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India Coronavirus updates, May 11: MHA issues fresh rules for home isolation; Delhi airport uses UV rays to fight virus

Coronavirus India updates: The Covid-19 tally in India surged to 67,152 on Monday. With 97 deaths recorded since Sunday evening, the death toll rose to 2,206 today. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 44,029, and 20,916 people have recovered, the Ministry of Health said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet chief ministers of all states on Monday via video conferencing to discuss the way forward in the battle against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19). In a meeting on Sunday that has set the stage for Monday's discussions, state chief secretaries called for a calibrated stepping up of economic activities in a video conference with the cabinet secretary.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the movement of people by trains and made it clear that only asymptomatic and confirmed ticket holders will be allowed to travel. In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said all passengers will have to wear face masks and observe social distancing norms while entering a station and during travel. For the first time since March 25, when the lockdown began, a total of 15 trains for different destinations will leave New Delhi on Tuesday for which bookings begin on Monday.

Health ministry revises guidelines for home isolation

The Ministry of Health Affairs has said that patients in home isolation can end the quarantine after 17 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for 10 days. As per the revised guidelines issued on Sunday, patients with mild coronavirus symptoms will need no further testing after the home isolation period is over.

The guidelines also said that the patient should regularly inform his health status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams. The caretaker and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication according to the protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.

Ensure migrants do not walk on roads, rail tracks: MHA to states

Taking note of the several mishaps, the Home Ministry today directed all states and Union territories to ensure migrant workers do not resort to walking on roads, rail tracks and use available special trains:

The states should also cooperate with railways in running more 'Shramik' special trains available for migrant workers, the ministry added.

Not stopping migrants walking home on humanitarian grounds: Maharashtra minister

The Maharashtra government, however, has decided to allow thousands of migrant workers wanting to return home on foot on humanitarian grounds despite them violating lockdown norms, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told news agency PTI.

Deshmukh said the sufferings of the labourers would have been much less had train services commenced earlier, as demanded by the state government. "It is true that migrant labourers who are walking back to their home towns hundreds of kilometres away are in a way violating lockdown norms, but we are letting them go on humanitarian ground," he said.

Bring your own food, blankets: Services on special 'Rajdhani' trains that begin tomorrow

Bring your own food and blankets and bedsheets from home if you are going to be travelling in one of the 15 special trains modeled on the lines of Rajdhani Express that are starting tomorrow. The tickets will be available from 4 PM today on the IRCTC website.

Unlike the actual Rajdhanis, these will be a frugal affair. While pre-packed snacks, biscuits will be available with the onboard catering staff, they will be sold to passengers who need them, just like the airlines do. These trains are Rajdhani identical in terms of fare, speed, and route.

So far the decision is to carry the trains with full capacity and not cap the occupancy to two-thirds like has been for the Shramik Specials to ensure social distancing in the coaches. However, waiting lists will not be allowed so that the number of passengers will be equal to the number of berths, unlike in normal times.

On National Technology Day, PM hails Covid-19 warriors

On the occasion of National Technology Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed all those at the forefront of research and innovation to defeat the virus and remembered the "exceptional achievement" of the country's scientists in carrying out the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests.

Taking to Twitter, Modi said, "On National Technology Day, our nation salutes all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others. We remember the exceptional achievement of our scientists on this day in 1998. It was a landmark moment in India's history."

He added, "Today, technology is helping many in the efforts to make the world free from COVID-19. I salute all those at the forefront of research and innovation on ways to defeat coronavirus."

Delhi airport uses ultraviolet disinfection technology to fight Covid-19

The Delhi airport is using mobile towers, handheld torch and baggage tunnels that deploy ultraviolet (UV) rays to disinfect surfaces, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said on Monday. The mobile towers are placed in properly cordoned areas of a terminal and the UV lamps inside them are used, it added.

Once an area has been disinfected, the UV power is switched off and the towers are manually re-located to other areas for a similar process, the DIAL noted. Handheld disinfection torch is also being used to disinfect desktop, laptops and other devices, it said. "These are germicidal lamps that produce ultraviolet light. This short-wave ultraviolet light…leads to the inactivation of bacteria, viruses and protozoa," it noted.

Air India flight brings home 323 Indians from London to Bengaluru

An Air India repatriation flight (1803), carrying 323 passengers, arrived from London in Bengaluru at around 4.47 am on Monday after a nearly two-hour delay and a stopover in the national capital.

The passengers were screened and checked and were also handed over a self-declaration form by the health department officials. They will be shifted to hotels for a 14-day quarantine in 16 BMTC buses, officials said.

Besides this, the body of techie Shivaraj Gadegeppagowda Patil, a Hubballi resident who had committed suicide in the UK, also arrived at the Kempegowda International Airport.

Ensure uninterrupted movement of doctors, paramedics: Govt to states

The Centre on Monday asked states to ensure the movement of doctors and other medical workers is uninterrupted during the nationwide lockdown as it can affect COVID and non-COVID patients.

In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said inter-state movement of doctors and paramedics "should be facilitated wherever required".

(Inputs and image from

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