By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |

Updated: June 18, 2020 8:12:57 pm


India coronavirus update At the newly placed testing centre at Vasant Gaon in New Delhi on Thursday

India Coronavirus Latest Update: With India reporting 12,881 coronavirus cases and 334 casualties in last 24 hours, the total number of infections reached 3,66,946 and the death toll rose to 12,237 on Thursday. Of the total count, active cases stand at 1,60,384, while 1,94,324 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

Coronavirus India LIVE Updates

Of the 334 new deaths, 114 are in Maharashtra, 67 in Delhi, 48 in Tamil Nadu, 27 in Gujarat, 18 in Uttar Pradesh, 12 in Harynana, 11 in West Bengal, eight in Karnataka, six each in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, five in Rajasthan, three in Bihar, two each in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Telangana and Uttarakhand reported one COVID-19 fatality each.

In the last two days, India’s COVID-19 fatality rate has also risen from 2.8 to 3.3 per cent. From June 1 till 18, the country saw a surge of 1,76,411 coronavirus infection cases with Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh continuing to remain among the top ten states with highest COVID-19 tally.

India continues to remain the fourth worst-hit nation by the coronavirus pandemic after the US, Brazil and Russia. And in terms of fatalities, the country is at the eighth position.

Here are the top coronavirus news from across the country today: 

Police to strictly implement intensified lockdown curbs in Chennai

The Chennai Police will strictly implement the intensified lockdown measures starting Thursday midnight in Chennai and its adjoining areas covering three districts, a top police official said. Referring to surging COVID-19 numbers in the city and areas in neighbouring districts coming under the Greater Chennai Police limits, Commissioner A K Viswanathan said public support was key to tide over the “extraordinary situation.” The arterial Anna Salai and the busy Kamaraj Salai besides other key roads will be closed for public transport while emergency vehicles like ambulances alone will be allowed to ply, he told a press conference here.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami had on Monday declared that areas falling under Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet districts and under the city police jurisdiction, where the surge in COVID-19 cases remains unabated, will revert to stringent lockdown without several relaxations from June 19 to 30.

Two Sundays during the 12-day period shall just be short of total curfew with only milk supply and medical services exempted, he had announced. While Tamil Nadu recorded a total of 52,334 positive cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the tally of Chennai stood in excess of 37,000 .

Nagaland: 6 recover from COVID-19; active cases down to 84

Nagaland did not report any fresh coronavirus positive case on Thursday, while the recovery of six patients has brought down the number of active cases in the state to 84, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, S Pangnyu Phom, said. This is the second time since May 25, when Nagaland registered its ‘first’ COVID-19 cases, that no fresh infection was detected. The first such instance was recorded on June 1.

Delhi covid-19 testing rates reduced to Rs 2400

A day after the Union Home Ministry fixed the price for COVID-19 test at Rs 2,400 in the national capital, authorities at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) here said the new rate has been brought into effect from Thursday even as many private facilities claimed that “no order has yet been received by them”.

The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday announced that the price for COVID-19 test in Delhi has been fixed at Rs 2,400 as suggested by a high-level committee set up by the Home minister on Sunday and now tests will be done via Rapid Antigen methodology. Following Union Home minister Amit Shah’s decision to double COVID-19 tests in Delhi, 16,618 samples have been collected on June 15 and 16, compared to 4,000 to 4,500 daily tests till June 14, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday. SGRH is a dedicated COVID-19 facility in central Delhi and its laboratory is one of the over 40 labs, authorised by Delhi government to conduct the tests.

