Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Telangana reports 62 new cases, total rises to 283; Harsh Vardhan declares AIIMS-Jhajjar as dedicated COVID-19 hospital

Coronavirus Outbreak  Updates: 62 new coronavirus positive cases were detected  in Telangana on Sunday taking the total to 283. No patients were discharged and no deaths were reported.

The authorities in Kashmir declared six villages in Bandipora district as ‘red zones’ on Sunday after six people tested positive for coronavirus in these areas.The villages are Konan, Gund Qaiser, Gund-Dachina, Hakbara, Madwan and Pethkote, all in the north Kashmir district, an official spokesperson said.

Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off lights for 9 minutes and 9 pm, many people across various cities switched off their lights and lit diyas and candles to show collective resolve against the coronavirus.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the authorities to open testing labs in each district and also create isolation wards in all hospitals. He asked the health authorities to immediately complete testing of all those who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat congregation and their primary contacts.

Total number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rises to 748 after 113 positive cases were reported in the state today.  So far, 56 people have been discharged after recovering from the disease.

The Union health ministry said that the confirmed cases in the country have crossed 3,500 while the toll has reached 83.

According to data releases by the Karnataka health department, seven new coronavirus cases were reported in the state in the last 24 hours taking the tally to 151. This number includes 4 deaths and 12 discharges it said.

Tamil Nadu health secretary Beela Rajesh said 86 new cases were reported in the state on Sunday of which 85 had participated in the Jamaat  congregation which had taken place in New Delhi in mid-March. She also said that of the total 571 cases in the state, 522 were Tablighi attendees.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that as of 3pm on Sunday, 55 new cases had been reported in the state taking the total number of COVID-19 cases to 690. “Till date, 56 people have been cured and discharged from the hospital,” he said.

There is no evidence of coronavirus being an airborne infection, said Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “If this was an airborne infection and not droplet infection, every person in a family would be infected, same would apply for other patients in a hospital,” he said.

‘Total 3, 374 confirmed COVID19 cases reported in India till now;  472 news cases reported since yesterday. Total 79 deaths have been reported; 11 deaths have been reported since yesterday. 267 persons have recovered,’ said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secy, Health Ministry

The Vashi Police in Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai have booked 10 Philippines nationals who had reportedly stayed at a mosque in Navi Mumbai after returning from the Tablighi Jamaat congregeation in Delhi.

Two new cases of the novel coronavirus were detected in Dharavi near south Mumbai, taking the total number of positive coronavirus cases to six in the crowded area.

The last person to test positive before these two fresh cases was a 35-year-old doctor. Sources said all of them have been quarantined and people who could have come in contact with them are being traced.

Ahead of Narendra Modi’s ‘lights-off’ exercise on Sunday at 9 pm, Former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy challenged the prime minister to provide a “credible scientific and rational” explanation for opting 5 April to observe the candlelight vigil.

Kumaraswamy, in a series of tweets, alleged that Modi has “slyly” asked the nation to observe the candlelight vigil on the eve of BJP’s foundation day (6 April).

“The government is yet to provide PPEs for doctors and make testing kits affordable for the common man. Without telling the nation what concrete steps are being taken to combat COVID-19 menace, the prime minister is giving meaningless tasks to an already exhausted population,” tweeted Kumaraswamy.

The 48-hour shut down period in three of Odisha’s cities- Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Bhadrak will end on Sunday at 8 pm. Intensifying its fight against COVID-19, the Odisha government had announced on Friday, a 48-hour total shutdown in the three towns from 8 pm on 3 April.

The state government will now focus on containment zone in next seven-ten days.

“Investigation of Surya Nagar and Bomikhal positive cases reveals outside state link. So there is no apprehension of community transmission in state,” said chief secretary Asit Tripathy on Sunday.

A 60-year-old woman, who was brought dead at Pune’s Sassoon Hospital on 3 April, has been found COVID-19 positive. She had earlier tested negative, Sassoon Hospital officials told ANI.

Meanwhile, 26 more found coronavirus positive have been reported in Maharashtra, taking the state tally to 661.

Tamil Nadu reported two more deaths due to the novel coronavirus on Sunday taking the toll to five, PTI reported.

A total of 74 new confirmed cases were reported on Saturday, 73 of which were related to the mid-March Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi. This takes the total tally in the state to 485.

After an increase of 302 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in last 24 hours the COVID-19 tally in the nation rose to 3,374. The figure includes 3,030 active cases, 267 cured COVID-19 patients and 77 deaths, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Uttar Pradesh coronavirus confirmed cases are now at 227 after 16 more people tested positive for the virus in Lucknow on Saturday. King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, informed that 16 people have been confirmed with COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh out of all those who were tested on Saturday.

