Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Cases reach 3,232 in Maharashtra's Pune district, toll touches 175; cop tests positive in Delhi's Dwarka

FP Staff

Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: With 98 new coronavirus positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 patients in Pune district of Maharashtra grew to 3,232.

Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said rapid testing found seven new coronavirus cases in state. The samples have been sent for further confirmation. Goa was declared a green zone on 1 May as all seven patients found earlier had recovered.

Two deaths and 41 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported in Telangana on Wednesday,pushing the number of cases in the state to 1,367.The number of people who succumbed to the virus rose to 34 with the fresh deaths, a government bulletin said

Rajasthan on Wednesday registered 202 new coronavirus patients, including one BSF personnel, pushing the state total to 4,328. Four persons also died due to the viral infection taking the toll in the state to 121.

Mumbai's count of coronavirus cases crosses 15,000 mark to 15,581 with 800 new patients; toll reaches 595 with 40 deaths, PTI quotes the BMC as saying.

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported the single-day highest 1,495 new COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths, 40 of them in Mumbai alone, taking the overall case count to 25,922 and the number of fatalities to 975, a Health department official said.

The finance minister's schemes announced on Wednesday will provide relief for MSMEs that need immediate succour for their survival as well as help those enterprises that need a fillip to grow.

Dharavi has reported 66 new cases taking the total number of coronavirus cases in Asia's largest slum to 1028.

Over three lakh migrants have returned to Uttar Pradesh in 268 special trains so far, the highest in the country, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Mamata Banerjee said after Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements, "People were expecting to get relief, but it is a big zero. There is nothing for the states."

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the statutory PF contribution is being reduced from 12 percent to 10 percent.

Government to infuse Rs 50,000 crores liquidity by reducing rates of TDS, for non-salaried specified payments made to residents, and rates of Tax Collection at Source for specified receipts, by 25% of the existing rates.

In order to provide more take home salary for employees and to give relief to employers in payment of PF, EPF contribution is being reduced for businesses and workers for 3 months, amounting to a liquidity support of Rs 6750 crores. This means that the previously announced benefits for eligible firms, will now continue for three more months.

Taking another step towards self-reliance, the central government today announced that global tenders will now be disallowed in government procurements for tenders up to Rs 200 crores.

"The definition of MSMEs is being changed for their advantage so that they can grow in size and get benefits. Investment limit which defined MSMEs have been revised upwards. Additional criteria being brought in is turnover size - earlier differentiation between manufacturing and service MSMEs will be categorised similarly," says Sitharaman.

"Bold reforms have been brought about for six years. It is being done now and will continue till India is atma-nirbhar," says MoS Finance Anurag Singh Thakur.

The finance minister is addressing a presser, where she is expected to give out the details of Rs 20 lakh crore economic package from the Centre. The prime minister announced the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package that will focus on making India self-reliant on Tuesday.

Twitter will allow its employees to work from home "forever", chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said in a company-wide email Tuesday.

Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday announced that all canteens of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the CRPF and the BSF will sell only indigenous products from June 1 to 50 lakh family members of about 10 lakh personnel.

In a series of tweets in Hindi, Shah said the decision has been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for opting for local products and being self-reliant.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided that all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) canteens will now sell only indigenous products. This will be applicable to all CAPF canteens across the country from 1 June, 2020. With this, 50 lakh family members of about 10 lakh CAPF personnel will use indigenous products," he said.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday took a jibe at the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package and "Self-reliant India Mission" announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as being nothing new but a repackaged version of "Make in India" initiative.

He tweeted a Hindi couplet to express his views on the subject.

The couplet roughly translates to: "He sold the old couplet/lion with a new name; He sold piles of dreams again."

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka climbed to 951 after 26 more individuals tested positive between 5 pm on Tuesday till 12 pm on Wednesday, said the state health department.

So far, the state has registered 32 fatalities while 442 COVID-19 patients have been discharged, taking the recovery rate to 46.5 percent.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that 18,54,250 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in the country till 9.00 am on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday reported 48 new COVID-19 positive cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of positive cases in the state is now 2,137.

