It is unlikely that the 21-day lockdown will be lifted tomorrow as India inched closer to almost 8,000 COVID-19 cases in the country. An announcement is likely when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on Tuesday morning.
According to data on the union health ministry website, India at the moment has 8,048 active cases and 324 people have died. So far, 979 people have been discharged.
So far India has had 9,352 positive coronavirus cases since January, when the first cases was detected.
Here are the updates for today:
1. Supreme Court Modifies Order On Free Testing
The top court on Monday modified its earlier order on free coronavirus testing and said “private labs can continue to charge the payment for testing of COVID-19 from persons who are able to make payment of testing fee as fixed by ICMR.”
The court had on 8 April directed that tests should be conducted for free in both state-run and approved private labs.
2. Tamil Nadu Extends Lockdown Till 30 April
Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Monday announced extension of lockdown in Tamil Nadu till 30 April and said the move was in accordance with the recommendations of medical and public health experts. — PTI
3. PM To Address Nation At 10:00 AM On Tuesday
Amid talks of the nation-wide lockdown being extended, reports suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 10:00 AM tomorrow.
It is likely that the 21-day lockdown that is supposed to end tomorrow, will be extended to 30 April
4. Ministers Back In Office
Amid the 21-day lockdown, several minister went back to office on Monday as the government looked for ways to figure out how some departments could keep working.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel were some of those who went back to office on Monday, along with other senior officials, PTI reports.
Besides the ministers, all officers of the joint-secretary level and above have been asked to be present in the ministries along with one-third of the essential staff from Monday, sources had said.
“Government has desired that all officers who are entitled to official transport facility will come to office from Monday i.e. officers of the level of SAG (joint secretary) or higher,” a source had said.
5. Man Under Observation For Coronavirus Jumps To Death In Greater Noida
A 32-year-old man who was under observation for coronavirus on Sunday jumped to death from the seventh floor of a Greater Noida private college where he was put in quarantine, officials said. His test results were awaited, said District Magistrate Suhas L Y.
The man was kept at the quarantine centre in Galgotia Engineering College in Greater Noida.
The DM said he has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the matter, to be conducted by the Additional District Magistrate (Administration).
6. 4 New Coronavirus Cases, One Death In Mumbai’s Dharavi
Reports say that one person died and four more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai’s Dharavi, taking the total number of cases to 47.
So far five people have died in Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai that is home to more than a million people.
A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official said that three new coronavirus cases were reported from Madina Nagar, Janata Cooperative Housing Society and Gulmohar chawl of Dharavi.
Besides, samples of a 60-year-old man from Nehru chawl, who died at Sion Hospital, came out positive for the viral disease, the BMC official said.
“High risk contact tracing is being done,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
7. Delhi Now Has 43 Containment Zones
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday evening that 10 more containment zones had been added in the city, taking the total number of such zones to 43.
Kerjriwal also announced a massive sanitisation drive in the COVID-19 affected and high-risk areas, classified as red and orange zones respectively.
PTI reported that according to a bulletin issued by the Delhi’s Health department, the number of coronavirus cases in the city has risen to 1,154 in while the death toll reached 24, with five fresh fatalities.
Addressing an online briefing, Kejriwal said 10 technologically-advanced machines from Japan along with 50 Delhi Jal Board sanitisation machines will be used as part of sanitisation drive under ‘Operation SHIELD’ from Monday.
The operation launched by the AAP government has been successful in Dilshad Garden in northeast Delhi which was a hotspot until now.
“No new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Dilshad Garden in the last 10 days due to Operation SHIELD,” he said.
Sealing, home quarantine, isolation and tracking, essential supply, local sanitisation and door-to-door checking are the key aspects of ‘SHIELD’ in any containment area.
8. Iran Evacuuees Go Home
In some positive news, 44 Indian evacuees from Iran, who had been quarantined in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar at an Indian Navy facility have all returned home.
They were in quarantine for 30 days.
9. Certain Industries May Be Allowed To Resume Activity
A key central department has recommended that certain identified industries and services should be allowed to resume limited activity with reasonable safeguards, as the Centre mulls easing some restrictions during the likely extended coronavirus lockdown beyond April 14.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in a series of of recommendations to the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) said these new activities in wide ranging spheres are essential in any lockdown exit plan to improve the country’s economic activity and provide liquidity in the hands of the people.
These new activities are essential to improve the economic activity and provide liquidity in the hands of the people, the DPIIT said in its letter to Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla,
“It is felt that certain more activities with reasonable safeguards should be allowed once a final decision regarding extension and nature of lockdown is taken by the central government,” the letter said, making a strong push for these activities in addition to those already allowed under various notifications of the MHA.
(With PTI inputs)