Coronavirus India lockdown Day 30 updates | April 23, 2020

Globally, as of 22 April 2020 there have been 24,75,723 confirmed cases, including 1,69,151 deaths, reported to WHO

April 23, 2020 09:35 am | Updated 11:38 pm IST

Sanitary workers queue up at a primary health care centre in Srirnagam for medical check-up amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Tiruchirapalli on Thursday, April 23.

Sanitary workers queue up at a primary health care centre in Srirnagam for medical check-up amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in Tiruchirapalli on Thursday, April 23.

Oxford University has given a fresh hope in the battle against COVID-19 by beginning human trial on its anti-coronavirus vaccine. If found effective, the vaccines could be available from September.

Also read: List of what is and what is not allowed after April 20

The Hindu has brought out a multi-language e-book on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to covering the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded. Here is a collection of our daily cartoons on COVID-19 .

Here are answers from experts on your queries about the virus, a list of State Helpline numbers , a State-wise tracker for COVID-19 cases, deaths and testing, and a map of confirmed cases in India .


Here are the latest updates:

10.10 pm | Rajasthan

Death toll rises to 28 in Rajasthan

One person's death reported from Sikar today, taking the COVID-19 toll in Rajasthan to 28. The tally of COVID-19 positive persons increases to 1,964 with the detection of 76 cases from 10 districts. The highest number of 23 patients were found in Jodhpur, followed by 18 in Nagaur and 15 in Jaipur. A total of 451 patients have recovered so far and 158 of them have been discharged from hospitals.

 The COVID-19 positive person who died in Rajasthan's Sikar district was a 75-year-old male resident of Laxmangarh town. He was admitted to the District Government Hospital on April 15 with comorbidity chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hypertension.

9.30 pm | Telangana

Telangana reports 27 new cases

As many as, 27 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported today, taking the total to 970. Active cases in the State stand at 693. Also, 58 patients were discharged today.

9.10 pm | Odisha

Odisha orders complete shutdown in three COVID-19 hit districts

The Odisha government announced a curfew-like complete shutdown in three hotspot districts of Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur from 10 pm on Thursday to conduct active surveillance and contact tracing for COVID-19.

Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said all activities will remain suspended for 60 hours till 10 am on April 26 during the shutdown in the three districts, which will be like a curfew.

8.40 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reports 778 new cases

Maharashtra reports highest single-day surge of 778 new cases as cumulative tally exceeds the 6,000 mark to reach 6,427 cases. 14 deaths were reported to take total death toll to 283 of which six were from Mumbai, five from Pune, and one each from Navi Mumbai, Dhule and Nandurbar. 51 persons discharged today to take total discharged till date to 840.

With 522 new cases, Mumbai has recorded the highest jump in COVID-19 pushing the total to 4205 on Thursday. The city also recorded six more deaths and the death toll has touched 167.

8.25 | New Delhi

Defence Minister unveils mobile lab that will enhance fight against COVID-19

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday unveiled via video link a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) developed by DRDO that will help in speeding up COVID-19 screening, a statement said.

The first such Mobile Viral Research Lab (MVRL) that will speed up coronavirus screening and related R&D activities was developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the Hyderabad-based laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in consultation with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad, the statement said.

The Mobile Viral Research Lab is the combination of a Biosafety Level 3 lab and a BSL 2 lab essential to carry out its activities.

8.10 pm | Gujarat

Gujarat reports 217 new case; State tally rises to 2624

Gujarat records 217 new cases of COVID-19 infection and 9 deaths, bringing the numbers up to 2624 cases and 112 deaths in the state so far. Total 258 persons discharged including 79 today.

8.00 pm | Jammu and Kashmir

Twenty new positive cases reported in J&K

Twenty new positive cases of novel Coronavirus reported in J&K, 01 from Jammu division and 19 from Kashmir division. The total number of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir has touched 427.

