Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his fifth meeting with chief ministers of all states on the coronavirus situation in India, with focus on a strategy for a phased exit from the nationwide lockdown. Modi told chief ministers to provide a blueprint by May 15 as to how their states plan to deal with the lockdowns post May 17.
During the meeting, the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Chhattisgarh opposed the resumption of railway services. Limited rail services will restart on Tuesday.
The Indian Railways on Monday said the special trains for stranded migrant workers will now have an increased carrying capacity of 1,700 passengers, as opposed to 1,200 passengers at present. Additionally, the trains will also have three stops in the destination state. Currently, these trains are run from one point to another without any stoppages.
The country recorded 67,152 coronavirus cases on Monday morning with 2,206 deaths. This was the biggest single-day jump with 4,213 infections in the last 24 hours. Globally, the coronavirus has affected more than 41 lakh people and claimed 2.82 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.
11.15 pm: Here are the day’s top updates.
10.59 pm: Modi added that until a vaccine is found for Covid-19, the best way of controlling the spread of the pandemic would be social distancing.
10.55 pm: “I request you all to share with me by 15th May, a broad strategy on how you each one of you would want to deal with the lockdown regime in your particular states,” Modi told the chief ministers earlier in the day, according to the official press release. “I want states to make a blueprint on how to deal with various nuances during and after the gradual easing of the lockdown.”
10.51 pm: Modi said that he sees potential for domestic tourism, but the contours will have to be worked out. “I am of the firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the second phase and similarly the measures needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth,” he said.
10.46 pm: Modi told chief ministers that the world has fundamentally changed post the coronavirus pandemic, just like it did after the world wars, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. He also said that everybody should plan for a “new reality”.
10.40 pm: The five Air India pilots who were earlier thought to have the coronavirus have now tested negative, NDTV reports.
10.30 pm: New cases in more states:
Maharashtra: 1,230 new cases, total rises to 23,401; total deaths stand at 868,
Rajasthan: 174 new cases, total rises to 3,988; toll at 113,
Telangana: 79 new cases, total rises to 1,275; toll now 30,
Uttar Pradesh: 109 new cases, total rises to 3,573; toll stands at 80,
West Bengal: 124 new cases, total rises to 2,063; toll at 118,
Gujarat: 347 new cases, total rises to 8,542; toll now 513
8.18 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa suggests discontinuation of district-wise demarcation to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, reports News18. “We propose to do away with the district-wise demarcation into red, orange and green zones,” he adds. “Only containment zones should be identified and strictly cordoned. At least 50 to 100 meters around the known clusters may be declared as containment zones. Commercial activities including public transport should be allowed in non-containment zones.”
8.10 pm: “We are together in this crisis, however, somehow West Bengal has been targeted by central government to get political mileage,” says Banerjee in the video conference held by the prime minister, according to ANI. “Besides central government instructions and advisories, central teams have been deputed for supervision and monitoring, which had taken away much of the time of senior officers from focusing on fight against.”
8.08 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questions the point of continuing the lockdown, saying the government has opened almost everything, including opening of land borders, starting trains and opening airports, reports ANI.
8.05 pm: In video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that each state should be allowed to make changes in lockdown guidelines as per conditions prevailing in their respective areas.
8 pm: New cases in more states:
7.52 pm: Sri Lanka’s government has asked state and private sector workers to resume work from today after a nearly two-month lockdown to fight the coronavirus crisis, reports AP. A 24-hour curfew has been lifted on the island, except for two main districts that include the capital Colombo.
7.50 pm: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh says the nationwide lockdown should be gradually opened and only economic activities should be allowed with strict protocol, reports News18.
7.47 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says economic activities should be allowed to resume in all parts of the Capital, except containment zones, reports ANI.
7.42 pm: Thackeray also urges the prime minister to provide central forces to states if the need arises to tackle the , reports ANI. He says police is under heavy pressure and personnel are also getting infected.
7.40 pm: “Cases are expected to peak in May, it may peak in June or July also,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tells Modi in the meeting, reports ANI. “I’ve read Wuhan is witnessing a second wave of cases, even WHO has warned about this. So, I suggest that any action on lockdown must be taken cautiously.”
7.36 pm: Madhya Pradesh reports 171 new cases, taking the total to 3,785, according to ANI. Out of these, 1,747 patients have recovered while 221 others have died.
7.30 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show “specific and concrete direction” regarding the nationwide lockdown, reports PTI. Thackeray also requests Modi to start local trains in Mumbai for essential services staff working in the city.
