11.05 pm: Here are the top Covid-19 updates from Monday:

  1. The BJP and Opposition parties clashed over the Centre’s decision to charge migrant workers for providing special trains home amid the nationwide lockdown. The Congress said it will pay the fares while the Centre and BJP claimed that the government has already subsidised 85% of the fares and that states will pay the rest. This is despite an official circular directing states to collect the fares and hand it over to the Railways.
  2. The number of coronavirus cases in India reached 42,836 on Monday, as the country began the third phase of a nationwide lockdown with fewer restrictions. The toll has risen to 1,389.
  3. The Centre said that it will start bringing back Indians stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic from May 7. The exercise would be conducted in a phased manner and the passengers will have to pay for their travel.
  4. The Union Public Service Commission postponed the Civil Services (Preliminary) exams until further notice. The exam was earlier scheduled for May 31.
  5. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned people that his government will revoke relaxations allowed amid the Covid -19 lockdown if they do not adhere to physical distancing guidelines. His warning came after locals in some parts of the Capital crowded liquor stores, forcing them to shut down.
  6. Tamil Nadu saw its biggest single-day increase in the number of Covid-19 cases as 527 people tested positive. With this, the state’s tally rose to 3,550 and the toll stood at 31.

10.35 pm: Twelve police personnel in Mumbai’s JJ Marg Police Station test positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. Forty people who had come in contact with them have been quarantined.

10.30 pm: Delhi reports 349 new cases today. This takes the total number of cases in the state to 4,898. Sixty-four people have died so far.

10.23 pm: Twenty six people died of the coronavirus in Ahmedabad in a single day, PTI reports. This takes the number of fatalities in Ahmedabad district to 234. It also reports 259 new cases, taking the total to 4,076. The state has 5,804 cases.

10.20 pm: Eleven more people test positive for the coronavirus in Bihar, PTI reports. This takes the total cases to 528.

10.10 pm: Over 90 cases were registered and 2,509 people were detained in Delhi for violating the lockdown, PTI reports.

10 pm: The West Bengal government allows the opening of salons in green zones and the operation of private offices from 10 am to 6 pm. Up to 25% of the strength can resume work in the private offices, the government has said, according to ANI.

9.40 pm: More new cases reported today:

Madhya Pradesh: 106 new cases, total rises to 2,942, toll now 165,

Telangana: three new cases, total rises to 1,085; toll now 29,

Rajasthan: 175 new cases, total rises to 3,061; toll now 77,

Uttar Pradesh: 97 new cases, total mounts to 2,742; toll now stands at 43.

9.15 pm: The Sendhwa police in Madhya Pradesh have filed an FIR against more than 400 unidentified migrant workers for allegedly pelting stones at the police in Barwani on Sunday. At least three police personnel were injured, ANI reports.

9.10 pm: Modi adds that the coronavirus pandemic has shown us “the limitation of existing international system”, ANI reports. “In the post-Covid world, we need a new template of globalisation based on fairness, equality and humanity. We need international institutions that are more representative of today’s world.”

9 pm: To counter Covid-19, India has “promoted coordination in our immediate neighbourhood” and has organised online training to share India’s medical expertise with others, Modi says.

8.55 pm: But, Modi adds during the video-conference, that some people are “busy spreading some other deadly viruses such as terrorism, fake news and doctored videos to divide communities and countries” even as the world is busy fighting the pandemic, ANI reports.

8.50 pm: “During this crisis we have shown how democracy, discipline and decisiveness can come together to create a genuine people’s movement,” Modi says, according to ANI. “Indian civilization sees whole world as one family. As we care for our own citizens, we’re also extending help to other countries.”

The prime minister says India has ensured medical supplies to 123 partner countries, including 59 members of the Non-Aligned Movement, during the ongoing pandemic. “We are active in global efforts to develop remedies and vaccines,” he adds. “During this crisis we have shown how democracy, discipline and decisiveness can come together to create a genuine people’s movement. Indian civilization sees whole world as one family. As we care for our own citizens, we’re also extending help to other countries.”

8.45 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the ‘Non-Aligned Movement’ Summit via video conference. He says the current health crisis is the most serious that humanity has faced in many decades. “At this time, NAM can help promote global solidarity. NAM has often been the world’s moral voice. To retain this role, NAM must remain inclusive,” Modi says, ANI reports.

