Coronavirus Pandemic LIVE Updates: Candles and Diyas Burn Bright as India Turns Off the Lights to Support…

As the country reaches the half-way mark on the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest the spread of coronavirus, the Noida administration has decided to extend the lockdown by imposing Section 144 till April 30 to curb the assembly of people.

Maharashtra has seen maximum deaths due to the novel coronavirus and cases continue to surge in the state. A 21-year-old is the latest case in Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, even as the total cases have risen to 661 with 32 deaths.

India has reported 3,374 cases of novel coronavirus so far and the death toll due to the pandemic has risen to 77, the Union Health Ministry said today. Officials have linked the surge of cases to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the national capital last month, but massive efforts by various authorities have led to nearly 22,000 people related to the grouping getting quarantined.

The Tablighi-linked infections, found across 17 states, including Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, showed that almost 30% 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.

Agarwal yesterday said a total of 2,902 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far in India, with an increase of 601 in last 24 hours — the highest for such a period — with at least 58 of them in critical condition in Kerala, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. In the same time span, 12 more died taking the nationwide toll to 68, he said.

Later, the Ministry’s evening update put the total number of those having tested positive at 3,072 nationwide, with 75 deaths.

However, a PTI tally of figures reported by states directly showed at least 97 deaths across the country while the number of confirmed cases of infection had reached 3,619 as of Saturday late evening. Of them, close to 300 have been cured and discharged.

Globally, the virus has infected over 12 lakh people and killed more than 64,000.

US President Donald Trump has warned Americans of the toughest next two weeks as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the three lakh mark and the death toll stood over 8,000.

“Next two weeks are going to be very, very deadly. Unfortunately, but we are going to make it so that we lose as few lives as possible and I think we are going to be successful,” Trump told reporters during a press conference at the White House that was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence.

“We are really coming up into a time that’s going to be very horrendous. Probably a time like we haven’t seen in this country. I mean, I don’t think we’ve seen a time like this in the country,” Trump said.

Pence said there would be an increased number of testings.

“It’s going to be a difficult week for the American people. You will see testing increased around the country and so cases are going to continue to rise across America,” he said.

Members of the White House task force on coronavirus have projected deaths between 100,000 to 200,000 people in the US in the next two months.

Officials are hoping against hope to avoid such a scary scenario that could be avoided with strict enforcement of social mitigation measures, including stay-at-home and social distancing.

As of Saturday, nearly 90 per cent of America’s 330 million were under stay-at-home order and major disaster declaration was notified for more than 40 of the 50 States.

New York City and its adjoining metropolitan area in the states of New Jersey and Connecticut has emerged as the epicenter of coronavirus in the US where several hundreds of deaths are being reported every day.

The peak in New York is likely to hit in next six-seven days, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters in New York after which the curve would start sliding down.

“We are getting to that point where it’s going to really be some very bad numbers. We want to keep those numbers a lot lower than they would’ve been and we will do that. But unfortunately, we’re getting to that time when the numbers are going to peek at it’s not going to be a good-looking situation,” Trump said.

“I really believe we probably have never seen anything like these kind of numbers. Maybe during the war during a world war, a World War I or II or something, but this is a war all unto itself and it’s a terrible thing”, he said in response to a question.

Pence urged people not to be discouraged by the surge in numbers.

“Even though we see the losses rising in the days ahead do not be discouraged. Because there is evidence across the country that Americans have been putting the social distancing and mitigation into practice and it is making a difference. We are seeing it in the new cases that are being reported,” he said.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 300,915 confirmed virus cases in the US and there have been 8,162 deaths so far.

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