10.50 pm: Mumbai reports 1,298 new Covid-19 cases, and 67 deaths. The total number of cases in the city is now 62,799, including 31,856 recoveries, 27,634 active cases and 3,309 deaths.

10.38 pm: Delhi Disaster Management Authority fixes the rates of the RT-PCR test at a maximum of Rs 2,400 with immediate effect, ANI reports. This is pursuant to a central government order issued on Wednesday.

Read: Coronavirus: Testing rates in Delhi capped at Rs 2,400

10.33 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who is in hospital after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, has improved slightly, senior officials at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital say according to PTI. However, his fever persists.

9.59 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says that rapid antigen testing was conducted at 193 centres on Thursday, ANI reports. As many as 7,040 people were tested, of which 456 were found positive. Sisodia says that in the initial stage, people who live in containment zones are being tested.

9.03 pm: Maharashtra reports its highest rise in coronavirus cases with 3,752 new infections, according to ANI. The state has 1,20,504 cases now. With 100 new casualties, the toll has risen to 5,751. So far, 60,838 patients have recovered from the infection.

8.56 pm: Officials in Chinese capital Beijing have found the Xinfadi seafood supermarket to be severely contaminated by the coronavirus and also suspect that the area’s low temperature and high humidity may have been contributing factors. The latest outbreak in Beijing’s southern Fengtai district has infected over 100 people.

Xinfadi is more than 20 times larger than the seafood market in the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated late last year. The size and number of people who work or visit there from in and outside of Beijing has sparked fears of a new wave of the infection.

8.53 pm: Over half of the coronavirus patients in Uttar Pradesh are between the age group of 21 and 40 years, reports NDTV, citing data released by the state government.

8.50 pm: Rajasthan reports 315 new coronavirus cases and 17 deaths, according to ANI. With these figures, the state now has 13,857 cases and 330 deaths. So far, over 10,700 people have recovered from the infection.

8.49 pm: Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu says the state government will soon rationalise the coronavirus treatment at private hospitals, PTI reports. “This is an unforeseen and unprecedented situation and everyone, including private hospital managements and promoters, owe a responsibility towards the society,” he adds.

8.44 pm: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy says he will not hesitate to take more stringent measures to contain the coronavirus spread, reports The Hindu. “We will wait for two or three days to see the effectiveness of latest restrictions on entry of vehicles, including those with e-pass, from Chennai and neighbouring districts before taking more steps,” he adds. “If the restrictions are not helping in any way, we will not hesitate to take more stringent measures to restrict movement of people.”

The Union Territory has recorded over 260 coronavirus cases, majority of these were reported in the last two weeks.

8.41 pm: Six health workers in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district test positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI. The district now has 217 cases.

8.22 pm: Denmark to allow entry to citizens from most European nations with a low number of coronavirus cases from June 27, reports Reuters. European Union member states, non-EU countries in the open-border Schengen area such as Norway and also Britain, which is in neither grouping, will be individually assessed based on objective criteria, says the Danish foreign ministry.

8.20 pm: The Chennai Police will strictly implement the lockdown guidelines starting Thursday midnight in the city and its adjoining areas covering three districts, reports The Hindu.

8.18 pm: The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition seeking a direction to the Centre to approach the International Court of Justice and file a $600 billion compensation case against China, alleging that the coronavirus pandemic was “deliberately created” by it, reports PTI.

8.15 pm: Goa reports 49 new cases, taking the state’s tally to 705, according to ANI.

8.08 pm: The Directorate General of Foreign Trade lifts ban on export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and its formulations. This comes a day after the World Health Organization halted trials hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for the coronavirus, claiming it had showed no benefit in reducing the mortality rate.

8 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi area reports 28 new cases today, taking the total number of cases to 2,134, according to ANI. So far, 78 people have died due to the coronavirus.

7.52 pm: West Bengal reports 435 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths. The state’s tally has risen to 12,735 and the toll stands at 518.

