Coronavirus LIVE Updates: With 1,84,372 new COVID-19 cases, India registers highest single-day spike since pandemic began

09:37 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

India registers 1,027 new COVID-19 deaths

With the death of 1,027 more COVID-19 patients in the past 24 hours, the toll in the country has increased to 1,72,085 on Wednesday, said the health ministry. The fatality rate has risen to 1.24 percent.

09:35 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

India records 1,84,372 new COVID-19 cases

India registered a total of 1,84,372 fresh COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, taking the overall count over 1.38 crore on Wednesday, said the Union health ministry.

09:28 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Kumbh mela and Markaz should not be compared, says Uttarakhand CM

Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Tuesday said the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar should not be compared with the Nizamuddin Markaz which was held in a closed space and attended even by foreigners.

"There should be no comparison between Kumbh and Markaz. The Markaz was held in a closed space, in a Kothi like structure whereas the Kumbh is being held in the open on the sprawling ghats of the Ganga," Rawat said on a weekly talk show organised by the Hindustan Times.

The chief minister was replying to a question as to why the two religious events should not be equated (Nizamuddin Markaz and Kumbh) as Kumbh also draws crowds and could strengthen the second wave of the coronavirus infection.

09:23 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Fadnavis calls for concessions in electricity bills, GST after lockdown-like curbs in Maharashtra

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the state must give concessions in electricity bills, property tax and GST, following the announcement of new "lockdown-like" restrictions to check coronavirus cases.

"The state seems to have not offered any concessions in electricity bills, property tax or GST. Similarly, no financial assistance announced for salon operators, small businessman, flower vendors among others.

These comprise of a major labour force who will have no means of earnings," Fadnavis said.

Read more here...

"The state should immediately use the reserved fund of Rs 3,300 crore for restricting COVID-19 spread. It should be utilised for adding more beds and procurement of medical equipment. The state should issue directives accordingly," the BJP leader added.

09:19 (IST)

Coronavirus LATEST Updates

Nearly 3.30 lakh people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has carried out the vaccination of 3,29,056 more people against COVID-19, taking the cumulative figure to 1,05,71,680, said a state health department official on Tuesday.

The state on Monday vaccinated 6,938 healthcare professionals, 18,854 frontline workers, 1,88,553 people in the 45-59 age group and having comorbidities and 1,14,711 senior citizens (total 3,29,056), he said.

With this, 12,78,391 healthcare workers and 15,58,299 frontline workers have received vaccine doses so far, the official said.

Coronavirus LATEST Updates: With the death of 1,027 more COVID-19 patients in the past 24 hours, the toll in the country has increased to 1,72,085 on Wednesday, said the health ministry. The fatality rate has risen to 1.24 percent.

Reeling under an unprecedented COVID-19 wave, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced
severe, curfew-like restrictions on public movement over the next 15 days across the state, saying the "war against coronavirus has begun again," as it flagged a shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds.

The "lockdown-like" restrictions, which exclude essential services, will come into effect from 8 pm on 14 April and remain in force till 7 am on 1 May, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in his address via social media to people of the state.

Section 144 of CrPC prohibiting assembly of five or more people at one spot will be in force during the period, Thackeray said but refrained from terming the new curbs as lockdown.

The new norms entail stricter curbs on public activities to stem the infection spread and build on the existing weekend and night curfew in the state.

Thackeray's announcement of the new curbs came on a day when Maharashtra recorded 60,212 fresh coronavirus cases and 281 fatalities.

There is a shortage of medical oxygen and beds and the demand for Remdesivir, a key COVID-19 drug, has increased in Maharashtra, he said, adding the Centre should help supply oxygen for coronavirus patients in the state by using Air Force planes.

"The war against coronavirus has begun once again," he said, adding the coronavirus pandemic has assumed a scary proportion in the state.

There is a severe strain on Maharashtra's health infrastructure due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, he added.

Seeking to minimise the adverse impact of the curbs on a large population, the chief minister announced a sort of relief package.

The state government will provide three kg wheat and two kg rice free for the next one month to every poor and needy person, Thackeray said.

He announced a ban on the movement of people for non-essential works during the restriction period.

All essential services, including medical stores hospitals, supply of medicines, among others will remain
operational. The local transport will also function for those involved in essential services, he said.

Thackeray made an emotional appeal, seeking people's support for successful implementation of the curbs.

"I appeal to people to help the state. I want to know whether people are on the side of coronavirus or the state that wants to break the chain of its spread," he said.

A range of other essential services will also remain out of the purview of the new curbs.

Services such as vaccination, oxygen production, home delivery of food, operation of e-commerce firms, work at construction sites with residential facility and industrial activities, where accommodation or transportation of personnel is available, will remain unaffected, he said.

All banking and financial services, the RBI and its affiliated offices, insurance offices and pre-monsoon works will remain operational, he said.

However, there will be a complete ban on religious, social, cultural and political functions in the state till 1 May, he said.

For political rallies during elections, not more than 200 people can attend an event or 50 percent of the seating capacity of the hall, Thackeray said.

The number of participants at marriage and funeral was capped at 25 and 20, respectively.

Saloons, spas, schools, colleges, private coaching classes, beaches, clubs, swimming pools, gyms, drama theatres and cinema halls will remain close during the next 15 days, the chief minister said.

Though roadside eateries are allowed to operate, buyers can not consume food on the street and only take away will be available, said Thackeray.

He announced a package of Rs 5,476 crore for the poor whose earnings will be impacted.

He said The Shiv Bhojan service of offering a meal at Rs 5 will be offered for free during the period. The state daily feeds around two lakh people. They will now get the food for free."

"Similarly, under the Food Security Act, the registered beneficiaries will get three kg of wheat and two kg of rice for free. The period of this free food grain is for one month. There are seven crore registered beneficiaries," he said.

The 12 lakh registered construction workers will get Rs 1,500 during the period while license holding auto-rickshaw operators will get Rs 1,500. There are 12 lakh such auto-rickshaw drivers. Also, the registered hawkers will get Rs 2,500 during the same period as well, he said.

The number of registered beneficiaries under various state and central schemes such as the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar, Shravanbal and the Indira Gandhi National pension scheme in the state stood at 35 lakh, the chief minister said.

They will get Rs 2,000 for the next two months, he said.

Also, 12 lakh Adivasi families will get Rs 2000 for a month as financial assistance, Thackeray announced.



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