7.45 pm | Washington

Jaishankar, Pompeo talk over phone; discuss cooperation to contain COVID-19

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his American counterpart Mike Pompeo on Thursday spoke over phone and discussed bilateral and international cooperation to contain and mitigate the novel coronavirus.

During the telephonic conversation, the two leaders “discussed bilateral and international cooperation to contain and mitigate COVID-19, including ensuring the availability of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

Jaishankar and Pompeo have been in regular communication during the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 184,000 lives worldwide.


7.35 | New Delhi

COVID-19 detection test method developed by IIT-Delhi gets ICMR nod: Officials

A method to detect COVID-19 which will significantly reduce the cost of testing, making it affordable for a large population in the country, developed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has got the approval from ICMR, officials said on Thursday.

IIT Delhi is the first academic institute to have obtained ICMR approval for a real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay

7.25 pm | New Delhi

144 cases registered, over 3,000 people detained for defying lockdown norms in Delhi

Over 140 cases were registered and 3,109 people detained in the national capital on Thursday for violating government orders during the lockdown imposed to control the coronavirus outbreak, police said. According to the data shared by the police, 144 cases were registered under section 188 (for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code till 5 p.m..

A total of 3,109 people have been detained under section 65 (persons bound to comply with reasonable directions of police officers) and 311 vehicles have been impounded under section 66 of the Delhi Police Act, they stated.

7.15 pm | Bihar

COVID-19 cases in Bihar rises to 153

Three more COVID-19 postive case were reported from Sasaram in Rohtas district of 63, 38 & 17 years old male persons. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar now has gone upto 153.

- Amarnath Tewary

7.00 pm | Maharashtra

25 new cases reported in Dharavi

"Number of COVID-19 patients in Mumbai’s Dharavi rises to 214 with 25 new cases. Death toll now stand at 13," said a  BMC official.

6.50 pm | Andaman and Nicobar

Five test positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Five people tested positive for COVID-19 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday, taking the total number of active cases in the Union territory to 11, officials said.

All of them are residents of Bambooflat in the South Andaman district, they said.

6.30 pm | Bihar

COVID-19 cases in Bihar rises to 150

Two more COVID-19 positive cases reported in Bihar taking the total number in the State to 150. Two males of age 28 & 20 years from Sasaram and Rohtas district tested positive.

- Amarnath Tewary

6.20 pm | Tamil Nadu

Amma Canteens to serve food free till lockdown ends

The Greater Chennai Corporation, which runs over 400 Amma Canteens here, on Thursday announced free food to people at all its eateries till the lockdown ends.

Days after the food items were made free for people in the Western cities of Coimbatore and Salem, the GCC in its twitter handle said under Chief Minister K. Palaniswami’s ’order and guidance’ all Amma canteens in its jurisdiction will provide free food thrice a day till the lockdown ends.

Local Administration Minister S. P. Velumani tweeted that the Chennai corporation with the largest number of canteens in the city has made food free in all its 407 canteens until end of COVID-19 curfew.

6.10 pm | Odisha

COVID-19 cases in Odisha rises to 89

Two more COVID-19 cases, both contacts of a COVID-19 patient, were reported from Balasore district of Odisha on Thursday taking the State’s total to 89. Four new cases were detected in Jajpur district earlier in the day.

6.00 pm | West Bengal

West Bengal reports 58 new cases

West Bengal reported 58 new cases in the last 24 hours. As many as, 334 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. About 103 people have been discharged while 15 deaths have been recorded in the State so far.

- Shiv Sahay Singh

5.40 pm | New Delhi

Over 33 cr. people get ₹31,235 cr. assistance under PM Garib Kalyan package

The government has provided Rs 31,235 crore financial assistance to more than 33 crore beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month to protect them from the impact of the lockdown due to COVID 19.

As part of the Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package, the government announced free foodgrains and cash doles to women and poor senior citizens and farmers to mitigate the hardships during the lockdown.

