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Highlights: COVID-19 death toll rises to 124 in India, total cases near 4,800

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 124 while the total number of infections has soared to 4,789, including the 352 who have recovered.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: April 8, 2020 7:39:39 am
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu remained the worst affected states with 1018 and 690 cases respectively. (Express photo: Gajendra Yadav)

The death toll due to coronavirus has risen to 124 in India while the number of confirmed cases has jumped to 4,789, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest update on Tuesday. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu remained the worst affected states with 1,018 and 690 cases respectively.

Follow live updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

Following requests from several state governments and experts, the Centre is considering extending the nationwide lockdown after its ends on April 14 to stem the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), government sources said. “A lot of state governments as well as experts are requesting the Central Government to extend the lockdown. The Central Government is thinking in this direction,” sources said. At least seven states, which together have reported 1,367 coronavirus cases—almost one-third of the total cases in India—had indicated on Monday that they would continue to have some restrictions in place even after the 21-day lockdown ends on April 14.

In other major development, India has partially lifted the ban on the export of Hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malaria drug that Trump has repeatedly touted as a “game-changer” in the fight against COVID-19. Trump has hinted there would be retaliation if India does not lift its ban on its export.

(Follow our full coverage on coronavirus pandemic and India lockdown)

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Coronavirus: 124 deaths, 4,789 confirmed cases in India; States are in no hurry to ease lockdown; Globally the infections has reached 1.3 million. Trump has indicated of retaliation against India if not provided Hydroxychloroquine. Follow live updates on COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. Read In Malayalam

22:35 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Haryana govt formulates 4-tier strategy, divides state polling booth-wise to monitor, supply ration, medicines

The Haryana government has prepared a four-tier strategy for door-to-door mapping across the state by dividing it into areas under polling booths. To begin with, four committees that will monitor the health statistics and delivery of essential commodities to each household across the state are being constituted in every district. Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora issued instructions to all deputy commissioners to immediately constitute unit committees, sector committees, zonal committees and district committees.

22:34 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Body of man who died of coronavirus handed over to Nagpur Municipal Corporation

The dead body of the man who died of coronavirus in Nagpur on Monday had to be handed over to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Tuesday since no one came to claim it. The NMC had to do counseling of his relatives outside his immediate family to take the body and cremate it. Deputy Medical Superintendent of Indira Gandhi Government Medical College (IGGMC), where the man died, told The Indian Express, "we have quarantined his whole family in isolation ward after he tested positive. But none of his other relatives also came forward to take his body. So, we handed it over to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Tuesday." Some distant relatives, however, came forward after counseling and cremated the man.

22:31 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Gujarat: Male nurse is first positive case in Himmatnagar, source unknown

A male nurse posted in the isolation ward of the Himmatnagar Civil Hospital tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, becoming the first case of the district, with no contact traced so far. The 33-year-old male nurse was posted in the isolation ward of the Himmatnagar Civil Hospital run by the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) for suspected COVID-19 cases since March 30.

22:15 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Andhra designates COVID hospital in every district, orders 3 lakh testing kits, 20 lakh PPEs

Learning from the experience of other countries wherein exclusive COVID hospitals have been set up, Andhra Pradesh has designated 13 hospitals in all its 13 districts as Covid hospitals. “No other patient will be treated in these hospitals except Covid cases to avoid any spread of the virus,’’ Special Chief Secretary (Health) Dr K S Jawahar Reddy said. On Tuesday, the state placed an order to procure three lakh Covid rapid testing kits. Once the kits are delivered, the state will undertake the massive exercise of randomly testing 8,000 samples from across the state to better understand the extent of the spread.

22:11 (IST)07 Apr 2020
With 7 new cases, Mohali now has maximum COVID-19 cases in Punjab

With seven new cases on Tuesday taking the total number of coronavirus patients in the district to 26, Mohali became the No. 1 COVID-19 hotspot of Punjab, overtaking the NRI hub of Nawanshehar, which reported the first corona patient in the state and had 18 patients at one point. All seven cases, reported on Tuesday, are from Jawaharhpur village in Derabassi sub-division, and the affected people – the list includes the sarpanch and her family – were contacts of the villager, who tested positive last Saturday. The village now has total of 11 positive cases.

21:54 (IST)07 Apr 2020
UK registers daily record of 786 deaths

Britain on Tuesday reported a record 786 new COVID-19 deaths in its daily update, following two days of falling figures, AFP reported.

“As of 5pm on 6 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 6,159 have sadly died,” the health ministry tweeted, up from 5,373 on Monday.

