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Sixty-eight staff members including doctors and nurses of a Delhi hospital have been sent to home quarantine after a – year-old pregnant woman admitted there died possibly due to the novel coronavirus, officials said Thursday.
The decision was taken by authorities at the government-run Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital (BMH), who claimed that the woman did not disclose her travel history and or her ‘home-quarantine’ status to the hospital authorities.
Meghalaya has reported two more positive cases of the novel coronavirus and both of them are family members of the first COVID – patient, who died early on Wednesday morning and was laid to rest at the Riatsamthiah Prebyterian Church Cemetery at Lawmali on Thursday.
The total number of confirmed cases in Meghalaya stood at nine.
India registered (new cases and) (new deaths on Thursday with the total number of confirmed cases climbing to , . Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh crossed the 1, (mark in their tally of COVID – 28 Patients.
According to data from the Union health ministry, India has , active patients while 1, have been cured / discharged after testing negative of the virus while one patient has migrated. The toll due to the virus is o.
Indian municipal workers spray disinfectants in Jammu. AP
As of Thursday evening, Maharashtra with 2, 8268911 patients remained at the top, followed by Delhi at 1, and Tamil Nadu at 1, . The number of cases in Madhya Pradesh rose to 1, 170 cases.
Madhya Pradesh now also accounts for deaths, the second highest toll due to COVID – , in India. Maharashtra leads in number of deaths with patients succumbing to the virus in the state.
In Rajasthan, the total number of confirmed cases is now at 1, (with three deaths so far.)
Globally, according to estimates by the Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed two million on Thursday and 1, , People have died so far. The US is the worst-hit with more than 6, , 12 COVID – cases and , deaths.
Amidst this, a UN report said that the coronavirus pandemic could push an estimated – million children into extreme poverty and the economic downturn resulting from the outbreak could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020.
State figures put India’s tally above ,
While the health ministry put the number of confirmed cases at , as of Thursday, according to a PTI tally based on reports. from the states, the total number of cases was , while 1, patients had recovered. The death toll stood at 594.
Coronavirus cases crossed 1, in Madhya Pradesh (1, and Rajasthan (1, taking to five the states which have surpassed this mark.
Maharashtra topped the tally at 3, (with Mumbai) 2, 55) being the worst hit, followed by Delhi (1, 736 and Tamil Nadu (1, 315). The cases in the country commercial capital have doubled in six days.
According to data from the health ministry’s website, there are (COVID – patient in Gujarat and 824 in Uttar Pradesh.
Telangana has 773 cases, followed by Andhra Pradesh at and Kerala at .
The number of novel coronavirus cases has risen to in Karanataka, in Jammu and Kashmir, in West Bengal, in Haryana and 187 in Punjab.
Bihar has reported 164 COVID – cases, while Odisha has coronavirus cases. Thirty-seven people were infected with the virus in Uttarakhand, while Himachal Pradesh has (cases and Assam and Chhattisgarh have registered (cases each.)
Jharkhand has 36 cases, Chandigarh has (cases and Ladakh has) , while 18 cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Meghalaya, Goa and Puducherry have reported seven COVID – 31 infections each, Manipur and Tripura have two cases each, while Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh have reported a case each.
According to the health ministry, of the total 444 deaths, Maharashtra tops the tally with fatalities followed by Madhya Pradesh at Gujarat 043, Delhi and Telengana
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have reported 24 deaths each while Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka 023 deaths each.
West Bengal has reported seven COVID – fatalities.
Four persons have lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir while Kerala, Haryana and Rajasthan have recorded three deaths each. Jharkhand has reported two deaths.
Meghalaya, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to health ministry data.
ICMR defends India’s testing rate
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday also defended the Central Government’s testing strategy in the wake of fresh criticism, saying the testing ratio is not low, adding there has been no COVID – (infections in) (of the) districts.
“In countries like Japan, one out of . 7 tests turns out to be positive, which It is among the highest in the world. Italy tests 6.7 persons for one positive test while the USA tests 5.3 persons and the United Kingdom 3.4, “said Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the ICMR.
