Number of Covid-19 cases cross 6,000, death toll 206
The death toll due to coronavirus rose to 206 and the number of cases in the country climbed to 6,761 on Friday, a record spike of 896 cases and 37 deaths in 24 hours since Thursday evening, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a video conference with chief ministers on Saturday at 11am. The meeting is likely to deliberate on the next course action given that the 21-day lockdown will come to an end on April 14.
With most state governments preferring an extension of the lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems the Centre is veering around to such a decision. But this time there are likely to be many changes. Interstate movement will remain restricted, except for essential services. Schools, colleges and religious institutions are likely to stay closed.
Given the massive economic fallout of the prolonged shutdown, some sector specific relaxation is likely to be allowed, sources say, with social distancing norms in place.
While the number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 6,039, as many as 515 people have been cured and discharged, and one had migrated, it said. The total number of cases include 71 foreign nationals.
Thirty-seven deaths have been reported since Thursday evening, of which 25 were from Maharashtra, four from Delhi, three from Punjab, two from Andhra Pradesh, and one each from Gujarat, Karnataka and Jharkhand.
Of the total 206 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 97 fatalities, followed by Gujarat at 17, Madhya Pradesh at 16 and Delhi at 13. Punjab registered 11 deaths while Tamil Nadu has reported eight fatalities and Telengana seven. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have reported six deaths each while five people have lost their lives in West Bengal.
Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh have reported four fatalities each while Haryana and Rajasthan have recorded three deaths each. Two deaths have been reported from Kerala. Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand reported one fatality each, according to the health ministry data. However, a PTI tally of figures reported by various states as on Friday showed at least 7,049 cases and 236 deaths. There has been a lag in the Union Health Ministry figures, compared to the number of cases announced by different states, which officials attribute to procedural delays in assigning the cases to individual states.
According to the ministry's data updated in the evening, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 1,364, followed by Delhi at 898 and Tamil Nadu at 834. COVID-19 cases have gone up to 473 in Telengana and 463 in Rajasthan. Uttar Pradesh has 431 cases so far followed by Andhra Pradesh at 363 and Kerala at 357. The number of the novel coronavirus infection cases has risen to 259 in Madhya Pradesh, 241 in Gujarat, 197 in Karnataka, 184 in Jammu and Kashmir and 169 in Haryana. Punjab has 132 COVID-19 patients so far while West Bengal has 116 cases. Bihar has reported 60 cases while Odisha has 44 coronavirus cases.
Thirty-five people were infected with the virus in Uttarakhand while Assam has 29 patients followed by Himachal Pradesh with 28 cases. Chandigarh has 18 cases while Ladakh has 15. Jharkhand has 13 coronavirus positive patients so far. Eleven cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands while 10 were reported from Chhattisgarh. Goa has reported seven COVID-19 infections, followed by Puducherry at five, Manipur at two while Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh have reported one case each. ”State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation,” the ministry said on its website.
Paswan announces Covid-19 insurance cover for FCI officials and labourers
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday announced a life insurance cover of up to Rs 35 lakh per person to over 1 lakh FCI officials and labourers in case they succumb to Covid-19 after six months of performing duty from the day of lockdown on March 24.
State-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) is the Centre's nodal agency that is engaged in procurement of foodgrains at a minimum support price (MSP) directly from farmers and distributes the same at a subsidised rate to over 81 crore ration card holders in the country.
Currently, there is a provision to provide compensation to family members of FCI officials in case of death due to terrorist attack, bomb blast, mob violence and natural disasters. However, regular and contractual labourers are not included.
'It has been decided to provide Jeevan Bima Surakha (life insurance cover) to over 1 lakh FCI officials, including 80,000 labourers, working in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis,' Paswan said in a statement.
Punjab extends lockdown till April 30
The Punjab government on Friday announced to extend the coronavirus lockdown till April 30, becoming the second state after Odisha to do so.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers here. The state has seen a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the past few days, pushing the total count to 132 so far with 11 deaths.