5.25 pm | Karnataka

The total number of cases in Karnataka now stands at 445. Of them, 145 people have been discharged, while 283 are active cases. At least 17 deaths have been recorded in the State so far.

- Bageshree S.

5.25 pm | Tamil Nadu

The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, has called for a full court meeting (comprising all judges), through video conferencing from their residences, on April 29, to discuss about the mode of functioning of courts in Tamil Nadu & Puducherry during the month of May.

- Mohamed Imranullah S.

5.23 pm | New Delhi

Remaining period of lockdown should be used to prepare exit strategy: CWC


The Congress Working Committee i n its meeting, held virtually , on Thursday demanded that the remaining period of lockdown should be used to prepare and publish a detailed ‘exit strategy’ and a comprehensive ‘road map’ for the future.

“The states must be empowered to devise solutions to challenges due to COVID-19,” says the resolution adopted unanimously by the CWC, the party’s highest decision-making body.


5.20 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Total number of cases in U.P. crosses 1,500

The number of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,507 in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday as 58 more people tested positive for the infection, an official said. Out of the total cases, 1,299 are active patients while 187 have been treated and discharged, Principal Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters here.

“The total number of cases reported in the state have increased to 1,507. The state has so far witnessed 21 deaths due to the coronavirus, he said.



5.20 pm | Haryana

Haryana sends buses to bring back over 800 students from Kota

The Haryana government on Thursday sent 31 State transport buses to bring back over 800 students of the State who are stuck in Rajasthan’s Kota due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.

The students from Haryana, who were preparing for various competitive examinations, have been stuck at the coaching hub of Kota due to the lockdown.


5.05 pm | Mumbai

145 crew members of a cruise ship disembark in Mumbai

As many as 145 Indian crew members, who were stuck on board a cruise ship due to the coronavirus pandemic, disembarked in Mumbai on Thursday, over a month after it set sail from Thailand, officials said.

The crew members of the cruise ship- Marila Discovery - got down at the international cruise terminal in the city, the officials said.


5.10 pm | Aligarh

20 doctors being quarantined after surgeon tests positive in U.P.

Twenty doctors and paramedics at the JLN Medical College at the Aligarh Muslim University are being quarantined after a surgeon tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, senior officials said.

On Tuesday, 48 doctors and paramedics who had come in contact with a coronavirus patient were put in quarantine, severely hampering the functioning of the hospital which is one of the frontline hospitals for testing and treating COVID-19 patients in Uttar Pradesh.


4.40 pm | New Delhi

Patients facing a lot of stigma, says AIIMS Chief

Meanwhile, AIIMS chief Randeep Guleria, who is present at the briefing, thanks the government for issuing an ordinance for protection of medical professionals. "The patients are currently facing a lot of challenges and stigma, which is not justified ... They are symbols of hope and yet we have stigmatised them, which is creating a huge problem, it is creating panic ...Their families are suffering. Owing to this, many with flu-like symptoms are not coming forward and this is leading to higher mortality. They come late and have to be given oxygen support, which creates a lot of other problems" he says.

"It's important to reach out to these patients ... Íf you are tested early and reach hospital early, treatment starts and lives can be saved."

"A lot of new things are being done in terms of treatment. In more than 80% patients, supportive treatment is being done, 15% require oxygen support...blood plasma of healed patients who have developed anti-bodies is also being used for treatment, apart from the already available drugs like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)," says Mr. Guleria.

- Devesh K. Pandey

4.30 pm | New Delhi


ICMR Chief Balram Bhargava says at the press briefing: "As we reach the half million mark of tests, our approach has been more labs, more tests and more resources. We had 100 labs in the beginning, but now we have 325 labs, both government and private, for testing. We have advocated RTPCR tests that detect the virus. The Centre is working with the States to ensure that the re-agents are supplied to the labs in timely and caliberated fashion. We have also been able to decentralise the supply chain through 15 depots for supply to the labs."

- Devesh K. Pandey

4.20 pm | New Delhi

Despite increase in testing, percentage of postive cases is not rising, says govt.

