Coronavirus India Lockdown Highlights: India today marks the first anniversary of Janta Curfew. It was the first time when India realised the gravity of the situation. In a national broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared a 24-hour Janta Curfew. It was a Sunday. The Janta Curfew 2020 went smoothly as people posted pics of their lazy Sunday. In his TV address, PM Modi had said that the ‘Janta Curfew’ would help people in preparing for days to come. People stayed indoors and city streets wore a deserted look. However, it was the 8 pm address two days later, PM Modi announced the national lockdown to curb coronavirus. Phase 1 of the total lockdown was observed between March 25 and April 14.
365 days later, what has changed? Nothing much, actually! Though we finally have a range of vaccines that are reasonably effective in spreading the curb of Covid-19 infections, thanks to the brilliant scientists and researchers across the world. However, as India stares at the second wave of the coronavirus, the nation needs to admit that there have been many lapses at the community level. India has witnessed the sharpest surge in fresh coronavirus cases in the last one week. Though both the Prime Minister and health experts have said that the total lockdown is not essentially the solution, what we are seeing now is an unfortunate recap of what we experienced in 2020. States after states, local authorities are clamping lockdowns, night curfews and restraining inter-state movement. Rajasthan capital Jaipur and other cities will enter in night curfew from tonight. Tamil Nadu has closed the schools. Maharashtra is seeing yet another spike. Delhi has also started reported close to 1,000 cases on daily basis.
We must realise that the virus doesn’t have a calendar! The only way we can fight coronavirus is to have stringent mask discipline, avoiding stepping out in public space as much as possible and washing hands frequently. Social distancing and saying no to large gatherings is how you can stay safe.
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A total of 2,48,312 beneficiaries were administered anti-coronavirus vaccine in Haryana on Monday, an official said. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rajeev Arora said more vaccine doses are administered on Monday and Tuesday every week. ‘The vaccination centres across the state witnessed an overwhelming response and 2,48,312 vaccination doses were administered to the beneficiaries today. Most of the beneficiaries were above 60 years of age or between 45 years to 60 years with co-morbidities,’ he said in a statement. (PTI)
Spain’s top health officials are proposing to broaden the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people up to 65 years old, expanding from a current cap on adults under 55, two sources familiar with the discussions have told The Associated Press. Officials, who were not authorised to discuss the meeting publicly, said central and regional health officials are expected to approve later on Monday the recommendation on the new 18-65 age range by the country’s Public Health Commission. (AP)
Haryana reported three more COVID-19 fatalities on Monday, taking the state’s death toll to 3,101, while its infection tally rose to 2,80,693 with 865 new cases, a health department bulletin said. A fatality each was reported from Fatehabad, Karnal and Gurgaon, it showed. The districts that reported fresh infections include Gurgaon (121), Karnal (116), Yamunanagar (89), Kurukshetra (73) and Panchkula (78). (PTI)
The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 4.72 crore with 19,65,635 doses being given on Monday, the Union Health Ministry said. A total of 4,72,07,134 vaccine doses have been given till 7 pm on Monday, according to a provisional report. (PTI)
A day after Maharashtra reported highest single-day spike since the outbreak of COVID-19, the state on Monday saw a drop in daily count, recording 24,645 new cases. While the caseload increased to 25,04,327, the state also reported 58 deaths due to COVID-19, taking the death toll to 53,457. On Sunday, the state had reported 30,535 cases, while on Saturday 27,126 infections were recorded. On March 18, the state had reported 25,833 cases. The earlier high was 24,896, recorded in September. (PTI)
The national capital reported over 800 coronavirus cases for the third day on the trot on Monday, while seven people succumbed to viral disease, the highest since February 4, the Health Department said. The number of active cases rose to 3,934 from 3,618 a day ago, while the case positivity remained over 1 per cent for the third consecutive day, according to a bulletin. The 888 new infections, the highest in nearly three months, pushed the tally of COVID-19 cases reported in the city till now to 6,48,872, while 6.33 lakh patients have recovered from the disease. (PTI)
Amid a spurt in coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission to advise all political parties contesting the April 6 Assembly election to strictly comply with the COVID-19 protocol. The first bench, consisting of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, which gave the direction, however, rejected the plea to restrain political outfits from campaigning in view of the recent spurt in Covid cases. (PTI)
