Coronavirus India lockdown Day 63 updates | May 26, 2020

A massive traffic jam at the Delhi- UP border, as the Ghaziabad has sealed it's border due to increase in Covid cases in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: R V Moorthy

India’s coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery rate has improved from 26.59 % on May 2 to 41.61% on May 26, according to figures released by the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday. The Ministry, however, maintained that this improved recovery rate should not allow complacency to set in.

“The war against COVID-19 is a long-drawn one and we are far from safe”, it said. The case fatality rate was showing a downward trend from 3.30% (as on April 15) to around 2.87% at present, which is amongst the lowest in the world. The global average is presently around 6.45%.

Here is a list of State Helpline numbers. You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here.

Also read: Data | Pollution levels decline in many Indian cities due to COVID-19 lockdown

Here are the latest updates:

11:10 p.m. | Bihar

98 fresh cases in Bihar

Bihar recorded 98 new fresh cases today taking the total tally to 2968. The cases were recorded from East Champaran, Rohtas, Madhubani and other districts.

- Amarnath Tewary

10:05 p.m. | Assam

Assam records 48 new cases

Between 10:30 a.m. and 9:50 p.m., Assam recorded 48 new cases taking the total tally to 643. While the number of active cases remain at 574, the State has had 65 recoveries and four deaths.

- Rahul Karmakar

9.35 p.m. | Rajasthan

Rajasthan reports 236 new cases

Three persons' death - 2 in Jaipur and 1 in Rajsamand - takes the COVID-19 related mortality figure in Rajasthan to 170. A total of 236 new COVID-19 positive cases were detected in the State today, taking the tally to 7,536. Of them, 4,276 have recovered and 3,767 have been discharged. The number of active cases in Rajasthan, as of now, is 3,090, says the Medical & Health Department.

9.10 p.m. | Tamil Nadu

IndiGo grounds Chennai-Coimbatore flight crew after passenger tests positive

IndiGo on Tuesday said it has grounded the crew that operated the Chennai-Coimbatore flight on Monday after one of the passengers oboard tested positive for coronavirus.

The development assumes significance as this is possibly the first case of a passenger getting coronavirus infection after domestic flights resumed services on Monday

9.00 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 165 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday recorded 165 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count to 7,024. The number of active cases stands at 3,030. Five deaths owing to the illness were reported during the day. Indore, Bhopal, Khandwa, Datia and Mandla reported one death each, taking the death toll to 305. As for recoveries, 118 patients were discharged from hospitals across the State. The number of those cured of the illness surged to 3,689, says the Directorate of Health Service.

8.40 p.m. | New Delhi

Refund quarantine charges of 7-day to foreign passengers: MHA

MHA asks States to issue directions to hotels to refund quarantine charges of 7-day to foreign passengers as MHA reduced the duration of institutional quarantine from 14 to 7 days. Several passengers returning from foreign countries alleged hotels charged them an advance payment for 14-days quarantine facilities.

MHA had reduced the mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine for passengers returning as part of Vande Bharat mission to seven days through revised guidelines issued on May 24.

8.15 p.m. | New Delhi

COVID-19 death toll in Delhi mounts to 288

The coronavirus death toll in Delhi mounted to 288, while 412 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday, taking the total in the city to 14,465, authorities said.

The city had recorded the highest spike in fresh cases -- 660 -- on May 22. On Monday, 635 fresh cases were reported.

7.15 p.m. | Maharashtra

Mumbai carrying out 13,000 tests per million

"The lockdown will be lifted in a gradual and calibrated manner. It is a huge policy decision which has to be well thought through," says Chief secretary of Maharashtra Ajoy Mehta.

Also, Mumbai is carrying out 13,000 per million tests which is very high compared to Delhi which is carrying out 4800 per million test, Bengaluru 2,800 and Gujarat 1,200.

"Allotment of beds was a big issue. We are adding more lines to 1916 helpline so that no caller gets an engaged line. Now we also have an integrated dash board with update of empty beds in public as well as private hospitals every half an hour," says Civic commissioner I. S. Chahal.

