COVID-19 Live Updates: This is the fourth time in five days when India reported over one lakh new cases.
Maharashtra is heading towards a lockdown if the situation does not change, the state's Health Minister Rajesh Tope said today.
"We are heading towards a lockdown but I hope that we don't have to go for one. Before that if we contain the virus, we will be happy, satisfied and contented. We are hoping for the best," Mr Tope told NDTV in an interview.
India has set another record of daily Covid cases with 1,31,968 infections in the last 24 hours, pushing the total case count to over 1.3 crore. The surge, much steeper than last year's first wave, has forced many states have imposed tight curbs.
This is the fourth time in five days when India reported over one lakh new cases. 1,67,64 people have died of COVID-19 in India, with 780 deaths in the last 24 hours. India is the third worst-hit country after the United States and Brazil.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his meeting with Chief Ministers yesterday, stressed the need for creating micro-containment zones and extensive testing as a means to combat the second wave of the pandemic.
Here are the Live Updates on Coronavirus India Cases:
900 Companies Of Security Forces To Be Deployed For Fourth Phase Of Bengal Polls
The fourth phase of the West Bengal Assembly election will witness the deployment of a total of 900 companies of security forces, the West Bengal Chief Electoral Office informed on Friday.
A total of 44 Assembly constituencies across five districts will go to polls in this phase, including Howrah, Hooghly, South 24 Parganas, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. A total of 373 candidates are in fray to contest the polls on Saturday.
140 coys (companies) of central forces are deployed in the nine Assembly seats in Howrah, 175 for Hooghly's 19 seats, 185 for South 24 Parganas' 11 seats, 105 coys in Alipurduar and 188 in the nine seats of Cooch Behar.
Further, 72 coys are deployed as 'security for cover postal ballot', 20 coys for 'strong room security' and 15 coys for 'monitoring post-poll.'
Mumbai Private Vaccination Centres Shut Till Monday, Government Ones Open
Private vaccination centres in Mumbai will remain shut till Monday "due to insufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccine", the city's civic body BMC said in a statement. However, vaccinations will continue as scheduled at all government and municipal hospitals.
"Due to insufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination will not be available at the immunisation centres of private hospitals on April 10, 11 and 12, 2021," it said.
The civic body will receive some stock of the vaccine by tonight (April 9) and the administration will try to resume vaccination at private hospitals as more vaccines become available, the statement said.
Maharashtra Reports 58,993 Covid Cases, 301 Deaths In A Day
Maharashtra on Friday reported 58,993 coronavirus cases and 301 deaths in 24 hours amid a second wave of infections. Pune, with 10,084 Covid cases, was the worst-affected district today, followed by Mumbai with 9,200 single-day infections.
After the new additions, the total of active cases has reached 5,34,603. The recovery rate in Maharashtra is 81.96 percent. The fatality rate is 1.74%.
45,391 patients were discharged today, taking the total of recoveries to 26,95,148.
Currently, 26,95,065 people are in home quarantine and 24,157 people are in institutional quarantine, the state government said in a statement.
The state had reported 56,286 cases and 376 deaths yesterday.
Delhi Schools Shut Until Further Notice Amid Spike In Covid Cases
All schools and colleges will be closed in Delhi given the huge rise in coronavirus cases in the capital, along with other parts of the country, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday.
Several states and territories including Delhi have announced new restrictions such as night curfews amid a new wave of COVID-19 that has pushed infection numbers to record highs. On Thursday, the daily case count in the capital breached the 7,000-mark for the first time this year.
Most of the classes were already suspended in Delhi but students from Class 9 through 12 were attending school if permitted by their parents because of their board exams.
The Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Bet That Paid Off
With a strategic alliance, 24-hour production and a bit of luck, Pfizer and BioNTech were able to roll out their Covid vaccine at a brisk pace and relatively free of controversy.
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech, a smaller German biotech firm, joined forces on April 9, 2020, as the world reeled from the pandemic, with deaths soaring and nations under lockdown.
