Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday announced the extension of the state lockdown by another week till May 23. He added that strict restrictions will be implemented in the four districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram where triple lockdown will be in force from Sunday midnight. All four of these districts have test positivity rates above 25%.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting on the coronavirus situation in the country and vaccination. Modi took note of reports that ventilators were lying unused in some states, and ordered an immediate audit of their installation and operation.
India reported 3,26,098 new Covid-19 cases and 3,890 fatalities in 24 hours. This pushed the country’s case count to 2,43,72,907 and toll to 2,66,207 since the pandemic began in January. There are 36,73,802 active cases and 2,04,32,898 patients have recovered from the disease so far.
Globally, the coronavirus has now infected 16.15 crore people and killed over 33.53 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The national helpline number is 011-23978046, and the toll-free number is 1075.
Read the top updates of the day here:
8.40 pm: Gujarat reports 9,061 new cases, 15,076 discharges and 95 deaths in the last 24 hours.
8.38 pm: Jammu and Kashmir records 3,677 fresh cases, 63 deaths.
8.37 pm: Assam imposes more restrictions to rein in the surge in cases, according to PTI. Movement of people and vehicles from 12 noon to 5 am has been banned. All shops and commercial establishments will have to be shut down at 11 am on all days.
8.36 pm: Partial coronavirus curfew in Uttar Pradesh extended till 7 am of May 24, reports PTI.
8.35 pm: The Delhi government has written to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for supply of 67 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
8.32 pm: Telangana register 4,298 fresh cases, 32 deaths.
8.31 pm: The Odisha government floats a global tender to procure 3.8 crore vaccines, reports PTI.
8.29 pm: Maharashtra reports 34,848 new cases, 59,073 recoveries and 960 deaths.
8.18 pm: The Goa government will take over admissions in all private hospitals, reports PTI. “We will ensure that 50% of beds in the private hospitals will be kept reserved for treating Covid-19 patients,” says Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. “This will help to ease the load on facilities like the Goa Medical College and Hospital.”
8.15 pm: Vijayan adds that Kerala has extended its lockdown by another week till May 23.
8.13 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says strict restrictions will be implemented in the four districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram where triple lockdown will be in force from Sunday midnight. A “triple lockdown” means the existing exemptions will also be withdrawn. All four of these districts have test positivity rates above 25%.
8.12 pm: Uttarakhand registers 5,654 new cases, 4,806 recoveries and 197 deaths in the last 24 hours.
8.11 pm: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and state governments to provide compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of those who have died due to coronavirus, reports PTI.
8.10 pm: Rajasthan records 13,565 fresh infections and 149 deaths.
8.09 pm: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani says the state government will set up over 250 PSA oxygen plants to tackle the third wave, reports PTI.
8.08 pm: Himachal Pradesh sees 56 more deaths, 4,145 new cases.
7.36 pm: Karnataka reports 41,664 new cases, 34,425 discharges and 349 deaths.
7.35 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 22,517 new cases and 98 deaths.
7.34 pm: The Maharashtra government exempts truckers from RT-PCR test for entering state, reports PTI.
7.33 pm: West Bengal logs 144 fatalities, highest so far in a single day. The state registers 19,511 fresh cases.
7.32 pm: Mumbai registers 1,447 new cases, 2,333 recoveries and 62 deaths.
7.09 pm: Uttar Pradesh logs 12,547 fresh infections and 281 fatalities.
7.01 pm: Goa registers 1,957 new cases, 3,512 recoveries and 58 deaths.
6.37 pm: A plea in the Supreme Court seeks the establishment of medical oxygen plants in all 738 districts using PM-CARES Fund, reports PTI.
6.34 pm: Tamil Nadu will invoke the Goondas Act against those who hoard remdesivir injections and oxygen cylinders and sell them at an exorbitant price, says Chief Minister MK Stalin.
6.18 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MLa Atishi says Delhi has received over 1.73 lakh Covishield doses today. “Now [we] have 6 days of stocks of this vaccine available for 45+ age group,” she adds, according to PTI.
6.16 pm: Madhya Pradesh will set up special wards at 5 medical colleges in Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Indore and Rewa to treatment cases of black fungus, reports ANI.
