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Coronavirus Lockdown Highlights: 51,000 Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra today; daily count in Mumbai drops to 6,905

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)Coronavirus (Covid-19)According to Union Health Ministry data, 5 states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala – together account for 70.82% of India’s total Covid-19 active cases.

Covid-19 Cases in India: India’s Covid-19 situation continues to remain grim as the number of active coronavirus cases in the country on Sunday breached the critical 11-lakh mark for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic has started last year, even as the country’s 4-day vaccine festival (Tika Utsav) is underway. Five states – Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala – together account for 70.82% of India’s total Covid-19 active cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for 48.57% of the total active caseload of the country

According to data from the Union Health Ministry data, Covid-19 cases in 16 states/UTs in the country are inching towards their peaks, which is “a worrying sign”; two weeks ago, only 10 states were showing upward trajectory. The worst-hit Maharashtra on Sunday reported over 57,000 cases, its highest biggest ever 1-day surge since the pandemic struck the nation last year

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray yesterday held a meeting with the Covid-19 taskforce in the state; all stakeholders were agreed on a “need for lockdown” in the state to contain the spread of Coronavirus infections. Thackeray will hold another meeting today with state departments to discuss the imposition of lockdown in the state. The focus of today’s meeting is likely to be on standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines for the lockdown. However, the formal decision on the imposition of a lockdown is likely only after the cabinet meeting on April 14.  “A formal decision on the imposition of a lockdown in Maharashtra is likely to be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after a cabinet meeting on April 14,” State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also warned of a possible lockdown as the national capital recorded 10,774 Covid-19 cases, its highest ever single-day spike.

Gujarat, another severely affected state, has extended night curfew extended to rural parts of Surat amid the Covid-19 spike; the state has imposed night curfews, shuts schools and colleges in order to limit the spread of the second wave of coronavirus infection. Uttar Pradesh, too, imposed night curfew in major districts seeing Covid-19 spike. It also closed schools till 30 April. States like Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Karnakata have announced several restrictions. Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam, Odisha have announced restrictions on the movement of people from other states.

As India reported a new peak in single-day spike of Covid-19 cases and states announced new restrictions, night curfews and lockdowns (in some cases, weekend lockdowns) to contain coronavirus infections, here’s FE Online blog covering every single development – virus, vaccine, Covid-19 guidelines, curbs, night curfew, and lockdowns, etc. We bring you developments from across the country and the world. Follow our live blog and get instant, verified updates on the coronavirus pandemic:

Chhattisgarh’s COVID-19 count rose to 4,56,873 on Monday with the addition of 13,576 fresh cases, while the death toll mounted by 132 to 5,031, an official said. This is the sixth consecutive day when the state has recorded more than 10,000 cases. The number of active cases in the state stands at 98,856 after 162 people were discharged from hospitals while 4,274 others completed their home isolation stay. The number of people who have recovered from the infection increased to 3,52,986, the official said. The worst-hit Raipur and Durg districts witnessed 3,442 and 1,591 new cases, respectively, during the day. While the count of infections in Raipur has reached 94,753, including 1,261 deaths, Durg’s caseload rose to 56,986, including 953 fatalities. (PTI)

The railways’ COVID care coaches have been requisitioned by the administration of Nandurbar, one of the smallest districts of Maharashtra, to augment its efforts in dealing with the pandemic as the region has reported 400 cases daily since the last month. The district administration had imposed a lockdown from March 31 till April 15. Each COVID care rake has 20 coaches consisting of modified sleeper and general coaches and each of these coaches can accommodate 16 patients. The Nandurbar administration has asked for more than 90 such coaches. A Memorandum of Understating was signed between the District Magistrate of Nandurbar and the Divisional Railway Manager of Western Railway in this regard. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines, the responsibilities of maintaining the coaches will be shared by the railways and the state government. (PTI)

The Delhi government on Monday declared 14 private hospitals in the city as “full COVID-19” hospitals and directed them not to admit any non-COVID patients till further orders. “These included the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Sarita Vihar, the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the Holy Family Hospital, the Max SS Hospital and the Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh. Nineteen private hospitals have been directed to reserve at least 80 per cent of their ICU beds for COVID-related treatment. Eighty-two private hospitals have been asked to set aside at least 60 per cent of their ICU beds for coronavirus patients, according to the order issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). (PTI)

