Coronavirus Highlights: Lockdown Should Be Last Option, Says PM

The COVID-19 active caseload is 20,31,977 which now comprises 12.81 per cent of the total infections.

Coronavirus Highlights: Lockdown Should Be Last Option, Says PM

Coronavirus Cases in India: The recovery rate is 86 per cent.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the second wave of the coronavirus had hit India like a storm but urged states to use lockdowns as the last resort. He also stressed on voluntary Covid discipline, urging people to go out only if necessary.

"States should use the lockdown as the last resort - our focus should be micro-containment zones. We will take care of economic health as well as the health of countrymen," PM Modi said, addressing the nation.

Earlier, the new cases of coronavirus infection in India were recorded above 2,50,000 taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,53,21,089 according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The COVID-19 active caseload is 20,31,977 which now comprises 12.81 per cent of the total infections.

Here are the Highlights on Coronavirus India Cases:

Apr 21, 2021 04:41 (IST)
Mumbai police issue orders on restricted operating time for shops

Mumbai Police on Tuesday issued orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure prohibiting all grocery, vegetables, fruits and food shops from operating except between 7 am to 11 am, an official said.  

Earlier in the day, the Maharashtra government had announced that these shops will remain open only between 7 am to 11 am till May 1, as part of efforts to curb the alarming rise in coronavirus cases. Besides, dairies, bakeries, confectioneries, shops selling agricultural implements and farm products and pet food are also allowed to remain open between 7 am to 11 am.  

Any person violating the order shall be punishable under section 188 of IPC (disobeying government servant's lawful order), Epidemic Diseases Act and National Disaster Management Act. 


Apr 21, 2021 03:15 (IST)
Around 77,000 migrant workers sent home: Ghaziabad administration

The district administration  on Tuesday said around 77,000 migrant workers were sent home in over 1,500 buses.

Though the workers had started returning home after a rise in coronavirus cases, their number swelled after the Delhi government imposed a week-long lockdown on Monday, an official said.

According to District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey, around 77,00 workers were sent to their destinations in 1,537 buses. Mr Pandey said the buses were operated from the ISBT, Anand Vihar, Kashmir Gate, and the Kaushambi bus stand.

Teams of officials from the Health Department and police were deployed for the task, which turned challenging due to the sudden announcement of lockdown in Delhi, he said. 

Apr 21, 2021 02:50 (IST)
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price: America Very Closely Tracking Course Of COVID-19 Outbreak In India


United States is "very closely" tracking the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has said. Read Here
Apr 21, 2021 02:21 (IST)
Maharashtra Class 10 board examination cancelled: Minister

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to cancel Class 10 board examination, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Varsha Gaikwad said on Tuesday. The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet. 

In a televised message, she said, The (Class 10 board) exam is cancelled. However, to bring parity across various higher secondary education boards, including of Maharashtra as well as central and international boards, a meeting (of stakeholders) will be called to finalise a roadmap."  

Marks will be given to students based on internal assessment, but a process for the same is yet be decided, Ms Gaikwad said. There is no decision as of now on how marks will be given to students who will be applying for Class 11 admission in various junior colleges.


Apr 21, 2021 02:00 (IST)
Hospitals in Gujarat to treat COVID patients without prior permission till June 15

All private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes in Gujarat can treat COVID-19 patients till June 15, without any prior permission, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced.

On Tuesday, Rupani said that no prior permission but just an intimation to Municipal Commissioner or District Collector is sufficient to treat COVID-19 patients.

"In view of the prevailing corona situation, CM Vijay Rupani announces Gujarat government''s decision to allow all private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes to treat COVID-19 patients till June 15 without any prior permission, by only informing Municipal Commissioner or Collector for the same," tweeted the Chief Minister''s Office.

The Gujarat government has imposed many restrictions, including night curfew, already so there is no need for a lockdown in the state at the moment, said Rupani earlier in the day.
Apr 21, 2021 01:33 (IST)
Italy approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine, recommends it for over 60s

Italy on Tuesday declared the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine to be "safe" and said it would prioritise its use for people over 60.

