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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: New COVID-19 cases fall below 50,000 in Maharashtra for first time in 30 days

22:52 (IST)Coronavirus LATEST UpdatesPunjab govt asks Centre for more oxygen tankers”Amid growing demand, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appealed to the Centre for more oxygen tankers. The state currently has only 15 tankers which are not enough to handle the increasing demand,” the Punjab CMO was quoted as saying by The Times of India.22:42 (IST)Coronavirus LATEST…

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22:52 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Punjab govt asks Centre for more oxygen tankers

“Amid growing demand, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appealed to the Centre for more oxygen tankers. The state currently has only 15 tankers which are not enough to handle the increasing demand,” the Punjab CMO was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

22:42 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Thawarchand Gehlot’s daughter dies of COVID-19

Union minister Thawarchand Gehlot’s daughter Yogita Solanki dies of COVID-19 at private hospital in Indore, PTI quoted an official of medical facility as saying.

22:04 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

‘Request Centre to help Rajasthan so no untoward situation arises’: Ashoke Gehlot after Karnataka deaths

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot Monday appealed to the Centre to help the state with oxygen supplies to avoid any “untoward” situation, as he expressed condolences over the death of 24 patients at a Karnataka hospital due to alleged oxygen shortage.

His request to the Centre came amid an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases in his state, and after 24 patients, 23 of them Covid-infected, died in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar due to alleged oxygen shortage in the district hospital. Gehlot said the news of lack of oxygen and medicines coming from different parts of the country is quite disturbing.

In a statement in Jaipur, he said, “I am also constantly urging the Centre regarding Rajasthan that there is a shortage of oxygen in proportion to the number of coronavirus infected patients. We again request the Center to help Rajasthan so that no untoward situation arises as every person’s life is precious to us,” he said. 

21:50 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Puducherry governor extends lockdown till 10 May

 Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday announced that the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 will be extended till 10 May. The lockdown was to have ended today and has been extended further till 10 May.

She said only essential services would be permitted during the lockdown and appealed to the people to remain indoors and use masks even at home.

21:24 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

In a first in 30 days, daily cases fall below 50,000 in Maharashtra

Daily COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra dropped below 50,000 to 48,621 on Monday for the first time in the last 30 days, taking the tally to 47,71,022. With 567 more patients succumbing to the viral infection, the overall toll mounted to 70,851, the state health department said.

On 3 April, Maharashtra had reported 49,447 infections. On 1 and 2 April, 43,183 and 47,827 cases were added, respectively. The state had reported an average of 60,000 cases in most of April. Of the 567 fatalities, 283 had occurred in the last 48 hours.

Given the alarming surge in the cases, the state government had imposed lockdown-like curbs in the state on April 5 coupled with prohibitory orders and restrictions on the movement of people. The curbs were later extended till 15 May.

21:09 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Madhya Pradesh to begin vaccination from 5 May, says report

The Madhya Pradesh government is set to begin the third phase of inoculation for people between the ages of 18 to 45 from 5 May, The Indian Express reported.

“The government will administer 1.5 lakh doses at 1,480 centres between 5 to 15 May and it’ll be expanded as per availability of doses. Government has ordered 4.76 crore doses of Covishield and 52.25 lakh doses of Covaxin.  

20:57 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

BS Yediyurappa says opening green corridors for oxygen tankers

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that the state government is working on opening green corridors for the “seamless” movement of oxygen tankers, as several states face a severe shortage in medical oxygen.

On the numbers front, the state reported 44,438 new cases in last 24 hours.

20:52 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

EC defers elections in 2 assembly seats in Bengal, 1 in Odisha

Citing coronavirus restrictions, the Election Commission Monday deferred elections for two assembly seats in West Bengal and the by-election for a seat in Odisha, all of which were scheduled for 16 May. The assembly polls in Jangipur and Samserganj constituencies of West Bengal and the bypoll for Odisha’s Pipli seat were adjourned due to death of contesting candidates of recognised political parties.

