Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that extending the lockdown in the state would depend on the people. The state has reported over 19,000 cases and 731 deaths so far. Meanwhile, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation chief Praveen Pardeshi was on Friday replaced by Iqbal Chahal as coronavirus cases continued to surge in Mumbai despite the nationwide lockdown.
The Centre said 216 districts in India have had no coronavirus cases so far and pegged the recovery rate at 29.36%. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court advised states to consider indirect sale or home delivery of liquor to ensure minimal crowds and enforcement of social distancing protocols amid the nationwide lockdown to rein in the pandemic.
So far, India has recorded 56,342 coronavirus cases and 1,886 patients have died. Globally, the coronavirus has affected 38.45 lakh people and claimed 2.59 lakh lives, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
11 pm: Here are the day’s top updates.
10.57 pm: An Indian Navy ship sets off from Male, Maldives with 698 Indians who were stranded there amid the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reports.
10.50 pm: The Delhi government directs district magistrates to enforce lockdown measures in public and at work places, ANI reports.
Delhi reported 338 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total number of cases to 6,318. This includes 2,020 people who have recovered, 4,230 active cases and 68 deaths.
10.25 pm: The Assam government increases excise duty on liquor by 25%, ANI reports.
9.54 pm: Italy’s Covid-19 toll crosses 30,000, BBC reports. Italy has the third highest number of officially recorded coronavirus deaths in the world, after the US and the UK.
9.51 pm: The finance ministry allows discounting of prolonged stay period in India for the purpose of determining residency status, ANI reports.
9.40 pm: The US Labour Department says the coronavirus lockdown wiped out 20.5 million jobs in April, destroying nearly all the positions created in the prior decade, AFP reports.
9.32 pm: An Air India flight carrying Indian citizens from Riyadh lands in Kerala’s Kozhikode city, ANI reports.
9.27 pm: Right to Food Campaign demands free rations, travel and Covid-19 tests for migrant workers. “Migrant workers are the backbone of India’s labour force and should not have to risk their lives and make fatal decisions to travel back home on foot and cycles,” the organisation says. “Instead, governments should make travel arrangements to ensure stranded migrants reach home safely with dignity.”
9.23 pm: The state government also approves lengthening of curfew relaxation to from five to seven hours each day, ANI reports.
9.20 pm: The Himachal Pradesh government decides to levy an additional license fee on the sale of liquor in the state.
9.13 pm: New cases reported today:
Uttar Pradesh: 155 new cases, tally rises to 3,214; toll at 66
Haryana: 22 new cases, tally rises to 647; toll at eight
Rajasthan: 152 new cases reported, tally rises to 3,579; oll at 103
9.07 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to his Italian countepart Giuseppe Conte, conveys his condolences for Covid-19 deaths in the country, ANI reports, quoting PMO.
9.01 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah meets the director generals of all Central Armed Police Forces to discuss Covid-19.
8.56 pm: Mumbai reports 748 new cases. The city’s tally rises to 11,967.
8.50 pm: Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally crosses 19,000 with 1,089 new cases, ANI reports. The state’s toll rises to 731.
8.31 pm: Thackeray says that extending the lockdown in the state depends on the people. “This phase of the lockdown is very important,” he says. “Do we increase the lockdown from here? Depends on you. No one likes to be caged indoors. But breaking the lockdown will end up being a punishment for us in the long run. Like I said in the meeting yesterday, instead of social distancing, I would say follow physical distancing.”
He adds: “Some are saying learn to live with the virus but how does one do that? By sitting at home? We are fighters. We don’t need the army to come in. Every citizen is a soldier.”
8.25 pm: “I want to tell everyone that we are not reducing tests,” Thackeray adds. “Wherever necessary, we will be doing tests. There will be no compromise on that. But we have noticed that in some cases, people are coming at the very last minute; unfortunately, then it is not possible to save them.”
“If you have symptoms, don’t wait,” Thackeray says. “Come forward. We have fever clinics.” Referring to the 18,000 positive cases reported so far in Maharashtra, Thackeray says: “Yes, this is a big number, but over 3,250 have also recovered and have returned home and that also is something we should keep in mind.”