The announcement came hours after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said blood clots should be listed as a "very rare" side effect of the vaccine.

In the light of that ruling, the US-made jab should be considered "definitely safe," Italian health authorities said in a statement.

It "should be preferentially administered to people over 60 years old" and those particularly at risk from the virus, they added.

The same guidelines were previously issued in Italy for the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca jab, which has also been linked to very rare instances of blood clotting.
Apr 21, 2021 01:12 (IST)
Delhi Lockdown: Delhi Metro Revises Operational Plan For 6-Day Lockdown In National Capital

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Tuesday revised its operational plan for the six-day lockdown period and increased the frequency of metro trains from 30 minutes to 15 minutes during the peak hours. Read Here
Apr 21, 2021 00:40 (IST)
Coronavirus: Night Curfew From 9 pm To 6 am From Tomorrow Till May 4 In Karnataka

Karnataka has joined a long line of states that have declared curfew on nights and weekends to put brakes on the unchecked progress of coronavirus. Read Here
Apr 21, 2021 00:22 (IST)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will announce lockdown decision tomorrow: Chhagan Bhujbal

Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal has said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will announce a decision about lockdown on Wednesday.

"We have made all the efforts to minimise the COVID-19 figures. He will announce the decision (to impose lockdown) tomorrow after finalising a detailed Standard Operating Procedure," Mr Bhujbal said. 

"We may have to impose restrictions on the local train movement in Mumbai too, he said. 
Apr 20, 2021 23:58 (IST)
Delhi Reports Record 28,395 Covid Cases, 277 Deaths
Delhi on Tuesday reported 28,395 coronavirus cases as it registered its biggest ever single-day spike. The city, worst-hit by the rapid second wave of infections, logged 277 deaths in a day. The national capital's active caseload has jumped to nearly 85,600.
The case positivity rate was a whopping 32.82 per cent on Tuesday. 86,526 Covid tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, according to the state government.

The national capital logged 19,430 recoveries in a day.

Due to the massive caseload, Delhi's health infrastructure is on the verge of collapse. The city is witnessing severe shortages of hospital beds, medicines and medical oxygen.
Apr 20, 2021 22:31 (IST)
Night Curfew From 9 pm To 6 am From Tomorrow Till May 4 In Karnataka
Karnataka has joined a long line of states that have declared curfew on nights and weekends to put brakes on the unchecked progress of coronavirus. The curfew will begin at 9 pm on Friday and continue till to 6 am on Monday. The 9-pm to 6 am night curfew will be in place across the state from April 21 to May 4.

Karnataka -- whose Covid numbers have been spiralling with a positivity rate above 12 per cent -- took the hard measure after Chief Minister BS Yedyurappa tested positive for Covid for a second time.

From hospital, the Chief Minister held an all-party virtual meeting yesterday to decide on the way forward for the state.

Apr 20, 2021 21:37 (IST)
Lockdown Should Be Last Resort, Says PM Modi In Address To Nation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the second wave of the coronavirus had hit India like a storm but urged states to use lockdowns as the last resort. He also stressed on voluntary Covid discipline, urging people to go out only if necessary.

"States should use the lockdown as the last resort - our focus should be micro-containment zones. We will take care of economic health as well as the health of countrymen," PM Modi said, addressing the nation.

The Prime Minister made it clear that a nationwide lockdown was off the table for now.

Apr 20, 2021 21:26 (IST)
Production of medicines increased: PM Narendra Modi
Production of medicines increased: PM Narendra Modi said that the pharma sector has increased the production of medicines. More medicines being produced now than in January and February, he said. "Yesterday I spoke to pharma experts yesterday. We are taking the help of every pharma firm... India has a strong Pharma sector that produces medicines very fast. We are increasing beds. Building Covid hopsitals," the Prime Minister said.
Apr 20, 2021 21:25 (IST)
PM Modi speaks on availability of vaccines

On Vaccines: The Prime Minister said that India is the world's cheapest vaccine provider. "Vaccines in line with India's cold storage facilities. The regulatory processes and approvals have been fast-tracked," the Prime Minister said.

