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India Coronavirus HIGHLIGHTS: Cases rise to 1,397; govt says hotspots have increased due to ‘lack of people’s support’

Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde told the Centre to ensure all migrants who had been shifted to shelter homes received food, nourishment and medical aid.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 1, 2020 9:51:16 am
Hyderabad: Medics outside an isolation ward of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a hospital in Hyderabad

With over 1,300 COVID-19 cases reported in the country so far, the number of hotspots of the disease have increased, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, while underlining that it is implementing rigorous contact tracing and cluster containment strategies. Addressing the daily press conference to provide updates on the COVID-19 situation, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said 227 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours and he attributed the increase to “lack of people’s support and delay in timely detection” of the cases.

Earlier in the day, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde told the Centre to ensure all migrants who had been shifted to shelter homes received food, nourishment and medical aid. His instruction came after the government stated that all migrants on the road had been shifted to the nearest available shelters as they pose a risk of spreading the coronavirus if they return home. The CJI also directed the government to let volunteers manage the shelters, instead of the police as there should be no use of force or intimidation.

Two more deaths due to Covid-19 were reported today, one each from Kerala and West Bengal. The number of active cases in the country rose with more infections in New Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, among other states. The government maintains there is no community transmission of the virus but is studying emerging hotspots, where they will follow “rigorous surveillance”.

The number of global coronavirus infections stands at 786,291, the most in the United States (164,620), following by Italy (101,739), Spain (87, 956) and China (82,240). Among the 37,820 people who have died from the virus, the most are from Italy (11,591), Spain (7,716) and China (3,187). In the list of countries with the most infections, India ranks 40 with 1,397 cases.

Live Blog

Two Covid-19 related deaths reported in Kerala, West Bengal today; SC hearing on migrants; Maharashtra cases rise to 230; 24 who attended New Delhi Nizamuddin mosque gathering test positive.

04:20 (IST)01 Apr 2020
White House predicts over 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from COVID-19 in US

The White House on Tuesday (US time) predicted 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the country in the next couple of months, even with interventions like physical distancing. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, the leaders of the White House coronavirus task force emphasised that although the projections were likely based on the data that they have seen from the hardest hit locations so far, they were hopeful that they could prevent such a high number of deaths.

04:10 (IST)01 Apr 2020
US could rethink Iran sanctions in light of coronavirus: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held out the possibility on Tuesday that the United States may consider easing sanctions on Iran and other nations to help fight the coronavirus epidemic but gave no concrete sign it plans to do so.

The comments reflected a shift in tone by the US State Department, which has come under withering criticism for its hard line toward sanctions relief even in the face of a call by the UN secretary-general to ease US economic penalties.

Pompeo stressed that humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after President Donald Trump abandoned Iran's 2015 multilateral deal to limit its nuclear program.

However, broader US sanctions deter many firms from humanitarian trade with Iran, one of the nations hardest hit by the coronavirus epidemic.Asked if there might come a point at which Washington might reevaluate its stance on easing sanctions, Pompeo told reporters: 'We evaluate all of our policies constantly, so the answer is - would we ever rethink? - Of course.' (Reuters)

02:37 (IST)01 Apr 2020
US records 700 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time

The US government raced to build hundreds of makeshift hospitals to ease the strain on overwhelmed healthcare systems as the United States marked 700 deaths in a single day from COVID-19 for the first time on Tuesday.That is the equivalent of a person dying every two minutes.Nearly half those deaths were in New York state, still the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for reinforcements from the Trump administration, saying the worst may still be weeks away.

02:37 (IST)01 Apr 2020
Coronavirus impact: Bear run at Wall Street continues, worst quarterly performance since 2008

Stocks fall on Wall Street and the S&P 500 ends with a first-quarter drop of 20%, its worst quarterly performance since 2008 financial crisis, AP reports.

00:27 (IST)01 Apr 2020
Pak increases testing capability as coronavirus cases rise to over 1,900

Pakistan said on Tuesday that it considerably increased its testing capability since the coronavirus outbreak as the number of the COVID-19 cases crossed 1,900 in the country, showing a constant upward trajectory despite containment efforts.

"The country had the capacity to test 30,000 people on March 13, and this will rise to 280,000 by tomorrow?By April 15, we will further increase it to 900,000,? Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who was flanked by the Prime Minister's Advisor on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar, told reporters.

Umar said the government was balancing its measures to combat the virus and also ensure food supply to the people.

