Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Maharashtra health department on Thursday said that 27 new coronavirus deaths and 583 new cases were reported in the state, taking the total number of cases 10,498.

The Jammu and Kashmir administrative council on Thursday approved Rs 350 crore relief package for eight categories of people affected due to COVID-19 lockdown. Rs 1,000 will be given to 1.8 lakh construction workers for three months. One month’s relief has already been given.

The BMC said that 25 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Mumbai’s Dharavi on Thursday. The total number of cases in Dharavi is now 369, toll is at 18.

The MHA instructed state governemnts to ensure free movement of trucks/goods carriers, including empty trucks.

“Local authorities must not insist on separate passes at inter-state borders across the country. This is essential to maintain the supply chain of goods and services in the country,” the statement said.

With 161 new coronavirus cases reported in Tamil Nadu in the last 24 hours, the state recorded the highest single-day jump in the tally of cases. The total number of cases is now 2,323. Chennai has the most number of COVID-19 cases, with 906 infections, followed by Coimbatore with 141.

The Union health ministry said that 1,823 new coronavirus cases and 67 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, across the country.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 33,610, including 24,162 active cases, 8,373 cured, discharged, migrated and 1,075 deaths.

The Union health ministry on Thursday said that the coronavirus doubling rate of cases in India, which was 3.4 days before the lockdown, has improved to 11 days.

Health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that 16 states, had performed better than national average.

11-20 days: Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab,

20-40 days: Karnataka, Ladakh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Kerala,

Above 40 days: Assam, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh

The Bihar health minister on Thursday said that the government had conducted a door-to-door drive to screen people for COVID-19 in some districts that reported relatively higher number of cases. The door-to-door screening led to identification of more cases in those districts.

As many as 86 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Rajasthan on Thursday. Of the fresh cases, 59 were reported in Jodhpur and 14 in Jaipur.

Four infections were detected in Ajmer, three in Chittorgarh, two in Tonk and a case each in Alwar, Baran, Dholpur and Kota districts, the Health Department official said.

The state now has 2,524 total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, of which 592 have been discharged from hospitals. There are 1,662 active cases.

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that four more people tested COVID-19 positive in the state and the cases were reported in Bongaigaon district.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tweeted that the government was making arrangements to bring back stranded students in Kota, Rajasthan to their hometowns.

As many as 22 positive COVID-19 cases have been detected on Thursday morning in Karnataka taking the total number of cases to 557. The figure includes 21 deaths and one non-COVID death and 223 discharged persons.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has donated a $100,000 prize she won from a Danish foundation to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for use against the COVID-19 pandemic, the world body said Thursday.

“Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child rights crisis,” Thunberg, 17, was quoted as saying in the UNICEF statement.

Nearly 20,000 migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh stranded in other states due to the lockdown imposed in view of the novel coronavirus have been brought back to their native districts so far, according to All India Radio News.

Over 6.5 lakh migrant labourers, a majority of them from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are stranded in various parts of Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai and Pune.

According to the state administration, by the end of day an order will be issued on detailed screening of the workers before they are put on buses, which will then ply to their respective states.

The number of coronavirus cases in Nashik district of Maharashtra has gone up to 276 as 71 more people have tested positive for the disease, an official from the district administration said on Thursday.

Most of the new cases are from the district’s Malegaon town, he said. The new patients include six police personnel and three children – aged three months, 5 years and 11 years.

71 new positive cases were reported in Andhra Pradesh in the last 24 hours. The total number of COVID19 cases in the state stands at 1403, including 1051 active cases, 31 deaths and 321 discharges. No death reported in the last 24 hours, according to the latest media bulletin by the government.

The Uttar Pradesh police has ordered over 10,000 personal protective equipments and asked cops above the age of 55 years with a health history to stay off the frontline duty after 28 of them tested positive.

With three more people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Jajpur district, the overall count in Odisha climbed to 128 on Thursday, PTI quoted officials as saying.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued an advisory to chart out academic calendar for universities and conduct of exams in view of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, Bar and Bench reported.

These guidelines concern aspects such as the academic calendar, admissions, online teaching etc. and are intended to be flexibly adopted by Universities in a transparent manner to avoid academic loss during the pandemic.

The death rate in India due to hunger will be more than from the COVID-19 pandemic if the lockdown continued to be in place, said Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. He further said that the novel coronavirus must be accepted as the new normal and the return-to-work of able-bodied must be facilitated while protecting the most vulnerable.

