Coronavirus LIVE updates: Maharashtra sees nearly 1,000 deaths in a day

Coronavirus LIVE updates: India reported 311,170 new positive cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours taking the total tally of Covid-19 infections to 2,46,84,077, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. Country's death toll rose to 270,284 with 4,077 new fatalities.

The six most-affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (5,309,215), Karnataka (2,130,267), Kerala (2,085,583), Uttar Pradesh (1,596,727), Tamil Nadu (1,531,377), Andhra Pradesh (1,388,803), and Delhi (1,380,981).

More than 182.1 million cumulative Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far, according to the Ministry of Health. 

World coronavirus update: Coronavirus cases rise unabated across the globe, with more than 163.16 million infected by the deadly contagion. While 141,459,424 have recovered, 3,383,005 have died so far. The US remains the worst-hit country with 33,695,883, followed by India, Brazil, France and Turkey. 


21 more members of vulnerable tribal groups test Covid-19 positive in Odisha

Twenty-one more members of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in Odisha were afflicted with coronavirus, taking their number to 45, official sources said on Sunday.
The PVTG is a classification by the central government for tribes based on their relative physical isolation, declining population, low levels of literacy and pre- agricultural stage of economy such as hunting, food gathering and shifting cultivation. Before 2016, PVTGs were known as Primitive Tribal Groups.
While the number of PVTG people infected with Covid-19 was 21 till Friday, 10 more members of the Bonda tribe and 14 of the Dongaria Kondha community tested positive for the virus since Saturday, officials said.
A total of 19 people belonging to the Dongaria Kondha tribe living at Pakeri village in Rayagada district are now affected by the disease, they said.
The Dongaria Kondha tribe lives in Niyamgiri Hills on the border of Rayagada and Koraput districts. They live on hill tops and rarely come to plains.
A report from Malkangiri district said that 10 more members of the Bonda tribe have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the number of such patients to 12. Some of them have already recovered and others are in home isolation.
"Health condition of the affected persons is being closely monitored by our rapid response team and required medicines are being given," an official said.
He said that the first case of Covid-19 among Bondas was recorded on April 26.
Bonda is one of the ancient tribes of Odisha and the community is divided into two groups, the Lower Bonda and the Upper Bonda. While Lower Bondas live on the foothills of Bonda hills, the Upper ones, mostly untouched by the modern civilization, live in the hill range in Khairaput block of Malkangiri district.

Meghalaya reports 569 new Covid cases, 19 more fatalities

Meghalaya on Sunday reported 569 new Covid-19 cases, which took the tally in the state to 23,332, a health department official said.
The death toll rose to 320 as 19 more people succumbed to the disease, Health Services Director Aman War said.
Of the fresh fatalities, 16 were reported from East Khasi Hills district and one each from West Khasi, South-West Khasi and West Garo.
The state now has 4,534 active cases.
At least 354 people were cured of the disease during the day, taking the total number of recoveries in the northeastern state to 18,478, he said.
The state has so far conducted over 5.98 lakh sample tests for Covid-19.
Altogether, four lakh people have been inoculated in the state, with over 78,000 of them having received both doses of the 'Covishield' vaccine, War said.

Television journalist Anjan Bandyopadhyay dies

Eminent journalist and popular TV anchor Anjan Bandyopadhyay, who tested positive for Covid-19 around a month ago, died at a private hospital in Kolkata on Sunday night, a health department official said.
He was 56.
Bandyopadhyay, the editor of Bengali news channel Zee 24 Ghanta, breathed his last at around 9.25 pm, the official said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled the death of the journalist, who is the brother of the state Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.
According to family sources, the TV anchor had tested positive for Covid-19 in mid-April following which he was hospitalised.
"He had returned home after recovering a bit, but was again taken to the hospital after his condition deteriorated.
He was put on a ventilator and then on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support, but his condition continued to deteriorate," an official of the hospital said.
Bandyopadhyay was with ETV Bangla, 24 Ghanta and then with Anandabazar Patrika's digital unit before moving to TV9 Bangla as the channel's first Editor. He returned to Zee 24 Ghanta as its editor just before this year's assembly elections in West Bengal.
"Saddened at the passing away of Anjan Bandyopadhyay, one of the best-known television anchors in Bengal. He was a bright, young and dynamic journalist," the chief minister said in a statement.
"I have no words to express my condolences to his family and his colleagues in the fraternity. His Ma, wife Aditi, daughter Titli, his elder brother Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who is the Chief Secretary of the State," she said.
The Press Club, Kolkata, also condoled his death.