"India is facing a difficult situation and we are trying to avoid a situation where people are starving," he said, referring to the nationwide lockdown in India. (PTI)

00:09 (IST)01 Apr 2020
UN begins home food drops for Gaza's needy to stem virus

A UN aid agency Tuesday began delivering food to the homes of impoverished Palestinians instead of making them pick up such parcels at crowded distribution centers ? part of an attempt to prevent a mass outbreak of the new coronavirus in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

As the virus continued to spread across the Middle East, Iran, the hardest-hit country in the region, reported 141 new deaths, pushing the death toll closer to 3,000 people.

In Israel, defense officials said they had converted a missile-production plant into an assembly line for much-needed breathing machines.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, said it would pay medical expenses for anyone infected with the virus.

In Gaza, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees has for decades provided staples like flour, rice, oil and canned foods to roughly half of the territory's 2 million people. (AP)

00:00 (IST)01 Apr 2020
Pune: MCCIA’s platform raises over Rs 8 crore in 10 days, Ajinkya Rahane pitches in

The crowd-sourcing platform launched by the Pune Inc to raise funds for the health sector in fight against COVID-19 pandemic has received good response from the city. Among others, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane has also made his contribution to the cause.

The fund which was launched 10 days ago has already seen a total collection of over Rs 8 crore. Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) is providing secretariat services for the move. Prashant Girbhane, director general of MCCIA, said they have received donations from many industrial houses in the last few days. Read more

23:52 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Amid lockdown, man fakes own death to reach home in J&K’s Poonch

Seeking to avoid the nationwide lockdown, a 60-year-old man in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district faked his own death to reach his home in an ambulance.

When the man and his three accomplices were close to their destination, they were caught by an alert police party at Buffliaz in Surankote sub division and sent to a quarantine facility established by the government. The police have registered a case and seized the private ambulance.

Giving details, SHO Surankote Anil Sharma said that Hakam Din, 60, of village Sailan was injured in an attack and admitted to the Government Medical College on March 27. He was discharged on Monday. Read more

23:45 (IST)31 Mar 2020
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo diagnosed with coronavirus

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Taking to Twitter, he said, "In these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus." "I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fevers, chills and shortness of breath," he wrote. "I just hope I didn't give it to the kids and Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness!"

23:23 (IST)31 Mar 2020
France reports 499 deaths in the last 24 hours

499 deaths reported in France due to the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, AFP news agency quotes French officials as saying.

23:20 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Much before the outbreak, this Punjab school started teaching hand hygiene to its students

Much before the outbreak, this Punjab school started teaching hand hygiene to its students The system was installed at the school with support of the Khwaish Sewa Society (KHASS), which was formed a Canada-based NRI, Giandeep Kheparh, with the help of other NRIs. Around 167 students of Government High School, Takarala in Balachaur (Nawanshahr district) will tell you how to properly wash hands before you turn to any expert.

While washing your hands well and often has emerged as the first line of defence against coronavirus recently, kids at a government school in Punjab’s worst COVID-19 affected district, Nawanshahr, have been practicing careful hand hygiene for months – thanks to a controlled water release system installed here six months back.

The system not only ensures compulsory hand-washing for 20 seconds, but it also saves 700 ml of water per hand wash. Read more

23:08 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Summer break likely to be cut, Mumbai univ may treat lockdown as ‘interim vacation’

Mumbai University, like many other non-agricultural state universities in Maharashtra will be declaring an interim vacation from April 1 to April 14.

If everything goes well, officials in the university plan to conduct exams soon after the lockdown ends and begin the upcoming academic year in June, as per its original schedule. A discussion to this effect took place at the varsity’s management council meeting held on Tuesday, which was conducted online for the first time in varsity’s history. However, no public announcement on this subject was made till the time of going to the press.

On Monday, Savitribai Phule Pune University also issued a circular announcing “interim” vacation from April 1 to April 14 in view of the prevailing covid-19 situation in the country. If required, the faculty members may be called to carry out essential work as per the need of the University or the college, the circular said. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, Raigad, in a recent circular, announced a vacation period from March 15 till April 30, and has rescheduled dates for examination as well. Usually, teachers are given a vacation period of about five weeks and students have nearly two months of vacation. Read more

22:54 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Coroanvirus: Aggressive contact tracing in Jammu city

Meanwhile, the areas in Jammu city where movement of individuals was totally banned by the District Magistrate included Bhawani Nagar, Lakkarmandi and Hyderpora under the jurisdiction of Janipura police station comprising an over 500 houses. With police personnel deployed in strength to check people from entering or moving out of these areas, the Health Department teams were deployed to trace out the COVID-19 positive cases.

"Aggressive contact tracing of positive cases key to control spread of Coronavirus. Yesterday several areas surrounding location of positive cases or untraced contact cases had to be sealed in Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, Rajouri," tweeted UT government spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

“This is purely in the interest of controlling the spread of #coronavirus, and helping identification of contacts on real-time basis,” Kansal said, adding “Inconvenience so caused is temporary in nature but benefits will be immense". He requested all to cooperate and take it in the right spirit.