8.24 pm: The Maharashtra government will not make any exemptions or concessions in containment areas under red zones, Thackeray says according to Mumbai Mirror. “For the lockdown to be successful, we need to follow the rules,” he says. “We have managed the lockdown well but we haven’t managed to break the chain as yet. Soon, we will also have students, Indians stuck in other countries returning and we have to be prepared for that too. I need your support for it.”
8.20 pm: Thackeray adds that the monsoon season will be here soon and the government needs to prepare for that as well. “We had appealed to the central government that if needed, we would need help from hospitals under central government, like port trust hospital,” Thackeray says. “The Centre has given its go-ahead for that. Police are stressed. They are tired. They are still working. Some have died.”
“I want to ask the Centre if there is any way we can get central backing so our police force can take breaks and then get back on the job,” the chief minister says but adds: “Please don’t equate it to calling the Army. This is only so that our police force gets some break so that they can get some rest and return on the job.”
8.16 pm: The Maharashtra chief minister also dismisses rumours that the Army will be deployed in the city. “Why does Mumbai need the army? It’s #FakeNews. Please do not believe in unverified information and be patient. We are in this together. We are fighting against #COVID19, step by step,” he says. “There is no need for the Army to come in. You are the soldiers in this fight.”
8.12 pm: Thackeray urges migrant workers to not be worried. “We have started train services. We are coordinating with the state governments from their home states. We solicit your support. This fight with #COVID19 ahead is difficult, we need your support,” he adds, according to Mumbai Mirror. “Please don’t fall for rumours. What happened is extremely unfortunate. Migrants were walking on the tracks. They were exhausted. They sat on the tracks and fell asleep due to exhaustion. It’s very unfortunate. Please stay where you are. Please don’t lose your patience. We are working to solve your problem,”
8.10 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray condemns the Aurangabad accident, in which 16 migrant labourers died. “I am upset at what has happened early this morning. It saddens me,” he says, according to Mumbai Mirror. “I want to once again tell the migrants that the state govt is with them. Five lakh to six lakh migrants have been accommodated in camps. The state government is with you.”
7.10 pm: The Madras High Court orders the closure of all state-run liquor shops in Tamil Nadu, ANI reports. The court permits only the online sale of alcohol.
7 pm: Odisha reports 25 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 271.
6.50 pm: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz to discuss medical supply problems and travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Preparing for India – Central Asia Dialogue and further bilateral engagements,” he tweets. “Our shared approach to Afghanistan was evident. This strategic partnership continues to flourish.”
6.42 pm: Tamil Nadu registers 600 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 6,009 in the state, reports ANI, citing the health minister. Of these, 399 cases are from Chennai.
6.33 pm: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has been transferred as additional chief secretary in the Urban Development Department amid rising number of coronavirus cases in Mumbai, reports News18. Iqbal Chahal is the new commissioner of the civic authority.
6.29 pm: Punjab records 87 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total tally to 1,731 in the state.
6.26 pm: The Kerala High Court has asked the Centre to respond to a petition challenging the government’s directive to make the use of Aarogya Setu app mandatory for all employees, including those in the private sector, reports The Hindu.
The petitioner has said that the Centre’s directive had violated fundamental rights of the citizen, adding that there was also a possibility of misuse of the personal information given accessed by the app.
6.22 pm: The National Human Rights Commission issues notices to the Maharashtra chief secretary and Aurangabad district magistrate about migrants being mowed down by a goods train in Maharashtra. While the incident was an accident, the NHRC observed: “Had some arrangements been made for their shelter or halt during their tiring journey, the painful tragedy could be averted.”
6.16 pm: Ten healthcare staff at Delhi’s Hindu Rao Hospital and five from Kasturba Hospital have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports ANI. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation says all of them have been sent to quarantine and necessary sanitisation has also been undertaken in the hospitals.
6 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district has risen by 90, with 72 of them being State Reserve Police Force personnel who served in Nashik district’s Malegaon area, reports PTI. Aurangabad now has total 477 cases.
5.38 pm: The municipal commissioner of Surat says the Agriculture Produce Market Committee will be closed from May 9 to May 14 after more than 25 vegetable traders tested positive for the coronavirus, reports ANI.
5.35 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has directed officials to reach out to their counterparts in other states for better coordination in bringing the stranded migrants, reports PTI. He also urges workers stranded in various parts of the country to not walk during the nationwide lockdown.
