COVID-19 death toll in India exceeded 100 on Saturday, with the country reporting 104 deaths, including three in Tamil Nadu.
Over 3,500 confirmed cases have been reported across India, according to Health Ministry and State government data. As per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on April 3, the nation is poised to observe a lights-off event at 9 p.m. on Sunday — explained here is how that will affect our power system.
Across the world, more than 1.1 million people have been infected, the bulk of which is in Europe and China, which is the epicentre of the virus. Among India’s immediate neighbours, Pakistan has registered over 2,800 cases and 40 deaths.
Numbers to note:
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Here are the latest updates:
1.40 pm | Karnataka
Two more cases in Karnataka
Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Karnataka on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the State to 146.
A bulletin issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare states that both the patients have a travel history to Dubai and returned to Bengaluru on March 22. The two patients, a 62-year-old female and a 68-year-old male, were quarantined at Akash Hospital, and did not have any symptoms till date.
1.30 pm | Bihar
The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar rose to 32 on Sunday.
The latest patient is a 65-year-old man from Bhagalpur district. He had recently travelled to the UK.
1.10 pm | Maharashtra
Pune records third death as Maharashtra’s tally surges to 661
The test samples of a recently deceased 60-year-old woman residing in the city’s Yerwada area has tested positive for COVID-19, making it the third death in Pune district, said authorities on Sunday even as Maharashtra’s total positive cases soared to 661, with 33 deaths.
According to Ajay Chandanwale, Dean of Sassoon Hospital, the woman with difficulties in breathing was brought dead to the hospital a couple of days ago. Her tests samples which were sent to the National Institute of Virology returned positive.
Sources further said that the woman was placed in isolation at the city’s Naidu hospital a few days back and discharged after testing negative. However, soon she started complaining of breathlessness and was rushed to the Sassoon Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.
12.50 pm | Karnataka
PM Modi’s appeal on lighting lamps is BJP’s hidden agenda, says H.D. Kumaraswamy
Former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy alleged on Sunday Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for lighting lamps in the context of the fight against the coronavirus was a “hidden agenda” of the BJP and challenged him to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation for his call.
“Has the PM slyly asked the nation to observe a candle light vigil on the eve of foundation day of BJP? April 6 being its foundation day, what else can explain the choice of date & time for this event? I challenge the PM to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation,” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader tweeted.
12.20 pm | Madhya Pradesh
Principal Secretary of Public Health in Madhya Pradesh tests positive
The Madhya Pradesh Principal Secretary of the Public Health and Family Welfare, the seniormost bureaucrat in the department, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday even as the toll owing to the illness reached double digits in the State.
She tested positive along with an Additional Director in the Directorate of Health Services tasked with implementing strategies to combat the outbreak in the State, according to Sudhir Dehariya, Bhopal Chief Medical and Health Officer.
11.40 am | India
PM tweets #9pm9minute to remind people to light up diyas on Sunday night
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reminded people to light up lamps on Sunday night to show the country’s collective resolve to fight coronavirus.
“#9pm9minute”, the Prime Minister tweeted to remind people of the exercise.
Mr. Modi had on Friday urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 p.m. on April 5 to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus.
11.35 am | USA
NY continues to record highest number of daily deaths from COVID-19
New York State, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., continued to record the highest count of daily deaths from COVID-19 as a staggering number of 630 people died in a 24-hour period and Governor Andrew Cuomo said the outbreak in the state could peak in about seven days.
The state had recorded the highest single increase in the number of deaths from novel coronavirus in a single day between April 2 and 3 when 562 people had died, one person dying from the viral infection almost every two-and-a-half minutes.
In the 24 hours since April 4, the death toll grew to 630, “all-time increase” up to a total of 3,565, up from 2,935 on Friday morning, Mr. Cuomo said.
11.25 am | South Africa
South African Muslim cleric dies of coronavirus after attending Nizamuddin congregation
A South African Muslim cleric, who recently returned from India after attending the Nizamuddin congregation, has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to his family members.
Moulana Yusuf Tootla, 80, attended the March 1 to 15 Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Nizmuddin area, that has emerged as the epicentre for the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of India and abroad after thousands of people took part in it.
Tootla, who died on Tuesday, was buried after his body was collected in a bag by the Islamic Burial Council (IBC).
11.10 am | India
Testing, treatment now available for free under Ayushman Bharat Scheme
The Central government has decided to provide free testing and treatment of Coronavirus under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
This, it notes, will help more than 50 crore Ayushman beneficiaries to avail free testing and treatment in designated private hospitals across India.
Confirming this Dr. Indu (CEO) of Ayushman Bharat said this would allow beneficiaries to get timely and standard treatment.
10.55 am | Gujarat
14 new cases in Gujarat
14 new cases of coronavirus were reported from Gujarat out of which 6 are linked with Tabligh Jamaat congregation in Delhi.
A 61 year old female patient who tested positive for COVID-19 died in Surat.
