Highlights: India is second only to the US in the total number of COVID-19 cases reported. (File)
India's Covid caseload surged to 1.66 crore with 3.46 lakh new cases in the world's highest-ever daily surge reported by a country. In another grim record, India also saw the deadliest day of the pandemic with 2,624 deaths; 1.89 lakh people have died so far.
SOS messages are being sent out by top hospitals, patients and their family and friends amid shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds.
Hospitals in India have launched desperate appeals for oxygen as the nation's Covid crisis spirals -- India logged over 3.32 lakh COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest-ever daily count recorded in the world, and 2,263 deaths since Thursday. India is second only to the United States in the total number of cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
The national capital is the worst-hit city in the country as it has been reporting the biggest daily spikes in Covid cases this month. Delhi on Friday logged 348 Covid-linked deaths - its biggest single-day spike in the death count. The city also reported 24,331 new coronavirus cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held high-level meetings to review the COVID-19 situation in the country. He has also called for utilising the industry's full potential to meet the demand for medical oxygen in the coming days, saying there is a need to increase the availability of oxygen cylinders as well as to upgrade the logistical facilities for its transportation. In a virtual meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers across the country, PM Modi urged the industry to utilise tankers meant to transport other gases for oxygen supply, saying the time now is not only to deal with the challenges but also to provide solutions in a very short time.
Many parts of the country have now tightened restrictions, with Delhi in lockdown and all non-essential services banned in Maharashtra.
Other countries have closed their doors to India, fearing a new variant spreading quickly in the country. The United Arab Emirates on Thursday became the latest nation to impose restrictions, while Canada halted flights from both India and Pakistan.
Here are the Highlights:
Cops injured during anti-lockdown protests in London, 5 accused arrested
Police in London said they arrested five people, and eight officers were injured, after disorder at large-scale protests against England's remaining coronavirus restrictions, the mandatory use of masks and possible introduction of so-called vaccine passports. Demonstrators had gathered early afternoon and marched along several major arteries, including the main shopping district Oxford Street, with videos and photos showing thousands in attendance.
Hundreds then rallied in Hyde Park later following the march, an AFP reporter said, where "small pockets of disorder" broke out, according to London's Metropolitan Police Service.
Jharkhand reports 63 fresh COVID deaths, 5,741 new cases
Jharkhand's COVID-19 death count rose to 1,778 as the state reported 63 fresh fatalities in the last 24 hours, the health department said in a bulletin on Saturday. Altogether, 5,741 new infections pushed the coronavirus caseload of the state to 1,90,692, it said.
Jharkhand now has 43,415 active cases, while 1,45,499 people have so far recovered from the disease, the bulletin said.
Assam reports 2,236 new Covid cases, 14 more deaths
Assam's COVID-19 tally mounted to 2,35,689 as 2,236 more people tested positive for the disease, while 14 fresh fatalities pushed the coronavirus death count to 1,186, National Health Mission said in a bulletin.
Bengal makes wearing masks mandatory in public places as Covid cases surge
The West Bengal government has made wearing face masks mandatory in public places amid surging COVID-19 cases and directed the police to initiate legal action against the violators under the Disaster Management Act, according to an order. "Since the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is grave, all persons are to strictly comply with COVID-19 safety norms of wearing facial mask and maintaining social distancing whenever they go out in public place," the order said.
Tamil Nadu announces more restrictions to contain spread of COVID-19
The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced new restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The new restrictions will come into effect from April 26.
According to fresh guidelines, beauty parlours, salons, spas, and barber shops will remain closed. Only takeaways will be allowed in hotels, restaurants, and tea shops.
All places of worship will also be closed for the public from April 26. The state government has also restricted the number of people at wedding ceremonies to maximum of 50 people and 25 people will be allowed in funerals.
Except for Puducherry, passengers from other states need to apply for e-pass through the government portal.
23 hospitals turned into dedicated COVID-19 facilities in J-K amid surge in infections
Amid a spike in coronavirus infections, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities on Saturday turned 23 hospitals into dedicated COVID-19 facilities.
According to an order issued by the Health and Medical Education Department, 15 health institutions with a total bed capacity of 1,194 have been notified as COVID-19 hospitals in Kashmir.
Similarly, eight health institutions with a bed capacity of 511 were declared COVID-19-dedicated hospitals in Jammu region, the order said.
