Coronavirus live updates | April 19, 2021

A healthcare worker inspects an oxygen cylinder at a Covid-19 Isolation Center set up at the Yamuna sports complex in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

India's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

With a shortage of oxygen production units, the Centre has banned the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes from April 22, according to an order issued on Sunday from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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:


Coronavirus | Night curfew to be imposed in Kerala from tomorrow

The Kerala government on Monday decided to impose night curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. from April 20 in view of the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the State.

The decision in this regard was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Dr V.P. Joy, this evening.

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New Delhi

PM Modi to interact with leading doctors, pharma companies

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with leading doctors from across the country at 4.30 pm and with top pharma companies at 6 pm on the prevailing COVID-19 situation on Monday via video conferencing, officials said.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Modi had chaired an important meeting on the situation at 11:30 am.

The meetings come amid a massive surge in coronavirus cases across the country, with several chief ministers complaining of a shortage of essentials like oxygen supply and medicines like Remdesivir, and seeking the Centre's intervention.

New Delhi

Manmohan Singh’s letter to PM: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan hits back at Congress

A day after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ramp up vaccination efforts, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan alleged that the statements by Congress leaders were behind “vaccine hesitancy” in the country and accused Congress-ruled States to be “big contributors” in the second wave.

In his letter, Dr. Singh had suggested scaling up vaccination efforts, giving flexibility to State governments in deciding who needed to be vaccinated and expanding the number of vaccine producers by invoking compulsory licensing.

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Night curfew in Manipur from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The Manipur government has decided to impose night curfew in the state from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. in view of the rise of COVID-19 cases, an official said.

The order issued by Chief Secretary Rajesh Kumar said the consultative committee of COVID-19 chaired by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on April 18 decided that night curfew will be imposed in the State from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. in view of the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The order did not specify for how many days the night curfew will be in force. It said media persons and those engaged in telecom services and essential services will be exempted from the curfew.


Kerala PSC examinations, interviews postponed

The Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) on Monday decided to postpone all its examinations for the month of April, considering the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the State over the past few days.

All the PSC interviews and certificate verification process have also been postponed for the month of May too. A PSC official told The Hindu that the revised dates of the postponed examinations will be decided later.

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New Delhi

Centre to provide fresh insurance cover to ‘COVID-19 warriors’

The Union Health Ministry on Monday announced that all claims of “COVID warriors” under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package will be settled till April 24 after which a fresh insurance policy for them will become effective.

In a tweet, the ministry said that a new dispensation will be provided to cover the “corona warriors”. For this, the ministry is in talks with the New India Assurance, it said.

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New Delhi

Cabinet secretary calls meet with 11 States to discuss issue of medical oxygen

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has convened a meeting of chief secretaries and senior officials of 10 states and Delhi on Monday to discuss the issue of medical oxygen.

There have been reports of shortage of the medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients in different parts of the country in the last few days due to a surge in cases.

The meeting is scheduled at 3 pm and it will be held virtually.


Total curfew in Delhi from tonight till next Monday, says CM Kejriwal

A total curfew will be implemented in Delhi from 10 p.m. tonight till 5 a.m. next Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a press meet in Delhi.

The six-day lockdown is being put in place to make arrangements for oxygen, medicines and hospital beds, he said. "I appeal to migrant labourers not to leave the city due to such a short lockdown, but both the LG and I agreed that there is no other option," he added. I met the LG for a detailed discussion today; we agreed that the health system cannot take more, said Mr. Kejriwal.

Meanwhile, many hospitals in Delhi, including LNJP Hospital, the largest Delhi government-run hospital, has no vacant beds for COVID-19 treatment as on Monday morning, according to official data. - Nikhil M. Babu

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New Delhi

Ten States account for over 78% of new COVID-19 cases

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan are among the 10 States that account for 78.58% of the new COVID-19 cases reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on April 19.

India’s daily cases continue to soar and a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections have been registered in a span of 24 hours.

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Madhya Pradesh

Modi assures M.P. of oxygen, Remdesivir supply

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 19 assured full support of the Centre to the Madhya Pradesh government in meeting the requirements of oxygen, Remdesivir and other resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Minister's Office said.

M.P. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had a telephonic conversation with Mr. Modi in the morning in connection with measures to check the spread of the viral infection, an official in the CMO said.

The Prime Minister assured Mr. Chouhan of all help regarding oxygen and Remdesivir supply and other health services to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases, he said.


Karnataka MLC tests positive for COVID-19

Dakshina Kannada district Congress committee president and MLC Harish Kumar has tested positive for COVID-19. He has been admitted to a private hospital here, party sources said.

The MLC tested positive for the dreaded virus on April 18, they added.

Mr. Kumar has been unwell after returning from campaigning in the by-elections in the state and went for a test on April 18. Though asymptomatic, he was hospitalised as a precautionary measure, the sources said.

Uttar Pradesh

Former SP MLA, who tested COVID-19 positive, dies

Former Samajwadi Party MLA Gopal Krishna Saxena, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died at a hospital in Bareilly on April, his son said. He was 70.

"When he could not get proper treatment in Lucknow, he was admitted to a hospital in Bareilly on Saturday. On Monday, around 5 a.m., he breathed his last," Rajat Saxena said.

