Coronavirus India lockdown Day 69 live updates | Decisions on MSME and agriculture taken in Cabinet meeting: Javadekar

 thehindu.com  06/01/2020 11:53:50  2

'Unlock 1' comes into effect on Monday even as State governments came out with varied guidelines, including on allowing inter-State travel. States like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana extended the lockdown till June 30 with several relaxations.

India is now the seventh most-affected nation in the global COVID-19 tally, with over 1.9 lakh cases and 5,400 deaths.

Here is a list of State Helpline numbers. You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here.

Here are the latest updates:

5.50 p.m. | Arunachal Pradesh

Chennai returnee becomes Arunachal Pradeshs fifth COVID-19 patient

Arunachal Pradesh reported its fifth COVID-19 case on Monday after a 26-year-old student who had returned to the State from Chennai tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a senior official said. With the fresh case, a total of four persons are now afflicted with the disease in Arunachal Pradesh while the States first patient has recovered and was discharged from a hospital on April 16.

The new patient had returned to the State in a Shramik Special train on May 23 and was housed in a quarantine centre in Namsai district. His swab samples have tested positive for COVID-19, State Health Secretary P. Parthiban said.

Odisha announces weekend shutdown for one month in 11 districts

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases and reports suggesting that outbreak might peak in June, Odisha on Monday announced weekend shutdown for the month in 11 districts of the State. The government has also prohibited all sorts of public congregations across the State till month-end, Chief Secretary A.K. Tripathy said.

Educational institutions, including schools, colleges, coaching centres, will remain closed till the end of July, while places of worship will be shut for devotees up to June 30. Similarly, shopping malls, cinema halls, swimming pools and gyms will also remain closed till June-end, he said.

The two-day shutdown would be implemented in Bolangir, Nayagarh and nine coastal districts, including Khurda, Cuttack, Puri, Kendrapara and Balasore, in view of high-case load in these places, he said.

Of the 2,104 COVID-19 cases detected in the State so far, as many as 1,674 positive cases have been reported from these 11 vulnerable districts.

Meeting of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, which was scheduled for June 3, has been postponed as members express inability to travel to Delhi. The Committee is headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma. Mr. Sharma had sought permission for the members who constrained to travel to join the meeting via video link. The permission was denied by Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu. The matter has now been referred to the Rules Committee of both the Houses.

- Sobhana K. Nair

Telangana Governor expresses concern over largest single day spike of 199 cases

With 199 fresh COVID-19 cases reported in Telangana on Sunday, reportedly the highest single day surge, Governor Tamilisai Soundarararjan has expressed concern over the sharp rise in positive cases, in spite of the ongoing efforts, and called for stepping up the fight against the infectious disease. With this, the total tally rises to 2,698 even as five fatalities due to the virus were reported in the State, taking the total toll to 82.

Single days largest jump of 199 cases 2 PG medicos & other front line warriors including police warrants United aggressive #fightagainstcorona Stepping up #COVID fights is needed,Ms. Soundararajan tweeted.

5.10 p.m.| Madhya Pradesh

Indore COVID-19 tally rises to 3,539; death toll reaches 135

The number of COVID-19 cases in Indore rose to 3,539 on Monday after 53 more people tested positive for the disease in the Madhya Pradesh district in last 24 hours, a Health Department official said. Besides, three more deaths of COVID-19 patients were reported, taking the toll in the district to 135, he said.

Of the three victims, a 72-year-old woman died on May 31, another woman aged 51 succumbed to the disease on May 10, while a 66-year-old man died on May 13 in different hospitals in Indore, the official said.

Till Sunday, 3,486 COVID-19 cases were reported in the district, but with 53 more people testing positive for the disease in last 24 hours, the number has gone up to 3,539, he said.

One COVID-19 patient dies in Uttarakhand, cases rise to 929

A coronavirus patient died as the number of people testing positive for the infection rose to 929 with 23 fresh cases in Uttarakhand, a State Health Department bulletin said on Monday. So far, the virus has claimed six lives in the State. According to the bulletin, the fresh death was reported from Rishikeshs AIIMS.

The patient died on Sunday night due to severe sepsis and septic shock, the bulletin said. Fifteen of the fresh cases were reported from Champawat district while eight people tested positive for the virus in Haridwar, the bulletin added. All new patients had returned from Mumbai recently.

Meanwhile, 98 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery. So far, 200 coronavirus patients have recovered in Uttarakhand. Active cases now stand at 720 in the State, the bulletin said.

Bombay High Court orders RT-PCR tests for Vidarbha frontline staff

The Central and State governments are obligated and duty bound to ensure minimisation of COVID- 19 risk to frontline workers, the Bombay High Court said on Monday, and directed that RT-PCR tests be conducted on all medical staff and police personnel in Maharashtras Vidarbha region.

