26 March 2020 – Coronavirus in India today

Peoples Post Desk:

Total number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 649 from 606 a day before, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday. The number of cases were just about half four days ago.

March 26 (IANS)

2 kids test positive in Kashmir, total cases 11

Two more positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Kashmir, including an infant, taking the total number of active cases in J&K to 11.

J&K government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said the two siblings – a seven-year-old and an eight-month-old – are the grandchildren of a person who tested positive on March 24. “Two more positive cases in Srinagar. Siblings (7 years and 8 months old) grandchildren of a confirmed case from Srinagar with travel history to Saudi Arabia who had tested positive on 24th. Total number of active cases now 11,” Kansal tweeted.

This comes a day after four persons had tested positive and all of them were from Bandipora district.

Thursday also saw the first death of a corona positive case in Kashmir. The 65-year-old died at a hospital in Srinagar. He had apparently come in contact with many others. Four of them tested positive on Wednesday. He had reportedly returned from New Delhi recently after being part of a ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ attended by people from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Maha COVID-19 positive cases now 125

With three more COVID-19 positive cases detected on Thursday, the total number of infected persons rose from 122 to 125 in Maharashtra, health officials said.

Earlier, the test reports of two persons admitted was found positive followed by one more case detected as positive. The new cases include one each from Mumbai, Thane and Nagpur, and their treatment is currently underway.

Mumbai has so far recorded four deaths of COVID-19 patients – two men both 63-years old, a 65-year old and a 68-year old Philippines national.

Goa converts 5 tourist resorts into quarantine facilities

The North Goa district administration here on Thursday took over five tourist resorts, including one private facility, to create quarantine facilities for Covid-19 epidemic. On Wednesday, three persons had tested positive for coronavirus.

The resorts, taken over by the administration, included Goa Tourism Development Corporation-operated facilities at Mayem, Mapusa, Calangute and Old Goa, and a private resort ‘Acron Seaway’ at the popular beach village of Candolim. These facilities would be handed over to the Deputy Collectors, said a directive issued by the North Goa District Magistrate R. Menaka on Thursday.

“There is need to prepare quarantine facilities in the North Goa district in view of the prevailing health emergency due to spread of Covid-19,” the order said and added, the properties were being temporarily taken over by the administration under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Goa has isolation wards at four centres.

COVID-19 infected mostly men aged 21-70 in Maha

Contrary to the general perception that COVID-19 affected only senior citizens, latest data released by the Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) in Maharashtra on Thursday shows that the majority of the infectees in the state fall in the 21-70 age group, with those between 31-40 grabbing the lion’s share.

Of the total 122 cases till March 26 – subsequently the number has risen to 125 – 33 persons were affected in the age group of 31-40, 24 each in the age groups of 21-30 and 41-50, 15 in the 51-60 age group and 13 in the 61-70 age groups.

Shattering another myth that children below 10 are immune to coronavirus, the state MEDD data shows two minors in the 1-10 age group and three very senior citizens in the age group of 71-80 were also infected.

Interestingly, however, all four deaths in the state till date have been reported in the 61-70 age group only, but their COVID-19 condition was aggravated by several other health problems, and males account for 69 per cent of the total cases.

In another shocker, China has escaped the needle of suspicion for COVID-19 spread in India as the maximum number of cases in the state comprise people with travel history to United Arab Emirates, followed by the USA, and Saudi Arabia.

The other significant number of infectees had a history of travel to the UK, Philippines and Turkey, and a small number each from Australia, Scotland, Thailand, Russia, Congo, Spain and Oman.

The maximum number of cases – 54 per cent – comprise those who have travelled to one or the other above countries, another 29 per cent are those infected by coming in contact with the first category of foreign travellers, the reports of six per cent were inconclusive and the results of another 11 per cent are still awaited, said the MEDD.

With Maharashtra having the highest number of cases in India, the country’s densest city and its commercial capital Mumbai tops the national list with 56 infected, followed by Pune at 31, Sangli 9, Thane 6, Nagpur 5, Yavatmal 4, Ahmednagar 3, Satara 2, and one each in Raigad, Aurangabad and Ratnagiri.