Mobile ATMs in Noida
ICICI Bank on Friday announced that it will deploy two mobile ATM vans in Noida and other districts of Uttar Pradesh from next week to bring key banking services to the doorsteps of people amid the coronavirus outbreak.
These vans will be stationed from 10.00am to 7.00pm at the areas quarantined by the authorities, a press release issued on behalf of the bank said.
Apart from cash withdrawals, key services which can be availed by customers are transfer of funds to registered payees, change of PIN, recharge of pre-paid mobiles, fixed deposits, cardless cash withdrawals among others, the statement added.
#IndiaFightsCorona:— PIB in Jharkhand #StayHome #StaySafe (@RanchiPIB) April 9, 2020
Here's kids-guide to learn 'A to Z' of how to avoid the spread of #COVID19
The only way out to avoid #CORONA- 'Learn to Avoid'@PMOIndia@naqvimukhtar@MundaArjun
Image via @DC_Ranchi pic.twitter.com/2LjSEPKQZb
A to Z of the fight against Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic seems to have tapped the creative side of several individuals, including that of Ranchi deputy commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray, who has compiled an alphabetical run-down to create awareness on Covid-19.
Taking to Twitter, Ray shared the A to Z of how to contain the spread of a coronavirus. 'Be a kid, Be a learner... There is only way out to avoid corona Learn to Avoid,' Ray tweeted.
Avoid crowd, Beware of fake news, Clean your hands, Do not go out, Empty the streets, the list compiled by him suggested.
The online awareness campaign, amid the spurt in Covid-19 cases across the country, has been retweeted and liked by hundreds of netizens.
BMC asks private hospital to quarantine its nurses
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday directed a private hospital to quarantine all its nurses and stop new admissions after two of its nurses tested positive for coronavirus.
A senior BMC official said two nurses from Sushrusha Hospital in Dadar, aged 27 and 42, have tested positive for coronavirus.
Following this, the BMC, as a preventive step, asked the private hospital to quarantine all its 28 nurses at the medical facility itself and stop new admissions, he said.
'We have advised them to test all the nurses at their own cost,' said the officer.
Over 30 booked for stepping out without masks in Delhi
Over 30 people have been booked for stepping out of their houses without wearing masks to guard themselves against coronavirus in northwest Delhi, police said on Friday.
According to a senior police officer, total 32 people were booked after they were found without masks in different areas of the northwest district.
Face masks have become mandatory for people stepping out of their homes in Delhi.
On Thursday, 190 cases were registered and 3,954 people detained in Delhi for violating government orders during the coronavirus lockdown.
Over 4.8 lakh daily wagers get Rs 1,000 financial assistance from UP govt
The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday transferred Rs 1,000 each to the bank accounts of 4,81,755 daily wagers, including street vendors and rickshaw pullers, as maintenance allowance for the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The beneficiaries of this relief measure have been identified by the state urban development department, according to an official release.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown was imposed from March 25 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Over Rs 48 crore was transferred directly to the bank accounts by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from his official 5 Kalidas Marg residence here, it said.
Street vendors, auto drivers, rickshaw pullers, e-rickshaw drivers and porters working at agricultural wholesale markets mandis' are among the beneficiaries, the release said.
Over 400 placed under quarantine in Sisauli in UP
Over 400 people have been placed under quarantine in their homes in the Sisauli area of the district after they attended the 'Teravih' (13th day) of a deceased where the husband of a coronavirus positive woman was also present, officials said on Friday.
The district authorities have put up quarantine notices outside the residences of over 400 people, including Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait, asking them to stay indoors.
The decision was taken after a woman from Sisauli tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the officials said.
The woman's husband, along with over 400 people, had attended the 'Teravih' of a deceased on Monday, they said.
