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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 LIVE Updates: Bihar govt conducts door-to-door screening of people in hotspot districts; state reports 392 COVID-19 cases so far

16:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says IMCT in Hyderabad found adequate PPEs, testing kits

MHA joint secretary PS Srivastava said that the IMCT visiting Hyderabad found that "the state has adequate number of testing kits, PPEs".

She added, "The state is using an end-to-end IT dashboard to track patients right from testing to discharge."

16:08 (IST)

Coronavirus in Meghalaya Latest Updates

Two Shillong COVID-19 patients test negative in consecutive tests 

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said that two more coronavirus patients, who are being treated at Shillong's Civil Hospital have tested negative on Thursday.

16:04 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Updates

UP govt says will bring back migrants 'in staggered manner'

Uttar Pradesh additional chief home secretary Awanish Awasthi on Thursday said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed to migrant workers not to travel back to the state on foot.

He said, "Government is making arrangements to bring them back. Chief Secretary and Home Department will hold discussions with states to bring workers in a staggered manner."

"People will have to undergo necessary medical screening before boarding the buses for Uttar Pradesh. 100 buses have left Madhya Pradesh to bring back people to Uttar Pradesh and we are sending people to Madhya Pradesh in 40 buses," he added.

15:56 (IST)

Coronavirus in Bihar Latest Updates

Bihar govt conducts door-to-door drive to screen people for COVID-19

The Bihar health minister on Thursday said that the government had conducted a door-to-door drive to screen people for COVID-19 in some districts that reported relatively higher number of cases. The door-to-door screening led to identification of more cases in those districts.

15:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Udpates

Delhi AIIMS releases number for foolow-up questions

The Delhi AIIMS on Thursday said that follow-up patients of the institute can now book advance appointments for teleconsultations by calling the number +9115444155.

15:42 (IST)

Coronavirus in Haryana Latest Updates

Gurugram district admin issues stricter measures on intra-district movement

The Gurugram district administration has issued notification for enforcing stricter measures through curbs on cross-movement across all borders of the district from 10 am on 1 May 2020.

15:32 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Updates

Cashew processing units in Mangaluru resume operation

Cashew processing units in Karnataka's Mangaluru have resumed operations, amid the coronavirus lockdown imposed till 3 May, ANI reported.

Prakash Rao, Chairman, CII-Mangaluru said, "This industry employs about 60,000 women. We have created SOPs and are following all guidelines like use of masks and maintaining social distance."

15:29 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Hong Kong Latest Updates

Hong Kong records fifth day in row of no new COVID-19 cases

Hong Kong recorded no new cases of coronavirus for a fifth day in a row on Thursday, but health experts expected the number of infections to potentially rebound with imported cases in coming days, as the first batch of residents stranded in Pakistan would return home by chartered flight ion Thursday evening.

There have been no local COVID-19 cases recorded in 11 days, and it was the seventh time in the same period that the city overall had no new infections, with the total remaining at 1,037.

15:25 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam Latest Updates

Assam Police says no NSG personnel infected by COVID-19

"There has been some speculation in media regarding an NSG personnel being affected with coronavirus. This is to clarify that he had mild fever day before, but has had no fever or symptoms since yesterday. As a precaution he has been tested, is asymptomatic and in quarantine," the Assam Police tweeted on Thursday.

15:13 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Rajasthan Latest Updates

86 new COVID-19 cases take Rajasthan's overall count to 2,524

As many as 86 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Rajasthan on Thursday. Of the fresh cases, 59 were reported in Jodhpur and 14 in Jaipur.

Four infections were detected in Ajmer, three in Chittorgarh, two in Tonk and a case each in Alwar, Baran, Dholpur and Kota districts, the Health Department official said.

The state now has 2,524 total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, of which 592 have been discharged from hospitals. There are 1,662 active cases. 

15:09 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Kerala Latest Updates

Over one lakh NRIs from Kerala want to return home due to job loss: Pinarayi Vijayan

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said that over three lakh Kerala expatriates have registered on the online portal of NORKA (Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs) from Sunday to Wednesday, to return to their home state amidst the pandemic, The News Minute reported. 