8.30 pm: Mumbai reports 510 new cases and 18 deaths today. The city’s tally is now 9,123 cases and 361 deaths.

8.20 pm: No coronavirus case reported in Jharkhand for the second day, ANI reports. The state has 115 cases so far, ANI reports.

8.10 pm: Most of the 527 cases reported in Tamil Nadu on Monday were related to the Koyambedu vegetable market, the state health department says.

7.43 pm: The Tamil Nadu government announces that liquor shops will open in the state from May 7. They have been shut since March 24. The shops will not be opened in containment zones, PTI reports.

7.30 pm: Dharavi reports 42 new Covid-19 cases. With this, the total number of cases in the slum area of Mumbai goes to 632, including 20 deaths.

7.20 pm: Twenty-five new Covid-19 cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir. The total cases in the Union Territory now stands at 726, ANI reports.

7.10 pm: Haryana reports 75 new cases, taking the total number in the state to 517.

6.52 pm: Punjab reports 132 new cases of the coronavirus. The total number of cases in the state rises to 1,232. Twenty-three people have died.

6.45 pm: The Home Ministry asks states and Union Territories to ensure there are no problems related to the inter-state movement of cargo, PTI reports.

6.35 pm: Hundreds of migrant workers clashed with the police in Surat demanding that they be allowed to return to their home states, The Hindu reports. The police resorted to firing tear gas shells to disperse the workers from Kadodara area of the city in Gujarat. This is the fourth such incident in the city since the lockdown to fight coronavirus was imposed in March.

6.28 pm: “On reaching the destination, everyone would have to register on the Arogya Setu app,” the MHA statement on the Centre’s decision to bring back Indians stranded abroad says. “Everyone would be medically screened. After scrutiny, they would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned State government. Covid test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to health protocols.”

The ministry has asked states to make arrangements for testing, quarantining and onward movement of the returning Indians.

6.26 pm: “Medical screening of passengers would be done before taking the flight,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement, adding that only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel. “During the journey, all these passengers would have to follow the protocols, such as the Health Protocols, issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.”

6.23 pm: The Centre will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad in a phased manner from May 7. They would travel via aircraft and naval ships. “Indian Embassies and High Commissions are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens,” the government says. “This facility would be made available on payment-basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel. The travel would begin in a phased manner from May 7.”

Read more here:

Covid-19: Centre to evacuate Indians stranded abroad from May 7 but they will have to pay for it

6.15 pm: More new cases reported today:

Odisha: six new cases, total rises to 169, toll stands at 1,

West Bengal: 61 new cases, total rises to 1,259, toll stands at 61,

Indore: 43 new cases, total rises to 1,611

6.10 pm: Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code extended in Mumbai till May 17, PTI reports. This bans the assembly of four or more people.

5.55 pm: In the last 24 hours, India saw the steepest jump in the number of cases in a day, with 2,553 new cases reported. Eighty-three deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.

5.50 pm: “It was unfortunate that chaos was seen at some shops today in Delhi,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says, according to ANI. “If we come to know about violations of social distancing and other norms from any area, then we will have to seal the area and revoke the relaxations there.”

He adds: “Shop owners will have to take the responsibility, if the norms of social distancing are violated outside a shop then the shop will be shut.”

5.43 pm: India’s Covid-19 tally rises to 42,836. This includes 29,685 active cases, 1,389 deaths and 11,761 people who have recovered.

5.40 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urges people to ensure they always wear masks when they step outdoors, practice physical distancing and sanitise hands regularly.

5.35 pm: New cases reported today:

Chandigarh: five new cases, total rises to 102,

Karnataka: 37 new cases, total rises to 651, toll now stands at 27

Tamil Nadu: 527 new cases, total rises to 3,550, toll now stands at 31

5.30 pm: Kerala reports no new cases of the virus today, ANI reports, citing CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

5.23 pm: “We have given the permission to run special trains on states’ request,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal says. “We are dividing the cost in 85-15 per cent [railway:states share] as per the norms. We never asked states to charge money from the stranded labours.”

The Ministry of Railways laid out a set of guidelines to operate the shramik special trains, including the sale of tickets, on May 2, a day after announcing the special trains. While it said that tickets will not be sold in stations, it also added that the states will collect fares from the passengers.

“Thereafter, the local state government will hand over the tickets to the passengers and collect the ticket fare. The state government will hand over the total amount to Railways,” the ministry had said in its release.

