Coronavirus India, April 22 Highlights: India records world’s highest one-day surge in Covid cases

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Coronavirus India, April 22 Highlights: India detected 3.14 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the biggest daily increase recorded in the pandemic across the world so far. The country also counted 2,104 deaths on the same day, another record.

Reeling under a brutal second wave, India today reported over 3 lakh new cases — the biggest daily spike for any country since the start of the pandemic. With 3,14,835 new cases, the total infections stand at 1,59,30,965. 2,104 deaths pushed the toll to 1,84,657.

SC asks Centre to show ‘national plan’ on oxygen supply, vaccination method

The Supreme Court Thursday asked the Centre to put in place a national policy on issues relating to the supply of oxygen, essential drugs and method of vaccination. During the hearing, the court also said that it will examine the judicial power of the High Courts to declare lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic. A bench headed by Chief S A Bobde and also comprising of Justices L N Rao and S R Bhat issued notice to the Centre and said it would hear the matter on Friday.

Sitaram Yechury’s son dies of COVID-19 in Gurgaon hospital

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday said his son Ashish died of COVID-19 in the morning. Ashish, a journalist by profession who would have celebrated his 35th birthday on June 9, was recovering well at Gurgaon’s Medanta Hospital, people close to the family added. They described his sudden death at 5.30 am after a two-week battle with the disease as a shock. The CPI(M) Politburo issued a statement announcing the death and offering its condolences to the family.

Polling underway for the sixth phase of Bengal elections

Polling began at 7 am on Thursday for 43 seats in the sixth phase of the assembly election in West Bengal amid a surge in COVID-19 cases with the state reporting record infections. Long queues were seen outside most of the polling booths even before the voting began. West Bengal registered its highest-ever single-day spike, with 9,819 people testing positive.

Sonia Gandhi rebukes Centre’s new vaccine policy

Congress president Sonia Gandhi Thursday said the Centre has “abdicated its responsibility of providing free vaccines to people between 18 and 45” in its new vaccination policy. In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she added, “At a time when medical resources are scarce, hospital beds are unavailable and oxygen supply and availability of essential medicines are dwindling rapidly, the government shouldn’t allow a policy that reeks of insensitivity. Even with regards to 50% quota for vaccines available with the Centre, the allocation must be transparent and equitable.”

To manage crowds, Kerala stops spot registration for Covid-19 vaccines

Kerala stopped spot registration for Covid-19 vaccination amidst a dwindling stock of vaccines in the state, where a large number of people continued to jostle at vaccination centres to get the vaccine shots. Health department sources said spot registration was stopped not only due to the shortage of the vaccine but to reduce the rush at vaccination centres. From Thursday onwards, tokens would be issued to only those who have registered their names with the Co-WIN portal.

300 air passengers skip mandatory Covid-19 test, flee Silchar airport

Around 300 air passengers who landed at Assam’s Silchar airport on Wednesday skipped the mandatory Covid-19 testing and fled from the testing centre, authorities said.

“On Wednesday, 690 people landed at Silchar,” said Sumit Sattawan, ADC, Health, Cachar district, “Some were exempted since they were transit passengers travelling to other northeast states. A total of 189 took the test — out of which six tested positive.” The officer added that around 300 “went away”, skipping the test. “Regarding how they ran away and other details, we are still investigating what exactly happened,” he said, adding that the passengers concerned would be traced.

Maharashtra: Tighter curbs on movement, quarantine for inter-district travel

The Maharashtra government, meanwhile, announced fresh restrictions on office attendance, marriage ceremonies and travel. The new set of restrictions will come into effect from 8 pm on Thursday and will remain in force until 7 am on May 1. Even as it continued to shy away from the use of the word “lockdown” in official communication, the curbs, announced on Wednesday, were more stringent than any other restrictions put in place in the recent past in the state.

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