COVID-19 LIVE Updates | India Records 2.59 Lakh Fresh Cases In 24 Hrs, PM To Meet Vaccine Manufacturers; ICSE Exams Cancelled

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India on Tuesday reported 2,59,170 new COVID-19 cases and 1,761 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As many as 1,54,761 discharges were done in the last 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry. The cumulative COVID-19 tally at present in the country is at 1,53,21,089, while total recoveries stand at 1,31,08,582. The total death toll has touched 1,80,530. As of Tuesday morning, India has 20,31,977 active cases.

A day after the Centre announced vaccination for all citizens above the age of 18 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with vaccine manufacturers via video conferencing at 6 pm today. This would be his third interaction with focus groups, after doctors and pharma companies yesterday

Delhi lockdown: Rajya Sabha employees to work from home

With the imposition of a lockdown in the national capital amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, all employees of the Rajya Sabha will work from home till Friday. As per a directive, “Those working from home will be required to remain available through electronic means for the ‘smooth functioning of office during this period”. “All categories of employees of Rajya Sabha Secretariat may, subject to exigencies of work in office, work from home 20.04.2021 to 23.04.2021,” the order said.

ICSE class 10 Board examinations cancelled

In view of the coronavirus surge, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations has cancelled the ICSE Class 10 Board examinations. However, the status of ISC Board examinations for Class 12 remains the same as the previous order and the examination would be conducted at a later date. 

Night curfew extended, cinemas, bars and gyms to remain shut in Punjab

The Punjab government has announced a fresh set of curbs to control the spike in the daily COVID-19 tally and extended the night curfew timings from 8 pm to 5 am.According to the new guidelines issued on Monday, Punjab has imposed a ban on all social, political, religious and cultural gatherings and announced that all malls, shops, markets, bars, cinema halls, gyms, spas, coaching centres and sports complexes in the state will stay closed till April 30.

Delhi Metro closes entry gates of 5 metro stations to avoid crowding

Delhi Metro on Tuesday temporarily closed entry for New Delhi, Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk and MG Road stations to ensure social distancing as part of crowd control measures. Meanwhile, the exit is allowed from all the stations. Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a series of tweets. “Entry for New Delhi, Chandni Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk and MG Road has been temporarily closed to ensure social distancing as part of our crowd control measures. Exit is allowed,” tweeted DMRC.

No permission for weddings till April 30 in Indore amid COVID-19 surge

The Indore district administration has decided not to give permission for weddings till April 30 amid the unprecedented increase of COVID-19 cases. “No permission will be given for weddings as there’s a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. People are requested to postpone their weddings and stay home till April 30,” said Indore District Magistrate Manish Singh. “This will help us reduce numbers as hospitals’ capacity is full now,” he added.

Masjid in Vadodara turned into 50-bed COVID-19 facility as hospitals face crunch

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and hospitals facing acute shortage of beds for patients, a mosque in Vadodara has been converted into a 50-bed facility. According to Irfan Sheikh, Trustee of the Jahangirpura Mosque, this comes during the month of Ramadan, which is often said to be the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation. “Coronavirus cases have been rising over the last few days, leading to a dearth of oxygen and beds. Due to this shortage, we have decided to convert it into COVID-19 facility which about 50 bed.”

Also, the Allahabad High Court has ordered lockdown in five cities of Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, till April 26 due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. The lockdown has also been ordered in Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur. The lockdown will come into effect from tonight and will be in force till April 26.

In a major push to the world’s largest vaccination drive underway in India, the Centre has announced liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 strategy of COVID-19 vaccination from May 1, in which everyone above the age of 18 years will be eligible to get a vaccine.

Meanwhile Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, he was admitted to AIIMS for treatment.

#WATCH | NewsMobile Special | From Complex Mutant Strains To Vaccinations; Can India Handle The Deadly Second COVID-19 Wave?

Covishield, Covaxin manufacturers get financial assistance from govt to ramp up vaccine production

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved a total of Rs 4,567.50 crore as advance payment to Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech to ramp up vaccine production against coronavirus, sources told ANI. Finance Ministry sources told ANI on Monday that the government has approved Rs 3,000 crores of financial assistance for SII and Rs 1567.50 crores to Bharat Biotech which will be released soon to these companies. Serum Institute manufactures the Covishield vaccine, while Bharat Biotech is the manufacturer of Covaxin. Vaccine manufacturers have been seeking financial support from the government considering the investment made in Research and Development and huge capacity addition.

Global Update:
US advises its citizens to avoid travelling to India

US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had advised its citizens to avoid travelling to India amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

In a statement, the CDC said: “Because of the current situation in India even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India. If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travellers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands.” The CDC also issued travel recommendations for fully vaccinated travellers which stated: “If you are fully vaccinated, then do not have to get tested before leaving the United States, unless your destination requires it and you do not have to self-quarantine after you arrive in the United States.”

The United Kingdom has already added India to its travel “red list” on a precautionary basis after reporting 103 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India, the country’s health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday.

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