MAY 18, 2020
India on Monday recorded its biggest single-day jump in cases with 5,242 cases and 157 deaths, taking the total infections to 96,169 and total fatalities to 3,029.
As the country entered the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, many state governments, including Karnataka, Gujarat and Assam too extended the lockdown in their states and issued guidelines allowing for more relaxations than in the previous phases of the lockdown in a bid to kickstart the economy.
This comes after the Centre on Sunday extended the nationwide lockdown till 31 May and gave states greater freedom to demarcate red, orange and green zones and also to impose additional restrictions if required.
India has been under a lockdown since 25 March, which was first supposed to be for 21 days or till 14 April, but was later extended till 3 May, then further till 17 May and now for another two weeks till 31 May.
Karnataka bars entry of people from four states; Delhi allows shops to open on odd-even basis
The Karnataka government on Monday said it won’t allow passengers from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to enter into the state till 31 May except in special cases and will consider allowing their entry in a staggered manner.
In the guidelines issued on Sunday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed the movement of passengers buses and vehicles between states with the rider that both state governments would have to give their consent.
The state government also decided to do away with the green, orange and red zones system in favour of dividing the state into containment and non containment zones and allowed the resumption of public transport in non-containment zones even as Karnataka reported its highest single-day spike in cases, taking the total number on infections in the state to 1,246. The state government also decided to follow a total lockdown on Sundays.
The Gujarat government also decided to demarcate only containment and non-containment zones in the state and granted a host of relaxations in the non-containment areas, including opening of shops and offices between 8 am and 4 pm. However, such business and commercial establishments need to follow odd-even formula, wherein only 50 percent establishments can remain open on any given day, said chief minister Vijay Rupani.
The state government also allowed reopening of barber shops and salons in non-containment zones besides shops selling paan masala. Restaurants and eateries can remain open for takeaway orders only, Rupani said. He also announced resumption of bus and autorickshaw service across the state, barring a few places
Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao announced extension of COVID-19 lockdown till 31 May and said that barring containment zones, rest of the areas in the state would be green zones in which public transport will be allowed with certain conditions.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced opening of shops in markets on an odd-even basis and running of buses with 20 passengers but said Metro services, schools, colleges, cinema halls and saloons will remain closed till 31 May.
लॉकडाउन 4 में दिल्ली में क्या क्या छूठ दी जाएगी – https://t.co/VjxNNSDieE
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 18, 2020
As the National Capital recorded 299 new cases, pushing the total past 10,000, the chief minister reiterated that we will have to learn to live with virus and said that all shops will be allowed to open in Delhi, along with restaurants which can only open for home delivery and take-aways. No relaxations will be allowed in containment zones and only essential services will function there, he said.
In Maharashtra, which reported 2,033 new cases and 51 deaths on Monday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that around 50,000 business have been allowed to open in green and orange zones.He said that since schools and colleges would resume from June, the virus had to be controlled before the end of the monsoon. No official guidelines have been issued by the state government till now.
Odisha, too, extended lockdown till the end of May, with relaxations allowed as per the guidelines issued by the MHA. While, Assam government asked District Magistrates to issue orders for night curfew till the end of the lockdown, Chhattisgarh extended restrictions under CrPC Section 144 for three months and ordered that stadiums and sports complexes must remain shut.
The Punjab government said that no movement of people will be allowed between 7 pm and 7 am and allowed the reopening of shops while stipulating that shopping complexes would remain shut. It also allowed barber shops and saloons to open subject to compliance with guidelines issued by the health department.
Record jump of 5,242 cases takes nationwide tally to 96,169
The number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 56,316, while 36,823 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, said the health ministry. “Thus, around 38.29 percent patients have recovered so far,” a senior health ministry official said.
According to PTI, the health ministry also said that for a population of one lakh , there are 7.1 coronavirus cases in India so far as against 60 globally.
Of the 157 deaths deaths reported since Sunday morning, 63 were in Maharashtra, 34 in Gujarat, 31 in Delhi, six in West Bengal, five each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, four in Tamil Nadu, three in Punjab and one each from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Odisha.
Of the 3,029 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,198 deaths. Gujarat comes second with 659 deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 248, West Bengal at 238, Delhi at 160, Rajasthan at 131, Uttar Pradesh at 104,Tamil Nadu at 78 and Andhra Pradesh at 50.
According to the ministry’s website, more than 70 percent of the deaths are due to comorbidities, the existence of multiple disorders in the same person.
According to the health ministry data updated in the morning, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 33,053, followed by Gujarat at 11,379, Tamil Nadu at 11,224, Delhi at 10,054 Rajasthan at 5,202, Madhya Pradesh at 4,977 and Uttar Pradesh at 4,259.
However, a PTI tally of figures announced by different states and UTs as of 9.40 pm put the number of those having tested positive for the infection at 1,00,096, with a death toll of 3,078 and recoveries at 38,596 across the country.
Maharashtra topped the nationwide tally with over 35,000 confirmed cases and 1,249 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu with 11,760 confirmed cases and 81 deaths. Gujarat has also reported 11,746 confirmed cases, while its death toll is higher than that of Tamil Nadu at 694.
Delhi has also crossed the 10,000 mark in terms of the number of confirmed cases, while its death toll has now reached 160.
Gujarat, during the day, recorded 366 new COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths, including 31 from the worst-hit Ahmedabad, taking the state’s case count to 11,746 and the number of fatalities to 694, a health department official said.
Maharashtra reported 2,033 new cases, taking the tally to 35,058. This was the second consecutive day when the state has reported more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases. Mumbai alone reported 1,185 fresh cases and 23 more deaths, taking the total count of the city to 21,152 and the fatalities to 757. Of the 1,185 new cases, 300 samples were tested positive in private laboratories between May 12 and 16.
Kerala also saw 29 new cases — all but one being returnees from overseas and other states — raising concerns about the state witnessing a possible third wave of the dreaded virus infection. The state was first to report the virus infection, but at least twice it has already been seen as having flattened the curve of the infection.
ICMR issues revised testing guidelines
Revising its strategy for COVID-19 testing, the Indian Council of Medical Research said on Monday that returnees and migrants who show symptoms for influenza-like illness will be tested for coronavirus infection within seven days of ailment and stressed that no emergency clinical procedure, including deliveries, should be delayed for lack of testing.
In its revised strategy, the medical research body also added that all hospitalised patients who develop symptoms for influenza-like illness (ILI) and frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVID-19 having such signs will also be tested for coronavirus infection through the RT-PCR test.
Besides, asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case are to be tested once between day five and day 10 of coming in contact, the new document stated. Asymptomatic contacts of a confirmed case were being tested once between day five and day 14.
India backs demand for impartial probe into virus’s origin
India joined nearly 120 countries at a crucial conference of the World Health Organisation in pushing for an impartial and comprehensive evaluation of the global response into the coronavirus crisis as well as to examine the origin of the deadly infection.
Since the first case of the deadly coronavirus was reported in China last December, more than 47 lakh people have tested for this virus across the world and over 3 lakh have lost their lives. India is the 11th most affected country, while the US tops the chart with over 14.9 lakh confirmed cases so far.
China’s official tally of confirmed infections is less than 84,000, while it has reported more than 4,600 deaths.
Follow the government’s latest guidance on safeguarding yourself during the coronavirus pandemic, including travel advice within and outside the country. The World Health Organization has also busted some myths surrounding coronavirus. The Ministry of Health’s special helpline is available at +91-11-23978046, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy/Source: Firstpost / PTI