The COVID-19 situation is “especially serious” in Mumbai, Pune, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata and a few other places in West Bengal, the Home Ministry said on April 20, as India saw selective relaxation of lockdown in non-containment areas.
Strict restrictions continue in districts declared COVID-19 hotspots.
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:
Global death toll tops 1,70,000
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 170,000 people globally, close to two thirds of them in hardest-hit Europe, according to an AFP tally on Tuesday.
4.10 pm | India
Daily press briefing on COVID-19
Database in public domain created for district administrators
Chairman of Empowered Group 4 on augmenting human resources and capacity building: “We decided to develop a database, to be available in public domain, which can be used by the district administration. One dashboard, covidwarriors.gov.in, set up. Details of 1.24 crore resources, including doctors, health workers, uploaded. 20 categories and 49 sub-categories included in the data-base. Individual level data can be accessed only by certain officials. Details of all workers in 201 central public enterprises, apart from railway hospitals, ordnance factories and other related centres included
“This will enable proper allocation of human resources by the State and district administration.
“Apart from this iGOT platform portal has been created for providing online training material to the front-line workers. It is accessible through any device, mobile, laptop, tablet.
“Efforts are being made to provide the training material in different languages. Over 1.31 lakh users have so far registered with the platform.”
States to allow migrant workers to resume work in areas where lockdown relaxed: Home Ministry
Home Ministry spokesperson: “SOP has been shared with State governments on allowing stranded migrant workers to take up jobs in areas where some relaxations have been given April 20 onward.
“Yesterday, Home Ministry reviewed the ground level situation and found that in several sectors, where relaxations were given after April 20, the situation has improved. MNGREGA works, road construction activities and other such projects have resumed.”
Eight institutes to be sent to fields to determine if rapid test kits are faulty, says ICMR
ICMR representative: “Over 4.49 lakh tests have been conducted till today, about 35,000 tests held yesterday.
“We received complaint from one of the States about less detection through Rapid Kits, we enquired from two-three more States, there is a variation on the test findings, which is not good.
We have, therefore, decided not to ignore the findings. Eight institutes will be sent to the fields for validation of the kits. We will suggest to the States not to use the Rapid Tests for a couple of days, after which we will be in a position to advise them. If the kits are found faulty, we will take it up with the manufacturer.
“Of 70 vaccine candidates, five are going into human trials, this is unprecedented quick response to any disease (within 3.5 months), apart from lockdown and social distancing measures.”
Close contacts of patients to be kept on HCQ for 7 weeks: Health Ministry
Health Ministry spokesperson: “Close contacts of Covid-19 patients need to be kept on HCQ for seven weeks.
“The Indian Red Cross has set up a 24*7 helplines: 9319982104/105.
“The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research is initiating a randomised clinical trial to check the efficacy of drugs on decreasing the mortality rate in critical Covid-19 patients. The clinical trial of these drugs has been given approval following observation that there are clinical similarities between patients of gram-negative sepsis and Covid-19.”
3.50 pm | Karnataka
COVID-19 testing for journalists announced in Karnataka after 53 mediapersons in Mumbai tested positive
Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar on Tuesday said he had instructed his department to arrange COVID-19 tests for State journalists, who are turning out to be susceptible to the contagion, especially those in electronic media, in the wake of reports of 53 mediapersons testing positive for Coronavirus in Maharashtra.
“An order in this regard will be issued soon,” he added.
He told reporters in Mysuru that the labs working under his department and where the COVID-tests were being done had been instructed to carry out the tests on the journalists since they go around covering the pandemic and its impact.
3.40 pm | India
First batch of 57 Iran-returned pilgrims reaches Kargil after quarantine in UP
The first batch of 57 Iran-returned pilgrims reached here on Tuesday in a special Indian Air Force (IAF) flight after undergoing quarantine in Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
However, they would not be going home just now as they have to undergo another phase of 14-day administrative quarantine for their own and others’ safety, they said.
3.30 pm | Maharashtra
Pema Khandu thanks Mumbai cops for providing relief to Arunachal students, workers in city
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday took to Twitter to voice his appreciation for three senior officers with the Mumbai Police, after they heeded his appeal and provided relief to students and daily wagers from the State staying in Mumbai.
Mr. Khandu tweeted on official Twitter account on Tuesday, thanking Deputy Commissioner of Police (operations) Pranaya Ashok, DCP (Cyber) Vishal Thakur and DCP (Zone VIII) Manjunath Singe for their response.
3.20 pm | Arunachal Pradesh
IAF choppers airlift essential commodities to remote Arunachal Pradesh area
Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers are airlifting essential commodities and medical equipment to a remote Arunachal Pradesh area without road connectivity.
Vijoynagar, a remote circle in Changlang district without road connectivity is strategically located along the India-China-Myanmar tri-junction. It comprises of 16 villages and has a population of 4,438. The nearest town is Miao which is 157 km away and takes about six-days to reach by foot.
IAF choppers are airlifting essential commodities and medical equipment to Vijoynagar circle, Arunachal Pradesh Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs minister Kamlung Mossang said on Monday.
