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Sixth time lucky: Singer Kanika Kapoor discharged after testing negative for coronavirus

Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor has finally been discharged from Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Science after her sixth test came out negative.

Kapoor tested positive during her fifth test, which makes her early discharge a matter of concern. Free Press Journal had highlighted how doctors conduct one more test 48 hours after the first negative test occurs, just to ensure that the test is indeed a negative. Doctors have highlighted a false negative case could result in a patient getting a relapse.


The 'Baby Doll' singer who arrived to Lucknow on March 15 was in London for a while. The 41-year-old singer went to UK to meet her children who are currently studying there. She allegedl hid her travel history from the authorities. After the news broke out that she had tested positive, journalist Poulomi Saha also revealed that Kanika had managed to escape the screening at Lucknow airport by hiding in the washroom.


Kapoor also threw a party at a five-star hotel. A large number of bureaucrats, politicians and socialites were among the others who attended the party.

Medical officials are now unsure how to quarantine the entire building where the singer stayed and also subject the guests at the party to tests.

The Total number of positive cases in India has risen to 4,067.


Coronavirus in Mumbai: City records 103 cases, eight deaths, highest in a day

Mumbai: Maharashtra recorded a staggering 13 more corona deaths in the last 24 hours, with the toll of fatalities touching 45 in the State. On Sunday, 113 new cases were also reported, bringing the total number to 748. Of the 13 deaths in the state, eight were in Mumbai, three in Pune and one each in Kalyan-Dombivli and Aurangabad.

According to the public health department of the BMC, there were 103 new corona cases and eight deaths in Mumbai on Sunday, the highest in a day so far, bringing the total number of cases in Mumbai to 433; the city’s death tally is 30. Six of the eight deceased had comorbidities, while age-related factors played a role in the other two deaths.

As per the BMC, 55 of the 103 cases reported between March 31 and April 1, were confirmed Covid-positive by private labs on Sunday. Similarly, three of the eight deaths reported by private labs in the same period were also confirmed on Sunday.

“All eight patients who died were COVID-positive and suffering from respiratory illness, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and co-morbidities,” said an official.

According to the state health department, 81 of the 113 new cases are from Mumbai, 18 from Pune, six from Navi Mumbai, four from Aurangabad, three from Ahmednagar and one each from Osmanabad and other states. So far, 56 people have fully recovered after treatment. “None of the deceased had any history of international travel.

All were contact-traced and tested positive. All these patients were also suffering from co-morbidities,” said the official. Currently, 333 positive corona cases and 22 deaths have been reported from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), of which 278 are from Mumbai and 55 from Navi Mumbai.

“The new patients who tested positive for corona did not have any travel history. All of them are close contacts of infected patients and also had other health issues,” said a health official. Of the 16,008 laboratory samples, 14,837 tested negative and 748 positive for coronavirus until Sunday, while 46,586 people are in home quarantine and 3,122 people are in institutional quarantine.

1. A 67-year-old woman from Dombivli died at Kasturba Hospital on Saturday. She had no overseas travel history. She suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

2. A 64-year-old man died at Kasturba Hospital. He had no travel history either.

3. A 62-year-old man died at Nair Hospital. He, too, had no international travel history.

4. A 60-year-old man died at KEM hospital early on Sunday. Again, no travel history.

5. A 52-year-old male died on April 3 at Kasturba Hospital and tested positive for coronavirus. He had no international travel history. Apart from being diabetic and hypertensive, he was HIV-positive as well.

6. A 70-year-old woman died at KEM hospital Mumbai on Saturday. She had no international travel history. She was diabetic, hypertensive and had chronic kidney disease, for which she was on dialysis.

7. A 55-year-old man died on Saturday at a private hospital in Chembur. He had no travel history but being a taxi driver, he would visit the airport multiple times, ferrying passengers back and forth.

8. A 77-year-old man died early on Saturday at Kasturba. A hypertensive and diabetic, he had no international travel history.

9. An 80-year-old man died on Saturday at a private hospital in Chembur. He had no international travel history. He was diabetic, hypertensive and suffered from epilepsy. He had also suffered brain haemorrhage.