6.45 p.m. | New Delhi

No major side-effects of HCQ, should be continued as preventive treatment for COVID-19: ICMR

No major side-effects of hydroxychloriquine have been found in studies in India and its use should be continued in preventive treatment for COVID-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Tuesday.

The ICMR’s statement came against the backdrop of the World Health Organization (WHO) suspending the testing of the drug in COVID-19 patients temporarily in its global study following safety concerns.

No major side-effects of HCQ, should be continued as preventive treatment for COVID-19: ICMR

6.20 p.m. | New Delhi

832 flights operated on Monday: Hardeep Singh Puri

A total of 832 flights carrying 58,318 passengers operated on Monday, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday, revising his earlier figures.

On Monday evening, Mr. Puri had said that total 532 flights carrying 39,231 passengers had operated during the day.

“Airports are abuzz and passengers are back in air. 58,318 passengers flew to their destinations on 832 flights on the first day, 25th May till midnight,” Mr.  Puri said on Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

6.05 p.m. | New Delhi

SC on its own takes cognizance of miseries of migrant labourers

The Supreme Court Tuesday took suo motu cognizance of the problems and the miseries of migrant labourers who have been stranded in different parts of the country after the COVID-19 lockdown.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M. R. Shah issued notice to the Centre, states and Union Territories and sought their replies by May 28 on the steps taken to redeem the situation.

5.50 p.m. | Odisha

Odisha to frame new strategy to fight COVID-19: Naveen Patnaik

Odisha will draft a new strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, as the days ahead are set to get more challenging with the restoration of train and flight services, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Tuesday.

Mr. Patnaik, during a review meet on the COVID-19 situation, said the administration will draw lessons from its experiences since March to frame the new strategy.

A total of 1,517 coronavirus cases have been reported in Odisha so far. Seven people have succumbed to the disease.

5.35 p.m. | Bangkok

WHO warns that first wave of pandemic not over; dampens hopes

As Brazil and India struggle with surging coronavirus cases, a top health expert is warning that the world is still smack in the middle of the pandemic, dampening hopes for a speedy global economic rebound and renewed international travel.

Right now, we’re not in the second wave. We’re right in the middle of the first wave globally,” said Dr Mike Ryan, the World Health Organisation’s executive director.

We’re still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up, Mr. Ryan told reporters, pointing to South America, South Asia and other areas where infections are still on the rise.

WHO warns that first wave of pandemic not over; dampens hopes

5.15 p.m. | Chhattisgarh

Goa will bounce back to zero cases status: Health Minister

Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday expressed confidence that the coronavirus situation in the state will soon improve and the number of active cases will be reduced to zero.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the state could not remain insulated from the rise in coronavirus cases in the rest of the country.

The coastal state has 46 active coronavirus patients who are recovering, Mr. Rane said.

5.00 p.m. | Chhattisgarh

15 new coronavirus patients found in Chhattisgarh

At least 15 more people, mostly migrant workers, have tested positive for coronavirus in Chhattisgarh since Monday night, taking the tally of cases in the state to 307, a health official said here.

Fourteen cases were reported on Tuesday from Rajnandgaon and Bemetara districts, while a patient was detected in Raigarh district on late Monday night, he said.

Of 307 coronavirus cases in the state, 235 are active while 72 patients have recovered, the official said.

4.50 pm

'Premature to comment on community transmission'

We have clear cut Containment zones, where prevalence is being studied. So it would be premature to comment on community transmission.

To a question on why fatality rate is low, the spokesperson replies: "Our fatality rate is low and that's a good thing and there are a lot of hypotheses -- BCG, bad hygeine, higher immunity -- but we don't know."

4.40 pm


Covid is an evolving disease. We don't know which drug is working and which not, says Dr. Balram Bhargava, and adds that lot of drugs are being repurposed for treatment or prophylaxis.

