The World Health Organization on Monday classified the coronavirus variant, B.1.617, which is spreading in India as a “variant of concern”.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, meanwhile, requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allocate the entire oxygen produced in the state to the state, starting from May 10. He said that Kerala is likely to have six lakh Covid patients by May 15.
India on Monday registered 3,66,161 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,26,62,575 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. With 3,754 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,46,116. There are 37,45,237 active cases and 1,86,71,222 patients have recovered from the infection so far.
Globally, the coronavirus has now infected 15.79 crore people and killed over 32.88 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.39 crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
Read today’s top updates here
10.49 pm: The Uttar Pradesh Police file a first information report against unidentified persons for violating Covid protocols during the funeral procession of a religious leader in Badaun, reports ANI.
10.48 pm: Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association General Secretary TN Suresh says that over the last 10 days, more than 1,000 healthcare workers in the state have been infected with Covid-19, reports ANI.
10.46 pm: West Bengal records 19,445 new Covid cases and 134 deaths today, reports ANI.
10.46 pm: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury writes to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, requesting him to convene a special session of Parliament.
10.44 pm: The Madras High Court says it is necessary for the Centre to take urgent measures to augment the supply of oxygen to Tamil Nadu, as the state is likely to see sharp rise in demand for the life-saving gas in the coming days, reports PTI.
Besides oxygen, supply of vaccines and drugs also need to be increased in the state and the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry, the court says.
10.35 pm: The World Health Organization classifies the coronavirus variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern”, reports AFP.
“There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility of the B.1.617,” Maria Van Kerkove, the WHO’s lead on Covid-19, tells reporters, also pointing to early studies “suggesting that there is some reduced neutralisation”.
“As such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level,” she says, adding that more details would be provided in the WHO’s weekly epidemiological update on Tuesday.
9.30 pm: Bengaluru’s daily case count also reduces to 16,747 on Monday, PTI reports. But 374 deaths were reported, taking the overall toll to 8,431. The city has so far reported 9,67,640 cases.
9.25 pm: Karnataka records 39,305 cases and 596 deaths on Monday, taking the total case count to 19,73,683 and the toll to 19,372, PTI reports. However, the number of tests conducted were lower. Only 1.24 lakh tests were conducted on Monday, much lower than the around 2 lakh tests conducted last month.
9.20 pm: Maharashtra reports 37,236 new cases and 549 deaths, taking the overall case count to 51,38,973 and the toll to 76,398, the Hindustan Times reports. This is the lowest case daily count in the state since March 30.
9.15 pm: Mumbai reports 1,794 new cases and 74 deaths on Monday, PTI reports. This is the lowest single-day count in the city in nearly two months, since March 16. The city now has a total of 6,78,269 cases and 13,891 deaths.
8.02 pm: The Odisha Cabinet approves a decision to float a global tender for procuring Covid vaccines, reports ANI.
7.57 pm: Manipur has 424 new cases and 13 deaths today, reports ANI.
7.56 pm: Karnataka minister Arvind Limbavali says the government is planning to open triaging centres for complete physical tests of Covid patients in ten districts of the state, reports PTI.
Limbavali, who held a video conference with the deputy commissioners, municipal commissioners and district health officers of 10 districts, says the government intended to set up ward-level triaging centres in the urban areas.
7.55 pm: Railway authorities suspend train services in the Kashmir Valley for six days, starting Tuesday, in view of the worsening Covid situation, reports PTI.
7.54 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi locality reports nine new Covid-19 infections today, its single-digit case count after two months, reports PTI. The tally of infections in the slum-dominated is now 6,632.
7.52 pm: The European Commission insists it still trusts the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and that its dispute with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is only contractual, AP reports.
“First of all, the AstraZeneca vaccine is a very important vaccine for our vaccine portfolio,” says Stefan de Keersmaecker, the Commission’s health policy spokesman. “Thousands of Europeans are currently receiving the vaccine and it is very much part of our vaccine mix at the moment.”
7.51 pm: Authorities in Punjab have set up four temporary jails for residents who violate curfew restrictions in the state, reports ANI.
7.49 pm: Tamil Nadu records 28,978 new coronavirus cases and 232 deaths.
7.48 pm: The Telangana Cabinet will meet tomorrow to take a decision to impose a lockdown in the state, reports ANI.
