08/04/2020 9:04 AM IST | Updated 08/04/2020 11:17 PM IST

All Coronavirus Tests To Be Free, Delhi, Mumbai Make Masks Mandatory : 15 Updates From Today

A large part of the 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine bought by the US is from India, President Donald Trump said.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters
A doctor wearing a face mask speaks to a resident during a door-to-door verification of people to find out if they have developed any coronavirus disease (COVID-19) symptoms, in Nizaumuddin area of New Delhi, April 8, 2020. 

India had nearly 5,700 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 181 deaths due to the disease, according to the Press Trust of India’s tally of figures reported by various states on Wednesday 9 PM.

The Union Health Ministry’s last update of the day had put confirmed cases at 5,274, of which active cases were 4,714 and the death toll was 149. 

What You Need To Know Today:

1. Delhi Seals Hotspots, Makes Masks Mandatory

Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said twenty coronavirus hotspots in the capital - including the famous Sadar Bazar ― will be sealed and the government will ensure delivery of essential items to these areas.

The Delhi government also made the use of face masks compulsory for people stepping out of their homes.

There are a total of 576 positive cases in Delhi so far, 35 of them are in ICU and 8 on ventilator, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said today.

2. Coronavirus Tests Must Be Free In Govt And Private Labs, Says SC 

3. Modi Hints India’s Lockdown Is Likely To Be Extended

“Nobody is saying that lockdown should be lifted. I will again talk to the CMs. But as of now, the mood is that entire lockdown lifting is not possible. We are also talking at district levels. For us, lockdown is the only way to save our people,” PM Narendra Modi said in a video conference with leaders of all parties, according to Hindustan Times.  

The Centre has said a decision will be taken after a meeting with chief ministers of all states on Saturday.

4. Mumbai Makes Masks Mandatory In Public Places, Maharashtra To Start Fever Clinics

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday made it mandatory for people to wear masks in public places.

“Anybody not wearing the masks can be charged under provision of Section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and may be arrested by the police,” BMC’s notification said.

“The masks can be the regular three-layer masks or cloth masks, either available with pharmacies or home-made which can be washed and reused after disinfecting them,” it said.

Maharashtra said it was starting fever clinics so that a potential COVID-19 patient could avoid going to a regular hospital.

Patients will be categorised into three sections, those with mild, moderate and severe symptoms along with other factors like high BP and kidney ailments, Thackeray said.

5. UP Seals Hotspots In 15 Districts, Including Agra, Lucknow, Ghaziabad

Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday said all COVID-19 hotspots in 15 districts will be sealed till April 15.

“Only home delivery will be allowed. These are places where a number of cases have been found,” Director, Information Shishir told PTI. Only medical vehicles will be allowed in these areas.

Additional Chief Secretary, Information Awanish Awasthi said 15 districts, including Agra, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Shamli, Meerut, Bareilly and Bulandshahr, have reported large number of Covid-19 cases.

The state also made the use of masks in public places mandatory.

6. Doctors Are Warriors, They Need To Be Protected: SC

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that doctors and healthcare professionals are “warriors” in the fight against coronavirus and have to be protected.

This was after solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said that the government was doing its best to provide personal protective equipment to them. 

Huffpost India has had multiple reports on how healthcare workers like doctors and nurses have faced dire conditions. 

Read: In Delhi, Nurses Told To Quarantine In Shared Rooms, Bathrooms After Treating Coronavirus Patients

Docs In Govt Hospitals Say They Are ‘Grossly Unequipped’

West Bengal Doc Demands Protective Gear For Docs Fighting Coronavirus, Gets Police Harassment Instead

The Supreme Court said that a mechanism needed to be created to get suggestions from people about how to go ahead on the issues related to COVID-19, including on providing treatment, regulatory mechanism for people working from home and also on lockdown.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat was hearing through video-conferencing three petitions seeking protective kits for doctors and healthcare workers amid coronavirus pandemic. 

