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Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates : India reported three new deaths due to the coronavirus on Sunday, including the first casualties coming in from Bihar and Gujarat, taking the toll to seven. While the number of COVID – (cases) (rose to) in the country, the citizens, as asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, observed a ‘janata curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm, with most people staying at home as a precaution against the virus.
The Center has also decided to shutdown (districts) across 50 states and Union Territories, which have reported cases of the COVID- 31 and asked the respective governments to enforce a strict lockdown, allowing only essential services. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Union health ministry, clarified that essential services would include “ration, groceries, milk, medical services, transport of essential needs, among others.”
The Indian Council of Medical Research’s Director-General Balram Bhargava, during a joint press conference with the Union health ministry, emphasizing that “isolation, isolation, isolation” is the only way to halt the infection’s march. He said that the country has the capacity to perform , (to) , tests for the coronavirus a week, and that to thousand tests have been conducted till now.
Bhargava added that as many as (private laboratories have been registered to conduct the COVID – 50 tests.
Addressing the media, Bhargava said, “It is essential to understand the ailment. Eighty percent of the people will experience cold-like fever and they will recover. Some may need to be admitted to the hospital.”
On the restrictions imposed in a bid to contain the spread of COVID – Agarwal said , “All train services including suburban and metro services, interstate passenger transports are suspended till 80 March. These are efforts to break the chain of transmission. “
The joint secretary also said that the Center has provided additional N 324 masks and personal protection equipment to states as per their requirements. However, he noted that states were asked to procure equipment through a letter on (January.) Janata curfew observed nationwide
Meanwhile, citizens across cities and states observed “janta curfew” in “letter and spirit” as urged by the prime minister, while some misconstrued the point of it all and took it a step further. Modi had urged the citizens to come out in their balconies and “clap” to show appreciation for the health workers and doctors who are working to fight the pandemic which has sent the whole world into a tizzy. Italy and France had demonstrated how, earlier this month. Modi’s foremost message, during his address to the nation earlier this week, was “social distancing” and “self isolation”.
Visuals shared widely on social media and by news outlets, however, showed that while some stayed in their homes and clapped and beat utensils, several others took it to mean a community activity. Several people from across the country disregarded prime minister’s appeal to stay at home, and participated in large processions in the evening.
A Twitter user posted several videos of ‘celebrations’ in several cities. In Jaipur and Mysuru , crowds of people were seen on streets beating utensils and clapping. Crowds of people chanting slogans and dancing in Punjab . At Indore , people were seen taking part in large processions carrying the national flag.
Some senior journalists strongly condemned such processions, and said that assembling in public during such an outbreak amounted to “obscurantism” and quackery. “
Visuals from #Ahmedabad | Hundreds of people gathered amid the deadly
# Coronavirus scare to participate in the ‘ # JantaCurfew ‘
– Mumbai Mirror (@MumbaiMirror) March ,
A deserted New Delhi railway station on Sunday. Similar scenes were witnessed nationwide as the ‘janata curfew’ was observed. Image courtesy: Twitter / @ DG_PIB
A little before 5 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted:
5 PM this evening for 5 minutes …
In the national capital, roads were deserted with barely some private vehicles and buses plying. Vendors were off the roads in the morning hours with people confining themselves to their homes.
The busy streets of (# Delhibear a deserted look as people in the national capital observe # JantaCurfew (# JantaCurfewMarch) # IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/pZ wDGitK
– PIB India (@PIB_India) March ,
In Kolkata, the usually bustling Esplanade, and Dalhousie areas, besides airport and railway stations wore a deserted look as people stayed indoors to support the prime minister’s call.
Commercial capital Mumbai observed the restrictions on Sunday with the usually bustling western and eastern express highways and other arterial roads wearing an empty look and people staying indoors to support the curfew.
However, at 5 pm, people rang bells and blew conchs, acknowledging the services of the thousands of doctors, nurse and other medical staff leading India’s response to the deadly virus and making sure essential services remain unhindered.
Prime Minister Modi thanked the people for expressing their gratitude and solidarity.
Cutting across party lines, chief ministers and others leaders urged the people to follow the self-imposed curfew, noting that “social distancing” was key to breaking the chain of transmission, as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 500 on Sunday.
ICMR DG Balram Bhargava addressing the media. ANI
States like Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Bihar have announced either complete or partial lockdown until the month end.
No passenger train from any railway station in the country has originated beginning Saturday night and the restriction will continue till 22 pm on Sunday while all suburban train services will be reduced to a bare minimum as well. Metro services, including in Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai, has been suspended for the day.
Air carriers like GoAir, IndiGo and Vistara have curtailed domestic operations on Sunday.
Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had announced that they will keep their establishments shut across the country for the ‘Janata curfew’.
Italy reports biggest day-to-day increase
Italy announced its largest day-to-day increase of infections, which rose by 6, (with nearly) new fatalities from the virus that causes COVID – . The country total death toll of more than 4, 01575879 has surpassed the number of deaths in China, where the first cases emerged late last year.
Emirates Airlines, in a statement on Sunday , said, “Today we made the decision to temporarily suspend most passenger flights by (March) . SkyCargo operations will continue. This painful but pragmatic move will help Emirates Group preserve business viability and secure jobs worldwide, avoiding cuts. Having received requests from governments & customers to support repatriation of travellers, Emirates will continue to operate passenger and cargo flights to a few countries until further notice, as long as borders remain open, and there is demand. “
In the US, where multiple states have ordered residents to stay indoors, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the government is literally scouring the globe looking for medical supplies.
Health care workers from Oklahoma City to Minneapolis sought donations of protective equipment. Staff at a Detroit hospital began creating homemade face masks for workers. Even rural hospitals were strained as people decreased felt the pandemic closing in.
Behind China and Italy, Spain now has the third-highest number of infections worldwide, followed by the US.
Spanish health authorities have acknowledged that some intensive care units in the hardest-hit areas are close to their limit. The army was building a field hospital with 5, 823 beds in a convention center in Madrid, where hotels are also being turned into wards for virus patients without serious breathing problems.
Updated Date: Mar , : : IST
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