Nashik on Monday reported 3,588 COVID-19 cases and 38 deaths, the highest addition to the toll in the district in a single day so far, said an official. The caseload in the district stands at 2,33,629, including 2,720 deaths, while the recovery count reached 1,94,267 after 3,928 people were discharged from hospitals, he added. With 12,053 samples being examined on Monday, the number of tests in Nashik went up to 8,99,315, he said. (PTI)

Mumbai on Monday recorded 6,905 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day count so far in April, while 43 more patients succumbed to the infection, the city civic body said. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) updated data, 6,905 fresh infections took the financial capital’s COVID-19 caseload to 5,27,119, while the death toll jumped to 12,060. For the first time since the start of the month, Mumbai has witnessed less than 8,500 daily COVID-19 cases in a day. On April 1, the metropolis had recorded 8,646 cases, while the all-time high (so far) was recorded on April 4 at 11,163. On three days in April, the daily count had crossed the 10,000-mark. (PTI)

The Directorate of Education (DoE) on Monday clarified that students of classes 9 to 12 should not be called to school for classes or exams. The Delhi government had last Friday announced the same, however, a Delhi Disaster Management Authority order on Saturday night stated the opposite, prompting the department to issue a clarification. ‘It is clarified that no student of class 9 to 12 should be physically called to school for exams, practicals or any academic and non academic activity, the DoE said in an official order. The decision has been taken after the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital. Delhi recorded 10,774 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest single-day surge in the national capital till date, according to data shared by the health department. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the COVID-19 situation in Delhi is ‘very serious’ and issued a stark warning asking people t to step out of homes unless it is urgent. Students of class 10 and 12 have been demanding that the board exams scheduled in May-June be either cancelled or conducted in online mode. (PTI)

Plants in Maharashtra are producing 1,200 metric tonnes of oxygen per day and the entire stock is being used for medical purposes in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday. He also said the central government should provide Maharashtra with 1.60 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses per month. Talking to reporters in adjoining Jalna district, Tope said the state government has decided to set up plants in hospitals which can separate and purify oxygen from the atmosphere and provide it to patients. Tope said neighbouring states are not willing to supply liquid oxygen to Maharashtra, which is reeling under a second wave of COVID-19 and has seen a rapid rise in demand for oxygen needed to treat critical patients.(PTI)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has appealed to PM to put in place minimum monthly guaranteed income scheme, transfer Rs 6,000 into every eligible citizen’s account. In a letter, she said allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to states has to be done considering prevalence and projection of infections. Congress president Sonia Gandhi also requested PM Narendra Modi to allow emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine candidates having required clearances. She further called for GST exemption to all equipment, instruments, medicines being used in fight against COVID-19. 

The Delhi University (DU) issued a set of guidelines with immediate effect on Monday in the wake of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the national capital. In a notice, the university said the classes for the undergraduate and postgraduate students will continue in the “online mode only” in all the colleges, while the research scholars may continue their academic work with the consent of their supervisors. “Teaching/learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students will continue in the online mode only in all the colleges, centres and departments of the University of Delhi. (PTI)

he COVID-19 tally in Uttar Pradesh rose to 7,05,619 on Monday with 13,685 fresh cases, while 72 more fatalities, highest single-day toll this month, pushed the death toll in the state to 9,224, an official said. At present, there are 81,576 active cases in the state, while 6,14,819 patients have recovered from the infection so far. “In the past 24 hours, 13,685 fresh cases were reported while 3,197 patients were discharged. The state has reported a total of 9,224 deaths till now,” Additional Chief Secretary of Health Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters here. (PTI)

Night curfew imposed in Haryana from 9 pm to 5 am, with effect from tonight until further orders. (ANI)

COVID-19 vaccines protect against serious illness but transmissibility can still continue and inoculated people can pass on the infection to others, say scientists, warning against complacency in those who stop maintaining protocol after they get their jabs. Transmissibility from vaccinated persons can be a risk factor until global coverage is achieved, top experts said as India’s Covid numbers escalated sharply, reaching 1,35,27,717 (1.35 crore/13,5 million) with 1,68,912 new cases on Monday to make it the country with the second highest number of cases after the US. (PTI)

