Tag Archives: COVID-19

India’s COVID-19 case tally crosses 1.45 lakh-mark; death toll tops 4,100

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in India crossed the 1.45 lakh-mark on Tuesday, while the death toll has topped the 4,100-mark as well. At 9:30 AM on this day, the COVID-19 tally in the country has reached 1,45,380 cases, which includes 80,722 active cases; 60,491 cured, discharged, or migrated patients, and 4,167 deaths.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 6,535 new COVID-19 cases and 146 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, marking a significant spike. However, the spike in India’s COVID-19 tally today is still less than yesterday’s, which was the highest boom in the number of cases in a while. Yesterday, the country witnessed a spike of about 6,977 cases, crowning significant and consecutive highest jumps in the country’s COVID-19 tally for the major part of the last week. The day before yesterday. i,e. Sunday, marked a spike of 6,767 cases, while Saturday had recorded a jump of 6,654 cases, all of them becoming the highest spikes for their own time.

Yesterday, the COVID-19 tally in India had crossed the 1.38 lakh-mark, while the death toll had already topped the 4,000-mark. However, the recovery rate this morning stands at 41.60%, the Health Ministry informed.

Maharashtra continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus spread where the number of cases has witnessed an even large spike recently. According to the Health Ministry, Maharashtra has the highest number of cases with 52,667 positive cases of infection and 1,695 deaths.

Notably, Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, has become the hotbed of the coronavirus spread in the state where the number of cases is nearing the 32,000-mark and the death toll has crossed the 1,000-mark as well. At 9:30 AM on this day, the COVID-19 tally in Mumbai showed 31,972 cases and 1,026 deaths. The city reported as many as 1,430 cases on Monday alone.

One of the real challenges in Mumbai is controlling the disease contamination in Asia’s biggest slum — Dharavi, which is an extremely densely-populated region.

Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu with 17,082 cases, which overtook Gujarat due to a recent massive spike in the number of cases. Gujarat is third on the list with 14,468 cases.

After Gujarat comes Delhi, where the COVID-19 figure stands at 14,053 with 6,771 patients recovered and 276 fatalities. Rajasthan has reported 7,376 cases of which 4,056 have recovered and 167 patients are dead.

Madhya Pradesh has reported 6,859 positive cases so far of which 3,571 patients have recovered and 300 patients have lost their lives due to the virus. In Uttar Pradesh, as many as 6,497 people have confirmed COVID-19, of which 3,660 recovered and 169 people succumbed to it.

In Kerala, which reported the country’s first COVID-19 case, 897 people have been detected positive for coronavirus so far.

Over the major part of the last week, the country marked significant and consecutive highest jumps in the COVID-19 tally.

Interestingly, even though the virus tally continues to spike, new guidelines issued by the central government pertaining to Lockdown 4.0 remain enforced. Several restrictions have been lifted, which includes permitting transport services, reopening of shops, and resuming online shopping. According to the central government’s most recent order, all activities, except the ones “specifically prohibited”, will be allowed in green, orange, red, and buffer zones, which continue to be classified by the States/UTs and district authorities.

Domestic flight services resumed in India on Monday, while international flights are to start soon as well, the central government has informed as part of its gradual reboot of air travel services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

It is now increasingly becoming likely that India, although well into the fourth phase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-necessitated nationwide lockdown, is quickly becoming one of the biggest COVID-19 hotspots in the world.

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India’s death toll tops 4,000-mark; case tally crosses 1.38 lakh; highest spike yet

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in India crossed the 1.38 lakh-mark on Monday, while the death toll has topped the 4,000-mark as well. At 9:30 AM on this day, the COVID-19 tally in the country has reached 1,38,845 cases, which includes 77,103 active cases; 57,720 cured, discharged, or migrated patients, and 4,021 deaths.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 6,977 new COVID-19 cases and 154 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, marking a significant spike. In fact, this is the highest spike in India’s COVID-19 tally so far. The last highest jump was of a spike of about 6,767 cases yesterday and of 6,654 cases the day before that and even a jump of 6,088 cases the previous day, thereby marking significant and consecutive highest jumps in the country’s COVID-19 tally for the major part of the last week.

Yesterday, the COVID-19 tally in India had crossed the 1.3 lakh-mark, while the death toll had already topped the 3,800-mark as well. However, the recovery rate this morning stands at 41.57%, the Health Ministry informed.

