The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 85,000 on Friday with more people testing positive for the deadly virus infection from Kashmir to Kerala and from Karnataka to Bihar, even as indications emerged about greater relaxations in the fourth phase of the lockdown beginning Monday to contain economic costs of the pandemic.
Going by the numbers declared by different states and union territories, India has now surpassed China’s official tally of 82,933 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Though some new cases have emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan -- the epicentre of the deadly virus -- less than 100 people are now undergoing treatment across China, which recorded 4,633 deaths due to COVID-19 but more than 78,000 have been discharged after recovery, as per their official data.
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:
10.15 pm | Odisha
48 new COVID-19 cases in Odisha; tally rises to 672
As many as 48 people, who returned to Odisha recently, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the State to 672, an official said. Of the fresh cases, 12 each were reported from Ganjam and Balasore, 10 from Puri district, six from Bhadrak, three from Nayagarh, two from Jajpur and one each from Cuttack, Sundergarh and Deogarh districts, a Health and Family Welfare Department official said.
All the coronavirus positive cases detected on Friday came from temporary quarantine medical centres and one from home quarantine, the official said, adding that most of them had returned from Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi and Maharashtra. With eight patients getting cured on Friday, the total number of recoveries from COVID-19 increased to 166 in the State.
All the 29 children who were afflicted with coronavirus in Odisha have now recovered from the disease, the State’s chief spokesperson on COVID-19, Subroto Bagchi said. Sources in the Health and Family Welfare Department said a total of 81,919 samples have been tested for coronavirus so far.
With the 48 new cases, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the State rose to 672 of which 503 cases are active cases and 166 people have recovered while three have died of the disease. Of the 30 districts in Odisha, 21 have so far reported COVID-19 cases.
10.10 pm | Bihar
Six more COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar take the total number to 1,018; all cases from Jamui, Madhubani, Patna and Lakhisarai districts.
- Amarnath Tewary
Third tranche of economic stimulus will help rural economy, boost farmers’ income: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the third tranche of economic stimulus announced by his government will help rural economy and boost farmers’ income.
“I welcome today’s measures announced by FM @nsitharaman,”he wrote on Twitter.
He said the measures will help the rural economy, hardworking farmers, fishermen, the animal husbandry and dairy sectors. In the third tranche of an overall package of ₹20 lakh crore to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced a slew of measures for agriculture sector, including a ₹1.63 lakh crore outlay, and amending the stringent Essential Commodities Act to remove cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato from its purview.
Mr. Modi also said he specially welcomes reform initiatives in agriculture, which will boost income of farmers. Earlier this week, PM Modi announced a cumulative package of ₹20 lakh crore , nearly 10% of GDP, to provide relief to various segments of the economy battered by the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Uttar Pradesh COVID-19 death toll is now 95. Total cases are 4,057; active ones 1,797, according to the State Health Department. Deaths reported in Jalaun, Pratap, Mahoba, Noida, Meerut, Moradabad and Mainpuri.
- Omar Rashid
213 new COVID-19 positive cases detected in Rajasthan today, taking the State's tally to 4,747. No death reported today. Among the patients, 2,729 have recovered and 2,421 have been discharged. As of now, Rajasthan has 1,893 positive cases: Medical & Health Department.
- Mohammed Iqbal
Maharashtra’s cumulative tally breaches 29,000-mark
Maharashtra reported yet another massive surge of 1,576 new COVID-19 cases on Friday as the cumulative tally breached the 29,000 - mark to reach 29,100. 49 new deaths were reported today, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,068. As many as 505 patients were discharged today, taking the total number of discharged till date to 6,564.
Mumbai's case tally has now increased to 17,671 cases, while its death toll stood at 655. As many as 34 of the new deaths reported today were from Mumbai city, and six from Pune district among other parts of the State.
Over 20 lakh RT-PCR tests conducted in India
The number of RT-PCR tests for detection of COVID-19 crossed the two million-mark in India on Friday, ICMR officials said as the total count of coronavirus cases shot up to over 81,000 in the country.
