Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a Rs 20 lakh crore financial package to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. This package will give a new momentum for India, he said, adding that it is 10% of India’s GDP. The package also includes the government’s recent announcements to support some key sectors as well as recent measures rolled out by the Reserve Bank of India.
India has so far recorded 70,756 coronavirus cases and 2,293 deaths. A total of 22,455 patients have recovered so far from the infection.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government allowed home delivery of liquor with certain guidelines and precautions.
Globally, the coronavirus has affected more than 41.75 lakh people and claimed 2.85 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.
10.55 pm: Here are the top updates of the day.
10.49 pm: The Trinamool Congress has dubbed the prime minister’s address “incomplete and disappointing”, claiming that there is no proper direction on how the special economic package will be used, PTI reports. “Most of his speech was all about boasting about his government’s so-called achievements,” Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Roy claims. What will happen after May 17, there is no clear indication regarding it. He spoke about lockdown 4.0, but what will be its structure nobody knows.”
10.40 pm: All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi calls the nationwide lockdown “unconstitutional”, PTI reports. “Government of India cannot bring lockdown in the entire country under National Disaster Management Act or Epidemic Act,” Owaisi says. “This is against federalism. This is a state subject. I don’t know why state governments are silent.”
9.52 pm: Rajasthan records 138 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the state’s tally to 4,126. As many as 117 people have died.
9.51 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel criticises the financial package and says it should have been announced earlier, according to ANI. “It is not clear what is in the package for laborers, farmers, traders, and MSMEs,” he says. “Tomorrow finance minister will clarify it then only it will be clear which sector is getting what.”
9.49 pm: BJP chief JP Nadda praises Narendra Modi and the financial package. “In the times of Covid-19, PM Narendra Modi is leading the country from the front,” he says. “The 21st century will be defined by India, PM’s message today has laid foundation stone for implementing this. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is our mantra for driving country towards this new change.”
9.45 pm: Madhya Pradesh records 201 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s tally to 3,986. The toll is 225.
9.43 pm: As many as 202 Indians reached Kochi Port from Maldives earlier today, ANI reports.
9.40pm: Maharashtra records 1,026 new coronavirus cases and 53 deaths. This takes the state’s count to 24,427 and 921 deaths.
9.09 pm: Other BJP leaders also praise Modi’s Rs 20 lakh crore financial package to deal with the economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.
9 pm: Union minister Prakash Javadekar praises the financial package announced by the prime minister in his address to the nation. “This is biggest package India has ever seen,” he tweets. “Aatma nirbharta [self reliance] is the new mantra.”
8.58 pm: Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev tells NDTV that Rs 20 lakh crore package that the prime minister announced includes what is already being done. “We have to do the math to see what we get out of this after the finance minister announces the details,” she adds.
8.49 pm: Mumbai records 426 coronavirus cases and 28 deaths, increasing the tally of infections to 14,781 and the toll to 556. Meanwhile, 3,313 people have recovered so far.
8.40 pm: The National Human Rights Commission issues notices to Delhi chief secretary and Union home secretary on the allegations of negligence in the treatment of a Delhi Police constable who died due to the coronavirus, reports PTI.
8.35 pm: The details of the new financial package will be announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tomorrow.
8.33 pm: With new energy and new determination, we need to move ahead, says Modi. “Who can stop us then,” he asks. “We can make India self-reliant and we will. With faith and hope, I urge citizens to take care of their health and the ones around them.”
8.32 pm: The prime minister adds that new rules for nationwide lockdown will be announced before May 18 based on the suggestions given by the chief ministers of all states.
8.30 pm: “Scientists and experts say that coronavirus will stay with us for long, but we can’t make our lives revolve around this,” says Modi. “We will wear masks, maintain distance, but not lose sight of our targets.”
8.29 pm: Modi says the fourth phase of lockdown will be totally different and that people cannot let coronavirus control their lives.
8.28 pm: The prime minister urges people to buy local products during this time. “Every Indian must be vocal for local,” he adds. “Local met our demands, local saved us. Brands that are global were once similarly local. When people used them and these were branded, they became global from local.”
