The Union government’s Principal Scientific Advisor Professor K VijayRaghavan on Friday said the third wave of Covid-19 may not happen if “we take strong measures”. This came two days after he cautioned that a third wave of the pandemic was inevitable.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said the coronavirus crisis in India was not a systemic problem, but a result of the failure and incompetence of the Narendra Modi government.
India on Friday recorded 4,14,188 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,14,91,598 since the pandemic broke out last year. This is the highest rise in daily cases and the third instance, after May 1, when the count rose by more than 4 lakh. The toll climbed by 3,915 deaths to 2,34,083.
The coronavirus has now infected 15.56 crore people across the world and killed over 32.51 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.19 crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
A look at the top developments of the day:
10.28 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, flagging oxygen supply crisis in the state, reports Mint. Stalin says that while it was agreed to by the Centre to supply at least 476 metric tonnes of medical oxygen to the state immediately, the order for the same has not yet been issued.
10.26 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan promises help to the West Bengal government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
10.24 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that no one in the state will have to go hungry during the lockdown, reports News18. “Next week onwards free food kits will be distributed for all families and guest workers,” he says. “Food will be delivered to the needy from People’s Restaurants and Community Kitchens through Local Self Government Institutions.”
10.20 pm: Here are some state daily Covid-19 figures:
10.17 pm: United States Vice President Kamala Harris says that at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when the hospital beds in the United States were stretched, India sent assistance, reports ANI. “Today, we’re determined to help India in its hour of need,” she adds. “We do this as friends of India, as members of Asian Quad & as part of the global community.”
10.14 pm: United States Vice President Kamala Harris calls the surge in coronavirus cases and deaths “heartbreaking”, reports ANI. “To those of you who have lost loved ones, I send my deepest condolences,” she says.
Harris says that US military as well as civilians were delivering relief in India. “Already, we’ve delivered refillable oxygen cylinders, with more to come,” she adds. “We’ve delivered oxygen concentrators, with more to come. We’ve delivered N95 masks, and have more ready to send. We have delivered doses of remdesivir to treat Covid patients.”
9.29 pm: Niti Aayog Member VK Paul says that mucormycosis, a fungal infection, is being found in Covid-19 patients but adds that there is “no big outbreak”, reports PTI. Paul says that the infection, also called black fungus, was largely seen in patients who are diabetic.
9.26 pm: The World Health Organization grants emergency use authorisation to China’s Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine, reported The New York Times. The approval allows the Sinopharm vaccine to be included in Covax, WHO’s global initiative designed to promote equitable vaccine distribution around the world.
9.22 pm: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan says that it will send 100 oxygen concentrators on Saturday as a part of the first batch of emergency assistance from the country in response to the current surge of Covid-19 infections in India, reports The Times of India.
9.20 pm: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla says at a United Nations Security Council meeting that India provided coronavirus vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to over 150 countries across the world, reports ANI. “In that same spirit of friendship and solidarity, we extend deep appreciation to those that have come forward to provide us with some priority requirements to battle the second wave of Covid-19,” he adds.
9.17 pm: Police in Madhya Pradesh register a case against three people for allegedly violating the curfew in the state, reports ANI. The police say that the accused held a wedding function in Niwari district without seeking permission and also did not disclose the presence of 1-2 Covid-19 positive patients at the event.
9.13 pm: Here are the single-day coronavirus figures from a few states, according to ANI.
- Maharashtra: 54,022 new cases, 37,386 recoveries and 898 deaths.
- Uttar Pradesh: 28,076 new cases, 33,117 recoveries and 372 deaths.
- West Bengal: 19,216 new cases, 17,780 recoveries and 112 deaths.
- Gujarat: 12,064 new cases, 13,085 recoveries and 119 deaths.
- Manipur: 600 new cases, 83 recoveries and 2 deaths.
8.10 pm: Karnataka reports 48,781 new cases, with 21,276 in Bengaluru Urban, according to The Indian Express. The positivity rate is at 30.69%.
