Coronavirus India Live Updates: UP govt relaxes Covid lockdown, weekend restrictions to continue – The Indian Express

Doctors helping patients for routine breathing exercise at the Post Covid care ward at Dhanvantari hospital in Vastrapur, Ahmedabad. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: The Uttar Pradesh government Sunday announced relaxation of lockdown in the state allowing certain activities from June 1. UP Chief Secretary R K Tiwari said shops and markets outside containment zones will be allowed to open June 1 onwards from 7 am to 7 pm for five days (Monday to Friday). Night curfew will be there from 7 pm to 7 am while weekend restrictions or “corona curfew” will remain in place on Saturday and Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar extended the ongoing Covid lockdown in the state till June 7.

Khattar said shops can operate from 9 am to 3 pm, with shopkeepers following the odd-even formula. Educational institutions will remain closed till June 15 and the night curfew will continue from 10 pm to 5 am.

India, meanwhile, recorded 1,65,553 new Covid-19 cases and 3,460 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. The total cases in India now stand at 2,78,94,800 while the death toll has reached 3,25,972. There are 21,14,508 active coronavirus cases while as many as 2,54,54,320 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 21,20,66,614 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far, the health ministry said. The death toll in the last 24 hours is the lowest in over three weeks. Out of which, Maharashtra reported 846 deaths, while Karnataka had 492 fatalities.

Battling the pandemic as it completes seven years in office, the Modi government Saturday said all children who have lost both parents, the surviving parent, legal guardians or adoptive parents to Covid-19 will receive financial assistance under the PM-CARES for Children’s scheme. In another key decision, the government extended pension coverage under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme to all registered dependents of those who died due to Covid-19.

Karnataka reports 382 more Covid-19 deaths, 223 from Bengaluru (Urban & Rural). Active caseload in state drops to 3,42,010 as recoveries (28,053) outnumber new cases (20,378). Most cases from Bengaluru Urban (4734), Hassan (2227), Mysuru (1559).

The total COVID-19 recoveries in Andhra Pradesh crossed 15 lakh on Sunday, resulting in a drop in the number of active cases as fresh positives too continued their downward slide for more than a week now. In 24 hours ending 9 am on Sunday, 21,133 Covid-19 patients in the state had recovered and 94 others succumbed while 13,400 new cases were reported, a health bulletin said. The gross positives went up to 16,85,142 and the recoveries to 15,08,515. The overall toll touched 10,832, it said. The active caseload is now 1,65,795. –PTI

“Curfew will continue in districts which have more than 600 active COVID cases for one more week. When active cases will come under 600 the curfew will end automatically. We’ve eased restrictions in 55 districts from 7 am to 7 pm,” said UP CM Yogi Adityanath, in Lucknow. “Uttar Pradesh has registered 1900 COVID cases today. The active cases stand at 41,000. We’ve the lowest fatality rate in the country, lowest positivity & highest recovery rate,” he added.

Delhi reports 946 new Covid-19 cases (positivity rate 1.25%), 1803 recoveries, and 78 deaths in the last 24 hours Total cases 14,25,592 Active cases 12,100.

A day after Pimpri-Chinchwad witnessed confusion over the opening of shops during the weekend, shops dealing in essential items in many parts of the industrial city functioned normally on Sunday.

On Saturday, there was confusion among the shopkeepers as there was no order from the PCMC allowing them to operate.

On Friday, the Maharashtra government allowed the opening of shops on weekends as per the weekday timings. The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Health Minister Rajesh Tope. However, by Friday evening, the PCMC failed to issue the orders to allow shopkeepers to operate. The order came only on Saturday afternoon. Read more

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin visited the Covid ward at ESI Hospital in Coimbatore donning personal protective equipment (PPE) kit. He enquired the doctors about the treatment they are providing to those infected with the virus. 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin Sunday visited the Covid ward at ESI Hospital in Coimbatore, donning a personal protective equipment (PPE) kit. He enquired the doctors about the treatment they are providing to those infected with the virus.

An official in charge of the oxygen supply system at the SNR Hospital in Karnataka’s Kolar district, around 60 km from Bengaluru, has a desperate story to tell about the night of April 25, when he and others at the hospital tried to provide oxygen for 250 Covid-19 patients – with an oxygen supply system that could support only 120 patients.

“As the number of patients in the district hospital kept growing we told the officials that the system cannot support 250 patients needing oxygen. Nobody listened. On April 25 we sat the whole night pouring water on the vapouriser of the oxygen system to ensure it does not freeze up and cause a drop in the oxygen pressure,” said Somanna, the technician.

“Even the district surgeon was with us pouring water. He said he would arrange a tanker of water to keep the oxygen system from freezing up and choking supplies,” the technician said.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that his government is aiming at inoculating 30 per cent of the 3.2-crore population of the state by August 15 if vaccines are available.

The state has only 20,000-25,000 vaccine doses for people in the 18-44 years age group at present, he said.

Sarma, while visiting the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), said he has spoken to authorities of two vaccine-producing companies, which have promised to supply seven lakh doses in June for the 18-44 years age group.

“The two companies have promised to send seven lakh vaccines for this group in June, but they could not say any date,” he told reporters here.

The pace of immunisation for people in the 18-44 years age bracket will be slow till the first week of the next month, the chief minister said. (PTI)

On the occassion of Goa Statehood Day, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Sunday announced assistance of Rs 2 lakh to families that lost their breadwinners to Covid-19 and EWS families that lost their loved ones to Covid-19.