10. A 60-year-old woman, contact of a Covid19 patient, died late Saturday night at Sassoon Hospital, Pune. She had diabetes and hypertension.

11. A 52-year-old man died at Sassoon Hospital, Pune. He was diabetic and had no international travel history.

12. A 52-year-old bank officer died at the Government Medical College, Aurangabad, on Sunday. A diabetic, hypertensive and a heart patient, he had not travelled anywhere except Mumbai.

13. A 77-year-old woman who had extreme obesity died at the district hospital in Aundh, Pune. She had recently undergone gallbladder surgery. A private hospital in the city had referred her to the district hospital.


No learning from Nizamuddin: Rajasthan reports gathering of over 1,000 people for Ram Navami celebrations amid COVID-19 lockdown

It may not be a gathering of the magnitude of the event organized by Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, but Rajasthan saw 1,000 people gathered for an event a day after Ram Navmi. Five people, who organized the event have been arrested.

According to reports, over 1,000 people gathered for a religious ritual or 'Neja ki Savari' organised in Ramnagar of Bundi districts of Rajasthan on Friday.

Sangeeta Pranvendra
Flouting #lockdown - Over a 1000 people gathered for a religious ritual 'Neja ki Savari' organised in Ramnagar of Bundi districts of Rajasthan on Friday. 

Case registered 5 arrested.
1/4@fpjindia#COVID2019 #COVID19Pandemic #CoronavirusPandemic #coronavirusindia #Lockdown21

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Sources claim that it was a total intelligence failure on part of the Rajasthan Police, as it had no idea about both gatherings. The police reached the event only after the celebrations ended.

The event is organised on the day after Ram Navami each year.

This year it lasted for over 2 hours. People gathered and were huddled together on roads and rooftops.

Sangeeta Pranvendra
 · 1h
Flouting #lockdown - Over a 1000 people gathered for a religious ritual 'Neja ki Savari' organised in Ramnagar of Bundi districts of Rajasthan on Friday. 

Case registered 5 arrested.
1/4@fpjindia#COVID2019 #COVID19Pandemic #CoronavirusPandemic #coronavirusindia #Lockdown21

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Sangeeta Pranvendra
The event is organised on the day after #RamNavmi each year. 
This year it lasted for over 2 hours. People collected and were huddled together on roads and rooftops. 

2/4 @fpjindia #COVID2019 #COVID19Pandemic #CoronavirusPandemic #coronavirusindia #Lockdown21 #StayHome

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The event is annually organised to 'respectfully send back spirits' who have supposedly come during Navratri.

This is the second such even that has witnessed a gathering after Ram Navami. Last week, Telangana witnessed a large gathering during the celebrations. Telangana ministers Allola Indrakaran Reddy and Puvvada Ajay Kumar participated in Rama Navami celebrations held today at Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple in Bhadrachalam.

Nine terrorists killed in an encounter with Indian Army at LoC

In a major encounter, nine terrorists were killed by Indian Army in last 24 hours in Kashmir valley, said Army sources.

Army sources further added that while four terrorists were killed on Saturday in Batpura district in South Kashmir, five other terrorists were killed along Line of Control (LoC) in the Keran sector.

At least four terrorists were killed by security forces here and four weapons were recovered from them on Saturday, said army sources.

"We have neutralised four terrorists and recovered four weapons from them. Search for the fifth is underway. We appeal to the people in Kulgam district to not provide shelter to terrorists as they may spread COVID-19 infection," Jammu and Kashmir General Operation Commanding (GOC) Victor Force, A Sengupta, said.

Apparently, the terrorists killed in Keran sector were trying to infiltrate from across the Line of Control.

In this operation, one Indian Army soldier has lost his life while two more are critically injured, said Army sources.

Now, while the operations to evacuate the injured were underway, it has now been hampered by heavy snow and rough terrain conditions. However, operation is still remain in progress, said Army sources.

Weapons and warlike stores were recovered from the possession of the killed terrorists.