Telangana reports 3 new Covid-19 cases

With the new positive coronavirus (Covid-19) cases surfacing on Thursday, the number of Covid-19 cases in Telangana has shot up to 43. According to a media bulletin issued by the state Public Health and Family Welfare Department, all the three new cases have been admitted to the designated hospitals and their condition is reported to be stable.

One of the samples testing positive belongs to a 49-year old male from Medchal district who is a contact and had a travel history to Delhi. The remaining two positive cases belong to a Hyderabad based husband and wife, both doctors, aged 41 and 36, respectively. They are both contacts and have no travel history. With this, the total number of Covid-19 cases identified in Telangana stands at 43.

Apart from the imposition of a total lockdown, the state has beefed up surveillance, contact tracing and containment measures to prevent the possible spread of the dreaded disease. The health department said that the containment process has been put in places where confirmed cases have been diagnosed. The department has appealed to the citizens to adhere to the lockdown regulations and remain indoors. “This will enable us to break the chain of transmission and prevent infection,” it said.

The health department has directed that any person who has returned from any foreign country or has been in transit shall be in self-home quarantine for 14 days from the time of arrival in India, irrespective of having any symptoms or not.

Apollo Hospitals launches ‘Project Kavach’ to fight pandemic

Apollo Hospitals Group on Thursday announced a new initiative called ‘Project Kavach (shield), a comprehensive and integrated response plan to fight the COVID-19 disease.

“We are fighting a war not just for this generation but also for the generations to come. The novel coronavirus pandemic knows no borders, makes no distinction between religion, caste, creed, colour or social status,” said Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group.

According to Shobana Kameneni, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group, they have specially designed an AI-based Coronavirus Risk Assessment scan for screening and initial assessment, which is available in the form of an app and on the website (https://covid.apollo247.com/).

“The Risk assessment scan, which is available in 6 regional languages, will guide individuals about the potential risk of having the Virus through simple interactive questions. Based on the risk level, people are guided to contact the certified help centre,” Kameneni said in a statement.

“Over 6 million people have already gone through the screening on the Apollo 24X7 app and website and it is expected that over 10 million Indians will use this scan to know their risk score,” she added.

According to the hospital, the digital app also offers virtual and telephony consultation with facility to tele-connect with all doctors at Apollo Hospitals enabling patients to seek healthcare while staying at home.

2 more patients test positive, R’sthan corona tally now 40

Two more persons tested positive on Thursday for coronavirus, taking the total tally of COVID positive patients in Rajasthan to 40, health officials said.

One of the patients is 45 years old from Jaipur, while the second patient is 35 years from Jhunjhunu, said Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh. Both cases are reported to have travel history to West Asia. Extensive contact tracing has been started at both the places, Singh added.

Karnataka reports second Covid-19 death, 4 new cases

The Karnataka government, here on Thursday, reported second Covid-19 death and four more positive cases, raising the total number of cases to 55.

“A 70-year-old woman, resident of the Chikkaballapura district, had a history of travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. She had returned to India on March 14 and died on March 24,” said a health official. Her death from Covid-19 could only be confirmed after medical examinations on Thursday morning. According to an official statement, the patient died at a designated hospital, here. “The funeral rites were performed with all the precautionary measures as per the Centre’s guidelines for Covid-19 suspects,” the official said.

Confirming the second death, Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar tweeted, “I regret to inform that Covid-19 test result has come out as positive for the woman, who had succumbed on Tuesday. The government stands committed to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.” Karnataka’s first Covid-19 death, a 76-year-old Kalaburagi man, was also India’s first such death.

Among the positive cases confirmed on Thursday all were men. A Mysuru resident, 35, with no travel or positive case contact history emerged as Karnataka’s 52nd positive case. “He was with quality assurance section of a pharmaceutical company and has been in contact with many healthcare professionals,” said the statement.

Similarly, a 64-year-old man from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, with travel history to France returned to India on March 1. He also visited Himachal Pradesh, Puttaparthi and arrived here on March 21 to emerge as the 54th case.

Likewise, a 45-year-old man from Bengaluru, a contact of 25th case, is the 55th coronavirus positive case in Karnataka.

