Coronavirus April 9 highlights: 549 COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths reported in last 24 hours in India, says Health Ministry
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker India HIGHLIGHTS: A total of 549 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest briefing on the 16th day of the nationwide lockdown.
Coronavirus: A total of 549 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in India in the last 24 hours.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker HIGHLIGHTS: With the number of novel coronavirus cases in India nearing 5900-mark, including 169 deaths, the central government Thursday approved a COVID-19 emergency package worth Rs 15000 crore for states. A total of 549 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths have been reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest briefing on the 16th day of the nationwide lockdown. India has so far tested 1,30,000 samples.
Earlier today, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the first clear signal that some restrictions are likely to continue after the 21-day lockdown period, Odisha became the first state to extend the lockdown till April 30 on Thursday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also announced that schools in the state will remain closed till June 17 and said he will suggest the Central government to extend the nationwide lockdown till the same period.
Coronavirus latest news HIGHLIGHTS: Number of Covid-19 cases have reached 5,865 including 169 deaths; Some restrictions are likely to continue after the 21-day lockdown period; Globally, 88,444 people have died and over 1.5 million positive cases reported so far. Follow this LIVE blog in Malayalam| Tamil
Coronavirus LIVE news updates: ‘Sealing’ orders triggered panic buying in some areas in Noida on Wednesday. (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)
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According to a government statement, Modi emphasised that several state governments, district administrations and experts had pressed for extension of the lockdown. He, however, said he would hold another round of discussions with the chief ministers on April 11 before taking a final decision. Last week, Modi had told the chief ministers to formulate a common but staggered exit strategy to lift the lockdown.
“The Prime Minister underlined that the situation in the country is akin to a ‘social emergency’. The country has been forced to take tough decisions, and must continue to remain vigilant,” the statement quoted him as saying. This was Modi’s first interaction with leaders of political parties after announcing the 21-day lockdown on March 24.
According to sources, the PM underlined that he had not come across any opinion which suggests that lifting the lockdown at this juncture is “advisable”. The view that is emerging so far, he said, is that lifting the lockdown is not going to be “simple” and the norms for ensuring social distancing will have to be enforced strictly.
Utensils placed inside circles in a queue at a slum area as Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) began supplying food amid a nationwide lockdown.
Coronavirus curve up, lockdown impact may take a while
Two weeks into the lockdown period, there is no indication yet that the largest quarantine exercise in the world is having the desired effect of slowing down the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
Scientists using computer models to measure the spread of an infectious disease say they are yet to notice a “flattening of the growth curve”. This does not mean that the lockdown has been a wasted exercise, however. It is too early to draw such a conclusion.
Pooled testing planned in zero-case districts to get the real picture
Pushing for increased testing, health authorities are all set to do pooled testing in some of the 436 districts of the country from where no case of COVID-19 has been reported. This will be done to get a “realistic estimation” of the spread of the disease, highly placed government sources said, and the areas will be selected based on information available.
Into the third week of the 21-day lockdown, there is realisation in the government that without adequate testing in the COVID-free districts, there is an inherent risk in taking any decision on the lockdown. That is why information from two databases — from Aarogya Setu app and surveillance — will be merged to choose the areas where pooled testing will be done among symptomatic people. These tests will be done through RT-PCR, the nucleic acid-based test that India has been using from the start, and not the recently introduced faster option of serological tests, sources said.
Residents of an apartment building look at street musicians performing on their courtyard as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Prague, Czech Republic (REUTERS)
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WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for unity and a halt to “politicization” of the global health crisis, specifically urging China and the United States to show “honest leadership”.
Fact Check: Tracking the coronavirus curve in India
The first three cases of novel coronavirus infection in India happened on January 29, and none thereafter for the next more than one month. Fresh cases began to emerge in the first week of March but for more than two weeks, it came in trickles, even as many other parts of the world were battling with the emergence of thousands of cases every day.
Coronavirus latest LIVE news updates: Road painted in West Bengal with "Stay Home, Stay Safe" message.
In the last few days, however, the growth of numbers in India has begun to prominently resemble what is so characteristic of the spread of an infectious disease — an exponential curve. If we ignore the first three cases in Kerala and January, it took India 13 days after the emergence of a fresh case on March 2 to cross the 100 mark. Over the next 14 days, India had more than 1,000 cases. By April 7, or in another nine days, the numbers had crossed the 5,000 mark, and at this rate, India is on route to touch 10,000 cases in about a week.