The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions including a night curfew in the state and a “strict lockdown” over the weekends from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 pm amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting to review the Covid-related issues including the ongoing vaccination drive in the country as the infection is seeing a surge. All senior officers — including the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Health Secretary are participating in the meeting.
Over the last 24 hours, the country saw the biggest daily surge in Covid cases since mid-September, with 93,249 fresh infections, taking the tally to over 1.24 crore.
Meanwhile, India on Sunday recorded 93,249 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year, which took the total COVID-19 cases to 1,24,85,509, according to Union health ministry data.
This is the biggest daily rise in cases since September 19, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded.
The death count climbed to 1,64,623 on Sunday with 513 new fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am showed.
Registering a steady increase for the 25th day in row, the active cases surged to 6,91,597, accounting for 5.54 per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate further dropped to 93.14 per cent, the data stated.
The active caseload was at its lowest at 1,35,926 on February 12, comprising 1.25 per cent of the total infections.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease increased to 1,16,29,289, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.32 per cent, according to the data.
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Maharashtra and Delhi continued to report a surge in COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
With 57,074 new coronavirus infections, Maharashtra on Sunday evening has reported the highest single-day spike so far since the pandemic started.
As many as 4,033 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi on Sunday, which is the highest single-day spike in the national capital since December 4 last year.
Punjab reported 3,019 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the state health department on Sunday.
The Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions including a night curfew in the state and a “strict lockdown” over the weekends from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases.
The rules, which come into effect tomorrow, include a curfew from 8 pm to 7 am; a ban on gatherings of five or more throughout the day; malls, restaurants, bars and places of worship will be closed; home delivery and essential services will be allowed.
Industrial operations and construction activity will be allowed. Rules to control crowding in vegetable markets will be introduced.
A day after Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that there is no COVID in the state and hence no need to wear mask now,the health and family welfare department Sunday issued fresh notifications for mandatory testing of air and train passengers coming to the state from Mumbai and Bengaluru to check the spread of virus.
Separate orders have been issued for air and train passengers and the rates for COVID testing by the department’s Principal Secretary Samir Sinha.
The minister had on Saturday said that there is no COVID in Assam and so there is no need to wear a mask now which triggered widespread criticism.
In view of the increase in Covid-19 cases, Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey has issued an order directing commercial complexes, cinemas, malls, hotels, restaurants, and parks in Ghaziabad to have a token system for visitors with entry and exit timings and allow people only according to their capacity, reported news agency ANI.
The administration has to make sure that proper social distancing is maintained for those who are waiting for their turn to enter the premises. These places have also been directed to arrange a display board at their entry gate so that proper social distancing could be monitored.
Shastri Nagar, Nehru Nagar, Kavi Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Sanjay Nagar, Govind Puram, Raj Nagar, Indira Puram, Vaishali, Lajpat Nagar, Rajendra Nagar, Shalimar Garden and Vasundhara are the red zones, as per the letter.
Earlier, the District Magistrate has issued orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to prevent gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in view of the festivals.
Six students of Government Medical College (GMC) in Jammu tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, a spokesperson said, reported news agency PTI.
The students, including five girls staying in hostels, tested positive for the infection during a special rapid antigen test (RAT) drive in Jammu, he said.
He said GMC, Jammu, conducted the tests for staff and students in view of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the Union Territory.
“Isolation of all COVID positive students has been arranged at the Maternal Child Hospital (MCH) Gandhi Nagar, Jammu,” the spokesperson said, adding the hostel premises have been sanitized.
He said the GMC management has decided that the RAT tests would be done periodically.
Senior BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, Trinamool Congress (TMC) minister Ashima Patra and former CPI(M) minister Kanti Ganguly are among the 205 candidates whose campaigns for the third phase of elections in 31 seats in West Bengal ended today evening, reported news agency PTI.
In this phase, elections will be held in parts of rural Howrah, the Sunderban region, the Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district.
The campaign ended at 5 pm with elections scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
The BJP’s campaign was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who addressed several public meetings in these three districts.
The Trinamool Congress’s charge was led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, even as TMC MP and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee addressed a significant number of rallies.
The Left-led alliance focussed more on street-corner meets, small gatherings and door-to-door visits in absence of a face to counter PM Modi and Ms Banerjee at large rallies.
Even as the Maharashtra government on Sunday announced a weekend lockdown and other restrictions to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases, the by-election to Pandharpur-Mangalvedha Assembly constituency will be held as per its schedule later this month, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said, reported news agency PTI.
The bypoll, necessitated by NCP MLA Bharat Bhalke’s death last year, is scheduled to be held on April 17, which is a Saturday.
“As COVID-19 cases are rising in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to impose strict restrictions. I know that people don’t like curfews. But we have to take hard decisions to stop the spread of the virus. The elections conducted by the state government authorities can be deferred. But the Pandharpur by-election schedule was announced by the Election Commission earlier. So it will be held as per its schedule,” Ajit Pawar said.
The Karnataka government on Sunday relaxed curbs on gymnasiums, allowing 50 per cent occupancy against total closure till April 20, reported news agency PTI.
