India records 3,525 fresh cases; 24,385 cured till now
Union Aviation Minister Puri says Phase-II of Vande Bharat Mission will be from May 16-22
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 2,415 and the number of cases climbed to 74,281 on Wednesday, registering an increase of 122 deaths and 3,525 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 47,480 while 24,385 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said. "Thus, around 32.83 per cent patients have recovered so far," a senior health ministry official said.
A total 122 deaths were reported since Tuesday morning, of which 53 were in Maharashtra, 24 in Gujarat, 13 in Delhi, eight each in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, four each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two each in Telangana and Uttar Pradesh and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and Puducherry.
Of the 2,415 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 921 fatalities, Gujarat comes second with 537 deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 225, West Bengal at 198, Rajasthan at 117, Delhi at 86, Uttar Pradesh at 82, Tamil Nadu at 61 and Andhra Pradesh at 46. The death toll reached 32 in Punjab and Telangana each.
Karnataka has reported 31 fatalities due to the respiratory disease, Haryana has registered 11, Jammu and Kashmir 10, Bihar six and Kerala has reported four deaths. Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Odisha have recorded three COVID-19 fatalities each while Himachal Pradesh and Assam have reported two deaths each. Meghalaya, Uttarakhand and Puducherry have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.
According to the health ministry data updated on Wednesday morning, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 24,427 followed by Gujarat at 8,903, Tamil Nadu at 8,718, Delhi at 7,639, Rajasthan at 4,126, Madhya Pradesh at 3,986 and Uttar Pradesh at 3,664.
30,000 Indians to return
Meanwhile, Union Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday informed that the Phase-2 of Vande Bharat Mission will be from May 16-22. "In the first phase of Vande Bharat, we were to bring back 14,800 Indians on 64 flights. About 8,500 Indians have already returned till this morning. More flights are underway. In the second phase, the numbers are being doubled. About 30,000 more Indians will return from 31 countries on 149 flights," Puri tweeted.
He added, "Phase-II of Vande Bharat Mission to begin from May 16-22. It will also include flights from Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Canada, France, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Ukraine."
No transport available on arrival in Delhi
Scores of people, who arrived in New Delhi, on the first batch of trains since the partial resumption of railway services amid a lockdown, were on Wednesday left stranded on the roads outside the station with no transport available for onward journeys. Special trains from Ahmedabad, Patna and Mumbai reached the New Delhi station before 9 am. The Indian Railways resumed passenger train operations from May 12, initially with 15 pairs of trains, weeks after these were suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Now, AI's Centaur Hotel sealed
The ground floor of Air India's Centaur Hotel was sealed for two days on Wednesday for sanitisation after a crew member tested at the temporary facility was found positive for COVID-19, senior airline officials said. Amid the Coronavirus-triggered lockdown, the Centaur is not functioning as a hotel and only a certain area of its ground floor is being used temporarily to test crew members who have to operate passenger flights under Vande Bharat Mission or other cargo flights, the officials noted.
Return of migrants increases cases
The return of the migrant workers from the highly Coronavirus infected states of Maharashtra and Gujarat is pushing up the number of COVID-19 patients in Jharkhand where the tally reached 174 on Wednesday. According to the health officials, of the recent 50 positive cases, 38 are migrant labourers. The highest numbers during the day were reported from Hazaribagh district where six people, who had returned from Maharashtra a couple of days ago, have been confirmed to be infected with Coronavirus.
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