A dozen men from three mosques in Gautam Buddh Nagar have tested for the novel coronavirus and sent to an isolation facility after it emerged that they might have come in contact with a COVID-19 positive man, who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz in March, officials said.

The three mosques are in the Dadri area of Greater Noida, where the coronavirus-infected man, who hails from Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh, had stayed in the second half of March, and those have been sanitised, police said.

As India crossed the halfway mark in the 21-day lockdown on Saturday, the country registered a new single-day record of over 600 new cases and 13 deaths while the total confirmed cases officially crossed the 3,000 mark, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

According to the Ministry’s evening update, the total number of people having tested positive for the deadly virus was 3,072 nationwide with 75 deaths. The figures also included 2,784 active cases, 212 cured/discharged and one migrated. According to the ministry, the overall toll on Friday was 62.

 Coronavirus Outbreak Updates: Telangana reports 62 new cases, total rises to 283; Harsh Vardhan declares AIIMS-Jhajjar as dedicated COVID-19 hospital

Representational image. AP

Earlier, Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal had said that at least 58 of the total cases in India were in critical condition in Kerala, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.

These figures, however, do not include all the new cases reportedly directly by states. A PTI tally of figures reported by states showed at least 97 deaths across the country while the number of confirmed cases of infection had reached 3,619 as on Saturday late evening.

Of them, close to 300 have been cured and discharged, the news agency said.

Even as new cases recorded another daily high, the government assured there was no need to panic as the rate of spread was less than in many other countries and just “one place” accounted for 30 percent of detected cases.

Simultaneously, the Centre drew up a new strategy to contain the deadly virus that has killed 75 people in the country and over 60,000 globally, into defined geographic areas to minimise the risk presented by clusters emerging in several states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana as also in Delhi and Ladakh.

According to the Ministry, 211 districts are now reporting COVID-19 cases, posing a high risk of further spread of the deadly virus unless it is contained.

The Health Ministry said the testing capacity has been ramped up significantly to over 10,000 tests per day to detect the deadly coronavirus infection, as it emphasised on continuous compliance to lockdown and social distancing measures, along with personal and environmental hygiene, to win this “daily battle”.

Globally, more than 11 lakh people have tested positive so far since the outbreak of this deadly virus in December last, which has left over 60,000 dead. The US alone has seen over 2.7 lakh confirmed cases while it recorded nearly 1,500 deaths within 24 hours between Thursday and Friday. Italy has recorded the maximum deaths at nearly 15,000.

Over 26,000 home quarantined in MP after 10 test positive

Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena city, over 26,000 people were placed under 14-day home quarantine after 10 relatives of a Dubai-returned man tested positive for the virus. The man had oragnised a funeral feast last month which was attended by over 1,500 people.

According to reports, the man, identified as Suresh, hid his travel history, and the case came to light only after he and his wife tested positive for the virus on 2 April.

Over 1,000 cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat

Officials said at least 1,023 confirmed cases of infection have been found to be linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the national capital last month, but massive efforts by various authorities have led to nearly 22,000 people linked to the religious grouping and their primary contacts getting quarantined. Overall, tens of thousands are quarantined but their overall number could not be ascertained.

The Tablighi-linked infections, found across 17 states, including Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, showed that almost 30 percent of them are from “one particular place where we could not sort of understand it and manage it”, Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said.

One in 25 test positive in India, most patients from 21-40 age group

The data shared by Agarwal and other government officials in their daily press briefing on Saturday afternoon showed that an average of one in 25 people tested for the infection have found to be a positive case, while the mortality rate among those testing positive appeared even less at one in 30.

Officials said about 75,000 tests have been conducted so far, with the number of daily tests doubling to more than 10,000 from about 5,000 a few days ago. While the number of government labs has increased to over 100, several private labs have also been roped in, Agarwal said.

Agarwal said the rate of doubling of cases is still very low in India, compared to many other countries, but it must be kept in mind that the country is dealing with a communicable disease and fighting a daily battle.

“We may be successful today, but may not be so tomorrow and to win this battle we need the support of everyone including the public,” he said, while emphasising the need for continuously following the lockdown and social distancing measures, and also of personal and environmental hygiene.

“We are as strong as the weakest link in this chain and we can win this battle only with support of everyone,” he said.

Sharing the age-group analysis of COVID-19 patients, Agarwal said the maximum 42 percent are of 21-40 years, 33 percent of 41-60 years, 17 percent are above 60 years and 9 percent are of 0-20 years.

The elderly people and those with other medical complications are said to be at higher risk in this pandemic. In Delhi also, five of the six COVID-19 patients who have died were above 60.

