Coronavirus: Centre allows use of HCQ for all asymptomatic frontline workers
The Union health ministry said 90% of the active cases were in 10 states.
The Union health ministry on Friday said the number of coronavirus cases in India has been confined to certain places because of the nationwide lockdown. The ministry said around 90% of active cases were in ten states. The government added that the lockdown reduced doubling rate of cases from 3.5 days to 13.3 days.
Maharashtra reported a record 2,940 cases in a day. The state’s tally rose to 44,582. Kerala also reported its biggest single-day increase – 42 case.
The Centre revised the advisory on the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus, allowing asymptomatic healthcare and frontline workers to take the medicine.
Globally, the total number of cases is now over five million, according to a tracker by the Johns Hopkins University. The toll is 335,418. The United States alone accounts for nearly 1 lakh of these deaths.
Read today’s top 10 updates here.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the helpline numbers for states and the Union Territories
11.07 pm: Here are the top updates of the day:
- The Union health ministry on Friday said that 80% of the active cases in the country were in five states. Five major cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Thane – account for 60% of the active cases, the ministry added. India recorded 6,088 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours – the biggest single-day jump in figures so far. With this, the total number of cases reached 1.18 lakh and the toll rose to 3,583 after 148 new fatalities.
- Japan included India and 11 other countries on its travel advisory list.
- Maharashtra’s coronavirus tally came close to 45,000 with a record 2,940 new cases in a day. The Maharashtra government announced that it will take over 80% of the beds in private hospitals and nursing homes across the state for the treatment of coronavirus patients. The government also capped charges for treatment for Covid-19 and other illnesses at the facilities. Mumbai reported 1,751 coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 27,068. The toll stood at 909. The city’s civic body permitted the home delivery of liquor in non containment areas.
- The Centre revised the advisory on the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus, allowing asymptomatic healthcare and frontline workers to take the medicine.
- Globally, the total number of cases is now over five million, according to a tracker by the Johns Hopkins University. The toll is 3,35,418. The United States alone accounts for nearly 1 lakh of these deaths.
10.13 pm: Rajasthan’s tally rises to 6,494 with 267 new cases.
9.47 pm: The government revises its advisory on the use of Hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus infection. It expands permitted usage to asymptomatic healthcare and frontline workers.
9.43 pm: West Bengal reports 135 coronavirus cases. The state’s tally rises to 3,322. The toll stands at 199.
8.42 pm: The International Cricket Council releases guidelines for the safe resumption of cricket amid the coronavirus pandemic.
8.38 pm: Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala says that after Friday’s meeting, 22 opposition parties have put forth an 11-point demand charter before the Centre. “We demand that government present a revised comprehensive economic package that will be a true stimulus,” he says.
8.30 pm: New cases in other states and Union territories:
Gujarat: 336 new cases, tally rises to 13,273; toll at 802.
Jharkhand: 15 new cases, tally rises to 323.
Jammu and Kashmir: 40 new cases, tally rises to 1,489; toll at 20.
8.27 pm: Mumbai reports 1,751 coronavirus cases. The city’s tally rises to 27,068. The toll stands at 909.
8.16 pm: The National Human Rights Commission issues a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over reports of migrant labourers being transported in a truck carrying the bodies of those who died in an accident in Auriya district last week, PTI reports.
8.12 pm: The Ministry of Railways says the advance reservation period for the 15 special trains will be extended from seven days to a month.
7.59 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi slum reports 53 new cases, according to ANI. The area’s tally rises to 1,478.
7.48 pm: Maharashtra reports its largest single day increase with 2,940 cases. The state’s tally rises to 44,582.
7.28 pm: A study conducted by five researchers shows coronavirus cases in India will peak between June 21 and 28, PTI reports. The study projects maximum daily positive cases to be between 7,000 and 7,500.
7.20 pm: The Punjab government says the state has only 143 active cases now.
7.17 pm: The Karnataka government revises testing protocol for the coronavirus.
