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AICTE, Mumbai University announce online workshop from 13 May to 17 May on 'Universal Human Values in Education'

The University of Mumbai in collaboration with AICTE (Western Region) will be organising an online workshop on 'Universal Human Values in Education' for institutions offering technical education.The workshop will commence on 13 May and end on 17 May. According to University of Mumbai, the workshop is of paramount significance to continue learning process amid COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.The workshop will be conducted in Hindi and English. The morning session will be from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and the evening session will be from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.File image of Mumbai University. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons “To understand the basics of value education an online workshop is being organized exclusively for the Vice Chancellors of Technical Universities and University Coordinators appointed for coordinating the activities related to FDPs on Student Induction Programme,” the circular said.The workshop is specifically designed for sharing All India Council for Technical Edu…

Coronavirus Outbreak Highlights: Maharashtra reports 729 new COVID-19 cases, 31 deaths; confirmed infections jump to 9,318, toll at 400

23:52 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

MHA makes arrangements for buses to ferry fishermen from Gujarat to Andhra Prdaesh

"In coordination with the Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, facilitated the safe return of 3800 fisherman belonging to AP, who previously went for fishing - for livelihood purpose, to Gir.  The Gujarat govt has arranged for buses to ferry them to Andhra, where they’ll have a home to stay safe," said MoS home G KIshan Reddy.

23:48 (IST)

Coronavirus in Telangana Latest Updates

Decline in COVID-19 cases continue in Telangana; only six test positive today

 
The decline in COVID-19 cases in Telangana continued on Tuesday with only six fresh cases being reported as Health Minister E Rajender hoped the trend would continue and the pandemic would soon end in the state without more deaths.  With these six cases, the total number of positive cases
in the state has risen to 1,009. No fresh death occurred and the number of people who died due to the virus continued to remain at 25, Rajender said. Forty two people were discharged today, taking the number of people discharged after recovery  to 374, he said. The number of active cases in the state stood at 610.

23:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal Latest Updates

Calcutta HC tells Centre, WB govt to disclose availability, utilization of PPE, testing facilities

The Calcutta High Court directed the West Bengal government and the Union of India to file affidavits disclosing the availability and utilisation of personal protection equipment (PPE) and COVID- 19 testing facilities in terms of ICMR guidelines in the state by 30 April, reports PTI. Passing the order, a division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee​ observed that unless the Union of India and the governments of various states work hand in hand, the desired results in controlling the novel coronavirus would be difficult to achieve.The bench passed the directions on a PIL by petitioner
Fuad Halim, a doctor and a CPI(M) leader, who claimed before the court that the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the World Health Organisation​ (WHO) for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic were not being adhered to by the State of West Bengal and that adequate tests
of samples were not being done.
 

23:36 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

AIIMS  to conduct clinical trial of plasma therapy in COVID-19 treatment

The All India Institute Of Medical Sciences is planning to conduct a clinical trial of the convalescent plasma therapy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, PTI quotes AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria as saying. The modalities of taking the approvals from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) is being worked out, official sources said.
 
Stating that the mode of treatment in COVID-19 is still at an "experimental stage", Gileria stressed on the need to have good and well conducted research trials before its benefit and this mode of therapy can be recommended for routine use in coronavirus patients. "AIIMS is working with the ICMR to conduct a clinical trial on the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in COVID-19 patients," he said.
 

23:28 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Cases in Maharashtra surge to 9,318, toll touches 400

Maharashtra registered 729  more positive cases on Tuesday, taking the total  to 9,318. 31 deaths were also reported today, pushing the toll to 400. However, 106 patients were discharged after being cured of the virus. A total of 1,388 [persons have been discharged till date, according to the state public health department.

The state health department put the number of cases at 6,169 and toll at 244.

23:11 (IST)

Coronavirus in Punjab Latest Updates

Punjab CM hints at lockdown relaxations, but says curbs needed to check virus spread

 
 Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday hinted at lockdown relaxations on the basis a report to be submitted by an expert panel formed to draw an exit strategy, reports PTI.The issue will come up for a discussion at a state cabinet meeting on 30 April. He, however, said the lockdown was necessary to delay the coronavirus spread as the Centre has indicated on the basis of inputs and studies that the number of cases will continue to rise till July. The chief minister was interacting with MLAs during a video conference when he made the remarks. The CM indicated that his government could go for certain relaxations, while taking all precautions, based on the report of the expert committee formulating the state's coronavirus curfew exit strategy, according to a government statement here.

