- Government says, 12 States and Union Territories show early signs of reduction in Covid-19 cases.
- India administers over 16 crore 24 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
- Union Health Ministry says Covid-19 supplies received from the Global Community effectively allocated to States and Union Territories by Centre.
- Tamil Nadu announces new restrictions till May 20th to curb spread of Covid-19.
- External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar virtually participates in G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting.
- First consignment of oxygen concentrators from Israel arrives in New Delhi.
- Centre reviews preparedness of five States of eastern India to address needs and challenges of current phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Defence Ministry approves a total of 50 Armed Forces Medical Services, AFMS hospitals as Dedicated and Mixed COVID Hospitals.
- Cabinet approves allocation of additional foodgrains to beneficiaries of National Food Security Act for months of May and June.
- CCEA gives in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment and transfer of management control of IDBI Bank Limited.
As the number of Covid cases is on the rise, we appeal to our listeners to take all precautions and all those above 18 years of age to get vaccinated without any hesitation. The vaccination for persons of age between 18 and 44 has begun at designated facilities.
Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:
- Wear a face mask.
- Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing
- Focus on hand and face hygiene.
And now, the news in detail:
The Government has said that 12 States and Union Territories are showing early sign of reduction in Covid-19 cases. These States and Union Territories include Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Ladakh. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Aggarwal said, around 2.4 per cent day on day growth in COVID cases has been noticed.
Mr Aggarwal said, seven states have 50 thousand to one lakh active cases, While 17 states have less than 50 thousand active cases. He said, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana have reported more COVID19 death.
Principal Scientific Advisor, K Vijay Raghavan said, Vaccines are effective against current variants. He said, new variants will arise all over the world and in India too but variants that increase transmission will likely plateau. He said, this is a critical time and it is important for all of us to work together and ensure India and the world get out of this Pandemic.
The cumulative share of active COVID cases in the country has declined to comprise nearly 16.87 per cent of the total reported cases. The Health Ministry has informed that currently over 34 lakh 87 thousand people are reported to be suffering from the viral infection and are either hospitalised or are under home isolation.
In the last 24 hours, the nation registered 3 lakh 82 thousand 315 new COVID cases. With this, the recovery rate witnessed marginal improvement to stand at 82.03 per cent.
Over three lakh 38 thousand people have been discharged from hospitals or are reported to have been completely cured in the last 24 hours. So far, over one crore 69 lakh people have recovered from the COVID-19 infection in the country. The Health Ministry has informed that three thousand 780 COVID related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative toll to 2 lakh 26 thousand 188.
With a special focus on the 5-point principle of ‘Test, Track, Treat, Isolate & Vaccinate’, the number of cumulative COVID-19 testing reported by the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR has surpassed the figure of 29 crore 48 lakh.
India has administered over 16 crore 24 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine in the country so far. Over 94 lakh 79 thousand Healthcare Workers have taken the 1st dose while more than 63 lakh Health care workers have taken the 2nd dose. Over one crore 36 lakh Frontline Workers have taken the 1st dose while more than 74 lakh front line workers have taken the 2nd dose.
The Union Health Ministry said, more than 18 lakh 90 thousand beneficiaries were inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine doses till 8 PM yesterday. Out of these more than eight lakh 66 thousand beneficiaries were vaccinated for the 1st dose and more than 10 lakh beneficiaries received the 2nd dose of the vaccine.
The Ministry said, two lakh 30 thousand 305 beneficiaries in the age group of 18 to 44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine yesterday and cumulatively over nine lakh across 12 States and Union Territories.
The Ministry said, the vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level.
The Union Health Ministry has said that COVID-19 supplies received from the Global Community have been effectively allocated to States and Union Territories by the Centre. The Ministry said that the Government of India has been receiving international donations of Covid-19 relief medical supplies and equipment since the 27th of last month from different countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Russia, UAE, USA, Taiwan, Kuwait, France, Thailand, Germany, Uzbekistan, Belgium and Italy. It added that from the 27th of April to the 4th of this month, 1764 Oxygen Concentrators, 1760 Oxygen Cylinders, seven Oxygen Generation Plants, 450 ventilators, over 1.35 lakh Remdesivir vials and 1.20 lakh Favipiravir strips were delivered.
The Health Ministry said, a streamlined and systematic mechanism for allocation of the support supplies received by India has been put into place by the centre for effective distribution of the medical and other relief and support material. Besides, a dedicated Coordination Cell has been created in the Ministry to coordinate the receipt and allocation of foreign COVID relief material as grants, aid and donations.
