10.15 pm: Delhi reports 24,235 new cases and 395 deaths, reports ANI. Active cases in the city stands at 97,977.

10.12 pm: Maharashtra reports 66,159 new cases and 771 deaths, according to ANI. Mumbai logs 4,192 new cases.

10.11 pm: Tamil Nadu registers 17,897 new cases and 107 deaths, reports ANI.

10.11 pm: Jammu and Kashmir administration imposes “corona curfew” in 11 districts of the Union Territory from 7 pm on Thursday to 7 am on May 3, reports ANI.

10.06 pm: Mumbai’s civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation says vaccination will not be conducted in the city for three days, starting from April 30 due to non-availability of stocks.

9.58 pm: Gujarat reports 14,327 new cases and 180 deaths, reports ANI.

9.57 pm: Rajasthan reports 17,269 fresh Covid-19 cases and 158 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports ANI.

7.52 pm: The Maharashtra government has extended the lockdown-like restrictions in the state till May 15, reports PTI.

7.05 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he held a meeting with the officials on Covid-19 vaccination drive in the Capital. “Prepared a plan to vaccinate all above 18 years in the next three months,” he says. “We will set up vaccination centres on a large scale. All eligible people must come forward to get vaccinated.”

5.59 pm: Bharat Biotech announces that its vaccine, Covaxin, will now cost Rs 400 per dose for state governments. It was priced at Rs 600 per shot for state governments. The Centre will buy it at Rs 150 per dose.

3.59 pm: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discharged from All India Institute Of Medical Sciences trauma centre in Delhi, after recovering from coronavirus, reports ANI, citing hospital officials.

3.56 pm: The crime branch of Bengaluru police arrest six people and seize 18 injections of antiviral drug remdesivir from their possession, reports ANI. Joint Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru (crime) Sandeep Patil says the accused are staff nurses at a hospital in Yelahanka and one of the accused is an Ayurvedic doctor.

3.49 pm: On the scarcity of oxygen, the health minister says that it was available in adequate quantity earlier also and now is being made available from many sources, including by mobilising the life-saving gas from industries and abroad and by making storage and cryogenic tankers available, reports ANI.

“At the same time, right info regarding oxygen is also very crucial,” Vardhan says. “There’s no need to rush to hospitals as a result of panic reactions. Those who need oxygen should get it but it’s not right if someone thinks he/she needs oxygen, due to lack of knowledge.”

3.46 pm: On shortage of vaccines, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that the Centre has given 16 crore coronavirus vaccine shots to states and 15 crores doses have been administered so far, reports ANI. This means that there are one crore doses left with states, he says.

“Some lakh doses are in pipeline and will be delivered in next 2-3 days,” Vardhan adds. “Since [the] beginning of vaccination, not a single day has passed when states were not given vaccine doses as per their capacity.”

3.41 pm: The Indian Air Force says that it is transporting empty cryogenic oxygen containers from three destinations – three containers from Bangkok, three from Singapore and six from Dubai, reports ANI.

3.29 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government extends weekend lockdown in the state by one more day, reports News18. The lockdown will now begin on Friday at 8 pm and end at 7 am on Tuesday.

2.25 pm: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla says India is looking at getting around 550 oxygen generating plants, 4,000 oxygen concentrators and 10,000 oxygen cylinders from abroad to deal with the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI.

12.50 pm: The Bombay High Court refuses to hear a PIL seeking directions to Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to sell coronavirus vaccines at a uniform rate of Rs 150, PTI reports.

“The Supreme Court has said issues that have pan-India effect will be dealt with by them and pricing is a phenomenon applicable all over India,” the court says. “We are not entertaining it as the apex court has fairly covered it.”

12.45 pm: Shiv Sena says the Centre must declare the pandemic a national calamity and says even the Supreme Court has done it, ANI reports.

12.30 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the national Capital doesn’t have vaccines for the 18+ age group now. “We have made requests to the company regarding vaccines, we will tell you when it comes,” he says.

12.20 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the positivity rate in Delhi has reduced in the past three days, and is below the 10-day average for the first time in 1.5 months.

However, the number of tests conducted in Delhi have considerably reduced. While there were around 90,000 to 1,15,000 tests done every day mid-April, they have been only around 80,000 or even lower recently. On April 26, only 57,000 tests were conducted, while it was 73,000 on April 27 and 81,800 on April 28.

The Delhi High Court has also questioned why the number of tests have gone down.

11.45 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat says the Char Dham Yatra has been suspended in view of the coronavirus situation in the state, reports ANI. Rawat says only priests of the four temples will perform rituals and the puja. The pilgrimage was scheduled between May 14 and May 18.

10.44 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at the Centre, saying that all Indians must be given free coronavirus vaccine shots.