A total of 20,39,952 samples were tested in the country as on Friday 9 a.m., with 92,911 tests being conducted since Thursday 9 a.m., Dr. Rajnikant Srivastava, the head of the Department of Research Management, Policy Planning and Communication at the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi said.
According to officials, testing for COVID-19 has been scaled up significantly over the last two months and the capacity has increased to around one lakh tests per day.
“To promote Make in India and facilitate domestic manufacturers to get their COVID-19 diagnostics kits validated, the number of ICMR-approved validation centres and laboratories has been increased from five to 14,” Mr. Srivastava said.
Starting with one laboratory at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune and 100 laboratories at the beginning of the lockdown, the RT-PCR tests are now available at 360 government and 147 private testing facilities across the country, he added.
Till March 31,47,852 samples were tested while till April 30, a total of 9,02,654 samples were tested for coronavirus, another ICMR official said. From May 1 till 8 a.m. on May 15, 11,37,298 samples were tested, he added.
COVID-19 cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi go to 1,145
The tally of COVID-19 patients in Dharavi, increased to 1,145 on Friday after 84 more persons tested positive for the infection, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official said. However, no new death was reported in Dharavi in the last 24 hours and the death toll in the slum is 53, the official said.
Gujarat records 20 more deaths; death toll stood at 606
Gujarat records 20 deaths and added 340 new infection cases on Friday, increasing its tally to 9932 Covid-19 cases and 606 deaths.
As many as 43 patients are critical and on ventilator support. Total discharged patients are 4035 including 282 discharged on Friday.
Ahmedabad added 261 cases and 14 deaths, bringing its tally of infections to 7171 and 479 deaths.
Another spike in TN cases
434 persons test positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Friday, taking the total to 10,108. Five more deaths reported, taking the total deaths to 71. 359 discharged today and the total discharged is 2,599.
9 members of family test COVID-19 positive after death of infected kin
Nine members of a family tested COVID-19 positive in Ulhasnagar township in Thane district of Maharashtra on Friday, a week after one of their kin died and later found infected with coronavirus, an official said.
According to the official, after the victim’s body was handed over to the family members, they had performed rituals on it after removing the plastic sheets wrapped around it, against the instructions of the medical authorities. “A 50-year-old member of this family died on May 8. He tested positive for the infection a day later,” spokesperson of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation Yuvraj Badhane said.
“The victim’s family members gave an undertaking to the hospital that they will strictly follow all the guidelines during the cremation. The body, which was wrapped in plastic sheets, was handed over to them. They were asked not to uncover it,”he said.
However, after they took the body home, the family members removed the plastic sheets and conducted death-related rituals on the body, including giving a bath, Mr. Badhane said. “Later, around 70 people attended his funeral,” he said.
When the civic authorities came to know about it, they traced those who had attended the funeral. “A test was conducted on all of them. Nine family members of the deceased tested COVID-19 positive on Friday. They have been isolated and being treated,”the official said. The civic officials said that the rest of the contacts have been quarantined.
So far, 89 people, including 10 from this family, have tested COVID-19 positive in Ulhasnagar, where the death toll due to the infection till now is four, officials said.
All Mysuru COVID-19 patients cured, discharged
Amid the coronavirus spread in the country, there is some news to cheer from Karnataka’s Mysuru district, a hotspot, with all 90 patients having fully recovered and discharged. “All the 90 COVID-19 positive patients from Mysore District Hospital have been discharged without single mortality. Thank you for all the support,” the Health Department said in a brief statement on Friday.
Sharing the joy, Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar tweeted, “Glad to inform that all 90 COVID19 positive patients in Mysuru Dist Hospital have recovered. Thanks to doctors, nurses & all CoronaWarriors who worked tirelessly to make this possible. With people support, we can win this fight against Corona.”
District Health and Family Welfare Officer Dr. R. Venkatesh told PTI that there were 74 cases in Nanjangud, which were related to a pharmaceutical company Jubilant Life Sciences. Then there were 10 Tablighis who had not attended the Delhi event but were roaming in Bannur, he said. There were two international travellers and their primary and secondary contacts, all put together 90 cases, Mr. Venkatesh said.
