World Health Organization’s Representative to India Roderico H Ofrin on Tuesday said that “vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics continue to be effective” against the coronavirus strain that has originated in India, and has been classified as a “variant of concern” by the health body.
The Telangana High Court, meanwhile, pulled up the state government for barring ambulances with Covid-19 patients from neighbouring states from entering Telangana without a prior hospital admission. “This is a blatant violation of the Constitution,” the court said.
India on Tuesday recorded 3,29,942 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,29,92,517 since the pandemic broke out in the country in January 2020. The toll climbed by 3,876 to 2,49,992.
The coronavirus has now infected 15.86 crore people across the world and killed over 32.99 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 9.46 crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
Here are the top updates of the day:
10.38 pm: Chhattisgarh reports 9,717 new cases, 199 deaths and 12,440 discharges.
10.37 pm: Egypt sends 30 tonnes of medical supplies, including 300 oxygen cylinders, 50 oxygen concentrators and 8,000 vials of remdesivir, reports PTI.
10.35 pm: Punjab registers record 217 Covid-19 deaths, pushing the toll to 10,918. The state’s infection tally goes up to 4,59,268 with 8,668 new cases.
10.17 pm: The Centre asks states to ensure vigilance to check incidences of people dumping bodies of suspected Covid victims in Ganga and its tributaries, reports PTI.
10.10 pm: Haryana logs 11,637 fresh infections, 144 deaths and 15,728 recoveries.
10.08 pm: Assam registers 6,258 new cases, 85 deaths and 4,409 recoveries.
9.16 pm: World Health Organization’s Representative to India Roderico H Ofrin says that “vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics continue to be effective” against the coronavirus strain that has originated in India, and has been classified as a “variant of concern” by the health body, reports ANI.
8.58 pm: West Bengal records 20,136 new coronavirus cases and 132 deaths today.
8.54 pm: The Congress sets up a 13-member task force for Covid relief work under the chairmanship of former Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, reports ANI.
8.49 pm: Tamil Nadu’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 29,272 after 19,182 new cases were reported in 24 hours, reports ANI. This is the biggest single-day rise in infections recorded in the state since the pandemic began last year, according to PTI. The toll rises by 298 to 16,178.
8.48 pm: Rajasthan has 16,080 new cases and 169 deaths today, reports ANI.
8.45: Karnataka records 39,510 new coronavirus cases today, taking the state’s tally of infections to 20,13,193, ANI reports. The toll rises by 480 to 19,852.
8.45 pm: Maharashtra has 40,956 new cases and 793 deaths today.
7.35 pm: The Telangana High Court pulls up the state government for barring ambulances with Covid-19 patients from neighbouring states from entering Telangana without a prior hospital admission, reports Live Law. “This is a blatant violation of the Constitution,” says a division bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy. “You are denying medical treatment to people.”
5.21 pm: Twenty-six Covid patients died at the state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday, says Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, according to PTI. He adds that he has sought an investigation by the High Court to find out the exact cause.
5.17 pm: Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are among the 18 states where daily cases are falling, says the Centre.
5.14 pm: The Sri Lankan government says there was no possibility of community transmission of the Indian variant of the Covid-19 after one such case was detected in the island nation.
5.10 pm: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says the Centre and the state governments are doing everything possible to tackle the health crisis, reports PTI. “The speed displayed by the Uttar Pradesh government in tackling the Covid cases should be praised,” he tells reporters outside a 255-bed Covid hospital built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at the Haj House in Lucknow. “Mistakes can be committed by anyone. Only a person who performs will commit mistakes. But this is not the time for criticism, if anyone spots any loophole and offers suggestions, the state government will welcome it.”
5.02 pm: Bhargava adds that home-based testing solutions are also being explored.
5.01 pm: Rapid Antigen Tests will be allowed at all government and private health facilities, no accreditation required, says Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava.
4 pm: An oxygen tank has leaked in a hospital in Goa. No casualties were immediately reported.
3.56 pm: Delhi records 12,481 new coronavirus cases and 347 deaths in 24 hours, according to a daily health bulletin. The city now has a total of 13,48,699 infections and the toll has risen to 20,010. The positivity rate has fallen to 17.76%.
3.54 pm: Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has begun supplying its vaccine, Covaxin, directly to 14 states, says company’s Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella.