5.23 pm: Congress veteran P Chidambaram asks scientists to speak the truth.
5.22 pm: The Himachal Pradesh government extends the curfew till May 26.
5.21 pm: Haryana Congress unit chief Kumari Selja accuses the BJP-led state government of undercounting infection and fatalities. “The spread of the coronavirus is increasing rapidly in the state,” she adds. “Instead of preventing it, the government has been making false statements and claims. The figures of those infected and deaths are being hidden.”
5.17 pm: Vasundhara Raje urges the Rajasthan government to procure drugs for black fungus, reports PTI. “Black fungus is a new disease happening in Rajasthan. Liposomal Amphotericin B 50mg injections and Posaconazole 300mg tablets are needed to treat this,” she adds.
5.09 pm: Jharkhand registers fewer than 100 deaths for the third time in May. With 76 fatalities, the state’s toll climbs to 4,366.
5.08 pm: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat says India needs to work as a team and set an example on how to beat Covid.
5.06 pm: Puducherry reports 1,598 new cases, 1,774 discharges and 20 deaths in the last 24 hours.
4.13 pm: Paul says around 1.5 crore doses of Covaxin are being produced per month. “The plan is to ramp up the production to 10 crore doses per month,” he adds.
4.12 pm: NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul details the vaccine coverage among healthcare workers.
4.11 pm: West Bengal board exams for Class 10 and 12 will not be held in June, reports PTI. The revised schedule will be announced later.
4.06 pm: Madhya Pradesh extends ban on interstate bus movement till May 23, reports PTI.
3.57 pm: The Chhattisgarh government directs district authorities to extend the lockdown till May 31 amid the surge in coronavirus cases, PTI reports.
3.54 pm: The coronavirus-induced lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir enters the 17th day on Saturday, PTI reports.
3.49 pm: The Delhi government announces a fund of Rs 1,051 crore for the three municipal corporations to pay salaries to healthcare workers and other employees amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reports.
3.43 pm: At the high-level meeting on Covid-19 situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes note of some reports that ventilators are lying unused in some states, the Prime Minister’s Office says. He orders an immediate audit of installation and operation of ventilators provided by the Centre to the states.
The prime minister says that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour. He orders officials to augment healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door to door testing and surveillance.
2.42 pm: Haryana declares black fungus a notified disease. The rare infection is caused by a fungus named mucor, which is found on wet surfaces. General symptoms of the black fungus infection include headache, fever, pain under the eyes, nasal or sinus congestion, and partial loss of vision among others.
2.40 pm: Delhi reports 6,430 new cases, 11,592 recoveries and 337 deaths.
1.42 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Ashim Banerjee (60) has died of Covid-related complications at a Kolkata hospital, reports NDTV.
1.22 pm: West Bengal announces new curbs in the state to contain the spread of the coronavirus, reports News18. The new restrictions will come into effect from 6 am on Sunday and continue till 6 pm on May 30. Inter-state trains, buses and metro services to remain shut. Gatherings, including religious events, have been prohibited.
Schools, colleges and all educational institutions will be be closed. Private and government offices will also remain shut. The government has also imposed a night curfew between 9 pm to 5 am
1.18 pm: Deaths in Colombia cross the 80,000-mark as intensive care unit beds in hospitals across the biggest cities were full, reports Reuters.
1.15 pm: United States-based multinational retail corporation Walmart says it will not ask its vaccinated shoppers or workers to wear a mask in its stores unless state or local laws say otherwise, reports The Hindu. The US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had on Thursday eased mask-wearing guidelines for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
1.12 pm: Tamil Nadu is taking a syndromic approach to the coronavirus in view of a surge in cases, reports The Hindu. This means that searching for active cases would be done through house-to-house visits and screening would be taken up at interim Covid-19 Care Centres (ICCC).
1.10 pm: The Tamil Nadu government says shops selling provisions, groceries and meat will be allowed to function only between 6 am and 10 am from Saturday, reports The Hindu. They were earlier allowed to remain open between 6 am and 12 pm.
