Oxford University has given a fresh hope in the battle against COVID-19 by beginning human trial on its anti-coronavirus vaccine. If found effective, the vaccines could be available from September.
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:
1.05 pm | Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh CM for payment of MGNREGA wages in the form of food grains
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, in a letter to Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, has asked the Centre to allow payment of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) wages in the form of food grains.
Mr. Baghel said that the State was employing five lakh workers every day under the scheme. He added that the livelihood of over 62.5 lakh persons in the State was dependent on MGNREGA and it was essential that the work continued in this hour of crisis.
1.00 pm | Pune
Pune records over 50 cases in twelve hours
A sharp spike of 53 new COVID-19 cases was reported from Pune district over a 12-hour span, taking the district’s cumulative tally of active positive cases to 734, said health officials on Thursday.
With the accretion of fresh cases, the district has witnessed a surge of more than 120 new cases over a 36-hour span. It had recorded 68 new cases on Wednesday, while its death count stood at 59 till Wednesday night.
12.50 pm | Puducherry
MGNREGA work begins in 35 panchayats in Puducherry
In line with Centre’s guidelines to mitigate the sufferings of rural households during the lockdown, the Puducherry Government has decided to commence works for 35 projects to the tune of ₹3.45 crore, in 35 village panchayats, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Scheme.
The number of Panchayats will be scaled up in the coming days.
12.45 pm | Washington
Over 4,000 Americans repatriated from India so far, says U.S. official
The U.S. has so far repatriated over 4,000 Americans from India and efforts are being made to bring back about 6,000 more from the country, a senior US official has said.
The U.S. Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 65,000 American citizens and family members from 122 countries on 687 flights so far. This includes over 1,000 U.S. citizens from Pakistan.
“We have four more flights scheduled (in India) in the coming days,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee told reporters at a press conference here.
12.35 pm | Andhra Pradesh
Youth, who tested negative for COVID-19 in early March, now found infected
A 33-year-old youth, who was tested negative for COVID-19 in early March, was tested positive on Thursday in Samalkota town in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
East Godavari Joint Collector-II G. Raja Kumari told The Hindu: “The 33-year-old youth had a travel history of Delhi. He was tested negative nearly a month ago. On Thursday, he was tested positive but did not show any symptoms.”
12.30 pm | Karnataka
Karnataka relaxes lockdown norms partially
The Karnataka government partially relaxed COVID-19 lockdown norms in the State on Thursday, allowing IT and IT-enabled services to operate with essential minimum staff, and certain construction activities, manufacturing of packaging materials, and courier services, among others.
The activities will be permitted only outside the COVID-19 containment zones identified by the government.
The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in India has touched 21,460, of which 16,386 are active cases. As many as 683 deaths have been recorded so far.
12.10 pm | Karnataka
16 new cases recorded in Karnataka
Sixteen new cases have been detected on Thursday in Karnataka, taking the total number to 443. This includes 17 new deaths and 141 discharged persons.
Among the new cases, nine are from Bengaluru Urban, the highest, two each from Mandya, Vijayapura and Hubballi-Dharwad and one from Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada.
All the nine who have tested positive are contacts of a labourer from Bommanahalli, a SARI case who had tested positive on Wednesday.
– Afshan Yasmeen
12.05 pm | New Delhi
Congress-ruled States call for Centre’s assistance to tackle COVID-19
“The Centre has not given any assistance to us. How will the States survive in times of crisis,” says Puducherry CM V. Narayanasamy at the Congress Working Committee meeting.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said unless the central government comes forward to help the States financially, the fight against COVID-19 will get weakened. “Unless there is a big financial package for States, how will normalcy return post lockdown,” he asked.
11.50 am | New York
Two pet cats test positive for COVID-19 in New York
Two pet cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the United States, federal officials said. The cats, which had mild respiratory illnesses and are expected to recover, are thought to have contracted the virus from people in their households or neighbourhoods.
11.35 am | Tamil Nadu
After Sonia Gandhi’s suggestion to PM Narendra Modi, a case has been listed in Madras HC for banning all local bodies in Tamil Nadu from issuing advertisements, except tender notifications, in the media for a period of one year to offset the financial burden on account of the fight against COVID-19.
