Coronavirus updates | May 2, 2021

A young beneficiary receives her first vaccine shot at BKC vaccination centre in Mumbai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

India reported 3,92,603 new COVID-19 cases and 3,673 deaths till 11.15 p.m. IST on May 1.

The country has so far reported a total of 1,95,49,943 cases and 2,15,454 deaths. Maharashtra reported 63,282 infections, accounting for over 16% of the new cases, followed by Karnataka (40,990) and Kerala (35,636).

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:

New Delhi

Second ‘oxygen express’ reaches Delhi, third on its way, says Railways

The Railways on Sunday said Delhi has received its second “oxygen express” with 120 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO), while a third has left Angul, Odisha, carrying 30.86 tonnes.

It said it has so far delivered 1,094 tonnes LMO in 74 tankers across the country, including Maharashtra (174 tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (430.51 tonnes), Madhya Pradesh (156.96 tonnes), Delhi (190 tonnes), Haryana (79 tonnes) and Telangana (63.6 tonnes).

“Nineteen oxygen expresses have already completed their journey and two more loaded ones are on the run carrying about 61.46 tonnes of LMO in four tankers,” it said.

So far, the Railways have delivered more than 1,094 metric tonnes LMO to Maharashtra (174 MT), Uttar Pradesh (430.51 MT), Madhya Pradesh (156.96 MT), Delhi (190 MT), Haryana (79 MT) & Telangana (63.6 MT).

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New Delhi

COVID-19 vaccination for 18-45 age group to begin tomorrow

The third and the largest phase of vaccination, under which beneficiaries in the 18-45 age group will be given jabs against coronavirus, will begin in New Delhi on Monday.

Around 90 lakh people in this category will be eligible for the jabs. Five vaccination booths each have been set up at 77 schools for the inoculation exercise, an official said.

The government set up vaccination centres at schools to accommodate a high number of beneficiaries, he said.

At present, jabs are being given to those aged above 45 at around 500 centres in the national capital.


Ensure uninterrupted flow of oxygen supplies, free mass vaccination programme: Opposition leaders to Centre

A joint statement by Opposition leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister H Deve Gowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, CPIM's Sitaram Yechury and CPI's D Raja have asked the government to focus all its attention on ensuring the uninterrupted flow of Oxygen supplies to all hospitals and health centres across the country.

"We call upon the Central government to immediately launch a free mass vaccination programme across the country. The budgetary allocation of ₹35,000 crore for the vaccination programme must be utilised for this,"the leaders said in their joint statement

- Sandeep Phukan


7-day lockdown in Haryana from May 3

The Haryana government on Sunday announced a lockdown in the State for seven days from May 3.

“Seven days complete lockdown announced in entire Haryana from May 3,” said a tweet from Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij. Earlier, the government had imposed weekend lockdown in nine districts — Gurugram, Faridabad, Rohtak, Sonipat, Karnal, Panchkula, Hisar, Sirsa and Fatehabad — from 10 p.m. on April 30 to 5 a.m. on May 3.

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Odisha declares journalists as frontline warriors

The Odisha government has declared working journalists as frontline COVID warriors by recognising the risks they undertake to cover the pandemic.

Approving a proposal to this effect on Sunday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “Working journalists are doing great service to the State by providing seamless news feed, making people aware of issues relating to COVID-19 during these very trying times and they are a great support for our war against COVID.”

According to the Chief Minister’s Office, the decision is likely to benefit 6,944 working journalists in the State.

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J&K orders inquiry into COVID-19 patient’s death at hospital ‘due to oxygen shortage’

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered an inquiry into the death of a coronavirus-infected patient allegedly due to the lack of oxygen concentrators at a premiere hospital in Jammu.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Raghav Langar, has appointed the Financial Commissioner, Health, as an officer “to inquire into the circumstances leading to the death of the person at the Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences and Hospital (ASCOMS).

The family members, in a video that went viral online on Saturday, alleged that Bita Kumari Kher, 59, died because “the hospital could not provide her oxygen in time.”

“The patient would have survived if the oxygen was provided in time,” they said.

