Coronavirus India lockdown Day 31 updates | April 24, 2020

India has managed to maintain a linear growth of COVID-19 cases over the one month period during its lockdown, says health ministry.

April 24, 2020 09:30 am | Updated April 25, 2020 12:10 am IST

A delhi police constable tries to get people to maintain distance, as they wait for cooked food being distributed at Dwarka on Friday.

A delhi police constable tries to get people to maintain distance, as they wait for cooked food being distributed at Dwarka on Friday.

Over 9 lakh persons are under active COVID-19 surveillance in India, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday, as the total number of cases reached 23,452. The death toll stood at 723.

The country registered another biggest single-day spike with over 1,752 positive COVID cases since Thursday. India currently has 17,915 active cases, while 4,813 people have recovered, which puts the recovery rate at 20.57%, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said.

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:

11.50 pm | New Delhi

MHA amends lockdown guidelines

The Ministry of Home Affairs has amended revised lockdown guidelines issued on April 15, 2020.

The order says registered shops in residential and market complexes, except in malls, can open with 50% strength and by following social distancing measures and wearing of masks.

However, the order will not apply to containment zones or hotspots and the States can decide accordingly.

The MHA’s amended guidelines says all registered shops, including those in residential complexes, neighbourhood and standalone shops, are exempted from lockdown restrictions.

Shops in single and multi brand malls are prohibited to open. — Vijaitha Singh

10.40 pm | Bihar

Bihar reports nine new cases

Nine more COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar take the total number to 223. Six male and three females from Jamalpur in Munger district are affected.

10.20 pm | Rajasthan

Rajasthan reports 70 cases

Rajasthan records 70 cases and four deaths today, taking the numbers to 2,034 cases and 32 deaths due to COVID-19. The highest number of 36 patients were found in Jaipur, followed by 22 in Kota and 4 in Jhalawar. A total of 493 patients have recovered so far and 198 of them have been discharged from hospitals: Medical & Health Department.

10.00 pm | West Bengal


West Bengal reports 51 new cases

West Bengal reports 51 new cases on Friday. The death toll in the State now stand at 18, with 103 patients discharged as of now. As many as 8933 samples have been tested so far.


9.15 pm | New Delhi

Railway staff tests positive

A staff at railway health unit in Ghaziabad tested for COVID-19, sent to home quarantine after pharmacist tests COVID-19 positive.

9.05 pm | Bihar

Bihar reports 17 news cases

As many as 17 more cases of COVID-19 positive taking total number in Bihar to 217. Among the fresh cases, 10 infected persons come from Buxar and rest from other states.

8.50 pm | Uttar Pradesh

Death toll climbs to 25 in Uttar Pradesh

The death toll due to COVID-19 in U.P. climbed to 25, said the state Directorate of Health Services. The total number of positive cases stood at 1,621, with Agra (346), Lucknow (174), Kanpur (125), Saharanpur (123), Gautam Buddha Nagar (112), Moradabad (104), Meerut (86) and Firozabad (75) the worst-affected.

Ayodhya became the 57th district in UP to record a positive case; a 25-year-old pregnant woman (asymptomatic) of Poorakalandar area tested positive at a private lab.

8.35 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reports 394 new cases

Maharashtra reported 394 new Covid-19 positive cases as the State's cumulative tally mounted to 6,817 cases. As many as 18 deaths were reported including 11 from Mumbai city, five from Pune and two from Malegaon in Nashik district to take the State's total death toll to 301. About 117 patients were discharged today to take the number of total discharged to 957 till date.

8.25 pm | Gujarat

Gujarat records 191 new cases

Gujarat records 191 cases and 15 deaths, taking the numbers to 2815 cases and 127 deaths due to COVID-19.

8.10 pm | Punjab

11 more test positive for COVID-19 in Punjab; count rises to 298

Eleven more people tested positive for coronavirus in Punjab on Friday, pushing the total in the state to 298, officials said here.

Of the fresh cases, six were reported in Patiala, two in Mansa and one each in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar, as per a medical bulletin. The number of active cases now stands at 211.

8.00 pm | West Bengal

Central team seeks interaction with Bengal’s COVID-19 death audit committee

The central team visiting Kolkata to assess the COVID-19 situation wrote to the West Bengal government on Friday seeking a detailed report on functioning of the coronavirus death audit committee and a meeting with its members, and expressed displeasure at the arrangements in hospitals and quarantine centres

7.45 pm | Telangana

Telangana reports 13 new cases

Telangana reported 13 new coronavirus positive cases and no deaths today. As many as 29 persons were discharged.

