After a gap of nine days, the Union Health Ministry held its daily press briefing on COVID-19 on May 20, when India recorded a new daily high of cases, 5,614, and 140 deaths.

Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said India’s recovery rate — the number of confirmed patients who had been cured or discharged as a proportion of total cases — had climbed to 40%.

The Hindu has brought out a multi-language e-book on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to covering the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded. Here is a collection of our daily cartoons on COVID-19.

Here are answers from experts on your queries about the virus, a list of State Helpline numbers, a State-wise tracker for COVID-19 cases, deaths and testing, and a map of confirmed cases in India.

Here are the latest updates:

9.45 p.m. | Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh reports 248 new cases

Madhya Pradesh on Thursday registered 248 new COVID-19 cases, taking the overall count to 5,981. Four deaths owing to the illness were reported in the State during the day. The death toll climbed to 270. Two patients died in Indore, and one death was reported in Ujjain and Neemuch each. As for recoveries, 110 patients were discharged from hospitals across the State on the day after being cured of the illness. So far, 2,843 patients have recovered, says the State Directorate of Health Services.               

– Sidharth Yadav

9.25 p.m. | Rajasthan

Rajasthan reports 212 new cases

Four deaths – two in Jaipur and one each in Bharatpur and Sikar – take the COVID-19 related mortality figures in Rajasthan to 151. A total of 212 new COVID-19 positive cases were detected in the State today, taking the tally to 6,227. Of the total number of patients, 3,485 have recovered and 3,115 have been discharged. As of now, the State has 2,591 active cases.

8.55 p.m. | New Delhi

Over 500 fresh cases for 3 consecutive days in Delhi; death toll to 194

The coronavirus death toll in Delhi has climbed to 194, while 571 fresh cases of COVID-19 infection reported on Thursday, the highest single-day spike here, took the total in the city to 11,659, authorities said.

The previous highest spike in fresh cases — 534 — was recorded on May 20. On May 19, 500 fresh cases were reported.

This is the third consecutive day, when 500 or more fresh cases have been reported in a day in Delhi

8.40 p.m. | Gujarat

Gujarat adds 371 new infections and 24 deaths, increasing the tally to 12910 cases and 773 deaths.

8.20 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra crosses 40,000 cases

Maharashtra crossed the grim milestone of 40,000 cases on Thursday with the State reporting 2,345 Covid-19 cases to take the cumulative tally to 41,642.

While this was the second-highest single-day surge till date , it was offset by the highest single-day recoveries in the State, with 1408 patients being discharged to take the total number of discharged till date to 11,726.

‌64 new deaths were reported today, taking the total number of fatalities to 1454.  Mumbai’s case tally has now crossed the 25,000 mark to reach 25,550 cases, while it’s death toll has risen to 882. As many as 41 of the new deaths reported today were from Mumbai city, nine from Malegaon city in Nashik district and seven from Pune district among other parts of the state.

8.10 p.m. | New Delhi

The Railway Board has issued an order asking that tickets booked by passengers whose originating as well as terminating stations fall within Maharashtra be cancelled and a full refund be given. The decision was taken after the Maharashtra government informed Railways that inter-district travel is prohibited in the State.

7.55 p.m. | New Delhi

Tunisia evacuating Indians stranded in the country

Tunisia evacuating Indians stranded in the country. A special Tunisian military flight carrying 25 stranded indian citizens  just took off from Tunis. They are expected to reach Delhi tomorrow around 9:30 am., says Ambassador of Tunisia Nejmeddine Lakhal.

Also IndiGo to operate 97 repatriation flights from Kerala to Saudi Arabia, Doha, Kuwait and Muscat.

7.50 p.m. | Maharashtra

A 45-year-old female constable posted with the Thane police succumbed to the COVID 19 virus on Thursday. She is the first female cop to be lost to the virus and the first fatality within the ranks of the Thane police.

7.25 p.m. | New Delhi

Violation of lockdown in various places; ensure its strict implementation: MHA to States

MHA writes to all States, says many incidents of violation of lockdown measures reported. Asks the States to strictly enforce night curfew, prohibiting all non-essential movements and activities from 7 pm to 7 am to ensure social distancing and contain the risk of spread of infection.

Proper delineation of containment zones, effective implementation of containment measures key to prevent spread of COVID-19, it adds.

7.10 p.m. | New Delhi

Vande Bharat Mission: 162 flights to be operated in between May 23-June 13 to bring back stranded Indians from 47 countries

During current phase of Vande Bharat repatriation operations from May 23-June 13, 162 flights will be operated to bring back Indians from 47 countries, says Ministry of External Affairs.