7.09 pm: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai allows home delivery of liquor in areas outside containment zones.
6.40 pm: A 67-year-old doctor dies of coronavirus in Indore, PTI reports. The district’s toll rises to 110.
6.34 pm: The Gujarat government says it has ferried 10.15 lakh migrant workers on 699 special trains so far, ANI reports, quoting the chief minister’s office.
6.18 pm: The Telangana government says film shooting and post-production activities will be allowed to resume in a phased manner soon, ANI reports.
6.15 pm: A high number of coronavirus cases and deaths among drivers and conductors of Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport or the BEST public bus services has led to concerns over lack of safety measures.
Read here: They have kept Mumbai running through the lockdown. But feel the city has let them down
6.12 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 786 coronavirus cases. The state’s tally rises to 14,753. The toll stands at 98.
6.04 pm: Travel website Yatra.com says it has partnered with the administrations of Delhi and Gurugram to ferry over 3,500 migrants to various parts of Uttar Pradesh on buses free of cost, PTI reports.
5.59 pm: A Mumbai Police officer won praise for performing the last rites of four people, who died in the city during the nationwide lockdown. Among the four people, whose bodies were unclaimed, one had died of Covid-19.
Read here:Coronavirus: Mumbai police officer lauded for cremating unclaimed bodies amid lockdown
5.57 pm: Karnataka’s coronavirus tally rises to 1,743 with 138 new cases.
5.55 pm: Five more people test positive for the coroavirus in Noida, according to PTI. The district’s tally rises to 307.
5.53 pm: Reservation counters of the Northeast Frontier Railway open, two months after they were closed due to the lockdown, PTI reports.
5.49 pm: The lawyers’ chambers at Delhi’s Saket District Courts Complex will reopen in a phased manner from May 23, PTI reports.
5.45 pm: Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur says the Centre will soon announce more measures to help sectors hit by the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports. “We came first with the ease of compliance,” he says. “The second was for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package (Rs 1.70 lakh crore) and the third was this stimulus package of Rs 20.97 lakh crore. This can’t be the end.”
5.40 pm: Assam’s coronavirus tally rises to 222 with 12 new cases, PTI reports.
5.31 pm: Bihar’s coronavirus tally crosses 2,000 with 118 new cases.
5.25 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government says more than 18 lakh migrant workers have returned to the state, ANI reports.
5.21 pm: Uttar Pradesh’s coronavirus tally rises to 2,243 with 263 new cases, ANI reports. The state’s toll stands at 138.
5.18 pm: Kerala reports 42 coronavirus cases, taking the states’s tally to 732. This the biggest single-day increased for the state.
5.12 pm: At a meeting of Opposition parties on the coronavirus pandemic, Congress President Sonia Gandhi says the Centre’s Rs 20-lakh-crore economic package has turned out to be a “cruel joke”. She adds that migrant workers, walking hundreds of kilometres to their homes, have become the defining image of India’s coronavirus crisis.
5.09 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in the Border Security Force rises to 108 after 24 more personnel test positive, ANI reports.
4.56 pm: Over 300 Indian citizens from the United States land in Delhi.
4.51 pm: Indian citizens land in Jaipur from London.
4.41 pm: The Centre gives an estimate of the concentration of cases.
4.36 pm: The Centre summarises expert models that it has used to reach estimates on the coronavirus.
4.31 pm: The Centre says India has been able to limit the extent of the spread of the coronavirus. “In India, 60% of the cases have been reported from five major cities,” the Centre’s says. “80% of the cases have been reported from five states.”
4.25 pm: A graph showing the growth rate of coronavirus cases in India.
4.23 pm: The Centre says 14 lakh to 29 lakh cases have been avoided due to the imposition of the lockdown. The government adds that 38,000 to 70,000 deaths have been averted due to aggressive containment measures.
4.21 pm: Health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agawal says India’s coronavirus recovery rate has improved to 41%.