23:00 (IST)

Coronavirus in Greece Latest Updates

Greece to ease lockdown restrictions from 4 May

 
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday restrictions on citizens’ movements would be lifted and more shops allowed to reopen from 4 May in a gradual easing of a lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, reports Reuters.
 
Greece has so far registered 2,566 coronavirus cases including 138 deaths, much fewer than many other European nations, thanks partly to the swift imposition of its lockdown on March 23.

22:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Updates

Karnataka to conduct clinical trial on convalescent plasma transfusion, says minister

Karnataka will conduct a clinical trial on convalescent plams therapy, ANI quotes state medical education minister K Sudhakar as saying. "Convalescent plasma transfusion is one of the therapies that medical world is looking forward because a person who had recovered from the coronavirus infection would have developed the antibodies fight against the disease," he said adding that the state was given permission by the ICMR to conduct such a trial.

22:46 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

India- Canada partnership vital for fighting pandemic, says Narendra Modi

 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi  said India's productive capabilities in the pharmaceutical sector would remain available for assisting the citizens of the world as countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He told Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau that the partnership between India and Canada is vital to fighting the pandemic. 
 
A statement said Prime Minister Modi conveyed the assurance that India's productive capabilities in the pharmaceutical sector would remain available for assisting the citizens of the world, including those of Canada, to the best of New Delhi's abilities. The two leaders agreed that the partnership between India and Canada could contribute meaningfully to the global effort to fight the pandemic, especially through collaboration in research and technology aimed at finding a vaccine or therapeutic solutions to COVID-19.
 
They agreed on the importance of global solidarity and coordination, maintenance of supply chains, and collaborative research activities, the statement said. Modi thanked the Canadian prime minister for the assistance and support extended to the Indian citizens, especially students, in Canada.   Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau appreciated the support provided by the Indian government for Canadian citizens in India.  PTI 

22:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Updates

 80 more samples test negative for COVID-19

Eighty more samples from Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district tested negative for COVID-19, PTI quotes an official as saying.

 

22:31 (IST)

Coronavirus in Punjab Latest Updates

Positive cases in Punjab climb to 342

As many as 12 new positive cases have been reported in Punjab, taking the total number of positive cases to 342, said the Health Department

 

22:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Case count in Delhi mounts to 3,314

 
Delhi recorded a total of 206 positive cases today, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital to 3,314, including 1,078 recoveries and 54 deaths.
 

22:02 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Three deaths, 143 new cases reported in Pune
 
Three deaths and 143 new COVID-19  cases have been reported in Pune district in last 24 hours. Total positive cases in the district stands at 1,491 and toll has reached 83, said the Health Department, Zilha Parishad, Pune

21:56 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Area in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh identified as containment zone, taking number of such zones to 100

 
One more location in Block D of Shaheen Bagh has been added to the list of Containment Zone in Delhi, taking the total number of containment zones to 100, ANI quotes the Delhi Government as saying.

21:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan Latest Updates

102 new cases, two deaths reported in Rajasthan

102 positive cases were found in Rajasthan today, taking the state total to 2,364.  Of the new cases, 26 were reported  in Jaipur, 25 in Jodhpur, 24 in Kota, 11 in Ajmer, eight in Tonk, four in Dholpur and one each in Banswara, Nagaur, Sikar and Udaipur. Two people died of the disease today, taking the toll to 52. 770 perons have recovered from the disease till now, said the state health department.

21:41 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Southwest Delhi DM tests negative

Southwest Delhi District Magistrate Rahul Singh, whose private secretary was found to be infected with COVID-19, has tested negative for coronavirus,PTI quotes an official as saying. According to the official, samples of 17 officials were taken from the DM's office on Monday. The private secretary was attending office till last week.  "The district magistrate is in self-isolation for a few days," he also said.

21:36 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Case count in Mumbai jumps to 5,982, toll rises to 244

393 more test positive for coronavirus in Mumbai, taking count to 5,982; 25 patients die, raising toll to 244, PTI quotes BMC as saying.

21:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh Latest Updates

 

Andhra Pradesh sets up death audit panel on COVID-19

The Andhra Pradesh government constituted a nine-member State-Level Death Audit Committee on COVID-19 to examine all the case records to
ascertain the cause of death pertaining to the victims of coronavirus. The Committee, to be chaired by the Director ofMedical Education, will conduct "verbal autopsy" with all the stakeholders to identify the cause of death, Special Chief Secretary K S Jawahar Reddy said in an order. The committee would also analyse the trends and use the data to predict future trends, plan management strategies and suggest measures to reduce the mortality, the special chief secretary said. 31 deaths have been reported in the state till date.
 
PTI

21:17 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

India's performance has dipped, notes USCIRF in annual report on religious freedoms

 
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Tuesday released its 2020 Annual Report, documenting significant developments during 2019, including remarkable progress in Sudan and a sharp downward turn in India, and making recommendations to enhance the US government’s promotion of freedom of religion or belief abroad in 2020.
 
The USCIRF also noted that there was impunity for  violence committed by non-state actors in India.

21:03 (IST)

Coronavirus in Haryana Latest Updates

78% of Haryana's COVID-19 patients are male, highest number of cases in 25-34 age bracket, says health minister

 
As on 25 April, as many as 78 percent coronavirus patients in Haryana are male and many of the total cases fall in the young age group bracket. Besides, Tablighi Jamaat members account for 46 percent of the cases, PTI quotes Health Minister Anil Vijas saying.As many as 74 cases were of people in the 25-34 age group, 53 cases were in the 15-24 age group, 22 in the 65-74 age category while no patient was above 85 years of age.
"The Tablighi Jamaat people accounted for 46 percent of the cases, international travellers 14.5 percent, health staff 18.7 per cent, domestic travellers 6.2 per cent. Contacts of positive cases accounted for 48.18 percent cases, while contacts of Tablighis were 20.7 percent, vendor/shopkeepers etc. accounted for 28.10 per cent," he said.
 
Haryana saw the maximum weekly spike of 86 new cases between 7-13 April  when majority of the cases related to attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation were detected. The religious congregation attended by several thousand people was held in Delhi's Nizamuddin last month where a many were reported to have contracted the virus, apparently from foreign delegates.      
      

20:57 (IST)

CoronavirusOutbreak Latest Updates

Need to support businesses to tide over COVID-19 impact: India at BRICS

India on Tuesday conveyed to the BRICS grouping that it is important to provide support to businesses to tide over the crisis and ensure that livelihoods are not lost.  At a video conference of the foreign ministers of BRICS, a bloc of five leading nations, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the influential grouping has an important role to play in shaping the global economic and political architecture.
 
Jaishankar emphasised that the pandemic is not only posing a great risk to the health and well being of humanity but is also severely impacting global economy and output by disruption of global trade and supply chains, the Ministry of External Affairs said. "Economic activity across sectors has been negatively impacted leading to loss of jobs and livelihoods. He emphasised that we need to provide support to businesses, especially MSMEs, to tide over the crisis and ensure livelihoods are not lost," the MEA said in a release.

20:51 (IST)

Coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh Latest Updates

Madhya Pradesh now has 2,387 positive cases

Total number of COVID-19 positive cases Madhya Pradesh has reached 2,387 of which as many as 1,372 positive cases have been reported in Indore, 458  in Bhopal and 123  in Ujjain. 120 people have died due to the infection in the state so far, said the  Madhya Pradesh Health Department.

 

20:36 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre asks states to ensure private hospitals, clinics remain functional

Union health secretary Preeti Sudan wrote to chief secretaries/sdministrators of all states and union territories stating that private hospitals and clinics should remain functional for non-COVID-19 patients. Also said that that no patient should be denied any essential services like dialysis, blood transfusion etc.

20:28 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

12 CRPF jawans test positive for COVID-19

The CRPF said that 12 more jawans have tested positive for COVID-19 in Delhi. The total number of CRPF jawans who tested positive stands at 47, which includes one jawan who passed away on Tuesday.

20:21 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu Latest Updates

121 new COVID-19 cases reported in Tamil Nadu today

The Tamil Nadu health department said that 121 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 2,058.

Additionally, no new COVID-19 cases were reported in 32 districts of the state on Tuesday. The 121 new COVID-19 positive cases reported are from Chengalpattu (12), Chennai(103), Kallakurichi(3), Kancheepuram(1), Namakkal (2) districts.

20:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi Police crime branch constable tests positive for COVID-19

Reports said that a Delhi Police crime branch constable on Tuesday tested positive for coronavirus. India Today reported that he was part of the team attached to the Nizamuddin Markaz.