Coronavirus fears: 30 deaths in two weeks in V K Singh's village, says sarpanch

Over 30 people have died in Union minister V K Singh's ancestral village Bapora in the past two weeks, its sarpanch said Sunday as the unusually high number of deaths raised concerns that Covid-19 could be the cause.
Village head Naresh Kumar said many of these people had showed symptoms of the disease, but only three tested positive.
“They had symptoms like fever and cough but did not get themselves tested. So the real cause behind their deaths remains unknown,” he said.
He said many of them were elderly.
District authorities have stationed an ambulance in the village in Bhiwani district and have screened all residents for the disease, an official said.
According to the sarpanch, the village with a population of about 20,000 normally sees “one or two deaths” in a week. But there were many more during the past fortnight.
One day, there were seven or eight deaths in the village, he said, and all cremation spots were occupied. “This was frightening for the villagers," he said.
He said many villagers had been reluctant to undergo the coronavirus test.
Health department officials have now stepped up testing and screening in Bapora to check the spread of the infection, he said.

Record 70 Covid-19 deaths in Himachal

The coronavirus death toll rose to 2,311 in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday with record 70 more fatalities, while 2,378 new infections took the infection tally to 1,60,240, an official said.
Out of the fresh deaths, the highest 30 were in Kangra district alone. The number of active cases in the state stands at 36,909, according to data.
The highest 11,579 active cases were in the worst-hit Kangra district.
The number of recoveries increased to 1,20,990 with 2,378 more people recuperating from the infection, the official said.

Tamil Nadu receives third Oxygen Express from Jharkhand

Tamil Nadu has received its third Oxygen Express from Jharkhand taking the total capacity of medical oxygen delivered to the southern State to 151.4 tonne, Southern Railway said on Sunday.
The express from Tatanagar, Jharkhand, arrived at the Inland container depot, Tondiarpet, here, at 10 AM today. The train brought 40 tonne of liquid medical oxygen, a press release said.
Already, Tamil Nadu has received two such expresses from Odisha and West Bengal to serve Covid-19 patients.
"With the arrival of the third, the total capacity of the liquid medical oxygen is 151.4 tonne," the release said.
Southern Railway said the fourth and fifth loaded oxygen expresses from Rourkela and Tata Steel Siding at Kalinganagar, Odisha, are in transit and are expected to arrive here on Monday.
Meanwhile, an oxygen express left Chennai with four empty containers to Rourkela.
As of Saturday, Tamil Nadu reported 33,658 new Covid-19 infections in the single biggest day spike so far, pushing the caseload to 15.65 lakh overall and the 303 deaths to a total of 17,359 till date.

UP gearing up to tackle Covid's possible 3rd wave, black fungus infection: CM

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said the state government is alive to the possibility of a third wave of Covid-19 and the spread of black fungus infection among cured patients and is readying itself to tackle them.
He said the state government is focusing on ensuring awareness and treatment of the black fungus infection, which has emerged as a “challenge” for the people who have recovered from Covid-19.
Apprehensions have been expressed about a possible third wave of the coronavirus in the state, Adityanath said, adding “the government is already preparing an action plan to effectively check the third wave”.
The chief minister made these remarks while addressing reporters during his visit to Noida to review the Covid-19 situation.
Mentioning the “new challenge” of black fungus infection among cured Covid patients, the chief minister said the state government has issued an advisory regarding it besides conducting virtual meetings with health officials and medical colleges in every district.
The chief minister talked of the black fungus infection or mucormycosis a day after AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria attributed the new malady to the misuse of steroids in the treatment of Covid-19 patients and asked hospitals to follow the infection control protocols.