4.19 pm: Dr R Gangakhedkar from the Indian Council of Medical Research says 27,55,714 coronavirus tests have been done so far.
4.16 pm: The Centre says the lockdown has slowed down the growth rate of cases in India. “The doubling rate has reduced from 3 days to 13.3 days,” the chairman of Centre’s Empowered Group 1 says.
4.13 pm: “I am aware I am entering this office at a time of global crisis,” he says. “We all understand that there will be many health challenges in the next two decades. All these challenges demand a shared response,” he says.
4.11 pm: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan takes charge as the chairman of the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board.
4.09 pm: The Union health ministry briefs media on the coronavirus.
3.57 pm: Healthcare workers at several hospitals sport black bands to mark their protest against the government’s decision, saying they are no longer required to quarantine themselves after tending to Covid-19 patients, unless there has been any form of high-risk exposure, PTI reports.
3.50 pm: Haryana records a three-fold increase in coronavirus cases this month, PTI reports. The number of cases rose from 339 as of April 30 to 1,031 on May 21. Majority of them are from four districts – Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar – which fall in the National Capital Region.
3.43 pm: National carrier Air India opened bookings from 12.30 pm onwards, days after the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that some domestic flights will resume operations from May 25.
Read more here
Covid-19: Air India opens bookings today for domestic flights from May 25
3.39 pm: Two persons at a quarantine centre in Silchar, Assam, test positive, state minister Himanta Sarma says, according to ANI. The total cases in the state now stands at 216.
3.37 pm: Singapore reports 614 new coronavirus cases taking the tally in the country to 30,426, PTI reports. Most of them are foreign workers living in packed dormitories, the country’s health ministry says. The toll stands at 23.
3.25 pm: Three migrant workers die in an road crash in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur, PTI reports. A worker was seriously injured. The victims were on their way from Mumbai to Bihar’s Gopalganj, their hometown. The accident occured in the morning when a truck rammed into their vehicle, which was parked 40 feet off the road, Mirzapur Superintendent of Police Dharamvir Singh says.
3.22 pm: Uttarakhand reports five more cases in the state as of 3:00 pm, according to the state’s health department. It now has a total of 151 coronavirus cases.
3.13 pm: Karnataka Government will bear the cost of travel of migrant workers and stranded persons to their respective states by special trains up to 31st May, reports ANI, quoting the Chief Minister’s Office.
3.10 pm: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations will conduct pending class 10 and 12 examinations from July 1 to 14, PTI reports.
2.46 pm: Reservations for 230 trains is now open for public, the Ministry of Railways says, according to ANI. Bookings can be made online, as well as through reservation counters.
2.31 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs allows certain categories of Overseas Citizen of India cardholders to travel to India amid the lockdown. This includes those who wish to come back to the country on account of family emergencies, students who have their parents living in India, among others. Minors born to Indian nationals abroad with OCI card will also be permitted.
2.27 pm: The Resident Doctors’ Association at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences alleges that a mess worker from a doctors’ canteen at the hospital died of the coronavirus because the hostel section refused to take precautionary measures, ANI reports. The association claims the superintendent of the hostel tried to present the death as a “probable cardiac event”.
2.17 pm: At least 25 Covid-19 patients at Pune’s government-run Sassoon General Hospital, will be administered tocilizumab, a drug which is believed to be effective in treating the infection, PTI reports.
2.07 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain refutes all reports alleging discrepancies in the toll, saying no case of death has been missed out in the count, ANI reports. “Death of suspected cases are not included in the toll,” he adds.
2.01 pm: Shops in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality reopen after the government eased restrictions in the fourth phase of the lockdown, ANI reports. The shops had been closed for nearly five months as the area became the epicentre of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
1.48 pm: Migrant labourers who were working at a construction site at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, have sent a legal notice to the business school, alleging that they have not been paid for two months during the countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus, NDTV reported. The institute has refuted the allegations, calling them “baseless”.