The rupee appreciated 21 paise to 75.30 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package enthused investors. Forex traders said prime minister's economic booster aided sentiments. Besides, a positive opening in domestic equities also supported the local unit.

359 more individuals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the total confirmed cases in the National Capital to 7,998 on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 toll stood at 106 after 20 patients succumbed to the viral infection

As many as 101 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from Odisha, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 538 on Wednesday. This is the highest number of cases confirmed in a single day in the state.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce details of an economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore, aimed towards achieving the mission of a self-reliant Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at 4 pm on Wednesday at National Media Centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a self-reliant India will include everyone - a hawker/street vendor, a trader, a MSME, an honest tax paying middle class, a manufacturer etc., tweeted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

She further dubbed the COVID-19 economic package a "reform stimulus, a mindset overhaul, and a thrust in governance."

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram took a potshot at Narendra Modi after the prime minister on Tuesday announced an economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores to provide relief to the people and help the country fight the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday, the prime minister gave us a headline and a blank page. Naturally, my reaction was a blank!" said Chidambaram.

He further, "Today, we look forward to the FM filling the blank page. We will carefully count every additional rupee that the government will actually infuse into the economy."

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a press briefing later on Wednesday to provide the fine-print of the economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, CNN-News18 reported. However, official statement on the time of the press conference yet to be announced.

The focus of the package will be on labourers and small scale sectors, according to sources. The Centre wants to ensure employment, maintaining the demand and supply chain and ensure consumption of non-essential goods, added the sources.

Addressing the nation for the fifth time since the coronavirus outbreak in India, Modi Tuesday announced a massive Rs 20 lakh crore package.

Even as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase across the nation, the doubling rate has improved to 12.2 days over the last three days from 10.9 days in the past two weeks, health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.

He further highlighted the need for enhanced surveillance and contact tracing in view of migrants and expats returning home.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that there will be a fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, but with new and different rules.

His announcement came on a day when the number of confirmed cases in the country jumped to 70,756 and the toll reached 2,293.

In his address to the nation, Modi also announced a relief package of Rs.20 lakh crores, amounting to almost 10 percent of the GDP which he said will address problems of a wide range of sectors. The details of the package will be announced by the finance minister, he said

India reports 3,604 cases, 87 deaths in 24 hours

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 2,293 and the number of cases climbed to 70,756 in the country on Tuesday, registering an increase of 87 fatalities and 3,604 cases in the last 24 hours since Monday 8 am, according to the Union health ministry. The total figure of 70,756 includes foreign nationals.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 46,008, while 22,454 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.> 

"Thus, around 31.73 percent patients have recovered so far," PTI quoted a senior health ministry official as saying.

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said the fatality rate is 3.2 percent while the doubling rate had now improved to  12.2 days.  He, however, highlighted the need for enhanced surveillance and contact-tracing in view of migrants and expats returning home.

Of 87 deaths were reported since Monday morning, 36 were in Maharashtra, 20 in Gujarat, six each in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, five in West Bengal and one each in Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.

Of the 2,293 deaths, Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of fatalities at 868, followed by Gujarat (513), Madhya Pradesh (221), West Bengal (190), Rajasthan (113), Uttar Pradesh (80), Delhi (73), Tamil Nadu (53) and Andhra Pradesh (45).

According to the health ministry's website, more than 70 percent of the deaths are due to comorbidities.

According to the health ministry data update in the morning, the highest number of 23,401 confirmed cases is from Maharashtra, followed by Gujarat (8,541), Tamil Nadu (8,002), Delhi (7,233), Rajasthan (3,988), Madhya Pradesh (3,785) and Uttar Pradesh (3,573).

However, according to a PTI tally at 9.05 pm, 12 hours after the health ministry's update, the countrywide case count had touched 74,029 while the toll had climbed to 2,338. According to the news agency, 23,938 persons had been cured and discharged.

According to data released by the state health department, Maharashtra reported 1,026 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 24,427  while the death toll rose to 921.

With 53 fresh deaths, 28 of them in Mumbai alone, the number of fatalities shot up to 921, a health official told PTI. Mumbai also reported 426 new cases, pushing the total number of infections in the country's financial capital to 14,781.

