Coronavirus India lockdown Day 61 live updates | May 24, 2020

A worker sanitising luggage of migrants from Gujarat who arrived by a Shramik special train at Danapur station on Sunday.

A worker sanitising luggage of migrants from Gujarat who arrived by a Shramik special train at Danapur station on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

In just a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 3,40,000 people worldwide and infected about 5.3 million, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

India must gear for at least two more months of COVID-19, a summary of a meeting on Saturday involving top officials from the Health Ministry suggests.

About 70% of India’s cases are emerging from 11 “municipal areas” in seven States: Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Rajasthan, the Ministry said in a statement.

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, a list of State Helpline numbers, a live-tracking of State and nation-wide cases.

Here are the latest updates:

11.25 pm | Maharashtra

Another Maharashtra Minister tests positive

Days after Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad recovered from corona,  another senior minister from Maharashtra cabinet has tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

According to sources, the minister who represents Congress, was quarantined in his hometown for more than a week. His test reports which arrives today were positive.

Sources close to the minister said that the family may bring him to Mumbai as his case entails co-morbidities. -- Alok Deshpande

11:15 p.m. | Bihar

63 new cases in Bihar

Bihar recorded 63 new cases of coronavirus taking the total number of cases in the State to 2,574.

- Amarnath Tewary

10:57 p.m. | Assam

Assam's COVID-19 tally inching towards 400-mark

The total number of cases in Assam is inching towards the 400-mark with the State's latest tally reaching 392. Of this, 328 are active cases and 330 cases have had a travel history. There have been 57 recoveries and four deaths in the State.

- Rahul Karmakar

10:32 p.m. | Tripura

Three people test positive in Tripura

Three people who returned from New Delhi test positive for coronavirus in Tripura. The total number of cases in the State has reached 194.

- Syed Sajjad Ali

10:00 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

Death toll in Uttar Pradesh rises to 161

The death toll in Uttar Pradesh has reached 161. While the State has clocked a total of 6,268 cases, the number of active cases have reached 2,569.

- Omar Rashid

9.40 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 294 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Sunday recorded 294 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count to 6,665. The number of active cases stands at 2,967. Whereas, nine deaths due to the illness were reported during the day. Both Indore and Bhopal reported three deaths each, while Ujjain reported two and Neemuch one. The State-wide death toll surged to 290. As for recoveries, 141 patients were discharged from hospitals after being cured. So far, 3,408 persons have recovered from the illness, says the State Directorate of Health Services.     

9.20 p.m. | West Bengal

Biggest spike of 208 COVID-19 cases in Bengal; death toll 200

The number of novel coronavirus infections in West Bengal rose by the highest margin of 208 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 3,667 on Sunday, the Health Department said.

Three people -- two in Kolkata and one in Howrah -- have succumbed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), raising the death toll due to the pandemic to 200, the department said.

Of the 208 more people who tested positive for COVID-19, 52 were in Kolkata and 48 in Howrah. There are 2,056 active cases in Bengal, while the total has risen to 3,667, according to the bulletin.

8.40 p.m. | New Delhi

Delhi private hospitals, nursing homes told to reserve 20% capacity for COVID-19 cases

The Delhi government has directed private hospitals and nursing homes with 50 beds or more to reserve 20% of their total capacity for novel coronavirus patients, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Sunday.

8.20 p.m. | New Delhi

MHA issues SOP for stranded Indians who wish to return

The government on Sunday issued a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for the return of Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown, saying it will be a paid service and preference will be given to those who are in distress, who have lost their jobs or to pregnant women.

A similar SOP was also issued by the government for those who are stranded in India and desire to travel abroad.

As per the latest SOP, issued by the Union Home Ministry, those who wish to return to India will have to register themselves with the Indian missions in that country, along with necessary details as prescribed by the Ministry of External Affairs.

8.05 p.m. | Gujarat

COVID-19 cases cross 14,000 in Gujarat

As many as 394 new COVID-19 cases & 29 deaths were reported in Gujarat on Sunday, taking the total number of positive cases in the State to 14,063. Death toll now stands at 858.

-Mahesh Langa

7.40 p.m. | New Delhi

2,818 Shramik Special trains have ferried around 37 lakh migrants since May 1: Railways

The Railways has ferried around 37 lakh migrant workers on board 2,818 ‘Shramik Special’ trains since May 1, according to official data. While 565 trains are currently in transit, 2,253 have arrived at their destinations, the railways said.