Cases from states: Maharashtra tops the list

According to PTI, within Maharashtra, more than 50 new cases were reported from Mumbai itself, taking the total cases in the country’s financial capital to 330. Besides, at least 22 have succumbed to COVID-19 in Mumbai so far. More than nine lakh people have been surveyed and screened for coronavirus infection in the city.

Overall, Maharashtra has reported at least 26 deaths so far, the highest in the country, while 11 have lost lives in Telangana and 10 each in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

In terms of confirmed cases also, Maharashtra tops the tally with at least 547 cases, while Tamil Nadu and Delhi have reported over 400 cases and Kerala has more than 300 cases. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana have reported 200 or more cases, while it is more than 100 in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

Jammu & Kashmir reported 17 new cases on Saturday, taking its tally to 92. At least two have died in the union territory.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi has risen to 445 but the situation was under control and there was no community transmission. He, however, said around 2,300 people evacuated from Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin centre will be tested for the virus in next 2-3 days when the number of patients may spike. Out of these, 500 patients are in hospitals and 1,800 in quarantine.

The national capital’s adjoining Noida also reported eight fresh cases of infection, taking the total in Gautam Buddh Nagar district to 58.

In the national capital, two patients at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, who were recently admitted to the private hospital due to some critical illness but without any coronavirus symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 following which 108 medical staffers there have been quarantined, authorities said.

Uttar Pradesh reported a significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases to 227, including 94 cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month. Of these, 21 have fully recovered while others are undergoing treatment at hospitals, officials said. Two have died in the state so far.

According to the Union Health Ministry’s data, state-wise, Maharashtra continues to lead the table with 490 cases and 24 deaths, followed by Delhi (445 cases and six deaths) and Tamil Nadu (411 cases and two deaths).

States, airlines, railways consider steps to relax curbs in phases

According to sources, all the 17 railway zones and divisions are preparing plans to identity trains for a phased resumption of operations from 15 April, taking into account the availability of rakes.

Passenger services were suspended from 25 March for 21 days due to the national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

A Railways official, however, said no final decision has been taken on the restoration of passenger train services.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government was considering relaxation of the lockdown restrictions in a staggered manner.

“Discussions are on about whether the lockdown can be relaxed in phases. Strict rules will have to be followed in the containment zones,” Tope said in a live webcast.

Earlier in the day, he had said the Maharashtra government may not lift the lockdown from April 15 if people did not observe discipline and the number of COVID-19 cases kept rising.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the lifting of lockdown in the state will depend upon the

Lockdown effective, says Centre ahead of PM’s call to light candles

At the briefing, government officials said the lockdown is being effectively implemented across the country while the supply of essential goods is also going on well, as they expressed confidence we all together will be “successful in breaking the COVID-19 chain”.

The officials also asked people to refrain from using alcohol-based hand sanitisers while lighting lamps on Sunday night, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made an appeal to show solidarity in the fight against COVID-19. They also said that apprehensions about a possible grid collapse due to collecting switching off of lights at that time was misplaced.

On the recent advisory about the use of home-made masks, the Health Ministry officials said it was only for conveying the message of personal hygiene measures.

Separately, the government also announced that COVID-19 testing and treatment would be provided free of cost for Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries at private labs and empanelled hospitals.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to states and Union Territories to ensure that the supply chain of essential items is not obstructed during the lockdown period, Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry, told reporters.

Centre draws a containment plan

According to a Union Health ministry document, the government has drawn out a containment plan as clusters posing a high risk of further spread of COVID-19 cases have emerged in several states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana as also Delhi and Ladakh.

The cluster containment strategy would “include geographic quarantine, social distancing measures, enhanced active surveillance, testing all suspected cases, isolation of cases, quarantine of contacts and risk communication to create awareness among the public on preventive public health measures”, it said.

As far as the evidence for implementing geographic quarantine is concerned, the document said the “current geographic distribution of COVID-19 mimics the distribution of H1N1 pandemic influenza”.

“This suggests that while the spread of COVID-19 in our population could be high, it’s unlikely that it will be uniformly affecting all parts of the country,” the ministry said, stressing that this calls for differential approach to different regions of the country while mounting a strong containment effort in hot spots.

Modi, Trump resolve full strength of India-US partnership against COVID-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump held a detailed discussion on the coronavirus crisis on Saturday and resolved to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight the global pandemic.

Modi also had separate telephonic conversations with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon, during which the leaders deliberated upon the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had a good discussion and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight COVID-19,” Modi wrote on Twitter on his “extensive” telephonic conversation with Trump.

“The two leaders agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19,” the PMO said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Apr 06, 2020 07:10:48 IST

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