The Supreme Court on Sunday asked the Centre to address the shortages of oxygen supply in Delhi by midnight of May 3. It also asked the Centre to create a buffer stock of oxygen along with all states which can be used if the regular supply chain is disrupted.
India on Sunday evening received 1.25 lakh vials of antiviral drug remdesivir from the United States.
India recorded 3,92,488 cases on Sunday. With this, the country’s tally of infections rose to 1,95,57,457 since the pandemic began last year. The toll climbed to 2,15,542 after 3,689 additional deaths were registered in 24 hours.
The coronavirus has now infected 15.17 people across the world and killed over 31.88 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 8.96 crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
Here are the day’s updates:
11.36 pm: Supreme Court asks Centre to address the matter of shortages of oxygen supply in Delhi by midnight of May 3, reports the Hindustan Times. Court asks Centre to create a buffer stock of oxygen along with all states which can be used if the regular supply chain is disrupted due to any reason.
“The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days. The replenishment of the emergency stocks will also be monitored on a real-time basis through the virtual control room in active consultation with each state/Union Territory,” the court’s order noted.
10.10 pm: West Bengal reports 17,515 new cases and 92 deaths, according to ANI.
10.09 pm: Haryana registers 13,322 new cases of coronavirus and 145 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. Active cases in the state stands at 1,05,270.
10.08 pm: 1.25 lakh vials of remdesivir drug arrive in India from the United States, reports ANI.
10.07 pm: Punjab government makes negative coronavirus report or vaccination certificate mandatory for entering state. All non-essential shops will be shut in the state till May 15, reports ANI.
10.05 pm: Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s residence Raj Niwas seeks advice from departments and agencies concerned with regard to availability of key medicines, beds, medical oxygen and augmentation of capacities at crematoriums and graveyards, reports ANI.
The Lieutenant Governor asks for submission of a quantifiable action plan with monitorable timelines in this regard. He also suggests possibility of reemploying recently retired doctors and other paramedical staff to address shortages.
10.01 pm: Punjab reports 7,327 new coronavirus cases and 157 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports ANI.
9.59 pm: Delhi Metro reduces frequency of trains, reports ANI.
Services during morning (7 am to 11 am) and evening (4 pm to 8 pm) peak hours across the network will be available with a frequency of 15 minutes. For rest of the day, services across the network will be available with a frequency of 30 minutes.
9.20 pm: Delhi reports 407 deaths due to the coronavirus, taking its toll since the pandemic began last year to 16,966. This is the second consecutive day when the national Capital has recorded over 400 deaths. It also recorded 20,394 new infections, taking the active case tally to 92,290.
6.40 pm: Leaders of 13 Opposition parties in a joint statement urge the Centre to launch free mass vaccination drive against the coronavirus, reports PTI. They also suggest that the Narendra Modi government should ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen to all hospitals and health centres.
6.36 pm: The Madhya Pradesh government has extended the curfew in capital Bhopal till May 10 to tackle the rising coronavirus cases, reports PTI. The curfew, in force since April 12 with extensions on April 19 and 26, was to end at 6 am on Monday.
6.35 pm: The United Kingdom says it is sending an extra 1,000 oxygen ventilators to India to help with the coronavirus crisis, reports AFP. Before this, Britain had sent 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators as a second wave of the pandemic has lead to shortage of medicines and oxygen across India.
“We’re going to be sending out another package of 1,000 ventilators, very shortly,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tells the BBC.
5.05 pm: The Centre urges the Delhi High Court to recall its order directing supply of entire allocated oxygen of 490 metric tonnes to the national Capital or face contempt action for failure to do so, reports PTI.
5 pm: The Delhi High Court is hearing a case on the coronavirus situation in the national Capital, reports ANI. Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi government, asks why the Centre cannot can give the other 100 metric tonnes of oxygen allocated to the city.
4.56 pm: Haryana Minister Anil Vij says a complete lockdown in the state, beginning Monday, will help break the chain of virus transmission, reports ANI. “During the lockdown, essential services will be allowed,” he adds.
