By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: June 17, 2020 7:36:21 pm

Relatives and Medical Staffs perform the last rites of a COVID deceased at Delhi Nigambodh Ghat Cremation ground

India Coronavirus Latest Update: The Northern Railways Wednesday said 317 of the 503 isolation coaches deployed in Delhi will be ready by tonight to host coronavirus patients, and the rest by Thursday.  As many as 503 isolation coaches are deployed at nine stations in Delhi, days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah made the announcement as part of measures to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic, officials told PTI.

Continuing with his consultations with state governments on ways to check the spread of coronavirus during ‘unlock 1.0’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday is holding interaction with chief ministers and representatives of 14 states and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. His virtual interaction on day two of his consultations with states is attended by the chief ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujara, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar among others, and assumes importance as some of these states account for a majority of the cases in the country. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not participating in the meet as her name was reportedly missing from the list of speakers.

Modi said that more than 1 crore PPE kits & equal no. of N95 masks have reached the states. ” With increase in number of corona patients,expansion of health infrastructure should be our utmost priority.This will happen when each corona patient will get proper treatment, for this we’ll have to emphasize on testing so that we can test,trace&isolate infected person,” he added.

With over 2,000 casualties reported today, the toll in India rose to 11,903, while the number of infections crossed the 3.5 lakh mark. Of the 3,54,065 infections, the number of active cases stands at 1,55,227, while 1,86,934 people have recovered. This is the sixth day in a row that the country has registered over 10,000 cases. Of the 2,003 new deaths, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 1,409 fatalities taking its COVID-19 death tally to 5,537. But all these deaths did not happen in the last two days. These numbers are actually a result of a massive data matching exercise which has revealed large numbers of deaths that have remained unreported so far. Of the 1,400 deaths reported in Maharashtra, it said, only 81 had happened on that day. The remaining were all unreported deaths from various parts of the state.

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Here is the other COVID-19 news from across India

Tamil Nadu tests over 25 K samples in a day, case count tops 2,000

In a first, Tamil Nadu tested as many as 25,463 samples in a single day while 2,174 people tested positive for the coronavirus, the highest increase in a 24-hour period, propelling the tally to over 50,000. With the addition of the fresh cases, the infection count reached 50,193.

The toll touched 576 with the death of 48 people, while 842 people were discharged from various hospitals and cumulatively, 27,624 people have recovered from the illness.

“For the first time the sample testing for COVID-19 crossed 25,000,” a health department bulletin said, adding in total, 25,463 samples were tested today. Till date, 7,73,707 samples have been tested. The active cases stood at 21,990.

Goa Congress demands sealing of state borders as COVID-19 cases rise

Goa Congress workers on Wednesday staged a protest at the state border in Canacona area of South Goa, demanding that borders be sealed in light of the rise in COVID-19 cases in the coastal state. Speaking to reporters, state Congress spokesman Janardhan Bhandari claimed that the party was worried about the rise in COVID-19 cases, as the BJP-led government had failed to screen people entering the state.

Congress workers had also staged a similar protest at Patradevi in North Goa, he said. “All state borders should be sealed and people entering Goa should be tested for coronavirus,” he said. The state government should announce a complete lockdown in view of the rising case count, Bhandari said, adding that the party also demanded adequate safety equipment and PPEs for frontline workers. “It is purely due to incompetence of the BJP government that Goa has crossed the 500-cases mark in the last fortnight,” he added. As on Tuesday, Goa had recorded 629 COVID-19 cases, of which 85 patients have recovered from the infection.

AAP’s Atishi tests positive for Covid-19, third Delhi MLA to get coronavirus

AAP MLA and national spokesperson Atishi has tested positive for COVID-19, her party colleagues said on Wednesday.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to wish her speedy recovery. “Atishi ji has played an important role in the fight against corona. I hope that she will get healthy soon and again get involved in serving the people,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

कोरोना के खिलाफ लड़ाई में आतिशी जी का महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान रहा है। मुझे उम्मीद है वो जल्द से जल्द स्वस्थ हो कर एक बार फिर लोगों की सेवा में लग जाएंगी

— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 17, 2020

According to PTI, Atishi was tested on Tuesday for COVID-19 and her report came positive today. She is presently under home quarantine, the sources told PTI. “Get well soon Atishi, recover soon from Corona,” AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj tweeted. Atishi represents Kalkaji assembly constituency.