7.57 pm: The Telangana government imposes more Covid restrictions, including setting a limit for weddings and funerals, ANI reports. Night curfew will be in place from 9 pm to 5 am till May 15.
7.50 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal instructed officers to complete the vaccination drive within three months, according to ANI.
7.49 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that the national Capital’s oxygen crisis has been resolved, NDTV reports. “Now there is no lack of oxygen in Delhi. We should have enough oxygen beds so that no patient is deprived,” he reportedly said in a meeting attended by several top officials of the AAP government, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
7.48 pm: The Haryana government will provide a door-to-door oxygen cylinder refill facility soon, ANI reports. Patients or family members can apply for the cylinders online.
7.47 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa says the lockdown in the state would be temporary and urges migrant labourers not to leave. “Not even a single person will be allowed after 10 am in the lockdown, I have suggested police officers to take stringent action,” he says, according to ANI. “We have decided this after looking at the death toll and increasing number of cases.”
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7.40 pm: Here’s a roundup of state figures on Friday evening:
Madhya Pradesh: 11,708 new cases, 84 deaths in a day; total case tally rises to 6,49,114 and toll now 6,244;
Tamil Nadu: 26,465 new cases, 197 deaths; total tally now 13,23,965 and toll at 15,171,
Goa: 4,195 new cases, 56 deaths; total cases now 1,12,462, and toll at 1,557,
Mumbai: 3,039 new cases, 71 deaths; total tally at 6,71,394, toll now 13,687,
Kerala: 38,460 new cases, 54 fatalities; total toll now 5,682
Uttarakhand: 9,642 new cases, 137 deaths; total cases at 2,29,993, toll at 3,430
Rajasthan: 18,231 new cases, 164 deaths; total cases are now 7,20,799, while toll is 5,346
7.35 pm: Karnataka announces a complete lockdown in the state from May 10 to May 24, ANI reports. “All hotels, pubs and bars will remain closed,” Chief Minister Yediyurappa says. “Eateries, meat shops & vegetable shops can operate from 6-10 am.”
7.15 pm: Goa makes it mandatory for tourists entering the state to have negative RT-PCR reports, or both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, reports ANI.
7.10 pm: The Delhi government will organise vaccination drives for all media houses at their offices, reports ANI. This includes electronic, digital and print media.
6.04 pm: Case registered against Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu for allegedly creating panic about a new strain of the coronavirus, reports ANI.
6.02 pm: The Union health ministry issues a standard operating procedure for entrusting district task forces with registering the groups of people who do not have any photo identity cards required for the registration on Co-Win, reports the Hindustan Times.
Such groups of people include nomads, prisoners, inmates in mental health institutions, people in old age homes, beggars, residents of rehabilitation centres and any other identified eligible persons that do not have any of the seven prescribed photo ID cards.
5.59 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research says that a fake list of dos and don’ts on the coronavirus is being circulated on social media under its name.
5.55 pm: A public interest litigation has been moved in the Delhi High Court, seeking compensation for the families of citizens who died because of the shortage of oxygen, reports PTI. The High Court has directed the Delhi government to treat the PIL as a representation and take a decision on it in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case.
5.52 pm: The West Bengal government has moved the Supreme Court seeking a uniform vaccination policy and has asked that the new differential pricing mechanism in the current phase of coronavirus inoculation be scrapped, reports NDTV. The Supreme Court will take up the matter on May 10.
5.49 pm: Kuwait has shipped 215 tonnes of liquid oxygen on four ships that are expected to start arriving in India from Saturday, reports the Hindustan Times. and stands ready to provide up to 1,400 tonnes over the next three weeks to help address a severe shortage across the country.
Kuwaiti ambassador Jasem Ibrahem Al Najem says that this will not be the only shipment. “The sea bridge that has been established will continue and the Indian Navy ships will go back to be refilled,” he adds. “Kuwait will provide 1,400 tonnes of oxygen in three weeks.”
5.44 pm: Journalist Shesh Narayan Singh dies of coronavirus at a hospital in Greater Noida, reports NDTV. He was undergoing treatment for the infection at the Government Institute of Medical Sciences.
