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

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Coronavirus live India: latest Covid-19 news - Sunday 24 May


India Covid-19 update: 02:30 IST on Monday 25 May (00:00 CEST)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University5,380,774 cases have been detected worldwide, with 343,721 deaths and 2,156,835 people now recovered.

In India, there have been 138,536 cases confirmed, 4,024 people have died and 57,692 people have recovered from the virus.

Only asymtomatic passengers will be allowed to fly

India's government has stressed that when domestic air travel resumes on Monday, only passengers who do not show any symptoms of Covid-19 will be able to board planes and complete their journey. On arrival at their destination, they will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

If passengers develop symptoms during quarantine after they have arrived, they must contact the district surveillance officer or state/national call centre.

International passengers will be forced to enter a 14-day quarantine on arrival - the first seven days at a facility which will be paid for by the state followed by a further seven at home.

Migrants provided with free slippers in Agra


Indian nationals repatriated

A total of 680 Indian nationals have safely arrived home after being repatriated from Canada, Singapore and London, as part of the Vande Bharat mission, the government confirmed this evening.

Updates on domestic flights; positive cases in India continue to rise

Domestic flights will resume across India on Monday after a day of 'hard negotiations', the federal civil aviation minister said on Sunday, after some states sought to limit the number of flights.

Flights will restart under an easing of restrictions imposed over the coronavirus, though the number of new cases rose by a record 24-hour amount on Sunday. The 6,767 new cases took the total to over 131,000. Airlines are preparing to resume about a third of their domestic flight operations from Monday, even without clarity over what quarantine rules may apply to passengers.

West Bengal urged the central government to postpone the resumption of passenger flights to Kolkata as it focuses on rescue work after Cyclone Amphan hit the city. Limited aviation operations in West Bengal will commence from Thursday.

The health ministry has asked states to design quarantine plans based on symptoms of passengers where those with moderate or severe symptoms would be taken to dedicated facilities. Those with mild symptoms must stay at home.


India hopes four Covid-19 vaccines may soon enter clinical trial stage

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that out of the 14 candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine which India is developing, four could soon be ready for clinical trials. "As far as I know, four of our 14 vaccines will soon be in the clinical trial stage, within four to five months. All 14 are currently at the pre-clinical trial stage," he explained. "It will take a minimum of one year for the development of any vaccine -  that is at the earliest. Therefore I advise the public to use social distancing, masks and follow hand and physical hygiene - the biggest safeguard against the disease, until a vaccine or cure is found".

Domestic flights to resume in India on Monday 25 May

Domestic flights will resume in India as from tomorrow, Monday 25 May - almost two months after the country was placed under lockdown. While some restrictions have been eased, India's lockdown will remain in place until 31 May. 

Except for two states Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal - who will recommence domestic flights on Tuesday 26 May and Thursday 28 May respectively, flights will be operable all across the country from tomorrow.


Passengers arriving to Assam will  be obliged to stay in quarantine for 14 days, the state government has announced...

India's civil aviation minister on the resumption of domestic flights tomorrow...

The latest figured from Madya Pradesh...

Indian govt to decide fate of IPL, not cricket board - minister

(Reuters) India's sports minister on Sunday said any decision to allow the Indian Premier League to go ahead this year would be taken by the government, not the Indian cricket board, and would be based on how well the country has contained the novel coronavirus.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said the IPL would go ahead only if there was no risk to public health.

"In India the government has to take a call and it will be depending on the situation of the pandemic, how we progress as a nation," Rijiju told the India Today television channel.

"We can't put health of the nation at risk just because we want sporting events to be held. Our focus is fighting Covid-19."

Repatriations continue

India's drive to repatriate some 14,000 citizens stranded abroad by the shutdown of international airspace is still ongoing, with 3,400 people returning from the UK on 11 flights so far. 

Maharashtra cases spike on Sunday

India's second most-populated state registered a daily record in the number of Covid-19 cases on Sunday, with the total in the area passing 50,000. 

Air Asia

Air Asia staff members (front) speak as they maintain social distancing at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport after the government eased restrictions imposed as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Ahmedabad on May 24, 2020. Domestic air travel will resume in India on May 25 after a two-month shutdown over the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP)

Remote work job searches through the roof

A report in Business Today shows that searches for remote working positions in India have jumped by nearly 400 percent during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Major Indian states seek delay in restarting flights as coronavirus cases rise

(Reuters) Three large Indian states have sought to delay the planned opening of their airports on Monday as new cases of the novel coronavirus jumped by a record, complicating the federal government's plan to resume flights after a two-month lockdown.

India registered 6,767 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the country's biggest 24 hour jump yet, taking the total to over 131,000.

Airlines are preparing to resume about a third of their domestic flight operations from Monday, even without clarity over which states will allow flights or what quarantine rules may apply to passengers.

India's western state of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu in the south and West Bengal in the east, major business hubs and home to the country's busiest airports, have said they are not prepared to open for flights amid rising coronavirus cases, according to state government officials.

India to ramp up thermal screening

The Health Ministry has called on all airports and train stations to increase thermal testing as India prepares to ease lockdown travel restrictions. 

India prepares to ease out of lockdown

The nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end on 31 May and some states are starting the process by opening some industrial activity. However, politicians have warned that the easing of restrictions is reliant on the observation of social distancing and the avoidance of crowds. 


Cyclone Amphan loss estimated at $13 bln in India

A powerful cyclone that tore through India's eastern state of West Bengal this week has caused a damage of 1 trillion rupees ($13 billion) to infrastructure and crops, state officials said.

Neighbouring Bangladesh, which also fell in Cyclone Amphan's path on Wednesday, initially said it had suffered a loss of 11 billion taka ($130 million). But this could rise, government officials said.

The two countries have lost at least 102 people in the cyclone, the most powerful in over a decade, mostly because of house collapses and electrocution. More than 3 million people were evacuated before Amphan made landfall, preventing a large number of deaths.

The cyclone has affected more than 13 million people - some losing houses, crops and lands - and over 1.5 million houses have been damaged, two West Bengal government officials stated.



Ahmedabad queues

Migrant workers and families wait for transportation going to the railway station to return by train to their hometowns after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Ahmedabad.


Saline water concerns

A major humanitarian crisis looms large over the Sunderbans region, as Cyclone Amphan has left thousands of acres of land inundated with saline water, virtually rendering the land unfit for cultivation for several years to come, local people, public representatives and experts fear.

Trains aplenty

“A total of 2,600 Shramik Special trains will run for the next 10 days, originating from 19 states for destinations in 16 states, carrying 36 lakh passengers,” an official said.

A look back...

There are few quiet days during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the stories making yesterday's related news:

- Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough in India unlikely to be within a year

- Scientists claim chemicals in Kangra tea could lower coronavirus activity better than HIV drugs

- Veteran Bollywood actor Kiran Kumar tests positive for Covid-19

- Cyclone Amphan loss estimated at $13bn in India


Coronavirus live India: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live, India-focused coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now led to well over five million cases worldwide with over 130,000 cases in India alone.

We'll endeavour to keep you abreast of the latest news and statistics as they emerge throughout the day.