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India Coronavirus Update, 26 May: Cases near 1.5 lakh, Rahul Gandhi says lockdown strategy failed

Updated: May 26, 2020 1:43:47 pm

Migrant workers wait and board the special bus to their hometown in Madhya Pradesh at Kharadi bypass on Tuesday, (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

 Coronavirus India Updates: With just five more days left till the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown expires, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi claimed its aim and purpose has failed. Arguing that the lockdown hasn’t produced the desired results, he said India is the only country where relaxations were further being extended when the Covid-19 caseload has been increasing “exponentially”.

“What is the central government’s plan to go forward as the disease is growing exponentially in the country,” he said.

On Tuesday, according to the latest Minister of Health and Family Welfare, India saw 6,535 fresh cases in last 24 hours. The over tally is now 1,45,380 — including the 60,490 who have been treated and discharged and 4,167 deaths.

Meanwhile, in Assam, the tally has crossed the 500-mark, mostly due to the migrant workers returning to the state. The number of coronavirus cases have jumped more than five times in the last one week, making it one of the fastest growing states.

Traffic jam a day after Ghaziabad sealed its border. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Neighbour watch

Pakistan’s coronavirus cases on Tuesday soared to 57,705 after 1,356 new infections were reported, while 1,197 people have died so far of the disease in the country, the health ministry said.

Of the total number of 57,705 cases, 22,934 have so far been detected in Sindh, 20,654 in Punjab, 8,080 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3,468 in Balochistan, 1,728 in Islamabad, 630 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 211 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Officials have so far conducted 490,908 tests, including 7,252 done on Monday.
According to the Ministry of National Health Service, 18,314 patients have till now recovered from the virus, while 1,197 have died so far, including 30 during the last 24 hours.

Inadequate quarantine facilities

Though the state had recorded just a single Covid-19 case — which is no longer active — it has been struggling to cope with the influx of people returning. The government has decided to place them under home isolation due to inadequate number of quarantine centres. But they need to meet the requirements laid down for self isoaltion, Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said.

“Returnees seeking home isolation must apply to the district-level COVID-19 task force after obtaining permission from the medical officer or the district medical board, subject to clearance of rapid antibody test upon arrival at any designated quarantine centre,” he told PTI

Low-cost ventilators

An Indian-American couple has developed a low-cost portable emergency ventilator which is soon to hit the production stage and will be available in India and the developing world to help doctors deal with the COVID-19 patients.

Prompted by the lack of adequate ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, Devesh Ranjan, a professor and associate chair in the prestigious Georgia Tech’s George W Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and his wife Kumuda Ranjan, a practising family physician in Atlanta, developed the emergency ventilator from concept to prototype in just about three weeks-time.

And more good news

A US biotech company began testing vaccine on human subjects with an aim to begin mass production this year. Novavax will inject 131 volunteers in the first phase of the trial testing the safety of the vaccine and looking for signs of its effectiveness, the company’s research chief Dr. Gregory Glenn said.

About a dozen experimental vaccines against the coronavirus are in early stages of testing or poised to start, mostly in China, the US and Europe. It’s not clear that any will prove safe and effective. But many work in different ways, and are made with different technologies, increasing the odds that at least one approach might succeed.

Passengers practice social distancing inside an airport. (Express photo by Arul Horizon)

More from The Indian Express

  • Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda skipped the mandatory 7-day institutional quarantine in Karnataka for all fliers from 6 hotspot states, claiming he had exemption from quarantine as his Pharma Ministry was part of essential services.
  • After the son of a 78-year-old Hindu man refused to perform his funeral, some Muslim youths from a local organisation in Akola lit his pyre. The man died of a heart attack while his wife is undergoing treatment for Covid-19.
  • Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and the Aam Aadmi Party clashed over lockdown norms after a video of the Northeast Delhi MP playing cricket in Haryana’s Sonepat emerged on social media. While accused him of violating social distancing and travel guidelines, Tiwari claimed he followed all MHA norms.
  • 🔊 Listen to the Three Things podcast on why the Gujarat government has been criticised for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and how Surat is dealing with the exodus of workers.

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