Here are the day’s updates:

9.53 pm: Telangana extends night curfew till May 8, reports ANI.

9.49 pm: Maharashtra registers 62,919 new cases and 828 deaths, reports ANI. Mumbai logs 3,925 new cases, according to civic body Brihanmumbai Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

9.32 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray says the state would have seen nine to 10 lakh active Covid-19 cases if his administration had not imposed the new lockdown-like restrictions, reports PTI.

9.18 pm: Top American infectious disease expert Dr Antony Fauci says about 8% of Americans who have received one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have not returned for their second shot, reports AP. “Get vaccinated, and if you’re getting a two-dose regimen, make sure you get that second dose,” he says.

9.12 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired a meeting to review the functioning of different empowered groups through video conference, says PMO.

8.45 pm: Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaks to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Reviewed the flow of equipment and material from the US,” Jaishankar tweets. “Highlighted the importance of strengthening oxygen supply, expanding vaccine production and increasing [anti-viral drug] remdesivir supply. Appreciated the forthcoming response of the US in this regard.”

8.23 pm: The first lot of Sputnik V vaccines will arrive in India on May 1, ANI reported, quoting the Chief Executive Officer of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev.

8.03 pm: The Tamil Nadu government has ordered all private clinics to allocate 50% of their total beds in all categories, including intensive care units, and oxygen beds to treat Covid-19 patients, reports ANI.

7.59 pm: Manipur reports 271 new Covid-19 cases, five deaths and 74 recoveries, reports ANI. The active cases stand at 1,417.

7.42 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 17,354 new Covid-19 cases, 64 deaths in 24 hours, reports ANI. The overall number of cases in the state rises to 11,01,690, including 1,22,980 active cases.

7.39 pm: Chandigarh to impose weekend “corona curfew” on Saturday and Sunday, says Advisor Manoj Parida, according to ANI.

6.44 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticises the Centre, saying over two lakh people have died in India during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and still there is no accountability.

6.42 pm: Covid-19 vaccine beneficiaries between 18 and 44 years may choose their preferred shots at private centres that will publicise their stock, the chairperson of an empowered committee on Covid-19 vaccination, RS Sharma, told CNN-News18 in an interview.

6.39 pm: Drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech have sent a request for European Union drug regulators to extend their vaccine approvals to include children aged 12 and 15, reports AP. This may lead to the younger and less vulnerable populations in Europe get access to the vaccines for the first time.

6.38 pm: AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria says if Covid-19 patients are mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, they should continue their medications for other co-morbid conditions as prescribed, reports PTI.

6.36 pm: Tripura has sounded an alert after the double mutant strain of Covid-19 and the strains first detected in the United Kingdom and Africa were found in the state, reports PTI, citing officials.

6.35 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged Union ministers to maintain contact with the residents of their respective regions, help them and keep getting their feedback on the Covid-19 situation, reports PTI.

6.33 pm: States have been asked to conduct oxygen consumption audit,” says Union health ministry. “Karnataka, Kerala, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Odisha not only reporting higher peaks but also high Covid-19 case growth trajectory,” the ministry adds, according to PTI. “In second wave, rate of rise in infection has been rapid which has put immense strain on health infrastructure.”

6.32 pm: The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit states like Rajasthan five times more than the previous peak in Uttar Pradesh, 4.5 times in Chhattisgarh and 3.3 times in Delhi, reports PTI, citing the Union health ministry.

6.14 pm: India’s armed forces have been granted emergency financial powers to augment their efforts amid rising Covid-19 cases. The new powers will aid them in operating facilities, procure medical equipment and resources and perform any required urgent tasks.

5.04 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directs the district commissioners of six worst affected districts – Ludhiana, SAS Nagar (Mohali), Jalandhar, Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar – to tighten the micro-containment strategy and ensure 100% testing, reports ANI.

4.59 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired the Council of Minister meet, says that all arms of the government are working unitedly and rapidly to deal with the coronavirus situation. The Council of Ministers meeting notes that the pandemic is ‘once in a century crisis’ and has thrown a big challenge for the world.