The ‘Shramik Special’ trains are being operated primarily on the requests of the states, which want to send migrant workers to their native places.

7.15 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra reports record surge of over 3,000 cases in a day

Maharashtra posted its highest single-day surge till date with the state reporting 3,041 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday as the cumulative tally crossed the 50,000 milestone to soar to 50,231 cases. 58 new deaths were reported today, taking the total number of fatalities to 1635. As many as 1196 patients were discharged today taking the total number of discharged till date to 14,600.

Mumbai's case tally has now crossed the 30,000 mark to reach 30,542 cases, while it's death toll stood at 988. As many as 39 of the new deaths reported today were from Mumbai city, while there were six fatalities each from Pune and Solapur districts, and four from Aurangabad among other parts of the state.

7.00 p.m. | Bihar

Bihar reports 34 new cases

As many as 34 more COVID-19 positive cases are reported in Bihar, taking the total number to 2511. All cases from Sheikhpura, Samastipur, Purnea, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Banka, Bhagalpur and Katihar districts.

6.45 p.m. | Karnataka

Cops test positive for COVID-19; three police stations sealed in Karnataka

Three police stations in Karnataka’s Udupi district have been sealed after three police personnel at these stations tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

The infected policemen were identified as an assistant sub-inspector, head constable and a constable at Ajekar, Karkala and Brahmavar police stations respectively in the district, official sources said.

The Karkala rural, Ajekar and Brahmavar police stations have been sealed down.

6.25 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports 765 new cases; State total rises to 16,277

As many as 765 new COVID-19 cases & eight deaths were reported in Tamil Nadu on Sunday, taking the total number of positive cases in the State to 16,277. Death toll now stands at 111.

Also, number of cases in Chennai rises to 10,576.

-Sujatha R

6.00 p.m. | Gujarat

Gujarat High Court asks railways to waive one-way ticket charges of migrants

The Gujarat High Court has directed the railway authorities to waive one-way train ticket charges of migrant workers, or the state government should bear the cost as an alternative arrangement.

It said the government’s response to a PIL seeking the court’s direction for free transportation of migrant workers stranded due to the lockdown reflects that travel charges levied by the railway authorities are borne by a few host states, NGOs, employers, voluntary associations, and “this is not done“.

5.50 p.m. | Tripura

16 Maharashtra returnees found COVID-19 positive in Tripura, total now 191

Sixteen people who recently returned from Maharashtra have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura, taking the total number of cases to 191 in the state, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said.

Deb urged travellers returning to the state to follow coronavirus-related guidelines and sought their cooperation.

The chief minister said 996 samples were tested for COVID-19 in Tripura on Saturday

4.40 p.m. | Gujarat

HC questions Gujarat govt. over COVID-19 testing in state

The Gujarat High Court has questioned the state government’s decision to not allow private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests, saying whether this is meant to “artificially control” the data of number of coronavirus cases in the state.

It has directed the state to procure maximum testing kits to enable both private and government hospitals to carry out coronavirus tests at government rates.

A division bench of Justices J B Pardiwala and I J Vora in its order on Friday also said the argument that “more number of tests will lead to 70% of the population testing positive for coronavirus, thereby leading to fear psychosis,” should not be a ground to refuse or restrict the testing.

It directed the government to dispel panic among the public by way of publicity, and ensure home isolation is adhered to.

The court said testing must be mandatory prior to discharge of a COVID-19 patient, as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guideline for doing away with tests for patients with mild, moderate or no symptoms for three or more days is not explained by “scientific data, or research or reasoning“.

The court questioned the Gujarat government for not allowing private laboratories, even the ones earlier permitted, to conduct RT-PCT (real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests), saying it raises the issue whether the government was trying to “artificially control the data qua (in relation to) the number of cases in the state“.

This raises the question whether these 12 private laboratories as well as 19 government labs are “sufficient and good enough” to conduct COVID-19 tests, it said.

The court said any laboratory that fulfils the criteria related to infrastructure and can get registered with the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL) should be permitted to conduct these tests.

The rates for testing by private laboratories must have a ceiling cap, which in the present case is ₹4,500, the high court said.

4:30 p.m. | Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh issues standard operating procedure for air, train passengers

The Chhattisgarh government has issued standard operating procedure (SOP) for medical screening and quarantining of people arriving in the state on domestic flights and trains amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

A directive about the SOP was issued by the General Administration Department Secretary Dr. Kamalpreet Singh on May 22, a public relations department official here said.