The Ministry said, all these relief medical supplies and equipment are being allocated in a timely manner to the 38 medical institutions across 31 States and union territories, so far in the first tranche. This will help to supplement the medical infrastructure of these Institutions and strengthen their clinical management capacities for prompt and effective clinical management of the hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The cargo clearance and deliveries are facilitated without delay in coordination with agencies concerned.
Tamil Nadu has registered more than 23 thousand fresh Covid cases yesterday. The health department said, more than one lakh 25 thousand people are under treatment and more than 160 deaths were reported. Due to the prevailing pandemic situation, the Government has announced new restrictions and also nine higher police officials to monitor the logistics and other necessities needed to manage Covid.
“The new restrictions will come into force from today to the 20th of this month. Transport services like rail, metro and bus services will be allowed to operate with 50 percent passengers only. Private and government offices will have 50 percent attendance. No other shops except groceries , vegetable and tea shops without airconditioned facility will be allowed to function with 50 percent customers till 12 noon. Auditoriums, open air meetings and cultural events are banned. Only 20 people will be allowed in funerals and 50 persons in marriages. Curfew will continue on Sundays. Essential services, media, freight and medical emergencies are allowed at all times and night curfew will continue from ten pm to four am. JOY, AIR NEWS, CHENNAI.”
Gujarat has recorded 12,955 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday. According to the state health department, 12,995 patients recovered during the last 24 hours and were discharged from the hospitals.
Maximum 4174 new cases of Covid-19 reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 1168 new cases. One hundred thirty-three patients lost their lives yesterday. With these, the death toll due to Covid-19 in the state has reached up to 7912. Gujarat has now one lakh 48 thousand 124 active cases at present, out of which 792 patients are on ventilators. Meanwhile, one lakh 32 thousand 384 persons were vaccinated in the state yesterday. Shri Somnath Trust has announced Rupees 50 lakh donation to the local community health center at Prabhas Patan to set up an oxygen plant. YOGESH PANDYA, AIR NEWS, AHMEDABAD.”
In Chhattisgarh, public representatives, social organizations and common people are contributing significantly to deal with the Covid crisis in the state.
“In Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh, eight ventilators and three hundred jumbo medical oxygen cylinders have been provided to the district hospital with the financial support of Member of Parliament and local legislators. At the district headquarters of Balodabazar district, a six hundred-bed Covid Care Hospital is being constructed with the help from the public representatives, industrial establishments along with the contribution from District Mineral Fund. Besides, a hundred-bed Covid Hospital has been built in the capital Raipur with the help of Jain community. In Rajnandgaon district, sculptors and painters are jointly sanitizing homes in rural areas. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur.”
In Odisha, the covid-19 vaccination coverage has been extended to about 59 lakh 51 thousand people so far. However, due to non-availability of adequate vaccines, the state could vaccinate only about twenty two thousand beneficiaries at 92 session sites yesterday.
“Even as the viral upsurge continues to add fresh infections to the state’s active covid tally, pushing it further beyond 77 thousand, the state from yesterday is observing a 14 days lockdown to stamp the surge down. The virus currently is infecting about 8 to 10 thousand people daily. The state Chief Secretary asked senior officials to target arresting the growth rate of the virus in about a week’s time through heightened awareness among and strict surveillance on the people. To this effect, the government has already put the desired curbs on the movement of the people while disaggregating markets all across to ensure de-crowding during the purchase of essential items .GIRISH CHANDRA DASH, AIR NEWS, BHUBANESWAR.”
In Maharashtra, new and active Corona patients are declining. Now the state has started preparation for the third wave of Coronavirus.
“In order to increase oxygen availability, Maharashtra government has announced Mission Oxygen. Maharashtra’s daily demand for oxygen is 1700 Metric Tonnes. Out of which 1200 metric tonnes is produced in the state and remaining is imported from other states. Now the state has targeted to produce 3 thousand metric tonnes of oxygen on a daily basis. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has ordered district administrations to set up oxygen plants in each district. Many children and teens are tested positive in 2nd Wave of Covid19 due to which Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to set up a separate 700 bed Pediatric ward as preparation for 3rd wave. It will have 700 beds including Neonatal ICU, pediatric ICU and special beds for infants. Jeevan Bhawasar, AIR News, Mumbai.”
Leh district will be under lockdown from tonight till Monday morning. District DDMA Chairman Shrikant Suse issued additional restrictions to contain the fast spread of corona virus in the district.
