Coronavirus live updates | Kejriwal announces free education for children orphaned by COVID-19

A villager receives the Covaxin coronavirus vaccine during a vaccination drive at a clinic amid ongoing coronavirus lockdown on May 17, 2021 in Aakhtadi, Tonk District, Rajasthan.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-DG has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a DRDO lab along with DRL. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally handed over the drug to Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Clinical trial results have shown that this molecule helps in faster recovery of hospitalised patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence, DRDO has said earlier adding, “Higher proportion of patients treated with 2-DG showed RT-PCR negative conversion in COVID patients.”

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

Daily COVID-19 recoveries more than 4 lakh for first time in country

India has recorded more than 4 lakh daily COVID-19 recoveries in a single day for the first time, while new coronavirus infections settled below 3 lakh for the second day, the Union Health Ministry said on May 18.

A total of 4,22,436 patients have recuperated in a span of 24 hours, taking India’s cumulative recoveries to 2,15,96,512.

Average daily recovery of more than 3,55,944 cases has been recorded in the last 14 days, the Ministry said. —PTI

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New Delhi

Free education for children orphaned by COVID-19: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal on May 18  announced  that if a child had lost both parents (one or both due to coronavirus), education will be provided free of cost to them and additionally ₹2,500 will be given to them every month till they are 25 years of age.


“Due to Corona and the lockdown many homes are facing financial difficulties. We have been thinking about a plan on how to help people overcome this difficulty. We have come up with four steps to provide relief during this tough time.

“We will give all ration card holders 5kg ration free from Delhi government + 5kg free ration from the Central government.

“For those without ration cards, Delhi government will give ration if people demand. If someone says they are poor we will give ration without asking for income proof.

"For those who have lost lives due to Corona, we will give ₹50,000 ex-gratia to every family. If the deceased was the earning member of the family, we will give ₹2,500 pension every month along with the ex-gratia of ₹50,000.

"If a child has lost both parents [one or both due to coronavirus], education will be provided free of cost and we will give ₹2,500 every month till they attain 25 years of age.

"Many will ask where will the government get this money from. We are able to do this because Delhi has elected an honest government and we save money by being efficient." — Jaideep Deo Bhanj


Haryana man who performed last rites of over 300 COVID-19 victims succumbs to coronavirus

An official of the Hisar Municipal Corporation, who ensured a dignified funeral for over 300 COVID-19 victims ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, succumbed to the disease barely two days after testing positive, a spokesperson said on May 18.

Praveen Kumar, 43, died at a private hospital on May 17 night, the spokesperson of the Municipal Corporation said.

Kumar was the head of the team formed by the Municipal Corporation to cremate the bodies of coronavirus patients. —PTI

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New Delhi

Kejriwal appeals Centre to cancel flights from Singapore

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 18 appealed to the Central government to immediately cancel all air services with Singapore, saying a new strain of coronavirus there is said to be “very dangerous” for children.

This new strain of virus could invade India in the form of a third wave, he said in a tweet.

“The new form of coronavirus in Singapore is said to be very dangerous for children. It could reach Delhi in the form of a third wave. My appeal to the Central government: 1. Cancel all air services with Singapore with immediate effect 2. Work on vaccine alternatives for children on a priority basis,” Mr. Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi. —PTI


1.8% population affected by covid

In the weekly media briefing on COVID-19, Health Ministry spokesperson Lav Agarwal says 1.8% of total population of India has been affected by the virus so far.

We have to protect 98 per cent of the population. We cannot let our guards down hence continued focus on containment is critical, he says.

Eight states including Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Kerala have reported more than a lakh active cases. Delhi now falls into the 50,000-one lakh active cases group.

Covid cases are  going up in Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, he says.


Will take steps to streamline vaccination: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to District Magistrates of 46 high COVID-19 burden districts in the first of two interactions, telling them that local innovations to larger strategy was welcome and that the Centre was to provide a fortnightly schedule for vaccine supply to streamline vaccination and prevent wastage.

Also read: Editorial | Shortage and wastage

The interaction over videoconferences was with 46 District Magistrates across eight States with Chief Ministers of these eight States, including Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, being present and went on for over two hours. Home Minister Amit Shah conducted the meetings where District Magistrates shared their experiences on combating COVID-19. — Nistula Hebbar

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Madhya Pradesh

₹5 lakh aid to kin of M.P. govt staff who died of COVID-19

The Madhya Pradesh government has launched a scheme to provide a financial assistance of ₹5 lakh to the families of its employees who died of COVID-19, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said on Tuesday.

Besides, the government has also started another scheme as part of which one dependent each of such victims will be employed on the same post as held by the deceased, Mr. Mishra told reporters here.

These reliefs would be provided under the Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Vishesh Anugrah Yojana (for financial assistance to families of deceased employees) and the Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Anukampa Niyukti (to employ dependents of deceased on compassionate grounds).