The government had imposed restrictions on many public events in its order on April 2 believing that public gathering could lead to the spread of coronavirus, which is rising alarmingly in the state.
A number of gym operators and the regular gym-goers had given a representation to the Chief Minister following which the order was revised, Karnataka chief secretary P Ravikumar said in his latest order.
“Gyms will be allowed to remain open with the condition that the occupancy at any time cannot exceed 50 per cent of the capacity,” the government said.
He said gyms need to follow strict COVID protocol like wearing of face masks, observing physical distancing and provide hand sanitiser to members. The order said all equipment should be sanitised after every use.
If there is any violation, the gym concerned will be closed till the COVID pandemic is over, it added.
Several restaurants, night clubs and hotels in Delhi have been fined and are facing cases for not maintaining social distancing and serving hookah, police officials said on Sunday following a two-day special drive to crack down on those violating COVID-19 safety guidelines, reported news agency PTI.
The drive, in which people were also fined for not wearing face masks and spitting in public areas, was conducted in places with high footfall, including markets, on Friday and Saturday.
Giving details about the drive in the New Delhi district area, a senior police officer said that FIRs were registered against the owners of Jain Chawal Wala at Connaught Place, Informal Restaurant at Janpath, Classic Chicken Restaurant at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg and Choice Chicken Corner Kalina at Gole Market for not observing COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Arunachal Pradesh has been able to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic due to the dedication of medical fraternity and frontline workers, and the ccoperation of people in strictly following COVID-19 safety protocols, Health and Family Welfare Minister Alo Libang said on Sunday, reported news agency PTI.
However, there should be no complacency in adhering to COVID-19 safety rules as the ongoing second wave of coronavirus, across the country, could peak by mid-April as predicted by Indian scientists by using a mathematical model, the minister told news agency PTI in an interview.
Haryana on Sunday issued fresh guidelines putting a ceiling on the number of people permitted at functions in open spaces and indoors, and at funerals amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the state, reported news agency PTI.
While 200 people will be allowed at indoor events, the crowd capacity outdoors has been capped at 500. At funerals, a maximum of 50 people will be allowed, the new guidelines stated.
Earlier, the limit on gatherings was implemented in Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Under the new standard operating procedure, organisers of social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and political gatherings must take permission from district magistrates, the state government stated.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat today announced on social media that he has recovered from coronavirus, reported news agency PTI.
Tirath Singh Rawat had tested positive for coronavirus on March 22 and went in self-isolation.
“My COVID test report has come out negative twice in the past 48 hours,” Mr Rawat said in the social media post.
He thanked the almighty and all his well-wishers for his recovery.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday alleged that the BJP-led Centre was trying to “punish” his government for supporting the farmers’ agitation by creating hurdles in its functioning with the new law that gives primacy to the Lieutenant Governor, reported news agency PTI.
Addressing a farmers’ “mahapanchayat” in Haryana’s Jind district, the AAP national convener asserted that he is ready to “make any sacrifice” for the sake of farmers who are agitating against the three central agri laws.
He went on to say that anyone who opposes the farmers’ stir is a “traitor”.
The chief minister said all powers will be now be with the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
“What kind of law is this?” he asked, adding that his party, despite winning 62 seats, will have no power.
With campaigning for the last phase of elections in Assam coming to an end, both BJP and Congress alliances are conducting massive campaigns today to reach out to maximum voters, reported news agency ANI.
For the National Democratic Alliance, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is holding three election rallies, while incumbent Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal is scheduled to hold six rallies to cover as many constituencies as possible.
BJP leaders campaigning in the state claimed that they reached the magic number to form the government in the first two phases and with the voting in the last phase, they will form the government in Assam with a thumping majority.
The Mahajot has also intensified its efforts on the last day of campaigning. All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal’s son Abdur Rahim claimed that the next government in the state will be formed by the “dadhi, topi, lungiwallah” people.
Easter was celebrated in Goa toay in a traditional manner, though some rituals were cancelled in order to adhere to COVID-19 rules, a church official said, reported news agency PTI.
The number of people who were allowed to attend church services were limited so as to maintain social distancing, and the number of masses in each church was increased on Sunday, said Fr Maverick Fernandes, Director of Caritas Goa, a wing of Goa Church.
“Rituals like kissing the statue of Jesus and processions were cancelled this year. COVID-19 rules like social distancing, wearing of masks, etc. were adhered to strictly,” he added.
Easter celebrations were cancelled completely last year as the outbreak was at its peak.
Madhya Pradesh will restrict the movement of people from Chhattisgarh to curb the spread of coronavirus and a lockdown will be enforced in isolated areas whenever needed, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said today, reported news agency PTI.
Talking to reporters, Mr Chouhan said they have already sealed Madhya Pradesh’s areas bordering Maharashtra. “There will now be restrictions on movement from Chhattisgarh. Those who need to come for necessary and unavoidable work will be allowed on humanitarian grounds and transportation of goods will continue,” he said.