Read more here:

Covid-19: Even as migrants pay for train tickets, BJP claims Centre has subsidised 85% of fare

5.20 pm: The BJP and Opposition parties are engaged in a war of words over the Centre’s decision to charge migrant workers for providing special trains home amid the nationwide lockdown. The Congress said it will pay the fares while the Centre and BJP claimed that the government has already subsidised 85% of the fares and that states will pay the rest. This is despite an official circular directing states to collect the fares and hand it over to the Railways.

5.02 pm: A Border Security Force soldier, who drove an escort car for the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) convoy in Kolkata, tests positive for Covid-19, ANI reports. Fifty soldiers who came into contact with him have been quarantined.

4.58 pm: Maharashtra government says it has sent nearly 35,000 migrant labourers back to their native places so far, PTI reports.

4.52 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says his government will pay the train fare for migrant workers heading home amid the nationwide lockdown. “After instructions from Congress President Sonia Gandhi, we have decided that the state government will pay the fares of migrant workers leaving Rajasthan,” he says.

4.45 pm: The authorities in Noida will impose fines on people found spitting tobacco in public places, ANI reports.

4.41 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh seeks Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s intervention in arranging special trains for transporting migrant labourers stranded in Punjab to their home states, ANI reports.

4.39 pm: The locals in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor city form a long queue outside a liquor shop.

4.32 pm: The health ministry says that India’s Covid-19 outcome ratio has improved from 80:20 to 90:10.

4.25 pm: The health ministry says 11,706 patients have recovered so far.

4.12 pm: The health ministry official adds that India is now moving towards a new normal but there is a need to strictly adhere to lockdown guidelines and physical distancing rules. “As the lockdown is being eased in a staggered manner, it is imperative to continue rigorous containment measures, effective clinical management, infection prevention and control,” Agarwal says.

4.10 pm: Health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal says India’s Covid-19 recovery rate has now improved to 27.52%. He says that 1,074 people have recovered in the last 24 hours, the highest number till date.

4.01 pm: Home ministry official Punya Srivastava elaborates on the Centre’s new lockdown guidelines.

4.00 pm: The Centre begins press briefing on Covid-19.


3.42 pm: An assistant sub-inspector dies in Pune, says Bharati Hospital Deputy Medical Director Dr Jitendra Oswal. “He was on ventilator for the last 12 days and suffering from hypertension and obesity,” he tells ANI.

3.40 pm: An inter-ministerial central team, deployed to assess the situation in a few districts of West Bengal, says the state has the highest mortality rate from the coronavirus in the country at 12.8%. In a letter to Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, team leader Apurva Chandra says the “extremely” high mortality rate was a “clear indication of low testing, weak surveillance and tracking”.

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3.29 pm: The Union Public Service Commission says candidates taking the examinations will be given at least 30 days notice about the new test dates, reports PTI.

3.25 pm: Migrant workers in Surat clash with police, asking to be sent home immediately, a video by ANI shows.

The Centre from Friday started sending migrant labourers home on special trains, but this came well over a month after the lockdown was announced on March 25. In April too, workers in Surat protested against not being allowed to return to their homes.

3.18 pm: Thirteen Sashastra Seema Bal or Border Security Force personnel have contracted the coronavirus, unidentified officials tell PTI.

3.13 pm: The Agripada Police book a 34-year-old doctor for allegedly sexually assaulting a 44-year-old male coronavirus patient at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai on May 1. The doctor joined the hospital just a day earlier.

Read more: Mumbai doctor booked for allegedly sexually assaulting coronavirus patient

3.02 pm: Physical distancing has been ignored at many liquor shops in the country that have been opened. Watch the queues, some over a kilometre long, to buy alcohol after 40 days.

2.50 pm: The Tripura government says it will send back more than 33,000 migrant workers to their home states by train, reports ANI.

2.36 pm: A Border Security Force officer deployed in the entourage of the Centre’s inter-ministerial central team to West Bengal tests positive, PTI reports. Over 50 BSF officers have been put under quarantine.

2.34 pm: The number of cases rises to 130 in Rajasthan with six deaths, ANI reports, quoting state health department’s figures. The state now has 3,016 Covid-19 cases and 77 people have died from it till now.

