Coronavirus India summary: cases, deaths and news - 18 May

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Coronavirus live India updates: cases, deaths and news - 18 May


India Covid-19 update: 02:30 IST on Tuesday 19 May (23:00 CEST Monday 18 May)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 4,775,000 cases have been detected worldwide, with 317,515 deaths and 1,612,924 people now recovered.

In India, there have been 100,340 cases confirmed, 3,156 people have died and 39,233 people have recovered from the virus.

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Summer worries

Despite initial comments about the warmer months aiding the overall health support system, there are concerns over how summer will impact.



Migrant workers and their families wait for a bus to take them to a railway station to board a train to their home state of Uttar Pradesh, after a limited reopening of India's giant rail network following a nearly seven-week lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease, in Ghaziabad in the outskirts of New Delhi, India, 18 May 2020. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)

POTUS on hydroxychloroquine pills daily

It wasn't long ago that the US president was promoting the benefits of the malaria drug, despite contradictions from experts, but it seems he's putting his medicine where his mouth is.

Delhi odd-even

There will be odd-even opening times for shops in India's capital territory as public transport restrictions are eased.

Full story

Virus probe called for

“I will initiate an independent evaluation at the earliest appropriate moment to review experience gained and lessons learned to make recommendations to improve national and global pandemic preparedness and response,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO.

Read the full story

The new bus normality

With states allowed to decide on inter- and intra-state services, they also need to consider how to meet social distancing requirements.

Cricketing s-pitfalls

We told you earlier about the concern over the return of professional cricket and the age-old trick of using saliva to shine the ball could be a thing of the past when it does, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday recommending a change to the sport's laws in the wake of the novel coronavirus.

The committee, chaired by former Indian spinner Anil Kumble, unanimously agreed to recommend a ban on saliva although players will still be allowed to use their own sweat to try and achieve the fabled 'reverse swing'.

Cricketers have long used saliva and sweat to shine one side of the ball while allowing the other to become increasingly scuffed over the course of an innings. The technique alters the aerodynamics of the ball, allowing pace bowlers to generate movement in the air.

"We are living through extraordinary times and the recommendations the committee have made today are interim measures to enable us to safely resume cricket in a way that preserves the essence of our game," Kumble said.

India's positive Covid-19 cases hit 100,000-mark

Returnees account for two thirds of Covid-19 cases

According to the statistics issued by the Health Department, as many as 65 of the 99 new cases reported on Monday were of people who had a travel history to either Mumbai or Pune in neighbouring state Maharashtra.

The latest figures from Ahmedabad...

The stranded migrant workers remains a huge issue for India with a spotlight now being shone on the way they are forced to live. 

WHO chief to review its pandemic handling, vows transparency

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that he would initiate an independent evaluation of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic at the "earliest appropriate moment" and vowed transparency and accountability.

"We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. Every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience. WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told its annual ministerial assembly.

Tedros thanked early high-level speakers for their "strong support for WHO at this critical time" and said that the review must encompass responsibility of "all actors in good faith".

"The risk remains high and we have a long road to travel," Tedros said. Preliminary serological tests in some countries showed that at most 20% of populations had contracted the disease and "in most places less than 10 per cent", he said.

Outbreak at Chinese-owned factory shows challenges of easing India's lockdown

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO suspended operations at a recently re-opened plant in India after workers tested positive for the coronavirus, an official said on Monday, underlining the challenges of easing a near two-month nationwide lockdown.

The factory, located on the outskirts of capital New Delhi, had received government permission to resume production, the company said on May 7, as part of a gradual relaxation of the shutdown that began on March 25.

OPPO had said it would resume manufacturing with 30% of its workforce, but a district official said that when the company tested its workers prior to production restarting, half a dozen people were positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.


Amritsar (India), 18/05/2020.- Migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh state and their family members board a shuttle bus to a railway station during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, in Amritsar, India, 18 May 2020. The Indian government has arranged several special trains for migrant workers stuck in other states for their return to their native places. Indian authorities have announced to further extend the ongoing lockdown to stem the widespread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, until 31 May 2020. EFE/EPA/RAMINDER PAL SINGH


Workers at Tamil Nadu Electricity board hold placards and shout slogans at protest against privatisations of Electricity distribution during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Chennai on May 18, 2020. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP)

According to this article from The Indian Express, a surge is just around the corner for India. More than 5,000 new cases of Coronavirus infections were reported on Sunday, which is the highest daily total since the pandemic started. The article says the relaxation in lockdown measures could be the cause of the surge, if there is one, as the nation waits to see which way the trend is heading.