During the lockdown period, despite a 24-fold increase in testing, the percentage of postive cases is not rising, which shows that the situation is by and large under control, adds C.K. Mishra while speaking at the press conference. 

He further says confirmation rate of many countries increased after the 400th case. South Korea has done better, but majority of developed countries have not done so well (due to variety of reasons). Hence, we need to device a strategy accordingly.

"We are today at the 5 lakh mark in terms of tests. The U.S. had conducted 5 lakh tests till March 26, and 80,000 were found positive; in Italy it was till March 31, and 1 lakh were detected positive; in U.K., 5 lakh tests were conducted till April 20, and there were 1.20 lakh positives. We had about 20,000 positives till April 22, with 5 lakh tests," says Mr. Mishra, adding that this shows that we have a focussed strategy, our testing strategy has been focussed, targeted and continues to expand.

"We are a very large/populous nation. We expanded the testing base, mobilised all resources, private, public, scientific instutitions, university infrastructures. We have reviewed, assessed and ramped up hospital capacities during this period, our hospitals are not overwhelmed, we have all resources to overprepare," he says.

Our first goal is to ensure that people don't have to come to hospital. The second goal is that for every person who needs to come to the hospital, we put enough infrastructure so that the person is treated and cured, so that the mortality rate is low, he adds. "While the number of dedicated hospitals increased 3.5 times since last month, number of isolation beds increased by 3.6 times since last month."

- Devesh K. Pandey

4.00 pm | New Delhi

Updates on COVID-19 press briefing

The Home Ministry spokesperson in the daily press briefing on COVID-19 preparedness says the Ministry, through a letter on April 21, asked the State governments to exempt the services of care givers and attendants to senior citizens from the lockdown norms.

Agricultural research institutes, book shops and electric fan shops have also been exempted and SoPs have been released on the sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers to ensure that they are not replaced by seafarers from other countries.

Home Minister Amit Shah also had a meeting with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and gave assurance on security to health care professionals.

At least 1,409 additional cases have been confirmed, taking the total number of cases in the country to 21,393. Among them, the total number of active cases under medical supervision are 16,454.

As many as 4,257 people have been cured so far, including 388 new ones yesterday. The total recovery rate is now 19.89%.

No new cases have been reported from 12 districts, says the spokesperson. In 78 districts, no cases have been reported in the past 14 days. These include 33 new districts in nine States.

C.K. Mishra, Chairman, Empowered Group-2, says: "In the past 30 days of the lockdown, we have been able to cut transmission, minimise the spread and increase the doubling days. Second, we have been able to consistantly ramp up our testing. Third, we have been able to gainfully utilise this time to prepare for future challenges. All the people, along with the government, have formed several teams to ensure that in the first 30 days the situation remains stable. The most important step employed is testing, RT-PCR testing, which shows whether the patient has contracted the virus or not."

"By March 23, we had conducted 49,915 tests, by April 22, it was more than 5 lakh (33 times roughly). But we are conscious of the fact that this is not enough and we have to continuously ramp up testing. In this period, there has been increase in the postive cases, this we need to keep in mind ... post the lockdown, testing creased 24 times, while number of new poistive cases grew 16 times," says Mr. Mishra.


- Devesh K. Pandey

3.50 pm | Odisha

Four new COVID-19 cases were detected in Jajpur district in Odisha, taking the total number of cases in the State to 87 on Thursday. All the new patients were family members of those who had returned from West Bengal and tested positive earlier, said the State government.

- Prafulla Das

3.40 pm | Haryana

Haryana govt. tells private schools to charge only tuition fee

The Haryana government has announced that private schools in the State will charge only tuition fees without any hidden charges, in view of the COVID-19 lockdown. The schools will also postpone collecting building, maintenance, computer, and other charges.

No transport charges and increase in the monthly fee shall apply during the lockdown, the government said.