3.00 pm | Maharashtra
Tamil Nadu government will take steps to prevent untoward incidents, Chief Minister assures doctors, front-line staff
A day after the burial of a doctor, who died after testing COVID-19 positive was violently prevented by local residents, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday said he was pained at the incident and assured all governmental support to front-line staff in the fight against the pandemic. “All those in life-saving efforts are equivalent to the Gods,” he said.
2.30 pm | India
Doctor at Aligarh’s JNMC suspended for negligence
An associate professor of the Department of Medicine in Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital has been suspended by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor for negligence and misconduct. The decision came after a person who was admitted to JNMC was tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
2.20 pm | J&K
Rapid antibody tests to be conducted at coronavirus hotspots in J&K
To check community spread of COVID-19 and take remedial measures at the hotspots identified across Jammu and Kashmir, the government will conduct rapid antibody tests, using kits received from the ICMR.
2.00 pm | Andhra Pradesh
35 fresh cases and two more dead in Andhra Pradesh
Worst hit by the COVID-19 outbreak in the State, Kurnool and Guntur districts continue to report fresh positive cases by the day. Two persons succumbed to the disease in Guntur taking the State’s toll to 22.
The State has reported 35 new cases during the past 24 hours as of Tuesday morning, and 19 of them are from Kurnool (10), and Guntur (9).
Kadapa reported six fresh cases, while West Godavari reported four, Krishna and Anantapur districts reported three new cases each.
1.40 pm | Rajasthan
Rajasthan ceases use of rapid testing kits as most results invalid
Rajasthan on Tuesday stopped using rapid test kits for coronavirus after receiving invalid and incorrect results for a large number of samples.
Health Minister Raghu Sharma said the kits were giving mere five per cent correct or valid results and a report has been forwarded to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in this regard.
1.30 pm | Manipur
As Manipur relaxes lockdown, people venture out to buy essential commodities
Following the relaxation of the lockdown and curfew from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Manipur from Tuesday, thousands of people in the State came out to purchase essential commodities. A Cabinet meeting on Monday decided to relax the curbs over 15 sectors till May 3.
1.15 pm | Maharashtra
25 medical staff, including 19 nurses, test positive from Pune’s Ruby Hall Clinic
At least 25 hospital staff, including 19 nurses, from the city’s Ruby Hall Clinic have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past fortnight and have been quarantined in isolation facilities, said hospital authorities.
Bomi Bhote, Chief Executive Officer, Ruby Hall Clinic said that 19 nurses, three support staff and three clinical assistants had tested positive during tests that were conducted on 1,000 of the hospital staffers over the last 15 days.
“All of them are asymptomatic and in a stable condition. They have been quarantined in a dedicated Covid-19 building in the hospital premises and all their primary contacts have been traced and tested,” Mr. Bhote said, adding that the case of one of the hospital staffers, who came from the highly-infected zone of Kasarwadi in the city prompted the authorities to conduct a testing drive of their own staff.
1.00 pm | Tamil Nadu
Mother and baby admitted to isolation ward in Villupuram
Two patients including a seven-month-old baby, have been admitted to the isolation ward at the Villupuram Government Medical College and Hospital (VGMCH) in the early hours of Tuesday.
12.50 pm | West Bengal
Mamata told about central teams’ visit 3 hours after they landed, claims Derek O’ Brien
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was told about central team’s visit to monitor some districts for coronavirus three hours after the team landed, claimed TMC MP Derek O’ Brien.
The TMC questioned why the central teams did not visit States like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, UP with higher number of coronavirus cases, more hotspots.
The party called the Inter-Ministerial Central Teams’ visit “adventure tourism”.
Taking umbrage at the Centre for sending teams to assess the “serious” COVID-19 situation in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, underscoring the “unilateral” and “undesirable” action, keeping her government in the dark.
12.40 pm | India
Guidelines out for non-coronavirus health facilities which have reported COVID-19 patients
The Union Health Ministry has issued guidelines to be followed on detection of suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases in non-coronavirus health facilities and said hospitals located in proximity or catering to COVID-19 containment zones should treat all patients as suspect cases until proven otherwise.
12.35 pm | Karnataka
Cases rise to 415 in Karnataka
Three new cases each have been reported from Vijayapura and Kalaburgi and one from Dakshina Kannada. This takes the total number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka to 415. – Afshan Yasmeen
12.30 pm | Meghalaya
One more tests positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya
A 42-year-old woman, who is a family friend of the first COVID-19 patient in Meghalaya, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, raising the number of active cases to 11 in the State, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.
12.20 pm | Delhi
Delhi govt. will conduct COVID-19 test on mediapersons in national capital: Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said his government will conduct COVID-19 test on mediapersons in the national capital, after 53 scribes tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mumbai.
Responding to a tweet in which a person requested the CM to arrange mass COVID-19 test for mediapersons in Delhi on the lines of the one carried out in Mumbai, Mr. Kejriwal said, “Sure. We will do that.”
12.05 pm | Meghalaya
One more tests positive for COVID-19 in Meghalaya
A 42-year-old woman, who is a family friend of the first COVID-19 patient in Meghalaya, has tested positive for novel coronavirus, raising the number of active cases to 11 in the state, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.
