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Coronavirus April 22 Highlights: Treat all patients as COVID-19 cases, govt tells hospitals near containment zones

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker India Latest Updates: The number of coronavirus cases in India stood at 20,471 on Wednesday, including 3,959 recoveries and 652 deaths.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 23, 2020 3:18:09 am
covid 19, coronavirus, coronavirus news, coronavirus latest news, covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker india, covid 19 india tracker, covid 19 india tracker state wise, covid 19 tracker state wise, india covid 19 tracker state wise Doctors at Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in East Delhi (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

The Union health ministry in an advisory has suggested hospitals located in and around COVID-19 containment zones to treat all patients coming to them as suspected cases of coronavirus infection. The total number of cases has crossed 20,000 as of April 22.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to interact with all Chief Ministers via video conference on April 27 to take stock of the Covid-19 situation in the country, according to sources. As per the latest updates from the Health Ministry, the number of cases has crossed the 20,000 mark while the death toll increased to 652.

Follow Indian Express COVID-19 tracker for latest updates

Union minister Prakash Javadekar Wednesday said the Centre will not tolerate attacks on the healthcare workers in the country and has brought an ordinance to make it a punishable offence. Javadekar said the government will amend the Epidemics Diseases Act, 1897 to make the attacks on healthcare workers a cognisable and non-bailable offence, under which a violator may be awarded with a jail term of three months to seven years with a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.

IN PICS | Visuals from Day 29 of India’s lockdown

Earlier in the day, Home Minister Amit Shah interacted with doctors from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) via video-conference, and assured them of their safety. The IMA, which had planned a candle-light vigil at 9 pm today to urge the government to enact a law against healthcare violence, withdrew the protest after Shah said the government was with them. (Read the top COVID-19 news from India)

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COVID-19 Tracker LIVE | Coronavirus India & World Latest News Updates: India cases at 20,471; Maharashtra worst-hit; PM to interact with CMs on April 27; Amit Shah interacts with doctors, and more. Read latest news in Bangla, Tamil, Malayalam

01:26 (IST)23 Apr 2020
2 cats in New York state test positive for virus

Two pet cats in New York state have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first cases in companion animals in the United States, federal officials said Wednesday.

The cats, which had mild respiratory illnesses and are expected to recover, are thought to have contracted the virus from people in their households or neighborhoods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The finding, which comes after positive tests in seven tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo, add to a small number of confirmed cases of the virus in animals worldwide. U.S. authorities say that while it appears some animals can get the virus from people, there's no indication the animals are transmitting it to human beings.(AP)

00:36 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Quarantine facility will be converted into temporary jail: Sarma

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the Sarusajai Quarantine Facility would be converted to a temporary jail if those
undergoing quarantine there do not cooperate with the authorities.

Sarma interacted on Wednesday at the centre with a section of quarantined persons from Nalbari who had complained on social media about the alleged lack of facilities and demanded that they be allowed to go home. The minister told reporters here that their complaints would be looked into but they will not be allowed to go unless the doctors give them the clearance certificate.

"If anybody attempts to leave without the doctors clearance, then we will be forced to declare the Quarantine facility into a temporary jail and they will be kept here for three months under non-bailable sections", he said.

00:34 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Assam allows intra-state movement of stranded people for 3 days with prior approval

The Assam government will allow movement of people stranded in different parts of the state due to the lockdown for three days from April 25 in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Union home ministry, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday.

This is not a "blanket permission but will be conditional, and people can avail this only with the prior approval of the deputy commissioners", Sarma told a press conference here. These movements will be only for home-bound and office-bound people, as many state government offices have reopened, he said.

00:00 (IST)23 Apr 2020
Six more deaths take Pune toll to 60

Six deaths were reported in Pune -- four at Sassoon General Hospital, one at Symbiosis Hospital and one at YCM Hospital – by Wednesday evening, taking the toll in Pune to 60.

23:03 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Treat all patients as suspect COVID-19 case: Govt to hospitals near containment zones

The Union health ministry in an advisory has suggested hospitals located in and around COVID-19 containment zones to treat all patients coming to them as suspected cases of coronavirus infection until proven otherwise and exercise standard care.

According to a ministry official, patients coming from containment areas should be tested for infection even if they show any symptoms of COVID-19. A COVID-19 case with mild or asymptomatic presentation may go undetected and inadvertently transmit the infection to other patients and healthcare workers, putting these individuals at risk of contracting disease and compromise the functionality of the healthcare facility, the ministry said while issuing guidelines to be followed on detection of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case in a non-COVID health facility.

