Covid-19 update: Positive cases over 400, 7 deaths; lockdown in 75 districts

Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus patients at 89, followed by Kerala at 67


The Covid-19 case count in India has risen to 415 and there have been 7 deaths, declared the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, reported The Economic Times. Seventy-five districts are under complete lockdown till March 31 and only operation of essential services have been exempted from the same.


While experts however say that the government of India may have been slow in ordering a lockdown now that thousands have returned to the hinterland risking spreading the infection there, there are a slew of measures the government is now taking to ensure that India doesn’t enter Stage III of the pandemic.

Covid-19 count

11 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Gujarat, taking the tally up to 29. Of these new cases five cases are of local transmission and six patients have a recent history of travel to Covid-19 hit countries. Ahmedabad has a total of 13 cases, Vadodara has six, Gandhinagar and Surat have four cases each and Rajkot and Kutch have one case each of the coronavirus. So far, there has been one Covid-19 related death in the State. An FIR has been filed against 40 people for violating the Section 144 curfew in Ahmedabad.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that there are a total of positive Coronavirus cases in the state, including 14 new cases in Mumbai and 1 in Pune. Despite the surge in cases, he told ANI, “I want to make it very clear that we have not entered the community spread phase.”

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway has also been shut down keeping the lockdown restrictions in sight.

Delhi CM Kejriwal urged people to support the lockdown completely. Currently there are 30 cases in Delhi, 23 of those have returned from abroad and 7 are the family members of the positive cases.

Karnataka state Health Minister B Sriramalu has said that there are 27 coronavirus cases in the state and one hospital in every district is dedicated to Covid-19 patients. The state has also placed an order for 1,000 ventilators.

Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh reported two new cases, while Bihar reported one. After Maharashtra, Kerala reported the second highest number of cases t 67. Rajasthan and Telangana had 27 cases each and Haryana stood at 23. Punjab reported 21 cases, Ladakh reported 13 cases, J&K and Uttarakhand reported four cases each. Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh reported six cases each. Chhattisgarh and Puducherry reported one Covid-19 case each.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said there was no positive case of Covid-19 in Assam after the reports of a 4-year-old girl who had travelled with her mother and sister from Bihar were declared to be negative by the ICMR. She was earlier tested positive for the virus at the Jorhat Medical College and Regional Medical Center, but was found to be negative for it after a recheck at the ICMR lab.

Lucknow’s Ghanta Ghar was sanitized after anti-CAA protestors vacated the site and called off their protest temporarily in view of the lockdown imposed in Uttar Pradesh till March 31, 2020.

Government measures and other updates

The Supreme Court of India has ordered for lawyers chambers to be closed down and order for no more in-person hearings. It has requested for video conferencing to hear urgent matters.

The Delhi government has told the Delhi High Court that it would amend prison rules to provide options of special parole and furlough to decongest prisons in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Assam government has banned entry of inter-state passenger vehicles till March 31 including carriages and taxis.

The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi) have developed a low-cost method to detect Covid-19 which is currently being validated by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. This could make testing affordable for larger sections of society.

The Central government on Friday had recommended that the maximum charge for each Covid-19 test by private laboratories should not exceed Rs. 4,500. It had said that all laboratories with a NABL accreditation for real-time PCR SA for RNA virus would be allowed to conduct Covid-19 tests according to guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The ICMR on Sunday said that a total of 114 laboratories had been approved for conducting the Covid-19 tests. 87 of these laboratories are currently operational, 27 are in the process of starting operations.

While there are six such laboratories for COVID-19 testing each in Kerala and Delhi; Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have seven functional laboratories. Among the additional laboratories, Delhi will get two, while Kerala will have three. Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu will have one new lab each.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked domestic airlines to ensure a gap of seats between two passengers as a measure to ensure social distancing to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Indian Railways announced the suspension of all passenger services, including suburban train services until March 31 with only goods trains to be allowed to run during that period. The Railways said, adding that passengers can claim a full refund for trains cancelled during this period till June 21.

(Sources – ET, Deccan Herald, India Today)


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