Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the national Capital is “ready to lift the lockdown” and issued a set of guidelines on what is permitted. He added that people must learn to live with the coronavirus, and that the lockdown could not be sustained because of the state of the economy.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 40,263, according to the health ministry’s Sunday evening update. Covid-19 has killed 1,306 people in the country.
The Indian Air Force conducted fly-pasts and showered petals on hospital as part of the Armed Forces’ efforts to thank all the workers who are on the frontline of India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Army held band displays, while the Navy is expected to illuminate its ships at sea later tonight. This is the third major display of gratitude in the country, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first request to Indians to clap for health workers from and a second one to switch light candles and diyas from their balconies.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected 34.26 lakh people and killed at least 2.43 lakh people, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
9.27 pm: Here are the top updates of the day.
9.18 pm: Centre tells states that the allowances made for stranded migrant labourers to return home amid the countrywide lockdown is not open to everyone, reports NDTV.
9.15 pm: Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut attacks Centre for charging migrant workers to go back home, reports ANI. “The migrant workers have been charged Rs 505 for the journey which is very unfair,” he says. “Central government should have paid for their tickets from PM CARES Fund. I have personally paid Rs 5 lakh for their tickets.”
8.35 pm: The Delhi government says liquor and paan shops will be allowed to operate only if they are standalone shops or shops in residential complexes, reports ANI. These shops have also been directed to ensure minimum 6 feet distance among customers and not have more than five persons at one time.
8.32 pm: Mumbai records 441 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths, reports PTI. The city now has cases 8,613 cases and the toll has risen to 343.
7.52 pm: Here are updated numbers from some states according to ANI:
- Haryana: 442 cases
- Tamil Nadu: 3,023
- Punjab: 1,102
- Jammu and Kashmir: 701
- Karnataka: 614
- Uttarakhand: 60
6.44 pm: Kejriwal says the lockdown has been used to prepare for the coronavirus. “Coronavirus will be there...We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus, Delhi is ready for this,” he says.
6.42 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says time has come to re-open the national Capital. “We will not be able to sustain the lockdown for long as the economy is in peril,” he adds. “The revenue has fallen from Rs 3,500 crores in April month of previous years to Rs 300 crores this year. How will the government function?”
6.40 pm: “The Center’s decision to impose lockdown on 24th March was very important,” says Kejriwal. “If we had not implemented the lockdown then the situation in the country could have been horrific now. That time the country was not ready to fight coronavirus. We had no idea of social distancing, neither the people or hospitals were ready. We had no personal protective equipment kits or testing kits either.”
6.38 pm: Here is a list of what more is allowed in Delhi:
- E-commerce activities only for essential commodities.
- Construction activity allowed if workers are staying on site.
- All agricultural activities are permitted and supply chain activities related to agriculture will function.
6.35 pm: The Delhi chief minister says malls and market complex will be shut but shops selling essential commodities and books and stationery will be allowed to open.
6.33 pm: Kejriwal says self employed people like plumbers, technicians and domestic help are allowed to work.
6.31 pm: Arvind Kejriwal says that people will not be allowed to venture out from 7 pm to 7 am, except for essential services.
6.29 pm: Kejriwal says private offices will open with 33% strength. “Schools, colleges, coaching centres, hospitality and gyms etc to remain closed as per Central government orders,” he adds.
6.28 pm: “All government offices will open tomorrow,” says Kejriwal. “100% attendance in all offices providing essential services.”
6.26 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says as the national Capital has been declared a red zone by the central government, the government will provide all the relaxations that the Centre is providing in red zones.
6.23 pm: The health ministry has updated the coronavirus figures in the country. India now has 40,263 cases and the toll has risen to 1,306. Over 10,880 people have recovered from the infection.
6.16 pm: The Odisha government warns people returning from other states of legal action if they don’t comply with mandatory quarantine regulations, reports The New Indian Express. “Violators will be arrested, quarantine period will be extended and no incentive will be paid to them,” says Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.
6.13 pm: The Confederation of Indian Industry says districts with substantial economic activity should be allowed to resume all industrial and business operations with highest safety protocols for enterprises to remain financially sustainable, reports PTI. “The third phase of lockdown necessitates a focused strategy to minimise economic contraction due to COVID-19, without compromising on efforts to control the contagion,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee adds.
6.10 pm: Twenty-five Border Security Force personnel in Delhi test positive for Covid-19, reports ANI. They were deployed with the Delhi Police in Jama Masjid area.
6.06 pm: “It will be in Pakistan’s own interest to change its actions in post-coronavirus world,” BJP leader Ram Madhav tells PTI. “India knows how to handle such countries.”
