Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to chief ministers on Thursday and sought their views on the extension of the ongoing nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.
Maharashtra recorded 2,598 new cases on Thursday, taking the state’s tally to 59,546. The deaths rise to 1,982. India’s total count of cases rose to 1,58,333 on Thursday morning. The country’s toll jumped to 4,531 and 67,691 people have recovered so far.
The Supreme Court on Thursday said that stranded migrant workers should not be charged for travel either by train or buses and directed states to bear the expenses. State governments will also provide them food and water at stations and bus terminals, while the Railways will ensure meals for all during the journey.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 57.46 lakh people and claimed over 3.57 lakh lives, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. United States President Donald Trump described the virus as a “very bad gift from China”.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
10.50 pm: Pune reports 369 new cases and 10 deaths in 24 hours, taking the district’s tally to 7,012 and the toll to 310.
10.25 pm: Chhattisgarh reports 29 new cases, taking the total cases to 398.
10.14 pm: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says 367 domestic flights were operated on Thursday in India. They carried 30,136 passengers, PTI reports.
10.10 pm: Eleven police personnel of the Sadar Bazar police station in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, were quarantined after an inmate tested positive, PTI reports.
10.03 pm: The Centre removes restrictions on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients of pain reliever paracetamol, ANI reports.
10 pm: Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to chief ministers about the lockdown, ANI reports.
9.43 pm: More new cases today:
Himachal Pradesh: Five new cases, total rises to 281,
Rajasthan: 251 new cases, total rises to 8,067,
Telangana: 66 new cases, total rises to 1,908, toll at 67,
Gujarat: 367 new cases, total rises to 15,572; toll at 960,
Haryana: 123 new cases, total rises to 1,504.
9.30 pm: Mumbai reports 1,438 new cases and 38 deaths, taking the overall tally to 35,273 and the toll to 1,135.
9.20 pm: Haryana Minister Anil Vij says the state government has issued orders to completely seal the borders with Delhi due to the rise in coronavirus cases.
8.55 pm: Delhi records its highest single day increase in cases with 1,024 new patients. The total count in the national Capital rises to 16,281. The toll increases to 316, ANI reports.
8.38 pm: More new cases today:
Jammu and Kashmir: 115 new cases, total rises to 2,036,
Uttarakhand: seven new cases, total rises to 500,
Goa: one new cases, total rises to 69.
8.30 pm: English Premier League is expected to restart on June 17.
Read more here:
8.17 pm: United States President Donald Trump says: “All over the World the CoronaVirus, a very bad ‘gift’ from China, marches on. Not good!”
8.15 pm: Maharashtra records 2,598 new cases on Thursday, The Hindu reports. With this, the state’s tally rises to 59,546. The deaths rise to 1,982.
8.12 pm: The Karnataka government now clarifies that it only wants a reduction in the number of flights from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and not a complete ban.
“In a clarification issued to the media this evening, the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs JC Madhuswamy has said that Karnataka has not sought for imposing a ban on flights emanating from these places, as reported in some sections of the media,” the state government says in a press release. “Karnataka has appealed to the Civil Aviation Ministry to take steps to lessen the air traffic to the state, with the sacred intention that there may not be adequate quarantine facilities, if there is huge turn out at a short span of time, he added.”
The minister also said that restrictions have been imposed for people coming by road from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat “to ensure adequate quarantine facilities”, it adds.
7.58 pm: Five passengers who flew from Chennai to Salem test positive for the coronavirus.
7.56 pm: The Aam Aadmi Party-led government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that trade or consumption of liquor is not a fundamental right and the state has the authority to regulate its sale. The government was defending its move of imposing 70% extra tax on liquor, dubbed as ‘special corona fees’.
Read more here:
7.45 pm: The Ministry of External Affairs says 45,216 Indians have returned from foreign countries so far. “These include 8,069 migrant workers, 7,656 students and 5,107 professionals,” the MEA says. “About 5,000 Indians have returned through land border immigration checkpoints from Nepal and Bangladesh.”
7.23 pm: Patna High Court takes suo motu cognizance of a video that showed a toddler trying to wake his dead mother up at the Muzaffarpur railway station.
7.13 pm: West Bengal reports 344 new coronavirus cases and six deaths in 24 hours. The total now rises to 4,536 and the toll stands at 229.