7.22 pm: The Howrah to New Delhi railway station 3AC tickets for special trains were booked fully in less than 10 minutes of opening, a railway official tells ANI.
7.20 pm: Tamil Nadu reports a surge in coronavirus cases, with 798 persons testing positive today, taking the total number to 8,002.
7 pm: Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel says regular train, air travel and inter-state bus services should resume after consulting state governments. He also adds that state governments should get the right to take decisions on handling economic activities and should also get the responsibility to declare red green and orange zones to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
6.48 pm: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to resume the passenger train services from Tuesday.
6.36 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic should be extended, adding that states should be given greater flexibility in micro-planning the way to exit restrictions. “The exit strategy should consider and focus on fiscal and economic empowerment of the states, which are responsible for the real action directly impinging upon the livelihood and social health of the common man,” the chief minister tweets.
6.30 pm: Gautam Buddha Nagar in Noida reports four new coronavirus cases, taking the total in the district to 222.
6.26 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy tells Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it is important to reopen agricultural markets, public transport, markets and shopping malls with some standard operating procedures to prevent rise in number of coronavirus cases, reports NDTV. “Normalcy will revive the economy,” he adds.
6.22 pm: Odisha reports three more coronavirus cases – one each in Cuttack, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj – taking the state’s total to 394, according to ANI.
6.16 pm: The chief ministers of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh also raise objections to the operation of passenger trains from tomorrow, reports News18. Earlier Tamil Nadu chief minister also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not allow train and air services till May 31.
6.15 pm: The Railways has also issued new protocols for passengers for travel from Tuesday, saying no linen will be provided to them, only packaged food and hand-sanitisers will be made available, and travellers are required to reach stations at least 90 minutes before departure for thermal screening.
6.12 pm: Indian Railways releases timings of the special trains taking lakhs of stranded migrant workers back home from Tuesday.
6.10 pm: The prime minister says economic activities have begun to pick pace in several parts of the country, reports ANI. “In coming days, this process will further gather steam,” he adds. “We must realise that fight against coronavirus has to be more focused now.”
6.06 pm: Modi, in his interaction with the chief ministers, says there is a global recognition for India’s success in handling the coronavirus outbreak, reports ANI. “Let us stay the course as we move forward together,” he adds. “We now have reasonably clear indication as to the geographical spread of the pandemic in India, including the worst affected areas. Moreover, over the past few weeks, officials have understood operating procedures in a time such as this, right up to the district level.”
5.48 pm: The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany is estimated to have risen over the crucial value of 1, reports Reuters. When it goes above 1, it means the number of infections is growing.
5.42 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urges the prime minister to not allow train and air services to operate in the state till May 31, reports News18. The chief minister also requests for a relief package and supply of more PCR coronavirus testing kits.
5.36 pm: Karnataka reports 14 new coronavirus cases, taking total infections to 862.
5.27 pm: Every delivery staff in Ahmedabad will also have to compulsorily download Aarogya Setu app on their phones, says a new order.
5.25 pm: Home delivery has been made mandatorily cashless in Ahmedabad, reports ANI. “To prevent spread of Covid-19 through currency notes, it is mandatory to accept digital mode of payments through Unified Payment Interface and other platforms,” says Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta.
5.20 pm: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation says booking for special trains will start at 6 pm as the website fails to load. The bookings were expected to start at 4 pm.
5.05 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the first to speak in the interaction with the prime minister, accuses the Centre of playing politics over the coronavirus and discriminating between states, reports NDTV. “This is not the time to play politics,” she says. “Nobody ever asks our opinion...Don’t bulldoze the federal structure.”
5 pm: Modi says the state governments have played an important role to contain the coronavirus outbreak, reports Hindustan Times. “In this entire fight, the world has said that we have been successful in fighting the threat of Covid-19,” he adds. “State governments have played a major role in this fight. They have understood their responsibility and served their roles in countering this threat.”
4.58 pm: “We stressed that people should stay where they are,” says Modi in his meeting with chief ministers. “But it’s human nature to want to go home and so we had to modify or change our decisions. Despite that, we have to make sure that the disease doesn’t spread and go to villages, that’s our big challenge.”
4.56 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with chief ministers of all the states says that his government’s efforts were for everyone to stay where they were to contain the coronavirus, but certain decisions had to be changed because it was “human nature” to want to go home, reports Hindustan Times.
