The nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus infection has been extended till May 31. States and Union Territories will decide the containment, buffer, red, orange and green zones after taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Air travel continued to be prohibited while inter-state movement will be allowed.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday declared seven steps as part of a slew of measures to kickstart the economy that has been in a slump since the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 90,927 on Sunday morning and the toll went up to 2,872. The country recorded the biggest single-day surge with 4,987 new cases and 120 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Globally, Covid-19 has infected more than 46 lakh people and claimed over 3.11 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.
8.49 pm: Mumbai reports 1,571 cases and 38 deaths today. With this, the city’s tally rises to 19,967 and toll now stands at 734.
8.40 pm: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will hold a video meeting with states at 9 pm.
8.30 pm: Maharashtra records 2,347 new positive cases and 63 deaths in a day. This takes the state’s total to 33,053 positive cases and 1,198 deaths.
8.27 pm: Haryana has so far recorded 910 cases and 14 deaths, ANI reports.
8.25 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the Centre’s guidelines are largely in line with the proposal sent by his government, ANI reports. “We have used lockdown period to prepare our healthcare system if corona cases increase but it is now time to relax the restrictions to some extent,” Kejriwal says. “Government will prepare the detailed plan for Delhi based on the Centre’s guidelines and announce it tomorrow.”
8.20 pm: Punjab is staring at a “minimum loss” of Rs 50,000 crore this year due to the Covid-19 lockdown, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says, according to PTI. He adds that the state may have to take “some tough decisions” to generate revenue.
7.20 pm: The MHA also issues national directives for Covid-19 management and offences and penalties for violation of lockdown measures.
7.09 pm: People older than 65, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age should continue to stay at home, the guidelines said.
7.08 pm: Prohibition of movement between 7 pm and 7 am will continue.
7.07 pm: In red and orange zones, district authorities will demarcate containment areas and buffer areas. In containment areas, only essential activities will be allowed. Intensive contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance will also continue in containment zones.
7.05 pm: States and Union Territories will decide the containment, buffer, red, orange and green zones after taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
7.03 pm: Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles will be allowed except in containment zones.
7.02 pm: Gatherings and large congregations will be prohibited and religious places will continue to be closed to the public.
7 pm: Air travel and metro rail services will continue to be prohibited in the fourth phase of the lockdown, according to the MHA guidelines. Schools and colleges will be shut, while hotels and other hospitality services will also be closed. Restaurants will be able to operate their kitchens and deliver food to people’s homes. Cinema halls, malls, gyms and swimming pools will be closed, while sports complexes and stadiums will be permitted to open. Spectators, however, will not be allowed.
6.57 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs issues guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown.
6.27 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 639 new Covid-19 cases and four deaths. The state’s total has now risen to 11,224. Of this, 6,971 are active cases while the toll stands at 78.
6.22 pm: The National Disaster Management Authority, which directed states to continue the Covid-19 lockdown measures till May 31, directed the National Executive Committee to issue modifications in the guidelines as necessary, “keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of Covid-19”.
6.18 pm: The lockdown has been extended till May 31.
5.58 pm: Karnataka extends the lockdown for two more days, ANI reports.
5.45 pm: Fifty-eight new coronavirus cases reported in Bihar, taking the total count to 1,251, ANI reports.
5.18 pm: The measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier today “will have a transformative impact on our health and education sectors”, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “They will boost entrepreneurship, help public sector units and revitalise the village economy. Reform trajectories of the states will also get an impetus,” he adds.
5.15 pm: Fourteen new cases of the coronavirus reported in Kerala today, ANI reports.
5.10 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asks Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to grant permission to help migrant workers. “Our buses are there at the borders... grant permission and let us help our brothers and sisters,” she says. “Blank announcements and cheap politics will not work. Operate more trains, run more buses. We have asked for permission for 1,000 buses. Let us serve.”
She adds: “There are many labourers on every side of the border of UP. They are walking in the sun, today they are being kept standing for hours. They are not allowed through. They have no work for the last 50 days. Livelihood is at a standstill.”