Coronavirus LIVE: Haryana CM urges farmers to withdraw protests

Truckers demand relief as losses mount to Rs 42,000 cr due to lockdowns

With around 65 per cent of the total truck fleet in the country out of the road owing to lockdown and lockdown-like conditions in most of the states, the truck industry losses have mounted to around Rs 42,000 crore from the start of the fiscal till mid of this month, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has said.
The transport sector, which is the lifeline of the nation and essential services provider to the people of the country, bears the first impact of the lockdowns and the curfews, it said. Read here

Triple lockdown in 4 Kerala districts kicks in from May 16 midnight

Triple lockdown will come into effect in four Kerala districts reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, from Sunday midnight and remain in force till May 23.
The boundaries of the Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram districts will be sealed as part of the administration's bid to arrest the massive spread of coronavirus, while the current lockdown will continue in the other 10 districts of the state.
According to the guidelines issued by the Thiruvananthapuram district administration, shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal fodder, poultry and cattle feed, bakeries will be open on alternate days starting from Monday onwards. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Maharashtra sees 974 deaths in a day

Coronavirus LIVE: West Bengal reports 19,117 new cases

West Bengal reports 19,117 new coronavirus cases, 19,113 discharges and 147 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Mumbai sees 1,544 new cases in last 24 hours

Coronavirus LIVE: Karnataka registers 31,531 new cases

Karnataka registers 31,531 new coronavirus cases, 36,475 discharges and 403 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department.

Coronavirus LIVE: 1,314 new cases in Goa

Coronavirus LIVE: Telangana registers 3,816 new cases

Telangana registers 3,816 new coronavirus cases, 5892 recoveries and 27 fatalities today, up till 5:30 pm, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Uttarakhand records 4,496 fresh cases

Uttarakhand records 4,496 fresh coronavirus cases, 5034 recoveries and 188 deaths today; active cases at 78,802, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi has only 1 day of Covaxin stock left, says AAP

Delhi has only 1 day of Covaxin stock left for those aged above 45 after Sunday evening, Covishield stock to last for 5 days: AAP MLA Atishi

Goa govt takes over admissions in all private hospitals

The Goa government on Sunday issued an order requisitioning the premises of the private hospitals in the state for providing treatment to Covid-19 patients under the Disaster Management Act.
The order stated Covid-19 patients will be admitted in 50 per cent of the total beds in these hospitals as per the directions of designated officers of the government and the payment for the treatment of DDSSY (state-run insurance scheme) beneficiaries will be made by the government. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Mines PSUs step up fight against second wave, says govt

All arms of the Government are proactively working to tackle the challenges posed by Covid pandemic. Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Union Ministry of Mines are also leading from the front and contributing in the fight against coronavirus. From contributing financially towards establishing special dedicated Covid facilities to upgrading their own health infrastructure & conducting mass vaccination, Mines PSUs are continuously working to help fight the second wave of Covid-19. Read full govt release here

CoWIN digital portal reconfigured to reflect change in dose interval of Covishield to 12-16 weeks

CoWIN digital portal reconfigured to reflect change in dose Interval of Covishield vaccine to 12-16 weeks. Read full govt release here

Coronavirus LIVE: Centre directs states to prevent dumping of corpses in Ganga

The union government directed states to prevent dumping of dead bodies in Ganga and focus on their safe disposal and providing support for ensuring dignified cremation. It said dumping of dead bodies or partially burnt corpses in the river Ganga and its tributaries is most undesirable and alarming. Read full govt release here

Coronavirus LIVE: Andhra's active cases top 200,000

24,171 new coronavirus cases, 101 deaths recorded in past 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state rises to 14,35,491. Active cases 210,436, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: Ashok Gehlot asks PM Modi to increase state's quota of oxygen

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot speaks to PM Modi and requests him to increase state's quota of oxygen in view of rising number of coronavirus cases

Prolonged poll campaign helped Covid cases jump in rural Bengal

Since the announcement of elections, nearly three months ago till Saturday, West Bengal's riverine, largely rural hinterland has seen an outbreak of Covid-19 disease which saw the numbers of active cases jump a huge 48-times.
Most medical professionals blame the mass gatherings at election rallies for the huge surge in the disease. The top dozen districts with the most active cases were also the ones reporting the largest increase in disease spread.
On February 26, when the Election Commission announced the poll dates, West Bengal's number of active Covid cases was just 3,343, while it stood at 1.32 lakh, a near 40-fold increase, on Saturday. (PTI)

Covid: Telangana in better position compared to other states, says KTR

Telangana is in a better position compared to other states when it comes to the availability of oxygen and medicines, state Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao said on Sunday.
He claimed that the state government is ensuring a continuous supply of oxygen to avoid any deaths due to the oxygen crisis.
The minister was talking to reporters after receiving 200 oxygen concentrators donated by leading renewable energy firm Greenko.
A special flight from China carrying the concentrators landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Punjab extends restrictions till May 31

