Coronavirus updates | April 15, 2021

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Addressing reports of lack of oxygen, the Health Ministry said in a statement that mapping of oxygen cylinders has been done State-wise and use of industrial cylinders for providing medical oxygen has been permitted after due purging.

The Health ministry is placing orders for purchase of another one lakh oxygen cylinders, it added.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

 

Delhi

 

NEET-PG postponed in view of rising number of COVID-19 cases: Vardhan

In view of a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance test (NEET), which was scheduled to be held on April 18, has been postponed, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.

"In light of the surge in #COVID19 cases, GoI has decided to postpone #NEETPG2021 exam which was earlier scheduled to be held on Apr 18. Next date to be decided later. Decision has been taken keeping wellbeing of our young medical students in mind," he said in a tweet.

 

Delhi

HC allows 50 people to offer namaz 5 times a day at Nizamuddin Markaz during Ramzan

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed 50 people to offer namaz five times a day at the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque during Ramzan.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh directed the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin police station to permit entry of 50 people five times a day to offer namaz only on the first floor of the Masjid Bangley Wali. - PTI

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Bihar

Minister, Chief Secretary among COVID-hit citizens in Bihar; Nitish says conscious of situation

Amid surging COVID cases in Bihar which has infected a minister and top level of bureaucracy including the Chief Secretary, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday stressed on ramping up test of samples and intensification of vaccination drive to deal with challenges posed by the second wave of the deadly disease.

Social Welfare minister Madan Sahni, Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Home Chaitanya Prasad and Principal Secretary Finance S Siddarth are among the long list of infected persons in Bihar.

COVID-19 figure has spiked to 2,95,171 in Bihar where daily caseload is going up substantially with every passing day.

Mr. Kumar took second dose of vaccine at state-run Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) in Patna. - PTI

Maharashtra

Maharashtra CM urges Centre to consider COVID-19 as natural calamity

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written a letter to the Centre, urging to consider the COVID-19 pandemic as natural calamity, so that the government can use the State disaster response fund (SDRF) to provide financial assistance to the affected people.

All State Disaster Management Acts have been formed as part of the Central disaster management law; hence the State needs the Union government's permission to use the SDRF for helping the pandemic-hit people, a government official said.

“The Chief Minister wants to use the SDRF for the similar purpose as the coronavirus outbreak has affected the earnings of thousands of people in the state. We need a legal provision to do so, hence the state government has written to the Centre," the official said. — PTI

New Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announces weekend curfew in Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on April 15 announced weekend curfew in Delhi to break the COVID-19 transmission chain.

Highlights from the press conference:

"Essential services will not be curtailed during the weekend curfew.

"Only takeaway services in Delhi restaurants, dine-in operations to remain closed.

"There are no shortage of beds in the Capital. There are over 5,000 beds in the Capital. Please do not insist on a hospital of your choice.

"I request the media to restrain from showing statistics of beds available at hospitals.

"During the weekdays, people have to step out to earn their livelihood. But over weekend, people can avoid going out for entertainment and other activities.

"We will issue curfew passes for essential services and for those who are attending weddings over the weekend.

"Malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums will be shut from now on. Cinema halls can run with 30% occupancy only.

"Weekly markets: only one weekly market per day, per zone will be allowed to open.

“Imposing these restrictions right now are very important and I hope everyone will cooperate with the government. We will also be enhancing our enforcement drive to ensure people are maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.” — Jaideep Deo Bhanj

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New Delhi

Government only indulging in sham of COVID-19 ‘vaccine festival’, Rahul Gandhi alleges

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on April 15 attacked the government over the handling of the COVID-19 situation and alleged that it is only indulging in a “sham” of a ‘vaccine festival’.

He also alleged that there is no testing, no beds in hospitals, neither ventilators or oxygen and vaccine is also not available. — PTI

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New Delhi

Centre to carry out detailed daily mapping of sources for supply of medical oxygen

The Central government is undertaking a detailed daily mapping of sources for the supply of medical oxygen with a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country to ensure uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen, the Health Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday.

“Medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of COVID-19 affected patients. An inter-ministerial Empowered Group (EG2) of officials has noted that currently there is sufficient production capacity of around 7127 MTs for oxygen in the country, and as per need, the surplus oxygen available with the steel plants is also being utilised,” the release said.

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Maharashtra

All Class 5, 8 and 10 students will be promoted without exams, says Punjab C

Amid the continuing COVID-19 surge, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that all Class 5, 8 and 10 students would be promoted to the next class without taking any examination. A decision on Class 12 Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) examinations, which have already been postponed, would be taken later, based on the emerging situation.

The Chief Minister took these decisions during a virtual review meeting on the pandemic with top officials and medical experts here.

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Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 bed occupancy is less than 10% in Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary says

Though the COVID-19 active caseload has crossed 50,000 in Tamil Nadu, bed occupancy across the State is less than 10%. In Chennai, 20% of the beds are occupied, TN Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said.

“Tamil Nadu has a robust healthcare system. Right now, we have 412 30-bed primary health centres that have not been brought to use for COVID-19; more than 50,000 beds in government medical college hospitals and 303 secondary care hospitals. People should not delay in seeking medical help,” he told reporters at the Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate, on Thursday.

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Uttar Pradesh

Schools in U.P. shut till May 15; night curfew imposed in 10 districts

All schools in Uttar Pradesh will be closed till May 15 while board exams for Classes 10 and 12 have been postponed till May 20 in view of rising COVID-19 cases, the State government.

The new dates for the board examinations will be decided in the first week of May, an official said.

"Schools up to Class 12 are being closed till May 15 and no examinations will also be held during this period. Also, U.P. board examinations for classes 10 and 12 have been postponed till May 20," the official said. — PTI

Madhya Pradesh

M.P. govt to rush Remdesivir to various districts by aircraft

The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday roped in its aircraft to rush Remdesivir injections from Indore to various other districts in the State for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, an official said.

Two hundred boxes containing 9,264 Remdesivir injections (a key anti-viral drug) have arrived at the Indore airport, an official from the Chief Minister's Office said. Out of these, 42 boxes will be airlifted to Bhopal, 39 to Jabalpur, 19 to Gwalior, 18 to Rewa, he said.

Besides, 57 boxes of the Remdesivir injections would be kept for Indore, the worst coronavirus-hit district in the State, and some stock will also be sent to Sagar, Ratlam and Khandwa, the official said. — PTI

Dehradun/Rishikesh

Over 1,700 test positive for COVID-19 in Kumbh Mela over 5-day period

A total of 1,701 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela area from April 10 to 14 confirming fears that one of the world's largest religious gatherings may contribute further to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

The numbers include both RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test reports of devotees and seers of different akharas (ascetic groups) over the five-day period in the entire Mela Kshetra extending from Haridwar to Devprayag, Haridwar Chief Medical Officer Shambhu Kumar Jha said.

More RT-PCR test reports are awaited and the trend shows that the number of infected persons in the Kumbh Mela Kshetra is likely to climb to 2,000, he said. — PTI

New Delhi

All staffers at residence of SC Judge Justice M.R. Shah test COVID-19 positive

All staff members of Supreme Court Judge Justice M.R. Shah have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the judge said during the hearing of a case on April 15.

Justice Shah was sitting on the bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and broke the news to the lawyers that all his staffers at the official residence have got the viral infection. The Bench then rose and would reassemble at 2 p.m.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati said the court should take its own time to deal with the situation. Over 40 staffers of the apex court had tested positive for novel coronavirus infection a few days ago. — PTI

Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 bed occupancy is less than 10% in Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary says

Though the COVID-19 active caseload has crossed 50,000 in Tamil Nadu, bed occupancy across the State is less than 10%. In Chennai, 20% of the beds are occupied, TN Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said.

“Tamil Nadu has a robust healthcare system. Right now, we have 412 30-bed primary health centres that have not been brought to use for COVID-19; more than 50,000 beds in government medical college hospitals and 303 secondary care hospitals. People should not delay in seeking medical help,” he told reporters at the Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate, on Thursday.

