| New Delhi |
Updated: May 25, 2020 7:36:56 pm
Passengers being checked and screened at the Delhi International Airport as domestics flights resumed on Monday. (Express Photograph by Tashi Tobgyal)
CoronavirusIndia Updates:India is now among the top 10 worst-hit nations, with more than 1.38 lakh coronavirus cases, according to the data put out by John Hopkins University. The total number of infections in India rose to 1,38,845 on Monday. Of these 77,103 are active, while 57,720 patients have been discharged. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates
Domestic flight operations took off across India after a hiatus of two months, ending the complete blackout of the country’s airspace in the backdrop of the coronavirus lockdown. All major airlines such as IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Air Asia and others operated 30% of their regular schedules between destinations, strictly adhering to the safety protocols set by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Airports accordingly have been directed to undertake regular disinfection measures, supply of masks, gloves and sanitisers and thermal scanning.
However, thefirst day of air schedules was marred by a large number of cancellationsat major airports including Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. At least 82 flights, including arrivals and departures, were cancelled at the Delhi airport as some of the states requested the Centre to curtail services to meet their own guidelines. Many passengers were disappointed that they were not informed in advance about the cancellations.
The government devised an “intelligent testing strategy” and scaled up its preparedness to fight theCOVID-19pandemic, taking lessons from the 2009 swine flu outbreak that had “exposed glaring gaps” in the country’s diagnosis infrastructure, the ICMR said on Monday. The apex health research body said to cater to the increasing need for testing, India developed an “intelligent testing strategy to remain ahead of the virus” by significantly shoring up its diagnosis infrastructure. The country now has 610 laboratories — 432 public and 178 private which are currently testing 1.1 lakh samples daily. The testing capacity has been increased to 1.4 lakh samples per day, which is being further raised to 2 lakh, it said.
Here are the top developments today:
Lockdown extended in Himachal’s Hamirpur, Solan; curbs till June 30 in Shimla
Essential services remain open during the curfew hours as well. (Representational)
Hamirpur and Solan districts in Himachal Pradesh will continue with the coronavirus lockdown for a month after the current nationwide phase ends on May 31. In addition,section 144of the CrPC, which prohibits gathering of people, will also remain in force in Shimla district up to June 30, an official said.
The district magistrates of Hamirpur and Solan issued orders Monday extending the curfew in their areas up to June 30.
The two orders did not specifically mention the lockdown itself, but its extension is also implied. The state-wide curfew in Himachal Pradesh is meant to enforce the lockdown against coronavirus.
As in the rest of the state, the two districts allow several hours of relaxation in the curfew and the lockdown every day. Essential services remain open during the curfew hours as well. This will continue, officials said.
As domestic flights resume, 511 passengers land in Imphal
The Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal, resumed operations of domestic flight service on Monday. As many as 511 passengers in four different flights from Delhi and Guwahati landed at the Imphal Airport. The same flights departed with 176 passengers from the Airport to their respective destinations.
Earlier, the Airport Authority announced that seven flights were scheduled to land and depart from the Imphal Airport. However, three flights, which were supposed to fly to Imphal via Kolkata Airport, were cancelled. S S Raju, DGM Imphal Airport said, “We were expecting seven flights but three had to be cancelled as the Koklata Airport did not operate due to flood inflicted by the super cycloneAmphan.”
Have plans on flying more than 200 daily flights until May 31: IndiGo’s flight operations
IndiGo’s flight operations will support more than 20,000 passengers to be home by tonight.
IndiGo Airlines Monday said the company plans to fly more than 200 daily flights until May 31. In a statement, thebudgetcarrier said, “IndiGo plans on flying more than 200 daily flights until May 31, 2020. Our customers can be assured that any flight that is on sale during this period is compliant to the latest Covid-19 guidelines issued yesterday night by the different states. Our schedule also takes in to account that some stations could only be opened at a later stage due to certain constraints imposed by different airports and states. IndiGo’s flight operations will support more than 20,000 passengers to be home by tonight.
It added: “IndiGo operations ran smoothly and as of today afternoon, 85% of our flights have reached their final destination within 30minutes of scheduled arrival time. There were no major delays or any other disruptions. IndiGo is ensuring to provide courteous and hassle-free travel experience for its passengers by following additional measures including:
1. Website updated with all state requirements and SOPs for travel
2. Multiple mock drills for the staff whereas to facilitate the new guidelines for flying
Due to the change in state guidelines affected passengers were provided flexibility to either rebook on alternate flights or transfer their complete booking amount into credit shells for future bookings.”
