Coronavirus India news summary: cases and deaths - 8 May

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Coronavirus India live updates: cases, deaths and news, today

Coronavirus live India updates: cases, deaths and news - 8 May

Police clash with crowds in Indian city after stricter lockdown

Some residents frustrated over a strict coronavirus lockdown in Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, hurled stones and were met with teargas in clashes with paramilitary forces on Friday.

Authorities in the city ordered all shops, except those selling milk and medicines, to close on midnight Wednesday until May 15, implementing a stricter lockdown than the national one in place since March 25, in an effort to curb a rise in infections.

Clashes erupted in the Shahpur locality of Ahmedabad when police and paramilitary forces tried to enforce the lockdown, asking people to stay indoors.

"Some people got agitated, and started pelting stones on the forces," city police commissioner Ashish Bhatia told Reuters.

"The police fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd. The situation is under control now," he said. 

Local TV showed crowds chasing away the police and paramilitary teams. Bhatia said one policeman was injured and eight people had been detained.

WHO readies coronavirus app for checking symptoms, possibly contact tracing

(Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the novel coronavirus, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, an official told Reuters on Friday.

The app will ask people about their symptoms and offer guidance on whether they may have COVID-19, the potentially lethal illness caused by the coronavirus, said Bernardo Mariano, chief information officer for the WHO. Other information, such as how to get tested, will be personalized according to the user's country.

Though the WHO will release a version on app stores globally, any government will be able to take the app's underlying technology, add features and release its own version on app stores, Mariano said in a phone interview.

India, Australia and the United Kingdom already have released official virus apps using their own technology, with common features including telling people whether to get tested based on their symptoms and logging people's movements to enable more efficient contact tracing.

The migrant labur situation in India is turning into one of the most appalling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The opening of liquor stores, which caused long queues of people to wait outside them during the coronavirus pandemic, continues to create headlines in India.

A 27-year-old woman with coronavirus in India has given birth to a little boy, who will be tested for the virus on Saturday. “The baby boy, weighing three kgs, is healthy now and will undergo test for Covid-19 on Saturday. We have to wait and see whether the boy has contracted the virus or not,” state health minister Eatala Rajender told reporters in the evening.

Police clash with crowds in Indian city after stricter lockdown

Some residents frustrated over a strict coronavirus lockdown in Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, hurled stones and were met with teargas in clashes with paramilitary forces on Friday.

Authorities in the city ordered all shops, except those selling milk and medicines, to close on midnight Wednesday until May 15, implementing a stricter lockdown than the national one in place since March 25, in an effort to curb a rise in infections.

Clashes erupted in the Shahpur locality of Ahmedabad when police and paramilitary forces tried to enforce the lockdown, asking people to stay indoors.

"Some people got agitated, and started pelting stones on the forces," city police commissioner Ashish Bhatia told Reuters.

"The police fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd. The situation is under control now," he said.

Local TV showed crowds chasing away the police and paramilitary teams. Bhatia said one policeman was injured and eight people had been detained.

More Indians making their way home after being left stranded in various parts of the world.

India mounts huge airlift to return stranded citizens home

(Reuters) - Doctors in hazmat suits ran temperature checks on passengers at Delhi airport and bags were disinfected as the first group of Indians returned home on special flights from Singapore and the Gulf on Friday since a sweeping lockdown was imposed in March.

Some 400,000 Indians were expected to be brought back from the United States and the United Kingdom, besides southeast Asia and the Gulf, in a mammoth airlift mounted by state carrier Air India.

Separately, the Indian navy sent warships to the island nation of Maldives for citizens stranded there since the government cut off all travel and ordered its 1.3 billion people to stay indoors to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections.

"The process for return of Indian nationals stranded abroad via non-scheduled commercial flights and Indian navy ships has begun," home ministry joint secretary Punya Salila Srivastava told a news conference.

48 days later...