“The efforts by the central government in coordination with the states towards building up infrastructure in the form of ramping up hospital beds, PSA oxygen facilities, etc, resolving issues in production, storage and transport of Oxygen, tackling matters relating to the availability of essential medicines were briefed,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting says in a statement. “The measures being taken to further ramp up their supply and availability were also pointed out.”

4.56 pm: The health ministry says that the state have been asked to conduct an oxygen consumption audit, reports PTI.

4.54 pm: The Green Park mosque has been converted into a coronavirus quarantine centre with 10 beds, reports ANI.

“We’ve also arranged medicines, mask sanitisers & PPE kits for patients,” says the joint secretary of the managing committee of the mosque. “On doctor’s prescription, we’ll admit them. We’ll also provide them food.”

4.52 pm: All India Institute Of Medical Sciences Director Randeep Guleria says the decision to administer remdesivir must be taken by a medical professional and administered only in a hospital setting, reports ANI.

4.43 pm: The Haryana government announces weekend lockdown in nine districts, reports The Times of India. The lockdown will be imposed in Gurugram, Panchkula, Faridabad, Sonipat, Karnal, Rohtak, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad districts from 10 pm on Friday till 5 am on May 3.

3.25 pm: Bihar Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh dies of coronavirus. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar offers condolences.

3.05 pm: The police in Gujarat bust a racket involving the sale of remdesivir and arrest five people, reports ANI. The police say the accused were selling fake Remdesivir injections.

Vadodra Commissioner of Police Shamsher Singh says the gang involved used purchased antibiotic injections used in the treatment of pneumonia and repackaged it as remdesivir.

“Police have seized 1,200 such fake Remdesivir injections,” he says. “They sold around 700 such injections in Ahmedabad and 460 injections in Anand and Vadodara.”

3.03 pm: The crime branch of Delhi Police arrests seven people, who were allegedly manufacturing fake remdesivir drugs, reports ANI. Their manufacturing unit in Uttarakhand has been busted, the police say.

3 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar gets his first dose of the coronavirus vaccines. “I appeal to the people of the state, that all of you must get the vaccine and encourage the people around you to get the vaccine also,” he tweets.

2.58 pm: Mahavir Mandir in Patna is refilling oxygen cylinders for in temple premises, reports ANI. “Our aim is to give oxygen cylinders to 150 people daily,” says Kishore Kunal, the temple’s secretary. “We do this via online booking to avoid [a] crowd. We give them specific slot & refill their oxygen cylinder free.”

2.57 pm: Bihar Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh dies of coronavirus at a hospital in Patna, reports ANI.

2.55 pm: The Madras High Court says it hopes that political parties, media and citizens at large will follow the coronavirus protocol on the day of the counting of Assembly election votes on May 2, reports ANI. It says leaders of political parties should keep their rank and file in check and prevent them from bursting crackers.

2.52 pm: The Telangana government extends night curfew in the state for seven more days till 5 am on May 8, reports ANI. The statewide night curfew comes into effect at 9 pm and will continue till 5 am.

2.42 pm: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal tests positive for the coronavirus. “Have isolated myself since the onset of symptoms and all those who were in contact with me have been tested,” he tweets. “Will continue to function and monitor the situation in Delhi from my residence.”

1.41 pm: The Supreme Court tells the Centre that it should adopt the national immunisation model as poor people will not be able to pay for coronavirus vaccines.

1.40 pm: The Centre tells the Supreme Court that Delhi is unable to lift the allocated oxygen quota because of inadequate number of tankers engaged by Delhi government, adding that Delhi is in the process of acquiring more tankers and the situation will improve.

“Is it your case that Delhi is unable to lift oxygen? I want to find the solution to the problem,” Justice Chandrachud asks.

1.25 pm: The Supreme Court questions the government over the pricing of vaccines. “Why is the government not buying 100% of doses produced in this time?” it asks. “Why should there be two prices for the Centre and the states... what is the rationale?”

