The Delhi government on Wednesday said that all asymptomatic travellers to the Capital will have to be in home quarantine for a week. The number of cases in Delhi are 23,645 and 606 patients have died so far.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said that it will resume clinical trials of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, a week after the global body decided to temporarily halt the drug citing safety concerns.
Earlier in the day, India’s coronavirus cases crossed 2 lakh, two days after the lockdown measures were considerably eased and the economy began to re-open. The cases jumped by 8,909 over the previous day in one of the highest single-day rise, taking the tally to 2,07,615. The toll from the disease stood at 5,815 after 217 casualties.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 63.77 lakh people and claimed over 3.8 lakh lives as of Wednesday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins University. As many as 27.3 lakh people have recovered.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
10.53 pm: Read today’s top updates here.
10.52 pm: Delhi records 1,513 coronavirus cases and nine deaths, taking the total tally of infections in the Union Territory to 23,645, ANI reports, quoting the health department figures. The toll is now 606.
10.15 pm: WHO resumes trial of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. “On the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee recommended that there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol,” a statement from the world body reads. “The Executive Group received this recommendation and endorsed continuation of all arms of the Solidarity Trial, including hydroxychloroquine.”
10 pm: Asymptomatic travellers to Delhi have to be in home quarantine for a week, says the Capital’s Disaster Management Authority, according to ANI.
8.40 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party attacks West Bengal government after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged Centre to provide one-time assistance of Rs 10,000 each to migrant workers, reports PTI. “Why is the Banerjee government not giving financial help to migrant labourers of West Bengal,” asks BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. “She is in power in that state and not sitting in the opposition. Why isn’t her government providing help from its coffers?”
8.33 pm: West Bengal reports 340 fresh coronavirus cases and 10 deaths. The state now has 6,508 total infections and the toll has risen to 273.
8.30 pm: The United States has ordered suspension of Chinese passenger flights into and out of the country after Beijing failed to comply with an existing agreement on flights between the two countries, reports AFP. “US carriers have asked to resume passenger service, beginning June 1,” the US Transportation Department says in a statement. “The Chinese government’s failure to approve their requests is a violation of our Air Transport Agreement.”
The suspension order comes into effect from June 16. Relations between the two countries have been tense in recent months. President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China’s Wuhan city.
8.28 pm: Spain is working on plans to gradually open its borders to tourists from countries deemed more secure in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, reports Reuters, citing the tourism ministry.
8.15 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Gujarat has risen to 18,117 after 485 new infections, reports PTI. With 30 more deaths, the toll has risen to 1,122.
8.08 pm: Mumbai’s total coronavirus cases have crossed the 43,000-mark to reach 43,492, reports The Hindu. The city recorded 1,276 new cases. The toll has risen to 1,417 after 49 new casualties.
8.06 pm: Maharashtra records 2,560 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s total numbers to 74,860, according to PTI. With 122 deaths, the toll has increased to 2,587.
8.02 pm: The Aam Aadmi Party government claims that the Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi is giving out erroneous coronavirus test results and violating government norms of submitting the same within 48 hours, reports PTI.
“As per the protocol and to maintain the certainty of the tests, the Delhi government checks the test results of the hospitals by retesting some samples time and again,” says AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha. “Recently, the Delhi government took 30 samples from RML Hospital which were declared to be positive [by the hospital] and sent for re-testing. You will be surprised to know that the result of 12 samples out of the 30 came negative and results for two samples were inconclusive.”
7.55 pm: Chhattisgarh reports second death due to the coronavirus, according to Hindustan Times. A 55-year-old woman from Durg district tested positive after her death on Tuesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Raipur district.
7.52 pm: Several migrant workers protest outside the district collector’s office in Amritsar, demanding travel arrangements to return to their native places, reports ANI.
7.47 pm: More new cases in states/Union Territories:
7.40 pm: Italians were allowed to travel to other regions of the country today for the first time in nearly three months after the easing of coronavirus restrictions, reports Reuters.
7.32 pm: Congress accuses the Centre of distorting facts on payments for special train services and demands that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal either resign or be removed from the post, PTI reports. The party is referring to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s comments before the Supreme Court that state governments receiving or sending migrants were paying for the transportation.