7.45 pm: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren says clothing and footwear shops will open in the state from Friday, reports ANI. “Do follow the rules of social distancing,” he adds. “Avoid going to crowded areas as much as possible and wear masks.”

7.37 pm: The Delhi government has started coronavirus testing through rapid antigen methodology at 169 centres in and around containment zones, reports PTI. In this, 341 teams are involved and results available within 30 minutes.

7.33 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 2,141 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 52,334. With 49 new deaths, the toll in the state has increased to 625.

7.27 pm: Shah has asked officials from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to submit information about beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders and ambulances available with them, reports ANI. This is to devise a common strategy in the National Capital Region to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

7.26 pm: Home Minister Amit Shah also says that a committee has decided on rates for Covid-19 beds and treatment, and if these rates could also be applied to hospitals in the National Capital Region after consultations.

7.22 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asked Uttar Pradesh and Haryana if they could decide to lower their coronavirus testing prices after internal consultations, reports ANI.

7.20 am: Karnataka reports 210 coronavirus cases, taking the state’s total to 7,944. With 12 deaths, the toll has risen to 114.

6.58 pm: Referring to the state government’s decision to make Covid-19 negative certificate mandatory for all passengers returning from abroad, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that discussions are underway to make Truenat Rapid Test kits available in those Middle East countries, where expats do not have the facility for rapid testing, ANI reports.

“Discussion regarding it is taking place with airlines and will need permission from respective Indian embassies,” the chief minister says.

6.38 pm: The World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan says large multi-country trials of the combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir to treat Covid-19 have recruited thousands of patients and the global health agency is now looking at interim data, Reuters reports.

6.31 pm: At least 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for United States’ unemployment benefits last week, even as the economy reopens, AP reports.

6.27 pm: A wholesale vegetable market in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh city was sealed after seven traders tested positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. Dehradun District Magistrate Ashish Kumar Shrivastava says a temporary vegetable market was set up to ensure the supply chain is not disrupted.

6.21 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that 97 new coronavirus cases have been recorded in the state, ANI reports. The tally has now risen to 2,794 cases. The infection has killed 21 people in the state.

6.14 pm: Home Minister Amit Shah says that keeping in view the structure of the Delhi-National Capital Region, all concerned bodies need to unite and work on a common strategy against the coronavirus pandemic. Shah says he met the Delhi chief minister, senior officials of the Centre and Delhi-NCR today to discuss a strategy for this.

6.10 pm: Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says that more than 15,000 migrant workers, who had left Maharashtra during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, are returning to the state daily, as industries have resumed operations in a phased manner, PTI reports.

6.06 pm: Three more people test positive for the coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra and Solan districts, ANI reports, citing the state health department. The total number of cases in the state is now 589.

5.38 pm: Union Health Ministry Secretary Preeti Sudan writes to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, directing them to ensure salaries of doctors and healthworkers, who are on coronavirus-related duty, is released on time.

5.34 pm: At least 202 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Navi Mumbai, taking the city’s tally to 4,391, PTI reported, quoting an unidentified official. Nine more people died of the infection and the toll rose to 138.

5.29 pm: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy says 169 rapid antigen detection testing centres have been set up to test everyone residing in containment zones of Delhi, ANI reports. He says the centres will provide test results within 30 minutes, adding that the testing kits have been imported from South Korea.

5.14 pm: The K West ward of the Mumbai’s civic body has advised all residential complexes within its purview to set up emergency isolation facilities, and stock up on oxygen cylinders for coronavirus patients amid a surge in infections. The K West ward of Mumbai comprises Andheri West, Jogeshwari West, Lokhandwala, Oshiwara, Versova and parts of Juhu.

Read more: Set up emergency isolation facilities, oxygen cylinders: BMC to Mumbai ward’s housing societies

5.11 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray calls for a simple and low-key Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebration this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports. He asks Ganesh mandals to undertake social welfare programmes.

