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Coronavirus India latest updates, 07 April: Maharashtra becomes first state to report more than 1,000 cases

Coronavirus India Latest Updates: Maharashtra remains the worst affected states with 891 confirmed cases and 52 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu (690 cases and 6 deaths) and Delhi (525 cases and 7 deaths). 

Written by Abantika Ghosh , Shubhajit Roy , Tabassum Barnagarwala | New Delhi | Updated: April 7, 2020 10:35:29 pm
Dr. Dang Lab Expert team during a demo as they launch India’s first drive-through testing centre in Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

Coronavirus India UpdatesThe number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has increased to 1018 after the state reported 150 new cases on Tuesday. With this, Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to report more than 1000 novel coronavirus cases. Of the 150 new cases, 116 are from Mumbai, 18 from Pune, three each from Ahmednagar, Nagpur and Aurangabad, two each from Thane and Buldana, and one each from Satara, Ratnagiri and Sangli, news agency PTI reported quoting an official.

The total number of cases across the country has climbed to 4789 while the death toll has increased to 124, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest briefing on Tuesday. A total of 352 people have recovered from the virus. Tamil Nadu is behind Maharashtra in terms of the number of cases with 690 and is closely followed by Delhi (576).

Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal said cluster containment strategies and action plans for outbreaks, which are amenable to management, are giving required results in some areas like Agra, Gautam Budh Nagar, Bhilwara, East Delhi and Mumbai.

Click here to track LIVE updates on coronavirus | Coronavirus state-wise tracker

Here are the latest updates in India today: 

Centre ‘thinking’ of extending lockdown after April 14

Following requests from several state governments and experts, the Cente is considering extending the nationwide lockdown after its ends on April 14 to stem the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), government sources said. “A lot of state governments as well as experts are requesting the Central Government to extend the lockdown. The Central Government is thinking in this direction,” sources said.

View of an empty Red Fort area in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photograph by Tashi Tobgyal)

At least seven states, which together have reported 1,367 coronavirus cases—almost one-third of the total cases across the country—had indicated on Monday that they would continue to have some restrictions in place even after the 21-day lockdown ends on April 14. Read more here

India agrees to export Hydroxychloroquine after Trump warning

On Tuesday, New Delhi moved to partially lift the ban on the export of Hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malaria drug that Trump has repeatedly touted as a “game-changer” in the fight against COVID-19. Trump has hinted there would be retaliation if India does not lift its ban on its export. Earlier in the day, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the anti-malaria drug would be supplied to “some countries” which are “badly affected” by COVID-19.

Explained | Hydroxychloroquine is recommended for very specific cases — here’s why it’s no silver bullet

“Like any responsible government, our first obligation is to ensure that there are adequate stocks of medicines for the requirement of our own people. In order to ensure this, some temporary steps were taken to restrict exports of a number of pharmaceutical products. In the meanwhile, a comprehensive assessment was made of possible requirements under different scenarios,” Srivastava said.

Srivastava said the restrictions have been largely lifted after confirming the availability of medicines for all possible contingencies.

Hydroxychloroquine tablets are recognised as a prophylactic for those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 — doctors, nurses, paramedics, and first responders — and can be used to treat patients.

Andhra Pradesh designates COVID hospital in every district

Andhra Pradesh has designated 13 hospitals in all its 13 districts as Covid hospitals. “No other patient will be treated in these hospitals except Covid cases to avoid any spread of the virus,’’ Special Chief Secretary (Health) Dr K S Jawahar Reddy said. On Tuesday, the state placed an order to procure three lakh Covid rapid testing kits. Once the kits are delivered, the state will undertake the massive exercise of randomly testing 8,000 samples from across the state to better understand the extent of the spread.

coronavirus, coronavirus india, coronavirus cases Andhra, coronavirus in andhra pradeh, coronavirus cases india, pinarayi vijayan, coronavirus deaths, indian express news A newly-wed couple undergo thermal screening at a temple in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. (PTI)

Authorities will also undertake extensive testing in containment zones established across the state where a large number of positive cases have been reported, especially Kurnool, Nellore, Kadapa, Guntur and Krishna districts. The state also placed an order for 20,000 lakh PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) where 30,000 PPEs will be delivered every week. It has also placed orders for delivery 14 lakh N-95 masks besides 1500 ventilators and 20,000 masks will be supplied every week.

Assam: 30% deduction in salary of CM, ministers, MLAs to fund COVID-19 fight

With 28 coronavirus cases so far, the Assam government announced a 30-per cent cut in salary of the chief minister, ministers and MLAs for one year and said the fund accrued will be used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and management of the outbreak. “The meeting of the Council of Ministers decided to deduct 30 per cent of the salary of the chief minister and other members of the State Council of Ministers and the MLAs for a period of one year,” the Chief Minister’s Office said in a statement. “The state government would not pass any directives regarding lockdown and the central government directives on lockdown would continue keeping social distancing norms intact,” it said.

“The state government would not pass any directives regarding lockdown and the central government directives on lockdown would continue keeping social distancing norms intact,” it said.  (File)

Besides Assam, the prime minister, the President, the Vice President and governors of states have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut as a social responsibility. (PTI)

Read | Northeast on alert as Assam, Manipur, Arunachal report cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat event

Day after Tripura sees first Covid-19 case, 108 put under quarantine

A day after Tripura identified its first Covid-19 patient, the authorities through contact tracing traked down 108 persons and put them under quarantine, including her relatives, relatives, neighbours, the ambulance driver who brought her to hospital. Of the 108, 17 are under critical conditions.

CM Biplab Kumar Deb takes stock of Covid-19 situation at hospitals.