On the occassion of Goa Statehood Day, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Sunday announced assistance of Rs 2 lakh to families that lost their breadwinners to Covid-19 and EWS families that lost their loved ones to Covid-19.

There is no room for complacency despite new Covid-19 cases showing a declining trend and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is gearing up to tackle a possible third wave by boosting the health infrastructure.

PMC will reserve 252 ICU beds and 82 ventilator beds in private hospitals of the city for the children as experts have predicted its impact on children.

The civic administration had started the preparation for a dedicated Covid treatment facility for Pediatric Care at civic-owned Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in Yerawada by setting up 160 oxygen beds and 40 ICU beds. It has also decided to reserve beds for children in Jumbo Hospital on COEP ground, Baner hospital and oxygen beds for pregnant women in its Sonawane hospital.

Even as government-run vaccination centers for those in 18-44 age group remain shut in Delhi for a week, several private hospitals in the capital continue to offer paid vaccination doses through drive-in facilities.

On Sunday morning, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain inaugurated a drive-through vaccination drive to be held on Sunday and Monday at DLF Avenue, Saket by Max Hospital, Saket. Covishield vaccines will be available there for Rs 1,100 per dose.

On Saturday, a week-long vaccination drive for all categories above 18 years by Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital also began at Sainik Farms. The hospital is offering Covishield at the same price Rs. 1,100.

In his monthly radio programme titled ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said the nation is fighting Covid-19 with all its strength.

Modi said the daily production of liquid medical oxygen which was 900 MT during normal times, has risen to over 10 times to nearly 9,500 MT. “During 2nd wave of COVID19, a major challenge was to supply medical oxygen to remote areas. To counter challenges that the country faced, drivers of Cryogenic oxygen tankers helped by working on war footing & saved lives of lakhs of people,” he added.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Sunday announced Rs 10 lakh aid for kin of journalists who died due to COVID-19. 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Sunday announced Rs 10 lakh aid for kin of journalists who died due to COVID-19. 

Last August, when Brazil had emerged as among the worst hit nations by Covid, Pfizer Inc. offered the health ministry to set aside as many as 70 million doses of the vaccine it was developing. It got no answer. So it made the offer again. And then a third time.

The next month, the company’s former Brazil head, Carlos Murillo, told congress, Pfizer’s global chief put the offer in writing to President Jair Bolsonaro with copies to the vice president, chief of staff, ministers of health and economy and ambassador to the U.S.

He never heard back.

The severity of Covid in Brazil, with 16 million cases and 450,000 lives lost, has often been attributed to Bolsonaro, who still wades unvaccinated and maskless into crowds. A congressional probe is making clear, however, that his neglect has been matched by incompetence at nearly every level of government in key processes — negotiations with drug companies, relations with other countries and supply chain management.

Ladakh has registered 138 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the Union Territory’s infection tally to 18,448, officials said on Sunday, as Lt Governor R K Mathur reviewed the situation and directed police to exercise extensive patrolling in villages to avoid gatherings.

The Union Territory has recorded a total of 187 Covid-related deaths so far since the outbreak of coronavirus last year with the worst-hit Leh district accounting for 136 fatalities followed by Kargil at 51.

Ladakh, which is under partial lockdown till June 7, has recorded over 4,479 coronavirus cases and 44 deaths in May till date.

Of the new cases detected during the past 24 hours, 123 are in Leh and 15 in Kargil. This puts the number of active cases in the twin districts to 1,603 — 1,381 in Leh and 222 in Kargil.

A total of 141 more COVID-19 patients have recuperated from the disease in Ladakh, taking the count of recoveries so far to 16,658. (PTI)

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Sunday extended the ongoing Covid lockdown in the state till June 7. This is the fifth time that the lockdown has been extended in the state since May 3.

Khattar said shops can operate from 9 am to 3 pm, with shopkeepers following the odd-even formula. Educational institutions will remain closed till June 15 and the night curfew will continue from 10 pm to 5 am.

Shopping malls can open from Monday with restricted footfall. All anganwadi centres will remain shut till June 30.

The Union Health Ministry Sunday said that nearly 12 crore vaccine doses will be available for the national COVID vaccination program in June 2021.

Beneficiaries being inoculated inside Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium, Vashi on Thursday morning. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Meanwhile, the United States is closely monitoring India’s Covid challenge and will “respond positively to any Indian requirement,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is said to have assured External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a “productive discussion” Friday. This was their second interaction after their May 3 meeting on the sidelines of the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in London.

Sources said that the two discussed how ramped-up vaccine production in India can address both domestic needs and the imperatives of global public health. To that effect, India and the US will collaborate bilaterally, in the Quad format, and through multilateral initiatives, sources said.

And as states begin cautiously calibrating how to unwind their lockdowns beginning June, they face a double challenge. Key indicators show that industry and business activities may not be as adversely hit by the second Covid wave as they were by a national lockdown last year, but they are still very vulnerable given the low vaccination levels among the larger, younger population.

And at the individual and household level, public fear and anxiety this time are deeper and have hit consumption and demand harder than last year on several accounts.

So Google mobility and other high-frequency data, until third week of May (see chart), point towards decline in activity on all fronts including retail, grocery, transit stations and toll collections as compared to March and April.

For example, according to Google mobility data, visits on May 18, 2020 (Monday), to grocery and pharmacy stores were down 21% compared to a pre-Covid base line. This year, on May 17, 2021 (Monday), the corresponding decline was sharper at 27.6%. Similarly, for workplaces, visits were down 45% on May 18 last year but down 51% this year.

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