PM Modi has urged States to only resort to lockdown as an absolute last resort.
Hours after multiple government hospitals in India’s capital issued a public appeal for help with acute oxygen shortage, GTB Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi said that a disaster was averted after they received stocks during the night.
Many hospitals, including these two, had said that their oxygen stock will last only for "7-12 hours” and COVID-19 patients will succumb if the situation isn’t addressed on priority basis.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a 20-minute televised speech on April 20, had alluded to the prevailing oxygen supply crisis. He said that the Indian industry as well as its transport sector was working hard to ensure that it was available as quickly as possible in places needed.
You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.
Here are the latest updates:
All religious places closed for public in Odisha capital
With the Odisha capital Bhubaneswar registering the highest ever single day spike of 581 new COVID-19 cases, the local municipal authorities declared closure of all religious places like temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches for devotees from Wednesday till further order.
After consultations with management committees of religious institutions like temples/mosques/gurudwaras/ churches and others, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has issued directives for religious places which will come into force from 21/04/2021, the BMC said in an order.
"No devotees shall be allowed inside any religious institution like temples/mosques/gurudwaras/churches, etc, until further order. However, the usual religious rituals in all such places of worship will be conducted with limited numbers of priests/staff," the order said. – PTI
Oxygen shortage: Hospitals ask families to shift patients
Although the State government has been claiming that there is no shortage of liquid medical oxygen, many hospitals continued to ask their admitted patients to shift to other facilities as they are running out of stock. Government helplines 108 and 1912 were flooded with calls seeking help.
Since Tuesday morning, the Emergency Response Team (ERT), a volunteer group, has been getting many calls from desperate families. ERT volunteers said they have got several calls from families of patients admitted in as many eight hospitals in various parts of the city on Tuesday, requesting help in finding oxygenated beds.
Karnataka introduces weekend curfew, curbs on businesses
The Karnataka government on Tuesday imposed weekend curfew and night curfew across the State and prohibited a range of businesses from functioning to contain the surge of COVID-19. The new pandemic-related stricture will be in place till May 4.
While the night curfew will be between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the weekend curfew will be between 9 p.m. on Friday till 6 a.m. on Monday. The new restrictions come in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the State, as cases exceeded 21,000 on Tuesday, bringing pressure on the medical infrastructure.
Educational institutions, cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, yoga centres, spas, sports complexes, stadium, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and bars have been brought under prohibited list till May 4. The guidelines ban social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious gatherings, and large congregation.
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