Health desks will be set up in these facilitation centres, and passengers will be subjected to a medical check- up, including thermal screening, and those showing coronavirus symptoms will be admitted in the airport’s isolation kiosk, he said.

Those showing no symptoms would be placed in 14-day quarantine at government centres, homes or paid facilities, the official said, adding that passengers will have to submit a written undertaking they will strictly follow isolation norms.

“Baggage will be sanitised at the airport and only select vehicles whose details are with the transport department will be allowed to pick and drop passengers,” he said.

“Similarly, the district administration would work in co-ordination the railways to set up facilitation centres at stations. The SOP for medical screening and quarantining for train passengers will be the same as air travelers.” he added.

-- PTI

4:00 p.m. | Time

Seven fresh cases of COVID-19 in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh recorded seven more cases of COVID-19, taking the virus tally in the state to 193, officials said on Sunday.

Three of the fresh cases were reported from Una and one each from Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur and Solan districts, they added.

All of them had recently returned from other states. While four of them had returned from Mumbai, two returned from Delhi and one from West Bengal, they added.

-- PTI

3:00 p.m. | Bihar

83 fresh cases in Bihar

83 more COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Bihar, taking the total number of cases to 2,477. The new cases are from Munger, Katihar, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Banka districts.

2:35 p.m.| Delhi

Delhi reports 508 new cases, total figure up to 13,418

508 new COVID-19-positive cases were reported in the Capital on Sunday, taking the cumulative figure up to 13,418, according to the health bulletin released by the Delhi govt. 

273 people recovered, taking the total recovery figure to 6,540. 

The total active cases are now 6,617 while the death tally stands at 261.

There were 30 new deaths but not all of them took place in the last 24 hours.

2:20 p.m. | Karnataka

97 test positive in Karnataka, tally up to 2,056

As many as 97 new COVID-19 cases emerged in Karnataka on Sunday.

With this, the total number of cases stand at 2,056.

The media bulletin issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare states that 26 patients discharged in the state and the total number of discharges are now 634.

2:15 p.m.| Maharashtra

Maharashtra to open lockdown in phases, says Uddhav

In order to 'bring life back to normal in a phased manner', Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday that he will begin releasing list of places opening soon.

"We will bring the life back to normal in a phased manner. We have to start living with changed habits of sanitation, using masks and keeping distance. Let's stop using word 'lockdown' from now on. I will start giving list of things opening up. But we will keep watch. If we see crowd, we will shut it down," Mr. Thackeray said.

"Lifting lockdown abruptly, is not right, just as it was not right to implement lockdown abruptly," he added.

The Chief Minister said that Maharashtra's coronavirus positive cases were lower than the Centres' predicted figures.  

"The Centre's team had predicted around 1.25 to 1.5 lakh active coronavirus cases in Maharashtra by the end of May. However, today we have only 33,786 positive active cases. 13,404 patients have been released. This was achieved only because the discipline we showed," he said.

"We will see rise in cases in coming days, but no need to be scared."

Mr. Thackeray said the State will not make 'hollow claims', and will give 'actual aid' to the needy. 

"Some people are asking for another package. We have received so many packages till now. How much we do we really need? This is a health crisis and let us deal with it first. We will surely give actual aid to the needy. We will not make hollow claims," he said.

The Chief Minister stated that despite demanding about 80 trains daily, the State is only getting about half.

"State government is demanding 80 trains daily, but getting only 50% of them. From May 5 to May 23, a total of 481 trains have taken migrant workers and the State has paid ₹85 crore for that. The total number of workers who have travelled from Maharashtra is 6 lakh," he said.

Speaking about potentially resuming flights, Mr. Thackeray said, "I spoke to Union Minister Mr. Puri today morning about starting flights. I told him that let Maharashtra assess total situation. We too want to open the state soon, but do not want to rush. We have to take precaution. Have to assess how much staff is needed for safe operations."

"Next 15 days will give the real picture of the situation in the country," he added.

-- Alok Deshpande

1.50 pm | Andhra Pradesh

83 new cases in Andhra

Andhra Pradesh registered 83 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the State's total toll to 2,797.

As many as 56 people have died of the infection so far.

The active number of cases in the State is 900, and 1,841 people have recovered till date.

1.30 pm | India

Migrant woes ‘greatest manmade tragedy’ in India since Partition: Ramachandra Guha

The unfolding miseries of millions of poor people in the world’s largest coronavirus lockdown is the greatest manmade tragedy in India since Partition, says historian and economist Ramchandra Guha.