“What is important for us to understand is that India cannot continue in this situation for too long. Because at some point of time, deaths due to hunger will far outweigh deaths due to coronavirus,” he told business leaders at a webinar on Wednesday.

We need to be cleverer in lifting lockdown; need to open up in measured way as India does not have capacity to feed people for long, said Raghuram Rajan during the interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.

India needs Rs 65,000 crore to help the poor during the novel coronavirus crisis, said former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday.

A second or third lockdown will be devastating for the Indian economy, said former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.

“Our fiscal resources are restricted but, it is pivotal to reopen economic activities,” said Rajan

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will on Thursday initiate his series of dialogues with experts on economy and health, with the first one being with former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Gandhi will be in conversation with Mr Rajan in the first such dialogue and the same will be aired on social media from Thursday morning.

India registered a record jump of 71 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, taking the toll from the novel coronavirus past 1,000. The number of confirmed cases also recorded a growth of 1,813 new infections, pushing the total to 31,787.

Meanwhile, the Centre allowed migrant workers, students and others stranded in different parts of the country to begin their journey homewards provided certain norms and conditions were followed.

The development comes after some states including Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh this week began bringing back students and labourers stuck outside the states.

India recorded 71 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing the toll past 1,000. PTI

1,813 new cases, 71 deaths recorded in 24 hours

According to the 5 pm update issued by the Union health ministry, India now has 31,787 coronavirus positive cases with 1,813 new patients confirmed in the past 24 hours.

The total number of cases include 111 foreign nationals.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases stand at 22,982, 7,796 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.

“Thus, around 24.52 percent of the patients have recovered so far,” PTI quoted a health ministry official  as saying.

The highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 9,318, followed by Gujarat at 3,774, Delhi at 3,314, Madhya Pradesh at 2,561, Rajasthan at 2,364, Uttar Pradesh at 2,115 and Tamil Nadu at 2,058.

The ministry in its updated chart said that “repeat case from Betul district (was) removed” from Madhya Pradesh.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,332 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,012 in Telangana.  The number of cases has risen to 725 in West Bengal, 565 in Jammu and Kashmir, 532 in Karnataka, 486 in Kerala, 383 in Bihar and 322 in Punjab.

Maharashtra and Gujarat account for most deaths

According to the ministry, 71 persons also succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, the highest rise in fatalities so far in a single day, taking the toll due to COVID-19 to 1,008.

Of the 71 deaths reported since Tuesday evening, 31 fatalities were from Maharashtra, 19 from Gujarat, six from Madhya Pradesh, five each from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, two from West Bengal and one each from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

Of the 1,008 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 400 fatalities, followed by Gujarat at 181, Madhya Pradesh at 119, Delhi at 54, Rajasthan at 51, Uttar Pradesh at 36 and Andhra Pradesh at 31.

However, a PTI tally put the countrywide toll at 1,064 and case count at 32,657 till 9 pm on Wednesday, while 8,091 have been cured of the infection.

The Gujarat health department said that 308 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the state in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 4,082, including 527 cured/ discharged and 197 deaths.

Tamil Nadu reported more than a 100 cases for the second consecutive day, pushing the state total to 2,162, said the state health department. Four children, aged between two and six, were among the newly infected.

In Maharashtra, Mumbai’s Dharavi area reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the overall tally to 344. Dharavi, considered as the biggest slum in Asia, has so far reported 18 deaths.

In the National Capital, the new confirmed cases included 11 family members of an LNJP Hospital dietician, who had earlier tested positive. However, none of the hospital employees, who came in contact with the dietician, have tested positive.

Punjab extends curfew till 17 May

Punjab, which has reported 375 cases and 19 deaths, announced extension of the lockdown in the state by two weeks after 3 May, though some relaxations have been given in areas that do not fall under the containment or red zones. However, containment zones will continue to remain under total lockdown, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said.

Chief Minister @capt_amarinder Singh announces extension of curfew/lockdown in #Punjab till May 17, with limited lifting of restrictions in non containment & non red zones beginning tomorrow. #PunjabFightsCorona #coronavirus #lockdown

— CMO Punjab (@CMOPb) April 29, 2020

In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said experts and doctors are of the opinion that the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 should continue in the state till the end of May.

She, however, also announced some relaxations, including opening of standalone shops in green zones and non-containment zones with all precautionary and social distancing measures.

The Tamil Nadu government announced that the four-day total shutdown in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore Corporation limits ending on Wednesday will not be extended, even as Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the contagion is “easily” spreading in Chennai due to its large population. He, however, observed that the spread of COVID-19 in the rest of the state is largely under control and asked district collectors to work on a “war footing” towards resumption of normalcy.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has already announced extension of the lockdown in his state till 7 May without any relaxation.

