Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday with six suggestions to battle the coronavirus crisis.
Meanwhile, both Delhi and Uttar Pradesh extended their lockdowns till May 17.
India on Sunday registered 4,03,738 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,22,96,414 since the pandemic broke out last year. The country’s toll climbed by 4,092 deaths to 2,42,362. India now has over 37 lakh active cases and 1,83,17,404 recoveries.
Globally, the coronavirus has now infected 15.72 crore people and killed over 32.78 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.33 crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
8.30 pm: A Covid centre in a cowshed at Gujarat’s Banaskantha district has been set up, reports The Indian Express. This facility has been treating seven Covid-19 patients in Deesa taluka using ayurvedic medicines made with cow milk and urine as well as allopathy.
8.24 pm: The Chhattisgarh government will prioritise vaccinations among journalists, lawyers, state governments and state public sector undertaking employees, reports PTI.
8.20 pm: Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar says Covid-19 vaccines for those between 18 and 44 in Bengaluru will be available from May 10 at all major hospitals and medical colleges, reports PTI.
8.15 pm: Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor writes to the Indian Council of Medical Research asking it to study the Covid-19 infection variant circulating around the university campus, reports The Indian Express.
7.54 pm: Here’s a look at the situation in some states on Sunday evening:
Kerala: 35,801 new cases and 68 deaths in a day; the total tally rises to 19,02,279, while toll is 5,814;
Mumbai: 2,403 new cases, 68 deaths; Total cases now 6,76,475, while toll is 13,817;
Uttarakhand: 5,890 cases, 180 deaths in a day; total now 2,44,273 while toll stands at 3,728;
Goa: 2,633 cases, 67 fatalities; Total cases climbs to 1,18,846, while the toll is 1,679;
Rajasthan: 17,921 cases, 159 deaths; total cases rises to 7,56,707, toll now 5,665;
Tamil Nadu: 28,897 cases, 236 deaths; total tally is now 13,80,259 while toll stands at 15,648;
Jammu and Kashmir: 5,190 cases, 54 deaths; total tally now 2,16,932 while toll is 2,726
Uttar Pradesh: 23,333 cases, 296 deaths; Total tally now 15,03,490, toll stands at 15,464;
Karnataka: 47,930 new cases, 490 deaths; Total cases now 19,34,378, while toll is 18,776;
Andhra Pradesh: 22,164 cases, 92 fatalities; Case tally now 12,87,603, while toll is 8,707;
Gujarat: 11,084 new cases, 121 deaths; total cases now 6,81,012 while toll is 8,394.
7.35 pm: Punjab will vaccinate all constructions workers in the 18-44 age bracket from Monday, reports ANI.
7.29 pm: South Korea sends medical supplies to India, ANI reports. “I hope this supply will be helpful to ease the COVID-19 emergency situation in India,” South Korean Ambassador Shin Bong-kil says, according to ANI. “The Korean government will continue to work closely with the Indian Government in responding to the unfolding challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
7.23 pm: Shimla imposes additional curbs to contain the coronavirus.
7.16 pm: Rajya Sabha MP Raghunath Mohapatra dies in AIIMS Bhubaneswar, ANI reports. He had tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
6.40 pm: “As many as 6,738 oxygen concentrators, 3,856 oxygen cylinders, 16 oxygen generation Plants, 4,668 ventilators/Bi-PAP and about 3 lakh Remdesivir vials have been delivered/ dispatched as international donations and aid since April 27 to May 8,” says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, according to ANI.
5.30 pm: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu with several suggestions to battle the coronavirus crisis, according to the Hindustan Times.
Kharge asks the Centre to call an all-party meeting of the standing committees of Parliament, use the Rs 35,000 crore allocated in Union Budget to ensure free vaccines for all, “leverage compulsory licensing to increase production of vaccines”, remove taxes on critical medical equipment, expand the scope of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to 200 days and “expedite the distribution of relief material and proactively disclose where it is shipped and leverage our collective strengths by governing consensually and inclusively”.
5.23 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asks the Centre to make Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech increase their monthly supplies to Delhi, ANI reports. He also asks permission to develop a separate app to facilitate vaccination.
5.20 pm: The restrictions in Lahaul and Spiti will continue till May 17, ANI reports.
5.16 pm: “Some people in central government would say that we are bound by international treaties,” Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says while criticising the Centre for exporting vaccines. “US, France & EU countries also follow these treaties but none of them prioritized other countries. Only we gave vaccines to others when our own people were dying.”
“Was it [export of vaccines to other countries] done just to improve the image of Central government and earn accolades from some other countries,” he asks. “I request central government to vaccinate everyone in the country before exporting vaccines.”
5.13 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia criticises the Centre for exporting vaccines when Indian was struggling due to the pandemic, ANI reports. He says the Centre exported Covid vaccines to 93 countries in the last three months. “It gave 6.5 crore doses to them,” Sisodia says. “Around 1 lakh people have died of COVID during the second wave in India. If not exported, these vaccines could have saved the lives of these people.”
5.10 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath says vaccinations for the 18 to 44 age group will begin in 11 more districts from Monday, ANI reports.
4.58 pm: The Centre says nearly 4,200 metric tonnes of oxygen has been delivered in over 268 tankers to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, ANI reports.
4.55 pm: The Delhi Police have started a transport facility for senior citizens, ANI reports. Called Covi-van, these vans can be used by senior citizens to travel to vaccination centers or hospitals.
