The Odisha government on Tuesday made 14-day institutional quarantine mandatory for travellers from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, citing a “virulent variant of Covid-19”.
The installation of medical oxygen plants at two Delhi hospitals – AIIMS and Ram Manohar Lohia – was expected to be completed on Tuesday night, the Union health ministry said. They may start functioning by Wednesday evening.
The United Arab Emirates extended a ban on entry from travellers coming from India amid the surge in Covid-19 cases. A foreign ministry statement, however, did not specify when the curb, first announced on April 22, would be lifted.
India on Tuesday registered 3,57,229 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 2,02,82,833 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. This is the third consecutive day when the daily infection count dropped after crossing the 4-lakh mark. The toll climbed by 3,449 to 2,22,408. The number of active cases in the country stood at 34,47,133.
The coronavirus has now infected 15.31 crore people across the world and killed over 32.09 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 8.99 crore people have recovered from the infection.
Here are the day’s updates:
10.47 pm: The Odisha government has made 14-day institutional quarantine mandatory for travellers from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, citing a “virulent variant of Covid-19”, reports ANI.
9.44 pm: Actor Deepika Padukone has tested positive for Covid-19, tweets the official handle of the International Indian Film Academy Awards.
9.14 pm: Karnataka reports 44,631 cases in 24 hours, pushing the total Covid-19 infection count in the state to 16,90,934, reports NDTV, citing the state health department. Of these, Bengaluru alone registers 20,870 cases.
9.13 pm: Strict restrictions will be imposed in three districts of Maharashtra – Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur – amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, reports PTI.
9.12 pm: Nashik district has reported 4,224 new Covid-19 cases and 45 fatalities, pushing the tally of infections to 3,37,981 and the toll to 3,645, reports PTI.
9.09 pm: The installation of medical oxygen plants at two Delhi hospitals – AIIMS and Ram Manohar Lohia – is likely to be completed by tonight, the Union health ministry says.
“With the piping connection and testing of the plant ensured through a dry run scheduled for tomorrow, the two plants at AIIMS and RML Hospital in New Delhi will start functioning latest by tomorrow [Wednesday] evening,” the ministry adds.
9.06 pm: Maharashtra records 51,880 new Covid-19 cases and 891 deaths, pushing the tally in the state to 4,822,902, reports the Hindustan Times. The toll reaches 71,742.
Out of these cases, Mumbai reports 2,554 new cases and 62 deaths, taking the city’s tally to 6,61,175 and the toll to 13,434.
9.03 pm: Air India’s pilots union threatens to stop working if they are not vaccinated against Covid-19 at the earliest, reports India Today.
“If Air India fails to set up vaccination camps on a Pan India basis for the flying crew above the age of 18 years on priority, we will ‘STOP WORK’.”
7.21 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the Covid-19 positivity rate in the state has fallen from 27 to 22%. “We are testing 2.80 lakh persons every day and there has been no shortage in testing,” he says, according to ANI. “From 63,000, tally for patients has come down to 61,000. At 84.07%, our recovery rate is highest in country.”
7.20 pm: Kerala records 37,190 new Covid-19 cases, 26,148 recoveries and 57 deaths today, reports ANI. The total recoveries are 13,39,257 and active cases stand at 3,56,872.
7.17 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says the state has 2,40,000 doses of vaccine available in stock, reports ANI. “It will last up to a maximum of two days. Four lakh doses of Covishield and 70,000 Covaxin doses are expected today. As of May 3, Kerala has 270.2 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen and 8.97 metric tonnes of medical oxygen in stock and 108.35 is daily requirement.
7.11 pm: Karnataka declares journalists as frontline workers, reports ANI.
7.05 pm: The Punjab government imposes fresh restrictions. Shops selling fertilizers, horticulture implements, groceries, alcohol, among others are allowed to operate till 5 pm par from during the weekend curfew, reports ANI.
7 pm: Assam revises guidelines for all districts from 5 am on May 5 till further orders, reports ANI. All shops, commercial establishments and offices to shut at 2 pm, and a total ban on public movement will remain in effect from 6 pm to 5 am every day.
5.15 pm: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change says eight Asiatic lions have been isolated after they tested positive for the coronavirus, reports NDTV.
It says that there is no evidence of transmission of virus from animals. “Media is, therefore, requested to exercise extreme caution while reporting and provide a responsible coverage for the same,” the ministry adds.
5.12 pm: The United Arab Emirates has extended a ban on entry from travellers coming from India amid the surge in coronavirus cases, reports Reuters. The statement by the foreign ministry, however, does not specify a date to lift the suspension, which was first announced on April 22.
5.02 pm: Eight Asiatic lions at Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Park have tested positive for the coronavirus, perhaps first such reported incident in India.