Unity amid a pandemic: Tajinder Bagga goes out of his way to help bete noire Prashant Bhushan's cousin-in-law

There are things we never thought we would see in our lifetime. US President Donald Trump meeting North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hugging PM Modi in Lok Sabha is another thing that comes to mind. However, Delhi BJP member Tajinder Bagga offering help to former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan is something we would never expect, given their previous animosity. And it proves one thing: when there is a global pandemic, everyone puts their differences aside and works together to help.

It all began when Bhushan shared a tweet about his cousin’s brother-in-law. “A highly acclaimed cardiologist in the US who is on a ventilator due to COVID-19. He needs a plasma donor from among recovered COVID patients immediately. If there is any such donor, it would be great if you could contact the numbers below.”

Bagga was the first to respond asking Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale if he could help. Chauthiwale is the in-charge, Foreign Affairs Dept in the BJP.

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga

. @vijai63 ji can you help …

Prashant Bhushan

This is my cousin's brother in law. A highly acclaimed cardiologist in the US who is on a ventilator due to Covid-19. He needs a plasma donor from among recovered Covid patients immediately. If there is any donor of that kind, would be great if you could contact the numbers below

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Notably, Bagga and Bhushan have had an acrimonious past. In 2011, before he was officially part of the BJP, he led an organisation called the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena and attacked SC advocate Prashant Bhushan tweeting proudly: "We hit Prashant Bhushan hard in his chamber in Supreme Court. If u will try to break my nation, I will break ur heads.”

He had been detained for the incident. The incident had been condemned by a host of senior BJP leaders including LK Advani and Rajnath Singh and Bagga even claimed he had left the BJP’s youth wing to foment trouble from outside.

Over 30% of coronavirus positive patients in India attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin: Report

The Tablighi Jamaat gathering at Nizamuddin has accounted for a little over 30 per cent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in India, according to an Indian Express report.

So far, India has recorded 3,500-plus cases, with over 1,000 of them coming from the gathering at Nizamuddin.

The cases have come from 17 states and Union Territories — Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

On Thursday, 544 people were tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Of these, 65 per cent belonged to the Tablighi Jamaat group.

The Tabhighi Jamaat was event held in Delhi's Nizamuddin earlier this month, even as officials asked people to avoid mass congregations, has had a problematic ending. Many of the attendees have since tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and some of them have passed away.

On Wednesday an undated audio clip emerged, purportedly of Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Khandhlawi encouraging people to gather in mosques.

"If you think you will die if you assemble in a masjid, let me tell you, there is no better place to die," he had said at the time. Lamenting the fact that people "can't even pray", he had added that "they" wanted people to stop praying so that it wouldn't add to their difficulties.

"We will only accept that doctor's advice who follows the path of Allah and fears the almighty," he declared. However, even such a doctor would be ignored if he gave them similar advice, he had declared.

But with thousands of followers in quarantine, and many others testing positive for the virus, Saad appears to have had a change of heart.

In a new video he asks followers to listen to officials and self-quarantine themselves. Not only that, he now appears to believe that staying at home is the "only way to calm God's wrath".

"One should follow the advice of doctors and cooperate with the administration. Wherever our members are, they should follow the administration's orders," he said.


9 Baje 9 Minute: PM Modi's call to turn off lights can lead to failure of power grid, says Maharashtra Energy Minister

On Friday, Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to switch off lights at 9 pm on Sunday might lead to failure of power grid.

News agency ANI reported, Nitin Raut in video message said, "If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of grid. All our emergency services will fail and it might take a week's time to restore power."

Sudhir Suryawanshi
Energy minister @NitinRaut_INC requested @PMOIndia not to ask shutting down power rather ask to light only candles or lamps on April 5. He said, shutting down light will create problem at power grid & once power grid is trip down, it takes 16 hours to restore @NewIndianXpress

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The Minister urged people to light candles and lamps without switching off lights at their homes. "Putting off the lights together at the same time can lead to a huge difference in demand and supply. As there is lockdown, the demand has already decreased from 23,000 megawatt to 13,000 megawatt as factory units are not operating," he said. "Switching off the lights at the time will lead to a blackout that is likely to affect emergency services. It would take us at least 12-16 hours to restore services. Electricity is a major tool during this COVID-19 crisis," he said.

