The total number of cases in Maharashtra rose to 20,228 with 48 new deaths after 1,165 fresh infections were reported in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said India’s testing capacity has been scaled up to 95,000 per day. He added that a total of 15,25,631 tests have been conducted so far across 332 government and 121 private laboratories.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah wrote to the West Bengal government about trains carrying migrants not being allowed in the state. In response, the ruling Trinamool Congress accused Shah of lying, and added that the state government has already planned eight trains.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 59,662. Globally, the coronavirus has affected 39.37 lakh people and claimed 2.76 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.
8.52 pm: The Indian Railway confirms that it has received a proposal for running 8 trains to West Bengal from Telangana, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu to ferry migrant workers, reports PTI. Three trains from Karnataka, two each from Punjab and Tamil Nadu and one from Telangana will ferry the stranded people to the state over next few days.
8.48 pm: Ahmedabad reports 380 new cases and 20 deaths, reports PTI.
8.40 pm: Madhya Pradesh’s tally reaches 3,457 after 116 new cases today.
8.39 pm: With 1,165 fresh cases recorded in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours, the total tally rises to 20,228 with 48 new deaths.
8.14 pm: 62 fresh infections reported in the Central Reserve Police Force, according to PTI. With this, the total active cases in the force rise to 234.
8.12 pm: Two new cases in Dhanbad today. Both had returned from Mumbai. With this, Jharkhand’s total count of cases rises to 156, says state Health Secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni.
8.01 pm: Puducherry government decides to keep the liquor shops shut until May 17, reports ANI.
7.56 pm: In last 24 hours, Gujarat has reported 394 new cases. The total number of cases in the state is now 7,797 including 472 deaths.
7.43 pm: West Bengal reports 108 new cases. The state’s tally rises to 1,786.
7.41 pm: Tamil Nadu’s Covid-19 tally rises to 6,535 with 526 new cases.
7.39 pm: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will hold a video conference with all the states and Union Territories on Covid-19 at 10 am tomorrow, ANI reports.
7.20 pm: Indian Council of Medical Research partners with Bharat Biotech International Limited to develop an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, according to ANI.
7.02 pm: Chandigarh reports 23 new cases, including 21 from Bapudham Colony Sector-26 today.
7.01 pm: 10 Central teams will be sent to assist state governments of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, reports ANI.
6.47 pm: India’s testing capacity has been scaled up to around 95,000 per day, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. He adds that a total of 15,25,631 tests have been conducted so far across 332 government and 121 private laboratories.
6.43 pm: Number of cases in Punjab touches 1,762 with 31 more people testing positive today, says the state health department.
6.08 pm: Dharavi in Mumbai reports 25 new cases and one death, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
6.07 pm: 224 people tested positive in Delhi between 4 pm on Friday and midnight. The total number of cases stands at 6,542 including 68 deaths, says the health department.
6.04 pm: Karnataka reports 41 new cases today. With this, the total number of cases is now 794 including 30 deaths.
5.43 pm: Noida reports its second death, according to PTI. The total cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar district rise to 216.
5.42 pm: 13 new cases in Jammu and Kashmir, taking the Union Territory’s tally to 836.
5.40 pm: Odisha’s tally goes up to 294 after 5 people who returned from Surat tested positive, reports ANI.
5.38 pm: Union Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank says 1.5 crore answer sheets of Class 10 and 12 board exams will be delivered at the homes of teachers for evaluation.
5.16 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says two foreign returnees have tested positive. With this, the total number of active cases is now 17.
5.14 pm: In the last 24 hours, six Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel tested positive in Delhi. With this, a total of 100 personnel have tested positive.
5.11 pm: West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay says the state has given a go-ahead to 10 trains carrying migrant workers to enter the state, reports ANI. “A train will reach Malda from Telangana tomorrow,” he adds. “6,000 in-bound passes for small cars have been approved.”
5.10 pm: A 51-year-old police constable dies in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, reports PTI. This is the sixth police personnel to die of Covid-19 infections in the state.
5.03 pm: The Tamil Nadu government announces major lockdown relaxations starting Monday, including extension of operating hours of standalone shops and allowing private establishments to function with fewer employees.
5.02 pm: Odisha’s Covid-19 tally rises to 289.
5.00 pm: West Bengal reports 11 new Covid-19 deaths, toll rises to 99, PTI reports.
4.58 pm: West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay says around 6,000 stranded residents have returned to the state, PTI reports.
4.20 pm: Congress leader Ajay Maken says the Delhi government needs to ensure transparency in reporting coronavirus cases and deaths, reports PTI. His comments come after reports emerged on mismatch of data.
4.17 pm: In Uttar Pradesh, the number of active cases stands at 1,800, says Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad. “Our average recovery rate stands at around 43% as against national average of 30%,” he adds.
4.15 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah clarifies on his health condition. He says he is healthy and is not suffering from any disease.
3.51 pm: The Delhi government ropes in three more hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients, reports PTI. Fortis in Shalimar Bagh, Saroj Medical Institute in Sector 19, Rohini, and Khushi Hospital in Dwarka will admit confirmed or suspected cases. Each of the three hospitals will have 50 isolation beds.