22:25 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Bill Gates lauds PM Modi’s leadership in combating COVID-19 in India

Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and his government’s “proactive measures” such as lockdown and expansion of focused testing in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

According to officials, Gates, in a letter to Modi, said he was glad that the Indian government is fully utilizing its exceptional digital capabilities in its COVID-19 response and has launched the ‘Aarogya Setu’ digital app for coronavirus tracking, contact tracing, and to connect people to health services.

“We commend your leadership and the proactive measures you and your government have taken to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infection rate in India,” Gates was quoted as saying in the letter.

21:58 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Amarnath yatra may be cancelled this year, says shrine board

The annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine in South Kashmir may not take place this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Expressing its apprehensions, the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, at a meeting chaired by the UT’s Lt Governor G C Murmu in Jammu Wednesday, said that “as on date, it may not be possible to organise the yatra 2020”, according to an official release.

“Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation being dynamic, appropriate decision on organising the yatra can be taken on review of the situation in coming furture,” it added.

21:48 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Amid standoff, Central team asks Bengal for presentation on COVID-19 preparedness

The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) sent to West Bengal to take stock of the Covid-19 situation has asked for a presentation on the state’s preparedness in tackling the pandemic. It has also demanded cooperation from the state government for visits to affected areas, hospitals, markets and quarantine facilities in the state.

In a letter addressed to Chief Secretary of the state Rajiv Sinha Wednesday, the IMCT has requested a detailed presentation by the health department detailing if the level of testing in the state is adequate, and whether the testing facilities available there are being used in full. The letter also seeks to know the protocol adopted for testing and the level at which conduct of a Covid-19 test is approved. Read more here

21:43 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Will jointly address challenges: Modi to Irish PM

India and Ireland will work together to further strengthen their partnership in health, and science and technology to jointly address the challenges of the post-COVID world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday. "Discussed COVID-19 pandemic with Ireland''s PM, Mr. @LeoVaradkar. India and Ireland share similar approaches on many global issues," Modi tweeted. He said the two countries will work together to further strengthen “our partnership in health, science and technology, to jointly address challenges of the post-COVID world”.

An official statement later said Modi and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar discussed the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps being taken by the two countries to control its health and economic impact. Varadkar appreciated the role being played by Indian-origin doctors and nurses in fighting the infection in Ireland.

Prime Minister Modi thanked PM Varadkar for the care and support being extended to the Indian citizens present in Ireland, and promised reciprocal treatment for Irish citizens in India. The two leaders agreed that India and Ireland can leverage their strengths in the pharmaceutical and medical fields to contribute to the global fight against the pandemic. They also deliberated on the potential for strengthening India''s cooperation with Ireland, as well as with the European Union, in the post-COVID context. The leaders agreed to remain in touch and consult each other on the evolving dimensions of the crisis, the statement said.

21:23 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Not much impact of lockdown on weather services: M Rajeevan

Even as the nationwide lockdown nears a month, it has not impacted weather and forecasting services in India, yet. However, the number of observations of some key weather parameters have been scaled down since April 1.

This was revealed by M Rajeevan, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), during his webcast address on the occasion of 50th Earth Day celebrations organised by CSIR – National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) on Wednesday. He was speaking on ‘Earth’s response to COVID-19 pandemic’.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) are the major institutions under MoES tasked with bringing out weather forecasts for India. These institutions collate weather data from its dense network within the country, besides those from oceans and global weather observatories. 

21:02 (IST)22 Apr 2020
PM to interact with village panchayats via video link on April 24

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address village panchayats across the country on Friday to mark the National Panchayati Raj Day.

Due to coronavirus-induced lockdown, he will interact with the participants through video-conference, according to an official issued on Wednesday.

To mark the occasion, the prime minister will launch a unified e-GramSwaraj portal and a mobile app.

The unified portal is a new initiative of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj to provide the village panchayats with a single interface to prepare and implement their gram panchayat development plan (GPDP).

PM Modi will also launch the Swamitva Scheme on the occasion, the statement said. The scheme provides for an integrated property validation solution for rural India. (PTI)

20:53 (IST)22 Apr 2020
'Can't take risk': MoS Jitendra Singh cautions against people going back to native places

Union Minister of State in the PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, on Wednesday cautioned against return of people to their native places from elsewhere the country without following the prescribed guidelines.

"We cannot take any risk in haste," he said, adding that there is an inference to be drawn from Kathua district which was so far Corona free inspite of huge influx of people from both sides after the declaration of lockdown. However, it suddenly reported a Corona positive case on Tuesday evening when a person working in Maharashtra chose to return to his village in Hiranagar without following the prescribed guidelines, he added.