- Ashok Berwal

3.30 pm | Bihar

One more COVID-19 positive case from Sasaram in Bihar's Rohtas district, a female of 38 years, has been detected, taking the total number of cases in the State to 148.

- Amarnath Tewary

3.30 pm | New Delhi

EC takes note of how South Korea held polls amid COVID-19 outbreak

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken note of changes made by South Korea in procedures while holding its parliamentary polls amid the COVID-19 outbreak and said it will consider modifications as suited to the Indian context wherever elections need to be held in this kind of pandemic environment.

 “Our people are studying the modifications made by South Korea in procedures while holding elections,” Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa told PTI.


3.15 pm | Tamil Nadu

The Registrar of Cooperative Societies has told the Madras High Court that ration card is not necessary to purchase the Rs.500 grocery kit, containing 19 items, and that it would be sold even in retail outlets, Amma mini coop super markets, mobile farm fresh outlets and self service units.

-Mohammed Imranullah S.

3.15 pm | New Delhi

India's GDP growth pegged between -0.9% and 1.5%: CII

The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Thursday said it expects India’s economy to grow at a much slower pace , ranging from a contraction of 0.9% to a growth of 1.5%, in the current financial year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent nationwide lockdown.

“Given the extent of the damage to the economy from the disruption to business, the GDP growth in FY21 will likely be the lowest in many decades,” Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General at CII said.

- Yuthika Bhargava

3.10 pm | New Delhi

Delhi airport creates dedicated facility for handling medical supplies

The Delhi airport has been handling 20-22 cargo flights per day during the COVID-19 lockdown and it has also created a dedicated facility for logistics, aggregation and distribution of medical supplies, its operator DIAL said on Thursday.

The GMR group-led DIAL said the Ministry of Civil Aviation has designated the Indira Gandhi International Airport as a major hub for import and distribution of medical supplies related to COVID-19.


3.00 pm | Phagwara

Over 100 Sri Lankan students evacuated from Lovely Professional University

Over 100 Sri Lankan students studying at the Lovely Professional University (LPU) here were on Thursday evacuated by a special Sri Lankan airlines flight from Amritsar International Airport, officials said.

Kapurthala Deputy Commissioner Deepti Uppal said the students were either staying at the premises of LPU or in paying guest accommodation near the university.


3.00 pm | Maharashtra

Ajit Pawar calls for special trains from Mumbai to Pune to ferry migrant workers after the lockdown

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to run special train services from Mumbai and Pune to ferry migrant workers stuck in Maharashtra to their native states after the lockdown ends on May 3.

According to an official statement, in a letter to Goyal, Mr. Pawar said that the migrant workers, stranded in different parts of Maharashtra, may step out in big numbers to return to their states when the train services resume after the lockdown is lifted.


2.55 pm | New Delhi

Entire community cannot be held responsible for one group's crime, says Naqvi

The entire Muslim community cannot be held responsible for one group’s “crime”, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday while reacting to instances of Muslims being blamed for the spurt in COVID-19 cases after Tablighi Jamaat congregation here.

In an interview to PTI, Mr. Naqvi also expressed confidence that Muslims will abide by lockdown guidelines during the holy month of Ramzan.


2.55 pm  | Puducherry

No new case in the last 10 days in Puducherry, says official

No new COVID-19 case has been recorded in Puducherry in the last 10 days, according to a government official.

Secretary to Health and Family Welfare Services Prashant Kumar Panda told reporters here on Thursday that it was heartening to see that Puducherry has no community spread or infection of the pandemic. There were only three active cases in the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College Hospital, at present, he said.


2.50 pm | New Delhi

Delhi L-G directs authorities to set up dedicated hospital, testing centre for police personnel

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has directed authorities to create a dedicated COVID-19 health facility and an exclusive testing centre for Delhi Police personnel, said officials.

The move comes in the wake of over 20 police personnel testing positive for the virus in the city so far.