6.03 pm: Ram Madhav says Pakistan has not given up its “anti-India and pro-terror campaigns” even during the coronavirus crisis.
6 pm: BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav says it will not be fair to blame an entire community for perceived mistakes of some members, reports PTI. “Allegations of Islamophobia in India are propaganda; not based on ground realities,” he adds.
5.57 pm: Opposition leaders criticise the railway ministry’s decision to charge migrant workers stranded in other parts of the country during the coronavirus-induced lockdown for taking special trains home. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav says it was “highly shameful” that the BJP government was charging vulnerable labourers.
5.55 pm: New coronavirus cases in more states:
5.50 pm: The Bengali Market in Delhi has not reported any new coronavirus cases in the last 28 days, according to the government. It was named as a containment zone but restrictions will be eased from Monday.
5.48 pm: Kerala reports no new coronavirus cases, according to ANI. Health Minister KK Shailaja says the state has 95 active cases and 401 patients have recovered from the infection.
4.55 pm: Indian Navy expresses gratitude to all those involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic across the country.
4.52 pm: Six doctors, three each at Hindu Rao Hospital and at Kasturba Hospital, run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Hindu reports.
4.59 pm: The Ministry of Human Resource Development will announce new dates for Joint Engineering Entrance exam and National Eligibility and Entrance Test on May 5, reports PTI.
4.47 pm: Karnataka government allows inter-district movement to “undertake permitted activities” during the nationwide lockdown.
4.45 pm: Pope Francis calls for an international collaboration in the search for a vaccine and treatment for Covid-19, reports AP.
4.44 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports 92 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 2,579.
3.59 pm: After Indian Navy helicopters today showered flower petals on hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, and Indian Air Force planes conducted flypasts as a gesture of gratitude to frontline workers, Twitter users responded with frustration and anger. Many question the need to spend tax money on such things when healthcare workers are short of vital personal protection equipment.
3.30 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath blames the coronavirus outbreak in India on the Tablighi Jamaat group. He says if members of the religious congregation had ‘not hidden the disease’, the government would have controlled the outbreak.
2.10 pm: A bus driver of the Central Reserve Police Force has also tested positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. The headquarters at Central Government Offices complex in South Delhi has been shut for sanitisation after the personal staff of a senior officer also tested positive.
“One driver attached with CRPF headquarters has tested Covid-19 positive,” says a spokesperson. “The headquarters is closed for sanitisation till the task is completed.”
1.25 pm: The third phase of the coronavirus lockdown begins from Monday. Any individual who violates the lockdown measures will be prosecuted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Read more here:
1.20 pm: Pakistan’s coronavirus tally reaches 19,103. As many as 440 people have died, PTI reports.
1.15 pm: New cases in more states:
Haryana: 421 total cases, five deaths,
Andhra Pradesh: 58 new cases, total rises to 1,583, toll now 33
1 pm: Here are some more visuals of the defence forces’ acts to thank “corona warriors”.
12.25 pm: Karnataka reports five new cases of the coronavirus between Saturday 5 pm and noon on Sunday. The total number of cases in the state rises to 606, while 25 people have died.
12.20 pm: The Indian Air Force is conducting fly-pasts and showering petals on hospital, while the Army is conducting band displays as part of the Armed Forces’ efforts to thank all the workers who are on the frontline of India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Navy is expected to illuminate its ships at sea. This is the third major display of gratitude in the country, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first request to Indians to clap for health workers from and a second one to switch light candles and diyas from their balconies.
Here are some more visuals of the various displays from across India.
12.15 pm: The CRPF headquarters in Delhi will be sealed as an employee tests positive for the coronavirus, ANI reports.
12.10 pm: Representatives of the chiefs of the three Forces pay their tributes at the National Police Memorial in Delhi.
12.05 pm: Here are some visuals of the Armed Forces thanking frontline workers.
11.14 am: The Dalai Lama has called on every human being to come together in a “coordinated, global response” to the coronavirus, the Hindustan Times reports. “In this time of crisis, we face threats to our health and sadness for the family and friends we have lost,” the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism says. “This crisis and its consequences serve as a warning that only by coming together in a coordinated, global response, will we meet the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges we face.”
11.11 pm: The United Arab Emirates has sent a plane carrying seven tonnes of medical supplies to India. “The UAE is committed to extending critical support to nations seeking to bolster their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” UAE Ambassador to India Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman Albanna says. “UAE assistance to India comes in recognition of the profound and brotherly ties our two countries have shared throughout the years.”