5.33 pm: Karnataka reports 48 fresh coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 753.
5.30 pm: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says he spoke to his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono about challenges arising out of the coronavirus crisis. “We discussed ways to fight against this pandemic through cooperation,” he tweets. “We have agreed to work together in this global fight against the menace of coronavirus.”
5.29 pm: Odisha government increases quarantine period from 14 days to 28 days, reports ANI. The state government says all returnees will have to follow the norms, adding that the decision was taken in view of 28 days incubation period of the coronavirus.
5.25 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says a person, who returned from Chennai, has tested positive for the coronavirus in Ernakulam district, ANI reports. The state now has 16 active cases, 19,810 people are in home quarantine and 347 patients are admitted to different hospitals, adds the chief minister.
5.16 pm: Opposition parties in Karnataka urge the state government to pressurise the Centre to provide Rs 50,000 crore special economic package to help those in distress due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, reports PTI.
“Corona should be declared as national disaster... there is over Rs 35,000 crore money in PM Cares,” says a statement released by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “Not even a paise has come to the state. At least the Center should have given us the money that had gone from the state.”
5.12 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,209 to 1,67,300, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases shows, according to Reuters.
5.10 pm: The Central Board of Secondary Education will conduct Class 10 and 12 board examinations from July 1 to July 15, reports ANI.
5 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports 74 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 3,145.
4.59 pm: The health ministry says the Indian Council of Medical Research project for plasma trial has got approval from National Ethics Committee. It will be conducted in 21 hospitals.
4.53 pm: The Agriculture Produces Market Committee in Navi Mumbai’s Vashi area will be shut from May 11 till further notice, reports The Times of India. The administration decided to shut all the five wholesale markets due to the rise in number of coronavirus cases.
4.48 pm: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says three more persons, who travelled in the bus from Rajasthan in which a patient from Cachar district travelled, have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state. The total number of cases has risen to 56.
4.42 pm: The Centre says the death of migrant workers on railway tracks in Aurangabad is an unfortunate incident.
4.34 pm: “This is an everyday battle,” says Agarwal. “Even a day’s failure impacts the whole effort to fight.”
4.32 pm: The health ministry also says a revised list of red, orange and green zones will be circulated to the states soon after the analysis of data in the country.
4.28 pm: “We have to learn to live with the virus, it is a big challenge,” says Lav Agarwal.
4.27 pm: Agarwal says data till yesterday shows that 3.2% patients are on oxygen support, 4.7% on ICU support and 1.1% are on ventilator support.
4.24 pm: “Research studies have begun on using Ayurveda as prophylaxis and on using it as additional support against the coronavirus,” says health ministry.
4.22 pm: “If we follow required processes, we might not observe the peak in number of coronavirus cases,” says Agarwal on AIIMS Director’s “peak expected in June-July” comment.
4.20 pm: Lav Agarwal says railways has converted 5,231 coaches as coronavirus care centres. He also adds that 215 identified stations will be used for treatment of mild and very mild cases while ensuring coaches are designated for suspected and confirmed cases.
4.19 pm: Travel arrangements have also been made for Green Card holders and OCI card holders and the Indian citizens, who want to travel abroad, home ministry official says.
4.15 pm: “In the last 24 hours, there were 3,390 new coronavirus cases and 1,273 recoveries,” says Agarwal.
4.11 pm: Agarwal says 216 districts have no coronavirus cases, adding that 36 districts haven’t reported any new cases in the last 14 days.
4.09 pm: Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Lav Agarwal, says the recovery rate of coronavirus cases in India is 29.36%. The recovery rate is continuously increasing, he adds.
4.07 pm: INS Jalashwa has reached Maldives, will reach Kochi with around 700 people by May 10, says home ministry official.
4.06 pm: Railways has run 222 special trains for movement of stranded persons, says Srivastva.
4.04 pm: Joint Secretary of Home Ministry Punya Salila Srivastava says the government’s efforts are to provide as much relief to migrants and students. “Trains have benefitted over 2.5 lakh travellers,” she says. “We are not trying to get back Indians stranded abroad through commercial flights.”
4.01 pm: The Centre begins its press conference about the coronavirus situation in India.
