Coronavirus in India Live Updates: Lockdown may be extended, suggests PM Modi
How is the coronavirus spreading in India? What are the latest developments in our fight against coronavirus? Catch all the live updates here.
Here are the latest stats and data according to ministry of health and family welfare:
Active Cases: 4643 active cases
Cured/Discharged/Migrated Cases: 401
Death Toll: 149
Globally, the disease has affected over 1.43 million people, leading to 82,133 deaths.
The Helpline Number for corona-virus : +91-11-23978046
Toll Free No: 1075
Here are the latest updates to the global health crisis, and its impact on India:
Six coronavirus patients die in Pune, toll in district now 14
Six coronavirus patients died in Pune since Tuesday night, taking the COVID-19 death toll in the district to 14, a senior official said here on Wednesday. Four patients died at the Sassoon GeneralHospital, and one each at Naidu Hospital and Nobel Hospital, said Pune Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad. All six had some or other co-morbidity (existing health issue), officials said. A 44-year-old man, who was on ventilator support and alsosuffering from severe diabetes, died at the civic- runNaidu Hospital early Wednesday morning. He had been admitted to the hospital on April 4.
COVID-19 effect: Railways misses freight loading target by 15 million tonnes, earnings dip by Rs 2,129 cr
Indian Railways, which was on its way till February to not just meet but surpass its freight loading target, will end 2019-20 with 15.7 million tonnes less than the previous financial year’s 1,212.56 million tonnes, official figures show.
As business dries up due to the coronavirus pandemic and the railways virtually shuts down operations, earnings from freight loading have also plummeted -- from
Rs 1,25,354 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 1,23,225 crore in 2019-2020 fiscal, a loss of Rs 2,129 crore.
The railways has cancelled all its passenger train services, including suburban ones, till April 14 as a measure to check the spread of the coronavirus that has infected more than 5,100 people in the country and claimed at least 149 lives.
In February this year, when the fear of the pandemic was yet to hit home, the railways loaded 106.5 million tonnes of goods, around 6 million tonnes more than in February last year.
With the national transporter managing to load 1,108 million tonnes by the end of February this year, around 5 million tonnes more than what it was this time last year, it looked good to achieve its target by March 31.
PM Modi indicates extension of lockdown
Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested in an all-party meeting that the government will not lift the lockdown in one go after April 14, and restrictions will continue. PM Modi reportedly said that he would consult with Chief Ministers, but lifting of the lockdown "is not possible" at the moment.
"Prime Minister Modi made it clear that lockdown is not being lifted and also that the life pre-corona and post-corona will not be same," Biju Janata Dal leader Pinaki Misra told PTI.
Another leader, who participated in the meeting but did not wish to be named, said the Prime Minister told them that he will also consult chief ministers.
Those participated in the meet included Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar.
Sources said, these leaders were briefed by secretaries of various ministries---health, home and rural development ---on the actions taken by the government to tackle COVID-19 and mitigate the hardships arising out of the lockdown.
Several opposition leaders raised the issue of shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers in the country while few also suggested that construction of the new parliament building should be avoided, a source said.
Medical staff at Mumbai hospital protest over PPE quality
Medical staff including nurses and paramedical employees at a municipal hospital staff in Mumbai staged a protest on Wednesday against the 'poor quality' of personal protection equipment (PPE) given to them. Employees of the K B Bhabha Municipal General Hospital in suburban Bandra gathered outside the hospital and staged a protest, after a woman undergoing treatment there died due to COVID-19 infection, an employee said. The hospital staffers are demanding that they be quarantined as there is a serious risk of spread of COVID-19 in the facility. Two private hospitals in Mumbai have been sealed after some medical staff members there tested coronavirus positive.
PM interacts with floor leaders of political parties on coronavirus
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday interacted with floor leaders of various parties, including opposition, in Parliament to discuss the situation arising out of the spread of coronavirus.
The interaction was held through video conferencing and those participated, included Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar.
Modi interacted with leaders of those parties whose combined strength of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha adds up to five.
This is prime minister's first interaction with floor leaders, including those from the Opposition, after the imposition of the nationwide lockdown on March 25 though he had held interactions with chief ministers of all states including those ruled by non-NDA parties.
The prime minister has been interacting with various stakeholders, including doctors, journalists and heads of Indian missions to get a feedback on ways to check the spread of coronavirus.