Cautioning that there will be social and psychological consequences for the rest of the country too, he said the migrant tragedy could have been averted or at least minimised if Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given them a week’s notice to return home before the lockdown kicked in.

“It is probably not as bad as Partition, for at that time there was also horrific communal violence. But it is nonetheless the greatest manmade tragedy in India since Partition,” Mr. Guha told PTI in an interview.  PTI

1.10 pm | Puducherry

5 new cases in Puducherry

Five new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Puducherry taking the overall tally of active cases in the UT to 27.

According to health officials, the new cases were detected during surveillance testing of 166 samples.

The patients are from Periyakalapet, Mannadipet, Kurumampet and Moogambigai Nagar.

While the IGMCRI has 24 patients and JIPMER one, one patient is under treatment in Kannur and one in Chennai, officials said.

12.50 pm | Tamil Nadu

TN govt allows industrial estates in Chennai to resume work

Further easing curbs, the Tamil Nadu government on Sunday allowed 17 industrial estates here to resume work from Monday with conditions, including confining the workforce to 25% and implementing safety measures.

The industrial estates situated in non-containment zones, inclduing the Ambattur and Guindy clusters here can resume work from May 25, the government said, adding however employees residingin containment zones would not be allowed to report for work.

The strength of the workers should be capped at 25% and thermal scanners must be used for screening employees, an official release said. - PTI

12.30 pm | Madhya Pradesh

COVID-19 cases cross 3000-mark, death toll reaches 114

The number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 3,000 mark in Indore and rose to 3,008 after 75 more people tested positive for the disease in the Madhya Pradesh district in last 24 hours, an official said on Sunday.

The number of deaths in the district also went up to 114 as three more patients succumbed to the disease during treatment at different hospitals in last three days, Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Praveen Jadia said. - PTI

12.20 pm | Karnataka

Police on the lookout for a woman who left quarantine center

District police have begun looking for a woman who allegedly left a quarantine center in Gokak on Saturday without permission from the authorities.

The 30-year-old woman had returned from Mumbai.

Her husband came to see her on Saturday evening and stayed outside the gate of the Devraj Urs hostel, where she is being quarantined. He must have coaxed her to go with him, a police officer said.

A case has been registered.

The woman had been to Nool village in Maharashtra for a family function and had returned to her village of Panjanatti on May 15, officers said. 

12 pm | Delhi

RML hospital dean tests positive for coronavirus

The Dean of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi has tested positive for coronavirus infection.

Dr. Rajeev Sood, who is looking after the management of COVID-19 manpower at the hospital, tested positive for the infection on Saturday.

He is now under home isolation and contact tracing has been initiated by hospital authorities. - PTI

11.40 am | Goa

11 new COVID-19 cases in Goa; State tally rises to 66

Eleven people who travelled to Goa in the Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express train on Saturday, have tested positive forcoronavirus, taking the total number of such cases in the State to 66, officials said on Sunday.

With this, the number of active cases in the coastal State has gone up to 50, they said, adding that 16 people have been so far been discharged after recovery. - PTI

11.20 am | India

Flight carrying 93 Indians stranded in UK arrives in Indore

An Air India flight carrying 93 Indians who were stranded in the United Kingdom arrived at the Indore airport in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday morning, an official said.

As part of the Centre’s ‘Vande Bharat’ mission, the flight from London reached here via Mumbai at 8.04 a.m., Indore’s Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport Director Aryama Sanyal said.

A health checkup of the passengers was conducted and their belongings were sanitised, she said.

The passengers will be kept under the mandatory 14-day quarantine, the official said. - PTI

10.50 am | Odisha

67 new cases in Odisha

Odisha’s total COVID-19 positive tally climbed to 1,336 with 67 new cases reported on Sunday.

While 60 of these were people staying in institutional quarantine centres, 4 cases were reported from home quarantine. Three samples collected from local tested positive.

10.40 am | Rajasthan

52 fresh cases, 1 more death due to COVID-19 in Rajasthan

One death due to coronavirus and 52 fresh positive cases of the disease were reported in Rajasthan on Sunday, according to the State government.

With one death reported from Chittorgarh, the number of fatalities in the State has gone up to 161 on Sunday morning, an official said.

The number of coronavirus positive cases has increased to 6,794 in the State. - PTI

10.30 am | Himachal Pradesh

Six fresh cases of COVID-19 in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh recorded six more cases of COVID-19, taking the virus tally in the State to 192, officials said on Sunday.

Three of the fresh cases were reported from Una and one each from Kangra, Hamirpur and Solan districts, they added.