Guidelines for marriages after easing of lockdown announced in Karnataka
Not more than 50 guests, no air-condition, no consumption of liquor and paan , no invitation to pregnant women and to people aged above 65 and below 10 years are some of the guidelines to be followed for holding marriages or events in Karnataka with easing of the lockdown.
An advisory by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services said that in view of the ongoing COV1D-19 pandemic, the Centre has decided to ease the lockdown in a phased manner and provided guidelines. It said necessary prior permission and travel passes for the event should be obtained from local authorities.
The event should not have more than 50 guests and be conducted in a suitable public place with good natural ventilation [No AC], it said. Prohibiting people from containment zones from attending such events, it said those aged above 65 years, pregnant women and children below 10 years are not permitted to attend them. Use of sanitisers and thermal screening at the entry of the venue has been mandated.
Thirty new COVID-19 positive cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir: Nine from Jammu division and 21 from Kashmir division. Total number of cases in the Union Territory is now at 1,013, including 489 active cases, 513 recovered and 11 deaths: J&K Government.
Number of COVID-19 cases in China falls below 100
The number of patients undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in China has fallen below 100 for the first time since January, even as Wuhan -- the epicentre of the deadly virus -- has launched a massive drive to test all its 11 million residents to detect growing number of asymptomatic cases, officials said on Friday.
According to figures released by China’s National Health Commission on Friday, the number of coronavirus patients undergoing treatment for the disease came down to 91 as of Thursday. Officials said it is a major landmark for the country where the virus originated. The virus has so far claimed 4,633 lives in China, the NHC said.
China has reported 15 new COVID-19 cases, including 11 asymptomatic ones, taking the total number of coronavirus infections in the country to 82,933, the health officials said on Friday. Of the total 82,933 cases, 91 patients are undergoing treatment and 78,209 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, they said.
The total number of asymptomatic coronavirus infections in China now stands at 619, including 492 in Wuhan.
Allow States to demarcate COVID-19 zones: Bhupesh Baghel urges PM
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel on Friday once again urged the Centre to allow the States to decide on red-, green- and orange zones based on the severity of the coronavirus situation in the districts under their jurisdiction during the fourth phase of the lockdown.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Baghel said it is necessary to restart business and commercial activities with complete precaution in order to bring the economy back on track during the fourth phase of lockdown, an official statement issued in Raipur said.
However, he also cautioned that opening of inter-State borders at this moment will not be appropriate, it added. “The State should have rights for demarcation of its districts into green-, orange- and red zones on the basis of coronavirus cases. The Centre should fix transparent criteria for the purpose,” Mr. Baghel said in the letter.
In a letter written to the PM on Monday, Mr. Baghel had made a similar demand.
Kerala’s COVID-19 tally rises to 576
With 16 fresh COVID-19 cases reported on Friday, the total rose to 576 in Kerala which has been witnessing a spike in cases of late. Eighty people are under treatment while 493 have been cured of the infection, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. Mr. Vijayan said cases are increasing in the State which was a matter of concern.
Seven of the positive cases were those who had come from abroad, while four had come from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and two from Mumbai, he said. Three were infected through contact.
Social distancing and other measures need to be strictly followed as there is a possibility of the infection spreading through contact, he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Cautioning those in quarantine to strictly following the protocol, Mr. Vijayan said police personnel on motorcycles will patrol homes in various districts.
On Friday, 65 cases were registered, 53 in Thiruvananthapuram, for not following the quarantine protocol while it was 11 in Kasaragod and one in Kozhikode.
With five more cases being reported, Wayanad’s tally has gone up to 19, followed by Malappuram (4), Alappuzha and Kozhikode two each and one each from Kollam, Palakkad and Kasaragod, Mr. Vijayan said giving the break-up of the cases.
With positive cases seeing a spike in the last few days, the tally touched 576 on Friday, of whom 80 are presently under treatment. Over 48,000 are under observation, while 538 are in hospitals. The maximum people were admitted on Friday in Malappuram - 36, followed by Kasaragod - 16 and Kozhikode - 17, Mr. Vijayan said.
