10.54 pm: Maharashtra records 67,103 new cases today, pushing the state’s tally to 40,94,840, reports ANI. The toll rises by 568 to 62,479.

10.52 pm: Mumbai reports 7,410 Covid-19 cases and 74 deaths today.

10.48 pm: Delhi registers 26,169 new coronavirus cases and 306 deaths today. This is the highest number of deaths that the Capital has seen in a day since the pandemic began in January last year, reports NDTV.

9.52 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancels her political rallies amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. “In the wake of upsurge in Covid-19 cases across the country and the ECI [Election Commission of India] Order dated 22nd April, 2021, I am cancelling all my prescheduled meetings and we will reach out to the people virtually,” she tweets. “We will be sharing the updated schedule of the virtual meetings shortly.”

8.24 pm: Aam Aadmi Party leader Saurabh Bhardwaj, who tested positive, shares a video of himself from his hospital bed in Delhi. He implores the Centre and the Haryana government to show a “big heart” and provide oxygen in the Capital, adding that there was only three hours of oxygen left in the hospital he is admitted.

8.20 pm: Self-styled godman Nithyananda bans all Indians from travelling to his island in view of the coronavirus situation. An “executive order” announcing the same was shared on the island, known as Kailasa’s official Twitter account.

8.17 pm: In a widely circulated video, Union minister Prahlad Patel can be seen telling a man that he will slap him after he complained of oxygen shortages in Madhya Pradesh, reports NDTV. “If you talk like this you will get two slaps,” the minister can be heard saying in the video.

8.16 pm: The Bombay High Court asks the Union government to reconsider its stand that door-to-door vaccination was not feasible, saying it should think about the plight of the elderly and disabled, PTI reports. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni says the government cannot just “leave old people to die”.

8.12 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the centrally-run hospitals will add 800 more intensive care unit beds soon, as he speaks about a shortage of intensive care unit beds in the Capital, reports the Hindustan Times.

“We have requested the Centre to increase the number of beds in their hospitals to 7,000,” he says. “Currently, there are 2,000 beds in central government hospitals. The Centre will increase 700 to 800 ICU beds soon.”

8.11 pm: The Centre asks all its employees to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible, reports PTI.

8.09 pm: The Centre says it will open a Covid care centre equipped with 500 oxygen beds in Delhi, which will be run by the doctors and paramedics of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, reports PTI.

7.59 pm: The United Arab Emirates has barred passengers from India from travelling to Dubai for 10 days, according to reports. The ban will come into effect from April 25.

7.36 pm: China says it is willing to provide outbreak prevention support and medical supplies to India as the country faces a vicious second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports the Hindustan Times. “The Covid-19 epidemic is the common enemy of all mankind,” says Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin. “The international community needs to unite as one to fight against the epidemic.”

6.58 pm: The Supreme Court Bar Association moves the Supreme Court opposing transfer of High Court matters related to Covid-19 issues to the top court, reports Bar and Bench.

6.45 pm: The Bombay High Court has said it will continue to hear the plea on matters related to the Covid-19 situation till the case is transferred to the Supreme Court, reports Live Law.

5.49 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia writes to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, alleging that police and senior officials in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were stalling oxygen tankers leading in their delay to reach hospitals in the national Capital on time, reports ANI.

5.33 pm: All government offices to remain close in Uttarakhand for 72 hours for sanitisation, reports The Times of India.

5.31 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancels public meeting for West Bengal polls. The prime minister says that he will chair high-level meetings to review the coronavirus situation.

5.25 pm: Shanti Mukund Hospital in Delhi is facing an oxygen shortage, reports ANI. Doctors say that if the government will provide oxygen on time, they will not have to discharge patients. “My father is a Covid patient and was admitted yesterday,” says Rohit, a son of a coronavirus patient. “We request the govt to supply oxygen on time.”

5.19 pm: Dr KA Shah, chief operating officer of Aakash Healthcare in Delhi, says that they have 1-1.5 hours of oxygen left, reports ANI. Shah says that 233 Covid-19 patients are admitted at the hospital, of which 75% are surviving solely on oxygen. “Tankers coming from different states with oxygen supply aren’t being allowed to come from their states,” he alleges.