4.53 pm: The Ministry of Railways in a tweet says the booking for special trains will start shortly. “Data pertaining to special trains is being fed in the IRCTC website,” it adds. “Train ticket bookings will be available in a short while. Please wait. Inconvenience is regretted.”
The booking for the trains was to start at 4 pm.
4.46 pm: Agarwal dismisses reports of Centre mulling community-wise mapping of the coronavirus spread in the country. “This is a very irresponsible piece of news,” he adds. “Covid-19 does not see people’s caste, creed or religion.”
4.44 pm: Lav Agarwal says the National Institute of Virology in Pune has developed and validated indigenous IgG ELISA test for antibody detection for the coronavirus.
4.37 pm: Sahani says the data on Aarogya Setu app stays on the server for 45 days if a person is tested for the coronavirus, and remains with the government for 60 days if positive.
4.33 pm: Sahani says 600 potential hotspots have been identified due to use of Aarogya Setu app.
4.29 pm: The Centre says 1,40,000 people have been alerted for suspected exposure to the coronavirus and that over 13,000 patients have tested positive via use of Aarogya Setu app.
4.27 pm: Aarogya Setu app can be used to do self assessment, says Ajay Sahani. He adds that privacy is the government’s priority. “Five crore people are using it – its a global record,” Sahani says. “We are the fastest app to reach 9.8 crore. We may also reach 10 crore users.”
4.24 pm: Sahani says Centre’s Aarogya Setu is the most important tool to fight the coronavirus. “Bluetooth technology shows if you are close to infected people and alerts health systems as well,” he adds.
4.22 pm: Ajay Sahani, chairperson of the Empowered Group 9, says the government is working hard to ensure data privacy, adding that they do not want to misuse data.
4.20 pm: Agarwal says the coronavirus discharge policy was changed because several countries have changed their discharge criteria from test-based strategy to symptom-based strategy or time-based strategy.
4.18 pm: “People with coronavirus symptoms should come forward to report so that they don’t spread infection to others,” says Lav Agarwal.
4.15 pm: Agarwal lists the new discharge policy for confirmed coronavirus patients:
- Mild or pre-symptomatic cases can be discharged if they don’t have fever for three consecutive days without testing but they have to follow home isolution for 7 more days.
- Patients who were on oxygen support can be discharged only after resolving clinical symptoms and three consecutive days of not needing oxygen support. They will need to be in home isolation for seven days.
- Immunocompromised patients can be discharged after RT-PCR negative test.
- Patients in home isolation have to self attest a paper for following guidelines and also wear three layer masks.
4.10 pm: Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal says the recovery rate in the country is now 31.15%.
4.08 pm: Around 4,000 Indians have been brought back 23 flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission, says Joint Secretary of Home Ministry Punya Salila Srivastava.
4.07 pm: “We want to ensure no migrants are stranded,” says home ministry official. “We’ll start 15 trains for this. Only passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be allowed inside train stations, only asymptomatic passengers will allowed to board.”
4.05 pm: Srivastava says home ministry has requested states to ensure migrants are not on train tracks or on roads.
4.04 pm: Joint Secretary of Home Ministry Punya Salila Srivastava says 5 lakh migrants have boarded 468 special trains to get back home amid the extended lockdown.
4 pm: The Centre begins its daily press conference about the coronavirus situation in India.
3.59 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India has been largely successful in the fight against coronavirus outbreak, reports NDTV. “Will face problems if we slack in maintaining ‘do gaj doori’ [distance of 2 yards],” he adds.
3.56 pm: Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fifth interaction with chief ministers of all the states to discuss the coronavirus situation.
3.46 pm: The World Tourism Organisation says international tourism could shrink by 60-80% in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI. “This places millions of livelihoods at risk and threatens to roll back progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals,” it adds.
3.40 pm: Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai says around six lakh people employed in various sectors in the state have resumed work after the Centre relaxed lockdown restrictions to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.
3.33 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with chief ministers of all the states is underway.
3.30 pm: Uttarakhand reports no new coronavirus cases, total number of positive cases stands at 68, according to ANI.
3.22 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi says 184 trains have brought 2.26 lakh migrant workers from other states so far, reports ANI. Meanwhile, around 1 lakh migrant workers have returned by their own conveyance, he adds.
3.18 pm: Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says non-essential retailers would not go back to work until June at the earliest while other sectors will not go back to work until July at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Reuters. “There’s the other changes for things like non essential retail and people going back to school, particularly primary school, which won’t start until the earliest on the first of June, subject to conditions,” Raab adds.