5.40 pm: A crowd chase away police in Sangamner in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra after the force tries to disperse a huge assembly of people, reports ANI. A first information report has been booked against several people and five have been named as accused.
5.36 pm: Puducherry registers 1,746 new coronavirus cases and 19 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports ANI. With this, the infection tally climbs to 68,373 and the toll increases to 920.
5.32 pm: Additional Health Secretary Arti Ahuja says that 24 states in the country have a positivity rate of more than 15%. Ahuja says that there are nine states where the positivity rate is between 5 and 15% and three where it is below 5%.
She adds that 12 states and Union Territories have more than 1 lakh active cases. There are seven states and UTs where the active cases is between 50,000 and 1 lakh. In 17 states and Union Territories, the active cases are less than 50,000.
5.28 pm: At a press conference, Additional Health Secretary Arti Ahuja says that the Union Health Ministry reviewed the coronavirus situation and its management in eights states. These are Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
She adds that the ministry has the states to ensure uninterrupted power supply to all healthcare facilities, especially the coronavirus-dedicated hospitals.
5.25 pm: Additional Health Secretary Arti Ahuja says out of 162 pressure swing adsorptions plants sanctioned to be set up across the country, 71 have been installed. A total of 1,594 such plants are being set up across the country.
Ahuja says that 109 more plants will be installed by May-end and the remaining by the end of June.
5.09 pm: The Union government’s Principal Scientific Advisor Professor K VijayRaghavan says the third wave of Covid-19 may not happen if “we take strong measures”, reports News18.
5.07 pm: The Delhi Police and the city’s AIIMS hospital authorities have denied that gangster Chhota Rajan has died, reported NDTV. This came after several reports claimed that he had died.
4.26 pm: Delhi Police arrest two persons for allegedly selling medical equipment at higher rates, reports ANI. The police seized 10 medical oxygen concentrators and 82 plastic pipes used in them, 3,486 digital thermometers, 263 digital gun thermometers, 684 oximeters and 10 nebulisers.
4.23 pm: Chandigarh District Magistrate Mandip S Brar imposes weekend curfew from 5 am on May 8 till 5 am on May 10, reports ANI. “No curbs on inter-state movement of essential & non-essential goods; shops of essential goods to remain open for only home delivery up to 2 PM,” the order says.
4.21 pm: Additional Health Secretary Arti Ahuja adds that other states with an increasing trend in daily new coronavirus cases are Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland, reports ANI.
4.16 pm: Additional Health Secretary Arti Ahuja says cases were earlier increasing in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Jharkhand but are now plateauing gradually, reports ANI.
She adds that the trend is going upwards in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
3.07 pm: Gangster Chhota Rajan dies of Covid-19 at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, reports NDTV, citing unidentified officials.
3.20 pm: The Centre directs all secretaries of central government departments to regulate the attendance of employees working under them, in view of the worsening coronavirus situation, reports PTI. “Persons with disabilities and pregnant women employees may be exempted from attending office, but they shall continue to work from home,” the government says.
3.18 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a meeting later in the day to review the Covid situation in the Capital, reports PTI.
The meeting will be attended by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, health secretary and all the district magistrates, an official says.
3.15 pm: The Centre says it is introducing a new four-digit security code feature to the CoWIN portal to minimise data entry errors, reports PTI.
The health ministry says that it has been noticed in some instances that citizens, who had booked their appointment for vaccination through portal but did not actually go for vaccination on the scheduled date, received an SMS notification that a vaccine dose has been administered to them.
“In order to minimize such errors and the subsequent inconvenience caused to the citizens, the CoWIN system is introducing a new feature of four-digit security code in the CoWIN application from May 8,” it adds.
3.13 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope alleges that most of the pharmaceutical companies are not supplying the mandated quantity of remdesivir vials to the state, reports PTI. Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug, is used in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
“It is only by sitting down together that we’ll find pragmatic way forward, acceptable to all members, which enhances developing countries’ access to vaccines while protecting, sustaining research and innovation vital to production of these vaccines,” she says.