Among the health institutions declared as COVID-19 hospitals in Kashmir Valley are the Army Hospital, JAKLI Centre, Rangreth with a bed capacity of 250, the chest disease hospital in Srinagar with a capacity of 104 beds, the 150-bed JLNM Hospital in Rainawari and the 50-bed Kashmir Nursing Home in Srinagar.
In Jammu district, the dedicated COVID-19 facilities include Gandhi Nagar Hospital (bed capacity 90) and Chest Disease Hospital (110).
Maharashtra reports 67,160 new COVID-19 cases, 676 deaths in last 24 hours
Maharashtra reported 67,160 new COVID-19 cases, and 676 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the State Health bulletin on Saturday evening.
With over 65,000 new cases, the total active cases in the state reached 6,94,480. As many as 63,928 people have died in the state so far as Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state by the pandemic.
The total caseload in the state has reached 42,28,836, while a total of 34,68,610 patients have recovered from the disease so far.
Meanwhile, Mumbai reported 5,888 new COVID-19 cases and 71 deaths in the last 24 hours. A total of 8,549 people recovered from the disease in the said period. The cumulative caseload has reached 6,22,109 in the city.
Italy reports 322 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, 13,817 new cases
Italy reported 322 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 342 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 13,817 from 14,761.
Italy has registered 119,021 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak last year, the second highest deaths in Europe after Britain and the seventh highest in the world
The country has reported 3.95 million cases to date.
Patients in hospital with COVID-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 20,971 on Saturday, down from 21,440 a day earlier. There were 143 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 153 on Friday
West Bengal records highest single-day spike of 14,281 COVID-19 cases
West Bengal on Saturday registered the highest single-day spike of 14,281 COVID-19 cases pushing the tally to 7,28,061, the bulletin released by the state health department said.
The deaths rose to 10,884 as 59 more people have died due to the disease. In the last 24 hours, 7,584 recoveries were recorded in the state.
The number of actives cases currently is 81,375. Altogether 55,060 samples were tested for coronavirus in West Bengal since Friday.
Goa records 1,540 new COVID-19 cases, 17 fatalities
As many as 1,540 persons tested positive for COVID-19, while 17 died due to the infection in Goa on Saturday, an official from the health department said.
With the addition of latest cases and casualties, the coastal state's tally rose to 75,184 and the deaths reached 993, the official said.
At least 485 patients were discharged during the day, taking the count of recoveries to 62,113, leaving the state with 12,078 active cases, he said.
With 3,933 samples tested during the day, the total number of tests conducted in the state has gone up to 6,13,865, he added.
Goa's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 75,184, new cases 1,540, death toll 993, discharged 62,113, active cases 12,078, samples tested till date 6,13,865.
Restricted operating hours in Rajasthan''s guidelines for revenue-earning institutions
The Rajasthan government on Saturday released a guideline for the revenue earning institutions in the state, limiting operating hours in view of the coronavirus-related restrictions.
According to an order of the Finance Department, offices of commercial tax, excise duty, registrar and stamp department, transport and mines will remain open, but only till 4 pm and public dealing works will be allowed till 2 pm only.
The directions will come into force from April 25, the order said.
Like other shops that are allowed to open, liquor shops will open from 6 am to 11 am only. The shops will remain closed during weekend curfew on Saturday and Sunday. Mining activities will continue as earlier. Night curfew will not apply on mining, the order said.
DRDO to add 250 beds to Delhi's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID hospital
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will add 250 beds to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID Hospital here on Saturday evening.
The total number of beds at the hospital will go up to 500.
"The DRDO is adding another 250 beds later in the evening today at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID hospital in New Delhi, taking the total number of beds to 500. In Gujarat, a 1,000-bed hospital has become operational," the minister said in a tweet.
DRDO reopened its Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital in Delhi Cantt in view of the surge in coronavirus cases. The facility was closed in the first week of February after COVID-19 cases came down.
Jammu and Kashmir to provide COVID-19 vaccine free of cost: L-G office
Jammu and Kashmir will provide COVID-19 vaccine free of cost to people in the 18-45 age group, the office of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday.
"It has been decided that COVID-19 vaccination for people in the age group 18-45 years will be cost-free in the UT. The cost of vaccine will be fully borne by the government of J&K. The health department will constitute a panel to work out the logistics," the L-G's office said in a tweet.
The vaccination of people in the 18-45 age bracket will begin from May 1.
