Coronavirus India summary: Covid-19 news, 14 May

Coronavirus live India updates: cases, deaths and news - 14 May

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India Covid-19 update: 01:00 IST on Friday 15 May (21:30 CEST on Thursday 14 May)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University4,408,618 cases have been detected worldwide, with 300,315 deaths and 1,576,871 people now recovered.

In India, there have been 81,990 cases confirmed, 2,649 people have died and 27,956 people have recovered from the virus.

How a former teacher saved one of India's biggest states from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic

KK Shailaja has been hailed as the reason a state of 35 million people has only lost four to the virus. Here’s how the former teacher did it.

Coronavirus

Municipal workers decontaminate outside of the LG Polymers Plant following a gas leak at the plant in Visakhapatnam, India, May 8, 2020. REUTERS/R Narendra/File Photo

Coronavirus

Indian women wait to receive free food in the Mustafabad area which was recently affected by riots, as the country relaxed its lockdown restriction on May 14, 2020 in New Delhi, India. The Mustafabad area was among the worst affected areas as riots broke out in India's national capital in February over a controversial citizenship amendment law passed by the Bharatiya Janata Party government. Several families which were left homeless due to arson by rioters are now taking care of themselves amid a nationwide lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country. India has relaxed its lockdown restrictions even though the pace of infection has picked up. The COVID-19 disease is spreading at a worrying rate in the country and the death toll in India due to coronavirus stands at 2,564, but despite the grim statistics India has allowed most businesses and services to reopen. India was under a strict lockdown from March 25. (Photo by Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

Health groups ask India to rescind Gilead's patents for COVID-19 drug remdesivir

Two health advocacy groups have written to the Indian government asking it to rescind patents given to Gilead Sciences for the drug remdesivir so it can be distributed more fairly to coronavirus patients around the world, particularly in poorer nations.

Drug patents in India are an important issue as many countries depend on generic drugmakers to make and sell cheaper versions of critical drugs to them. Gilead's three patents in India for remdesivir stem from 2009 when the drug was in development to treat Ebola.

Remdesivir is the only drug approved to treat COVID-19 patients after promising early trial results prompted U.S. regulators to grant emergency use authorisation on May 2.

India has announced free food for migrants for two months as a part of $266bn economic plan to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Efforts to get migrant labourers home after being stranded in various cities around India continues.

Speeding bus kills Indian migrant workers trying to walk home

A speeding bus ran over and killed six Indian migrant workers as they tried to walk home, police said on Thursday, days after the death of a group of migrants who fell asleep on a railway line shocked the country.

Five others were injured in the accident late on Wednesday, which comes as tens of thousands of distressed migrants try to get home after work - and most public transport - vanished overnight when India imposed a lockdown in late March.

The men were walking from the northern state of Haryana to their home state of Bihar hundreds of miles away, said Abhishek Yadav, a senior police official.

"Dark reality of India's growing alcohol consumpion"

Behind the rush to buy booze following the reopening of liquor stores lies a “dark reality” surrounding alcohol consumption in India, writes the BBC’s Soutijk Biswas.

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic:

(Reuters) India will provide free food grains to millions of migrant workers hardest hit by a weeks-long lockdown as well as offer employment under a rural jobs programme, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

The government will spend 35 billion rupees ($463.06 million) on food for nearly 80 million migrant workers over the next two months, Sitharaman told a news conference.

The allocation is part of a 20 trillion rupee ($266 billion) fiscal and monetary package to prop up the ailing economy. Millions of workers have fled large towns and cities after they lost their jobs during the lockdown, which is aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

India's search for a coronavirus vaccine

According to local media, India has 10 potential candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine under development. 
 

 

India

Migrant workers with their families carry their belongings as they stand at a roadside on their journey back to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states after the government eased a nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in New Delhi on May 14, 2020. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP) 

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A bus driver wearing personal protective equipment waits for train passengers coming from New Delhi during lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic at Howrah Railway station, Eastern India, 14 May 2020. Indian railways partially resumed some services after trains were shut due to the to the nationwide lockdown. The Indian government has announced a further lockdown extension for two weeks until 17 May. (Nueva Delhi) EFE/EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY

Health groups ask India to rescind Gilead's patents for remdesivir

(Reuters) Two health advocacy groups have written to the Indian government asking it to rescind patents given to Gilead Sciences for the drug remdesivir so it can be distributed more fairly to coronavirus patients around the world, particularly in poorer nations.