 In past 15 days of flights more than 25,000 Indians have been facilitated to return, of 2,59,000 Indians in 98 countries who have registered to return so far, it adds.

6.50 p.m. | Himachal Pradesh

27 test positive for coronavirus in Himachal; total cases climb to 138

Twenty-seven people tested positive for novel coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the state so far to 138, officials said on Thursday.

At least 15 of them returned either from Mumbai or West Bengal recently, they said.

With 55 people cured, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state now stand at 79. Thirty-two of the cases are from Kangra, 26 from Hamirpur, five each from Solan and Bilaspur, four from Mandi, two from Chamba, two each from Sirmaur, Una and one from Kullu, they said.

6.35 p.m. | New Delhi

Timely case identification, proper clinical management reason for low mortality rate compared to global figures: Health Ministry

The mortality rate in COVID-19 cases in India is 3.06 as against the global rate of 6.65, the Union health ministry said on Thursday, crediting the efforts towards timely case identification and proper clinical management for this low figure.

An analysis of the deaths show 64% of the fatalities in males and the remaining 36 per cent in females, the ministry said.

Providing an age distribution of the fatalities, the ministry said 0.5% of the deaths are reported in the less than 15 years age group, 2.5% between 15 and 30 years, 11.4% in those aged between 30 and 45, 35.1 per cent between 45-60 years and 50.5 per cent fatalities among people aged above 60 years.

Further, 73% of the deaths had underlying co-morbidities. Elderly people (above 60 years of age) and people having co-morbidities are identified as high risk groups for COVID-19.

Timely case identification, proper clinical management reason for low mortality rate compared to global figures: Health Ministry

6.25 p.m. | New Delhi

CRPF’s ASI succumbs to coronavirus in Delhi

A 50-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector of the Central Reserve Police Force has succumbed to COVID-19 here, officials said on Thursday.

This is the second death linked to the pandemic in the country’s largest paramilitary force.

5.55 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh

181 fresh COVID-19 cases reported in Uttar Pradesh, total climbs to 5,356

Uttar Pradesh reported 181 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total number of coronavirus cases to 5,356 while 127 people have died of the disease so far, officials said. Many of the fresh COVID-19 cases were attributed by officials to migrants who returned from other states recently.

5.35 p.m. | Kashmir

As many as 21 policemen test positive for coronavirus infection in south Kashmir’s Kulgam. All were posted in the District Police Lines, say officials.

5.25 p.m. | Bihar

COVID-19 cases in Bihar rise to 1,900

As many as 28 more COVID-19 positive cases take the total number in Bihar to 1,900. All male from East Champaran , West Champaran, Begusarai, Purnea, Banka, Patna, Madhubani and Supaul districts.

5.10 p.m. | Maharashtra

Maharashtra govt. released  ₹67 cr. for migrants’ train travel so far

The Maharashtra government has so far released  ₹67.19 crore through the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to bear the cost of train travel of the stranded migrant workers to their native places from the state, an official said on Thursday.

The government, which had initially provided  ₹54.75 crore for the purpose, has now released additional   ₹12.44 crore from the CM Relief Fund, an official of the Chief Minister’s Office (CM) said.

4.55 p.m. | Nagaland

First COVID-19 lab inaugurated in Nagaland

Nagaland on Thursday got its first state-of-the-art laboratory for testing of suspected COVID-19 samples, officials said.

Samples from the state were till now sent to Assam and Manipur for testing.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio inaugurated the bio-safety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK).

3.40 pm

Delhi to Mumbai route will have a price floor of Rs 3,500 and a cap of Rs. 10,000. 40% of seats will have to be sold at below the mid point of this range, says P S Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry.

3.30 pm

Flight capacity will be at 30% of summer schedule for metro to metro airports. As we gain experience the number of flights will be sought to be increased, says Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Routes have been divided into seven sections for prescribing a fare structure. Flights upto 40 minutes duration, 40-60 minutes, 60-90 minutes, 90-120 minutes, 120-150 minutes, 150-180 minutes, 180-210 minutes, says Mr. Puri.

We have compared air fares with rail fares. Affordability is one criteria. Equally, we are conscious that airlines operate on thin margins, says Mr. Puri.

3.20 pm | Delhi

571 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Delhi in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 11,659, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Thursday.

This is the biggest single-day jump in the number of cases in the city so far. Tuesday and Wednesday had also recorded the biggest single-day increase till then.

