The Centre on Saturday launched an online database for migrants to monitor their movement and help them travel to their native places. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will open up the coal sector for commercial mining under the automatic route. The Foreign Direct Investment limit in defence manufacturing will be raised from 49% to 74%, she added.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose 85,940 on Saturday morning and the toll reached 2,752. The country reported 3,970 cases and 103 deaths in 24 hours. India has surpassed China’s tally of 84,038 cases.
Twenty-four migrants were killed and several others were injured after the truck they were traveling in collided with another one in Uttar Pradesh’s Auriya district on Saturday.
Globally, Covid-19 has infected over 45 lakh people and claimed more than 3.07 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.
9.02 pm: Opposition parties tear into the Centre’s fourth set of stimulus measures. The Congress labels the announcements as “bizarre”, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) calls it a “daily litany of jumlas”.
8.50 pm: Bihar’s tally rises to 1,145, says state Principal Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar.
8.48 pm: In the last 24 hours, Gujarat reported 348 new cases. The state’s tally rises to 10,989 including 625 deaths.
8.46 pm: Haryana has a total of 887 cases so far, including 13 deaths.
8.40 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the lockdown in the state will continue till May 31, but his government will lift the curfew restrictions, reports PTI. He also hints at resuming limited public transport services from May 18.
8.37 pm: The Delhi government ‘de-contains’ one more area – House No. 34/156 to House No. 34/189 (Resettlement Colony) Block 34 – in Trilokpuri.
8.30 pm: Mumbai reports 884 new cases today, taking the total number of cases to 18,396. The toll stands at 696.
8.20 pm: Union minister Piyush Goyal says the Railways is ready to run “Shramik Special” trains from any district in the Country. “District collectors should prepare lists of stranded labour and destination and apply to Railways through the state nodal officer,” he adds.
8.05 pm: A man from Budgam district dies in Srinagar, reports PTI. With this, the toll in Jammu and Kashmir rises to 12.
8.02 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs asks states to upload data on migrant workers on the National Migrant Info System – a central online repository – to facilitate their seamless movement across states.
8.01 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meets a group of migrant workers camping near a flyover in the Sukhdev Vihar locality of Delhi. Media reports suggest that the workers who Gandhi spoke to were later detained by the Delhi Police. The Congress too has supported these claims. The police in the Capital have denied the allegations.
7.30 pm: Jharkhand’s tally rises to 217 after two people from Garhwa and Ranchi tested positive today, says DK Singh, the director of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences.
6.52 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 477 fresh cases and three deaths. With this, the state’s tally goes up 10,585 and toll rises to 74.
6.37 pm: 25 people from a residential apartment tested positive in Madannapet area of Hyderabad’s old city, says Zonal Commissionerate Ashok Samrat. All have been shifted to hospital and their contacts are being identified, he adds.
6.22 pm: 11 new cases in Kerala today. Here’s the break-up.
6.20 pm: 39 more people have tested positive in Bihar, taking total number of cases to 1,118 in the state, reports ANI.
6.19 pm: 53 new cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi today, taking the total number of cases in the area to 1,198, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
6.01 pm: West Bengal’s toll rises to 160 with seven more fatalities, says Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.
5.51 pm: Bihar’s total count goes up to 1,079 with 46 new infections, reports PTI.
5.43 pm: In Himachal Pradesh the number of active Covid-19 cases stands at 35, ANI reports, quoting the state health department’s figures.
5.43 pm: The number of cases in Uttar Pradesh rises to 4,140 with 95 deaths, ANI reports. Out of these, 195 cases and three deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours.
5.40 pm: No new coronavirus case reported in Chandigarh, ANI reports, quoting the health department. The total tally is 191 and three people have died as of now.
5.38 pm: West Bengal reports 105 more Covid-19 cases and seven deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s total tally to 2,576, says State Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, according to ANI.
5.35 pm: The Delhi government declares two more hospitals as designated Covid-19 facility, in view of the shortage of isolation beds in private hospitals, ANI reports. These hospitals are: Batra Hospital and Research Centre, which has 50 isolation beds, and the Cygnus Orthocare Hospital with 40 beds.
5.33 pm: The Madras High Court directs the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government to submit an action taken report on the measures taken to alleviate the sufferings of migrants on the move amid the coronavirus lockdown, saying their “pathetic condition” is “nothing but a human tragedy”.
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5.16 pm: Technology development and incubation centres will be set up for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech- entrepreneurs in the atomic energy sector, Sitharaman says.
5.15 pm: The Centre will establish a research reactor on public-private partnership for the production of medical isotope, Sitharaman says. It will also establish facilities to use irradiation technology for food preservation to compliment agricultural reforms and assist farmers, she adds.
5.09 pm: The government announces the Viability Gap Funding scheme to boost private sector investment in social infrastructure with an outlay of Rs 8,100 crore.
5.05 pm: “The private sector will be a co-travelers in India’s space journey,” says Sitharaman, as she announces reforms in the space sector. “The government will provide a level playing field for private companies in satellite, launches, and space-based services,” she adds. “Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities.”