Coronavirus lockdown: Migrants issue legal notice to IIM Ahmedabad over non-payment of wages
1.45 pm: Air India says it will operate 8,428 flights each week for the next three months, reports ANI.
1.44 pm: The Bombay High Court says the Mumbai civic body can designate any cemetery or burial ground to dispose bodies of Covid-19 victims, reports PTI. The court points out that there was no scientific study to show that the infection spreads through cadavers.
1.21 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government clears dues worth over Rs 36 lakh billed by the Rajasthan government for facilitating the return of stranded students from Kota, PTI reports.
1.03 pm: 105 new cases have been reported in Karnataka from 5 pm on Thursday till Friday noon, says the health department. The total number of cases is now 1,710.
12.46 pm: In the last 24 hours, Delhi reported 660 new cases and 14 deaths. The total infections in the Capital stand at 12,319 and toll at 208.
12.31 pm: With 16 fresh infections, Chhattisgarh’s tally of active cases rises to 89.
12.26 pm: United Kingdom to introduce quarantine for international arrivals, AFP reports citing a minister.
12.24 pm: Latest bulletin released by the Maharashtra Police shows 278 personnel tested positive in the last 48 hours. The total number of positive cases in Maharashtra Police is now 1,666 including 1,177 active cases, 473 recovered and 16 deaths.
12.08 pm: Uber resumes its operations in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubballi in Karnataka, reports PTI. The ride hailing company says it will follow all the lockdown guidelines issued by the government.
12.06 pm: The Tamil Nadu government has decided to allow autos and cycle rickshaws to start plying from tomorrow between 7 am and 7 pm with only one person on board. The vehicles have to be sanitised thrice a day and masks are compulsory, reports ANI.
However, no public vehicle will be allowed in Chennai and other containment zones.
12.02 pm: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other party leaders demand a Rs 50,000-crore package for farmers, labourers and workers of unorganised sector.
12.01 pm: In the last 24 hours, Andhra Pradesh has registered 62 cases. With this, the total number of infections in the state is 2,514, says Nodal Officer Arja Srikanth.
11.58 am: Indore reports 76 fresh cases. The in the district, the worst-hit from coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh, is now 109.
11.36 am: Air India will open bookings for domestic flights from 12.30 pm today.
11.30 am: Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says two people in the quarantine facility at Jorhat have been found positive.
11.18 am: Visuals of heavy traffic congestion at ITO in Delhi amid the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown.
11.15 am: Half of Facebook’s employees may work remotely over next few years, says CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reports Reuters. This comes as the coronavirus pandemic upends office and commuting habits for companies around the world.
11.11 am: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will take over as chairperson of the World Health Organization executive board at 3.30 pm today, reports The Indian Express. The WHO’s South East Asia group had unanimously decided last year that India would be elected a member state of the executive board for a three-year term. It was also decided at this meeting that New Delhi’s nominee would be the Executive Board chairman for the first year.
11.08 am: The Maharashtra government has taken over 80% beds in private hospitals and nursing homes across the state till August 31 to tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases, reports NDTV. The government has also capped treatment charges. In the remaining 20% beds, the hospitals will be allowed to charge their own rates.
Coronavirus: Maharashtra takes over 80% beds in private hospitals, nursing homes
11 am: Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says that the state government will implement a “ruthless quarantine strategy with a humane heart”, reports PTI. The total number coronavirus cases in Assam has increased to 212 after two more people tested positive.
10.50 am: An employee of Lok Sabha Secretariat has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports The Hindu. All necessary arrangement regarding sealing and sanitisation are being carried out by the security staff.
10.42 am: The Reserve Bank of India will roll over Rs 15,000-crore refinance facility for Small Industries Development Bank of India for 90 days and extend Rs 15,000-crore line of credit to Exim Bank.
10.37 am: “RBI will continue to remain vigilant to address the dynamics of unknown future,” says the central bank governor.