During his last interaction with chief ministers on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told them that the economy would need to be given importance too while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

MHA issues guidelines to bring back migrants workers, students stranded in other states

Days after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments undertook special initiatives to bring back migrant workers and students, the the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday passed an order to allow inter-state movement of migrants and students to reach their respective destinations, subject to certain conditions.

The order will also apply to pilgrims, tourists, students and other people stranded at different places.

In the order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said buses shall be used for transport of such groups of stranded people and these vehicles will be sanitised and will have to follow safe social distancing norms in seating.

Migrant workers from Balaghat (MP) carry their belongings as they walk towards their native places. PTI

Listing the conditions, the ministry said that all states and Union Territories should designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons to their respective destinations. In case of movement beyond states or UTs, the sending and receiving states will need to consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by road.

These people would be screened and only those found asymptomatic would be allowed to proceed. On arrival at their destination, they would be assessed by local health authorities and kept in home or institutional quarantine, as required by the assessment, the order said.

In Maharashtra, home minister Anil Deshmukh said that his government is in talks with chief ministers of other states over facilitating the return of migrant workers to their native places in a planned manner.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said he is in touch with other state governments on the Home Ministry order and told migrant workers to stay put till he informs them about the final decision in one or two days.

Mumbai and Delhi are among major urban centres where a large number of workers from other states are stranded and have been demanding transport arrangements be made for them to go back to their native places.

Some states are said to be reluctant in allowing return of their natives from other places due to fears of infection.

New lockdown guidelines to come into force from 4 May

The MHA, in a review meet, also observed that tremendous gains had been made due to the lockdown and stressed that the lockdown guidelines need to be followed strictly till 3 May.

The ministry’s spokesperson said that the new lockdown guidelines shall come into force from 4 May, under which “considerable relaxations” shall be given to many districts. “Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come,” said the ministry.

New guidelines to fight #COVID19 will come into effect from 4th May, which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come.#coronavirus update#StayHomeStaySafe@PMOIndia @HMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA

— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) April 29, 2020

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said of the total active COVID-19 cases in the country, only 0.33 percent patients are on ventilators, 1.5 percent are on oxygen support and 2.34 percent are in ICU.

“Since the last three days, the doubling rate (of coronavirus cases) is 11.3 days in the country. Although the global mortality rate is around 7 percent, India has a mortality rate of around 3 percent, while around 86 percent deaths are of persons with co-morbidity,” said Vardhan.

On Wednesday, the Central government also made it mandatory for its 48.34 lakh employees to download the ‘Aarogya Setu’ mobile app immediately and report to office only when it shows “safe” status for commuting. The app, developed by the government, helps people assess themselves on the risk of them contracting the  infection.

Drop in number of infection-free green zones

Earlier in the day, official sources told PTI that the number of COVID-19 hotspot districts in India has come down to 129 from 170 a fortnight ago, but in the same period the number of infection-free districts or green zones too decreased from 325 to 307.

During this time, the number of non-hotspot districts, also known as orange zones, increased from 207 to 297, they said.

The Centre had on 15 April classified districts into three categories. Those with high load of COVID-19 cases or which have a high growth rate of the disease are marked as hotspots or red zones, while those with considerably fewer cases of the respiratory infection fall in orange zone or non-hotspots. Districts with no COVID-19 cases are categorised as green zones.

However, a red zone or orange zone district can be demarcated as green zone if no new coronavirus case is reported from those places for 28 and 14 days, respectively.

UGC announces timeline for new academic session

The University Grants Commission (UGC), in the meantime, said that the new academic session for freshers will begin in universities from September and for already enrolled students in August.

It also advised universities to follow a six-day week pattern and devise proforma to record travel or stay history of staff members and students during the lockdown period.

Global count climbs to 31,42,942

Ever since its emergence in China last December, 31,42,942 persons have tested positive for the deadly virus infection worldwide while the 2,18,649 persons have died due to the disease, according to John Hopkins University data.

The US, which is among the worst hit globally with 1,015,289 cases, reported that its economy shrank at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the last quarter, triggering a recession that will end the country’s longest ever expansion period.

Meanwhile, China which had begun to emerge from under the shadows of the infection, said that it will hold its annual parliament session from 22 May. Beijing, which recorded 593 coronavirus cases and nine deaths on Wednesday, closed the COVID-19 special hospital after clearing all the cases.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Apr 30, 2020 23:46:40 IST

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