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Monday, October 19, 2020

COVID-19 April 16 Highlights: Can’t say India testing less, says ICMR; cases near 13,000

Coronavirus: India's cases rise to 12,759; Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says lockdown like "a pause button", will not solve crisis; ICMR says rapid testing kits would not be used for diagnosis but for surveillance.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: April 17, 2020 10:35:44 am
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Can't say India testing less, says ICMR; cases near 13,000 Children in masks during a magic performance at a shelter in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker Updates: The ICMR Thursday said the government was carrying out 24 tests for one positive case even as the coronavirus cases in India neared the 13,000 mark, including 420 deaths and 1,488 recoveries. “Japan tested 11.7 people per one positive; for Italy the number is 6.7, in US its 5.3; UK its 3.4. Here we do 24 tests for one positive. Can’t say we are testing less,” ICMR’s Dr R R Gangakhedar said.

The ICMR also said rapid testing kits would not be used for diagnosis but for surveillance, especially in hotspots. In its daily briefing, the Health Ministry said over 10,500 isolation beds had been made available by the Railways and 325 districts in the country had no cases of the novel coronavirus. The ministry also said 325 districts in India have no cases of the novel coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 12,759 on Thursday, including 10,824 active cases, 420 deaths and 1,514 recoveries. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state with 3,202 cases now and 194 deaths. The government has identified 170 districts across the country as COVID-19 ‘hotspots’ or ‘red zones’, and another 207 districts as ‘potential hotspots’.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, interacting with the media, said the government’s decision to impose a nationwire lockdown was like “a pause button”, and would not help in solving the crisis. He advised the government to scale up testing, and called for a decentralisation strategy, in which chief ministers had more say as the fight against COVID-19 was at a state and district level.

Globally, the total number of COVID-19 cases has crossed 2 million, including over 136,000 fatalities, with Europe accounting for more than two-thirds of the deaths. Europe has reported 88,716 deaths, while the United States has the single highest toll at 26,950, followed by Italy (21,645), Spain (18,579) and France (17,167). (Click here to follow our coverage of Covid-19)

Live Blog

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker India Updates: 170 districts identified as hotspots; cases in India near 12,000. Follow latest updates in Bangla, Tamil and Malayalam 

00:15 (IST)17 Apr 2020
Kerala institute develops low-cost Covid-19 test kit that can give results in 2 hours

In a significant development for COVID-19 diagnosis and testing in India, a reputed medical institute in Kerala has been successful in developing a low-cost diagnostic testing kit that can give results of the viral infection in two hours. READ HERE

23:30 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Two more test positive in Meghalaya

Two more cases have been reported from Meghalaya, taking the total number of cases in the state to seven. Both are family members of the first patient.

22:35 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Delhi: Death toll rises to 38, 62 fresh cases

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in the national capital on Thursday climbed to 1,640, with 62 fresh cases and six deaths being reported in a day, according to Delhi government authorities. Of the total cases, 1,080 are those who have been brought to facilities through special operations, the same as on Wednesday. 

With six more fatalities reported, the death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi has jumped to 38.

22:29 (IST)16 Apr 2020
New York extends lockdown till May 15

New York has extended its lockdown till May 15, according to reports by the US media. The US has most number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus, crossing 30,000 

22:12 (IST)16 Apr 2020
3,02,956 samples from 2,86,714 individuals tested so far

3,02,956 samples from 2,86,714 individuals have been tested of the novel coronavirus so far. 12,581 have been confirmed positive.

22:05 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Maharashtra cases touch 3,202 including 194 fatalities: health official

286 new COVID-19 cases found in Maharashtra, taking tally to 3,202. The death toll rises to 194 with 7 more fatalities over the past 24 hours, a state health official said. Meanwhile, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said 50 out of 1,400 Tablighi meet atendees tested positive for coronavirus, whereas the rest are still being quarantined. 'Maharashtra has sought permission from the Centre for plasma therapy. Rate of doubling of virus cases in the state has come down,' he said.