International flights explained: How Covid-19 pandemic is changing the way we fly

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday (June 16) that the government will “commence the process of resuming international passenger flights from India” next month, if the novel coronavirus behaved in a predictable manner, and all stakeholders came on board with the plan. This process will include assessment of health safety level in various countries in addition to pitching India’s position, so other countries would accept travellers from India, he said.

But the way we fly could be altered, at least over the conceivable future. The 9/11 terror attacks in the United States brought in sweeping changes to aviation security, and consequently changed an air traveller’s experience — among the new normals that followed, for example, were the limits on carrying liquid more than 100 ml, blocking access to visitors outside the airport, and locking the cockpit for the entire duration of a flight.

Maharashtra demands COVID-19 drugs, ventilators from Centre

coronavirus, coronavirus latest news, lockdown, lockdown 5.0 guidelines, lockdown 5.0, lockdown in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, coronavirus live news, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, coronavirus latest news in india, coronavirus live update, covid 19 tracker, india covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker live, corona cases in india, corona cases in india Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally till Tuesday night was 1,13,445 and its fatality count was 5,537.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday demanded from the Centre COVID-19 treatment drugs remdesivir and tocilizumab “in large quantity and at reasonable rate”. Talking to reporters, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the state also wants the Centre to provide additional 500 ventilators for the treatment of coronavirus positive patients.

“We have been issuing remdesivir and tocilizumab drugs to treat COVID-19 patients on case-to-case basis with the help of ICMR. But now we need these medicines in large numbers and at reasonable price from the Centre for treatment of patients,” he said. “Another demand we have from the Centre is that it should supply additional 500 ventilators to hospitals and medical colleges across the state,” he said. Maharashtra’s COVID-19 tally till Tuesday night was 1,13,445 and its fatality count was 5,537.

Puducherry sees 30 new virus cases, one more death in 24 hours

Thirty fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported here during the last 24 hours, which is alarming, Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao said on Wednesday. He told PTI that the total tally of active cases now stood at 131.

The Minister said 25 of the 30 new cases were admitted to the Indira Gandhi Government Medical college hospital, three to JIPMER and two to a hospital in Karaikal. The overall number of cases in Puducherry is now 246 after the 30 fresh ones. One more elderly man died of the infection in JIPMER on Tuesday evening, taking the death toll to five in Puducherry.

UAE airlines operating charter flights for repatriation of stranded Indians

kerala lockdown, kerala expats, kerala coronavirus lockdown, kerala expats returneees Under the Vande Bharat Mission, the Centre has decided to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad. (File/ Souce: PRO/Govt of Kerala)

Major UAE airlines are operating charter flights on behalf of companies and community groups for the repatriation of Indians stranded in the Gulf country due to the travel restrictions imposed in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Several companies and community groups have chartered repatriation flights with the UAE airlines, with some of them operating the first international flights to some destinations in India, the Gulf News reported.

The special repatriation flights arranged by the Indian government under the Vande Bharat Mission are operated by Air India and Air India Express while some private airlines from India will soon be joining the mission. However, the pace of the repatriation mission, dubbed to be the largest in history, gathered more steam after the Indian government allowed private airlines in the UAE and India to operate charter flights on behalf of companies and community groups.

Bengal: Recovery rate crosses 50% for first time as cases near 12,000

The Covid-19 active case count in West Bengal dipped for the third straight day, with the discharge rate crossing 50% for the first time to settle at 50.61%, even as the toll neared 500 and the total number of cases closed in on the 12,000 mark.

According to the state health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, 415 more people tested positive, taking the total number of cases to 11,909. The toll rose to 495 with 10 deaths, four of which occurred here. Three deaths were reported from North 24 Parganas district, followed by two in Howrah, and one in South 24 Parganas.

Most of the latest infections, 170, were also detected in Kolkata, followed by 70 in North 24 Parganas, and 40 in Howrah.

‘Don’t shoot the messenger’: Supreme Court pulls up Delhi govt over harassment of doctors

coronavirus, coronavirus news, india coronavirus, coronavirus news, coronavirus india, coronavirus cases in india, india coronavirus cases, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus update, india coronavirus update, covid 19, covid 19 india, india covid 19, covid 19 tracker, india covid 19 tracker, corona cases, corona india, latest coronavirus news, coronavirus india news The development comes after the SC described the situation in the national capital as ‘deplorable and pathetic’ in the last hearing.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi government over suspension of healthcare workers for exposing facts related to the condition in hospitals while saying that doctors and nurses were “corona warriors” and needed to be protected.

