Coronavirus LATEST Updates: As the CBSE cancelled its exams for class 10 and deferred those for class 12, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra have also postponed their state board exams for these classes due to an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases
The Rajasthan government imposed a night curfew in all cities from 6 pm to 6 am amid a surge in coronavirus cases. The curfew will come into effect from Friday and will be in place till 30 April
Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 58,952 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 35,78,160, while 278 new fatalities pushed the toll to 58,804, the state health department said.
Hitting out at the government over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was responsible for the "sufferings" of the people and he cannot "evade democratic accountability".
The government on Wednesday said it has given approval for stepping up the manufacturing capacity of remdesivir that would enhance the production to around 78 lakh vials per month.
The West Bengal government on Wednesday issued a directive to air passengers coming to the state from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Telegana to carry reports of their RT-PCR negative status conducted 72 hours before boarding the flights, a senior official told news agency PTI.
In view of the second wave of the coronavirus infection, the Rajasthan government has decided to postpone the Class 10 and 12 exams conducted by the state Board of Secondary Education, Ajmer, said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Gehlot added that students of Classes 8, 9 and 11 will be promoted without exams.
The Karnataka government on Wednesday said it has not taken any decision on cancelling the State board 10th standard exam This comes against the backdrop of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) cancelling the 10th standard and postponing the 12th standard examinations due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.
The State Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar issued a statement saying: "The Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exam will take place from 21 June."
The drug controller and health ministry have asked manufacturers to strengthen the production of remdesivir injection.
Amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases in the National Capital, COVID-19 ICU beds with ventilators are fully occupied in 69 of 94 hospitals with such facilities and only 79 beds are vacant, according to data shared on an official app on Wednesday. According to the Delhi Corona App till about 2 pm, in 75 of the 110 hospitals, all COVID-19 ICU beds without ventilators had patients.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed the decision to cancel CBSE Class 10 board exams and postpone Class 12 exams in view of surge in COVID-19 cases, saying it will provide a great relief to students and their parents.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra welcomed the government's decision to cancel the CBSE Class 10 board exams but urged the government to arrive at a decision on the Class 12 board exams.
The total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 11 crore on Wednesday, the fourth day of the 'Tika Utsav', said the Union health ministry in a press release. Cumulatively, 11,11,79,578 vaccine doses have been administered through 16,53,488 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am on Wednesday, it added.
Ten states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala, have shown a steep rise in daily new COVID-19 cases accounting for 82.04 percent of the fresh infections being reported in a day, said the Union Health Ministry
Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the situation will be reviewed on 1 June and details for Class 12 exam will be shared after that
The CBSE officials denied any change in the schedule "yet" and reiterated that the arrangements are being made to ensure social distancing by increasing exam centres by over 50 percent. The exams are scheduled to begin from 4 May.
The active caseload in the country was at its lowest at 1,35,926 on 12 February and it was at its highest at 10,17,754 on 18 September, 2020.
This is also the fourth straight day of the country seeing over 1.5 lakh fresh COVID-19 infections and the eighth straight day of over one lakh cases.
With the death of 1,027 more COVID-19 patients in the past 24 hours, the toll in the country has increased to 1,72,085 on Wednesday, said the health ministry. The fatality rate has risen to 1.24 percent.
Reeling under an unprecedented COVID-19 wave, the Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced severe, curfew-like restrictions on public movement over the next 15 days across the state, saying the "war against coronavirus has begun again," as it flagged a shortage of medical oxygen and hospital beds.
The "lockdown-like" restrictions, which exclude essential services, will come into effect from 8 pm on 14 April and remain in force till 7 am on 1 May, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in his address via social media to people of the state.
Section 144 of CrPC prohibiting assembly of five or more people at one spot will be in force during the period, Thackeray said but refrained from terming the new curbs as lockdown.
The new norms entail stricter curbs on public activities to stem the infection spread and build on the existing weekend and night curfew in the state.
Thackeray's announcement of the new curbs came on a day when Maharashtra recorded 60,212 fresh coronavirus cases and 281 fatalities.
There is a shortage of medical oxygen and beds and the demand for Remdesivir, a key COVID-19 drug, has increased in Maharashtra, he said, adding the Centre should help supply oxygen for coronavirus patients in the state by using Air Force planes.
"The war against coronavirus has begun once again," he said, adding the coronavirus pandemic has assumed a scary proportion in the state.
There is a severe strain on Maharashtra's health infrastructure due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, he added.
Seeking to minimise the adverse impact of the curbs on a large population, the chief minister announced a sort of relief package.
The state government will provide three kg wheat and two kg rice free for the next one month to every poor and needy person, Thackeray said.
He announced a ban on the movement of people for non-essential works during the restriction period.
All essential services, including medical stores hospitals, supply of medicines, among others will remain operational. The local transport will also function for those involved in essential services, he said.
Thackeray made an emotional appeal, seeking people's support for successful implementation of the curbs.
"I appeal to people to help the state. I want to know whether people are on the side of coronavirus or the state that wants to break the chain of its spread," he said.
A range of other essential services will also remain out of the purview of the new curbs.
Services such as vaccination, oxygen production, home delivery of food, operation of e-commerce firms, work at construction sites with residential facility and industrial activities, where accommodation or transportation of personnel is available, will remain unaffected, he said.
All banking and financial services, the RBI and its affiliated offices, insurance offices and pre-monsoon works will remain operational, he said.
However, there will be a complete ban on religious, social, cultural and political functions in the state till 1 May, he said.
For political rallies during elections, not more than 200 people can attend an event or 50 percent of the seating capacity of the hall, Thackeray said.
The number of participants at marriage and funeral was capped at 25 and 20, respectively.
Saloons, spas, schools, colleges, private coaching classes, beaches, clubs, swimming pools, gyms, drama theatres and cinema halls will remain close during the next 15 days, the chief minister said.
Though roadside eateries are allowed to operate, buyers can not consume food on the street and only take away will be available, said Thackeray.
He announced a package of Rs 5,476 crore for the poor whose earnings will be impacted.
He said The Shiv Bhojan service of offering a meal at Rs 5 will be offered for free during the period. The state daily feeds around two lakh people. They will now get the food for free."
"Similarly, under the Food Security Act, the registered beneficiaries will get three kg of wheat and two kg of rice for free. The period of this free food grain is for one month. There are seven crore registered beneficiaries," he said.
The 12 lakh registered construction workers will get Rs 1,500 during the period while license holding auto-rickshaw operators will get Rs 1,500. There are 12 lakh such auto-rickshaw drivers. Also, the registered hawkers will get Rs 2,500 during the same period as well, he said.
The number of registered beneficiaries under various state and central schemes such as the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar, Shravanbal and the Indira Gandhi National pension scheme in the state stood at 35 lakh, the chief minister said.
They will get Rs 2,000 for the next two months, he said.
Also, 12 lakh Adivasi families will get Rs 2000 for a month as financial assistance, Thackeray announced.