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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 Updates: 414 new COVID-19 cases, 20 deaths reported in Mumbai today, total number of cases crosses 7,000

23:21 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi reports 76 cases, 3 deaths in past day

 

Delhi reported 76 new coronavirus cases and 3 deaths on Thursday. The total number of cases in the capital has reached 3,515.

23:08 (IST)

Amarinder Singh writes to PM, seeks rail transport for stranded migrants

Captain Amarinder Singh has written a letter to Narendra Modi saying 'given the large number of workers stuck due to lockdown, use of buses for their transportation would not work'. He urged the prime minister to advise Railway Ministry to make special arrangements for migrants, according to a statement by the chief minister's office.

22:57 (IST)

Pinarayi Vijayan seeks special non-stop trains for migrant labourers

Welcoming the Centre's decision to allow inter-state movement of migrant labourers, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday demanded special non-stop trains for them.

ANI

22:42 (IST)

Russian PM tests positive for COVID-19

Russia's prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has tested positive for coronavirus, AFP has reported.

22:38 (IST)

Coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh Latest Updates

28 people have recovered from COVID-19 in HP till date

ANI has quoted Nipun Jindal, Himachal Pradesh's state special secretary (health) as saying that 28 people have recovered from coronavirus till date. He added that the total number of active cases in the state is now 7.

22:27 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Two teams deployed in Delhi's Azadpur Mandi after cases detected

Two medical teams have been deployed at Azadpur Mandi after COVID-19 positive cases were detected at the wholesale market.

22:13 (IST)

Coronavirus in Rajasthan Latest Updates

146 cases, 3 deaths reported in Rajasthan reported

The Rajasthan health department said that three COVID-19 deaths and 146 new cases were reported in the state on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 2,584, including 58 deaths.

21:56 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttarakhand Latest Updates

Cops above the age of 55 to be deployed in areas with minimum contact with people

The Uttarakhand police said that "personnel above the age of 55 years will be deployed in areas where they have minimum direct contact with people considering their higher vulnerability to infections," India Today reported.

21:49 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Updates

Pregnant woman tests positive for COVID-19 in Gautam Buddh Nagar

According to India Today, a nine months pregnant woman tested positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar on Thursday, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in the district to 138.

21:39 (IST)

Coronavirus in Assam Latest Updates

Another COVID-19 case reported in Assam

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that one person from Karimganj, a secondary contact of a Nizamuddin Markaz attendee, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The total number of cases in Assam now stands at 42. (29 are discharged, 1 death, so active hospital cases 12), he added.

21:30 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Updates

COVID-19 patient passes away in Karnataka

Reports said that one coronavirus patient passed away in Karnataka on Thursday. The patient was reportedly a 67-year-old woman in the Bantwal district.

21:18 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Railways drafts plan to operate 400 trains for movement of stranded people, says report

The Indian Express quoted government sources as saying that that the Ministry of Railways "has drafted a plan to operate 400 special trains per day, which can be scaled up to 1,000, with a detailed protocol."

"While there has been no indication that passenger train services will resume before May 3, the Railways carried out an internal exercise and communicated the plan to top levels in the government. According to the plan, each non-AC train will carry 1,000 people per trip — about half the usual number — to ensure adequate social distancing," the report said.

This comes after the MHA's order allowing stranded people — migrants, students, tourists — to travel back to their homes on Wednesday.

21:13 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi govt issues guidelines for home isolation of mildly symptomatic cases

The Government of Delhi has issued a notification stating guidelines for home isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases.

21:06 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

27 new COVID-19 deaths reported in Maharashtrra today

The Maharashtra health department on Thursday said that 27 new coronavirus deaths and 583 new cases were reported in the state, taking the total number of cases 10,498.

20:59 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi govt removes Vardhaman apartments area from containment zones list

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that the government had implemented 'Operation Shield' to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Vardhaman apartment.