The companies set an ambitious goal: Producing hundreds of millions of jabs in 2021 -- an incredibly short timeline when vaccines usually take years to develop and secure regulatory approval.
Sputnik Vaccine For India? Regulator Seeks More Data: Report
An expert panel of India's drug regulator on Friday sought additional data from drugmaker Dr.Reddy's Laboratories on its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine trial, in its second such request after an initial evaluation in February.
The committee asked the company to submit a comparative analysis of late-stage immunogenicity data from both its Indian studies and an ongoing Russian study, as well as data on serious adverse events and positive cases reported till date.
Coronavirus: Maharashtra Chief Minister to hold all-party meet on Saturday to discuss COVID-19
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold an all-party meeting on April 10 to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state, PTI reported.
Coronavirus news: Omar Abdullah tests positive for coronavirus
National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Friday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.
"For a year I did my best to dodge this damn virus but it's finally caught up with me. I tested positive for #COVID-19 this afternoon. I'm completely asymptotic. Based on medical advice I'm self-isolating at home & monitoring my parameters like oxygen saturation levels etc," he said in a tweet.
As Migrants Flee Cities, Concerns About COVID-19 Surge In Villages
India reported another record number of new COVID-19 infections on Friday and daily deaths hit their highest in more than five months, as it battles a second wave of infections and states complain of a persistent vaccine shortage.
Evoking memories of the last national lockdown when tens of thousands of people walked on foot back to their homes, hundreds of migrants in badly affected Mumbai packed into trains as bars, malls and restaurants have again been forced to down shutters. Read Here
COVID-19 vaccine stock to finish in two days, provide at least 30 lakh doses: Ashok Gehlot to PM Modi
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the stock of coronavirus vaccine in the state will finish in next two days and urged him to immediately provide at least 30 lakh doses.
Coronavirus: Bus Breaks Down In Patna. Within, 9 Lakh Covishield Vaccine Doses
Amid the government's tackling of the spiralling Covid-19 infection rates and dwindling vaccine stocks, embarrassing scenes of inept last-mile connectivity unfolded today at the Patna airport: A transport vehicle dedicated to deliver vials of Covishield to a storage centre at the Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH), broke down just as it was leaving the airport. Read here
Coronavirus: 36 more die of Covid in UP, 9,587 more infected, says Official
Uttar Pradesh Friday reported 36 more fatalities due to coronavirus infection and 9,587 new cases, raising the Covid-19 death count to 9,039 and the case tally to 6,63,991, a senior official said.
There are 48,306 active cases and while 6,06,646 patients have recovered so far in the state, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters.
Coronavirus: No adequate data on changing Covid vaccines between doses, says WHO
The WHO said Friday there was "no adequate data" on switching Covid-19 vaccines between doses, as France said under-55s who received an AstraZeneca first jab should get their second from a different vaccine.
"There is no adequate data to be able to say whether this is something that could be done, so... interchangeability of vaccine was not something that we could give a recommendation on," World Health Organization spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters.
Coronavirus: Germany to tighten national coronavirus law, says government
German leaders have agreed to tighten the national coronavirus law, a government spokeswoman said Friday, in a move to hand the central government more power in the face of a political stalemate over lockdown measures.
"Germany is in the middle of a third wave, so the federal government and the states have agreed to add to the national legislation," Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters.
"The aim here is to create uniform national rules," she added, explaining that the law change would be put before cabinet on Tuesday next week, AFP reported.
Coronavirus: Japan adds Tokyo, other areas to COVID-19 "quasi-emergency" state
Japan's government placed Tokyo under a new, month-long "quasi-emergency" state to combat surging COVID-19 case numbers on Friday, less than a month after the capital and host of the Summer Olympics lifted a broader state of emergency.
In announcing the measures, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the restrictions were needed to prevent regional outbreaks from turning into a nationwide wave, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus: Government Panel Probing Vaccine-Linked Clotting Amid AstraZeneca Fears
A government committee of experts is investigating if there were any cases of blood clotting, even mild ones, in recipients of any of the two Covid vaccines being administered in India.