3.06 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he spoke to his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and thanked him for the “solidarity and support for India’s fight against the pandemic”.
3.02 pm: A batch of lawyers have written to the Bar Council of Delhi seeking assistance of Rs 1 crore for legal practitioners facing financial difficulties due to the pandemic-induced lockdown in the city, reports PTI. The letter states that several advocates are infected with Covid-19, while others are facing acute financial problems due to the suspension of work in the High Court and the subordinate courts.
3 pm: The Kerala High Court rejects a plea filed by private labs challenging the state government’s decision to reduce the cost of RT-PCR test from Rs 1,700 to Rs 500, reports PTI.
Noting that the rates in many of the other states, including Haryana, Telangana, and Uttarakhand, were within the same range, Justice N Nagaresh says, “Therefore, I do not find any reason to pass an interim order.”
2.58 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says the coronavirus pandemic situation in India is going from bad to worse. He says that in Tamil Nadu, nobody between 18 to 44 years of age is getting the vaccine, adding that the situation in other states is not very different.
2.55 pm: Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty says that six of her family members, including her husband Raj Kundra, son and daughter, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
2.52 pm: The Indian-Tibetan Border Police says that oxygen supply at Sardar Patel Covid care centre in Delhi has been normalised and there is no lack of supplies for patients there, reports PTI. “Adequate medicines are being provided by the district administration to the centre for the admitted patients,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey adds.
2.50 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking increased supply of medical oxygen in the state, reports PTI.
The chief minister says the daily consumption of oxygen in her state has gone up to 470 metric tonnes in the last 24 hours and is expected to increase to 550 metric tonnes per day in about a week. “I would request you to kindly have the allocation of medical oxygen reviewed and instructions issued for an immediate allocation of at least 550 MT per day,” she adds.
1.22 pm: The Karnataka government says it was considering whether the restrictions imposed in the state need to be extended, reports the Hindustan Times.
“We are discussing this with officials...It has become inevitable to take stricter action,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tells reporters. “What kind of action should be take will be decided in today and tomorrow’s meetings.”
1.20 pm: Manipur extends till May 16 the restrictions imposed in areas under Imphal Municipal Corporation and Greater Imphal in view of the coronavirus situation, reports the Hindustan Times. On April 30, Greater Imphal was declared a containment zone for seven days.
1.18 pm: Renowned sitar player Prateek Chaudhuri dies due to Covid-related complications, almost a week after his father, Devbrata Chaudhuri, succumbed to the virus, reports PTI.
1.15 pm: The Union Health Ministry says that more than 90 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines were still available with the states and Union territories for their inoculation programme. “States with negative balance are showing more consumption (including wastage) than vaccine supplied as they have not reconciled the vaccine they have supplied to Armed Forces,” it says.
The health ministry adds that it will supply over 10 lakh vaccines to the states in the next three days.
1.11 pm: The Union health ministry issues standard operating procedure for vaccinating Indians who do not have a photo identity card that is required for registration, reports the Hindustan Times. This includes, beggars, nomads, prison inmates, patients in mental health institutions, those who are in old age homes and in rehabilitation centres. The Centre says authorities will identify one key facilitator with a valid identity card who will be the point person for the vaccination of these groups
1.08 pm: The Registrar General of the National Green Tribunal Ashu Garg dies of Covid-19, reports PTI.
1.06 pm: A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre and the Delhi government to vaccinate all Class 10 and Class 12 students who will be appearing for their board exams, reports PTI.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issues notice to the ministries of health and education and the Delhi government seeking their stand on the plea by three lawyers. The court also asks whether the Covid vaccines can be administered to those below 18 years of age.
1.03 pm: “Tackling this crisis requires able, calm and visionary leadership,” Gandhi says, according to the Hindustan Times. “The nation is sinking under the weight of the Modi government’s indifference and incompetence. This is a time for us to steel ourselves and rededicate ourselves in the service of our people.”
12.53 pm: Gandhi adds that it was not the system that has failed in India, but the Narendra Modi government, which “ failed to constructively channelise resources”, reports the Hindustan Times.