3.52 pm: Haryana, Assam and Rajasthan are the top three states that are reporting the maximum wastage of Covid vaccine doses, says the Union Health Ministry.
3.43 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa asks patients who are over-staying in hospitals to go home to make way for others who are in need of serious treatment, reports PTI.
“What is the need for the 332 patients to remain in the hospital for 30 days?” he says. “They should vacate the beds.There are 503 patients in the hospital for 20 days. This way people who are staying in the hospital unnecessarily should go home.”
3.31 pm: The Andhra Pradesh announces a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of 11 Covid-19 patients who died in a hospital in Tirupati due to problems in oxygen supply, reports PTI. The patients, all of whom were in the ICU of Ruia hospital, died after there was a five-minute lag in reloading liquid medical oxygen.
3.27 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says that all Covid patients in the state who have been diagnosed with mucormycosis, a kind of a fungal infection, will be treated free of cost, reports ANI. “We are making special wards for these patients,” the minister adds. “Over 2,000 cases have been reported and eight people have died of this infection so far.”
Mucormycosis is a very rare infection that affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.
3.24: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says he is personally monitoring oxygen supplies in the state.
3.21 pm: Haryana Police take into custody a man after seizing 33 empty oxygen cylinders from his home, reports ANI. Home Minister Anil Vij promises action against those who are hoarding critical supplies.
3.16 pm: The police in Telangana are stopping ambulances bringing Covid patients from Andhra Pradesh from entering into Hyderabad for treatment, reports The Hindu. The ban comes despite there being no official restrictions on inter-state travel between the states.
3.13 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Meenakshi Lekhi criticises the Delhi government for its handling of the coronavirus crisis, reports ANI. “Not a single ICU bed has been added in Delhi during last one year,” she says “Delhi has the ventilators sent by Prime Minister National Relief Fund only. They spent only Rs 1 to 1.5 crores on oxygen and probably those oxygen cylinders are being recovered from their MLAs.”
3.01 pm: A 10-day lockdown in Telangana has been imposed from Wednesday, reports NDTV. The curbs will be relaxed from 6 am to 10 am.
2.07 pm: Srinagar resident Tariq Ahmad Patloo sets up floating ambulance to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, reports ANI.
3.03 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hits out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he should take off his rose-tinted glasses through which he can see nothing but the Central Vista project.
“Countless dead bodies flowing in the rivers,” he tweets. “Miles of lines in hospitals. Robbed people of their right to life.”
2.02 pm: Indian Army sets up a Covid-19 facility with 100 beds at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Medical College in Faridabad, reports ANI.
1.57 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa says that the state is receiving 120 metric tonnes of medical oxygen via the “Oxygen Express” train, reports ANI. “If it comes like this there will be no problem,” he says. “I am in touch with union leaders. I spoke with Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] himself. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured us all sort of support.”
Yediyurappa adds that coronavirus cases and deaths have increased in the state.
1.54 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain demand of oxygen and beds still persists in the city but it is low, reports ANI. “We’ve about 23,000 beds of which 20,000 are occupied, it’s a huge number,” he says. “Oxygen supply should continue otherwise it will be problematic. We are getting little less than the requirement of 700 tonnes LMO [liquid medical oxygen].”
1.48 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says that the Aam Aadmi Party government cannot be at ease till the daily Covid-19 positivity rate drops below 5% and the cases are less than 3,000-4,000, reports ANI. Jain says that the coronavirus wave is still there but its peak is “seemingly” declining since April end. He also claims that 80,000 tests are being done regularly. “Due to lockdown, people aren’t coming out, while earlier people were going out with everybody being tested,” he adds.
1.42 pm: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope says the state government is considering holding off coronavirus vaccinations for the 18-44 age group in view of shortage of vaccines, reports ANI. Tops says that the 2.75 lakh vaccine doses left for the 18-44 age group will be used for residents aged 45 years and above. “Administering the second dose is priority,” he adds.
1.07 pm: The World Health Organization recommends against using anti-parasitic drug ivermectin for coronavirus treatment. On Monday, Goa had approved the use of the drug as a preventive treatment for all adults.
12.56 pm: Arvind Kejriwal says his goal is to vaccinate all residents of Delhi in three months. “But we are facing a problem of vaccine shortage,” he adds. “In Delhi, we just have a few days worth of vaccine stocks left.”