“There is a plan to set up a dedicated COVID-19 testing centre for police personnel at Shahdara Police Station, but a final decision is yet to be taken,” a source said.


2.45 pm

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in India has now reached 21,545, of which 16,464 are active cases. The total number of deaths stands at 686.

2.45 pm | Mizoram

Mizoram would not face an economic crisis if resources are used effectively: CM

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said in a video message that the State would not face any economic crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, if the natural resources are used effectively.

“We have vast fallow land and an abundant supply of natural resources. If these resources are used effectively, the State is unlikely to face economic crisis,” he said.


2.30 pm | Maharashtra

Raj Thackeray urges Maharashtra CM to allow wine shops to open

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting him to allow small hotels and wine shops to function.

He says excise duty is one of the biggest revenues to the State and while the State is suffering from lack of funds, it should not get into "the debate of morality over opening of wine shops."

- Alok Deshpande

2.28 pm | New Delhi

IndiGo rolls back paycuts announced for April

IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta told employees on Thursday that the airline has decided to roll back the pay cuts, which were announced earlier for senior staff members, for the month of April in deference to the "government's wishes".

"However, your Excom (Executive Committee) members and SVPs (senior vice presidents) have volunteered to take pay cuts this month. For everyone else, you can expect your April salaries to be paid without the pay cuts," Mr. Dutta told employees through an email, which has been accessed by PTI .


2.20 pm | New Delhi

Increment in dearness allowance, dearness relief put on hold

The Finance Ministry on Thursday issued an order freezing the Dearness Allowance (DA) to the Central government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to Central government pensioners at current rates till July 2021.

“The undersigned is directed to say that in view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19, it has been decided that the additional instalment of Dearness Allowance payable to Central government employees and Dearness Relief to Central government pensioners, due from January 1, 2020, shall not be paid,” said the order.

2.10 pm | Andhra Pradesh

As many as 80 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths were detected in the last 24 hours in Andhra Pradesh, taking the total number of cases in the State to 893, as per the latest bulletin released by the government.

1.45 pm | Beijing

China announces additional $30 million grant for WHO

China on Thursday announced an additional $30 million grant to the World Health Organisation (WHO), days after Beijing expressed “serious concern” over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to freeze the funding for the global health agency over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang made the announcement at a media briefing here. The grant will be in addition to the $20 million provided by China earlier to the WHO.


1.40 pm | Lucknow

Medical staff in U.P. complains of poor living facilities, shifted to guest house

A group of government doctors and medical staff in Rae Bareli have released videos highlighting the poor and unpleasant living facilities provided to them at a government-run school where they were lodged under 'active quarantine'.

Following this, the chief medical officer of the district shifted 25 doctors and paramedical staff to a guesthouse, providing them single rooms with attached bathroom and toilet facilities.

- Omar Rashid

1.20 pm | Gujarat

3,000 tests being conducted in Gujarat everyday, says official

As many as 3,000 COVID-19 tests are being conducted in Gujarat everyday and there is no plan to reduce it, a senior official said on Thursday, while dismissing rumours that the State government has reduced COVID-19 testing.

The Gujarat government has also decided to declare the figures related to number of tests conducted and deaths only once in 24 hours, instead of the present practice of providing the details twice a day, State Principal Secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi told reporters in Gandhinagar.


1.15 pm | Kolkata

Doctor at Eastern Railway hospital tests positive

A doctor at an Eastern Railway (ER) hospital here has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson of the railway zone said on Thursday.

The doctor, who was on leave since April 14 as she was feeling unwell, tested positive on Tuesday, said ER spokesperson Nikhil Chakraborty.


1.05 pm | Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh CM for payment of MGNREGA wages in the form of food grains

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in a letter to Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, has asked the Centre to allow payment of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) wages in the form of food grains.

Mr. Baghel said that the State was employing five lakh workers every day under the scheme. He added that the livelihood of over 62.5 lakh persons in the State was dependent on MGNREGA and it was essential that the work continued in this hour of crisis.