"In the last four weeks, no new case has been reported and today the apartment is being de-contained," he added.

20:53 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Mumbai reports 414 cases, 20 deaths today

Mumbai reported 417 new COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the city's tally of coronavirus cases to 7,061. The toll rose to 290.

20:45 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir Latest Updates

614 COVID-19 cases reported in J&K so far

The Jammu and Kashmir government said that 614 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the UT so far, of which 390 cases (384 in Kashmir, six in Jammu) are active.

Eight patients have succumbed to the disease while 216 others have recovered. 80 percent COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic.

20:29 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Updates

UP govt says tentative plan is to open schools in July

The Uttar Pradesh government said that the Basic Education Department is planning to open schools in July "but will take the final decision as per the guidelines of Central and state governments."

20:23 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh Latest Updates

77 new COVID-19 cases reported in UP today

The Uttar Pradesh health department on Thursday said that 77 more people have been tested positive for coronavirus in the state, taking total number of cases to 2,211.

Out of the total cases, 551 patients have been cured while 40 others lost their lives due to the infection.

20:12 (IST)

Coronavirus in Gujarat Latest Updates

Gujarat reports 313 new COVID-19 cases

The Gujarat health department said that 313 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 4,395.

This includes 613 cured/discharged and 214 deaths.

20:03 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir Latest Updates

J&K admin approves Rs 350 cr relief package for those affected by lockdown

The Jammu and Kashmir administrative council on Thursday approved Rs 350 crore relief package for eight categories of people affected due to COVID-19 lockdown. Rs 1,000 will be given to 1.8 lakh construction workers for three months. One month's relief has already been given.

"Houseboat workers, shikarawalas registered with tourism department, poniwalas, pithuwalas working at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board and different tourism development authorities will be given Rs 1,000 per month for three months," the government said.

19:49 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal Latest Updates

36 new COVID cases reported in Bengal today

The West Bengal government on Thursday said that 36 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state, taking the number of active cases to 572. Reports added that the toll increased by 11 in the state, and the total toll tose to 33.

139 patients have been cured/discharged for different hospitals so far. 1,905 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.

19:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Uttarakhand Latest Updates

Uttarakhand reports two new COVID-19 cases

The Uttarakhand health department said that two new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Thursday. taking the total number of cases in the state to 57.

19:31 (IST)

Coronavirus in Bihar Latest Updates

Bihar govt says people returning to state will be given food and screened

Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey on Thursday said that migrant workers, students and others returning to the state will be provided food and screened for COVID-19 at the state borders.

"We'll make arrangements to drop them at their respective blocks where they will be screened again and quarantined," he added.

19:24 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Dharavi reports 25 new COVID-19 cases today

The BMC said that 25 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Mumbai's Dharavi on Thursday. The total number of cases in Dharavi is now 369, toll is at 18.

19:08 (IST)

Coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir Latest Updates

Seven J&K officers given additional charge over movement of stranded people

The Jammu and Kashmir government said that seven officers of the UT have been given additional charge and assigned tasks related to the movement of stranded persons including migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists into and outside Jammu and Kashmir.

19:02 (IST)

Coronavirus in Punjab Latest Updates

105 new COVID-19 cases reported in Punjab

The Tamil Nadu health department said that 105 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 480, out of which 356 cases are active. 104 patients have been cured of the infection while 20 other lost their lives.

18:55 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

MHA tells states to ensure free movement of trucks

The MHA instructed state governemnts to ensure free movement of trucks/goods carriers, including empty trucks.

"Local authorities must not insist on separate passes at inter-state borders across the country. This is essential to maintain the supply chain of goods and services in the country," the statement said.

18:46 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

CISF personnel at Delhi Metro tests positive for COVID-19

The CISF on Thursday said that a personnel who was deployed at the Delhi Metro has been tested COVID-19 positive.