Of this, over one lakh non-resident Indians (NRIs) have registered to return to the state due to job loss or for annual holiday.

Loss of job, annual holiday, expiry of visas and being released from jail are some of the reasons cited for returning home. The Chief Minister also said that there are 9,561 children and 9,515 pregnant women among the people who have registered with NORKA for this purpose.

15:02 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Rajasthan Latest Updates

Two more COVID-19 deaths in Rajasthan take toll to 57

The toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to 57 in Rajasthan on Thursday with two more fatalities, while the number of cases climbed to 2,524 after 86 people tested positive, an official said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said the two deaths occurred in Jaipur, which accounted for 32 of the total 57 fatalities in the state.

14:49 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Bihar Latest Updates

Bihar confirms 407 COVID-19 cases

Bihar registered 407 COVID-19 cases after four more individuals tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday. All the fresh cases were reported in Sitamarhi district. 

14:44 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Assam Latest Updates

Assam confirms 41 COVID-19 cases after four more test positive

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that four more people tested COVID-19 positive in the state and the cases were reported in Bongaigaon district.

With these, the total confirmed cases in the state stood at 41, of which 29 have been discharged.

There are 11 active cases in the state and one COVID-19 patient has succumbed to the disease so far. 

14:34 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Chhattisgarh Latest Updates

Two COVID-19 patients recover in Chhattisgarh

Two COVID-19 patients, including a pregnant woman, were discharged from Chhattisgarh’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Raipur on Thursday, after recovering from the illness.

As many as 36 persons have recovered from the deadly infection in the state, which now has only two active cases left.

14:28 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Maharashtra govt issues guidelines on movement of stranded migrant workers

In accordance to the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Maharashtra government on Thursday released the guidelines on the implementation of movement of stranded migrant labourers. 

"Due to the lockdown, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons are stranded at different places. They would be allowed to move as per the conditions in the attached Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) as ANNEXURE A," read the statement. 

All district collectors will be designated noodal authority for receiving and sending suh stranded individuals between States/UTs and also within Maharashtra

14:17 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi govt making arrangements to bring back students in Kota to hometowns: Kejriwal 

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tweeted that the government was making arrangements to bring back stranded students in Kota, Rajasthan to their hometowns. 

13:56 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Karnataka Latest Updates

14 of 22 new COVID-19 cases reported in Belagavi 

More than half of the new 22 COVID-19 cases - 14 - are from Belagavi, taking the total number of positive cases from the district to 67. 

While three cases from Bengaluru Urban have been detected including two from Padarayanapura, two are from Vijayapura and one each from Davangere, Tumakuru and Dakshina Kannada. 

13:52 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Karnataka Latest Updates

22 fresh COVID-19 cases in Karnataka 

As many as 22 positive COVID-19 cases have been detected on Thursday morning in Karnataka taking the total number of cases to 557. The figure includes 21 deaths and one non-COVID death and 223 discharged persons.

13:25 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak in Karnataka Latest Updates

Karnataka to allow interstate movement of migrant workers, students

Karnataka government on Thursday said it would allow interstate movement, especially for students and migrant workers. "They'll have to bear the transport charges. We'll allow inter-district movement for once. It'll happen according to guidelines," said state Minister JC Madhuswamy. 

13:20 (IST)

Coronavirus Outbreak Latest Updates

Greta Thunberg donates $100,000 to UN to fight COVID-19 

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has donated a $100,000 prize she won from a Danish foundation to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for use against the COVID-19 pandemic, the world body said Thursday.

"Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child rights crisis," Thunberg, 17, was quoted as saying in the UNICEF statement.

"It will affect all children, now and in the long term, but vulnerable groups will be impacted the most," she added.