A division Bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Amit Borkar said all frontline workers deployed in hospitals and containment zones in the entire Vidarbha region shall be entitled to be tested for COVID-19 through RT-PCR method after they express their willingness to undergo the test. The High Court said this would include asymptomatic frontline workers.

The court said it was not possible for it to agree with the stand taken by the state government and Nagpur civic body that guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research does not cover frontline workers for RT-PCR testing.

The Bench also directed the Indian Council of Medical Research to frame an appropriate policy and prescribe a protocol for periodical testing of frontline workers in the Vidarbha region within a period of one week.

Definition of MSME

Six crore MSMEs provide over 11 crore jobs and account for 29% of GDP. They had some problems which have been addressed, says MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Export turnover will not be included in the turnover for definition of MSMEs. Distressed asset fund and creation of fund of funds for MSMEs, which are two recommendations of the U.K. Sinha committee report, have been agreed to. A 4,000 crore distressed asset fund has been approved today.

Slowly, our MSMEs will go towards share market. The fund of funds will start with 50,000 crore, it can become 2 lakh crore in a couple of years.

Prakash Javadekar announces the name of the loan scheme for street vendors, Prime Minister Street Vendors Atma Nirbhar Niti.

Decisions on MSME and agriculture taken in Cabinet meeting today: Javadekar

The first cabinet meet of Modi 2.0's second year has ended and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar is briefing the media. Here are the updates:

Decisions on MSME and agriculture taken in Cabinet meeting today. Historic decisions were taken for farmers, small and medium businesses and traders, says Mr. Javadekar.

Government has further changed the definition of MSME, from the changes announced in the Atma nirbhar package. After the announcement of the package on May 13, the government got feedback to change the definition further.

The government has remained sensitive to the problems faced by street vendors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Portal and mobile app have been started for loan scheme for street vendors, he says.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says crop loan interest relief extended from May 31 till August 31.

First physical meet of EC in nearly three months

A meeting of the full commission -- the chief election commissioner and two election commissioners -- took place at the Nirvachan Sadan on Monday for the first time in nearly three months.

The poll panel had been holding virtual meets as Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, who was visiting the United States on leave in the first half of March, got stranded there due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Arora returned to India recently and underwent the mandatory quarantine before joining office on Monday.

NITI Aayog officer tests positive for coronavirus

NITI Aayog officer has tested positive for coronavirus and a floor of the NITI Aayog building here has been sealed for sanitation.

According to sources, the official who was working on the third floor attended office until last week.

A director-level officer working at NITI Bhavan had also tested positive for COVID-19 on April 28.

Uttarakhand CM, 3 ministers in self-quarantine

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and three cabinet colleagues were in self-quarantine Monday following a meeting last week with Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Satpal Maharaj, his wife and 21 other people  family members, staff and his followers staying in the same household  have tested positive on Sunday.

Mr. Maharaj had attended a meeting of the state cabinet on Friday.

Despite being in low-risk category, the CM and the three other ministers -- Harak Singh Rawat, Madan Kaushik and Subodh Uniyal -- decided to remain in self- quarantine as a precautionary measure, an official at the Chief Ministers Office said. - PTI

65 more COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Bihar taking the total number in the State to 3,872. - Amarnath Tewary

2.40 pm | Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh rolls out long term policy for developing health infrastructure

The Arunachal Pradesh government has initiated a long-term policy for developing robust health infrastructure in the state to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has said.

A long-term policy for robust infrastructure and facilities for all 25 district hospitals in the state has been rolled out with proposed allocation of Rs 350 crore, Mr. Khandu told reporters.

The government has decided to utilize funds under North East Special Infrastructure Development (NESID) and North East Council for upgrading the states health sector.

The government had also released an amount of Rs 15 crore under the Mukhya Mantri Rogi Kalyan Kosh (MMRKK) to the districts besides reducing the salaries of all lawmakers by 30 per cent from April this year to March 2021. The fund will go to the state exchequer and will be used in the fight against COVID-19.

Seven new COVID-19 cases in Manipur

Seven migrant workers who recently returned to Manipur have tested positive for COVID- 19, taking the total number cases in the state to 78.

Of the total 78 COVID-19 cases, 67 are active as 11 persons have recovered.

The State, which was declared COVID 19-free on April 19, recorded a surge in the number of cases with migrants from other parts of the country returning home. - PTI

105 new coronavirus cases reported in Andhra Pradesh

Coronavirus hit the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat on Monday with two government staff testing positive, even as 105 fresh cases were added in the State, taking the overall count to 3,674.

The COVID-19 toll mounted to 64 with two deaths reported from Kurnool district, according to the latest government bulletin.

According to the bulletin, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases within AP was 3,118, that of foreign returnees 112 and those from other States 446.

