NEWS
28/04/2020 10:55 AM IST | Updated 28/04/2020 6:29 PM IST

Coronavirus Updates: Delhi, Mumbai Among 15 ‘High Case Load’ Places, Says NITI Aayog CEO

Meanwhile, ICMR has asked all states to stop using Chinese COVID-19 test kits and return the ones distributed.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
BMC doctors conducting COVID-19 test on April 17, 2020 in Mumbai.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 937 and the number of cases climbed to 29,974 in India on Tuesday, according to the Union health ministry.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 22,010, while 7,026 people have recovered, the ministry said.

What you need to know today:

1. Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad among 15 ‘high case load’ places: NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has identified 15 places including Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad as “high case load” and said India’s success in battling COVID-19 is dependent on them.

Other high case load places that are “critical” in the battle against COVID-19 include — Vadodara (Gujarat), Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Thane (Maharashtra), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Surat (Gujarat).

“These 15 districts are critical in our battle against #Covid_19 Of them 7 show particularly high case volumes. India’s success in battling COVID-19 is dependent on them. We must aggressively monitor, contain, test, treat in these districts! We must win here,” Kant said in a tweet. — PTI

2. CBDT chargesheets 3 senior IRS officers for ‘misguiding’ young taxmen, divests them of duty

The CBDT on Monday issued charge sheets against three principal commissioner-rank IRS officers for “misguiding” young taxmen and “unauthorisedly” making public a report that called for a hike in taxes to fund the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three IRS officers ― Sanjay Bahadur (principal director investigation, northeast region; 1989 batch), Shri Prakash Dubey (director DOPT, IRS Association’s joint secretary; 2001 batch) and Prashant Bhushan (principal commissioner of income tax, Delhi, and IRS Association’s general secretary; 1988 batch) ― have been given 15 days’ time to submit a written response in their defence to the charge sheets and also on whether they want to be heard in person.

These officers also have been divested of their current duties on charges of violating Rules 9 and 3(1)(xx) of the Central Civil Service Conduct Rules.

The report, prepared by about 50 young IRS officers, among others things suggested raising the highest tax slab rate to 40 per cent for income above a minimum threshold of Rs 1 crore or re-introduction of wealth tax for those with a net wealth of Rs 5 crore or more to help pay for the coronavirus economic fallout.

The income tax department on Sunday said the report did not reflect the official views of the CBDT and the finance ministry. It said an inquiry is being launched into why the report was shared with the public.

3. Delhi’s cases crosses 3,000-mark

The total number of coronavirus cases in the national capital crossed the 3,000-mark, with 190 fresh cases being reported on Monday, according to the Delhi government authorities. No fresh death was reported for second successive day on Monday.

The total number of cases have risen to 3,108, officials said, adding that 877 patients have recovered and active cases stand at 2,177.

4. Mumbai COVID-19 cases near 6,000-mark

Mumbai on Monday reported 395 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of the infected patients in the country’s financial capital to 5,589, the BMC said.

The city also reported 15 new fatalities due to the COVID-19 disease, taking the death toll so far to 219, the civic body said in a release. Of the 15 deceased, ten people had comorbidities.

The number of the people recovered from the viral infection increased by 118 to 1,015.

5. India cancels orders for Chinese COVID-19 test kits

The Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday asked the states and union territories to stop using the rapid antibody COVID-19 testing kits procured from China due to “wide variation” in their performance.

India procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese firms, Guongzhou Wondfo Biotech and Livzon Diagnostics, and they were distributed to several states reporting rising cases of the coronavirus infection.

“The ICMR has not made any payment in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), Government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee,” the health ministry said.

6. World cannot afford a lost generation of youth due to COVID19, says UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the risk of radicalisation can increase during the COVID-19 pandemic as extremist groups seek to exploit the anger and despair of the young, asserting the world cannot afford a lost generation due to the global crisis.

In a video conference Monday, Guterres told the Security Council that even before the current crisis, young people were facing enormous challenges.

Listing startling numbers, he said one of every five young people was already not in education, training or employment and one of every four is affected by violence or conflict. Every year, 12 million girls become mothers while they themselves are still children.

These frustrations and, frankly, failures to address them by those in power today, fuel declining confidence in political establishments and institutions. And when such a cycle takes hold, it is all too easy for extremist groups to exploit the anger and despair, and the risk of radicalisation climbs, he said.

The UN chief noted that we can already see such groups taking advantage of the COVID-19 lockdowns, intensifying their efforts on social media to spread hatred and to recruit young people who may be spending more time at home and online.