Two vaccines -- Serum Institute Of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin - are being administered in India. Read here
Coronavirus: Reports on vaccine shortage incorrect, says Amit Shah
Refuting reports regarding COVID-19 vaccine shortages in various states, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said all states are being provided with an adequate number of vaccine doses, ANI reported.
Addressing media persons, Mr Shah said, "The information on vaccine shortage is not right. All states are being provided with an adequate number of vaccine doses."
Coronavirus: Merkel to take control from German states in pandemic battle, says source
German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to take control from federal states to impose restrictions on regions recording high numbers of new coronavirus infections, a government source said on Friday.
"The federal government plans to introduce draft legislation next week, in close coordination with the states, that includes a binding and comprehensive emergency break for districts with an incidence of 100 and up," the source said.
Coronavirus: French under-55s given AstraZeneca jab to get different 2nd dose
French authorities are set to rule that under 55s who received a first injection of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine can be given a jab from a different producer for their second dose, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Friday.
France's national health authority HAS last month said that the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to those aged 55 and over, due to the reports of potentially deadly blood clots in a very small number of those younger people vaccinated, AFP reported.
Coronavirus: Maharashtra's Aurangabad records 1,362 new COVID-19 cases; 22 deaths
Maharashtra's Aurangabad district has recorded 1,362 new COVID-19 cases and 22 casualties, an official said on Friday.
With the latest cases detected on Thursday, the tally of infections has risen to 94,035, while the death count reached 1,895, PTI reported.
Coronavirus news: Odisha reports 1,282 new COVID-19 cases
Odisha's COVID-19 tally soared to 3,46,808 as the state registered this year's highest single-day spike of 1,282 new cases on Friday, a health official said. One fresh fatality pushed the state's coronavirus death count to 1,924, PTI reported.
Coronavirus: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel takes his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Medical College in Raipur.
Taking to Twitter, after his vaccination shot, Mr Baghel wrote, "Vaccinated. In the war against COVID-19, I stand with every effort that has been made."
Coronavirus: Norway prime minister fined by police over virus rules violation
Norwegian police said on Friday they have fined Prime Minister Erna Solberg for breaking COVID-19 social distancing rules when organising a family gathering to celebrate her birthday.
The fine is for 20,000 Norwegian crowns ($2,352) police chief Ole Saeverud told a news conference, Reuters reported.
"This is war": Polish doctors exhausted by non-stop COVID-19 third wave
Some Polish doctors and nurses are just taking naps between shifts as they fight a third wave of the coronavirus, the health minister said on Friday, amid reports of medical staff taking oxygen and intravenous drips to boost their energy.
The country of 38 million, the largest in the European Union's eastern wing, will report around 700 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said, after the number of deaths hit a new record of 954 on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus: Hungary delays school reopening after teachers, students protest
Hungary will push back the reopening of secondary schools by three weeks to May 10, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday, after teachers and students called for a delay for pandemic-related reasons.
Orban said he hoped 3.5 million of Hungary's 10 million people would receive at least one coronavirus vaccine dose by April 19, allowing curbs to be eased further, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus: Australia boosts support to Covid-hit Papua New Guinea
A second team of Australian medical experts flew to Covid-hit Papua New Guinea Friday, as the country's health system threatens to buckle under a growing outbreak, AFP reported.
The 17 specialists were dispatched to Port Moresby to help the Pacific nation curb the spread of the virus, Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.
Coronavirus: Telangana reports 2,478 new COVID-19 cases, five deaths push count to 1,746
Telangana reported 2,478 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single day spike this year, pushing the tally to over 3.21 lakh, while the death count rose to 1,746 with five more fatalities, the state government said on Friday.
Coronavirus Cases: Thane district records 5,167 COVID-19 cases, 18 deaths
With the addition of 5,167 new coronavirus cases, the infection count in Thane district of Maharashtra rose to 3,61,434, an official said on Friday.
The fresh cases were reported on Thursday, PTI reported.