21:41 (IST)07 Apr 2020
285 positive cases in India in 24 hours

A total of 1,14,015 samples have been tested so far, of which 4616 individuals have been confirmed positive. Today, on April 7, 12,584 samples have been reported. Of these, 285 were positive for SARS-CoV-2

21:21 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Saudi expects virus cases to spike to up to 200,000

Saudi Arabia's health minister on Tuesday warned of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200,000 within weeks, state media reported.The warning comes a day after the kingdom extended the duration of daily curfews in multiple cities, including the capital Riyadh, to 24 hours in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly virus."Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000," the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah. (AFP)

21:09 (IST)07 Apr 2020
EU announces 15 billion euros to fight virus worldwide

The European Union Tuesday announced that it will put up 15 billion euros (USD 16.4 billion) to help poor countries fight the coronavirus epidemic. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said the money would help countries with weak healthcare systems tackle the impact of COVID-19 and also aid their long-term economic recovery, news agency AFP reported.

Beating the pandemic in Europe alone is not enough, officials say, pointing out that if coronavirus continues to rage elsewhere in the world, it will simply return in time.

21:03 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Of 19 coronavirus cases in Himachal, one continues to baffle authorities

While 18 of the 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from Himachal Pradesh so far are linked to either foreign travel or the religious congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin, the source of infection of a 70-year-old woman staying near Baddi, who passed away last week, continues to remain a mystery. On March 15, the woman, a Gurgaon resident, used a private vehicle along with her husband and several others to come to Jharmajri industrial area in Barotiwala, where the couple ran a helmet manufacturing unit. Her husband told officials that they started staying at the guesthouse located within the premises of the factory and rarely ventured out. The woman had also not travelled to any foreign country, he said. The 70-year-old was tested for COVID-19 at Chandigarh’s PGI on April 2, and was found positive. She passed away on the same day.

20:53 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Karnataka: Overseas returnees from neighbouring states seek ‘window’ to reach back home post lockdown

For several overseas returnees, who arrived in Bengaluru hours before all international flights to and from India were cancelled as part of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, times have been tough like many others as they are yet to reach back home. For Dr. Suneeta Gadre, a Mumbai-based gynaecologist, life in quarantine has gifted moments of anxiety and stress even though she felt safe in a hospital under observation for over a fortnight. “I was on my way back from Australia via Bangkok to Mumbai but my last connecting flight was cancelled due to the nationwide lockdown announced to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. This resulted in me landing in Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru instead after which I was moved to a hospital for a mandatory 14-days observation as per government directives,” she explained.

20:52 (IST)07 Apr 2020
It’s still hard to predict who will die from Covid-19

In every epidemic, some die, others become ill and recover, and the luckiest live through infection without symptoms. In today’s pandemic, we are seeing this play out before our eyes. Although the initial epidemiological data show that Covid-19 is more severe in older people, men and those with pre-existing conditions such as heart and lung disease, not everyone with severe disease has these risk factors. And not everyone at risk has the same symptoms, prognosis or outcome. Why do people manifest such differences? And why is it not possible to predict an individual’s experience? To address this complex question, it is important to first get our terminology right. “Infection” means acquisition of the coronavirus after exposure to it. Infection is not synonymous with exposure — or with disease. Disease is a clinical state associated with cough, fever and other symptoms that ranges from mild to severe. These symptoms arise from damage to tissues and the immune system. Death occurs when there is so much damage that the body cannot maintain blood oxygenation and other necessary functions. Read more here

20:24 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Poor connectivity, lack of smartphones: Online learning a challenge for teachers, students

The online platform may be the only way to reach students during lockdown, but the digital medium comes with its own challenges. While students and teachers living in remote areas are facing trouble due to slow internet and connectivity issues, city-dwellers too find it challenging. Higher institutions like IITs have found that about 10 per cent of their students are not equipped to access online classroom instructions from home. A survey by IIT-Kanpur revealed that 9.3 per cent of its 2,789 students, who responded to the survey, cannot download any material sent by the institute or study online.

20:22 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Suspected to be infected, man dies at Amravati hospital’s isolation ward, later tests negative

A daily wager had to pay with his life for lack of COVID-19 testing facilities in areas like Melghat in Amravati when he was shifted to the isolation ward of the district hospital after he showed symptoms similar to the virus. What he actually needed was treatment for a heart ailment. A resident of Dharni tahsil in Amravati’s Melghat, Anil Mawaskar died on March 23. He later tested nagative for the virus. Mawaskar had first developed symptoms similar to COVID-19, along with chest pain, on March 20. He went to a local doctor who gave him painkillers and intra-veinous fluids. He returned home only to develop the same symptoms the next day. Read more here

20:14 (IST)07 Apr 2020
108 quarantined in Tripura who came in contact with the state’s lone COVID-19 patient

One day after Tripura identified its fist COVID-19 positive patient in the state, 108 persons were put under quarantine in connection with her. This includes her relatives, relatives, neighbours, the ambulance driver who brought her to hospital. Seventeen of them are considered to be of high-risk; their samples were collected for testing. In a media briefing this evening, Law Minister and cabinet spokesperson Ratan Lal Nath said that authorities have identified these people and shifted them to quarantine facilities; some among them were put under home quarantine as well. Four among these quarantined persons are deemed high risk. “We have traced everyone who met with her. 34 neighbors and a person who came to visit her were shifted to institutional quarantine center, samples were collected from seventeen high risk persons including an ambulance driver and three relatives. Their reports are yet to arrive. Meanwhile, seven doctors who attended her at hospital were shifted to a special quarantine facility. Apart from them, 12 relatives and 32 passengers who travelled with her in train were identified and quarantined. Eighteen nurses, paramedics and ward boys are under home quarantine”, the minister informed.