“It is now clear that the Central government has been distorting facts and being less than fair with the public regarding rail travel for labourers and migrant labourers,” says Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi. “This is a very serious point on which we need to pin down the government. With this kind of clear contradictions, how is it that the railway minister will not resign or will not be removed? One of the two must happen.”
7.27 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research, the country’s nodal body for coronavirus testing, says real-time polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR tests, has crossed the 40 lakh-mark, reports PTI.
7.22 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi slum has recorded 19 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total infections in the area to 1,849, reports ANI. The toll stands at 71.
7.18 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s discussion with industrialist Rajiv Bajaj on the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis will be released tomorrow. This is part of a series of video-conference of the Congress MP with intellectuals on charting a path to recovery after the pandemic.
7.15 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath says despite higher estimates by experts, the state has only around 3,000 active cases now, reports PTI. “It’s all about management,” he says. “In India in general and in Uttar Pradesh too, timely steps were taken to keep the cases low. The state has reported around 8,000 cases so far. Of these, around 5,000 people have recovered and gone home, leaving behind about 3,000 active cases.”
7.09 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet today on removing restrictions on the purchase and sale of crops has fulfilled a decades-old demand of the farmers. “Long-pending agrarian reforms will enable the transformation of the sector,” Modi tweets.
7 pm: Karnataka reports 267 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s infection count to 4,063.
6.52 pm: News agency ANI has issued a clarification saying no dates have been decided for reopening schools in Karnataka. The state government has sought feedback from parents, teachers and committees of schools for reopening next month.
6.49 pm: The West Bengal government is planning to change the protocol of declaring an area as a containment zone, and involve local people in monitoring the situation, according to PTI. “We are trying to find out whether local people can be given the entire responsibility of policing these areas,” an unindentified official tells the news agency.
6.45 pm: Haryana resumes inter-state bus services after over two months, reports PTI. It has also has issued Standard Operating Procedures for travel. Passengers are required to carry their identity proofs and tickets, in either electronic mode or physical form. The staff, as well as passengers, must have Aarogya Setu app downloaded.
6.38 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 1,286 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the state’s tally to 25,872.
6.26 pm: The Karnataka education department says Classes 4 to 7 will start from July 1, while classes 1 to 3 and 8 to 10 will begin from July 15, reports ANI.
6.18 pm: The AIIMS Nurses’ Union protest has entered the third day, reports PTI. The nurses body has called for implementation of a uniform four-hour shift with personal protective equipment in coronavirus-affected areas of the hospital, a uniform rotation policy between Covid-19 and non-coronavirus areas.
6.12 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says 82 new coronavirus cases have been recorded today in the state, reports News18. Of the new cases, 53 are returnees from abroad and 19 from other states.
5.58 pm: India is likely to see a steady rise of the coronavirus cases this month, a global forecast model prepared by Chinese researchers has predicted, reports Hindustan Times. “For May 28, we had predicted 7,607 new cases of Covid-19 in India, which is close to the reported number,” says Huang Jianping, director of Lanzhou University’s collaborative innovation center. “Our prediction is at an initial stage. Error analysis will soon be updated on our website.”
5.49 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says the complete lockdown has helped the Delhi government to strengthen the city’s health infrastructure to effectively tackle the coronavirus outbreak, reports PTI. “As Delhi got its first Covid-19 positive case on March 2, it was very important to curb the spread of the disease,” he adds. “The total lockdown enabled us to spread awareness about the virus among the citizens and strengthen our health infrastructure to effectively battle the disease.”
5.45 pm: The toll from the coronavirus pandemic in United Kingdom has crossed 50,000-mark, according to a Reuters tally of official data.
5.37 pm: Sweden’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the man behind a national strategy that avoided a strict lockdown, says the country should have done more to rein in the coronavirus outbreak, reports Reuters. “If we were to run into the same disease, knowing exactly what we know about it today, I think we would end up doing something in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” he says.
Tegnell, who had earlier criticised other countries’ strict lockdowns, also says there is potential for improvement.
5.30 pm: National carrier Air India will operate 75 flights from India to select destinations in the United States and Canada from June 9 to 30. “Bookings on these flights, ex India only, will tentatively be open from 1700 hours on June 5, 2020, only through Air India website,” says a tweet.