Of the total 576 cases, 311 people had come from abroad, including eight foreigners and 70 had come from other States. At least 187 were infected through contact.
1,640 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members were in India, only 66 contracted COVID-19: Jamiat
As many as 1,640 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members from 47 countries were in India at the time of Nizamuddin Markaz gathering, of whom only 64 tested positive for COVID-19 and two more died of the virus, prominent Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said on Friday.
Jamiat president Maulana Arshad Madani said the “highlighting” of Tablighi Jamaat cases while talking about the total number of cases in the country had allegedly created an atmosphere of hatred against Muslims. Maulana Madani said that now when there are more cases of coronavirus, the Tablighi Jamaat figures are not being highlighted.
13 discharged from designated hospital in Belagavi
As many as 13 patients were discharged from the district designated hospital in Belagavi on Friday. They include patients from Belagavi, Kudchi, Hire Bagewadi and Sankeshwar. All of them had tested negative twice before discharge, officials said.
This takes the total number of discharges to 54. Now there are only 59 active COVID-19 cases in the district hospital. There has been one death and one readmission due to relapse, till now.
Of the 114 cases that had tested positive for coronavirus in the district, eight belong to Bagalkot. They are likely to be shifted to the designated hospital in Bagalkot. Officials have collected throat swabs of 6,811 persons, of which 6,711 have tested negative. The results of 100 are still awaited.
“30 municipal areas account for 79% of coronavirus infection”
Thirty municipal areas account for 79% of India’s coronavirus infection caseload, the Group of Ministers on COVID-19 was informed on Friday, as the death toll in the country due to the disease rose to more than 2,600 and the total tally of cases climbed to over 82,000.
At the 15th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers held under the chairmanship of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, a detailed presentation on the current situation due to the coronavirus outbreak, both globally and in India, was made, according to a Health Ministry Statement.
Rahul takes a dig at government’s preparedness to fight COVID-19
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at the Centre over its preparedness to fight the coronavirus, on Friday, saying the “geniuses” at the Niti Aayog had predicted that the nationwide lockdown would ensure no fresh COVID-19 cases from May 16.
“The geniuses at Niti Aayog have done it again. I’d like to remind you of their graph predicting the Govt’s national lockdown strategy would ensure no fresh Covid cases from tomorrow, May the 16th,” he said on Twitter. The Congress leader also posted a graph projected by the government at the time.
Three threaten COVID-19 hospital nurse in Aurangabad
Three people were arrested for allegedly threatening a nurse to not use a particular road at a locality in Aurangabad in Maharashtra as she was working in a COVID-19 facility, police said on Friday. The incident happened close to midnight on Monday, an MIDC CIDCO police station official said.
“The three, identified as Karbhari Hiwale, Suresh Kale and Yogesh Kawde, asked her not use a road as she worked in a COVID-19 hospital. All three have been arrested for sexual harassment and criminal intimidation among other offences,” he said.
Complete lockdown in Aurangabad
There would be a complete lockdown in Aurangabad city till May 17 in view of the rising number of coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) cases, a senior official said on Friday.
Earlier, the city had adopted odd-even formula, under which shops remained closed on odd days and open for few hours on even days.
Seven more COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar take the State tally to 1012. The patients are six males and one female from Siwan, Vaishali and Nawada districts.
- Amarnath Tewary
Tamil Nadu government offices to function six days a week with 50% workforce from May 18
The Tamil Nadu government has brought back the six-day working week system, effective from May 18 and has increased the working strength in all its offices from 33% currently to 50% from Monday next, with employees working in three batches of two days each.
Highlights of the third tranche of economic package
Third tranche of economic package will focus on farmers, allied industries: Nirmala Sitharaman
The third tranche of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan economic stimulus package in response to COVID-19 will focus on agriculture, fisheries, dairy, animal husbandry, some aspects of food processing and allied activities, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a press conference.
