Coronavirus highlights: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 2653, including 62 deaths and 162 of those who have recovered.
By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: April 4, 2020 8:51:10 am
Residents overlook as BMC civic workers undertake a sanitisation drive at Dr Baliga Nagar, Dharavi following the outbreak of coronavirus on Friday. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)
Coronavirus highlights: Total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus reached 2,653 Friday. So far, 69,245 samples have been tested, including 10,034 samples that were tested today. Of these, 575 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
In the wake of the pandemic, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has approved the release of Rs 11,092 crore to all states under the State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) for setting up quarantine facilities and arranging other facilities for checking the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and thanked the people for cooperating with the 21-day lockdown. In a new appeal to the countrymen, PM Modi asked people to put off the lights in their houses for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, and light lamps at their doors or balconies.
Globally, the number of cases cross 10 lakh, the highest of which were reported from the US (258,214), Italy (119,827) and Spain (117,710). The death toll rose to 56,767; Italy has the most fatalities (14,681), followed by Spain (10,935) and France (5,398).
Coronavirus highlights: PM Modi asks people to light lamps on Sunday at 9 pm; one-fifth of COVID-19 cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin; Govt mulls options for lifting lockdown; read latest news and updates in Bangla, Tamiland Malayalam
Outside a store during India's 21-day lockdown in Kolkata on Thursday. (Express Photo: Shashi Ghosh)
The centre is considering options as to how to lift the lockdown on April 14. PM Modi has already warned states of a “possible second wave of spread of the virus in some countries”. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said flights can resume bookings from April 15, and it looks like the Railways is issuing tickets from the same date. International flights, however, will be permitted depending on the point or origin.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday underlined that “in the next few weeks, testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine should remain the areas of focus” in the country’s war against the coronavirus threat, and told Chief Ministers of all states to “formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends” on April 14. He, however, warned that the global situation remains “far from satisfactory” and there was speculation of a “possible second wave of spread of the virus in some countries”.
The Prime Minister, according to an official statement, said “considering that this is the time to harvest crops, the government has given some relaxation from lockdown, but it is necessary to continuously monitor and maintain social distancing as much as possible”.
He asked the states to “think of other platforms for procuring grains apart from APMC (agricultural produce market committee), and explore the possibility of creating pooling platforms for rural areas, like that in ride sharing apps, which can be used for this purpose”.
Coronavirus latest news: Govt authorities are now considering options as to how to lift India's 21-day COVID-19 lockdown. (Express Photo: Bhupendra Rana)
In a tweet later in the day, Modi said: “At 9 AM tomorrow morning, I’ll share a small video message with my fellow Indians.”
As India entered the 10th day of lockdown Friday, the government is now mulling options on how to lift restrictions on April 14. Within the government, a “limited lockdown” in some areas is an option that seems to be gaining ground, at this point. One opinion currently within the government seems to be that while it may not be possible to reach a zero-new-case situation by April 14, the best option would be to focus on specific “pockets” to contain the spread.
“If we can identify pockets like these across the country — there may be several hundred of them — and if I am reasonably satisfied that the rest of the country can go about their business, then these pockets will remain the only ones left with restrictions,” a highly placed government source said.
India coronavirus lockdown: Workers sanitize an area in Nizamuddin West after several people who attended a Tablighi Jamaat congregation tested positive for COVID-19, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)
Meanwhile, the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin, New Delhi, last month has emerged the biggest hotspot in the country, accounting for about one-fifth of the COVID-19 positive cases. Of the total 53 deaths in India, 15 have been linked to the gathering. In Delhi, the number of positive cases almost doubled on Thursday, fuelled largely by those evacuated from Markaz Nizamuddin on Tuesday and Wednesday testing positive.
Coronavirus live news updates: People who showed coronavirus symptoms being taken to various hospitals from the Nizamuddin area in New Delhi on Monday. (Express Photo: Anil Sharma)