Coronavirus LIVE: Curfew in Ladakh extended by another week

Curfew imposed in Ladakh to contain spread of coronavirus extended by another week till May 24

UK defends delay in adding India to the red list travel ban

The UK government came under strong criticism on Sunday for not adding India to the red list travel ban at the same time as Pakistan and Bangladesh in early April, which is feared as a major factor behind a rapid spike in cases of Covid-19's B1.617.2 variant first identified in India.
Downing Street said it had taken a precautionary action to ban travel from India on April 23, six days before the B1.617 variant was put under investigation and two weeks before its highly transmissible subtype, B1.617.2, was labelled a Variant of Concern (VOC).
According to latest Public Health England (PHE) data, around 20,000 people travelled between India and the UK before the red list ban and around 122 of them arriving from Delhi and Mumbai between late March and April 26 were detected with the VOC. Read here

Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal district administration extends 'Corona Curfew' till 6 am on May 24

Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal district administration extends 'Corona Curfew' till 6 am on May 24

Coronavirus LIVE: Vaccination likely to remain closed in Mumbai tomorrow, says BMC mayor

Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi sees 6,456 new cases

Coronavirus LIVE: 10,682 fresh infections in UP

10,682 fresh infections in UP, 311 deaths and 24,837 recoveries reported in the State in the last 24 hours; active cases 1,63,003, according to the state health department

Coronavirus LIVE: 'Covaxin effective against variants found in India, UK', says Bharat Biotech

Amazon, sellers tie up to supply 9,000 oxygen concentrators to Indian customers

Amazon India is working with sellers on its marketplace to help them bring in about 9,000 oxygen concentrators for customers in India. The aim is to address the growing customer demand and shortage of critical medical equipment,
Amazon’s global procurement teams are helping interested sellers from India connect with leading global suppliers to enable them to procure oxygen concentrators for customers in need. It is also simplifying supply chain complexities and facilitating the overall process.
Amazon’s global supply chain network is helping urgently airlift these oxygen concentrators to India for these sellers. The first batch of 1,000 oxygen concentrators has already landed in India. They are now available for purchase for consumers and business customers. The rest are expected to come through in the second half of the month, said the company in a blog post. Read here

India's 'never seen before' budget may fall flat as virus strikes back

India's annual budget in February was lauded by many and raised hopes it would drive a sharp economic revival, but there are now fears that its promise may fall flat as it did not account for a crippling second wave of Covid-19 infections.
The budget aimed to revive Asia's third-largest economy via investing in infrastructure and health care, while relying on an aggressive privatisation strategy and robust tax collections - on the back of projected growth of 10.5 per cent - to fund its spending in the fiscal year.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India would not see such a budget in "100 years". At the time, a massive Covid-19 vaccination drive and a rebound in consumer demand and investments had put the economy on track to recover from its deepest recorded slump. Read here

WHO asks rich countries to delay child vax, donate jabs

Rich nations must delay their plans to vaccinate their children and teenagers against Covid-19 and instead donate the jabs to low-income countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
"In a handful of rich countries, which bought up the majority of the vaccine supply, lower risk groups are now being vaccinated," WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a virtual conference in Geneva on Friday.
"I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to Covax," Ghebreyesus said. Read here

Puducherry adds 1,961 new Covid-19 cases, overall tally rises

The union territory of Puducherry reported 1,961 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours raising the overall tally to 84,506, a senior official of the Health Department said on Sunday.
Thirty-two more people succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM Sunday, pushing the toll to 1,151, Director of the Health Department S Mohan Kumar said.
He said the 1,961 new cases were identified at the end of the examination of 9,446 samples, projecting a test positivity rate of 20.76 per cent. (PTI)

Airtel announces benefits for low-income customers

Bharti Airtel on Sunday announced special benefits for low-income customers on its network to help them stay connected during the ongoing pandemic.
As a one-time gesture, Airtel will give the Rs 49 pack free of cost to over 5.5 crore low-income customers. The pack offers a talktime of Rs 38 and 100 MB data with a validity of 28 days.
"Through this gesture Airtel will empower over 55 million customers, mostly in rural areas, to stay connected and have access to critical information when needed," said a company statement. Read here

