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Coronavirus LIVE UPDATES: Cases in India rise to 775, death toll at 19

Coronavirus Pandemic LIVE updates: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said that he had been told to “prepare for a potential Stage 3 outbreak of Covid-19 in Delhi” and was, therefore taking steps to handle the situation even if it gets 1,000 COVID-19 cases a day.




Coronavirus Pandemic LIVE updates: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday said there were a total of 873 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, with 775 active cases, 78 patients being discharged, and 19 fatalities. The International Monetay Fund (IMF) on Friday said that the world is facing a recession which is worse that 2009. “”We have reassessed the prospects for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. We do project recovery in 2021,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he has been told to “prepare for a potential Stage 3 outbreak of Covid-19 in Delhi” and was, therefore, taking steps to handle the situation even if it gets to 1,000 COVID-19 cases a day. In other news, an 85-year-old general surgeon died hours after he tested positive in Mumbai. The primary test reports of his son, a cardiac surgeon in his late fifties, and grandson are positive. However, their confirmatory test reports are awaited.

The global death toll rose to 27,333 on Saturday, with the highest number of deaths in Italy, according to John Hopkins. The number of infected people in the world rose to 5,95,953 around the world, with the US alone reporting 1,00,000 on Friday. New York is still the worst-hit country in the US.

(Follow our full coverage on coronavirus pandemic and India lockdown)

As the coronavirus cases in India rise to 775, states prepare for a ‘Stage-3’ pandemic. Follow our LIVE blog for more updates

Highlights

With six more cases, the number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose to 159 on Saturday. Five of the cases were reported from Mumbai, while Nagpur reported one new case.

According to the  health ministry, 149 new Coronavirus positive cases have been reported in last 24 hours, the total positive cases in India now stand at 873. 

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced a package of Rs 2,200 crore to support the “needy” during the lock down to control spread of Corona Virus. The CM said in a video clip, “Corona is a global threat and has hit the lives and livelihood of the poor people. For the benefit of poor people, I have announced a package of Rs 2,200 crore. All the beneficiaries of the food security act will receive three months ration in advance. 94 lakh such families will also receive Rs 1,000 each and will involve (state) expenditure of Rs 940 crore”.

“The 48 lakh beneficiaries (of the state) of various social protection schemes will receive four months penion in advance. This will lead to spending of Rs 932 crore. 22 lakh construction workers will receive Rs 1,500 leading to Rs 330 crore expenditure”, Patnaik added.

Meanwhile, Odisha confirmed its third positive case of corona virus, which has led to disruption in the functioning of the state assembly.

South Korea has reported 146 new cases of the coronavirus and five more deaths, bringing its totals to 9,478 cases and 144 deaths. South Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said 4,811 people have been released from hospitals as of Saturday, marking the first time the number of recoveries exceeded the number of people remaining under treatment since the country confirmed its first COVID-19 case on January 21.

The KCDC says 71 of the new cases came from the worst-hit city of Daegu, which has struggled to stem transmissions in hospitals, nursery homes and other live-in institutions. Infections in the populous Seoul metropolitan area have reached 874 following a steady rise over the past two weeks that was mainly linked to passengers arriving from Europe and the United States.

South Korea is tightening border controls and began enforcing two-week quarantines on South Korean nationals and foreigners with long-term stay visas arriving from the United States on Friday. Similar quarantines had already been in place for passengers coming from Europe. South Korean Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun on Saturday called for Seoul and other local governments to strengthen their monitoring on South Koreans who returned from overseas after some of them triggered public anger by breaking quarantine and travelling to other regions before testing positive. (AP)

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday said that the number of active COVID-19 cases in India rose to 775, while 78 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated, with the death toll rising to 19. In its updated figures, the ministry stated two fresh deaths. However, it could not be immediately known where these two new deaths were reported from as the state-wise figures are awaited.

AN FIR has been registered against a journalist who attended former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s last press conference as the CM despite being his London-returned daughter being a coronavirus suspect.