4.58 pm: Nepal records 671 new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s tally to 7,848, ANI reports, citing the Nepal health ministry.

4.53 pm: The Delhi chief minister says the discussion with Union Home Minister Amit Shah was focused on how to save the entire National Capital Region unit from coronavirus because NCR cannot be separated, ANI reports. “Delhi, Gurugram, Noida and Faridabad are the same,” he says.

4.50 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia visit the Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre, ANI reports. Kejriwal says the space is being converted into a Covid isolation centre. “Around 10,000 beds can be set up here,” he adds.

4.36 pm: The finance minister says that with the release of money to villages such as allocation to rural local bodies as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission, the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan will provide work and enable asset creation in rural areas and also power rural development.

4.31 pm: Sitharaman adds that the government wants to front-load money allotted for the 25 different works for the 116 districts, to ensure that migrant workers in all these districts are given employment. They want to provide a direction to these workers and help in rural asset creation.

4.27 pm: The finance minister says that everyone who needs an assignment in these 116 districts will be given work under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. She says a broad estimated expenditure for the scheme is Rs 50,000 crore, and the money allotted for this will be front-loaded.

4.24 pm: Sitharaman adds that within 125 days, for 116 districts, nearly 25 schemes of the government will be brought together under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. She says the government will reach saturation levels for each of those schemes within the 125 days.

4.21 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the central and state governments have meticulously mapped the skill sets of the migrant workers who have returned in large numbers to the 116 districts in six states.

4.20 pm: The finance minister says that migrant workers returned in large numbers to 116 districts, spread over six states. These include Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.

4.19 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says workers from all over the country wanted to go back to villages a little while after the coronavirus-induced lockdown began, and central and state governments made some arrangements, and they have gone back. “We have looked at the districts to which they have largely returned,” she says. The finance minister adds that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan from Khagaria in Bihar on June 20.

4.10 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami says the Amma Canteens will provide free food for 12 days from Friday in Chennai and three neighbouring districts, where lockdown measures have been tightened to curb the spread of the coronavirus, PTI reports.

4.07 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray calls for a simple and low-key Ganapati festival celebration this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic. He asks Ganesh mandals to undertake social welfare programmes.

4.01 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says from today, the national Capital begins rapid antigen tests, the results of which will be made available within 15 minutes. This comes amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Capital.

3.52 pm: Jharkhand bans consumption of all types of tobacco products at public places in the state, in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases, ANI reports.

3.50 pm: Uttar Pradesh records 630 new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, Principal Health Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad says, according to ANI. “There are 5,659 active cases, 9,638 people have been discharged after making full recovery from the disease,” he adds. “A total of 488 people have succumbed to it [the infection].”

3.45 pm: Union Minister G Kishan Reddy says the Centre plans to conduct six lakh rapid antigen Covid-19 tests in Delhi at 169 new facilities being set up in the national Capital, where 50,000 kits have already been supplied, PTI reports. The central government will also provide 500 additional ventilators and 650 ambulances to hospitals in Delhi, he adds.

3.42 pm: With 3,803 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, Bangladesh crosses the 1,00,000-mark, PTI reports, citing health authorities. The toll in the country rises to 1,343.

3.41 pm: Singapore records 257 new coronavirus cases among foreign workers, taking the country’s tally to 41,473, PTI reports.

3.24 pm: A 28-year-old excise department personnel in Kerala died of the coronavirus on Friday, taking the state’s toll to 21, PTI reports, citing unidentified officials.

3.15 pm: Odisha records 174 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the state’s total to 4,512, PTI reports.

3.13 pm: Railways decides to terminate contract with Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group, News 18 reports.

3.07 pm: Assam reports 82 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s tally to 4,777.

3.06 pm: Uttarakhand records 57 new coronavirus cases till 2.30 pm, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 2,079. The infection has killed 26 people in the state.