Kerala's active cases nearing 2 lakh mark, 26,685 fresh COVID-19 infections reported
Kerala's active cases soared to 1.98 lakh on Saturday as the state reported 26,685 fresh COVID-19 infections, 73 of them health workers, pushing the caseload to 13,77,186. the state government said. The deaths mounted to 5,080 with 25 more fatalities.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to exercise caution and not let down their guard against the virus to halt the spread of the infection.
The government held discussions with management of private hospitals today and they have assured all cooperation to the government, Mr Vijayan told reporters
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel tests positive for COVID-19, admitted to hospital
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has been admitted to Mehta hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
"I had undergone an RT-PCR test after having symptoms. The report came positive. On the advice of doctors, I am being admitted to Mehta Hospital. I urge all my close contacts to take care of their health," Mr Patel tweeted in Gujrati.
Kuwait Suspends All Commercial Flights From India Amid COVID-19 Surge
Kuwait on Saturday suspended all direct commercial flights coming from India until further notice due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.
The move came after instructions from health authorities.
Kuwait''s directorate general of civil aviation said that it had suspended all direct commercial flights coming from India, effective April 24.
All passengers arriving from India either directly or via another country will be banned from entering unless they have spent at least 14 days out of India, it said in a statement on Twitter.
Kuwaiti citizens, their first degree relatives and their domestic workers will be allowed to enter the country. Operations of freight flights will continue, it said.
Telangana to administer free COVID-19 vaccine to all: Chief Minister
The Telangana government will administer COVID-19 vaccine free of cost to the entire population in the state irrespective of their age, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced on Saturday.
Mr Rao said it would cost more than Rs 2,500 crore to vaccinate everyone, and taking into consideration the importance of lives of people, this amount is worth spending.
The Chief Minister issued instructions to the Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and officers of the Medical and Health department in this regard, an official release said.
Telangana's population, including those who came from different states and working in different sectors, is about 4 crore and among them 35 lakh have already been vaccinated.
Passengers arriving at Guwahati railway station being tested for COVID-19
Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, Guwahati's State Health Department is conducting COVID tests of passengers arriving at the railway station.
Dr Mridul Malakar who was present at the COVID testing camp said, "We first check the body temperature of each passenger. Then we perform a COVID test on everyone."
Talking about the number of COVID tests conducted on an average, the doctor said, "We test 700-800 people on an average every day, out of which 25-30 people test positive."
Have 8,532 oxygen, 2,326 ICU beds for virus patients in Rajasthan: Minister
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Saturday said they have 8,532 oxygen-supported and 2,326 ICU beds for coronavirus patients in the state.
Apart from it, 42,886 beds have been kept in isolation wards for infection patients at over 400 hospitals in the state, the minister said in a statement. Coronavirus patients are currently being treated at 429 medical institutions, including 60 hospitals and 282 care centres, he said.
More than 78,000 tests are being conducted daily in 67 laboratories and the figure will be taken to one lakh samples a day soon, the minister said, adding that so far, they have tested 81.11 lakh people.
As many as 134 RTPCR and 69 RNA extractor machines are available at government institutions for investigations and tests are being done free of cost in all state laboratories while a maximum of Rs 350 is being charged by private labs, he said.
Everyone above 18 to be vaccinated free at govt hospitals in Haryana: Chief Minister
Everyone above 18 years of age will be vaccinated free of cost at government hospitals in Haryana, said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday after chairing a state-level meeting of the COVID Monitoring Committee.
A registration portal will be started from April 28 and everyone has to register themselves for vaccination. Registration is a must to get vaccinated.
Further details on how and where the registration can be done are awaited.
Australia extends support to India amid COVID-19 surge
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday expressed his solidarity with the people of India amid the record rise in COVID-19 infections in the country.
Morrison informed that he will keep working in partnership with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this global challenge.
"Australia stands with our friends in India as it manages a difficult second #COVID-19 wave. We know how strong and resilient the Indian nation is. PM Narendra Modi and I will keep working in partnership on this global challenge," Australian PM tweeted.
Amit Shah inaugurates PSA oxygen plant in Gujarat's Gandhinagar
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday inaugurated a 280-litre per minute capacity PSA oxygen plant at a COVID-19-designated hospital at Kolavada in Gujarat's Gandhinagar.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union home minister said 11 more such plants will be set up in Gujarat under the Prime Minister's Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) Fund. Mr Shah inaugurated the pressure swing absorption (PSA) oxygen plant at a COVID-19 centre set up at an Ayurvedic hospital at Kolavada, which falls under his Parliamentary constituency of Gandhinagar.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel were also present on the occasion.
