Coronavirus India Updates, May 8: Maharashtra worst-hit; SC on liquor sales; and more

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: May 8, 2020 3:15:59 pm

With no transport available, a migrant walking back home rests on a footpath in Pune on Thursday. (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

Coronavirus India Updates: The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 56,342 on Friday, including 37,916 active cases, 1,886 deaths and 16,539 patients who had been treated and discharge.

Covid-19 has hit Maharashtra the worst, which saw 1,216 new cases on Thursday taking the total to 17,979, including 694 deaths. Gujarat, which registered 388 new cases yesterday, has a total of 7,013 cases, including 425 deaths. New Delhi reported 448 cases on Thursday, taking its total of 5,980, including 66 deaths.

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Tamil Nadu, which has the fourth highest number of cases (5,409), has tested the most people as of Thursday, surpassing Maharashtra. It has conducted 202,436 tests so far, against Maharashtra’s 202,105.

Here are the important Covid-19 developments from across India:

Supreme Court: States should consider home delivery of liquor during lockdown

In an observation Friday, the Supreme Court said states should consider selling liquor through non-contact means, such as home delivery, during the lockdown.

“We will not pass any order but the states should consider indirect sale/home delivery of liquor to maintain social distancing norms and standards,” Justice Ashok Bhushan, heading a three-judge bench said.

Since the third phase of the lockdown commenced on Monday, some states have opened liquor stores, leading to long queues and lack of social distancing in many areas.  The sale of liquor was permitted by the Centre as it is a large avenue of revenue. In most states, the revenue share of liquor is between 25-40%.

coronavirus india updates, may 8 At Azadpur vegetable market in New Delhi on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

Rahul Gandhi pitches for decentralisation of power during Covid-19

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a press conference Friday, said there would be “calamity” if the fight against the coronavirus pandemic remained centralised. He reiterated that chief ministers should have the power to take decisions regarding methods to fight the virus.

“We need to decentralise power in dealing with the virus. If we keep this fight in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), we will lose. The Prime Minister must devolve power. If we centralise, there will be a calamity. The Prime Minister has to trust chief ministers and chief ministers have to trust district magistrates.”

On Day 2 of Vande Bharat Mission, Air India flight from Singapore lands in New Delhi

Air India flight AI381 from Singapore, carrying 234 passengers, landed in New Delhi just before noon Friday. This was the third flight of the governments Vande Bharat Mission, an effort to repatriate Indians stranded abroad due to the pandemic.

The first two flights had landed in Kerala last night — a flight from Abu Dhabi landed at Cochin International Airport just after 10.00 pm, and the second from Dubai landed in Kozhikode airport at 10.30 pm. The two flights brought home 411 passengers. Follow live updates on the repatriation of Indians

The government will send 64 flights across the world to bring home nearly 15,000 Indian citizens over the next week.

india coronavirus updates, may 8 At the site of the Aurangabad train accident on Friday.

Aurangabad: 16 migrants workers killed in train accident

An empty freight train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district mowed down 16 migrant labourers in the early hours of Friday. While 14 of them died on the spot, two later succumbed to their injuries. The workers were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna to board a Shramik Special train to return to Madhya Pradesh. They were asleep on the railway line when the incident occurred between Badnapur and Karmad stations in Nanded Division.

Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely anguished by the loss of lives due to the rail accident in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Have spoken to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and he is closely monitoring the situation. All possible assistance required is being provided.”

CBSE likely to hold remaining Class 12 exams in first half of July

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is likely to hold the remaining Class 12 examinations in the first two weeks of July, The Indian Express had learned. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal is expected to announce the revised examination schedule this week. The government, sources said, has decided that the Class 12 Board exams should finish before JEE Main is conducted. The entrance test for admission to NITs will be held over five days between July 18 and 23. CBSE has been asked to wrap up its remaining papers before that.

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