Gujarat recorded its highest single-day spike of 1,640 coronavirus cases on Monday which took the caseload to 2,88,649, the state health department said. The previous record of daily increase in the state was of November 27 when 1,607 new cases had come to light. In Februarythis year daily COVID-19 cases in Gujarat had fallen below the 250-mark, before surging again. Four patients died on Monday, two each in Ahmedabad and Surat, raising the number of COVID-19 fatalities to 4,454. On the other hand, 1,110 patients recovered, taking the total of recovered cases to 2,76,348. (PTI)
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said people must follow COVID-19 safety protocols if the state is to avoid another lockdown. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was of the view that lockdown may become necessary in some cities if the new cases continue to climb, Tope told reporters here. He met the Chief Minister two days ago, Tope said. “He told me that if the number of daily cases in the state remains in the range of 25,000 to 30,000 for the next some days, then we will have to take some stringent steps. He is of the opinion that if the numbers continue to increase, we will have to impose lockdown in some cities,” the minister said. (PTI)
As many as 119 armed forces personnel died of COVID-19 while 44,766 contracted the infection in the three services, according to data provided by the government on Monday. In response to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said the Army reported 81 deaths while the total number of coronavirus infections in the force was 33,003. Naik said two persons died of the infection in the Navy while the number of positive cases was 3,604. (PTI)
Nagpur on Monday reported a single-day record of 40 deaths, while the infection tally rose by 3,596, an official said. The district’s caseload now stands at 1,96,676, including 4,664 deaths, while the number of people who have been discharged increased by 1,837 to touch 1,60,945, he added. The active caseload in Nagpur district is 31,067. With 12,623 samples being examined on Monday, the total number of tests in Nagpur went up to 14,93,008. (PTI)
Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar recorded 29 new COVID-19 cases on Monday that pushed the district’s tally to 25,784, official data showed. The active cases in the district continued its upward trend to reach 130 from 102 the previous day, according to data released by the Uttar Pradesh Health Department for a 24-hour period. A week ago, there were 73 active cases in the district while a month ago (February 22) the tally had reached 55, data from corresponding dates showed. (PTI)
Active cases in Kerala touched 24,081 as the state recorded 1,239 new coronavirus cases and 1,766 recoveries on Monday. The toll mounted to 4,507 with 12 more additional deaths. Six health workers were among those who tested positive. While the COVID-19 caseload rose to 11,05,816, as many as 10,76,571 people have been cured of the disease, Health minister K K Shailaja said in a press release. In the last 24 hours ending at 2 pm, 34,821 samples were tested and the test positivity rate was 3.56 per cent. So far, 1,26,96,542 samples have been sent for testing, the release said. (PTI)
Greece’s health minister is requisitioning the services of private sector doctors from certain specialties in the wider Athens region to help fight a renewed surge in coronavirus infections that is straining hospitals to their limits. In an announcement released Monday, Vassilis Kikilias said that despite repeated appeals for private doctors to volunteer to help in the public sector, very few came forward. Therefore, the minister said, he was ordering specialists in pathology, pneumonology and general medicine to help. (AP)
President Vladimir Putin said he will get a coronavirus vaccine shot on Tuesday, months after widespread vaccination has started in Russia. Speaking at a meeting with government officials on Monday, Putin said he will get his shot “tomorrow,” without specifying which vaccine out of three approved for use in Russia he will take. According to the Russian president, over 6 million people in Russia have already received at least one shot, and over 4 million have gotten both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (AP)
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal and the University of Nebraska Medical Centre (UNMC) in the US have identified a drug that can be repurposed to treat COVID-19. According to the team, ‘Rapamycin’ is currently being used for treating cancer patients and those who have undergone organ transplantation. Its analogues are commonly available in India and abroad. The research was published in a peer-reviewed paper recently in the reputed International Elsevier journal, Chemico Biological Interactions. The researchers showed that the biochemical working of this drug molecule points to its promise in the treatment of COVID-19. “The development of a new drug is time-consuming and cannot be relied on as a solution in combating the immediate pandemic. Drug repurposing is an attractive solution, wherein, an existing drug is used to treat another related or unrelated ailment may be tested against COVID-19,” said Amjad Husain, Principal Scientist, and Chief Executive Officer, Innovation and Incubation Center for Entrepreneurship (IICE), IISER Bhopal. (PTI)
Nine persons in a government polytechnic for girls in Ahmedabad in Gujarat tested positive for coronavirus and have been quarantined, an official said on Monday. The nine, comprising three teaching staff and six from the administration side, contracted the infection last week, College Principal Bhaskar Iyer said. (PTI)