“After alarming rise in the number of covid positive cases, Leh DDMA ordered for additional restrictions in the district. Following the Covid curfew last weekend, an eighty hours lockdown is ordered starting from today nine in the night to five in the Monday morning, in Leh district. During the restricted period, all government, judicial offices, essential and emergency services like power, water, banks, commercial services like Petrol pumps, cold storages, ATMs, Army and Paramilitary movement, Covid vaccination, testing and medical emergencies and public transport for the relaxed categories are allowed. DDMA also arranged helplines and e-Pass facilities to address emergencies. Passengers and tourists coming to Leh can produce their tickets or boarding passes for their movement. RAMESH CHANDRA, AIR nEWS, LEH.
Karnataka reported the highest single day spike in Covid 19 cases and deaths yesterday since the outbreak of the pandemic. It recorded 50,112 new Covid 19 cases and 346 deaths in a single day yesterday taking the total active cases in the state to 4,87,288. The positivity rate has sharply risen to 32.28 percent and the case fatality rate stood at 0.69 percent. Bangalore Urban district alone reported 23,106 new cases yesterday. The state also saw 26,841 people recover from the infection who were discharged. As on date, 12,36,854 out of 17,41,046 Covid active persons have recovered from Corona Virus infection in the state.
NITI Aayog Member, Health Dr. V.K. Paul has requested the physicians’ fraternity to come forward and provide teleconsultations to people and families at home who are infected with COVID19. Briefing reporters in New Delhi yesterday, Dr Paul said, the response to the changing virus remains the same. He stressed on the need to follow COVID- appropriate behaviour such as mask, distancing, hygiene, no unnecessary meetings and staying at home.
The Principal Scientific Advisor, K Vijay Raghavan has said that after the second wave of coronavirus infections, the 3rd wave of the pandemic is inevitable for which we have to be prepared. He said, it is not clear at what time and at what scale this phase -3 will occur.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar participated in the G-7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting through video conference yesterday. After the meeting, Dr Jaishankar said, it was an interactive and thought-provoking meeting. He appreciated the opportunity to participate in its many conversations.
During the meeting it was discussed that vaccination is the only lasting solution to the Covid-19 challenge. A global answer will require diversified production, uninterrupted supply chains and generous resourcing. Dr. Jaishankar said, India will do its part. He noted that geopolitical changes have been accelerated by Covid-related trends and issues of transparency, reliability and resilience will guide policy choices.
Dr Jaishankar said, India had embraced Green Growth since 2014 and transformation stories include renewable capacity, Ujjwala, LED distribution, forest cover and Jal Jeevan. He said, but higher green ambitions require larger green resources and COP26 will be a test.
The first consignment of oxygen concentrators from Israel has arrived in New Delhi. In his message, Israeli ambassador Ron Malka has said that more such flights will follow throughout this week, carrying emergency medical aid including thousands of group and individual oxygen generators, respirators, medications, and additional medical equipment. He said, our friendship is strong and collaboration during the Covid-19 crisis will only make it stronger. A task force was set up to gather support for Israel’s aid to India. Several private entities, Israeli companies, NGOs and the people of Israel came together to contribute towards this aid.
Centre reviewed preparedness of five States of eastern India to address needs and challenges of current phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan along with Member, Health, NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod K. Paul chaired a high-level meeting with the States of Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand. The review meeting assessed the arrangements put in place by these states for containment and management of the COVID-19. The evidence suggested that the pandemic is moving eastward and a rise has been observed in the number of daily cases in these states along with rising mortality.
During the meeting, five critical areas of action were discussed for addressing the needs and challenges of recent phase of the the pandemic in these states.
The meeting underscored the critical importance of human resources in providing health services and the clinical management of the severe COVID patients in the hospitals. The States were advised to ensure that performance linked payments of the Community Health Officers at the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres and the incentives to the Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and other health workers are paid timely. The National Health Mission funds to the states may be utilized for this purpose.
In addition, a slew of decisions have been taken recently by the Union Government whereby the services of final year MBBS students, final year nursing students and internees can be utilized for COVID related healthcare works.
Indian Army has clarified that the Defence Ministry has approved a total of 50 Armed Force Medical Services, AFMS hospitals including 42 Army, five Air Force and three Navy designated as Dedicated and Mixed COVID Hospitals.
Besides the entitled clientele of the AFMS, serving personnel, dependents, veterans, and their dependents, civilians may also be admitted subject to referral by the local health authority after ascertaining bed availability at these facilities.
Indian Army said, it has come to its notice that there is a full list of AFMS Hospitals being circulated in Social Media claiming that all are open for admitting COVID positive civilian patients.