Of the 11 measures to be announced today, eight will focus on strengthening infrastructure, building better logistics, ramping up storage capacities and other such measures, while three will focus on governance and administrative reforms, she said.
During the lockdown, the government has procured Rs. 74,300 crore worth of agricultural commodities from farmers. PM KISAN fund transfer worth Rs. 18,700 crore has taken place during this period, while Rs. 6,400 crore has been paid on crop insurance claims, Ms. Sitharaman added.
"Milk demand fell 20-25% during lockdown. 560 lakh litres per day were procured by cooperatives against daily sale of 360 lakh litres per day. In total an extra 111 crore litres were purchased, ensuring payment of Rs. 4,100 crore to dairy farmers," she informed.
The government will set up Rs. 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for post-harvest farm-gate infrastructure. Financing will be provided to primary agriculture coopertive societies, farmer producer organisations, agriculture entrepreneurs and start-ups, Ms. Sitharaman announced.
The Finance Minister announced Rs. 10,000 crore scheme for formalisation of 2 lakh micro-food enterprises. "They will get technical support to reach FSSAI health and safety standards, build brands and do marketing. This will help achieve PM's goal of 'Vocal for Local with Global Outreach'," she said.
"Rs. 20,000 crore is to be spent to launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, already announced in the Budget, to support fish-workers and build additional logistics capacity for the fishing industry. This is likely to provide employment for over 11 lakh people.
"Through all schemes, we are focused on empowering people with skills, rather than simply giving entitlement.
"Rs. 15,000 crore is to be spent for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund. We hope private players will also invest in dairy infrastructure. We aim to support private investment in cattle feed industry as well.
"Rs. 4,000 crore is to be spent on promotion of herbal cultivation over a 10 lakh hectare area over the next two years. In an 800 hectare area corridor on both banks of the River Ganga, medicinal and herbal plants can be grown, which are in demand globally. This will be coordinated by a National Medicinal Plants Board.
"Rs. 500 crore is to be spent on beekeeping initiatives, to benefit 2 lakh beekeepers in rural areas. These infrastructure development and capacity building projects will focus on not just beekeepers and honey production, but also wax production.
"The current Operation Greens schemes for logistics, cold storage and transport of tomato, onion and potato crops have been extended to all fruits and vegetables. Supply chain disruptions during the lockdown saw farmers making distress sales of perishable produce as they were unable to sell their produce in the mandis.
"Essential Commodities Act to be amended to deregulate food items such as cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato. No stock limits to be imposed on these items except in exceptional circumstances like national calamities or famines where there is a surge in prices. No stock limits on food processors or value chain participants.
"Essential Commodities Act was enacted in 1955 in an era of food scarcity. Now, there is often an abundance of crops, but we still don't allow farmers to export and benefit. Due to flip-flops in market, both farmers and consumers have suffered at different times.
"A central law is being proposed to bring in reforms to allow farmers to sell agricultural produce outside of the current licensees at APMCs. Why should only farmers be restricted to selling only to certain licensees? We want to give the farmer the choice to sell to whomever he likes, at an attractive price, with no inter-state barriers."
When asked how the Centre can make a law on agricultural marketing, which is a state subject, Ms. Sitharaman said "inter-state trade is a central subject. Therefore, a direct central law will be made to bring in reforms on sale of agricultural produce".
"The government will bring in facilitative legal framework to allow farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers and exporters in a fair and transparent manner, which will help with risk mitigation for farmers by providing an assured price at the time of sowing and also let private investors provide inputs and technical knowhow to farmers," she added.
"Most countries' stimulus packages are a mixture of cash outgo and liquidity measures. Almost every country counts it this way. We are doing the same," said Expenditure Secretary T.V. Somanathan.
"The first thing we announced was Garib Kalyan Yojana to give money to people, to give cash, to give food grains, to give gas for cooking. This may not be adequate, I grant that. Nothing can be adequate at a time when people are cut off from their jobs and homes, but we are giving money to people," the FM further said.
- Priscilla Jebaraj
Over 1,000 Indians stuck in Nepal handed over to India
Over 1,000 Indians stranded in Bankey and Bardiya districts of Nepal because of the lockdown were handed over to Indian authorities at Rupaideeh on the Indo-Nepal border here, a senior official said on Friday.