Maharashtra continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus spread where the number of cases has witnessed an even large spike recently. According to the Health Ministry, Maharashtra has the highest number of cases with 50,231 positive cases of infection and 1,635 deaths.

Notably, Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, has become the hotbed of the coronavirus spread in the state where the number of cases has crossed the 30,000-mark and the death toll is closing in on the 1,000-mark as well. At 9:30 AM on this day, the COVID-19 tally in Mumbai showed 30,542 cases and 988 deaths. The city reported as many as 1,725 cases on Sunday alone.

One of the real challenges in Mumbai is controlling the disease contamination in Asia’s biggest slum — Dharavi, which is an extremely densely-populated region.

Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu with 16,277 cases, which overtook Gujarat due to a recent massive spike in the number of cases. Gujarat is third on the list with 14,063 cases.

After Gujarat comes Delhi, where the COVID-19 figure stands at 13,418 with 6,540 patients recovered and 261 fatalities. Rajasthan has reported 7,100 cases of which 3,856 have recovered and 163 patients are dead.

Madhya Pradesh has reported 6,665 positive cases so far of which 3,408 patients have recovered and 290 patients have lost their lives due to the virus. In Uttar Pradesh, as many as 6,268 people have confirmed COVID-19, of which 3,538 recovered and 161 people succumbed to it.

In Kerala, which reported the country’s first COVID-19 case, 848 people have been detected positive for coronavirus so far.

Over the major part of the last week, the country marked significant and consecutive highest jumps in the COVID-19 tally.

Interestingly, even though the virus tally continues to spike, new guidelines issued by the central government pertaining to Lockdown 4.0 remain enforced. Several restrictions have been lifted, which includes permitting transport services, reopening of shops, and resuming online shopping. According to the central government’s most recent order, all activities, except the ones “specifically prohibited”, will be allowed in green, orange, red, and buffer zones, which continue to be classified by the States/UTs and district authorities.

All domestic flights are also set to resume in India from today, while international flights are to start soon as well, the central government has informed as part of its gradual reboot of air travel services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

It is now increasingly becoming likely that India, although well into the fourth phase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-necessitated nationwide lockdown, is quickly becoming one of the biggest COVID-19 hotspots in the world.

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Domestic flight services to resume from May 25; here’s what you’ll need for air travel

All domestic flights are set to resume in India from May 25, i.e. Monday, the central government has informed as part of its graudal reboot of air travel services in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak.

According to sources, the very first domestic flight will be at 4:30 AM on Monday. It will take off from the Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. In the first phase, 28 domestic flights will take off from Delhi towards various destinations across India.

Passengers have been advised to bring their boarding passes along with them. It has also been made mandatory for the air travellers to download the Aarogya Setu mobile app in their cellphones, which will help authorities determine if the concerned passengers are coming from a COVID-19 hotspot or not. If they do not have the app on their phones, passengers will have to sign an undertaking declaring that they are free from COVID-19 infection. Air travel staff will also assist passengers in downloading the app on the spot, if it’s not present on their phones

A thermal gun will also be used to screen the passengers before entry into the flight.

Confirming the development,  Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, ”There’s no contradiction between domestic flights beginning from May 25 and lockdown in India being imposed till May 31.”

Puri further said that the government will try to start a good percentage of international passenger flights before August. The Minister also said that the Centre is planning to bring back Indian citizens from Sri Lanka either by ship or flights. Discussions are at an advanced stage, the Aviation Minister said.

He also recommended ”Aarogya Setu app for everyone” saying, ”it’s an excellent contact-tracing device.”

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Passengers from High-risk States to Go on Mandatory 7-day Institutional Quarantine in Karnataka

Police and health officials arrive for inspection after a senior citizen died of COVID-19 at Tipu Nagar in Bengaluru. (PTI)

Police and health officials arrive for inspection after a senior citizen died of COVID-19 at Tipu Nagar in Bengaluru. (PTI)

A COVID-19 test will be conducted between the fifth and seventh day of institutional quarantine. If the test results are negative, then the individual will be stamped and asked to undergo seven days of home quarantine. Returnees from all other states, will have to undergo 14-day home quarantine.

The BS Yediyurappa government has laid out a revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for travellers entering Karnataka by road, rail or air. Passengers travelling from high-risk states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will have to undergo compulsorily institutional quarantine for seven days.

