10.55 pm: Jharkhand reports 3,198 fresh infections.

10.28 pm: Chhattisgarh reports 14,250 new cases and 73 deaths.

10.02 pm: The West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer calls an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss strict implementation of Covid protocols during campaigning, reports PTI.

9.56 pm: Haryana’s tally goes up to 3,29,942 with 5,398 new cases.

9.26 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday over increasing Covid cases in the national Capital.

9.11 pm: Punjab records 3,329 new cases on Wednesday.

9.04 pm: Delhi registers 17,282 new coronavirus cases Wednesday – the highest single-day rise in infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The Capital’s total number of cases since the outbreak rises to 7,67,438. Its toll goes up to 11,540 with 104 more deaths.

Delhi’s positivity rate stands at 15.92 %

8.47 pm: Visuals from Maharashtra as curbs come into effect.

8.46 pm: The Jharkhand government says the state has nine confirmed cases of the UK mutant strain and four cases of double mutant, reports ANI.

8.40 pm: Maharashtra records 58,952 new coronavirus cases today, reports ANI. With this, the state’s tally has risen to 35,78,160 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020.

8.27 pm: Rajasthan government imposes night curfew in all cities from 6 pm to 6 am from April 16 to 30 amid rise in coronavirus cases, reports ANI. The state reports biggest single-day jump of 6,200 new cases and 29 deaths.

7.40 pm: The Supreme Court issues new guidelines after over 50% of its staff tests positive for the coronavirus, PTI reports.

Everyone entering the court’s premises, including staff members of the coordinate agencies and advocates,will be tested if they show symptoms.

The court also directs controlling officers to ensure that staff members wear masks, maintain physical distance and wash their hands frequently.

7.21 pm: Karnataka registers 11,265 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its overall count since the beginning of the pandemic last year to 10,94,912. This is the biggest-one day rise in cases for the state this year, according to the Mint. The state’s toll rose by 38 to 13,046.

The state’s capital Bengaluru recorded 8,155 cases – its highest one-day rise since the beginning of the pandemic, The News Minute reported. Its count of active cases rose to 63,167.

7.18 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reduces the duration of his scheduled visit to India later this month due to coronavirus fears, Reuters reports.

7.07 pm: Devotees gather at the Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar for the evening aarti, ANI reports.

6.26 pm: With 7,819 new cases, Tamil Nadu’s overall tally reaches 9.54 lakh, reports ANI. The state reports 25 additional deaths, taking the toll to 12,970.

6.24 pm: Jammu and Kashmir registers 1,086 fresh infections, 372 recoveries and five deaths in the last 24 hours.

6.23 pm: Uttarakhand logs 1,953 new cases. Of these, 796 infections are reported from Dehradun and 525 in Haridwar.

5.57 pm: The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers says that manufacturers of antiviral drug Remdesivir have volunteered to reduce the price of the medicine to less than Rs 3,500 by the end of the week, reports ANI. “National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority is continuously monitoring the availability of the drug,” it says.

The ministry says that the current capacity of the seven manufacturers of Remdesivir is 38.80 lakh vials per month. “Fast-track approval given for seven more sites having production capacity of 10 lakh vials per month to six manufacturers,” it adds. “Another 30 lakh vials per month production lined up.”

5.52 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says that he and other party leaders warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February last year that India will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI. At a rally in Darjeeling in West Bengal, Gandhi says that he told Modi to prepare to save the economy, migrant labourers and small-scale industry. “[But] the press mocked me and said that I’m trying to scare people,” the Congress adds.

“Narendra Modi said “bhaio-bheno, [brothers and sisters] beat thaali [plates], corona will go,” Gandhi says. “He said ghanti bajaao [ring bells]. After that, he asked people to take out their mobile phones and switch on flashlights. This man is the PM of India. Rather than helping labourers, he asked them to ring bells.”

5.08 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says journalists should be treated as frontline workers and given Covid-19 vaccines on a priority basis. “Delhi government is writing to Centre in this regard,” he says.

4.48 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, reports AFP. “I assume that you, taking care of yourself and your loved ones, will do the same and follow my example,” he says in a televised address.

4.42 pm: Families and attendants of Covid-19 patients wait at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna as they look for hospital beds for their treatment, reports ANI. “Situation is not good, we are receiving much more patients than we did the last time,” a doctor says.

4.39 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 4,157 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally in the state to 9,37,049 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, reports ANI. The toll climbs by 18 to 7,339.