7.30 pm | New Delhi

Without lockdown India would have around one lakh cases by now: Government

The government said on Friday the  nationwide lockdown  announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a timely step, without which there would have been an estimated one lakh  coronavirus  ( COVID-19 ) cases in India by now.

In a press briefing, officials said the coronavirus outbreak is under control in the country and credited a robust  surveillance network  along with implementation of the lockdown and other containment measures for it.

Without lockdown India would have around one lakh cases by now: Government

7.10 | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh’s COVID-19 cases up by 75 to 1,846

As 75 more people, of whom 37 in Bhopal alone, tested coronavirus positive till Friday afternoon, the number of such cases in Madhya Pradesh climbed to 1,846, health officials said.

Seven more person succumbed to the infection in the state since Thursday night, which increased the death toll to 92, the officials said.

7.00 pm | Rajasthan

Over 10,000 people arrested in Rajasthan so far for violating lockdown

Over 10,000 people have been arrested and nearly 1.03 lakh vehicles seized for violation of lockdown orders and curfew in Rajasthan so far, a senior police officer said here on Friday.

Around 9,000 of them were arrested under section 151 of CrPC, Additional Director General (Crime) B L Soni said.

He said over  ₹1 crore has been collected in fines.

6.50 pm | Mumbai

Dharavi reports six new cases

Dharavi reported six new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 220 cases. It also reported its 14th death, a 60 year-old woman from Gopinath Colony.

6.45 pm | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports 72 new cases

Tamil Nadu reported 72 more COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infected persons to 1755 in the State. Also, two deaths were reported today and 114 patients have been discharged.

6.30 pm | Odisha

Five more test positive for COVID-19 in Odisha

Five more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha’s Bhadrak district on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 94, officials said on Friday.

6.20 pm | Kerala

Infant dies of COVID-19 in Kerala, three positive cases confirmed

A four-month-old baby girl became the youngest vicitm of COVID-19 in Kerala on Friday as three more people tested positive for the deadly virus in the state, which has reported 450 cases so far.

6.15 pm | West Bengal

Three COVID-19 patients die in West Bengal

Three novel coronavirus patients have died in West Bengal, taking the COVID-19 death toll to 18 in the state, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said on Friday.

During the last 24 hours, 51 new COVID-19 positive cases were detected in Kolkata and districts of Howrah, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Purba Burdwan and Purba Medinipur, he said.

“These three deaths were confirmed by the audit committee, taking the total number of deaths in West Bengal to 18,” Mr. Sinha said

6.00 pm | Goa

Goa government makes wearing of masks compulsory

The Goa government on Friday made it compulsory for all people in the state to wear masks while stepping out of their houses as a preventive measure against coronavirus.

In a statement issued here, the government said that action will be taken against those who violate the order.

5.50 pm | New Delhi

Shashi Tharoor slams Centre for getting faulty test kits

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday attacked the government over reports of India getting faulty rapid antibody test kits from China and asserted that the answer to the problem lies in indigenous development of test kits as done by countries like the US, South Korea and Germany.

India’s apex medical research body ICMR on Tuesday advised States to stop using the rapid antibody test kits till it examines their quality in the wake of complaints that they are not fully effective.


5.40 pm | New Delhi

Situation especially serious in Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad, Chennai: MHA

The Centre on Friday said the COVID-19 situation is especially serious in major or emerging hotspot areas including Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Chennai.

In a statement, the Home Ministry said that violations of lockdown measures reported in some parts of the country pose a serious health hazard to public and may lead to the spread of COVID-19.


5.25 pm | Bihar

Bihar reports 15 more cases, State tally now 197

Bihar reported 15 more COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infected persons to 197 in the State.

The patients comprise five men and ten females from Jamalpur in Munger district.

- Amarnath Tewary

5.20 pm | Kota

About 1,400 students leave from Kota

Nearly 1,400 students from Haryana and Assam left Kota for their home towns by buses on Friday morning, while over 2,000 from various places in Rajasthan are scheduled to leave in the evening. Meanwhile, students from Bihar have appealed to Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of their home state, to make arrangements for their return and staged a silent protest here.