20:08 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Maharashtra govt says plasma treatment conducted as per ICMR guidelines

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said, "I have not heard what exactly ICMR has suggested today on plasma therapy. But I know that we are doing it on experimental basis after ICMR allowed us to do so. I want to tell you that we have seen good results on two patients."

19:58 (IST)

Coronavirus in Gujarat Latest Updates

226 new COVID-19 cases reported in Gujarat today

In the last 24 hours, 226 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Gujarat, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 3,774, the Gujarat health department said.

19:49 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

42 new COVID-19 cases reported in Dharavi

Mumbai's Dharavi saw the highest jump in coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 42 new cases reported. Four deaths were also reported, taking the toll up to 18.

19:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

CRPF jawan succumbs to COVID-19 in Delhi

News18 Delhi reported that a 55-year-old CRPF jawan died due to coronavirus in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday. He was reportedly posted in the 31st batalion in Noida and hails from Barpeta in Assam.

19:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttarakhand Latest Updates

One person tests positive for COVID-19 in Dehradun today

The Uttarakhand government said that one person tested positive for COVID-19 in Dehradun on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 52, including 18 active cases and 34 recovered.

19:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

S Jaishankar participates in BRICS meeting on COVID-19

External Affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that he had taken part in the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting on the coronavirus pandemic.

He said, "Shared India’s experience and underlined our commitment to international cooperation and reformed multilateralism."

19:09 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Syllabus for next year should be cut by 30%, says Sisodia

"For the next year, the entire syllabus should be reduced by at least 30 per cent and the entrance examinations of JEE, NEET, and other higher education institutions should also be taken on the basis of the reduced syllabus," Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.

18:59 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Manish Sisodia says not possible to conduct CBSE exams for 10th, 12th classes

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said, "It will not be possible to conduct the remaining exams of CBSE 10th and 12th, hence the children should be promoted on the basis of internal exams only as it was done for the students of class 9 and 11."

18:47 (IST)

Coronavirus in Kerala Latest Updates

Four new COVID-19 cases reported in Kerala

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that four more people tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 485.

This includes 123 active cases.

18:38 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal Latest Updates

28 new COVID-19 cases reported in West Bengal today

The West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha on Tuesday said that 28 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in last 24 hours, taking the total active cases in the state to 522.

18:31 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam Latest Updates

Another person tests positive for COVID-19 in Assam

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a person from the Goalpara district, a secondary contact of a Markaz attendee, has tested COVID-19 positive. The number of COVID-19 patients in Assam now stands at 37. Active hospital cases are at nine.

18:18 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir Latest Updates

19 new COVID-19 cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir government said that 19 new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in the union territory in the last 24 hours. All the new cases are from Kashmir division. The total number of cases in the union territory stands at 565, which includes 381 active cases.

18:12 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

51 COVID-19 deaths reported in last 24 hours

The Union health ministry's 5 pm update said that 1,594 new coronavirus cases and 51 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. India's total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 29,974.

This includes 22,010 active cases, 7,027 cured/discharged/migrated and 937 deaths.

18:03 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Mumbai Police asks personnel above 55 years to stay home

The Mumbai Police on Tuesday told all personnel above 55 years of age to stay at home, after the deaths of three personnel due to coronavirus.

The force also asked all personnel above 52 years of age with previous medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension to stay at home.

17:55 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Updates

Total 523 COVID-19 cases reported in Karanataka so far

The Karnataka government on Tuesday said, "As of 5 pm on 28 April 2020, cumulatively 523 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, it includes 20 deaths and 207 recoveries. Also, one death due to non-COVID-19 cause."

17:44 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jharkhand Latest Updates

15 containment zones listed in Ranchi

The Ranchi district administration on Tuesday said that 15 containment zones have been made in Ranchi, including the previous Hindpiri area, which was the hotspot.

Hindpiri is put under large containment zone category while remaining 14 are in micro-zone category. One or two positive cases reported from micro zones.

17:35 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

China 'deeply concerned' over ICMR's decision to not use rapid test kits from two Chinese firms

China on Tuesday said it was "deeply concerned" over the evaluation result of the COVID-19 rapid testing kits supplied to India by two Chinese companies and subsequent decision by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to not use the equipment, and hoped that New Delhi will resolve the issue "reasonably and properly".