As many as 723 Nepalese, who were in different shelter homes for quarantine on this side of the border, were also handed over to Nepalese authorities, Bahraich District Magistrate Shambhu Kumar said.
The exchange of Indian and Nepalese citizens took place on Thursday night in the presence of SP Vipin Mishra and senior officers of the Sashatra Seema Bal along with Nepalese officials, the DM said.
Colleges will be reopened only after Tamil Nadu is COVID-19 free, says Minister
Colleges will be reopened only after the State was completely rid of COVID-19 cases, said Minister for Higher Education K.P. Anbalagan in Dharmapuri on Friday.
Zomato to lay off 13% workforce
Online food-delivery platform Zomato on Friday said it will reduce its workforce by 13%, while also implementing a temporary pay cut of up to 50% for remaining employees as nationwide lockdown to prevent spread of COVID-19 severely affected its business.
In an email to employees, Zomato Founder & CEO Deepinder Goyal said that the workers affected by the layoffs will continue to get half of their salaries, in addition to health insurance and outplacement support, for the next six months or till they find another job, whichever is earlier.
SC to cancel summer vacations, to work till June 19 as of now
The Supreme Court on Friday decided to cancel its nearly two-month-long summer vacations and work till June 19 for now.
Further plans on whether to continue functioning or go for a short break to facilitate the judges - who are drawn from across the country - go to their native places would be taken after June 19.
Bhupesh Baghel asks Centre to return CSR donations made by Chhattisgarh industrialists to PM CARES
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has asked the Centre to return CSR donations made by industrialists from his State to the PM CARES fund , saying the money could be used for welfare of the state.
In a recent interview to PTI , he also said that the country has a right to know about the donations in the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund .
Fresh case of COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh reported a fresh case of COVID-19 on Friday, taking the total number of virus cases in the state to 76, officials said.
The patient had recently returned to Una from Mohali in Punjab and was kept under home quarantine.
The man tested positive after random sampling and will be shifted to a COVID hospital, the officials said.
With the new case, the tally in the State rose to 76. Three people have lost their lives due to the disease.
There were 425 new COVID 19 cases in the capital today, taking the cumulative cases to 8895.
473 people have recovered, taking the cumulative to 3518.
There were no deaths reported but the cumulative death toll was revised to 123.
There are currently 5254 active cases in the city, according to the Delhi Government Health Bulletin.
- Jaideep Deo Bhanj
Delhi govt to release Tablighi Jamaat members with no COVID-19 symptoms from quarantine, HC told
The Delhi High Court was informed on Friday that the AAP government has decided to release the members of Tablighi Jamaat, who have completed mandatory quarantine and show no COVID-19 symptoms.
The submission was made at the outset of the hearing on a petition seeking release of nearly 3300 Tablighi Jamaat members, who have been put under various quarantine centers for nearly 40 days and not released despite negative reports of COVID-19.
Harsh Vardhan appeals to all States, UTs to ban sale of tobacco products, spitting in public
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has appealed to all States and Union Territories to ban sale of tobacco products and spitting in public places in line with the orders of the Rajasthan and Jharkhand governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In a letter to all State Health Ministers, Mr. Vardhan said smokeless tobacco users have a tendency to spit in public places or otherwise and therefore, increase health risks especially those of spreading contagious diseases like COVID-19, tuberculosis, swine flu, encephalitis and others.
Community quarantine centre sealed in Manipur after man tests positive for COVID-19
A community quarantine centre in Manipur’s Imphal East district was sealed after a man who was lodged in the facility tested positive for COVID-19, an official said on Friday.
Imphal East Deputy Commissioner Rangitabali Waikhom said the Jamia Galina Aziz Girls School which was a designated quarantine centre was declared a “containment zone” and the building “completely sealed” as per the Manipur Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 Regulations 2020.