12.51 pm: “Now, there is no shortage of oxygen beds or intensive care unit beds in Delhi,” Arvind Kejriwal adds.
12.50 pm: Arvind Kejriwal adds that coronavirus cases in Delhi are reducing and with the cooperation of residents, the lockdown has been successful.
12.40 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says it is important to increase the production of vaccines in India on war footing to address shortages. “Presently, only two companies are producing vaccines. They produce only 6-7 crore vaccines a month and at this pace, it will take more than two years to vaccinate everyone in India. By then, many waves of the coronavirus would have hit India.”
Kejriwal adds: “The Centre should get the formula to produce vaccines from the two companies companies [Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute] and give it to all those firms that can produce vaccine safely. In this difficult time, the government has the power to do so.”
The Delhi chief minister says India can’t win the war against the coronavirus until everyone is vaccinated.
11.47 am: Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda writes to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, blaming the party for creating confusion in the fight against pandemic, reports News18.
11.34 am: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi takes dig at government’s mobile apps Aarogya Setu and CoWIN
“Message to the app-dependent PM Modi government: Unfortunately, Covid-19 is spreading to those who do not have internet facility-that is, more than half the population of the country!” tweets Gandhi. “Apps like ‘Unqualified Setu and NoWin’ will not save, but rather two jabs of vaccine will.”
11.31 am: Doctors warn against practice of using cow dung in the belief it will treat Covid-19, saying there is no scientific evidence for its effectiveness and that it risks spreading other diseases, reports The Wire.
11.30 am: Actor Sonu Sood says he will import oxygen cylinders from France to help states worst-hit by pandemic, including Delhi and Mumbai, reports NDTV.
11.23 am: At least 50 current and retired staff at Aligarh Muslim University have succumbed to Covid-19 in the past three weeks, the Hindustan Times reports, quoting officials.
11.22 am: Odisha reports its first case of mucormycosis or “black fungus” in a 71-year-old Covid patient with a known history of uncontrolled diabetes, PTI reports quoting officials.
11.20 am: Microblogging site Twitter donates $15 million (over Rs 110 crore) to help address the coronavirus crisis in India, the platform’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey says in a tweet.
11.15 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the state will not be able to spare oxygen for its neighbours due to a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in the state, reports the Hindustan Times.
11.14 am: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claims the Centre has cleared only 3.5 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccine for the national capital in May even though the Aam Aadmi Party government had placed orders for 1.34 crore doses with manufacturers, reports PTI.
11.12 am: Police in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur city arrests four people, including director of a hospital for procuring and administering fake remdesivir drug, reports NDTV. Sarabjeet Singh Mokha, Director of Jabalpur’s City Hospital, is also the Vishwa Hindu Parishad president of the Narmada division.
11.08 am: Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray says the state is looking at the possibility of importing vaccines directly for the use of citizens in Mumbai, reports NDTV.
10.15 am: India records 3,29,942 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,29,92,517. The toll rises by 3,876 to 2,49,992.
9.54 am: World Health Organisation classifies Covid-19 variant originated in India as “variant of global concern”.
9.53 am: Indian Council of Medical Research releases data on testing. Till Tuesday, 30,56,00,187 people have been tested for Covid-19, of these 18,50,110 samples were tested on Monday alone.
9.53 am: Coronavirus vaccination camp scheduled to be held on May 11 and 13 at Delhi Airport cancelled due to non-availability of vaccines, ANI reports, quoting Air India official.
9.50 am: Air Force airlifts oxygen containers from Indonesian Capital Jakarta, reports ANI.
9.47 am: US Food and Drug Administration authorises Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use to those in the age group of 12-15.
9.42 am: Here are the top updates from Monday:
- India on Monday registered 3,66,161 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the country to 2,26,62,575 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. With 3,754 deaths, the toll climbed to 2,46,116. Maharashtra and Mumbai on Monday reported their lowest single-day case counts since March.
- Dozens of decomposed bodies were seen floating in Ganga river in Bihar’s Buxar district on Monday morning.
- The Kerala government told the High Court that it had come up with a fee structure for various services in private hospitals. Meanwhile, the Haryana government announced additional restrictions, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said total lockdown will hamper livelihood of people