The ICMR on Monday asked states and union territories to stop using the test kits procured from the Chinese companies — Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics — due to "wide variations" in their performance.

"We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by the Indian Council of Medical Research. China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products," Chinese embassy Spokeperson Ji Rong said.

(PTI)

17:31 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu Latest Updates

Tamil Nadu govt to meet medical experts tomorrow to decide on lockdown

India Today reported that Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is likely to meet with the state's medical expert committee on Wednesday to take a decision regarding the extension of the lockdown. The state has a total of 1,937 coronavirus cases, with 570 being in Chennai alone.

17:26 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal Latest Updates

IMCT visits Darjeeling to assess COVID-19 situation

An Inter-Ministerial Central Team on Tuesday inspected different locations in Darjeeling to assess the ground situation, in wake of COVI-19 pandemic.

17:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says doubling rate at 10.2 days

Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal on Tuesday said that the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in India now stands at 10.2 days.

17:09 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan Latest Updates

Rajasthan reports 2,328 COVID-19 cases so far

Rajasthan government on Tuesday said that so far, there are 2,328 COVID-19 positive cases in the state.

"There has been progress in COVID-19 recoveries in the state. We are also increasing our capacity to do COVID-19 tests. In one week's time, we will be able to do 10,000 tests per day," the statement said.

17:03 (IST)

Coronavirsu in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi LG says need to emphasise on 'extensive testing'

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday pitched for "extensive testing and faster results".

"We have to emphasise on extensive testing, faster results, meticulous contact tracing and isolation with strict perimeter control in the containment zones. All stakeholders to work in unison to break the chain of transmission," he said.

16:56 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre asks for urgent action to facilitate inter-state trucks' movement

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday called for urgent action to facilitate inter-state movement of trucks and lorries carrying essential goods to ease public life during COVID-19 pandemic.

Gadkari also suggested that state transport ministers should explore operationalising app-based two-wheeler taxis especially in rural areas which will assist farming communities with smoother movement.

16:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says use of plasma therapy is illegal currently

Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that plasma therapy isn't a proven therapy.

"It's still in experimental stage, right now even ICMR is doing it as an experiment to identify and do additional understanding of this therapy. Till it is approved no one should use it, it'll be harmful to patient and illegal," he said.

Coronavirus Outbreak Updates:With 729 new coronavirus cases recorded in Maharashtra , count reaches 9,318; with 31 deaths, toll mounts to 400, says state health department.

Delhi recorded a total of 206 positive cases today, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the National Capital to 3,314, including 1,078 recoveries and 54 deaths.

393 more test positive for coronavirus in Mumbai, taking count to 5,982; 25 patients die, raising toll to 244, PTI quotes BMC as saying.

 Total number of COVID-19 positive cases Madhya Pradesh has reached 2,387 of which as many as 1,372 positive cases have been reported in Indore, 458  in Bhopal and 123  in Ujjain.

Gujarat reported 226 new coronavirus positive cases, taking the total number of the affected people in the state to 3,774, a health department official said. With 19 fatalities, all from Ahmedabad, in the last 24 hours, the death toll in the state rose to 181.

Mumbai's Dharavi saw the highest jump in coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 42 new cases reported. Four deaths were also reported, taking the toll up to 17.

The Union health ministry's 5 pm update said that 1,594 new coronavirus cases and 51 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. India's total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 29,974.

This includes 22,010 active cases, 7,027 cured/discharged/migrated and 937 deaths.

China on Tuesday said it was "deeply concerned" over the evaluation result of the COVID-19 rapid testing kits supplied to India by two Chinese companies and subsequent decision by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to not use the equipment, and hoped that New Delhi will resolve the issue "reasonably and properly".

The ICMR on Monday asked states and union territories to stop using the test kits procured from the Chinese companies — Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics — due to "wide variations" in their performance.

"We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by the Indian Council of Medical Research. China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products," Chinese embassy Spokeperson Ji Rong said.

Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal on Tuesday said that the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in India now stands at 10.2 days.

With 1,543 new cases in the last 24 hours, the total COVID-19 cases in the country are now at 29,435. Meanwhile, 684 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours.

"Our recovery rate is now 23.3 percent. This is a progressive increase in recovery rate," said Lav Agrawal, joint secretary, Health Ministry

Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal reiterated that although there is a lot of speculation around the effectiveness of plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients, it's necessary to be cautious with the possible method of treatment until there is concrete information after proper research.