3.47 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi says 97 trains carrying migrant workers have entered the state so far and 17 more will arrive by today evening. “The government has allowed plying of 98 more trains which will arrive tomorrow and day after tomorrow,” he adds.
3.38 pm: The toll in Maharashtra’s Amravati district rises to 12 with the death of a 53-year-old man, reports PTI. The man had tested positive for coronavirus on Friday night.
3.31 pm: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation forms a special committee to contain the spread of infections in different parts of the city, reports PTI.
3.30 pm: Union minister Jitendra Singh says “disciplined” Northeast has emerged as the model of Covid-19 management, reports PTI.
3.28 pm: 13 Central Industrial Security Force personnel test positive in Delhi, reports PTI.
3.08 pm: Indore’s toll rises to 87 after a 55-year-old woman dies, reports PTI.
3.02 pm: The Tamil Nadu government moves the Supreme Court challenging the Madras High Court’s order that directed the closure of all state-run liquor shops and allowed only online sale, reports NDTV.
2.48 pm: An unidentified Railways official tells PTI that there is no proposal on record from the West Bengal government to run any migrant special train to the state.
2.46 pm: 76 fresh cases have been reported in Rajasthan today, says the health department. The state’s total count is now 3,655, including 103 deaths.
2.20 pm: Pakistan begins easing the month-long lockdown, reports Dawn. This comes even as there is a steady rise in the number of cases. The country’s tally stands at 27,033.
2.17 pm: Uttarakhand health department says the state has four new cases today. The state’s total tally now stands at 67.
2.12 pm: The TMC accuses Union Home Minister Amit Shah of lying about the West Bengal government not allowing trains to reach the state. It adds that the state government has already planned eight trains to ferry migrants from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Telangana. The first train will be leaving on Saturday from Hyderabad to Malda, says the party.
2.11 pm: The Trinamool Congress says the West Bengal government has set up 711 camps for migrants in the state, reports PTI. “We are taking good care of them,” says the ruling party.
2.08 pm: Air India’s evacuation flight from London will be taking off for Mumbai today. Screening of passengers is underway.
1.57 pm: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh alleges that the 16 migrant workers, who were run over by a cargo train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad on Friday, had applied with the Madhya Pradesh government for passes to travel back home about a fortnight ago, but the administration failed to act on it. “If this had happened, what arrangements did the Madhya Pradesh government make?” he tweets. “Listen from the surviving workers.”
1.51 pm: Thirteen more Central Industrial Security Force personnel test positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally of cases in the force to 48, ANI reports.
1.47 pm: BJP corporators in the Thane Municipal Corporation refuse to contribute to the Covid-19 relief fund, citing lack of transparency in the affairs of the civic body in the city, PTI reports.
1.40 pm: The police arrests around 55 to 60 the migrant workers gathered in Surat, while another 50 to 60 of them are detained, DN Patel, joint commissioner of police, Surat, tells ANI. “Reasonable force was used,” he adds.
1.39 pm: Migrant workers in Gujarat stage protests at the Hazira industrial area in Surat, demanding they be sent back to their hometowns, ANI reports.
1.37 pm: Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee accuses Amit Shah of “spreading a bundle of lies”, demanding he either apologises or proves his allegations that the West Bengal government was not allowing trains carrying migrant workers in the state, PTI reports.
12.44 pm: Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant tests positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. This comes after the personal assistant to US Vice President Mike Pence also tested positive for the virus. Trump and her husband Jared Kushner tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday.
11.59 am: India’s fatality rate continues to be around 3.3% and the recovery rate is 29.9%, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says, according to ANI. “These are very good numbers,” he adds.
11.54 am: The World Health Organization’s special Covid-19 envoy David Nabarro says India has reported a relatively small number of coronavirus cases till now because it acted quickly. According to the health expert, the pandemic will reach its peak in the country by the end of July before it is contained.
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11.51 am: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat says that many states are unwilling to take back migrant workers amid the lockdown, PTI reports. Arbitrary decisions taken by many states regarding migrant workers had worsened the situation, he adds.
11.49 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says the government does not think the worst type of situation will arise in India as it did in many developed countries, ANI reports. “Still, we have prepared the whole country for the worst situation,” he adds.
11.40 am: The Karnataka government issued an order on Friday saying that restaurants, pubs and bars in the state can sell liquor at retail price. This came after the Supreme Court had said that states must consider home delivery options or the indirect sale of liquor during the lockdown so that norms of physical distancing are not broken.
Read more: Covid-19: Karnataka allows restaurants, pubs, bars to sell liquor but only as takeaway
11 am: Home Minister Amit Shah writes to the West Bengal government about it not allowing in trains carrying migrant workers. Shah calls this an injustice to workers from Bengal who want to return home, PTI reports. “This is injustice with West Bengal migrant labourers. This will create further hardship for them,” Shah says.
10.35 am: One-third or 33% of Indians stranded abroad who have registered for repatriation flights are students, an analysis done by the Ministry of External Affairs reveals, according to The Indian Express.