Of these, 2,169 people of the State had recovered and got discharged from hospitals, including 34 in the last 24 hours, while 197 patients from other States also recovered. - PTI

Inter-district KSRTC services likely in Kerala

The transport department has favoured resuming inter-district services of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and private stage carriers.

A high-level meeting chaired by Transport Minister A. K. Saseendran on Monday decided not to commence Inter-State services now in view of the spurt in COVID-19 cases, following the influx in arrivals via State borders, airports and railway stations.

The fares for the inter-district services will go up as in the case of inter-State services that have already commenced from May 20. Only 50% of the sanctioned load will be allowed in the inter-district services. Commuters will not be allowed to stand and travel. Face masks will be compulsory for all travellers.

22 more test positive for COVID-19 in Assam; total cases rise to 1,361

Assam has reported 22 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infected to 1,361, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday.

Fourteen fresh cases were reported from Dibrugarh district, four from Dhemaji, three from Tinsukia and one from Charaideo, he said.

Assam currently has 1,169 active COVID-19 patients who are undergoing treatment in different hospitals across the State. A total of 185 people have recovered, four succumbed to the disease, and three migrated. - PTI

Violence against COVID-19 frontline workers not acceptable, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that violence, abuse and rude behaviour against frontline workers fightingCOVID-19were not acceptable.

Prime Minister participates in the online inauguration.

The Prime Minister participated in an online inauguration from New Delhi. He said that the government had taken steps to protect those on duty. Due to mob mentality, those on duty  doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers  are subjected to violence, he said.

He also said that insurance cover of 50 lakh had been provided to those on the frontline. The Prime Minister also said that there was a need to focus on humanity-centric development in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delhi borders to be sealed for a week

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a press conference, said that Delhi's borders will be sealed for a week, with an exception to essential services.

"Today I am here to seek your suggestions on a very important question: should Delhis borders be opened?" said Mr. Kejriwal. "Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in the city; but, as I have said earlier, it is a cause for concern but not panic," he said.

"There has been significant improvement in the health infrastructure in Delhi over the last five years. Treatment is free in Delhi hospitals. If we open the borders then people from all over the country will come here for treatment like the usually do. Some people believe that borders should be opened but its hospitals should be reserved for its own citizens. That its hospital beds should be used only by the citizens of Delhi till the coronavirus concern abates. We need your suggestions on this," he says.

Here are the salient points from the presser:

- Delhi government allows barber shops and salons to open. Spas will not be allowed though.

- All shops can open now.

- There will be restrictions on movement from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

- Delhi borders will be sealed for a week. Essential services will be allowed. Government employees will be allowed if they show their ID cards.

Four more COVID-19 deaths in Rajasthan; death toll rises to 198

Four more COVID-19 deaths were reported in Rajasthan on Monday, taking the total number of fatalities due to the disease to 198 in the State, officials said.

The number of novel coronavirus cases increased to 8,980 after 149 people tested positive for the infection, they said.

Two deaths were reported from Jaipur and one each from Baran and Bikaner districts on Monday, the officials said.

Of the fresh 149 positive cases, the highest of 44 cases are from Bharatpur, 32 from Jaipur, 27 from Baran, 21 from Pali, 10 from Kota, five from Jhalawar, four from Jhunjhunu, three from Sirohi, two from Dausa and one from Tonk, they said.

The officials said 5,325 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals so far. There are 2,742 active cases in the State as of now, they said. - PTI

501 domestic flights carrying 44,593 passengers operated on Sunday: Puri

A total of 501 domestic flights carrying 44,593 passengers operated in the country on May 31, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday.

Indian carriers operated a total of 3,370 flights till May 31  428 on May 25, 445 on May 26, 460 on May 27, 494 on May 28, 513 on May 29 and 529 on May 30.

Domestic operations on 31st May 2020 (Day 7) till 2359 hrs. Departures 501. 44,593 passengers handled. Arrivals 502. 44,678 passengers handled, Mr. Puri tweeted on Monday. - PTI

State buses to ply in TN with 60% capacity from today

Bus services will resume in a limited manner from Monday in Tamil Nadu, except in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced.

Classifying the State into eight zones for the purpose of bus services, he said that 50% of the Transport Corporations fleet would be operational in six zones, with 60% occupancy. No public transport would be available in zones VII and VIII (Chennai and three nearby districts).

200 special trains start operations from today

The Railways began operations of 200 special trains from Monday and more than 1.45 lakh passengers are expected to travel on the first day. These services are in addition to Shramik Special trains and 30 Special AC trains being run since May 12.

In order to ensure physical distancing and COVID-19 precautions, the Railways has asked passengers to reach the station at least 90 minutes before departure and only travellers with confirmed or RAC tickets will be allowed to enter railway station.