8.25 pm: The prime minister says the new economic package is for labourers and farmers who work hard for India.
8.22 pm: Modi says India can become self-reliant on these five pillars – economy, infrastructure, our system, demography and demand.
8.20 pm: Modi says the new financial package will give a new momentum for India, adding that it is 10% of India’s GDP.
8.18 pm: Modi announces Rs 20 lakh crore economic package for a self-reliant India.
8.16 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the world believes India can contribute in upliftment of humanity, adding that India is taking steps towards development.
8.15 pm: The prime minister says when India became open defecation free, then the world changed. “Be it tuberculosis, malnutrition or polio, India’s action impacted the world,” he adds. “International Solar Alliance is India’s gift to world in the fight against global warming. India’s medicines serving as light in today’s times.”
8.13 pm: “Getting exhausted or accepting defeat not an option,” says the prime minister in his address to the nation. “We need to save lives and move forward at the same time. We have to remain careful and follow rules to live and more ahead. Now that the world is in a crisis, we have to be more resolute. Our resolve will be greater than the crisis.”
8.12 pm: Modi says self-dependent India is the only way forward if we want to be a 21st century power in the world.
8.10 pm: The prime minister highlights that two lakh personal protection equipement kits and two lakh N95 masks are manufactured in India daily now.
8.09 pm: Modi says as a nation today we stand at a very important juncture, adding that coronavirus has brought an huge opportunity.
8.07 pm: “One virus has worried the whole world, we have never seen or heard of a crisis this huge,” says the prime minister.
8.05 pm: Modi says this is an unprecedented crisis and we have to make our resolve stronger to fight the coronavirus.
8.03 pm: Crores of people around the world are facing a crisis, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, we cannot get tired or lose rupture, he adds.
8.02 pm: The world has been battling coronavirus for over four months, says Modi.
8 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his address to the nation.
7.55 pm: The total number of positive cases in Tamil Nadu has risen to 8,718 after 716 new cases, reports ANI. With six new fatalities, the toll is now at 61.
7.42 pm: Jammu and Kashmir witnesses the highest one-day jump in coronavirus cases as 55 persons tested positive today, taking the total to over 900, reports ANI.
7.40 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticises Centre’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. “There are expectations during meetings with the prime minister, however, we return with an empty basket every time,” she is quoted as saying by ANI. “There is no income since last two months but we are not getting any alternative from Centre. We are supposed to get Rs 52,000 crore. Corona is here to stay but what about the income?”
7.38 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the 16 migrant labourers who were run over by a goods train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad last week, reports PTI.
6.38 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in hospital, reports RT. “That’s right, I am ill,” Peskov tells reporters. “I’m getting treatment.”
6.33 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi slum reports 46 new coronavirus cases and one death, reports ANI. The total number of cases in the area has now risen to 962.
6.26 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research has announced that it will conduct community based sero-survey to estimate the prevalence of the coronavirus at the district level. “Overall, the survey will be conducted in randomly selected 69 districts from 21 states,” a press release says. “The survey will involve collection of venous blood samples from 400 randomly selected individuals [one per household] from 10 clusters in each district.”
6.22 pm: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued a draft Standard Operating Procedure for restarting commercial air passenger services in the country, reports PTI. This includes filling up a detailed questionnaire related to the coronavirus, carrying no cabin baggage, using Aarogya Setu app and reaching airport at least two hours before flight departure.
6.20 pm: The toll from the coronavirus outbreak in West Bengal rises to 126 with 8 more fatalities, reports PTI. The state has also confirmed 110 new cases in the last 24 hours.
6.06 pm: The guidelines for home delivery of liquor state that:
- The licensee shall effect sale and delivery of the foreign liquor only from within the area of the licensed premises and on the day and during the hour as specified.
- The licensee shall ensure that the persons deployed for the delivery of liquor use mask and also hand sanitisers at frequent intervals.
- The government may at any time and at its discretion either modify or rescind the same.