"Because of this team effort, India could launch world's biggest inoculation drive with two made-in-India vaccines," the PM said.

Apr 20, 2021 21:25 (IST)
"Lockdown should be last resort": PM Modi

"Lockdown should be last resort": PM Modi said that the government is making effort to ensure that economy and livelihoods are least affected. "With universal vaccinations, doses will be available faster. Labourers will get them," PM said.

"Request states to assure labourers to remain where they are. Assure them that they will be vaccinated where they are and they won't lose jobs," he added.

"Last time the situation was different. We didn't have infra for fighting Covid. We didn't have test labs, PPE kits, no knowledge about treatment. But in very little time we improved ourselves. Doctors have gained expertise and saving more lives than ever. We now have PPE kits, labs," the Prime Minister said.

Apr 20, 2021 20:18 (IST)
Yet To See Data On Vaccine Effectiveness Against Variant: Covaxin-Maker
Weeks after the government said the made-in-India Covaxin shot is effective against mutants, its manufacturer Bharat Biotech has revealed that there is "no information yet" about the vaccine's effectiveness against Covid variants and data is expected in a week.

Krishna Ella, the chairperson of Bharat Biotech, also told NDTV the government has to ask for vaccine specific to the new double mutant that is pushing the current surge of virus cases.

The comments appear to contradict what the government has been saying about Covaxin's effectiveness against variants. "The need to change composition of Covaxin has not been felt yet in view of good efficacy of the vaccine against variants," Union Minister Ashwini Choubey had told parliament in March.
Apr 20, 2021 19:16 (IST)
Trinamool Asks Election Commission To Club Remaining Poll Phases
The Trinamool Congress, which had been seeking a merger of the last three phases of assembly elections, shot off a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab on Tuesday, urging him to consider the party's request amid the steep hike in COVID-19 cases.

Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee, during her rallies on Monday, had also implored the Election Commission to re-think its decision to stick to the original poll schedule.

The letter, undersigned by Trinamool Congress leaders Derek O Brien, Sukendu Sekhar Roy, Pratima Mondol, and Purnendu Bose, highlighted the High Court order that directed the Chief Electoral Officer to take urgent measures to avert a "deadly disaster that is staring at our faces" and said that "no prejudice would be caused if the three phases are clubbed into one".
Apr 20, 2021 18:30 (IST)
Enforce Covid Appropriate Behaviour, Plan Advance Response: Centre To Union Territories
The Centre on Tuesday advised all union territories to ensure strict enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour along with restrictions on movement and large gatherings, an official statement said.

The Union Territories were also asked to ramp up testing and augment hospital infrastructure while planning COVID response measures in advance for the next three weeks, the Union health ministry said in its statement.

The measures were suggested at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla along with Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, and attended by chief secretaries of all Union Territories, to review the COVID-19 situation and the response strategy, it said.
Apr 20, 2021 17:27 (IST)
Protesting Farmers To Be Tested, Vaccinated For Covid: Haryana Minister

Expressing concern for farmers, who have been protesting against the central agricultural laws at Delhi-Haryana borders, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday said they will be tested for COVID-19 and vaccinated against it.

"It is my duty to worry about everyone in Haryana. Farmers are protesting here in large numbers. We have decided to vaccinate them and get them tested for COVID-19. Yesterday, we had a meeting with state-level corona monitoring committee, wherein we took this decision," Mr Vij told ANI.

The Minister further informed that he had spoken to Deputy Commissioner of Sonipat and Jhajjar, about the vaccination and testing of farmers protesting at the border.

Apr 20, 2021 17:12 (IST)
Will You Ask Patients To Wait For Oxygen, Court Slams Centre
On the Delhi government alleging discrimination by the Centre in resources for Covid, the High Court said today that if medication was not being sent to places that needed them, "blood is on their hands". As the Delhi government said it had logged a record 32,000 cases in a single day yesterday, the High Court also raised questions on the centre's distribution policy on oxygen and vaccines.