13:12 (IST)

Coronavirus in Madhya Pradesh Latest Updates

Nearly 20,000 stranded migrant workers from Madhya Pradesh reach native dists 

Nearly 20,000 migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh stranded in other states due to the lockdown imposed in view of the novel coronavirus have been brought back to their native districts so far, according to All India Radio News

The Additional Chief Secretary and State Control Room in- charge ICP Keshri informed that on Wednesday, labourers in 200 buses reached Neemuch, Agar-Malwa, Sheopur and Guna entry points of the state from Jaisalmer, Nagaur, Jodhpur and Jaipur.

12:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in South Korea Latest Updates

South Korea reports zero local COVID-19 cases for first time since February

South Korea on Thursday reported no new domestic coronavirus cases for the first time since February, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

KCDC reported four new infections, all imported cases, taking the national tally to 10,765. The death toll rose by one to 247, while 9,059 have been discharged.

12:48 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

70 buses to bring back over 1,700 students stuck in Kota to Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government has deployed 70 buses to bring back over 1,700  students who are stuck in Kota, Rajasthan, News18 reported on Thursday. 

The vehicles left from Maharashtra's Dhule district around 10.30 am on Wednesday and arrived in Rajasthan by night. 

"The buses will leave from Kota on Thursday morning," the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) official said, adding that only 20 students will be allowed in each bus and the vehicles will halt at two to three places for food breaks.

12:42 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Stranded pilgrims in Maharashtra arrive at Bathinda

Pilgrims from Sri Hazur Sahib, stranded in Maharashtra's Nanded, returned to Bathinda in Punjab on Wednesday. As of now, around 3613 such pilgrims have returned to the state. 

DC Bathinda said, "Two pilgrims, who returned to Bathinda, have tested positive for COVID-19."

12:37 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Order on screening of stranded migrant workers in Maharashtra to be issued today 

Over 6.5 lakh migrant labourers, a majority of them from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are stranded in various parts of Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai and Pune. 

According to the state administration, by the end of day an order will be issued on detailed screening of the workers before they are put on buses, which will then ply to their respective states. 

12:28 (IST)

Coronavirus in Germany Latest Updates

Germany confirms 1,478 new COVID-19 cases in past 24 hrs, overall count crosses 1.59 lakh

Germany has confirmed 1,478 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, with the overall count at 159,119, the Robert Koch Institute said on Thursday.

The toll due to the viral infection has also seen an increase by 173 to 6,288 within the same period of time. Over 123,000 COVID-19 patients have recovered in Germany since the beginning of the outbreak.

12:18 (IST)

Coronavirus in Meghlaya Latest Updates

East Khasi Hills dist not in green zones list 

Barring East Khasi Hills district, all other 10 districts in Meghalaya are in the green zone as they have not reported any COVID-19 cases. All deputy commissioners in the green zones may allow inter-district movement," Political Department secretary Cyril VD Diengdoh said in a letter to the district magistrates.

"The inter-district movement has been allowed in the green zones on the condition that people do not transit through East Khasi Hills district," he said.

12:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in Meghlaya Latest Updates

10 Meghalaya dists declared green zones

Ten out of 11 districts in Meghalaya have been declared 'green zones' by the state government on Thursday, PTI quoted officials as saying. The government has permitted inter-district movement in these areas. 

12:05 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Update

Following Rishi Kapoor's demise, his family urges fans not to violate social distancing norms


Following Rishi Kapoor's demise this morning, his family appealed to fans not to gather to mourn the death of the Bollywood actor. "In this hour of personal loss, we also recognise the world is going through a very difficult and troubled time. There are numerous restrictions around movement and gathering in public. We would like to request all his fans and well-wishers and friends of the family to please respect the laws that are in force. He would not have it any other way," his family said in a message.

11:57 (IST)

Coronavirus in Odisha Latest Update

Walk-in sample collection kiosk for COVID-19 tests developed by ITI in Odisha

In an effort to ensure the safety of health workers in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, state-run Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Cuttack has developed a portable walk-in kiosk for collecting samples from suspected coronavirus-infected persons, an official said on Thursday.

