India’s COVID-19 count mounts to 85,940


New Delhi: India’s count of coronavirus cases on Saturday soared to 85,940 including 30,153 recoveries and 2,752 deaths, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. There are 53,035 active cases.

As per the official data, Maharashtra continues to account for the largest number of COVID-19 cases with a total count at 29,100. A total of 6,564 patients have been cured/discharged and 1,068 have died in the State.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday thanked US President Donald Trump over his announcement of providing ventilators to India and said that COVID-19 pandemic is being fought “collectively by all of us.”

On Friday (local time), Trump called Prime Minister Modi a ‘very good friend’ and said the US was working with India as the two countries battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per Worldometer, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the world stands at 46,54,577 with 3,09,125 deaths and 17,73,818 recoveries.

In the fourth tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced that foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.

She said that a list of weapons/platforms for a ban on import with year-wise timelines will be notified and there will be indigenisation of imported spares.

She also said that six more airports will be auctioned on the public-private partnership (PPP) basis to provide better facilities and improve customer experience. The bidding process will begin soon.

Besides, the restriction on utilisation of Indian airspace will be eased so that flying becomes more efficient. Only 60 per cent of the airspace is currently freely available, she added at a press conference.

In the field of atomic energy, she said, a research reactor will be established in the public-private partnership (PPP) model for the production of medical isotopes. This will enable the use of irradiation technology for food preservation to complement agricultural reforms and assist farmers.

The Finance Minister said that the Central government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector and will do infrastructure development of Rs 50,000 crore.

Meanwhile, the ‘central public health teams’ are assisting local authorities in conducting door-to-door surveillance as a measure to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Union Health Ministry had deployed these central public health teams to at least 20 districts reporting the maximum number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Ministry of Railways on Saturday said that 1,074 Shramik special trains have been operationalised from various States across the country till May 15 midnight.

The Ministry has added that more than 14 lakh stranded people have been transported back to their home States in the last 15 days.

In an unfortunate incident, as many as 24 migrant labourers were killed and several injured after the truck they were travelling in collided with another truck in Auraiya amid the lockdown on Saturday morning.

Here are the top COVID-19 related updates of the day:

1) Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan interacted with around 660 beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) and appealed to everyone to wear masks and encouraged the people to download the Aarogya Setu app.

2) The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Bihar climbed to 1,079 on Saturday after 46 new COVID-19 were reported, said Sanjay Kumar, Principal Secretary, Health.

3) As many as 4,140 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Uttar Pradesh till to date, said Amit Mohan Prasad, Principal Secretary, Health, on Saturday. Prasad added that a total of 95 people have died due to COVID-19 in the State so far.

4) 135 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have recovered from COVID-19 so far, as per the official information. While 42 personnel were discharged from Jodhpur, 31 were discharged from Tripura and 25 from Delhi.

5) Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran has said that the state’s tourism sector has incurred a loss of Rs 15,000 crore due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. However, he said that a rejuvenation package for tourism in the state has been prepared and will be implemented to attract tourists to the state after the COVID-19 crisis is over.

6) Delhi government has declared Cygnus Orthocare Hospital and Batra Hospital and Research Centre as COVID-19 hospitals in view of the shortage of isolation beds in private hospitals in the national capital. With an increase of 438 new cases, the COVID-19 count of the national capital has reached 9,333.

7) The AMRI Hospital said that governments of the North-Eastern states, particularly Manipur and Tripura, have asked their health workers, who are working in the hospital, to return to their native states amid COVID-19 outbreak.

8) Twenty-three new COVID-19 cases were reported in Karnataka on Saturday, taking the total number of cases to 1,079 in the state. According to the Health Department, the state has reported 36 deaths while 494 people have recovered so far.

9) Vande Bharat Mission, which started on May 7 to bring back stranded Indian nationals back home from other countries, initiated its second phase of the operation from Saturday (May 16) by sending three Air India flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It will operate 149 flights, including feeder flights, to bring back Indians from 40 countries.

10) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has directed the officials at the State Secretariat to make arrangements of thermal screening at the districts. (ANI)