Amid an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, the sixth round of the serological survey, which seeks to find the prevalence of antibodies against coronavirus in people, got underway in the national capital on Monday. Sources said around 28,000 samples, about 100 from each of the 272 wards, will be collected as part of the exercise. Delhi has a population of over 2 crore spread across 11 districts. In the sixth round of the sero survey, the vaccination history of participants will also be taken, the sources said. The first sero survey was conducted by the Delhi government in association with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) from June 27 to July 10 last year. As part of the exercise, 21,387 samples were collected and it was found that around 23 per cent of the participants had been exposed to coronavirus. (PTI)

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s younger daughter Iltija tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, her mother said here. “Want to confirm media reports that my younger daughter Iltija tested positive for COVID today,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister wrote on Twitter. She said Iltija has isolated herself on the advice of doctors. “As advised by doctors she is now self isolating & taking all the necessary precautions,” the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief said. National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah also tested positive for the disease recently as Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing a spike in the number of fresh coronavirus cases over the last few weeks. (PTI)

Goa’s coronavirus caseload went up by 476 and reached 62,780 on Monday, while two patients died and 231 recovered during the day, an official said. The state’s toll stands at 850, the recovery count is 57,365 and the active caseload is 4,565, he added. With 2,280 samples being examined on Monday, the number of tests in Goa went up to 5,74,617. Goa’s COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 62,780, new cases 476, death toll 850, discharged 57,365, active cases 4,565, samples tested till date 5,74,617. (PTI)

Karnataka has reported 9,579 fresh COVID-19 cases and 52 related fatalities, taking the total caseload to 10.74 lakh and the toll to 12,941, the Health department said on Monday. Bengaluru Urban alone accounted for 6,387 of the fresh cases. The day also saw 2,767 patients getting discharged after recovery. Cumulatively 10,74,869 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 12,941 deaths and 9,85,924 discharges, the Health department said in its bulletin. (PTI)

Offices, metro and bus services in Delhi operated with 50-per cent capacity on Monday following the restrictions imposed by the AAP dispensation in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on Saturday night ordered the prohibition of all types of gatherings, a reduced number of people at weddings and funerals, running of public transport at half of their seating capacity and a scaled down presence in government offices. On the first working day after the restrictions were imposed, the crowds in buses and metro were restricted, which led to crowding at bus stands and metro stations. (PTI)

Stating that people lose their jobs when a lockdown is imposed, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Monday alleged the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is not serious about providing any financial aid to the vulnerable sections. Taking a dig at the state government amid talks that an extended lockdown is imminent in Maharashtra in view of a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, Fadnavis said there is a “lockshahi” in the state now instead of ‘lokshahi’ (democracy). (PTI)

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday blamed the Centre for the rise in coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. Speaking to reporters, Raut said Maharashtra had followed every instruction issued by the Centre, and the latter must act sensitively and cautiously and stop blaming states. Ten states- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan- have shown a steep rise in daily COVID-19 cases, accounting for83.02 per centof the new infections, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. (PTI)

Amid talks of a complete lockdown in Maharashtra to arrest the COVID-19 surge, the passenger rush on outstation trains in Mumbai has increased since the last weekend, Railway sources said on Monday. The Railway administration, however, attributed the passenger rush to the summer season which sees a large number of people travelling to their native places. The sources said though the rush on outstation trains has gone up since the state government announced fresh COVID- 19 curbs earlier this month, the weekend saw a steady flow of passengers on long-distance trains originating from different stations in the metropolis. (PTI)

As COVID-19 cases surge, the Karnataka government has asked private hospitals to reserve 50 per cent of the beds for the novel coronavirus patients as was done during the first wave, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Monday. Speaking to reporters after a video conference with the Private Hospitals and Nursing Home Association (PHANA), Sudhakar said the private hospitals have been advised to vacate beds occupied by non-COVID patients who do not require hospitalisation and reserve the same for COVID-19 patients. (PTI)

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s decision on COVID-19 vaccination only to – prioritized age groups-  above 45 years and sought doses for all citizens. The plea filed by political activist and columnist Tehseen Poonawalla said there has been a steep increase in daily COVID-19 cases in the country, with 1.31 lakh new cases as of April 9. This has necessitated an ever-increasing need to allow vaccination for COVID-19 to all age groups and especially to all persons with co-morbidities such as respiratory illnesses and terminal illness, who, despite being vulnerable to the virus, have not been given the option to be protected by the vaccine. (PTI)

