India

10 die drinking sanitiser after Indian state shuts liquor shops

The village of Kurichedu has been placed in lockdown after a local surge in cases of coronavirus.

District police chief Siddharth Kaushal said the people who died had mixed the sanitiser with water and soft drinks.

They were alcohol-dependent, he added, and had started drinking the mixture about 10 days before they died.

"We are investigating whether the sanitiser had any other toxic content," Mr Kaushal told reporters.

He added that they had sent samples of the sanitiser away for chemical analysis.

India to hold human trial of coronavirus vaccine in July

An unspecified number of people will have the vaccine, as part of a trial by Hyderabad-based firm Bharat Biotech.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

The trials are among many across the world - there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way. Half a dozen Indian firms are developing vaccines.

This is the first India-made vaccine and developed from a strain of the virus that was isolated locally and weakened under laboratory conditions.

India bans TikTok, WeChat and dozens more Chinese apps

In a statement, it said the apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

In total, 59 apps were banned - among them popular messaging app WeChat. It follows escalating tensions along the disputed border between the two powers.

Both India and China deployed more troops to the Ladakh region in June.

Clashes have left at least 20 Indian troops dead. Satellite images also appear to show that China has built new structures overlooking the Himalayan border region.

Covid-19 cases in India cross 500,000 as big cities reel from surge

India has the world's fourth-biggest outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, after only US, Brazil and Russia in confirmed infections, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections are expected to continue rising steadily in India. Experts advising the federal government say the authorities should now prioritise reducing mortality over containing the spread of the virus.

India's Mumbai escapes its worst cyclone in decades

The eye of the storm narrowly missed the city, while nearby coastal areas to the south bore the brunt. The extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Officials moved tens of thousands of people along the coast to higher ground as the storm approached.

India's most populous city has 20 million residents and has also been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mobile phone footage of the storm in Raigad, about 50km (30 miles) south of Mumbai, showed huge waves crashing into the shore, with trees being whipped into a frenzy by the strong winds.

India to loosen lockdown despite record cases

From 8 June, restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and places of worship will be allowed to re-open in many areas in the first stage of a three-phase plan.

Weeks later, probably in July, schools and colleges will resume teaching.

But areas with high numbers of Covid-19 cases will remain under tight lockdown.

The plan comes after India registered a new record single-day rise in confirmed infections, with nearly 8,000 cases reported on Saturday.

Kolkata devastated as cyclone kills scores in India and Bangladesh

Amphan made landfall on Wednesday, lashing coastal areas with ferocious wind and rain. The storm is weakening as it moves north into Bhutan.

Thousands of trees were uprooted in the gales, electricity and telephone lines brought down and houses flattened.

Many of Kolkata's roads are flooded and its 14 million people without power.

The storm is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Though its winds had weakened by the time it struck, it was still classified as a very severe cyclone.

India and Bangladesh evacuate millions ahead of super cyclone

Cyclone Amphan is expected to make landfall in an area near the border of the two countries later on Wednesday.

More than 20 relief teams have already been deployed, and several more are on standby, Indian officials say.

The coronavirus outbreak is making it harder for officials in both countries to evacuate people in these regions.

Amphan is expected to hit the coast with winds gusting up to 185km/h (115mph), forecasters say.

India jobless numbers cross 120 million in April

India's unemployment rate is now at a record high of 27.1%, according to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE).

The new data shows India's unemployment figures are four times that of the US.

India doesn’t release official jobs data, but CMIE data is widely accepted.

The country has been in lockdown since 25 March to curb Covid-19 infections, causing mass layoffs and heavy job losses.

India currently has close to 50,000 reported infections.

Man, 93, becomes oldest Indian to beat coronavirus

The man and his 88-year-old wife both recovered after testing positive about a month ago, and will be discharged in a few days, hospital officials said.

The couple lives in the the southern state of Kerala, and were infected by their daughter and son-in-law, who returned from Italy.

India has reported 1,238 active cases of Covid-19 as of Wednesday.

Thirty-five people have died of the infection, while 123 have recovered, according to the health ministry.