The three new patients have been admitted to designated hospitals even as the health department has initiated their contact search.

The state health department has requested the passengers who traveled with 36th positive case to contact it.

“Positive case No. 36 traveled in S3 coach, lower berth in the Mangalore Express from Mumbai, which departed on March 17 and arrived in Batkal on March 18. Passengers who traveled in the same coach may please contact the helpline,” said the statement.

The 36th case was a 65-year-old man from the Uttara Kannada district who traveled to Dubai and returned to India via Mumbai on March 18. He took a train to Uttara Kannada.

Sudhakar urged people to stay at home and be safe.

Kolkata man takes Covid-19 cases to 10 in Bengal

A 66-year-old man, admitted to a private hospital, here, has tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of positive cases in West Bengal to 10. According to hospital sources, the patient is in ICCU and being treated with hydroxy-chloroquine and other medicines prescribed for HIV treatment. The man had gone to Digha, the East Midnapore district’s popular tourist resort, where he felt unwell, said his family on Thursday.

Prior to Digha visit, the man had stayed for a few days at a relative’s place in East Midnapore district’s Egra. There he also attended a marriage ceremony in which a few of the invitees had come from abroad.

The latest Covid-19 patient, a resident of Nayabad near the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, here, was admitted to the Peerless Hospital on Monday with fever, cough and respiratory problems. He was kept in the isolation ward. On Tuesday, his swab sample was sent to the virology laboratory at the state-run SSKM Hospital, where it tested positive. A second confirmatory test also gave the same result, officials said.

While one afflicted person died on Monday, others are under treatment.

On the Egra visit, his brother-in-law said, “He came to my place on March 12, and left on March 23. In between he went to Digha. There he fell unwell, and came back. He had fever, which got worse. We sent him to Kolkata, where he was hospitalised.” Asked whether he and other family members were taking precautionary measures prescribed for those coming in close contact with Covid-19 affected, he said they were living in home isolation. “We are living under lock and key. Neither are we allowing anyone to come to our house, nor are we going out,” he said.

In Kolkata, the patient’s immediate family members have also been kept in home isolation. The police have been posted outside their residence.

Haryana hikes ex gratia for those fighting coronavirus

Even as 18 coronavirus positive cases have so far been reported in Haryana, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday announced an increased ex gratia to state employees involved in the battle to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Now doctors will be entitled to Rs 50 lakh, nurses Rs 30 lakh and other employees, government or contractual, Rs 20 lakh. Earlier, the ex gratia amount was Rs 10 lakh.

He said that the state would soon announce a new scheme to overcome the problems of farmers owing to the lockdown.

The Chief Minister said this in a televised address, during which he also talked about steps being taken to fight coronavirus.

Khattar appealed to the people not to believe rumours on the social media or on other platforms.

Allaying the fears of Haryana farmers, the Chief Minister said the entire agricultural produce would be purchased by the state.

There might though be some delay in the procurement, he said.

The government has made arrangements so that the procurement of mustard and wheat would start on April 15 and April 20 respectively, if the situation is favourable. He appealed to the farmers to stock the grain till then.

According to him, the state has launched website covidssharyana.in for registration of shopowners/suppliers of groceries, vegetables and fruits, milk and medicinces, to deliver these goods to the people at their doorsteps. E-passes would be issued to them.

The Chief Minister urged the people to adhere to the lockdown by staying at home for their own safety.

He said in the last four days, as many as 33,000 people have registered themselves as volunteers in Haryana, including 546 doctors, 255 nurses, 1,108 paramedics, 4,700 home delivery assistants, 5,700 each for social distancing communication and public communication and 6,200 for supporting the district administrations.

The Chief Minister said five laboratories have been made available for testing of suspected coronavirus cases and two more testing labs would be set up.

Similarly, 2,500 isolated beds and 6,500 quarantine beds have been made available.

Till date, 18 coronavirus positive cases have been reported in Haryana. Gurgaon has the highest 10, Faridabad two, Panipat three and Panchkula, Palwal and Sonepat one each.

One new COVID-19 case in Delhi takes tally to 36

A new positive case of COVID-19 has been reported in Delhi taking the tally to 36 patients, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.