Karnataka reports 1,445 new COVID-19 cases, 661 recoveries, and 10 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Total cases: 9,71,647; total recoveries: 9,44,917; death toll: 12,444; active cases: 14,267. (ANI)
All restaurants/eating places will close by 11:00 PM, last order can be taken till 10:00 PM. All public Holi-Milan gatherings will be banned. Clubs, hotels, restaurants etc. will not allow any ceremonial gatherings for Holi; The State Museums, Libraries, Auditoriums, Theatres etc. run by Chandigarh Administration will remain closed till further orders. All eating places, restaurants, hotels including food joints in various Malls will run only with 50% capacity: Chandigarh Administration. (ANI)
Chandigarh reports 208 new COVID19 cases taking the total number of cases to 24,667. The number of active cases now at 1,979 and death toll stands at 363: Health Department, Chandigarh. (ANI)
All educational institutions in UT Chandigarh (schools & colleges) shall remain closed with immediate effect till March 31 but the entire teaching and non-teaching staff shall continue to attend on all working days: Directorate of Higher Education, Chandigarh. (ANI)
Maharashtra has vaccinated 45 lakh beneficiaries till now, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday. “So far we have vaccinated 45 lakh people, every day 3 lakh people are being vaccinated. We are making arrangements so that people can get vaccinated at a place near to them,” he said.
1,239 new COVID19 cases, 1766 recoveries and 12 deaths in Kerala today. Death toll stands at 4507 while 10,76,571 persons have recovered so far. (ANI)
Today Maharashtra has 2.10 lakh cases of which 85% cases are asymptomatic. Cases are rising in metro cities like Pune, Mumbai. Around 3 lakh testing per million are being conducted in Pune: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope (ANI)
Uttarakhand reported 104 new COVID19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 98,552 in the state on Monday.
Bells tolled across the Czech Republic at noon Monday to honour those who have died of COVID-19 in one of the hardest-hit European Union countries. A 95-year-old man, who is the first known Czech victim, died on March 22, 2020, at Prague’s Bulovka hospital. The death toll has reached almost 25,000 since the start of the pandemic in the nation of 10.7 million. Coronavirus infections have been on the decline since the government imposed a tight lockdown earlier this month, but new cases and death rates still remain high. Petr Pospichal, a former anti-Communist dissident who helped organise the remembrance, told Czech public radio that it was the right thing to do for people to observe a minute of silence wherever they were. Pospichal says it’s also necessary to realize that the pandemic isn’t over yet and people are still dying. The country has almost 1.5 million confirmed cases, and 24,810 deaths.(AP)
Sirens to ring across all districts in Madhya Pradesh for two minutes at 11am and 7pm to sensitize the public about wearing masks and social distancing, for one week from March 23, in view of COVID19 situation: Madhya Pradesh Government (ANI)
Pakistan on Monday decided to increase restrictions on various activities that were contributing to the continuous rise of coronavirus cases in the country. The decision was taken during the meeting of the National Command and Control Center (NCOC), the main national body set up to control the pandemic. Minister for Planning Asad Umar, who is also the chief of the NCOC, said that the decision to tighten the restriction was taken in the wake of rise in the new cases which is not coming down despite efforts. “In the NCOC meeting this morning we decided to increase restrictions of activities contributing to a sharp increase in COVID positivity. The provincial & ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory) administration were also directed to tighten implementation of sop’s and crackdown on violations which are taking place,” he said in a tweet. Earlier, Pakistan authorities fixed formulas to determine prices of imported coronavirus vaccines by the private sector as 3,669 new cases emerged in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally of cases to 630,471, according to the official data. (PTI)
Odisha’s COVID-19 tally climbed to 3,38,963 as 146 more people tested positive for the disease, a health department official said on Monday. Of the new cases, 87 were reported from quarantine centres and 59 detected during contact tracing. Khurda district, of which the state capital Bhubaneswar is a part, reported the highest number of new cases at 35, followed by Cuttack (25), Mayurbhanj (13), Nuapada and Sundargarh (12 each). Several new cases were detected in an educational institute in the city, a Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation official said. “In view of the detection of a large number of COVID-19 positive cases in Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, the entire XIMB institute campus is hereby sealed until further order, the civic body said in a notice issued on Sunday. (PTI)
Maharashtra’s Nagpur District reported 3,596 new Covid-19 cases and 40 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per data from Civil Surgeon, Nagpur, on Monday. As many as 1,837 patients have also been discharged. So far the district has reported 1,96,676 Covid-19 cases and still has 31,067 active cases.