The polling was then slated for 16 May.

“Commission after taking all material facts and inputs of chief electoral officer of West Bengal and CEO Odisha in consideration and taking note of lockdown and restrictions under Disaster Management Act, 2005…has decided to defer the scheduled poll…Fresh notification will be issued after assessing the pandemic situation,” the EC said in a statement. 

20:11 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Karnataka govt orders probe into deaths of 24 patients allegedly due to oxygen shortage

In yet another oxygen shortage-related hospital tragedy in the country in the recent days, 24 patients, 23 of them COVID-infected, died in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar allegedly due to oxygen shortage in the district hospital in the last 24 hours, with the government warning of stringent action against those found guilty.

The government ordered a probe into the matter and appointed senior IAS officer Shivayogi Kalasad as the inquiry officer.

The incident evoked a sharp response from the Congress, with party leader Rahul Gandhi questioning “how much more suffering before the ‘system’ wakes up.”

20:00 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Two nurses nabbed in Madhya Pradesh for illegally selling remdesivir doses

Two nurses and a medical shop owner were arrested on Monday in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas for allegedly trying to illegally sell remdesivir injections used in treating COVID-19 patients. Acting on a tip-off about black-marketing of the much so ught-after COVID-19 drug, the police caught them selling Remdesivir injections to a decoy customer, PTI reported.

They were nabbed while trying to sell a Remdesivir injection for Rs 27,000, much above its market price, Dewas Superintendent of Police (SP) Dr Shivdayal Singh told reporters.

19:37 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Delhi begins vaccination for people above 18; all slots booked for next 2 days

The Delhi government on Monday launched a mega COVID-19 inoculation exercise for people in the 18-44 age group, who comprise more than half of the city’s population, with all the 301 vaccination centres witnessing “100 percent turnout”. These 301 centres have been established in 76 schools in the city.

Around 92 lakh people are eligible for the jabs in the 18-44 age group. According to the 2011 census, Delhi’s population is 1.68 crore. Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said all the centres witnessed “100 percent turnout” on the first day. 

“All slots are booked for the next two days,” an official said. 

19:28 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Will set up 6,500 oxygen beds in prep for 3rd wave in Mumbai: Aaditya Thackeray

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Monday said that the state government is preparing for a third wave of COVID-19 by boosting medical infrastructure in the state.

“Since last year, our jumbo covid care centres also have units of covid positive dialysis, covid positive maternity care as well. As the virus mutates and targets different age groups, our response to it must actively mutate as well.

“Mumbai saw a massive spike last month and sustained it because of constant capacity increase in beds and facilities. We are now focussed on creating almost 6500 O2 beds and approximately 1500 more ICU/ HDU beds in the coming few days at the new jumbos coming up,” he said.

19:22 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Five COVID-19 undertrials flee from Chittorgarh hospital

Five Covid-19 positive undertrial prisoners getting treatment at the Chittorgarh District Hospital fled from the facility Monday, but two of them were nabbed soon afterward, officials said. The five were undergoing treatment at the facility after testing positive for coronavirus, they said. 

All of them managed to escape from the Centre during the day, Assistant Superintendent of Police Himmat Singh said. He said that two of them were nabbed soon after they escaped and others are being looked for. 

18:52 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Thirty Air India passengers who arrived in Rome test positive, says report

At least 30 people on board Air India’s Amritsar-Rome flight last Wednesday were found positive for COVID-19 on arrival, PTI quoted aviation industry sources as saying on Monday. At least two of the 30 people are flight crew members, they added.

All 242 people on board, including those found COVID-positive, have been put under quarantine by the Italian government, the sources said.

Last Thursday, hours before the landing of the Amritsar-Rome flight, the Italian government issued an order, stating that all passengers arriving from India would be put under quarantine for 10 days at a site decided by its officials.

18:41 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

‘Airlift oxygen or use trains, rely on other nations to stopgap’, Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee advises Centre

Pulitzer Prize-winning Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee on Monday put forth several points on India’s vaccine policy and also made recommendations to the Centre to boost the availibility of medical oxygen.

