Maharashtra on Monday reported 48,621 new Covid-19 cases and 567 deaths. The state’s tally rose to 47,71,022 and the toll to 70,851. This is the first time in a month that the state has recorded a significant fall in its daily infections.
Meanwhile, the Centre refuted reports that it had not placed any new order for coronavirus vaccines since March. Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla had claimed that his company did not boost vaccine production because there were no orders.
India on Monday registered 3,68,147 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 1,99,25,604 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. This is the second consecutive day when the daily infection count dropped after crossing the 4-lakh mark. The toll climbed by 3,417 to 2,18,959.
The coronavirus has now infected 15.24 crore people across the world and killed over 31.98 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 8.92 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:
10.07 pm: Mumbai reports 2,662 new Covid-19 cases, 5,746 discharges and 78 deaths. The number of active cases in the city are 54,143 and the toll is 13,408.
9.53 pm: High Commission of Tanzania Colonel Dr Moses Beatus Mlula has become the first foreign diplomat to die of Covid-19 in India, reports The Hindu. He died on April 28 at Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment, the High Commission announced.
9.48 pm: The Allahabad High Court announces release of convicts, undertrials and those who are still in jail for failing to pay fines, reports ANI. The judicial officers have been directed to release them on 60 days parole or final bail.
9.45 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government has extended the curfew in the state from 7 am on May 4 to 7 am on May 6, reports ANI. “All government offices to operate with 50% capacity, while the remaining half to work from home. No inter-state movement of state road transport corporation buses. Only essential shops to remain opened.”
8.30 pm: Delhi Deputy Minister Manish Sisodia writes to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking the Centre to exempt GST on oxygen concentrators for six months.
8.25 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 18,972 new cases and 71 deaths in 24 hours. The state now has 11,63,994 cases in total.
8.20 pm: Bengaluru city reports 22,112 new cases today, taking its total to 8,19,404. As many as 115 patients die today, taking the toll to 6,716.
8.15 pm: The Madhya Pradesh police arrest two nurses and a medical shop owner in Dewas for allegedly trying to sell illegal remdesivir injections, PTI reports.
8.10 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav criticises the Adityanath-led UP government’s handling of the pandemic.
“The BJP government did nothing in past four years and remained in isolation due to which it has put entire state in isolation now,” he says, according to PTI. “The tall claims of Adityanath is exposed in frightening pictures and videos coming from hospitals daily.”
8.05 pm: Here’s the Covid status of some states on Monday evening
Sikkim: 27 new cases, one death; total tally of infections now 8,468, toll 150,
Manipur: 362 new cases, 7 deaths; total cases now 32,523, toll 422,
Tamil Nadu: 20,952 new cases, 122 deaths; total tally now 12,28,064, toll is 14,468,
Gujarat: 12,820 new cases, 140 deaths; total cases is 6,07,422, deaths now 7,648,
Maharashtra: 48,621 new cases, 567 deaths; total cases now 47,71,022, toll is 70,851,
Karnataka: 44,438 new cases, 239 deaths; total cases now 16,46,303, toll is 16,250
8 pm: Restrictions will be in place in Kerala from Tuesday till May 9 in an effort to control the coronavirus pandemic, The Indian Express reports. Residents can move out of their homes only for essential purposes such as emergencies or to get vaccinated.
Shops that sell milk, meat, vegetables and groceries will be open but home deliveries will be encouraged, officials said.
6.22 pm: Union Minister Piyush Goyal says all hospitals should use oxygen judiciously as per guidelines of the Union health ministry, reports The Hindu. “There is no shortage of oxygen in the country and the issues in transport are being addressed,” he adds. “So there should be no black marketing or hoarding of oxygen cylinders.”
6.17 pm: Punjab Chief Minister’s Office appeals to the Centre for more oxygen tankers to be made available to the state, “which did not have enough tankers to transport the critical commodity for saving lives of seriously ill Covid-19 patients”.
6.16 pm: Guleria adds that the current recommendation is both doses of Covid-19 vaccine should be taken. “In scientific language, the first dose is priming while the second dose is a booster dose,” he adds.
6.15 pm: AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria says that CT-Scan and biomarkers are being misused. “There is no advantage in doing CT-Scan if you have mild symptoms,” he says, according to ANI. “One CT-Scan is equivalent to 300 chest x-rays, it is very harmful.”
6.13 pm: An oxygen production plant and 20 ventilators have arrive from Italy, reports ANI.
Ambassador of Italy to India Vincenzo De Luca says an oxygen production machine will be delivered to a hospital in Noida. “It will provide oxygen to 100 patients at one time and to thousands in the days to come,” he adds.
6.11 pm: The Indian Railways says that “oxygen express” will deliver close to 205 metric tonnes to Delhi by Wednesday morning, reports ANI. Haryana will receive its fourth and fifth “oxygen express”, ferrying nearly 72 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen from Angul and Rourkela in Orissa.