3.58 pm: Cadila Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest privately held pharma companies in India, has shut down its formulations manufacturing plant in Ahmedabad after 26 of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus.
3.56 pm: A 60-year-old man died of the coronavirus in western Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar, becoming the first fatality in the district due to the infection, reports PTI. Officials say the deceased was a resident of Sector 22 in Noida.
3.53 pm: The total number of coronavirus positive cases has reached 1,887 in Andhra Pradesh after 54 people test positive, reports PTI.
3.50 pm: The Border Security Force says 30 new coronavirus cases have been reported among its personnel, according to ANI. This includes six from Delhi and 24 others from Tripura.
3.47 pm: A person who works with the Pune Fire Brigade has tested positive for Covid-19, reports ANI. Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise says the contact tracing is underway.
3.44 pm: The Haryana government has decided to extend the duration of the parole or interim bail granted to convicted prisoners by another six weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.
3.42 pm: Hundreds of migrant workers, who are stranded in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka, protest in front of the central railway station in Mangaluru demanding that arrangements be made for them to return to their respective hometowns, reports PTI. The migrant labourers have decided not to move from the station until trains are arranged to send them back, according to The New Indian Express.
3.38 pm: The Jammu and Kashmir government is arranging special trains for its residents stranded across the country due to the lockdown and will bear the cost of the tickets, reports PTI. “These trains will start arriving shortly and necessary coordination with the sending states as also with the railway authorities is going on,” says a statement from the home department.
3.36 pm: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says people who supply vegetables and milk could have acted as carriers of the infection after 77 inmates and 26 police personnel at Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison tested positive for the coronavirus, reports ANI.
3.33 pm: A German intelligence report casts doubts on US allegations that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory and says the accusations are an attempt to divert attention from the American government’s failure to rein in the infection, reports Reuters, citing Der Spiegel magazine.
3.22 pm: Rajasthan reports 64 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the state to 3,491.
3.18 pm: The number of new coronavirus cases in Russia rises by 10,699 over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 1,87,859, reports Reuters. This is the sixth consecutive day that cases have risen by more than 10,000.
3.15 pm: Adarsh Pratap Singh, president of Resident Doctors’ Association of AIIMS, says doctors and health workers in many places across Delhi-NCR are being asked to stay at their workplaces, reports ANI.
“This kind of behaviour brings down morale of doctors and health workers,” says Singh. “They are facing additional stress as they have to apply for passes to commute from Ghaziabad, Noida and Haryana to hospitals in Delhi. We have requested Central government to allow movement of health workers across borders with presentation of ID cards.”
3.13 pm: Around 150 Indians are being screened at King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh. A flight will take off for Kozhikode in Kerala shortly.
3.11 pm: The Noida administration says schools cannot hike fees and must pay teachers during the lockdown, reports PTI.
3.03 pm: The Drug Controller General of India has given approval for clinical trials of favipiravir, seen as a potential treatment for the coronavirus, reports ANI. The antiviral drug is used in influenza in Japan, China. The director of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Shekhar Mande, says it could be potentially useful against Covid-19 and a phytopharmaceutical which is an extract of a plant.
2.59 pm: BJP leader Sudhanshu Trivedi says the government welcomes suggestions from the Opposition but it should be constructive and substantial, reports ANI. “Rahul Gandhi might not have known facts which is his usual tendency, without knowing and understanding facts he comes in front of media,” he adds.
Addressing the media earlier in the day, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work with chief ministers as a colleague.
2.55 pm: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that journalists, whistleblowers, health professionals, aid workers and human rights defenders continue to be targeted simply for doing their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
2.52 pm: Maharashtra minister Uday Samant says all university students in the state, except those in the final year, will be promoted to the next class without examination because of the countrywide lockdown to tackle the coronavirus, reports ANI. The final year examinations will be held in July, he adds.
2.44 pm: Uttrakhand reports no new coronavirus cases for the fourth consecutive day. The state has 61 cases and one death.
2.40 pm: Chidambaram says the Centre’s decision was “hopelessly belated”. “Once the policy was announced, government should have gone to the rescue of the trekkers and provided buses or trains to them to continue their journey,” he adds.
2.38 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says the policy of providing buses and trains to transport migrant workers was poorly designed, coordinated and implemented.
