India leads the world in the average daily reported infections and recorded deaths. It currently accounts for one in every 2 global cases each day. The country’s number of daily average deaths is 1.3 times that of Brazil, which recorded the second highest number of new fatalities — nearly 2,300.
The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in India has reduced significantly in the last 15 days. By April 15, around 32.69 lakh doses were administered in the country daily on an average. However, as of April 30, only around 23.72 lakh doses were given in the country daily on an average.
You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.
Defence Advisor of Tanzania succumbs to COVID-19 in Delhi
Col. Dr. Moses Beatus Mlula, Defence Advisor of Tanzania passed away because of Covid19 at the Base Hospital in Delhi on April 28, High Commission of Tanzania announced.
He is the first foreign diplomat casualty of COVID-19 in India.
Urban forester S.G. Neginhal succumbs to COVID-19
Urban forester and Indian Forest Service officer (retired) S.G. Neginhal, 93, who played a pioneering role in greening the city in the 1980s, succumbed to COVID-19 on Sunday morning. He passed away a day after his 93rd birthday on Saturday.
Most of the tree-lined avenues and boulevards in Bengaluru are the legacy of Mr. Neginhal. Unhappy at the loss of green cover due to growth of the city, then chief minister R. Gundu Rao had commissioned a greening campaign. The IFS officer was brought in to lead a special cell within the Forest Department to take up the assignment in 1981. In five years, he planted over 1.5 million trees. The campaign earned him so much fame that then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi got trees from Neginhal to plant in Shakti Sthal, the memorial for former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Lockdown adds to commuting woes of employees engaged in essential services
Employees attached to hospitals, government offices, pharmacies, and other essential services are finding the daily commute increasingly difficult, with many criticising the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) for running only limited buses.
People who were earlier depending on Namma Metro have to shell out more money to book auto or taxi for their commute.
Family members and friends, who are willing to drop people to work, say that without ID proof, they are often pulled up by the police. “You need to show a railway ticket or identity card, which is fine when the person you’re dropping is in the car. But if the police stop you when you’re returning back alone, you don’t have any proof to explain why you’re out during the lockdown,” said a taxi driver.
A second wave of the virus and another exodus
Amid the sustained surge in COVID-19 cases, migrant workers in the city, who had come back to the Capital a few months ago, are forced to return to their villages, yet again due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.
For most, the second phase of restrictions has meant a loss of livelihood for the second time within a year. When the Delhi government announced a one-week lockdown, many had hoped it would not get extended. But that was not to be.
NMMC issues notices to three hospitals for asking patients’ kin to arrange Remdesivir
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has issued show cause notices to three private hospitals for allegedly asking the relatives of COVID-19 patients to arrange Remdesivir injection. The civic body had already instructed all the hospitals treating novel coronavirus patients that the onus of arranging the anti-viral injection was on the hospital and not on the patient.
NMMC Commissioner Abhijit Bangar said that directions were issued to the hospitals that Remdisivir should be used as per the guidelines laid down by the Maharashtra State Task Force and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
End oxygen deficit by May 3, set up buffer stock: Supreme Court tells Centre
The Supreme Court, in an order released late on Sunday, directed the Centre to ensure that the deficit of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients in the national capital should be rectified on or before the midnight of May 3.
A Special Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud ordered the Centre to act “in collaboration” with States to “prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes and decentralise the location of the emergency stocks”.
“The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days and is to be replenished on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the existing allocation of oxygen supply to the States,” ordered the Supreme Court in a 64-page order dated April 30, but published on May 2.
CII president calls for stringent lockdown
Indian industry has urged the government to deploy the armed forces and Central security forces to manage the logistics, infrastructure and personnel necessary to address the rising wave of COVID-19 cases in the country, warning that the requirement for hospital beds, oxygen and medicines will continue to escalate at the current pace of the pandemic.
“At this critical juncture when toll of lives is rising, the Confederation of Indian Industry [CII] urges the strongest national steps, including curtailing economic activity, to reduce suffering,” CII president Uday Kotak said, in what are the first remarks by an industry lobby group in favour of a stringent lockdown.
Calling for the highest-level response measures to the current crisis, Mr. Kotak said, “Given the current pandemic situation, safeguarding lives is of utmost priority and nationwide maximal response measure at the highest level is called for to cut the transmission links. The healthcare infrastructure and supply build-up are being undertaken on emergency basis by the governments at the Centre and States, but will take time.”
Several foreign embassies in Delhi face COVID-19 onslaught
A significant number of foreign diplomats in the national capital have been hit by COVID-19’s deadly second wave. The situation was brought to light on Saturday evening with the Embassy of the Philippines reaching out to the volunteers of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) seeking oxygen cylinders.
The health crisis in the diplomatic enclave has spread to several foreign missions including the New Zealand High Commission which sought help from the IYC publicly on Sunday morningtriggering an online exchange between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh.
“Could you please help with oxygen cylinder urgently at the New Zealand High Commission,” the High Commission on Sunday morning asked B.V. Srinivas, national president of the IYC. The Hindu has learnt that the mission has several cases of COVID-19 out of which two are serious that require oxygen support immediately.
Automotive units suspend work in Gurugram, but hopes afloat
The large migrant workforce employed in hundreds of automotive units across Gurugram-Dharuhera-Bhiwadi industrial belt is in a dilemma, whether to return home or stay back after the three Original Equipment Manufacturers – Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp, and Honda Motorcycles & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd (HMSI) – announced a temporary halt of 10-15 days amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and multiple lockdowns across the cities. However, the overwhelming sentiment seems to be to “wait and watch”.
Former Maruti Udyog Kamgaar Union general secretary and workers’ leader Kuldeep Jhangu said the Maruti Suzuki company had advanced its annual maintenance activity during the shutdown and all employees would be paid during this period.
Many automotive companies have advised their workers not to leave the station during the shutdown.
Andhra Pradesh receives 82,000 vials of Remdesivir
Andhra Pradesh has received 82,000 vials of Remdesivir injections in the second phase. In the first phase, 60,000 vials were allotted to the State, said the Drug Control Administration (DCA) officials.
“The Remdesivir stock has been allotted for the period between May 1 and 9. So far, the Centre has allotted 1.42 lakh vials of Remdesivir to the State during the second wave of the pandemic,” said DCA Director General (DG) S. Ravi Shankar Narayan.
With the incidents of misuse and black marketing of Remdesivir injections, the State government is supplying the stocks to the notified COVID hospitals and monitoring the stock of Remdesivir and oxygen at various hospitals.
Malaysia reports first case of Indian COVID-19 variant
Malaysia has detected its first case of a highly infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India, Health Minister Adham Baba said on Sunday, days after imposing a ban on flights from India.
The variant, named B.1.617, was detected in an Indian national screened at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, he said.
The World Health Organisation has described it as a “variant of interest”, suggesting it may have mutations that would make the virus more transmissible, cause more severe disease or evade vaccine immunity.
“We advise the public to remain calm… All public health efforts will continue in order to break the chain of infection and ensure public safety,” Adham said.