Also, 18 more deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths to 194. But all the deaths did not happen in the past 24 hours.

Of the 11,659 cases, 5,567 people have recovered and there are 5,898 active cases.

(Nikhil M. Babu)

2.30 pm | Chhattisgarh

11 new COVID-19 cases in Chhattisgarh

At least 11 more people, mostly migrant workers, tested positive for coronavirus in Chhattisgarh on Thursday, taking the state’s tally to 126.

Most of these patients were migrant labourers who recently returned to their hometowns from different states of the country and were staying in quarantine centre.

2.15 pm

Ticket bookings to open at physical facilities across country: Goyal

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said booking of train tickets will resume at around 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country from Friday.

Common Service Centres are physical facilities for delivering e-services of the government at rural and remote locations where availability of computers and internet is negligible or absent.

Mr. Goyal also said within 2.5 hours of opening bookings for the 100 pairs of special trains that will run from June 1, 4 lakh passengers have booked tickets. People have also started reverse bookings to come back to work, he said.

1.45 pm | Andhra Pradesh

One more death, 45 fresh cases reported in State

The State has witnessed yet another death due to COVID-19 and 45 fresh cases of infection during the past 24 hours after 8092 samples were tested. 

The new death of a patient took place in Nellore district.

The death toll has gone up to 54 and the tally of positive cases reached 2605 including 153 migrant workers’ cases.

Meanwhile, 41 patients have recovered.  As many as 1705 patients, over 65% of the total, have recovered so far and 846, over 32%, are still undergoing treatment. The mortality rate is at 2.07% while the positivity rate is at 0.94%. o far, the State tested 2.75 lakh samples achieving the tests per million population ratio of over 5, 500.

(Tharun Boda)

12.30 pm | Andhra Pradesh

Andhra RTC operates limited services

Passengers with face mask travelling in redesigned bus at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in Vijayawada on Thursday.

Passengers with face mask travelling in redesigned bus at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in Vijayawada on Thursday.
 
| Photo Credit: V Raju

The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has started operating intra-State buses from Thursday in a phased manner.

People would also have to wait for inter-State bus services to resume, he said, informing that the number of seats in Super Luxury buses had been reduced to facilitate physical distancing.

In the Palle Velugu and Express services, seats that were not supposed to be used had been marked in red colour.

A few AC buses would be operated because of the heat, but blankets would not be provided in the vehicles.

12.20 pm

Guidelines for flight operations

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has finalised guidelines for flight operations. No physical check-in at airports, airlines to ensure passengers check-in online or through telephone after submitting their details on Aarogya Setu app or filling up a self declaration form, according to sources.

Airlines will have to provide a safety kit, which will include a mask, hand sanitiser and a face shield.

Passengers will be allowed to carry only one hand baggage and one checked-in baggage upto 20 kg.

No meals will be served onboard. Passengers will not be allowed to consume eatables inside the aircraft.

Cabin Crew will wear personal protective gear including a full-body gown, shoe cover, mask, and a pair of gloves.

(Jagriti Chandra)

12.10 pm | Madhya Pradesh

Indore COVID-19 tally up by 59 to 2774

As many as 59 more people tested positive for coronavirus in Indore in the last 24 hours, raising the number of such cases in the worst hit district of Madhya Pradesh to 2,774.

The COVID-19 death toll in the district also rose to 107, after two more patients, both men aged 57 and 62 years, died during treatment at a private hospital on Tuesday, Indore’s Chief Medical and Health Officer Praveen Jadia said.

Both the victims were also suffering from diabetes, the official said.

Out of the total 5,735 COVID-19 cases recorded in Madhya Pradesh till Wednesday, nearly 48 per cent have been from Indore alone.

11.55 am | Rajasthan

Three deaths – one each in Jaipur, Bharatpur and Sikar – take the COVID-19 related mortality figures in Rajasthan to 150.

Eighty-three new COVID-19 positive cases were detected in the State today, taking the tally to 6,098.

Of the total number of patients, 3,421 have recovered and 3,031 have been discharged. As of now, the State has 2,527 active cases, according to the State Medical & Health Department.

(Mohammad Iqbal)

11.45 am | Delhi

Mandoli Jail deputy superintendent tests COVID-19 positive

A deputy superintendent of the Mandoli Jail in northeast Delhi has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Thursday.

“The officer was on leave since May 11 as he had fever. He got himself tested for COVID-19 at Ganga Ram Hospital and the report came positive on Wednesday,” a senior jail official said.

The deputy superintendent lives in Sarai Rohilla and is currently under home quarantine. The contact tracing is being done, he said.

