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Italy, Spain to further relax COVID-19 restrictions

Most restrictions will remain in place, but some small shops will be allowed to reopen on Monday and funerals can be held for groups of up to 10 inside and 15 outside.

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Italy PM Giuseppe Conte

Rome, May 18 : Italy and Spain were among a number of European countries that were further easing their coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Monday.

In Italy, which currently has 225,435 COVID-19 cases and 31,908 fatalities, restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers and shops will be allowed to reopen from Monday, provided that social distancing was enforced, the BBC reported.

Catholic churches were preparing for the resumption of Mass, but there would be strict social distancing and worshippers must wear face masks.

Other faiths will also be allowed to hold religious services.

But health officials have warned of the continued dangers of large social gatherings.

On Sunday, Pope Francis held a private Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, which has been disinfected ahead of its reopening to tourists.

Meanwhile in Spain, which is now in phase one of the country’s four-phase system for reopening, up to 10 people will be allowed to meet together from monday, provided they wear masks and socially distance, while bars and restaurants can open outdoor seating at half capacity, the BBC reported.

Cinemas, museums and theatres were also opening at reduced capacity.

Barcelona, Madrid and parts of the north-west however remain in phase 0.

Most restrictions will remain in place, but some small shops will be allowed to reopen on Monday and funerals can be held for groups of up to 10 inside and 15 outside.

This has been dubbed “phase 0.5” – an intermediate step in these regions.

Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium is to begin reopening primary and secondary schools under strict conditions on Monday, with museums and zoos also opening their doors but only to those who book online, to limit numbers.

The famous Acropolis reopened in Greece, and secondary school students were returning to class.

Restaurants, cafes and pastry shops restart business at reduced capacity in Portugal.

Poland’s beauty salons and hairdressers reopen, as well as restaurants and cafes.

Cities

Maharashtra sees respite as daily Covid tally goes back under 7K mark

Sunday’s figures mean roughly one death recorded every 10 minutes and a staggering 273 new cases notched every hour in the state.

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Corona outbreak PPE Kits

Mumbai, July 5 : Maharashtra’s Covid-19 situation improved a bit with the state recording 6,555 new cases – down from Satuday”s highest of 7,074 cases – and fatalities dropped sharply to 151 from 295 a day earlier, health officials said here on Sunday.

With Sunday’s fatalities, the state death toll climbed to 8,822 and total cases zoomed to 206,619 till date, both being the highest in the country.

At the current number of cases, Maharashtra has overtaken Germany which ranks 15 on the Worldometer with 197,418 patients. In June, the state had recorded more daily patients than the UK, and overtaken Canada and France in terms of total patients.

Sunday’s figures mean roughly one death recorded every 10 minutes and a staggering 273 new cases notched every hour in the state.

The recovery rate in the state inched up to 54.08 per cent, while the mortality rate stood at 4.27 percent.

July has seen three-digit deaths and over 6,000 cases daily.

The Health Department said of the total number of cases, 86,040 are active cases.

On the positive side, 3,658 fully cured patients returned home on Sunday, taking the number of those discharged to 111,740.

Of the 151 fatalities, Mumbai alone notched 69 – pulling up the city death toll to 4,899 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients shot up by 1,287 cases to touch 84,524.

There were 31 deaths in Pune, 16 in Thane, 11 in Aurangabad, 10 in Jalgaon, four each in Palghar, Dhule and Solapur, and two in Nashik.

Given the grim situation in Thane, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has launched a tour of some of the worst-hit towns in the district and called for more tests, ventilators, ICU beds, and other facilities to curb the Covid cases and fatalities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The MMR (Thane division) continues to be tense as deaths and cases continue to pile up, with a total of 6,401 Covid-19 fatalities and a whopping 3,941 new patients pushing up the number of positive cases to 145,769.

Thane cases have shot up to 47,935 with 1,270 fatalities – to emerge as the second worst-hit district after Mumbai in the state. on Saturday, Thane had recorded its highest ever 179 cases, outstripping the Mumbai toll for the first time since the pandemic outbreak.

Pune district comes third with 28,142 patients and 872 deaths till now.

