Updated: March 29, 2020 9:50:15 pm
Coronavirus India Latest Update: With fresh deaths reported in six states, the death toll due to Covid-19 climbed to 27 and the total number of cases spiked to 1024 on Sunday, according to the Union Health Ministry. One death was reported each from Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Telengana, officials said.
Faced with a grappling crisis of migrant exodus, the Centre asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal borders to stop the movement of migrant workers, who will be put in mandatory 14-days quarantine for violating the lockdown.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) also constituted 10 different high-level committees to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce misery of people as quickly as possible.
As thousands of migrant workers continued to return to their homes across states, the Union government on Sunday said all those who have travelled during the lockdown period will be put under a mandatory 14-day quarantine at government facilities.
“Those who have violated the lockdown and traveled during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities,” the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said.
It added that “detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to states”.
Further issuing a notice to the state and UT governments, the Union Home Ministry Sunday said the movement of migrants is in violation of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease and urged them to take necessary actions. Besides, the ministry also asked the states to ensure food, shelter, timely wages and healthcare for the migrants.
The Home Ministry also asked all states and union territories to allow transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential during the 21-day lockdown period in the country. The home secretary also said that newspaper delivery supply chain was allowed to operate under exemptions given for print media. “Groceries, including hygiene products such as hand wash, soaps, disinfectants, oral care items, battery cells and chargers, are also allowed,” the statement read.
The Union Health Ministry Sunday said the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) had launched a toll-free number to address mental health issues.
“The ongoing 21-day lockdown has resulted in some behavioral, mental health issues and NIMHANS has launched a toll-free number — 08046110007 — for consultation,” Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Punya Salila Srivastava said.
In its daily briefing, the ministry on Sunday said 106 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths were reported from six states in the last 24 hours. It also specified that its focus areas include medical emergency management, isolation beds, and quarantine facility.
On the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers, the ministry said over 10 domestic manufacturers in India have been asked to produce the equipments. Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said officials of the Ministry of Textiles held a series of meetings with the technical experts and the manufacturers in India.
“WHO guidelines were understood and taking into account details of this virus, the PPE guidelines were suitably amended. Over 10 domestic manufacturers in India were identified for the purpose. They have started production also,” PTI quoted him as saying.
In his monthly radio program ‘Mann ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday apologised for the “harsh decision” of a 21-day nationwide lockdown enforced in an attempt to contain the pandemic.
“First of all, I want to apologise to every citizen. I believe you will forgive me; certain decision have caused you great incovenience. Whenever I see my poor brothers and sisters, I feel that they might be wondering that what kind of a prime minister do they have, he has put them into great trouble. I would like to apologise to them too,” he said.
Stressing the importance of the restrictions, Modi said, “Lockdown is for you to protect yourself, your family, you’ve to show this patience for many more days. Those violating the lockdown are playing with their own lives.”
Rahul Gandhi writes to PM, expresses solidarity in fight against COVID-19
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to consider the consequences of a complete economic shutdown as it may “disastrously amplify the death toll” arising from the coronavirus.
Expressing his solidarity with the Centre in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, Gandhi said, “It is critical for us to understand that India’s conditions are unique. We will be required to take different steps than other large countries who are following a total lockdown strategy. The number of poor people in India who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for us to unilaterally shut down all economic activity. The consequences of a complete economic shut down will disastrously amplify the death toll arising from the Covid-19 virus.”
New cases reported from Maharashtra, Kerala, TN
Kerala reported 20 new positive cases of coronavirus today, taking the total number of infected to 202. At present, 182 persons are under treatment in isolation at hospitals across state. 21 others have been discharged after recovery.
In Maharashtra’s Buldhana, a 45-year-old male has died due to cornavirus on Sunday. He had diabetes and with this, the death toll in the state rose to 8. Meanwhile, the total number of positive cases has touched 196— 107 in Mumbai and Thane, Pune (37), Nagpur (13), Ahmednagar (3), Ratnagiri (1), Aurangabad (1), Yavatmal (3), Miraj (25), Satara (2), Sindhudurg (1), Kolhapur (1), Jalgaon (1), Buldhana (1), health minister Rajesh Tope said, however, the health ministry has not updated the figures on the website.
