Here are the biggest updates from today:

9 pm: Here are numbers of new cases from across the states, according to ANI:

  • Haryana: 7,774 cases, 124 deaths
  • Maharashtra: 28,438 cases, 679 deaths
  • West Bengal: 19,428 cases, 140 deaths
  • Tamil Nadu: 33,059 cases, 364 deaths
  • Kerala: 31,337 cases, 97 deaths
  • Gujarat: 6,447 cases, 67 deaths
  • Madhya Pradesh: 5,412 cases, 70 deaths
  • Uttar Pradesh: 8,737 cases, 255 deaths
  • Goa: 1,358 cases, 45 deaths

8.10 pm: The Serum Institute of India says it has not exported vaccines “at the cost of people in India”. In a statement released by the company, Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla says it is responding to the “intense discussion” on the decision of the Centre and Indian manufacturers to export vaccines.

7.34 pm: “After Tuesday evening, the city will have only three days of Covishield stock left for the 18-44 age group,” Atishi adds. “We appeal to the central government to make more vaccines available for this category immediately.”

Atishi says the Delhi government might have to halt vaccinations for those between 18 and 44 from next week if more Covid vaccine doses are not sent.

7.30 pm: Delhi has received more than 60,000 doses of Covaxin for frontline workers and those aged above 45, PTI quoted MLA Atishi as saying. She adds that Covaxin shots in the Capital will last for two days, while Delhi has four days’ worth of Covishield vaccine doses left.

7.20 pm: Karnataka reports 30,309 new cases and 525 deaths in the last day, says ANI. Of the new cases, 8,676 are in Bengaluru Urban.

6.06 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announces free education for children who have lost both their parents due to coronavirus. The children will also be given a monthly pension of Rs 2,500 till they turn 25.

In a slew of other measures, Kejriwal says an ex-gratia amount of Rs 50,000 will be provided to families who have lost members to Covid-19. A monthly pension of Rs 2,500 will be given to the spouse of a deceased breadwinner of the family. In case of unamrried individuals, the pension will be given to his/her parents.

Ration card holders in the city will be given an additional 5 kilograms of ration free of cost for the month of May, apart from the 5 kilograms allocated under the Centre’s quota.

5.31 pm: Only 1.8% of India’s population has so far been affected by coronavirus, says health ministry, adding that 98% was still susceptible to the infection, reports PTI.

5.28 pm: Health ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal says 199 districts in the country have shown a decline in cases and positivity rates over the last three weeks, reports ANI.

5.20 pm: As many as 4,22,436 coronavirus patients recovered in the last 24 hours, says the health ministry. This is the highest single-day recovery count since the pandemic broke out in February 2020, reports ANI.

4.08 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announces a special development grant of Rs 10 lakhs to every village that achieves 100% vaccination target, reports ANI.

4.07 pm: Eastern Railways discontinues 10 special trains due to lack of passengers, reports ANI.

4.04 pm: Delhi reports 4,482 new cases of coronavirus, marginally lower than Monday’s count of 4,524, shows government data. The toll rises by 265 in the last 24 hours, as compared to 340 deaths on Monday. Positivity rate dips under 7%.

4 pm: Odisha government issues guidelines for lockdown in the state from 5 am on Wednesday to June 1, reports ANI.

2.04 pm: The Patna High Court pulls up various official agencies after they report different figures on Covid-19 deaths in the state, reports NDTV. Bihar Chief Secretary Tripurari Sharan and the Patna Divisional Commissioner had submitted contradictory reports on the toll. The High Court has asked the principal health secretary to submit a fresh report within two days after verifying all details.

2.01 pm: The Madhya Pradesh government extends the “corona curfew” in all its 52 districts for different durations, reports PTI. In a press releae, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Dr Rajesh Rajora says that in Bhopal, the curfew is extended till 6 am on May 24, while in Indore, it will remain in force till May 29 night.

Rajora says that curfew will remain till 6 am on May 31 in 19 districts – Ujjain, Gwalior, Shivpuri, Sagar, Morena, Neemuch, Shahdol, Umaria, Dewas, Agar-Malwa, Raisen, Bhind, Balaghat, Sheopur, Seoni, Sehore, Vidisha, Mandla and Damoh.

Bhopal, Jabalpur, Rewa, Chhindwara, Hoshangabad, Singrauli, Satna, Sidhi, Ashoknagar, Dhar, Mandsaur, Rajgarh, Tikamgarh, Panna, Khargone, Guna, Barwani, Shajapur, Niwadi, Khandwa, Chhattarpur, Jhabua, Katni, Harda and Datia will be under the curfew till May 24.

1.37 pm: In Chennai, each police station will now be divided into three sectors to enforce lockdown measures, The Hindu reports. “There will be 348 sectors which will be cordoned off with barricades on roads,” City Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal says. The residents will not be allowed to move from one sector to another without e-registration.

1.32 pm: The prime minister tells officials that they are the field commanders of the battle against the coronavirus crisis. He adds that localised containment measures and aggressive testing are key to the fight against the crisis.

1.20 pm: Modi adds that a lot of attention has to be given to rural areas in the second wave of the pandemic. Your [health workers’] experience and skills in this field are going to be very useful,” he adds. “We also have to raise awareness in village and connect the people to better treatment facilities.”

1.09 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi adds that efforts are also on to install oxygen plants at hospitals in all the districts of the country. “These plants have already started functioning in many hospitals,” Modi adds. “In the districts to which these plants are being allotted, the necessary preparations should be completed in advance so that these plants can be set up soon.”

