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Coronavirus Highlights: PM Modi professes 'balanced strategy' to counter COVID-19

Coronavirus Live Updates:The Prime Minister also mentioned efforts needed to address 'jan se jag tak' - from people to world, adding that the world will change after the coronavirus crisis, as it did after the two World Wars

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | May 11, 2020 | Updated 23:38 IST
Coronavirus Highlights: PM Modi professes 'balanced strategy' to counter COVID-19
PM Narendra Modi talks to chief ministers via video link (Photo credit: PTI)

COVID-19 India Live UpdatesPrime Minister Narendra Modi is currently chairing a fresh round of consultation with chief ministers on ways to strengthen the COVID-19 containment strategy and stepping up of economic activities in a calibrated manner as the 54-day nationwide lockdown nears an end. Besides, a day before the Railways will resume operations after 54-days of lockdown for general public, the government has issued certain guidelines for ensuring all social distancing norms are followed by people. The railways has said only passengers with confirmed e-tickets will be allowed to enter the station. All passengers need to be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the trains. All passengers will be provided with hand sanitisers at entry and exit points, and all passengers will require wearing face masks. Railways will start with 15 trains initially and bookings will start at 4 pm today.

Check out all the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from across India and the world on BusinessToday.In live blog

11.36 PM: Five Air India pilots, who tested positive for coronavirus in an earlier test on Saturday, have been found COVID negative in a second test. These pilots can now be rostered for repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission.

10.04 PM: PM-CM meet: PM Modi professes 'jan se jag tak'

Interacting with CMs from across the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a "balanced strategy" to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The Prime Minister also mentioned efforts needed to address 'jan se jag tak' - from people to world, adding that the world will change after the coronavirus crisis, as it did after the two World Wars. He also emphasised on the need to prepare for upcoming monsoon as this season is known for increase in diseases.

8.41 PM: Delhi hotspots latest updates

One more containment zone in Delhi - House No. A-30, Mansarover Garden - has been de-contained today. This takes the total number of hotspots in Delhi to 81. No new containment zone happened today.

7.52 PM: Lockdown Extension in Maharashtra Latest Updates

During interaction with PM Narendra Modi via video link, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray suggested that a decision about lockdown should be taken after careful consideration, as COVID-19 cases are expected to peak in June or July. Thackeray also called for resumption of industrial activities in Green zones, while reopening local train services for workers in essential services. He also sought GST refunds for Maharashtra to be disbursed at the earliest.

7.05 PM: Lockdown extension: Don't resume train services, says Telangana CM

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to resume passenger train services. Earlier Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami presented similar demands in view of rising cases in Chennai.

6.53 PM: Punjab coronavirus updates

Punjab reported 54 new coronavirus cases in the state today, taking the total infection cases to 1,877. The state has 1,678 active cases and 31 deaths, informed Punjab Health Department.

6.43 PM: ICMR coronavirus survey

ICMR-NCDC combine is going to conduct a population-based sero survey in selected districts of country to monitor trend in prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection at district level, informed Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Under this initiative, throat and nasal swabs will be collected for RT-PCR tests. This will also help to detect the antibodies in the samples, the blood test would be done through anti-body testing ELISA kits, the Ministry added.

6.41 PM: Odisha coronavirus cases

Odisha reported 3 more coronavirus cases today, taking the total number of cases in the state to 394. This includes 306 active cases, 85 recoveries and 3 deaths, informed State Health and Family Welfare Department.

6.28 PM: Lockdown news: Punjab CM pitches for continued lockdown

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh suggetsed continued lockdown with well-crafted exit strategy that will save lives and livelihoods. During the video conferencing with PM Narendra Modi, Singh suggested that categorisation of Red, orange and green zones to the states. The Punjab CM also called for national testing strategy and sought urgent fiscal aid for states to meet at least 33 per cent committed liabilities and revenue grants for 3 months.

