India’s coronavirus tally rose to 67,152 on Monday morning. The toll rose to 2,206. The country recorded 4,213 cases in the last 24 hours in the biggest single-day jump till now.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi told chief ministers of states and Union Territories that the 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. He also sought suggestions from states on the strategy to adopt after the end of the lockdown.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of playing politics over the coronavirus situation and discriminating between states. Meanwhile, the chief ministers of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam called for an extension of the lockdown till the end of May. Some states were unhappy with the Centre’s decision to resume partial train services from Tuesday.
The Indian Railways decided to run special trains for migrant workers with three stops in the destination state. Currently, these trains are run from one point to another without any stoppages. Additionally, the trains will have an increased carrying capacity of 1,700 passengers, as opposed to 1,200 passengers at present.
The bookings for the special trains started at 6 pm. The Railways also issued new protocols for passengers for travel, 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.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the state governments for diluting labour laws and said that the coronavirus pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to deprive workers of their basic rights.
The Centre has proposed to make the Aarogya Setu app mandatory for air travel. The app is being promoted as an important tool by the Narendra Modi government in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, primarily for contact tracing.
The Ministry of Home Affairs directed the states and Union Territories to facilitate unhindered movement of all health workers and sanitation personnel amid the nationwide lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry also asked authorities to ensure that private clinics and nursing homes remain open.
The health ministry issued 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.
The coronavirus has affected more than 41.4 lakh people and claimed 2.83 lakh lives across the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.