3.08 pm: In the last 24 hours, six Border Security Force personnel have tested positive for Covid-19, reports ANI. This includes one each from Delhi and Tripura, and four others from Kolkata.
3.03 pm: Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist at the World Health Organisation, says India has a key role to play in the fight to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, reports The Indian Express. “Scientists must lead the fight and it is happening now,” she adds. “This pandemic is a time when countries must review the weaknesses in their present healthcare systems.”
2.58 pm: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal urges all the state governments to “speed up approvals” for transportation of stranded migrants back home using the special trains during the coronavirus lockdown. “We have allocated over 1,200 trains with which we can easily run 300 ‘Shramik Special’ trains everyday, so that all migrants can reach their destination safely, quickly and comfortably,” he tweets.
2.47 pm: Congress urges the Narendra Modi government to not allow states to amend labour laws, reports PTI. “Shameful that BJP-ruled states amending labour laws to lure foreign investors; it highlights true nature of ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’,” says the party.
2.43 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urges migrant workers to remain within their camps, says they would be sent home within a week, reports The Hindu.
2.30 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party accuses West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “misleading” people about the coronavirus cases and deaths in the state, claiming the true extent of the spread of the infection has not been revealed, reports PTI. BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya says the Trinamool Congress president “hid” the real figures of the coronavirus patients and “misled” people.
2.26 pm: Three members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr Anthony Fauci, are under quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, reports AP. The identity of the person who tested positive and with whom the agency leaders had come in contact has not been disclosed.
2.20 pm: Rajasthan reports 126 new coronavirus cases and two deaths till Monday 1 pm, according to ANI. The state now has 3,940 cases and the toll has risen to 110.
2.15 pm: Vietnam reopens schools after easing coronavirus curbs, reports Reuters. Authorities at kindergartens and primary schools took children’s temperatures at the gates. The Southeast Asian nation has recorded 288 infections and no deaths.
2 pm: Delhi has not reported coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. Ten more people tested positive in the national Capital today, taking the total number of positive cases to 7,233.
1.53 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs issues Standard Operating Procedures for movement of passengers by trains, saying only those with confirmed e-tickets will be allowed to enter the station.
1.49 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says that the fight against Covid-19 cannot be an excuse to “exploit workers, suppress their voice and crush their human rights”. This comes after the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on May 6 decided to suspend 35 of the 38 labour laws in the state for three years, saying this would attract much-needed investment to an economy battered by the pandemic.
1.39 pm: The coronavirus pandemic has threatened to make education outcomes worse and without aggressive policy, the virus outbreak will have immediate costs on both learning and health of children and youth, says the World Bank, according to PTI.
1.34 pm: A private firm in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district claims it has developed indigenous “real-time” testing kits for coronavirus priced at Rs 500 per kit, ANI reports.
1.29 pm: Thousands of people rush to markets resulting in traffic jams in Dhaka as the Bangladesh government begins to ease the lockdown, PTI reports.
1.23 pm: Indian virologist Naga Suresh Veerapu says it will be “unwarranted to assume” that Covid-19 will vanish in summer, PTI reports.
1.19 pm: Pakistan extends the ban on all domestic flight operations till May 13 to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has claimed 667 lives and infected over 30,000 people in the country, PTI reports.
1.17 pm: The Delhi High Court dismisses a plea seeking directions to the Centre and the Delhi government to take effective steps for the protection of sex workers and members of the LGBTQ community, by providing welfare measures including food, medicine and accomodation, ANI reports.
12.59 pm: After Rane shares a video showing dead bodies lying next to Covid-19 patients at a hospital in Mumbai, Shiv Sena leader Anil Desai says the incident “might have happened at that very moment but corrective measures would have been taken immediately”, ANI reports. “There is no need to defame anybody,” he adds.
12.47 pm: BJP MLA Nitesh Rane posts a video allegedly shot at the KEM hospital in Mumbai where wrapped dead bodies are seen lying next to Covid-19 patients.
12.45 pm: In Haryana, health worker at the SHKM Government Medical College in Nalhar area of Nuh district tests positive for the coronavirus, The Indian Express reports.
12.43 pm: Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China, reports its first cluster of infections since the lockdown on the central Chinese city was lifted a month ago, Reuters reports.