6.26 PM: PM Modi meeting: Tamil Nadu coronavirus latest updates

As positive cases in Chennai are showing an increasing trend, don't permit train service up to May 31 in Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami said during at PM Narendra Modi's interaction with CMs. I request you not to begin regular Air services till May 31, he added.

6.17 PM: PM Modi talks to CMs

"Slowly but surely, economic activities have begun to pick up in several parts of the country. In coming days, this process will further gather steam. We must realise that fight against COVID-19 has to be more focused now," PM Modi said during his video conference with CMs today.

6.14 PM: PM meeting with CMs

World has recognised India's success in handling the coroanvirus pandemic and Government of India appreciates the efforts made by all state governments in this regard, PM Modi said during his interaction with CMs today. Let us stay the course as we move forward together, he added.

6.09 PM: IRCTC ticket booking: India Railways releases timings of 30 trains that will run from May 12

5.43 PM: Gautam Buddha Nagar corona latest updates

Gautam Buddha Nagar has rreported 4 more coronavirus cases reported today, taking the total number of cases in the district to 222. This includes 85 active cases, 135 recoveries and 2 deaths.

5.36 PM: Karnataka COVID-19 updates

Karnataka Government has formed a Special Investment Task Force to "woo disenchanted multinational companies looking to shift their manufacturing bases away from China in the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak". Chief Secretary of the state will lead this task force.

5.33 PM: Karnataka coronavirus cases latest updates

Karantaka has reported 14 more coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the state to 862. This includes 426 recoveries and 31 deaths, said State Health Department.

5.21 PM: Gujarat coronavirius latest updates

Home delivery has been made mandatorily cashless in Ahmedabad to prevent spread of coronavirus through currency notes. It is now compulsory to accept digital mode of payments through Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and other platforms, said Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta.

5.00 PM: Train ticket bookings on IRCTC

IRCTC has said that train ticket bookings that were scheduled to start at 4 pm today will start at 6 pm.

4.50 PM: No data leak in Aarogya

Empowered Group-9 has said that the contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has been downloaded 9.8 crore times so far. The app will be available on Jio smartphones from tomorrow. The group has also said that they are ensuring security and added that no data will be leaked.

4.40 PM: IRCTC website crashes

People are rushing to the IRCTC website that has led to its crash. Railways Ministry has apologised for the crash and stated that the details of the trains that will run are being fed into the system and the booking will be up and running in a while.

4.31 PM: Recovery rate is now at 31.15%

The total number of recoveries is 20917, 44029 people are under active medical supervision. In last 24 hours, there were 4213 new cases & 1559 recoveries. Recovery rate is now at 31.15%. Total number of cases is at 67,152: Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry.

4.15 PM: PM's virtual meeting with CMs

  • Unlike earlier meeting, all CMs will speak during today's video conference.
  • Meeting likely to continue till 9.30 PM
  • A 30 min break will take place at 6 PM
  • All states may seek graded exit
  • Centre and states may not ease out night curfew restrictions
  • Centre and states to work on different strategies for red and other zones
  • Post lockdown 3.0, the country may see more easing of restrictions
  • Centre and states to work to ensure infection doesn't reach rural zones

4.13 PM: Railways' additional guidelines on resuming operations

  • Special trains to have only AC classes; fare structure shall be as applicable for regular time-tabled Rajdhani trains
  • Passengers will have to reach station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening
  • All passengers advised to download and use Aarogya Setu application
  • Passengers encouraged to carry own linen, food, drinking water; dry, ready-to-eat food, bottled water to be provided on payment
  • Advance reservation period will be max 7 days; no RAC, waiting list ticket; on board booking by ticket checking staff not permitted
  • Online cancellation permitted up to 24 hours before scheduled departure; cancellation charge to be 50 per cent of fare

4.10 PM: Home Ministry's coronavirus update: Around 4,000 Indians have been brought back by 23 flights under Vande Bharath Mission. "Over 5 lakh migrant workers have been sent to their home states by 468 special trains. A total of 101 special trains were run yesterday," says Union Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava.