In a video message on Friday, the Prime Minister asked citizens to turn all lights off in their houses at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) and to stand at their doors or windows with a candle, diya and torch for nine minutes in a battle against the COVID-19.In his address to the nation on March 24, the Prime Minister had announced a 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, which has infected over 2,000 people in the country.

(Inputs from Agencies)

Donnie say, Donnie no do: Trump refuses to wear a mask during coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump has recommended Americans to cover their faces with scarves or homemade cloth masks while going outside to curb the spread of the coronavirus though he would not wear one himself.

Well, not only did he decide to not follow his own guidelines, he also seems to have dared to ignore his wife Melania Trump's advice to wear a mask and practise social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"As the weekend approaches I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. #COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone - we can stop this together," Melania tweeted.

Melania Trump

As the weekend approaches I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. #COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone - we can stop this together.

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Earlier, citing the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Trump urged people to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks, and to keep medical-grade masks available for the health workers.

"The CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure," Trump said on Friday.

"The CDC is not recommending the use of medical-grade or surgical-grade masks. Those needs to be used for medical people working to save lives of Americans. Medical protective gear must be reserved for the front-line healthcare workers who are performing those vital services," he said.

CDC has recommended that Americans wear a basic cloth or fabric masks that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.

However, Trump said that he will not follow that guidance.

"I just don't want to wear one myself, it's a recommendation," he said.

"Somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk, the great Resolute Desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, dictators, kings, queens, I don't know, I don't see it for myself," he said.

"Maybe I’ll change my mind, but this will pass, and hopefully it will pass very quickly," he added.

The deadly coronavirus has so far claimed over 7,000 lives in the US and infected over 2,70,000 people.

During the press conference, Trump stressed that the new masks guidelines do not replace CDC's guidance on social distancing, including staying at home when possible, standing at least 6 feet apart for a period of time and also called for practicing hand hygiene.

Based on the new available data, CDC said the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity--for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing--even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.

Coronavirus update: US death toll crosses mind-boggling 1,500 people in just one day!

The US has recorded nearly 1,500 coronavirus deaths in a span of 24 hours, the highest number of fatalities registered in a day globally since the pandemic began last December, it was reported.

According to figures from the Washington-based Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), 1,480 deaths were recorded between Thursday and Friday.

As of Saturday morning, the US has registered 7,152 coronavirus deaths, with New York, the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, accounting for 1,867 of the total count, the CSSE figures showed.

The US also has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world at 277,953.

In the wake of the increasing death toll, US President Donald Trump announced new guidelines on Friday recommending that Americans wear face coverings while in public to battle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic but made it clear that he is "choosing not to do it".

"It's a recommendation. It's voluntary. I just don't want to wear one myself", Trump said, reflecting the mood of the fairly long drawn debate on the subject at the highest levels of the US government.

The New York metro area remains the epicenter of the outbreak in the US. Its high population density, tourist traffic in the early months of the year before border controls kicked in, and surface transmission from a robust public transport system have been cited by public health experts as crucial ingredients of the virus' deadly blow.


Facing severe shortage of intensive care equipment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking one of the most aggressive steps yet in the US battle against COVID-19. Cuomo said he would sign an executive order to take ventilators that aren't being used.

Cuomo has said New York could run out of ventilators next week. Louisiana's governor said New Orleans could be down to zero supply by Tuesday. Global shortages of masks, gowns and ventilators have led to intense competition among buyers from all over.

The race is on to find a vaccine, but America's leading scientists say a breakthrough is at least 12-18 months away. Social distancing guidelines are in place but compliance differs across state lines.

The new guidelines on face coverings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) come basis evolving research that indicates pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic spread of the virus.


The CDC is recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The guidance especially applies "in areas of significant community-based transmission."

CDC and the White House task force are underlining that home made face masks are an additional and "voluntary" measure that run in parallel with the social distancing guidelines already in place since March 16.

US guidelines currently in place recommend staying at home, keeping at least 6 feet distance from others, frequent hand washing and not touching your face.

The US surgeon general who had asked people to "stop buying masks" today explained the new guidelines are part of the "evolving" recommendations.