All of them had recently returned from other States. While three of them had returned from Mumbai, two returned from Delhi and one from West Bengal, they added. - PTI

10.20 am | Assam

4 new cases in Assam; total toll is 350

The number of COVID-19 cases in Assam reached 350 after four new cases were reported on Sunday.

Majority of the most recent 300 cases have a travel history, and 286 of them are active. Four people have died and 57 have recovered from the infection.

10.10 am | Delhi

With around 380 domestic flights, Delhi airport to resume operations from Monday

As India is set to resume its domestic civil aviation operations from May 25, the Delhi airport will be handling around 380 flights on Monday, a senior official said.

As per the directions of the Civil Aviation Ministry, domestic flight operations will resume after remaining suspended for about two months following the nationwide lockdown imposed to constrain the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Delhi airport will be handling around 380 domestic flights on Monday. There will be 190 departures and around 190 arrivals,” a senior government official said.

Read more

9.50 am | India

Record 6,767 new COVID-19 cases in India in last 24 hours; death toll climbs to 3,867

COVID-19 cases in India saw the biggest spike for the third consecutive day on Sunday with 6,767 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 1,31,868, while the death toll due to the disease rose to 3,867 after 147 more fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rose to 73,560, while 54,440 people have recovered and a patient has migrated to another country, according to the ministry’s bulletin.

“Thus, around 41.28% patients have recovered so far,” a Health Ministry official said. The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus includes foreigners. -PTI

9.40 am | Puducherry

Sunday shopping

The relaxation in lockdown measures by the government has resulted in people thronging to markets. Crowds were seen in the Goubert Fish Market, Uzhavar Sandhai at Odiensalai and temporary vegetable market at the New Bus Stand in Puducherry on Sunday, violating physical distancing guidelines.

The relaxation in lockdown measures by the government has resulted in people thronging to markets. Crowds were seen in the Goubert Fish Market, Uzhavar Sandhai at Odiensalai and temporary vegetable market at the New Bus Stand in Puducherry on Sunday, violating physical distancing guidelines.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar


9.30 am | Mumbai

'Ill-advised' to open airports in red zone: Anil Deshmukh

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Sunday said that opening up the airports in the red zone will hamper measures to control COVID-19 and place unwanted stress on the staff.

"It's extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate w/o swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add Covid stress to red zone," he wrote on Twitter.

"Getting passengers to come from a green zone to a red one putting them to risk of exposure doesn't make sense. Keeping a busy airport up & running with all Covid-safety measures will need huge staff presence and compound risk in the red zone," he added.

9 am | Spain

Easing lockdown, Spain to reopen for tourism in July

Spain will reopen its borders to tourists in July and its top football division will kick off again in June, the Prime Minister said on Saturday, marking another phase in the easing of one of the world's strictest lockdowns.

Pedro Sanchez's dual announcements coincided with calls for his resignation over the lockdown's impact on the economy from the far-right Vox party, which called protests in cities across Spain drawing thousands of horn-blaring cars and motorbikes.

“From July, foreign tourism will resume in safe conditions. We will guarantee tourists will not take any risks and will not bring us any risks,” Mr. Sanchez told a televised news conference, without giving further details. - Reuters

8.30 am | Mumbai

Actor Kiran Kumar tests positive for COVID-19

Veteran film and TV actor Kiran Kumar has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently under home quarantine. The 74-year-old actor said he is asymptomatic and is doing “absolutely fine.”

“I am asymptomatic. On May 14, I went to the hospital for a medical check-up, where the COVID-19 test was mandatory. So I got myself tested and the result was positive. But I had no symptoms then, nor do I have any now. There’s no fever, no cough, I’m fine and have self quarantined at home,” Kumar told PTI.

Read more

8 am | Brazil

Confirmed cases in Brazil cross 3,47,000

Brazil registered 965 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of fatalities to 22,013, the Health Ministry said.

Open and occupied graves are seen during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Vila Formosa cemetery, Brazil's biggest cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 22, 2020. Picture taken with a drone.

Open and occupied graves are seen during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Vila Formosa cemetery, Brazil's biggest cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 22, 2020. Picture taken with a drone.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS


The country now has 3,47,398 confirmed cases, according to the ministry, up 16,508 from Friday, when it surpassed Russia to become the world's virus hot spot behind the United States.

The actual number of cases and deaths is believed to be higher than the official figures disclosed by the government, as the testing capacity of Latin America's largest country still lags. - Reuters

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