21:40 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Coronavirus April 16: Cases near 13,000-mark; Rahul Gandhi interacts with the media and more

While the ICMR claims that India was conducting 24 tests for one positive case, citing global data, the number of total cases in the country neared the 13,000 mark, including 420 deaths as of Thursday. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, earlier today, addressed a virtual press conference and said the national lockdown was "like a pause button" to coronavirus and would not actually help in handling the crisis. Here is the COVID-19 India update as on April 16.

21:31 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Gurgaon: 16 held for ferrying migrants to Bihar in ambulances by misrepresenting them as patients

Gurgaon police arrested 16 people after stopping two ambulances, which was ferrying migrants to Bihar being misrepresented as patients , thus violating the lockdown.

21:01 (IST)16 Apr 2020
If lockdown not solution, then why states with Cong in power extended it before Centre: BJP

The BJP on Thursday hit out at Rahul Gandhi for his claim that lockdown is not a solution to the coronavirus pandemic and asked why then the states where the Congress is in power extended it before the central government did so.

The ruling party also contested the Congress leader's claim that India was not doing enough testing, saying the number of tests carried out by it are one of the highest at this level of infections.

Senior BJP leaders B L Santhosh and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe attacked Gandhi while party spokesperson Sambit Patra mocked him by playing on certain words and phrases used by the former Congress president.

"While the Govt has a catch-the-bull-by-horns approach and is trying to defeat Covid-19, he (Gandhi) is airing views with an approach that smacks of a 'given up' mentality, certifying that 'it can't be controlled' but will have to be 'managed'! Painful, seriously!" Sahasrabuddhe said. (PTI)

20:48 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Explained: What is post-intensive care syndrome some Covid-19 patients may be vulnerable to

Various news reports in recent weeks have pointed out that for some Covid-19 patients who needed intensive care, the journey to recovery is a long one. After leaving the ICU, they may suffer from what is known as post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), which can happen to any person who has been in the ICU.

As per the WHO-China Joint Mission report that examined 55,924 laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19, over 6.1 per cent were classified as critical, which means they experienced respiratory failure, shock and multiple organ failure.

Many critical cases need ICU admissions. According to The Lancet, critically ill Covid-19 patients are older, and have more comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes. Read more

20:40 (IST)16 Apr 2020
In Maharashtra, 23 cops have contracted coronavirus so far

At least 23 police personnel have tested positive for coronavirus infection in Maharashta so far, an official said on Thursday. Fifteen of these personnel are based in Mumbai, he said.

Since March 22, at least seven police officers and 16 constables have been found to have contracted the infection, the official said.

All of them are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the state, and their condition was stable, he added.

The police in every district have been provided with mobile disinfection vans, he informed. (PTI)

20:23 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Over 3,500 detained for violating lockdown in Delhi

Over 270 cases were registered and 3,501 people detained in the national capital on Thursday for violating orders, police said.

The country is currently under a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

According to the data shared by the police, 275 cases were registered under section 188 (for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC till 5pm.

A total of 3,501 people were detained under section 65 (persons bound to comply with reasonable directions of police officers) and 346 vehicles impounded under section 66 of the Delhi Police Act, they stated.

A total of 1,021 movement passes were issued, the police said. (PTI)

19:58 (IST)16 Apr 2020
At 26 cases, highest single-day jump in Dharavi

Dharavi on Thursday recorded 26 new COVID-19 cases — the highest single-day jump since the first case was reported from the area on April 1. With this, 86 people have been tested postitive for the virus in Dharavi.

A 58-year-old man, who had tested positive, died on Thursday, taking the toll in Asia’s biggest slum to nine. BMC has initiated contact tracing of the 26 new patients, including a 13-year-old boy. The senior-most person to be infected is 70.

With COVID-19 cases being found in new localities, Dharavi now has 22 containment zones.

19:48 (IST)16 Apr 2020
FIR filed against relatives of Tablighi chief

FIR filed in Saharanpur against four acquaintances, including a relative, of Tablighi Jamat's chief Mohammad Saad for hiding formation during contact tracing. Two relatives were tested positive earlier.