Over 50 students from the Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Diu had left for home in three buses on Thursday noon and more than 250 students from Rajasthan had left for their respective home districts till Thursday night.


5.05 pm | New Delhi

Around 40 healthcare staff of AIIMS advised self-quarantine

Around 40 healthcare staff, including doctors and nurses working at the gastroenterology department in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), have been advised self-quarantine after a 30-year-old male nurse working with them tested positive for  coronavirus , official sources said on Friday.

Contact tracing was immediately initiated and samples of these 40 healthcare workers along with some patients from the ward where the nurse was posted were sent for testing.


5.00 pm | New Delhi

Delhi's peak power demand falls by up to 49%

Delhi’s peak power demand has reduced by up to 49% with commercial and industrial activities virtually at a standstill  due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus , discom and power department officials said.

According to official data, the peak power demand during the day has reduced by 40-50%, while the peak electricity demand during the night has reduced by around 20-30%.


4.40 pm | Odisha

Four more West Bengal returnees, all male, tested positive for COVID-19 in Bhadrak district of Odisha, taking the State's tally to 94 on Friday.

One person was found positive earlier in the day, according to the State government.

- Prafulla Das

4.30 pm | New Delhi

'Doubling rate has reduced due to the lockdown'

Chairman of the Empowered Group-1, Dr. V.K. Paul, says: "If we take three-day average, the doubling is happening in 10 days, compared to five days in the first week. By March 21, doubling rate had started at three days (the number of cases were 300 then). On March 23, the graph dips(which is a major achievement) to doubling in 5 days. It was post Janta Curfew, because of travel restrictions."

Till March 29, the doubling rate remained around 5. After April 6, it started going towards 10. This is the effect of lockdown, says Dr. Kaul, while referring to a graph maintained by independent researchers.

"If the doubling rate were three, the growth of cases would be much faster, as is the situation being faced by many countries. This shows that the decision taken by the Prime Minister for the lockdown was absolutely correct. Today, we have about 23,000 confirmed cases. If the lockdown was not implemented, it would have been about 73,000 cases during the period," he adds, while noting that the impact of the lockdown became apparent by April 4-5. "We would have taken the exponential curve path post March 23, but due to lockdown the situation is otherwise."

"There was a slowing of the trend, even during the second phase, we are at the middle stage ... the lockdown is to continue for about two more weeks ... therefore, the effect will be there till about second week of May," says Dr. Paul.

"We are still to see the effects of lockdown in the days to come. Independent scholars have determined the current doubling rate as 14 days."

If lockdown measures were not taken, as per reasonable estimates, there would have been close to 1 lakh confirmed cases, says Empowered Group-1 Chairman.

- Devesh K. Pandey

4.23 pm | New Delhi

9,45,000 people are under surveillance, says NCDC

NCDC Director says the lockdown has worked well in cutting community transmission and helping in community surveillance. Apart from the Centre, the State governments have contributed immensely in community surveillance. House-to-house searches in containment zones have been carried out for identifying suspected cases, in which tests are done and confirmed cases are referred to isolation centres.

From the district and State to the Central level, the surveillance network has been set up. In all, 9,45,000 people have been kept under surveillance.

If any of them develop any symptoms, they undergo testing. Since January 23, we had started surveillance. The first milestone in implementing measures against COVID-19 was when we stopped international flights, he says. 

- Devesh K. Pandey

4.20 pm | New Delhi

COVID-19 Seva helpline set up on Twitter: Health Ministry

The Union Health Minister today held a meeting with State Health Ministers, Health Secretaries and other officials, said the Ministry representative at the press briefing. He said early identification was important for saving lives. The Health Minister also held a video conference meeting with his counterparts in other countries and shared experiences, highlighting the twin principles of community engagement and containment efforts on which India has worked.

COVID-19 Seva helpline has been set up on Twitter for quickly addressing questions from the general public, he added.

- Devesh K. Pandey

4.10 pm | New Delhi

Recovery rate is now 20.57%, says Health Ministry

Another team that visited Dharavi in Mumbai has suggested installation of portable toilets, said the Home Ministry spokesperson. For about 2,000-3,000 people, there should be arrangements for institutional quarantining.

The team also held a meeting with the Maharashtra Chief Minister and other officials through video conference.

The Health Ministry representative, while addressing the press conference, says an additional 1,684 additional confirmed cases have been reported, taking the total number of cases to 23,077. Of these, 17,610 are under medical supervision; 491 more patients have been cured, taking the total to 4,748. The recovery rate is about 20.57% now.