6 pm: The Maharashtra government has allowed home delivery of liquor with certain guidelines and precautions. However, the home delivery will not be applicable in Mumbai and Nagpur where the civic body has denied permission to the liquor shops to open their establishments.
5.52 pm: Kerala confirms five new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s tally to 529, according to ANI.
5.48 pm: The Central Bureau of Investigation alerts state and central agencies on possibility of drug trafficking by taking advantage of the global pandemic scenario due to the coronavirus outbreak, based on inputs from the Interpol, reports ANI.
5.42 pm: Karnataka reports 63 fresh coronavirus cases – the highest in a day in the state, according to ANI. The state now has 925 cases and 31 fatalities.
5.39 pm: US President Donald Trump attacks China for the coronavirus pandemic. “Asian Americans are very angry at what China has done to our country, and the world,” he tweets. “Chinese Americans are the most angry of all. I don’t blame them!”
He also claims US testing for the coronavirus is the best in the world. “Numbers are coming down in most parts of our country, which wants to open and get going again,” the president adds. “It is happening, safely!”
5.37 pm: Banerjee also says the state government will act against those involved in communal clashes during the lockdown to contain the coronavirus, reports PTI.
5.35 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says red zones in the state will be divided into three categories and more relaxations are likely, reports PTI.
5.22 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government says 233 trains have brought 2,81,408 migrant workers to the state, reports ANI.
5.18 pm: Vardhan says 347 government labs and 137 private labs are available for coronavirus testing in India today.
5.15 pm: Updates from Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s briefing:
- 0.41% of corona patients in India on ventilator.
- 1.2% of patients in the country on oxygen.
- Little over 2% of the patients in intensive care unit.
5.09 pm: “Many migrant workers from Bengal have already returned to the state,” says Banerjee. “At least 90,000 are stranded at state borders.”
5.05 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says the state is planning movement of 100 more trains, reports ANI. “Nine trains are coming to West Bengal, one is coming today,” she adds.
5 pm: Bihar reports 34 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 801, according to ANI.
4.47 pm: “India has potential to become global democratic leader of 21st century if it manages to address issue of inequality,” says Piketty.
4.45 pm: French economist and author Thomas Piketty says India needs to introduce basic income scheme to make the nationwide lockdown work and also develop safety net in country, reports PTI.
4.37 pm: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak, plans to conduct nucleic acid testing over a period of 10 days on the entire population after new coronavirus cases emerged for the first time in weeks, reports AFP.
4.30 pm: The Delhi government says only asymptomatic persons coming to Delhi by the special trains would be allowed to go home, reports PTI. For passengers found symptomatic, standard protocol for testing and quarantine shall be followed, adds the government.
4.18 pm: The health minister says India’s mortality rate is also the lowest in the world. “Today the mortality rate is around 3.2%, in several states it is even less than this,” he adds. “Global fatality rate is around 7 to 7.5%.”
4.15 pm: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says India’s coronavirus recovery rate is getting better, reports ANI. “As we are seeing continuously of late, our recovery rate is getting better everyday,” he says. “Today our recovery rate is at 31.7%.”
3.50 pm: Chinese health authorities urge people to be vigilant against the coronavirus outbreak as new clusters emerge in the country, even though the peak of the epidemic has passed in the country where it first originated late last year, reports Reuters.
The reappearance of clusters suggested that counter-epidemic measures could not be relaxed, says Mi Feng, spokesperson at the National Health Commission.
3.43 pm: Uttar Pradesh’s Principal Health Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad says for the first time on Monday the state’s tally of discharged people was higher than active coronavirus cases, reports ANI. “1,758 people were discharged and 1,735 active cases were reported in the state yesterday,” he says.
3.40 pm: Nine Border Security Force personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. Of these, six are from Delhi, two from Tripura and one is from Kolkata.
3.36 pm: Indranill Basu Ray, an eminent Indian-American cardiologist has urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take all necessary steps to prevent large-scale infection and fatalities in the state due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports PTI. “I am compelled to point out the fact that as West Bengal is exceptionally crowded, the virus, if it infects a particular locality, will spread like wildfire, affecting thousands and killing quite a few,” he says in a letter.
