Bengal fire services minister Sujit Bose tests positive for COVID-19, becomes first case in Mamata Banerjee cabinet


Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: A minister in West Bengal has tested positive for COVID-19, making it the first such case in the Mamata Banerjee-led state cabinet, a well-placed source in the government told PTI. State Fire Services minister Sujit Bose has been advised to undergo home quarantine after his test results came out positive, the source said.

Amid rising Covid-19 cases in the city, almost all intensive care unit (ICU) beds available for COVID-19 treatment are occupied. As of 28 May, of the 645 COVID Care ICU beds, 99% were occupied. A total of 65% of the 4,292 beds with oxygen support were occupied, while 72% of 373 ventilators were in use, data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) showed, reports Hindustan Times.

India is now the ninth worst-hit country, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. According to the tracker, the country’s tally is 1.65 lakh and the toll is 4,706 as of Friday morning. The toll is more than that of China where 4,638 people have died so far.

According to the Union Health Ministry, with 7466 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, ​the total cases have reached 1,65,799. The total active cases are now at 89,987, with  71,105 patients have recovered and 4,706 have deaths.

With 9 new positive cases for COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh — five from Hamirpur and four from Kangra districts, total positive cases in the state rises to 290 including 208 active cases, said state health department.

US President Donald Trump is feeling ‘absolutely great’ after taking a two-week dose of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine and will take it again if he thinks he is exposed to the coronavirus, a top White House official has said.

The count of coronavirus cases in Dharavi in Mumbai rose to 1,675 on Thursday as 36 more people tested positive for the infection, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. In good news, no death due to COVID-19 was reported in the slum-dominated area since Wednesday evening. The death toll in the area thus stands at 70.

On a day that the toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,531 in India and the number of cases climbed to 1,58,333, the Supreme Court issued a slew of directives aimed at ensuring relief to stranded migrant workers across the country.

In the past 24 hours, the country reported 194 deaths and 6,566 cases, the Union health ministry said.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 86,110 while 67,691 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, according to the ministry.

“Thus, around 42.75 percent patients have recovered so far,” a senior official said.

In the hearing on Thursday, the Supreme Court directed that no migrant worker should be charged for travelling to their home towns and made it obligatory for states to provide food and shelter for those languishing on roads.

 Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: Bengal fire services minister Sujit Bose tests positive for COVID-19, becomes first case in Mamata Banerjee cabinet

Representational image. AP

SG lashes out at ‘armchair intellectuals’

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta complained to the Supreme Court that there are “arm chair intellectuals” acting as “prophets of doom” in the country by spreading negativity and not recognising the “humongous” efforts being made to deal with migrant workers’ crisis following the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah, hearing a suo motu case on the miseries faced by migrant workers during the lockdown, was also informed by Mehta, appearing for the Centre, about the steps taken by the government to deal with the crisis.

He said that around one crore migrant workers have been transported due to their native states, but there are some who do not want to shift due to the reopening of the activities.

“Migrants are walking because of anxiety or local level instigation where they are said ‘walk now, trains won’t run’,” he told the court.

 

The SC bench asked Mehta about the confusion over the payment of travel fare of stranded migrant workers and said that migrant workers should not be made to pay for their journey back home.

“What is the normal time? If a migrant is identified, there must be some certainty that he will be shifted out within one week or ten days at most? What is that time? There had been instances where one state sends migrants but at the border another State says we are not accepting the migrants. We need a policy on this,” the bench told Mehta.

The bench, questioning him over the travel-fare for the migrant workers, said: “In our country, the middlemen will always be there. But we don’t want middlemen to interfere when it comes to payment of fares. There has to be a clear policy as to who will pay for their travel.”

State-wise cases and deaths

Of the 194 deaths reported since Wednesday morning, 105 were in Maharashtra, 23 in Gujarat, 15 in Delhi, 12 in Uttar Pradesh, eight in Madhya Pradesh, six each in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal, three each in Karnataka and Rajasthan, two each in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Kerala.

Of the total 4,531 fatalities, Maharashtra tops the tally with 1,897 deaths followed by Gujarat with 938 deaths, Madhya Pradesh with 313, Delhi with 303, West Bengal with 289, Uttar Pradesh with 182, Rajasthan with 173, Tamil Nadu with 133, Telangana with 63 and Andhra Pradesh with 58 deaths.

On Thursday, the toll reached 47 in Karnataka and 40 in Punjab. Jammu and Kashmir has reported 26 fatalities due to the disease, Haryana has 18 deaths while Bihar has registered 15. Odisha and Kerala have reported seven deaths each, Himachal Pradesh five, while Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Assam have recorded four deaths each so far.

Meghalaya has reported one COVID-19 fatality so far, according to data from the Union health ministry.

According to the ministry’s website, more than 70 percent of the deaths are due to comorbidities.

As per the ministry’s data updated in the morning, the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country are from Maharashtra at 56,948 followed by Tamil Nadu at 18,545, Delhi at 15,257, Gujarat at 15,195, Rajasthan at 7,703, Madhya Pradesh at 7,261 and Uttar Pradesh at 6,991.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 4,192 in West Bengal, 3,171 in Andhra Pradesh and 3,061 in Bihar.

Whereas, it has risen to 2,418 in Karnataka, 2,139 in Punjab, 2,098 in Telangana, 1,921 in Jammu and Kashmir and 1,593 in Odisha.

Haryana has reported 1,381 coronavirus cases so far while Kerala has 1,004 cases. A total of 781 people have been infected with the virus in Assam and 448 in Jharkhand.

Uttarakhand has 469, Chhattisgarh has 369, Chandigarh has reported 279 cases, Himachal Pradesh has 273, Tripura has 230 and Goa has registered 68 cases so far.

Ladakh has reported 53 COVID-19 cases, Puducherry has 46 instances of infection, Manipur has 44, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has registered 33 cases.

Meghalaya has registered 20. Nagaland has reported four infections, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Arunachal Pradesh have reported two cases each while Mizoram and Sikkim have reported a case each till now.

367 domestic flights operated till 5 pm

A total of 367 domestic flights, carrying 30,136 passengers, operated throughout the country till 5 pm on Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Airports in West Bengal also started operations on Thursday, three days after domestic air travel resumed in India after a gap of two months.

All scheduled domestic passenger services were suspended in India from 25 March to 24 May due to restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier in the day, Puri had said that 460 domestic flights carrying 34,336 passengers were operated on Wednesday.

In the case of West Bengal, the minister on Sunday had said that the state will handle domestic flights from Thursday.

A total of 428 domestic flights carrying 30,550 passengers and 445 domestic services carrying 62,641 flyers were operated in the country on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 29, 2020 11:10:10 IST

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