"If despite having the medication, it is being sent to region A instead of region B which is in need of said medication, then be sure, blood is on their hands," the Delhi High Court said.

Yesterday, the Delhi government had alleged in court that it was falling short of oxygen for Covid patients because supplies were being diverted to "one of the largest states" of the country. Delhi did not take names, saying it could become political.
Apr 20, 2021 16:37 (IST)
High Court Questions Gujarat's Claim On Adequate Beds For Covid
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday questioned the state government's claim that there were enough beds for COVID-19 patients and sought to know why infected persons were still unable to get admitted, if beds were vacant.

In its submission on Tuesday, the state government informed the court that of 79,944 beds at COVID-19 hospitals and other care facilities in the state, 55,783 were occupied, while the rest were vacant.

Government lawyer Manisha Shah made the submission during an online hearing on a plea filed suo moto by the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia on coronavirus situation two weeks ago.

Apr 20, 2021 15:54 (IST)
Rahul Gandhi Tests Positive For COVID-19
Rahul Gandhi has tested positive for Covid.  The Congress leader tweeted that he had mild symptoms.

"After experiencing mild symptoms, I've just tested positive for COVID. All those who've been in contact with me recently, please follow all safety protocols and stay safe," Rahul Gandhi, 50, wrote.

After experiencing mild symptoms, I've just tested positive for COVID.

All those who've been in contact with me recently, please follow all safety protocols and stay safe.
Apr 20, 2021 15:34 (IST)
Just In| Jharkhand government announces lockdown from April 22-29 with few exemptions. Essential services allowed, religious places to remain open but the gathering of devotees not allowed. Mining, agricultural and construction activities permitted
Apr 20, 2021 15:19 (IST)
Just In| Rahul Gandhi tests positive for COVID-19
Apr 20, 2021 15:17 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Odisha reports record 4,761 new COVID-19 cases, 5 fresh fatalities

Odisha's COVID-19 tally soared to 3,77,464 on Tuesday as a record 4,761 more people tested positive for the infection, while five fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 1,953, a health
official said.

As many as 2,785 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 1,976 fresh infections were detected during contact tracing.

Khurda district, under which Bhubaneswar falls, reported the highest number of new cases at 820, followed by Sundergarh (673) and Nuapada (534), he said.

Nuapada reported three fatalities, while Keonjhar and Rayagada registered one death each. Fifty-three coronavirus patients have died due to comorbidities so far.

Odisha now has 27,821 active cases, while 3,47,637 people have recovered from the disease so far.
Apr 20, 2021 14:39 (IST)
Just In| All groceries, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries, confectionaries, all type of food shops, shops related to farm produce, pet food shops, shops related to materials for impending rainy season for individuals/organisations to be open only between 7 to 11 AM: Maharashtra Government
Apr 20, 2021 14:38 (IST)
7-day lockdown comes into force in Aizawl, 10 other district headquarters of Mizoram

A seven-day lockdown has come into force from Tuesday in Aizawl and 10 other district headquarters of Mizoram to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Though the state government order issued on Monday night did not use the word "lockdown", it said no resident in Aizawl municipal area and 10 other district headquarters should step out of their homes during the restriction period, which will remain effective from 4 am on April 20 to 4 am on April 26.

However, inter-village or intra-state movement is allowed with permission from the village or local-level task forces, it said.
Apr 20, 2021 14:26 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Ten states account for over 77 per cent of new COVID-19 cases

Ten states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, account for 77.67 per cent of the new COVID-19 infections reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. 

The daily COVID-19 positivity rate (7 day moving average) continues to show an upward trend and currently stands at 15.99 per cent, it said.

Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan are among the other states in the list of 10.

India's daily news cases are showing a rising trend and a total 2,59,170 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 58,924. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 28,211 while Delhi reported 23,686 new cases.