4.33 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that the shortage of anti-viral drug Remdesivir happened because its production was reduced after Covid-19 cases started to decline, reports ANI. “Drugs Controller General of India has directed for strict action into any complaint of black marketing of Remdesivir,” he adds. “Those who are exploiting people and creating artificial shortage of medicine, strict action should be taken against them.”

4.28 pm: Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accuses Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being callous in tackling the surge in coronavirus cases in the country, reports PTI. “The prime minister is negligent, careless, cruel and callous in tackling Covid-19,” Surjwala says. “The Modi government has jeopardised the lives of Indians by its negligent conduct,” he said at a press conference.”

4.07 pm: Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole asks Prime Minister Narendra Modi what kind of message he is sending by not wearing masks in political rallies, reports PTI. He also accused the prime minister of prioritising West Bengal polls over people’s lives, alleging that Modi will announced a lockdown after the elections are over.

2.48 pm: A batch of 320 doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, was reported missing from a hospital in Jaipur on Wednesday, reports India Today. Chief Medical Officer of Kanwatiya Hospital Narottam Sharma says the medical facility has lodged a comlaint with the police and sought an investigation.

2.42 pm: Dr NK Arora, the chairperson of Covid-19 sub-committee on National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, says there is no need for a countrywide lockdown but restrictions or lockdowns need to be imposed in in small areas, reports ANI.

“The manner in which virus is spreading in big cities, in tier 2-3 cities too, it’ll have to be looked into,” he adds. “We’ll have to see that when we impose lockdown at small levels, we must strengthen our health facilities & extend lockdown if we see the facilities collapsing.”

2.37 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kaushal Kishore says that the coronavirus situation in Lucknow is out of control and asks the Election Commission to postpone the voting for panchayat elections in Lucknow by one month. “Elections are not important but saving the lives of people is necessary,” he tweets.

2.32 pm: Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal tells ANI that Class 10 students will be promoted on basis of internal assessment. “If a student is not satisfied with the assessment then he/she can appear for the examination once the situation [coronavirus] is normal,” he says.

2.27 pm: The Jharkhand government requests the Centre for 1,500 ventilators, reports ANI. In a letter to the the additional secretary in the Union health ministry, the state government says that it has approximately 500 ventilators and more would be needed based on the current growth rate of 33,000-35,000 active Covid-19 cases estimated by April end.

2.23 pm: Ten states account for 86.08% of deaths reported across the country in the last day, says the Union health ministry. It adds that 11 states have not reported any coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours. These are Ladakh, Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Tripura, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.

(Source: Press Information Bureau)

2.21 pm: Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for 68.16% of India’s total active Covid-19 cases, says the Union health ministry. Maharashtra alone accounts for 43.54% of the country’s total active caseload.

2.16 pm: Ten states – Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan – account for 82.04% of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India, says the Union health ministry.

(Source: Press Information Bureau)

2.01 pm: The Ministry of Education says that the school board exams for Class 10 is cancelled and Class 12 examinations postponed, reports ANI. It says that the results of Class 10 will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the education board. The decision to conduct Class 12 exams will be taken after the coronavirus situation is reviewed on June 1.

1.06 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath says that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is under isolation.

Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday recorded its highest-ever daily rise in cases and some officials of Adityanath’s office had also tested positive for the coronavirus.

12.54 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath directs the state health department to acquire 25,000 injections of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug, from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on an urgent basis, ANI reports, citing the chief minister’s office.

12.49 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says there is no shortage of beds and ventilators, reports ANI. He says that patients from Delhi and others are being admitted to hospitals in the national Capital. “Centre has provided 1,100 beds, talks on [to add more],” Jain says. “286 out of 5,525 Covid-19 care centres are occupied. Banquets, hotels to be included soon.”

The health minister adds that there is no slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus. “We appeal to people to go out only if necessary,” he says. Jain adds that the data on the availability of beds are being revised twice in a day on the government’s app.

12.43 pm: Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tests positive for the coronavirus. “I have home isolated myself,” he tweets. “All those who came in contact with me recently please take necessary precautions.”

12.36 pm: Russian Deputy Envoy to India Roman Babushkin says the approval of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is a very significant step because it will open up a new dimension in New Delhi and Moscow’s special privileged strategic partnership, reports ANI. “It would definitely support efforts of vaccination in India,” Babushkin says.

12.32 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at the Centre for its decision to fast-track emergency approvals for foreign-produced coronavirus vaccines that have been cleared in other countries. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,” tweets Gandhi.

12.30 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh writes to Centre, seeking postponement of school board exams for Classes 10 and 12 in view of the coronavirus situation, reports ANI.

12.26 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says he will hold a meeting with the district collectors to review the coronavirus situation in the state, reports ANI.