The new case is linked to the state’s first COVID-19 patient, a doctor who died on April 15.
With the fresh case reported from the state capital, the total number of people afflicted with the dreaded virus in the state now stands at 12. – PTI
12.00 noon | Delhi
A Lok Sabha employee residing in Kali Bari Marg and working/deputed at the Parliament has tested positive for COVID-19. – Jatin Anand
India’s COVID-19 fatality crosses 600
India has reported 603 deaths so far, of which 234 are from Maharashtra alone. Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have reported 77 deaths each. Delhi has reported 47 deaths.
11.35 am | Maharashtra
Pune reports two more deaths
Two more deaths including that of a wife of an ex-Army jawan were reported from Pune district in the last 24 hours taking the district’s death toll to 52, said authorities on Tuesday.
The 62-year-old woman, a resident of Nigdi in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area, died at the Military Hospital Cardio-Thoracic Centre (MH CTC) in Pune’s Wanowrie area.
In the second instance, a 57-year-old woman from the city’s Kondwa area, who was admitted on April 19 in Pune’s Sassoon General Hospital, passed away due to acute respiratory failure late Monday afternoon. Her swab sample report, which came late Monday night, tested positive for COVID-19. – Shoumojit Banerjee
11.20 am | Gujarat
Gujarat’s COVID-19 tally crosses 2,000
Sharp spike of infections in Gujarat with 127 new cases and six deaths, bringing the numbers to 2,066 cases and 77 deaths so far in the state.
Of six deaths reported on Tuesday, five are from Ahmedabad & one in Bhavnagar. – Mahesh Langa
11.00 am | Madhya Pradesh
Police official dies of COVID-19 in MP
A 59-year-old in charge of a police station in Ujjain has died of COVID-19 on Tuesday morning while undergoing treatment at a hospital.
“He had contracted the illness during the course of his duty,” said A.G. Sinha, Ujjain Chief Medical and Health Officer. She added that the inspector was posted at the Neelganga station, which fell under one of the containment areas, where infected cases had been reported.
The death toll stands at 77 in Madhya Pradesh now. So far, 1,503 cases have been reported in the State, with Indore, at 915, registering more than half of them. Bhopal has recorded 254 cases. – Sidharath Yadav
10.10 am | New Delhi
Over 100 families in President’s Estate under self isolation
Over a 100 families have been put on self isolation within the President’s Estate, where Rashtrapati Bhavan is located, after one person tested positive for COVID-19, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Confirming the news to The Hindu, the senior official said the main Rashtrapati Bhavan where President Ram Nath Kovind and his family stays has not been affected.
9.50 am | New Delhi
Guidelines issued for handling of waste generated during COVID-19 patient’s treatment
Using double layered bags, mandatory labelling and colour coded bins for the management of waste generated during the diagnostics and treatment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients are part of the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board.
The CPCB has also written to the state pollution control boards and pollution control committees to consider operation of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility and its associated staff as essential service part of health infrastructure. – PTI
9.30 am | USA
72 active trials underway across US on coronavirus: Trump
US President Donald Trump has said there are 72 active trials underway across the country researching dozens of therapies and treatments for the coronavirus and tremendous progress is being made on vaccines.
According to the President, there are therapies designed to attack the virus as well as others that would hinder its replication, reduce the rate of infection, control the immune response or transfer life savings antibodies from the blood of recovered patients.
Karnataka records another death
Another death has been reported in Karnataka taking the total deaths to 17. An 80 year old, who died in Kalaburgi on Monday, has tested positive. The reports came early on Tuesday morning.
Health Minister B. Sriramulu has confirmed this in a tweet. The deceased had been suffering from Parkinson’s for the last three years. – Special Correspondent
Five more cases in Odisha
Five more COVID-19 cases were reported in Odisha by midnight on Monday taking the State’s total to 79. With death of one patient and recovery of 25 persons so far, the number of active cases stands at 53, said State Health Department.
Infections among U.S. deportees reach Haiti, Mexico
Mexico and Haiti have detected coronavirus infections among migrants deported recently from the United States, officials said on Tuesday, part of a growing trend of contagion among deportees.
The new infections come after an outbreak among deportees to Guatemala, where the government at the weekend linked almost a fifth of all cases of the new coronavirus in the country to flights returning migrants from the United States last week.
U.S. coronavirus deaths top 42,000
U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 42,000 on April 20, according to a Reuters tally, as more protesters gathered in state capitals to demand an early end to the lockdowns, while officials pleaded for patience until more testing becomes available.
Over 6,000 industrial units reopen in Gujarat
More than 6,000 industrial units in Gujarat reopened after the Central and State governments relaxed lockdown guidelines in order to allow economic activities in areas that have not become hotspots for infections.
2.00 am | Mumbai
Two BMC control room staffers test positive; Mayor quarantines self
As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) tackles the COVID-19 outbreak, two employees of its disaster control room have tested positive for the virus. Besides, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Monday decided to self-quarantine for 14 days as she came in contact with a COVID-19-positive journalist.