"Plasma therapy is being experimented with, however, there is no evidence yet that this can be used as a treatment. National level study has been launched by the ICMR to study the efficacy of the method," the statement said.

The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday said, "$1.5 billion loan approved to Government of India to help fund its response to COVID-19 pandemic, incl support for immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for poor and economically vulnerable sections of the society."

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan​ on Tuesday said that India will be able to produce RT-PCR and antibody test kits in India by May. 'All processes are in advanced stage and production will start after getting approval from ICMR. It will help us in meeting our target of 1 lakh tests per day by 31 May,' he added.

Two police personnel and a vendor in Koyambedu market in Chennai tested positive for coronavirus, officials told PTI. Meanwhile, 8 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Karnataka from Monday 5:00 pm to Tuesday noon. This takes the total number of cases to 520, according to the Karnataka government's latest bulletin.

The NITI Aayog building in the National Capital has been sealed for 48 hours, after a director-level officer tested positive for coronavirus, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Mumbai Police have asked their personnel who are above 55 years of age and having some pre-existing ailment to go on leave, in a bid to protect them from the coronavirus infection.

One officer in NITI Aayog has tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said no fresh case has been reported in 80 districts since last seven days.

The rapid spread of coronavirus continues in Andhra Pradesh as 82 fresh cases were reported on Tuesday, the state's case count is now at 1,259. Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated 15 paise to 76.40 against the US dollar in opening trade on Tuesday.

The total number of positive cases in Delhi stands at 3,108 now, of which 190 cases were reported on Monday. 877 patients have been cured, while 11 are on a ventilator. The toll stands at 54 with the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in Delhi at 13 days, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain told ANI.

A doctor has tested positive for COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district on Tuesday. He has been admitted to isolation ward hospital in Meerut.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued guidelines for home isolation of people who either have very mild COVID-19 symptoms or are in the pre-symptomatic phase. Such patients with requisite self-isolation facility at their residence will now have the option for home isolation.

The Maharashtra government has decided to send about 100 buses to Kota in Rajasthan to bring back nearly 2,000 students stranded there due to the lockdown, Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab has said. Buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will be sent to Kota in the next two days, Parab said late Monday night.

India records 62 deaths and 1543 new cases in last 24 hours due to coronavirus, which is the sharpest ever increase in death and cases in India so far.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in India have risen to 29,435, according to the latest update from the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday morning, with the toll in the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rising to 934.

The Delhi government on Monday had lifted the bar on veterinarians, plumbers, and electricians after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the national capital. In the order, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) also allowed inter-state travel of health workers, lab technicians, and scientists.

India on Monday recorded its highest single-day spike in toll due to COVID-19 as 60 deaths and 1,463 new infections were reported in the last twenty-four hours, taking the countrywide total to 28,380 and the number of deaths to 886.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video conference with chief ministers said the lockdown has been successful as thousands of deaths had been prevented but cautioned that the crisis was far from over.

In another significant development, the Indian Council of Medical Research has asked states to stop using the COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits procured from two Chinese companies.

India reports highest daily jump in COVID-19 toll

The Union health ministry, in its evening update, said there has been a spike of 1,463 cases since Sunday evening, taking the case count to 28,380.  The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 21,132, while 6,361 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said. The total number of cases includes 111 foreign nationals. With 60 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the toll rose to 886.

India's total number of coronavirus positive cases rose to 28,380. AP

However, on the positive side, more than 6,300 patients have been discharged, pushing the recovery rate to over 22 percent, according to the Union Health Ministry.

Among major cities, Mumbai alone has reported 5,589 cases, while Delhi has more than 2,900 and Ahmedabad more than 2,100 cases.

Besides, more than 200 have died in Mumbai, over 100 in Ahmedabad and at least 54 in the National Capital. These three major urban centres also impact a significant part of the country's overall economic activities.

Of the nationwide toll of 886, Maharashtra has reported the most fatalities (342), followed by Gujarat at 151, Madhya Pradesh at 106, Delhi at 54, Rajasthan at 41, and Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh at 31 each.

The death toll reached 26 in Telangana, 24 in Tamil Nadu while West Bengal and Karnataka have reported 20 deaths each.

Punjab has registered 18 fatalities so far. The disease has claimed six lives in Jammu and Kashmir, four in Kerala while Jharkhand and Haryana have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each.

Bihar has reported two deaths, while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.