Coronavirus LIVE: Centre issues new guidelines as virus hits rural India

As rural areas see a rise in Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday issued new guidelines for containment of the virus advising that peri-urban and rural areas plan a minimum 30-bedded Covid Care Centre for asymptomatic cases with comorbidities or mild cases where home isolation is not feasible. Read full guidelines here

Turkey eases Covid-19 restrictions but keeps many curfews

Turkey's interior ministry on Sunday lifted a full lockdown that had ordered people to stay home to fight Covid-19 infections, shifting to a less-restrictive program that still involved curfews on weeknights and weekends.
In a new directive, the ministry called the steps that apply from Monday to June 1 a gradual normalisation.
Shopping malls will be able to reopen. Some businesses will remain closed, including gyms and cafes, but restaurants will be able to offer take away in addition to delivery. Preschools will resume in-person education but upper grades will continue remote learning. (PTI)

Coronavirus LIVE: Rahul Gandhi dares Central govt to arrest him for criticism

Coronavirus LIVE: Haryana extends restrictions till May 24

Coronavirus LIVE: MP CM says his govt has been successful in controlling virus spread

Coronavirus LIVE: Dr Reddy's says it received 60,000 doses of Sputnik V in second consignment

Punjab: Coronavirus curfew restrictions in Ludhiana district extended till May 23

Punjab: Coronavirus curfew restrictions in Ludhiana district extended till May 23

Coronavirus LIVE: PM dials CMs of four states to discuss Covid situation

PM Modi called on Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry to discuss the Covid situation with them

Covaxin demonstrates protection against new variants

Peer-review publication, Clinical Infectious Diseases, has noted that Covaxin demonstrates protection against the new Covid-19 variants. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin retained neutralising activity against emerging variants of coronavirus, as per a new study.
A study published by Clinical Infectious Diseases found that vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested including B1617 and B117, first identified in India and the UK, respectively.

Covaxin demonstrates protection against new variants

Peer-review publication, Clinical Infectious Diseases, has noted that Covaxin demonstrates protection against the new Covid-19 variants. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin retained neutralising activity against emerging variants of coronavirus, as per a new study.
A study published by Clinical Infectious Diseases found that vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested including B1617 and B117, first identified in India and the UK, respectively.

What is the Moderna Covid vaccine? Does it work, and is it safe?

Boston-based pharmaceutical company Moderna announced a new supply agreement with Australia for 25 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The deal includes ten million doses against the original strain of the coronavirus to be delivered this year. This vaccine has been widely used in countries such as Canada, United States and the United Kingdom under emergency use authorisations granted by these countries and the World Health Organisation. READ MORE...

PM Modi called on CMs of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry to discuss Covid-19 situation

PM Narendra Modi called on Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry to discuss the Covid-19 situation with them

Covid-19 LIVE: Lockdown in Delhi extended till May 24

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday informed that lockdown in the national capital has been extended by one more week till next Monday. aThe national capital has been under a lockdown since April 19 in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of pandemic.
"Delhi has been recovering at a good speed. The number of cases are on steady decline. But I do not want to lose the gains that we have achieved in the last few days. That is why we are extending the lockdown till 5 am on next Monday instead of ending it tomorrow," Kejriwal told reporters here.
The daily count of cases in Delhi has seen a steady decline over the last few days and the positivity rate dropped too.

Uttarakhand: 1,000 children under 9 years of age contracted Covid-19 in last 10 days

Around 1,000 children below 9 years of age contracted coronavirus infection in Uttarakhand in the last ten days, informed the state health department. Some of the children have been admitted to hospitals for treatment.
According to the Health Department, only 2,131 children contacted infected in the last one year, while 264 children tested positive from April 1 to April 15. 1,053 cases reported from April 16-April 30, and 1,618 from May 1-May 14.

Odisha records 11,732 new Covid-19 cases, 19 more fatalities

Odisha's COVID-19 caseload on Sunday surged to 6,12,224 after 11,732 more people tested positive for the infection, while 19 fresh fatalities pushed the state's toll to 2,313, a health department official said.
Accordingly, the number of active cases rose to 1,07,403, he said. Of the 11,732 new cases, 6,569 were recorded in various quarantine centres and the rest detected during contact tracing, the official said.