11.37 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati demands that the needy and the poor be given coronavirus vaccines free of cost, reports PTI. She also appeals to the Centre as well as state governments to arrange for free food and accommodation for migrant labourers who are planning to return home amid a surge in coronavirus cases in India.

11.32 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal and other top officials at 12 pm to discuss the Central Board of Secondary Education board examinations scheduled for May and June, reports the Hindustan Times, citing officials.

10.37 am: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tests positive for Covid-19. “My Covid-19 test report has just come up as ‘positive’,” he tweets. “I have isolated myself and the treatment has started at home. I urge those who have come in contact with me in the last few days to also get tested. I request them to also remain in isolation for a few days.”

10.18 am: The Indian Medical Association on Tuesday urged the medical fraternity to make sure that anti-viral drug Remdesivir was used judiciously among Covid-19 patients, reported NDTV.

10.15 am: West Bengal records the biggest one-day spike of 4,817 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, pushing the state tally to 6,24,224, the health department says, reports PTI. The toll rises to 10,434 after 20 new fatalities.

10.10 am: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Tuesday said the Kumbh Mela, being hosted in his state, should not be compared with the Nizamuddin Markaz event held last year, reported PTI. The event had then been blamed for the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

10.07 am: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to interact with governors and lieutenant governors of all states and Union Territories on Wednesday to go over the the Covid-19 situation in India, reports .

10.06 am: The Centre has asked Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to boost testing through RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) method, reports PTI.

10.04 am: The four-day-long “Tika Utsav”, which began as an effort to fast-track the countrywide vaccination programme, will conclude on Wednesday, reports Hindustan Times.

10.02 am: The Union government on Tuesday said the “second wave” of Covid-19 has crossed the previous highest rise in cases, adding that the upward trend of new infections is a cause of concern, reported Hindustan Times.

10 am: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to think about enforcing complete lockdowns for two to three weeks in districts that have been reporting a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, reports NDTV.

9.56 am: NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr VK Paul on Tuesday recommended Covid-19 patients with mild or no symptoms to consult Ayurveda practitioners to improve their immunity, reports Hindustan Times. “If you get Covid-19, consult ayurveda practitioners for treatment if symptoms are mild or asymptomatic,” he said during a briefing. “Take what they give after proper consultation to fight the disease. It is a treatment modality in itself so this also needs to be adopted.”

9.40 am: India reports 1,84,372 new Covid-19 cases and 1,027 more deaths in the last 24 hours. The country’s overall case count since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 rose to 1,38,73,825 and the toll to 1,72,085.

Active cases stood at 13,65,704, while 1,23,36,036 people have recovered from the disease.

9.30 am: Brazil reports more than 3,800 Covid-19 deaths, and 82,186 new cases in 24 hours, according to Hindustan Times.

9.10 am: Due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, Chhattisgarh has extended restrictions, including a night curfew, in Sukma and Durg districts. Strict curbs will remain in place in Durg till April 19, and till April 15 in Sukma, reported Hindustan Times.

9.05 am: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asserted that the Centre will not announce lockdowns “in a big way”. “Even with the second wave, we [the Union government] are very clear that we are not going in for lockdowns in a big way,” she said. “We don’t want to totally arrest the economy.”

9 am: The Covid-19 vaccination programme was stopped on Tuesday in 11 of Odisha’s 30 districts due to shortage of vaccines, a senior health department official said, according to PTI. This came on the day the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare claimed there was no shortage of vaccines in the country amid a record surge in coronavirus cases.

Also read:

Coronavirus: Problem not of vaccine shortages but of planning, claims Centre

Here’s what happened on Tuesday:

  1. The Drugs Controller General of India approved the emergency use of Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, the Union health ministry said. The Russian vaccine, being produced in India in partnership with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in Hyderabad, is the third vaccine to get approved in the country after Serum Institute of India’s Covaxin and Bharat Biotech’s Covishield.
  2. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday announced a slew of fresh restrictions in the state amid a surge in coronavirus cases. The new curbs will come into effect from 8 pm on Wednesday for 15 days.
  3. Delhi registered a record 13,468 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall count since the beginning of the pandemic last year to 7,50,156. The Capital’s toll rose to 11,436 as 81 more deaths were recorded in the last day. With 6,690 cases, Gujarat also reported its highest one-day rise in cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The state’s tally of infections rose to 3,60,206, while the toll went up to 4,922. 
  4. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath went into isolation after some members of his staff tested positive for the coronavirus. Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar also tested positive for the infection.
  5. The United States health regulators on Tuesday recommended pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine. They will investigate reports of “rare and severe type of blood clot” in six women. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine have been administered in the US till now.