11.09 am: The Shiv Sena has said that all political parties should stop playing communal politics in future and instead work towards bringing the economy back on track, PTI reports. The party says that it is clear from the discussion held between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan that continuing the lockdown for an indefinite period will hurt the economy.
11.01 am: A migrant labourer who attempted to cycle home 1,200 km from Delhi to Bihar’s Khagaria has died in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahajahanpur district, NDTV reports. His autopsy has revealed chronic lung disease as the cause of death.
10.54 am: Navy chopper showers flower petals on Goa Medical College in Panaji to express gratitude towards medical professionals fighting.
10.53 am: A total of 10,46,450 samples have been tested as of 9 am on Sunday, says the Indian Council of Medical Research according to ANI.
10.50 am: Indian Air Force aircraft flypast over Rajpath to express gratitude towards medical professionals and all frontline workers in fighting Covid-19.
10.47 am: The Railways Ministry has published guidelines to operate special trains to take stranded people back to their home towns. It says the local state government authority must hand over tickets to passengers, collect the fare and give the amount to railways.
10.42 am: The Indian Air Force’s Su-30 aircraft flypast in Mumbai to express gratitude towards medical professionals and all frontline workers in fighting the coronavirus.
10.38 am: India’s former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian says in an article in The Indian Express that the trade-off between saving lives and protecting livelihoods is different here, because of the lack of capacity to provide good healthcare facilities or the ability to enforce a stringent lockdown. Subramanian says India should prioritise preserving livelihoods.
10.33 am: The Meghalaya government has announced several relaxations in restrictions, including the functioning of offices in the state secretariat and directorates, PTI reports. Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tyensong says curfew will be lifted in Shillong agglomeration with effect from Monday.
10.27 am: India’s richest shrine, the Tirupati Balaji temple in Andhra Pradesh, has laid off 1,300 contractual workers, News18 reports.
10.18 am: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has sought government audit of the PM-CARES fund, PTI reports. Gandhi says transparency will be good for the government and the public during the coronavirus crisis.
10.10 am: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has expressed his disappointment with the Railways’ decision to charge Rs 50 per passenger travelling in the special trains. “This is really sad. The central government should reconsider this decision,” Soren tweets. “n this hour of disaster, it is an injustice to the labour colleagues returning back home.”
10 am: An Indian Army band performs outside a hospital in Panchkula, Haryana to express their gratitude to frontline workers.
9.55 am: Rajasthan reports 31 new cases till 9 am on Sunday. The total number of cases in the state rise to 2,803.
9.45 am: A group of activists tracking the deaths during the ongoing nationwide lockdown say that more than 310 people died due to starvation, exhaustion, suicide, accidents and other non-virus related reasons.
“News reports tracked during the ongoing lockdown suggest that more than 300 people died because of the lockdown: as a result of hunger, financial distress and exhaustion, due to police atrocities for lockdown violations, and inability to get timely medical attention,” the group of activists and academics said in a statement, according to The Hindu. “There have been a staggering number of suicides as well, caused by fear of infection, loneliness, lack of freedom of movement, and alcohol withdrawal during the lockdown.”
9.40 am: An IAF helicopter showers flower petals on the Police War Memorial to pay tribute to the police for their contribution in the fight against Covid-19.
9.35 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says doctors gave him “litres and litres of oxygen” to keep him alive when he was in hospital with the coronavirus, The Sun reports. “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it,” Johnson says. “They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario. I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were contingency plans in place. The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong. They gave me a face mask so I got litres and litres of oxygen and for a long time I had that and the little nose jobbie.”
9.30 am: China says it confirmed only two new coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to AFP. The country has 82,877 confirmed cases so far officially. Its official toll is 4,633.
9.27 am: India’s Covid-19 tally touches 39,980, according to the Centre’s update on Sunday morning. This includes 28,046 active cases, 1,301 deaths. More than 10,000 people have recovered.
9.19 am: National emergency measures in France will be extended till July 24. This will give the government power to impose restrictions to fight the virus.
9.17 am: Spain makes it compulsory to wear masks on public transport from Monday. The government has promised to distribute 13 million masks, at transport locations and to local authorities, BBC reports. The country has nearly 2.5 lakh cases and 25,100 deaths.
9.15 am: Ireland extends lockdown till May 18, The Guardian reports. The country will then introduce a phased exit over the next three months. Ireland has so far reported 1,286 deaths and 21,176 cases.
9.10 am: Here are the details of the aerial salute.
9.06 am: The IAF aircraft fly past Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. The “two IAF C-130J Super Hercules special operations transport aircraft” took off in Srinagar and are expected to fly till Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, according to ANI.