10.29 am: The Centre on May 5 declined to share details of the ticket fares of migrant workers with the Supreme Court, The Wire reports. During a hearing of a plea filed by social activist Jagdeep S Chhokar, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he wasn’t given any “instructions” to divulge details about the ticket fare, and whether the same was charged directly from the migrant workers.
10.27 am: Over 360 Kashmiri students stranded in parts of Madhya Pradesh will be sent back to their hometowns in air-conditioned buses from Bhopal today, PTI reports.
10.17 am: Rajasthan reports 57 new cases, ANI reports, quoting state health department’s figures. The total number of cases in the state is now 3,636 with 103 deaths.
10.15 am: Strict checking underway near Delhi’s border with Ghazipur, as police officers check IDs and travel permits of commuters, ANI reports.
10.12 am: United States is working to temporarily ban the issuance of some work-based visas like H-1B, as well as students visas and work authorisation that accompanies them amid high level of unemployment in the country, PTI reports, quoting a report by the Wall Street Journal.
10.07 am: Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a meeting with chiefs of all the paramilitary forces after the number of cases among personnel crossed the 500-mark, The Indian Express reports.
9.29 am: Maharashtra government suspends Sion Hospital Dean Pramod Ingale, two days after a video shot inside a ward at the municipality-run hospital showed bodies wrapped in black plastic bags lying next to patients being treated for the coronavirus, Mumbai Mirror reports. The video was widely shared on social media on Wednesday.
9 am: India’s cases rise by 3,320 to 59,662 as the Ministry of Health updates its figures. The toll is up to 1,981.
8.35 am: United States President Donald Trump alleges that coronavirus is “going to go away without a vaccine”, but warns there could be “flare ups” next year, The Guardian reports.
8.29 am: Unemployment rate in United States rises to 14.7%, with 20.5 million jobs lost in April, as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the economy, CNN reports. The rise means the jobless rate is now worse than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
8.22 am: The Centre revises its guidelines on the discharge of coronavirus patients from Covid-19 care facilities, says only severe cases will now be tested before they are discharged.
“Mild, very mild or pre-symptomatic cases admitted to a Covid Care Facility will undergo regular temperature and pulse oximetry monitoring,” the home ministry says. “The patient can be discharged after ten days of symptom onset and no fever for three days. There will be no need for testing prior to discharge.”
8.14 am: The World Health Organisation plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the coronavirus, Reuters reports. The world health body is also considering having a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature.
8.08 am: The wife and son of Delhi Police constable Amit Kumar, who died of Covid-19, also test positive, The Indian Express reports.
8.03 am: Nearly 350 Indians were brought back to the country in two special Air India flights from the the United Arab Emirates late on Friday, NDTV reports.
8.00 am: The health ministry says Indians would have to “learn to live with the coronavirus”, The Indian Express reports.
7.47 am: United States prevents a vote in the United Nations Security Council on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in various countries around the world so they can better fight the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reports.
7.43 am: People in Delhi start queuing up outside a liquor shop in Gole Market early in the morning, with many using their helmets and bags to mark their position in the line, ANI reports.
7.32 am: The police in Tamil Nadu stops a group of migrant workers from Jharkhand who were walking on the national highway in Chennai in pursuit of walking back to their villages, ANI reports.
7.30 am: United States records 1,635 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, reports AFP. The total number of cases in the country is 12.83 lakh and the toll is now 77,178.
7.27 am: United States Vice President Mike Pence’s spokesperson tests positive for the coronavirus, AFP reports.
Here are the top updates from Friday
- At least 16 migrant labourers were killed early morning after a cargo train ran over them in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district. The workers were walking back home to Madhya Pradesh and had slept on tracks. The National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the Maharashtra chief secretary and Aurangabad district magistrate.
- The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to to 56,342 on Friday. The toll climbed to 1,886. Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally crossed 19,000.
- Two hundred and thirty-four Indians landed at Delhi airport on Friday afternoon on Air India’s first repatriation flight from Singapore, AI 381.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray dismissed speculation that the Indian Army will be deployed in Mumbai as the Covid-19 situation in the metropolis worsens. The chief minister, however, admitted that the chain of Covid-19 transmission in the state had not been broken yet.
- The chief of Mumbai’s civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was transferred as the number of coronavirus cases in the metropolis continue to rise at an alarming rate.
- The Supreme Court stayed an interim order passed by the Odisha High Court that directed the state government to allow only migrant workers who tested negative for the coronavirus to enter the state.
- The Central Board of Secondary Education announced that it will hold the remaining examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 from July 1 to July 15. The exams had to be abruptly postponed in March due to a nationwide shutdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Madras High Court ordered the closure of all liquor shops run by the Tamil Nadu government, just a day after they were reopened amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
- United States President Donald Trump said the spread of the coronavirus globally was “either a terrible mistake [on part of China] or it was incompetence”. Beset by criticism of its response to the outbreak and management of the ensuing public health crisis, the Trump administration has, in turn, blamed China for the pandemic.
- The coronavirus has infected over 39 lakh people globally and killed more than 2.72 lakh people, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.