He said his father was having difficulty in breathing for the past few days, and had tested positive for COVID-19. Gopal Krishna Saxena represented Puranpur in the State Assembly.


Situation very dangerous, restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 threat: Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the "lockdown-like restrictions" imposed in the State are meant to control the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths and not create panic among people, including labourers.

He said the situation was “very alarming and dangerous” and the decision to impose the restrictions was taken after a cabinet and a review meeting.

"The new guidelines and provisions issued last night are aimed at containing the steep surge in positive cases and deaths. At the same time, we have ensured that there is no panic among the labourers,” Mr. Gehlot said, adding “We are in a dangerous situation and everyone must follow the guidelines and adopt COVID-appropriate behaviour.”

New Delhi

Army hospitals in MP to treat civilians amid pandemic: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday assured the Madhya Pradesh government that services at Army hospitals in the State will be made available to civilians during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Minister's Office said.

Mr. Singh's assurance came after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to him over phone about opening the Army hospitals in the State for the general public, an official in the CMO said.

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West Bengal

Summer vacation in Bengal schools to start from April 20 in view of rising COVID-19 cases: Minister

The West Bengal government on April 19 said summer vacation in schools will begin from as early as Tuesday in view of rising COVID-19 cases in the State. The summer break usually starts from the first week of May.

"Classes for 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th standard had resumed from mid-February [in State-aided and state-run schools]. But, due to the present COVID-19 situation, we are forced to prepone the summer vacation. The education department will issue necessary notifications today," West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said. Mr. Chatterjee said he would also urge private schools to follow suit.

The headmaster of a State-run school in Jadavpur, however, told PTI that online classes will continue for students of Class 10 and 12 during the vacation "or the early phase of the vacation".

Date | Time

Ensure adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines, medical oxygen: Mayawati to Centre

BSP chief Mayawati urged the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coronavirus vaccines and medical oxygen and if needed import these from other countries to combat the crisis created by the pandemic in the country. She also urged the people to follow the COVID-19 protocol to slow the spread of the disease.

"There is a tremendous shortage of coronavirus vaccines and oxygen in various hospitals in different States of the country. Seeing this, the Centre is requested to ensure their supply on a priority basis. If needed, these should be imported," the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said in a tweet in Hindi.

"Coronavirus has gripped the youth, which is a matter of concern. Hence, the Centre should reconsider the age limit for taking the vaccine at the earliest. This is the demand of the BSP," she said in another tweet.


Former U.P. Governor Ram Naik tests positive

Former Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has tested positive for coronavirus, a statement from his office said on Monday. He is under home quarantine and his health is improving steadily.

Naik had served as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government at the Centre.


Delhi govt deploys officers to monitor procurement, supply of oxygen and Remdesivir drug

The Delhi government on Monday deployed two teams of officers to monitor procurement and supply of oxygen and the Remdesivir drug amid a shortage of both following an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.

According to an official order issued by the health department, a team of nine officers will be deputed at oxygen filling plants, and oversee operations of medical oxygen suppliers.

"The officers will oversee the entire procurement process of medical oxygen by the filler agency and ensure that the quantity of oxygen procured is properly entered in the dedicated register," it said.

"The team will oversee distribution of medical oxygen to various hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi. Each officer shall submit a report on a daily basis to the Officer on Special Duty," the order said.

Through a separate order, the Delhi government also deputed 28 drug inspectors to monitor the movement of Remdesivir injections in the national capital on a daily basis. - PTI

West Bengal

Summer vacation in schools to start from April 20 in view of rising COVID-19 cases: West Bengal minister.

Himachal Pradesh

No need for lockdown in Himachal Pradesh: CM

There is no need of imposing a lockdown in Himachal Pradesh as the state government is doing its best to deal with the COVID-19 situation, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Monday.  He said the government was working on a mechanism under which the dreaded virus would be contained, and the economy of the state strengthened.

People's cooperation is the need of the hour to combat coronavirus, he said, noting that people's cooperation was seen missing this time and they should come forward to tackle this situation by observing all COVID related norms.

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PM Modi is chairing an important meeting on COVID-19 situation in the country, according to officials. The meeting started at 11.30 a.m. - PTI

Case update

India logs 2,73,810 fresh cases in single day

India's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases mounted to 1,50,61,919 and the death toll increased to 1,78,769 with a record 1,619 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

Registering a steady increase for the 40th day in a row, the active cases have increased to 19,29,329 comprising 12.81% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 86%.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,29,53,821, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.19%, the data stated. - PTI


Maharashtra declares 6 States as places of sensitive origin

Struggling to contain the huge COVID-19 surge, Maharashtra has declared six States, including Delhi and the NCR region, as places of “sensitive origin” in a bid to stop the influx of other variants of coronavirus into the State.

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte in an order issued on Sunday declared Kerala, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Rajasthan and Uttarakhand as places of “sensitive origin”.

As per the order, passengers travelling to Maharashtra from these places will need a negative RT-PCR report of test conducted within 48 hours of their train travel.

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Rajasthan govt orders closure of offices, markets till May 3

In a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Rajasthan government ordered the closure of offices and markets from Monday to May 3, according to a release.

Called the “Jan Anushasan Pakhwada'' (public discipline fortnight), only shops and offices providing essential services will open during the 15-day period, the release issued by Home Secretary Abhay Kumar said.

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(With inputs from Correspondents and Agencies)

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