In neighbouring Gujarat, 261 more people contracted the viral infection in Ahmedabad district while 21 persons died due to the disease. So far, Ahmedabad has reported 6,353 cases and 421 fatalities.

Meanwhile, confirmed cases in the National Capital shot up to 7,639, with 406 new cases recorded till Tuesday morning, Delhi also reported its highest single-day spike in fatalities as 13 people died due to the viral infection, taking the toll to 86.

New cases were also reported in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, among others. The number of cases in Tami Nadu shot up by 716 to 8,718 and eight deaths were recorded.

Kerala, which had stopped seeing fresh cases till a few days back, saw five new cases as the flow of Keralites returning home from other countries and states continued.

PM announces economic package, says lockdown 4.0 will be different

A day after interacting with chief ministers over the way forward in the battle against COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs.20 lakh crore economic package aimed at making the country self-reliant.

Calling the coronavirus outbreak "a crisis unimaginable for mankind", he said that the only way forward was turning the crisis into an opportunity and making India self-reliant.

Modi also observed that the crisis has taught everyone the importance of local manufacturing, local market and local supply chains. "All our demands during the crisis were met 'locally'. Now, it is time to be vocal about the local products and help these local products become global," he said.

"I announce a special economic package today. This will play an important role in the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan'. The announcements made by the government over COVID-19, decisions of the RBI and today's package totals to Rs 20 Lakh Crores. This is 10 percent of India's GDP." he said.

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The prime minister said that the economic package will lay emphasis on land, labour, liquidity and laws. He further said, "This package is for our cottage industries, small and medium industries, which provide livelihoods to crores of people."

The prime minister also hinted at economic reforms and said that the details of the economic package will be announced by the finance minister in the next few days. These reforms include supply chain reforms for agriculture, rational tax system, simple and clear laws, capable human resource and a strong financial system. These reforms will promote business, attract investment, and further strengthen Make in India, he said.

The prime minister also said that there would be a fourth phase of the lockdown which would have new rules,  which would be announced after incorporating suggestions given by the states.

"Scientists say that corona will be a part of our lives for a very long time. But we can't let our lives remain confined around the virus. We will wear masks and maintain social distancing but we will not let it affect us. So lockdown 4 will be in a new form with new rules," he said, adding that the details of the same will be revealed before 18 May.

Railways restarts passenger trains

Meanwhile, the Railways cautiously resumed its passenger service after over 50 days, as three trains chugged out of New Delhi and five others left for the National Capital, each carrying around 1,100 passengers who first underwent screening and followed other norms necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, under the strict vigilance of authorities.

In an unprecedented measure, the railways, which is called the lifeline of the country, had suspended passenger service from March 22 midnight due to the pandemic, leaving lakhs of people stranded as road and air services were also stopped during the the coronavirus lockdown.

Passengers at the boarding stations expressed mixed feelings of relief and apprehension, with many arriving hours before the scheduled train departures.

The Railways has issued new guidelines for travel on these special trains , asking passengers to carry their own food and linen and arrive at stations at least 90 minutes before departure for health screening in the wake of the pandemic. The railways also made it mandatory for passengers to download the Aarogya Setu App.

Shramik special trains for migrants also continued to operate, with the first Shramik special train from Mysuru division of South Western Railway with leaving for Bihar on Tuesday with 1,428 migrant workers on board. Around 2,400 migrants from Surat and Pune have been brought in two special trains to Uttarakhand, officials told PTI.

Centre to repatriate Indians under second phase of Vande Bharat Mission

Under the Union governemnt's Vande Bharat Mission, total of 6,527 Indians from the Gulf region as well as countries like the US, the UK, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Maldives, PTI quoted sources as saying.

The sources also said that the Centre plans to repatriate Indians  from 31 countries in 149 flights in the second phase of the mission, between 16 and 22 May. The government will bring back people from Canada, Oman, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, France, Tajikistan, Singapore, the US, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Qatar, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Kuwait and Italy, the said.

With inputs from agencies

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