10.35 am: In his concluding remarks, Das says central banks are typically seen as conservative institutions yet when the tide turns the world turns to the support of central banks world over.
10.32 am: “The combination of fiscal, monetary and administrative actions will create conditions for revival of economy in second half of FY21,” says Das.
10.30 am: The Reserve Bank of India also increases export credit period to 15 months from 1 year.
10.29 am: The RBI governor says group exposure limits of banks is being increased from 25% to 30%. This will be applicable till June 2021, he adds.
10.28 am: Das announces that moratorium on loans to be extended further by three months.
RBI expects GDP for 2020-’21 to be negative, extends loan moratorium by 3 months and cuts repo rate
10.27 am: The RBI governor announces regulatory and policy measures. This will include measures to support exports and imports, to improve functioning of markets, to ease financial stress by providing relief on debt servicing and steps to ease financial constraints of state governments.
10.25 am: Das says the GDP growth in 2020-’21 is estimated to remain in the negative territory.
10.23 am: “The MPC is of the view headline inflation will remain firm in first half of 2020 but will ease in second half,” says RBI governor. “By Q3 and Q4 of financial year it is expected that headline inflation will fall below the target of 4%.”
10.22 am: The governor says inflation forecasting has become complicated due to difficulty in data collection. “The Monetary Policy Committee assessed that inflation outlook is highly uncertain,” Das adds. “Supply shock in food inflation will show persistence depending upon the state of lockdown.”
10.20 am: Das says agriculture sector has been a beacon of hope. “By May 10, kharif sowing was higher by 44% compared to the last year,” he adds. “Rabi procurement in full flow benefiting the bumper harvest. Will support farm income.”
10.18 am: Investment demand has virtually been halted in March, the RBI governor says. He further adds that coronavirus has affected private consumption which accounts for 60% of domestic demand in the country.
10.17 am: Das adds that the top six industrialised states in India, which account for 60% of industrial output, are largely in red and orange zones.
10.15 am: The RBI governor says economic activity has been affected severely due to the nationwide lockdown.
10.12 am: Das says repo rate has been cut by 40 basis points from 4.4 % to 4%. Reverse repo rate stands reduced to 3.35%.
10.10 am: “Covid-19 has crippled the global economy,” says RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. He also says global economy is inexorably headed to recession.
10.05 am: RBI governor begins to brief the media.
10.03 am: This will be the third presser by the central bank’s chief on coronavirus-related financial measures in the last two months. He made the first such address on March 27 and the second on April 17.
Covid-19: Reverse repo rate cut from 4% to 3.75% to encourage banks to lend more, says RBI governor
Covid-19: RBI permits banks, NBFCs to allow 3-month moratorium on loans, cuts interest rates
10.02 am: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will soon address the media.
10 am: Odisha has 86 new cases, taking the state’s tally to 1,189, says the health department.
9.53 am: Rajasthan reports 54 new cases and one death as of 9 am. The state health department says the total number of cases in the state is now at 6,281, including 152 deaths.
9.49 am: The Karnataka government will levy Rs 200 fine for not wearing masks/face coverings in public places, says the commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike. Here is a zone-wise chart showing fines that have been collected so far.
9.44 am: Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar says the state has achieved its target of conducting 10,000 tests per day, reports ANI. On Thursday, the state tested 11,449 samples.
9.41 am: China decides to increase its military budget by 6.6% in 2020.
9.37 am: China kicks off its annual Parliament session. The government is avoiding to set any specific target for this year’s Gross Domestic Product.
9.36 am: Manipur will soon have up a dedicated quarantine centre for stranded members of the transgender community who are returning to the state, reports The Indian Express. The centre is located at the Government Blind School, Takyelpat in Imphal West district and can accommodate 24 people. “This facility will accommodate the trans community coming from ‘green zones’,” said Ngangom Uttam, the director of the state Social Welfare Department.