“Release data about oxygen supply chain problem and appoint a commission to solve it ASAP. Create field hospitals where oxygen sats can be checked and lower level Covid care (as above can be administered). Remember how during the Spanish flu pandemic, field hospitals were set up outside,” were among his recommendations.

18:25 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Delhi HC dismisses PIL on ‘negativity’ of COVID-19 news

The Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL seeking the framing of guidelines with regard to airing of news of sensitive nature, like reporting of mass scale deaths, people suffering, etc during the prevailing pandemic due to non-availability of resources.

The petitioner, advocate Lalit Valecha, had contended that such news reports lead to “spreading negativity, sense of insecurity towards life, alarm, injury, harm, suffering, damage, etc.”

Rubbishing the contention, the bench said news is both negative and positive and the petitioner was not aware of the correct facts. The court said it was a “wrong notion” in the petitioner’s mind that reporting of deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic was negative news.

“It is a negative idea in the petitioner’s mind,” the bench said and added that as long as the media was reporting correct facts, there cannot be any restrictions on them.

18:12 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Uttar Pradesh govt extends lockdown by two more days

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday decided to increase the duration of the weekend lockdown by 48 hours to cover Tuesday and Wednesday also. “The corona curfew from Friday 8 pm to Tuesday 7 am has been extended for 48 hours. Now it will continue till May 6 till 7 am,” Additional Chief Secretary, Information, Navneet Sehgal told PTI.

All shops and establishments will now remain closed till Thursday 7 am. This arrangement is for this week only, he said adding that decision has been taken for breaking the chain of coronavirus.

17:54 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Hospitals must use oxygen judiciously, says Piyush Goyal

Union minister Piyush Goyal said that the Centre is addressing obstacles in transporting medical oxygen to hospitals, and that hospitals should use the crucial resource “judiciously”.

“All hospitals should use oxygen judiciously as per guidelines of Health Ministry. There is no shortage of oxygen in the country and the issues in transport are being addressed. So there should be no black marketing or hoarding of oxygen cylinders.”

17:49 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

All accredited journalists included in list of frontline workers, says Punjab govt

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has decided to include all accredited and yellow card journalists in the state in the list of “COVID-19 Frontline Warriors”, Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to Punjab chief minister said.

“All Power Corporation employees in the state have also been brought into the ambit of frontline workers,” the statement added.

17:41 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

‘Enough oxygen available’, claims MHA at COVID-19 briefing

Amid a severe oxygen shortage in the country and especially in Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday stated that there was “enough oxygen available” in the country.

“There is enough oxygen available. The production of oxygen in India was 5,700 MT on 1 August, 2020, which has now increased to around 9,000 MT. We are also importing oxygen from abroad,” said Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs.

17:25 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

NEET exam to be postponed, medical interns to be deployed for COVID-19 duty

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has authorised key decisions to bolster the availability of doctors and other medical personnel to combat the second wave of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

They are:

NEET-PG exam to be postpone for at least 4 months.
Medical personnel completing 100 days of COVID-19 duty will be given priority in forthcoming regular govt recruitments.
Medical interns will be deployed in COVID-19 management duties under the supervision.
Final Year MBBS students can be utilized for tele-consultation and monitoring of mild COVID-19 cases under supervision.
BSc/GNM qualified nurses to be utilized in full-time Covid nursing duties under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses.  
Medical personnel completing 100 days of Covid duties will be given Prime Minister’s Distinguished Covid National Service Samman 

17:10 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

COVID-19 patients with excessive fatigue need hospitalisation, says Centre

The Union Health Ministry said that in addition to falling oxygen saturation in COVID-19 patients observing home isolation, excessive fatigue is also a sign that the patient needs hospitalisation.

Additionally, AIIMS Delhi director Randeep Guleria said, “People living in home isolation keep contacting their doctor. Saturation is decreasing to 93 or less, there are conditions like fainting, chest pain, then contact the doctor immediately.”