“They (doctors and healthcare professionals) are warriors. They have to be protected,” the bench observed, adding, “You have to think how to start production. Service sector is working from home. Their well being and mental health is also important”.

7. US Bought 29 Million Doses Of Hydroxychloroquine, A Lot Of It From India: Trump 

A large part of the 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine bought by the US is from India, US President Donald Trump said.

“I bought millions of doses... more than 29 million. I spoke to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, a lot of it comes out of India. I asked him if he would release it. He was great. He was really good,” Trump told American channel Fox News.

India manufactures 70 per cent of the world’s supply of hydroxychloroquine, according to Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) secretary-general Sudarshan Jain. The country has a production capacity of 40 tonnes of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) every month, implying 20 crore tablets of 200 mg each.  

8. Delhi Policeman Tests Positive

Delhi Police said an Assistant Sub-Inspector has tested positive for Covid-19. “He was tested last week when he complained of fever and his reports came on April 7. He has been shifted to AIIMS, his family has been asked to be on home quarantine,” police said.

9. ASHA Workers Attacked In Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh

Police said two Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers were reportedly manhandled at Kudachi in Belagavi district in Karnataka while undertaking a survey on Tuesday, The NewsMinute reported.

In rural Bengaluru, police arrested two people for allegedly abusing a doctor and four ASHA workers when they were conducting health surveillance.

10. Two Tablighi Jamaat Members Booked For Attempted Murder For Avoiding Tests

Two members of the Tablighi Jamaat were booked for attempt to murder in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar on Tuesday after they allegedly avoided getting themselves tested for coronavirus.

“Their friend had tested positive for COVID-19. Still, they deliberately hid themselves from the administration to avoid being tested despite repeated appeals and warnings, thus endangering their own lives and those around them,” DGP (Law and Order) Ashok Kumar said.

The DGP said they traced them with the help of electronic surveillance and booked them under Section 307 of the IPC.

11. Gujarat To Supply Hydroxychloroquine To The US

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said three companies from the state will export hydroxychloroquine to the United States.

In an interview to a private radio station, Rupani said his government has kept aside 1 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets to deal with any eventuality.

“Three Gujarat-based companies have already started production of that drug to be supplied to the US. To be on the safer side, we have kept aside 1 crore tablet for our own use,” the CM said.

13. China Lifts Lockdown In Wuhan

Chinese city Wuhan’s 76-day coronavirus lockdown was lifted on Wednesday.

Streets in the city of 11 million people were clogged with traffic and long lines formed at the airport, train and bus stations as thousands streamed out of the city to return to homes and jobs elsewhere.

Wuhan residents are now permitted to leave without special authorisation as long as a mandatory smartphone application powered by a mix of data-tracking and government surveillance shows they are healthy and have not been in recent contact with anyone confirmed to have the virus. Read more

14. Global Death Toll Crosses 83,000

More than 1.41 million people have been reported infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and 83,414 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 542 on Wednesday, a lower tally than the 604 the day before, but the number of new cases pushed higher to 3,836 compared with a previous 3,039.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 17,669, the Civil Protection Agency said, the highest in the world.

In the US, death toll rose by more than 1,900 on Tuesday as some 30,000 new infections were reported.

New York officials warned that a spike in the number of people dying at home suggests that the city may be undercounting how many people have died of COVID-19. Mayor Bill De Blasio told a briefing that coronavirus-related hospitalisations in the city had stabilised and that the need for ventilators was lower than projected.

15. Trump Accuses WHO Of Being China-Centric During Pandemic

US President Donald Trump said he would put a hold on America’s funding to the World Health Organization, accusing it of becoming China-centric during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see. It’s a great thing if it works. But when they call every shot wrong, that’s no good,” Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference.

“We pay for a majority or the biggest portion of their money. They actually criticised and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. They were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to — they’re very — they seem to be very China centric, Trump charged during his news conference.