West Bengal on Saturday reported 103 coronavirus deaths – the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. The toll in the state now stood at 11,447.
Meanwhile, India received its first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.
India recorded 4,01,993 cases on Saturday, the highest ever since the pandemic began last year, setting a new global record of single-day infections. With this, the country’s tally of infections rose to 1,91,64,969. The toll climbed to 2,11,853 after 3,523 new deaths were registered in 24 hours.
The coronavirus has now infected 15.09 people across the world and killed over 31.76 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 8.79 crore people have recovered from the infection.
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Here are the top updates of the day:
9.20 pm: Tamil Nadu records an all-time high in daily coronavirus related fatalities at 147 and 19,588 new cases, reports PTI. With this, the toll has risen to 14,193 and the caseload to 11,86,344 so far.
8.33 pm: The Election Commission has moved Supreme Court against “should be booked for murder” observations of Madras High Court, reports Bar and Bench.
8.20 pm: West Bengal reports 103 coronavirus deaths – the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic, reports PTI. The state also records 17,512 new infections.
7.55 pm: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has taken away Health Minister Eatala Rajender’s portfolio after allegations of land encroachment emerged against the latter, reports NDTV.
7.40 pm: The West Bengal government restricts number of invitees to weddings and family gatherings to 50 to contain the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Hindustan Times.
7.37 pm: The Jharkhand government says vaccination drive for those 18 to 45 age group is being postponed due to lack of supply, reports ANI.
7.35 pm: The Delhi High Court has directed all hospitals in the national Capital to provide information on daily admissions and discharge of coronavirus patients, reports PTI. It also sought details of those admitted for over 10 days, since April 1.
“Looking into the dearth and shortage of beds, particularly oxygen beds and beds in ICU [Intensive Care Unit], we consider it necessary to have this aspect looked into as there are allegations of malpractice of patients not being discharged despite having recovered from the Covid-19 disease,” says the court.
5.55 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the lockdown in the national Capital is being extended by one week. His announcement comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the city, overwhelming hospitals.
4.18 pm: The first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has arrived in India.
3.43 pm: Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma requests the court to wait for half an hour, reports Bar and Bench.
“Enough is enough...who is asking for a dime more than allocated,” the court asks. “Don’t do this, Don’t do that. We don’t appreciate this. This is a new way of arguing that we are seeing. We’ll see your explanation on Monday if you can’t supply.”
3.37 pm: The High Court says the concerned authority should be present during the next hearing if the order is not implemented. “Water has gone above the head,” it says. “Now we mean business. You will arrange everything now.”
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma says “everybody is stretched”. The court dismisses his pleas, and says, “Don’t tell us that. Eight people have died...will we shut our eyes to people dying in Delhi?”
3.35 pm: The Delhi High Court pulls up the Centre on oxygen shortage in the national Capital, reports Bar and Bench. It directs the central government to ensure that Delhi receives its 490 metric tonnes of oxygen supply today by “whatever means”.
“Delhi is not an industrial state...it doesn’t have cryogenic tankers,” the court says. “It falls on the central government to arrange tankers as well...as it only remains a paper allocation. The allocation to Delhi has been in force from April 20 and not for a single day Delhi has received allocated supply.”
3.03 pm: As many as eight coronavirus patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of Batra Hospital in Delhi have died after the facility ran out of medical oxygen, reports The Indian Express. This includes the hospital’s gastroenteritis head Dr RK Himthani.
2.35 pm: India is among the five countries that will be added to Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine list from May 4, reports PTI. The other four countries are Georgia, Iran, Mongolia and Costa Rica.
“Travel to Ireland from specific designated states is now subject to mandatory hotel quarantine,” says a statement by the Irish government. “This must be pre-booked in advance of travel.”
2.20 pm: “Oxygen plants are essential,” says a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli. “It is irresponsible not to have them.”
2.15 pm: The Delhi High Court says hospitals should learn from their experience while facing oxygen shortage and set up plants for generating the life-saving gas as the coronavirus crisis worsens, reports PTI.
2.12 pm: Several people, including one doctor, have died at Delhi’s Batra Hospital after it ran out of oxygen at 12.45 pm during the coronavirus crisis, reports NDTV.
2 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi Congress urges the Centre to evolve a political consensus on a national policy to tackle the spread of the pandemic. In a video message, she says it is time for the central and state governments “to wake up and fulfil their duties”.
Gandhi reiterates that the Centre should provide vaccines free of cost to all citizens. She also urges the government to deposit Rs 6,000 in the account of every poor family to help them tide over the current crisis.
10.10 am: The World Health Organization says it has listed the Moderna vaccine for emergency use, reports AFP. The US vaccine is the fifth jab to earn WHO’s emergency listing.
9.29 am: India records 4,01,993 cases today, the highest ever since the pandemic began last year. With this, the country’s tally of infections rises to 1,91,64,969. The toll rises to 2,11,853 after 3,523 new deaths were registered in 24 hours.
8.43 am: The United States announces that it will begin restricting travel from India next week, in view of the worsening coronavirus situation and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the virus.
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8.42 am: Former Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Mohammad Shahabuddin dies of Covid-19, reports ANI.
8.38 am: Odisha government constitutes an expert committee to formulate strategies on the use of Tocilizumab and other drugs for treatment of Covid-19.
8.35 am: India will begin vaccinating those aged between 18 and 45 against Covid-19 from today, as the country battles a ferocious second wave of infections, worsened by shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.
Here are the top updates from Friday
- India registered another highest single-day rise in coronavirus cases reporting 3,86,452 new infections. The country’s tally ow stands at 1,87,62,976 since the pandemic first broke out in India in January 2020. With 3,498 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,08,330, while the active case count stood 31,70,228.
- The West Bengal government has ordered a shutdown of shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlours, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, gyms and sports complexes. Markets to operate only between 7 am and 10 am and 3 to 5 pm until further orders.
- The Supreme Court said that governments should not curb the voices on social media either calling out for medical help or conveying their grievances during the coronavirus pandemic. The court said it will treat such actions as contempt of court. The court also asked the Centre not to leave pricing of vaccines to manufacturers.
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation extended the suspension on international passenger flights till May 31.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed willingness to strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation with India and provide support and help to deal with the second wave of coronavirus.
- Television journalist Rohit Sardana died of heart attack, days after testing positive for coronavirus. Bihar Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh also died of the virus at a hospital in Patna. Meanwhile, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has isolated himself after testing positive.
- The 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.
- Drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech have sent a request for European Union drug regulators to extend their vaccine approvals to include children aged between 12 and 15.