Amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, the daily positivity rate in the last 12 days doubled from 8% to 16.7%. A consistent rise was seen since April 12 even as tests increased only marginally. Chhattisgarh recorded 30.3% infection rate.
Here are the top developments of the day:
Covid-19 vaccine for everyone above 18 from May 1
The Centre on Monday opened the Covid-19 vaccination for everyone above the age of 18 from May 1. The decision was taken at a high-level review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi. Vaccination shall continue as before in government vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population above 45 years of age. States can procure Covid vaccine doses directly from manufacturers, the government said.
The government from its share will allocate vaccines to states/UTs based on the criteria of the extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) and performance (speed of administration). States can procure Covid vaccine doses directly from manufacturers, says Centre
Delhi announces lockdown till April 26
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown in the national capital from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am on April 26. Essential and emergency services such as health and family welfare and all related medical establishments shall be allowed to function. People who are going for Covid-19 testing or vaccination shall be allowed to travel on display of identity card.
Allahabad HC orders lockdown in five UP cities
Allahabad high court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to impose lockdown in Prayagraj, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur Nagar, and Gorakhpur till April 26. However, essential services will be allowed to remain open. “All religious activities in public of any kind is directed to remain suspended,” high court said.
UK adds India to travel red list amid surge in Covid cases
The decision comes after Britain detected 103 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India. As per the new rules, all arrivals from India have been banned. However, UK and Irish residents who have been in India in the past 10 days are required to mandatorily stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel for 10 days on their return to UK. The rules come into force from April 24.
Night curfew imposed in Kerala, extended in Punjab
The Kerala government on Monday decided to impose a night curfew from 9pm to 6am from April 20 in view of the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the state. The Punjab government too announced stricter curbs, including the extension of night curfew by an hour and closure of bars, cinema halls, gyms, spas, coaching centres and sports complexes in the state till April 30. The administration also extended the night curfew in Noida and Greater Noida till April 30.
In both waves, 70% of patients above 40 years, says ICMR chief
More than 70 per cent of Covid-19 patients over 40 years of age in both the waves and older population continues to be more vulnerable to the infection, the Centre said on Monday. ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said there is no difference in deaths between first and second wave among hospitalised patients, while the oxygen requirement is higher in second wave and ventilator requirement is not higher in the second wave.
Ten states account for over 78% of new Covid cases
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan are among the 10 states that account for over 78.5% of the new Covid cases reported in a day, the Union health ministry said on Monday. The other states in the list of 10 are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Ten states account for 85.11% of the new deaths, the ministry said. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (503) and Chhattisgarh follows with 170 daily deaths.
Remdesivir no magic bullet, doesn’t decrease mortality, says AIIMS chief
Delhi director Dr Randeep Guleria on Monday said, “Remdesivir isn’t magic bullet and isn’t a drug that decreases mortality.” Highlighting the usage of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, Guleria informed, “We may use Remdesivir as we don’t have an anti-viral drug. It’s of no use if given early to asymptomatic individuals/ones with mild symptoms. Also of no use, if given late,” according to news agency ANI.
BJP says no more big rallies in West Bengal campaign
The BJP on Monday said it has decided against holding any big rally or public meeting, in the ongoing West Bengal assembly poll campaign. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders will be addressing only small public meetings to be attended by maximum of 500 people, the party said in a statement. The BJP said all its public meetings will be held in open places following all Covid-19 guidelines and that it will distribute six crore masks and sanitisers in the state.