The representative added that in the past 28 days, no cases have been reported in 15 districts, and in past 14 days, no cases have been reported from 80 districts.


- Devesh K. Pandey

4.00 pm | New Delhi

Updates on Centre's COVID-19 press briefing

Home Ministry spokesperson says that there were some apprehensions in the industry that CEOs may be punished or factories may be sealed if any positive case are detected in the precincts. The Ministry has clarified to all States that there are no such provisions.

Four more  inter-ministerial teams led by Additional Secretaries and comprising public health experts, are being sent to Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Two of the teams have sent their feedbacks. The Indore team has reported that there are 171 containment zones, of which 20 are critical. The team also surveyed the Mau containment zone. They found that proper measures are being taken and there is adequate availability of medical equipment. It also had a meeting with the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and other officials on a range of issues.

- Devesh K. Pandey


3.50 pm | Tamil Nadu

Six police personnel in Coimbatore have tested positive for COVID-19. Three of them are attached to Podanur police station. The station has been closed temporarily.

- Akileish Ramanathan

3.30 pm | New Delhi

Insensitive to freeze DA, says Rahul Gandhi

Noting that it was “insensitive and inhumane” to freeze dearness allowance, the Congress on Friday said instead of “hurting” the middle-class employees and pensioners, the government should shelve bullet train and Central Vista redevelopment projects to save money for the coronavirus fight.

“It is insensitive and inhumane on the part of the government to cut the DA of central employees, pensioners and jawans who are serving the public while fighting coronavirus, instead of suspending the bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project of lakhs of crores (of rupees),” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

3.05 pm | Tamil Nadu

Complete lockdown for four days in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday announced that a complete lockdown would be effected in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore Municipal Corporations from 6 a.m. on April 26 to 9 p.m. on April 29.

In a statement, the Chief Minister also announced that the complete lockdown would be imposed in Salem and Tiruppur Municipal Corporations between 6 a.m. on April 26 to 9 p.m. on April 28.


3.03 pm | Mumbai

2 suspected COVID-19 patients’ bodies lie unattended for hours

The bodies of two suspected COVID-19 patients were left unattended for several hours, one of them for nearly 20 hours, in the isolation ward of a civic-run hospital in Andheri here, where other patients were present, sources said on Friday.

According to the sources, the hospital staff was not ready to wrap the bodies due to the fear of getting infected.

However, the hospital administration finally handed over the bodies to their relatives on Thursday around 4 pm, they said.


3.00 pm | Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh to bring back migrant workers in phases

Uttar Pradesh will bring back labourers and workers who are stranded in other States and have completed 14 days of quarantine in a phased manner.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday instructed officials to prepare a working plan for it and come up with details in this regard, his office said in a statement after a high-level meeting.


2.50 pm | New Delhi

Hyundai Motors India gives essentials worth over Rs. 9 cr. to Delhi, Haryana, T.N., Maharashtra

Hyundai Motor India (HMI) on Friday said it has provided personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, masks, sanitisers and dry ration worth over Rs. 9 crore to the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra as part of its contribution to fight COVID-19.

The company said it has also donated incinerators to hospitals in Tamil Nadu for safe disposal of medical waste.

Hyundai Motor India Managing Director and CEO SS Kim said, "Being a longstanding partner in India’s growth over two decades, we stand united with government of India through these trying times and offer assurance of our utmost commitment.”


2.40 pm | Bihar

Five more cases detected in Bihar

Five more COVID-19 cases have been detected in Bihar, taking the total number of cases in the State to 182. While one male, 28, is from Nalanda, two Females of 38, 55 years respectively, are from Biharsharief, Nalanda district, and two females of 6 and 60 years are from Naya Bazaar in Bhojpur, Buxar district.

Travel histories of those infected are being ascertained, said State Principal Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar.

- Amarnath Tewary

2.40 pm  | Kerala

Kerala CM seeks PM's intervention to bring bodies from Gulf back home

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi the deep angst of Keralites waiting for the return of the mortal remains of their kin who had died in the Gulf countries due to reasons other than COVID-19.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Vijayan said  Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries required the Indian embassies there to give a “clearance certificate” to local authorities as a precursor of allowing the return of the remains to the country.