Inspired by a similar initiative taken by medical staff in South Korea, a dedicated team of 4 skilled trainers of the institute started working on the project and developed the mobile sample collection unit, its principal Hrushikesh Mohanty said. This will help health workers maintain social distancing norms while collecting samples from people, he said.

The walk-in sample collection kiosk is a mobile cubicle with a sealed glass on its front side that protects the health personnel from getting infected with the virus while collecting the samples, he said.

11:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh Latest Update

Andhra Pradesh registers 71 new cases

71 new positive cases were reported in Andhra Pradesh in last 24 hours. The total number of COVID19 cases in the state stands at 1403, including 1051 active cases, 31 deaths and 321 discharges. No death reported in the last 24 hours, according to the latest media bulletin by the government. 

11:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in Pakistan Latest Update

Cases in Pakistan jumps to 15,759, with 346 deaths

Pakistan reported 874 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 15,759 with 346 deaths so far in the county, an official statement said on Thursday.

The Ministry of National Health Services said the death of 19 more patients have been reported in the provinces of Punjab, Balochistan among others, taking the total death toll to 346.

Punjab reported 6,061 cases, Sindh 5,695, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 2,313, Balochistan 978, Gilgit-Baltistan 333, Islamabad 313 and Pakistan-cccupied Kashmir reported 66 cases, a statement from the ministry said. So far 4,052 patients have recovered while the total active cases in the country were 11,361.

11:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Update

New COVID-19 case reported in Maharajganj district

A man who had recently returned from Delhi tested positive for novel coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh's Mahrajganj district, which had not reported any infection for over three weeks, an official told PTI.

District Magistrate Ujjwal Kumar said the sample of the man, who had returned from Delhi six days ago to his native Ratanpurwa village in Paniyara area, tested positive in the report received from the Gorakhpur medical college late on Wednesday.

"The family members and all those who came in contact with him will be quarantined. The entire area has been sealed and sanitised," Kumar said. The district had not reported any new COVID-19 case after six people had tested positive on 4 April.

11:32 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Update

Four more traders test positive in Delhi's Azadpur market

Four more traders associated with Delhi's Azadpur Sabzi Mandi have tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. "They did not commute to and fro the vegetable market. A total of 15 positive cases in the vegetable market have been reported so far," Azadpur Mandi official told ANI.

11:26 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Update

UP police orders 10,000 PPE kits as 28 cops test positive

The Uttar Pradesh police has ordered over 10,000 personal protective equipments and asked cops above the age of 55 years with a health history to stay off the frontline duty after 28 of them tested positive.

Director-General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi also asked district police chiefs to purchase necessary safety kits at the local level wherever needed. "Till Thursday, 28 policemen have been found coronavirus positive in different districts of the state," Awasthi told PTI.

"We have already ordered 10,000 PPE kits. But due to shortage, only 3,000-4,000 kits have been received so far. Over 6,000 PPE kits are being purchased at the district level," he said. "We have to take extra precautions to save our personnel from coronavirus," the state police chief said.

11:20 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maldives Latest Update

Maldives reports its first COVID-19 death as cases rise to 280

The Maldives has reported its first death to the new coronavirus with the total number of positive cases standing at 280. Health Minister Abdulla Ameen said Thursday that the victim was an 83-year-old woman from the capital Male', reports The Associated Press.

First cases of COVID-19 were reported at tourist resorts in this Indian Ocean archipelago state and authorities for sometime kept it from spilling over into the community.

However, there is now a sudden spike in the number of patients in the capital island as well as far off islands with no traceable source of infection.

11:17 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Update

71 new cases reported in Nashik; district tally rises to 276

The number of coronavirus cases in Nashik district of Maharashtra has gone up to 276 as 71 more people have tested positive for the disease, an official from the district administration said on Thursday.

Most of the new cases are from the district's Malegaon town, he said. The new patients include six police personnel and three children - aged three months, 5 years and 11 years.

Out of the total 276 cases, 253 have been reported from Malegaon, 10 from Nashik city, 11 from other parts of the district and two patients are from outside the district who are undergoing treatment in hospitals here. There was no change in the death toll which stood at 12, the official said.

