Covid-19 Cases Continue To Rise Despite Lockdown

With an increase of 591 cases on Thursday, the count of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India reached 5,865 on the 16th day of 21-day long lockdown, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The COVID-19 figure includes 5,218 active cases, while 478 patients have been cured and discharged or migrated as of Thursday. The total deaths due to the infection stood at 169.

Maharashtra with 1,135 confirmed cases has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the country, while Tamil Nadu (738) and Delhi (669) are the two next most affected regions.

Fresh cases on Thursday were reported from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala among other States and UTs. The highest number of deaths — 72 — has also been reported from Maharashtra in the country.

At the regular media briefing on Thursday, Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, said that high-level teams have been constituted to coordinate with the States on “containment plan, hospital preparedness, and ventilator management” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Aggarwal also said that twenty domestic manufacturers in India have been developed for the production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits and orders for 1.7 crore PPE kits have been placed.

The Joint Secretary also informed that a Group of Ministers (GoM) including Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, which met today discussed the strategy regarding labs and on increasing lab samples in hot spots and clusters.

“The supply of PPE, N95 masks and ventilators has also been discussed in the Group of Ministers meeting. The Group of Ministers noted that it is necessary that our healthcare professionals, who are serving us like warriors, receive the full support of the community,” Aggarwal said.

Meanwhile, the Government of India has sanctioned Rs 15,000 crore for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package’, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Here’s a quick read on the COVID-19 related updates:

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the people from all sections of society are working towards ensuring a ‘coronavirus-free nation’ and has urged everyone to download the AarogyaSetu app.
  2. The Centre has announced Rs 15,000 crore for ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package.’ The funds sanctioned will be utilised for immediate COVID-19 Emergency Response — Rs 7,774 crore and rest for medium-term support (1-4 years) to be provided under the mission mode approach.
  3. A total of 223 labs comprising a network of 157 government and 66 private laboratories are conducting a rigorous screening process, according to the MoHFW.
  4. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that containment exercise will be carried out in 21 areas of Delhi where COVID-19 cases have been found. These areas will be completely sealed and residents will be home quarantined.
  5. Two labs of CSIR- Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) have started working on whole-genome sequencing of a novel coronavirus, to understand the evolution of COVID-2019 virus.
  6. Indian railways are converting 5,000 coaches into isolation units, of which 3,250 have been converted in order to prepare 80,000 isolation beds.
  7. Odisha government on Thursday extended the COVID-19 lockdown till April 30, becoming the first state to do so. The closure of educational institutions was extended until June 17.
  8. The local administration in Ranchi, Jharkhand, announced that the Hindpiri locality of the city is being sealed for the next 72 hours to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after two COVID-19 positive cases were reported from the area.
  9. Uttarakhand government has also sealed seven areas from where positive cases were reported in the state.
  10. One lakh thirty thousand samples have been tested so far for the coronavirus, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). An ICMR official added that the positivity rate for COVID-19 ranges between 3-5 per cent in the last 1-1.5 months and has not increased substantially. (ANI)
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