1.03 pm: The Supreme Court asks states and police not to clamp down citizens’ SOS calls for medical help through social media, reports Live Law. It warns of contempt action.

1.02 pm: The Supreme Court begins hearing in the case where it took suo moto cognisance on matters related to oxygen supply, drug supply, and various other policies in relation to the pandemic.

12.59 pm: The Centre will import 4.5 lakh vials of antiviral drug remdesivir.

12.48 pm: The Civil Aviation Ministry permits the Telangana government to use drones for experimental delivery of vaccines within the visual line of sight. This exemption will be valid for a period of one year or until further orders.

12.40 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urges residents not to queue up outside Covid-19 vaccination centres in the national Capital on Saturday when the third phase of the inoculation drive is scheduled to start. “I request you to not queue up at the centres tomorrow,” he says. “As soon as the vaccines come, we will make proper announcements. Only then people with appointments can start coming to the centres.”

11.45 am: Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij directs chief medical officers across districts to ensure that the treatment and admissions of Covid patients are not affected by VIP movement in hospitals. “Our first priority is the patients and their treatment,” Vij says.

The statement came a day after an attendant at the Jind Civil Hospital told Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar that due to his visit to the facility, there were some strict protocols in place, which eventually inconvenienced patients.

11.37 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi offers condolences to people who have lost family members due to the lack of treatment.

“My condolences to fellow citizens losing their loved ones due to lack of treatment. You are not alone in this tragedy –prayers and sympathies are with you from every state of the country. There is hope if we are together,” Gandhi says in a tweet in Hindi.

11.30 am: A PIL in the Delhi High Court seeks directions to frame guidelines to provide health services to patients who are at home because they have not got admission to hospital beds.

11.25 am: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar says that people in the 18-44 age group won’t get vaccinated from Saturday, ANI reports.

“We gave orders to SII, Pune, for over 1 crore doses,” he says. “But they’re not prepared to give it to us from tomorrow. We request people, especially those b/w 18-44 yrs of age, to refrain from going to hospitals thinking that you may be vaccinated tomorrow. We will definitely intimate people after the confirmation that we obtain from the Serum Institute.”

10.20 am: Flight for the United States arrives in Delhi, carrying coronavirus relief materials, reports ANI.

10.16 am: The organisers of Kumbh Mela said that at least 91 lakh pilgrims visited Haridwar for the Mahakumbh this year, reports the Hindustan Times. The event was criticised for rampant violation of Covid-19 protocols and massive overcrowding at a time when India was reeling under the second wave of the pandemic.

10.09 am: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting him to give an order to prioritise Covid-19 vaccination for the 18-44 age group, reports ANI. He also suggests that priority be given to socially and economically weaker sections in view of a shortage of vaccine doses. He says that on-site registration be also allowed so that the socially and economically weaker sections are not deprived of inoculation.

10.03 am: Senior officials of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police visit the Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre, Radha Soami Beas at the Chhatarpur in Delhi, reports ANI.

10 am: The Delhi Police arrest two persons for allegedly hoarding and black marketing antiviral drug Remdesivir, reports ANI. The police also seize 10 vials of the drug that the accused used to sell at Rs 35,000-50,000 per piece. One accused worked as a housekeeping staff at a hospital while the other worked at a pharmaceutical supplier, the police say.

9.58 am: India on Friday registered 3,86,452 coronavirus cases, pushing the overall count of infections to 1,87,62,976 since the pandemic first broke out in India in January 2020. This is the highest ever single-day rise in cases reported by any country so far, and the ninth consecutive day when India has recorded more than 3 lakh cases.

With 3,498 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,08,330. There are 31,70,228 active cases and the recovery tally stood at 1,53,84,418.

8.35 am: The toll in Brazil crosses 4 lakh, making it the second country after the US to achieve this grim record. The country currently has 4,01,186 deaths and 1,45,90,678 infections.

8.27 am: Tripura health officials say the state needs around 32 lakh vaccine doses to fully vaccinate people in the 18 to 44 age group, ANI reports.