4.42 pm: The Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, or CGBSE cancels its Class 10 examinations this year in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state, reports PTI.

The board also suspended its Class 12 examinations, which were scheduled to begin from May 3, saying that a fresh time-table will be released once the situation improves.

4.35 pm: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, arguing that the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech should price its coronavirus vaccine at a lower rate compared to the Serum Institute’s Covaxin, reports ANI.

As per Serum Institute’s announcement, its vaccine Covishield will be priced at Rs 400 per dose for state government procurement, and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

4.29 pm: In Assam, a first information report was lodged against 300 air passengers after they skipped mandatory Covid-19 testing, and fled the Silchar airport, reports ANI.

4.25 pm: Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra urges national federations to be “conscious and careful” while planning foreign training and competitions for their athletes, given the widespread fear of the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.

4.19 pm: The prime minister asks officials to ensure oxygen is supplied to states in a “smooth, unhindered manner”. Fix responsibility with local administration in cases of obstructions, he tells them, according to PTI.

4.17 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a high-level meeting to discuss the shortage of oxygen supplies in India, reports PTI. During discussions, Modi says that all state governments “should come down heavily on hoarding of oxygen”.

3.40 pm: The police arrest a doctor of a private hospital and a second-year medical student for black marketing of remdesivir injections in Udaipur, Rajasthan, reports ANI.

3.38 pm: Nirvana Multispeciality Hospital in Bhopal is facing oxygen shortage for the past three days, reports ANI. “We are now referring patients to other hospitals as our oxygen supply will last 1 hour only,” says a hospital employee.

3.37 pm: Beds are full in Sehore District Hospital in Madhya Pradesh, reports ANI. “We will not take any more admissions,” says a civil surgeon at the hospital. “We are getting less supply of oxygen as compared to earlier. We appeal to all residents of the district to stay at home.”

3.32 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar says that 140 metric tons of oxygen has been allotted to Delhi, reports ANI. The decision comes after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal requested facilitating the transport of oxygen. Khattar says that the Panipat plant produces 260 metric tons of oxygen.

3.29 pm: Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, which manages the Amarnath temple, temporarily suspends the registration for pilgrimage to the shrine in view of the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI. “The situation is being constantly monitored and it would be reopened once the situation improves,” the board says.

3.27 pm: Haryana Minister Anil Vij orders all shops to remain closed from 6 pm onward from Friday, reports ANI. Vij says that all non-essential gatherings are banned and anybody seeking to hold function within the prescribed limit will have to get permission from the sub-district magistrate concerned.

3.07 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs directs states and Union Territories to ensure that there is no restriction on the movement of oxygen, reports ANI. In an order, the ministry says that no restrictions will be applied in oxygen manufacturers and suppliers to limit the oxygen supply to hospitals of the states where they are located.

3.05 pm: The Delhi High Court suggests that oxygen firm Inox continue to supply to Delhi while the Panipat plant supplies oxygen to Haryana, reports ANI.

3.03 pm: Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi, tells the Delhi High Court that Saroj Hospital and Shanti Mukund Hospital will run out of oxygen soon. He says that oxygen supply was being stopped in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. “We’re aren’t able to contact oxygen firm Inox,” he adds.

3.02 pm: Delhi High Court resumes hearing on petitions related to oxygen shortage, reports ANI.

2.58 pm: Kailash Hospital in Noida says it is left with only a few hours of Oxygen supply, reports ANI. “We’ve 4 hospitals in Gautam Buddh Nagar, crisis in all,” Dr Ritu Bohra, the medical director of the hospital group, says. “We’ve been told we’ll receive supply after next 36 hrs. We’ve stopped admissions.”

2.55 pm: The driver of an oxygen tanker clarifies that protesting farmers were not a hurdle in transporting oxygen to a hospital in Delhi. Farmers protesting against the farm laws have been accused by some of not allowing oxygen tankers to pass.

Watch: ‘Farmers did not stop us’, driver of vehicle carrying oxygen to Delhi hospital clarifies

1.40 pm: The Centre dismisses reports that registrations for vaccines will open in 48 hours. It says that they will open on April 28 on the Cowin platform and Aarogya Setu app.