Govt plans 'larger force' to replace frontline workers engaged in COVID-19 management
Asserting that India faces a significantly higher threat from COVID-19, the central government has decided to create a "larger force" to replace frontline workers engaged in various works to tackle the pandemic and its exponential increase.
It has decided to provide them with necessary training through online mode.
"...As all are aware, India faces a significantly higher threat from COVID-19 pandemic. It will be pertinent to take note of the fact that India's first line of workers is already engaged in COVID relief and doing commendable job.
"However, a large force will be needed to replace the first line and to tackle the exponential or geometric increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the subsequent stages of the pandemic," according to a Personnel Ministry order.
Accordingly, to take care of the training needs of the frontline workers, the launch of the integrated government online training (iGOT) platform has been fast-forwarded, and a version of iGOT fitted to these needs has been launched, it said.
Two new COVID-19 cases in Dharavi; slum area tally rises to 9
Two more persons tested positive for coronavirus in Dharavi area on Wednesday, taking the total number of such cases in the densely-populated slum area of Mumbai to nine, a civic official said. Among the new patients are a 25-year-old man from Mukund Nagar locality and a 35-year-old man from Dhanwada chawl, he said.
The patient from Mukund Nagar was a high risk contact of a 49-year-old man, who earlier tested positive for coronavirus, and was kept at a quarantine facility, he said. "Contact tracing is underway in Dhanwada chawl (where another new case has been reported)," the official said, adding they are going to seal the area as per the protocol. Dharavi is one of the biggest slums in Asia where nearly 15 lakh people live in small shanties, making it one of the most congested areas of the metropolis.
About 400 million workers in India may sink into poverty: UN report
About 400 million people working in the informal economy in India are at risk of falling deeper into poverty due to the coronavirus crisis which is having "catastrophic consequences", and is expected to wipe out 195 million full-time jobs or 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of this year, the UN's labour body has warned.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) in its report titled 'ILO Monitor 2nd edition: COVID-19 and the world of work', describes coronavirus pandemic as "the worst global crisis since World War II".
"Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies. We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse," ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said on Tuesday.
Worldwide, two billion people work in the informal sector (mostly in emerging and developing economies) and are particularly at risk, the report said, adding that the COVID-19 crisis is already affecting tens of millions of informal workers.
"In India, Nigeria and Brazil, the number of workers in the informal economy affected by the lockdown and other containment measures is substantial," ILO said.
"In India, with a share of almost 90 per cent of people working in the informal economy, about 400 million workers in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the crisis. Current lockdown measures in India, which are at the high end of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, have impacted these workers significantly, forcing many of them to return to rural areas," it said.
The report said the disruption to the world's economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of this year – the equivalent of 195 million jobs worldwide.
Singers, cops, mayor take musical route to enforce lockdown in Goa
While the coronavirus is spreading its tentacles across the globe, music has come up as a powerful instrument for several Goans, including singers, policemen and even Panaji mayor, to create awareness about the disease and the necessity of lockdown. Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown, well-known Goan writer, composer and singer Siddhanath Buyao released online a song in Konkani, titled 'Kitem Zata Te Jav' (whatever happens, let it happen), urging people to stay at home and help fight the coronavirus. The musician, who is the son of legendary Goan singer late Ulhas Buyao, told PTI that awareness through music really works in these circumstances.
Chidambaram slams govt's approach towards poor during lockdown
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday called for providing immediate cash to the poor, while accusing the government of adopting a miserly and negligent approach towards the deprived during the lockdown.
"With unemployment at 23 per cent (CMIE) and a freeze on daily wages/incomes, the government must immediately find the resources and remonetise (give cash to) the poor," he said in a series of tweets.
"The miserly and cruelly negligent approach of the government has compounded the hardships of the poor," he charged.
He said as among the first to advocate a lockdown, he welcomed the central government consulting the states on whether the lockdown should be lifted after April 14.
The answer to that question cannot be based on personal or sectoral interests, he said.
"The answer must be determined solely by two numbers — the absolute increase in positive cases every day and the rate of increase.
"As of today, both numbers point to adopting a cautious and conservative approach," he said.
CM takes expert help for effective COVID-19 awareness campaign
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has come up with an awareness campaign with the help of creative content developers to disseminate information in an effective way about steps to be taken by people to stay protected during the coronavirus outbreak. Since the viral disease has become a pandemic, it is vital for people to stay at home, self-quarantine and practice social distancing. To convey this message in an effective manner, the chief minister, who is an alumnus of the Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts, took help of communication and designing expert Bhupal Ramnathkar in developing the awareness campaign, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said in a statement.