19:11 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Delhi HC refuses urgent hearing to plea seeking waiving-off fee in private schools

The Delhi High Court Thursday refused to give urgent hearing to a plea seeking direction to private and unaided schools in the city to waive off fees for the period they are not fully operational due to coronavirus.

The plea by advocate Amit Sahni was mentioned before the High Court Registrar, seeking direction to schools not to pressure its students to pay fees or charges and also direction to the Delhi government to provide sufficient funds to schools to bear their liabilities like salary of staff and other expenses.

Sahni informed that he has mentioned the matter before the registrar on Wednesday and also uploaded a letter on the link provided by the High Court registry explaining the urgency but he was informed by the registry that “your request for urgent listing has been rejected”.

Due to suspension of court functioning since mid-March due to the lockdown, the HC and all trial courts in Delhi are only hearing urgent matters through video-conferencing.

18:36 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Mumbai: Worker staying in relief camp tests positive

A 24 year old migrant worker housed in a relief camp with 318 other migrants labourers tested positive in Nashik on Wednesday night. The migrant who worked as a cleaner on a truck was amongst one of the thousands of migrant labourers who had decided to walk from Mumbai towards North India but were intercepted in Nashik by the local police on March 30.

Since March 30 the man was housed at a relief centre that was set up by the state government. Over 318 migrant labourers had been out up in a hostel of the State's social justice department which had been converted into a relief camp. Authorities said that they had out up four individuals in each room in the facililty to ensure social distancing. While most of the workers were screened before they were moved to the facility the 24 year old complained of feeling feverish and having a cough only on April 13. He was subsequently moved to a hospital run by the Nashik Municipal Corporation and was subsequently tested. His test results that came out if Wednesday night confirmed that he was Covid 19 positive.

Soon after the results came out the enitre area was sealed. Eight individuls who lived in the patients room as well as the adjacent room have been moved to a hospital and their samples have been sent for testing. The other 114 individuals who stayed in the same building are also being screened.

18:29 (IST)16 Apr 2020
DMK, allies demand Rs 1-crore relief for kin of virus victims

(Source: Twitter/@arivalayam)

The opposition DMK and its allies on Thursday demanded the Tamil Nadu government to provide a special assistance of Rs 5,000 each to all family ration cardholders in the state besides a relief of Rs one crore to kin of frontline workers falling prey to COVID-19.

DMK president M K Stalin, who held a video conference with the leaders of alliance parties, said the Central and state governments should work out a new relief and economic package to all sections affected by the pandemic.

Stalin, seen wearing a mask, said the state government should implement the Madras High Court verdict permitting the direct distribution of food, essential commodities and other relief to the needy affected due to the lockdown being implemented to combat COVID-19, after prior intimation to government officials. (PTI)

18:13 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Indian Army's assistance to friendly foreign countries

1. 13 Mar to 21 Mar 2020: Medical team comprising five doctors, two Nursing Officers & seven Paramedics were deployed in an advisory role to assist the Male govt to set up its domestic COVID protection measures

2. 11 Apr 2020: Eight Medical Officers and seven Paramedics were deployed for capability development of Kuwaiti government and setting up of RTPCR machine

3. Medicines and medical equipment are being provided to Nepal government

4. Other Medical teams are on stand by to be deployed in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

18:06 (IST)16 Apr 2020
Contribution of Indian Army towards fighting COVID-19: Evacuations and Lodging