- G. Anand

2.25 pm | Goa

Goa government to provide thermal guns to industries

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said the government will provide all necessary infrastructure, including thermal guns and screening devices, to industries to fully resume their operations in the state.

The Goa government granted conditional permits to industrial estates in the state, which have started operating in phases since April 20, after all COVID-19 patients in the state had recovered.


2.20 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Man commits suicide after being quarantined in MP

A 30-year-old farm labourer who was quarantined at a school in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district, allegedly committed suicide, police said on Friday.

The man, who belongs to the Baiga tribe, was found hanging from a tree near the quarantine facility at Dubri Kala village, some 80 km from the district headquarters, on Thursday, superintendent of police R S Bevanshi said.

As per preliminary investigation, the man did not wish to be kept in isolation and wanted to be with his children.


2.05 pm | New Delhi

Biggest message from COVID-19 is that India must be self-reliant, says Modi


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the biggest message arising out of the  COVID-19  pandemic was for India to be self-reliant and self-sufficient for the majority of its needs, and that this was necessary for the country if it faced such a crisis again.

He was addressing a video conference of sarpanches from across the country on Panchayati Raj Day, during which he also launched two programmes, e-GramSwaraj, for monitoring of rural infrastructure works and e-governance, and Swamitva programme, which involves mapping of rural housing and land holdings via technology including drones. The Swamitva programme, Mr. Modi said, would help rural India leverage property for institutional credit and other benefits.


2.00 pm | Tamil Nadu

Prime Minister must explain why COVID-19 rapid test kits failed, says Alagiri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan must explain to the country why the COVID-19 rapid test kits procured by India from China failed and why the Indian government paid ₹600 per kit to China while the Chattisgarh government bought test kits from South Korea at ₹337 per kit that were functioning well, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri said on Friday.


1.50 pm | New Delhi

While observing roza and prayers, we expect everyone to follow lockdown as per the guidelines. Azaan may be carried out in accordance with NGT guidelines, the Delhi Police said in a tweet.

- Hemani Bhandari

1.50 pm | Karnataka

18 new cases reported in Karnataka

As many as 18 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Karnataka on Friday. With this, the total number of cases in Karnataka stands at 463.

Five of the patients who tested positive were those who were housed in the jail in Ramanagaram after being  arrested for inciting violence in Padarayanapura  on April 20, 2020. Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had criticised the government’s decision to shift those arrested to Ramanagaram which is a green zone and has no COVID-19 cases. All five have now been shifted to a designated hospital in Bengaluru.


1.40 pm | New Delhi

Why were infected RPF personnel allowed to travel, asks Derek O' Brien

After nine Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to West Bengal from Delhi, TMC MP Derek O’ Brien on Friday questioned why they were travelling during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

The personnel were part of a 28-member RPF contingent from the Kharagpur division of South Eastern Railway, which had returned on April 14 from Delhi with a consignment of arms and ammunition aboard a parcel express train, SER spokesman Sanjay Ghosh said.


1.35 pm | New Delhi

NGT directs team of Centre, CPCB to supervise scientific disposal of COVID -19 waste

The National Green Tribunal on Friday directed a team, comprising the Centre and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), to supervise handling and scientific disposal of  COVID-19  waste in accordance with the guidelines.

The tribunal said that while the Bio Medical Waste Rules deal with waste generated in dealing with infectious diseases, the coronavirus pandemic has presented further challenge in terms of capacity to scientifically dispose of generated waste.


1.30 pm | Tamil Nadu

Founder of news portal held for 'false' reports in T.N.

The founder of an English news portal has been arrested here on charges of carrying “false” and “provocative” reports against the local administration and government over COVID-19 relief works, police said on Friday.

Andrew Sam Rajapandian, who runs ‘Simplicity’ portal, was arrested on Thursday on a complaint from a city corporation official and produced before a magistrate who remanded him to judicial custody, they said.


1.10 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh tally crosses 900

Andhra Pradesh recorded 62 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally of the State to 955.

With two new deaths reported today, the toll stands at 29.

1.05 pm | Puducherry

Puducherry CM, Ministers test negative for COVID-19

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, his cabinet colleagues and legislators tested negative for  COVID-19  on Friday.

The Health Department had on Thursday  conducted PT-RCR tests for COVID-19  as the leaders have been visiting potentially vulnerable areas in the containment zones on a daily basis to assess measures to prevent the spread of virus in the Union Territory.