7 pm: The National Human Rights Commission issues notices to chief secretaries of Gujarat and Bihar, the chairman of the Railway Board and the Union home secretary on media reports that there are delays in the departure and arrival of trains, leading to more difficulties for migrant workers.
“In one of the reports, it is alleged that many migrant labourers lost life during their journey by train due to longer duration and no arrangements for drinking water and food,” the NHRC says in a statement. “Reportedly, 2 persons died in Muzaffarpur and one each in Danapur, Sasaram, Gaya, Begusarai and Jehanabad in Bihar, including a 4 year old boy. All of them have reportedly died due to hunger. In another incident, a train reportedly started from Surat district in Gujarat for Siwan in Bihar on 16.05.2020 and reached Bihar on 25.05.2020 i.e. after 9 days.”
These, if true, amount to “gross violations of human rights”, the panel adds.
6.50 pm: New cases today:
Tamil Nadu: 827 new cases, total rises to 19,372
Dharavi, Mumbai: 36 new cases, total rises to 1,675; toll stands at 61,
Karnataka: 115 new cases, total rises to 2,533,
Punjab: 19 new cases reported, total rises to 2,158,
Assam: 25 new cases, total rises to 856; toll stands at 4.
6.40 pm: The second floor of the Delhi Jal Board office will remain closed till May 30 as three employees test positive, ANI reports.
6.30 pm: As many as 41 people have tested positive in the Mumbai Fire Brigade, ANI reports.
6.07 pm: Karnataka suspends flights, trains and other vehicles from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, ANI reports. But passengers who want to leave the state will be allowed to do so, say reports.
5.55 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh stands at 276, ANI reports, quoting the state health department’s figures. The toll from the disease is five.
5.46 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Ladakh stands at 54. Of these, 11 are active cases, while the remaining 43 patients have been discharged, ANI reports, quoting the government of the Union Territory.
5.32 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports seven more deaths and 80 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the state’s tally to 7,071, PTI reports. The toll is now 189.
5.21 pm: Over 165 migrant workers were ferried to Jharkhand from Mumbai in a chartered flight, arranged by the alumni network of National Law School, Bengaluru, PTI reports.
5.20 pm: The Delhi Police files 12 chargesheets against 541 foreign nationals from three countries for attending the Tablighi Jamaat’s religious congregation in Nizamuddin, PTI reports. The members are accused of violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and of violating government guidelines on the Covid-19 outbreak.
5.16 pm: Six people on board a flight from Chennai to Salem in Tamil Nadu, have tested positive, ANI reports.
5.14 pm: Kerala reports 84 new coronavirus cases in the state today, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says, according to ANI. “One death has been reported in the state,” he adds. “The deceased, who was a native of Telangana, had mistakenly boarded a train for Kerala instead.”
5.11 pm: The health ministry says that while researchers are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, there are five steps all individuals must take in the meantime to contain its outbreak. These are: Hygiene, decontamination of surfaces, physical distancing, tracking and testing.
4.53 pm: Manipur reports eleven new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s tally of coronavirus infections to 55, ANI reports.
4.38 pm: At the meeting, the Centre stressed that containment zones are to be geographically defined based on factors like mapping of cases and contacts and their geographical dispersion. This would enable in demarcating a well defined perimeter and enforcing the strict protocol of lockdown.
However, municipal corporations can decide if residential colonies, mohallas, municipal wards or police-station areas, municipal zones, towns can be designated as containment zones, as required.
4.35 pm: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting with municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 Covid-19 affected cities to take a review of the situation. Chief secretaries of all States and Union Territories concerned attended the meeting.
The cities – Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur – are considered to be the worst affected and constitute about 70% of the positive cases in the country.
4.32 pm: “The fight against Coronavirus will be won through vaccine and drugs,” VK Paul, member of Niti Aayog, says. “Our country’s science and technology institutions and pharma industry are very strong.” Paul adds that the benefits of hydroxychloroquine outweigh its risks. “We want it to be used as per recommendations made by the scientific community,” he says.
4.22 pm: There are about a total of 30 groups in India – big industries to individual academics – who are trying to develop vaccines, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India K Vijay Raghavan says.
Meanwhile, Niti Aayog member VK Paul says that India is trying many drugs, including Favipiravir, Tocilizumab, convalescent plasma, hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir.