4.08 PM: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel taking part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's video conference meeting with Chief Ministers over COVID-19: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister's Office

4.00 PM: The health ministry's daily briefing on the COVID19 situation in the country has also started.

3.59 PM: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also present during PM Modi's video conference with CMs.

3.50 PM: PM-CMs meet has started

During their fifth video conference in 51 days, PM and CMs will discuss issues related to the large-scale movement of migrant workers from urban to rural India and the problems their return to home states may cause in restarting the economy.

3.40 PM: PM-CMs meet begins

3:30 PM: Many of incoming migrant workers testing positive for COVID-19: Principal Health Secretary AM Prasad

Principal Health Secretary AM Prasad on Monday said that many of incoming migrant workers are testing positive for COVID-19. We have village monitoring committees in rural areas and mohalla monitoring committees in urban areas. It's necessary that we implement our community surveillance model effectively.

"Asymptomatic workers are sent to 21-day home quarantine & the symptomatic ones are sent to institutional quarantine. If a worker doesn't test positive, we keep them in quarantine for 7 days & then sent them to 14-day home quarantine," he added.

3:25 PM: Coronavirus in Rajasthan: 126 new cases, 2 deaths reported today

As many as 126 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 deaths have been reported in Rajasthan today till 1 pm, taking the total number of cases & deaths to 3940 & 110, respectively. Number of active cases stands at 1566: Rajasthan Health Department.

3:20 PM: WHO issued guidelines for workplace re-opening

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday issued guidelines for public health and social measures in the workplaces, as many countries are beginning to gradually re-open workplaces to maintain economic activity.

3:15 PM: Delhi govt to to give another Rs 5,000 to construction workers; start renewal and registration from May 15

Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai on Monday said that online registration for renewal and registration of new workers will begin from May 15. Website link will be made available on May 15 and registration shall continue till May 25. After May 25 verification process will take place, he said.

Delhi government had taken a decision to deposit Rs 5,000 into the bank accounts of the registered construction workers last month. This month also as the lockdown has been extended government has decided to again deposit Rs 5,000 to provide them help, said the minister.

3:10 PM: GCC Biotech develops Rs 500 COVID-19 testing kit

Kolkata-based GCC Biotech India claimed it has developed indigenous 'real-time' COVID19 test kit costing only Rs 500 for a single test.

"After 2 months of R&D we made this kit. It is cost effective as it contains all reagents produced by us. We've made 1 crore test kits&have 40 lakh in store. If India can do 3 lakh tests per day, we'll be able to support the govt without any problems," ANI quoted R Majumdar, MD, GCC Biotech India, as saying.

We received approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on May 1, 2020, he added.

3:00 PM:No increase in lease rent for SEZ for FY21; payment for Q1 deferred till July 31

There will be no increase in lease rent for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) units for the financial year 2020-21. Payment of lease rent of 1st quarter is to be deferred up to 31st July 2020 for all SEZ units, says Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

2:50 PM: 15 police personnel tested positive for coronavirus in Bihar

Till now, 15 police personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bihar, says Jitendra Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (headquarters).

2.40 PM: GCC Biotech India devises testing kit

"After 2 months of R&D we made this kit. It is cost effective as it contains all reagents produced by us," says R Majumdar, MD, GCC Biotech India. - ANI

2.30 PM: Bihar coronavirus cases live tracker

Till now, 15 police personnel have tested positive for coronavirus in Bihar, Additional Director General of Police (headquarters), Jitendra Kumar, has confirmed. The total cases in the state stand at 696, including six deaths.

2.21 PM: No proposal to deduct salaries of govt employees: Jitendra Singh

"Please ignore the FAKE NEWS being circulated in a section of media. There is no proposal by the Government to carry out deduction in the salary of its employees," Union minister Jitendra Singh.