“The saliva samples of the Asiatic lions were thoroughly tested and they turned out to be positive,” Rakesh Mishra, advisor of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, told PTI. “As they were living closely it must have been spread among them. Now we are developing a method to test the samples of their faeces. This method would be useful in future as every time it is not possible to collect saliva samples from wild animals.”
4.09 pm: Second shipment of supplies from Ireland arrives in India.
4.05 pm: Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte writes to Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, asking to increase the allocation of oxygen supply of the state by at least 200 metric tonnes, reports ANI. Kunte says that allocation of oxygen to the state from Gujarat’s Jamnagar can be enhanced from 125 metric tonnes per day to 225 metric tonnes per day.
3.58 pm: Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar says that Class 11 and 12 exams for the pre-university course has been postponed, reports ANI. “Teachers to work from home due to rising Covid-19 cases,” he adds.
3.48 pm: Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank says that the Joint Entrance Exam (Main) for the May 2021 session has been postponed in view of the coronavirus, reports ANI. “Students are advised to keep visiting the official website of NTA [National Testing Agency] for further updates,” he says.
3.15 pm: The Centre says it has put into place a “streamlined mechanism” for allocating supplies received from the global community. In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that 24 different categories of items numbering nearly 40 lakhs have been distributed to 86 institutions in different states.
2.54 pm: The Delhi government tells High Court that the states which have tankers are not ready to release them, reports Live Law. “We are not only an oxygen surplus country but also a tanker surplus country,” the Delhi government counsel says.
2.53 pm: The Delhi High Court refuses to entertain a public interest litigation seeking an inquiry to be carried out by a court-appointed special investigation team, reports ANI. The petition seeks to affix the liability and accountability on both the central and Delhi governments on deaths due to a shortage of medical oxygen.
2.38 pm: The Delhi High Court, which is hearing pleas on oxygen shortage in the national Capital, tells Centre that the Indian Institutes of Technology or Indian Institutes of Management will do a much better job they are handed over the management of oxygen tankers, reports ANI.
2.27 pm: Indian Air Force will set up a 100-bed Covid-19 facility at IAF station in Jalahalli, Bengaluru, reports ANI. The facility will be operational from Thursday with 20 beds and oxygen concentrators.
2.25 pm: A Gurugram-based non-governmental organisation is running ‘Oxygen Sewa’ (oxygen help) service, providing life-saving gas for free to patients in the city’s Sector 42 area, reports ANI.
1.16 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticises government on the Central Vista project.
“At a time when the people of the country are struggling with shortage of oxygen, vaccines, hospital beds, medicines, it would be better if the government deploys all resources in saving the lives of the people, instead of building a new house for the PM at Rs 13,000 crore,” she says in a tweet in Hindi.
1.14 pm: Chandigarh district administration extends night curfew and other restrictions, reports ANI.
1.10 pm: Board of Cricket Control in India suspends the Indian Premier League after the tournament’s bio-bubble was breached, reports ANI, quoting the sports body’s Vice President Rajeev Shukla.
1.02 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin, who is set to become Tamil Nadu’s chief minister says journalists, photojournalists and camerapersons working in print and broadcast media would be regarded as frontline workers in the state, reports PTI.
12.58 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces free ration to 72 lakh ration card holders for two months, reports PTI. He also announces financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers hit by lockdown.
12.02 pm: Visuals from Covid-19 vaccination drive at a government school in Dwarka, reports ANI.
12 pm: Punjab Health Minister BS Sidhu says the positivity rate and the number of deaths are increasing in the state, reports ANI. “Now, the infection has started to spread to the rural areas. Except for the frontline workers, people over 18 years of age are not being vaccinated as we don’t have enough vaccines,” he adds.
11.59 am: The Delhi Police arrest a 26-year-old man for his alleged involvement in various cases of fraud on the pretext of providing oxygen cylinder and remdesivir injection, reports ANI.
11.55 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi clarifies his earlier tweet about imposing lockdown in the country. He says that lockdown is now the only option because of a complete lack of strategy by Union government.
“They allowed, rather, they actively helped the virus reach this stage where there’s no other way to stop it,” he tweets. “A crime has been committed against India.”
11.43 am: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announces lockdown in the state till May 15. On Monday, the Patna High Court had observed that the government should “enforce lockdown or the court will order it”, according to The Hindu.
11.38 am: The Maharashtra Congress says that the wastage of coronavirus vaccine in the state was only 0.22% against 6% as claimed by Union minister Prakash Javadekar last month, reports PTI.
“Prakash Javadekar ji, wastage of vaccines in Maharashtra is 0.22% and not 6% as per your lie,” says state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant, tagging the latest statistics released by the Centre. “Modi government only exposed your lie.”