A 31-year-old man who had been quarantined in the centre since May 13 tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Bengal awaits flights, govt keen to welcome people stranded in other nations: Home secretary
The West Bengal government on Friday said it had long ago communicated to the Union government the arrangements made by the State to welcome back its people stranded in other countries.
The development comes a day after the State and the Centre locked horns over Bengal not being allotted any repatriation flight.
“GOWB keen to welcome back our people stranded in different countries and has long back communicated its agreement as well as quarantine arrangements details etc to GoI for special international inbound journeys. Letters attached. Bengal awaits flights,” the State home department said in a tweet.
Workers from Tamil Nadu reach home after 50 days of lockdown in Mumbai
The workers said their savings had drained due to the lockdown, and they had been finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet.
SC stays Madras HC order asking TN govt to close liquor shops in State
The Supreme Court Friday stayed the Madras High Court order which had asked the Tamil Nadu government to close State-run liquor vends on the ground that there was violation of guidelines meant to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the stay on the high court order by the apex court the State-owned liquor shops may reopen in the State.
932 ‘Shramik Special’ trains operated so far, over 11 lakh migrants ferried home
The Indian Railways has operated 932 Shramik Special trains since May 1, ferrying home 11 lakh migrant workers who were stranded in various parts of the country due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
On Friday, railways operated 145 such trains.
Soldier tests positive at Army Headquarters
One soldier posted in the Army Headquarters has tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday following which part of the Headquarters has been closed for disinfection, Army sources said.
“Affected area of Sena Bhawan has been closed for sanitation and disinfection. Contact tracing, quarantine and other actions as per protocol are in progress,” sources said.
- Dinakar Peri
Can’t stop or monitor movement of migrant workers on roads, says SC
The Supreme Court said it is impossible for Courts to monitor or stop the movement of migrant workers across the country and it is for the government to take necessary action in this regard. The Centre told the top court that migrant workers across the country were being provided transportation by the government to their destinations but they have to wait for their turn rather than start walking on foot.
A Bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao refused to entertain an application seeking a direction to the Centre to ask all District Magistrates to identify stranded migrant workers and provide shelter, food to them before ensuring their free transportation to native places in view of the recent incident at Aurangabad in which 16 workers were mowed down by a goods train.
84 patients discharged from Cuddalore Government Hospital
As many as 84 COVID-19 patients, who have recovered after treatment, were discharged from the Cuddalore Government General Hospital on Friday.
The patients were given a warm send-off by a team of officials led by Collector V. Anbuselvan, doctors and nurses at the Cuddalore GH.
Buses back on select routes in Haryana
The Haryana Roadways on Friday resumed bus services on select routes within the State, the first time since the lockdown was announced in March.
The buses, which are not allowed to carry more than 30 passengers to maintain social distancing, are plying since morning on select routes, officials said.
Initially, the buses will ply on 29 routes from ten depots of Ambala, Bhiwani, Hisar, Kaithal, Karnal, Narnaul, Panchkula, Rewari, Rohtak and Sirsa and run on select point-to-point routes.
There are 23 depots of the Roadways, which has a fleet of over 4,000 buses.
Online booking and wearing masks have been made a must for passengers boarding the Haryana Roadways buses.
HC seeks Delhi govt stand on pleas challenging levy of 70% 'special corona fee' on liquor
The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response of the AAP government on several pleas challenging the levy of 70 per cent “special corona fee” on the MRP of all liquor brands in the national capital.
A Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Delhi government and sought its response, by May 29, to the petitions which seek setting aside of the May 4 notification imposing the levy.
Cases in A.P. climb to 2,307, including 150 migrant returnees
In A.P., 102 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours. The number includes 57 persons who contracted the virus locally and through Koyambedu market in Tamil Nadu and 45 are migrant workers (34 from Maharashtra and 11 from Rajasthan) who returned to the State recently.
The total number of positive cases as on Friday is 2,307 including 150 cases of migrant returnees.
The number of persons from A.P. who are discharged is 1,252 and the death toll stands at 48. As many as 60 patients recovered in the past day. The Health Department's bulletin has been showing the migrant cases out of the State tally for the last two days.