Evacuations and Lodging at Quarantine Facilities1. 2 Feb to 18 Feb 2020: 248 Indian male citizens, mostly students, were evacuated from Wuhan and quarantined at Manesar Army Wellness Facility2. 27 Feb to 12 Mar 2020: 124 people evacuated from Diamond Princess Cruise at Japan and quarantined at Manesar Army Wellness Facility3. 11 Mar 2020 to Apr 2020: 83 people evacuated from Italy and quarantined at Manesar Army Wellness Facility. These included six citizens of Indian origin from Italy and three citizens of Indian origin from US. 82 were discharged after being confirmed negative while one positive case was referred to Safdarjung hospital4. 15 Mar 2020 to as on date: 236 Indian citizens evacuated from Iran and quarantined at Jaisalmer Army Wellness Facility. Out of these, 19 were COVID positive and were admitted at AIIMS Jodhpur. Nine of them have since recovered. Nearly two battalion strength of troops vacated their living accommodation to assist in establishing these national level facilities for the people of India5. 16 Mar 2020 to as on date: 53 Indian citizens evacuated from Iran and quarantined at Jaisalmer Army Wellness Facility. Out of these, 03 were COVID positive and admitted at AIIMS Jodhpur6. 18 Mar 2020 to as on date: 195 Indian citizens evacuated from Iran and quarantined at Jaisalmer Army Wellness Facility. Out of these, 22 were COVID positive and admitted at AIIMS Jodhpur7. 25 Mar 2020 to as on date: 277 Indian citizens evacuated from Iran and quarantined at Jodhpur Army Wellness Facility8. 29 Mar 2020 to as on date: 275 Indian citizens evacuated from Iran quarantined at Jodhpur Army Wellness Facility9. 28 Mar 2020: Army Wellness Centres established to handle likely surge in civilian cases of COVID-19

18:00 (IST)16 Apr 2020
JUST IN | Total COVID-19 cases now 12,759, deaths rise to 420

According to the Ministry of Health Affairs, the total cases of the novel coronavirus in India rose to 12,759, of which there are 10,824 active cases. The death toll also rose to 420. 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Live Updates: With the lockdown extended till May 3 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Home Affairs has announced lockdown relaxation from April 20 on a range of activities in the rural and agriculture sector, manufacturing in SEZs and industrial zones, and in e-commerce. Strict restrictions will, however, continue in COVID-19 containment zones notified by the respective states.

India has identified 170 districts as hotspots, and another 207 as potential hotspots as cases near 12,000 mark. The hotspots with large outbreaks include Kurnool and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam in Kerala, Jammu (J&K), Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Jalandhar (Punjab), Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu), and nine of Delhi’s 11 administrative districts.

These, according to a letter from Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to the states, are the highest case load districts, accounting for 80 per cent of the cases in the state, and districts with doubling rate or less than four days.

Besides Delhi, the other cities where hotspots have been listed include Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Jaipur, Chennai, and Hyderabad.

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The districts with no new cases in the last 28 days are being classified as ‘green zone’. With 1,118 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours, the total number of cases detected so far has gone up to 11,933 (1,344 recovered). The death toll is now 392, with 39 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

Till the first week of April, the daily increase in cases was around 400-500. But the second week saw a daily spike of about 800. The highest single-day spike so far was on Tuesday, when 1,463 new cases were reported.

In less than a week, between April 8 and April 14, the total number of cases doubled from 5,114 to 10,815. Since April 3, roughly two in every 50 tests have been confirmed positive.

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A comparison with South Korea shows that in the first 40 days of COVID-19 cases in India, the spread was slower than in South Korea. However, since April 12 (42nd day), the spread in India has been faster than in South Korea. In South Korea, by the 40th day, the curve had begun to flatten.

It has been exactly a month since India hit 100 cases. India still has significantly slower case growth compared to the United States.

Meanwhile, over 17,000 people have now died in France from COVID-19, but the the total number currently hospitalised has fallen for the first time since the epidemic began.

The US, on the other hand, faced criticism for halting funding to the World Health Organisation, alleging alleging that it sided with China on coronavirus issue and mislead the world. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to a senior Chinese diplomat to underscore the Trump administration's demand for full transparency and information sharing from China about the origins and spread of the new coronavirus.

Read more news on coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, the world:

Explained: Guidelines for non-immigrant visa holders in the US amid COVID-19

Government offices to reopen with senior staff from April 20

In Mumbai, migrants lose hope, money: For how long, they ask

Govt wants to use PMJAY for free coronavirus testing in private labs, but 2 cr families missing from database

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