Image for representation.
Soon after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcements on income tax, real estate and EPF contribution under Centre's Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, the opposition leaders slammed the government over the "big zero" relief measures. While West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the states had not been given any money, Congress leaders P Chidambaram said that it was a cruel blow to those who toil every day.
Senior Congress leader and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the stimulus package had no clear indication of where the funds will be available from, what the schemes were and who would be the beneficiaries.
Four domestic pharma firms — Cipla, Jubilant Life Sciences, Hetero and Mylan — have entered into non-exclusive licensing agreements with drug major Gilead Sciences Inc for manufacturing and distribution of remdesivir, a potential therapy for Covid-19.
The medicine has been issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Covid-19 patients. "Gilead has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five generic pharmaceutical manufacturers based in India and Pakistan to further expand supply of remdesivir.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore to help the nation cope with the impact of coronavirus and the lockdown of large parts of the economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to list out the details of the package at 4pm today. According to government sources, the package announcement did take time but is comprehensive after wider consultations with small to big businesses.
They added that inputs were taken from various associations and chambers and PM Modi took keen interest in the detailing of the package.
India's death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 2,415 and the number of cases climbed to 74,281 today, registering an increase of 122deaths 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.
Maharashtra is thinking of a graded exit strategy post the end of lockdown on May 17 even as Mumbai inches towards the 15,000-mark in Covid-19 cases, while the total cases in Maharashtra have gone above 24,000. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed all district collectors and divisional commissioners to give a detailed plan about their districts' exit strategy after phase 3 of lockdown.
The details will be collected and mulled over at the Secretariat. The CM also directed the district administration to gear up for monsoon-related illnesses. Strict instructions have been given to the administration to stop any movement from containment zones.
Considering that projections for this month are quite high, and they will be coupled with monsoon related illnesses, medical facilities at each district asked to be prepped up. Thackeray told district administrations to focus on door to door screening for not just Covid, but other illnesses too.
The novel coronavirus has infected over 42 lakh people and led to more than 2,90,000 deaths globally.
In another concerning development linked to the disease, New York state health officials are investigating around 100 children who may have been diagnosed with a recently identified illness associated with Covid-19 that some doctors are referring to as "pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome". Doctors say in some cases, children are taking up to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus to present with symptoms of this illness. Five children in New York have reportedly died of the illness.
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