HCQ is a safe drug for malaria. Biological plausibility was supporting that it is an antiviral. The ICMR has done test tube studies in the past that shows it has these properties. We did a recent test tube study.

It became popular when US govt started using it and FDA gave emergency use authorisation. So on the basis of our previous experience and safety, we recommended it under observation a month back.

During these last few weeks, we got some data. We could not do a randomised trial of something that we think "may benefit", he says.

We did observational studies and found that it may be working. We found no major side effects except nausea, vomiting and occasional palpitations. We've advised that it has to be taken with food, he says.

4.30 pm

We had an intelligent and calibrated Testing strategy, says Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR.

Today we have 612 labs. 480 are public labs. We are testing 1.1 lakh samples a day, in eight-hour shifts, he explains.

Indigenous manufacturers have come forward and delivered RT-PCR kits and reagents, he says.

4.00 pm

India has among lowest fatality rate: Govt

India's recovery rate in March was 7%, increased to 11.42% after first lockdown, says Health Ministry spokesperson.  At the end of third lockdown, it was increased to 26.59% and now it is 41%, he adds.

Our fatality rate is among the lowest in the world. It is now 2.87%.  Globally fatality rate is 6.4%. Our low death/lakh population was because of lockdown, social distancing, stringent containment measures, he says.

3.50 pm

Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says 58,318 passengers flew to their destinations on 832 flights on Monday.


3.00 pm

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar holds a review meeting on repatriation of Indians under Vande Bharat Mission.

Government is targetting to bring home 100,000 Indians in current phase of operations ending June 13

2.30 pm | Bihar

133 more COVID-19 positive cases take the total number in Bihar to 2870. All cases were from Khagaria, Araria, Saharsha, Nalanda, Darbhanga, Madhepura, Jamui, Saran, Vaishali, Gaya and other districts.

2.15 pm | Delhi

Delhi reports 412 new cases

412 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 14,465, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Tuesday.

Also, 12 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 288. But all the deaths did not happen in the past 24 hours.

Of the 14,465 cases, 6,954 people have recovered and there are 7,223 active cases. - Nikhil M. Babu

Read more

2.10 pm | Maharashtra

Leading mandal postpones Ganpati festival celebration

A leading Ganesh mandal in Mumbai has decided to postpone its annual Ganpati festival celebrations this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 10-day festival begins on ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’, which is falling on August 22 this year.

However, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the GSB Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala area of Mumbai has postponed the celebration to ‘Magh Shudh Chaturthi’ in February next year, the samiti’s trustee secretary Mukund Kamat said in a statement.

1.50 pm

Shramik Special trains ferried around 42 lakh migrants since May 1

The Indian Railways has ferried around 42 lakh migrant workers on board 3,276 ‘Shramik Special’ trains since May 1, according to official data.

Of the total trains, 2,875 have terminated, while 401 are on the run.

The top five states/union territories from where maximum trains originated are Gujarat (897), Maharashtra (590), Punjab (358), Uttar Pradesh (232), Delhi (200).

The top five states where maximum trains terminated are Uttar Pradesh (1,428), Bihar (1,178), Jharkhand (164), Odisha (128) and Madhya Pradesh (120).

1.40 pm | Puducherry

Two more cases in Puducherry

Two more COVID-19 cases were reported in Puducherry, taking the total active cases to 34, including two patients in Mahe exclave in Kerala.

The new cases from Reddiarpalayam and Muthialpet got the infection from an existing COVID-19 patient in the family, health officials said.

1.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh records one more death, 97 new cases

Andhra Pradesh has witnessed one more death and 97 fresh cases of COVID-19 during the past day. More than half of the fresh cases are of returnees from the Gulf countries.

The State also recorded 125 recoveries in the past day.

Read more

1.00 pm | Karnataka

100 new COVID 19 positive cases have been reported in Karnataka on Tuesday. With this total number of positive cases in Karnataka stands at 2282.

12.00 pm

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday conducted a live video press conference to discuss the COVID-19 crisis, lockdown and other related issues.