5 pm: Gujarat’s Ahmedabad Civil Hospital has come under the scanner after a Covid-19 patient admitted there was found dead at a bus stop 10 km away on May 15. The patient’s family was forced to carry the body to a crematorium themselves, without any protective gear, and claims they have not been given any information on how the body reached the bus stop.
Read more here:
4.50 pm: An assistant commissioner of police posted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan tests positive, NDTV reports. Several employees posted at the official residence of President Ram Nath Kovind have been quarantined.
4.45 pm: The police in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday roughed up a doctor, tied his hands and dragged him on the road for allegedly creating nuisance and abusing the state government in an inebriated condition. The officers tied Dr Sudhakar’s hands and bundled him into an autorickshaw before taking him to the police station.
The video of Dr K Sudhakar, bare-chested and being dragged on the street by a police constable, went viral on social media. Sudhakar, an anesthesiologist at Narsipatnam Government Hospital, was suspended earlier this month after he alleged that the state was not providing an adequate number of Personal Protective Equipment and N95 masks to doctors combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more here:
4.40 pm: Spain registered its lowest daily toll ever after only 87 deaths were reported on Saturday, PTI reports. The country has so far reported 27,650 deaths and 2,77,719 infections.
4.35 pm: The toll from the accident in Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh, rose to 26 on Sunday as two of the 36 injured workers died, PTI reports. Twenty-four migrant workers had died on Saturday morning.
4.30 pm: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan says 1,000 buses are being operated by the state every day for migrants.
4.28 pm: Delhi Congress Chief Anil Kumar Chaudhary on Sunday said that the police had detained him at his residence. Chaudhary alleged that he was detained for helping migrant workers amid a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.
Read more here:
4.25 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directs authorities to ensure stranded migrant workers do not face any problems amid the ongoing lockdown and says that trains will be arranged for migrants. “It should be ensured that migrant workers do not resort to walking on road and on railway tracks,” the order says.
4.20 pm: The Jammu and Kashmir government will levy an additional retail excise duty of 50% on MRP on alcohol from Monday, ANi reports.
4.15 pm: Ten new cases were reported among Border Security Force personnel in the last 24 hours, ANI reports.
4.13 pm: The Centre, in the fifth and final tranche of its Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, on Sunday increased the borrowing limit of the states from 3% to 5% and announced that Rs 40,000 crore will be spent additionally under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made seven announcements as part of a slew of measures to kickstart the economy. This announcements included the allocations under the MGNREGA scheme, heath (rural and urban), education, businesses and Covid-19, decriminalisation of Companies Act, ease of doing business and private sector and state governments.
Read more here:
4.10 pm: Migrant workers break police barricades at the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh border in Chakghat area of Rewa, ANI reports.
4.05 pm: Migrant workers block the Mathura-Agra Highway in Raipura Jat area, ANI reports. They seek arrangements to go back to their homes in other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
4 pm: New cases reported today:
Karnataka: 54 new cases, total rises to 1,146; toll stands at 37,
Delhi: 422 new cases, total rises to 9,755; toll now 148,
Andhra Pradesh: 25 new cases, total rises to 2,230; toll now,
Uttarakhand: One new case, total rises to 92; one dead so far,
Rajasthan: 123 new cases, total now at 5,083, toll rises to 128.
3 pm: Tamil Nadu also announces an extension of the lockdown till May 31.
1.21 pm: Maharashtra extends lockdown in the state till May 31, reports ANI.
12.45 pm: The finance minister attacks Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for talking to stranded migrant workers in Delhi on Saturday. “Don’t waste their time by sitting with them,” she says. “Why can’t Congress-led government ask for more trains? Is it not ‘dramebazi’ to sit with migrants on the road? I request Opposition to work together for migrants.”
12.42 pm: Here is the breakup of Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic package:
12.37 pm: Sitharaman says the GST dues are clearly explained in the GST Council and that the Centre has been periodically talking about it. “All states’ GST dues are due which we recognise for December, January, February and March...it has not been paid,” she adds.