Drug patents in India are an important issue as many countries depend on generic drugmakers to make and sell cheaper versions of critical drugs to them. Gilead's three patents in India for remdesivir stem from 2009 when the drug was in development to treat Ebola.

Remdesivir is the only drug approved to treat Covid-19 patients after promising early trial results prompted U.S. regulators to grant emergency use authorisation on May 2. To expand its access, Gilead said this week it had signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drugmakers based in India and Pakistan, allowing them make and sell remdesivir for 127 countries. 

But health access groups say the pacts mean cheaper forms of the drug may not become available in nations seen as non-profitable to the five drugmakers.

India widens use of coronavirus tracing app

(Reuters) - India is aggressively pushing a state-backed contact tracing app to fight the spread of Covid-19, raising fears that the world's second-most populous nation is on its way to Chinese-style methods of high tech social control.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has touted its app, Aarogya Setu, or "Health Bridge," as a key tool in fighting the deadly coronavirus. With more than 70,000 people already infected in India, and the number of cases is expected to exceed China, the origin of the outbreak, within a week.

Like many apps being rolled out around the world, Aarogya Setu uses Bluetooth signals on smartphones to record when people come in close contact with one another, so that contacts can be quickly alerted when a person tests positive for Covid-19. But the Indian app also uses GPS location data to augment the information gathered via Bluetooth and build a centralized database of the spread of the infection--an approach avoided by most countries for privacy reasons.

And it mimics China's health QR code system with a feature that rates a person's likely health status with a green, orange or red colours, signifying whether the individual is safe, at high risk or a carrier of the virus.

Cricket poised for return?

It appears the the Vincy Premier League T10 set to become 1st cricket tournament to be played amid coronavirus crisis. Games will begin from May 22 in the Caribbean island country of St Vincent and Grenadines and no doubt have Indian fans searching for live feeds of the action.

Leopard spotted in the middle of a road in Hyderabad's Mailardevpally

It's unclear if the big cat was struck by another vehicle or taking a siesta

E-passes for Lockdown Level 4.0

India's government is gradually easing lockdown restrictions - including stay-at-home measures which means movement between states will become easier when some rail services resume from Monday 18 May.

However, with the country now divided into colour-coded risk zones, total freedom of movement is still not permitted and an e-pass will be necessary to travel between states.  

 

Fatality rate slowing down and recoveries up

The doubling time of confirmed Covid-19 cases slowed down to 12.6 days from 10 days of last week. The fatality rate from the viral infection stands at 3.2%, while the recovery rate — currently at 32.8%, has increased steadily over the past few weeks, according to the Health Ministry.
 

India

Repatriated Indians arrive home from Dubai

Over 400 Indian nationals were safely evacuated from Dubai on Wednesday as part of the Vande Bharat Mission. Two special flights were laid on from Dubai to Delhi and Amritsar. The passengers were taken to a quarantine facility on arrival.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation in India said a total of 6,037 Indians were flown back on 31 flights operated by Air India and Air India Express under the #VandeBharatMission in the second week of May. 

The second phase of the mission will be launched from 16-22 May. It will bring back Indian nationals from 31 countries. A total of 149 flights including feeder flights will be deployed under the second phase.

Countdown to Lockdown 4.0

Transport and manufacturing sectors will opened up when India enters Lockdown 4.0 next week. The colour coded zone system denoting risk areas will remain in place with no public transport in the red zone and some domestic flights might start to operate from Monday.

Hello and welcome

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the latest coronavirus news from India. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has now infected over 78,000 people in India, with a steep increase in the past two days, with the country only passing the 60,000 case mark three days ago. Over 2,550 people have now died from the coronavirus in India.

26,400 people have recovered from the disease.

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