10.30 am | Rajasthan
Another death in Jaipur
An 82-year-old man who was tested positive for COVID-19 died in Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital in Jaipur. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday.
Six new COVID-19 positive cases, including that of an 82-year-old man who died in Jaipur, were reported in Rajasthan today, bringing the total number of cases in the State to 182. Of this, 25 people have recovered.
Adding the 28 evacuees from Iran who have been tested positive in the Army camp, the total number of cases in Rajasthan is 210.
10.20 am | Tamil Nadu
Two more deaths in TN; death toll rises to 5
Two more COVID-19 related deaths have been identified in the State, said Tamil Nadu health officials. With this, the death toll in the State rose to five.
A bulletin from the health department identified the two patients as a 71-year-old man from Ramanathapuram and a 60-year-old man from Washermanpet. They had both been admitted to the Stanley Government Hospital prior to death.
10 am | China
China reports 30 new coronavirus cases; nine districts in Wuhan classified as ‘low-risk’
China has reported 30 new cases of the novel coronavirus, including five locally transmitted infections, even as nine of the 13 administrative districts of virus-hit Wuhan city were declared ‘low-risk areas’ signifying a gradual return to normalcy, officials said on Sunday.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report said other than the 30 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the mainland on Saturday, 47 new asymptomatic cases were also reported.
The NHC said 1,024 asymptomatic cases were still under medical observation, including 244 from abroad.
9.30 am | United Kingdom
Liverpool furlough non-playing staff amid COVID-19 pandemic
Premier League leaders Liverpool have furloughed some of their non-playing staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are holding talks about the prospect of salary deductions for players and senior staff, the club said on Saturday.
Liverpool added on their website that the furloughed staff would continue to receive 100% of their salaries.
Furloughed British workers can claim 80% of their wages up to 2,500 pounds per month as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means Liverpool will top up the remaining 20% of salaries for furloughed staff.
9 am | India
DRDO comes up with more products to tackle coronavirus
The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has announced a few more products made by its scientists with indigenous technologies to combat coronavirus pandemic.
The Centre for Fire Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi, developed two configurations of sanitising equipment which are spin-offs from technologies developed for fire suppression applications. First is a portable sanitisation equipment for spraying decontamination solution consisting of 1% Hypochlorite (HYPO) solution for sanitisation of suspected area.
8.33 am | USA
U.S. to witness toughest next two weeks due to rising coronavirus cases: Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned the Americans of the toughest next two weeks as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed three lakh-mark and the death toll stood over 8,000.
“Next two weeks are going to be very, very deadly. Unfortunately, but we are going to make it so that we lose as few lives as possible and I think we are going to be successful, Mr. Trump told reporters during a press conference at the White House that was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence.
42% of patients in India between 21 and 40 years
About 42% of those confirmed positive for COVID-19 in India are between the ages of 21-40 years old, the Union Health Ministry said on April 4, for the first time throwing light on the demography of the disease in India. Only 17% of those testing positive were over 60.
By comparison, data from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control said 29% of those affected were in the 20-44 age group and 32% were above 60. India recorded 2,904 cases and 75 deaths as on Saturday compared to the 2,79,355 cases and 7,451 deaths in the United States.
Grounding of planes partially hits IMD’s weather data supply
The grounding of the country’s civilian aircraft has strangled a key source of weather data that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) uses for its forecasts. Officials, however, clarified that India’s annual monsoon forecast system was on track, with the first forecast scheduled to be issued in mid-April.
Aircraft relay data about temperature and wind speed in the upper atmosphere to meteorological agencies the world over and this is used in the dynamical models, the ones which are run on super computers and relied on to give weather forecasts three days, or even two weeks ahead. “Inputs from aircraft are important for the dynamical models as it determines the initial conditions for these models,” D.S. Pai, chief forecaster, IMD Pune, told The Hindu. “However for the monsoon forecast, which is a long-term forecast, this isn’t significantly affected.”
Shops selling essential commodities will close at 1 p.m. from Sunday, says Palaniswami
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Saturday announced that shops selling essential items would stay open only between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. from Sunday.
He said that all markets should strictly follow the prescribed physical distancing norms and advised against any type of religious congregation.
Mr. Palaniswami said that he had instructed district collectors to ensure the reopening of private hospitals. “Private hospitals have been advised to treat COVID-19 patients without discrimination and utmost care. They will also make vehicles available to bring patients,” he said, adding that select private hospitals had been identified to treat COVID-19 patients.
Two more positive cases from Dharavi
The number of COVID-19 positive cases from Dharavi rose to four on Saturday.
A 30-year-old woman, a resident of the same area as the first patient, along with a 48-year-old man from Dharavi’s Mukund Nagar, tested positive for the disease. This brings the total to four from the area, excluding a conservancy worker, who also tested positive.
Upscale Shivaji Park too reported its first positive case on Saturday.