7.47 pm: Gujarat registers 11,592 new coronavirus cases and 117 deaths in 24 hours. With this, the state’s tally of infections rises to 6,92,604 and the toll goes up to 8,511, reports ANI.
7.46 pm: Uttarakhand has 5,541 new cases and 168 deaths today.
7.34 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan requests Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allocate the entire oxygen produced in the state of 219 metric tonnes, to the state, starting from May 10, reports ANI.
7.31 pm: Karnataka’s tally of coronavirus cases goes up to 19,73,683 with 39,305 new infections recorded today, reports ANI.
7.31 pm: Jammu and Kashmir records 3,614 new Covid cases and 56 deaths today, reports ANI.
5.08 pm: Delhi reports 12,651 coronavirus cases and 319 deaths in a day. With this, the national Capital has a total of 13,36,218 cases and 19,663 deaths.
The positivity rate falls to 19.1%, the lowest it has been since April 14, according to NDTV. However, the number of tests conducted have also been falling.
On April 14, the positivity rate was 15.92%. The national Capital had seen 17,282 new cases that day, while 1,08,534 tests were conducted. In contrast, only 66,234 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, according to Monday’s bulletin.
4.46 pm: The BJP criticises Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government over the COVID-19 crisis, claiming the chief minister has been busy spending huge sums of money on publicity, leaving everything to the Centre, PTI reports.
Party spokesperson Sambit Patra cites an RTI reply to say that the Kejriwal government has spent around Rs 805 crore on advertisements since 2015, but did not open a single new hospital in the city.
“You keep advertising, claiming there will not be any lockdown, no shortage of oxygen and that people will be delivered oxygen at home,” he adds. “When you saw that you cannot control the situation, then you pointed fingers at the Centre and washed your hands of your responsibility.”
4.25 pm: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij says all families in the state that are below the poverty line will be provided Rs 5,000, reports ANI.
4.24 pm: The Congress demands a special session of Parliament to discuss the coronavirus crisis.
4.21 pm: The Haryana government announces additional restrictions in the state for a week in view of the worsening coronavirus situation, reports ANI. The new rules will be in addition to the ongoing lockdown in the state. As per the guidelines, gatherings of more than 11 persons will be prohibited, even at weddings and funerals, says Home Minister Anil Vij.
4.19 pm: The Congress Working Committee has decided to postpone the election to the post of party president until the Covid-19 situation in the country improves, PTI reports, quoting unidentified officials. There is no official confirmation from the party so far.
3.16 pm: The Delhi High Court seeks the Centre’s response to a petition asking for medicines and other equipment required for Covid patients to be treated as essential commodities, PTI reports.
3.13 pm: A negative Covid-19 test report will be mandatory for those travelling to Himalayan valleys of Darma, Vyas and Chaudas, PTI reports.
3.01 pm: The Delhi High Court tells the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government that measures need to be taken to prevent the hoarding and black-marketing of medicines and equipment meant for coronavirus treatment, PTI reports.
2.44 pm: As many as 1.5 lakh doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V have reached India, Union minister Anurag Thakur says. Thakur also issues a point-wise response to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s six suggestions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on handling the coronavirus crisis.
1.47 pm: A negative RT-PCR report is mandatory for entering Uttarakhand, reports ANI.
1.45 pm: Special Oxygen Train arrives at Delhi station from Hapa in Gujarat.
1.44 pm: Karnataka State Bar Council sanctions Rs 10,000 aid for advocates who tests positive, reports Live Law.
1.39 pm: Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy has tested positive and is currently receiving treatment at a private hospital in Chennai.
1.37 pm: At the Congress Working Committee meeting, party chief Sonia Gandhi says the coronavirus situation has become even more catastrophic and governance failures have become even more stark.
1.34 pm: Puducherry logs 1,266 new cases. Twenty-three additional deaths take the toll to 988.
1.33 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati urges the government to take steps so as to prevent the spread of the virus across villages.
1.32 pm: The Madhya Pradesh government will set up 360 ICU beds for children in hospitals across the state as part of its preparations for the third wave of Covid-19, says state minister Vishwas Kailash Sarang.
1.31 pm: The Delhi High Court asks Aam Aadmi Party MLA Imran Hussain to show documents that he procured oxygen, which he was distributing, from outside the national Capital, reports PTI.
1.30 pm: The Supreme Court adjourns the hearing on the suo motu case to May 13 due to technical glitches, reports Live Law.