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has stepped up its efforts for manufacturing of several medical equipments like ventilators, micro oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators to provide relief to the Covid patients. In an exclusive interview to AIR News, DRDO Chairman, Dr G Satheesh Reddy said, DRDO is continuously engaged in the production of one lakh 50 thousand mini oxygen cylinders for household needs. He said, these micro cylinders would be available by the next week at an affordable cost.
In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a new 1000 litres per minute (LPM) Oxygen concentrator plant was commissioned at Government Medical College, Rajouri yesterday. AIR Jammu Correspondent reports that the oxygen concentrator plant will help in augmenting bed capacity in the border district for successful treatment of Covid-19 patients. With the commissioning of the plant, the district has become self-sufficient in terms of medical oxygen needs.
Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Rajesh Shavan said that the plant is a lifeline project in the present COVID-19 scenario. He appreciated the efforts of the concerned executing agency for its speedy commissioning. He directed for ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the plant for hassle-free oxygen supply to GMC, Rajouri and its Associated Hospitals.
The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gave its approval for allocation of additional foodgrains to all beneficiaries of National Food Security Act for two additional months of May and June this year. The announcement towards allocation of additional foodgrains under the third phase of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana for another period of two months was made by the Centre last month. The Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to this decision under which 5 kilograms of rice or wheat per person per month will be given to about 80 crore beneficiaries in the country.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment along with transfer of management control in IDBI Bank Limited. LIC is currently the promoter of IDBI Bank with Management Control and Government of India is the co-promoter.
The extent of shareholding to be divested by Government of India and LIC shall be decided at the time of structuring of transaction in consultation with RBI. The Government of India and LIC together own more than 94 per cent of equity of IDBI Bank. Government of India owns 45.48 per cent and LIC 49.24 per cent.
Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D.V Sadananda Gowda has said that a total of 34 lakh 50 thousand vials of Remdesivir has been allocated to States and Union Territories since 21st of last month. He said, the allocation to States is a dynamic process and efforts will be made to further enhance supply in the coming weeks. Mr Gowda yesterday chaired a meeting to review availability of drugs for covid treatment and other essential drugs.
During the meeting, Mr Gowda appreciated the efforts of all seven manufacturers of Remdesivir for increasing the production capacity to one crore three lakh vials per month, from 38 lakh vials per month. He said, this increased capacity will augment domestic availability of the injection.
In Madrid Open tennis, Spain’s Rafael Nadal spoiled Carlos Alcaraz’s 18th birthday bash as he moved into the third round with a 6-1, 6-2 victory yesterday.
Top seed Nadal now awaits the winner of Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin and 14th seed Jannik Sinner.
In the women’s section, top seed Ashleigh Barty underlined her dominance of the Tour with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over No. 9 seed Petra Kvitova in one hour and 48 minutes to reach her first Madrid Open semi-final.
The Australian will face the only player to have beaten her since February, wildcard Paula Badosa, who became the first Spanish woman to reach the last-four stage in Madrid with a 6-4, 7-5 upset of No. 8 seed Belinda Bencic.
Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist boxer MC Mary Kom along with two other Olympic-bound pugilists — Simranjit Kaur (60 kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) — have been named in the elite women’s national camp that will start soon.
Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for today.
The National capital Delhi is expected to have thunderstorm with rain. The minimum temperature was recorded at 24 degree Celsius, while the maximum will be around 38 degrees.
Mumbai will have a partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was 26 degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 34 degrees.
Chennai will also have partly cloudy sky with the minimum temperature recorded at 27 degree Celsius and the maximum expected at 36 degrees.
In Kolkata, there will be thundershowers with strong gusty winds. The minimum temperature was 24 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees.
AND NOW, AN OVERVIEW OF TODAY’S NEWSPAPERS.
- The Supreme Court setting aside law on maratha reservation is the top headline in many dailies. “Maratha quota unconstitutional, violates right to equality, say SC” headlines The Hindu.
- The Indian Express quotes the Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister as saying, “third Covid wave inevitable, didn’t foresee current ferocity”. “Third wave of Covid is ínevitable’, but can’t say when” is the headline in The Asian Age.
- Small borrowers get RBI’s Covid vaccine writes Business Standard
- “RBI opens Rs. 50,000 crore liquidity tap for banks to on-lend to healthcare sector” headlines Hindu BusinessLine. RBI readies booster shots for businesses, individuals, writes The Economic Times.
- And Finally, The Times of India quotes a recent study to reveal that 230 million Indians have been pushed below minimum wage level by the virus.