As many as 4,000 more people died of COVID and there were 4.01 lakh fresh infections in the country over the last 24 hours as Tamil Nadu joined many other states to announce a two-week “total lockdown” from May 10.
The country’s active caseload now stands at 37,23,446. With 4,187 deaths, the toll has gone up to 2.38 lakh.
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The Tamil Nadu lockdown order was issued a day after the state recorded its biggest daily surge of over 26,000 new COVID cases. The new cases have increased the caseload in the southern state to 13,23,965. As many as 197 virus-related deaths were reported over 24 hours, taking the total fatalities to 15,171. Chennai accounted for 6,738 new infections
In of the major announcements made after assuming office, Chief Minister MK Stalin said in a statement that the lockdown was being enforced due to “unavoidable reasons”. He said the decision was taken after inputs were received from district collectors on Friday (May 7), besides consultations with medical experts.
“The total lockdown will be enforced from 4 am on May 10 to 4 am on May 24,” he said. Banks with 50 per cent staff and ration shops will be allowed to operate, but restaurants will serve only takeaways. Cabs or autorickshaws are not allowed except for hospital or wedding/funeral work, the order said.
Karnataka and Manipur too have announced restrictions. A two-week lockdown will begin in Karnataka on May 10 and continue till May 24. In Manipur, the state government has announced that Greater Imphal and Imphal Municipal Corporation area will continue to be a containment zone for another 10 days. While a full lockdown has not been announced in Manipur yet, the containment zone order will remain in force from May 7 to 16.
In the worst-hit Maharashtra, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on May 7 that children might be affected badly if a third wave happened. The state has started preparing COVID centres for children. India doesn’t have a vaccine for children yet.
Many nations have offered support to crisis-hit India. The world’s largest cargo plane carrying three 18-ton oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators left Northern Ireland on May 7 as part of the UK’s latest response to India’s COVID-19 crisis.
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Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government told the Supreme Court on May 7 that vaccines must be given to states for free. “States cannot be made to negotiate and bargain individually on vaccine prices. States will be compelled to allocate funds for vaccines, which will have a crippling effect on an already stretched health infrastructure,” the state government told the apex court.