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Covid roundup: PM to meet CMs on April 8, Centre’s report on 2nd wave and more | India News

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states on Thursday to discuss the ongoing Covid situation in India as the country continues to witness a steep rise in fresh infections.
On Monday, India crossed the grim milestone of 1-lakh fresh Covid cases, becoming only the second country after the US to register a six-figure addition in a single day.
Here are the key developments of the day:
PM Modi to hold meet with chief ministers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers on Thursday to discuss the Covid-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive, PTI reported quoting sources.
PM Modi’s last interaction with the CMs was on March 17 during which he had expressed concern over the rise in Covid-19 cases in parts of the country and called for “quick and decisive” steps to check the “emerging second peak”.
On Sunday, PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the Covid situation in India and said that community awareness is vital to tackle the pandemic.
Modi had said the five-fold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination, if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment, would be effective in curbing the spread of the pandemic, according to an official statement that was released after the meeting.
The Centre also gave three main reasons behind India’s Covid surge: Severe decline in compliance of Covid-appropriate behaviour, especially in the use of masks and social distancing; pandemic fatigue and lack of effective implementation of containment measures at the field level.
Vardhan to interact with health ministers
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan will also chair a meeting during which he will interact with health ministers of 11 worst-hit states.
These 11 states are Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.
According to the health ministry, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have shown a steep rise in daily cases, accounting for 81.90 per cent of the over 1 lakh infections reported in a day.
Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 57,074. which is 55.11 per cent of the new cases reported nationwide. It is followed by Chhattisgarh with 5,250 cases and Karnataka reported 4,553 fresh infections.
Curbs kick in
With a sharp rise in cases, various state governments have started imposing restrictions to bring the situation under control.
While a few states and union territories like Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu have announced closure of schools for an indefinite period, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Punjab, among others, have suspended classes for a brief period.
Schools have been directed to impart education through online classes in view of the situation.
On Sunday, Maharashtra announced various new curbs such as weekend lockdown and night curfew starting Monday.
‘India well prepared to combat second wave’
Having successfully managed the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, India is well prepared to combat the scourge of the second wave, the finance ministry’s monthly economic report said.
The report further said high-frequency data indicates that India is on the path to become better and stronger.
“After battling a historic pandemic in FY 2020-21, the Indian economy is poised to build back better and stronger as is reflected in the movement of several high-frequency indicators.
“Instrumental in this resilient comeback will be a strong revival in investment growth supported by the AtmaNirbharBharat Mission and a massive boost to infrastructure and capital expenditure provided for in the Union Budget 2021-22,” the report said.
Relax norms for opening vaccination centre, taking jab: Kejriwal
Meanwhile, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to PM Modi, requesting him to relax the norms for opening vaccination centres and lift the age criterion for getting inoculated.
He reiterated the Delhi government can vaccinate all the residents of the city within three months if the necessary permissions are granted by the Centre.
Delhi too is witnessing a steep surge in infections. It recorded over 4,000 Covid 19 positive cases and 21 deaths due to the virus on Sunday.
The Delhi government has also announced that one-third of vaccination centre at all government hospitals will operate 24 hours a day.
Investor wealth tumbles over Rs 2.16 lakh crore
The coronavirus situation has also impacted the markets with investors losing over Rs 2.16 lakh crore at close of trade on Monday.
The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex plummeted 1,449.03 points to 48,580.80 intra-day. It finally closed 870.51 points or 1.74 per cent lower at 49,159.32.
Following this, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies dived Rs 2,16,566.52 crore to reach Rs 2,05,09,835.27 crore at close of trade.
From the 30-share pack, 25 companies closed lower, led by Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank and State Bank of India.
Covid-19 strikes B-town
The coronavirus pandemic seems to have hit the Hindi film industry hard with actors Akshay Kumar, Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar among the growing number of Bollywood celebrities to have tested positive.
Kumar, who was one of the first actors to resume film shootings, on Sunday announced that he had tested positive for the virus.
The 53-year-old actor has been filming back-to-back projects, but contracted the virus five days after starting the production on his action adventure movie “Ram Setu” here.
Not just Kumar, as many as 45 members of the film’s crew have also tested positive.
Meanwhile, many members of the film fraternity have received their first dose of vaccination.
Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, superstar Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Sharmila Tagore, Mohanlal, Jeetendra, Kamal Haasan, Nagarjuna, Neena Gupta, Rakesh Roshan, Johnny Lever and filmmakers Rohit Shetty, Madhur Bhandarkar as well as Anees Bazmee have all received their first dose of the vaccine.
(With inputs from PTI)

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