Delhi extends lockdown by a week: CM Arvind Kejriwal

Pak eases Covid restrictions

As the Covid-19 situation remained under control in Pakistan during the Eid al-Fitr holidays with daily new cases showing a declining trend, the country has decided to ease a number of restrictions on transportation and commercial activities.
The decision was taken on Saturday during a special session of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the new directives, all inter-provincial, inter-city and intra-city public transport will resume from Sunday instead of Monday.

Covid-19 cases drastically down in Italy

Coronavirus cases across all age groups in Italy fell by 80 per cent after the first five weeks of vaccine rollout, the country's National Institute of Health (ISS) and the Ministry of Health said in a joint statement.
The time covered by the comprehensive national report on the real-world effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines runs from December 27, 2020, when the national vaccination campaign started, through May 3, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying on Saturday.

Arunachal Pradesh reports 249 new Covid-19 cases, one more death

The COVID-19 caseload in Arunachal Pradesh rose to 21,622, as 249 more people tested positive for the infection, a senior health official said on Sunday. The COVID-19 death toll increased to 78, with a person from Tajang Village in Lower Subansiri district, succumbing to the infection at the Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) at Ziro on Saturday, the official said.
The 53-year-old man died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome and was suffering from acute gastroenteritis, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said.

Coronavirus is spreading in rural areas also: Jaipur District Collector

Vaccines less effective against variant first found in India: UK expert

The vaccines being administered to protect against Covid-19 are almost certainly less effective against preventing the transmission of the B1.617.2 variant first identified in India, a leading UK scientist who advises the country's vaccination programme said on Saturday.
Professor Anthony Harnden, from the University of Oxford who is the deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said it was important to approach the easing of lockdown in England with utmost caution as it remains unclear exactly how much more transmissible the variant detected in India is. READ MORE...

Covid-19: Former Saurashtra cricketer and BCCI referee Rajendrasinh Jadeja passes away

Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) on Sunday mourned the untimely demise of Rajendrasinh Jadeja, one of the most remarkable yesteryear's cricketers of Saurashtra.
Rajendrasinh died on Sunday morning after fighting a hard battle against COVID-19. He was 66 years old.
Rajendrasinhji was one the finest right-arm medium pacer and remarkable all-rounder. He played between 1974-75 to 1986-87 giving many outstanding performances.

No denial of Covid-related services if person does not have Aadhaar: UIDAI

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the agency that administers Aadhaar, said in a statement Saturday that no one during the Covid-19 pandemic should be denied vaccines, medicines, hospitalization or treatment for want of Aadhaar.
The statement came in response to news reports that said vaccination and a few other essential services like hospitalization and so on related to the Covid-19 pandemic were being denied to the residents if they did not have an Aadhaar number. READ ON...

Covid-19 LIVE: 15-day lockdown begins in West Bengal from today

A 15-day lockdown came into force in West Bengal from Sunday in the wake of surge in coronavirus infections. Deserted streets and very few vehicles were seen in Birbhum district on the first day of the two-week-long lockdown.
West Bengal government on Saturday announced fresh restrictions from 6 am on May 16 to 6 pm on May 30. Schools, government/private offices, malls, cinema halls, restaurants and gyms will remain closed while metro, intra-state transportation have also been suspended. Besides emergency services, the movement of private vehicles is prohibited.

Karnataka govt to shift all Covid-19 vaccination centres from hospitals

Considering the safety of citizens in the view of COVID-19, the Karnataka government has decided to shift all coronavirus vaccination centres from hospitals and Primary Health Centre (PHCs) to schools, colleges, and other safer locations.
The decision was taken at the meeting of the state task force to combat COVID-19 chaired by Deputy Chief Minister and Task Force Chief Dr CN Ashwath Narayan. Several decisions were taken including procurement of two lakh pulse oximeters for patients in home isolation and Covid Care Centres.

Covid-19 LIVE: India sees 311,170 new cases, 4,077 deaths in past 24 hours

India recorded 3.11 lakh fresh cases of coronavirus in a day taking the total tally of COVID-19 infections to 2,46,84,077, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.
A total of 3,11,170 new cases were reported in a day, while the death toll climbed to 2,70,284 with 4,077 daily fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
The active cases have reduced to 36,18,458 comprising 14.66 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 84.25 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

18 US states, some businesses ending mask mandate

Eighteen states in the US and some major-label businesses have announced plans to end Covid-19 mask mandates either immediately or in the weeks to come, but others such as California, New York and New Jersey are moving forward with caution.
Many Americans went mask-less in public on Friday for the first time in months, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed its guidelines on face coverings for people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, reports Xinhua news agency. The changes came as more than one third of Americans are fully vaccinated, and the daily number of new cases slipped below 35,000, the lowest since September 2020.