In a one-and-half hour long video conference interaction with elected councilors of urban local bodies across the Jammu and Kashmir, he said that with some relaxation having been gradually made despite lockdown, the major challenge going to be now is the return movement of people from other parts of the country to their native places in Jammu and Kashmir. Pointing out that he has been receiving numerous requests from students from J&K who are residing in different parts of the country as well as their parents back home, Singh elicited cooperation of the public representatives especially local body representatives in explaining the people that movement and return of those stuck up elsewhere the country can happen only in small groups and in a very strategized and discreet manner.

"All of us are keen that people held up in different places should unite with their families," he said. Appealing people for cooperation in this regard, he said that adequate arrangements are being made to provide all requirements to these people in whichever part of the counry they are residing and the local district authorities there establish contact with them soon after an information is received about their problems.

20:29 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Mumbai: Driver posted at Union Minister Ramdas Athawale’s residence tests Covid-19 positive

A driver in police escort car of Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The driver was posted at Athawale’s residence at Bandra in Mumbai.

The driver was admitted to a state-run hospital and is currently quarantined at Panvel. He had reportedly shown COVID-19 symptoms, after which he was sent to the hospital for testing. Athawale, who is the Minister of State for Social Justice, is in Mumbai at present since March 24 lockdown.

Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, who had quarantined himself after some of his security staff tested positive for coronavirus, on Tuesday got admitted in a private hospital in neighbouring Thane city as a precautionary measure. Read more

20:27 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Central team asks for presentation on COVID-19 situation in West Bengal

Centre's Inter-Ministerial team asks for presentation on state of COVID-19 outbreak and containment from West Bengal. Demands cooperation for being taken to affected areas, hospitals, markets and quarantine facilities.

20:08 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Australia lauds India's efforts in containing coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is stretching much of the world's governmental capacity and terrorists are likely to exploit the situation including by fostering communal tension, Australian High Commissioner-designate Barry O'Farrell said on Wednesday.

In an address at the National Defence College through video-conference, O'Farrell also said India may be one of the most successful developing countries in managing the pandemic and lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's global outreach to deal with it.

He said Modi is also one of the leading voices shaping the G20 into a body instrumental in leading the world into post-COVID-19 recovery, and was an early voice advocating for reforms to the World Health Organisation.

"We've seen some remarkable leadership from India since this crisis began. The world is facing an unprecedented health challenge for which no government has a perfect answer," O'Farrell said.

It's laudable not just that the Indian government acted so quickly to stem the virus's spread, but also that it continues working to mitigate the lockdown's impact on India's most vulnerable. It's an enormous challenge for the world's most populous nation," he added. (PTI)

19:48 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Bill gates commends Modi government for flattening COVID-19 curve in India

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: "We commend your leadership and the proactive measures you and your government have taken to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infection rate in India, such as adopting a national lockdown, expanding focused testing to identify hotspots for isolation, quarantining, and care, and significantly increasing health expenditures to strengthen the health system response and promote R&D and digital innovation."

"I’m glad your government is fully utilizing its exceptional digital capabilities in its COVID-19 response and has launched the Aarogya Setu digital app for coronavirus tracking, contact tracing, and to connect people to health services," he added.

Gates also said he is grateful to see that PM Modi is seeking to balance public health imperatives with the need to ensure adequate social protection for all Indians. (ANI)

19:37 (IST)22 Apr 2020
J&K govt provides Rs 1 crore financial assistance to lawyers fraternity

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday handed over a cheque of Rs 1 crore to the Registrar General of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Jawad Ahmad, as financial relief to lawyers fraternity across the Union Territory.

Pointing out that president of the J&K High Court Bar Association Abhinav Sharma and Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor were also present on the occasion, an official release here said. "The J&K government has become the first in the country to extend financial relief to financially distress, young advocates whose livelihoods have been severely hit due to ongoing coronavirus lockdown imposed since March 24 and later extended till May 3."

“This step of the Government is in continuation of the relief measures announced for various sections of the society including registered Building Construction Workers, MGNREGA Job Card holders, and beneficiaries of various pension schemes, etc.,” it added.

19:29 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Spitting and urinating are now 'strictly prohibited' in Gurgaon

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, spitting and urinating are now "strictly prohibited" in Gurgaon, with the MCG Commissioner today issuing a public notice to this effect, and warning that a fine of Rs 1000 will be imposed on anyone "violating the directive".