A doctor wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) checks the body temperature of a resident during a COVID-19 random testing outside a slum during a nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Mumbai on May 18, 2020. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP)

Modi attacked over stimulus package as the prime minister tries to keep things together during the pandemic.

India evacuates thousands threatened by cyclone amid coronavirus pandemic

India began evacuating thousands of villagers and halted port operations ahead of a cyclone expected to hit its east coast this week, officials said on Monday, piling pressure on emergency services grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

The cyclone, expected to make landfall on Wednesday, comes as India eases the world's longest lockdown, imposed in April against the virus, which has infected more than 96,169 people and killed 3,029.

The states of Odisha and West Bengal sent disaster management teams to move families from homes of mud and thatch to places of shelter from the severe cyclonic storm, Amphan, which is expected to gain strength in the next 12 hours.

"We have to evacuate people from low-lying areas, and protect them from the coronavirus too," said a senior official of India's home ministry who sought anonymity. "It's not an easy task."


In this photograph taken on May 13, 2020 gravedigger Mohammed Shamim prepares a rope to lower into a grave the body of a person who died from the COVID-19 coronavirus before the burial at a graveyard in New Delhi. - Shamim is a third generation grave digger but now a shiver runs up even his spine each time he sees a hearse pull up at the New Delhi cemetery he tends. The coronavirus crisis has completely changed his outlook. 'I've been burying the dead for the last two decades. But until now, I've never been scared for my own life,' he said. The Indian capital has become one of the country's COVID-19 hotspots. While authorities say there are about 150 dead, media reports based on city cemetery records say there are 450. Shamim says he has dug graves for 115 . (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)

Indian cricketers won't rush be rushed back despite facilities opening

India's cricketers will not be rushed back into training even after the country gave the green light on Sunday for sports facilities to open, the national cricket board has said.

India has extended a nationwide lockdown to May 31 as it tries to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and while stadiums and sports complexes are reopening to allow athletes to train there will be no events staged that would draw spectators.

With travel and other restrictions in place, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it would wait before scheduling any training camp for its contracted players.

Further updates on what India is doing to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.

The Morning Standard - 18 May front page

The latest news concerting lockdown 4.0 dominate the page of India's Morning Standard.

China under the spotlight

India backs 62-nation coalition’s push for probe into Covid-19 origin.

India has backed calls to identify how the Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 was transmitted from animals to humans and conduct an ‘impartial’ evaluation of the World Health Organisation’s response to the pandemic, according to a draft resolution proposed for the WHO’s annual meet beginning tomorrow.

Kerala on alert for more positive cases

14 new COVID-19 cases are confirmed in Kerala today, out of which two people returned from abroad, seven from Tamil Nadu and two from Maharashtra.


Flamingos in Mumbai

Flamingos fly past near the residential area in Navi Mumbai, India. Migratory birds arrive in the winter season from different parts of India and neighboring countries and are usually leaving the region again in the spring months.



Cricket should be on back burner until COVID-19 situation improves: Wood

Cricket's return should not be a priority while the country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, England fast bowler Mark Wood has said as he questioned whether everyone involved in a match would be safe.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last month extended the suspension of the professional game until July 1 but England players will return to individual skills-based training next week in venues across the country.

The government said elite sport can return in June without spectators in attendance and the ECB is looking at hosting a three-test series against West Indies in July, possibly at 'bio-secure' venues.

"The nation wants to see sport and we want to play sport, but first and foremost it is safety first," Wood told Reuters.

"Are the players going to be safe, the overseas players, the management, caterers, cameramen, is everybody going to be alright?... Cricket sort of has to be on the back burner while every thing else gets better.

"As much as we would love to play sport and want sport back, I think it has to be about the nation and getting things back together and making sure people's safety and key workers and the NHS (National Health Service) are looked after."

India lockdown 4.0 

India's Ministry of Home Affairs has confirmed that the nationwide lockdown in place in the country since 25 March has been extended until 31 May, with "considerable relaxations" in restrictions.

The full details oh what this entails can be found here

Indian lockdown extension confirmed by three states

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa all confirmed the extension of the lockdown in their states until 31 May. 

Hello and welcome

Welcome to our live coverage of the latest coronavirus news in India for Monday May 18th. 

The current third phase of the lockdown is due to end today but an extension through to 30 May with is anticipated with considerable relaxations expected. 

An official said lockdown 4.0 would be more about implementing its “spirit” than imposing restrictions.