Thanks to Centre’s intervention, the Indian Medical Association has called off the symbolic protests over rising attacks against the medical fraternity. As the lockdown entered its 29th day, Centre allowed more relaxation in non-hotspot urban areas. However, some States continued to enforce stricter version of the lockdown given the surge in the number of cases.
The Hindu has brought out a multi-language e-book on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to covering the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded. Here is a collection of our daily cartoons on COVID-19.
Here are the latest updates:
7.00 pm | Jammu and Kashmir
COVID-19 cases exceeds 400 in Jammu and Kashmir
Number of coronavirus positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir exceeds 400 with 27 new cases reported on Wednesday, say officials.
6.45 pm | Kerala
11 more test positive for COVID-19 in Kerala
Eleven more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Kerala with totalpositive cases in the State touching 437 on Wednesday.
Two house surgeonsof the Kozhikode Medical college are among those who have tested positive for the virus.
The two had travelled outside the state,Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.
6.30 pm | New Delhi
PM Modi to interact with CMs on Monday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with Chief Ministers of all states by video conference on Monday morning.
6.15 pm | West Bengal
Canards spread against Bengal over Covid-19 tests; Centre sending faulty kits: Mamata
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday slammed the Centre for sending teams to look into West Bengal’s preparedness for tackling the Covid-19 outbreak and alleged faulty testing kits were dispatched to the state.
Ms. Banerjee’s comments came a day after a war of words broke out between West Bengal and the Union government over the arrival of two central teams in the state to assess the COVID-19 situation.
5.50 pm | Nepal
India gifts 23 tonnes of essential medicines to Nepal
India on Wednesday sent 23 tonnes of essential medicines to Nepal to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic which has infected 45 people in the country.
Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli thanked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for the generous support.
5.35 pm | New Delhi
Railways offers to supply 2.6 lakh meals daily to states
Railways has offered to supply 2.6 lakh meals daily from its various kitchens to all those districts which are willing to pick up cooked meals and distribute among the needy, the ministry said on Wednesday.
This has been communicated to district authorities all over the country, it said.
5.25 pm | Odisha
COVID-19 cases rise to 83 in Odisha
One new COVID-19 case was reported from Jajpur district taking Odisha’s total to 83 on Wednesday. With one death so far and recovery of 32 patients, active cases stand at 50 in the State, according to State government.
5.10 pm | New Delhi
MHA asks states to provide adequate security to healthcare workers; appoint nodal officers
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday asked all States and Union Territories to provide adequate security to doctors and frontline health workers who are facing attacks from unruly people.
In a letter to chief secretaries of all States and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also flagged a few heinous instances of unruly behaviour by people where the families and relatives of medical professionals, suspected to have died due to COVID-19 infection, were prevented from performing the last rites of the deceased.
It also directed the State governments and Union Territory administrations to appoint nodal officers who will be available 24/7 to redress any safety issue related to medical professionals.
4.45 pm | New Delhi
50 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours: Health Ministry
A total of 19,984 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections have been reported in India, as per the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The recovery rate is up from 17 % to 19.36 % on Wednesday.
Also, 50 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours and as many as 3870 people have been cured of the disease so far.
4.30 pm | Rajasthan
One more dies of COVID-19 in Rajasthan; death toll 27
One more person died of coronavirus in Rajasthan on Wednesday, pushing the death toll to 27 in the state, whose infection count soared to 1,868 with 133 fresh cases.
“The death of a COVID-19 patient has occurred in Bharatpur district. A total of 133 fresh cases have been reported in nine districts of the state, including 66 in Jaipur and 44 in Ajmer,” Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said.
4.15 pm | Haryana
Haryana cancels testing kit order with China
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said that Haryana has cancelled order of purchasing one lakh Rapid Testing Kits for Covid-19 from two Chinese companies.