4.55 pm: Taiwan has delivered 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders to India, reports PTI. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Center says more batches of medical equipment and supplies will be airlifted to India soon as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge, overwhelming hospitals.
4.10 pm: The Centre plans to make space for upto 10,000 coronavirus patients at makeshift hospitals near industrial units that can provide oxygen, reports PTI.
4 pm: The Centre tells the Supreme Court that a 122 crore doses of coronavirus vaccines will be needed to vaccinate those aged 18 to 44, reports PTI. India has around 59 crore people in this age group, the Centre says.
In an affidavit, the Centre says Russian vaccine Sputnik V will be available from July onwards. Around 8 million doses can be made available in July, and 16 million in August, it says.
3.40 pm: As Delhi continues to experience an oxygen shortage, two hospitals alert the government about their supply running out, reports PTI. Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Malviya Nagar and Triton Hospital in Kalkaji say they are dangerously close to running out of medical oxygen.
At Madhukar Rainbow, there are 50 patients including four newborns “at risk”, PTI reports. The hospital has around 80 coronavirus patients, and 15 newborns.
3.09 pm: Haryana minister Anil Vij announces a lockdown in the state from May 3 for one week.
3 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s father has died after contracting Covid.
2 pm: The Election Commission asks chief secretaries of the concerned states to file FIRs in case members of political parties or their supporters congregate to celebrate poll victories. Counting of votes is underway for the elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
12.57 pm: Delhi’s Madhukar Rainbow Children Hospital says it has oxygen supplies to last just a few minutes, reports PTI. The hospital has 50 patients, including four newborns who are on oxygen support. The hospital has been putting out SOS messages for help on Twitter since morning.
12.44 pm: The Indian government has so far provided more 16.54 crore vaccine doses to states and Union Territories for free, says the Centre. “More than 78 lakh doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered,” a tweet on PIB reads.
12.42 pm: Israel has temporarily prohibited its citizens from travelling to India and six other countries, citing a surge in Covid-19 infections, reports PTI.
12.37 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declares working journalists of the state as frontline Covid-19 warriors, reports ANI, quoting his office. “He said working journalists are doing a great service to state by providing seamless news feed, making people aware on Covid-related issues and they are great support for war against Covid.”
10.51 am: Hours after Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla said he was in the UK for “an extended period of time”, he tweets that he will review Covishield vaccine manufacturing in Pune “upon my return in a few days”. Poonawalla says vaccine production is “in full swing in Pune”.
10.44 am: Odisha announces a lockdown for two weeks, starting from May 5, reports ANI.
9.26 am: India records 3,92,488 cases. With this, the country’s tally of infections rises to 1,95,57,457 since the pandemic began last year. The toll climbs to 2,15,542 after 3,689 additional deaths.
8.41 am: During the campaign for the West Bengal polls, 178 notices have been sent to political parties, 67 of them were sent to the Trinamool Congress, and 59 to the Bharatiya Janata Party, reports the Hindustan Times. Other parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), have also received these notices.
8.41 am: As many as 448 public events and rallies have been cancelled during the West Bengal Assembly polls, which ended on April 29, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.37 am: As India reels under the second wave of Covid-19, many Parliamentary house committees have cancelled their meetings and no new meetings have been planned, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.35 am: AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria has told NDTV that India’s healthcare infrastructure is stretched thin.
“Why is this happening?” he tells the news channel. “Because of continuously increasing number of cases... we have to work aggressively to bring this number down. No healthcare system in the world can manage this kind of load. The issue of aggressive containment or lockdown, or whatever, is key.”
8.33 am: The Central Pollution Control Board has identified 30 industries to alter their nitrogen plants to produce medical oxygen, reports the Hindustan Times. Some of these plants may be shifted to nearby hospitals for supplying oxygen and some plants may produce oxygen on-site, the agency has said.