1.00 pm | Pune

Pune records over 50 new cases in twelve hours

A sharp spike of 53 new  COVID-19  cases was reported from Pune district over a 12-hour span, taking the district’s cumulative tally of active positive cases to 734, said health officials on Thursday.

With the accretion of fresh cases, the district has witnessed a surge of more than 120 new cases over a 36-hour span. It had recorded 68 new cases on Wednesday, while its death count stood at 59 till Wednesday night.


12.50 pm | Puducherry

MGNREGA work begins in 35 panchayats in Puducherry

In line with Centre's guidelines to mitigate the sufferings of rural households during the lockdown, the Puducherry Government has decided to commence works for 35 projects to the tune of ₹3.45 crore, in 35 village panchayats, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Scheme.

The number of Panchayats will be scaled up in the coming days.


12.45 pm | Washington

Over 4,000 Americans repatriated from India so far, says U.S. official

The U.S. has so far repatriated over 4,000 Americans from India and efforts are being made to bring back about 6,000 more from the country, a senior US official has said.

The U.S. Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 65,000 American citizens and family members from 122 countries on 687 flights so far. This includes over 1,000 U.S. citizens from Pakistan.

“We have four more flights scheduled (in India) in the coming days,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee told reporters at a press conference here.


12.35 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Youth, who tested negative for COVID-19 in early March, now found infected

A 33-year-old youth, who was tested negative for COVID-19 in early March, was tested positive on Thursday in Samalkota town in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

East Godavari Joint Collector-II G. Raja Kumari told  The Hindu:  “The 33-year-old youth had a travel history of Delhi. He was tested negative nearly a month ago. On Thursday, he was tested positive but did not show any symptoms.”



12.20 pm

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in India has touched 21,460, of which 16,386 are active cases. As many as 683 deaths have been recorded so far.

12.10 pm | Karnataka

16 new cases recorded in Karnataka

Sixteen new cases have been detected on Thursday in Karnataka, taking the total number to 443. This includes 17 new deaths and 141 discharged persons.

Among the new cases, nine are from Bengaluru Urban, the highest, two each from Mandya, Vijayapura and Hubballi-Dharwad and one from Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada.

All the nine who have tested positive are contacts of a labourer from Bommanahalli, a SARI case who had tested positive on Wednesday.

- Afshan Yasmeen

12.05 pm | New Delhi

Congress-ruled States call for Centre's assistance to tackle COVID-19

"The Centre has not given any assistance to us. How will the States survive in times of crisis," says Puducherry CM V. Narayanasamy at the Congress Working Committee meeting.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said unless the central government comes forward to help the States financially, the fight against COVID-19 will get weakened. “Unless there is a big financial package for States, how will normalcy return post lockdown,” he asked.

11.50 am | New York

Two pet cats test positive for COVID-19 in New York

Two pet cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the United States, federal officials said. The cats, which had mild respiratory illnesses and are expected to recover, are thought to have contracted the virus from people in their households or neighbourhoods.


11.35 am | Tamil Nadu

After Sonia Gandhi's suggestion to PM Narendra Modi, a case has been listed in Madras HC for banning all local bodies in Tamil Nadu from issuing advertisements, except tender notifications, in the media for a period of one year to offset the financial burden on account of the fight against COVID-19.

- Mohamed Imranullah S.

11.30 am  | Puducherry

Puducherry CM undergoes RT-PCR test for COVID-19

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Speaker V. P. Sivakolundhu underwent RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure at the Assembly committee hall on Thursday. Other MPs, Ministers and  MLAs are expected to undergo the tests too.

The precautionary measure was taken as the leaders have been visiting potentially vulnerable areas, including containment zones, to evaluate prevention measures.


Puducherry CM V.  Narayanasamy undergoing RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure at the Assembly committee hall in Puducherry on Thursday.

Puducherry CM V. Narayanasamy undergoing RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure at the Assembly committee hall in Puducherry on Thursday.