4.17 pm: The health ministry begins its press briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country.
4.05 pm: The Supreme Court took up the matter of migrants’ travel and their care, after multiple deaths have been reported on board the trains transporting them back to their home states. Here are the key takeaways from today’s hearing:
- The top court observes that the Centre and state governments require to be given more time to bring the steps taken by them on record. However, in the meantime, it issued a set of interim directions to alleviate the misery of migrants.
- Migrant workers will not be charged fares for travel either by train or bus, while the railway fare is to be shared by states.
- They shall also be provided food by the concerned states and Union Territories during the period when they are waiting for their turn to board a train or a bus.
- The originating state will also provide them food and water at stations and bus terminals.
- During the journey, the Railways will ensure all workers are given timely meals.
- Food will also be provided to migrant workers during bus journeys.
- Meanwhile, states shall oversee the registration of migrants and will ensure that after registration, they are made to board transport as early as possible.
- The Supreme Court also directed all state governments to ensure that all migrant workers found walking on the roads are immediately taken to shelters and provided food and all other facilities.
- Details regarding the number of migrants awaiting transportation facilities, along with the plan for their travel and registration mechanism, should be provided by the Centre in its response to the top court.
- All responses are to be filed by June 5.
3.48 pm: The Supreme Court says details regarding the number of migrants awaiting transportation facilities, along with the plan for their travel and registration mechanism, should be provided by the Centre in its response to the court, Live Law reports. “Replies to be filed by June 5,” the court rules.
3.46 pm: The Supreme Court tells the government to ensure that all migrant workers found walking on the roads are immediately be taken to shelters and provided food and all other facilities.
3.42 pm: Food will also be provided to migrant workers during bus journeys, the top court rules. Meanwhile, states shall oversee the registration of migrants and will ensure that after registration, they are made to board transport as early as possible, Live Law reports.
3.40 pm: Migrants shall be provided food by the concerned state and Union Territories during the period when they are waiting for their turn to board a train or a bus, the court says. During the journey, the origin state will provide food and water to them, it adds.
3.38 pm: The court lists out these interim directions and rules that migrant workers will not be charged fares for travel either by train or bus, while the railway fare is to be shared by states, Live Law reports.
3.37 pm: The top court observes that the Centre and state governments require to be given more time to bring the steps taken by them on record, Live Law reports. “At present, looking at the miseries of the migrant workers, we are of the view that some interim directions need to be issued,” it adds.
3.34 pm: “There are several lapses that we have noticed in the process of registration, transportation and providing food water to the migrants,” the Supreme Court observes, according to Live Law. “Even after registration the migrants have to wait for a long time for their turns to come.”
3.28 pm: The Supreme Court is now dictating the order. “We are at present concerned with the miseries and difficulty of migrants trying to get to their native place,” the court says. “Although there is not doubt that concerned State Governments and Union Territories are taking steps, there are several lapses.”
3.24 pm: Singhvi tells the court that migrants are suffering in the absence of a nationwide plan, Live Law reports. “A large number of points of departure or arrival do not have relief camps,” he says. “There are groups of people standing at the bus stations and railway station. There is no supporting camp. No state, or nationwide plan.”
3.21 pm: The court is now hearing the arguments made by advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who is appearing for Congress leader Randeep Surjewala in a plea seeking intervention in the matter. “Migrants are reaching the station without knowing whether he is going to get in the train,” Singhvi says.
3.16 pm: Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for a migrant labour organisation, tells the court that given the current figures, it will take six to eight months for all migrants to get back home, Live Law reports. “We want food and water free [of cost] and immediately,” he says. “[The Centre] cannot have online registration... the registrar should be in person.”
3.09 pm: Advocate Kapil Sibal in his arguments cites the Disaster Management Act and the minimum standards of living laid out under it, Live Law reports. “Minimum standards include shelter, food, drinking water, medical cover and sanitation,” he says. But till date no minimum standards have been set up for any of the above categories, he claims.
“The problem has risen due to this,” Sibal adds. “There has to be coordination between national, state and district plans...[but] responsibility has been shifted to state governments.”
2.33 pm: Uttarakhand reports 24 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the state’s tally to 493, ANI reports, quoting the state health department’s figures.