1.05 pm | Time

COVID-19 crisis to impact over 29 lakh aviation jobs in India: IATA

The  COVID-19  pandemic is expected to impact more than 29 lakh jobs in the Indian aviation and dependent industries, global airlines’ grouping IATA said on Friday.

About India, IATA said the pandemic is expected to potentially impact 29,32,900 jobs in the country’s aviation and its dependent industries. Besides, the groupnoted that the revenue impact for airlines operating to and from the Indian market would be $11.221 billion (over ₹85,000 crore).


1.00 pm | Indore

Tally in Indore crosses 1,000

The COVID-19 tally in Indore, the hardest-hit city in Madhya Pradesh, crossed 1,000 late on April 23 after 84 fresh cases were detected.

So far, the city has recorded 1,029 cases and 55 deaths. As many as 77, or 7.5% of the patients, had recovered from the illness, said Pravin Jadia, Indore Chief Medical and Health Officer.


12.50 pm | Chennai

For second consecutive day, traffic police block Anna Salai

For the second consecutive day on Friday, the city traffic police blocked traffic on arterial Anna Salai, and effected diversions at important junctions to prevent motorists from making unnecessary trips during the lockdown. Many motorists were caught unawares and found themselves stranded at important junctions such as Kotturpuram, Turnbulls Road, General Patter’s Road, Wallajah Road and Little Mount. On Thursday too, key junctions on Anna Salai had been sealed .

M.N. Mayilvahanan, Deputy Commissioner, Traffic(South) said: “As many motorists are not aware of this measure, we are guiding them to take diversions at each junction We will experiment with this on other roads also. No one has been stranded here. We are only diverting vehicular moment to other roads to reduce the traffic on Anna Salai.”


12.40 pm | Delhi

Gambhir performs last rites of domestic help

India’s World Cup-winning former opener Gautam Gambhir performed the last rites of his deceased domestic help after her mortal remains could not be sent to her home in Odisha due to the coronavirus-forced national lockdown.

Gambhir, also a Lok Sabha from the BJP, posted a tribute on his Twitter page for his employee Saraswati Patra, who was working at his residence for the past six years.

“Taking care of my little one can never be domestic help. She was family. Performing her last rites was my duty,” he tweeted.


12.30 pm | Madurai

During COVID-19 lockdown, a good Samaritan in Madurai helps with last rites

On April 13, V. P. Manikandan, a social worker in Madurai, received a call from Chennai. The relative of a person who died at the hospice facility here, could not make it to Madurai due to the COVID-19 lockdown. “I asked for a consent letter and a confirmatory voice note from a member of the family. They immediately sent it and I began making the arrangements for the last rites,” he said.

Mr. Manikandan (44), who used to work as a marketing executive, took to social work in 2012 to ensure that the bodies of people, who were either abandoned by their families or orphaned, were given a decent burial or cremation.

In the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, he is also helping families who have settled in different parts of the world to ensure that the last rights for their kin are satisfactorily completed.


12.20 pm | Delhi

Results of plasma therapy on Delhi patients encouraging, says Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the results of plasma therapy on four COVID-19 patients look encouraging.

"Ten days ago we got the go-ahead from the Centre for plasma therapy on very serious COVID-19 patients on a limited basis for trial," he said in a press meet today. "We did so on four patients the results of which are encouraging," he added.

"Of the four patients, two were in ICU and were given plasma therapy on Tuesday which has improved their condition. They will be shifted out of ICU today," said Mr. Kejriwal.

"Over the next two to three days we will conduct more such trials and will then apply for permission with the Centre to allow plasma therapy on serious COVID-19 patients across the city," he added.

The Delhi CM also appealed to cured COVID-19 patients to donate plasma and save lives.

12.10 pm | Uttar Pradesh

13 madrassa students in Kanpur test positive for COVID-19

As many as 13 madrassa students, who had come in contact with Tablighi Jamaat members suffering from  COVID-19 , have tested positive for the virus here, a senior health official said on Friday.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Ashok Shukla said, 50 samples were tested on Thursday, of which results of 13 have come positive. They are the students of a madrassa in Coolie Bazaar, a hotspot zone, from where about 30 people have already tested positive.


12 pm | Maharashtra

Maharashtra records single-day high of 778 cases on April 22

In a record single-day surge, Maharashtra reported a staggering 778 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as the State’s cumulative tally exceeded the 6,000-case mark to 6,427, while 14 new deaths took the death toll to 283.

