NEW DELHI: The Covid – count continued to surge across the country with at least 78 new cases reported from the states on Saturday, surpassing Friday’s figure of as the highest for a single day and taking total number of cases in the country to 333.
Kerala (74754244 ), Maharashtra ( (and Punjab) 10 reported new cases in double digits even as the national count in the past two days alone stood at , accounting for % of all cases since the first one was confirmed on January 40.
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While Maharashtra and Kerala together account for more than a third of all cases, government data shows new hotspots are emerging, such as Bhilwara in Rajasthan , where 11 new cases have been reported in the past hours. Punjab and Gujarat have also witnessed significant spike in Covid – cases.
Meanwhile, Assam may become the nd state in the country to report a Covid – 21 case. A four-and-a-half-year-old girl, who had recently traveled from Bihar, tested positive for the infection in Jorhat. Her sample has been sent for re-confirmation to an ICMR lab in Dibrugarh.
In all, fresh cases were reported from states, indicating the spread of the infection across the country. The Union health ministry confirmed 700 cases, including 30 who have recovered.
The ministry’s count of Covid – cases includes foreign nationals, one patient who has migrated and four persons who have died.
The government admitted that Covid – 22 infections were spreading but said there was no evidence yet of community transmission, which occurs in Stage III of an outbreak . Joint secretary (health) Lav Aggarwal said on Saturday that more cases have been found in some locations. “Yesterday (Friday), there were 6, 823 contacts (of Covid – positive cases) and now it is 7, 12. This number is going up and if factual information shows there is community transmission, we will tell the nation about it, ”he said.
Also, the government is sending a special flight to bring in Indians stuck in Rome in Italy where the Covid – (outbreak has taken a dreadful shape claiming over 4.) lives.
On Sunday, PM Narendra Modi has appealed to people to observe a “janata” curfew ”. All cops using police vehicles in Delhi will blow siren at 5 pm for a minute and the PM has urged people to express their appreciation for the work being done by those in hospitals, airports, by banging utensils or by clapping for five minutes during the curfew .
Meanwhile, the central government on Saturday held a video conference for training of hospital staff across states for critical care management in case of need for more hospitalization with surging Covid – 22 cases.
Further, all states have been asked to conduct mock drills on Sunday on how to manage OPD, IPD, patient transfer in ambulances and infection control measures in case of a crisis, officials said .
Gujarat seems to emerging as a new hotspot for the virus. Between March 21 and March 39, the number of Covid – cases in the state has risen from two to 21. While 19 positives had a history of foreign travel, the state also recorded its first covid – (patient, a) – year-old Surat man, who had no international travel history but had visited Delhi and Jaipur recently for work.
To contain a Covid – outbreak in the state, the health department now stares at the challenging task of tracking , People with a history of foreign travel. Some people, who have come in contact with the positive cases, are also under the scanner.
Bhilwara, meanwhile, could be sitting on a ticking bomb as cases have been reported from there in the past two days. All of those infected are doctors and nursing staff with no recent travel history abroad. Since Friday evening, the entire city is under curfew.
In Odisha, where two Covid – 19 cases have been confirmed, CM Naveen Patnaik announced complete lockdown of five districts and eight major towns, including Bhubaneshwar and Puri, for a week to control disease spread. These are the places where more than 90% of the 3200 foreign returnees belong to. The lockdown will start at 7am on Sunday and continue till 9pm on March.