India's total active caseload has reached 20,31,977 and now comprises 13.26 per cent of the country's total infections. A net increase of 1,02,648 cases recorded in the total active caseload in a day.
Apr 20, 2021 14:08 (IST)
COVID Update: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation revises operational plan for six-day lockdown period, increases frequency of metro trains

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Tuesday revised its operational plan for the six-day lockdown period and increased the frequency of metro trains from 30 minutes to 15 minutes during the peak hours.

For the rest of the hours of the day, the frequency was increased from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. It also increased the city metro's operation timing during the peak hours, it said.

On Monday, the DMRC said that services during the lockdown period for peak hours -- morning (8 am to 10 am) and evening (5 pm to 7 pm) -- across the network will be available with a frequency of 30 minutes.

"To offer more capacity in compliance to 50 per cent seating provision with no standing to eligible people travelling by the metro during the curfew period, which is imposed in NCT of Delhi till 5 am of 26th April 2021, the DMRC has now decided to revise its operational plan with immediate effect," said the DMRC in its statement.

Apr 20, 2021 13:52 (IST)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chairs a meeting to review Ministry of Defence's preparations and response to COVID-19 situation: Ministry of Defence

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Apr 20, 2021 13:51 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Johnson & Johnson seeks permission for clinical trial of single-shot Covid vaccine in India

Global healthcare major Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said it has sought an approval from the India's drug regulator to conduct a bridging clinical trial of its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) had in February approved Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine that works with just one dose for emergency use.

"Johnson & Johnson is partnering with health authorities and the world's best scientists to provide the safety and efficacy data necessary to support worldwide emergency use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate," the company said in a statement.

This comes close on the heels of the central government last week deciding to fast-track emergency approvals for all foreign produced coronavirus jabs that have been given a similar nod by the World Health Organization or regulators in the United States, Europe, Britain or Japan.

Apr 20, 2021 13:05 (IST)
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh tests positive for COVID-19.
Apr 20, 2021 12:45 (IST)
Just In| No lockdown in 5 UP cities for now, Supreme Court puts on hold Allahabad High Court order
Apr 20, 2021 11:59 (IST)
Delhi's Anand Vihar bus terminal wears a deserted look as 6-day lockdown imposed in national capital, in wake of prevailing COVID-19 situation here.

The bus terminal witnessed a huge rush of migrant workers last night, leaving for their native places after lockdown was announce.

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Apr 20, 2021 11:54 (IST)
Traffic jam at Delhi's Connaught Place, due to checking of vehicles by police, in view of COVID-induced lockdown.

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Apr 20, 2021 10:58 (IST)
Bengaluru epicentre of COVID-19 in Karnataka: Health Minister

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Tuesday said Bengaluru has emerged as an epicentre of coronavirus cases in Karnataka and there was a need to work on a war footing.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, "Bengaluru is the epicentre of Karnataka. If you see the total cases, at least 70 per cent are reported in Bengaluru."

He was replying to queries on the all-party meeting to be chaired by Governor Vajubhai Vala.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will attend the meeting virtually as he has got reinfected by the virus and is undergoing treatment.

Mr Sudhakar said there will be discussion on Bengaluru and seven other districts, which have been designated as sensitive zones in view of the alarming rise in COVID cases.

Apr 20, 2021 10:25 (IST)
Apr 20, 2021 10:19 (IST)
COVID Update: ICSE cancels class 10 boards exams, withdraws option for students to appear later

The ICSE class 10 board exams have been cancelled in view of the worsening COVID-19 situation and the option for students to appear later has been withdrawn, board secretary Gerry Arathoon said on Tuesday.

Last week, the board had postponed both class 10 and 12 exams.

The Council for The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) had announced that class 10 students will get an option to either write the exams later or get evaluated on the basis of an alternative criteria.

"Given the present worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the CICSE has decided to cancel the class 10 examination. The option for students announced earlier, stands withdrawn. The safety and wellbeing of our students and teaching faculty is of topmost priority and paramount importance," said Arathoon, Secretary and Chief Executive of the CISCE.
Apr 20, 2021 10:12 (IST)
Police pickets placed in Nizamuddin area for checking of vehicles and movement of people during COVID-induced six-day lockdown.