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav advised the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday to open the Lucknow Cancer Institute for treatment of COVID-19 patients amid soaring cases in the city. “During this medical emergency, the Lucknow Cancer Institute, which was started during the tenure of the SP government, in the first phase will provide space for 750 beds,” Yadav tweeted. “The SP had built the Lucknow Cancer Institute in one-and-half years and the BJP should open it for COVID (patients) after their four years in office,” he said. Last August, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had asked officials to set up a COVID care centre in the Lucknow Cancer Institute. (PTI)

Thailand reported 985 new coronavirus cases on Monday, its highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic, and health officials said they were worried the number of new infections could be far higher after this week’s traditional Thai New Year holiday. Health experts said the third major surge in the country was proving more difficult to control as it was mostly a variant of the virus first found in the UK and has mostly affected younger people because it broke out at nightclubs and bars. (AP)

COVID-19: Aviation Ministry bans in-flight meals on flights having duration of less than 2 hours. (PTI)

Jharkhand Health Secretary issues an order to Deputy Commissioners of all districts to reserve a minimum of 50% beds of their capacity for COVID19 patients.

Amazon on Monday said it will cover the COVID-19 vaccination cost for all its India employees and associates as well as those in partner network ecosystem. This would include delivery service partner associates, including Amazon Flex drivers, ‘I Have Space’ store partners, trucking partners and their eligible dependents, a statement said. The benefit also will be available to all sellers on with an active listing since last year, it added. “As COVID-19 vaccines become available to individuals above 45 years of age in India, Amazon India is encouraging its employees, associates, sellers on and partners to get vaccinated at the earliest appropriate time to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” it said. The company has also set up comprehensive support mechanisms for employees and associates working with Amazon and hired through staffing agencies, it added. (PTI)

A decision to impose “lockdown” under the garb of a “janata curfew” (voluntary shutdown) in the last week of February as coronavirus cases started to build up in most parts of Maharashtra helped Amravati tackle the onslaught better than others, the district’s guardian minister Yashomati Thakur said on Monday. She said the situation in Maharashtra, currently witnessing the most severe surge in the country, would have been different if the “Amravati pattern” was implemented statewide earlier. When the number of cases spiked from 1,000 to 1,200 quickly in February, a firm decision was taken to impose widespread restrictions, Thakur, who is state Women and Child Development minister, told PTI. “We took a firm decision on February 26 to impose a lockdown resisting criticism and opposition. We started with a weekend lockdown, calling it a janata curfew. Later, for 10 to 12 days, we went in for complete lockdown, excluding essential services, MIDC and vegetable markets,” Thakur claimed. (PTI)

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has expressed its displeasure over institutionally quarantined COVID-19 patients not following isolation norms, and directed for CCTVs to be installed in all such facilities in Nagpur. A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote in its order on April 8, a copy of which was made available on Monday, said the installation of CCTV cameras would be useful to check the movements of quarantined patients in and out of their rooms. (PTI)

People not adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour and the circulation of highly infectious strains of SARS-COV-2 could be the primary reasons behind the surge in coronavirus infections in India, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Monday. He also warned that if the situation is not reversed, then the galloping infection rate will eventually cause a huge strain on the country’s healthcare system. He sought stricter enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour on the ground level by the administration and authorities. “Around February, when cases started to decrease, people became lax towards following COVID-appropriate behaviour as they thought the virus had become ineffective. “People are taking the disease lightly now. If you go out, you see that marketplaces, restaurants and shopping malls are crowded and full of people and these all are super-spreader events,” Guleria said. (PTI)

In a major development, Sputnik V – a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia – has been grated emergency use authorisation in India. It will be rolled in India by Dr Reddy’s. “Subject Expert Committee approves Dr Reddy’s application for emergency use authorisation to Sputnik V,” news ANI quoted sources as saying. READ MORE

High schools have reopened in Greece to students in the final three grades with the mandatory use of test kits for COVID-19 being rolled out across the country to help with mass screening for infections, with an eye to further reopening the economy and tourism.  Students from grades 10 to 12 were allowed to return to class Monday, most for the first time in five months, if they provided a negative test result using the kits being distributed at pharmacies. Some teachers chose to hold classes outdoors.  Students in other grades continued online classes. (AP)

The Maharashtra government has postponed board examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 students amid Covid-19 surge in the state, reported ANI. Given the current COVID19 situation in Maharashtra, we’ve postponed state board exams for class 10th & 12th. Class 12th exams will be held by end of May, while 10th standard exams will be in June. Fresh dates will be announced accordingly, said Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad. “We’ll also be writing to the CBSE, ICSE, IB, Cambridge boards, requesting them to reconsider their exams dates, Varsha Gaikwad added.