West Bengal: A 29-year-old woman has been booked & arrested for allegedly spreading misinformation on social media about a doctor being infected with COVID-19 in Beleghata area of Kolkata. (ANI)

Rickshaw pullers in Delhi, who intended to return to their respective hometowns, were turned back by Police from Akshardham flyover today. One of the rickshaw pullers, Paanchu Mandal says, “Police aren’t allowing us to go any further, they say we’ll be sent to our homes on a bus.” “I was going to West Bengal. Police have turned us back, they say we’ll be sent on a bus. We’re 2 drivers, we would’ve taken turns to pull the rickshaw & reach WB. It would’ve taken us 7 days to reach. We are not getting any work here, don’t get passengers anymore,” Mandal added. (ANI)

Just like the Army has set in place contingency plans at 6-hour notice to counter the coronavirus, the Navy, too, has put in a series of precautionary measures to prevent any outbreak on its ships by minimising port calls at foreign shores and continuous medical monitoring of its sailors. This, even as it continues with its operations in international waters, including missions of geostrategic importance such as anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Africa.

“We have more than 20 ships out at sea at any point in time which includes coastal patrols and harbour patrols, besides the mission-based deployments in international waters. More than 3,000 Naval personnel are on board these vessels and all precautions are being taken in view of the Covid-19 pandemic,” a government official told The Indian Express.

Worldwide, restrictions to check the spread have reduced port calls at foreign shores to a bare minimum. These calls are significant for logistics support, including critical fuel supply to naval ships. To overcome this problem, Navy has taken to replenishment at sea, including refuelling of ships in international waters using its own vessels. The last such refuelling was done for INS Tarkash this Tuesday. INS Tarkash has been deployed as part of Operation Sankalp, which started last July and monitors the situation in the Gulf of Oman. Read more

On a day Kerala reported 39 fresh COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government is thinking about revealing the names of the patients. He said the new cases reported on Friday had contacted several persons and visited many places and therefore, the government is thinking about publicising their names.

Without taking any name, the Chief Minister said, “This social worker had travelled from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram. The details of his travel are astounding. He had mingled with several persons working in different walks of life. He had even shared the pictures in social media. Is this the manner in which a social worker should behave? This is a warning to all of us that coronavirus is not far away from us.’’

Later in the day, A P Usman, a Congress leader from Idukki district who has tested positive for COVID-19, issued a statement. “As a public activist, I mingled with several persons and travelled a lot. Those who have met me or mingled with me after February 29 should contact health workers. I don’t remember all of them. On many days, I travelled up to 200 km,’’ said the statement by Usman, also a trade union leader. Read more

Stating that the battle against COVID-19, which he termed “Operation Namaste”, will be won, Army Chief General M M Naravane on Friday asked soldiers to follow the government-ordered lockdown wherever they do not have any operational role. General Naravane said “force protection” is his priority and asked Army personnel who spend time in close quarters in forward posts or in tanks to remain fit. He assured soldiers posted at border areas that their families will be well taken care of.

Preparing for the fight against the pandemic in the country, 28 Armed Forces hospitals have been earmarked as COVID hospitals, Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), Lieutenant General Anup Banerji, said. He said these hospitals will “include armed forces patients as well as civilian patients transferred from state health authorities, in case their capacity is overwhelmed”. Read more

The residents of a small village in Karnataka used logs of wood to restrict the entry of outsiders into the village. The villagers took this step to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the village.

China has reported 54 new imported coronavirus cases, taking their tally in the last few days to 649, while the death toll in the country has risen to 3,295 with three more fatalities confirmed on Saturday, China’s National Health Commission said. While no new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 were reported, the number of coronavirus infections in people returning from abroad has gone up to 649 with 54 new cases reported, it said. A total of three deaths and 29 new suspected cases were reported in the Chinese mainland on Saturday. (PTI)

The 21-day lockdown is likely to only delay largescale transmission of novel coronavirus in India, not eliminate it completely, most experts say. This time, therefore, needs to be utilised to build up defences, ramp up health infrastructure, and prepare for the worst case scenario. In fact, this exercise is already on. Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Ashutosh Sharma explains how India is building up defence during the lockdown. Explained here

The people of the national capital on Saturday were seen following social distancing in order to curb the spreading of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. People were seen standing inside circles marked at a certain distance from each while purchasing groceries.

The United States is ready to supply a large number of ventilators needed by its friends and allies in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump said on Friday. Having ramped up the production of ventilators and other medical equipment required inside the US to treat the large number of people infected with the novel coronavirus, Trump said his administration will be distributing those throughout the world to other countries.