11:10 (IST)

Coronavirus in Meghalaya Latest Updates

Meghalaya declares 10 of 11 districts as 'green zones'

The Meghalaya government on Thursday declared 10 of the state's 11 districts as 'green zones' and allowed inter-district movement there, a top official told PTI.

The decision was taken as no COVID-19 case was reported from these districts, he said. All the 12 COVID-19 cases in the state, including one death, have been reported in the state capital that falls under East Khasi Hills district.

"Barring East Khasi Hills district, all other 10 districts in the state are in the green zone as they have not reported any COVID-19 cases. All deputy commissioners in the green zones may allow inter-district movement," Political Department secretary Cyril VD Diengdoh said in a letter to the district magistrates.

The inter-district movement has been allowed in the green zones on the condition that people do not transit through East Khasi Hills district, he said.

11:02 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Rupee surges 63 paise to 75.03 against US dollar

The rupee appreciated by 63 paise to 75.03 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday tracking positive opening of domestic equities and fresh foreign fund inflows.

Forex traders said a positive start of domestic stocks supported the local unit. Moreover, investor risk appetite is improving as India could relax restrictions in many areas from 4 May.

11:00 (IST)

Coronavirus in Odisha Latest Updates

128 test COVID-19 positive in Odisha

With three more people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Jajpur district, the overall count in Odisha climbed to 128 on Thursday, PTI quoted officials as saying. 

10:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in United States Latest Updates

US won't extend COVID-19 social distancing guidelines: Donald Trump

President Donald Trump said the federal government will not be extending its coronavirus social distancing guidelines once they expire Thursday, and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, predicted that by July the country will be "really rocking again."

To underscore his confidence, Trump said Wednesday he plans to resume out-of-state travel after spending more than a month mostly cooped up in the White House, starting with a trip to Arizona next week. 

10:41 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

UGC issues guidelines to outline academic calendar for universities during COVID-19

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued an advisory to chart out academic calendar for universities and conduct of exams in view of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, Bar and Bench reported. 

These guidelines concern aspects such as the academic calendar, admissions, online teaching etc. and are intended to be flexibly adopted by Universities in a transparent manner to avoid academic loss during the pandemic. 

10:15 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Death rate due to hunger will be more than COVID-19 if lockdown continues, says Infosys founder

The death rate in India due to hunger will be more than from the COVID-19 pandemic if the lockdown continued to be in place, said Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. He further said that the novel coronavirus must be accepted as the new normal and the return-to-work of able-bodied must be facilitated while protecting the most vulnerable. 

"What is important for us to understand is that India cannot continue in this situation for too long. Because at some point of time, deaths due to hunger will far outweigh deaths due to coronavirus," he told business leaders at a webinar on Wednesday.

09:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Need to lift lockdown in measured way as India has no capacity to feed people for long: Raghuram Rajan 

We need to be cleverer in lifting lockdown; need to open up in measured way as India does not have capacity to feed people for long, said Raghuram Rajan during the interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. 

"Social harmony is a public good; we cannot afford to have our houses divided in times when challenges are big," said Rajan. 

09:49 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Need of the hour to create good quality jobs: Raghuram Rajan 

We need to create good quality jobs so that people do not depend on government jobs and the comfort that comes with it, said Raghuram Rajan during the interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. 

09:38 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

India can afford Rs 65,000 cr to save livelihood of poor: Raghuram Rajan 

India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at is Rs 200 lakh crore, so we can afford Rs 65,000 crore to save the livelihood of India's poor, Raghuram Rajan said during the interaction with Rahul Gandhi via video conference on Thursday. 

09:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Difficult to aim for 100% success in eliminating COVID-19: Raghuram Rajan 

It is difficult to ensure 100 percent success in eliminating the novel coronavirus and register zero COVID-19 cases when we open up, Raghuram Rajan told Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.  

"Social distancing will be the key," said Rajan. 