50-year-old dies in MP
A 50-year-old newspaper agent died of COVID-19 infection at Hatpipalya town in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district, a health official said on Friday.
This is the first coronavirus casualty in the district, which has two more positive patients, he added.
The deceased, who worked as an agent for a Hindi daily and as a journalist in small towns, had tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday night, the official said.
He was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Dewas town, where he succumbed to the infection on Thursday, the official said.
The victim had suffered from a fever three to four days ago, and was referred to Dewas District Hospital, from where he was shifted to a quarantine facility at a private hospital, the official said.
40 booked for gathering at mosque in MP
A case was registered against 40 men for allegedly violating the COVID-19 lockdown, by gathering at a mosque in Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara district, police said on Friday.
At least 40 people, including the sarpanch of Khairikhurd village, were found offering namaz at a mosque at the village in Chourai tehsil, 38 km from the district headquarters, on Thursday night, inspector Mukesh Dwivedi said.
A police patrol party got an alert about a gathering at the mosque amid section 144 (banning assembly of five persons or above) of Criminal Procedure Code imposed in the area, he said.
PM recalls courage and righteousness of Jesus Christ on Good Friday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Jesus Christ on Good Friday, saying he devoted his life to serve others.
'Lord Christ devoted his life to serving others. His courage and righteousness stand out and so does his sense of justice,' Modi wrote on Twitter.
He said we should remember Lord Christ and his commitment to truth, service and justice on this day.
Good Friday is a solemn day commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Indore doctor dead
A 62-year-old general physician in Indore has become the first doctor in India to die of Covid-19.
Indore chief medical and health officer Praveen Jadia said the doctor died at a private hospital on Thursday.
“It appears that he had come in contact with a coronavirus patient during treatment. We are trying to trace the source of the infection,” he said.
Five more test positive in Dharavi
Five more persons, including two who returned from the last month's religious gathering at Nizamuddin in Delhi, have tested positive for coronavirus in Dharavi, taking the tally in the slum-dominated area in Mumbai to 22, said BMC officials on Friday.
Aamong the five two are women. One of them, aged 29, is the wife of a doctor who tested positive earlier in Vaibhav Nagar, while the other, aged 31, is a resident of the Kalyanwadi locality, they said.
'Two people who figure in the list of police who returned from Markaz (Tablighi Jamaat's event at its headquarters in Nizamuddin, Delhi) were also found positive,' said a senior BMC official.
He said one of them was a resident of Dr Baliga Nagar, while the other is from PMGP colony.
Mobile testing pods in Sangrur
Punjab's Sangrur district administration has come up with a mobile testing pod for risk-free collection of samples of suspected patients of coronavirus.
Sangrur deputy commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said the idea was to ensure safety of health personnel who take samples of suspected patients.
Thori said the best global practices will be followed in this testing pod as disposable gloves will be used over plastic gloves which will be disposed of after taking every sample.
This pod could also be mounted on a vehicle and can be moved to any location for taking samples, he said, according to press release issued in Chandigarh.
With one testing pod costing around Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000, such pods would be installed at civil hospitals and other required places in the district, he said.
He said the use of these testing pods will also reduce the demand for PPE kits, gloves, masks etc. being used for sample collection as the patient will not be exposed directly to the medical staff.
Nagaland bail for 109 undertrials in prison
As many as 109 undertrial prisoners have been released from various correctional homes in Nagaland on interim bail in keeping with the Supreme Court's directions to consider decongesting jails in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials in Kohima said on Friday.
Following the apex court's direction, a committee, headed by the state’s legal services authority, was formed and the interim bail and parole were granted based on its recommendation, they said.
The undertrial prisoners were released from 11 jails across the state. The jails have a capacity to accommodate 1,450 prisoners and housed 537 people before the undertrials were released.
The committee directed that if any undertrial who has been released threatens any witness or any person acquainted with the facts of the case or to the victim of the case, he shall be taken into custody immediately.