5.22 pm: The Bombay High Court has directed the Centre to submit data of passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus after landing in India under the Vande Bharat Mission, reports Live Law. The court was hearing a petition that alleged that Air India violated the rule of keeping the middle seat empty during evacuation of stranded passengers from the United States.
5.18 pm: The operation of special trains to ferry migrants from Delhi has ended as the Arvind Kejriwal government made no new demands, officials tell PTI. Last three trains were operated on May 31.
5.15 pm: Madras High Court asks Tamil Nadu government to provide food, shelter and access to medical facilities to migrant workers on war footing, reports PTI. The court says states cannot be ungrateful after having extracted work from labourers.
5.07 pm: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says international flight operations will resume as soon as situation normalises. “We are continuously monitoring the situation and will consider restarting international flights as soon as situation normalises a bit and poses no danger to our citizens,” he tweets. “We will also have to consider that countries where we intend to fly are open to incoming foreign citizens.”
5 pm: Germany will lift travel ban for European Union member states along with Britain, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from June 15 as long as there are no entry bans or large-scale lockdowns in these countries to tackle coronavirus pandemic, reports Reuters.
4.52 pm: “About 8.5 lakh migrant workers have entered West Bengal so far, by June 10 the figure will be 10.5 lakh,” says Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, according to PTI. “Some people are spreading canards that we are not willing to bring back migrants, this is absolutely false.”
4.44 pm: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says Cabinet has approved ordinance to give farmers, traders freedom to sell and purchase farm produce. He also says farmers can now engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters.
4.40 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says two drivers at Nabanna have tested positive for Covid-19, adding that all drivers have been asked to get tested.
4.32 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says six of a family in Mangor Hill area of the state have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports ANI. He adds that the area has been declared as a containment zone. Additionally, 40 others in the area also tested positive, but most of the cases are asymptomatic, says the chief minister.
4.18 pm: The Centre has relaxed visa and travel restrictions for certain categories of foreign nationals who need to come to India. This includes entry of foreign businessmen on chartered flights, foreign health care professionals, engineering, managerial, design specialists and technical experts. They will have to seek fresh business visas.
The entry of foreigners is suspended since March 22 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
4.12 pm: Javadekar says Cabinet has also approved the establishment of a pharmacopoeia commission as a subordinate office under the AYUSH or ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy.
4.10 pm: The Cabinet has approved the decision to rename the Kolkata Port Trust to Syama Prasad Mookerjee Trust.
4.07 pm: To ensure enhancement of investments in India, an empowered group of secretaries has been formed, says Union minister Prakash Javadekar.
4.05 pm: Javadekar says the farmer now has the right to sell anywhere he wants to, adding that the Narendra Modi government has always taken care of them.
4.02 pm: Farmers have been freed from the constraints of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, says Javadekar.
4 pm: We are now moving towards one nation and one government, says Javadekar. The Essential Commodities Act was amended to help farmers. The same will result in better prices for their crops.
3.58 pm: Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Narendra Singh Tomar address media.
3.50 pm: AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh says that he will use 34 domestic flight tickets entitled to him in a year as an MP to take 33 migrant workers from Delhi to Patna in Bihar. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised Singh, saying his initiative is inspiring.
3.47 pm: According to the Indian Railways, 265 special trains have been cancelled by state government’s since May 1, reports PTI. Of these, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh account for the highest cancellations.
3.43 pm: Steel Authority of India says five employees working at the company’s corporate office in Delhi have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. “A government-appointed agency has been engaged to do fumigation at SAIL’s headquarters at Lodi Road, which is being carried out extensively for two days,” reads a statement. “The office has been closed for June 3 and 4 and the employees have been asked to work from home.”
3.29 pm: Four doctors at a government hospital in Hyderabad test positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. An unidentified official says that the hospital has informed the health department officials and it is also taking precautionary measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
3.26 pm: A special Air India flight brought back 153 stranded Indians from Dubai under the Centre’s Vande Bharat Mission, unidentified Chandigarh international airport officials tell PTI. The AI 1916 flight landed at the airport on Tuesday night.
3.21 pm: The number of coronavirus cases in Telangana touched 2,891 as 99 more cases were reported on Tuesday, the state health department says. Of the 99 cases, 87 are people from the state and 12 are migrants. Meanwhile, four more patients died taking the state’s toll to 92.