Under the PM Cares Fund, 11 more PSA oxygen plans will come up in Gujarat to meet the growing requirements of oxygen for COVID-19 patients in the state, Shah said, adding that hundreds of such plants will be set up across the country under the fund.
"At the Kolavada plant, 280 litres of oxygen will be concentrated after drawing from the air and supplied to the patients every minute. An arrangement has been made to ensure that the supply continues to meet the requirements of all 200 patients at the centre (when the facility is at its full capacity)," he said.
Manmohan Singh recuperating well from COVID-19
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh is recuperating well from COVID-19 infection at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, a Congress leader said on Saturday.
"Singh is stable and is progressing well. He has had no episodes of fever," Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
The former prime minister was admitted to the premier hospital with mild fever on April 19, after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Oxygen Monitoring System Set Up For UP In Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish K Awasthi today informed that an "oxygen monitoring system" has been set up in the state capital amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, reported news agency ANI.
Under this system, "a Command Control Centre has been opened at Home Department in Lucknow," said Mr Awasthi.
Speaking to news agency ANI about the new monitoring system, Mr Awasthi informed that "through this, Management Information System's (MIS) daily, live report on the movement of Oxygen tankers can be monitored and viewed on a map."
No Oxygen At Our Hospital, No Supply In Pipeline: Delhi's Batra Hospital's SOS
Delhi's Batra Hospital sounded an alert at 2 pm saying the hospital has no oxygen left. No oxygen supply in the foreseeable future also, Sudhanshu Bankata, Executive Director of Batra Hospital said in a video message from the Delhi Secretariate.
"I have been waiting at the Delhi Secretariat to meet the Special Secretary (Health) for the past two hours to arrange oxygen. In the meantime, the oxygen at our hospital has finished completely at about 2 pm and we really see no hope because there is no oxygen supply in the pipeline. We really wish and pray for our patients and for something to be done in this difficult hour. Kindly help," he said in the video.
"Help Fellow Indians": Sachin Tendulkar Urges Covid Survivors To Donate Plasma
Sachin Tendulkar today urged everyone who have recovered from COVID-19 to come forward and donate plasma in order to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reported news agency ANI.
Sachin Tendulkar, who is celebrating his 48th birthday today, opened up about his battle with COVID-19.
"Last year I had inaugurated a plasma donation center and their message was if plasma is given at the right time patients can recover faster. I too when permissible will be donating plasma, I have had a word with my doctor," he said.
"All of those who have recovered from COVID-19, consult your doctor, and when permissible please donate blood. With this, problems we are facing can be reduced. Please donate blood and help fellow Indians," Sachin Tendulkar added.
"Must Fight This Global Challenge Together": Pak PM's Support To India Amid "Dangerous" Second Wave
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan today expressed his solidarity with the people of India amid the "dangerous" second wave of COVID-19, adding that "we must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together", reported news agency ANI.
"I want to express our solidarity with people of India as they battle a dangerous wave of #COVID19. Our prayers for speedy recovery go to all those suffering from pandemic in our neighbourhood and world," tweeted Imran Khan.
"We must fight this global challenge confronting humanity together," he added.
Nitin Gadkari, Bengal Governor Receive Second Covid Jab
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today took the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS), Nagpur, reported news agency ANI.
"Union Minister @nitin_gadkari ji took the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS, Nagpur," his office tweeted.
He had taken the first dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine on March 6.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Command Hospital and thanked the team for making the second Covid dose seamless.
Bhutan Foreign Minister Extends Prayers, Expresses Solidarity With India
Bhutan Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji today extended his prayers and expressed solidarity with the government and people of India as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the country, reported news agency ANI.
"Our deepest prayers and complete solidarity to the government and people of India in this most difficult period of the pandemic. Praying and hoping for quick relief and recovery," the minister said.
Customs To Expedite Clearances For Import Of Necessary Covid Consignments
As India's healthcare infrastructure crumbles under the weight of the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, the Customs Department is all set to expedite clearances for the import of consignments relating to the pandemic, reported news agency ANI.
"It is imperative that import of critical raw material, life-saving drugs, etc reach the intended users/benefit in time for an effective fight against the pandemic," a letter signed by the Deputy Secretary of Customs read.
Challenge For Government To Prevent Covid Spread In Villages: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that like last year, preventing the COVID-19 infection from reaching the villages remains a challenge for the country, reported news agency ANI.
Addressing the chief ministers of various states, ministers and officials of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, PM Modi said, "When we met for Panchayati Raj Diwas a year back, the entire country was fighting against coronavirus. At that time I had urged all of you to carry out your duty in stopping coronavirus from reaching villages."