2.25 pm: The Centre is doing a lot to contain the coronavirus outbreak, but there are “prophets of doom in our country who only spread negativity”, the solicitor general tells the court. “These armchair intellectuals do not recognise the nation’s efforts,” he adds.
2.16 pm: Mehta tells the court that the mechanism of transporting migrants is working at state levels, according to Live Law. “So [the Centre] will have to get feedback from the states,” he adds. “I am not shifting responsibility. All states are working in tandem.”
2.10 pm: The Supreme Court asks the Centre to provide an estimation of time needed to transport all migrants. “If a migrant is identified, there must be some certainty that he will be shifted out within one week or ten days at most?” the court observes. “What is that time?”
2.04 pm: When asked by when all the stranded migrant workers will be transported back to their native places, Mehta says that approximately one crore labourers have already been shifted, Live Law reports. “Several opted not to shift because of the reopening of activities,” he adds. “The states would be in a better position to estimate that.”
2.02 pm: The Centre tells the court that all migrants are being provided food even while waiting. To this the court asks, “Who is supplying the food?” Mehta responds, saying this is an unprecedented crisis and “we are taking unprecedented measures”.
1.56 pm: The top court points out that the first problem is that of transport, as migrants end up waiting for weeks to be ferried back home even after registration, Live Law reports.
“Are these people that going to be transported, are being asked to shell out any money at any stage?” the court asks. “With food surplus available with the Food Corporation of India, is food being supplied to them while they wait for being transported back?”
1.49 pm: The court asks the Centre to give clarity with respect to who will pay for the fare of trains operated for the migrants. To this, Mehta responds, “Either the receiving state pays to the railways or originating state pays...or in some cases, the money is reimbursed.”
Mehta adds that food and drinking water is provided to the workers by the railways free of cost. “The first meal is provided by state government ...once the train starts, the food is provided by the railways,” he adds. “ If the journey is short then one meal [is provided] and if it’s long then two meals [are given]...Indian railways has provided 84 lakh meals.”
1.46 pm: “The Centre and all state governments are working fully in cooperation across party lines,” Mehta tells the court. “About 50 lakh migrants have already been transported back to their native places in special trains.”
1.44 pm: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre, tells the Supreme Court that some isolated incidents have taken place pertaining to the plight of migrant labourers, but adds that these are being “shown repeatedly”, Live Law reports. “I have filed preliminary report,” he adds.
1.42 pm: The court is also hearing a plea filed by activist Medha Patkar, seeking for the provision of creating a “uniform platform ticketing system” for migrants travelling via trains, according to Live Law.
1.40 pm: The Supreme Court is hearing its suo motu case pertaining to the problems and miseries of migrant workers who are stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown, Live Law reports.
1.22 pm: Liquor shops in Kerala reopen after nearly two months, with a new mobile application being used to regulate crowds, PTI reports.
1.20 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan crosses the 61,000-mark with 2,076 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, PTI reports. The toll rose by 36 to 1,260.
1.12 pm: At least 131 officers of the Maharashtra Police test positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, ANI reports. The total number of cases in the unit rises to 2,095 and the toll is 22.
1.11 pm: The Southern Railway Division office in Chennai closes for disinfection after an official tests positive for the coronavirus, ANI reports. Other employees are being screened.
1.07 pm: Three more people test positive for Covid-19 in Himachal Pradesh, taking the total number of cases in the state to 277, PTI reports.
12.57 pm: The New Delhi Municipal Council seals its headquarter building in Central Delhi after a senior employee tested positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports.
12.48 pm: Karnataka reports 75 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally in the state to 2,493, ANI reports, quoting the state government’s figures. The toll is 47.
12.46 pm: A 28-year-old man was arrested from Mumbai for allegedly selling fake travel passes to migrant labourers during the lockdown, PTI reports.
12.40 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi launches her party’s Speak up India campaign and urges Centre to unlock its coffers and help those affected by the economic and social fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Put direct cash of Rs 7,500 per month in the account of every family for the next six months and provide Rs 10,000 immediately,” Gandhi says, as she lists out some steps the Centre should take to help the poor. “Ensure safe and free travel of labourers back home, employment opportunity and rations...and also increase the number of work days under MNREGA to 200 days to facilitate jobs in villages.”