09:25 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

At least 65,000 cr needed to help the poor during COVID-19 crisis: Raghuram Rajan 

India needs Rs 65,000 crore to help the poor during the novel coronavirus crisis, said former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday. 

09:23 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

COVID-19 toll reaches 1,074, confirmed cases at 33,050

According to the data released by the Union Health Ministry, the fatalities due to COVID-19 pandemic have reached 1,074. The total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus climbed to 33,050 on Thursday. 

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Bihar health minister on Thursday said that the government had conducted a door-to-door drive to screen people for COVID-19 in some districts that reported relatively higher number of cases. The door-to-door screening led to identification of more cases in those districts.

As many as 86 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Rajasthan on Thursday. Of the fresh cases, 59 were reported in Jodhpur and 14 in Jaipur.

Four infections were detected in Ajmer, three in Chittorgarh, two in Tonk and a case each in Alwar, Baran, Dholpur and Kota districts, the Health Department official said.

The state now has 2,524 total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, of which 592 have been discharged from hospitals. There are 1,662 active cases.

Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that four more people tested COVID-19 positive in the state and the cases were reported in Bongaigaon district.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tweeted that the government was making arrangements to bring back stranded students in Kota, Rajasthan to their hometowns.

As many as 22 positive COVID-19 cases have been detected on Thursday morning in Karnataka taking the total number of cases to 557. The figure includes 21 deaths and one non-COVID death and 223 discharged persons.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has donated a $100,000 prize she won from a Danish foundation to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for use against the COVID-19 pandemic, the world body said Thursday.

"Like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child rights crisis," Thunberg, 17, was quoted as saying in the UNICEF statement.

Nearly 20,000 migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh stranded in other states due to the lockdown imposed in view of the novel coronavirus have been brought back to their native districts so far, according to All India Radio News.

Over 6.5 lakh migrant labourers, a majority of them from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are stranded in various parts of Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai and Pune.

According to the state administration, by the end of day an order will be issued on detailed screening of the workers before they are put on buses, which will then ply to their respective states.

The number of coronavirus cases in Nashik district of Maharashtra has gone up to 276 as 71 more people have tested positive for the disease, an official from the district administration said on Thursday.

Most of the new cases are from the district's Malegaon town, he said. The new patients include six police personnel and three children - aged three months, 5 years and 11 years.

71 new positive cases were reported in Andhra Pradesh in the last 24 hours. The total number of COVID19 cases in the state stands at 1403, including 1051 active cases, 31 deaths and 321 discharges. No death reported in the last 24 hours, according to the latest media bulletin by the government.

The Uttar Pradesh police has ordered over 10,000 personal protective equipments and asked cops above the age of 55 years with a health history to stay off the frontline duty after 28 of them tested positive.

With three more people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Jajpur district, the overall count in Odisha climbed to 128 on Thursday, PTI quoted officials as saying.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued an advisory to chart out academic calendar for universities and conduct of exams in view of COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, Bar and Bench reported.

These guidelines concern aspects such as the academic calendar, admissions, online teaching etc. and are intended to be flexibly adopted by Universities in a transparent manner to avoid academic loss during the pandemic.

The death rate in India due to hunger will be more than from the COVID-19 pandemic if the lockdown continued to be in place, said Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. He further said that the novel coronavirus must be accepted as the new normal and the return-to-work of able-bodied must be facilitated while protecting the most vulnerable.

"What is important for us to understand is that India cannot continue in this situation for too long. Because at some point of time, deaths due to hunger will far outweigh deaths due to coronavirus," he told business leaders at a webinar on Wednesday.

We need to be cleverer in lifting lockdown; need to open up in measured way as India does not have capacity to feed people for long, said Raghuram Rajan during the interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.

India needs Rs 65,000 crore to help the poor during the novel coronavirus crisis, said former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday.

A second or third lockdown will be devastating for the Indian economy, said former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.

"Our fiscal resources are restricted but, it is pivotal to reopen economic activities," said Rajan

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will on Thursday initiate his series of dialogues with experts on economy and health, with the first one being with former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Gandhi will be in conversation with Mr Rajan in the first such dialogue and the same will be aired on social media from Thursday morning.

