India on Thursday reported more than 300,000 coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, the highest daily global total, while Covid-related fatalities also jumped by a record 2,104 Covid deaths.
India’s daily jump in cases of 314,835 surpasses the previous highest one-day rise in the world of 297,430 cases posted by the United States in January.
The country’s caseload is at 1,59,30,965, while the death count increased to 1,84,657.
Maharashtra – the worst-affected state – on Tuesday reported 62,097 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally to over 39.6 lakh.
India is facing one of the biggest health challenges in the recent years with the shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds and anti-viral drug Remdesivir, used in the treatment of Covid.
In Delhi, desperate oxygen crisis resonated in the High Court on Wednesday. Hitting out at the centre, the court said: “How is the government so oblivious to the reality on ground? You can’t have people die because there is no oxygen.”
Here are the Live Updates on Coronavirus India Cases:
The Jammu district administration on Thursday declared five areas micro-containment zones (MCZs) and made it mandatory for residents to get themselves tested for COVID-19, officials said.
Action, including the filing of an FIR, will be taken against anyone refusing to undergo the test, they said.
District Magistrate Anshul Garg declared Kalika Colony and Gorkha Nagar of Tehsil Bahu; south and east extension of Trikuta Nagar; Sector 6, 9 and extension-8 of Nanak Nagar; the shopping centre near Bhagat Singh Chowk Bakshi Nagar and Preet Nagar as MCZs.
All government offices in Uttarakhand will remain closed for the next three days till Sunday for proper sanitisation in view of a rising number of coronavirus cases. The order to this effect was issued by the state health department.
Through another order, the department has asked all medical colleges, nursing schools and paramedical colleges to switch back to the online mode of education for the month of May and send the students residing in the hostels to their homes.
Additional Chief Secretary Radha Raturi also issued an order, closing all government and private schools, colleges and universities till further instructions and asking them to continue with the online mode of teaching.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday night said that his government will provide COVID-19 vaccine to people above 18 years of age for free.
Mr Soren’s statement came after the Centre announced a ”liberalised” policy making all adults above 18 years of age eligible to get inoculated from May 1 and allowing state governments and private hospitals to purchase vaccines from manufacturers.
Opposition parties alleged that the policy implies that the central government has abdicated its responsibility to provide free vaccines to citizens between the age group of 18 and 45 years.
“In Jharkhand, the corona vaccine will be provided free of cost to people above the age of 18 by the state government,” Mr Soren, who heads a coalition government of JMM-Congress-RJD, said in a tweet.
Manipur’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 30,000-mark on Thursday as 86 more people tested positive for the disease, an official said.
The fresh infections pushed the coronavirus caseload in the northeastern state to 30,047, he said. The deaths rose to 381 after a 56-year-old man from Imphal East district died due to the infection at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences here, the official said.
The new cases include 31 from Imphal East, 17 from Imphal West, 14 from Kakching, nine from Churachandpur, six from Bishnupur, four from Thoubal, two each from Chandel and Senapati and one from Kangpokpi district.
With new coronavirus-induced restrictions coming into force in Maharashtra from Thursday night, the state government said only government personnel and health workers will be allowed to travel by suburban trains in Mumbai.
The fresh restrictions under the government’s “Break-the-Chain” programme came into force at 8 pm on Thursday and will remain effective till 7 am on May 1.
No one else even notified as essential services or under exemptions as per earlier government orders will be allowed to use local trains during this period, said a statement issued by the office of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Government entities include civic bodies of Mumbai, Thane and other corporations, zilla parishads, government authorities, statutory commissions and agencies, the statement said.
With 59 more fatalities, the death count due to coronavirus rose to 1956 in Bihar on Thursday, health department bulletin said.
A total of 11,489 fresh COVID cases surfaced Thursday taking the count to 3,65,770 since the outbreak of the pandemic last year in the state, it said.
Among the new deaths, Patna accounted for nine casaulties while Bhagalpur reported 8 fatalities and Gaya five.
Other deaths came in from Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur four each, three patients each succumbed to coronavirus in Banka, Munger, Nawada and Vaishali, two each died in Gopalganj, Jehanabad, Madhepura, Nalanda, West Champaran, Samastipur and Saran and one casautly was reported from Bhojpur, Sitamarhi and Siwan.
The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday said it will provide COVID vaccine free of cost to people between 18 and 44 years from May 1.
Following a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj told reporters that the decision was made keeping in mind the welfare of the general public although it would be a huge burden on the exchequer.
The free vaccine will be provided in government health institutions, he added.
Other states that have made similar announcements include Uttar Pradesh, Assam Kerala.
The Centre had on Monday announced that all adults will be eligible for COVID vaccination from May 1 while private hospitals and states will be able to buy doses directly from manufacturers.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Thursday thanked his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik for supply of medical oxygen to the western state for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
PTI sources in the Chief Ministers Office said that Mr Thackeray called up Patnaik and thanked him for the steps taken for providing logistics and oxygen supply and their transportation to Maharashtra.
CMO Odisha in its twitter post said,”Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhavsaheb Thackeray @OfficeofUT today spoke to #Odisha [email protected]_Odisha and thanked him for the steps taken for logistics for oxygen supply and transport to Maharashtra.”
Some of the biggest hospitals in Delhi have over the past few days suffered the worst of the mayhem caused by the second wave of COVID-19. Conditions are equally deplorable, if not worse, in the smaller medical facilities of the National Capital Territory where the oxygen shortage crisis has turned nighmarish. So much so that one distraught senior doctor today broke down on camera while talking about his patients’ precarious situation and having to discharge many of them out of turn.
