With 1,813 new cases, India's COVID-19 tally reaches 31787

New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday said that coronavirus cases surged to 31787 in the country with 1813 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

"With 1,813 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24 hours and 71 deaths, India's total count of coronavirus cases surged to 31787," the Health Ministry said.

The total cases are inclusive of 7,797 cured and discharged patients, one migrated, and 1,008 deaths. At present, there are 22,982 active COVID-19 cases in the country.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister of Health Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that of the total number of coronavirus cases only 0.33 per cent people are on ventilators.

"Only 0.33 per cent patients are on ventilators, 1.5 per cent patients are on oxygen support and 2.34 per cent patients are in ICU, which reflects the quality of care being provided across the country," said Vardhan during a video conference with Lions Club International.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday said that no one is facing the shortage of vegetables in the country amid lockdown.

Addressing a press conference here, Tomar said: "As agriculture is important, the government's focus has always been on it. In the time of crisis, the agricultural economy is more important. Even today no one is facing the shortage of vegetables."

The Union Minister said that the Department of Agriculture has transferred Rs 17,986 crore to farmers even during this crisis.

"Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) has benefited farmers immensely even during this COVID-19 as Department of Agriculture has transferred Rs 17,986 crore to farmers since March 24," Tomar said.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that the next few days are going to be very crucial for the state government's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as Odia migrants will be coming back from other coronavirus affected states.

In a video message, Patnaik said, "We have another challenge which is to take care of Odia people returning from West Bengal, as out of total 122 positive cases in the state, the number corona cases of West Bengal returnees are 50. Next few days are very crucial as more people will return from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi Rajasthan Karnataka and from neighbouring West Bengal."

"The return of Odia people from these most affected states in the country may cause the increase in positive cases in the State but if people coming from outside will register and everyone will cooperate with the Govt here, the situation in the state will continue to remain under control," he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that around 2,500 to 3,000 students from the state, who are stranded in Rajasthan's Kota due to lockdown, will board buses today evening to return home.

"Around 2,500 to 3,000 students from Rajasthan's Kota will board buses today evening. It will take three days for them to reach here," Banerjee said after a Cabinet meeting here.

Launching an attack on the West Bengal government, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday sought detailed data on the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the State so far.

"We have been requesting the government that the detailed data of the people infected with coronavirus in the State should be revealed. The West Bengal government is playing hide and seek with the common people so far as facts related to coronavirus are concerned," said Chowdhury.

He said all the hospitals and doctor have been asked not to mention the case of COVID-19 in the death certificate of any person.

"I want to present the fact that doctors in Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital have been advised that there should not be any mention of COVID-19 in the death certificate of the person, who dies due to the virus," said Chowdhury.

"This proves that the complaints and accusation we have been putting on West Bengal government are true," he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced to extend the curfew for two more weeks to check the spread of coronavirus in the State.

"Though the curfew has been extended by two more weeks, there will be relaxation from 7 am to 11 am every day. During this time, people can come out of their houses. Shops will also be allowed to open," said Chief Minister Singh in a video address to the State's people.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that he is "glad to know that all Rajya Sabha members are playing an active role in the national battle against COVID-19."

"Spoke to almost all Rajya Sabha members including newly elected members over the phone during the last few days. Glad to know that they are playing an active role in the national battle against COVID-19 and are engaged in welfare activities in their constituencies," said Naidu in a tweet.

Sources close to the Vice President said that Naidu reached out to almost all members of the Upper House, former Presidents of India and Prime Ministers, present and former Chief Justices of India, Governors and Chief Ministers of most of the States, leaders of various political parties and media persons.

"Naidu called this effort as 'Mission Connect' during the confinement enquiring about the safety of those leaders and of their kith and kin, their assessment of corona situation on the ground in respective areas and the mode of their engagement and activities since the imposition of nation-wide on March 25," sources added.

The Chairman of Rajya Sabha also reached out to Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde, former Chief Justices Deepak Mishra and Ranjan Gogoi, who is now a member of the Rajya Sabha.According to sources, some members of the Rajya Sabha enquired about the next session of Parliament to which Naidu said that it depends on the situation on the ground.

Here are some COVID related updates:

1. As many as 2,115 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Uttar Pradesh till date, according to Amit Mohan Prasad, Principal Secretary, Health.Prasad further said that the 2,115 cases include 1,602 active cases. While, 477 patients have been discharged after making complete recovery, 36 deaths have been reported due to the virus in the state so far.

2. Many health workers of the district hospital in Gautam Buddh Nagar gathered at the District Magistrate office on Wednesday to complain about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits at their workplace, where the coronavirus patients are being treated. "We have requested the higher officials to provide us with proper equipment as our work is to clean the ward of the coronavirus patients. Our requests went unheard," said Neeraj, a sanitation worker at the district hospital, while speaking to ANI.

3. In the wake of the spread of coronavirus, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said the students of Class X and Class XII should be promoted on the basis of their performance in school examination and internal assessment.

The Deputy Chief Minister was also of the view that the curriculum for major examinations must be reduced by 30 per cent for the next year for the ease of students."CBSE exams should be cancelled. The students of Class X and XII should be promoted on the basis of internal examinations and assessment," Sisodia told media persons.

4. Giving a huge relief to people stuck in various states, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday allowed movement of such people - including migrant labours, workers, students, tourists and others - and also provided the procedure for the same.MHA has included a sub-clause regarding the movement of people who are stranded due to lockdown announced last month due to coronavirus outbreak.

5. An awareness song on the coronavirus written by doctors was released by Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The song is written by Dr Ranaveyina Ramesh, secretary, Telangana ENT Doctors Association and produced by Dr Ravishankar Prajapathi and Dr Ranaveyina Chaitanya.

6. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday said a total of 16 family members of the index patient were tested again for COVID-19 and they all have tested negative."Sixteen family members of the index patient were tested again including 8 who were positive. They all have tested negative," said Sangma in a tweet.

The Chief Minister said that the remaining eight cases, which were COVID-19 positive earlier, will be tested again.

7. Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey on Wednesday said that the administration will be considering whether police personnel over 55 years of age should be asked to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

8. Individuals not wearing masks in public spaces would be charged a fine of Rs 5,000, Wayanad Superintendent of Police Ilango said on Wednesday."The police will invoke the Kerala Police Act (KPA) 118 E and a case will be registered against an individual who fails to wear a mask. As per the KPA, Rs 5000 fine will be collected from the person," he said."If the person wishes to proceed with the case in court, as per the act if found guilty the person will attract an imprisonment of 3 years jail or fine of Rs 10,000 or both, " added Ilango.

9. As a goodwill gesture, Hyderabad Police on Tuesday went beyond the call of duty and celebrated the first birthday of a toddler, who is stuck in the country due to the coronavirus lockdown, while her parents are away in Boston, USA.

The cops visited the house situated in Barkatpura area after receiving a request from the parents -- Sandeep and Harini - to greet their daughter Myra on her first birthday.

10. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Wednesday announced that the "intensified lockdown" in three cities -- Chennai, Coimbatore, and Madurai -- will be relaxed from April 30.The three cities have been under an "intensified lockdown" since April 26. (ANI)