A COVID-19 test will be conducted between the fifth and seventh day of institutional quarantine. If the test results are negative, then the individual will be stamped and asked to undergo seven days of home quarantine. Returnees from all other states, will have to undergo 14-day home quarantine.

Earlier, all those entering the state were compulsorily asked to undertake 14-day institutional quarantine either at paid facilities (Hotel/hostels) or government centres (choultrys/schools/exhibition halls). There was also a complete ban on travellers from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

The government has, however, made exceptions for certain pregnant women, children below 10 years of age, senior citizens above 80 and patients with terminal illness. People under these categories will be allowed an attendant during home quarantine after they test negative for coronavirus infection.

The state has also taken into account passengers who would travel for business purposes and whose trip might not be over five days. For them, submission of a negative COVID-19 test which was taken at least two days before the journey will be required. If the person does not produce such a certificate, then he/she must be sent to a paid institutional quarantine centre until they test negative.

Further, exemptions will be made for medical professionals, nurses, para-medical staff, sanitation personnel and ambulances traveling between states will be asked to home quarantine. Members of defence, para-military, railways, DRDO, ISRO, PSUs can stay in institutional quarantine for 14 days in dedicated guest houses, quarantine facility of the organisation.

All undertaking travel will have to compulsorily apply on the Seva Sindhu App. Even transit passengers will have to apply in the app giving details of arrival and destination state.

No restriction on inter-district travel in Karnataka between 7am and 7pm, beyond which travel for only essential services is allowed. There will be no district checkpost for health screening as was conducted earlier.

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PM Modi’s economic package ‘cruel joke on country’: Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the economic package to deal with the COVID-19 crisis as a “cruel joke on the country” as 22 opposition parties accused the Central Government of “unabashedly usurping” powers of states and abandoning any pretence of being democratic.

Besides Congress chief, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC head Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and DMK leader M K Stalin were those who attended the meeting.

Addressing the leaders, Gandhi said the government is uncertain about the criteria for enforcing the lockdown with no exit strategy and has “cruelly ignored” scores of migrant workers and the 13 crore families in the bottom half of the population.

“The government has abandoned any pretence of being democratic and all power is now concentrated in only one office — the PMO,” she said.

“The prime minister’s announcement of a grand Rs 20 lakh crore package on May 12 and the finance minister spelling out its details over the next five days have turned out to be a cruel joke on the country,” she added.

During the meeting, held via video conference, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said there would be economic devastation if the poor were not helped urgently with cash and free rations.

AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Mallikarjun Kharge were other senior Congress leaders who attended the meeting.

Other opposition leaders present in the video conference were JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda, besides CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, Sharad Yadav (LJD), Omar Abdullah (NC), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Jitan Ram Manjhi (HAM), Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP), Jose K Mani (KC-M), Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF), Jayant Chaudhary (RLD).

The opposition parties also issued a joint statement, saying that the Centre has failed in discharging its responsibilities in a timely, effective and sensitive manner during the pandemic.

The economy has collapsed and all sections of society face acute distress, with livelihoods having been destroyed and many lives lost, they said.

Grand announcements have been made by the government but they have not done anything meaningful to alleviate the sufferings of people and address the pressing concerns of farmers, migrants and other workers, the statement said.

“In fact, the Union government has unabashedly usurped powers vested in the States undermining the constitutionally guaranteed federal democracy,” it said, adding this is not the time for the Centre to indulge in “showmanship or one-upmanship”, but this is the time for a gigantic and collective endeavour.

“It is important that the government reaches out and engages in a dialogue with all political parties in a systematic manner, listen seriously to the suggestions that we have to make, activate Parliamentary institutions like Standing Committees and be genuine in helping the states financially and otherwise,” the parties said in the statement.

They also demanded a direct cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month to families outside the Income tax bracket for 6 months, an immediate cash assistance of Rs 10,000 along with free ration and free transportation for migrant workers to their native places.

The BJP hit back at the Congress, saying that the party was playing “cynical” politics over the COVID-19 crisis as Sonia Gandhi and her “family” have “indulged in drama” at the time of a national catastrophe.

In a statement after the opposition meeting, BJP spokesperson and MP GVL Narsimha Rao said it is the Congress president and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who have “played cruel jokes and cynical politics on migrant workers.”

“They did nothing for migrant workers except the mother-daughter duo making some grand announcements. Except indulging in drama and petty politics at a time of national crisis, Sonia and her family did nothing to contribute to nation’s united fight against the pandemic,” Rao said.