India registered a record jump of 71 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, taking the toll from the novel coronavirus past 1,000. The number of confirmed cases also recorded a growth of 1,813 new infections, pushing the total to 31,787.

Meanwhile, the Centre allowed migrant workers, students and others stranded in different parts of the country to begin their journey homewards provided certain norms and conditions were followed.

The development comes after some states including Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh this week began bringing back students and labourers stuck outside the states.

India recorded 71 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing the toll past 1,000. PTI

1,813 new cases, 71 deaths recorded in 24 hours

According to the 5 pm update issued by the Union health ministry, India now has 31,787 coronavirus positive cases with 1,813 new patients confirmed in the past 24 hours.

The total number of cases include 111 foreign nationals.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases stand at 22,982, 7,796 people have recovered, and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.

"Thus, around 24.52 percent of the patients have recovered so far," PTI quoted a health ministry official  as saying.

The highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 9,318, followed by Gujarat at 3,774, Delhi at 3,314, Madhya Pradesh at 2,561, Rajasthan at 2,364, Uttar Pradesh at 2,115 and Tamil Nadu at 2,058.

The ministry in its updated chart said that "repeat case from Betul district (was) removed" from Madhya Pradesh.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,332 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,012 in Telangana.  The number of cases has risen to 725 in West Bengal, 565 in Jammu and Kashmir, 532 in Karnataka, 486 in Kerala, 383 in Bihar and 322 in Punjab.

Maharashtra and Gujarat account for most deaths

According to the ministry, 71 persons also succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, the highest rise in fatalities so far in a single day, taking the toll due to COVID-19 to 1,008.

Of the 71 deaths reported since Tuesday evening, 31 fatalities were from Maharashtra, 19 from Gujarat, six from Madhya Pradesh, five each from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, two from West Bengal and one each from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

Of the 1,008 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with 400 fatalities, followed by Gujarat at 181, Madhya Pradesh at 119, Delhi at 54, Rajasthan at 51, Uttar Pradesh at 36 and Andhra Pradesh at 31.

However, a PTI tally put the countrywide toll at 1,064 and case count at 32,657 till 9 pm on Wednesday, while 8,091 have been cured of the infection.

The Gujarat health department said that 308 new COVID-19 positive cases were reported in the state in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 4,082, including 527 cured/ discharged and 197 deaths.

Tamil Nadu reported more than a 100 cases for the second consecutive day, pushing the state total to 2,162, said the state health department. Four children, aged between two and six, were among the newly infected.

In Maharashtra, Mumbai's Dharavi area reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the overall tally to 344. Dharavi, considered as the biggest slum in Asia, has so far reported 18 deaths.

In the National Capital, the new confirmed cases included 11 family members of an LNJP Hospital dietician, who had earlier tested positive. However, none of the hospital employees, who came in contact with the dietician, have tested positive.

Punjab extends curfew till 17 May

Punjab, which has reported 375 cases and 19 deaths, announced extension of the lockdown in the state by two weeks after 3 May, though some relaxations have been given in areas that do not fall under the containment or red zones. However, containment zones will continue to remain under total lockdown, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said.

In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said experts and doctors are of the opinion that the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 should continue in the state till the end of May.

She, however, also announced some relaxations, including opening of standalone shops in green zones and non-containment zones with all precautionary and social distancing measures.

The Tamil Nadu government announced that the four-day total shutdown in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore Corporation limits ending on Wednesday will not be extended, even as Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the contagion is "easily" spreading in Chennai due to its large population. He, however, observed that the spread of COVID-19 in the rest of the state is largely under control and asked district collectors to work on a "war footing" towards resumption of normalcy.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has already announced extension of the lockdown in his state till 7 May without any relaxation.

During his last interaction with chief ministers on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told them that the economy would need to be given importance too while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

MHA issues guidelines to bring back migrants workers, students stranded in other states

Days after Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments undertook special initiatives to bring back migrant workers and students, the the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday passed an order to allow inter-state movement of migrants and students to reach their respective destinations, subject to certain conditions.

