Read the top updates of the day here:

9.10 pm: Maharashtra reports 29,644 new coronavirus cases and 555 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to government data.

9.09 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 36,184 new cases and 467 deaths in the last 24 hours, shows government data.

9.08 pm: Pune Municipal Corporation says vaccination will remain closed at all centres under the body on Saturday due to shortage of doses, reports ANI.

9.06 pm: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij says the state has so far reported 268 cases of post-Covid complication “black fungus”, reports ANI. Vij says the Haryana has demanded 12,000 vials of medicine needed to treat the infection, adding that the state will import them as well.

8.20 pm: Karnataka extends its lockdown till June 7, reports NDTV. Earlier, the lockdown was expected to end on May 24.

7.33 pm: Supreme Court says High Courts must avoid passing orders related to Covid-19 that are impossible to implement, NDTV reports.

The court made the observation in view of an Allahabad High Court order that said all nursing home beds in Uttar Pradesh must have oxygen facility. The High Court had also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that within a month every UP village had two ambulances with Intensice Care Unit facility.

7.31 pm: Union health ministry writes to states asking to review their preparedness for prevention and control of “black fungus” infection, as well as hygiene and sanitation in hospitals.

7.29 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan holds review meeting on public health response to coronavirus and progress of vaccination with nine states and Union Territories.

7.26 pm: Rajasthan reports 6225 new cases and 129 deaths in the last 24 hours, shows government data.

7.25 pm: Kerala reports 29,673 new cases and 142 deaths in the last 24 hours, reports ANI, quoting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

6.40 pm: Lockdown in Kerala will be extended till May 30, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

5.46 pm: The Uttar Pradesh government joins the list of states to have declared mucormycosis, or “black fungus” as a notifiable disease, reports The Times of India.

5.44 pm: The Defence Research and Development Organisation develops a coronavirus antibody detection-based kit called “DIPCOVAN”, says defence ministry.

5.41 pm: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra asks Leader of Opposition Kamal Nath to prove his claim that over one lakh coronavirus patients have died in the state, reports ANI. “I demand the Governor to register a case against him in this matter,” says Mishra. He is trying to defame the country and state.”

5.38 pm: Uttar Pradesh reports 7735 new cases of coronavirus and 172 deaths in the last 24 hours, shows government data.

5.37 pm: Centre gives details of medical equipment dispatched to states and Union Territories. Health ministry says 15,567 oxygen concentrators, 15,801 oxygen cylinders, 19 oxygen generation plants 10,950 ventilators and around 6.6 lakh remdesivir vials have been dispatched between 27 April 2021 and 20 May.

3.55 pm: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar says there is a shortage of amphotericin B drug injections for 300 patients with black fungus infection in Pune, ANI reports. “If there are 300 patients, around 1800 injections a day are needed and that is not available in required number,” he says.

Pawar adds: “In a meeting with PM [Narendra Modi], our Health Minister [Rajesh Tope] raised the demand that the injections must be given to states in required number. We also spoke to its manufacturers and we were informed they have been asked to give it to Centre that will decide on the allocation to states.”

3.50 pm: Delhi records 3,009 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the total count of infections to 14,12,959. The Capital’s toll rises by 352 to 22,831. The city’s positivity rate in the last 24 hours stands at 4.76%.

1.54 pm: An oxygen leak at the North Bengal Medical College in Soliguri triggers panic among patients and their family members, reports PTI. Officials say said that due to the leak in the pipe supplying oxygen to a Covid-19 ward, a cloud formed and patients and families ran outside in panic.

Officials adds that no one was injured and the leak has been repaired.

1.51 pm: Medanta chairperson Dr Naresh Trehan says that the mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, requires aggressive medical treatment, reports ANI. “The first symptoms of Covid-associated mucormycosis are pain/stuffiness in the nose, inflammation on cheek, fungus patch inside the mouth, swelling in the eyelid etc,” he says.

Trehan adds that the key to controlling the disease is judicious use of steroids and a good control of diabetes.

1.48 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoles the death of environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna, who died of the coronavirus. “He manifested our centuries-old ethos of living in harmony with nature,” tweets Modi. “His simplicity and spirit of compassion will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with his family and many admirers.”

1.44 pm: Visuals from Hyderabad in Telangana shows citizens flouting physical distancing norms, reports ANI.

1.23 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant extends curfew till May 31, reports ANI.

1.18 pm: Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna dies of coronavirus at AIIMS in Rishikesh, reports PTI.

1.12 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi warns against the “new challenge of black fungus”, reports NDTV. While speaking with doctors in Varanasi, the prime minister says the country must be prepared to fight the rare and potentially fatal condition.

