The Indian Railways will gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, the Centre said, adding that online booking will begin on Monday evening.
India’s coronavirus tally rose to 62,939 on Sunday morning. The toll rose to 2,109. Meanwhile, the central government has released guidelines on restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown ends on May 17 and the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country’s nodal body for coronavirus testing, has said that it will initiate a study in the worst-affected 75 hotspot districts to check for community transmission of the infection.
The coronavirus has affected more than 40 lakh people and claimed 2.79 lakh lives across the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
9.20 pm: Here are the day’s top updates.
9.05 pm: The number of cases in Madhya Pradesh rises to 3,614. The toll stands at 215.
8.39 pm: The Indian Railways will gradually restart passenger train operations from May 12, the Centre says. Initially, 15 pairs of special trains will connect New Delhi with major stations across India. Online booking will begin at 4 pm on May 11, Union minister Piyush Goyal announces.
8.20 pm: The total number of cases in Gujarat rises to 8,195 as 398 new cases were reported on Sunday, ANI reports. The toll stands at 493.
8.15 pm: South Korea warns of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic later this year, Reuters reports. “It’s not over until it’s over,” President Moon Jae-in said ahead of the country’s plan to ease restrictions.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 34 new infections on Sunday – the most since April 9 – after a new outbreak around some nightclubs. So far, 256 people have died of the infection in South Korea, which brought down infections drastically through aggressive testing and contact tracing.
“We must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention,” Moon says. “We are in a prolonged war. I ask everyone to comply with safety precautions and rules until the situation is over even after resuming daily lives.”
8.03 pm: The number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district mounts to 557, PTI reports. “At 557 on Sunday, the number of COVID-19 cases has spiked by more than ten times in the last 14 days,” an official says.
7.58 pm: Greater Mumbai area reports 875 new cases of the coronavirus today, taking the total number of cases to 13,564. This includes 19 deaths and 212 people who have been discharged.
7.55 pm: The National Institute of Virology in Pune has developed the first indigenous test kit for detecting Covid-19 antibodies, ANI reports, citing Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. “It will play a critical role in surveillance of proportion of population exposed to the infection,” he says.
7.42 pm: Eighty-one more inmates of Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison test positive for the coronavirus, ANI reports. The total cases in the prison rises to 184, including 24 staff members.
7.40 pm: More cases reported today:
West Bengal: 153 new cases, total rises to 1,939, toll now 113,
Punjab: 61 new cases, total rises to 1,823; 31 dead,
Jammu and Kashmir: 25 new cases, total rises to 861; toll stands at nine,
Chhattisgarh: zero new cases, total stands at 59,
Chandigarh: four new cases, total rises to 173, toll rises to three.
7.20 pm: A total of 7,740 dedicated Covid-19 facilities have been set up in 483 districts, the Union Health Ministry has said, PTI reports. The public health facilities are categorised as dedicated Covid hospital, Dedicated Covid health centre and dedicated Covid care centre. There are 6,56,769 isolation beds, 3,05,567 beds for confirmed cases, 3,51,204 for suspected cases, 99,492 oxygen-supported beds, 1,696 facilities with oxygen manifold and 34,076 ICU beds.
7.10 pm: The Delhi government on Sunday acknowledged the discrepancies in the number of coronavirus deaths reported by hospitals and the numbers that it has announced. However, the government blamed hospitals for allegedly not reporting the deaths in a timely and regular way.
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7 pm: Himachal Pradesh has 14 active coronavirus cases and two deaths till Sunday 5 pm, ANI reports. Thirty-five people have recovered.
6.50 pm: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal urges states to “give permission to evacuate and bring back their stranded migrants so that we can get all of them back to their homes in the next 3-4 days itself”. The Railways has been prepared to run 300 special trains every day at short notice since the last six days, he adds.
6.43 pm: In Pune’s 69 containment zones, only hospitals and medical stores will be allowed to stay open from May 11 to May 17, ANI reports.
6.25 pm: Three more evacuated Indians test positive for the coronavirus, NDTV reports. Two people had tested positive on Saturday.
6.19 pm: Fifty-six personnel from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police test positive, taking the total number of infections in the force to 156, ANI reports.
6.10 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 669 new cases of the coronavirus, ANI reports. This takes the state’s tally to 7,204 and the toll to 47.
6 pm: The additional station house officer of the Shalimar Bagh police station in Delhi tests positive for the virus, ANI reports.
5.50 pm: Twenty-six new cases and two deaths reported in Dharavi in Mumbai, ANI reports. This takes the total cases to 859 and the toll to 29. As many as 222 people have been discharged so far.