Guleria also flagged people using the CT-scan “excessively”. “There is no benefit of getting a CT if you have a mild case and your oxygen saturation is fine. One CT is equivalent to 300-400 XRays of chest. Risk of cancer in later life increases. If there is a doubt, get XRay first. Only if you have moderate case, then get CT scan and bio markers. Some people are getting CT scans every three days, there is more harm in this as you are exposing your body to radiation.”

17:02 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Centre provides state-wise numbers of active cases:

The Union Health Ministry said that 12 states have more than one lakh active cases, seven states have 50,000 to one lakh active cases, and 17 states have less than 50,000 active cases.

16:57 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Centre considering converting nitrogen production plants into oxygen plants

The Union Health Ministry on Monday said that the government is considering the feasibility of converting the nitrogen production plants into oxygen production plants. Hospitals in the country, especially in Delhi, have been grappling with a severe shortage of medical oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients in the second wave of the pandemic.

The government said that 14 such plants have been identified.

16:48 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

‘Not possible to ramp up vaccine production overnight’, says Adar Poonawala

The CEO of Serum Insittute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, shared a statement addressing the shortage of vaccine doses in India and said that it is “not possible to ramp up vaccine production overnight”.

16:32 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Nirmala Sitharaman says ‘no space for vaccine nationalism’

Stressing that there cannot be any vaccine nationalism, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam on Monday urged nations to share technologies on COVID vaccines amid the pandemic. She also pitched for examining Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Countries will have to be open about sharing vaccine-based technologies. The TRIPS agreement will have to be looked at in the context of the pandemic. There cannot be any more vaccine nationalism, countries will have to be flexible about it,” she said at the annual meet of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

16:08 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Bombay HC slams govt on using wood for cremations, tells it to boost LPG crematoriums

The Bombay High Court, which was hearing a PIL on the situation of COVID-19 and its handling in Maharashtra, instructed the Aurangabad Divisional Commissioner to rope in industrialists to boost the availability and use of LGP crematoriums. With Maharashtra one of the worst-hit states by COVID-19, the numbers of fatalities have shot up in the last month. 

“So we are back to our primitive ways of chopping trees. You are saying you are preparing wooden bricks, will that come from thin air? You are telling us that electric crematoriums are costly. But, you are destroying forests for the wood for funerals. Money can be earned but undoing the damage to nature will be difficult. 

“You should make an appeal to the five industrials sectors of Aurangabad to use CSR funds to set up LPG crematoriums,” the court said.

15:48 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

SpiceXpress airlifts 700 oxygen concentrators from Guangzhou to Delhi

SpiceXpress, the air cargo arm of SpiceJet, on Monday transported 700 oxygen concentrators from Guangzhou (China) to New Delhi amid acute shortage of medical oxygen in the country in the wake of massive spike in the number of Coronavirus infection cases pan-India. The airline has airlifted more than 4,400 oxygen concentrators from the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and China in the last two weeks, SpiceJet said in a release. 

The B737 freighter aircraft, carrying 700 oxygen concentrators, landed in Delhi at 10 am on Monday, it said.  SpiceXpress had on 24 April airlifted 800 oxygen concentrators followed by another consignment of 1,000 oxygen concentrators on 28 April from Hong Kong to Delhi. 

15:33 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Ten states account for over 73% of new COVID-19 cases: Centre

Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are among 10 states that account for 73.78 percent of the new 3,68,147 COVID-19 cases registered in a day, while thedaily positivity rate has increased to 21.19 percent, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 56,647. It is followed by Karnataka with 37,733 while Kerala reported 31,959 new cases, the ministry said. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are the other states on the list of 10.

India’s total active caseload has reached 34,13,642 and now comprises 17.13 percent of the country’s total infections. A net increase of 63,998 cases has been recorded in the total active caseload in a day.