Mr. Vij said that fresh order for 1 lakh kits was placed with the South Korea based company and they have already handed over 25,000 kits so far. “We are getting these kits at an almost half a price than that of Chinese companies and are of better quality,” he said. – Vikas Vasudeva
4.00 pm | Maharashtra
Centre recommends increasing bed capacity in Mumbai
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said the Central committee has recommended an increase in the capacity of quarantine facility in Mumbai from 1,200 beds to 2,000, in light of the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
An inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday for a two-day visit to assess the State’s preparedness to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
In keeping with the committee’s directives, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been asked to arrange for more beds and increase testing across Mumbai, Mr. Tope said, adding that tents can also be put up in open grounds if needed.
3.35 pm | New Delhi
There was post facto approval of the Rs.15,000-crore COVID-19 package called ’emergency response and health preparedness package’, Prakash Javadekar says.
3.30 pm | Bihar
Five more COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar taking total number to 136. All five cases were reported from Patna and aged between 22 and 45 years-old.
3.25 pm | New Delhi
What does the Ordinance say?
The ordinance proposes that in cases of attacks on healthcare workers the investigation will be completed within 30 days and the final decision will be arrived at within one year.
Punishment for such attacks will be 3 months to 5 years and fine of Rs.50,000 to Rs.2 lakh, and in severe cases where there are grievous injuries, the punishment will be 6 months to 7 years and fine of Rs.1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh. – Damini Nath
3.20 pm | New Delhi
Ordinance to protect healthcare workers
Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to provide strict punishments for attacks on doctors and healthcare workers, says I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar.
The ordinance will protect the whole healthcare fraternity, including doctors, nurses and ASHA workers.
“We have seen that they are doing crucial work for the country but at some places they are being attacked, harassed and their property damaged. We will not allow this to happen,” he said. – Damini Nath
3.15 pm | United Nations
India co-sponsors resolution calling for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
India has co-sponsored a UN General Assembly resolution that called for a fair, transparent and equitable access to essential medical supplies and any future vaccines developed to fight COVID-19 that has claimed over 177,000 lives and infected more than 2.5 million people.
The 193-Member General Assembly adopted the Mexico-drafted resolution ‘International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19’ by consensus on Monday. – PTI
3.10 pm | Delhi
Nurses write to Amit Shah
All India Government Nurses Federation on Wednesday wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah stating that nurses and other healthcare workers are facing problems to cross Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border to reach hospitals and other healthcare facilities, including COVID-19 treatment centres. – Nikhil M. Babu
3 pm | West Bengal
Doctors in West Bengal write to CM
More than half a dozen doctors associations in West Bengal have written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging that the government provide necessary protective measures to front line medical staff as per national and international guidelines as well increased testing for COVID-19.
2.55 pm | Tamil Nadu
Doctor’s wife appeals to CM to honour husband’s last wish
The family of neurosurgeon Simon Hercules, who died of COVID-19 on Sunday and was buried in Velangadu amidst chaos, has appealed to the Chief Minister to shift his mortal remains to the cemetery at Kilpauk as per his last wish.
In a video message, the doctor’s wife Anandhi Simon said, “We had obtained permission to bury him at the Kilpauk cemetery but he was buried in Velangadu due to a few incidents. We could not witness his burial. He has been buried in a sealed casket and this could be shifted to the Kilpauk cemetery. It will not create any trouble for anyone,” she said.
2.40 pm | Maharashtra
Centre recommends increasing bed capacity in Mumbai
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) that arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday for a two-day visit to assess the State’s preparedness to fight the coronavirus outbreak has recommended an increase in the capacity of quarantine facility in Mumbai from 1,200 beds to 2,000, in light of the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
In keeping with the committee’s directives, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been asked to arrange for more beds and increase testing across Mumbai, Tope said, adding that tents can also be put up in open grounds if needed.
2.40 pm | Uttar Pradesh
Fresh case in Aligarh
Aligarh registered one more COVID-19 positive case on Tuesday night. The infected person is the cousin of the person who succumbed to the virus on Tuesday. The deceased used to run a meat shop in the Usmanpada area of the city. Local sources said the shop was closed since the lockdown started. With this, the total number of active cases in Aligarh is two. – Anuj Kumar
2.20 pm | Bihar
5 more cases in Bihar
Five more COVID-19 cases were reported in Bihar on Wednesday taking the total number to 131.