"Two months ago, the PM said that we are going to fight a 21-day war against COVID-19. It was his expectations. It's now the only country in the world where the virus is exponentially rising and we are opening the lockdown. The purpose of the lock down has failed," he said.

"Four stages of lockdown has not produced the resulted the PM had expected.

"In Congress ruled States, we are directly giving to cash and labourers.

Failed lockdown

"What we are facing right now is a failed lockdown. What we expected from the lockdown is not happening. The disease profile is increasing.

"Our States have a strategy but they cannot function if they are hamstrung. I don't want to get into the past. We just want to know what are going to do going forward."

He added that he doesn't see this as an either or problem - either health or economics problem. "We were already struggling (on the economy front) and now, we are hit by coronavirus."

"Injection of money is required into MSME and labourers. If we don't do it now, it will be fatal."

Also read: Put money in the hands of people, says Rahul Gandhi

He added: "In February, I had said that the situation is going to be dangerous. Even today, I am saying that unless we give financial assistance to small businesses and give cash injection, there will be massive damage. We have not even started the first chapter.  I want to tell PM Modi ji that the package you have announced will not do anything."

Border tensions

"On border tensions with China and Nepal, the government should inform the country but transparently.

"Don't want to talk about India and China issue at a press conference. Leave it to the wisdom of the government.

On migrant workers

Rahul Gandhi added that he had been visiting migrant workers to understand how they feel. "Migrant workers have a sense of hopelessness. They are saying they have lost trust. We made a film so that other citizens should also know how they feel."

"If they give me permission, I will walk to UP and would help 10-15 migrants on the way and yes, can even carry their luggage.

"If a person from UP wants to leave the State, he should have the right.  It is very unfortunate if the UP CM views that other States have to seek his permission.

"I think even PM will accept that his first plan has failed," he added.

On opening public transport

"When you are opening up public transport, you need to talk to States and experts to identify the best way of doing it. In a haphazard opening up, we are going to have a second wave of coronavirus," said Rahul Gandhi.

11.30 am

Paytm sends 4,000 masks for frontline COVID-19 workers in Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government has praised leading digital payments and financial services company, Paytm for sending across 4,000 masks for its workforce engaged in the fight against COVID-19.

The State health ministry has tweeted from its official handle to appreciate this gesture, a company release said on Tuesday.

Paytm, has been contributing face masks and hygiene products across the country to ensure the safety of frontline workers fighting COVID-19. The company is in the process of sending out 4 lakh masks and 10 lakh hygiene products to government offices, Army, CRPF, Police, municipal bodies, district magistrates and hospitals. These authorities would distribute among personnel working in the frontline to help control the pandemic, it said.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh Ministry of Health, Hyderabad Police, CRPF Jammu, Delhi Traffic Police, CM of Karnataka, and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation among others have also tweeted from their official handles to thank Paytm for its efforts.



Over 300 Indians fly home on board special Air India flight from New York

Over 300 Indian nationals, who were stuck in the US due to the coronavirus-induced global travel restrictions, have flown home on board the fourth special flight from New York under the Vande Bharat Mission.

The Air India flight from J F K International Airport to Bengaluru flew on May 25 and had 329 passengers, including two infants, according to officials.

Read more

10.45 am

Flight services resume in Andhra Pradesh

After almost two months of COVID-19 induced lockdown, domestic flight operations resumed in Andhra Pradesh as the first Spicejet plane from Bengaluru landed at Vijayawada airport early Tuesday with 79 passengers.

According to the Airport Director G. Madhusudhana Rao, the aircraft returned to Bengaluru at 7.40 a.m. carrying 68 passengers. He said the airport also received an Indigo flight from Bengaluru with 48 passengers and departed with 50 travellers.

He said as per the state government instruction, all the passengers who landed here had to register their details with the state government’s Spandana website.

“As Bengaluru is a non-high sensitive area (as far as COVID-19 cases are concerned), the passengers who landed here were advised home quarantine for seven days. In case of high- sensitive areas the passengers will have to undergo either institutional quarantine or paid quarantine,” Rao told PTI.