Gurgaon DM warns of action against private facilities refusing treatment to COVID
Haryana has already banned entry into four districts bordering Delhi — Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonepat and Jhajjar — for people coming from the national capital. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)
The Gurgaon District Magistrate has today warned that action will be taken under the Epidemic Act, 1897, “without any prior notice”, against private facilities refusing to treat patients who have tested positive for coronavirus or those looking for “other critical services”. In an order to this effect issued on Monday, DM Amit Khatri has stated, “With rising cases of persons infected by the coronavirus, it is necessary to ensure optimum utilisation of available resources i.e. Private Hospitals/Nursing Homes for treatment of COVID-19 patients, so as to ensure appropriate Medical care is provided to all the COVID patients. But, in the recent past, it has come to notice that some private facilities are refusing to treat patients with symptoms of corona virus and other critical services which is a grave matter in times of such epidemic.”
In view of this, the DM has ordered, “Private Hospital/Nursing Homes in district Gurugram shall not refuse any patient approaching them for treatment of corona virus infection and other critical services. If any Private Hospital/Nursing Home refuses treatment to any such patient/patients, action will be initiated against them under the Epidemic Act, (1897) without any prior notice.”
Despite being ready, Tripura airport couldn’t operate flights
Tripura’s Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Airport didn’t have any flight operation on Monday even as air travel resumed in the rest of the country. Speaking toindianexpress.com, MBB Airport Director V K Seth said air traffic was not functional due to non functionality of Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport at Kolkata.
The Kolkata airport was damaged by cyclone Amphan two days back. It is still being repaired. “We had everything ready on our end. Frankly, we were a bit disappointed to learn that Kolkata airport wouldn’t be operating any aircraft for next 48 hours. So, we couldn’t have any aircraft movement in coming two days either,” he said.
Asked about next course of action, airport director Seth said Kolkata airport said it would operate limited number of flights even after it resumes operation after May 27. “If Kolkata operates less flights, it is likely to impact our operations. But we can’t say anything as of now. We shall wait for further information,” the official said.
Confusion and chaos prevailed on Monday as domestic passenger flight operations resumed after a hiatus of two months amid reluctance by various states to open up their airports in view of rising cases of novel coronavirus. Passengers were greeted with long queues and a large number of flights were cancelled on Monday across the country.
A mother-daughter duo arrive at Mumbai airport on Monday morning. (Express photo/Nirmal Harindran)
The resumption of air travel came with a few hiccups in the first few hours itself as several flyers took to social media to register their grievances against airlines, particularly Air India. Several people travelled long distances only to find that their flights had been cancelled. Of the approximately 380 flights that were scheduled for today in the national capital, 82 (both departures and arrivals) were already cancelled by afternoon. And more than 20 flights were also called off in Bengaluru.
Hours after Maharahstra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accused the Railways of not providing enough migrant special trains, Railway MinisterPiyush Goyallashed out at the state government for providing a list of only 46 trains on Monday despite making preparations for 125 trains.
मेरा अनुरोध है की महाराष्ट्र सरकार अभी भी अगले एक घंटे में कितनी ट्रैन, कहाँ तक और पैसेंजर लिस्टें हमें भेज दें। हम प्रतीक्षा कर रहे है और पूरी रात काम कर कल की ट्रेनों की तैयारी करेंगे। कृपया पैसेंजर लिस्टें अगले एक घंटे में भेज दें।
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal)May 24, 2020
“Where is the list for 125 trains from Maharashtra? As of 2 am, received list of only 46 trains of which five are to West Bengal and Odisha which cannot operate due to cyclone Amphan. We are notifying only 41 trains for today despite being prepared for 125!!!” – Mr Goyal tweeted.
Nagpur: Over 75% covid patients recovered, early identification helped, says civic chief
More than 75 per cent of people who got infected with novel coronavirus in Nagpur have since recovered and been discharged, and the death rate of 2 per cent is also among the best in Maharashtra and the country, Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe said on Monday. He said measures like early identification, tracing, isolation, treatment and mass institutional quarantine played an instrumental role in ensuring Vidarbha’s largest city managed to keep the outbreak in check, Mundhe added.
As on Monday, Nagpur civic limits have 406 cases, of which 313 have been discharged after recovery and eight have died of the infection. “Some 15-20 systems were employed to manage the outbreak. The recovery rate of 75 per cent and mortality rate of less than 2 per cent is among the best in the country. Our contact tracing system is very robust. Within 15-20 minutes of a person testing positive, we started contact tracing and completed it in around 3-4 hours, and the people traced were quarantined for 14 days”, he told PTI.
