Corona Updates You Must Track: Double Whammy For Bengal, Domestic Flights To Start From 25 May

West Bengal, which is already witnessing a rise in COVID-19 numbers, is now reeling under the devastating effects of cyclone Amphan. India reported over 5,600 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours

Kritika Banerjee Updated: May 21, 2020 12:45:05 IST
Corona Updates You Must Track: Double Whammy For Bengal, Domestic Flights To Start From 25 May Track map of cyclonic storm Amphan. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Even as economic activity is slowly resuming in several parts of the country in the fourth phase of lockdown, cyclone Amphan ravaged the southern districts of West Bengal on Wednesday. The cyclone claimed at least 10 lives in Bengal and two in neighbouring Odisha.

Meanwhile, India continues to report a surge in coronavirus cases—more than 5,600 fresh cases were reported in the last 24 hours for a second consecutive day. Track all the important developments related to coronavirus and Lockdown 4.0 here:

India cases and toll: A day after India reported 5,611 new cases, a record single-day surge in COVID-19 numbers, Thursday morning also saw similar figures. The country reported 5,609 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total coronavirus count to 1,12,359, according to latest data shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. More than 130 people have succumbed to the illness during the same period, taking the toll to 3,435. As of now, India has 63,624 active COVID-19 cases.

The bright spot is the gradual increase in the number of recoveries, which now stands at 45,300. The Health Ministry on Wednesday said 7.9 people per lakh population have been affected by COVID-19 in India and the recovery rate has climbed to 40 per cent.

covid-tracker_052120114524.jpgCOVID-19 tracker/Photo: @MIB_India/Twitter

All eyes on Bengal, Odisha: Cyclone Amphan which made a landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday noon killed at least 10 people in the state. Districts in south Bengal have been worst hit by the cyclone even as the state is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 numbers, partly due to return of migrants. Addressing the media on Wednesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the situation could be more worrying than the pandemic, reported Hindustan Times. In neighbouring Odisha, two deaths were reported, including that of an infant who died due to a wall collapse. 

In West Bengal, the total coronavirus cases have climbed to 3,103, with 142 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. Odisha reported 74 new COVID-19 cases during the same period, taking the state’s total count to 1,052 on Thursday morning.

Domestic flight operations to resume: Nearly two months after domestic flight services were suspended on 25 March, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday announced that operations will resume in a “calibrated manner” from 25 May. “All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May. SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued,” the minister tweeted. 

The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Airport Authority of India includes compulsory wearing of masks and gloves by passengers, sanitization of baggage, Aagogya Setu app on phones, expect for children under 14, among other guidelines.

Search for a vaccine for corona: Thailand is the latest country to join the global race to develop a vaccine to protect people from COVID-19. A Reuters report quoted an official spokesperson as saying that the country expects to have a vaccine for the virus by next year. The vaccine is being developed by the National Vaccine Institute, the Department of Medical Science and Chulalongkorn University’s vaccine research centre.

Meanwhile, researchers at China’ Peking University are working on developing a drug that can reduce the recovery time for infected patients as well as offer short-term immunity from the virus, AFP reported.     

Global corona update: The total confirmed coronavirus cases have breached the 5-million (or 50 lakh) mark globally, according to worldometer, a website that tracks COVID-19 numbers real-time. While the total cases are at 50,88,455, the recoveries are at 20,22,727 even as 3,29,769 people have lost their lives due to the virus.

Brazil has surpassed countries like Italy, Spain and France, which were badly affected by the first wave of the infection, to become the third worst-hit country by coronavirus in terms of total number of cases. The Latin American country has close to 3 lakh confirmed cases with nearly 19,000 deaths.  

Story of hope: The nationwide lockdown has taken a toll on strays, who otherwise survive on the kindness of passersby and small shops and restaurants. Moved by the plight of stray animals in their locality, a group of children in Dehradun’s Kishanpur colony used their piggy bank money to buy food for them. The initiative is now getting encouragement from ordinary citizens as well as the animal rescue team of Uttarakhand forest department. You can read more on this heart-warming story here.

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