Corona Updates You Must Track: India Set To Surpass China In COVID-19 Count, Doubling Rate Improves

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of steps aimed at providing relief to urban poor, farmers and migrant workers, who have been worst affected by the pandemic

Kritika Banerjee Updated: May 15, 2020 13:46:24 IST
Corona Updates You Must Track: India Set To Surpass China In COVID-19 Count, Doubling Rate Improves Indian citizens being screened for Air India's second evacuation flight from Newark to Delhi/Hyderabad on Thursday. Photo: Twitter/@IndiainNewYork

As India enters the 12th day of lockdown 3.0, the country is set to surpass China in total confirmed cases of coronavirus. Against China’s 82,933 total COVID-19 cases, India’s tally stands at 81,970. The government on Thursday announced another set of economic measures, this time focusing on the poor, especially migrant workers who have been worst hit by the pandemic.

In a third in the series, Sitharaman will announce a new set of measures on Friday at 4 pm. Follow all the important developments related to coronavirus and lockdown here:  

India cases and toll: Even as the third phase of lockdown is nearing an end and governments at both central and state level are hinting at more relaxations in the next phase, the country’s total confirmed coronavirus cases continues to mount. On Friday morning, of the total 81,970 cases, 51,401 are active cases, 27,919 recoveries and 2,649 deaths, according to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

But there is a silver lining, with the doubling rate of the infection improving to 12.6 days from an earlier drop of 10 days last week, reported The Times of India. India has tested 2 million or 20 lakh people for COVID-19 by Thursday, with the recovery rate showing a steady improvement.

covid-tracker_051520012502.jpgCOVID-19 tracker/Photo: @MIB_India/Twitter

Relief for poor, migrant workers: The second set of announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday focused on poor, migrant and rural workers. Nearly 8 crore migrant workers, who are currently without a ration card, will be provided free foodgrains (5 kg grains and 1 kg chana dal) for the next two months. Under the PM Awas Yojana, the government is planning to launch a scheme to provide houses on affordable rent for the migrant labour and urban poor.

The credit-linked subsidy housing scheme for middle-income families with an annual income of Rs 6 lakh-Rs 18 lakh has been extended till March 2021. An estimated 2.5 lakh families will benefit from this extension.  

Where Delhi stands: The national capital reported its single-biggest surge in COVID-19 cases on Thursday with 472 fresh cases. With this, Delhi’s total coronavirus count stands at 8,470 with 3,045 recoveries and 115 deaths.

Ahead of lockdown 4.0, the Delhi government has proposed resuming public transport but with a cap on number of passengers. It has also suggested opening of shops selling non-essential items in an odd-even manner but shopping malls can let only one-third shops function. Schools, colleges, hotels and multiplexes will remain shut and restaurants can only offer takeaway and delivery options, the Delhi government proposed to the Centre.

Tamil Nadu second worst-hit state in India: The southern state which has reported a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past week has now overtaken Gujarat as the second worst-hit state by COVID-19 in terms of total number of cases. Tamil Nadu is nearing the 10,000-mark—it has 9,674 total cases with 2,240 recoveries and 66 deaths.

Maharashtra’s battle with coronavirus continues with the state reporting more than 1,600 fresh cases on Thursday. With this, the total confirmed COVID-19 cases are at 27,524, with 6,059 recoveries and 1,019 deaths. Big states like Madhya Pradesh (4,426) and Rajasthan (4,534) are also reporting fresh cases at a steady pace.

Desi antibody testing kit gets clearance: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has cleared the first batch of ELISA antibody testing kits manufactured by Zydus-Cadila and developed at National Institute of Virology, Pune, reported The Indian Express. Named ‘COVID KAVACH ELISA’, these antibody testing kits will now be used in the Healthy Ministry’s ‘seco-survey’ for detecting antibodies in a person who has recovered from the illness.

Corona global update: More than 45.26 lakh people have been infected by the coronavirus globally, according to worldometer, a website that tracks COVID-19 cases real-time. While a little over 17 lakh people have recovered from the illness, more than 3 lakh people lost their lives to the virus. Brazil, the new global hotspot for COVID-19, continues to see a spike in cases—the Latin American country has reported 2.03 lakh confirmed coronavirus cases with nearly 14,000 deaths. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has come under heavy criticism for not taking adequate measures to check the spread and calling the virus “a little flu”. Mexico has also reported a spurt in cases with the country’s total case count climbing to 42,595 with 4,477 deaths.

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