personnel tested for the coronavirus in Delhi have tested positive, says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

11.23 am: France plans to make face masks compulsory on public transport services and in schools after May 11, when it begins to ease its coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says, according to BBC. Over 23,600 people have died and about 1.3 lakh people have been infected by the virus.

11.20 am: “While the Covid-19 virus does not appear to make many children seriously ill, the health of hundreds of thousands of children could be impacted by this disruption of regular immunisation services,” Jean Gough, the director of UNICEF’s South Asia office, says, according to AFP. “This is a very serious threat. Early action is key.”

Since the pandemic began, Bangladesh and Nepal have stopped their measles and rubella campaigns, while Pakistan and Afghanistan have paused their polio drives.

11.18 am: Brazil has recorded 5,107 deaths and 71,886 infections as of Tuesday evening, AFP reports. The South American country’s toll is worse even than that of China, where the pandemic originated.

11.15 am: British Airways is expected to cut about 12,000 jobs because of a restructuring necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reports.

11.11 am: Five people in Kerala, who were under quarantine for 28 days, have tested positive now, News18 reports. However, officials say there is no chance that they infected anyone else.

11.10 am: Andhra Pradesh reports 73 new cases, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 1,332. This includes 31 deaths and 287 discharges, ANI reports.

11.05 am: Asymptomatic people or those who have light symptoms of Covid-19 will be kept under home quarantine for 14 days, ANI cites Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain as saying. “There is no need to hospitalise such patients,” he says.

11 am: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the Azadpur Mandi is being disinfected and all shops near where Covid-19 cases were reported have been sealed, ANI reports.

10.50 am: Eleven traders linked to the Azadpur mandi test positive in Delhi, ANI reports. “We are tracing the contacts of the cases,” District Magistrate (North) Deepak Shinde says. “They are not directly connected to the mandi.”

10.48 am: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami holds a meeting with collectors to review the state’s Covid-19 situation, ANI reports.

10.45 am: Many Americans in India decide to stay back and “ride out” the pandemic instead of returning to their homes.

“Two weeks ago, we had a list of folks [who had enlisted for repatriation from India] and we were pretty sure if we called [the] folks they’d show up at the airport and say, ‘Yes, please’,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ian Brownlee says. “We’re now getting to the point on that list, we’re having to make multiple calls for individual seats because people are deciding ‘No,’ they’d just as soon ride it out where they are.”

Read more here:

Covid-19: Cases in US cross 10 lakh, over 59,000 dead; Americans choose to ‘ride it out’ in India

10.27 am: Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda pulls up a party leader for his remarks against members of the Muslim community, reports The Indian Express.

Also read:

Uttar Pradesh: BJP MLA tells people not to purchase vegetables from Muslim vendors

10.20 am: Union minister Nitin Gadkari asks states to take immediate action for inter-state movement of vehicles with essential goods. Gadkari has urged the governments to expedite proactive decisions towards economic development, reports The Indian Express.

10.13 am: The Maharashtra government says hydroxychloroquine may be administered to all high-risk contacts of confirmed coronavirus patients and those in quarantine centres. It has also suggested that the drug should be administered to healthcare workers after getting consent.

10.10 am: The Delhi government has told the Centre that a significant delay in getting test results and large containment zones are the reasons for an increase in coronavirus cases, reports NDTV.

“Containment zones are very large in size, due to which surveillance is becoming problematic and also in many cases, we are yet to receive test results of samples which were submitted,” Delhi’s Health Minister Satyender Jain has informed Union Minister Harsh Vardhan.

10.06 am: Nagaland begins charging a cess of Rs 5 per litre on diesel and Rs 6 on petrol and motor spirit, reports NDTV.

Also read:

Covid-19 lockdown: Assam, Meghalaya increase fuel prices to cover ‘some of the losses’

9.50 am: Tripura has not registered a new coronavirus case in the last 14 days, reports NDTV. The state has no active cases of the virus after two recoveries.

9.45 am: The Uttarakhand Police say people in a Haridwar village misbehaved with a medical team that was carrying out a survey for Covid-19, reports ANI. A first information report has been registered and one person has been arrested.

9.40 am: Rajasthan’s Health Department records 19 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number to 2,383, reports ANI. Out of the new cases – 11 are from Ajmer, five are from Jaipur, and one each from Udaipur, Banswara and Jodhpur districts.

9.35 am: Long queues of vehicles seen at the Delhi Gurugram border.

Also read:

Coronavirus: Haryana seals borders with Delhi, allows only essential services

9.04 am: A 77-year-old man tests positive in Bhubaneswar. The total positive cases in the state is now 119, says the state health department.

8.39 am: In the last 24 hours, India has reported 1,897 cases and 73 deaths.

8.35 am: Cases in India rise to 31,332, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Of these, the country has 22,629 active cases while 7,695 people have recovered. The toll increases to 1,007.

8.20 am: In Gujarat, the Ahmedabad Police has set up “model vegetable markets” at six locations under Ramol police station limits as per social distancing rules amid the nationwide lockdown, reports ANI. Inspector Ramol police station KS Dave says: “We have provided masks, sanitisers and gloves to vendors. We also check temperatures using [a] thermometer gun.”

8.15 am: In Haryana, Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Yash Pal says vehicles engaged in the movement of essential goods and banking services are exempted from the restrictions at the border with Delhi. The order will remain in effect till May 3.

8.10 am: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says “practices in Indian traditions” could be employed to treat the coronavirus, reports The Indian Express. “Many diseases are cured with love but when it comes to infections like COVID-19 even the mother can’t touch her son,” Chouhan says. “So, along with the prevailing system of treatment, elemental practices in Indian traditions can be tried.”

8.05 am: Haryana “sealed” its borders with Delhi on Tuesday and only allowed access to essential services with strict restrictions on those entering from the national Capital. The state has a total of 296 coronavirus cases and three patients have died so far.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: Haryana seals borders with Delhi, allows only essential services

8 am: The United States has surpassed its one-millionth coronavirus case and the toll in the country stands at 58,355 – a figure that has surpassed the loss of lives during the Vietnam War, reports AFP.

Read more here:

Covid-19: Cases in US cross 10 lakh, over 59,000 dead; Americans choose to ‘ride it out’ in India

What happened on Tuesday:

  • The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 29,974 in the evening. The toll has gone up to 937.
  • The Centre said plasma therapy is in an experimental stage in India and that there has been 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.
  • The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said it expected 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Delhi has recorded 3,314 coronavirus cases and 54 deaths so far.