Trump's comments come on the same day that First lady Melania Trump tweeted endorsement for the new guidelines and urged everyone take social distancing and wearing a mask or face covering "seriously".


White House coronavirus task force co-ordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said early and effective social distancing compliance in California and Washington State have controlled the outbreak in those states. "We do see that their curve is different," she said.

"Their curve is different from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. And we really believe that the work that every citizen is doing in those states is making a difference."

Birx said Chicago, Detroit, Colorado, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania are all floating into view as new areas of concern.

America's COVID19 hotspots New York and New Jersey, are reporting 35 percent of their tests are positive. Louisiana follows close behind with a 26 per cent positive rate. Michigan, Connecticut, Indiana, Georgia and Illinois are at 15 per cent while Colorado, Washington DC, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are all at 13 per cent.

This week, the Trump administration revealed for the first time multiple predictive models that are being used to estimate its grim assessment of a 1,00,000-2,00,000 coronavirus death toll in the country. The 1,00,000-2,00,000 death toll projection "assumes full mitigation measures" currently in place, according to America's top doctors leading the White House task force.

The world's top pandemic experts are saying the outbreak in the US is unlike anything they have seen before.

"There's no magic bullet. There's no magic vaccine or therapy. It's just behaviours. Each of our behaviours, translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days", Birx has said repeatedly.

The 1,00,000-2,00,000 death toll projection "assumes full mitigation measures" currently in place, according to the White House task force. The current guidelines stop short of a complete lockdown, still allowing people to go outside the home for solitary activities and for essential tasks.

"We trust the American people to keep that six feet distance when they go out, meet people. That is why we have not issued a complete lockdown", Birx said. She said that if people maintain "that six feet distance", they have controlled the virus.


Coronavirus lockdown: Maha govt likely to extend lockdown by few more weeks in Mumbai, other urban areas

Mumbai: There may not be respite for Maharashtra just yet. Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday the State government may have to extend the lockdown by a few more weeks, especially in Mumbai and other urban areas. The nationwide, three-week lockdown announced by PM Modi is set to end on April 14.

“We are expecting the positive Covid-19 cases to recede by April 15, after an initial spike. We will have to extend the lockdown period by a few more weeks… Lifting it fully in a city like Mumbai is unlikely,” said Tope, adding imposing restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus is a decision the state government can take.

As of 8.30pm on Friday, Maharashtra had the highest number of Covid-19 cases (335) and the highest fatalities (16) in the country, according to the Union health ministry website. “We had imposed a complete lockdown in Maharashtra two days before it was announced across the country.

Before that, too, we had imposed restrictions in urban areas and shut down public places. Containing the spread [of coronavirus] in a city like Mumbai is a herculean task, and the decision to end the lockdown will have to be taken cautiously and after due deliberation.

I personally feel it will have to be extended in Mumbai,” said the minister. Modi, during his videoconference with chief ministers of all states on Thursday, hinted at a staggered lifting of the lockdown in consultation with the states.


He reportedly asked states to prepare their exit plans and submit suggestions to the Centre on the withdrawal of the lockdown. Seniors leaders in the state government, however, feel lifting restrictions immediately after the completion of 21 days would jeopardise their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Tope, meanwhile, said the containment of the virus in Mumbai is a “big task”, but they are not leaving any stone unturned. “Our health workers, police and municipal corporation workers have been working on the cluster containment action plan, with 292 teams working on it in Mumbai.

We have more than 800 employees working as part of these teams to trace suspected cases. The number of suspected cases has increased owing to the Tablighi Jamaat programme organised in (Delhi’s) Nizamuddin last month. But we are sure that we will be able to contain it,” he said.

The state government was mulling exempting auxiliary sectors, which support essential sectors in production, from the lockdown. A state government official, who did not want to be named, said manufacturing units engaged in the production of polythene or chemicals required for packaging of essential commodities are likely to be exempted from the lockdown. “The stock of material manufactured in these auxiliary sectors will last for the next eight days or so.

As per the representation made to us by these sectors, they need to be exempted from the lockdown,” the official said. Tope said the exemption of such sectors was necessary to ensure the smooth supply of essential goods.