Eight new positive COVID-19 cases were reported from Erode in Tamil Nadu who came in contact with Thai nationals and are undergoing treatment at IRT Perundurai.
Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa Sunday convened an all-party meet seeking support from leaders across all political parties to fight the coronavirus pandemic. At the meeting held in Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru, the CM said that people stuck at state borders will be checked thoroughly and accommodation facilities will be provided to them soon. “Passengers suspected of COVID-19 will be kept under quarantine and healthy passengers will be ensured they reach their destinations,” he added.
Responding to suggestions made by other leaders, the CM also announced that the supply of seeds, fertilizers and insecticides will be made seamless to help the farmers.
The CM further said that steps will be taken to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, masks and sanitisers to healthcare professionals across the state.
275 Indians, evacuated from Iran, reach Jodhpur
A batch of 275 Indians evacuated from coronavirus-hit Iran arrived at the Jodhpur airport on Sunday morning, an official said. A preliminary screening of the passengers was conducted at the airport and thereafter, they were shifted to the Army Wellness Facility set up at the Jodhpur Military Station, the official added.
What are Sections 269 & 270 IPC, invoked against those accused of spreading disease?
Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) come under Chapter XIV of the Indian Penal Code– ‘Of Offences Affecting The Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals’. While Section 269 provides for a jail term of six months and/or fine, Section 270 provides for a jail term of two years and/or fine. In Section 270, the word ‘malignantly’ indicates indicates a deliberate intention on the part of the accused.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said of the 275 passengers, 133 were female and 142 male, including two infants and four children.
Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday reported its second death due to the coronavirus after a man from northern Kashmir, who had tested positive for the infection and was admitted in a Srinagar hospital, died on Sunday morning.
Health department sources said the deceased, aged in 60’s, had come in contact with a couple who had returned from Saudi Arabia and are presently “asymptomatic”.
SpiceJet said on Sunday that one of its pilots who did not fly any international flight in March has been infected.
“One of our colleagues, a first officer with SpiceJet, has tested positive for COVID-19. The test report came on March 28. He did not operate any international flight in March 2020,” the airline’s spokesperson told PTI.
VIDEO: Chennai policeman Rajesh Babu has found a creative way to get people to take precautions against the COVID-19 outbreak: a helmet made to make people think of the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/jF6UPeWzST
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 29, 2020
“The last domestic flight that he operated was on March 21 from Chennai to Delhi and since then he had quarantined himself at home,” he added.
As a precautionary measure, the spokesperson said, all crew and staff who had been in direct contact with him have been asked to self-quarantine by staying at home for the next 14 days.
Five persons, including a woman and a child, were killed in Gurgaon’s Bilaspur area late last on Saturday night after a speeding truck rammed into two autos in which they were travelling. Only two of the deceased have been identified so far, police said.
“The two people, who have been identified, are brothers who were working in Gurgaon and appear to have been going back to their village in light of the lockdown. The remaining deceased are yet to be identified,” DCP (Manesar) Deepak Saharan said.
Stay where you are: Kejriwal to migrants
Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s to remain indoors, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today urged migrants to refrain from crowding in order to avoid getting infected.
दिल्ली से अपने गाँव जा रहे लोगों से मेरी अपील। pic.twitter.com/VTOGZVZFkh
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 29, 2020
Taking to Twitter, the Aam Aadmi Party chief said, “The Prime Minister has appealed to you to stay where you are. I am also making the same appeal as chances of you getting infected are high in these crowded situations. And through you, the infection may spread to your family, your village and other parts of India. It will then be difficult to contain the pandemic.”
Another Covid-19 death in Ahmedabad, toll reaches five in Gujarat
A 45-year-old man died with comorbidity condition in Ahmedabad on Sunday morning morning, taking the toll to five in the state. The capital also reported three more fresh cases this morning. Fifty-eight cases have been registered so far.