4.59 pm: Centre proposes the privatisation of power distribution in the Union Territories.
4.57 pm: Restrictions on the utilisation of the Indian Air Space will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient, Sitharaman says.
4.50 pm: Centre raises Foreign Direct Investment Limit in the defence sector from 49% to 74%.
4.48 pm: The Centre puts six airports for auction on public-private basis. “Additional investment worth Rs 13,000 crore expected by private players in 12 airports,” Sitharaman says.
4.45 pm: The Centre will provide a list of weapons or platforms that will not be allowed to be imported with year-wise timelines, Sitharaman says. This is a part of the government’s self reliance push in the defence sector and is being done in consultation with the Department of Military Affairs, she adds.
4.41 pm: Sitharaman introduces the proposed reforms in the defence sector. “Some weapons will now not be allowed to be imported and will have to be produced locally,” she says. This she says, will be done to reduce India’s dependence on other countries for military arsenal. “Ordinance factories will be corportised and not privatised.”
4.34 pm: The Centre proposes reforms in the mineral sector. “Under this, 500 mining blocks would be offered through open auction process,” says Sitharaman. The government will also introduce a joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks to enhance the aluminum industry’s competitiveness. “Ministry of Mines is developing a Mineral Index for difference minerals,” Sitharaman adds.
4.26 pm: Commercial mining of coal on a revenue-sharing base will end the government’s monopoly on the sector, says Sitharaman. “Any party can bid for the coal block and seek it in open market,” she adds. “Entry norms will be liberalised and the government will offer 50 coal blocks immediately.”
“The government will spend Rs 50,000 crore for creating evacuation infrastructure,” Sitharaman adds. “Coal gasification, liquefaction will be incentivised.”
4.21 pm: The government will allow the commercial mining of coal, says Sitharaman.
4.20 pm: The Centre will announce structural reforms in eight sectors. These are: coal, mineral, defence production, airspace management, airports, MRO, distribution companies in Union Territories, space and atomic energy.
4.14 pm: Centre announces policy reforms to fast-track investments through Empowered Groups. “Project Development Cell in each ministry will be created to prepare, coordinate with investors,” Sitharaman says. “Incentive scheme for promotion of New Champion sectors will be launched in sectors such as solar PV manufacturing, advanced cell battery storage and others.”
4.12 pm: Before announcing the structural reforms which are part of the economic stimulus package, Sitharaman highlights policy changes the government has adopted till now. These are: Direct Benefit Transfer, Goods and Services Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, steps were taken for ease of doing business, direct taxation records and power Sector reforms.
4.09 pm: Sitharaman says the fourth set of stimulus measures will focus on structural reforms in industries sectors reeling from the lockdown. “These measures will increase production and also generate employment in the country,” she says.
4.03 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the fourth tranche of the Centre’s economic relief package.
3.56 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s tally rises to 77 after a 36-year-old man tests positive, says Nipun Jindal, the special secretary of the state health department.
3.55 pm: 15 inmates of Delhi’s Rohini jail and head warden have tested positive, reports PTI.
3.35 pm: The West Bengal government offers compensation of Rs 2 lakh for each of those who died in an accident in Uttar Pradesh.
3.30 pm: Mamata Banerjee says no migrant worker will be charged for travelling from other states to West Bengal, adding that all cost will be borne by her government.
3.24 pm: Six new cases in Uttarakhand today, taking total tally to 88, says state health department.
3.14 pm: In the Border Security Force, there have been 16 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
3.12 pm: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam asks the foreign secretary to evacuate stranded residents from Oman, Dubai and Iran.
3.01 pm: Eleven people, including seven Border Security Force jawans, have tested positive in Tripura. With this, the total number of cases in the state rises to 167, says Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
2.38 pm: Modi thanks US President Donald Trump for promising to donate ventilators to India. “This pandemic is being fought collectively by all of us,” tweets Modi. “More power to India-United States friendship.”
2.37 pm: A 65-year-old man dies in Maharashtra’s Nagpur, reports PTI. The patient was suffering from a kidney ailment and diabetes. Nagpur has so far reported 336 cases, including five deaths.
2.36 pm: Delhi’s toll rises to 129 with six new deaths. The total number of cases surges to 9,333, reports PTI.
2.33 pm: Rajasthan health department says there are 86 new cases in the state till 2 pm. With this, the total number of cases rise to 4,924 including 125 deaths.
2.30 pm: A 65-year-old Noida resident dies of Covid-19. He is Gautam Buddh Nagar’s fifth casualty. The doctor tells PTI that the cause of death was Covid-19 along with pneumonia and severe sepsis. As of Friday, Gautam Buddh Nagar recored 242 cases of which 169 patients have recovered.
2.28 pm: Agra Additional Director General Ajay Anand says the station house officer of Fatehpur Sikri has been suspended after the accident that killed 24 migrants. “The truck which met with the accident in Auraiya passed through Fatehpur Sikri,” he tells ANI. “There were clear instructions that migrant workers should not be allowed to travel in trucks.”