Kejriwal also said that the Mohalla Clinics in the city will remain operational, even as a doctor has been tested positive.

“One case has come up in the last 24 hours. 26 are those who came from abroad, while 10 people have received the infection from these people.

Kejriwal said we have seen from other nations that coronavirus cannot be controlled once it is spread. “We should ensure that it is not spread.”

He repeated that all the essential items are being provided to people in the city.

“A doctor of Mohalla Clinic has tested positive. His wife and child have also tested positive. We are not closing the Mohalla Clinics in the city. If that is done, people will have to go to big hospitals. So, the clinics will remain operational,” Kejriwal said.

He added that the medical staff dealing with patients will have coronavirus tests on a regular basis so that they can be cured in time.

A doctor of Mohalla Clinic had developed symptoms of COVID-19 and the authorities had asked the visitors to go for the 15-day home quarantine.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Shahdara has ordered that all those who visited or were present at the Mohalla Clinic in Mohanpuri area of Maujpur between March 12 and March 18 to stay in home quarantine for 15 days.

Friday’s prayers suspended in all mosques across country

All Muslim sects have suspended the Friday prayers in mosques and urged the faithful to follow the government decision for a complete nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. However, the calls for prayers will continue to be made from mosques at the designated hours.

Jamaat-e-Islami Sharia Council said in a statement: “The Friday prayers (Juma Namaz) should be observed (only by Imams, muezzins, khadims, and administrators of mosques). The prayers and the ‘khutbah’ (speech) should be completed in the minimum possible period whereas the remaining public should conduct the ‘Zohar’ prayer at home.”

The Shia sect’s religious leaders too decided to suspended the Friday prayers across the country and asked the followers to remain indoors.

Maulana Ashraf, Imam of Mumbai, said: “We have suspended the Friday prayers and daily prayers in mosques since last week. This arrangement will continue till the government desires as the primary objective should be to save human lives and follow the government directive. We are appealing to the people to remain indoors from mosque loudspeakers and the social media.”

Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said that he had also appealed for the suspension of Friday and daily prayers and it’s allowed in Islam.

The mosques in the national capital and elsewhere are only giving calls for prayers to the faithful whereas only three to five persons offer prayers on the premises while adhering to social distancing norm, said a muezzin.

5 more test positive, MP tally goes up to 20

With five more people testing positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the toll of infected people in Madhya Pradesh has risen to 20, health officials said on Thursday.

The tally includes an Ujjain-based woman, who died on Wednesday in Indore, All the five new cases are in Indore, two are women.

In just two days the number of coronavirus infected persons has doubled in the state.

Of the 20 cases in Madhya Pradesh, six are from Jabalpur, 9 from Indore, two each from Bhopal and Gwalior and one cach from Shivpuri and Ujjain.

According to the health department officials, the five new cases, aged between 35 and 40, have no travel history to foreign locations but have travelled widely within the country and recently returned to Indore.

Special precautionary measures are taken in Indore to further prevent the spread of the virus. No one is allowed in the radius of three kilometres where the corona positive cases have been found. The area has been turned into containment zone.

Meanwhile in Bhopal, after a journalist tested positive of coronavirus, the district magistrate appealed to people to follow social distancing norms and not to panic.

Rs 50 lakh medical insurance for doctors, paramedics, nurses

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that doctors, paramedics, nurses, ‘Asha’ workers, cleaning workers involved in the fight against coronavirus pandemic and treating affected patients would be extended medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh each.

Addressing the media here, Sitharaman said that the scheme will help 20 lakh health professionals and wrokers across the country, in case they want to avail it.

She applauded the role played by doctors and other workers in the health sector and said that they are being called ‘gods in white attire’ by the public and coronavirus- affected patients alike.

The measures may come as a major relief for the health workers who put their lives at stake while treating coronavirus patients. Several doctors across the world, including India, have been infected by the deadly virus.

The Minister also announced an economic relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor and migrant workers under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana.

The package focuses on providing food to the poor and money in their hands to overcome the problems in the wake of Covid-19 spread.

She said that the scheme involves direct cash transfer and food security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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