Congress MP Rajeev Satav dies after recovering from Covid-19

Congress MP Rajiv Satav died at a private hospital here on Sunday, days after recovering from coronavirus infection, hospital sources said.
The 46-year-old leader was on ventilator support at the hospital after his health deteriorated. Satav, considered close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, had tested positive for coronavirus infection on April 22. Satav was later diagnosed with a new viral infection and was in a critical condition.

26 new Covid-19 cases push Andamans tally to 6,568

The union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported 26 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 6,568, a health department official said on Sunday. All the new cases in the archipelago were detected during contact tracing, the official said.
The COVID-19 death toll in the union territory remained at 85 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours, he said. Forty-two more people were cured of the disease during the period, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 6,267.

India reports 311,170 new Covid-19 cases, 362,437 discharges and 4,077 deaths in the last 24 hours

Medical Oxygen for Kerala's Covid-19 patients reaches Ernakulam from Kalinganagar

Auto-driver in Karnataka offers free service to Covid-19 patients

With the state of Karnataka emerging as the country's new COVID-19 hotspot, medical services and public health facilities have been stretched thin and people are struggling for access. Rapidly rising cases have resulted in the state government imposing a lockdown, making it harder for many without private vehicles to reach hospitals easily.
Amid this turmoil, a young auto-rickshaw driver in Kalaburagi has started a free service for COVID-19 patients who are unable to book ambulances. While speaking to ANI, the driver - Akash Denur, said that he had dreamt of serving the country at the borders in the Army. Since that dream could not be realised, he decided to serve the people on the ground amid the pandemic.

Sputnik V effective against new Covid-19 strains: Russian Ambassador to India

Covid-19 second wave pushes India's pharma industry growth to 59% in April

The fresh wave of Covid-19 in the country has pushed up sales of medicines and resulted in exponential growth for the pharmaceutical sector.
According to total sales audit data from world's largest pharmaceutical market research firm IMS Health, the Indian Pharma Market (IPM) grew 59 per cent yoy in April, 2021 vs 16 per cent yoy in March, 2021 due to the low base effect in April, 2020 and sharp surge in Covid-19-related sales. READ MORE...

Some Covid patients die at home in Karnataka as hospitals run out of beds

Getting the correct death data from the government of Karnataka amid the Covid-19 pandemic is difficult as many people are dying at home because of the non-availability of hospital beds, oxygen or they are not being able to get tested for Covid, said Dr Giridhar Rao, Technical advisory committee formed to suggest government over Covid-19 Management. READ MORE...

Second batch of Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V arrives in Hyderabad

As the second batch of the Sputnik V landed in Hyderabad, Telangana on Sunday, Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev termed the Russian-Indian fight against COVID-19, as an example of the special and privileged strategic partnership and an effective model of international anti-pandemic cooperation.
"We are very happy to see that the Russian-Indian joint fight against the COVID-19, which is one of the vital areas of our bilateral cooperation nowadays, has firmly stood on rails and moving forward," the Russian envoy told ANI.
Sputnik V has become the first foreign-made vaccine to be used in India contributing to the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Inoculations with Sputnik V in Hyderabad started Friday followed by the arrival of the first batch of the vaccine in India on May 1, 2021.

Second consignment of Sputnik V vaccine arrives in Hyderabad

Ladakh reports 177 new Covid-19 cases, two deaths

Ladakh reported 177 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Union Territory's health department informed on Sunday.
As many as 181 people recovered from the disease in the said period, out of which 165 were cured and discharged in Leh and 19 in Kargil. The UT also recorded two death in the said period. With 177 new COVID-19 cases reported in Ladakh, the total caseload in the Union Territory has reached 16,333 including 1,549 active cases.