"The jawan was performing duty at a metro station on a rotational basis. Total number of COVID-19 cases in CISF in Delhi has reached three, other two were deployed at Delhi airport," the statement said.

18:36 (IST)

Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu Latest Updates

Tamil Nadu reports highest jump in COVID-19 cases

With 161 new coronavirus cases reported in Tamil Nadu in the last 24 hours, the state recorded the highest single-day jump in the tally of cases. The total number of cases is now 2,323. Chennai has the most number of COVID-19 cases, with 906 infections, followed by Coimbatore with 141

18:20 (IST)

Coronavirus in Kerala Latest Updates

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Kerala today

Tw new coronavirus cases were reported in Kerala on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 497. The new cases have reportedly been detected in Malappuram and Kasargod districts. Kerala now has 117 active cases.

18:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in Maharashtra Latest Updates

Maharashtra govt to shift COVID-19 patients without comorbidity to care centres

The Maharashtra government on Thursday said that in order to decongest hospitals, all asymptomatic positive patients without comorbidity should be shifted to appropriate COVID-19 Care Centres.

"Hospitals should ensure that no admissions are granted to asymptomatic positive patients without comorbidity. Similar patients in private hospitals should be stamped and sent away for home quarantine after proper counselling according to the Government of India guidelines," the statement added.

18:10 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Updates

30 new cases reported in Karnataka in last 24 hours

The Karnataka health department said that 30 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the state from 5 pm on 29 April to 5 pm on 30 April.

The total number of cases rose to 565.

18:02 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

1,823 new COVID-19 cases reported in 24 hours, says Centre

The Union health ministry said that 1,823 new coronavirus cases and 67 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, across the country.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 33,610, including 24,162 active cases, 8,373 cured, discharged, migrated and 1,075 deaths.

17:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in Kerala Latest Updates

Kasaragod district officers under self-quarantine after journalist tests positive

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that Kasaragod district collector D Sajith Babu, IG Vijay Sakhare and IG Ashok Yadav have gone into self-quarantine after a journalist in the district tested COVID-19 positive on Wednesday.

17:50 (IST)

Coronavirus in Karnataka Latest Updates

Karnataka govt announces Rs 30 lakhs compensation for aanganwadi workers

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday announced Rs 30 lakh compensation for anganwadi workers and assistants, civil workers, and police personnel who die after getting infected by COVID-19 while carrying out their duties.

17:43 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

MEA says 2.8 mn HCQ tablets, 1.9 mn paracetamol tablets given to 87 countries

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India had provided 2.8 million HCQ tablets and 1.9 million paracetamol tablets as part of assistance to other countries. "India also provided HCQ and Paracetamol tablets on a commercial basis to 87 countries," the statement sais.

"Testing kits from China are under examination under the ICMR, priority is now to enhance rapid test kits. MEA is helping as part of the empowered group," the statement added.

17:40 (IST)

Coronavirus in Delhi Latest Updates

Delhi Police says stranded people must register themselves

The Delhi Police on Thursday said that the police and state government are finalising modalities for the movement of people of other states.

"We are in touch with resident commissioners of different states. People will need to register themselves for the travel. Please don't pay heed to rumours," said Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa.

17:31 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says average of 49,000 tests being conducted per day

The Union health ministry on Thursday said that a total of 58,686 tests were done on Wednesday. He added that 49,000 tests are being conducted on an average per day.

17:24 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 25.19%, says Centre

The Union health ministry on Thursday said that the recovery rate of COVID-19 cases is at 25.19 percent, which was 13.06 percent 14 days ago.

"The fatality rate is 3.2 percent. Comorbidities were found in COVID-19 patients in 78 percent of the deaths. Doubling rate of the cases has now increased to 11 days," said Lav Agrawal, health ministry joint secretary.

17:16 (IST)

Coronavirus in Chhattisgarh Latest Updates

Two more people test positive for COVID-19 in Chattisgarh

Chhattisgarh health minister TS Singh Deo said that two more people tested positive for coronavirus in the state on Thursday, taking the total number of cases to 40, of which 36 have fully recovered.