15:25 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Won’t demoralise HCs by asking them not to question, can’t restrain media: SC

 
Batting for “free flow of dialogue” in courts, the Supreme Court Monday said it would neither restrain the media from reporting oral observations made during proceedings in public interest, nor demoralise high courts – “vital pillars of democracy” – by asking them to refrain from raising questions. The apex court said however that it’s order would take into account Election Commission’s submission that wanton charges levelled against it by the Madras High Court were unwarranted and would try to strike a balance between two Constitutional bodies.  It termed as too far-fetched the poll panel’s plea of restraining media from reporting remarks made in court proceedings.
 
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah reserved its order on the EC appeal against the Madras High Court’s “critical” remarks holding it responsible for surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and fastening responsibility on its officials with the murder charge.
 
PTI

15:14 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Karnataka reconstitutes COVID-19 task force

With an alarming surge in coronavirus cases and deaths in Karnataka, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday reconstituted the COVID-19 task force to
examine measures taken to curb the pandemic and create awareness among the public on its management    The four member task force will be headed by Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan.   “The reconstituted task force will examine measures taken to curb the pandemic and create awareness among the public on its management,: an official release said.
   

 Karnataka has been hit hard by the second wave of COVID-19, reporting over 35,000 cases daily, while active cases have breached the four lakh mark.

PTI
 

15:07 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Ten states account for over 73% of new COVID-19 cases, says health ministry

Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are among 10 states that account for 73.78 per cent of the new3,68,147 COVID-19 cases registered in a day, while thedaily positivity rate has increased to 21.19 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 56,647. It is followed by Karnataka with 37,733 while Kerala reported 31,959 new cases, the ministry said. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are the other states on the list of 10.

PTI

14:35 (IST)

HC directs Centre to respond to Delhi govt’s request for Army’s help to set up health facilities

The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Centre to take instructions on the communication by AAP government to the Union Defence Minister requesting help of the Army to set up COVID healt facilities with oxygenated and ICU beds to treat COVID-19 patients as well as supply cryogenic tanker for oxygen.  A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was informed by the Delhi government counsel that the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister has written a letter to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday with its request for Army’s help and it will take a day or two to fructify.
 
Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, has urged the Centre that it would be grateful if armed forces could run medical facilities for COVID-19 patients with 10,000 beds and also requested the armed forces to provide cryogenic tankers for oxygen supply to the national capital. Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre, sought time to get instructions and to inform the court.
 
PTI

14:27 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Andhra Pradesh announces partial curfew from 5 May

Andhra Pradesh imposes partial curfew in the state for 14 days starting Wednesday. (5 May), said reports. According to The Indian Express, the government decided to impose a curfew from noon till 6 am from  5 May, during a review meeting by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Shops and business establishments can only remain open from 6 am to 12 pm, after which only essential services will be allowed to operate, said the report.

14:18 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

HC seeks Delhi govt’s stand on PIL for capping price of HRCT test

A PIL urged the Delhi High Court on Monday to direct the Delhi government to cap the price of High Resolution Computerised Tomography (HRCT) which is used for detecting the presence and severity of COVID-19 infection in the lungs of patients. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its stand on the plea by Shivleen Pasricha, a lawyer, who has claimed that for detection of COVID-19 amongst suspected/ probable patients, the most widely recommended test is RT-PCR. 
 
“At present, the price for getting HRCT done in Delhi is somewhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,500. As such, regulation of price of the same has become the need of an hour. That in light of the present gruesome circumstances in Delhi, regulating the price of HRCT, becomes all imperative and necessary,” the petition has said.
 
HRCT is basically an imaging procedure that uses narrow beams of X-rays to create a high-resolution image of the patient’s lung anatomy, the plea has said. 
 
PTI

14:12 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Delhi HC seeks details of oxygen concentrators pending at Customs from Centre

Delhi HC asks the Centre how many oxygen concentrators are pending at Customs. Advocate Amit Mahajan appearing for the Centre, says it’s a dynamic number and everything is being cleared as fast as possible, reports Bar&Bench. When asked by the court whether there is any backlog, Mahajan says, “We can’t say because after one hour nothing may be pending.” The court says it is not satisfied and seeks to know the status as of of 12 pm today. According to LiveLaw, Mahajan says 40,000 concentrators are cleared as of 30 April. The bench notes that this is “neither here nor there” and seeks the details of pending concentrators. “People should not lose lives for this -that there are resources but they are pending clearance,” LiveLaw quotes the court as saying.