Senior journalist Sunil Jain passes away due to post-Covid complications

Business newspaper Financial Express' managing editor Sunil Jain passed away in New Delhi on Saturday due to post-Covid-19 complications, his sister Sandhya Jain said. He had tested positive for the coronavirus and had been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
"We lost my brother Sunil Jain this evening to Covid+ its complications. Doctors, staff at AIIMS battled heroically, but the demon was too powerful. May Tirthankaras guide his onward journey; deep gratitude to all who stood by us in these darkest days," she tweeted. READ MORE...

US has no Covid-19 vaccine stockpile ready to be shipped to India

Why isn’t the US sharing its extra vaccine doses with the rest of the world?
America led the world in buying up the messenger RNA vaccines that have proven most effective against Covid-19. It’s now starting to lead the world in not using them. Across the US, there are more than 27 million unused Moderna Inc. doses and 35 million from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s led to calls by prominent public health voices to pack America’s surplus in dry ice and ship it to places like India, where the outbreak is still raging. READ MORE...

Plasma therapy not effective, likely to be dropped from Covid guidelines

Plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients has not been found effective in reducing the progression to severe disease or death and is likely to be dropped from the clinical management guidelines, sources said.
In a meeting of the ICMR-National Task Force for COVID-19 on Friday, all members were in favour of removing the use of convalescent plasma from the Clinical Guidance for Management of Adult COVID-19 Patients citing its ineffectiveness and inappropriate use in several cases, they said. READ MORE...

Covid-19 has killed over 1,000 bank employees in India, says union

Indian banks have lost more than a thousand employees and many more are infected, according to a industry body, underscoring the heavy toll virus has taken in the Asian country battling the world’s worst coronavirus crisis.
“We have lost more than 1,000 colleagues already,” S. Nagarajan, general secretary of the All India Bank Officers’ Association told Bloomberg News over phone on Saturday. “Bank employees are frontline workers and the virus is affecting them.” READ MORE...

Russia records 8,790 new Covid-19 cases

Russia confirmed 8,790 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 4,931,691, the official monitoring and response center said Saturday.
The national Covid-19 death toll rose by 364 to 115,480 in the past day, while the number of the country's recoveries grew by 9,866 to 4,547,500, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region, reported 3,073 new cases, taking the city's total to 1,134,308.

Andhra Pradesh receives first Oxygen Express with 40 MT oxygen

The Ministry of Railways on Saturday informed that Andhra Pradesh has received its first Oxygen Express in Nellore with 40 metric tonnes (MT) of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO).
"Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering LMO to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 8700 MT of LMO in more than 540 tankers to various states across the country. It may be noted that 139 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States," the ministry said.
Oxygen Expresses have been delivering nearly 800 MT of LMO to the Nation each day for the last few days.

More than 182.1 million cumulative Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far: Health Ministry

More than 182.1 million cumulative Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far: Health Ministry

Arunachal imposes stricter restrictions as 'double mutant' coronavirus detected

The Arunachal Pradesh government on Saturday imposed stricter restrictions, including the extension of curfew hours, after 'double mutant' coronavirus was detected in the state, an official said.
As per the new decision taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pema Khandu, a curfew would be clamped from 3 pm to 5 am across the state and all shops and business establishments have been asked to down their shutters by 2 pm, Principal Secretary, Health, Dr Sharat Chauhan told reporters. At present, a curfew is imposed from 6 pm to 5 am across the state.

No one should be denied vaccine, medicine, hospitalisation or treatment for not having Aadhaar: UIDAI

Cyclone Tauktae: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to shift Covid patients to safe places

Concerned over the Cyclone Tauktae which is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai will shift over 500 Covid-19 patients to other safe places.
"Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai says it will transfer 580 COVID patients from jumbo centres to other hospitals in safe places as a precautionary measure tonight, in view of Cyclone Tauktae," official notice by the corporation informed.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the authorities in coastal districts of the state to be vigilant and well-equipped to tackle the situation.

Assam Govt issues fresh Covid-19 restrictions from May 16; Essential shops to shut at 11 am

Amid surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, the Assam government on Saturday issued fresh directives that will be imposed from May 16 until further orders.
"In continuation of the order dated 12 May 2021, and in the exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 22(2) (h) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the undersigned, in his capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee of the State Disaster Management Authority, Assam, hereby issues the following directives which will be applicable in respect of urban areas and adjacent areas within 5 km radius from the periphery of municipal corporation / municipal boards/ revenue towns and shall come into force with effect from 5 AM of May 16, 2021 until further orders", read the order copy by the government.

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