A record 3,780 fresh COVID-19 fatalities were registered in a single day in India taking the death toll to 2,26,188, while 3,82,315 new coronavirus infections were recorded, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
With the fresh cases, the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to 2,06,65,148.
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.
Third wave is inevitable, says Principal Scientific Advisor
K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, while addressing the media during the Health Ministry’s briefing said that a third wave was inevitable in the country.
The second wave was expected, he said, while adding that a third wave is inevitable and we have to be prepared and vaccine updates were needed.
He said it is vital that people persisted with Covid-appropriate behaviour as the virus-variants don’t change behaviour. He said the vaccines were effective as of now.
Meanwhile, Lav Agarwal, Joint Health Secretary, said that Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Gujarat have recorded a dip in daily cases recorded.
However, an increase in the number of daily cases was noted in States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab among others.
The Joint Health Secretary noted the rise in cases in cities like Bengaluru, Ernakulam, Kannur and Kanpur among others as alarming.
16.05 crore doses of vaccines have been shelled out until now, Mr. Agarwal said.
Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology said the virus mutation was nothing new.
Dr. Sujeet Singh, National Centre for Disease Control says: “The B1.1.7 lineage of the SARS CoV-2 (U.K. variant) has been declining in proportion across the country in the last one and a half month.”
VK Paul, member of NITI Aayog, while speaking at the event said that mutation will go on and we need to have a scientific watch on them. Response to the changing virus remains the same, he added.
“Vaccination protects you,” he said.
He called for physicians to come forward for providing tele-consultation to those confined at homes.
Corona curfew in Himachal Pradesh till May 16
Himachal Pradesh announced a “corona curfew” from May 7 till May 16. All offices will remain shut and only essential services will be allowed to operate.
No one from outside travelling to the State will be allowed to enter without a negative RT-PCR test report.
Bihar Chief Minisrter appeals to people to postpone weddings and other social functions
On the first day of lockdown imposed in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appealed to people today to postpone weddings and other social functions for some time to break the chain of Covid-19 pandemic disease while, policemen were seen caning people who were defying the lockdown in several districts of the state. Bihar government has imposed lockdown in the State from May 5 to May 15 with exception of essential services.
Bihar government imposed lockdown in the State after a Division Bench of the Patna High Court, while hearing Public Interest Litigations, had asked the government to “enforce the lockdown or the court would take appropriate decision on it”. The court had also observed orally, “if situation is not controlled by you (State Government), hand over State’s health infrastructure to the armed forces”. The court is likely to pass order on hearings of PILs on May 6.
Hospital, ICU beds filling up in Kerala
It might be at least two weeks before the second wave of COVID-19 tearing through the State peaks. But desperation for hospital beds and ICUs has already begun to be felt as both public and private sector hospitals are nearly filled.
Reports from many private hospitals across the State said that many had been turning away patients since last week or referring them to hospitals in the nearby districts. Many patients, who come demanding admission to private hospitals are being told to remain on home care and to be in touch with the doctors through tele-medicine links.
“The number of patient transfers from home to hospitals have been on the rise and there are plenty of patients in the younger age group who are now coming in sick. A proportion of them do become seriously ill and they occupy ICUs for a longer period, creating a huge wait list,” a doctor in a private hospital said.
57 women inmates in Tihar test positive
In the second wave of pandemic, a woman inmate in Delhi’s Tihar jail died due to COVID-19 while a total of 30 women lodged in Tihar tested positive for Covid, a senior official said today.
He said that 57 of the total 444 women inmates lodged in Jail No. 6 of Tihar tested Covid-19 positive. A total of 26 women inmates have recovered while are 30 under going treatment and one died.
“Jail staff is taking care of all Covid positive women inmates. Some of them were taken to the hospital after they developed some issues but rest of them are fine and undergoing treatment. The inmates are under medical supervision round the clock and sanitisation of ward is being regularly,” the official said.
Mamata announces fresh restrictions for Bengal
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced a number of restrictions to contain the COVID-19 surge in the State including suspending all local train services and reducing metro services and State transport services by half.
Ms Banerjee said that all social and political gathering is prohibited, and only cultural and marriage events can be held with prior permission and the not more than 50 people will be allowed. Markets will be allowed from 7 am to 10 am and 3 am to 5 pm.
“From 7 th May onwards no flight will be allowed in Bengal without all the RT-PCR negative test for all passengers . We are seeing fake certificate also so random tests will be done .If any passenger is affected by Covid they will be quarantined and the arrangements have to be made by airport authorities.,” she said.
Passengers travelling in long distance trains will also have to produce RT-PCR negative reports, Ms Banerjee said. The Chief Minister said that the State is not going into a complete lockdown, but these additional restrictions are necessary to check spread of COVID.
10 states contributed 70.91 pc of new COVID-19 cases
Nearly 71 per cent of the 3,82,315 COVID-19 cases registered in India in a day were reported from 10 states, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan reported 70.91 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases reported in a day.
Maharashtra reported the highest number of daily new cases at 51,880, followed by 44,631 in Karnataka and 37,190 in Kerala.
Ten states account for 73.4 per cent of the new recoveries.
Over 16 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 16 crore, with India reaching the mark in 109 days, the Union Health Ministry said.
In comparison, the US took 111 days while China took 116 days to achieve a similar mark.
Yediyurappa directs Ministers to camp in districts for COVID-19 prevention work
With Karnataka witnessing a steep increase in COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday said he has directed his cabinet colleagues to camp in the districts and focus on efforts to curb the pandemic.