Last month, just before the shoot of their now-viral video, the members of the Shillong Chamber Choir were scrambling to answer phone calls, jot down orders, and push out deliveries. Five minutes later, however, twelve of them were in front of the camera, singing in pitch perfect harmony.
The video — a mash-up of hit Bollywood classic ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye’ and ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ from American musical drama The Sound of Music — is illustrative of the choir’s talent and reach: in just a few days, it raked over a million views.
But the lockdown has got the choir not just making music, as aFacebookpost on April 12 pointed out.
“This is what the Shillong Chamber Choir is doing now. They are meeting the needs of the elderly, the sick and others that can’t go out shopping in this difficult situation. Trust the Choir to be of service to humanity at its most difficult hour” wrote senior journalist Patricia Mukhim from Shillong.
COVID situation in Delhi under control, says Kejriwal as govt readies more beds across private hospitals
Delhi Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal(PTI)
The coronavirus situation in the national capital is under control and there is no reason to worry, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday. While addressing citizens via video-conferencing, theAam Aadmi Partychief said: “The situation is under control and there is no reason to worry. The cases were expected to rise with the relaxations in the lockdown. We need to worry if the recovery rate is going down and more people are succumbing to the disease.”
He added: “In Delhi, the number of active cases is equal to the number of people who have recovered. Secondly, we need to look at the health infrastructure and monitor the rise in the number of severe cases.”
Record 6,977 new COVID-19 cases in India in last 24 hours
India registered its biggest single-day spike of COVID-19 cases for the fourth consecutive day with 6,977 new infections reported in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s tally to 1,38,845. The death toll rose to 4,021, according to the Union Health Ministry. A total 154 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours till Monday 8 am.
Food distribution withsocial distancingto migrant labours at Ghazipur. (Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)
The number of active COVID-19 cases climbed to 77,103 while 57,720 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said. Of the 154 deaths reported since Sunday morning, 58 were from Maharashtra, 30 from Delhi, 29 from Gujarat, nine in Madhya Pradesh, eight from Tamil Nadu, six from Uttar Pradesh, four from Telangana, three each from Rajasthan and West Bengal, two from Bihar and one each from Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Manipur reports 2 new cases, count rises to 34
Manipur reports two new active cases of COVID-19, one each from Churachandpur and Noney district. The total number of positive cases has risen to 34 and the number of active cases stand at 30.
Swab test for covid is in progress at Sane Guruji Smarak school near Dandekar bridge organised by PMC amid lockdown due to COVID-19 spread. E(xpress photo by Arul Horizon)
Nagaland reports three cases, state no longer Covid-free
Three COVID-19 cases were reported from Nagaland on Monday morning. The three had returned to the state from Chennai. While two are symptomatic, one is asymptomatic. “Our appeal is that do not stigmatise our patients and be supportive of our health workers,” said Menukhol John, Principal secretary for Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland, adding that all three patients are stable at the moment.
Nagaland’s first case was reported a month ago, but the patient migrated to Guwahati, Assam shortly after. “These cases are not local but imported from travellers who have come back home but rest assured we have everybody on our radar and have gone in for active contact tracing,” he said.
Migrants along with their families wait outside a government school to get screened before boarding buses for their native places, during ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, in east Delhi. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)
Assam crosses 400-mark with 35 fresh cases
35 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday morning in Assam, bringing the state’s total tally to 427. These cases were reported from different districts spread across Assam: Golaghat,KokrajharKarimganj, Tinsukia, Sivasgar, Dhemaji andJorhat. In the past 24 hours, 46 cases were reported in Assam.
As of Sunday evening, when active cases were at 352, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that 271 of them were those who had returned to Assam from other states. According to him, the state has carried out about 60,000 tests till Sunday. The total number of cases in the state is 427, out of which 363 are active and four have died.
A police man outside the station On Tuesday at Howrah Station. (Express Photo Shashi Ghosh)
Days after the Karnataka government decided to ban the entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu into the state, the step has resulted in the stalling of as many as 21,607 requests by people currently located in these states to enter Karnataka. These include 10,568 requests from Maharashtra and 10,351 from Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa on May 18 ordered the state authorities to stop processing requests from people in Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu to enter into Karnataka, citing the growing number of coronavirus cases among returnees.
A motorcyclist wearing a protective mask travels past shuttered stores and businesses on a deserted street during a partial lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus at a town in the Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)
Earlier in March this year, the Karnataka government had barred the entry of people from Kerala, amid the detection of over 100 positive cases in the neighboring district of Kasargod. The matter was resolved after an elected representative from Kerala approached the courts. Following the intervention of the Supreme Court the Karnataka government allowed movement of essential services on the basis of medical clearances.