Latest Coronavirus updates: new cases cross 1,800 points for the second time this week

NEW DELHI: New cases of Covid-19 in India rose again on Thursday, crossing 1,800 for the second time in the week and dropping just eight less than Tuesday's peak of 1,840, while the number of deaths for the day was maintained by above 70 for the second consecutive day. With 1,832 new cases, the number of Covid-19 infections in the country is now below the 35,000 mark at 34,866.

Here are the latest updates:

Punjab, Tamil Nadu report highest daily numbers

While Maharashtra and Gujarat (313 new cases) reported almost the same number of new coronavirus infections as on Wednesday, the numbers increased in Punjab (162), Tamil Nadu (161), and Rajasthan (146). While Punjab and Tamil Nadu reported their highest daily numbers, the change was most dramatic in Punjab, which had reported only 34 cases on Wednesday. The increase was due to 142 pilgrims, who had returned from Nanded, testing positive.

Karnataka plans to open shopping malls and liquor stores starting May 4

The Karnataka government on Thursday sent clear indications that it favors the reopening of most commercial and industrial activities across the state, excluding those in the Covid-19 containment zones, beginning May 4. The government plans to allow liquor stores, shopping malls and a host of commercial activities by restricting the containment areas to a few specific streets rather than imposing a general ban on the neighborhood.

Preparations for the opening of the Badrinath Dham portals on May 15

Preparations are in their final stages for the opening of the Shri Badrinath Dham portals on May 15. Snow has been removed from the temple premises. And the water and energy system has been restored. Special attention is also being paid to social distancing and the wearing of masks has become mandatory, the Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Council reported. Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Board media reported that Devasthanam Board officials had contacted Badrinath Dham to prepare. Chardham Yatra is expected to start shortly after the national blockade ends.

States sweat over migrant returns

The Herculean challenge of managing the logistics of registering, evaluating, transporting, and quarantining stranded migrant workers, students, and others appears to be weighing on depressed states, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Bihar, Punjab and Telangana joined Maharashtra, Kerala and Chhattisgarh on Thursday to demand that the Center operate special trains to carry stranded migrants, saying it was not possible to transport workers by bus to their home states.

Death toll in all states

Maharashtra recorded the maximum of 27 Covid deaths on Thursday followed by Gujarat (17), West Bengal (11) and Madhya Pradesh (7). Delhi recorded three deaths, while UP and Rajasthan each had two. Delhi's count now stands at 3,515 and 59 deaths. Gujarat's figure reached 214 as 17 more deaths were recorded in 24 hours. Rajasthan also recorded three new Covid-19 deaths, bringing the number of deaths in the state to 58.

The monthly fall of the main sector in March is the biggest in 8 years

Industries in the eight-core sector, which account for more than 40% of the Industrial Production Index (PII), fell 6.5% in March, the largest monthly decline since the series was built in 2011-12, as the Deadly coronavirus severely hit production across sectors and highlighted the pain ahead for the industrial sector. Coal was the only segment that registered growth.

First COVID-19 patient dies undergoing plasma therapy in Maharashtra

A 53-year-old male patient, the first to undergo plasma therapy in Maharashtra, passed away on April 29, said Dr. Ravishankar, CEO of Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said Tuesday that plasma therapy is being used in the state on an experimental basis after obtaining approval from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

Trump confident that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory

United States President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was confident that the coronavirus could have originated from a Chinese virology laboratory that is increasing tensions with Beijing over the origins of the deadly disease. Trump did not scoff at the words when asked if he had seen evidence: Yes, yes, he said, and declined to elaborate.

UN chief: the world should follow South Korea in the COVID-19 fight

United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres said Thursday that he expects many countries around the world to follow South Korea's remarkable example, which he said has been extremely successful in tackling the coronavirus pandemic and while he is recovering is also planning to cope with climate change. On Thursday, South Korea announced that there were no new cases.

Airlines make face masks mandatory for passengers and crew

Several commercial airlines in the US The US, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, announced Thursday that they have made it mandatory for passengers and crew members to wear masks on their flights. Three European airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, Swiss Airlines and Austrian Airlines, also made the masks mandatory for their passengers during their flights.

NASCAR to resume season in mid-May without viewers

NASCAR will be the first major sport in the United States to return to action amid the Covid-19 pandemic after organizers of the popular racing series said Thursday that the season will resume without fans in mid-May. NASCAR, which postponed racing in mid-March due to concerns about the new coronavirus, said its season will resume on May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.

The race will be the first of seven in an 11-day span.

(With contributions from agencies)