He said the passengers were handled as per standard operating procedures laid out by the Civil Aviation Ministry.


10.45 am

With 47 fresh cases by 10:30 am on May 26, Assam Covid-19 count rose to 595. The total active cases stand at 526 while 62 recovered, 4 died and 3 migrated to other states.

- Rahul Karmakar

10.30 am

79 more positive cases were detected in Odisha on Tuesday taking the State's total to 1,517, according to officials.

Active cases now stand at 861, while 649 persons have recovered and seven have died so far.

- Prafulla Das

10.15 am | Kerala

Produce arrested accused before Magistrates through electronic medium: Kerala High court

Kerala High court has directed police to produce arrested accused before Magistrates and Sub judges only through electronic medium such as desktop, laptop, mobile phone.

The decision was taken after an accused, who was produced before a lower court in Thiruvananthapuram tested positive. About 100 people, including a Magistrate and some police personnel, have been asked to go into quarantine.

The accused, who was arrested along with two others in connection with a case relating to illicit liquor transportation two days ago, had been shifted to the Poojapura central jail after he was remanded to judicial custody.

9.40 am

China reports 36 new coronavirus cases

China has reported 36 new coronavirus cases, including 29 asymptomatic infections, mostly in the contagion’s first epicentre Wuhan where 6.5 million people have been tested so far, health officials said on Monday.

The country’s National Health Commission (NHC) said that seven new imported cases were reported, including five in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and one each in Shanghai and Fujian.

No deaths due to the COVID-19 were reported on Monday, it said, adding that 403 asymptomatic cases, including 28 from overseas, are currently under medical observation across the country.


9.00 am

Saudi Arabia to end curfew on June 21, except in Mecca

Saudi Arabia will begin easing restrictions on movement and travel this week, more than two months after stringent measures were introduced to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Restrictions will be lifted in three phases, culminating in the curfew completely ending - with the exception of the holy city of Mecca - from June 21, the state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.

- Reuters

8.00 am

U.S. firm Novavax begins vaccine trial in Australia

A U.S. biotechnology company announced on Tuesday the start of human trials in Australia of a vaccine for the coronavirus  with hopes of releasing a proven vaccine this year.

Novavax has begun the first phase of the trial in which 131 volunteers in the cities of Melbourne and Brisbane will test the safety of the vaccine and look for early signs of the vaccine’s effectiveness, the company’s research chief Dr. Gregory Glenn said.

Read more

6.30 am

Air India evacuates 115 stranded Indians from Israel

Some 115 Indians, including out of work and broke caregivers, students and pregnant women, were all smiles as they boarded an Air India flight from Ben-Gurion Airport (Tel Aviv) on Tuesday and left for India after being stranded in Israel for more than two months due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The flight took off at 1 a.m. IST

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405 positive cases, 30 deaths 24 hours

Gujarat’s infection spike continued rising with 405 new COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths reported on Monday, increasing the State’s tally of cases to 14,468, and fatality count to 888.

As the State’s mortality rate is 6.15%, along with the spike in infections, there is also a spike in patients requiring ventilator support, with as many as 109 patients surviving through mechanised ventilation as on Monday.

Read more


UK to reopen thousands of shops next month, says Boris Johnson

Britain will reopen thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, setting out a timetable for businesses as part of moves to ease the coronavirus lockdown.

He told a news conference that from June 1, outdoor markets and car showrooms could be reopened as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines, and all other non-essential retail from June 15 if the government's tests are met.

Read more

Tamil Nadu

Tondiarpet becomes fifth zone in Chennai to cross the 1,000-case mark

With Tondiarpet becoming the fifth zone in Chennai Corporation to register over a thousand COVID-19 patients, officials have come up with localised plans targeting slums for testing.

Already Royapuram, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Kodambakkam and Teynampet zones have reported more than 1,000 cases. The number of COVID-19 positive cases is inching towards the 2,000-mark in Royapuram.

Read more

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