Uttar Pradesh

Pharmacist sacked for giving anti-rabies jab to 3 instead of COVID vaccine

A pharmacist at a government health centre was sacked and another suspended for giving anti-rabies shots instead of COVID vaccine to three women in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district.

In an order passed by District Magistrate Jasjit Kaur on Wednesday, the community health centre's incharge, Rambir Singh, was transferred in connection with the case.

These officials were charged with negligence on the basis of the inquiry report submitted by Sub-Dvisional Magistrate Udav Tripathi. - PTI

Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh

Tika Utsav: Three states administered more than one crore vaccinations

Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh administered more than one crore COVID-19 vaccinations during the four-day 'Tika Utsav', the health ministry said on Thursday.

The vaccination festival from April 11-14 saw intense vaccination activity with 29,33,418 doses being given on April 11, and another 40,04,521 jabs administered the next day, the ministry said. The corresponding figure for 13th and 14th April stands at 26,46,528 and 33,13,848. — PTI

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Kolkata

Coronavirus-positive Congress candidate dies at Kolkata hospital

Congress candidate Rezaul Haque, who was undergoing treatment at a hospital here after testing positive for COVID-19, died early on Thursday, health department sources said.

Haque, the party's nominee from Samsherganj assembly constituency in Murshidabad district, was initially admitted to a private hospital in Jangipur on Wednesday, but later referred to a medial facility in Kolkata after his condition deteriorated at night.

He died around 5 a.m., the sources said. - PTI

Mumbai

In Mumbai, 5-star hotels to house non-critical COVID-19 patients

A security person patrols at Gateway of India in Mumbai, India. The teeming metropolis of Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra face stricter restrictions for 15 days starting April 14 in an effort to stem the surge of coronavirus infections.

A security person patrols at Gateway of India in Mumbai, India. The teeming metropolis of Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra face stricter restrictions for 15 days starting April 14 in an effort to stem the surge of coronavirus infections.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

In Mumbai, the BMC and private hospitals will jointly identify 4-star and 5-star hotels to set them up as step-down facilities for COVID-19 patients. These step-down facilities will be used to shift patients who do not require emergency medical intervention.

This is being done to ensure patients who are critical, need oxygen or ventilator get bed in private hospital.

In addition, BMC has issued a notification ordering conversion of Jaslok Hospital in to COVID-19 hospital only. Non-COVID-19 patients will not be admitted here.

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COVID case update

Over 2 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases in India, 1038 new fatalities

A healthcare worker checks the temperature of a rice mill worker during a coronavirus disease vaccination drive at Bavla village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on April 13, 2021.

A healthcare worker checks the temperature of a rice mill worker during a coronavirus disease vaccination drive at Bavla village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on April 13, 2021.  

 

The number of new coronavirus cases in India hit a record daily high with over 2 lakh infections being reported in a day, while the active cases surpassed the 14- lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

With the new cases, the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 1,40,74,564.

A total of 2,00,739 new COVID-19 cases have been registered in a span of 24 hours, while death toll increased to 1,73,123 with 1,038 daily new fatalities, the highest since October 3, 2020, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

Registering a steady increase for the 36th day in a row, the active cases have increased to 14,71,877 comprising 10.46% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 88.31%. - PTI

Rajasthan

Rajasthan imposes 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew from Friday

Amid a surge in coronavirus infection cases, the Rajasthan government on Wednesday decided to impose a night-long curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the entire State from April 16.

The night curfew was declared earlier in 10 urban areas of the State but with the spread of infection showing no sign of abating, the State government decided to enforce the regulatory measure in the entire State.

The order imposing the night curfew in the entire State was issued on late on Wednesday evening.

“Night curfew will be there from 6 in the evening till 5 in the morning and markets will be closed by 5 p.m.,” the government order said.

According to the new guideline, all educational and coaching institutes and libraries too will remain closed from April 16 to 30.

The number of guests in private functions, marriages and other social gatherings has been restricted to 50.

The directions related to the marriage and social functions will apply from April 16 to May 31, the order said. - PTI

(With inputs from Correspondents and Agencies)

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 1:53:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-live-april-15-2021-updates/article34322791.ece

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