Arriving Home in India

Welcome home

The flights bringing Indians back home have been landing. In this photo health officials take personal details from a citizen evacuated from Singapore at Indira Gandhi International airport, New Delhi. Indians were scheduled to arrive in India on May 8 from Dhaka, Singapore, Riyadh, Manama and Dubai. In total 64 repatriation flights have been scheduled.
 

Careful easing

While the lockdown was extended to 17 May, the government has allowed "considerable relaxations" in lower-risk districts, which might help lift the economic slowdown experienced since March.

Report on the economics facing India. Read here.

Exam news update

Booze concerns

Not everyone is in agreement that the liquor stores should be reopening at this time.

Covidiots in a time of pandemic

Alfredo Relaño takes a look at fools behaving stupidly during #coronavirus lockdown, including Mou and Salomón Kalou.

Most-wanted criminal caught after testing positive 

A most-wanted criminal responsible for a spate of car thefts has been caught after testing positive for coronavirus and quarantined in Silchar’s Covid-19 hospital, according to police.  The accused was tested after travelling on a bus subject to obligatory testing.

Bhola Ram Borah, the officer-in-charge was watching news on TV when the accused’s name rang a bell. 

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed the accused had tested positive and would be taken into custody after he recovers. 

Train

Migrants killed while sleeping

An image of the tragic story we told you about earlier. Police officers examine the railway track after a train ran over migrant workers sleeping on the track in Aurangabad district in the western state of Maharashtra, India, 8 May 2020. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Masked meetings

Important India-China-Afghanistan relations were on the table on Friday.

AS front page: Friday 8 May

Train kills 14 migrants sleeping on track 

An Indian train ran over migrant workers sleeping on the track on Friday, killing at least 14 of the group, who were apparently on their way to their home villages, the railway ministry and media said.

Tens of thousands of people have been walking home from India's big cities after losing their jobs because of a lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus since late March.

The driver tried to stop the freight train when he saw the labourers on the tracks in the western state of Maharashtra, the railway ministry said, adding it had ordered an inquiry.

AS English will be taking a break from our live coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in India but the morning team will be back shortly to keep you up to date with all developments and news as it breaks on Friday 8 May.  

Migrants

Migrant workers and families from Gonda in Uttar Pradesh state wave from the windows of a bus as they arrive at the railway station to go back to their hometowns with a special train after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Amritsar on May 7, 2020. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP)

Mass repatriation continues

The Indian government's efforts to repatriate some 14,000 citizens stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, local media reported. 

India's government has given an order to all public and private sector employees to use the contact tracing app as some lockdown measures are eased.

India to roll out COVID-19 app for Reliance's JioPhone

(Reuters) India will within days roll out a version of its coronavirus contact-tracing application that can run on mobile carrier Reliance Jio's cheap phones, as it looks to increase the reach of the system, a senior government official said on Thursday.

India, which has imposed the world's biggest shutdown to battle the spread of the coronavirus, last month launched the Aarogya Setu (Health Bridge) app -- a Bluetooth and GPS-based application which alerts users who may have come in contact with people who later test positive for Covid-19.

The app, which has been downloaded more than 83 million times so far, was initially available to India's roughly 500 million smartphone users on Google's Android and Apple devices, but not to around 400 million users of more basic feature phones.

LG Chem plant starts leaking toxic gas again, prompting wider evacuation

(Reuters) Toxic gas began leaking again from a LG Chem plant in southern India's Andhra Pradesh early on Friday, an official said, triggering a wider evacuation after at least 11 people were killed following a leak at the site less than 24 hours earlier.

"The situation is tense," N. Surendra Anand, a fire officer in Visakhapatnam district, where the factory is located, told Reuters, adding that people in a 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) radius of the factory were being moved out.

However, Srijana Gummalla, commissioner of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, downplayed concerns surrounding vapour emanating from the plant, saying the gas coming out had been fluctuating through the day and had largely subsided. 

Coronavirus live India: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, India-focused coverage of the coronavirus crisis, which has now registered over 3.85 million cases worlwide.

We'll endeavour to bring you the latest developments and statistics as they emerge throughout the day.

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