6.09 pm: Kerala records 26,011 new Covid-19 infections, 45 deaths and 19,519 recoveries, reports ANI. The toll stands at 5,450.
6.08 pm: All government and private universities in Uttarakhand to remain shut till further orders, reports ANI. Online classes to carry on, says Higher Education Joint Secretary MM Semwal.
6.06 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat’s Office says that the chief minister has contacted Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and sought oxygen cylinders, reports ANI. Rupani has agreed to help the state.
6.05 pm: All government offices and banks in Chandigarh will work with 50% capacity, reports ANI. All private offices in the Union Territory will ensure that their employees work from home. Public transport will operate with 50% capacity and cinema halls, gyms, spa, bar, swimming pool, coaching centres will remain shut.
6.01 pm: The Chandigarh administration has said that night curfew will continue from 6 pm to 5 am every day, reports ANI. “There will be daytime restrictions from 5 pm on May 4 till 5 am on 11th May. All shops selling non-essential items to remain closed,” the order reads.
4.20 pm: Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla claims that his comments about vaccine production have been misinterpreted. “Vaccine manufacturing is a specialised process, it is therefore not possible to ramp up production overnight,” he says in a statement. “We have been working with the government of India since April last year. We have got all kinds of support, be it scientific, regulatory and financial.”
4.15 pm: The government says nearly 18 lakh vaccinated against the coronavirus in the age group of 18 to 44 since May 1.
4.11 pm: The Centre says 1,500 Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen generation plants are being set up to address shortages.
4.09 pm: Agarwal says gaseous oxygen to be used for medical purposes amid shortage of the life-saving gas during the devastating second wave of the pandemic. “Industrial units which produce gaseous oxygen of requisite purity closer to cities are being identified,” he adds.
4.07 pm: Certain districts are showing a decline in new coronavirus cases in the last 15 days, says Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of health ministry.
4.05 pm: The health ministry is addressing a press conference on the coronavirus situation in India.
3.55 pm: The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has written to states and Union Territories, seeking information about children whose parents have died due to the coronavirus, reports PTI.
“In such a sad situation of surge in Covid-19 cases in the country there are situations arising where the child has lost both its parents or is found to be abandoned,” says NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo. “It may be noted that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 provides for the procedure to be followed for children who have lost their family support and have become child in need of care and protection.”
3.50 pm: Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraja Bommai says oxygen demand has increased in the state and the government is trying to fulfill it, reports ANI. “We are exploring all possibilities to normalise the situation,” he says.
On Sunday, 24 patients died in Chamarajanagar district hospital allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply.
However, Health Minister K Sudhakar says only three of them died due to oxygen scarcity. “It’s initial information by doctors,” he adds. “An investigation is on.”
3.42 pm: Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Shamburaje Desai says Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla should file a police complaint in connection with the alleged threats that he has received for vaccine supply, reports PTI. Desai says the state government will conduct an in-depth probe into it.
3.25 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declares all journalists as “Covid warriors”, reports ANI.
3.18 pm: The NEET post graduate exam will not be held before August 31, 2021, says the prime minister’s office.
3.15 pm: The prime minister’s office says the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (post graduate) or NEET-PG medical exam to be postponed for at least four months to boost availability of medical personnel to fight the surging coronavirus pandemic.
2.54 pm: State Bank of India allocates Rs 71 crores for initiatives aimed at helping India combat the second wave of Covid-19, reports ANI. “[The] Bank has dedicated Rs 30 crores to setup 1000-bedded makeshift hospitals, 250 bed ICU facilities & 1000-bedded isolation facilities in some worst-hit states,” it says.
2.48 pm: The health ministry says that media reports alleging that the Centre has not placed a fresh order for coronavirus vaccines are incorrect. In a statement, the ministry says that it released advance payment to Serum Institute of India on April 28 for 11 crore doses of Covishield vaccine during May, June and July.
“Additionally, 100% advance of Rs 787.50 crore [after TDS Rs. 772.50 cr] was released on 28.04.2021 to Bharat Biotech India Ltd for 05 crore Covaxin doses during May, June and July, and was received by them on 28.04.2021,” it adds.
2.46 pm: The Delhi Police bust a black-marketing racket, involving in hoarding and selling oxygen concentrators, and arrest four people, reports ANI. The police also seize 115 oxygen concentrators, two cars and Rs 4,90,000 in cash.
2.43 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen exchange views on the prevailing Covid-19 situation in India and the EU over a telephone call. Modi expresses his appreciation of the bloc for sending quick support for India’s fight against the second wave of pandemic.
2.29 pm: The Delhi High Court directs the Centre to apprise it of action taken, if any, on Delhi government’s request seeking assistance from the Indian Army’s in setting up hospitals with oxygen and intensive care unit beds, reports The Indian Express.
2.28 pm: The Andhra Pradesh government imposes curfew in the state from 12 pm to 6 am, starting from Wednesday, reports The Indian Express.