All travellers will be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.

Senior ICMR scientist tests positive for coronavirus

A senior scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has tested positive for novel coronavirus following which the entire ICMR building is being sanitised, sources said.

The scientist, who is from Mumbai, had come to Delhi few days ago and tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning. The scientists is from the National Institute for Research in Reproductive health in ICMR, Mumbai.

The ICMR building will be sanitised and fumigated for two days, a source said.

The scientist had last week attended a meeting in which ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava among others were present. - PTI

Four new cases in Puducherry, including Chennai resident

Four persons, including a resident of Chennai, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Puducherry, taking the active cases to 50.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Union Territory is 73 of which 23 people have been discharged.

Delhi airport sets up dedicated area to sanitise cabs before pick up

The Delhi airport has set up a dedicated area at the entry point of its parking zone to ensure cabs coming there to pick up passengers are thoroughly sanitised, according to a Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) statement.

Radio taxi services like Mega and Meru and app-based cab aggregators like Uber and Ola have a designated area at the airports arrival floors parking zone.

Explaining the disinfection process, DIAL said its sanitisation personnel use a specially developed fumigation machine to spray disinfectant inside the vehicle. - PTI

Back to the grind...

156 new cases in Odisha

Detection of 156 more COVID-19 cases takes Odishas total COVID-19 case count to 2,104 on Monday.

Active cases stand at 969, while 1,126 has recovered. Nine people have died so far  seven of COVID-19 and two of other ailments, State Health Department said.

China reports 32 new coronavirus cases

China has reported 32 new coronavirus cases, including 16 asymptomatic infections, the health authority said on Monday.

According to the Chinas National Health Commission (NHC), a total of 16 imported cases were reported on Sunday. Eleven were reported in Sichuan Province, three in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and two in Guangdong Province.

Also on Sunday, 16 new asymptomatic cases were reported in the country taking the total number of people under medical observation to 397, the NHC said. - PTI

India registers biggest single-day spike of 8,392 COVID-19 cases; total rises to 1,90,535

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 5,394 and the number of cases climbed to 1,90,535 in the country, which registered biggest single-day spikes of 230 deaths and 8,392 cases till Monday 8 am, according to the Union Health Ministry.

India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 93,322 while 91,818 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.

Thus, around 48.19% patients have recovered so far, a senior health ministry official said. - PTI

Hong Kong reports first local COVID-19 cases in 2 weeks

Hong Kong has confirmed its first locally transmitted coronavirus cases in more than two weeks, fuelling concerns over its spread as restrictions on movement are relaxed.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said on Sunday it was investigating two confirmed cases of coronavirus, taking the number of cases so far to 1,085. Four people have died of the disease in Hong Kong.

The global financial hub last reported a locally transmitted case on May 14, when a 62-year-old man with no travel history was confirmed with coronavirus.

The total number of COVID-19 cases touched 3,807 in Bihar on Monday morning. The death toll in the State is 23, and 1,520 people have recovered so far.

Italy to lift curbs on travel for tourism

Italy registered 355 new coronavirus cases and 75 deaths, some of the lowest such numbers since the nations lockdown against the pandemic began in early March.

Italy now totals 2,33,019 known cases of COVID-19 and 33,415 deaths.

But health experts say many people with no or mild symptoms likely didnt get tested and note that many died in residences for the elderly or in their own homes also without being tested for the virus.

The latest figures from the health ministry come three days before Italy lifts a lockdown rule against travel for tourism between Italian regions and from most European countries. - AP

What is herd immunity?

Could exposure to the coronaviruses that cause the common cold help protect against COVID-19? Is herd immunity closer than previously thought?

Different States, different guidelines

The Home Ministry, while lifting the restrictions on Saturday under Unlock 1, had said that governments of States and union territories will be free to regulate movement for public health reasons, provided they give wide publicity to the restrictions in advance.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu: continue with the curbs till June 30 with partial relaxations

Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana: allows conditional inter-State movement

Karnataka: allows inter-State movement with mandatory health screening and home quarantine

Uttar Pradesh: no ban on interstate travel, but Noida-Delhi border to stay sealed except for exempted services, people

Punjab: no restriction on inter-state movement; use of COVA app and self-generated e-pass mandatory

Madhya Pradesh: no need of e-passes for inter-State travel in personal vehicles; decision on re-starting inter-State public transport to be taken on June 7

Chhattisgarh: inter-State travel without requisite permission prohibited

Odisha: resumption of inter-State bus services expected soon

U.S. records 598 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours: Johns Hopkins

The United States recorded 598 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing its total to 1,04,356 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The country has officially logged 17,88,762 cases of the virus, far more than any other nation, the tracker by the Baltimore-based university showed at 8:30 p.m.

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