“Never before have a principal opposition party indulged in such cynical politics and the Congress will pay a political price for playing negative politics,” the Rajya Sabha MP claimed.

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Domestic flights to resume operations, here’s what to keep in mind :: Lonely Planet India

Image courtesy: ©Fahroni/Shutterstock.com

As the world begins to accept its “new normal” as relaxations from the Covid-19 lockdown begin, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has taken the decision to resume flights from 25th May 2020. This news has come as a respite to many. Here are some “flying” guidelines that have been released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Follow the norms

Social distancing and minimum touch

Digital payments and use of authorized taxis

Baggage limitations – only one check-in bag and one cabin bag allowed

Do’s:

Ensure web check-in and obtain a boarding pass

Ensure wearing a mask before entering the terminal

Take all precautions during transit to airport, to prevent infection

Dont’s:

Passenger should not travel if he or she is staying in a containment zone

A passenger who has been tested positive for Covid-19 should not travel

For detailed information into the guidelines issued by the government, check here.

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Good news for tipplers in Mumbai, BMC allows home delivery of liquor

In good news to tipplers in Mumbai, the BMC has allowed home delivery of liquor via e-commerce platforms in the city as coronavirus-enforced lockdown guidelines have been relaxed by the municipal authorities.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued guidelines for sale of liquor in the city except in COVID-19 containment zones.

The sale will be limited to home delivery and over-the-counter sale of liquor will not be allowed yet, it said.

“E-commerce platforms may be utilised by the liquor shops permitted to do home delivery,” the BMC said in an order.

Sale of liquor was banned among other non-essential things as the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25. The lockdown was further extended thrice till May 31.

As the sale of liquor started in different parts of the country after the relaxation in guidelines on May 4, huge crowds were seen at liquor shops, including in Mumbai following which the civic body withdrew the relaxation.

While the online sale and home delivery of liquor started in various parts of the same was not permitted in Mumbai.

However, with the new order, tipplers in Mumbai will be able to enjoy drinks in the comfort of their homes.

Mumbai is the worst-affected city in the country with 34,107 positive cases and 1,027 deaths so far. On Friday alone, 1,751 new cases and 27 deaths were recorded in the state capital.

Maharashtra has so far recorded 44,582 COVID-19 cases and 1,517 deaths.

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Only Urgent Matters to be Heard as Delhi HC, District Courts Functioning Restricted Till May 31

File image of Delhi High Court. (Image: Getty Images)

File image of Delhi High Court. (Image: Getty Images)

The mentioning of urgent matters is being done through the web link which is available from 9 am to 10.30 am on all working days.

Restrictions on the functioning of the Delhi High Court and district courts will remain in place till May 31 in view of COVID-19 and only urgent matters will be heard.

Earlier the restrictions were in place till May 23.

The Administrative and General Supervision Committee of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice D N Patel, decided that restrictions would be in place till May 31 and that urgent matters would continue to be heard by video conferencing.

“…the functioning of the High Court of Delhi shall continue to remain suspended till May 31 on same terms,” the administrative order said.

The mentioning of urgent matters is being done through the web link which is available from 9 am to 10.30 am on all working days.

The order said all the cases listed in the high court, including before the registrars and joint registrars, from May 26 to 30 have been adjourned to corresponding dates between July 21 and July 25 respectively.

The matters listed in the district courts during this period will also be adjourned and the information will be uploaded on their website, the order said.

Till now, there were two division benches and 10 single benches to hear urgent matters through video conferencing.

To ensure more urgent matters are taken up, it has been decided that from Friday all the judges of the high court would sit everyday to take up important cases via videoconference.

The Delhi High Court and the lower courts together took up 20,726 urgent matters during the COVID-19 lockdown from March 24 to May 19.

There are presently seven division benches and 19 single-judge benches in the high court.

Earlier, the high court had on March 25 restricted its and district courts’ functioning till April 14. It was then extended to May 3, May 17 and subsequently till May 23.