Strict restrictions are being imposed to contain the second wave of COVID-19, but the situation still doesn’t warrant semi-lockdown or full-fledged lockdown, Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Monday. Urging more people to get vaccinated, he indicated that a decision will be taken regarding educational institutions if the cases increase after discussing with the Chief Minister. The government is strictly screening incoming travellers from high caseload states of Maharashtra and Kerala. If there is no negative RT-PCR test, they are subjected to tests at the border, Sudhakar said. Increasing penalty for not wearing a mask is also being discussed, he said. Noting that Home Ministry’s support is required for strict screening at borders, the Minister said, the Chief Minister has already conducted a meeting in this regard. “Semi-lockdown or lockdown is not considered for now. We need to learn from past mistakes,” he was quoted as saying by his office in a release. (PTI)
AstraZeneca Executive Ruud Dobber said, We’ll file for U.S. EUA in first half of year, Reuters reported citing CNBC report.
Britain said on Monday it would remind the European Union of its commitment to allow vaccine manufacturers to fulfill orders, including the export of shots to Britain, after speculation of a vaccine trade war heated up. “One thing I think we can do is remind the EU of the commitments they have made, and particularly Ursula von der Leyen, the EU president, made the commitment to the prime minister that the EU would wouldn’t block companies from fulfilling contractual obligations to supply vaccinations,” social care minister Helen Whately told Sky News. (Reuters)
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and some 40-50 of his party workers were booked for alleged violation of COVID-19 norms during a protest held at Pune’s Alka Chowk, police said on Monday. The protest demanding the resignation of state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who is facing corruption allegations from IPS officer Param Bir Singh, was held on Sunday and was led by Patil. A case was registered against Patil and 40-50 party workers on Sunday night for unlawful assembly, flouting COVID-19 norms and violating orders under IPC, Disaster Management Act and Mumbai Police Act provisions, an official said. (PTI)
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi takes his first dose of the COVID19 vaccine in Hyderabad.
Tokyo Olympic organisers said on Monday that Japan would not allow in volunteers from overseas except for some who are deemed essential, after it decided to bar international spectators amid public concerns over the novel coronavirus. Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told a news conference that it was “regrettable” but that organisers wanted to decide now so that there would not be confusion for volunteers overseas who were waiting for a decision. Some 600,000 Olympic tickets purchased by overseas residents will be refunded as will another 30,000 Paralympic tickets, Tokyo organisers said on Saturday after deciding not to allow in foreign spectators during the Games. Muto said exceptions would be made for volunteers with expert and specialised knowledge about specific sports and that these people would receive individual notifications. – Reuters
A South African business lobby group called on Monday for the government to shift the emphasis on its vaccine programme to target the elderly and vulnerable sooner, to prevent hospitals being overrun in a third wave of COVID-19 infections. South Africa is behind schedule in the first phase of its vaccination programme, aimed at inoculating health care workers. Those over 60 or with co-morbidities are not meant to be vaccinated until a later second phase, along with other essential workers and people who work in crowded settings. – Reuters