Coronavirus in India Latest News LIVE Updates: Tamil Nadu recorded 27,397 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and 241 new deaths on Saturday.
This, on a day when the newly-elected DMK government announced a full lockdown, set to begin on 10 May and end on 24 May.
The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that India had received 6,608 oxygen concentrators, 3,856 oxygen cylinders, 14 generation plants, 4,330 ventilators/BiPAP and about 3 lakh remdesivir doses from 27 April to 7 May.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud passed an order on Saturday, constituting a National Task Force (NTF) to assess and recommend the need and distribution of oxygen for the entire country.
In a significant move, the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said requirement of a positive COVID-19 test report is not mandatory for admission to a health facility. In its revised national policy for the admission of COVID patients to public or private facilities, the Union Health Ministry said no patient will be refused services on any account, including oxygen and essential drugs, even if the he or she belongs to a different city.
"In a significant directive to states, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the national policy for admission of COVID patients to various categories of COVID facilities. This patient-centric measure aims to ensure prompt, effective and comprehensive treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19," the ministry said.
"Hospitals under the central government, state governments and UT administration, including private hospitals managing COVID patients, shall ensure that requirement of a positive test for COVID-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a COVID health facility. A suspect case shall be admitted to the suspect ward of COVID Care Centre (CCC), Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC) of Dedicated COVID Hospital (DHC) as the case may be," the directive to all the states and Union Territories said.
The top drugs controller cleared the drug after clinical trial results showed that a molecule present in the drug helps in faster recovery of patients and reduces supplemental oxygen dependence.
The health ministry said that so far over 17.49 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states and UTs, out of which around 16.7 crore doses have been consumed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday spoke with four Chief Ministers in separate phone calls and discussed the COVID-19 situation in their states.
He called Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.
In order to vaccinate all people in Delhi, over three crore doses will be required, out of which around 40 lakh have been received, Kejriwal said.
The chief minister urged the Centre to provide it 85 lakh doses per month so that all the Delhiites could be vaccinated in the next three months.
Urging Centre to provide more vaccines to Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the city has only 5-6 days of vaccinations left.
In a statement, Chief Minister MK Stalin said all shops, except provision and grocery stores and meat stalls, would remain closed.
The decision, Stalin added, was taken based on inputs received at a review meeting he had with district collectors on Friday, besides consultations with medical experts.
India reported 4,01,078 fresh COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, pushing the tally over 2.18 crore on Saturday, said the Union health ministry.
India's COVID-19 wave crossed another grim milestone on Saturday after the country reported more than 4,000 deaths from the virus in a single day. The daily cases stayed over 4 lakh for the third straight day.
According to a press release from the Chief Minister's Office, the lockdown will come into effect at 4 am on 10 May and will be in force till 4 am on 24 May.
In order to help people prepare for the lockdown, all shops and establishments are being allowed to stay open from 6 am to 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday (8 and 9 May).
Tamil Nadu had reported a record high of 26,465 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with 197 fatalities.
West Bengal on Friday registered its highest single-day spike of 19,216 COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally to 9,54,282, the state health department said.
The COVID-19 toll breached the 12000-mark, as 112 more people succumbed to the infection, taking the total number of fatalities to 12,076, the department said in its bulletin.
Thirty-three deaths were recorded in North 24 Parganas and 28 in Kolkata.
Of the 112 fatalities, 56 were due to the comorbidities where COVID-19 was incidental. The city accounted for 3,915 fresh cases and North 24 Parganas for 3,957 infections.
Accordingly, the number of active cases in the state climbed to 1,24,098.
At least 17,780 people recuperated in Bengal in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,18,108. The recovery rate stands at 85.73 percent.
As many as 1,08,42,269 samples have been tested in the state, including 64,551 since Thursday, the bulletin added.
Meanwhile, the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department wrote to all private COVID-19 vaccination facilities, informing them that the state will no longer provide vaccines to them, in view of the Union health ministry's policy that sought to prioritise beneficiaries of second doses.
People visiting the centres for second dose might be guided to government-run medical establishments, the department said.
A source at the health department said the government has given its nod to Peerless Hospital here for trial of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.