2.15 PM: Delhi govt to deposit Rs 5000 in construction workers' accounts

Delhi govt has decided deposit Rs 5,000 in bank accounts of construction workers.  "Online registration from May 15 will also begin for renewal and registration of new workers. Website link will be made available on May 15 and registration shall continue till May 25," says Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai.

2.05 PM: Human rights can't be exploited, says Rahul Gandhi

"Labor laws are being amended by many states. We are fighting against corona together but this cannot be an excuse to exploit human rights," says Rahul Gandhi.

2.00 PM: New MHA guidelines on Railways passenger movement

  • Only those passengers with confirmed E-tickets shall be allowed to enter the station
  • The movement of the passengers as well as the drivers of the vehicle transporting the passenger (s) to & from the railway station shall be allowed on the basis of confirmed E-ticket
  • All passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed
  • All passengers shall be provided with hand sanitizers at entry & exit points at states and in coaches
  • All passengers shall be wearing face covers/masks at entry and during travel
  • On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to health protocols

1.50 PM: Civil Aviation Minister shares some enduring images of Mission Vande Bharat

1.45 PM: Badrinath Temple to open on May 15

Total 27 people including the Chief Priest will be allowed at the Badrinath Temple when the portals of the temple will be opened on May 15. No devotee will be allowed at that time: Anil Chanyal, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Joshimath.

1.40 PM: Tata Steel Europe to unbundle business

Tata Steel Europe, which is in discussion with the UK government for a relief package, plans to unbundle its business as separate entities for the UK and the Netherlands. The British government wants to ensure that the financial relief offered to the company's operations in their country should not be supporting its operations in Netherlands. The debt-ridden company is facing severe crisis in the region after coronavirus pandemic forced it to shut operations.

Also read: Tata Steel Europe to unbundle business to avail support from UK government

1.25 PM: Frequently asked questions on discharge policy for COVID-19 patients, as per the health ministry

What was earlier criteria for discharging COVID-19 patients?

  • The earlier criteria for discharging rt-PCR positive were (a) chest radiograph has cleared and (b) two consecutive negative test results on rt-PCR.

What is the new discharge policy for COVID-19 patients?

  • Mild cases: Patient can be discharged after 10 days of symptom on set and no fever for 3 days
  • No need for testing prior to discharge
  • Patient will be advised to follow home isolation for a further 7 days after discharge
  • Moderate cases: Patient can be discharged (a) if asymptomatic for 3 days and (b) after 10 days of symptom onset
  • No need for testing prior to discharge
  • Patient will be advised to follow home isolation for a further 7 days after discharge
  • Severe cases: Clinical recovery
  • Patient tested negative once by RT-PCR (after resolution of symptoms)

1.20 PM: Rajasthan relaxes travel guidelines

The government has allowed inter-district and intra-district travel for certain activities from 7 am to 7 pm. However, these relaxations will be given in red zones.

1.15 PM: Govt issues guideline on restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown period

In the wake of Vizag tragedy, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued detailed guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, on restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown period. State governments shall also ensure the off-site disaster management plan of the respective Major Accidental Hazard (MAH) units are up to date and preparedness to implement them is high. It is also advised that all the responsible officers of the district shall ensure the Industrial On-Site Disaster Management Plans are also in place and cover Standard Operating Procedures for safe re-starting of the industries during & after COVID 19 lock down.

1.10 PM: Unsanitary conditions at Mumbai hospital

In a video tweeted by BJP MLA Nitesh Rane, body bags seen lying next to patients in a ward in Mumbai's KEM hospital. No comment yet from KEM hospital on the body bags or unsanitary conditions of the ward.

12.55 PM:Odisha corona cases live tracker

The COVID-19 cases in Odisha rise to 391 after 14 more people, including 12 in Ganjam district, test positive; 320 active cases. 

12.50 PM: Containment zones in Kolkata: 338

There are at least 338 containment zones in the city, the Kolkata Police said on Monday. The city police has put up on its Twitter account the list of all the 338 containment zones as received from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). The list has names of all the 338 containment zones in the city starting from KMC Ward No 1 to KMC Ward No 140.