5.45 pm: Kerala reports seven new positive cases. This takes the active cases in the state to 20.
5.40 pm: Karnataka reports 54 new cases, taking the total number of cases to 848, including 31 deaths.
4.50 pm: Tamil actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth criticises the Tamil nadu government’s decision to move the Supreme Court against a Madras High Court order directing the closure of liquor shops.
“If the state reopens the Tasmac [state-owned liquor shops] at this time, it must forget the dream of coming back to power again. Please look out for better ways of filling the coffers,” the actor tweeted.
4.25 pm: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla hopes that the Monsoon Session of Parliament will be held on time despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The session usually begins either at the end of June or beginning of July, PTI reports.
4.20 pm: Singapore reports 876 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total infections to 23,336, PTI reports. The toll is 20.
4.13 pm: Uttar Pradesh has 1,884 active cases so far, ANI reports. As many as 1,504 have been discharged.
4.10 pm: A flight carrying 243 stranded Indians from Singapore lands in Mumbai, ANI reports.
4.05 pm: Indians queue up at the London airport to be evacuated to Bengaluru.
4 pm: A special train carries 1,000 stranded people from Bengaluru to Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir. It is expected to reach Udhampur on Tuesday.
3.55 pm: The second Indian Navy ship to evacuate stranded Indians from Maldives reaches Male Port.
3.45 pm: New cases reported today:
Rajasthan: Five new cases, total rises to 3,753; toll at 107,
Haryana: 20 new cases, total stands at 695; toll now 10,
Odisha: 10 new cases, total now 362; toll stands at three,
Andhra Pradesh: 50 new cases, total rises to 1,980; toll now 45.
3.15 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a video conference with chief ministers at 3 pm on Monday, according to reports.
3 pm: More than 300 NRIs return to the UK from Amritsar, ANI reports.
2.55 pm: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says 21 Indians have reached Delhi from Uzbekistan. The flight will take back Uzbekistan nationals as well as Indian medicine assistance to Tashkent, he says, ANI reports.
2.35 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inspects a Covid care centre in Mandoli in Delhi.
He says no new case of the coronavirus has been reported from 10 states or Union Territories in the last 24 hours, ANI reports. Four states or Union Territories have never reported any case. “Central government has sent 72 lakh N95 face masks and 36 lakh PPE kits to the states so far,” he adds.
2.15 pm: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba conducts a video conference with the chief secretaries and health secretaries of all states and Union Territories. He notes the cooperation of states to facilitate the return of stranded Indians from foreign countries and says more than 350 special trains have been run by the Railways to ferry 3.5 lakh migrant workers.
He says the movement of doctors, nurses and paramedics must be unhindered and asks states to ensure this, according to ANI.
1.55 pm: Eighteen Central Industrial Security Force personnel test positive for the coronavirus, ANI reports.
1.44 pm: India has sent medical assistance to the Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles by a naval ship following separate requests from these countries for help in tackling the coronavirus outbreak, reports PTI.
1.30 pm: Karnataka reports 53 new coronavirus cases. With this, the total number of cases in Karnataka has touched 847.
12.55 pm: Kejriwal urges migrant workers to avoid taking journeys on foot to reach their respective hometowns. “Migrant workers are still trying to reach home by walking,” he adds. “I am pained by their plight. It feels like the entire system has failed them. All those who want to go home we will provide the facility of providing transportation by trains. But I appeal to them not to go home as soon, the lockdown will end and employment will be back. I appeal to them not to walk home.”
12.45 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a press conference says that most cases in Delhi are mild or asymptomatic. “These cases can be treated at home and our teams are counselling patients and their caregivers on how to deal with such cases at home,” he adds. “Data shows us that most deaths are of those above 50 years of age. I appeal to the elderly to not step out and wash hands regularly.”
12.30 pm: Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain says hospitals have been asked to send detailed summaries of Covid-19 deaths within 24 hours. “We have started releasing Covid-19 bulletins from 12 am to 12 am the next day,” he adds, according to ANI. “There used to be confusion over the timing of the bulletin, so now bulletin for the whole day will be released at once.”
12 pm: Five pilots of Air India, who had undertaken cargo flights to China, have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports ANI, citing sources in the airline. The pilots are asymptomatic.
11.45 am: INS Jalashwa, with 698 repatriated Indians from the Maldives, has arrived at Cochin Port, reports PTI. This is the Indian Navy’s first massive evacuation initiative from another country during the pandemic.