The order will also apply to pilgrims, tourists, students and other people stranded at different places.

In the order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said buses shall be used for transport of such groups of stranded people and these vehicles will be sanitised and will have to follow safe social distancing norms in seating.

Migrant workers from Balaghat (MP) carry their belongings as they walk towards their native places. PTI

Listing the conditions, the ministry said that all states and Union Territories should designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons to their respective destinations. In case of movement beyond states or UTs, the sending and receiving states will need to consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by road.

These people would be screened and only those found asymptomatic would be allowed to proceed. On arrival at their destination, they would be assessed by local health authorities and kept in home or institutional quarantine, as required by the assessment, the order said.

In Maharashtra, home minister Anil Deshmukh said that his government is in talks with chief ministers of other states over facilitating the return of migrant workers to their native places in a planned manner.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said he is in touch with other state governments on the Home Ministry order and told migrant workers to stay put till he informs them about the final decision in one or two days.

Mumbai and Delhi are among major urban centres where a large number of workers from other states are stranded and have been demanding transport arrangements be made for them to go back to their native places.

Some states are said to be reluctant in allowing return of their natives from other places due to fears of infection.

New lockdown guidelines to come into force from 4 May

The MHA, in a review meet, also observed that tremendous gains had been made due to the lockdown and stressed that the lockdown guidelines need to be followed strictly till 3 May.

The ministry's spokesperson said that the new lockdown guidelines shall come into force from 4 May, under which "considerable relaxations" shall be given to many districts. "Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come," said the ministry.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said of the total active COVID-19 cases in the country, only 0.33 percent patients are on ventilators, 1.5 percent are on oxygen support and 2.34 percent are in ICU.

"Since the last three days, the doubling rate (of coronavirus cases) is 11.3 days in the country. Although the global mortality rate is around 7 percent, India has a mortality rate of around 3 percent, while around 86 percent deaths are of persons with co-morbidity," said Vardhan.

On Wednesday, the Central government also made it mandatory for its 48.34 lakh employees to download the 'Aarogya Setu' mobile app immediately and report to office only when it shows "safe" status for commuting. The app, developed by the government, helps people assess themselves on the risk of them contracting the  infection.

Drop in number of infection-free green zones

Earlier in the day, official sources told PTI that the number of COVID-19 hotspot districts in India has come down to 129 from 170 a fortnight ago, but in the same period the number of infection-free districts or green zones too decreased from 325 to 307.

During this time, the number of non-hotspot districts, also known as orange zones, increased from 207 to 297, they said.

The Centre had on 15 April classified districts into three categories. Those with high load of COVID-19 cases or which have a high growth rate of the disease are marked as hotspots or red zones, while those with considerably fewer cases of the respiratory infection fall in orange zone or non-hotspots. Districts with no COVID-19 cases are categorised as green zones.

However, a red zone or orange zone district can be demarcated as green zone if no new coronavirus case is reported from those places for 28 and 14 days, respectively.

UGC announces timeline for new academic session

The University Grants Commission (UGC), in the meantime, said that the new academic session for freshers will begin in universities from September and for already enrolled students in August.

It also advised universities to follow a six-day week pattern and devise proforma to record travel or stay history of staff members and students during the lockdown period.

Global count climbs to 31,42,942

Ever since its emergence in China last December, 31,42,942 persons have tested positive for the deadly virus infection worldwide while the 2,18,649 persons have died due to the disease, according to John Hopkins University data.

The US, which is among the worst hit globally with 1,015,289 cases, reported that its economy shrank at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the last quarter, triggering a recession that will end the country's longest ever expansion period.

Meanwhile, China which had begun to emerge from under the shadows of the infection, said that it will hold its annual parliament session from 22 May. Beijing, which recorded 593 coronavirus cases and nine deaths on Wednesday, closed the COVID-19 special hospital after clearing all the cases.

With inputs from agencies



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