Trump said when he spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first thing that the PM asked him for help was ventilators. “Boris Johnson was asking for ventilators today. Unfortunately, he tested positive. And that’s a terrible thing, but he’s going to be great. I’m sure he’s going to be totally great. But they want ventilators. Italy wants ventilators, Spain wants ventilators, Germany wants ventilators,” he said.

“They’re all calling for ventilators. Well, we’re going to make a lot of ventilators and we’ll take care of our needs, but we’re also going to help other countries,” said the President as he announced that in the next 100 days, the US will be making more than 100,000 ventilators. (PTI)

A Brazilian court Friday blocked a decree by President Jair Bolsonaro that exempted places of worship from coronavirus confinement orders. The president had issued the decree on Friday, declaring religious activities “essential services” alongside pharmacies and supermarkets. But a federal court in Rio de Janeiro state ruled religious services posed a public health risk at a time when the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world. “Churches and other places of worship lead to large crowds and the movement of people,” wrote Judge Marcio Santoro Rocha of the Duque de Caxias court. (AFP)

According to the Health Ministry, the number of active COVID-19 cases in India stood at 748, while 66 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated, with the death toll rising to 19. In its updated figures, the ministry stated two fresh deaths. However, it could not be immediately known where these two new deaths were reported from as the state-wise figures are awaited.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said he had been told to “prepare for a potential Stage 3 outbreak of Covid-19 in Delhi” and was, therefore taking steps to handle the situation even if it gets 1,000 COVID-19 cases a day. Stage 3 denotes community transmission of the virus.

In a tweet, Kejriwal said: “I have read the report from the panel of doctors headed by Dr Sareen recommending measures to prepare for a potential Stage 3 outbreak of Covid-19 in Delhi. We are ramping up our capacity for an eventuality of 1,000 daily positive cases, for testing, treatment and isolation”.

Delhi has seen 40 coronavirus cases so far, including two deaths. While 30 people who tested positive came from abroad, the remaining 10 are cases of local transmission. Read more

The world is in the face of a devastating impact due to the coronavirus pandemic and has clearly entered a recession, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday, but projected a recovery next year. “We have reassessed the prospects for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. We do project recovery in 2021,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters at a news conference.

The key to recovery in 2021, she said, is only if the international community succeeds in containing the virus everywhere and prevent liquidity problems from becoming a solvency issue. “The US is in recession, as is the rest of the advanced economies of the world. And in a big chunk of developed and emerging markets in developing economies. How severe? We are working now on our projections for 2020, Georgieva said in response to a question. (PTI)

On the other hand, Noida recorded three more positive cases, while two cases were reported from Ghaziabad. (Representational Image)

Meanwhile, thousands of migrant labourers walking hundreds of kilometres along highways and across shuttered cities, running out of food and the nationwide disruption in supply chains have exposed glaring gaps in the implementation of the 21-day Covid-19 lockdown the Prime Minister announced on March 24 by the Centre and the states.

Urging the states to help migrants with food and shelter and prevent their cross-state movement, a health ministry official said, “The lockdown could have been planned better, not at four-hour notice”.

Police and state governments admit the PM’s 21-day announcement caught them off guard. Experts said that the coronavirus outbreak was not an earthquake — that catches an administration by surprise — nor was it a development that called for a closely guarded response.

On the other hand, Noida recorded three more positive cases, while two cases were reported from Ghaziabad. Till Friday evening, Noida had 18 cases, the highest in UP, while Ghaziabad has five cases.

Officials said four cases so far have been linked to a Noida fire safety firm that was visited by a British national for an audit earlier this month. Two employees of the same firm tested positive earlier this week. The office has been closed for sanitisation.

Sources said the two Ghaziabad residents who went to a private lab tested positive.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which has approved twelve antibody kits, on Friday issued guidelines on the use of these kits for testing for COVID-19, stating that the test “is not recommended for diagnosis” and that positive test would only “indicate” an exposure to the coronavirus.

The six guidelines issued by ICMR on the rapid antibody kits state that the test can be done on blood/serum/plasma; the test result is available within 30 minutes; test comes positive after 7-10 days of infection; the test is not recommended for diagnosis of COVID-19 infection; positive test indicates exposure to SARS-CoV-2; and a negative test does not rule out COVID-19 infection.

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