“We have placed an order with Serum Institute of India for 16 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine,” says Dr Siddharth Shiv Jaiswal of the NHM Mission in Tripura. “We have requested them to provide 8 lakh vaccine doses on May 1 and the remaining 8 lakh on May 15. Citing limitation of their production capacity, at least 20 days will be required for them to provide us with Covishield vaccines.”

8.25 am: Shipments from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong and Romania arrive in India with oxygen concentrators and cylinders.

8.23 am: Japan will send 300 oxygen generators and 300 ventilators to India during its “greatest time of need”, ANI reports.

8.20 am: The Delhi Police arrest five people for allegedly manufacturing and selling fake remedesivir injections for Rs 25,000, ANI reports.

8.15 am: Maharashtra may see a third wave of infections by July or August, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday. “Maharashtra is trying to be self-sufficient in terms of availability of medical oxygen by then,” he said.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: Maharashtra may see third wave of infections by July or August, says health minister

8.10 am: Global infections cross the 15-crore mark. The coronavirus has now infected 15,01,02,206 people across the world and killed over 31.61 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 8.72 crore people have recovered from the infection.

8.05 am: Teachers’ unions in Uttar Pradesh have submitted a list of 577 educators and support staff to the state election commission, who have died while on poll duty during panchayat elections. The elections were held in four phases on April 15, April 19, April 26 and April 29 and the votes will be counted on May 2.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: 577 teachers died during duty in UP panchayat polls, say unions

8 am: Delhi reported its highest toll in a single day on Thursday. As many as 395 patients died in 24 hours, according to the AAP government’s data. The city reported 24,235 Covid cases during this period, taking the positivity rate to 33%. It now has 97,977 active cases.

The national Capital has reported high tolls for most of the past few weeks, putting more pressure on the already stressed health infrastructure.

Here are the top updates from Thursday

  • India on Thursday set yet another record with 3,79,257 new coronavirus cases, pushing the overall infection count since the pandemic broke out in January 2020 to 1,83,76,524. This is the highest ever one-day rise in cases reported by any country so far and the eighth straight day when India has recorded more than 3 lakh cases. The country 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.
  • The Centre on Thursday asked all private vaccination centres to return their unused stock of Covid vaccine shots by Friday. They cannot use them for the new round of inoculations opened to all above 18 from May 1.
  • Bharat Biotech announced that its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, will now cost Rs 400 per dose for state governments. It was priced at Rs 600 per shot earlier for states and the Centre will buy it at Rs 150 per dose.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he held a meeting with the officials on Covid-19 vaccination drive in the Capital and prepared a plan to vaccinate all above 18 years in the next three months. The government said it had run out of Covid-19 vaccines and is awaiting supplies from drug manufacturers ahead of the third phase.
  • A top Mumbai civic body official said that vaccination for the 18-44 age group will not begin on May 1 in the city. Mumbai’s civic body said that vaccination will not be conducted in the city for three days, starting from April 30 as stocks were not available.
  • The Madras High Court wondered what the Narendra Modi-led government has been doing for the last 14 months as citizens scramble to source oxygen, medicine and hospital beds for patients during the devastating second wave of the pandemic.
  • Uttar Pradesh extended the weekend lockdown durations till 7 am on Tuesday and the lockdown comes into effect on Friday at 8 pm.
  • Tamil Nadu extended the night curfew and imposed a complete lockdown on Sundays.
  • Maharashtra government extended the lockdown-like restrictions till May 15.
  • Uttarakhand suspended the Char Dham Yatra, which was scheduled to begin from May 14.
  • As many as 168 scientists from various research and teaching institutions across the country have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make coronavirus-related genomic and testing data public.
  • India has turned down an offer of help from the United Nations for an integrated chain supply for coronavirus-related material, claiming that it has its own “robust system” to manage logistics to deal with the pandemic.
  • Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday advised its citizens to leave India as soon as possible because of the country’s worsening coronavirus crisis.