3.03 pm: The Delhi High Court asks the Union health ministry to consider publicising in print and electronic media, with certain changes in the pictorial presentation, of ‘how and when to wear face mask’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

2.46 pm: Mizoram Health Minister R Lalthangliana says nine more people have tested positive in the state, taking the tally to 130, PTI reports.

2.40 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah says that in line with the vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” or self-reliant India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today flagged off the process to auction 41 coal mines for commercial mining. “This historic decision will make India self-reliant in the energy sector by introducing competition and boosting coal production,” Shah says.

The minister says this decision of the Modi government will create more than 2.8 lakh jobs, attract capital investment worth Rs 33,000 crore and generate annual revenue of Rs 20,000 crore for the state governments.

2.15 pm: The Delhi High Court seeks response from the Centre, the Aam Aadmi Party government and the Indian Nursing Council on a public interest litigation, which alleged that nurses in private hospitals were not being given proper protection equipment in order to guard themselves from the Covid-19 infection.

2.13 pm: Former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev tests positive for the coronavirus, CNN reports.

2.08 pm: Himachal Pradesh has a total of 586 coronavirus cases and six people have died of the infection, ANI reports, citing the state health department.

2 pm: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh says a total of 3,820 police personnel tested positive for the coronavirus in the state. Of these, 2,754 have recovered and 45 have died of the infection.

1.52 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says the government started the fight against the coronavirus with one laboratory in February, ANI reports.

“Today we have 953 laboratories across the country,” he adds. “Out of these 953, around 699 are government laboratories. To ensure testing facilities in far-flung areas, such innovations have been developed.”

1.39 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launches India’s first mobile lab for Covid-19 testing in Delhi, ANI reports.

1.37 pm: The Karnataka government observes “Mask Day” to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a mask in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

1.33 pm: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb says 43 more coronavirus cases reported in the state, taking the tally to 1,138, PTI reports.

1.31 pm: Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district now has 4,191 coronavirus cases after 57 more people tested positive in the last 24 hours, a health official tells PTI.

1.25 pm: Two more people died of the coronavirus in Jammu city, raising the number of fatalities in Jammu and Kashmir to 71, PTI reports, citing unidentified officials.

1.24 pm: Rajasthan records 10 more coronavirus deaths and 84 positive cases, PTI reports. The state now has a total of 13,626 cases and 323 people have died of the infection.

1.18 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 299 new coronavirus cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours, ANI reports, citing the state health department. The state now has a total of 5,854 Covid-19 cases and the toll is 92.

1.15 pm: Referring to the Rath Yatra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple in Odisha, the Supreme Court says they will not allow it, Live Law reports. “Lord Jagannath will not forgive us if we allow this to continue,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde says. “Activities related to the Rath Yatra is injuncted.”

Read more:
Coronavirus: No Rath Yatra in Puri this year, rules Supreme Court

12.54 pm: The Supreme Court stays the annual Rath Yatra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple in Odisha on June 23, in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Live Law reports.

12.46 pm: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while announcing unemployment figures, says the country is facing “dark times”, CNN reports. The prime minister says 8,38,000 Australians lost jobs in the last three months during the coronavirus pandemic.

12.40 pm: The Kalamasserry police station that falls within Kerala’s Kochi city limits was shut after a civil officer tested positive for the coronavirus late on Wednesday, The Hindu reports. All other officers from the police station have been sent to quarantine.

12.38 pm: Kerala’s Devaswom Board decides to not allow entry of devotees in temples from today till the end of June because of the increase in the number of coronavirus cases, ANI reports.

12.34 pm: New Zealand records one new coronavirus case, CNN reports, citing the country’s health ministry. The man came from Lahore, Pakistan and is currently in a quarantine facility in Auckland.

12.28 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a meeting with senior officials of Delhi-National Capital Region to discuss the coronavirus situation, reports ANI.

