Corona Updates You Must Track: Vande Bharat Mission Kicks Off, COVID-19 Cases Climb To 52,952
The first batch of Indian citizens stranded overseas will return home on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat report big surge in coronavirus cases
On day 4 of lockdown 3.0, India’s mission to repatriate citizens stranded abroad has kicked off. The first batch of 2,300 passengers is expected to reach India on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases have shown a massive spike across the country, with states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu along with Delhi reporting single-biggest surge on Wednesday. India has now crossed the 50,000-mark for total confirmed coronavirus cases.
Follow all the important developments on coronavirus and lockdown 3.0 here:
India cases and toll: The total active cases of COVID-19 have jumped to 35,902 on Thursday morning, from 33,514 on Wednesday, according to the data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). In the last 24 hours, the country has reported 89 deaths, with the toll now reaching 1,783. While the number of recoveries is also going up (15,266), the surge in active cases is worrying. India’s total confirmed coronavirus cases are now at 52,952.
Vande Bharat Mission kicks off: Starting Thursday, India plans to bring several thousands of Indians stranded abroad back to the country. Under Vande Bharat Mission, a total of 14,800 Indians stranded in 12 countries will be brought back home, with the first batch of 2,300 passengers arriving Thursday night. Air India will operate 64 flights in a week to bring back Indians from the US, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Dubai, Doha and Dhaka.
The Indian Navy, starting Friday (8 March), will also repatriate Indian citizens from overseas under its ‘Operation Samudra Setu’. Close to 1,000 people can be evacuated from Maldives under the first phase.
.@IndianNavy amphibious warship INS Jalashwa enters Male, Maldives this morning. Embarkation of Indian citizens will commence tomorrow. Indian High Commission has spent last 2 days bringing Indians to Male from far-flung islands. First batch will be over 700. #SamudraSetu pic.twitter.com/nbeltB9Gbm— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) May 7, 2020
Delhi records single-highest spike: Even as the Delhi government wants to revive the national capital’s economy, Delhi recorded its highest single-day surge on Wednesday with 428 new cases in the last 24 hours. With this, Delhi’s coronavirus count stands at 5,532 with 1,542 recoveries and 65 deaths.
Neighbouring state Rajasthan, which has reported 3,317 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, has sealed its inter-state borders to check unauthorised entry, Hindustan Times reported.
Covid tracker: Source: PIB/Twitter
Maharashtra, Gujarat numbers surge: In Maharashtra, 34 of the 36 districts have been affected by coronavirus, with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan calling it a “matter of concern” on Wednesday. Mumbai alone has reported more than 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far—the city reported 769 fresh cases on Wednesday. According to MoHFW data, Maharashtra’s coronavirus tally is now at 16,758, the highest in the country.
Neighbouring state Gujarat (6,625) has reported second highest number of cases in the country. Both Ahmedabad and Surat will go into a complete lockdown mode after the state recorded 27 deaths on Wednesday, of which 25 were in Ahmedabad.
Global corona update: While the US continues to have the maximum confirmed COVID-19 cases so far at 12,63,183 cases, the UK administration has come under severe criticism for its high death toll. Going by the figures provided on worldometer, a website that provides real-time data on COVID-19 cases, the number of deaths in the UK (30,076) is second only to the US (74,807). In Europe, the UK has now reported maximum COVID-19 deaths, surging past countries like Italy and Spain which were worst hit by the pandemic in the first wave.