8.31 am: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana has advanced the Supreme Court’s summer vacation to May 10, instead of May 14, after getting the approval of the full bench of the court, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.30 am: Chinese companies are working hard to deliver 40,000 oxygen generators to India, ambassador Sun Weidong says, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.28 am: India and South Africa are gearing up to push for a waiver of patent protections on Covid-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.25 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticises Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports PTI. He says the entire world is shaken by what is happening in India and accuses Modi of “dropping the ball and throwing it to states” after earlier taking credit for having “won against Covid-19”, reports PTI.
8.23 am: The armed forces are bringing in 600 more doctors, including recalling those retired in the military to aid in fight against the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, reports the Hindustan Times.
8.21 am: An 88-year-old woman has died after Covid-19 complications at a Singapore hospital – a first in over a month, according to media reports, reports PTI.
8.18 am: Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla has alleged that he has been receiving threats from politicians and “powerful men” demanding quick delivery of Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, reports The Indian Express.
Poonawalla has said that “‘threats’ is an understatement” to describe what he has faced from people calling for “instant supplies” of the vaccine.
8.14 am: The Jaunpur district authorities on Saturday registered a first information report against a driver of a private ambulance for allegedly making “false and disrespectable” remarks against the state government while he was providing oxygen to Covid-19 patients waiting to be admitted outside the district hospital, reported The Indian Express.
8.12 am: Delhi’s oxygen crisis became worsen on Saturday, with hospitals in the city alerting that their stocks were low, reported the Hindustan Times. This cames on a day when at least 12 Covid-19 patients died at the Batra Hospital after an 80-minute disruption in oxygen supply.
8.08 am: Mortuaries in Bengaluru hospitals are full, especially the smaller ones, despite the state’s efforts to expedite the process of last rites by opening up more crematoriums and burial grounds, reports The Indian Express.
8.05 am: At least 14 Covid-19 patients died at the Government General Hospital Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, on Saturday due to a glitch in the oxygen supply pipeline, reported The Hindu. Six of these patients were in the Orthopaedic Ward and four in the Chest Ward. Four other patients were being given oxygen support in the intensive care unit.
However, unconfirmed reports suggest that the toll may be higher.
7.51 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the state is facing an acute shortage of coronavirus vaccine doses and it is not in a position to provide shots to people in the 18-45 age group now, reports the Hindustan Times.
7.49 am: A flight carrying a consignment of medical supplies from France arrives, reports ANI.
7.39 am: The Congress launches a medical advisory helpline aimed at helping those battling with the coronavirus. The helpline number is +919983836838.
“Dear Dr’s [doctors] & mental health professionals, we need your help,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweets. “Please enroll on.”
7.35 am: The health ministry says 84,599 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine in the country on the first day of the third of the inoculation drive, reports PTI.
7.32 am: Delhi on Saturday recorded 412 deaths, its highest daily fatality count since the pandemic broke out in March last year, reports NDTV. The city also logged 25,219 infections in the same period with a positivity rate of 31.61%.
Here are the top updates from Saturday
- India on Saturday registered 4,01,993 coronavirus cases, pushing the overall count of infections to 1,91,64,969 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. This is the first time any country has recorded more than 4 lakh daily cases. With 3,523 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,11,853.
- Twelve patients, including a senior doctor, died at Delhi’s Batra Hospital after the private facility ran out of oxygen supply, PTI reported. Speaking to media after the incident, SCL Gupta, medical director of the hospital, said the head of gastroenterology department of the facility was among those who died.
- Vaccination for those in the 18 to 45 age group remained largely a non-starter as the third phase of inoculation kicked off in India on Saturday. Almost all states have expressed their inability to start vaccinating the wider group due to shortage of stocks. A few states, where the third phase started, it was limited to sporadic centres in a few districts.
- India received the first batch of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines from Russia. The Customs in Hyderabad expedited the clearance of the consignment.
- Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla has said that he flew to London late last week before the United Kingdom banned travellers from India because he was being threatened. “I’m staying here for an extended time because I don’t want to go back to that situation,” he said in an interview with The Times that was published on Saturday.