Mr. Mishra said the schemes will be meant for all regular, daily wagers, contractual and outsourced employees who died due to the coronavirus infection.

"An immediate financial assistance of ₹5 lakh will be given to the families of such employees," the Minister said, adding that this scheme is applicable from March 30, 2021 to July 31, 2021.

The other scheme to employ dependents of such victims is applicable from March 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021, he added. —PTI

Uttar Pradesh

Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan's brother Jitender Balyan dies due to COVID-19

Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan's brother, Jitender Balyan, died in AIIMS, Delhi due to COVID-19 on May 18, according to family members.

Jitender Balyan, who was the cousin brother of the Union Minister, was elected as the village head of Kutba village in Muzaffarnagar district in the recently concluded Panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh.

He got infected with COVID-19 during election campaigning and was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, family members said. — PTI


Karnataka gets 4th consignment of medical oxygen by train

An oxygen express train from Jamshedpur carrying 120 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) chugged into Bengaluru on Tuesday May 18, 2021, railway officials said.

The state has so far received 480 tonnes of oxygen from Odisha and Jharkhand by rail, Chief Public Relation Officer of South Western Railway, Aneesh Hegde said.

According to Mr. Hegde, the fourth train had departed from Jamshedpur in the wee hours of Monday and reached Bengaluru this morning carrying LMO in six containers.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has said the state required about 1,200 tonnes of oxygen to meet the demand as the COVID cases surged.

The Navy too has chipped in to supply LMO and medical supplies to the state, which are essential in treating coronavirus infections — PTI


270 doctors have died in second wave of pandemic: IMA

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, said about 270 doctors across the country have succumbed to the coronavirus infection in the second wave of the pandemic so far.

The list of the deceased doctors includes former IMA president Dr. K K Aggarwal, who succumbed to the deadly virus on Monday.

Bihar saw the maximum number of 78 deaths of medical practitioners, followed by Uttar Pradesh (37), Delhi (29) and Andhra Pradesh (22).

According to the IMA COVID-19 registry, 748 doctors succumbed to the disease in the first wave of the pandemic.

"Last year, 748 doctors across India succumbed to COVID-19, while in the current wave, in a short period, we have lost 270 doctors.

"The second wave of the pandemic is turning out to be extremely fatal for all and especially for the healthcare workers who are at the forefront," IMA president J.A. Jayalal said.


Former IMA president K.K. Aggarwal dies of COVID-19

Padma Shree awardee and former national president of the Indian Medical Association K.K. Aggarwal (62) passed away due to COVID-related complications at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi on Monday, May 17, 2021 night.

Dr. Aggarwal had been on ventilator support since last week. A statement posted on his Twitter account said that the physician succumbed to the disease at 11.30 pm on Monday. 

“Even during the pandemic, he made constant efforts to educate the masses and was able to reach out to 100 million people through numerous videos and videos and educational programmes and saved countless lives. He wanted his life to be celebrated And not mourned,” the statement said.


Dungarpur villagers succeed in containing virus infection

Amid the surge in COVID-19 positive cases across Rajasthan, the villagers in tribal-dominated Dungarpur district have succeeded in containing the infection, thanks to the administration’s “Mera Zila Corona Mukt” (my district, corona-free) campaign. Villagers have joined hands with the health workers in the task of identification and management of infected persons.

A four-day door-to-door survey, which covered almost every household earlier this month despite its difficult geography, helped identify 13,512 persons with influenza like illness (ILI) at the primary stage. The subsequent action of supplying medicine kits, keeping the patients in quarantine and enforcing the COVID-19 protocol led to an effective control of the pandemic.

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PM Urges doctors to take up oxygen audits, telemedicine services

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with doctors across the country dealing with the second wave of the pandemic, urging them to include oxygen audits, forming teams to provide telemedicine services to those undergoing home isolation and in rural areas and the new challenge of mucormycosis.

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Sputnik Vaccine

Sputnik V

Many States show interest in Sputnik V

Many States have approached Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, marketing partner for Sputnik V in India, to procure the Russian vaccine, a member of the company’s management team said on Monday.

Their interest assumes significance in the backdrop of the vaccination programme in the country slowing down due a shortage of vaccines and more people becoming eligible with the Centre earlier this month permitting vaccination of those above 18 years of age.

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Odisha announces 3-month house-to-house COVID-19 survey

Amidst reports of widespread infections in rural pockets, Odisha government on Monday announced the launch of a house-to-house survey on COVID-19 symptoms and co-morbidities.The survey will be conducted by Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Anganwadi workers.

“A three-month house-to-house survey (for COVID-19 symptoms and co-morbid conditions) by ASHAs and AWWs will be launched beginning from May 24. They will be given an additional incentive of ₹1000 per month for these three months,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while addressing an all-party meeting here.

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(With inputs from our Correspondents and Agencies)

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 5:49:17 AM |

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