Two women aged 30 and 57 years, and one male of 62 years from Khajpura area of Patna have tested positive. A 26-year-old woman from Biharsharief and a 25-year-old male from East Champaran district also tested positive today. – Amarnath Tewary
2.00 pm | Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announces an increase in solatium in case frontline staff dies while fighting COVID-19 from the existing ₹10 lakh to ₹50 lakh. He also announces that a family member of the deceased would be given a government job. – Dennis S. Jesudasan
1. 50 pm | Washington
Second wave of the virus will hit U.S. later this year: Health official
A second wave of the novel coronavirus will hit the U.S. later this year with even more difficult ramifications than the current COVID-19 crisis that has claimed more than 45,000 lives and infected over 8,24,000 people in the country, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has warned.
1.45 pm | Karnataka
Police and medical staff boost each other’s morale in Mangaluru
The police and the medical staff appreciated each other during the honor convoy organised by the Mangaluru Police Commissionerate in the super specialty block of the Government Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru.
25 police patrol vehicles saluted as they took laps in the hospital premises, while doctors, paramedical staff, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and health activists gathered and clapped in appreciation.
– Raghava M.
1.35 pm | Tamil Nadu
T.N. to distribute tokens for ration supplies at the doorsteps
Tokens for getting essential supplies from ration shops for the month of May would be distributed at the doorsteps of consumers on April 24 and 25, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Wednesday.
“The tokens will have a specific day and time when the ration cardholders can get their essential supplies. Consumers can collect them from their ration shops on the specified day and time,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
1.30 pm | New Delhi
Congress slams government’s decision of allowing the use of surplus rice to make sanitiser
The Congress attacked the government for approving the use of surplus rice to produce sanitiser, with Rahul Gandhi alleging that while the poor are dying of hunger their portion of rice is being used to clean the hands of the rich.
“After all, when will India’s poor wake up? You are dying of hunger and they are busy cleaning the hands of the rich by making sanitisers from your portion of rice,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
1.15 pm | New Delhi
RSS chief to deliver online address on COVID-19
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat will deliver an online address on Sunday on the current situation in wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Sangh said on Wednesday. In a tweet, the organisation said, Mr. Bhagwat will address on ‘Current Situation and Our Role’ on April 26 at 5 pm.
According to senior functionaries of the Sangh, this is for the first time in its history that such an address of its head is being held through a virtual platform.
1.05 pm | Tamil Nadu
Tangedco allows self-assessment of electricity readings
In a major relief for low tension current transformers (LTCT) of industrial and commercial consumers, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has allowed ‘self-assessment’ of electricity readings during the COVID-19 crisis.
1 pm | New Delhi
COVID-19 has devastated the MSME sector: Rahul Gandhi
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has called for ideas on a possible stimulus package for the medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME) sector on social media.
“#COVID19 has devastated our micro, small & medium businesses (MSME). The Congress party needs your help. Send us suggestions & ideas for what a MSME economic stimulus package should cover on,” Mr Gandhi said.
1 pm | Washington
U.S. State sues China for COVID-19 pandemic
A U.S. State has filed a lawsuit against China alleging that Beijing’s actions to suppress information, arrest whistleblowers and denying the contagious nature of the novel coronavirus led to “irreparable damage” to countries globally while causing human suffering and severe economic disruption.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the first of its kind lawsuit was filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt against the Chinese government, the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and other Chinese officials and institutions.
12.50 pm | Haryana
Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant gets permission to resume operations
Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar plant granted permission by the district administration to resume operations. It can operate with 4696 persons, 50 vehicles and in single shift.
12.30 pm | New Delhi
I&B Ministry issues advisory, asks media persons to take precautions
In the wake of a large number of media persons contracting COVID-19, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory to print and electronic media calling on journalists covering coronavirus-related incidents to take precautions.
The advisory also asked the management of media houses to take necessary care of their field as well as office staff.
12.25 pm | Karnataka
Seven new cases in Karnataka
Seven new cases have been detected on Wednesday taking the total cases to 425 in the State. These include 17 deaths and 129 discharged persons.
While five of the new cases are from Kalaburgi, two are from Bengaluru Urban. Bengaluru Urban has reported cases after a gap of three days.