12.51 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi says the battle against Covid transcends political differences, reports PTI. “We have to fight this together as a nation,” she says.
11.39 am: “We will not leave the citizens of Karnataka in the lurch”, the Supreme Court says, reports Live Law.
11.33 am: The Supreme Court says the Karnataka High Court’s order to increase allocation of oxygen supplies to 1,200 metric tonnes is “a well-calibrated, well-considered judicial exercise by the High Court”, reports Live Law.
11.30 am: “You have to supply 700 metric tonnes of oxygen every day till we [give] further orders,” says Justice MR Shah, reports Bar and Bench.
11.28 am: The Supreme Court is hearing a plea related to oxygen supplies to Karnataka.
11.03 am: A 22-year-old undertrial lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail dies of Covid-19 at a hospital, reports PTI. His family members allege that the negligence of prison authorities led to his death.
10.59 am: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal says the United States has a “moral responsibility” to help India in its fight against the Covid crisis, reports PTI.
“The situation in India is dire,” Jayapal, the only woman of Indian origin in the US House of Representatives, says. “Hundreds of thousands of new Covid cases are confirmed every day, there are no hospital beds open or oxygen supply left, and people are tragically dying before they can even get to a doctor. India needs our help...”
10.57 am: Telangana recorded 5,892 coronavirus cases and 46 deaths on Thursday.
9.49 pm: Mumbai airport make negative RT-PCR test compulsory for those arriving from Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, Gujarat, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, reports PTI.
9.45 am: Delhi government makes 14-day institutional quarantine compulsory for those arriving from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, reports ANI.
9.12 am: India records 4,14,188 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 2,14,91,598 since the pandemic broke out last year. This is the highest rise in daily cases and the third instance, after May 1, when the count rose by more than 4 lakh. The toll climbs by 3,915 deaths to 2,34,083.
9.09 am: Australia will resume repatriation flights for some citizens in India after a controversial ban on arrivals from the country ends on May 15, reports the BBC. The ban sparked further anger after the government said Australians seeking to fly home could face jail or fines.
9.07 am: India receives 13 tonnes of medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators and respirators, from Switzerland, reports ANI.
9.05 pm: Consignment of 100 oxygen concentrators arrives from Poland.
8.57 am: Mumbai on Thursday registered 3,056 new coronavirus cases and 69 deaths, reports PTI. The city’s daily rise in infections remained below the 4,000-mark for the sixth day in a row.
8.55 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday
- India on Thursday registered 4,12,262 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the country to 2,10,77,410 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. This is the highest rise in daily cases and the second instance, after May 1, when the count rose by more than 4 lakh. The toll climbed by 3,980 deaths – also a record high for India – to 2,30,168.
- The Supreme Court said a third wave of the coronavirus will hit the country that will also affect children, and emphasised the need to prepare for it. “When a child goes to hospital, the mother and father will also have to go,” the court said. “That is why vaccination will have to be over for this group of people. We need to plan for this in a scientific way and thus make arrangements.”
- Russia has approved a single-dose version of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, its developers announced on Thursday. The new version, called Sputnik Light, has an efficacy of about 80%. Sputnik V had shown a 91.6% efficacy in late stage trials.
- On Thursday, the Centre told the SC that it has complied with its order and ensured a supply of 730 metric tonnes to Delhi for the treatment of coronavirus patients. Soon after, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also promised to ensure that no one dies of oxygen shortage if the Capital receives this amount of the life-saving gas every day.
- The Kerala government on Thursday announced a complete lockdown in the state from 6 am on May 8 to May 16. The Uttar Pradesh government extended the coronavirus-related restrictions across the state till 7 am on May 10, while Madhya Pradesh extended curbs till May 15.
- The United States reissued its travel advisory on India, urging Americans not to travel to the country due to an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases. The US had issued a travel warning earlier on April 28. Both of them were marked “Level 4”, the highest warning level. Meanwhile, the coronavirus has now infected 15.47 crore people across the world and killed over 32.37 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.12 crore people have recovered from the infection.