12.45 PM: 10 new cases reported in Karnataka

Ten new positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Karnataka, taking the total number of infections in the state to 858, the Health department said on Monday. "Ten new positive cases have been reported from last evening to this noon... Till date 858 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed. This includes 31 deaths and 422 discharges," the department said in its mid-day situation update. The ten new cases include- three from Davangere, two each from Bidar and Bagalkote, one each from Kalaburagi, Shiggavi in Haveri and Vijayapura. - PTI

12.38 PM: Advisory for online conference via audio calls

Advisory for public to exercise due care while joining online conference platforms through audio calls, after few consumers experienced bill shocks when they joined online conferencing platforms inadvertently dialing international numbers: TRAI

12.30 PM: Safe passage ensured for over 900 trucks carrying essential supplies, from Zoji La to Kargil in the past 21 days: Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

12.15 PM: The big climbdown of Yogi Adityanath's govt has rubbed trade unions the wrong way

Within weeks of asking factory-owners and private firms to pay workers full wages and not retrench them during Coronavirus-afflicted lockdown, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government decided to suspend all key labour laws suggesting major climb down in the face of protests from industries.

Also read: UP labour law reforms: The big climbdown

12.10 PM: Latest coronavirus update

With an addition of 4,213 new cases, the total stands at 67,152. Here is the corona virus update as of 8 am today. 

12.00 PM: Migrant exodus continues

"I am welding worker in Delhi. It was becoming difficult for us to sustain here and we were facing food and other santisation issues, due to which we decided to walk on foot to our village in Purniya, Bihar. We don't have any information regarding train services run by the government," a migrant tells ANI.

11.50 AM: 26,660 new cases, 1,737 deaths in the US

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 1,300,696 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 26,660 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 1,737 to 78,771. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on May 9, compared with its count a day earlier. The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states. - Reuters

11.47 AM: 468 Shramik Special trains operationalised so far: MHA

Subsequent to the Ministry of Home Affairs order regarding movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places by special trains,Indian Railways had decided to operate "Shramik Special" trains. As on May 11, a total of 468 "Shramik Special" trains have been operationalised from various states across the country, in which 363 trains had reached its destination and 105 trains are in transit.

11.46 AM: New Zealand to reopen malls

New Zealand businesses including malls, cinemas, cafes and gyms will be allowed to reopen from Thursday as tight restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus were further eased on Monday. The Pacific nation was locked down for more than month under "level 4" restrictions that were eased by a notch late last month. - Reuters

11.45 AM: COVID-19 vaccine in the works

Since coronavirus broke out four months ago, researchers and scientists from across the globe have been working to concoct the perfect cure. While developing a vaccine might take a few years, researchers from across the globe are optimistic that a coronavirus vaccine may be available by next year.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine: List of 5 COVID-19 treatment frontrunners

11.35 AM: Man jumps home quarantine to buy liquor in Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur district, sent to institutional quarantine after wife complains to police: Official

11.25 AM:South Eastern Railway reduces speed of all goods, special trains to 40 kmph in its Kharagpur-Bhadrak section till Monday morning owing to the movement of migrant workers along railway tracks: Official

11.15 AM: Passenger train bookings start at 4 pm

Booking for reservation in these trains will start at 4 pm on 11th May and will be available only on the IRCTC website www.irctc.co.in. Ticket booking counters at the railway stations shall remain closed and no counter tickets (including platform tickets) shall be issued. Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets will be allowed to enter the railway stations. It will be mandatory for the passengers to wear face cover and undergo screening at departure and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.

11.00 AM: Total cases in Jharkhand: 160

Total 160 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Jharkhand till date, of which 79 are active cases and 78 are recovered/discharged cases.