3.17 pm: A resident of Meghalaya who returned from Uttar Pradesh’s Agra city tests positive for the coronavirus. This takes the state’s total to 31 cases.
3.06 pm: Vietnam’s severely-ill coronavirus patient has started to recover, Reuters quotes state media as saying on Wednesday. The Vietnam government has taken all efforts to save the 43-year-old man, who is officially called “Patient 91” by the government. The country has not reported any deaths owing to coronavirus so far.
2.54 pm: The total number of coronavirus cases in Uttarakhand increases to 1,066, with 23 new cases on Wednesday. The state’s toll rises to eight.
2.49 pm: The Rajasthan government imposed a surcharge of up to Rs 30 on liquor to increase revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports. The surcharge on Indian-made Foreign Liquor will be Rs 5 for 180 ml and 375 ml bottles, breezers, miniature and other packaging. It will be Rs 10 for 750 ml bottles. For beers, Rs 20 will be charged for 650 ml and 500 ml bottles besides Rs 30 on BIO (bottled in origin).
2.42 pm: Odisha reports 143 new cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of people infected with Covid-19 to 2,388, according to the state health department. Of the 143 cases, 132 were detected in quarantine centres, and 11 others were found during contact tracing. Seven people have died in the state so far.
2.29 pm: Assam records 51 more coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the day’s tally to 111. The state now has a total of 1,672 Covid-19 cases. Four people have died.
2.26 pm: Russia recorded 8,863 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The total number of cases in Russia is now 4,23,741, making it the world’s third worst-affected country during the pandemic.
2.20 pm: China rejects a news report that said the country delayed sharing information on the coronavirus with the World Health Organization, Reuters reports. It says the report is totally untrue.
2.15 pm: The Australia government says the country is in recession, after the economy was severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says the economy contracted 0.3% in the three months ending March.
1.56 pm: The administration at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences issued a show-cause notice to a senior resident doctor who had flagged safety concerns about the protective gears given to healthcare workers at the hospital, PTI reports. Dr Srinivas Rajkumar T had tweeted on May 25 that the statistics provided by the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research about N95 masks were a lie.
1.46 pm: The Gujarat government has formed an expert committee of doctors to help in formulating strategies to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and revamp the state’s health care system, an unidentified official tells PTI. “The panel will give suggestions to the state government on revamping the public health system, overall health facilities and treatment protocol,” an unidentified official from the Chief Minister’s office says. Gujarat is one of the worst-affected states in the country with 17,617 Covid-19 cases and 1,092 deaths.
1.39 pm: Twenty-seven new coronavirus cases were reported in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district in the last 24 hours, an unidentified health official tells PTI. With this, Indore, one of the worst-affected districts in the state, now has a total of 3,597 cases.
1.21 pm: Director General and Health Secretary of Sikkim Pempa T Bhutia says that one more person who returned from Delhi on May 25 tested positive, ANI reports. He says that the state now has two positive Covid-19 cases, both of which are asymptomatic.
1.14 pm: Mizoram will soon get four more real-time polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR machines to boost its coronavirus testing capacity, state Health Minister R Lalthangliana says, according to PTI. Lalthangliana says that the procurement process for the RT-PCR machines, including one from a private donor, is currently underway.
1.07 pm: A person who returned to Meghalaya from Tamil Nadu and tested positive for the coronavirus on May 19 has now recovered, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma says.
1.01 pm: The Delhi government forms a five-member committee of doctors to prepare a report on the situation of hospitals in the national Capital, availability of medical facilities and providing medical aid to patients from outside Delhi, ANI reports.
12.43 pm: Pakistan reports 4,132 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the health ministry says, according to PTI. The country now has a total of 80,463 Covid-19 cases.
12.36 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 180 new coronavirus cases and four more deaths, PTI reports. It now has a total of 3,971 cases, according to the state government’s bulletin.
12.32 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says that owing to the coronavirus pandemic, people are facing economic hardship of unimaginable proportions. “I appeal to the Centre to transfer Rs 10,000 each as one-time aid to migrant labourers, including people in the unorganised sector,” Banerjee says, according to ANI. “A portion of the PM CARES [fund] could be used for this,” she adds.