22:49 (IST)31 Mar 2020
J&K: 15,001 people under observation

The number of people listed for observation went to 15,001 from 11,644 during the last 24 hours in Jammu and Kashmir. According to daily media bulletin, a total of 9,895 people were kept under home quarantine including facilities operated by the government and 350 in hospital quarantine, while 51 people were kept in hospital isolation. A total of 3,334 people were kept under home surveillance, while 1,371 had completed the surveillance period.

A total of 861 samples were collected and of them, 804 were tested negative. Fifty five samples have been tested positive and of them, 43 are from Kashmir and 12 from Jammu division, it said. while two patients have recovered, report in respect to two samples was awaited. Two people have died so far, it added.

22:44 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Nagpur: 9 doctors quarantined after coming in contact with COVID-19 positive person

Nine doctors at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Nagpur had to be quarantined on Monday following a patient, who had allegedly concealed his contact history with his corona positive cousin, testing positive on Sunday.

The patient had come to GMCH on Friday after visiting a private hospital and an MRI centre and was admitted in the general ward. As a matter of drill, he was asked if he had come in contact with any corona patient or had any travel history. The patient replied in negative. But on Saturday he developed symptoms. So he was tested for corona virus. On Sunday, his report came and he was found to be positive.

By this time nine doctors, six resident doctors and three interns and a few nurses had come in contact with him. "So, on Monday, all nine doctors were quarantined," said a source.

The source had no knowledge about nurses being quarantined. GMCH Dean Sajal Mitra a d Civil Surgeon D V Paturkar didn't respond to calls and massagers. Divisional Commissioner Sanjiv Kumar said, "I have no idea. I will seek information tomorrow and let you know."

22:34 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Five new COVID-19 cases in Bihar

Five more cases from Bihar - four from Siwan and one from Gopalganj. Total cases now 21.

22:31 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Kerala CM announces special action plan for Kasargod district

Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today announced a special action plan for Kasargod district. The northernmost district of the State has become the hotbed of coronavirus infection with the maximum number of positive cases confirmed in Kerala.

Briefing the media, the chief minister said, “A special action plan will be implemented in Kasargod. Currently, Kasargod district has the maximum number of positive cases and also the highest number of people under hospital observation. Data from the panchayats in the district will be used to test people with symptoms and also to identify people in contact with them. A COVID centre has started functioning at the Kasargod medical college hospital. The Central University of Kerala, situated in Kasaragod district, has got permission from ICMR to conduct testing samples. There is no shortage of masks or other protective gear in the hospitals there.

22:29 (IST)31 Mar 2020
5 more test positive for COVID-19 in West Bengal

One female and four males, admitted in five different facilities in West Bengal have tested positive for COVID-19. One of them had contact with suspect cases, while the rest were tested as cases of Severe Acute Respiratory illness. This brings the total number of cases in West Bengal to 27.

22:15 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Macron, Modi agreed that India-France partnership could advance human-centric solidarity in tough times
22:13 (IST)31 Mar 2020
Macron welcomes Modi's suggestion that yoga ensures mental, physical well-being for people confined by pandemic

India coronavirus lockdown live updates: Migrants board a bus to their hometowns, at Chambal Dholpur Border in Rajasthan. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

The government has identified 10 "hotspots" where “unusual” transmission of the coronavirus has been detected. Of these, two — Dilshad Garden and Nizamuddin — are in Delhi, the others being Noida, Meerut, Bhilwara, Ahmedabad, Kasaragod, Pathanamthitta, Mumbai and Pune.

A source in the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme told The Indian Express, “Normally we define any area where there are more than 10 cases as a cluster. Places, where there are several clusters, are treated as hotspots. Sometimes the cases are localised, sometimes so widespread that the entire city has to be covered. Ahmedabad is an exception — there have been just five cases, but three deaths. Our assessment normally is that there are 100 cases for every death. That is why Ahmedabad is a hotspot in our list. Three deaths and five cases do not add up.”

India reported 1,251 cases, including 101 recovered and 32 dead on Monday (March 30).

The government also confirmed that it was studying these hotspots. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lav Agarwal said Monday, “We are studying the emerging hotspots. We will follow rigorous surveillance and containment measures in these places.” He added that only a “minuscule percentage” of asymptomatic people have tested positive in the country.

In other news, an analysis by The Indian Express shows that more than half (54.94%) of the patients from 10 states in India with international travel history had come from or through the Gulf nations. The 10 states -- Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and West Bengal -- account for more than 70 per cent of all cases in the country.

Here is more news on coronavirus (Covid-19) in India:

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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