11.25 am | Tamil Nadu

PIL seeks extension of moratorium period for all loans

A PIL petition in Madras High Court seeks a direction to the Union Finance Ministry and the RBI to extend moratorium period for paying EMIs, with respect to all kinds of loans, till July 31 without levying any kind of interest.

- Mohamed Imranullah S.

11.15 am | New Delhi

Coronavirus has increased in speed and spread, says Sonia Gandhi

Coronavirus has increased disturbingly both in spread and speed in the past three weeks, says Congress president Sonia Gandhi at CWC meet.

"Sections of our society, especially farmers, labourers, migrant workers, face acute hardship due to lockdown ... twelve crore jobs were lost in the first phase of the lockdown ... It is imperative to provide at least Rs. 7,500 to each family to tide over the crisis," says Ms. Gandhi.

"We have repeatedly told the PM that there is no alternative to testing, tracing and quarantine; unfortunately, testing is still low ... When we should be tackling coronavirus unitedly, BJP continues to spread virus of communal prejudice and hatred," she adds.


11.00 am | United Kingdom

Phase-1 human trial of Oxford University vaccine to begin today

The Oxford University will on April 23 begin a Phase-1 clinical trial of its vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). “The vaccine from the Oxford project will be trialled in people from this Thursday,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during a daily press conference on April 22.

10.40 am | Rajasthan

47 fresh coronavirus cases in Rajasthan; tally rises to 1,953

Forty-seven more people were confirmed positive for coronavirus in Rajasthan on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 1,935.

The fresh cases include 20 from Jodhpur, 12 from Jaipur, 10 from Nagaur, two each from Kota and Hanumangarh and one from Ajmer. - PTI

10.20 am| United Nations

'Coronavirus pandemic fast becoming human rights crisis'

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is “a human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.”

He said the pandemic has also seen “disproportionate effects on certain communities, the rise of hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups, and the risks of heavy-handed security responses undermining the health response.” - AP

9.10 am

Australia says all WHO members should support a proposed coronavirus inquiry

All member nations of the World Health Organization (WHO) should support a proposed independent review into the coronavirus pandemic, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, further threatening strained ties with China.

8.50 am | China

Asymptomatic cases increase to over 980 with 27 new infections

China has reported 27 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, taking their total to 984, while a high-level committee headed by Premier Li Keqiang asked health officials to remain focussed on the targeted containment of the deadly virus.

8.30 am

U.S. was attacked, says Trump on coronavirus pandemic

Struggling to restore normalcy in the U.S. where COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 47,000 people and infected over 8,52,000, President Donald Trump has said that the the country was “attacked.”

“We were attacked. This was an attack. This wasn’t just the flu by the way. Nobody has ever seen anything like this, 1917 was the last time,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on Wednesday.

7.30 am

Lockdown in India has impacted 40 million internal migrants: World Bank

The nationwide lockdown in India , which started about a month ago, has impacted nearly 40 million internal migrants, the World Bank has said.

The lockdown in India has impacted the livelihoods of a large proportion of the country’s nearly 40 million internal migrants. Around 50,000-60,000 moved from urban centers to rural areas of origin in the span of a few days, the bank said in a report released on Wednesday.

7.00 am

U.S. sees 1,738 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins

The United States on Wednesday recorded 1,738 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a lower toll than the day before, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.

4.00 am

73 policemen quarantined after five Moradabad violence accused test positive

As many as 73 police personnel who came in contact with those arrested in connection with the Nawabpura pelting of stones incident in Moradabad last week were quarantined on April 22 after five of the accused tested positive for coronavirus, a police official said.

2.30 am

Let there be no illusion that COVID-19 will go after May 3: Chhattisgarh Health Minister

“The lockdown, at best, can manage to control the spread to some extent, but we should know that the novel coronavirus is not going to go. A huge population will get infected with the virus, we should be ready for it. We should learn to live with it,” Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said.


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