Digest yearender for domestic stories for month of April, 2020

·8-min read

New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) Apr 1: New Delhi: In a sweeping nationwide hunt, authorities have identified more than 6,000 people who attended the Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in India, as more than 450 fresh cases of infection emerged on Wednesday.

Apr 2: New Delhi: India's premier defence research institution DRDO has developed a 'bio suit' to protect doctors and paramedics engaged in treating coronavirus-affected people from the infection.

Apr 3: New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 to display the country's 'collective resolve' to defeat coronavirus.

Apr 4: New Delhi: The number of COVID-19 deaths inched towards 100 on Saturday and the count of confirmed infections rose by a new single-day record of over 600 to cross 3,600, but the government assured there was no need to panic as the rate of spread was less than in many other countries and just 'one place' accounted for 30 per cent of detected cases.

Apr 5: New Delhi: Millions of Indians across the country switched off lights at their homes and lit candles and diyas or turned on mobile phone torches on Sunday night, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to show the nation's 'collective resolve and solidarity' in its fight against coronavirus with this symbolic gesture.

Apr 6: New Delhi: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to 111 and the number of infections climbed to 4,281 in the country on Monday registering a record jump of 704 cases in 24 hours, according to Union Health Ministry data.

Apr 7: New Delhi: The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases neared 5,200 on Tuesday amid hectic discussions for a possible extension of the 21-day lockdown beyond April 14 as several states announced plans to ramp up their testing infrastructure and put in place strong 'cluster containment' plans in areas identified as hotspots of the outbreak.

Apr 8: New Delhi: Dashing hopes of a complete exit from the ongoing lockdown in one go, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country is facing a 'social emergency' like situation as well as serious economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which showed a sharp spike in the infections, taking the nationwide tally to over 5,600 with at least 181 deaths.

Apr 9: New Delhi: The government on Thursday announced a financial package of Rs 15,000 crore to ramp up the overall healthcare infrastructure in tackling the coronavirus pandemic that has infected nearly 6,500 people and has left at least 196 dead in the country.

Apr 10: New Delhi: The nationwide tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 7,500 on Friday with more than 250 deaths as several places including Delhi and Mumbai reported further spread of the deadly virus and Punjab became the second state to extend the lockdown beyond April 14, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets chief ministers to take stock of the situation.

Apr 11: New Delhi: The nationwide lockdown to contain the deadly coronavirus looks set to be extended by two more weeks till April-end after a consensus emerged among states on Saturday for continuing the curbs amid the tally of confirmed infections crossing 8,300 with a record increase of over 1,000 cases within 24 hours.

Apr 12: New Delhi: A police officer's hand was chopped off with a sword in a brutal attack on Sunday by a group of Nihang Sikhs in Punjab on a team enforcing the 21-day coronavirus lockdown even as the Centre focused on plans to ease some restrictions during the likely extension of the unprecedented measure beyond April 14.

Apr 13: New Delhi: With a record 51 fatalities within 24 hours, the death toll due to coronavirus jumped to 324 and the number of cases in the country climbed to 9,352 on Monday, an increase of 905 since Sunday evening, according to the Union Health Ministry.

Apr 14: New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the three-week nationwide lockdown for another 19 days till May 3 to battle the coronavirus pandemic but indicated easing some curbs after April 20 in areas which are not hotspots to allow some “select necessary activities”.

Apr 15: New Delhi: Agriculture, construction, Information Technology and industrial units in the SEZs and rural areas are among some sectors where the coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions will be lifted with safeguards from April 20 in a bid to kickstart the country’s battered economy and reduce the distress caused to millions of people.

Apr 16: New Delhi: As coronavirus cases in India crossed 13,000, the Centre on Thursday defended its testing strategy in the wake of fresh criticism, saying the testing ratio is not low, adding there has been no COVID-19 infections in 325 of the736 districts.

Apr 17: Mumbai: The RBI on Friday further eased bad-loan rules, froze dividend payment by lenders and pushed banks to lend more by cutting the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points, as it unveiled a second set of measures to support the economy hit hard by a coronavirus-led slowdown.

Apr 18: New Delhi: Ringing alarm bells for the military, 26 Indian Navy personnel have tested positive for coronavirus at the strategically-located Western Naval Command in Mumbai, in the first case of a major outbreak of the deadly infection in the armed forces.

Apr 19: New Delhi: E-commerce companies have been prohibited from selling non-essential items during the lockdown, as conditional relaxations in select sectors outside the coronavirus hotspot areas to kickstart the battered economy come into effect from Monday.

Apr 20: New Delhi: Raising hopes in the battle against COVID-19, the government on Monday said infections are now doubling nationwide at a slower pace of 7.5 days and 59 districts have not reported a single case in a fortnight, while several states sought to contain the ballooning economic cost of the pandemic by easing some lockdown curbs.

Apr 21: New Delhi: Telecom operator Vodafone Idea has submitted about Rs 1,367 crore to the government towards licence fee and spectrum usage charges (SUC) payment for the March 2020 quarter.

Apr 22: New Delhi: Adopting 'zero tolerance' for attacks on health workers fighting the COVID-19 battle, the government on Wednesday proposed making such offences non-bailable with maximum punishment of seven years in jail and Rs 5 lakh fine. The nationwide tally of coronavirus positive cases reported by various states and UTs, in the meantime, crossed 21,000 with over 680 deaths.

Apr 23: New Delhi: The government on Thursday froze inflation-linked allowance for its 1.1 crore employees and pensioners, a move states are likely to replicate, helping save a combined Rs 1.2 lakh crore that could be used to combat the coronavirus crisis.

Apr 24: New Delhi: In a reprieve to public at large, the government on Friday night allowed opening of neighbourhood and stand alone shops, including those located in residential complexes within municipal areas, but at a 50 per cent strength and after taking necessary precautions.

Apr 25: New Delhi: The nationwide tally of coronavirus positive patients crossed 26,000 on Saturday with fresh cases getting detected in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and the national capital among other places, but the government said the daily growth rate has dipped to 6 per cent and some states began relaxing some lockdown conditions by allowing more shops to open.

Apr 26: New Delhi: As India recorded the highest one-day rise of 1,975 coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the country’s fight against COVID-19 was truly 'people-driven' and this was the 'only way' to overcome the pandemic with the road ahead expected to figure in his upcoming discussions with chief ministers.

Apr 27: Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India on Monday announced a Rs 50,000 crore special liquidity facility for mutual fund, days after Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund decided to close six debt schemes.

Apr 28: New Delhi: Banks have 'technically' written off a whopping Rs 68,607 crore in outstanding loans of top 50 wilful defaulters, including of firms belonging to fugitive economic offenders Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya, till September 30, 2019, according to details provided by the Reserve Bank of India to an RTI query.

Apr 29: Mumbai: Irrfan Khan, as much at home in the philosophical Hollywood’ film “The Life of Pi” as in mainstream Bollywood’s “Piku”, died on Wednesday after a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer. He was 54.

Apr 30: New Delhi: Authorities across states on Thursday began preparations to help lakhs of migrant workers and students reach their homes from different parts of the country where they are stranded for over a month due to the COVID-19 lockdown, even as the deadly virus infection spread further to take the nationwide tally of positive cases to over 34,000 and the death toll crossed 1,100. PTI MAH MAH