12.24 pm: Pakistan’s coronavirus toll crossed 3,000 after 118 people died of the infection in the last 24 hours, PTI reports, citing the country’s health ministry. The total number of infections has crossed 1.60 lakh.

12.20 pm: Two employees at Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s Bidadi plant in Karnataka test positive for the coronavirus, the auto major said in a notification, PTI reports.

12.17 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says the government has decided to cap the rates for Covid-19 RT-PCR or Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction test at Rs 2,400, inclusive of all charges, reports ANI.

11.45 am: The auction of the coal mines is taking place at a time when business activity in India is normalising rapidly, Modi says. “Consumption and demand is rapidly approaching the pre-Covid level,” he adds. “In such a situation, there cannot be a better time for this new beginning.”

Read more here: Coronavirus: Big step towards making India self-reliant, says Modi at launch of coal mining auction

11.43 am: “We have set a target to gasify around 100 million tonnes of coal by 2030,” Modi says. “I have been told that four projects have been identified for this and about 20 thousand crores will be invested in them,” he adds.

11.33 am: The auction of coal mines for commercial mining is a win-win situation for all stakeholders, Modi says.

11.31 am: “Self reliance is not possible without a strong mining and mineral sector because they are important pillars of the country’s economy,” Modi adds. “After these reforms, now coal production, the entire coal sector will also be self-sufficient in a way,” he says.

11.30 am: The coronavirus crisis has taught India to be self-reliant, Modi says. “India will turn this into an opportunity,” he adds.

11.28 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the public at the launch ceremony of the auction of 41 coal mines for commercial purpose, ANI reports.

11.15 am: Four Border Roads Task Force personnel in Arunachal Pradesh test positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports. With this, the number of infections in the state rises to 103. Of these, 93 are active cases and ten have recovered.

11.06 am: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hold a meeting today at noon with senior administrative officers of Delhi to discuss the coronavirus situation in the Capital, ANI reports.

11.00 am: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami condoles the death of S Balamurali, a sub-inspector, who died of the coronavirus on Wednesday. The chief minister also announces that one member of his family will be offered a government job based on their eligibility.

10.52 am: The Meghalaya government decides to allow restaurants, beauty parlours, salons and barbershops to re-open from next week, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong says, according to PTI. The health department and the district authorities will issue guidelines regarding this, he adds.

10.41 am: The West Bengal government urges private hospitals in the state who are treating Covid-19 patients to increase the number of beds amid a sharp rise in cases, The Indian Express reports. With 11 more people dying of the virus on Wednesday, the toll from Covid-19 in the state rose to 506. The total number of coronavirus cases stands at 12,300.

10.32 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will launch a rural public works scheme, the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to migrant workers who returned to their home states during the coronavirus lockdown, PTI reports.

10.23 am: “The humanitarian and health needs have been pressing, but the government has shown expenditure restraint so far, due to the already high public-debt burden going into the crisis, with additional relief spending representing only about 1% of GDP by our estimates,” the rating agency says.

10.21 am: Fitch Ratings expects economic activity to contract by 5% in the current fiscal year because of the strict lockdown measures imposed since 25 March, before rebounding by 9.5% in the financial year of 2022.

Read more here: Fitch Ratings revises India’s outlook to ‘negative’, ADB says country’s GDP to contract by 4%

10.16 am: American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings revises India’s economic growth outlook to negative from stable, saying the coronavirus has significantly weakened growth prospects, PTI reports.

10.13 am: Thousands of people in Germany have been told to go into quarantine after more than 650 people test positive for the coronavirus at a meat processing plant in Gütersloh, BBC reports.

10.08 am: Mumbai now accounts for more than 50% of the coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, with 61,587 infections and 3,244 deaths as of Wednesday evening, NDTV reports. Maharashtra has over 1.16 lakh cases, including 5,651 deaths so far.

10.01 am: Expatriates returning to Kerala will have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests before boarding a flight to the state, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says, NDTV reports.