“This virus has snatched many people from us,” says Modi. “Those who lost their loved ones because of Corona, I pay my tribute and I express my condolences. Yoga and Ayush have bolstered people’s strength in this coronavirus crisis. But this is not the time to be complacent. We have a long fight ahead.”

12.23 pm: The Maharashtra government issues a 16-point SOP in response to sexual harassment complaints of women in Covid-19 wards, reports News18. According to the orders, each women’s coronavirus ward will have panic alarm buttons, CCTV monitoring and presence of women medical staffers.

12.18 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to doctors, paramedical staff and other frontline health workers of Varanasi.

12.10 pm: Jain adds that there is no Covishield vaccine for the 18-44 age group and the available stock of Covaxin vaccine for the same age group will be consumed soon. “Many vaccination centers will be closing today,” says Jain.

12.09 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says there are 197 cases of “black fungus” in government and private hospitals across the Capital, reports ANI.

12.04 pm: From today, the inter-district transport services and movement of people across Assam will be restricted, reports Hindustan Times.

11.54 am: The managing director and the nursing staff of a private hospital in Rajasthan’s Kota have been booked for allegedly administering a glucose injection instead of remdesivir, reports PTI. They have been booked under culpable homicide, cheating and criminal conspiracy charges.

11.53 am: Eight carpenters engaged in the construction work of the chariots for this year’s Rath Yatra have tested positive, reports PTI. However, the Shree Jagannath Temple administration says it will continue with the work.

11.52 am: Mizoram logs highest one-day surge of 296 Covid cases.

11.51 am: Puducherry registers 1,702 new cases and 26 deaths.

11.50 am: The Ayush ministry launches a helpline.

10.59 am: Commenting on the Mahakumbh and Char Dham Yatra, the Uttarakhand High Court says that the state government is causing embarrassment to its own people and asked why it cannot learn from its mistakes, reports The New Indian Express.

10.57 am: Almost 150 vaccination centres in Delhi will close on Friday as Covishield doses for citizens aged between 18 and 44 years have run out, reported The Indian Express. Doses of Covaxin had run out last week itself.

9.22 am: India reports 2,59,551 new coronavirus cases, pushing the infection tally to 2,60,31,991 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The toll climbs by 4,209 to 2,91,331.

8.59 am: Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya says the shortage of amphotericin B drug, which is used in the treatment of mucormycosis, will be resolved soon. Mucormycosis is also known as “black fungus”.

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Coronavirus: ‘Black fungus’ medicine shortage will be resolved soon, says Union minister

8.56 am: Kalaburagi City Corporation launches 24x7 auto ambulance service for Covid patients.

8.50 am: Centre announces that RT-PCR tests will be cut to 40% of the total tests by the end of next month, reports NDTV. The RT-PCR is widely believed to be the most accurate method to detect the coronavirus infection.

Instead, the Centre will depend up to 60% on the less reliable antigen tests. The government also brought down its stated RT-PCR testing capacity to 12-13 lakh-a-day from around 16 lakh last week.

8.32 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday

  • India recorded 2,76,110 new coronavirus cases, taking the total count of infections to 2,57,72,440 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The country’s toll rose to 2,87,122 as it registered 3,874 deaths in the last day. The Centre released new guidelines on coronavirus. It said that aerosol particles “can be carried in the air up to 10 metres”. Apart from physical distancing and the use of masks, the advisory highlighted that better ventilation can decrease the risk of transmission of the infection.
  • The Centre said that Indian companies will import six lakh vials of Amphotericin B, the drug used to treat black fungus infections, and that the shortage of the drug will be resolved soon. Earlier in the day, the Union Health Ministry asked states to make post-Covid complication mucormycosis, or black fungus, a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
  • The Delhi High Court said hospitals in the city should set up their own oxygen plants taking a cue from the “bitter experience” of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Delhi on Thursday reported 3,231 new cases of coronavirus in its lowest single-day rise since April 1. The city logged 233 deaths due to the infection in the last 24 hours.    
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked district officials to collect data on the coronavirus strains affecting children. He also said the wastage of Covid-19 vaccines was a major problem in the country and asked district officials to make sure that this was curbed.
  • Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech said it will produce 20 crore doses of the vaccine from fourth quarter (January-March 2022) at Chiron Behring Vaccines, the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary at Ankleshwar in Gujarat, reported ANI.
  • United States’ infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci on Thursday said children aged between four and six in the country will likely get vaccinations by the end of this year or the first quarter of 2022.
  • Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 16.46 crore people and killed over 34.13 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.