12.28 pm: “We completely recognise that like the Centre, states too are facing a sharp decline in their revenues,” says the finance minister. “We have been consistently extending needed support to states, since they are at the front end of fighting the coronavirus.”
12.26 pm: The increase in states borrowing limit is not fully unconditional, says Sitharaman. “The 0.5% is untied, next 1% in four tranches of 0.25% linked to one-nation one-ration, urban local revenues, power distribution, ease of doing business reforms and last 0.5% to be released if three of the four milestones is reached,” she adds.
12.20 pm: Sitharaman also says that the Reserve Bank of India has increased the number of days states can be in overdraft situation from 32 to 60 days.
12.15 pm: Sitharaman says Rs 11,092 crores State Disaster Response Fund was released in advance because of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the revenue deficit grants of Rs 12,390 crores was given to the states on time.
12.10 pm: Centre has also decided to accede to the request and increase borrowing limits of the states from 3% to 5% for 2020-’21 only. The finance minister says this will give the states extra resources of Rs 4.28 lakh crore.
12.03 pm: “All sectors will be open to private sectors also,” says the Centre. “Public sectors will continue to play an important role in defined areas.”
12.02 pm: Sitharaman says strategic sectors to be notified by government, in which at least one public sector enterprise (but not more than four) will be present along with private players.
12 pm: The Centre also says that companies will be able to directly list securities in foreign jurisdictions, adding that the listing of non-convertible debentures on stock exchange will not be regarded as listed companies.
11.57 am: “An ordinance will have be brought [for decriminalisation of Companies Act],” adds Sitharaman. “Seven compoundable offences under the Companies Act to be dropped altogether and five to be dealt with under an alternative framework.”
11.55 am: For micro, small and medium enterprises, Sitharaman says, a special insolvency framework will be notified under the IBC. She also adds that the minimum threshold to initiate insolvency has been raised to Rs 1 crore from Rs 1 lakh.
11.52 am: Sitharaman says debts related to the coronavirus shall be excluded from default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. “Any debt incurred for companies because of coronavirus shall not be included in the category of default,” she adds. “No fresh insolvency proceedings to be initiated for one year.”
11.50 am: The finance minister says top 100 universities will be allowed to start online courses by May 30.
11.49 am: PM e-Vidya programme for multi-mode access to digital or online education to be launched immediately, says the Centre. This will include one earmarked TV channel for classes 1 to 12, extensive use of radio and special content for visually and hearing impaired children.
11.47 am: Sitharaman adds that all districts will have infectious diseases hospital blocks and that public health labs will be set up at the block levels.
11.46 am: “Public expenditure on health will certainly be increased,” says Sitharaman. “Investment in grass-root health institutions to be made.”
11.42 am: Centre announces additional Rs 40,000 crore for MGNREGA. The budget estimate for MGNREGA was Rs 61,000 crores, says the finance minister. “A lot of workers have gone back to their villages, this will ensure that those wishing to enroll into the scheme can be provided jobs,” she adds.
11.38 am: “200 textbooks have been added to e-Pathshaala,” says Centre on steps taken by government for online education during the nationwide lockdown.
11.37 am: Timely action already taken to reduce compliance burden for corporates under Companies Act, says Sitharaman.
11.35 am: The finance minister states that the Central government has supplied 51 lakh personal protective equipment and 11 crore hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ tablets. “India has more than 300 domestic manufacturers of PPEs now,” she adds.
11.32 am: Sitharaman says Rs 4,133 crore has been released to states, Rs 3,750 crore went towards to essential items and Rs 550 crore was spent on testing labs and kits. She also adds that an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh was given for health professionals tackling the coronavirus crisis.
11.30 am: We have already announced Rs 15,000 crore to be spent on coronavirus related matters, says Sitharaman.
11.26 am: 12 lakh EPFO members have benefited from non-refundable advance, says the Centre.
11.22 am: Seven steps to be announced by the finance minister today. These will focus on:
- MGNREGA scheme.
- Health and education.
- Businesses and coronavirus.
- Decriminalisation of the Companies Act.
- Ease of doing business and related-matters.