4.50 pm: The Kerala government issues new guidelines to treat patients during the pandemic.
4.45 pm: As many as 13 prisoners have escaped from a dedicated Covid facility for inmates in Rewari, Haryana, PTI reports.
4.40 pm: Some locals in Uttar Pradesh claim that the fear of cremation is leading to bodies being immersed in rivers.
4.30 pm: Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel recovers from the coronavirus. “After 15 days of treatment at UN Mehta Hospital, I have been discharged today,” Patel says. “With the blessings of God and your best wishes, I am recovering fast. I need more rest as per the advice of the doctors, and hence I request your kind support.”
4.20 pm: On Saturday, Delhi received only 499 metric tonnes of oxygen against the 700 MT ordered by the Supreme Court, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha says, according to PTI.
4.10 pm: The Defence Ministry issues an order to the Armed Forces Medical Services to hire 400 retired medical officers of the Army Medical Corps and the Short Service Commission on a contract basis to help India deal with the pandemic, PTI reports.
3.45 pm: Healthcare workers across the country have taken to singing and dancing in a bid to keep spirits high.
3.40 pm: Gujarat Congress leader Hardik Patel’s father Bharat Patel dies of Covid at a hospital in Ahmedabad, PTI reports.
3.35 pm: Young Saurashtra pacer Chetan Sakariya’s father Kanjibhai Sakariya dies due to Covid-19 at a hospital in Bhavnagar. He was 42 and was battling the infection for the past few days.
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3.30 pm: Delhi reports 13,336 new coronavirus cases and 273 deaths in a day. The Capital’s total cases is now 13,23,567, while the toll is 19,344. There are 86,232 active cases.
While the number of new cases has decreased from the previous, the number of tests conducted have also gone down.
2.15 pm: Actor Rahul Vora dies of the coronavirus, the Hindustan Times reports. He was 35. On Saturday, the actor had put up a desperate plea on Facebook saying that he had lost all hope. The actor’s health condition deteriorated since he developed complications after contracting the coronavirus.
1.57 pm: Coronavirus curfew restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir extended till 7am on May 17, reports ANI.
1.56 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says his government will consider importing coronavirus vaccines to speed up inoculation process in the state, reports The Indian Express.
1.55 pm: District administration in Noida caps prices of ambulance services at Rs 1000 for the first 10 kilometres and Rs 100 for each kilometre beyond that, reports The Indian Express.
1.53 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to waive all forms of taxes and customs duty on equipment and drugs being used to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, reports PTI.
1.52 pm: Chhattisgarh government allows home delivery of liquor in the state through online sale during coronavirus lockdown, reports PTI.
1.51 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to chief ministers of Punjab, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand on Covid-19 situation in their states, reports PTI.
1.49 pm: Vaccination for those in the 18-44 age group in Bengaluru will begin from May 10 at all major hospitals and medical colleges, PTI reports, quoting Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar.
12.18 pm: The Delhi government extends lockdown in the national Capital till May 17, reports ANI.
12.17 pm: Uttar Pradesh extends lockdown till May 17, reports The Times of India.
10.53 am: South Africa detects first four cases of a new coronavirus variant that emerged in India, says the country’s health ministry.
10.50 am: Consignment of the oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators arrives from the United Kingdom, says external affairs ministry. Each generator has the capacity to produce 500 litres of oxygen per minute, enough to treat 50 people at a time, the ministry says.
10.48 am: Statewide curfew in Goa begins, reports ANI. The restrictions will stay in place till May 24.
9.25 am: India registers 4,03,738 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,22,96,414 since the pandemic broke out last year. The country’s toll climbed by 4,092 deaths to 2,42,362. India now has over 37 lakh active cases and 1,83,17,404 recoveries. This is the fifth time after May 1, when the count rose by more than 4 lakh.
8.55 am: Twenty-three coronavirus patients left civic body-run Hindu Rao Hospital between April 19 and May 6 without informing anyone, PTI reports, quoting the North Delhi Municipal Corporation mayor.
“It is happening even in Delhi government hospitals,” claims Mayor Jai Prakash.
8.52 am: In India, there are over 9 lakh coronavirus patients who are on oxygen support, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. He adds that more than 1.70 lakh are on ventilators.
8.49 am: “Oxygen Express” reaches Nagpur from Odisha’s Angul, tweets Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
8.45 am: World Health Organization’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan warns a Covid-19 variant spreading in India is more contagious and may be dodging vaccine protections, contributing to the country’s explosive outbreak, reports AFP.
8.38 am: Here are the top updates from Saturday:
- India on Saturday recorded 4,187 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest ever since the pandemic broke out last year, as a fierce second wave continued to overwhelm the country’s hospitals. With this, the toll rose to 2,38,270. The country recorded 4,01,078 new cases in 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,18,92,676.
- The Drugs Controller General of India gave approval for emergency use to an oral drug for the treatment of moderate to severe coronavirus patients.
- The Supreme Court constituted a 12-member national task force to streamline oxygen allocation and to ensure that essential drugs and medicines are available to medical facilities.
- The Centre instructed states to first vaccinate those who are yet to receive their second dose of the Covid vaccine before beginning to inoculate the 18–44 age group.
- Union health ministry said that a positive coronavirus report will no longer be needed for hospitals to admit Covid-19 patients.