India

Australians could face jail or fines if they return from India

The health ministry said the ruling had been made "based on the proportion of people in quarantine who have acquired a Covid-19 infection in India".

Earlier this week, Australia banned all flights from India.

There are an estimated 9,000 Australians in India, 600 of whom are classed as vulnerable.

This will be the first time Australians have been criminalised for returning to their country, Australian media report.

One doctor told ABC that the government's move was disproportionate to the threat posed by those returning from India.

New record deaths as virus engulfs India

Its health ministry said 3,689 people had died within the past 24 hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the health minister on Sunday morning to review the crisis.

Hospitals are battling to treat patients amid a chronic shortage of beds and medical oxygen.

Amid the crisis, vote counting started on Sunday for elections held in four states: Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala - and the union territory of Puducherry.

US tells citizens to leave India amid Covid-19 crisis

India reported 379,257 new infections on Thursday, the world's highest single-day total.

The US embassy warned that "access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited".

The level 4 "do not travel" advisory is the highest of its kind issued by the Department of State.

The overall death toll in India officially surpassed 200,000 on Wednesday, though experts believe the actual number could be much higher.

In the advisory, US citizens were told "not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so".

India coronavirus: Man charged over oxygen SOS for dying grandfather

Officers in Uttar Pradesh state charged Shashank Yadav with spreading a rumour over oxygen shortages "with intent to cause... fear or alarm".

Yadav, who did not refer to Covid in his brief tweet, could face jail.

Uttar Pradesh is among India's worst-hit states. Its chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, is accused of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this week, Mr Adityanath, a right-wing ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanded that the property of anyone spreading rumours and propaganda be seized.

New Zealand donates $1m as India Covid-19 deaths top 200,000

India's second wave of Covid-19 infections has seen at least 300,000 people a day test positive for the past week, overwhelming healthcare facilities and crematoriums and driving an increasingly urgent international response.

In the past 24 hours, 360,960 new cases were recorded, the largest single-day total in the world, taking India's total to nearly 18 million. A further 3293 deaths, the deadliest day so far, took the death toll to 201,187.

Experts believe the official tally vastly underestimates the actual toll in the country of 1.3 billion.

Australia suspends travel from India

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this afternoon that all flights from India to Australia would be temporarily halted, as the India continues to deal with a record-breaking Covid-19 outbreak that has plunged its medical system into chaos.

The pause which includes repatriation flights into the Howard Springs facility near Darwin, will last until 15 May and the decision will be reviewed before then.

Morrison said indirect flights through other cities like Doha, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur had been paused by their respective governments.

Fiji’s recent COVID-19 cases of variant first detected in India

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said they received the confirmation from the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) at the Peter Doherty Institute in Melbourne

India sends army to help hospitals hit by Covid-19 as countries promise aid

In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said oxygen would be released to hospitals from armed forces reserves and retired medical military personnel would join Covid-19 health facilities.

Where possible, military medical infrastructure will be made available to civilians, a government statement said, as new coronavirus infections hit a record peak for a fifth day.

Virologists said more infectious variants of the virus, including an Indian one, have fuelled the resurgence.

Countries send aid to ease India's oxygen emergency

The UK has begun sending ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices; the EU members are seeking to send oxygen and medicine.

The US said it would provide raw materials for vaccines that had previously been under export controls.

India's capital Delhi has extended its lockdown as overcrowded hospitals continue to turn patients away.

The Indian Government has approved plans for more than 500 oxygen generation plants across the country to boost supplies.

India reported 349,691 more cases in the 24 hours to Sunday morning and another 2767 deaths.

India see world's highest-ever daily Covid-19 cases

It has close to 16 million confirmed cases, second only to the US.

The country is struggling with a second wave, raising more fears about its overwhelmed health care system.

Crowds have formed outside hospitals in major cities which are filled to capacity. A number of people have died while waiting for oxygen.

Families are waiting hours to perform funeral rites, Reuters news agency reports, with at least one Delhi crematorium resorting to building pyres in its car park in order to cope with the numbers arriving.