– Mohamed Imranullah S.
11.30 am | Puducherry
Puducherry CM undergoes RT-PCR test for COVID-19
Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Speaker V. P. Sivakolundhu underwent RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure at the Assembly committee hall on Thursday. Other MPs, Ministers and MLAs are expected to undergo the tests too.
The precautionary measure was taken as the leaders have been visiting potentially vulnerable areas, including containment zones, to evaluate prevention measures.
11.25 am | Tamil Nadu
PIL seeks extension of moratorium period for all loans
A PIL petition in Madras High Court seeks a direction to the Union Finance Ministry and the RBI to extend moratorium period for paying EMIs, with respect to all kinds of loans, till July 31 without levying any kind of interest.
– Mohamed Imranullah S.
11.15 am | New Delhi
Coronavirus has increased in speed and spread, says Sonia Gandhi
Coronavirus has increased disturbingly both in spread and speed in the past three weeks, says Congress president Sonia Gandhi at CWC meet.
“Sections of our society, especially farmers, labourers, migrant workers, face acute hardship due to lockdown … twelve crore jobs were lost in the first phase of the lockdown … It is imperative to provide at least Rs. 7,500 to each family to tide over the crisis,” says Ms. Gandhi.
“We have repeatedly told the PM that there is no alternative to testing, tracing and quarantine; unfortunately, testing is still low … When we should be tackling coronavirus unitedly, BJP continues to spread virus of communal prejudice and hatred,” she adds.
11.00 am | United Kingdom
Phase-1 human trial of Oxford University vaccine to begin today
The Oxford University will on April 23 begin a Phase-1 clinical trial of its vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). “The vaccine from the Oxford project will be trialled in people from this Thursday,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during a daily press conference on April 22.
10.40 am | Rajasthan
47 fresh coronavirus cases in Rajasthan; tally rises to 1,953
Forty-seven more people were confirmed positive for coronavirus in Rajasthan on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 1,935.
The fresh cases include 20 from Jodhpur, 12 from Jaipur, 10 from Nagaur, two each from Kota and Hanumangarh and one from Ajmer. – PTI
10.20 am| United Nations
‘Coronavirus pandemic fast becoming human rights crisis’
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is “a human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.”
He said the pandemic has also seen “disproportionate effects on certain communities, the rise of hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups, and the risks of heavy-handed security responses undermining the health response.” – AP
Australia says all WHO members should support a proposed coronavirus inquiry
All member nations of the World Health Organization (WHO) should support a proposed independent review into the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, further threatening strained ties with China.
8.50 am | China
Asymptomatic cases increase to over 980 with 27 new infections
China has reported 27 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, taking their total to 984, while a high-level committee headed by Premier Li Keqiang asked health officials to remain focussed on the targeted containment of the deadly virus.
U.S. was attacked, says Trump on coronavirus pandemic
Struggling to restore normalcy in the U.S. where COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 47,000 people and infected over 8,52,000, President Donald Trump has said that the the country was “attacked.”
“We were attacked. This was an attack. This wasn’t just the flu by the way. Nobody has ever seen anything like this, 1917 was the last time,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on Wednesday.
Lockdown in India has impacted 40 million internal migrants: World Bank
The nationwide lockdown in India, which started about a month ago, has impacted nearly 40 million internal migrants, the World Bank has said.
The lockdown in India has impacted the livelihoods of a large proportion of the country’s nearly 40 million internal migrants. Around 50,000-60,000 moved from urban centers to rural areas of origin in the span of a few days, the bank said in a report released on Wednesday.
U.S. sees 1,738 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins
The United States on Wednesday recorded 1,738 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a lower toll than the day before, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.
73 policemen quarantined after five Moradabad violence accused test positive
As many as 73 police personnel who came in contact with those arrested in connection with the Nawabpura pelting of stones incident in Moradabad last week were quarantined on April 22 after five of the accused tested positive for coronavirus, a police official said.
Let there be no illusion that COVID-19 will go after May 3: Chhattisgarh Health Minister
“The lockdown, at best, can manage to control the spread to some extent, but we should know that the novel coronavirus is not going to go. A huge population will get infected with the virus, we should be ready for it. We should learn to live with it,” Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said.