3.33 pm: Tamil Nadu Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan says Class 10 board exams will be held from June 1 to June 12 in the state, reports The Hindu. The exams were supposed to have begun on March 27, but had to be postponed owing to the nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
3.28 pm: Jharkhand reports three more positive Covid-19 cases, taking the total in the state to 164, according to PTI.
3.26 pm: A 34-year-old migrant worker died on board a Pune-Prayagraj special train on Monday, reports PTI. However, there is no confirmation yet on whether the migrant had tested positive for coronavirus.
3.22 pm: Amid the nationwide lockdown, four migrants travelling to their hometowns have been killed in separate accidents.
3.20 pm: The Thane Municipal Corporation has ordered shutting down of all activities at Lokmanya- Savarkar Nagar locality in Mumbai as the coronavirus cases continue to increase, reports PTI. Only milk shops and medical stores will be allowed to function in the area, says an order issued.
3.19 pm: Deepak Kumar, chief public relations officer of the Northern Railway, tells ANI that 1,490 passengers are travelling on the train from New Delhi to Chhattisgarh. “Health screening of all the passengers will be conducted at the station,” he adds. “Floor marks for social distancing have also been made.”
3.13 pm: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has committed $3.6 million to assist the Indian government in the fight to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI. These resources will support prevention, preparedness, and response activities in India, says the US Embassy.
3.06 pm: Indore city in Madhya Pradesh reports 81 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the state’s tally to 2,016, according to PTI.
3 pm: Spain will implement a 14-day mandatory quarantine for travellers arriving from overseas starting May 15, reports CNN. The country remains under a state of emergency, but officials have begun to ease some restrictions in low-risk territories.
2.57 pm: The Faridabad district magistrate has allowed inter-state movement of all medical professionals, paramedics, nurses and sanitation personnel after showing their official identity cards, reports The Indian Express.
2.52 pm: The Odisha government has modified its policy for discharge of coronavirus patients from hospitals by increasing subsequent home quarantine period for them from seven to 14 days, reports PTI. The modified rule regarding home quarantine will be applicable to patients having separate room and separate toilets in urban areas only, says Additional Chief Secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra. Those hailing from rural areas will not be allowed to undergo home quarantine, he adds.
2.44 pm: Singapore’s health ministry confirms another 884 coronavirus cases, taking the city-state’s tally of infections to 24,671, reports Reuters. Meanwhile, businesses such as food manufacturers, barbers, specific food retail outlets resumed their operations from today.
2.40 pm: Air India along with its subsidiary Air India Express is operating 64 flights to 12 countries to facilitate repatriation of 14,800 Indians, according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
2.38 pm: The Ministry of Civil Aviation says 6,037 Indians have been flown back to the country in 31 inbound flights operated by Air India and Air India Express in five days from May 7, according to a press release.
2.30 pm: Passengers onboard a special train that will leave for Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur from New Delhi. The Railways has restarted passenger services today in a phased manner.
2.27 pm: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says reopening the US economy too soon could lead to needless deaths, reports The New York Times. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country,” Fauci is quoted as saying by the newspaper.
2.22 pm: The Railways has operated 542 special trains since May 1 and ferried 6.48 lakh migrants stranded in various parts of country amid the nationwide lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.
2.18 pm: As many as 42 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Karnataka, taking the total cases to 904, according to the state health department.
2.10 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports one more coronavirus death and 33 fresh cases in the past 24 hours, according to The Hindu. Of these, 20 of them are linked to the Koyambedu market in Tamil Nadu, according to the state health department’s bulletin.
2.08 pm: A fire started by an overloaded ventilator has killed five coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit in a Russian hospital, reports Reuters. The country’s emergency ministry says 150 people have been evacuated from the hospital in the city of St Petersburg.
1.46 pm: A government panel in Maharashtra decides to release around 50% prisoners to decongest jails across the state, PTI reports.