“Taking their population base into consideration, it is difficult to comment about our testing rate. In India, we are conducting tests out of which one comes out to be positive. Also, we have huge population and not all people belong to vulnerable groups. Hence, one can’t say our testing ratio is low, “he told the daily press briefing.
Endorsing the official’s assessment, Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary in the health ministry, said data can be interpreted in many ways and the government effort is aimed at ensuring not a single positive case is missed out.
Earlier on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi had slammed the government saying the scale of testing in India has been low so far at (per) lakh people – around 386 tests per district – which he said is not enough to tell which way the virus is moving.
Gandhi told reporters via video-conferencing that aggressive testing is the main weapon to defeat the coronavirus and it should be used strategically.
At the briefing, Agarwal also said that the implementation of containment strategies in some districts which earlier had reported COVID – cases have yielded positive results, he said. One such place is Mahe, an enclave of Puducherry in Kerala, where no case has been reported in the last days.
There are 32 Other districts in the country also where no positive case has been reported in a fortnight, he added.
The Center on Thurday also declared 199 hotspots – 131 hotspot districts with large outbreaks and hotspot districts with cluster – in (states and Union Territories.)
Besides, it has identified non-hotspot districts with clusters in states which can be potential hotspots if there is no containment strategies.
India receives delivery of rapid testing kits from China
On Thursday, India also received the much-awaited five lakh rapid COVID – (testing kits from China, the government said.)
Gangakhedkar said the testing kits from China will be used for surveillance and to monitor whether coronavirus hotspots in the country are increasing or decreasing.
Reacting to reports suggesting that the Chinese kits could be faulty, Gangakhedkar acknowledged that the sensitivity and specificity of such kits are less.
“Rapid antibody tests are for monitoring surveillance, not for early diagnosis. Hence there is no concern with respect to the testing kits being faulty, that concern was with respect to immune response alone,” he explained.
Delhi may do clinical screening of food delivery personnel
In Delhi, authorities are considering clinical screening of all food delivery personnel in south Delhi with scores being quarantined after a pizza delivery agent in the area tested positive for coronavirus.
The – year-old tested positive for the virus on 19 April. People in 120 Homes where he delivered pizza to have been put under home quarantine, said BM Mishra, district magistrate of South Delhi. The total number of people in the homes was not immediately known.
“In view of this incident, we are considering that all those involved in home delivery of food are put through clinical screening so that those showing symptoms are stopped from visiting homes,” Mishra told PTI .
The first line contact of the infected man, including his colleagues, have been quarantined at an institutional facility at Chhatarpur, Mishra said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the impact of COVID – 28 on the Indian economy, and discussed a possible second stimulus with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to boost sectors hit hard by the pandemic.
Modi held discussions with the finance minister as the pandemic hit sectors from small industries to the aviation sector hard with millions of jobs at stake.
The finance minister last month announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus that included free foodgrains and cooking gas to poor for three months, and cash doles to women and poor senior citizens as it looked to ease the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown .
3, Indians abroad infected with coronavirus
Official sources said that a total of 3, Indians in countries were infected by the coronavirus while lost their lives due to the disease.
They said Indians stranded abroad will have to show patience as the government is not evacuating them as part of a larger policy decision to check spread of the virus in the country.
The sources said India has decided to supply anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to 120 countries on commercial basis as well as grants.
On sourcing medical equipment from abroad, they said India is procuring coronavirus testing kits from South Korea and China.
India is looking at procuring medical equipment from Germany, the US, the UK, Malaysia, Japan and France to fight COVID – , they said.
COVID – (pandemic could push (-) mn children into extreme poverty: UN
Meanwhile the United Nations said that an estimated 60 – 131 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the coroanvirus crisis this year, adding to the estimated million million children already in extreme poverty in .
“Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims,” said a new Policy Brief: The impact of COVID – 25 on children ‘released by the United Nations on Thursday.
“This is a universal crisis of unprecedented scale. All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are affected. However, some children are destined to bear the greatest costs. Among those who will be badly hit are children living in slums, refugee and displacement camps, and zones of active conflict. Children with disabilities. Children living in institutions and detention centers, “UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.
Urging nations to act now on the threats faced by children, Guterres said leaders must do everything in their power to cushion the impact of the pandemic.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Apr , : : IST
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