“We have traced everyone who met with her. 34 neighbors and a person who came to visit her were shifted to institutional quarantine center, samples were collected from seventeen high risk persons including an ambulance driver and three relatives. Their reports are yet to arrive. Meanwhile, seven doctors who attended her at hospital were shifted to a special quarantine facility. Apart from them, 12 relatives and 32 passengers who travelled with her in train were identified and quarantined. Eighteen nurses, paramedics and ward boys are under home quarantine”, Law Minister and cabinet spokesperson Ratan Lal Nath said.

‘Stop govt ads, vista work, transfer money to PM relief fund’: Sonia Gandhi

On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with leaders of various political parties, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday wrote to him suggesting a series of “austerity measures” to divert funds for battling the coronavirus outbreak. She asked the Prime Minister to suspend the Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista beautification and construction project and impose a complete ban on advertisements on media for a period of two years.

Sonia Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to suspend the Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista beautification and construction project.

The Prime Minister had spoken to Gandhi on Sunday seeking her party’s cooperation for the measures that his government is taking to contain the coronavirus outbreak. He had also asked her to give suggestions to meet the COVID-19 challenge. Read more here

Kerala task force recommends four-phase easing of lockdown

A task force of experts constituted by the Kerala government has recommended gradual, phase-by-phase relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown measures post April 14, while keeping a close eye on the number of new infections in the state. The 17-member task force headed by former chief secretary KM Abraham submitted the report to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram Monday evening, based on which the state government is likely to formulate its response to the Centre on the subject of how and when the lockdown must be lifted. Read more here

Arvind Kejriwal unveils ‘5T’ plan for Delhi to fight COVID-19

Delhi govt to conduct 1 lakh COVID-19 tests in hotspots this week A technician from Dr Dangs Lab demonstrates before the media sample collection process for COVID-19 tests with the help of a dummy, in New Delhi. The Lab has initiated a drive-through COVID-19 testing facility while trying to ensure maximum safety and minimum exposure for the subject and health care staff during sample collection. (PTI Photo)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday unveiled a five-point plan to tackle the coronavirus outbreak after speaking to experts and doctors. The “5Ts”, Kejriwal said, include testing, tracing, treatment, teamwork and tracking and monitoring of the virus.

The Delhi government will start conducting rapid anti-body tests, as recommended by the ICMR, in areas identified as coronavirus hotspots, Kejriwal said, taking into account a possibility of up to 30,000 active cases in the city. Read more here

STATUS OF PPE Kits in Delhi :

✅ 1,25,000 PPE Kits ordered by Delhi Govt
✅ 27,000 PPE Kits from Centre
✅ 4,000 Current stock in Delhi
✅ 4,000 donated by individuals, corporate

4,000 new PPE kits to arrive daily from above 1.25 lac new kits ordered pic.twitter.com/WnqWMrFwpO

— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) April 7, 2020

Rajasthan reports 24 new cases

Rajasthan recorded 24 more cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the total number of virus cases in the state to 325. The state is working on a “staggered” exit strategy with curbs in “high risk zones” The virus has so far claimed six lives in the state. However, officials maintain that deaths occurred due to co-morbidity — more than one illness or disease occurring in one person at the same time. “24 new cases have come up today, including in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Banswara and Churu districts. All have contact and travel history,” Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said.

While there were nine cases in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer saw 7 cases. Banswara recorded 4 cases, Jaipur (3) and Churu (1). He said the total number of coronavirus positive cases in the state has risen to 325. The entire state, which has been under lockdown since March 22, is conducting a massive survey and screening to trace the contagion.

Two new COVID-19 cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi

Two more persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Dharavi, taking the total number of such cases in the slum area to seven, a civic official said on Tuesday. The two men, aged 80 and 49 years, hail from Dr Baliga Nagar locality of Dharavi and are close contacts of a 30-year-old woman who earlier tested positive for the virus, the official said. Earlier, four others from Dharavi had also tested positive for the disease. One of them, a 56-year-old man died while undergoing treatment at a hospital on April 1.

Four Dharavi localities – Dr Baliga Nagar, Vaibhav apartment, Mukund Nagar and Madina Nagar – have been demarcated as containment zones and civic officials have been regularly spraying disinfectants in those areas. Considered as Asia’s biggest slum, Dharavi houses 15 lakh people, making it one of the most congested areas of the city.

Residents overlook as BMC civic workers undertake a sanitisation drive at Dr Baliga Nagar, Dharavi. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

States in no hurry to ease lockdown

Even as India plans an exit strategy to end the 21-day lock down, as many as seven states, which together have reported 1,367 coronavirus cases so far — indicated that they would continue to have some restrictions in place.  While Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said he was in favour of extending the lockdown in his state, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, UP, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand indicated that they would not fully lift the restrictions after next Tuesday.

Read | Indian-origin doctor, who won Miss England 2019 title, hangs up crown to fight COVID-19

The Karnataka Government indicated on Tuesday it’s too early to take a call now on lifting the nationwide lockdown but said it’s in favour of its extension in COVID-19 hotspots in the country by at least an additional two weeks. “We need to see for another few days before taking final call,” Medical Education Minister Sudhakar K, who is in-charge of all matters related to COVID-19, told ‘PTI’ when asked if the State is in favour of the rollback after the 21- day period ends on April 14. The Minister opined that the decision on its withdrawal should be based on the COVID-19 pandemic situation at the time in terms of number of cases and response to the outbreak.

Railway hospitals in Karnataka begin operations for COVID-19 treatment

In a bid to strengthen the public healthcare system in Karnataka to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the South Western Railway (SWR) has begun operations in railway hospitals in the state which includes over 150 dedicated beds to treat COVID-19 patients and 20 others to treat critical cases across the state. In Bengaluru, the Divisional Railway Hospital has been converted to a dedicated COVID-19 hospital with 50 beds and six Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds for those tested positive.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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