1.39 pm: Kerala makes it mandatory for passengers coming into the state on special trains to apply for digital passes on the Covid-Jagratha portal, The Indian Express reports. Only those with digital passes will be allowed to go into home quarantine for 14 days. Others will have to spend 14 days at government-sanctioned institutional facilities.
1.32 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lauds the contribution of nurses who are putting themselves and their families at risk, while leading the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
1.27 pm: United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a meeting with his counterparts from India, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan and South Korea to discuss the importance of international cooperation, transparency, and accountability in combating the coronavirus, PTI reports.
1.02 pm: Director General, Railway Protection Force Arun Kumar says passengers will be screened at all railway stations, ANI reports. “We have also requested them to travel light as no ‘coolies’ are available,” he says. “We will be handing over the data of each and every passenger to the government.”
12.54 pm: A ‘Shramik train’ from Karnataka with 1,000 migrants on-board, reaches Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, ANI reports.
12.47 pm: Migrant workers in Madhya Pradesh stage a protest after they were stopped near the state’s border with Maharashtra from walking back to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh, ANI reports. They were later allowed to go in buses arranged by the government.
12.39 pm: Delhi reports 406 positive cases and 13 deaths in 24 hours till Monday midnight, ANI reports, quoting the health department’s figures. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the Capital is now 7,639 with 86 deaths.
12.35 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, rises to 2,016, after 81 more people test positive in the last 24 hours, PTI reports. The toll is now 92.
12.29 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government sends 1,200 students, who were stranded in Kanpur, to their hometowns in 40 buses after a proper medical check-up, PTI reports.
12.28 pm: An Air India flight carrying 331 people stuck in the United Kingdom lands in Hyderabad, PTI reports.
12.17 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation today at 8 pm and is likely to make an announcement related to the lockdown which ends on May 17, ANI reports.
12.14 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asks people of the Capital to send their suggestions to the government for an exit strategy after the lockdown ends on May 17, ANI reports.
12.07 pm: Maruti Suzuki India says it has resumed operations at the Manesar plant in Haryana after being shut for around 40 days because of the lockdown, The Indian Express reports. Operations at both Manesar and Gurugram facilities were suspended since March 22.
11.50 am: Twenty-three people test positive for Covid-19 in Odisha, taking the total number of cases in the state to 437, with three deaths, PTI reports.
11.40 am: The Air India headquarters in Delhi has been shut for two days after a peon tested positive for the coronavirus. Everyone, including the Chairperson and Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola, will work from home.
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11.39 am: The Maharashtra Congress has borne the travel expenses of nearly 27,865 migrant workers and sent them back to their hometowns, claims state party chief Balasaheb Thorat, according to PTI.
11.37 am: Over 45,533 railway tickets worth Rs 16.15 crore were booked for the next seven days as more than 82,000 passengers made reservations after the Indian Railways opened booking on Monday, PTI reports.
11.22 am: West Bengal Principal Health Secretary Vivek Kumar transferred and posted as Principal Secretary Environment Department, West Bengal, ANI reports. Narayan Swaroop Nigam will take his place.
10.56 am: A migrant labourer dies after a car hits him on the Ambala-Jagadhri highway near Ambala Cantonment, PTI reports. A group of migrant labourers were headed towards their native village in Bihar’s Purnia district from Punjab’s Ludhiana on foot when the incident occurred. Another worker was injured in the accident.
10.53 am: The Indian Naval Ship Kesari reaches Male port in Maldives, ANI reports. It will discharge 580 tonnes of essential food items as a gift from India to the people of Maldives amid the coronavirus outbreak.
10.43 am: The Railway Ministry in a tweet says it is compulsory for all passengers to download the Aarogya Setu app before commencing their journey. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines for passengers availing these train services made no mention of it, while the Press Information Bureau statement on Monday had only “advised” them to use the contact tracing app.
10.32 am: An assistant sub-inspector of the Central Industrial Security Force dies of the coronavirus in West Bengal, ANI reports.
10.24 am: A policeman in Bengaluru was suspended for kicking a couple of migrant workers, who were demanding that they should be sent to their home states, The News Minute reports.