13:54 (IST)

Discussions on with Indian govt for expedited approval of COVID-19 vaccine: Pfizer

Global Pharma major Pfizer is discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country, the company’s Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday.  Earlier in April, Pfizer said that it had offered a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government immunisation programme in India and it remains committed to continuing engagement with the government to make the vaccine available in India.
 
“Pfizer is aware that access to vaccines is critical to ending this pandemic. Unfortunately, our vaccine is not registered in India although our application was submitted months ago. We are currently discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make our Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country,” Bourla said in a mail sent to Pfizer India employees that he has shared on his LinkedIn post.
PTI

13:46 (IST)

Manish Sisodia writes to Rajnath Singh, seeks Army’s help

Delhi has sought the help of the Army to set up, operationalise and run some Covid-19 health facilities with about 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds, said reports. In a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Sisodia also requested the defence ministry to make arrangement for the transportation of medical oxygen to the facilities to be set up and said it would be of great help from the Armed Forces if the ministry could provide cyryongenic tankers for transporting liquid medical oxygen.

13:17 (IST)

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Accredited journalists in Madhya Pradesh to be declared as frontline workers, says CM

 
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said all accredited journalists in the state will be considered as frontline workers.”Our journalist friends are carrying out their duty while putting their lives in danger during this COVID time. Therefore in Madhya Pradesh we have decided to declare all accredited journalists as frontline workers. They will be looked after,” Chouhan said. 

13:05 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Journalist shares struggle faced while procuring oxygen

Deputy Asia Editor of The Independent Rituparna Chatterjee  on Twitter shared her experience of the process of procuring oxygen cylinders in the Delhi-NCR region. “Hospitals have put onus of arranging oxygen on patients. Critical patients are on 24 hour O2 support. A 40-50 litre cylinder will last the night. But refill is a nightmare. Plants generally don’t refill individual cylinders, they do for hospitals. And hospitals won’t take your private cylinder or if they do there’s a chance of them misplacing it. 10 litre cylinders are sold for 25,000-35,000. Big ones for 60,000-80,000. Big cylinder refill takes 24 hours (minimum),” she said in a twitter thread. 

“Faridabad plants insist on local id cards. Black marketeers insist you buy cylinder instead of refill. Which means if a patient is on O2, like my mother is, everyday you are being pressured to buy a new cylinder instead of refilling. Where do you store? How much can you spend?,” she said. She further added that many gas filling agencies are frauds and recounted her experience of losing Rs 12,000 while trying to get a refill. Chatterjee also mentioned that volunteer services ae unable to cater to the same party everyday and hence people have to find newer places to get oxygen cylinders refilled everyday. “Sorry for this dismal thread, but in the past few days, I saw two persons die in front of my eyes at the covid ward. The son of one and I spent nights outside our respective hospital rooms discussing the situation, swapping leads, helping each other out, sharing. On the last day he ran around the ward begging for a spare cylinder.”
 
“I’m filled with rage despair and hopelessness.,” she said

12:38 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Plea in Delhi HC seeks management of Delhi oxygen stocks by Army

The Delhi High Court is hearing a plea seeking directions to hand over the management of oxygen stocks in the national capital to the Army to ensure an uninterrupted supply to hospitals.

A Delhi hospital said the court that its owners cannot manage the crisis from Saudi Arabia and the hospital was ready to hand over its keys to the district magistrate. “Our owners are from Saudi Arabia, so they’re not able to manage things from there. But we are ready to hand over our keys to the District Magistrate. We have 77 beds, ventilators, everything. It can be taken over by the government,” the counsel represting Dwarka’s Rockland Hospital said.