12.35 pm: The home ministry directs states and Union Territories to ensure that migrant workers board the ‘Shramik’ special trains and do not walk home. “Governments should ensure that migrant workers do not resort to walking on roads and rail tracks,” it says.
Read more here:
12.28 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 38 new cases in the last 24 hours, ANI reports, quoting latest figures from the state’s health department. Out of these, 26 have returned from Gujarat and eight had visited the Koyambedu market in Chennai, which emerged as an infection hotspot. Another patient is from Karnataka. The state’s total tally of cases is now 2,018.
12.21 pm: The Delhi Police issues a notice to two journalists working with The Indian Express, a day after the newspaper published an article on the Tablighi Jamaat inquiry that the police said was “factually incorrect...purely conjectural”.
Read more here:
12.19 pm: Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says that “overzealous” public interest litigations must be avoided in challenging times like the coronavirus pandemic. He adds that court proceedings through video conferencing may remain a norm for some time and said that it was an opportunity to make the digital justice delivery system stronger.
Read more here:
12.16 pm: An Indian dentist in Kuwait dies of the coronavirus, PTI reports. Dr Vasudeva Rao, 54, died on Saturday in Jaber hospital where he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19.
12.11 pm: Ten new cases reported in Karnataka, taking the total tally in the state to 858, ANI reports, quoting state health department’s figures. The toll is now 31.
12.10 pm: New Zealand eases lockdown restrictions, allows businesses to reopen from Thursday, Reuters reports. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the move to “level 2” restrictions will mean retail, restaurants and other public spaces including playgrounds can reopen from Thursday.
12.03 pm: At least 14 people test positive for Covid-19 in Odisha, taking the virus tally in the state to 391, PTI reports, quoting the state’s health department.
11.58 am: A nine-year-old girl in Malaysia sews personal protection equipment gowns for health workers to help beat the coronavirus, Reuters reports.
11.52 am: The Balodabazar district administration in Chhattisgarh decides to use the fine amount collected from lockdown violators to buy personal protective equipment kits, masks for health workers and invest it in improving hospital facilities, PTI reports.
11.46 am: Rajasthan records 84 new cases of coronavirus, taking the state’s tally to 3,898, PTI reports. The toll in the state is 108, with Jaipur accounting for 57 deaths.
11.26 am: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says some locals were trying to “smuggle in” people from neighbouring states and warns of strict action against them, PTI reports.
11.17 am: ‘Shramik’ trains for migrant workers will now have up to three stops instead of halting only at the destination state and will run with its full capacity of around 1,600 passengers instead of the current 1,200 passengers, The Indian Express reports.
11.11 am: International tourism could decline by 60% to 80% in 2020 as the pandemic may result in revenue loss of $910 billion to $1.2 trillion, and place millions of livelihoods at risk, says United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, according to PTI.
11.08 am: In Delhi, 310 new Covid-19 cases were reported till Sunday midnight, says health minister Satyendra Jain, according to ANI. The total number of cases in the Capital is now 7,233. All hospitals have been asked to submit death reports with a summary every day, he says.
10.44 am: A special train with 1,383 migrant workers from Gujarat onboard, reaches Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, ANI reports.
10.42 am: As the railways gear up to resume passenger train services in a regulated manner, Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi says all seats in a train will not be available for booking in order to ensure norms of physical distancing are not broken, ANI reports.
10.40 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath chairs a meeting his the “Covid-19 management team-11” in the state to discuss the situation in the country, ANI reports.
10.30 am: A 40-year-old German man has been living in the transit area of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport for the past 54 days amid the countrywide lockdown, The Hindustan Times reports.
10.25 am: Authorities seal the Shram Shakti Bhawan in Delhi after an employee of the Ministry of Power tests positive, reports ANI.
10.19 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research issues new guidelines for recording Covid-19 related deaths, says medical practitioners have to categorise the death’s immediate cause, antecedent cause, and other significant conditions in separate columns, according to The Indian Express.
10.18 am: Five evacuees test positive in Kerala, signalling a fresh challenge for the state which is expected to receive thousands of expatriates in the coming weeks, The Indian Express reports.
10.09 am: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram welcomes the government’s decision to resume railway operations in a regulated manner, ANI reports. “The same modest opening should be started with road transport and air transport,” he says.
10.07 am: The home ministry also asks all states and Union Territories to cooperate and allow special trains for migrants to function to help migrant workers return to their hometowns, ANI reports.