The Pune division (comprising Pune, Solapur and Satara districts) remains behind Thane and the MMR with 32,693 patients and 1,216 fatalities.

The next major region of concern is Nashik division with 589 fatalities and 11,477 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad division with 323 deaths and 7,709 cases, and Akola division with 143 fatalities and 3,128 cases.

Kolhapur division has notched 55 deaths and 2,308 patients, latur Division had 51 fatalities and 1,225 cases, and finally, Nagpur division recorded 19 deaths and 2,177 cases.

Among the eight divisions in the state, as many as four – Kolhapur, Latur, Akola and Nagpur – recorded zero fatalities on Sunday, though there were new cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home quarantine increased to 604,463 now, while those in institutional quarantine increased to 46,062.

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Gujarat’s Covid tally crosses 36K with new high of 725 cases

There are 2,68,170 people quarantined in the state – 2,65,096 at home and 3,074 in government facilities.

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Coronavirus

Gandhinagar, July 5 : Gujarat on Sunday saw a new high of 725 coronavirus cases, taking its tally over the 36,000 mark to 36,123, while the death toll is getting close to the 2,000 mark.

In the last nine days, Gujarat recorded over 600 Covid-19 cases daily, to post a staggering 5,965 cases in this period.

Meanwhile, of the new cases, Ahmedabad”s count of 177 was way behind Surat, which saw its highest daily spike of 254. The Diamond City is now emerging as the new hotspot for coronavirus in the state, with Ahmedabad”s cases now showing a declining trend.

Ahmedabad was followed by Vadodara with 64, Rajkot with 42, Valsad with 18, Bhavnagar with 16, Bharuch with 15, Junagadh with 13, Kheda with 12, Patan and Gandhinagar with 11 each, Mahesana, Surendranagar and Tapi with nine each, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Dahod with eight each, Jamnagar and Panchmahals with six each, Aravalli and Morbi with five each, Gir-Somnath with four, Mahisagar, Botad and Navsari with three each, Kutch with two and Narmada, Chotta Udepur, Amreli and Devbhumi Dwarka with one each.

The state saw 18 deaths on Sunday, where Ahmedabad accounting for half of them, while six died in Surat and one each in Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and Kheda.

With this, the death toll has reached 1,945, with 1,487 of the fatalities in Ahmedabad only. As many as 183 have died in Surat, 53 in Vadodara, 32 in Gandhinagar, 18 in Aravalli, 17 in Patan, 16 in Panchmahals, 13 each in Bhavnagar, Anand and Mahesana, 12 in Rajkot, 11 each in Banaskantha and Kheda and 10 in Bharuch.

At 5.39 per cent, Gujarat has one of the highest mortality rates for corona in the country.

On Sunday, the health authorities carried out highest number of RT-PCR tests, at 7,770, taking the total number of tests to 4,12,124.

A total of 486 patients were discharged on Sunday, taking the total to 25,900.

The state presently has 8,278 active cases, out of which the condition of 8,206 is stable, while 72 critical patients are still on ventilator.

There are 2,68,170 people quarantined in the state – 2,65,096 at home and 3,074 in government facilities.

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Disaster

Rahul questions performance of ventilators funded by PM CARES

Quoting a former employee, the news article alleged that PM CARES Ventilator Maker AgVa has “fudged” software in order to hide “poor performance”.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 5 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged that the Central government is putting Indian lives at risk by purchasing sub-standard ventilators for the fight against coronavirus.

Quoting an article, Gandhi tweeted, “PMCares opacity is: 1. Putting Indian lives at risk. 2. Ensuring public money is used to buy sub-standard products.”

He even used a hashtag “BJP fails Corona Fight”.

Quoting a former employee, the news article alleged that PM CARES Ventilator Maker AgVa has “fudged” software in order to hide “poor performance”.

Gandhi”s tweet comes soon after Congress asked four specific questions to the Centre, mostly revolving around the makers, the tendering process and price.

Earlier on Sunday, Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh asked, “Multiple government hospitals of repute and expert panel of doctors had reported that ventilators supplied by AgVa Health Care are of sub standard quality and are of no use. Why Government is compromising with the health of lakhs of patients with such sub standard equipment at such a critical time?”

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