The remarks were made by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah while hearing a suo motu cognisance matter related to the treatment of Covid-19 patients and dignified handling of bodies in government hospitals.

“Stop harassing doctors and registering FIRs. You can’t suppress the truth. Why did you suspend a doctor who made a video of the pathetic conditions of one of your hospitals?” the Supreme Court said and asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit in the case. The bench posted the hearing for Friday.

Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain tested again for COVID-19

Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain has tested again for COVID-19 today. His test result came negative yesterday. He was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital after he complained of high fever and difficulty in breathing on Tuesday.

Prime Minister to hold meeting with CMs today

In the second round of meetings between the prime minister and the chief ministers, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be present as well. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will skip the virtual meeting after it was found that her name was missing from the list of speakers. Instead of her, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha will attend the meeting, state secretariat sources said on Tuesday.

Yesterday, PM Modi had held a meeting with chief ministers and Lt Governors of 21 states and Union Territories. During Tuesday’s meeting, Modi told the CMs to focus on both lives and livelihood now, boost health infrastructure and emphasise testing and tracing to keep Covid-19 in check, even as they step up economic activities. Claiming that green shoots were visible two weeks after the easing of the lockdown, the PM said the economy was expected to pick up further in the coming days and urged states to work together with the Centre for it.

A screengrab from a previous meeting between the chief ministers and PM Modi

In Delhi, cops asked to maintain strict lockdown in containment zones

In an order passed today, the Delhi Police Commissioner asked the authorities to ensure strict lockdown in containment zone and keep a close watch on cremation grounds and COVID hospitals as well. The order comes amid the uptick of infections in the capital. Delhi now has 44,688 cases. In another development in the capital, ACP (operations) and his family have tested positive. Delhi DCP Alok Verma has also sought permission to be home quarantined as he had a meeting with the ACP 2 days ago.

#JUSTIN:Order issued by @CPDelhi, asking to ensure strict lockdown within the containment zone,entry/exit be completely sealed,except for essential services,drone surveillance,close watch on all COVID hospitals + cremation centres to avoid any law & order situation.@IndianExpress

— Mahender Singh (@mahendermanral) June 17, 2020

Ensure payment of salaries to healthcare staff: SC tells Centre

The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the Centre to issue directions to states for payment of salaries to doctors and healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients. Warning that non-compliance of the order would be viewed seriously, the court asked Centre to file a report on payments within a month. It also said that healthcare staff involved in fighting the infection should not be denied quarantine facilities.

During the hearing, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre, told the court that the government had already issued a circular saying that the healthcare workers must be paid. He also said that a directive to the states will be issued within 24 hrs and the Chief Secretaries of states will be responsible to ensure timely salaries. He also said that non-payment of salaries will be made criminal offence under the NDMA Act.

mumbai covid deaths, bmc covid deaths data,Maharahstra coronavirus update, Staff nurses of Jaslok hospital who tested positive for Covid-19 were brought to a quarantine facility in Fort Mumbai (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran/File)

Over 500 doctors to resign today in Karnataka; 3,000 nurses arrive in Chennai

Over 500 MBBS doctors in Karnataka — working on a contract basis for the Health and Family Welfare department — have decided to quit en masse on Wednesday, pointing out that their demands to regularise them have been left unattended.

According to the Contract Doctors’ Association of Karnataka (CDAK), doctors from across the state will submit their resignations to Health Minister B Sriramulu and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in Bengaluru. “Currently, more than 30 per cent of the posts are vacant in government hospitals. With the rise in COVID-19 patients, contract doctors are working on a par with regular doctors at Covid-designated hospitals,” a letter written to CM Yediyurappa read. These doctors have been posted at various Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state.

Meanwhile, as many as 3,000 nurses from Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Thanjavur, Coimbatore, Erode districts arrived in Chennai on Wednesday to cater to requirements in the state-run hospitals. Tamil Nadu, the second worst-hit state, has over 48,000 cases.

Two migrants wear  PPE kit for extra protection at Pune railway station (Express photograph by Arul Horizon)

For Kerala’s health officials fighting Covid, a new threat: dengue fever

Even as Kerala is engaged in a spirited fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, with the number of infections surging in recent weeks, a familiar, endemic disease that grows in leaps and bounds with the arrival of the southwest monsoon is threatening to pile pressure on severely-strained health machinery.

Dengue fever, known to strike with impunity with a high mortality rate unless detected early, is showing alarming incidence across the state, heightening fears among health officials and workers who have been forced to mobilize a huge chunk of their resources towards battling Covid in the last few months.

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