1.05 pm: The prime minister says that continued efforts are being made to increase the supply of vaccines on large scale.

1.03 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to state and district officials across the country about managing the coronavirus crisis.

11.29 am: The Shiv Sena says Maharashtra has brought the second wave of the coronavirus under control and will also find a way out of the destruction caused by Tauktae, PTI reports.

“Crises are not new to Maharashtra and the state, which routs these crises, is not new to the world.,” the party says in its mouthpiece Saamna.

11.24 am: The fourth Oxygen Express, carrying 120 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen, arrives in Bengaluru from Jamshedpur on Tuesday.

10.12 am: For the second consecutive day, no coronavirus vaccination will be done in Pune city due to unavailability of vaccine doses, reports The Indian Express. “The Pune Municipal Corporation has not received any supply of vaccines so all the vaccination centres will remain closed on May 18,” says Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.

10.08 am: Uttarakhand minister Subodh Uniyal says that the government was investigating a private hospital in Haridwar that had allegedly withheld information about deaths of 65 coronavirus patients from the health authorities for over a fortnight in violation of the norms, reports PTI. Uniyal says legal action will be taken against those responsible for the negligence.

10.04 am: The Department of Pharmaceuticals says the government has taken swift actions to enhance the availability of an anti-viral drug remdesivir, reports NDTV. Presently, nearly 119 lakh vials of remdesivir are being produced per month, the department says.

10.01 am: Authorities in Germany’s Berlin eases curbs restricting viewers to go to sports stadiums, reports AFP. The authorities have allowed 2,000 people to attend Union Berlin’s final game of the Bundesliga season against RB Leipzig.

10 am: The Union health ministry says that CoWIN portal will be made available in Hindi and 14 regional languages by next week, reports PTI. The ministry adds that 17 more laboratories will be added to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing Consortia network to monitor the variants of the coronavirus.

9.55 am: A study by United States’ scientists have shown that Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines should be highly effective against two coronavirus variants first identified in India, reports AFP.

“What we found is that the vaccine’s antibodies are a little bit weaker against the variants, but not enough that we think it would have much of an effect on the protective ability of the vaccines,” senior author Nathaniel “Ned” Landau tells AFP.

The study, however, has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

9.53 am: The Indian Medical Association says that 270 doctors have lost their lives due to the coronavirus during the second wave, PTI reports.

9.49 am: The White House says that the United States will continue to provide assistance to India that continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.

“The President [Joe Biden] is, of course, kept abreast of the Covid pandemic – how it’s impacting different regions in the world, including our important partners in India,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “And he has been deeply engaged as we’ve made determinations about the type of relief and assistance that we can and should provide.”

9.48 am: Tamil Nadu Health Minister M Subramanian warns against inhaling steam as a precautionary measure against Covid-19 without medical advice, reports the Hindustan Times.

9.46 am: Maharashtra minister Subhash Desai says that 185 ventilators supplied under the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or PM CARES, fund to Aurangabad district were faulty and need to be replaced, reports PTI. He adds that the the ventilators procured by the state government were working well.

9.43 am: The Delhi High Court asks the Centre why it cannot fix a formula to determine the maximum retail price of oxygen concentrators which are in demand for treatment of Covid-19 as people were being charged exorbitantly, reports PTI.

The High Court says it was not asking the government to fix a price in rupee or paisa, but to fix a principle on which oxygen concentrators will be charged.

9.42 am: The Assam government suspends inter-district movement of persons and vehicles for 15 days from May 21 amid a record number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the state, reports the Hindustan Times.

9.40 am: United States President Joe Biden says that his country will share the US-approved coronavirus vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson as they become available with the rest of the world, reports ANI. “And by the end of June, when we’ll have taken delivery of enough of such vaccines to protect everyone in the United States, the United States will share at least 20 million doses of those doses – that extra supply – with other countries,” he says.

9.37 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with field officials from states and districts later on Tuesday to know about their experience in handling the coronavirus situation.

9.34 am: The Allahabad High Court says that the entire medical system in villages and small cities of Uttar Pradesh is at “god’s mercy”, reports PTI. The High Court made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation on the spread of the coronavirus and the condition of quarantine centres in the state.

9.33 am: China says that it is “supportive” of India and South Africa’s proposal for a temporary waiver of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights for coronavirus vaccines, reports PTI. The country asserts that Beijing will back all actions that are conducive to the developing countries’ fight against the pandemic.

9.23 am: Uttarakhand government extends the coronavirus curfew imposed in the state by another week, reports PTI. The government also makes it mandatory for people attending marriage functions to bring negative Covid-19 reports to the event.

9.21 am: Former President of Indian Medical Association KK Aggarwal dies of the coronavirus, reports NDTV. The Padma Shri award winner was on ventilator support at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences for the past few days, according to his family.

9.06 am: India reports 2,63,533 new coronavirus, pushing the tally in the country to 2,52,28,996 since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. With 4,329 deaths, the toll climbs to 2,78,719.

After recording more than 3 lakh cases a day for nearly a month and even crossing 4 lakh on several days in May, the number of infections has dropped below 3 lakh for the second day in a row.

There are 33,53,765 active cases and 2,15,96,512 patients have recovered so far.

8.51 am: India drops convalescent plasma therapy from the list of treatments prescribed for the management of coronavirus disease in adult patients. The revised guidelines jointly issued by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Council of Medical Research-Covid-19 National Task Force, and Union health ministry, do not mention the use of convalescent plasma therapy.

 

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