दिल्ली में करोना की टेस्टिंग -आज दो महत्वपूर्ण घटनायें हुईं

1. दिल्ली में टेस्टिंग के रेट घटाकर 2400 रुपए किए

2. आज से दिल्ली में रैपिड ऐंटिजेन टेस्टिंग शुरू हुई जिसके नतीजे 15 मिनट में आ जाते हैं

उम्मीद करता हूँ कि अब दिल्ली के लोगों को टेस्टिंग की कोई समस्या नहीं होगी

Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 18, 2020

Delhi’s Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre converted into isolation centre

Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Thursday visited Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre. “This space is being converted into COVID isolation centre. Around 10,000 beds can be set up here,” said Kejriwal.  Delhi recorded 2,414 fresh coronavirus cases, the highest single-day spike here, taking the tally in the city over the 47,000-mark, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 1,904, according to a health bulletin released on Wednesday night.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia at Radha Soami Satsang Beas centre

Ensure timely salary to workers doing covid-19 related jobs: Centre

In adherence to the Supreme Court directions, the Centre on Friday directed the state and the Union Territories to ensure that salaries of doctors and health workers doing Covid related duty are released on time. The Centre also warned that failure to comply will be treated as an offence.

Skills of migrant workers mapped for Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan: FM

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Addressing a curtain raiser Press Conference for the launch of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (GKRA) under which public works worth Rs 50,000 crore will be carried out for migrants returning home, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that the central and state governments have meticulously mapped the skill sets of the migrant workers who have returned in large numbers to the 116 districts in 6 states:

The campaign, to “empower and provide livelihood opportunities” to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens, will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video-conference, from village Telihar in the district of Khagaria in Bihar on June 20.

The government in its official statement said a total of 116 districts with more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers across six states, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign which includes 27 aspirational districts.

“These districts are estimated to cover about 2/3 of such migrant workers,” it added. “The campaign will create durable infrastructure along with boosting employment opportunities.”

The move has come at a time when lakhs of migrants have returned to villages in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and the demand for employment has gone up in rural areas. The number of households working under MGNREGA had reached a new high in May 2020.

Centre to add 500 ventilators, 650 ambulances in Delhi

Relatives and Medical Staffs perform the last rites of the Corona deceased at Delhi Nigambodh Ghat Cremation ground, on Sunday, June 14, 2020. Express photo by Abhinav Saha

The Centre plans to conduct six lakh rapid antigen COVID-19 tests in Delhi at 169 new facilities being set up in the capital where 50,000 kits have already been supplied, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Thursday. He also said the central government is going to provide 500 additional ventilators and 650 ambulances to hospitals in Delhi, which has seen a spike in number of coronavirus cases over the past few days,

“From today onwards, 169 testing centres will be operational in Delhi where rapid antigen methodology will be used. We have targeted to conduct six lakh tests. People living in containment zones and relatives of the positive cases can go for test in any of these centres,” Reddy told reporters here.

The Union Minister of State for Home said that as of now 50,000 rapid testing kits procured from South Korea have been sent to these 169 testing centres. He said Delhi currently has 431 ventilators and the central government will provide 500 more to hospitals in the city. Similarly, the central government will provide 650 ambulances to add to the 350 that the city already has, he said.

“Because of the (coronavirus) situation, people of Delhi were gripped with tension. So, the Central government took the matter seriously,” he said.

What is the state-wise data of infections and deaths so far?

Of the total 12, 237 deaths so far in India, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 5,651 fatalities followed by Delhi with 1,904 deaths, Gujarat with 1,560, Tamil Nadu with 576, West Bengal with 506, Madhya Pradesh with 482, Uttar Pradesh with 435, Rajasthan with 313 and Telangana with 192 deaths. Other states such as Haryana has reported 130 deaths, Karnataka ( 102), Andhra Pradesh (90), Punjab (78), Jammu and Kashmir (65), Bihar (44), Uttarakhand (26), Kerala (20) and Odisha (11). Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have registered 10 deaths each, while Assam and Himachal Pradesh have recorded 8 deaths each. Puducherry has reported 7 deaths, Chandigarh 6 while Meghalaya, Tripura and Ladakh have reported 1 fatality each, according to the Health Ministry.