According to the health ministry data, Maharashtra also has the maximum number of confirmed cases at 8,068, followed by Gujarat at 3,301, Delhi at 2,918, Rajasthan at 2,185, Madhya Pradesh at 2,168, Uttar Pradesh at 1,955 and Tamil Nadu at 1,885.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,177 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,002 in Telangana.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Reddy asked people to take precautions to prevent the infection as he warned, "We cannot eliminate it, so we have to live with it."

On the positive side, the Health Ministry said 85 districts have not reported a single positive case in the last 14 days, while 16 districts have not witnessed even one case in the last 28 weeks.

Separately, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said five Northeastern states — Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura — are now completely coronavirus-free and the other three —Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram— have not added any new COVID-19 positive case in the last few days.

Narendra Modi holds video conference with chief ministers

As the final week of the second phase of lockdown began, Modi conveyed to chief ministers that the country will have to give importance to the economy as well as continue the fight against the novel coronavirus.

In his fourth video conference with the chief ministers over the pandemic, Modi also underlined that the nationwide lockdown has "yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months."

"The prime minister said that the country has seen two lockdowns till now, both different in certain aspects, and now we have to think of the way ahead. He said that as per experts, the impact of coronavirus will remain visible in the coming months," according to an official statement.

The first lockdown was announced by Modi on 24 March in a bid to combat the coronavirus endemic. It was later extended till 3 May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Chief Ministers of all States on COVID-19 situation through video conference. ANI

Reiterating the mantra of 'do gaz doori' (six feet distance),Modi said masks and face covers will become part of people's lives in the days ahead. He emphasised on the importance of the use of technology as much as possible, and also on a need to embrace reform measures. He, however, forewarned that the danger of the virus is far from over and a constant vigil is of paramount importance.

Several news reports said that the prime minister had also hinted at extending the lockdown in red-zones or coronvairus hotspots after 3 May while asking the chief minister to prepare a graded exit plan depending on the situation in each state.

During the virtual interaction, chief ministers also put forth their concerns and suggestions. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought framing of a national standard operating procedure (SOP) for smooth movement of lakhs of people stranded across the country due to the lockdown imposed to combat COVID-19.

On similar lines, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said it would not be possible for the state to bring back students from places like Kota until the Centre amended its lockdown guidelines.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani favoured a gradual lifting of the coronavirus lockdown, while the chief ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Meghalaya favoured extending the lockdown.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, after his interaction with the prime minister, asked state officials to make specific plans for the period after 3 May, when the second phase of the lockdown is scheduled to end.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, however, alleged that the Centre was making contradictory statements on enforcement of the lockdown, and wanted greater clarity on the recent union home ministry order on reopening shops. Claiming that many states were not allowed to speak during Modi's video conference with chief ministers owing to the rotation system, Banerjee said given a chance she would have raised several questions, including the need to send central teams to Bengal.

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami sought  more RT-PCR kits for COVID-19 screening to help the state ramp up its testing capacity to 10,000 a day against the existing 7,500.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, in a written submission to the Centre demanded that GST arrears of over Rs 4,000 crore be released and  also demanded a grant due to meet the revenue deficit.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who did not participate in the interaction, said that the state government favours a partial lockdown in the state till 15 May and sought aspecial financial package from the Centre for various sectors, including rehabilitation of expatriates who
wish to return.

ICMR asks states to stop using China-made antibody testing kits

In the meantime, the country's apex health research body ICMR asked states to stop using the COVID-19 rapid antibody test kits procured from two Chinese companies and return them to be sent back to the suppliers.

Some states including Rajasthan had flagged issues with results given by these kits. Citing media reports, Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that some people were indulging in profiteering while supplying rapid test kits for COVID-19 to the government.

However, the health ministry explained the procedure followed for procuring the kits and clarified that no payment had been made for them.

"The ICMR has not made any payment in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), Government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee," it said in a statement.

Uttar Pradesh brings back migrant workers

Over 12,000 workers from Uttar Pradesh who were stranded in Haryana due to the coronavirus lockdown have been brought back to the state and are now being sent to their home districts, reported PTI. Within Uttar Pradesh, the state government is preparing to send nearly 10,000 students stranded in Allahabad to their home districts in a phased manner.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sought a reply from the Centre on a plea seeking direction to authorities to allow migrant workers across the country to return home after conducting coronavirus tests.

With inputs from agencies



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