37 Deaths, 896 New Coronavirus Cases In 24 Hours In India


India Coronavirus Cases:: 896 cases and 37 deaths have been reported over the past 24 hours

New Delhi:
Nearly 900 new novel coronavirus cases and 37 deaths have been reported over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said this evening in its daily briefing. This is the largest ever single-day spike in the number of cases and deaths, the ministry added, and takes the total number of COVID-19 cases in India to 6,761 with 206 deaths linked to the virus. The surge in cases comes on a day when the World Health Organisation initially claimed India had entered Stage 3, or “community transmission” of the virus, – a claim it retracted hours later. The country is near the end of a 21-day “total lockdown” imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month to contain the spread of the virus. The Prime Minister is expected to address the nation this week to clarify whether the lockdown will be extended.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Punjab has become the second state, after Odisha, to extend the Prime Minister’s nationwide “total lockdown”. The lockdown had been scheduled to end on April 14 but will now continue, in Punjab and Odisha at least, till the end of the month. Punjab has registered 132 coronavirus cases, as of Friday despite the strict three-week lockdown. Odisha has 44 cases and one person has died due to the virus.

  2. Addressing a virtual press conference today the Punjab Chief Minister also flagged concerns the country is “moving into” community transmission. Mr Singh pointed to 27 COVID-19 patients in the state who were, he said, cases of secondary transmission. The centre was swift to deny this claim, with Lav Aggarwal, a Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, saying: “I reiterate, there is no community transmission yet across the country”.

  3. Prime Minister Modi is likely to address the nation again – his third address since the lockdown was ordered – to clarify whether the lockdown will end on Tuesday. Sources say the lockdown may be extended but with many changes this time around. Interstate movement will remain restricted, except for essential services. Schools, colleges and religious institutions are likely to stay closed.

  4. Meanwhile, amid fears expressed by medical experts that the country has entered Stage 3 – i.e., community transmission of the virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) admitted an error in its daily report. Earlier today the global health watchdog said India was experiencing “community transmission”, something the government has repeatedly denied. When contacted by NDTV the organisation said the error had been fixed and clarified that India had only a “cluster of cases”.

  5. However, random coronavirus tests on patients with severe respiratory diseases indicates that more and more people with no travel history, or contact with those who have one, are contracting the COVID-19 virus. Data compiled by the ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research, the government’s nodal body in the fight against the virus) shows 38 per cent of such patients had no travel history.

  6. Two weeks ago, when asked about the possibility of community transmission of coronavirus, the ICMR had responded in the negative. The ICMR had been conducting random tests on SARI (severe acute respiratory illness) patients to determine whether there was community transmission of the novel coronavirus. ICMR data also shows that in the weeks before March 14 no SARI patient tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

  7. Meanwhile, the ICMR has amped up testing in hotspots identified and sealed in Delhi and other states. Now people in the hotspots, whether connected to the patients or not, will be tested if they show symptoms of the disease for at least a week, the medical body has said.

  8. Dilshad Garden in northeast Delhi is the first novel coronavirus hotspot to be declared infection-free, Health Minister Satyendra Jain told NDTV today. Under an extensive exercised codenamed “Operation Shield” the Delhi government set up 123 medical teams to screen over 15,000 people living in 4,032 houses in the area before declaring it “coronavirus-free”. On Wednesday the Delhi government released a list of 20 hotspots, including Nizamuddin Basti – where the Tablighi Jamaat’s religious gathering was held last month.

  9. A bipartisan group of top United States lawmakers have urged China to shut down all operating “wet markets” as these could expose humans to health risks through the introduction of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19. A “wet market” sells fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishable goods as distinguished from “dry markets” and gets its name because the floors are usually wet from the spraying of fresh produce and cleaning of meat and seafood stalls.

  10. Worldwide more than 16 lakh people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus that originated in China’s Wuhan district in December last year. Nearly 97,000 others have died. India this week has exported large quantities of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug believed effective in treating the virus, to the United States and Israel, while exporting raw material to produce the drug to Brazil.

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