- V. Raghavendra
Positive cases cross 1000 mark in Karnataka
With 45 new cases reported on Friday morning, the number of positive cases crossed 1,000 mark to touch 1,032.
This includes 35 Covid-19 deaths, one non-Covid-19 death and 476 discharges.
- Afshan Yasmeen
Six more COVID-19 positive cases from Khagaria and Siwan districts take the total number of cases in the State to 1005.
- Amarnath Tewary
New York Governor says state’s 5 regions can begin phased reopening after May 15
Five regions in New York State can begin a phased reopening when the shutdown orders end on Friday, allowing construction, manufacturing and curbside retail businesses to start operations after remaining closed for nearly two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said.
Also read:New York probing 110 cases of COVID-19 related rare inflammatory illness in children: Governor
New York State, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, has 343,051 confirmed virus cases. The ‘New York Pause’ is in effect till May 15 under which all non-essential workers are required to work from home and all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public, including when taking public or private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles.
World Bank approves $1 billion to support India’s fight against COVID-19
The World Bank on Friday approved $1 billion ‘Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Program’ to support the country’s efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the pandemic.
SAI formulates SOP for centres but training to resume only after MHA clearance
Elimination of low-ventilation change rooms, disinfection of training equipment after every use, a bar on sparring for now, and usage of gyms in shifts — these are some of the measures to tackle the COVID-19 threat that the Sports Authority of India is proposing if training of athletes resumes later this month.
First COVID-19 case detected in Rohingya camps in Bangladesh
Authorities have reported the first coronavirus case in the crowded camps for Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh, where more than 1 million refugees are sheltered.
The person from the Rohingya community and a local person who lives in the Cox’s Bazar district who also tested positive have been isolated, Mahbub Alam Talukder, the country’s refugee commissioner, said on May 14.
Fifty-five new COVID-19 positive cases have been detected in Rajasthan today, taking the State's tally to 4,589. As of now, Rajasthan has 1,818 positive cases, according to the Medical & Health Department.
- Mohammed Iqbal
U.S. permits doctors on H-1B work visa to practice telemedicine
The US has relaxed regulations to allow doctors on the H-1B work visa to practice telemedicine and help local hospitals to meet the surging demand for healthcare professionals due to the coronavirus pandemic in America, the worst hit country by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Post-lockdown flights: Cabin crew attire to have face shield, gown and mask
Cabin crew members of Indian airlines will have personal protective equipment (PPE) like face shields, gowns and masks as part of their attire on commercial passenger flights when they resume operations, industry sources said.
48 new cases in Odisha
Odisha registered 48 new COVID-19 positive cases on Friday, taking the State’s total to 672, according to the State Health Department.
More details awaited.
S.Korean coronavirus test maker Osang ready to ship 100 mln kits to U.S.
Osang Healthcare Co, the first South Korean maker of coronavirus test kits to win preliminary approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, is ready to ship kits that can test 100 million people in the United States, an executive said on Friday.
Fast-track approval, followed by a massive testing campaign and intensive contact tracing, is credited with helping South Korea slow the disease and avoid strict lockdowns, while the United States has been criticised for a slow response.
Over 3,900 new cases in India in the past 24 hours: Health Ministry
India has registered 3,967 new COVID-19 positive cases and 100 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to an update from the Union Health Ministry on Friday.
With this, the total number of cases in the country is now 81,970, according to Union Ministry data. Of this, 51,401 are active cases. As many as 2,649 people have succumbed to the infection while 27,919 people have been cured.
First special train from Delhi to Kerala arrives in Thiruvananthapuram
The New Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram Central COVID-19 AC Special Train carrying over 600 passengers reached the Kerala capital on Friday morning, a first after the passenger train services were stopped due the national lockdown on March 25,
Of the 1,087 passengers bound to Kerala, 216 had alighted at Kozhikode railway station on Thursday night and 269 in Ernakulam Junction at 1.20 a.m. on Friday. The remaining 602 passengers bound for Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, and Thiruvananthapuram districts alighted when the 02432 special train reached Thiruvananthapuram Central in the morning.