12.49 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reverse the new vaccination policy, under which manufacturers would be free to supply 50% of their doses to state governments and in the open market.

Gandhi refers to the vaccine prices announced by the Serum Institute of India, and says: “This means the citizens will be compelled to pay these high rates for vaccination,” the Congress president says. “This will also bleed the finances of the state governments.”

Also read: Covishield vaccine to cost Rs 400 per dose for states, Rs 600 for private hospitals: Serum Institute

12.46 pm: The Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of oxygen and drug supply problems amid the massive surge in coronavirus cases in the India, Live Law reports. It issues a notice to the Centre.

12.38 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the Centre has increased the Capital’s oxygen quota from 378 metric tonnes a day to 480 metric tonnes. “We thank the Centre for this, but we need more supply,” Kejriwal adds.

The Delhi chief minister adds that Delhi is scheduled to receive oxygen from Odisha too. “We are trying to see if the supplies can be airlifted,” he adds.

Kejriwal says that all the states need to unite to fight the coronavirus crisis. “If Delhi has surplus of a medicine or oxygen, we will share it with other states,” he says.

12.37 pm: Five coronavirus patients die at a private hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh city, reportedly due to oxygen shortage, according to PTI.

12.35 pm: Ambulances in Delhi received more than 2,500 distress calls from coronavirus patients every day for the last one week, PTI reports, citing government data.

12.28 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who had tested positive for the coronavirus last week, is discharged from hospital.

12.21 pm: All adults above 18 can register for vaccination on the CoWin platform in the next 48 hours, News18 reports, quoting RS Sharma, the chairperson of the Empowered Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration.

10.04 am: Karnataka allows the cremation of coronavirus patients on land owned by families, The News Minute reports.

10 am: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar says all hospitals in the state with more than 30 beds will have to reserve 80% of them for coronavirus patients, ANI reports.

“All hospital beds except those for dialysis patients, mother-child care and life-threatening diseases will be dedicated for Covid patients in Bengaluru,” he adds. “All nursing homes and hospitals with up to 30 beds should mandatorily treat non-Covid patients.”

9.53 am: More than 1,700 vaccine doses have been stolen from the Civil Hospital in Haryana’s Jind district, ANI reports.

9.49 am: India reports a record 3,14,835 new cases on Thursday, taking the total number of infections to 1,59,30,965 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The country registers 2,104 deaths for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus, taking the toll to 1,84,657.

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

8.44 am: The Heathrow Airport in London refuses to permit extra flights from India, Reuters reports. The United Kingdom had on Monday added India to its travel “red-list” amid concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus detected in the country. The restriction will come into effect from April 23.

8.28 am: Congress leader and former Delhi minister AK Walia dies due to the infection at the city’s Apollo Hospital, ANI reports.

8.16 am: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury’s son dies due to the coronavirus.

8.13 am: Delhi registered 24,638 new coronavirus on Wednesday, taking its overall count since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020 to 9,30,179. The Capital’s toll rose by 249 to 12,887. The city’s positivity rate stood at 31.28%.

8.09 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  1. The Delhi High Court pulled up the Centre for the acute shortage of oxygen in Delhi amid the surge in coronavirus cases. The court added it was “shocked and dismayed” to see that the Centre did not seem to be to mindful of the “extremely urgent” need of medical oxygen in the country to treat patients. The court was hearing a petition filed by Max Hospitals seeking urgent help to tide over the oxygen shortage it was facing in six of its hospitals in the Capital.
  2. Maharashtra imposed new restrictions to contain the coronavirus, including limiting office attendance to 15% and and a capping the number of guests allowed at weddings at 25.
  3. Twenty-four coronavirus patients died in Maharashtra’s Nashik district after oxygen supply was affected due to a leakage in the main storage tank of a hospital.
  4. Covaxin showed an overall efficacy 78% against the coronavirus, according to an interim analysis of its third phase of clinical trials. This was slightly lower than the 81% efficacy reported its manufacturer Bharat Biotech in March.
  5. Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of Indi announced that its Covid-19 vaccine Covishield will be sold at Rs 400 a shot to state governments and Rs 600 to private hospitals.