NEW DELHI: On Friday, India witnessed its highest spike in Covid-19 cases with 478 people testing positive in a day. Seemingly in an effort to keep up nation’s morale, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the people to “challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis” by lightning a diya or a flashlight for nine minutes on Sunday at 9 PM. Meanwhile, worldwide the number of confirmed cases crossed a million mark on Thursday.
Here are the latest developments:
- With 478 cases reported in the last 24 hours, the highest spike so far, India’s tally of positive coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 2,547 including 162 cured/discharged and 62 deaths, as per the latest data of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 647 positive coronavirus cases have been reported so far from across 14 States whose linkage can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster at Nizamuddin, the Centre said on Friday.
- In a video address, PM Modi said,”…On the 5th of April, on Sunday, I want 9 minutes from all you, at 9 pm, turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or in you balconies, and light candles or diyas, torches or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes” to “challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis”.
- PM Modi’s request to people to light candle or diya on April 5 evoked sharp reactions from opposition parties with the Congress dubbing it as “just a feel-good moment curated by India’s photo-op Prime Minister”. P Chidambaram said “symbolism” is important but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important.
- As many as 647 Covid-19 positive cases found in 14 states in the last two days are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Union health ministry said on Friday. Out of the 12 deaths reported in the last 24 hours some are related to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, as per health ministry.
- Fitch Ratings said India may post a GDP growth of 2 per cent in the current fiscal, the slowest since the economy was liberalised 30 years back, while the stock market suffered another day of meltdown and the rupee slumped 53 paise to slip below the 76-mark against the US dollar.
- The World Bank’s first set of aid projects, amounting to $1.9 billion, will assist 25 countries, and new operations are moving forward in over 40 nations using the fast-track process, the bank said. The largest chunk of the emergency financial assistance has gone to India – $1 billion.
- In a joint statement, the Left parties— CPIM, CPI, CPI(Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, RSP and the All India Forward Bloc—appealed the Centre to immediately increase the financial assistance to state governments facing crippling shortage of funds. They said at least 35 kg of food grains must be provided per family with or without ration cards and the promised Rs 500 to all women Jandhan account holders should also be provided soon.
- The Centre told the Delhi High Court Friday that it cannot evacuate Indians abroad due to the lockdown but was taking proactive steps for their safety and welfare. Centre said a large number of Indian students are studying abroad and the missions are in constant touch with their universities or educational institutions for rendering assistance to them.
- The officials and staff of the Supreme Court have donated more than Rs 1 crore to the PM-CARES fund. The contribution of the employees, which was voluntary, will be deducted from the salary of March.
- Railways has produced more than 2.8 lakh masks and over 25,000 litres of sanitiser in its production units till April 1, the national transporter said on Friday. The railways has also manufactured essential medical equipment and aims to convert around 20,000 coaches into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients.
- An ICMR official separately said 182 labs across the country are functional now for COVID-19 diagnosis, out of which 130 are government labs. Around 8,000 samples were tested for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, he added. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in an advisory, has also recommended the use of a rapid antibody test in the country’s coronavirus hotspots.
- Civil Line police station in charge Rajkumar Mishra in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, was removed from field duty on Friday for allegedly hitting a temple priest while enforcing the lockdown in place. BJP MLA Rajendra Shukla tweeted pictures in which Mishra was seen hitting a priest with a stick. Police sources said the priest was conducting an ‘aarti’ along with some people when the incident happened.
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