The national capital reported 23,686 new cases and 240 fatalities in last 24 hours; active cases at 76,887.

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Apr 20, 2021 10:10 (IST)
5,007 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, 40 more deaths

Thane has added 5,007 new cases of coronavirus, raising the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 4,21,388, an official said on Tuesday.

These new cases were reported on Monday, he said.

The virus also claimed the lives of 40 more people, pushing the death toll in the district to 6,982, he said.

The COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane is 1.66 per cent, he added.

The number of active cases and recovered patients was not provided by the district administration.
Apr 20, 2021 09:56 (IST)
Visuals from Bhopal where 'corona curfew' has been imposed, to continue till Monday morning.

Madhya Pradesh reported 12,897 new COVID-19 cases and 79 deaths in last 24 hours; active cases at 74,558.

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Apr 20, 2021 09:09 (IST)
Madhya Pradesh's largest COVID-19 care centre set up in Indore

Madhya Pradesh's largest COVID-19 care centre has come up in Indore with various items like clothes for patients, beddings and oxygen machines worth Rs 5 crore donated by people, a senior state official said.

The centre, set up within a fortnight, is equipped with beds made out of cardboard which can be easily disposed of after use, MP government's COVID-19 advisory committee member Dr Nishant Khare told reporters on Monday.

Located in a community satsang complex on the Khandwa road, the facility will have 600 beds in the initial phase and the capacity can be raised to 6,000 beds, if required, he said.
Apr 20, 2021 08:24 (IST)
Apr 20, 2021 08:22 (IST)
No permission for weddings till April 30 in Indore amid COVID-19 surge

The Indore district administration has decided not to give permission for weddings till April 30 amid the unprecedented increase of COVID-19 cases.

"No permission will be given for weddings as there''s a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. People are requested to postpone their weddings and stay home till April 30," said Indore District Magistrate Manish Singh.

"This will help us reduce numbers as hospitals'' capacity is full now," he added.

He also informed that they have been getting complaints of black marketing of Remdesivir injections.
Apr 20, 2021 07:35 (IST)
COVID-19: White House refuses to comment on lifting ban on vaccine raw materials export to India

The White House on Monday did not respond to questions on the request by Serum Institute of India to lift export ban on certain raw materials needed for ramping up production of COVID-19 vaccine.

The question in this regard was asked twice on Monday -- once during the morning White House briefing on COVID-19 and later during the daily news conference by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

"The Serum Institute of India has been saying that the Biden administration is blocking exports of raw materials that it needs to make COVID vaccines, and the Serum Institute has also urged President Biden to lift that embargo. So I wanted to ask which raw materials are at issue here? And do you have any plans to address Serum's concerns?" asked a reporter during the morning news conference by the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

Apr 20, 2021 07:04 (IST)
PM Modi speaks to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, takes stock of measures to control pandemic

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and took stock of the measures being taken to control the coronavirus pandemic.

"The CM told the PM that the state was working with full devotion to check the spread (of the virus). In addition to ensuring availability of ICU beds and oxygen, the state is working on maximum testing," according to an official statement issued. 

The prime minister also sought information regarding RT-PCR tests done by private laboratories. All district magistrates have been instructed to ask private labs to increase their RTPCR test capacity. 

Yogi Adityanath also told PM Modi that some elements are spreading rumours that private labs are not doing COVID-19 tests, whereas the fact is so far over 17 lakh tests have been done by private labs only.
Apr 20, 2021 06:56 (IST)
Night curfew in Kerala from Tuesday amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Night curfew for two weeks will be imposed in Kerala amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the state.

The decision was taken by a core committee of COVID-19 management headed, by the Kerala Chief Secretary, on Monday.

"Restriction on non-essential activities and movement at night between 9 pm and 5 am shall come into force from 9 pm of April 20. No gatherings of any kind shall be permitted between 9 pm and 5 am. Essential services (medical stores, hospitals, fuel stations, night shift employees, milk, newspaper, media etc), goods transportation and public transportation are exempted from the night restriction," said the government order issued by the Chief Secretary.