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Always in touch, how Delhi took lead in home isolation

Written by Mallica Joshi
, Somya Lakhani
| New Delhi |

Published: May 22, 2020 2:06:31 am

The Delhi government is using services of a call centre to make calls to those under home isolation, and a team is sent to assess if the house is fit for isolation. (Representational Image)

A call each day to ask about symptoms, reminders to check body temperature regularly, detailed instructions on isolation, and government monitoring to ensure guidelines are followed — this is what the option for isolating at home means for Covid-19 patients, who are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Sidhartha Agarwal, a 22-year-old MBA student, tested positive for Covid-19 on May 4 and was placed in home isolation. The Central Delhi resident has no idea how he got the disease. “I had a slight fever and got tested. I got my reports on May 4 and the district administration contacted me a few days later. By then, I had already isolated myself in my room. The district health officer asked me about symptoms; since I only had a slight fever, I was asked to isolate at home,” he said.

Delhi has seen 11,659 Covid cases so far, of which 5,898 are active. While only 1,802 are admitted in hospitals, 2,739 have been advised home isolation. Another 630 are in Covid care centres.

For those under home quarantine, daily monitoring is key.

Agarwal’s sister also tested positive and is in isolation in a different room. Their mother has not contracted the infection and is their designated caregiver.

“District administration officers ask about my symptoms every day. I had a fever for a couple of days but nothing more than that. I was asked if there was a separate room in my house, with an attached toilet, where I could isolate myself. I am lucky that I had those facilities and was allowed to stay at home. After a couple of days, my sister also tested positive and she is also under home isolation. We get calls every day, asking us about our health. We have been assured that if we develop moderate or severe symptoms, we will be taken to the hospital,” he said.

A poster, which declares that a patient is in isolation, has been pasted on the door of the house. As per guidelines issued by the state and centre, patients are allowed to self isolate only if they have a separate room with an attached toilet. Utensils and clothes of patients have to be washed separately, and numbers of officers have to be given to the patient and the caregiver to reach out in case they need anything. No family member is allowed to go outside the house.

A Delhi government spokesperson said checks and monitoring are rigorous.

A 33-year-old nursing officer, posted at a Covid-19 ward of a government hospital who tested positive May 11, has received calls from an ICMR official, two dispensaries, Health Ministry helpline 1075, a control room set up by Delhi government in Dwarka Sector 10, and the civic body.

“I am under home-isolation as I am asymptomatic. I finished my Covid-19 ward duty on May 3, and returned home to my family of 10, including my 85-year-old grandmother and two nieces aged 5 and 8 years. I have been in isolation since,” said the Bijwasan resident, over the phone.

When she got her test results, she visited the government hospital and met the CMO and was advised home isolation. “In the form, I filled in my 29-year-old sister’s name as my primary caregiver. I have an attached bathroom with my room, and my sister brings in everything for me, including meals,” she said.

On May 11, she got a call from a 1075 helpline official, who inquired about how she is managing to isolate at home. “Then someone from a dispensary in Dwarka called too, then another dispensary also called. I get a call daily about my health update, and finally I told them that if I feel sick I will let them know. An ASHA worker also called. Once, an official also came over to check my temperature,” she said.

After a Covid-19 sticker was posted outside her house, the woman said her house and the area around it was sanitised: “I feel good there is a mechanism in place and I am being looked after. It’s a huge relief mentally.”

The Delhi government is using services of a call centre to make calls to those under home isolation, and a team is sent to assess if the house is fit for isolation.

“We are not relying only on calls made by the call centre but also on our own officers since there aren’t so many cases of home isolation right now. We had developed an app to track if patients are home. We also ask them to send us photos to ascertain they are home,” said South Delhi District Magistrate B M Mishra.

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Domestic air travel dropped from prohibited category during lockdown, passenger flights to resume on May 25

The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday dropped domestic air travel from the list of prohibited activities during the ongoing lockdown over COVID-19, as the government announced resumption of services from May 25.

An order to this effect was issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in his capacity as chairperson of the National Executive Committee under the National Disaster Management Act.

The services were suspended after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown from March 25 for 21 days. The lockdown was further extended on April 14, May 3 and May 17 till May 31.

“I hereby order the following amendment in the guidelines on lockdown measures, for strict implementation by ministries, departments of government of India, state, Union Territory governments and state/ Union Territory authorities. Amendment: In para 2 (i), ‘domestic air travel of passengers’ is deleted from the list of prohibited activities,” the order issued by Bhalla said.

The order said the detailed guidelines for the operation of airports and air travel of passengers will be issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Earlier on Wednesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said domestic passenger flight operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, two months after the services were shut due to coronavirus pandemic.

“Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, May 25, 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May,” Puri said on Twitter.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, he added.

The minister, however, did not say as to when international passenger flights would resume.

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