10.04 am: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla writes to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories to allow smooth inter-state movement of medical professionals, paramedics and staff workers, ANI reports. The home ministry also instructs that all private clinics be reopened.
9.54 am: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal appeals to all states to permit the operation of migrant special trains to help them return to their hometowns in the next three to four days. “As per the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, railways is fully geared up to run 300 Shramik Special trains everyday at short notice since the last six days,” he tweets.
9.52 am: The first patient to receive plasma therapy as treatment for coronavirus infection in Uttar Pradesh dies of a heart attack, PTI reports.
9.45 am: The health ministry issues revised guidelines for home isolation of mild, pre-symptomatic cases. Under this, such cases will not be tested for the virus after their isolation period is over.
9.40 am: Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar says it is“essential” that all students, teachers and non-teaching staff of the university download the Aarogya Setu App, The Indian Express reports.
9.34 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches a new Covid-19 Alert System. In a televised address to the nation, Johnson lays out the five-level alert system that the government will be constantly monitoring based on scientific data to track the rate at which the coronavirus is spreading.
9.30 am: The Shanghai Disneyland reopens in controlled capacity after months, even as China reports 17 new cases, PTI reports.
9.28 am: Air India flight with over 300 Indians, who were stranded in London, lands in Bengaluru, ANI reports.
9.22 am: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi writes to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, requesting her to release Rs 7,434 crore-worth grants within this quarter of the current fiscal year, in view of the declining revenue amid the pandemic, PTI reports
9.07 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi salutes those at the forefront of research and innovation to find ways to defeat the coronavirus. “Today, technology is helping many in the efforts to make the world free from Covid-19,” he tweets. “May we keep harnessing technology in order to create a healthier and better planet.”
9.02 am: The number of novel coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu crosss 7,000, making it the third worst-affected state in the country. Chennai registers the highest single-day rise with 509 infections – 76% of the 669 new cases reported in the state.
Read more here:
8.58 am: India’s coronavirus tally rises to 67,152 on Monday morning, according to health ministry’s latest update. The toll is now 2,206.
8.29 am: The National Security Guard employee tests positive for the novel coronavirus. The person is a “non-combatant support staff at a composite hospital”, ANI quotes the NSG’s director general, AK Singh as saying.
8.20 am: Mumbai receives its first batch of Indians who were stranded abroad after an Air India flight from Manila returns, ANI reports. Over 1,300 passengers were on the flight.
8.15 am: Agra’s chief medical officer has been removed as the number of cases spikes in the district, reports News18. RC Pandey is made the new CMO of Agra.
7.56 am: An Air India special flight brings back 225 stranded Indians from San Francisco, United States, says foreign minister S Jaishankar, according to ANI.
7.53 am: United States Vice President Mike Pence tests negative for the coronavirus, AFP reports. He is not in quarantine. This came after his close aide tested positive.
7.50 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls on people across the United Kingdom to return to work if they cannot do so from home, and lays out his vision for gradually restarting the economy, CNN reports. He also extends the country’s lockdown till June 1.
Here are the top updates from Sunday
- India’s coronavirus tally rose to 62,939 on Sunday morning. The toll rose to 2,109. As many as 41,472 people are still being treated, while 19,357 were discharged after treatment and one person has left the country.
- 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 evacuation efforts continued on Sunday. A batch of 572 Indians reached Mumbai from the United Kingdom early on Sunday morning. A flight carrying 243 stranded Indians from Singapore landed in Mumbai later in the day. INS Jalashwa, with 698 repatriated Indians from the Maldives, also arrived at the Cochin Port on Sunday. Passengers were also flown from London to Bengaluru, Kuala Lumpur to Kochi, Kuwait to Chennai, Tashkent in Uzbekistan to Delhi, and from the US to Mumbai and Hyderabad on Sunday. One flight that was set to transport passengers from Doha to Kerala was cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday.
- As of Sunday evening, Maharashtra reported 20,228 positive cases, continuing to be the worst-affected state in India. Gujarat came second with 8,195 new infections, followed by Tamil Nadu, which reported 669 new cases, taking the state’s tally to 7,204.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday hold his fifth meeting with chief ministers of all states, to analyse the coronavirus pandemic situation in the country, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Sunday. The meeting will be held via videoconferencing at 3 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. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said earlier in the day that 75% of the coronavirus cases in the national capital were mild or asymptomatic.
- The Centre on Sunday issued guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after the nationwide lockdown, saying the first week should be considered as “test or trial run”.