Read more here:
12.29 pm: The Delhi government says that the total of number of containment zones in the national Capital is now 158, ANI reports. Till date, 58 zones have been de-contained.
12.27 pm: Jharkhand records 51 new coronavirus cases. The state now has a total of 726 cases, and five people have died of Covid-19.
12.22 pm: Rajasthan reports 102 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 9,475. The virus has killed 203 people in the state, says the health department.
12.19 pm: Assam reports 60 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday. Covid-19 has killed four people in the state so far, and 337 have recovered.
12.16 pm: Forty-seven more police personnel in Maharashtra tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, ANI reports. This takes the total of number of police officers infected with Covid-19 to 2,556.
11 am: The family of a Covid-19 victim in Jammu alleged that they had to flee with his half-burnt body on Tuesday after a mob disrupted the last rites. The 72-year-old man died at the Government Medical College hospital on Monday – the fourth victim from the region.
Read more here:
10.40 am: The Delhi government revises its testing strategy, ANI reports.
10.30 am: The cyclone has also affected transport services in Mumbai. The Central Railways rescheduled several special trains which were supposed to arrive or depart from Mumbai on Wednesday. Only five airlines – Air Asia India, Air India, IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet – will operate a total of 19 flights from Mumbai international airport, reports NDTV. Authorities have cautioned passengers about probable changes in the schedule of the flights due to the cyclone.
10.25 am: Cyclone Nisarga, which is expected to hit the coast near Alibag in Maharashtra this afternoon, has forced authorities in Mumbai to shift about 150 patients from the makeshift Covid-19 hospital in Bandra Kurla Complex to the NSCI Exhibition Centre in Worli and Sion Hospital.
Since Bandra Kurla Complex is a low-lying area, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority authorities have decided to take extra precaution.
10.19 am: New Zealand has reported its 12th consecutive day with no cases. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she could lift all social distancing measures to return the country to normal life, bar the international border closure, as early as next week.
10.11 am: A total of 41,03,233 samples have been tested till now, of which 1,37,158 samples have been tested in the last 24 hours, says ICMR according to ANI.
10.04 am: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has once again brushed off the coronavirus threat, The Guardian reports. “I regret each of the deaths – but that’s everyone’s destiny,” he tells reporters. Brazil is one of the worst-affected countries in the world with over 5.55 lakh infections.
9.57 am: Rafale jets will be delivered to India on time despite the coronavirus crisis, PTI reports quoting government officials. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with his French counterpart Florence Parly on Tuesday, during which France communicated that the aircraft will be delivered on time.
9.49 am: A mob disrupted the last rites of a Covid-19 victim and forced his family members to flee with the half-burnt body, in Jammu on Tuesday, Rising Kashmir reports. “We had set out for the funeral along with a revenue official and a medical team, and had lit the pyre at a cremation ground in Domana area when a large group of local residents appeared at the scene and disrupted the last rites,” the son of deceased says.
9.40 am: India’s total number of infections rises to 207,615, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The toll has risen to 5,815.
9.35 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that it is “criminal” on the part of the government not to give immediate cash support to the micro, small and medium enterprises. “11 crore Indians are employed by MSMEs. 1/3rd of them are closing down permanently,” he tweets. “It’s criminal for GOI not to give them cash support immediately.”
9.27 am: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the Centre will consider allowing cinema halls to reopen after assessing the status of the coronavirus crisis in June, PTI reports. The minister has conveyed this to the Association of Film Producers, Cinema Exhibitioners and Film Industry representatives during a video conference.
9.23 am: United States President Donald Trump has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his country will be ready to ship the first tranche of 100 donated ventilators to India next week, PTI reports. “The president was happy to announce that the United States would be ready to ship the first tranche of 100 donated ventilators to India next week,” the White House says in a readout of the call.
9.20 am: The Railways has operated 4,155 “Shramik Special” trains ferrying more than 57 lakh migrant workers since May 1, PTI reports.
9.15 am: More than one lakh samples are being tested every day, the Indian Council of Medical Research said on Tuesday, ANI reports.
