The country also recorded 3,523 deaths on Friday, including 870 in Maharashtra, 375 in Delhi, 332 in Uttar Pradesh, and 269 in Chhattisgarh.
Coronavirus India Live Updates: India on Saturday reported over 400,000 fresh Covid-19 cases for the first time as the tally crossed 19 million-mark, according to Union health ministry’s data. With 4,019, 93 fresh coronavirus cases, India”s Covid-19 tally has risen to 19,164,969. The country also recorded 3,523 deaths on Friday, including 870 in Maharashtra, 375 in Delhi, 332 in Uttar Pradesh, and 269 in Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, at least sixteen Covid-19 patients and two nurses were killed after fire broke out at the ICU of The Welfare Hospital in Bharuch district on Saturday. Locals broke the glass windows and rescued the other patients. Sources said there were around 27 patients in the ICU ward at the time of the fire. They were shifted to nearby private hospitals.
Chief minister Vijay Rupani appointed two senior bureaucrats — Additional Chief Secretary (labour and employment) Vipul Mittra and Commissioner (municipalities) Rajkumar Beniwal — to rush to Bharuch for an inquiry. Rupani said a judicial probe would also be initiated.
The United States has imposed restrictions on travel from India starting on May 4 because of the extraordinarily high Covid-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the country, the White House said. “On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive chat with The Indian Express, Dr Anthony S Fauci, one of Covid’s most trusted global voices, said although no nation likes to lock itself down but an “immediate” shutdown for a “few weeks” could put an end to the cycle of transmission in India.
“Well, one of the things you really need to do that to the extent that you can — is shut down temporarily the country, I think is important. If we want to time out and go back to what I said. There is the immediate, the intermediate, and the long range. I think the most important thing in the immediate is to get oxygen, get supplies, get medication, get PPE, those kinds of things but also, one of the immediate things to do is to essentially call a shutdown of the country,” he added.
16 Covid-19 patients die in Gujarat hospital fire; US bans travel from India beginning May 4; Dr Anthony S Fauci advises a shutdown for a few days to break chain of transmission in India; Follow latest Covid-19 updates here:
India on Saturday reported over 400,000 fresh Covid-19 cases for the first time as the tally crossed 19 million-mark, according to Union health ministry’s data. With 4,019, 93 fresh coronavirus cases, India”s Covid-19 tally has risen to 19,164,969. The country also recorded 3,523 deaths on Friday, including 870 in Maharashtra, 375 in Delhi, 332 in Uttar Pradesh, and 269 in Chhattisgarh.
Streets remained deserted and shops remain closed in Thiruvananthapuram after the state government imposed restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19. Only essential services and emergency services permitted on Saturdays and Sundays. (ANI)
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday said the Covid-19 inoculation drive for the 18-45 age group will not take off on May 1, until vaccine supply is established in the UT.
In a press conference late Thursday, Baseer Khan, adviser to J&K LG Manoj Sinha, said J&K had placed an order for 1.24 crore vaccines, among the highest in the country. “Our orders are higher than even Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
In a statement on Friday, the UT administration said: “Vaccination will not be walk-in but only through pre-registration of slots. No slots have been opened for booking a session. Please wait for the announcement of the vaccination start date for the 18-45 age group.” The date for the vaccinations for this group will be announced later, the UT administration said. (Read Naveed Iqbal's report)
A Covid-19 patient waits outside LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on Friday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)
Why two rates for vaccine, SC asks Centre
In a key hearing on the Covid crisis that covered a range of issues, from vaccines and oxygen to testing and hospital admissions, the Supreme Court on Friday described the pricing of vaccines as “extremely important”, wanted to know from the Government if it is “doing something” to regulate that, and asked: “Why should there be two prices for the Centre and states?”
The court also warned state governments against any clampdown on grievances shared online by the public on the crisis and advised High Courts to avoid “off-the-cuff remarks” during Covid hearings as they “can give rise to misgivings about any individual”.
West Bengal goes into mini-lockdown amid Covid surge
Amid surging Covid 19 cases in the state, the West Bengal government has ordered all shopping malls, beauty parlours, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas, swimming pools to close until further notice.
In an order issued Friday, the state government also prohibited all kinds of social, cultural, academic and entertainment gatherings. It was also announced that markets will remain open from 7 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 5 pm. “All shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlours, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes and gyms, spas and swimming pools shall remain closed (even while home deliveries and online services shall remain permitted). All social/cultural/academic/entertainment related gatherings and congregations shall remain prohibited,” read the order.
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