The central government on Thursday started the evacuation process of Indians stranded abroad during the coronavirus pandemic. The first flight carrying stranded Indian citizens from Abu Dhabi landed in Kochi around 10 pm. Another flight is on its way. The Indian Navy INS Jalashwa entered the Male harbour in Maldives on Thursday morning, and 1,000 people are planned to be brought back to India during the first trip. Air India on Wednesday also opened bookings for Indians stranded abroad to return home.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 52,952 and the country recorded 1,783 fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. Maharashtra has recorded the highest number with 16,758 cases so far and 651 deaths. More than 100 people tested positive in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail on Thursday. Gujarat has 6,625 cases and 65 fatalities.
Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday passed an ordinance prescribing a maximum punishment of life term to anyone who intentionally infects another person with the coronavirus, thereby leading to their death.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday ordered that train coaches will be used as care centres for suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19. The ministry is said to have passed the order in anticipation of an increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
The Ministry of Finance has asked central ministries and departments to release funds under centrally sponsored schemes on a “need basis”, and not as per entitlements of states. The directive was issued in view of the fact that the Centre has been able to mobilise much lower revenue due to the nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus.
The Haryana government has set up a three-member special investigation team to look into a case involving a large stock of alcohol that went missing from a godown in Sonipat district. The state’s home minister said a first information report has been ordered in the matter.
The World Health Organization said an average of 80,000 Covid-19 cases were reported each day in April, and South Asian nations such as India and Bangladesh are seeing a spike in infections. The health agency added that the numbers are declining in regions such as Western Europe.
The Orissa High Court on Thursday ordered that migrant workers stranded in other parts of the country due to the nationwide lockdown should test negative for the coronavirus before entering the state. However, it is not yet clear who will pay for the tests.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned people against complacency, as China downgraded coronavirus risk levels in all regions amid a decline in the number of cases. China has so far recorded 83,970 cases and 4,637 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.