Sawant says the Maharashtra government was proud of the health workers in the state who kept wastage to minimum and still made the state no.1 in vaccination. “Really sad that Maharashtra BJP leaders like you keep humiliating and denigrating the state,” he tweets.
11.08 am: As coronavirus cases continue to surge, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says the only way to stop the spread of the infection is by imposing a full lockdown with the protection of minimum income guarantee or Nyuntam Aay Yojana scheme.
“GOI [Government of India] doesn’t get it,” Gandhi tweets. “The only way to stop the spread of corona now is a full lockdown – with the protection of NYAY for the vulnerable sections. GOI’s inaction is killing many innocent people.”
10.51 am: The World Health Organisation is set to decide this week whether to approve two Chinese vaccines for emergency use against coronavirus, reports AP.
Mariangela Simao, assistant director-general for access to medicines, vaccines and pharmaceuticals at the global health agency, says some “final arrangements” are to be made before a WHO technical advisory group gives its approval to the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
10.46 am: Gujarat is now facing a shortage of diagnostic kits for blood tests to determine the extent of coronavirus infection, reports The Indian Express. Earlier, the state faced a shortage of Rapid Antigen test and RT-PCR test kits.
10.45 am: The Surat fire department in Gujarat issues notices to 10 Covid-19 care centres and hospitals in the city for not following fire safety measures, reports The Indian Express.
10.43 am: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is planning to set up a paediatric Covid care facility in the city, besides a nursery network for children whose parents are admitted in various care centres for Covid-19 treatment, reports The Indian Express.
10.41 am: Delhi receives its first Covid-19 care centre with its own oxygen plant at the Commonwealth Games village Sports complex, reports ANI. The city is facing an acute shortage of oxygen.
10.35 am: India is sending samples of the double-mutant variant of the coronavirus, first found in the country, to the United Kingdom to enable wider studies on the effectiveness of the existing vaccines against it, reports The Indian Express. The variant is suspected of fuelling the coronavirus surge.
“An exchange of samples of the variants is happening,” Former Director of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Rakesh Mishra tells The Indian Express. “The first shipment should happen in the next few days.” He retired as the director of the institute four days ago.
10.33 am: The defence advisor at the High Commission of Tanzania has died of Covid-19, reported the Hindustan Times. It is the first death within the diplomatic community in New Delhi amid the second wave of coronavirus infections sweeping across the country.
10.30 am: Israel will sending medical equipment to India throughout the week to help it in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI. “India is one of Israel’s closest and most important friends,” says Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. “We stand with India, particularly during these difficult times India is experiencing, and are sending life-saving equipment to our Indian brothers and sisters.”
10.28 am: United States Air Force flights scheduled to leave for India with essential life-saving supplies have been delayed till Wednesday due to maintenance issues, PTI reports, citing the Pentagon.
10.22 am: Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary at the Union health ministry, says data from across the country indicates that there are early signs of improvement in the number of daily case in India, reports the Hindustan Times.
However, experts say it is too early to arrive at such a conclusion. “You cannot establish a trend by looking at 48-72 hours data,” an unidentified public health expert tells the newspaper. “This could be an aberration, and needs to sustain for a few weeks before something can be declared concretely.”
9.40 am: India registers 3,57,229 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 2,02,82,833 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, shows government data. The toll rises by 3,449 to 2,22,408.
8.50 am: Consignment carrying 545 oxygen concentrators arrives in India from the United States, reports ANI.
8.46 am: Indian-American member of the US Congress Raja Krishnamoorthi calls on the Joe Biden administration to send AstraZeneca vaccines to India and other countries.
8.45 am: Flight carrying 282 oxygen cylinders, 60 oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical supplies arrives in India from Kuwait, reports ANI.
8.44 am: United States Department of Defense says the final two flights of Covid-19 aid to India have been delayed at least until Wednesday, reports ANI.
8.41 am: Mumbai reports lowest number of new cases in over five weeks as the tally goes up by 2,624 in the Maharashtra Capital on Monday, reports NDTV.
8.40 am: Delhi registers highest single-day toll as 448 coronavirus patients die on Monday, reports NDTV.
8.35 am: Here are the top updates from Monday:
- The Indian government refuted reports that claimed that it has not placed any new order for coronavirus vaccines despite the devastating second wave of the pandemic.
- India 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.
- Delhi High Court asked the Centre to provide details of oxygen concentrators that were stuck at the customs department for clearance.
- Twenty four patients died on Sunday in Chamarajanagar district hospital in Karnataka allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply.
- Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said that the pharmaceutical company was in talks with the Indian government for an “expedited approval pathway” for use of its Covid-19 vaccine.