“I will go out with a loudspeaker on my vehicle at 6 pm on Monday and appeal to people to maintain physical distance and wear masks,” the chief minister said, adding that patience is needed to control the pandemic.
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally mounted to 3,42,695 on Sunday as 471 new infections were reported in the state along with one fatality which took the death count to 1,922, a health department official said, reported news agency PTI.
Of the new cases, 278 were reported from quarantine centres and 193 were detected during contact tracing.
Odisha now has 3,085 active cases, and 3,37,635 patients have so far recovered from the disease.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will lead a cabinet meet at 3 pm to discuss the deeply worrying surge in coronavirus cases in the state over the past few weeks. The meeting – to be conducted via video conferencing to maintain social distancing – is expected to shed light on further rules and measures to be enforced to control the spread of the virus.
Film and television producers met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday and offered full support for measures being taken to control the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. Interacting with Hindi and Marathi film and TV producers online, Thackeray sought suggestions and cooperation, a statement from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said.
Eight states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 80.96 per cent of the 93,249 new daily COVID-19 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry. India is seeing a steep intensification in the doubling time of the COVID-19 cases. As of April 4, it is 115.4 days, the ministry said on Sunday. India’s total active caseload has reached 6,91,597 and now comprises 5.54 per cent of the country’s total infections. A net rise of 32,688 cases recorded in the total active caseload in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Punjab cumulatively account for 76.41 per cent of the total active cases in the country, the ministry said.
A new strategy is required to battle the Covid surge in the country that is fuelled by laxity in maintaining safety measures and a mutant strain of the Covid, Dr Randeep Guleria – the chief of Delhi’s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and a top member of the government’s Covid Task Force – said on Saturday.
Puducherry: BJP national president JP Nadda holds roadshow in support of contesting candidate GNS Rajasekaran, in Thirunallar
– ANI (@ANI)
The COVID-19 tally in the Union Territory of Puducherry rose to 42,359 on Sunday with the addition of 227 new cases, the health department said. The toll remained at 684 as no fatalities were reported. A total of 2,416 samples were tested in the last 24 hours ending at 10 am and the cumulative number of specimens examined so far was 6.80 lakh, Health and Family Welfare Services Director S Mohan Kumar said in a release. There were 1,592 active cases after the recovery of 109 patients during this period. In all 40,083 people have recovered from the disease so far in the Union Territory.
In view of the rising cases of COVID-19, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) issued a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Saturday according to which the temple will remain shut for devotees on Sundays. According to the norms, the temple will open from Monday to Saturday and public darshan will start at 6 am.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a high-level meeting to review the Covid-related issues including the ongoing vaccination drive in the country as the infection is seeing a surge. All senior officers — including the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Health Secretary are participating in the meeting.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Vice President was vaccinated at AIIMS, New Delhi. Taking to Twitter, the Vice President said, “Took the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS today. I appeal to all the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated immediately and everyone to continue to follow all precautions in view of the surge in cases in some parts of the country.”
Took the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS today. I appeal to all the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated immediately & everyone to continue to follow all precautions in view of the surge in cases in some parts of the country.
– Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat)
Three more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, taking the tally in the northeastern state to 4,490, a health department official said on Sunday. All the fresh cases were reported from Aizawl district, he said. “Two of the three new patients are asymptomatic, and
all of them have travel history,” the official said.
India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases surged to 1,24,85,509 with 93,249 new infections, while the recoveries have surged to 1,16,29,289, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The death count increased to 1,64,623 with 513 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
With the addition of 4,931 new cases of coronavirus, the infection count in Thane district of Maharashtra has reached 3,32,666,an official said on Sunday. Besides these new cases reported on Saturday, the virus also claimed the lives of 19 more people, pushing the death toll in the district to 6,544, he said. The COVID-19 mortality rate in the district stood at 1.97 per cent, he said.
Eight states witnessed a steep rise in daily new COVID-19 cases and accounted for 81.42 per cent of the infections reported in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said. These eight states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Frontline medical and healthcare workers can no longer register for COVID-19 vaccination, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. It said the move is to ensure vaccine coverage expands quickly to include more categories of people, such as those above 45, as frontline medical and healthcare workers have already got first priority and enough time to get vaccinated.
Mumbai today reported more than 9,000 daily coronavirus cases, which is the Maharashtra capital’s highest ever single-day spike. It also logged 27 deaths in the last 24 hours.
According to Mumbai’s municipal body, the Brihanmumbai Corporation or BMC, 9,090 people were tested positive for the virus in 24 hours. 5,322 were discharged, taking the total recovery count to 3,66,365. The recovery rate has slipped to 83 per cent.
The city currently has 62,187 active cases.
Recognising journalists as among those who are working round-the-clock as frontline people amid the pandemic, the Uttarakhand government today announced vaccination for them, age no bar.
“Journalists have supported the fight against the pandemic as frontline workers for communication, spreading awareness and giving out correct information,” the Uttarakhand government said in a statement.
“Since the time the lockdown started and the country eased it gradually, even officers and employees of the information department have been constantly involved in communication and spreading awareness about correct information in tasks related to fighting COVID-19,” the government said.