12:32 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

India records 3,68,147 new cases in single day

The daily COVID-19 cases in India showed a slight dip with 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, taking the total tally of cases to 1,99,25,604, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The toll increased to 2,18,959 with 3,417 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. While the country recorded 4,01,993 new cases on 1 May, it had registered 3,92,488 fresh cases on 2 May.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1, 62,93,003, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.10 percent, the data stated.   

12:30 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

IPL match rescheduled after two positive reports

The IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad has been rescheduled after two members of the KKR contingent tested positive for COVID-19, a BCCI source told PTI. The match will be played some time later during the tournament, which is scheduled to conclude on 30 May.

“Two members of the contingent have tested positive for COVID but we are waiting for their second test reports to avoid the false positive scenario that happened with Anrich Nortje of Delhi Capitals earlier,” the source said on conditions of anonymity.

12:24 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Pfizer donates medicines worth US $70 million to India

Pfizer is sending its medicines worth US $70 million (over Rs 510 crore), from its distribution centres in the US, Europe and Asia, that have been identified as part of India’s COVID-19 treatment protocol, the company’s Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said.

“We are deeply concerned by the critical COVID-19 situation in India, and our hearts go out to you, your loved ones and all the people of India,” he said in a mail sent to Pfizer India employees that he has shared on his linked.in post. “We are committed to being a partner in India”s fight against this disease and are quickly working to mobilise the largest humanitarian relief effort in our company”s history,” Bourla said.

12:18 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

24 patients die due to oxygen shortage, other reasons in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar

24 patients, including COVID-19 patients, died at the Chamarajanagar District Hospital due to oxygen shortage and others reasons in last 24 hours, ANI reported.

11:53 (IST)

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High courts are vital pillars of democracy: SC on EC plea against Madras HC’s remarks

The Supreme Court said it does not want to demoralise high courts as they are vital pillars of democracy, and observed that critical remarks like those made by the Madras High Court against the Election Commission are often made in an open dialogue between the bar and bench.

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud made the observation while hearing a plea filed by the Election Commission (EC) against some critical observations made by the Madras High Court, holding the poll panel responsible for a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The top court said seeking relief that media should not report on observations is ”too far fetched” and it should be able to report everything to create accountability: It said that the media is an important and powerful watchdog in democracy and cannot be stopped from reporting discussions in higher courts.

The Election Commission had moved the top court on Saturday against some critical observations made by the Madras High Court. The high court had observed that EC officials concerned should probably be tried on murder charges for their failure to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the election process in four states and a Union Territory.

10:28 (IST)

Coronavirus updates

Maharashtra, Delhi report most fatalities

The 3,417 new fatalities include 669 from Maharashtra, 407 from Delhi, 288 from Uttar Pradesh, 217 from Karnataka, 199 from Chhattisgarh, 159 from Rajasthan, 157 from Punjab, 153 each from Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, 145 from Haryana and 115 from Jharkhand.

10:27 (IST)

Coronavirus updates

Active cases now at 17.13% of total infections

Active cases have increased to 34,13,642 comprising 17.13 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 81.77 percent.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Daily COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra dropped below 50,000 to 48,621 on Monday for the first time in the last 30 days, taking the tally to 47,71,022. With 567 more patients succumbing to the viral infection, the overall toll mounted to 70,851, the state health department said.

On 3 April, Maharashtra had reported 49,447 infections. On 1 and 2 April, 43,183 and 47,827 cases were added, respectively. The state had reported an average of 60,000 cases in most of April. Of the 567 fatalities, 283 had occurred in the last 48 hours.

Given the alarming surge in the cases, the state government had imposed lockdown-like curbs in the state on April 5 coupled with prohibitory orders and restrictions on the movement of people. The curbs were later extended till 15 May.

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray on Monday said that the state government is preparing for a third wave of COVID-19 by boosting medical infrastructure in the state.