The migrant workers had assembled at the KG Halli Police Station. They said they would not leave until arrangements for their travel to Uttar Pradesh are made. Assistant sub-inspector of police Raja Saheb first tried to pacify them. He then slapped and kicked two people, video shows.
10.15 am: BJP MP from Bihar Ajay Nishad says all members of the Tablighi Jamaat, who attended a religious event in Delhi in April, should be dealt with like “terrorists” for spreading the Covid-19 infection, India Today reports.
10.13 am: Several Indians with H-1B work visas or the Green Card, whose children were born in the US, are being prevented from travelling to India aboard the special repatriation flights being run by Air India, PTI reports.
10.09 am: A special flight carrying more than 300 Indians will depart from Chicago for Mumbai shortly, ANI reports. The flight will touch down in Mumbai tomorrow morning and will then head to Chennai.
10.05 am: A special train brings back a group of migrants from Bankura in Karnataka to West Bengal, ANI reports.
9.57 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath transfers Rs 225.39 crore to the beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, reports ANI.
9.51 am: Tesla chief Elon Musk says he will resume production at the automaker’s factory, in California, defying lockdown orders, adding if anyone had to be arrested it should be him, Reuters reports.
9.42 am: President Donald Trump abruptly ends his press conference after he asked an Asian-American journalist to “ask China” about her question and then refused to take a query from another White House reporter, AP reports.
Weijia Jiang, a White House correspondent for CBS News, asked the President why he sees coronavirus testing as a global competition when more than 80,000 Americans have died. ”Maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump told Jiang.
9.36 am: Rajasthan reports 47 new cases and two more deaths, ANI reports. The tally in the state is now 4,035.
9.29 am: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requests Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start Mumbai suburban railway services for the use of those working in essential services, The Indian Express reports. He also asks Modi to deploy Central forces so that the overstretched and overworked state police could be given some relief.
9.27 am: Former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna terms the government’s decision of mandating the use of Aarogya Setu app “utterly illegal”, The Indian Express reports. Srikrishna chaired the committee that came out with the first draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill.
9.25 am: At least one of the two senior Mumbai Police officials who were a part of the team that questioned Republic TV founder and editor Arnab Goswami test positive for Covid-19, reports The Quint, quoting Goswami’s lawyer Harish Salve.
9.19 am: The Centre says any user whose demographic data is stored with the government through the Aarogya Setu app can now request for its deletion, according to The Hindustan Times. This comes as the government issued a set of protocols to regulate the definition, collection, processing and storage of data by the contact-tracing app.
9.17 am: The Ministry of Finance dismisses all speculation about salary cuts for any category of central government employees, saying such reports have “no basis whatsoever”.
8.57 am: The Ministry of Health records 3,604 new cases in the last 24 hours, and the toll is 2,293, with 87 more deaths. India reaches 70,756 cases, with 46,008 patients being active cases.
8.25 am: The East Coast Railway tells passengers on the special train from Bhubaneswar to Delhi running on May 13 to bring their own linen and food, reports PTI. An unidentified official says limited packaged water and food will be available.
“All passengers will have to clear medical screening before being allowed to board the train,” the official said. “Only asymptomatic passengers shall be permitted to travel.” Besides this, only passengers with confirmed tickets will be allowed on the platform.
Tickets for the train were sold out in just 30 minutes, according to PTI.
8.02 am: An Air India flight with 177 Indians from Dubai, reached Kochi airport in Kerala late on Monday, ANI reports.
8 am: The White House directs all people entering the West Wing to wear masks after two aides test positive, Reuters reports.
7.57 am: United States records 830 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 80,352, AFP reports. The figure followed Sunday’s toll of 776, the lowest daily tally since March.
7.56 am: United States President Donald Trump dismisses concerns over the possible spread of coronavirus in the White House but said he may limit contact with Vice President Mike Pence, AFP reports.
7.53 am: The World Health Organization says “extreme vigilance” was needed as countries begin to exit from lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, amid global concerns about a second wave of infections, Reuters reports.
Here are the top updates from Monday
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.