2.02 pm: The Delhi Police orders the closure of all liquor shops in East Delhi after a vendor failed to maintain norms of physical distancing, The Hindu reports. Deputy Commissioner of Police, East, Jasmeet Singh claims the police was not informed about the opening of liquor shops.

2.00 pm: Singapore reports 573 new Covid-19 cases, taking the country’s total tally of cases in the country to 18,778, PTI reports.

1.52 pm: Two floors of the Border Security Force headquarters in Delhi have been sealed after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports.

1.49 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar thanks the Centre for considering his suggestion of running special trains to help stranded migrant workers return to the state and says none of them will have to pay for the tickets, ANI reports. “A quarantine centre has been set up here for them,” he adds.

12.56 pm: Kerala opens the state’s borders at six places to allow a passage of return to locals stranded in other parts of the country, PTI reports. These six check-posts are: Inchivila in Thiruvananthapuram, Aryankavu in Kollam, Kumily in Idukki, Walayar in Palakkad, Muthanga in Wayanad and Manjeshwar in Kasaragod.

12.55 pm: The Jammu and Kashmir administration declares the whole of Kashmir Valley and three districts of Jammu region as a red zone, PTI reports.

12.50 pm: Police closes a liquor shop in Delhi’s Karol Bagh area after people flog outside in large numbers, breaking all norms of physical distancing, ANI reports.

12.47 pm: Karnataka reports 28 new cases of coronavirus and one death, taking the total tally of cases in the state to 642, ANI reports. Out of these, 21 cases are from Davangere. The toll in the state is 26.

12.44 pm: The Supreme Court refuses to hear a plea seeking a stay on the burial of those who died of Covid-19 at three cemeteries in Mumbai’s Bandra West locality, ANI reports. The top court further refers the matter back to the Bombay High Court.

12.27 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says minimum relaxations in the lockdown should be allowed in Delhi at the moment to curb the spread of the infection, ANI reports. “Delhi is one of the places where – considering the current status [of Covid-19 cases] – more stringent action needs to be taken,” he says.

12.22 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal holds a Cabinet meeting to take stock of the situation after government offices in the Capital were granted permission to open their offices from today, ANI reports.

12.17 pm: The Multiplex Association of India has appealed to studio partners, producers, artistes and content creators to release their films in theaters after the countrywide lockdown ends, PTI reports. This came amid rumours that several producers are mulling over a direct-to-digital release of their films.

12.15 pm: The Chhattisgarh Health Department has asked officers of paramilitary forces and the army to quarantine themselves for 14 days on their return to the state from other parts of the country, PTI reports.

12.10 pm: How will Modi’s pandemic politics change as India enters Lockdown 3.0?

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The Political Fix: How will Modi’s pandemic politics change as India enters Lockdown 3.0?

12.00 pm: Migrant workers are on their way back to their hometowns amid the nationwide lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic. So far, 31 trains have operated and more are expected to run over the next 15 days.

Read more here:

In photos: Cash-strapped migrants pay for passage back home amid extended lockdown

11.58 am: Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal says the party has talked to state Congress chiefs and is working out the modalities with them to ensure that every migrant worker reaches home safely, PTI reports.

11.49 am: The police of Delhi lathi charge people after they flout norms of physical distancing outside a liquor shop in Kashmere Gate area, ANI reports.

11.44 am: The challenges confronting the world because of the coronavirus pandemic have brought to the fore the “inadequacies of the global governance structures,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s former UN envoy says, according to PTI.

11.17 am: Five districts in Maharashtra have decided to continue the ban on the sale of liquor, PTI reports. These areas are: Solapur, Aurangabad, Jalna, Buldhana and Amravati.

11.15 am: Construction activities resume in Delhi in areas where workers are available at the site of construction, ANI reports.

10.58 am: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra says the railways have subsidised ticket prices for migrant workers by 85% and the state governments can pay the remaining 15% of the amount, PTI reports. This came after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi criticised the Centre for charging train tickets from migrant workers and said the party’s state units will pay for it.

10.57 am: Niti Aayog member VK Paul says the continuous rise in the number of coronavirus cases is expected to “stabilise anytime soon,” PTI reports. He says that the rationale behind the government’s decision to extend the lockdown by two more weeks after May 3 is to “consolidate the gains of the first and second phase of restrictions”.

10.49 am: People flout norms of physical distancing while queuing up outside a liquor shop in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, ANI reports.