These are Naga students who were forcefully quarantined, even though none of them had any symptom of #CoronaVirus.
Later the Gujarat Police had to apologise to them!
— SS Kim (@KimHaokipINC) March 23, 2020
Amid the nationwide lockdown, even as a hundred of migrants are on the move to their native places, a video of a Madhya Pradesh police officer writing “Maine lockdown ka ullanghan kiya hai, mujhse door rahna (I have violated lockdown restrictions, keep away from me),” on the forehead of a labourer has gone viral. The officer has been issued a show-cause notice.
Chhatarpur SP Kumar Saurabh told The Indian Express that the police have been instructed not to engage in such behavour. He said the PSI is being issued a show-cause notice.
An FIR has been registered against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha on Sunday for allegedly making objectionable comments against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The FIR was lodged in Noida based on a complaint filed by advocate Prashant Patel.
— Amil Bhatnagar (@AmilwithanL) March 29, 2020
Chadha, in a Twitter post, alleged that migrants travelling Delhi to Uttar Pradesh are being thrashed on the orders of Yogi Adityanath. “According to sources, Yogiji is getting migrants going from Delhi to UP beaten up. He is saying why did you go to Delhi and you will not be allowed to go to Delhi again. My appeal to UP government is not to do this and not to increase problems in this difficult hour,” he tweeted. However, Chada later deleted the tweet.
COVID-19 patient among 11 booked for flouting quarantine, prohibitory orders
Eleven people, including a COVID-19 patient and two newly married couples, were booked in Maharashtra for allegedly flouting quarantine norms and holding marriage functions despite prohibitory orders in view of the coronavirus crisis, police said on Sunday.
In the first case, a person, who arrived in Dombivali township on Thane from Turkey on March 15, allegedly violated the home quarantine guidelines and attended the ‘haldi’ function (a pre-wedding custom) of his cousin brother, police spokesperson Sukhada Narkar said. The person later tested positive for coronavirus, Dombivali police station’s inspector S P Aher said.
In the second, five persons, including a groom, his parents and the owner of a ground, have been booked under IPC Section 188 for organising the ‘haldi’ ceremony here on March 18, in violation of the prohibitory orders imposed by the district collector, the police said.
This hotelier from Matunga refused to follow the rules! So, we followed him and drove him straight to the police station! The virus of ‘lawlessness’ needs to be cured too. The errant has been detained & legal action is being taken #LawAbidingIsKoolar #lockdown pic.twitter.com/gHtO41h4h3
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) March 28, 2020
A list of 722 names with purported passport numbers, cellphone numbers, addresses and travel history of each, is doing the rounds on social media. These are individuals “suspected of COVID-19 and are quarantined at home.” Similar lists for Bhopal, Bengaluru are being circulated, warning citizens to avoid contact with them.
While these lists cannot be traced to a source, some state governments, officially, have made public the disclosure of data of those under quarantine. Battling the spread of COVID-19 virus, such disclosures have raised concerns over balancing the imperatives of public health, doctor-patient confidentiality and the fundamental right to privacy during what is, effectively, a public health emergency.
In the absence of a national protocol or law, state governments are divided on the approach to take: while some states have put data in the public domain to better inform citizens, other states are making efforts to protect identities to avoid panic and to respect privacy.
Coronavirus: Symptoms, DOs and DON’Ts
#1. Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
#2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds at least 3 times a day.
#3. Regularly use hand sanitiser
#4. Avoid touching your face, nose
#5. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Discard any tissue used
#6. Avoid sharing water bottles and personal hygiene items like towels
#7. Avoid non-essential travel
#8. Don’t stockpile on disposable face masks.
#9. Prevent the spread of medical misinformation
#10. There are no known cures or preventive medicines for coronavirus
The Ministry of Health has set up a telephone and email helpline for any queries and emergencies related to coronavirus.
Number: +91-11-2397 8046
For a list of helpline numbers of States & Union Territories, click here.
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