11.15 am | Uttar Pradesh

Barabanki emerges as COVID-19 hotspot

Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district has emerged as the new COVID-19 hotspot, with 95 new cases of the virus reported in a single day.

Among those who tested positive, 49 are migrants who had recently returned from other states. The remaining 46 are those who had come in contact with 6 infected persons and had been kept in isolation, District Magistrate Aadarsh Kumar said. – PTI

11.00 am | Maharashtra

BMC to acquire 100 beds of pvt hospitals in each ward

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has directed civic officials to acquire at least 100 beds, including 10 in ICUs, of private nursing homes and small hospitals in all 24 wards of Mumbai in the wake of rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

This will facilitate availability of at least 2,400 more beds for patients in the city, the Brihanamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release on Wednesday.

Mumbai recorded 1,372 new COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths on Wednesday. – PTI

10.45 am

AAI issues SOP for domestic flights’ resumption

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to airport operators on Wednesday for recommencement of domestic flights from May 25 onwards, saying Aarogya Setu app is not mandatory for children below 14 years of age.

“Passengers shall compulsorily walk through screening zone for thermal screening at a designated place in the city side before entering the terminal building,” the AAI said in its SOP, which has been accessed by PTI.

Airport operators must make appropriate arrangements for sanitisation of a passenger’s baggage before his or her entry into the terminal building, said the SOP dated May 20.

10.15 am | Odisha

Fifty-one COVID-19 cases were detected in Odisha – 48 in quarantine centres and two locals – taking the State’s total to 1,103 on Thursday.

Active cases now stand at 753, while 343 have recovered and six have died so far.

(Prafulla Das)

10.00 am

Bihar reported its 10th COVID-19 death on Thursday. The test report of a 60 year old man from Khagaria district showed positive on Wednesday after his death on May 17.

Total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the State has gone up to 1674.

(Amarnath Tewary)

9.45 am

Five more test positive in Himachal

Five people, who had recently returned from West Bengal, have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the virus tally in the state to 116, officials said on Thursday.

All the five cases have been reported from Solan district, which was declared coronavirus-free a few weeks ago, Special Secretary (Health), Nipun Jindal, said.

9.00 am

China reports 33 new coronavirus cases; spike in asymptomatic infections in Wuhan

China has reported 33 new coronavirus cases, including 31 asymptomatic ones, majority of them in Wuhan, the first epicentre of the COVID-19 where the city’s 11 million people are being tested in order to prevent a second wave of the deadly virus, health authorities said on Thursday.

According to China’s National Health Commission (NHC), two confirmed coronavirus cases, including one imported infection, was reported on Thursday in Guangdong province and a locally transmitted one in Shanghai on Wednesday.

7.45 am

With 3 new cases confirmed at Barpeta Medical College & Hospital early Thursday morning, Assam’s COVID-19 positive count is now 188. The total active cases is 133, discharged 48, death 4 and migrated to other states 3.

(Rahul Karmakar)

7.00 am

WHO records highest daily number of COVID-19 cases

The World Health Organization said Wednesday it had registered a new daily record number of COVID-19 cases as it quickly neared the “tragic milestone” of five million total infections.

The UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that on Tuesday, there were “106,000 cases reported to WHO — the most in a single day since the outbreak began” in December.

6.00 am

U.S. coronavirus deaths rise by 1,561 in 24 hours

The United States recorded 1,561 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 93,406, according to the latest real-time tally Wednesday reported by Johns Hopkins University.

The country — hardest hit by the pandemic in terms of the number of fatalities — has now confirmed a total of 1,550,959 cases, the Baltimore-based school reported.

4.00 am

Post-coronavirus world provides window of opportunity to India: Wells

The post-coronavirus world provides a window of opportunity to India as countries are looking to diversify their supply chains, a senior American diplomat said on Wednesday.

Alice G. Wells, U.S. State Department’s top official for Central and South Asia, however, said India needs to open up as it is still a protected market, which sometimes denies a level playing field to foreign companies.

In the post-pandemic environment, countries are looking at a little bit of de-globalisation and onshoring of the critical production. And at the same time, there’s a very vigorous effort to diversify supply chains, Ms. Wells said during a conference call with reporters.

New Delhi

Spike in COVID-19 cases for second day in a row

The city saw 534 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 11,088, according to a health bulletin released by the Delhi government on Wednesday. This is the highest single-day jump in cases so far.

With 500 new cases, Tuesday had also recorded the biggest single-day spike till then.

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