"You not only stopped Covid from reaching the villages but also played an important role in creating awareness in villages. This year too we have the challenge of stopping this virus from reaching villages. We have to ensure that guidelines issued from time to time are followed in villages. We have the security cover of vaccines this time. So, we have to ensure that everyone in villages gets both the doses of vaccine," he added.
Additional Health Professionals Deployed At Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID Hospital In Delhi
Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) has deployed additional doctors, including specialists, super specialists and paramedics, at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (SVP) COVID hospital in Delhi to cater to the current surge in COVID-19 case, said a government release, reported news agency ANI.
"As against 294 doctors and health workers in 2020, 378 have been mobilised in 2021. These include 164 doctors in 2021 as against 132 doctors in 2020. Last year, only 18 specialists were mobilised, as against 43 specialists and 17 super specialists this year," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
Delhi Police Creates Green Corridor To Transport Oxygent From Ghaziabad To GTB Hospital
The Delhi Police today helped avert a major crisis at Delhi's Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital by swiftly transporting two oxygen tankers to the hospital, reported news agency ANI.
An urgent message and call for police assistance was received from Vikram Singh, the Nodal Officer for GTB hospital for the transfer of two tankers from the Inox oxygen plant in Modinagar, Ghaziabad. The tanker and driver details were shared and the police immediately swung into action.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shahdara immediately contacted the Deputy Inspector Generial of Police and Superintendent of Police (rural) of Ghaziabad and started coordination for swift transportation with police escort.
Meanwhile, a team was dispatched from the GTB Enclave Police Station which met the UP Police team midway. The team took over and escorted the tanker through the shortest possible route.
The tanker finally reached the hospital within an hour of dispatch through a green corridor.
Steel Plants Supplied 1.43 Lakh Metric Tons Of Medical Oxygen To States: Union Minister
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said that steel plants from across the country have already supplied 1.43 lakh metric tons of medical oxygen to different states so far, reported news agency ANI.
"The steel plants from across the country have already supplied 1.43 lakh metric tons of medical oxygen to different states with the central public sector enterprises in the steel sector contributing about 39 thousand metric tons of medical oxygen till now," he said.
He said that the steel fraternity stands with the nation in its collective fight against covid-19 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.are also pitching in with their efforts to augment supply of medical oxygen to different states.
Indian Air Force Airlifts Two Container Trucks With Liquid Oxygen To Gujarat's Jamnagar From Pune
The Indian Air Force (IAF) today transported two container trucks of liquid oxygen from Pune to Gujarat's Jamnagar, reported news agency ANI.
The aircraft departed from Pune and offloaded these containers at Jamnagar Air Base at 1:30 pm.
According to IAF, one C-17 of the Indian Air Force was airborne from the Hindan Airbase at 08:00 am today for Pune Airbase. The aircraft arrived at Pune at 10:00 am.
Oxygen Express Reaches Nashik With Life-Saving Gas
Indian Railways "Oxygen Express" train, carrying liquid medical oxygen from Visakhapatnam, reached Nashik this afternoon, reported news agency ANI.
The train, with 15 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen in each of the seven tankers, had left from the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) Vizag Steel Plant on Thursday night. It reached Nagpur Station on Friday night and three tankers were unloaded. Rest will be unloaded in Nashik.
Delhi's Saroj Hospital Suspends New Admissions Due To Oxygen Shortage, Discharges Old Patients
Amid the acute shortage of medical oxygen, Delhi's Saroj Hospital today suspended the admission of new patients, reported news agency ANI.
"We are closing the admissions because of an oxygen shortage. We are discharging the patients," the COVID-19 in-charge of Saroj Hospital said.
The hospital had filed a plea at the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking urgent directions to the Centre and Delhi government to facilitate an urgent critical oxygen supply to it.
India''s Covid Case Fatality Rate Slides To 1.14 Per Cent
The national COVID-19 mortality rate has dropped and currently stands at 1.14 per cent, the union health ministry informed today, reported news agency ANI.
The death count stood at 1,66,10,481 with 2,624 fatalities reported in 24 hours out of which Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (773) followed by Delhi with 348 daily deaths.
According to the health ministry, ten states account for 82.28 per cent of the new deaths in the country.
Oxygen Tanker Reaches Delhi's Moolchand Hospital
After SOS alert from hospital, oxygen tanker has arrived at Moolchand Hospital in Delhi.
