Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: The Jammu and Kashmir Administration on Sunday extended till May 17 the curfew imposed across the union territory to curb the spread of coronavirus. The curfew was earlier scheduled to end on Monday. The curfew will be strict except for a few essential services, the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) said. Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday recorded 4,788 fresh coronavirus cases taking the tally of infected persons to 2,11,742 while the death toll in the union territory rose to 2,672 with a record 60 fatalities in 24 hours. Corona Curfew imposed in all 20 districts of J-K till 7 am on Monday, 10/5/21 is extended further by 7 days till 7 am on Monday, 17/5/21. The curfew will be strict except for a few essential services, DIPR-J&K said in a tweet. It also said the gathering permissible for marriages is reduced to 25 from the current 50 with effect from Sunday itself.
Earlier on April 29, the Jammu and Kashmir administration imposed curfew in 11 districts in a bid to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases, which was subsequently extended to all the 20 districts the next day. Jammu and Kashmir also witnessed a 34-hour curfew from 8 pm on April 24 till April 26. On April 8, night curfew was imposed from 10 pm to 6 am in the urban areas of eight districts, which was extended to the municipal and urban local body limits of all the 20 districts in the UT on April 20.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has extended the lockdown in the Capital till 5am on May 17, making the restrictions stricter by suspending even the metro services this time. Kejriwal said the extension is meant to ensure that the city does not let its guard down. “The positivity rate has gone down but still we can’t afford leniency. We need to extend to lockdown,” he said. “During the lockdown we utilised the time to enhance our healthcare infrastructure. The main issue in Delhi was oxygen shortage. With Centre’s help, the condition is better now,” he added.
Bangladesh has detected its first case of a highly infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India, the country’s health directorate said on Saturday, prompting the government to keep its border sealed for another two weeks. Six cases of the Indian variant had been detected in Bangladesh, Nasima Sultana, additional director general of the health directorate, said. "Two cases are confirmed to be of the Indian variant, and the others are quite close to it,” Sultana said, adding that they all recently returned from neighbouring India and were in isolation. "The Indian variant is highly contagious and people must be cautious and strictly follow health guidelines such as wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and washing hands,” she said. The variant, named B.1.617, has reached at least 17 countries, from Britain and Iran to Switzerland, sparking global concern.
The World Health Organization has described it as a “variant of interest”, suggesting it may have mutations that would make the virus more transmissible, cause more severe disease or evade vaccine immunity. South Africa’s health ministry said on Saturday it had detected the first four cases of a new coronavirus variant that emerged in India and was responsible for a surge of infections and deaths in the Asian country. Testing had also picked up 11 cases of the variant B.1.1.7 first detected in the UK, the health ministry said in a statement.
“The Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa confirmed today that two variants of concern, other than the B.1.351 already dominating in South Africa, have been detected,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. The four positive cases were detected in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, and all had a history of travel to India, which on Saturday recorded its highest ever single-day COVID-19 death toll of 4,187 fatalities. Of the 11 people infected with the UK variant, eight were found in the Western Cape, Mkhize said, adding that the B.1.1.7 strain was detected in community samples and that this suggested community transmission had already set in.
Meanwhile, West Bengal on Saturday registered its highest single-day COVID-19 deaths with 127 new fatalities, pushing the death toll to 12,203, the health department said. The coronavirus caseload increased to 9,73,718 after the state also recorded its highest one-day spike of 19,436 fresh cases, it said. North 24 Parganas district accounted for the highest number of fatalities at 39 while the city registered 34 deaths, it said. Neighbouring Hooghly district reported 9 COVID-19 deaths, South 24 Parganas (7), Howrah (6), and the rest of the fatalities were from the other districts. Out of the 127 deaths, 50 were due to comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental. As many as 3,982 fresh infections were reported from North 24 Parganas while there were 3,961 new cases in the city.