Coronavirus India Live Updates: India recorded over 3 lakh cases for the second straight day on Friday, clocking 3,32,730 cases in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed. With this, India’s trend of registering the world’s highest daily tally continues, pushing the country’s total infection count to 16,263,695 cases. As many as 2,263 people also died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, mounting the coronavirus death toll to 186,920.
Amid this surge, a fire at a Covid-19 hospital in Vasai on Friday claimed the lives of at least 13 patients. The fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Vijay Vallabh Hospital, which is treating Covid-19 patients. The started in the air conditioning unit of the hospital’s ICU, where as many as 17 patients were admitted at the time. The incident occurred after 3 am and within 5 minutes, the Vasai Virar Corporation fire brigade reached the spot.
In Delhi, at least 25 critically ill patients who were on high flow oxygen at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital died in the last 24 hours, sources at the hospital said. The hospital, one of the biggest private ones in the national capital, said on Thursday morning that it was running dangerously low on oxygen and had only about an hour’s supply left. Another source said, “Ventilators and Bipap have not been working effectively. We had to resort to manual ventilation in ICUs and emergency department.” There are over 700 Covid-19 patients admitted in the hospital.
Meanwhile, in the middle of an unprecedented Covid situation in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a series of meetings today, including one with chief ministers of states with high burden of coronavirus cases. As per official sources, he will review the Covid-19-related situation in an internal meeting at 9 am followed by the meeting with the CMs an hour later via video conference. At 12:30 pm, he is set to hold a meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers in the country. Earlier in the day, the PM had held a high-level meeting on oxygen supply and availability across India and called for using innovative ways to provide oxygen support to health facilities.
At least 25 critically ill patients who were on high flow oxygen at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi have died in the last 24 hours, sources at the hospital said. The hospital, one of the biggest private ones in the national capital, said on Thursday morning that it was running dangerously low on oxygen and had only about an hour’s supply left.
“All the patients were critical and on high flow oxygen support,” a source from the hospital said.
Another source said, “Ventilators and Bipap have not been working effectively. We had to resort to manual ventilation in ICUs and emergency department.” (Read Astha Saxena’s report)
Canada has said it would ban all flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to the growing wave of Covid-19 cases in that region.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the ban would start late Thursday, speaking hours after India reported a global record of more than 314,000 new infections in the previous 24-hours.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, meanwhile, apologised Thursday for a failed attempt to close playgrounds and allow police to stop and question people who were not in their homes, measures that created a backlash from police forces, health officials and the public. (Read full report)
With the addition of 5,441 coronavirus cases, the infection count in Thane district of Maharashtra has gone up to 4,36,092, an official said on Friday. These cases were reported on Thursday, he added. As 52 patients succumbed to the infection during the day, the death toll in the district rose to 7,130. The district’s Covid-19 mortality rate is 1.63 per cent, he added.
In neighboring Palghar district, the Covid-19 case count went up to 72,980, while the death toll is 1,390, another official said. (PTI)
The ruling Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) in Haryana on Thursday decided to close the party office and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s residence here to visitors for the next two weeks after some of the staff tested positive for Covid-19.
The party’s Haryana unit chief Nishan Singh said some staff of the deputy CM and employees at the JJP office had contracted the disease. He appealed to the people to follow all Covid-related guidelines to protect themselves and others from the infection, a party statement said. Singh said the general public or party workers can get in touch with district offices of the Jannayak Janta Party in case of any work of emergent nature. (PTI)
Two IAF C-17 aircraft airlifted two empty cryogenic oxygen containers and one IL-76 aircraft airlifted one empty container to Panagarh in West Bengal. (ANI)
— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2021
A Covid-19 patient outside LNJP hospital in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)
Delhi, UP, Gujarat, Haryana oxygen demand outstrips supply
With four of the states worst hit by Covid battling a critical shortfall between demand and supply of oxygen in their hospitals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told officials during a high-level meeting Thursday to ramp up production and the Union Home Ministry ordered all states to strictly abide by its distribution plan amid reports of some seizing supplies meant for others.
As the country reported a record 3,14,835 new cases — the highest single-day figure for any country since the pandemic began — and 2,104 deaths in the last 24 hours, figures obtained by The Indian Express show that Delhi, UP, Gujarat and Haryana face severe shortfalls (see chart) in the supply of oxygen.
Second wave will not affect big reform push, says Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday said the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will not affect the institutional reforms, including the disinvestment plans outlined in the Budget, although the focus right now was to take steps towards meeting the “immediate requirement of saving lives”.
Speaking at the first of a series of online, agenda-setting debates organised by The Indian Express and Financial Times, the Finance Minister said the situation in 2020 (when a nationwide lockdown was announced) and the situation now are very different. “Micro containment zones would be the way forward (now),” she said.