1.24 pm: Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu demands Chief Minister Adityanath’s resignation over the death of 24 migrant workers, PTI reports. “This government is insensitive towards the migrant labourers,” he says. “Where have all the buses gone, which the UP Government claims have been pressed into service to send the migrant labourers home? The entire country is seeing this.”
1.21 pm: The number of coronavirus cases among Central Industrial Security Force personnel rises to 118.
1.13 pm: New cases in states:
Bihar: 46 new cases, tally rises to 1079.
Karnataka: 23 new cases, tally rises to 1079; toll at 36.
Andhra Pradesh: 48 new cases, tally rises to 2,205; toll at 49.
12.57 pm: Long queues are seen outside liquor stores in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram city.
12.55 pm: Migrant workers ride bicycles towards their native places from Maharashtra.
12.52 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asks the government to reconsider its Rs 20 lakh-crore package. He adds that the government should directly transfer money to the vulnerable sections.
12.39 pm: The Centre issues guidelines for air travel, though it has not announced when flights will resume. This includes mandatory physical distancing and downloading of the government’s Aarogya Setu app.
12.31 pm: The Central Board of Secondary Education will announce the date sheet for class 10 and 12 exams at 5 pm.
11.54 am: President Ram Nath Kovind offers condolences to the families of migrant workers killed in Uttar Pradesh.
11.50 am: Five migrant workers die after their truck overturns near Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district, ANI reports.
11.45 am: Six weeks into the lockdown, on April 29, the Central government announced it would run Shramik Express trains for working-class migrants. But it did not waive the fares – despite knowing that lack of work had rendered many destitute. It also left the coordination to the states, which has turned out to be messy.
11.43 am: The Bombay High Court directs the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit with details of maternity homes and clinics in the city attending to pregnant women, PTI reports.
11.40 am: The number of coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city rises to 2,378 after 79 more people test positive, PTI reports.
11.37 am: Kant adds that India’s test-positivity rate, which is the ratio of positive cases to the total tests conducted, is just 4%, compared to 14% in the United States.
11.34 am: Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai together account for 50% of the total coronavirus cases in India, NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant says.
11.31 am: Odisha reports 65 new coronavirus cases. The state’s tally rises to 737.
11.29 am: The Uttar Pradesh government postpones work for the National Population Register, ANI reports.
11.25 am: The Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa leaves Maldives with 588 Indian citizens on board.
11.19 am: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya shares a video of a huge crowd defying lockdown rules in Mumbai. He hits out at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the police for failing to enforce the lockown.
11.17 am: Rajasthan’s Covid-19 tally rises to 4,838 with 91 new cases.
10.56 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address a press conference at 4 pm, her fourth this week.
10.49 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses grief over the death of 24 migrants in an accident in Uttar Pradesh. “The road accident in Auraiya of Uttar Pradesh is very tragic,” he says. “The government is busy in relief work. I express my condolences to the families of those killed in this accident, as well as wish the injured recover as soon as possible.”
10.45 am: The United States is likely to restore some funding to the World Health Organization, a month after the President Donald Trump announced that it would be suspended while the government investigated the UN body’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reports.
9.15 am : The number of coronavirus cases in India rises to 85,940. The toll reaches 2,752.
9.11 am: Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati says the accident in Uttar Pradesh happened because the chief minister’s directions to ensure the well-being of migrants were not being strictly followed, ANI reports. She demands compensation for the families of the victims and action against police officers.
9.08 am: A company based in Jaipur develops robots to assist frontline health workers in coronavirus fight.
9.06 am: The number of coronavirus cases in Assam rises to 89 after three more people test positive, PTI reports.
9.04 am: A special passenger train from Ahmedabad arrives in Delhi.
9.01 am: The police in Uttar Pradesh inspect the site where 24 migrants were killed in an accident.
8.59 am: Delhi’s Ghazipur market reopens after two days. It was closed for sanitisation after two officials tested positive for Covid-19.
8.57 am: United States President Donald Trump on Friday said that his country would donate ventilators to India.
8.55 am: Twenty-four migrants were killed and several others were injured in an accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Auriya district.
8.46 am: Here are the top updates from Friday:
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will set up Rs 1 lakh crore fund for post-harvest farm-gate infrastructure, a fund of Rs 20,000 crore for marine and inland fisheries development, Rs 15,000 crore for animal husbandry infrastructure and Rs 10,000 crore for micro food enterprises. The allocation is part of the Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic relief package to prop up the ailing economy.
- Mizoram extended the lockdown to tackle the coronavirus crisis till May 31. Tamil Nadu, which has recorded over 10,000 infections, will reopen liquor outlets on Saturday, as the Supreme Court stayed the Madras High Court order of May 8 to close all outlets.
- The Supreme Court dismissed a petition asking that the Centre be ordered to provide food and water to migrants walking back home. “It is impossible for this court to monitor who is walking and not walking,” the bench said.
- The World Bank announced a social protection package worth $1 billion to support India’s efforts to provide social assistance to the poor and most vulnerable households.