10.41 am: The Delhi Police have deployed surveillance drones at the wholesale fruit and vegetables market in Ghazipur.

10.21 am: Four more deaths and 123 new cases have been reported in Rajasthan today, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. The total tally of cases in the state is now 3,009 with 75 deaths.

10.17 am: Liquor shops in West Bengal will be allowed to be open in the green zones only, News18 reports.

10.06 am: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has requested the Centre not to charge migrant workers any fee for travelling by special trains arranged by the government to return to their villages, PTI reports.

9.59 am: Employees of an IT company in Nashik, Maharashtra, undergo screening for Covid-19 before entering office premises amid the lockdown, ANI reports.

9.52 am: A 34-year-old doctor in Mumbai has been booked for allegedly sexually assaulting a 44-year-old man undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at the Wockhardt hospital, The Indian Express reports. The police, however, said the accused has not been questioned or arrested because of fears that he may be infected by the coronavirus.

9.44 am: People in Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area queue up outside a liquor store after the state government allowed the sale of alcohol in standalone shops and other small establishments located in residential complexes, ANI reports.

9.40 am: An 85-year-old doctor and cancer patient in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain has recovered from Covid-19, NDTV reports. Dr Narendra Mahadik, who was admitted at RD Gardi Medical College and Hospital in the city, was discharged on Saturday.

9.39 am: A total of 11.07 lakh samples have been tested for Covid-19 as of today, ANI reports quoting the Indian Council of Medical Research.

9.33 am: Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ladakh unit president Chering Dorjay has resigned from the party, accusing the administration of having failed to evacuate people of Ladakh stranded across the country amid the lockdown, The Indian Express reports.

9.31 am: The National Commission for Women said it has received 315 complaints of domestic violence in April amid the countrywide lockdown, PTI reports.

9.30 am: Opposition parties in Lucknow have accused the administration of targeting Muslims by naming some coronavirus hotspots after local mosques, PTI reports.

9.19 am: The Centre has constituted 20 public health teams which will be deployed in districts with a high number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi and nine other states, PTI reports. These teams will identify the gaps and support them in the proper implementation of cluster containment plans and surveillance measures.

9.18 am: United States President Donald Trump says he believes a vaccine for Covid-19 will be available by the end of the year, AP reports.

8.47 am: The health ministry’s updates show that India’s total number of coronavirus cases has risen to 42,533. Of these, 29,453 people are being treated, 11,706 have been discharged and 1,373 patients have died.

8.30 am: Congress President Sonia Gandhi criticises the Centre for charging train tickets from migrant workers, says the party’s state units will pay for it. “The Indian National Congress has...taken a decision that every Pradesh Congress Committee shall bear the cost for the rail travel of every needy worker and migrant labourer and shall take necessary steps in this regard,” the statement reads.

7.53 am: Italy reports 174 coronavirus fatalities, its lowest toll since 168 fatalities were registered when the country’s stay-at-home orders were imposed on March 10 to contain the pandemic, reports AFP.

7.50 am: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is a “significant amount of evidence” that the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but does not differ from intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made, reports Reuters.

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7.47 am: Visuals of migrant workers leaving for their homes in buses and trains amid the nationwide lockdown.

7.45 am: President Donald Trump has said that the United States will have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year, reports AFP. “We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine at the end of the year, by the end of the year,” Trump tells Fox News.

Here are the top updates from Sunday:

  • The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 40,263 and the country recorded 1,306 fatalities, according to the figures from the health ministry. Over 10,885 people have recovered from the infection so far.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the state will implement the Centre’s latest guidelines regarding relaxing the lockdown. “The time has come to re-open Delhi,” the chief minister said. “We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus. We are now prepared to deal with the crisis.”
  • The Indian Air Force conducted fly-pasts and showered petals on hospital to honour doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other front line workers who are leading the battle against the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard switched on decorative lights installed on their ships to express their gratitude.
  • Opposition leaders criticised 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. Migrant workers taking the special trains home will be charged Rs 50 along with the sleeper class fare.
  • No new positive coronavirus cases were reported in Kerala, even as the government declared four more regions in the state as hotspots, taking the total to 84.  
  • The Central Reserve Police Force headquarters in Delhi was sealed for sanitisation after a personal employee of a senior officer and a bus driver of the paramilitary tested positive for the coronavirus. A driver and a personal employee of a senior officer have been infected.