10.50 AM: Not all seats will be available for booking in trains

To ensure that social distancing and other norms are strictly followed, all seats will not be available for booking in the passenger trains, says Union Minister of State for Railways, Suresh Angadi, on the Indian Railways' decision to restart passenger trains from May 12. - ANI

10.44 AM: Coronavirus cases in Delhi: 7,233

As many as 310 new COVID-19 cases reported in Delhi till May 10 midnight. The total number of positive cases is now 7,233. "We have ordered all hospitals to submit death report with death summary each day," says Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain.

10.33 AM: Cities that'll be connected via train services from tomorrow

Indian Railways to restart passenger train operations with special trains from New Delhi connecting Dibrugarh, Agartala, Howrah, Patna, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Madgaon, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad & Jammu Tawi from tomorrow.

10.25 AM: MHA to States:

  • Ensure smooth movement, including inter-state, of all medical professionals, paramedic staff, sanitation personnel and ambulances etc
  • Private clinics and nursing homes be allowed to open without hindrances to facilitate fighting COVID-19 and non-COVID emergencies

10.20 AM: After trains, start road, air transport gradually: Chidambaram

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on lockdown exit: "The only way economic and commercial activity can effectively begin, is to open road, rail and air services for passengersand goods. We welcome the decision of the government to cautiously start operations of  inter state passenger trains. The same modest opening should be started with road transport and air transport."

10.17 AM: 70 COVID-19 proposals recommended for funding

To urgently develop safe and effective Biomedical solutions against SARS CoV-2, Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) had invited applications for COVID-19 Research Consortium. In addition, BIRAC has also created a provision to fund COVID-19 solutions that are ready for immediate deployment under a 'Fast Track Review Process'. Through a rolling multitiered review mechanism, 70 proposals of devices, diagnostics, vaccine candidates, therapeutics and other interventions have been recommended for receiving financial support. The shortlisted proposals includes 10 Vaccines candidates, 34 Diagnostics products or scale-up facilities, 10 Therapeutics options, 02 proposals on Drug Repurposing and 14 projects which are categorised as preventive interventions.

10.15 AM: The Ministry of Health and Family Affairs has revised conditions for ending home isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic COVID-19 patients.

10.10 AM: Vasundhara Raje on National Technology Day

Vasundhara Raje: "On the National Technology Day, we acknowledge the tremendous contributions of our scientific community in the nation's progress. From the 1998 nuclear tests to leading innovation and research during the COVID-19 pandemic -- today India has cemented its place as a global leader."

10.03 AM: Passenger train services to resume from tomorrow

  • Tickets should be booked only via IRCTC website or Mobile App.
  • Booking of tickets through 'agents' (both IRCTC and Railways) will not be allowed.
  • No provision of tatkal and premium tatkal accommodation.
  • No current booking will be allowed.
  • Few of these trains may not run daily. Schedule will be out tomorrow.

10.00 AM: Cooperate in receiving Shramik special trains: MHA to states

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla writes to Chief Secretaries of all the states to cooperate in receiving Shramik special trains and to facilitate the movement of stranded migrant workers. "...all state/UT governments should ensure migrant workers do not resort to walking on road and on railway tracks. In case they are found in such conditions, they should appropriatelt be counseled, take to nearby shelters and provided with food, water, etc, till they are facilitated to board 'Shramik' special trains or buses to their native places," says the letter.

9.50 AM: Power ministry closed for two days as staff member's relative tests positive

The Ministry of Power office to remain closed for two days as a stenographer working at the ministry has informed that his brother-in-law tested positive for coronavirus on May 1. He visited the patient on April 29 and later attended the office. He also attended the office on May 8. In view of this, the office will remain closed on May 11 and 12. All officers and staff members have been requested to take preventive measures.

9.41 AM: PM on National Technology Day

The Prime Minister pays tribute to the researchers and innovators who are attempting to find a cure for coronavirus. "Today, technology is helping many in the efforts to make the world free from COVID-19. I salute all those at the forefront of research and innovation on ways to defeat Coronavirus," says the PM.