12.51 pm: British Oxygen Company sends 1,350 oxygen cylinders to India as gift, tweets foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
12.48 pm: First batch of 3.5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine arrives at Kochi airport from Pune, reports ANI.
11.56 am: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the city has sufficient Covaxin for only a day, and Covishield for “three to four days”, reports NDTV.
11.53 am: Spain lifts state of emergency, which was in place since October last year, allowing its citizens to travel between regions for the first time in months, reports AFP.
11.50 am: England will press ahead with plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions further on May 17, including allowing people to meet indoors, reports Reuters.
11.44 am: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticises Health Minister Harsh Vardhan over his remarks that no new Covid-19 cases have been detected in 180 districts in the last seven days.
“It’s sad to see Hhealth minister occupy an alternative reality while the nation gasps for breath and the world sees Indians suffering,” he tweets.
10.58 am: An Indian navy ship reaches Mumbai with two 27 metric tonnes of oxygen from Qatar, reports ANI.
10.54 am: The Supreme Court will soon begin hearing the suo moto case on Covid-19 related issues, reports Live Law. The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat is set to assemble at 11 am.
10.51 am: Police in Bengaluru conduct checks at traffic signals as Karnataka goes into a two-week lockdown from today, reports ANI.
9.52 am: India registers 3,66,161 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country 2,26,62,575 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. With 3,754 deaths, the toll climbs to 2,46,116. There are 37,45,237 active cases and 1,86,71,222 patients have recovered from the infection so far.
9.51 am: United States top public health expert Dr Anthony Fauci says getting people vaccinated is the only long-term solution to the current Covid-19 crisis in India, reports PTI.
9.39 am: Maharashtra receives 10,53,000 Covishield vaccine shots, of which 3,50,000 were purchased from the Serum Institute of India for the vaccination of 18-44 category, reports the Hindustan Times.
“All the doses have been shipped out to various districts and the drive will continue,” state immunisation officer DN Patil says. This comes amid an acute shortage of vaccine in the state.
9.37 am: The Centre dismisses reports claiming that the government has approved Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children above the age of 12.
9.36 am: Uttar Pradesh Medical Education Minister Suresh Khanna says that people who test Covid-19 positive are spreading fear of the infection that has caused many deaths, reports PTI. “It is everyone’s responsibility not to spread fear,” he says.
9.33 am: The Uttar Pradesh government says that United States-based aircraft maker Boeing has proposed to construct a 200-bed intensive care unit hospital at Vir Bahadur Singh Sports College in Gorakhpur, reports PTI.
9.32 am: Haryana government extends the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state by a week till May 17.
9.29 am: Father of jailed activist Natasha Narwal, Mahavir Narwal, dies of Covid-19. Natasha Narwal’s bail plea to meet her father was scheduled to be heard on Monday, women’s rights group Pinjra Tod said. Mahavir Narwal was admitted to a hospital in Rohtak in Haryana.
9.25 am: Union Minister Santosh Gangwar has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, flagging a series of concerns, including shortage of oxygen and black marketing of ventilators and other medical equipment in his constituency, Bareilly, reports NDTV.
“I think the points they raised were valid and these can be investigated and decided on,” he says. “I think oxygen is just a temporary problem. It will get solved. But there should be no black marketing,” he added.
9.24 am: The Centre tells the Supreme Court that its Covid-19 vaccination policy has been formed to make sure that distribution is equally done, considering the limited availability of shots, vulnerability, and that vaccinating the whole country was not possible at the same time, reports The Indian Express.
9.08 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday
- 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.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that his administration had decided to extend the lockdown in the Capital till May 17. The chief minister also announced that the Delhi Metro will stop operations from Monday. Uttar Pradesh also extended the partial curbs in the state till 7 am on May 17 amid a surge in daily infections. Jammu and Kashmir too extended lockdown in all 20 districts till May 17.
- The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the primary reason through which many are getting infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus was very fine aerosolised particles transmitted during respiration. It added that the “risk of transmission is greatest within three to six feet of an infectious source”, where the most concentration of the very fine particles occurs.
- Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the 5% tax imposed on Covid-19 vaccines and 12% on medicines and oxygen concentrators will not be waived off as it was required to maintain costs.
- Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia criticised the Centre for exporting Covid-19 vaccines, saying that a large number of lives could have been saved if the shots had been given to people in the country first.