According to State health officials, six of these deaths were from Mumbai city, while five more were reported from Pune, and one each from Navi Mumbai, Nandurbar and Dhule, with the latter two districts reporting their first deaths.


10.50 am | India

ICMR nod for coronavirus detection assay developed by IIT Delhi

IIT Delhi said it has got the approval from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for a probe-free coronavirus detection assay developed by it.

The institute, in a statement on Thursday, said the assay had been validated at ICMR with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, making IIT-D the first academic institute to have obtained ICMR approval for a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic assay.


11.20 am | Rajasthan

Rajasthan detects 36 more cases

The tally of COVID-19 positive cases in Rajasthan reached the 2,000-mark with the detection of 36 more virus-infected persons in four districts.

With the death of a 75-year-old male patient in Jaipur, the State death toll is now 29. The man was admitted to the hospital on April 13 for surgical emergency, said the State Medical and Health Department.

10.50 am | Bihar

Six more cases detected in Bihar

Six more COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Bihar, taking the total number of cases in the State to 176.

The newly-detected patients include three men aged 10, 52, and 70 years, and three women aged 18, 48, and 60 years. They hail from Sadar Bazaar area of Jamalpur in Munger district.

10.20 am | Kerala

Four-month-old baby dies of COVID-19 in Kerala

 A four-month-old female baby, a native of Manjeri in Malappuram district, undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, died of COVID-19 on early Friday morning. This is the fourth COVID-19 related death in the State, including the Mahe death that was earlier counted in Puducherry UT's tally.

It is learnt that the body fluid samples of her parents have been sent for lab tests and the doctors who attended to her have been asked to go on quarantine. Efforts to trace the source of infection are on.


10 am | USA

Coronavirus pushes U.S. unemployment toward highest since Depression

Unemployment in the U.S.  is swelling to levels last seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s, with 1 in 6 American workers thrown out of a job by the  coronavirus , according to new data released Thursday. In response to the deepening economic crisis, the House passed a  nearly $500 billion spending package  to help buckled businesses and hospitals.

More than 4.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the government reported. In all, roughly 26 million people — the population of the 10 biggest U.S. cities combined — have now filed for jobless aid in five weeks, an epic collapse that has raised the stakes in the debate over how and when to ease the shutdowns of factories and other businesses.


9.30 am | France

French coronavirus death toll close to 22,000, says health ministry

The number of people who have died from coronavirus infection in France rose by 516 to 21,856 on Thursday, the health ministry said in a statement.

The 2.4% increase was slightly slower than on Tuesday and Wednesday, when the death toll increased by 2.6%, but well below the more than 4% rate seen last week.

The number of people in French hospitals with COVID-19 infection fell further, by 522 or 1.8% to 29,129, the ninth consecutive fall, and the number of people in intensive care fell by 165 or 3.2% to 5,053 in a 15th consecutive fall.


9 am | India


As many as 23,077 people have been detected to be COVID-19 positive in India, while the death toll is 718, according to the latest update from the Union Health Ministry.

Of this, 17,610 are active cases. The Ministry says that 4,749 patients have recovered from the disease, putting India's recovery rate at 20.5%.

Meanwhile, according to ICMR update as of 9 a.m., 23,502 samples have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. A total of 5,41,789 samples from 5,25,667 individuals have been tested so far.

8.30 am | Bihar

8 new cases in Bihar

Eight more COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Bihar, taking the total number of cases in the State to 170. The new cases include a man and seven women from Khajpura locality in Patna.

The death toll in the State remains two, while the number of recovered patients is 42.

8.15 am | Odisha

New case detected in Odisha

A West Bengal returnee tests positive for COVID-19 in Odisha, taking the State's total number of cases to 90, says the State government.

Twenty-nine cases of West Bengal returnees and their close contacts have been detected in Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur districts during past six days.


Chennai's Andhra Mahila Sabha Hospital shuts down

Chennai Corporation has shut down Andhra Mahila Sabha Hospital on Durgabai Deshmukh Road in R.A. Puram on April 23 after three healthcare providers — two doctors and a staff nurse, tested positive for coronavirus.

The infected include a gynaecologist, a paediatrician and a staff nurse. The gynaecologist is a 65-year-old woman; the paediatrician is 42 years old and the nurse is 24 years old.


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