Also read: National Technology Day: PM Modi pays tribute to coronavirus researchers, hails 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests

9.38 AM: 300 Indians land in Bengaluru from the UK

Over 300 Indians arrive in Bengaluru from London, the UK, on an Air India special flight early morning today. - ANI

9.36 AM: Today's evacuation schedule

Total seven special evacuation flights will be operated on the fifth day of the Vande Bharat Mission today. The routes are London to Delhi to Bengaluru; San Francisco to Mumbai to Hyderabad; Dhaka to Mumbai; Dubai to Kochi; Abu Dhabi to Hyderabad; Kaula Lampur to Chennai; and Bahrain to Kozhikode.

9.20 AM: India sees biggest ever spike in COVID-19 cases

The total cases in the country now stand at 67,152, including 44,029 active cases, 20,917 cured/discharged/migrated cases and 2,206 deaths.

9.13 AM: What's on agenda for PM-CMs meet?

Today's discussion is expected to revolve on steps for reviving the battered economy and scaling up efforts to bring more 'red' zones- areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases- into 'orange' or 'green' zones'. Yesterday, the Indian Railways announced that it will gradually resume passenger train services from May 12. In the second phase of the lockdown, the Centre had allowed manufacturing and industrial activities across all the zones.

Also read: PM Modi to meet CMs today at 3 PM: revival of economy, ease of restrictions on agenda

9.11 AM: Passenger train ops to start from tomorrow

The Ministry of Railways, on Sunday, announced that it will start operations of 15 passenger trains (30 return journeys) from May 12. All these trains will run from New Delhi railway station. The fares will be equivalent to the ticket fare that is charged for Rajdhani trains.

Also read: Indian Railways to start passenger services from May 12; check schedule, routes, ticket fare

9.09 AM: Total Operational (initiated independent testing) laboratories reporting to Indian Council of Medical Research

  • Government laboratories: 345
  • Private laboratories: 131
  • Real-Time RT PCR for COVID-19:391 (Govt: 277+ Private: 114)
  • TrueNat Test for COVID-19:55 (Govt: 53+ Private: 02)
  • CBNAAT Test for COVID-19:30 (Govt: 15+ Private: 15)
  • Total No. of labs: 476

9.05 AM: Pune institute develops 1st indigenous antibody detection kit

The National Institute of Virology in Pune has successfully developed the first indigenous antibody detection kit for COVID-19 that will play a critical role in surveillance for coronavirus infection, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday. The test kit has the advantage of testing 90 samples together in a single run of 2.5 hours so that healthcare professionals can proceed quickly with necessary next steps, Vardhan said. - PTI

Also read: Coronavirus: NIV Pune develops first indigenous antibody detection kit, says Harsh Vardhan

8.50 AM: Newark flight carrying Indians to land in Ahmedabad

Indian passengers arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport to board the Air India flight to Mumbai. The flight will later fly to Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Thermal screening and security checks of passengers have begun. Under Vande Bharat Mission, the government intends to bring back over 2 lakh Indians this month alone.

8.40 AM: 1,200 migrants off to Uttarakhand in special train

A special train carrying 1,200 passengers departed from Surat, Gujarat, for Kathgodam in Uttarakhand at 4 am, says Uttarakhand Chief Minister's Office. A total of 366 trains have transported nearly four lakh migrant workers since the first special train was rolled out on May 1.

8.20 AM: 225 Indians from San Francisco land in India

Union Foreign Minister S Jaishankar says the first Air India special flight from the US has brought in 225 Indians from San Francisco to Mumbai.

8.00 AM: Salute all at forefront of research, innovation to defeat coronavirus: PM

On National Technology Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India salutes all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others. "Today, technology is helping many in the efforts to make the world free from COVID-19. I salute all those at the forefront of research and innovation on ways to defeat Coronavirus. May we keep harnessing technology in order to create a healthier and better planet."

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