“Two days ago I had tweeted why the central and state governments are oblivious of the fact that thousands of migrant workers are still trudging to their home states,” Chidambaram tweets. “It is obvious that the transport policy of providing buses and trains to transport migrant workers was poorly designed, planned, coordinated and implemented.”
2.26 pm: Singapore records 768 new coronavirus cases, mostly among the foreign nationals living in dormitories, reports PTI. With this, the total number of infections in the city-state has risen to 21,707 with 20 deaths.
2.22 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey hold a meeting with the health minister of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka through video conference.
2.18 pm: Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan says India’s fuel demand growth could return to normal levels by mid-May amid the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters. “Since last two week there is a gradual increase in the demand, very slow...but we are confident by middle of May we will be moving towards the normal position,” says Pradhan. “That’s our calculation.”
2.15 pm: A fight erupts between protestors, including workers of Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers and police in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai city, over the state government’s decision to open liquor shops amid the nationwide lockdown to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
2.12 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urges the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to provide insurance cover for journalists, adding that they are performing an important duty of providing information in times of the coronavirus crisis. This came after journalist Pankaj Kulshrestha from Agra died due to Covid-19.
“My condolences to his family and friends in the journalist community,” she tweeted. “Comprehensive financial assistance to Pankaj Kulshrestha ji’s family and an insurance cover for all journalists should be announced by the Uttar Pradesh government.”
2.08 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expresses grief over the death of migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh in a train accident in Aurangabad district and announces a financial aid of Rs 5 lakh each to their families.
At least 15 migrant labourers were killed early on Friday after a cargo train ran over them early on Friday.
1.50 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said the Centre must be transparent in its actions to fight the coronavirus, by cooperating with states and making them partners in decision-making.
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1.43 pm: The first special train, ferrying 1,200 migrant workers, has left for Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, reports ANI.
1.25 pm: The Supreme Court says states should think about home delivery of alcohol, reports Live Law.
1.03 pm: Around 22 migrant workers, who had returned from Telangana, have escaped from a quarantine centre in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Thursday, reports Hindustan Times.
12.59 pm: Animals in a cash-strapped zoo in Ukrain have had to eat leaner diets since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. “We are ashamed, and they are sad,” Pinchuk, head of Ukraine’s largest private zoo, told AFP.
12.51 pm: A writ petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court, challenging the Centre’s orders to make the “Aarogya Setu” app mandatory for the public and private employees, reports ANI.
12.49 pm: Karnataka reports 45 new coronavirus cases between 5 pm yesterday and 12 pm today, taking the state’s tally to 750 – including 30 deaths and 371 recoveries, reports ANI.
12.48 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati says the migrant workers in the country are in distress. “The way they are being treated by the Centre and states is very wrong,” he adds. “Not even proper food and accommodation is being arranged for them.”
12.46 pm: The first group of Indian nationals who will be brought back from the Maldives board INS Jalashwa, reports ANI.
12.35 pm: In China’s Shanghai, tickets for the Disneyland have sold out rapidly, reports Reuters, citing the park’s website. The park is preparing to resume operations after a three-month shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports Reuters.
12.30 pm: Karnataka is expected to restart trains for migrants, but many have started walking back to their homes, reports The Indian Express.
12.25 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 54 new positive cases and three deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the state’s tally to 1,887, reports ANI. The total number of recoveries are 842 and toll has risen to 41.
12.24 pm: A group of women protest in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, against the state government’s order to reopen alcohol shops amid the nationwide lockdown, reports ANI.
12.22 pm: The Central Reserve Police Force says an assistant sub-inspector, who was posted in Kolkata’s Indian Museum and died yesterday, was Covid-19 positive, reports ANI.
12.21 pm: Air India’s first flight from Singapore has landed at Delhi airport, reports ANI.
12.14 pm: Gandhi says that India needs to start its domestic economy soon as the longer this is delayed, the impact will be worse.
11.51 am: Gandhi says the red, orange and green zones should be identified at the state level with inputs from district magistrates. “Our chief ministers are saying that the areas which are red zones at the national-level are actually green zones and vice versa,” he adds.