He said that the govt is considering setting up pediatric COVID-19 care wards and creches for children of COVID-19 positive parents

Union minister Piyush Goyal said that the Centre is addressing obstacles in transporting medical oxygen to hospitals, and that hospitals should use the crucial resource “judiciously”.

“All hospitals should use oxygen judiciously as per guidelines of Health Ministry. There is no shortage of oxygen in the country and the issues in transport are being addressed. So there should be no black marketing or hoarding of oxygen cylinders.”

The Union Health Ministry said that in addition to falling oxygen saturation in COVID-19 patients observing home isolation, excessive fatigue is also a sign that the patient needs hospitalisation.

Additionally, AIIMS Delhi director Randeep Guleria said, “People living in home isolation keep contacting their doctor. Saturation is decreasing to 93 or less, there are conditions like fainting, chest pain, then contact the doctor immediately.”

Adar Poonawala, who is the CEO of Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, shared a statement addressing the shortage of vaccine doses in India and said that it is “not possible to ramp up vaccine production overnight”.

The Bombay High Court, which was hearing a PIL on the situation of COVID-19 and its handling in Maharashtra, instructed the Aurangabad Divisional Commissioner to rope in industrialists to boost the availability and use of LGP crematoriums. With Maharashtra one of the worst-hit states by COVID-19, the numbers of fatalities have shot up in the last month.

“So we are back to our primitive ways of chopping trees. You are saying you are preparing wooden bricks, will that come from thin air? You are telling us that electric crematoriums are costly. But, you are destroying forests for the wood for funerals. Money can be earned but undoing the damage to nature will be difficult.

“You should make an appeal to the five industrials sectors of Aurangabad to use CSR funds to set up LPG crematoriums,” the court said.

Global Pharma major Pfizer is discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country, the company’s Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday. Earlier in April, Pfizer said that it had offered a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government immunisation programme in India and it remains committed to continuing engagement with the government to make the vaccine available in India.

“Pfizer is aware that access to vaccines is critical to ending this pandemic. Unfortunately, our vaccine is not registered in India although our application was submitted months ago. We are currently discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make our Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country,” Bourla said in a mail sent to Pfizer India employees that he has shared on his LinkedIn post.

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Centre to take instructions on the communication by AAP government to the Union Defence Minister requesting help of the Army to set up COVID health facilities with oxygenated and ICU beds to treat COVID-19 patients as well as supply cryogenic tanker for oxygen.

 Delhi has sought the help of the Army to set up, operationalise and run some Covid-19 health facilities with about 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1,000 ICU beds, said reports. In a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Sisodia also requested the defence ministry to make arrangement for the transportation of medical oxygen to the facilities to be set up.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said all accredited journalists in the state will be considered as frontline workers.

The Delhi High Court is hearing a plea seeking directions to hand over the management of oxygen stocks in the national capital to the Army to ensure an uninterrupted supply to hospitals.

The daily COVID-19 cases in India showed a slight dip with 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, taking the total tally of cases to 1,99,25,604, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The death toll increased to 2,18,959 with 3,417 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

While the country recorded 4,01,993 new cases on May 1, it had registered 3,92,488 fresh cases on May 2.

Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 34,13,642 comprising 17.13 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 81.77 per cent.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1, 62,93,003, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.10 per cent, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 1.50 crore on April 19.

According to the ICMR, 29,16,47,037 samples have been tested up to May 2 with 15,04,698 samples being tested on Sunday.

The 3,417 new fatalities include 669 from Maharashtra, 407 from Delhi, 288 from Uttar Pradesh, 217 from Karnataka, 199 from Chhattisgarh, 159 from Rajasthan, 157 from Punjab, 153 each from Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, 145 from Haryana and 115 from Jharkhand.

A total of 2,18,959 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 70,284 from Maharashtra, 16,966 from Delhi, 16,011 from Karnataka, 14,346 from Tamil Nadu, 13,162 from Uttar Pradesh, 11,539 from West Bengal, 9,317 from Punjab and 9,009 from Chhattisgarh.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

With inputs from PTI


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