In terms of infections, Maharashtra is at the top with 1,16,752 cases, followed by Tamil Nadu at 50,193, Delhi at?47,102, Gujarat at 25,093, Uttar Pradesh at 14,598, Rajasthan at 13,542 and West Bengal at 12,300, Madhya Pradesh with 11,244,  Haryana with 8,832, Karnataka with 7,734, Andhra with 7,071, and Bihar with 6,942. The cases are 5,675 in Telangana, 5,406 in Jammu and Kashmir, 4,605 in Assam and 4,338 in Odisha. Also, 3,497 people are infected in Punjab, 2,697 in Kerala, 2,023 in Uttarakhand, 1,895 in Jharkhand, 1,864 in Chhattisgarh, 1,135 in Tripura, 687 in Ladakh, 656 in Goa, 569 in Himachal Pradesh and 552 in Manipur.

Amit Shah reviews COVID-19 situation in Delhi-NCR

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday reviewed the coronavirus situation in Delhi and the National Capital Region, including Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad, amidst increasing number of COVID-19 cases, officials said. The movement of people between Delhi and NCR districts also figured in the meeting. The home minister reviewed the steps taken to check the spread of the virus, a central government official said. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava, senior officials of NCR districts and Ministries of Home and Health and ICMR attended the meeting. The NCR comprises districts belonging to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The most prominent among them are Gurugram, Faridabad (both in Haryana), Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) and Ghaziabad (both Uttar Pradesh), and Alwar (Rajasthan).

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PM Modi: Coal sector taken out of decades of lockdown’

Launching the auction of coal mines for commercial mining, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said the decision was a step towards unlocking resources of a nation with the world’s fourth-largest reserves. “We are not just launching the auction for commercial coal-mining today, but bringing the coal sector out of decades of lockdown,” PM said.

Stating that India needs to be the world’s biggest coal exporter, PM Modi said, “To make India self-reliant in the energy sector, a major step is being taken today. Today a historic decision has been taken that can change the face of the sector.” The Prime Minister also said the decision will open up more revenue and employment opportunities in states.

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Telangana begins reporting testing numbers, finally

After Maharashtra and Delhi were pushed into revealing hundreds of previously unreported deaths of coronavirus-positive patients, it is now the turn of Telangana to finally start reporting the number of tests it has been carrying out.

Telangana, the only state not revealing testing numbers so far, despite directions from its High Court, began doing so from Tuesday. And predictably, the numbers are among the lowest in the country. The state has tested only 45,911 samples till date. Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has tested almost six lakh samples. Much smaller states like Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Tripura, with caseloads much lower than Telangana, have carried out more tests. Even Goa has tested as many.

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SC stays all Rath Yatra activities in Odisha

The Supreme Court Thursday stayed this year’s historic Rath Yatra and related activities at Puri in Orissa due to the coronavirus outbreak. “In the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year’s Rath Yatra at Puri in Orissa can’t be allowed,” the court observed. Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow this year’s Rath Yatra, such huge gathering cannot take place during pandemic, it added.

Fitch Ratings revises India’s outlook to negative from stable

Fitch Ratings on Thursday revised India’s outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’, stating that the coronavirus pandemic has significantly weakened the country’s growth prospects for the year and exposed the challenges associated with a high public-debt burden.

The move comes after another rating agency Moody’s earlier this month downgraded India’s sovereign rating by a notch to lowest investment grade of ‘Baa2’ for the first time in 22 years. “Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook on India’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) to negative from stable and affirmed the rating at ‘BBB-‘,” the rating agency said in a statement.

SC refuses to hear plea for directing Centre to move ICJ for compensation from China

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and file a $600 billion compensation case against China, alleging that the pandemic was “deliberately created” by it. The bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna said it would not entertain the PIL which claimed there was strong evidence that coronavirus, which has “destroyed” the Indian economy and killed hundreds of it citizens, originated from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. Advocate C R Jaya Sukin, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench that the plea should be treated as a representation by the government.

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