12.36 pm: An asymptomatic passenger, who travelled on an IndiGo flight from Bengaluru to Madurai on Wednesday, tests positive, News18 reports. The operating crew of the flight has been put under home quarantine for two weeks.
12.05 pm: The nursing staff of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, protest against the hospital administration after the pregnant wife of a senior nursing officer was denied treatment because they lived in a hotspot area of the city, PTI reports.
12.02 pm: About 12.2 crore Indians were forced out of jobs in April, according to estimates from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, a private sector think tank, Bloomberg Quint reports.
11.55 am: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 22nd Financial Stability and Development Council meeting via video conferencing in New Delhi. The FSDC meeting will review the measures taken to maintain financial stability amid the pandemic.
11.46 am: Delhi, which reported 792 new infections on Wednesday, its highest single-day rise so far, has now overtaken Gujarat to reclaim the number three position in the list of states with maximum number of coronavirus cases. The Capital now has 15,257 confirmed infections with 303 deaths.
11.32 am: In Andhra Pradesh, the number of coronavirus cases rises to 2,841 after the state reports 54 new infections and one death in the last 24 hours, ANI reports. The toll here is now 59.
11.26 am: Two migrant workers in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh die by suicide, days after returning home amid the countrywide lockdown, PTI reports. They were reportedly under acute financial distress.
11.19 am: The government of Cyprus says it will bear the holiday costs in terms of accomodation, medicine and food, for anyone who tests positive for the virus after travelling there, BBC reports. The country has confirmed 939 infections and 17 deaths so far.
11.15 am: Rajasthan reports 131 new cases of the coronavirus with six deaths, ANI reports, quoting the state health department. The state now has 7,947 cases with 179 deaths.
11.02 am: The Noida administration says it will seal only a tower and not an entire residential complex if a resident tests positive, The Indian Express reports. The decision was made as per a state government order revising containment zone demarcations in the district.
10.58 am: The Producers Guild of India issues a list of general practices in a 37-page “new working protocol”, to be implemented when the entertainment industry resumes shooting, The Indian Express reports. This includes:
- Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses and other physical greetings.
- Sharing of cigarettes should be stopped on sets/ offices/ studios.
- A two-metre distance between colleagues must be maintained.
10.53 am: Odisha records 67 more cases of Covid-19, ANI reports, quoting health department’s figures. The state now has 1,660 cases.
10.51 am: France, Italy and Belgium have all taken steps against the use of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in treating patients with Covid-19 as safety concerns over the drug, touted by US President Donald Trump, continue to grow, The Guardian reports.
10.48 am: The Centre issues a notification with retrospective effect that enables the treatment of contributions made by companies to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or PM CARES Fund, as corporate social responsibility spending, The Hindustan Times reports.
10.44 am: The Federation of Indian Export Organisations writes to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking her intervention for an early resumption of trade through land ports along India’s border with Bangladesh, PTI reports.
10.27 am: Planemaker Boeing says it will eliminate 12,000 jobs in US, including 6,770 involuntary layoffs, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.
10.21 am: A woman, who was travelling on a Shramik Express train, gives birth to a baby at a hospital in Bihar’s Sheikhpura district.
10.10 am: The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to impose a fine of Rs 2,000 on people violating home quarantine norms, according to PTI. The state has reported over 7,000 coronavirus cases and 313 deaths.
10.07 am: Over the last week, scores of reports have emerged of how the Indian Railways has mismanaged the movement of Shramik Express trains, leading to delays stretching on for days, with passengers going hungry and without water.
10.04 am: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will hold a video conference with the municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 cities to discuss the coronavirus crisis, PTI reports, quoting home ministry officials.
9.58 am: Himachal Pradesh reports three more cases, according to ANI. The state’s tally rises to 276.
9.52 am: A traffic jam is seen at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border near Ghazipur.
9.50 am: The Mizoram government says it will resume Class 12 board examinations, suspended midway due to the coronavirus pandemic, from June 16, PTI reports.
9.44 am: The World Health Organization on Wednesday announced the creation of a foundation to tap new sources to fund the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
9.38 am: A recent observational study – the largest of its kind – published in the renowned medical journal, The Lancet showed that the patients who were given hydroxychloroquine were more likely to develop heart-related complications and die. After the study was published, the World Health Organisation “temporarily suspended” trials of the drug, citing safety concerns.