20:12 (IST)07 Apr 2020
MP couple names son ‘Lockdown’ to hail fight against COVID-19

A couple in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district has named their newborn son as “Lockdown” to celebrate the “collective resolve” shown by people of the country to defeat coronavirus on the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The boy was born to Raghunath Mali and his 24-year-old wife Manju, both residents of Bachheri village in Sheopur district, at a private hospital on April 6. When asked about the reason behind naming his son as “Lockdown”, which evokes feelings of anxiety among people in view of the ongoing three-week restrictions on movement, Mali, a farmer, said it would forever remind them about this unprecedented period.

20:02 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Shiv Sena: COVID-19 war can’t be won by clapping, lighting lamps

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the war against coronavirus cannot be won by clapping, clanging of plates or lighting of lamps. People “misconstrued” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said, adding that Modi should clearly spell out what it expected from citizens and those not obeying orders should be punished. 

19:59 (IST)07 Apr 2020
In Photos | Visuals from Day 14 of India's lockdown

The country is under a 21-day lockdown as part of efforts to curb spreading of coronavirus infections.

View of empty Red Fort area in Delhi on Tuesday. (Express photo: Tashi Tobgyal)
Migrants doing yoga at Delhi's Yamuna Sports complex. (Express photo: Prem Nath Pandey)
19:45 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Maharashtra becomes first state to report more than 1,000 cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has increased to 1018 after the state reported 150 new cases on Tuesday. Of the 150 new cases, 116 were from Mumbai, 18 from Pune, three each from Ahmednagar, Nagpur and Aurangabad, two each from Thane and Buldana, and one each from Satara, Ratnagiri and Sangli.

19:35 (IST)07 Apr 2020
Cases in India inch towards 5,000 mark; toll rises to 124

The death toll due to coronavirus has risen to 124 in India while the number of confirmed cases has jumped to 4,789, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest update on Tuesday. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu remained the worst affected states with 1,018 and 690 cases respectively.

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The 31 districts that attract the most migrants in the country, as per the Economic Survey 2016-17, are all the 11 districts of Delhi; Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh; Gurgaon in Haryana; Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Thane and Pune in Maharashtra; Chennai, Erode, Kancheepuram, Coimbatore and Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu; Indore and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh; three districts of Bengaluru in Karnataka; Hyderabad Rural and Urban in Telangana; Surat in Gujarat; and Chandigarh.

These cities and districts were mentioned by the Economic Survey as those with “high net in-migration”. The survey report mentioned a few other places, like Valsad in Gujarat, Sonitpur in Assam and Puducherry, which have a large migrant population, but these don’t have any positive cases till now.

As of Monday morning, Delhi had the highest number of positive cases for any city, at 523. It was followed by Mumbai, including its suburbs, with more than 315 cases. However, Maharashtra has reported maximum number of cases(748) so far. With the 21-day lockdown nearing end, any government strategy will have to keep an eye on these migration centres. The PM told chief ministers last week that states must look at a common and staggered exit plan.

Also, at least seven states, which together have reported 1,367 coronavirus cases — almost one-third of the 4,281 cases across the country so far — indicated Monday that they would continue to have some restrictions in place even after the 21-day national lockdown ends on April 14.

While Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said he was in favour of extending the lockdown in his state, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, UP, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand indicated that they would not fully lift the restrictions after next Tuesday.

Maharashtra is likely to extend the lockdown in the Mumbai and Pune regions, as well in other hotspots. UP officials said that following the rise in number of cases in the state linked to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi (159 out of 305), “there is now uncertainty over lifting of the lockdown”.

Rajasthan (274) is working on a “staggered” exit strategy with curbs in “high risk zones”, while Chhattisgarh (10) Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against lifting interstate travel over worries the outbreak will spread.

In international news, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care unit of the hospital after coronavirus symptoms worsened on Monday. The total number of positive cases across the world has reached over 1.3 million at 1,346, 299 with the US reporting maximum of them at 367,507, Spain (136,675), Italy (132,547), Germany (103,374), France (98,984) ans China (82,665). On the other hand, the number of deaths reported is still highest in Italy at 16,523 followed by Spain at 13,341, France at 8,911, United Kingdom at 5,373, Iran at 3,739, New York at 3,485 and China at 3,212.

Also read: 

One-third of COVID-19 cases from 31 districts that get most migrants

Coronavirus: States in no hurry to ease lockdown

Coronavirus: 76% of infected are male, 63% of dead over 60 years old, govt says

Staff test positive, Wockhardt shut, top hospitals face sealing threat

Explained: Will summer heat kill COVID-19 virus? Some trends, but experts still advise caution

M Venkaiah Naidu writes: Coronavirus has made the world re-examine the interconnection between man and nature

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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