12.20 pm | Telangana
Four journalists in Telangana quarantined
In what is said to be the first instance of journalists suspected to have contracted coronavirus in the State, four journalists — one from Gadwal and three from Mahbubnagar — were quarantined.
12.10 pm | New Delhi
Civil Aviation Ministry employee tests positive
Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted: An employee of the Ministry who had attended office on 15 April 2020 has tested positive for COVID19 on 21st April. All necessary protocols are being stringently followed on the premises. All colleagues who came in contact are being asked to go into self isolation as a precaution. Government of Delhi is seized of the matter. They are taking appropriate steps as per the laid protocol for contact tracing and risk profiling.
11.55 pm | New Delhi
Safety of doctors at workplace non-negotiable: Shah
Safety and dignity of our doctors at their work place is non-negotiable. It is our collective responsibility to ensure conducive atmosphere for them at all times. I have assured doctors that the Modi government is committed to their cause and appealed to reconsider their proposed protest: Home Minister Amit Shah
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has withdrawn their protest after their meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah via video conferencing, in which he assured doctors of their safety.
– Vijaita Singh
11.45 pm | New Delhi
CRPF constable tests positive in Delhi
A CRPF constable who was on leave and reported to the Delhi unit on April 6 said that he had some symptoms. He was put in a quarantine facility at the CRPF centre. He was tested on 17th April after symptoms grew. The reports came out to be positive for COVID-19. He has been admitted in Rajiv Gandhi Hospital here. All his contacts are in quarantine.
– Vijaita Singh
11.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh now has more than 800 COVID-19 cases
COVID-19 cases crossed the 800 milestone in Andhra Pradesh, reaching 813 as 56 new cases were added in the State in the last 24 hours ending Wednesday morning.
The coronavirus toll rose to 24 while as many patients had recovered and been discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, a latest COVID-19 government bulletin said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah interacted with doctors and Indian Medical Association (IMA) through video conferencing. He assured them security & appealed to them to not to do even symbolic protest as proposed by them, government is with them: MHA spokesperson
Gujarat adds 94 new infections and 5 deaths, taking the numbers to 2272 cases and 95 deaths.
Pregnant women about to deliver must be tested for COVID-19 even if asymptomatic
Pregnant women residing in clusters/containment areas or in large migration gatherings/evacuee centres in hotspot districts and presenting in labour or likely to deliver in five days should be tested for COVID-19 even if asymptomatic.
We have shared up-to-date reports with Central team, says Bengal govt.
A day after the Centre accused the West Bengal government of obstructing the visit of a Central team to the State to take stock of the COVID-19 situation, the State government said that “up-to-date” reports have been shared with the team and “it is not a fact” that there was no cooperation.
Huge spike in cases likely in Mumbai, says Central panel
A five-member Central team has projected that the number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai will touch an estimated 42,604 by April 30 and spiral to 6,56,407 by May 15.
Based on mathematical modelling for Mumbai by the Union Ministry of Health on April 16, the data presented by the team caught the Maharastra government off guard. The State government contested the methodology and tools used for the latest projection and gap analysis.
U.S. Senate approves nearly $500 billion more for coronavirus bailout
The U.S. Senate on April 21 unanimously approved $484 billion in additional coronavirus relief for the U.S. economy and hospitals treating people sickened by the pandemic, sending the measure to the House of Representatives for final passage later this week.
KEM gets 30-bed ICU for coronavirus patients
KEM Hospital now has a 30-bed ICU facility dedicated to COVID-19 positive patients.
In order to address the issue of patients of the virus dying in transit, the hospital has started a new facility where critical and suspected patients will be kept in a ward equipped with staff and ventilators.
Donations pour in for Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund
Office-bearers of Madras Pawn Brokers’ Association met District Collector R. Sitalakshmi on Tuesday and handed over a cheque for ₹11 lakh towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for preventive measures against coronavirus infection.
Govt. to conduct telephonic survey on COVID-19
The Central government will conduct a telephonic survey on COVID-19 calling up citizens on their mobile phones.
“This is to be carried out by NIC and calls will come from the number 1921,” a release said on Tuesday. It is to obtain proper feedback on the prevalence and distribution of symptoms.