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In touch with foreign embassies & responding to their medical demands: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday said it is in continuous touch with all foreign embassies in India and responding to their medical demands, especially those related to COVID-19.

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the response to medical demands of the embassies included facilitating treatment in hospital even as he urged all not to hoard essential supplies including oxygen.

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Over 78 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses still available with states: Centre

More than 78 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs which will receive over 56 lakh additional doses within the next 3 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

The Government of India has so far provided nearly 16.54 crore vaccine doses (16,54,93,410) to states and UTs free of cost. Of this, the total consumption including wastages is 15,76,32,631 doses.

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New Delhi

France sends 8 oxygen generators to India

France delivered eight oxygen plants on Sunday, four of which government sources said would be used for hospitals in Delhi, as questions were put to the Centre on the use of foreign aid.

The consignment of about 28 tonnes of equipment sent by the French government to India was delivered to the Indian Red Cross Society at the Delhi airport and then transferred to the Centre.

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka issues new tough guidelines amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Sri Lanka's health authorities have issued new tough guidelines, including banning wedding receptions and gatherings at religious sites, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the Island nation continued to record a spike in daily infections.

For the fifth on Friday, the daily number of cases reported crossed the 1,000-mark.

The country recorded several cases of the UK variant which has a bigger mortality rate, health officials said. - PTI

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Amidst growing concerns over the steep rise in COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government on Sunday announced a two-week lockdown in the State from May 5 to 19.

Apart from the lockdown there will be a complete shutdown on weekends from 6 p.m. on Fridays to 5 a.m. on Mondays, said the government’s notification.

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Six Tokyo Olympic torch staffers diagnosed with COVID-19

Six people who helped with Japan's Olympic Torch relay were diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total number of participants in the event who got the coronavirus to eight, organisers said.

The six people, who included a man in his 20s and another man in his 30s, helped on the relay in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima on April 27, Tokyo 2020 said in a statement late on Saturday.

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New Delhi

PM Modi to review human resource situation in fight against COVID-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting on Sunday to review the human resource situation in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and ways to augment it, sources said.

The meeting comes amid reports of healthcare personnel feeling overwhelmed in some parts of the country due to the surge in the COVID-19 cases, with testing facilities also being under a strain.

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Taiwan's first batch of COVID-19 aid leaves for India

Taiwan's first batch of aid to India to help it fight a surging increase in COVID-19 infections left for New Delhi on Sunday, consisting of 150 oxygen concentrators and 500 oxygen cylinders, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said.

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Pakistan to slash international flights by 80% to curb COVID-19

Pakistan will reduce the number of international flights into and out of its airports by 80% to help curb rising COVID-19 cases, the government said on Saturday.

The restrictions will come into effect on May 5 and will run to May 20, Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement, though it did not specify which flights or destinations would be affected by the measure.

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Over 80,000 people in 18-44 age group vaccinated on May 1: Centre

The Health Ministry said 84,599 beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine in the country on Saturday. A total of 16,48,192 vaccine doses were given till 8 p.m. on Saturday, the 106th day of the inoculation drive, the ministry said.

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1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik V land in India

India moved a step closer to having a third vaccine in its immunisation drive against COVID-19 when the first consignment of Russia’s Sputnik V landed in Hyderabad on Saturday.

“We are pleased to announce that the first consignment of 1,50,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine has landed in Hyderabad from Russia,” said Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories CEO-API and Services Deepak Sapra.

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New Delhi/Kathmandu

Sent 3,000 oxygen concentrators to help India: UNICEF

The UNICEF said on Saturday that it sent critical lifesaving supplies, including 3,000 oxygen concentrators, to help India amid the ravaging second coronavirus wave.

The United Nations child rights agency has supplied more than 500 high-flow nasal cannulas and 85 RT-PCR machines.

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What are variants of concern?

SARS-CoV-2 is new in humans and as it spreads, mutations are very frequent. Emerging variants with higher transmission efficiency become dominant, tending to replace others. Such frontrunners emerge in different geographic communities where the virus is epidemic, spreading widely. Variants were detected in the U.K. and South Africa because genetic studies were systematically done. Brazil variant was discovered in Japan, in travellers from Brazil, and its origin traced back.

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