9.24 am: The Delhi High Court suspends the functioning of all subordinate courts and district court in the national Capital till May 31, reports ANI.
9.22 am: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi will chair a meeting of Opposition parties at 3 pm today. However, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are likely to give it a miss, according to NDTV. The Congress had sent invites to 18 opposition parties earlier this week.
9.17 am: India Post resumes booking for International Speed Post to 15 countries and International Tracked Packet Services, says Union minister RS Prasad. However, delivery timelines will depend on aviation services, he added.
Booking for other international parcel and letters will remain suspended.
9.11 am: Nepal’s health ministry confirms 30 new cases in the country. The total cases stand at 487 with three deaths.
9.01 am: In the last 24 hours, India reported 6,088 new cases and 148 fatalities.
8.59 am: India’s tally rises to 118,447, according to the Union health ministry. The toll is now 3,583.
8.57 am: Indian passengers arrive for the repatriation flight for Delhi from London.
8.56 am: People start gathering outside the Rail Reservation Centre of New Delhi station as reservation counters and Common Service Centers to book train tickets will resume today.
8.55 am: A report by a Group of Ministers headed by labour minister Thawarchand Gehlot shows 93 million urban informal workers have been affected by the ongoing pandemic and the lockdown, reports Hindustan Times. The workers mostly belong to five sectors – manufacturing, construction, trade, tourism and hospitality. However, Gehlot tells the newspaper that the content of the report “are not public yet”.
8.03 am: People arrive at the wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Ghazipur.
8.01 am: In the last 24 hours, the US recorded 1,255 deaths taking the total to 94,661. The country has so far confirmed 1,576,542 cases. President Trump orders the country’s flag to be flown at half-mast at all government buildings in memory of the virus victims.
7.58 am: The toll in Brazil crosses 20,000 after a record number of 1,188 fatalities in the last 24 hours, reports AFP.
7.55 am: However, the amount given to the family of a police official who dies of Covid-19 has been increased from Rs 7 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, say the Delhi Police.
7.53 am: The Delhi Police decides to reduce the amount given to personnel who test positive while on duty from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10,000, reports ANI. The decision has been taken as the Delhi Police bear hospital and other expenses.
7.50 am: Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das to hold a briefing at 10 am, reports ANI.
7.49 am: Indian Railways will reopen reservation counters at select stations and booking through Common Service Centres and agents from today. Booking of train tickets will resume at around 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country.
Covid-19: Booking to open at rail counters in 2-3 days, more trains to be announced, says Centre
7.44 am: US President Donald Trump once again says the deadly coronavirus came from China and his country is not going to take it lightly. “It came from China,” he adds. “We are not happy about it. We just signed a trade deal, the ink wasn’t dry and all of the sudden this floated in. We are not going to take it lightly.”
7.40 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday
- The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra crossed 40,000 on Thursday. The state reported over 2,300 new cases, taking the tally to 41,642. Mumbai has 25,317 cases now.
- India’s coronavirus tally rose to 1,12,359 with over 5,609 new infections being reported for the second day in a row, according to the Union health ministry. The toll is now 3,435.
- The Centre announced that it will cap ticket prices for the next three months between Rs 2,000 and Rs 18,600 for seven flight categories based on duration.
- The government also released standard operating procedures for resuming domestic flight operations from May 25. The key guidelines include mandatory use of the Aarogya Setu app for those above 14 years of age, sanitation of baggage before entering the airport, restrictions on vehicles entering the departure zone and web check-ins among others.
- Bookings for passenger trains at around 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country will resume in a few days, the Centre said. Passenger trains, apart from the 15 special ones, will resume in June.
- The Sports Authority of India introduced the Standard Operating Procedure for training activities to resume across the country.
- The world witnessed the largest daily rise in global cases on Wednesday. The World Health Organization said 1,06,000 new infections had been reported to them in the last 24 hours. Worldwide, the total number of cases is now more than five million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.