12.42 pm: Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla says the company is in discussions with the Indian government seeking an “expedited approval pathway” for its coronavirus vaccine, reports Reuters. He also announces a donation of medicines worth more than $70 million to help India tackle the devastating second wave of the pandemic.
12.30 pm: Manish Sisodia says vaccination for those above 18 years has started at 76 schools of the Delhi government.
12.25 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has written to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking the Army’s help to set up, operationalise and run some coronavirus health facilities, reports the Hindustan Times.
“Since the entire health infrastructure machinery is overwhelmed with the management of the existing hospitals and the upcoming Covid hospitals, it will be a timely help to the people of Delhi if the ministry of defence, with the considerable resources at its command, is tasked with the responsibility to provide and man the additional Covid health facilities as per the current projections,” says his letter.
12.22 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says the government needs urgent help to transport oxygen for treatment of the coronavirus patients, reports ANI. “We have sought help from different sources including the Army, Central government and its different wings and private sector,” he says.
12.21 pm: The Indian Premier League match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, which was supposed to take place today, has been rescheduled after two members of the KKR test positive for the coronavirus, reports PTI.
11.40 am: More than 20 patients in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district hospital have died due to lack of oxygen supply, reports News18. However, minister Suresh Kumar, who is on his way to Chamarajanagar, claims that all the deaths did not take place due to oxygen shortage.
11.22 am: “Media should be able to report everything also to create accountability,” says Justice DY Chandrachud, according to Bar and Bench. “Often the dialogue in court is to create an umbrella of discussion.”
The Supreme Court says it does not want to demoralise the High Courts as they are vital pillars of democracy. “We cant just say judges should stick to pleadings,” it adds. “They are over burdened and they are saying whats happening around them. They are burning the midnight oil.”
11.20 am: The Supreme Court says asking media to not report on observations is too “far fetched”, reports PTI.
11.17 am: The Supreme Court says media is powerful watchdog in democracy and cannot be stopped from reporting discussions in higher courts, reports PTI.
The Election Commission had on Sunday moved the Supreme Court against what it called “blatantly disparaging remarks” by the Madras High Court for conducting polls during pandemic. The High Court had on April 26 said the poll panel “should probably be booked for murder” for not stopping political rallies.
11.15 am: Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla has said that India’s Covid-19 vaccine shortage would continue through July. Poonawalla said that the production of the vaccines is expected to increase from 60-70 million doses (6-7 crore) to 100 million (10 crore) by then.
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11.11 am: The Election Commission tells the Supreme Court that the Madras High Court castigated the poll panel without seeking any reply from officers responsible under Disaster Management Act, reports Live Law.
11.06 am: The Supreme Court begins hearing a plea by the Election Commission of India challenging a Madras High Court order criticising it for allowing polls to take place amid pandemic, reports ANI.
9.23 am: India reports 3,68,147 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 19,925,604 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll climbed by 3,417 to 2,18,959. There are 34,13,642 active cases and as many as 1,62,93,003 patients have recovered from the infection.
8.58 am: Maharashtra recorded 56,647 fresh infections and 669 deaths on Sunday. It was a drop in daily load compared to Saturday when the state had registered 63,282 cases.
8.55 am: Delhi reported more than 400 deaths for the second consecutive day on Sunday. The national Capital logged 407 deaths on Sunday, a little less than the 412 fatalities on Saturday – the highest so far. The city registered 20,394 new cases on Sunday. The positivity rate is now at 28.33%, according to the state health bulletin.
8.52 am: The Punjab government on Sunday night announced fresh curbs to rein in the surging infections, NDTV reports. Now, those entering Punjab via air, rail or road will need to furnish a Covid negative report. Cinema halls, bars and gymnasiums will remain shut and no dine-in will be allowed in restaurants. All shops selling non-essential items will remain shut. These restrictions will remain in effect till May 15.
8.47 am: Indian-American billionaire businessman Vinod Khosla pledges $10 million for the supply of medical oxygen to hospitals in India.
8.46 am: Ladakh registers 140 fresh cases of coronavirus and one death in the last 24 hours, reports PTI.
8.45 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:
- 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 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 Centre on Sunday urged the Delhi High Court to recall its order warning the Union government of contempt proceedings if it failed to supply the 490 metric tonnes of oxygen a day allocated to the national Capital. In its application, the Centre said the May 1 order will have a demoralising effect on its officials.
- At least three hospitals in Delhi on Sunday sent out desperate pleas for oxygen as their stocks of the life-saving gas dwindled during the spiralling coronavirus pandemic.
- Leaders of 13 Opposition parties on Sunday urged the Centre to launch a free mass vaccination programme in the country to control the surge of the coronavirus pandemic. They asked the Centre to utilise the budgetary allocation of Rs 35,000 crore made towards the pandemic, for the vaccination drive. In a joint statement, the leaders also called upon the Centre to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to all hospitals and health centres.
- 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.