1.08 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot directs authorities to formulate a special plan to prevent the spread of infection in the state, reports PTI. He tells officials to further strengthen the arrangements for containment zones, massive testing, contact tracing and other measrues for the Jaipur district to rein in the spread of the infection.
1.06 pm: Delhi government approves Rs 5,000 financial assistance for all individuals with the public service badge of para-transit vehicles such as drivers of taxis and autos and others in view of the the lockdown, reports PTI.
1.01 pm: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the second coronavirus wave has been challenging for the government on several grounds, it has been quickly taking measures to address them, reports The Indian Express. “The situation today is very different,” she adds about the imposition of lockdown. “We have two vaccines already. So we don’t think there is a need for across-the-board lockdown.”
12.51 pm: Beijing says the prices of some Covid-19 medical supplies such as oxygen concentrators that New Delhi is procuring from Chinese manufacturers have gone up as they had to import raw materials from Europe to meet excess demand from India, reports PTI.
12.48 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says that the city has reported 6,500 coronavirus cases and the daily positivity rate has dropped to 11%. “So the impact of the virus is going down in Delhi,” he says. “As many as 1,000 ICU [intensive care unit] beds have been set up within 15 days.”
12.36 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces setting up oxygen concentrator banks in each district of the city. Kejriwal also says that home delivery of oxygen will be done if coronavirus patients in home isolation need it.
11.45 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a high-level meeting on the Covid-19 situation and vaccinations, according to ANI.
11.30 am: Gujarat Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja says that allegations against the administration of hiding data of Covid-19 deaths is “improper”, reports ANI.
10.44 am: Over 2,000 dead bodies have been found at a stretch of 1,140 km in 27 Uttar Pradesh districts on the banks of the river Ganga, reports Dainik Bhaskar.
10.43 am: Johnson has also announced that the gap between the first and second Covid shots would be reduced from 12 weeks to eight weeks for all those above 50 and for those at risk of Covid-19, according to The Guardian.
10.40 am: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the final stage of the lifting of coronavirus lockdown curbs across England could face “serious disruption” due to the cases linked to the variant detected in India, reports The Guardian.
“I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June,” Johnson says.
10.24 am: Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal will meet virtually with all state education secretaries on May 17 to review the Covid-19 situation, online education and implementation of the National Education Policy, reports ANI.
10 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi to chair a high-level meeting today on the Covid-19 situation and vaccinations, reports ANI.
9.30 am: India records 3,26,098 new Covid-19 cases and 3,890 fatalities in 24 hours.
9.20 am: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to utilise Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or PM CARES, Fund to procure coronavirus vaccines, install oxygen plants and other essential equipment, reports ANI.
9.10 am: Jammu administration conducts door-to-door exercise to create awareness about coronavirus helpline and hospitals in the district as well as to identify positive patients, reports ANI.
9 am: World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday said the Covid-19 situation in India remained “hugely concerning” as several states were continuing to see a “worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths”.
Here’s what happened on Friday:
- India on Friday registered 3,43,144 new Covid-19 infections in 24 hours and 4,000 fatalities. This pushed the country’s case count to 2,40,46,809 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The toll rose to 2,62,317.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the coronavirus was spreading fast in rural India and urged villagers to take necessary precautions, including wearing mask. He also urged states to take action against black-marketing of medicines and essential supplies.
- Pharmaceutical firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said Russian made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V will be priced at Rs 948, with 5% Goods and Services Tax per dose. The total amounts to Rs 995.5.The prices were announced the day the first dose of Sputnik V was administered in Hyderabad as part of a limited pilot exercise.
- Delhi reported 8,506 new infections and 289 deaths in 24 hours on Friday. This was the first time in the last few weeks that the city’s daily count had fallen under the 10,000-mark, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The city now has a total of 13,80,981 infections, while the toll stood at 20,907. The positivity rate came down to 12.40%.
- The Telangana High Court stayed a state government order that barred the entry of ambulances from neighbouring states without a scheduled hospital admission. On Friday alone, 40 to 60 ambulances were reportedly turned away.
- A private hospital in Manipur’s capital city Imphal on Friday indefinitely suspended admission of new patients, saying it had run out of medical oxygen amid a surge in coronavirus cases.