Coronavirus India Updates: Maharashtra Announces More Curbs As Covid-19 Cases Spike
The Maharashtra government will impose more restrictions, including a state-wide curfew, as rising Covid-19 cases put its health infrastructure under pressure.
The state will impose Section 144—that imposes restriction on movement and gathering of people—for the next 14 days in the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in a broadcast. “Existing curbs over people’s movement will be tightened.”
The additional restrictions will be in effect from 8 p.m. on April 14 to 7 a.m. on May 1.
Thackeray said that restrictions were necessary for curbing the second wave of Covid. However, he said he would not term the new restrictions as a “lockdown”.
No one will be allowed to move in public places except for those that fall in the essential category. The state has also exhaustively defined services that fall under the ‘essential category’ including medical personnel, food shops, public services, telecom, e-commerce, cargo and banking, among others. Public transport, construction work and fuel pumps will also continue to operate.
All grocery, vegetable shops, fruit vendors, dairies, bakeries and confectionaries will be exempted from restrictions. They’ll be allowed to be function from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on working days.
Shops falling under the essential category will have to operate under specified guidelines. This will also involve getting all owners and workers at shops vaccinated at the earliest, as per the Indian government’s criteria.
“I am not happy about this but we have to increase the restrictions,” Thackeray said.
Watch the full address by Uddhav Thackeray here.
State To Provide Free Grains For Poor: Maharashtra CM
The state government will provide three kilograms of wheat and two kg rice for free for the next one month to every poor and needy person while Covid-induced restrictions are in place, Chief Minister Thackeray said.
The state will be spending Rs 5,400 crore to provide support during the restrictions.
Shortage Of Oxygen, Beds: Maharashtra CM
Maharashtra is seeing a shortage of medical oxygen, hospital beds and the demand for Remdesivir has also increased, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said.
He said despite continuously upgrading health infrastructure, the state is under pressure.
Thackeray said that he will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to provide Indian Air Force assistance for the supply of oxygen from nearby states.
Over 60,000 New Cases In Maharashtra
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today said that the state has recorded over 60,000 new Covid-19 cases.
Mumbai alone reported 7,898 new cases, Thackeray said in an address to the state. "We had managed to get control over the Covid situation by Decemeber. But now, the battle against Covid has started again."
The state is conducting 2.5 lakh tests daily, he said.
On April 4, the state administration had announced new curbs including a night curfew and a weekend lockdown. Despite the new restrictions, Maharashtra has reported over 50,000 new coronavirus infections in each of the last eight days.
India To Fast-Track Approvals For Foreign-Made Covid-19 Vaccines
Coronavirus vaccines that have been granted Emergency Use Authorisation in other countries are set to get fast track approval in India.
The Indian government has accepted recommendations of a panel that Covid-19 vaccines which have been approved by the regulators in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, or which are listed in WHO, may be granted emergency use approval in the South Asian nation, according to a statement from the health ministry.
First 100 beneficiaries of such foreign vaccines will be assessed for seven days for safety outcomes before being rolled out for further immunisation programme, the ministry added.
"There is a need for maximum number of vaccines as we are in the middle of a massive wave," Dr. Abdul Ghafur, the coordinator of the Chennai Declaration for Antibiotic Resistance Crisis and an infectious diseases consultant at Apollo Hospital, Chennai.
The new vaccine candidates will only help if they are introduced at an affordable price, with government-controlled distribution and at large volumes.Dr. Abdul Ghafur, Infectious Diseases Consultant - Apollo Hospital, Chennai
India New Cases Above 1.5 Lakh For Third Day
India reported more than 1.5 lakh Covid-19 infections for the third consecutive day, prompting the government to fast-track emergency use approvals for vaccines approved by foreign drug regulators.
Nearly 1.62 lakh people tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8:00 a.m. on April 13. That’s marginally lower than Monday’s tally of nearly 1.69 lakh.
Active cases crossed 12.6 lakh for the first time ever.
- Total number of confirmed cases: 1,36,89,453
- Active cases: 12,64,698
- Total cured/discharged/migrated: 1,22,53,697
- Total deaths: 1,71,058
- New infections in 24 hours: 1,61,736
- Recoveries in a day: 97,168
- Deaths in a single day: 879
- Total vaccination shots given: 10,85,33,085
India has administered nearly 11 crore doses of vaccines so far, with 40 lakh beneficiaries receiving the shot in the past day. The country is running a five-day Tika Utsav to speed-up inoculations among citizens above 45 years of age.