India recorded the highest one-day rise of 1,975 coronavirus cases on Sunday. The previous highest single-day jump of 1,752 was recorded on April 24.
The countrywide COVID-19 death toll rose to 872 on Monday with 48 more fatalities being reported as the number of confirmed cases climbed to 27,892 at 8 am, according to the Union Health Ministry. A total of 6,184 people have recovered from the infection, it said.
What you need to know today:
1. Modi Holds Video Meet With CMs, Meghalaya Says It Will Continue Lockdown After May 3
In his fourth such interaction since March 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a video conference with chief ministers of different states to discuss further steps to be taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
News18 reported that Modi said during the meeting that decision on the lockdown will be taken after May 3 and the worst affected states will continue to be under lockdown.
NDTV reported that the prime minister has hinted the lockdown will continue in hotspots.
Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and top officials from the PMO and Union Health Ministry were present in the meeting. So were chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Uddhav Thackeray, Mamata Banerjee, Edappadi Palaniswami, Conard Sangma and Yogi Adityanath among others.
While the states discussed how they would go about after May 3 when the lockdown is supposed to end, Meghalaya said it will continue with the shutdown post May 3 with relaxations in ‘Green Zones’ or non-COVID affected districts, a PTI report said.
Sources in the government had on Sunday indicated that besides discussing the way forward in dealing with the pandemic, the prime ministers and chief ministers could also focus on a “graded” exit from the lockdown.
In a tweet on Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office said Modi and the chief ministers will be discussing aspects relating to the COVID-19 situation.
2. Max Hospital in Delhi says it successfully cured COVID-19 patient using plasma therapy
Max Hospital in Delhi’s Saket claimed that a coronavirus patient, who was administered plasma therapy for the first time in the facility, was discharged on Sunday after being completely cured.
The 49-year-old man had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 4. As his condition deteriorated, he was put on ventilator support on April 8, the hospital said.
When the patient showed no signs of improvement, his family requested for administration of plasma therapy on compassionate grounds, it said, adding that the family arranged a donor for extracting plasma.
The patient was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality as a side-line to standard treatment protocols on the night of April 14, the statement said.
Subsequently, the patient showed improvement and by the fourth day, was weaned off ventilator support and continued on supplementary oxygen. He was shifted to a room with round-the-clock monitoring on Monday after testing negative twice within 24 hours, it said.
He has now fully recovered and was discharged, the hospital said, adding that he will stay at home for another two weeks.
Group medical director of Max Healthcare and senior director of the Institute of Internal Medicine Dr Sandeep Budhiraja said, “We can say that plasma therapy could have worked as a catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100 per cent recovery to plasma therapy only, as there are multiple factors which carved his path to recovery.”
3. Blocking burial or cremation of victims of notified disease to attract 3-year jail term in Tamil Nadu
Blocking the ‘dignified’ burial or cremation of people, who had died of a notified disease in Tamil Nadu will now attract a three year prison term, according to an ordinance promulgated by the state government.
The move comes after public protests against the burial of two doctors who died of COVID-19 in the city recently, with one of them turning violent where agitators even attacked health workers and civic body staff.
According to the ordinance, blocking or attempting to block the “dignified burial or cremation of those who had died of a notified disease” has been made a criminal offence, an official release said.
Under section 74 of The Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939, those indulging in such acts will have to face a minimum jail term of one year while the maximum award will be three years, the release added.
4. Migrant workers don’t need to go home during lockdown: Centre tells SC
The Centre has told the Supreme Court that migrant workers don’t need to travel to their native places during the lockdown, as the government is taking care of them and their family members’ daily needs wherever they are.
The status report filed by Union Home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla said that to obviate the difficulties faced by low wage-earners in the organized sector, cash transfer under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana has been made.
The central government said it is taking care of psycho-social issues in shelter homes where migrant workers are staying and experts and counsellors from Central mental health institutes are visiting there.
In view of the steps taken by the government, it is submitted that there is no necessity for migration of workers to shift from places of their occupation to the place of their residence and rush back to their villages.
As per the latest statistics furnished by the state governments and Union territories, 37,978 relief camps have already been set up by state governments and Union Territories and genuine NGOs. Nearly 14.3 lakh persons have been housed in these camps. In addition to the above, 26,225 food camps have also been opened giving food to nearly 1.34 crore persons, the affidavit said.
5. India should look to convert world’s ‘hatred’ for China into economic opportunity: Gadkari
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said India should look at converting the world’s “hatred” for China amid the coronavirus pandemic into an economic opportunity for itself by attracting large scale foreign investments.
Interacting with overseas Indian students via video conferencing, the minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways said, “All the world now, they have hatred for China. Is it possible for us to convert it into an opportunity for India.”
Referring to the economic package announced by Japan for its businesses exiting China, Gadkari said, “I feel that we should think on that and we will concentrate on it. We will open the Indian scenario for that. We will give the clearances and everything to them and attract foreign investment.”
Asked if India can take any action against China incase it is found to have deliberately “suppressed” information on coronavirus, the minister said this was a sensitive subject related with the Ministry of External Affairs and the prime minister, and therefore it will not be appropriate for him to comment on it.
(With PTI inputs)