“We as doctors, as a hospital, we are supposed to give them life. If we cannot give them even oxygen…what is the situation…patient will die…” Dr Sunil Saggar, CEO of Shanti Mukand Hospital in New Delhi, told ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today cancelled his visit to Bengal on Friday to campaign for the ongoing state election citing meetings to review the Covid situation in the country. Home Minister Amit Shah also cut short his campaign today, cancelling two of his three Bengal meetings to return to Delhi for a Covid meeting. According to the BJP, all its top leaders have called off the rest of their campaign.
“Tomorrow, will be chairing high-level meetings to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Due to that, I would not be going to West Bengal,” PM Modi tweeted, effectively ending his campaign in Bengal, which will vote in three more rounds before the election results on May 2.
The Supreme Court Thursday termed the COVID-19 situation as almost a “national emergency” while agreeing to hear Vedanta’s plea for opening of its Sterlite copper unit at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu on the ground that it would produce thousand tonnes of oxygen and give it free of cost to treat patients.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was unimpressed with the objection of Tamil Nadu government which initially sought hearing of Vedanta’s plea on Monday and opposed its opening on various grounds including that it has been rejected by the top court earlier.
“We understand all this. We will ensure compliance of all environmental norms by the plant and its oxygen producing facility would be allowed to operate. We are on the oxygen plant,” the bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, said when senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan for Tamil Nadu objected to the plea of the company.
Many hospitals in Delhi facing Oxygen crisis right now. Oxygen is completely exhausted in some, I’ve been receiving messages & emails from hospitals since morning. We’re somehow providing them cylinders by rearranging from other hospitals that have slightly more stock:Delhi Dy CM pic.twitter.com/1GnxKEf3ZC
– ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2021
Australia will reduce the number of its citizens able to return from India and other red-zone countries to contain the risk of more virulent strains of COVID-19 spreading, the government said on Thursday as it announced changes in its vaccination program.
The restrictions will result in a 30% reduction in direct flights from India to Sydney and chartered flights that land in the Northern Territory.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking to reporters after a meeting of the National Cabinet, said that he would announce in the next 24 hours when the new restrictions would come into place.
As the country grapples with the current wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court Thursday took suo motu cognisance of the prevailing grim situation and said it wanted a “national plan” on issues, including supply of oxygen and essential drugs for treatment of patients infected with the virus.
A bench headed by Chief SA Bobde said it would also consider the issue pertaining to method and manner of COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
The bench, also comprising Justices LN Rao and SR Bhat, said it would examine the aspect relating to power of the high courts to declare lockdown amid the pandemic.
The top court appointed senior advocate Harish Salve as an amicus curiae to assist it in the suo motu proceedings.
The Delhi government is making efforts to airlift its enhanced quota of oxygen supply from Odisha, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Thursday, as several city hospitals reported shortage of oxygen amid rising cases of coronavirus.
Mr Kejriwal thanked the Centre and the High Court for their efforts towards raising Delhi’s oxygen quota for treating COVID 19 patients, and said the supplies have started reaching the national capital.
He said a major chunk of the freshly allotted quota of oxygen to Delhi comes from Odisha, which is hundreds of kilometres away, and the Delhi government is planning to airlift it to save time at this critical juncture in the fight against coronavirus.
Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance on prevailing COVID-19 situation in India, issues notice to Centre.
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally soared to 3,88,479 as the state reported its highest single-day spike of 6,164 new cases on Thursday, while seven fresh fatalities pushed the coronavirus death count to 1,965, a health official said.
The state recorded a 30 per cent rise in new cases in the last 24 hours. It had registered 4,851 infections on Wednesday.
As many as 3,575 new cases were registered in quarantine centres, while 2,589 fresh infections were detected during contact tracing, he said.
Haryana Government announces summer vacations in all the government schools, as well as private schools, from April 22 to May 31.
A total of 5,567 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Telangana on 21st April. A total of 2,251 people recovered while 23 deaths were reported yesterday.
The total number of COVID cases in the state is 3,73,468. The number of active cases is 49,781. pic.twitter.com/TGVZz0BzY7
– ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2021
The head of the medicine department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has requested his colleagues from other departments to provide 80 per cent of their resident doctors and faculty members for COVID-19 management.
In an urgent request, Dr Naveet Wig, who is also the chairperson of the hospital’s COVID-19 Task Force, said that in view of an alarming rise in the number of patients suffering from the disease and the opening of multiple COVID-19 facilities in the hospital, the need of manpower has increased multi-fold.
All hospital beds except those for dialysis patients, mother- childcare & life-threatening diseases to be dedicated for COVID patients in Bengaluru. All nursing homes&hospitals with up to 30 beds should mandatorily treat non-Covid patients: Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar pic.twitter.com/QySxVcehGH
– ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2021
Mizoram reported 73 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the state’s tally to 5,158, an official said.
Among the newly-infected patients are a 10-month-old baby and 13 other minors. Besides, seven elderly persons were also found to be infected in the last 24 hours.
The highest 52 new cases were reported from the Aizawl district, the official said.
Over 3 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases reported in India for the first time; 2,104 deaths, highest in 24 hours
Thane has added 4,664 new cases of coronavirus, raising the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 4,30,651, an official said on Thursday.
Besides these new cases reported on Wednesday, the virus also claimed the lives of 47 more people, pushing the death count in the district to 7,078, he said.
The COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane is 1.64 per cent, he added.
It is with great sadness that I have to inform that I lost my elder son, Ashish Yechury to COVID-19 this morning. I want to thank all those who gave us hope and who treated him – doctors, nurses, frontline health workers, sanitation workers and innumerable others who stood by us.
– Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) April 22, 2021