Telangana Records 7,432 New Cases In 24 Hours
Telangana recorded 7,432 new Covid cases with 2,157 recoveries and 33 deaths in the last 24 hours, reported news agency ANI.
According to the State Health Department, the total count of COVID-19 cases in the state today stands at 3,87,106 including 3,26,997 discharges and 1,961 deaths. The number of active cases in the state is 58,148.
Need Some More Hands: Sonu Sood Urges People To Come Together To Fight Covid
Actor Sonu Sood, who recently recovered from Covid, gave his fans a glimmer of hope in their fight against the virus and urged people to stand in unity with each other, reported news agency ANI.
The 47-year-old actor took to his Twitter handle and tweeted, "Can't sleep.. In the middle of night when my phone rings, all I can hear is a desperate voice pleading to save his/her loved ones. We are living in tough times but tomorrow is going to be better, just hold your reigns tight. Together we will win. Just we need some more hands."
Second Oxygen Express In Lucknow Will Ensure Oxygen Availability In UP: Piyush Goyal
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today informed that the Indian Railways' second Oxygen Express has reached Lucknow from Jharkhand's Bokaro and it will ensure "oxygen availability in Uttar Pradesh" amid the unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases, reported news agency ANI.
"Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the government is continuously taking steps to supply oxygen throughout the country. In this sequence, Indian Railways run second Oxygen Express reached its destination Lucknow from Bokaro. This will ensure oxygen availability in Uttar Pradesh," tweeted Mr Goyal.
Two UP BJP MLA's Die Of Coronavirus: Report
Two BJP MLAs in Uttar Pradesh died of coronavirus on Friday, party sources said, reported news agency PTI.
Lucknow West MLA Suresh Kumar Srivastava (76) and Auraiya Sadar MLA Ramesh Chandra Diwakar (56) died of the viral disease in Lucknow and Meerut respectively.
Mr Srivastava died during treatment at a Lucknow hospital. He was on ventilator support for the last few days, a BJP leader said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, an MP from Lucknow, condoled the deaths of the lawmakers, calling it as a great loss to the party. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also condoled the deaths.
Oxygen Express With 30,000 Litres Of Liquid Medical Oxygen Arrives In Lucknow
An Oxygen Express train carrying around 30,000 litres of liquid medical oxygen arrived in Lucknow this morning as Uttar Pradesh battles a sudden surge in coronavirus cases, an official said, reported news agency PTI.
The special train, carrying two truckloads of medical oxygen, arrived in the capital city at 6:30 am from Bokaro in Jharkhand.
"Two trucks of medical oxygen arrived in Lucknow at around 6.30 am. One of the trucks was offloaded in Varanasi late on Saturday. Each truck has a capacity of 15,000 litres," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the news agency.
"The arrival of two trucks of medical oxygen will meet around half the demand of Lucknow for today. Lucknow will be in a better position. The second Oxygen Express departed at around 5.30 am from Lucknow for Bokaro with four tankers," Mr Awasthi said.
Pressure mounts on US to ship AstraZeneca vaccine, other medical supplies to India
The US administration has came under intense pressure from various quarters, including the powerful US Chambers of Commerce, lawmakers and eminent Indian-Americans, to ship AstraZeneca and other COVID-19 vaccines along with several life-saving medical supplies to India, which is witnessing a deadly surge in coronavirus cases.
"As the Covid pandemic inflicts a heavy toll on countries around the globe, the US Chamber strongly encourages the administration to release the millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses in storage - as well as other life-saving support - for shipment to India, Brazil, and other nations hard-hit by the pandemic," said Myron Brilliante, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce.
Southern Naval Command deputes 2 ships to ferry oxygen cylinders to Lakshadweep
Amid increasing COVID-19 cases in Lakshadweep, Southern Naval Command at Kochi in Kerala has deputed two Naval Ships as "Oxygen Express" to ferry oxygen cylinders to islands and also to collect empty cylinders back to mainland for refilling.
"Taking in to account the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, and to support the UTL administration, the Southern Naval Command at Kochi has deputed two Naval Ships as "Oxygen Express" to ferry Oxygen Cylinders to islands and also to collect empty cylinders back to mainland for refilling the cylinders," read a press statement from Southern Naval Command.
US Allows Johnson & Johnson Covid Vaccinations To Resume: Health Regulator
Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccinations can restart, US health regulators said Friday, after the shots' rollout was paused due to worries over blood clotting.
"We have concluded that the known and potential benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older," said a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.