17:03 (IST)

Coronavirus in West Bengal Latest Updates

No patient can be denied health services for any reason, says Bengal govt

The West Bengal government on Thursday said, "It is clarified that no government approval is required for either admitting or treating any patient in any healthcare facility or for testing an individual for COVID-19 as per ICMR's testing protocol. No patient can be denied health services for any reason."

16:54 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says approval only for RT-PCR tests so far

Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal on Thursday said, "As far as testing and treatment protocol is concerned we have to use RT-PCR test only."

16:47 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says non-COVID-19 patients shouldn't be turned away by private hospitals

Union health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal on Thursday said, "Non-COVID-19 patients should not be turned away by private hospitals, and critical services should be functional. Private hospitals should not insist on COVID-19 negative tests, guidelines are in place, PPEs should be used."

16:39 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says special trains not being considered for stranded people

When asked if the Centre is considering the proposal by many state governments for running special trains to transport stranded people like students and migrant labourers, MHA joint secretary PS Srivastava said that as of now, the directives are to use buses.

16:33 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Doubing rate improves to 11 days after lockdown, says Centre

The Union health ministry on Thursday said that the coronavirus doubling rate of cases in India, which was 3.4 days before the lockdown, has improved to 11 days.

Health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that 16 states, had performed better than national average.

11-20 days: Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab,

20-40 days: Karnataka, Ladakh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Kerala,

Above 40 days: Assam, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh

16:24 (IST)

Coronavirus in India Latest Updates

Centre says 1,718 new COVID-19 cases reported in last 24 hours

In the daily briefing at 4 pm on Thursday, Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that 1,718 new cases of coronavirus were reported across the country in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 33,050 cases so far.

He added that there are 23,651 active cases in the country, with 360 having recovered in the last 24 hours. A total of 8,324 people have recovered cured so far.

16:20 (IST)

Coronavirus in Bihar Latest Updates

Bihar govt says situation 'unfavourable' to bring migrants back

Bihar minister and JD(U) leader Ashok Chaudhary said on Thursday, "If we follow social distancing norms, about 1.70 lakh buses will be required to bring 25 lakhs registered labourers of Bihar stranded in different states. We've constituted a nodal team for it, but the situation is not favourable for government to bring them."

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.

Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Maharashtra health department on Thursday said that 27 new coronavirus deaths and 583 new cases were reported in the state, taking the total number of cases 10,498.

The Jammu and Kashmir administrative council on Thursday approved Rs 350 crore relief package for eight categories of people affected due to COVID-19 lockdown. Rs 1,000 will be given to 1.8 lakh construction workers for three months. One month's relief has already been given.

The BMC said that 25 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Mumbai's Dharavi on Thursday. The total number of cases in Dharavi is now 369, toll is at 18.

The MHA instructed state governemnts to ensure free movement of trucks/goods carriers, including empty trucks.

"Local authorities must not insist on separate passes at inter-state borders across the country. This is essential to maintain the supply chain of goods and services in the country," the statement said.

With 161 new coronavirus cases reported in Tamil Nadu in the last 24 hours, the state recorded the highest single-day jump in the tally of cases. The total number of cases is now 2,323. Chennai has the most number of COVID-19 cases, with 906 infections, followed by Coimbatore with 141.

The Union health ministry said that 1,823 new coronavirus cases and 67 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, across the country.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 33,610, including 24,162 active cases, 8,373 cured, discharged, migrated and 1,075 deaths.

The Union health ministry on Thursday said that the coronavirus doubling rate of cases in India, which was 3.4 days before the lockdown, has improved to 11 days.

Health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal said that 16 states, had performed better than national average.

11-20 days: Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab,

20-40 days: Karnataka, Ladakh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Kerala,

Above 40 days: Assam, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh

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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