9 am: Entrepreneurs and innovators across India have responded quickly to the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. A host of new innovations, some emerging from start-ups that have been incubated by universities, have appeared in recent weeks. Firms have developed hand sanitizer-dispensing robots and medical supply-delivering drones.
Read more here:
8.55 am: Indian Air Force jets fly past the Dal Lake in Srinagar to pay tribute to frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.
8.45 am: How will physical distancing and travel restrictions affect litfests after Covid-19? Here’s a prognostication of the future of the literature festival by the director of three such events.
8.35 am: The Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown triggered vast movements of internal migrant workers across the length and breadth of the country, desperate to leave the urban areas where they work to reach their home villages. Only a few were able to make it back. The large majority of migrant workers remain stranded in cities and towns, where they have not been paid wages for previous work, forced to take unpaid leave, or removed from their jobs. In panic, they are calling numerous helplines, most of which remain unreachable, to ask for rations, wages or to let them return home.
Read more here:
8.25 am: To understand the spread of Covid-19, the pandemic is more usefully viewed as a series of distinct local epidemics. The way the virus has spread in different countries, and even in particular states or regions within them, has been quite varied. A New Zealand study has mapped the coronavirus epidemic curve for 25 countries and modelled how the spread of the virus has changed in response to the various lockdown measures.
Read more here:
8 am: The Bhopal district administration has decided to survey all survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak tragedy and identify patients at high risk for the coronavirus. The survivors have greater vulnerability to the disease, having suffered the poisonous effects of the gas.
Read more here:
7.55 am: Lokpal member retired Justice AK Tripathi dies due to the coronavirus infection, NDTV reports. He was 62. He was admitted to the AIIMS in Delhi on April 2. His daughter and cook, also infected with Covid-19, have recovered.
7.52 am: Globally, the coronavirus has infected 34.26 lakh people and killed at least 2.43 lakh people, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.
7.50 am: This is the third major display of gratitude in the country, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first request to Indians to clap for health workers from and a second one to switch light candles and diyas from their balconies.
7.48 am: Ships of the Southern Naval Command rehearse for the “India Salutes Corona Warriors” campaign on Saturday, ANI reports. Four ships were illuminated at The Anchorage in Ernakulam channel in Kochi.
India’s armed forces are expected to conduct fly-pasts, illuminate ships at sea, shower petals on hospitals and lay wreaths on memorials for police officers on Sunday to thank all the workers who are on the frontline of India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more here:
7.45 am: A train carrying students from Kota in Rajasthan reaches Ranchi in Jharkhand, ANI reports.
7.42 am: A special train carrying around 1,200 migrant workers left for Gorakhpur in UP from Bhiwandi in Maharashtra on Sunday morning, ANI reports.
7.40 am: Odisha reports two new cases in the last 24 hours, total rises to 159, ANI reports. One person has died.
7.38 am: US records 1,435 deaths in 24 hours, toll climbs to 66,224. The total number of cases in the country crosses 11 lakh, according to AFP.
7.35 am: More than 800 workers reach Lucknow on Sunday morning in a special train from Nashik in Maharashtra, PTI reports. This is the first special train to reach Uttar Pradesh with stranded migrant workers.
7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Saturday:
- The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 37,776, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Saturday evening update. This is the biggest single-day jump with 2,411 new cases. Covid-19 has killed 1,223 people in the country so far.
- Hundreds of migrant workers and students, stranded amid the nationwide lockdown to control the rapidly-spreading Covid-19, on boarded special trains and buses to return home. The Ministry of Home Affairs had on Friday afternoon allowed movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and “other persons” by special ‘Sharmik’ trains to be operated by the Railways.
- A group of 122 Central Reserve Police Force personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus in Delhi over the past two weeks. The officers are part of the 31st battalion of the paramilitary force, based in Mayur Vihar Phase-3 in East Delhi. The test results of 100 others are awaited.
- Forty-one people living in the same building in South West Delhi’s Kapashera area tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday. The residents are believed to have contracted the infection from a person in the building who had tested positive on April 18.
- The Karnataka government on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to Indian Administrative Services Officer Mohammad Mohsin over a tweet praising Tablighi Jamaat members, who have recovered from Covid-19, for donating their plasma.
- Eighteen migrant workers were found holed up inside a cement mixer in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday as they were trying to reach Uttar Pradesh from Maharashtra. The police have filed a first information report in the case and seized the truck.
- Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday flagged privacy risks posed by the Centre’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app Aarogya Setu, a day after the government made it mandatory for all public and private sector employees. But BJP leaders and Union ministers dismissed the concerns.