11.30 am: In Andhra Pradesh, migrant workers from West Bengal protest, demanding their return to native places amid the coronavirus-induced, reports ANI. “No arrangements have been made for our return in the last 40 days,” one of the workers say.
10.52 am: Former United States President Barack Obama has described President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster” in a conference call with former members of his administration, reports AFP. Obama has also urged his supporters to support Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who is trying to unseat Trump in the November 3 election.
10.50 am: Bihar reports 34 new coronavirus cases, taking total tally in the state to 629, according to PTI.
10.47 am: INS Jalashwa, which was docked at Male as part of the Navy’s Operation Samudra Setu to repatriate around 700 Indians stranded in the island nation of Maldives, has arrived in Kochi.
10.04 am: The West Bengal government has asked the chiefs of all hospitals to make sure that immunisation programmes against certain diseases are continue in full steam amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
9.37 am: The first batch of 326 Indian nationals stranded in the United Kingdom due to the global travel curbs have arrived in Mumbai from London early on Sunday, reports PTI.
9.21 am: India’s coronavirus tally has risen to 62,939 and 2,109 patients have died so far. Of these, 41,472 people are being treated, 19,357 have recovered or been discharged after treatment, and one person has left the country.
9.13 am: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba is expected to conduct a video conference at 11 am today with the chief secretaries and health secretaries of all states and Union Territories. The discussion likely to focus on seeking state’s views on easing lockdown regulations&need for strengthening enforcement of stringent measures in containment zones.
8.50 am: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has released a set of guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown ends on May 17. “While restarting the unit, consider the first week as the trial or test run period; ensure all safety and protocols and don’t try to achieve high production targets,” the order reads.
8.25 am: Indian nationals prepare to board the first repatriation flight from the United States, reports ANI.
8 am: Mumbai Police issues a statement on the death of one of its officials due to the coronavirus. “Mumbai Police regrets to inform about the unfortunate demise of ASI Sunil Dattatray Kalgutkar from Vinoba Bhave Nagar Police Station,” the official account of the Mumbai Police tweets. “ASI Kalgutkar had been battling coronavirus. We pray for his soul to rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kalgutkar family.”
7.29 am: Odisha reports 58 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the state to 352, according to ANI.
7.27 am: The Uttar Pradesh government has announced that it is formulating a policy to provide employment to the 20 lakh migrant workers expected to return to the state amid the nationwide lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, The Indian Express reports. Many of the migrants are already back in the state.
7.25 am: Five labourers have died and 11 others have been injured after the truck they were travelling in overturned in Madhya Pradesh’s Patha village on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, reports ANI.
7.22 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research has said that it will initiate a study in the worst-affected 75 hotspot districts to check for community transmission of the coronavirus, reports PTI. “As a part of the study, people from red, orange and green zones in a district will be tested for Covid-19 at random to check whether they have developed antibodies against the infection even though they remained asymptomatic or showed mild symptoms,” says an official.
7.20 am: Kerala will observe a complete lockdown today, reports NDTV. Nothing will be allowed to operate except essential services. “With a view to prevent the spread of Covid-19, improve the quality of life, reduce the carbon emissions, protect the environment and greenery of the state...Sundays will be observed as total shut down days until further orders,” says a statement from the government.
Shops selling essential items can remain open. Collection and distribution of milk, supply of newspapers, media firms, hospitals, medical stores, medical labs and related institutions can also remain open, adds the government.
7.15 am: Here are the top updates from Saturday:
- The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 59,662 and the toll climbed to 1,981. Of these, Maharashtra alone accounts for over 20,000 cases. Tamil Nadu reported over 500 new cases and the state’s tally rose to 6,535. Delhi’s tally reached 6,542 with 224 new cases.
- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said India’s Covid-19 testing capacity has been scaled up to 95,000 tests per day. He added that more than 15 lakh tests have been conducted so far across 332 government and 121 private laboratories.
- Two Indians, who were among the 363 citizens brought back from Abu Dhabi and Dubai on special flights that reached Kerala on Thursday, tested positive for Covid-19. One of the patients is being treated in Kozhikode, while the second is under medical supervision in Kochi.
- The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress hit out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his accusation that the West Bengal government was being unjust to the migrant workers by not allowing ‘Sharmik’ special trains to reach the state. The party leaders, meanwhile, claimed that the government has scheduled eight trains to ferry the workers.
- The Tamil Nadu government announced relaxations in lockdown guidelines in the state, including extension of business hours of standalone and neighbourhood shops and allowing private establishments to function with fewer employees. The relaxations will be applicable from Monday in non-containment zones.