Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: With 3,915 deaths, India sees highest single-day COVID-19 toll; over 4.14 lakh cases in 24 hours

09:32 (IST)

Coronavirus Latest News LIVE Updates

India registers 3,915 new COVID-19 deaths

With the death of 3,915 more patients in the past 24 hours, the COVID-19 toll in the country increased to 2.34 lakh, said the health ministry. This takes the national fatality rate to 1.09 percent.

09:28 (IST)

Coronavirus Latest News LIVE Updates

India adds 4.14 lakh COVID-19 cases in a day

India registered 4,14,188 fresh coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day cases so far, taking the overall count in the country over 2.14 crore on Friday, said the Union health ministry.

09:18 (IST)

Coronavirus Latest News LIVE Updates

RECAP: 'Medical infra in shambles, don't be like ostrich with head in sand': Delhi HC to AAP

The Delhi High Court slammed the Arvind Kejriwal government again on Thursday, saying that the existing medical infrastructure in the National Capital was "exposed" and in "shambles" when put to the test during the pandemic and directed it to provide facility for medical treatment as required by all residents of the state who are suffering from COVID-19 .

"Now you are behaving like the ostrich with its head in the sand. When you defend this situation, then you are not rising above the politics. We always call a spade a spade," a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said to senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government when he argued that the court may not say the medical infrastructure was in shambles.

The bench, which has been hearing a bunch of petitions on COVID-19 -related shortages in the National Capital for weeks, also said there was an "urgent" need to create awareness among the general public regarding the indications of COVID-19 infection.

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09:05 (IST)

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RECAP: Centre moves SC against Karnataka HC order to increase oxygen supply to state

The Centre Thursday moved the Supreme Court against an order of the Karnataka High Court order asking it to increase daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation for state from present 965 MT to 1200 MT for treating COVID-19 patients.

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the state is being supplied 965 MT LMO presently and the order needed to be stayed urgently.

The bench, also comprising Justice MR Shah, had said it will have to look at the paper book before issuing any order.

09:01 (IST)

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SC to hear Centre's plea against Karnataka HC order on oxygen supply

The Supreme Court will hear Centre's plea challenging the Karnataka High Court's 5 May order, directing it to immediately increase the allocation of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to the state to 1,200 metric tonne (MT) per day amid the COVID-19 crisis.

08:55 (IST)

Coronavirus Latest News LIVE Updates

Six US planes carrying COVID-19 medical supplies reached India in past few days

The United States has so far sent six planes carrying emergency supplies to India, which is battling one of its worst public health crises.

The emergency supplies include 20,000 courses of Remdesivir (125,000 vials) to help treat critically ill patients, nearly 1,500 oxygen cylinders, which can be repeatedly refilled at local supply centres, and one million rapid diagnostic tests to quickly identify COVID-19 cases.

The six planes, which have landed in just six days, also carried nearly 550 mobile oxygen concentrators that obtain oxygen from ambient air. These units have a lifespan of more than five years and can serve multiple patients at once, depending on their oxygen needs.

Coronavirus Latest News LIVE Updates: With the death of 3,915 more patients in the past 24 hours, the COVID-19 toll in the country increased to 2.34 lakh, said the health ministry. This takes the national fatality rate to 1.09 percent.

The Central government Thursday moved the apex court against an order of the Karnataka High Court asking it to increase daily liquid medical oxygen allocation for state from present 965 MT to 1200 MT for treating COVID-19 patients.

A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the state is being supplied 965 MT LMO presently and the order needed to be stayed urgently.

The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that being a constitutionally elected government it is acting responsibly to alleviate the suffering of people due to COVID-19 by making every possible effort to augment the supply of oxygen.

It rebutted the Delhi government's accusation that oxygen allocation is being done arbitrarily and favoured creation of an effective mechanism to deal with allocation and distribution of oxygen to the states.

The apex court was told that the Delhi government has made it a "Centre versus Delhi fight".

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the government has to look at the demands of all the states instead of only focusing on Delhi.

Mehta said, "the Central government is a constitutionally elected government for the whole country. So is Delhi government. I therefore expect the same sense of responsibility from GNCTD."

"We are concerned about the people and their suffering. We are taking every effort to augment the supply of oxygen at the highest political level including imports from friendly countries. I will belittle myself and become small if I reply to the accusation being made by the Delhi government, he said.

The Solicitor General said, despite claiming the issue is not adversarial, they (Delhi government) have made it a Centre versus Delhi fight. We have to look at the demands of the whole country".

He said that the Centre's current oxygen allocation formula is not static but dynamic and it has been made after proper application of mind by the experts and realistic figures has been arrived at.

"We are concerned not only for the people of Delhi but for the entire country. I have never suggested that an audit of supply and demand of oxygen be conducted in Delhi, as claimed by Delhi government's counsel. I have suggested an audit of supply and demand of oxygen in the entire country so that effective mechanisms can be developed. They keep saying people are dying in Delhi. We are also equally concerned about the people of Delhi," he said.

Mehta said allocation of oxygen to Mumbai cannot be compared to allocation of Maharashtra as done by Delhi government and shifting of blame should be avoided.

"It needs to be seen if Rs 100 is sent to the state then how much is spent. I have been saying this from day one that there has been a system failure. It does not mean that we are against any political leadership or any government. Delhi is not only the capital of the country but also the face of the country. It has special status," Mehta said.

He said that COVID-19 is a disaster, which the Centre is trying to manage and ensure equitable distribution of resources based on a rational formula.

"I cannot start nit-picking and score debating points. I just don't want people to suffer. My concern is to save lives," Mehta said, while replying to contentions of senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi government.

During the day-long hearing, Mehra submitted that despite the top court's direction, Centre has failed to allocate requisite oxygen to the state even on Thursday as per their estimate, a day after it had given 730 MT.

He said that the Centre has tried to put the Delhi government in dock in every affidavit they have filed before the courts and claimed that other states like Madhya Pradesh and Punjab were given more oxygen than their demands.

"This court should not allow the supply to be brought down as it will be in violation of the court's 30 April order and we must say that it is not followed in letter and spirit. This court should ensure that the supply is maintained at 700 MT," Mehra said.

He said that people are dying in Delhi for shortage in supply of oxygen to hospitals and the Centre should not be allowed to dilute the supply either directly or indirectly and the solemn assurance given by the union government to court that the demand of gas will be met shall be followed.

"If an audit of oxygen supply is to be made, then it should be done on the allocation policy of the centre which in our view is arbitrary. The audit of tankers should also be done as these vehicles are national assets," he said, adding that there should also be no allocation on just papers.

There should not be any presupposition that there is a certain government in the state and it is not doing its job. We are trying to do everything possible at our end, Mehra said, adding that if the allocation policy of the Centre is not arbitrary then there is nothing to hide.


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