11.50 am: “This is not the time to criticise, we need a strategy to open the lockdown,” says Gandhi. “Any businessman will tell you that there is a clash between economic supply chain and ‘red, orange and green zones’, that need to be resolved.”
11.45 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a video conference on the coronavirus situation in the country.
11.42 am: Migrant workers protest in Karnataka amid the nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI. The workers have demanded that the state government send them back to their hometowns.
11.23 am: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the pandemic keeps unleashing a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering”, reports Associated Press.
11.20 am: Three states – West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh – have been asked to ramp up testing as migrant workers trickle in, reports NDTV.
11.19 am: Rs 5 lakh has been announced as ex-gratia for the families of those deceased in Karmad train accident, reports ANI, citing Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office.
11.17 am: Budget carrier IndiGo’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta has said his company will be cutting the salaries of its senior officials from May onwards. In a company email, Dutta has said they will also implement a “limited, graded leave without pay program” for the months of May, June and July, reports PTI.
11.09 am: The Centre clarifies after a video on social media claims passengers on an Air India flight argued over being charged three times more than the normal rates. The civil aviation ministry says the video is from another country.
10.30 am: Air India releases its schedule for flights bringing back Indians from abroad. Twenty-three flights are on the list, from May 7 to May 13.
9.55 am: In the US, authorities hand out bags of potatoes and packets of milk to ensure they are not wasted amid the coronavirus outbreak, reports Reuters.
9.50 am: In Honduras, people rush to collect hens handed out by a presidential candidate in El Carrizal, Tegucigalpa, reports AFP.
9.39 am: A 42-year-old man with a travel history to Delhi tests positive for the coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur town. The state’s tally rises to 48, reports PTI, citing an unindentified official.
9.36 am: The Indian High Commission in Maldives tweets visuals of Indians preparing for evacuation. They will board the INS Jalashwa later today.
9.30 am: Rajasthan records 26 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number in the state to 3,453, reports ANI. One death has been reported today and the state’s toll stands at 100.
9.19 am: The Ministry of Railways issues a statement on the deaths of the migrant workers. “During early hours today after seeing some labourers on track, loco pilot of goods train tried to stop the train but eventually hit them between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Parbhani-Manmad section,” the official handle tweets. “Injured have been taken to Aurangabad Civil Hospital. Inquiry has been ordered.”
9.13 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses his condolences after the death of at least 14 migrant workers in an accident.
“Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra,” he tweets. “Have spoken to Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided.”
8.59 am: India’s latest coronavirus figures show there are a total of 56,342 cases in the country, and 1,886 patients have died so far. The country has recorded 3,390 new cases of the infection have been reported in the last 24 hours.
Of the total cases, 37,916 are being treated, 16,539 people have recovered and one person has left the country.
8.39 am: The coronavirus is likely to trigger a deep recession in Japan as spending and services dip in the third-largest economy in the world, reports Reuters.
8.37 am: China and the US have committed to implement a trade deal despite ensuing conflict over the virus’ origin, reports AFP.
8.30 am: People keep their belongings like helmets and bottles to mark their places in queues outside liquor shops in Vasant Vihar, Delhi, reports ANI.
8 am: 15 migrant workers have been run over by a train in Maharashtra, reports NDTV
7.55 am: A total of 24 Border Security Force officers have tested positive for the coronavirus in Tripura, taking the number of cases in the state to 88, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb says, according to PTI.
7.50 am: In India, Delhi has started issuing e-tokens, with details of the store and the timings, for consumers on a web link set up by the excise department, reports Hindustan Times. This is an attempt to curb overcrowding outside alcohol shops.
7.40 am: A newspaper journalist is among two people who died due to the coronavirus in Agra on Thursday, officials tell PTI.
7.45 am: The United States has recorded 2,448 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, taking the toll in the nation to 75,543, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
7.30 am: Italy’s Civil Protection Department has said that 29,958 coronavirus patients have died so far and the country has 89,624 infections overall, reports Ansa.
7.15 am: United States President Donald Trump has said he will get tested for Covid-19 every day after his military aide tests positive, reports PTI.
Here are the top updates from Thursday:
- The Centre began the evacuation process of Indians stranded abroad during the pandemic. 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.
- 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. It also exempted businesses from the scope of all but four labour laws for the next three years to boost investments hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
- 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 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 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.