Further, in an apparent reference to more stringent curbs, he said “we have to implement the decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “We are also waiting for his directions. Based on it, we will take a decision in the evening,” the CM told reporters.
First death from COVID-19 in commando force NSG
Country’s federal counter-terrorist commando force National Security Guard (NSG) reported its first coronavirus linked death on Wednesday when a senior commander succumbed to the infection, officials said.
Group Commander (coordination) B K Jha was admitted to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) Hospital in Greater Noida after he contracted COVID-19 and breathed his last early morning.
The officer was working with one of the adminstrative units of the force and was not in the combat wing. He was 53-years old.
Members in Jaishankar’s delegation to UK test COVID positive
Two members of the Indian delegation led by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attending the G7 Ministers meet in London, have tested positive for Covid19.
Mr Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the meeting.
UN General Assembly President postpones India trip
President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir’s planned visit to India later this month has been postponed due to an “unexpected situation” relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Mr. Bozkir told reporters that he will be travelling to Bangladesh and Pakistan later this month on the invitation of the respective governments and will also be visiting Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh where he will meet with Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
Bozkir said that he had also planned a visit to India during his trip to South Asia but postponed it due to an “unexpected situation.” “I also wanted to go to India. It was India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but unfortunately, an unexpected situation came out and I had to postpone the India part to a later stage. But I will absolutely make sure that I’ll go to India as well,” the UN General Assembly President said, referring to India’s COVID-19 crisis.
Curfew in Uttar Pradesh extended till May 10
Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to increase the duration of the weekend lockdown till 7 a.m. on May 10, an official spokesman said in Lucknow.
“The corona curfew from Friday 8 p.m. to Tuesday 7 a.m., which was extended on May 3 for 48 hours and is in force till May 6 till 7 a.m. has been further extended till Monday (May 10) 7 a.m.,” an official spokesman said here.
All shops and establishments will now remain closed till Monday 7 a.m.
Centre to despatch over 36 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine to States in 3 days
Over 36 lakh (36,37,030) COVID-19 vaccine doses will be released to States/UTs within the next three days, which will be in addition to 94.47 lakh COVID doses (94,47,614) currently available with the States/Union Territories, according to a statement released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday.
It said that the Centre has so far provided nearly 17.02 crore vaccine doses (17,02,42,410) to States/UTs free of cost and, of this, the total consumption including wastage is 16,07,94,796 doses (as per data available at 8 a.m. on May 5).
“Implementation of accelerated Phase-3 strategy of Covid-19 vaccination started from 1st May 2021. Registration for the new eligible population groups has commenced since 28th April. Potential beneficiaries can either register directly on the CoWIN portal (cowin.gov.in) or through the Aarogya Setu app,” said the Ministry.
Centre moves Supreme Court over Delhi High Court order issuing contempt notice for non-compliance of direction on oxygen supply to treat COVID-19 patients in city.
The top court agrees to consider Centre’s urgent plea assailing Delhi HC’s contempt notice, direction to officials to be present in court over lack of oxygen supply in Delhi hospitals.
Deaths due to lack of oxygen no less than a ‘genocide’, says Allahabad HC
Deaths of COVID-19 patients due to lack of supply of oxygen to hospitals “is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen,” the Allahabad High Court said on Tuesday while asking the district administration in two districts in Uttar Pradesh to verify reports of shortage of oxygen in hospitals.
“How can we let our people die in this way when science is so advanced that even heart transplantation and brain surgery are taking place these days,” the court further asked.
Karnataka, Kerala grapple with high case numbers
Continuing the trend of high incidence of COVID-19, Karnataka on Tuesday reported 44,631 new cases, of which 20,870 were from Bengaluru Urban, and 292 deaths.
The test positivity rate (TPR) for the day stood at 29.03% and 1,53,707 tests were conducted, including 1,40,609 RT-PCR tests.
The Health Department said it had adequate stocks of vaccine, but several centres in Bengaluru put up ‘no vaccine’boards.
South Western Railways cancels 72 trains due to Karnataka lockdown
Citing poor ridership after the partial lockdown imposed by the Karnataka government, the South Western Railways (SWR) has cancelled 72 trains, most of which operated on suburban and intra-State routes.
In the Bengaluru division, 38 express trains and 18 DEMU/MEMU trains have been cancelled.
Some of the cancellations include trains operating to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) as well as suburban services from Bengaluru city to Marikuppam, Hosur and others.
Spiralling COVID-19 cases put unprecedented load on Jaipur hospitals
The spiralling cases of COVID-19 infection have put an unprecedented load on both the government and private hospitals in Jaipur and created a shortage of beds with oxygen support and ventilators. Patients are being rushed from one hospital to another by their relatives in search of emergency facilities.
The Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS) Hospital, which is the State government’s biggest COVID-19 treatment centre, is full with patients for whom the hospital administration was forced to lay beds in corridors from the ground to the eighth floors of the ward buildings.
Legislative Secretary G Narayan Raju dies of COVID-19
Legislative Secretary G. Narayan Raju has died of COVID-19, officials said on Wednesday. He was 62.
The top draftsman of the government was suffering from coronavirus and was admitted to the DRDO facility here where he breathed his last on Tuesday night, the Law Ministry officials said.
The legislative secretary is responsible for drafting and clearing key legislative proposals of the government before they are introduced in Parliament.