- Public sector enterprises.
- State governments and related resources.
11.20 am: “When it was possible to have workers to travel from camps to their hometowns, trains were allowed,” says Nirmala Sitharaman. “85% of cost of travel was borne by the Centre.”
She also emphasises that the Centre immediately responded with food grains and cooking gas when the lockdown was announced.
11.18 am: The National Social Assistance Scheme beneficiaries got Rs 1,405 crore in first installment and Rs 1,402 crore in 2nd instalment and the target of Rs 3,000 crore is nearly achieved, adds Sitharaman.
11.15 am: One-time transfer of Rs 2,000 reached 8.19 crore farmers under the PM Kisan scheme till May 16, says the finance minister.
11.11 am: Sitharaman says in the last four days of announcements, we have had several reforms addressing the land, labour, liquidity and laws, adding that she will continue that series.
11.09 am: “I would like to start by quoting some words of the PM’s words today,” says Sitharaman. “My announcement today is pegged to that aspect of the speech: ‘As a nation today we stand at a very crucial juncture. Such a big disaster has brought a message and an opportunity’.”
11.07 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman begins the briefing on the last tranche of the economic relief package.
10.14 am: Odisha minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Saturday met the family of a migrant worker who was allegedly beaten to death by the police in Surat, Gujarat, reports OrissaPost.
“I have taken the matter up with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,” he said. “All possible help will be made available to the family. I will write letters to the DG [director general] and Gujarat Chief Minister [Vijay Rupani] asking for an investigation and stringent action against those who are found guilty.”
10.08 am: The Union health ministry has listed a set of dos and don’ts for urban local bodies to rein in the coronavirus spread in “informal settlements” in the cities. These neighbourhoods are often overcrowded with many crammed into small spaces, increasing the risk of a spread of the disease.
10.04 am: Several High Courts, including Delhi, Karnataka and Madras, have asked the states or the Centre to help the migrant workers trying to return home amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, reports Hindustan Times.
9.22 am: India has recorded 4,987 fresh coronavirus cases and 120 deaths in the last 24 hours.
9.20 am: The health ministry has updated its figures on the coronavirus patients in India. The country now has 90,927 cases and the toll has risen to 2,872. Meanwhile, over 34,000 have recovered from the infection so far.
8.02 am: The Centre directs officials from 30 municipal areas spread across 12 states, which contribute to 80% of India’s coronavirus cases, to maintain high vigil and closely monitor areas of old cities, slums, migrant labourer camps and other high-density pockets, reports Hindustan Times.
8 am: Former President Barack Obama criticises US leaders overseeing the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, telling college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials “aren’t even pretending to be in charge”, reports AP.
7.45 am: The World Health Organisation has warned that spraying disinfectant on the streets, as practised in some countries, does not eliminate the coronavirus and that it poses a health risk, reports AFP.
“Spraying or fumigation of outdoor spaces, such as streets or marketplaces, is...not recommended to kill the Covid-19 virus or other pathogens because disinfectant is inactivated by dirt and debris,” the health organisation adds.
7.35 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce the final tranche of stimulus package today at 11 am.
7.32 am: The total number of cases in Maharashtra is 30,076 and the toll in the state has risen to 1,135, reports The Indian Express, citing data from the state’s health ministry.
7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Saturday:
- The number of coronavirus cases in India rose 85,940 on Saturday and the toll reached 2,752. India has surpassed China’s tally of 84,038 cases.
- 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 stimulus was part of the Centre’s Rs 20-lakh-crore economic package.
- The Centre launched an online database for migrants to monitor their movement and help them travel to their native places.
- Narendra Modi thanked Donald Trump, a day after he said that the United States will donate ventilators to India in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Trump had also expressed his support for Modi and said that the two nations will overcome the health crisis together.
- Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met a group of migrant workers who were camping near a flyover in the Sukhdev Vihar locality of Delhi. Gandhi’s encounter with the workers came hours after he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the Rs 20-lakh-crore stimulus package and emphasised the need to directly transfer money to people’s accounts.
- 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.