India

India boatman praised for saving baby girl floating in a box

Gullu Chaudhary said he was alerted by the cries of the 21-day-old and found her wrapped in a red scarf in the box decorated with images of Hindu deities.

The baby has been taken to hospital and her health is being monitored. She will be sent to a shelter home later.

Officials are investigating how the baby ended up in the river.

Head of 'world's largest family' dies in India's Mizoram state

Ziona Chana, the head of a religious sect that practiced polygamy, died on Sunday, leaving behind 38 wives, 89 children and 36 grandchildren.

The news was confirmed by Mizoram's chief minister, Zoramthanga, who offered his condolences on Twitter "with a heavy heart".

Chana reportedly suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Doctors told PTI news agency that Chana's condition deteriorated at home in his village, Baktawng Tlangnuam. He was rushed to hospital on Sunday evening, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Drug-resistant fungal infections pose threat to India patients

As his condition deteriorated, the patient was put on a ventilator. He was administered steroids, a life-saving treatment for severe and critically ill Covid-19 patients. But experts say the drug also reduces immunity and pushes up blood sugar levels in patients.

After a prolonged stay in the ICU, the patient had recovered and was ready to go home when doctors found he was infected with a deadly, drug-resistant fungus.

India records 300,000 Covid deaths as pandemic rages

Experts warn that the real number of fatalities might be much higher as many deaths are not officially recorded.

India has recorded 26 million cases - second only to the US - and is now the epicentre of the global pandemic.

The country is also only the third in the world to record more than 300,000 deaths - behind the US and Brazil.

It took less than a month to record its last 100,000 deaths.

Black fungus: Call to declare epidemic in Indian states

The normally rare infection, called mucormycosis, has a mortality rate of 50%, with some only saved by removing an eye or jaw bone.

But in recent months, India saw thousands of cases affecting recovered and recovering Covid-19 patients.

Doctors suspect there may be a link with the steroids used to treat Covid.

Diabetics are at particular risk, with doctors telling the BBC it seems to strike 12 to 15 days after recovery from Covid.

On Thursday, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal wrote to India's 29 states to ask them to declare it an epidemic.

Twenty-six dead after barge sinks due to cyclone

The death toll is expected to rise as rescue operations continue. At least 53 people are still missing.

A navy warship returned to the city's harbour on Wednesday with some of the 186 survivors rescued so far.

Thirty-five people have also been rescued from another of the three other barges stranded due to cyclone Tauktae.

The cyclone weakened after it made landfall on Monday, but at least 19 people are confirmed as having died on land in the storm.

Australian businessman trapped in India dies from Covid

Govind Kant, a Sydney businessman, died on Sunday, his company said.

He had travelled to Delhi in April for family reasons.

Mr Kant is believed to be the second Australian to have died in India amid a temporary travel ban imposed after a devastating second wave. Australian officials are yet to comment.

The three-week ban on Indian arrivals ended on Saturday, but more than 9,000 Australians remain stuck in the country.

Australian cricketers caught by India ban fly home

The players and staff had been involved in the Indian Premier League which was suspended this month.

They flew to the Maldives after Australia banned all arrivals from India following a surge in Covid cases.

While the controversial ban was lifted on 15 May, thousands of Australians remain stranded in India.

The cricketers - among them former Australian captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins - will now complete 14 days' quarantine in Sydney.

India's Gujarat state braces for most severe cyclone in over two decades

Cyclone Tauktae has killed at least 12 people and left a trail of destruction as it brushed past the coastal states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, authorities said.

It is set to make landfall in Gujarat late on Monday.

"This will be the most severe cyclone to hit Gujarat in at least 20 years. This can be compared with the 1998 cyclone that hit Kandla and inflicted heavy damage," state revenue secretary Pankaj Kumar told Reuters.

The cyclone increases pressure on local administrations already struggling with a high caseload of Covid-19 infections.

First Australian repatriation flight from India lands in Darwin

The government said 80 people arrived in Darwin on Saturday, and would be quarantined for a fortnight.

Their Qantas flight was originally scheduled to carry 150 people onboard.

But 70 passengers were later barred from travel after testing positive for coronavirus or coming into close contact with others who were.

Australia's strict rules on pre-flight testing meant there was not enough time for the seats to be given to others waiting to return.