The Madhya Pradesh government has offered to provide space to private hospitals to set up their medical facilities in a bid to increase the number of beds for COVID-19 patients, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Monday. Talking to reporters here, Chouhan also said the supply of Remdevisir injections would be normalised within the next two or three days as the government has started procuring the key anti-viral drug. The demand for the drug has gone up in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases. The CM said the viral infection can be controlled if people adopt COVID-appropriate behaviour. “I believe that instead of a lockdown in cities, people should lock their faces with masks and lock themselves in their homes tocontrol the spread of the viral infection,” Chouhan said. (PTI)

A plea urged the Delhi High Court on Monday to issue directions for suspending the Senior Division Boys’ Football League, slated to commence from April 15, in view of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country. The Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) which is conducting the event told the court that the tournament has been postponed to April 18 as it would be holding a meeting on Tuesday on precautionary steps to be taken. Taking note of the submission, Justice Prathiba M Singh asked DSA to file a status report indicating the outcome of the meeting and listed the matter for hearing on April 16. The direction came on the petition by Delhi-based Hindustan Football Club, represented by advocate Ashim Shridhar, which has also sought directions to the Centre, AAP government, All India Football Federation (AIFF) and DSA to “ensure the formulation of a standard operating procedure including creation of bio-bubbles prior to commencement of the tournament”. (PTI)

Denmark’s Health Minister declared Monday the big vaccine day,” with 100,000 people to be vaccinated in one day as officials test the system ahead of a June rollout where four times as many people as that will be vaccinated each day. The shots will be given in 68 inoculation centers across the country of nearly 6 million. The number will be lower Tuesday. Minister Magnus Heunicke said Danes will set a new record, and urged people to arrive on time and have high spirits. The bulk of the vaccination will be in Copenhagen and surroundings, where one-third of the population lives. At the Oeksnehallen exhibition center in downtown Copenhagen where makeshift vaccination booths have been installed inside the building that once housed cattle to be slaughtered, the plan is to inoculate 6,000 people. (PTI)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to continue to “behave responsibly” as shops, hairdressers, restaurants, pubs and gyms reopen their doors on Monday in the latest stage of the coronavirus lockdown easing in England. People were seen queuing overnight outside some clothing stores and also some pubs and restaurants, which are now allowed to serve customers outdoors. Social mixing indoors remains heavily restricted and people are still expected to work from home where possible to minimise the amount they have to commute. “I’m sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it’s a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed,” Johnson said. “I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ to suppress COVID as we push on with our vaccination programme,” he said. According to some media reports, the UK PM will be among some of the first in line to get his haircut ahead of a special House of Commons session for tributes to the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on Friday. (PTI)

Japan begins COVID19 vaccinations for its sizable elderly population. Shots for people aged 65 and above began at 120 sites across the country. According to a health ministry schedule, about 2,810 people in Tokyo are expected to get a shot from the first batch.

The meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and members of state’s Covid task force is underway in Mumbai, according to a AIR News report. Various measures to tackle the Covid situation in the state are being discussed in the meeting, it said.

The Gujarat High Court pulled up the state government on Monday over the COVID-19 situation in the state and problems being faced by citizens, saying the reality is contrary to what the government claims. “People now think that they are at God’s mercy,” a division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia said while hearing a PIL, taken up suo motu (on its own), on the coronavirus situation in the state. After Advocate General Kamal Trivedi informed the HC about steps taken by the Gujarat government to tackle the COVID-19 situation, the court said the reality is quite different from what the government claims. “The situation is quite different than what you are claiming. You are saying that everything is alright. But, the reality is contrary to that,” the high court said during the hearing held via video-conferencing. There is a “trust deficit” among people, it observed. “There is no shortage of Remdesivir (key anti-viral drug). Everything is available with you. We want results, not reasons,” the HC said, on complaints of shortage of Remdesivir injections for COVID-19 patients. (PTI)

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