19:07 (IST)22 Apr 2020
After recovering from COVID-19, Tablighi follower urges counterparts to get tested

After his recovery, a Tablighi Jamaat follower requesting his counterparts to come forward and get themselves tested. He has been discharged from Ludhiana Civil Hospital.

19:04 (IST)22 Apr 2020
Coronavirus scare resurfaces in Kottayam after visit of primary contact of COVID-19 patient

A lorry driver, primary contact of a COVID-19 patient in Palakkad, brought a load of watermelons to the market here, triggering a scare in the district which has been declared green zone, prompting health officials to trace and shift him to an isolation facility.

The driver, who brought the load from Tamil Nadu, left for Palakkad after unloading the watermelons and was traced in Ernakulam past midnight on Tuesday, officials said.

He was shifted to an isolation facility at the General Hospital in Palakkad, after samples were collected from him for COVID-19 testing, they said adding 17 others who handled the watermelons load the market here have been advised home quarantine.

The man had a history of travelling with his co-driver from Palakkad who tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, following which officials started the contact tracing. (PTI)

coronavirus, coronavirus news, coronavirus latest news, covid 19, covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker india, covid 19 india tracker, covid 19 india tracker state wise, covid 19 tracker state wise, india covid 19 tracker state wise, covid 19 india, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus live news, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, coronavirus india live news, coronavirus in india, coronavirus in india latest news, coronavirus latest news in india The SAARC countries have recorded much lower infection rates in the region compared to the worst affected countries.

In a first clear indication of the Covid-19 time frame in India, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul told The Indian Express the battle will be tested in the months of June and July, after lockdown restrictions are eased. He also said the effect of the lockdown is now "clearly visible", as India has succeeded in flattening the curve.

Despite accounting for a fifth of the world’s population (21 per cent), the eight SAARC nations — India, Pakistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan — account for just 1.28 per cent of the world total of 24,80,503 coronavirus cases. In terms of fatalities, the SAARC total is nearly half a percentage point (0.54 per cent) or 937 of the total of 1,70,397 people who have died of the infection worldwide, according to data by worldometers.

The SAARC countries have recorded much lower infection rates in the region compared to the worst affected countries, including the US, Italy, Spain, the UK, Iran and China.

Explained: To do rapid tests, or not to

Amid the growth of cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), states have started to look at “rapid tests” — serological or blood tests — as an alternative to the longer, swab-based tests routinely being used. On Tuesday, the Indian Council of Medical Research on Tuesday advised states not to use rapid test kits for the next two days, saying it would issue an advisory after their teams carry out field validation of these equipment.

coronavirus, coronavirus news, coronavirus latest news, covid 19, covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker india, covid 19 india tracker, covid 19 india tracker state wise, covid 19 tracker state wise, india covid 19 tracker state wise, covid 19 india, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus live news, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, coronavirus india live news, coronavirus in india, coronavirus in india latest news, coronavirus latest news in india The serological test screens the plasma for antibodies that the body develops against the virus.

According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “Serology tests are blood-based tests that can be used to identify whether people have been exposed to a particular pathogen. Serology-based tests analyse the serum component of whole blood. The serum includes antibodies to specific components of pathogens, called antigens. These antigens are recognized by the immune system as foreign and are targeted by the immune response.”

The serological test screens the plasma for antibodies that the body develops against the virus. It takes less than 30 minutes. It is important to note, however, that the PCR test is capable of identifying infection at an earlier stage. Only after the antibodies have developed, which takes several days, can the serological test come in. And even for serological tests, the positives will have to go through the PCR filter.

Fund-starved Punjab goes for cost-cutting: fuel entitlement slashed by 25%

Facing a critical fiscal situation, the fund crunched Punjab government Tuesday announced a series of cost-cutting measures, including an immediate 25 per cent reduction in existing entitlements for petroleum product expenses of all government departments, except the frontline departments of Health, Medical Education, Police, Food and Agriculture.

coronavirus, coronavirus news, coronavirus latest news, covid 19, covid 19 tracker, covid 19 tracker india, covid 19 india tracker, covid 19 india tracker state wise, covid 19 tracker state wise, india covid 19 tracker state wise, covid 19 india, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus live news, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, coronavirus india live news, coronavirus in india, coronavirus in india latest news, coronavirus latest news in india In its fight against coronavirus, Punjab has started a door-to-door drive in hotspots and few other districts to check the residents with suspicious symptoms. (Express photo/Jaipal Singh)

Meanwhile, the CM has asked the health department to prepare a comprehensive budget for COVID related expenditure.

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