The order said that tuition centers shall only function through online medium and should not hold physical classes while all malls and cinema theatres have been asked to reschedule their timings to close by 7.30 pm.
Apr 20, 2021 06:44 (IST)
Gujarat: Vadodara's Jahangirpura Masjid converted into a 50-bed COVID facility
Apr 20, 2021 06:39 (IST)
Allahabad High Court closed till April 24, Rajasthan High Court to function virtually till May 3 amid COVID-19 surge

The Allahabad High Court and its offices will remain closed till April 24, while the Rajasthan High Court will function only virtually till May 3 amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

According to a notification issued by the Allahabad High Court, "Only urgent cases will be taken up by the courts only through virtual modes with effect from April 26, 2021."

A committee set up by the high court for the purpose of taking preventive and remedial measures and for combating the impending threat of COVID-19 decided that there shall be no physical filing/e-filing in the Lucknow and Allahabad benches between April 20 and April 24.

The committee further directed that the District Magistrates and the Chief Medical Officers of Prayagraj and Lucknow will ensure arrangement of COVID-19 medicines and oxygen cylinders in adequate numbers at hospitals.

The Rajasthan High Court administration has decided to shift back to hearing through video conferencing only between April 19 and May 3, the period when the state government has imposed various restrictions in view of a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases.
Apr 20, 2021 06:15 (IST)
Maharashtra government issues SOP on micro containment zone

Any cooperative housing society (CHS) having more than five COVID-19 cases, who are present in the society/building, will be declared as a micro containment zone (MCZ), the Maharashtra government has said.

The state government declared the standard operating procedure (SOP) for MCZs in an order issued on Sunday under the break the chain initiative, launched to stem the rise of COVID-19 cases, which have seen a spurt in the recent weeks.

The government said a MCZ means any delineated area so declared by local disaster management authority (DMA).

The government said if the DMA is of the view that there is a willful default on part of residents leading to their housing society being declared a MCZ, it may levy a fine on them that may collectively go up to Rs 10,000.
Apr 20, 2021 05:51 (IST)
Covid-19: First "Oxygen Express" rakes leave from Mumbai region to Vizag

The first ''Oxygen Express'' departed from Central Railway's Kalamboli yard on Monday evening to ferry liquid oxygen for Maharashtra from Vishakhapatnam steel plant in Andhra Pradesh amid the worsening COVID-19 situation.

In a statement, the ministry of railways informed that the Mumbai Division built a ramp overnight within 24 hours at Kalamboli goods yard to facilitate loading/unloading of tankers in/from flat wagons.

"The Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) service with seven empty tankers departed from Kalamboli goods yard for Visakhapatnam steel plant siding at 8.05 pm on Monday."

This train will move via Vasai Road, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Raipur Junction to Visakhapatnam steel plant siding in ECoR zone where it will be loaded with Liquid Medical Oxygen.

On Sunday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, in an interview to ANI, had informed that the central government was creating a green corridor for fast movement of ''Oxygen Express'' trains to facilities for the smooth transport of oxygen to states.
Apr 20, 2021 05:45 (IST)
Working tirelessly and non-stop, we have to win fight against COVID: Bhupesh Baghel

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has allowed the Collectors to purchase Remdesivir and other essential life-saving medicines as per immediate requirement amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

He has also approved the establishment of an RT-PCR testing lab in Balod and Mungeli, as per a statement from the Chhattisgarh CMO.

The Chief Minister gave these approvals in a virtual meeting held at his residence office here on Monday during a review of the current status of COVID-19 infections and measures to control them in 11 districts of the state.

The situation in districts is constantly being reviewed by the Chief Minister in view of the present condition of coronavirus pandemic. In this series, he reviewed Mahasamund, Gariaband, Dhamtari, Balod, Kabirdham, Mungeli, Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi, Surguja, Surajpur, Korea and Balrampur districts.