9.35 am: Brazil’s toll crosses 25,000, AFP reports. The country has reported 4 lakh coronavirus cases so far.
9.28 am: American Airlines says it will have to reduce its management and support staff by about 30% and may have to sack frontline employees as it downsizes due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.
9.25 am: Passengers queue up at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata as domestic flights resume in West Bengal.
9.19 am: The first Disney theme park in the United States will reopen in a phased manner from July 11.
9.17 am: Britain temporarily closes its embassy in North Korea amid strict coronavirus restrictions, Reuters reports.
9.13 am: Himachal Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajeev Bindal resigned from his position on Wednesday, just four months after his appointment, over the arrest of a senior state health official in a scam related to the procurement of medical supplies amid the coronavirus crisis.
9.08 am: The Delhi Police will file 12 chargesheets against 536 foreign nationals over the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, PTI reports.
8.53 am: India’s total count of cases rises to 158,333 after 6,566 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, says the Union health ministry. The toll in the country jumps by 194 to 4,531. Across the country, 67,691 people have recovered so far.
8.49 am: Domestic flight operations at Kolkata airport resume, reports PTI. The first flight from Kolkata left for Guhawati at 6.05 am with 40 passengers while 122 passengers arrived from New Delhi.
8.33 am: Mumbai fire brigade officials rescue at least 25 doctors after a major blaze broke out in a five-storey hotel, reports PTI.
8.20 am: China reports two new cases, according to Reuters.
8.16 am: People arrive at wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Gazipur.
8.08 am: Nine migrants have died on board Shramik Express trains since Monday as the extreme heat adds to the misery of lakhs of people trying to reach home amid the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus.
8.05 am: Out of the 1,239 samples tested on Wednesday, 25 are positive, says King George’s Medical University in Lucknow.
7.58 am: The United States’ toll crosses 1 lakh. The country has reported 16,99,126 cases so far.
7.41 am: Telangana allows all shops, except malls in Hyderabad, to open from today, reports News18.
7.40 am: The Mathura district administration will set up paid quarantine centres in the city, reports PTI. “These centres would have better food and lodging facilities,” says Agra Division Commissioner Anil Kumar.
7.36 am: Manipur’s tally rises to 44 after five more people test positive, reports PTI.
7.34 am: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal claims the worst for the economy is over, reports Hindustan Times. “...It would be better to be ready and start working for the post-Covid period, with good ideas, firm implementation plans, and to make India a world power,” he says at a meeting with industry and trade associations.
7.33 am: SpiceJet says two passengers on board its Ahmedabad-Guwahati via Delhi flight on Monday have tested positive, reports News18. “Covid tests were conducted at Guwahati after landing and the passengers were quarantined,” the airline adds. “The test reports came on May 27. The operating crew has been quarantined and SpiceJet is coordinating with government agencies in notifying other passengers who had travelled with them.”
7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday
- The Union health ministry on Wednesday said that India’s coronavirus recovery rate is now 42.4%. The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 1,51,767 and the toll reached 4,337. Across the country, 64,426 people have recovered. Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally rose to 56,948 and the toll to 1,897, while Tamil Nadu’s tally crossed 18,000.
- The Supreme Court directed the Centre to identify private hospitals where coronavirus patients could be treated for free or at minimum cost. The top court’s direction came in response to a petition claiming that private hospitals across the country were exploiting patients to make a “fortune out of their miseries” amid the health crisis.
- Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to intervene in a case pertaining to the plight of migrant labourers, stranded due to the countrywide lockdown enforced to contain the coronavirus. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that a full lockdown was damaging and the sooner we got out of it, the better. He added that life will change post the coronavirus outbreak and will alter the existing structure in the world.
- The Centre said Class 10 and Class 12 students of the Central Board of Secondary Education, who have moved to their hometowns or other districts during the nationwide lockdown, can take their examinations from those places.
- Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said people arriving in the state should either carry a negative Covid-19 test report or get tested on arrival.
- Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said the state would like to open temples, mosques and churches after May 31. The government said that it will wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research removed the price cap of Rs 4,500 for the real-time polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR, test. It has now given states a free hand to negotiate with the approved list of laboratories and fix the cost.
- More than 55.8 lakh coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, including over 3.50 lakh deaths, according to a tracker by the Johns Hopkins University.