9.58 am: The United Kingdom authorises the state-funded National Health Service to use steroid dexamethasone, which was hailed by scientists and the World Health Organisation as a “major breakthrough” in Covid-19 treatment, PTI reports.

9.49 am: The Election Commission of India issues the standard operating procedure to contain the coronavirus during the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat, The Indian Express reports. This includes separate routes and waiting areas for MLAs suspected to have Covid-19, and testing of all legislators at the entry of the legislature, where the voting process will take place. The state goes to polls on June 19.

9.39 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research says 62,49,668 samples have been tested so far. In the last 24 hours, India tested 1,65,412 samples.

9.14 am: India reports 12,881 new cases and 334 deaths in the last 24 hours, says the Union health ministry. With this, the country’s overall count rises to 3,66,946, including 12,237 fatalities.

9.05 am: Nagaland reports no fresh infection, according to ANI. The state tested 317 samples on Wednesday. The total number of cases in the state stands at 193, of which 90 are active.

8.56 am: Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has been given additional charge of the health ministry and other departments allocated to Satyendar Jain who tested positive, reports News18.

8.50 am: The World Health Organization says it has decided to halt trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment, reports AFP. It says the anti-malarial drug did not reduce the mortality rate.

Read more here: Coronavirus: WHO halts trial of hydroxychloroquine, says it does not reduce mortality rate

8.46 am: China reports 28 new cases, including 24 in Beijing. This takes the total number of infections in the last few days to 161. No deaths were reported on Wednesday.

7.35 am: Florida reports over 2,600 new cases and Arizona records more than 1,800 fresh infections – the second highest daily increase.

7.33 am: Toll in Brazil climbs to 46,510. Nearly 1 million people have been infected with the disease in the country.

7.31 am: Kayapó chief Paulinho Payakan dies in Brazil, reports Reuters. He had led protest against Amazon dam in 1980s.

7.27 am: Jammu and Kashmir’s toll rises to 65 after two patients died on Wednesday, reports PTI. Both the patients were senior citizens from Shopian and Baramulla districts.

7.24 am: Mizoram reports 9 new cases. The state’s tally is now 130, including 129 active cases, reports ANI.

7.22 am: WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says dexamethasone should only be used under close medical supervision.

7.15 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday

  • India reported over 2,000 deaths in day for the first time on Wednesday. With 2,003 deaths, the toll from the disease rose to 11,903. The huge increase in the number of deaths reportedly came after several states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, took account of pending data. India’s overall coronavirus count reached 3,54,065 after 10,974 new cases were reported in 24 hours.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his second video conference with chief ministers of 15 most-affected states to discuss the coronavirus crisis. He said that India has been able to control the coronavirus because of its timely efforts and asked the chief ministers to make full use of their state’s existing testing capacity and also work to augment health infrastructure.
  • Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi and the party’s media panelist Akshay Marathe tested positive for the coronavirus. Testing rates in Delhi, meanwhile, were capped at Rs 2,400. From Thursday, tests will be carried out using the new rapid antigen methodology approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The test kits will be given to Delhi with priority.
  • The Supreme Court ordered the Centre to issue directions regarding the quarantine protocol for doctors engaged in coronavirus fight and the salaries of healthcare workers by Thursday. The court was hearing a petition seeking separate residential facilities for doctors by acquiring hotels and guest houses close to the hospitals. The top court also pulled up the Delhi government for targeting doctors who have flagged the government’s shortcomings.
  • In another case, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre in a public interest litigation seeking transfer of all funds from the PM CARES Fund to the National Disaster Relief Fund to help the fight against the novel coronavirus.
  • Airports in Beijing cancelled more than 1,200 flights amid fears over a new wave of coronavirus infections. Beijing recorded 31 new cases on Wednesday. The new cases have sparked concern because China had managed to largely control the outbreak.
  • The global coronavirus tally reached 82,17,627, while the toll rose to 4,45,012, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over 39.85 lakh people have recovered so far.