In a tweet, he spells out the definition of the term “free” – “costing nothing, or not needing to be paid” – and says “all citizens must receive the inoculation free of charge.”

He adds: “Let’s hope they get it this time.”

10.39 am: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson expresses gratitude for assistance from the United Kingdom and Russia. A shipment of 120 oxygen concentrators from the UK arrived in the morning. Russia also provided oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies.

10.37 am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. “I have no symptoms and feel fine,” he tweets. “I will continue working while staying in isolation following the Covid protocols.”

10.34 am: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to chair a meeting on coronavirus vaccination drive later in the day, reports ANI.

10.31 am: Indian Ambassador to the United States TS Sandhu tells ANI that President Joe Biden is determined to support India’s efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Sandhu says that Biden quickly deployed resources, including oxygen equipment, supplies, therapeutics, ventilators and other critical material for vaccine manufacturing in India.

“You also saw tweets by Vice President [Kamala Harris] and other senior cabinet ministers,” he adds. “This entire thing reflects strong partnership between the two countries. US & its leadership has clearly stated in public that during this trying time, US will stand shoulder to shoulder with India.”

10.27 am: The Unites States advises its citizens to leave India saying that medical care in the country was “severely limited” due to rising coronavirus cases. “US citizens wishing to depart should use available commercial options now,” the US’ Bureau of Consular Affairs tweets. “Daily direct flights to the US and flights via Paris and Frankfurt are available.”

9.32 am: India creates yet another record with 3,79,257 new cases in a day. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the eighth consecutive day when India has recorded more than 3 lakh cases.

India now has a total of 1,83,76,524 infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020.

India also recorded 3,645 deaths in a day for the first time, taking the toll to 2,04,832.

The number of active cases has crossed the 30-lakh mark.

9.20 am: The Delhi government is expected to give preference to people with co-morbidities in the third phase of India’s vaccination drive, PTI reports. This phase aims to inoculate all Indian adults but is expected to be slow because of vaccine shortages.

“We are likely to have a moderate start and it will be ramped up gradually,” an official says, adding that the AAP government has placed an order for more than 1.3 crore doses.

9.15 am: India has tested 28,44,71,979 samples till April 28. On April 28 alone, as many as 17,68,190 samples were tested.

9.10 am: Two flights from Russia with medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators, reach India. “The Russian Federation decided to send humanitarian assistance to India in the spirit of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our two countries as well as in the context of our anti-COVID19 cooperation,” Nikolay Kudashev, the Ambassador of Russia to India, says, according to ANI.

9.05 am: The Centre on Wednesday recorded nearly 1.33 crore registrations for coronavirus vaccination from May 1.But many flagged that the website and app were still not responsive. Others said that despite completing the registration, they were unable to book a slot for vaccination.

After initial glitches, however, more than 35 lakh people registered in just the first hour.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: Nearly 1.33 crore register for third phase of vaccinations but unable to book slots

9 am: Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 14.92 crore people and killed over 31.46 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 8.65 crore people have recovered from the infection.

Here are the top updates from Wednesday

  • India registered a record 3,60,960 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,79,97,267. This was the seventh consecutive day when the country recorded more than three lakh daily cases. The toll rose to 2,01,187, as the number of deaths also went up by an unprecedented count of 3,292.
  • The Centre sanctioned the procurement of one lakh portable oxygen concentrators from the PM-Cares Fund, the prime minister’s office said in a statement. Five hundred new Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen plants have also been sanctioned.
  • The Delhi High Court said it appeared that the Centre wanted people to die according to the new protocol on use of anti-viral drug remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment. As per the Centre’s new guidelines, the drug will be given only to those on oxygen support. The court said it appeared that the Centre was changing the protocol to reduce the shortage of the drug.
  • The Delhi High Court also asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to submit a report on the RT-PCR coronavirus tests conducted in the last seven days and why the figures have fallen.
  • Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla said that the price of Covishield for state governments was reduced from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose with immediate effect. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that Poonawalla will be given Y category security cover across the country.
  • Karnataka and Kerala reported the biggest single-day rise in coronavirus cases so far. Karnataka recorded 39,047 new infections, taking its total caseload to 14.39 lakh. The state capital Bengaluru alone accounted for 22,596 cases. Kerala recorded 35,013 cases, pushing its infection tally to 14,95,377.
  • Amid the massive jump in coronavirus cases, the Bihar government ordered that shops and commercial establishments should be closed at 4 pm daily. The night curfew will be now imposed from 6 pm to 6 am from April 29.
  • Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister R Ashoka said the administration was not able to trace nearly 3,000 Covid-19 patients after they switched off their phones and left their homes.
  • Maharashtra is likely to extend the curbs in the state for a further 15 days, PTI reported quoting state minister Rajesh Tope. The state has been under a slew of restrictions since April 14, when Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced the measures.