“ICMR is focusing on to increase Covid-19 testing capacity,” ICMR scientist Nivedita Gupta said. “As of June 1, we have 681 laboratories that are approved for conducting Covid-19 tests – 476 government and 205 private labs. Today, we are conducting 1.20 lakh tests every day.”
She added: “Instead of the use of “community transmission”, we need to understand the extent of the spread of the disease. We are far from the peak. Our measures to curtail the disease are effective. India has been very good in the reduction in mortality.”
8.15 am: New Zealand has reported the 12th consecutive day of no new cases, the Guardian reports. Only one person is still recovering from the virus. The country has reported fewer than 1,500 cases and 22 deaths.
“Even though are in this very favourable position in New Zealand, there are record numbers of cases being reported globally every day,” Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health says. “This pandemic continues apace outside our borders and we cannot afford to let our guard down.”
8 am: The number of deaths in Brazil crosses 30,000.
7.55 am: The East Coast Railway will run five intra-state special trains in Odisha from June 8. They will travel to Sambalpur, Balangir, Bhadrak, Brahmapur and Koraput districts, PTI reports.
7.52 am: Pakistan Cabinet approves the export of domestically-manufactured Personal Protective Equipment and sanitizers, PTI reports. The country has a total of 76,398 infections and 1,621 deaths so far.
7.48 am: Some of the controversies include the ban on cigarettes and tobacco products but not alcohol in level three of the restrictions in South Africa, according to PTI. Another was the home delivery of food items in level four. Only home delivery was allowed, which led to several people getting the food delivered to their cars outside the restaurant.
“One need only to think of the irrationality in being allowed to buy a jersey but not undergarments or open-toed shoes and the criminalisation of many of the regulatory measures,” Judge Norman Davis said. “Despite these failures of the rationality test in so many instances, there are regulations which pass muster. The cautionary regulations relating to education (closure of schools), prohibitions against evictions (during the lockdown)...and the closures of night clubs and fitness centres, for example, as well as the closure of borders, all appear to be rationally connected to the stated objectives.”
7.45 am: A High Court in South Africa on Tuesday ruled that some coronavirus restrictions were “unconstitutional” and “invalid”, PTI reports. South Africa had implemented a lockdown in March and is now slowly relaxing them. On Monday, it was relaxed to level 3 of a five-level risk-adjusted strategy. The virus has infected nearly 36,000 people and killed over 700.
7.40 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot directs officials to conduct university exams in July, PTI reports.
7.38 am: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday imposed Rs 10,000 as fine on a couple in Gurdaspur for not wearing masks during their wedding, PTI reports.
7.35 am: The number of cases in West Bengal rises to 6,168 after the state records 396 new cases on Tuesday, PTI reports, citing the state health department’s figures. The toll from the virus is 263.
7.30 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday:
- India reported 8,171 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, including 204 more deaths. The total number of cases stood at 1,98,706, and the toll rose to 5,598. India is now the seventh most-affected country in the world.
- The number of coronavirus cases in Delhi rose to 22,132 after 1,298 cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The toll due to the outbreak is 556.
- The Centre said that India’s recovery rate is now 48.07% and that fatality rate has continuously declined. “It was 3.30% on April 15, 3.25% on May 3, it went down to 3.15% on May 18 and it is now 2.82%,” Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal said at a press conference. He added that it is one of the lowest in the world.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will be back on the track of economic growth after the lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic is over. He added that the task to boost and stabilise the economy must continue along with the fight against the health crisis.
- India’s unemployment rate in May remained very high at 23.5%, but a total of 2.1 crore jobs were added as the labour market conditions improved last month, showed data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.
- Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu took part in a religious procession in Chitradurga district with hundreds of supporters, in complete violation of the physical distancing guidelines to fight the coronavirus outbreak. A video of the procession was widely shared on social media.
- The Delhi High Court said it would monitor the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s order on disposal of the bodies of coronavirus patients. The High Court had last week taken note of reports on lack of facilities to cremate those who died of Covid-19 and of bodies piling up in the mortuaries.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a mobile application to help people find hospital beds and ventilators for coronavirus patients. Kejriwal added that people should call a helpline number in case hospitals deny them beds.
- The Centre requested the Bombay High Court to dismiss a petition seeking that the donations and expenditure of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or PM CARES fund – created to tackle the coronavirus pandemic – be made public.