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Coronavirus Updates, March 24: NPR, Census Deferred Indefinitely After Lockdown Announcement

Coronavirus Updates, March 24: NPR, Census Deferred Indefinitely After Lockdown Announcement

Featured image: Workers spray disinfectant on a street in the old city of Hyderabad, March 23, 2020. Photo: PTI

Even as many states in the country were locked down, India reported a big jump in the number of people who have newly tested positive for the coronavirus infection. On Monday, 99 new cases were reported, by far the most in a single day in the country. The total number of confirmed cases in the country crossed the 500 mark, with 519 confirmed cases (including foreign nationals) being reported as of 5:45 pm on Tuesday. This includes 40 people who have been cured or discharged and ten people who have died.

Across the world, the total number of people who have tested positive is approaching the 400,00o mark. On Tuesday evening, over 392,000 people have tested positive for the disease, while more than 17,100 people have died. Italy’s death toll (6,077) is now almost double that of China (3,160), and the former reported 602 deaths on Monday. The latter, on the other hand, reported its first new domestic case in Wuhan, the epicentre of the disease, in nearly a week. The country also reported a significant rise in ‘imported cases’, raising fears of a second wave of infections.

NPR, Census indefinitely deferred

The National Population Register exercise and the first phase of the 2021 Census were deferred indefinitely after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a 21-day lockdown.

Health minister expresses anguish at reports of health professionals’ ostracisation

India bans export of ventilators and sanitizers

According to news agency Reuters, India has decided to ban exports of ventilators and sanitizers. India is seeing a surge in the cases of coronavirus, crossing the 500 mark as of 5 pm on Tuesday.

Social distancing measures work, says study in The Lancet

A combined approach of physical distancing – comprising quarantine, school closure and workplace safety measures – is most effective at reducing the number of novel coronavirus cases compared with many other interventions, according to a study published on Tuesday.

The modelling study, conducted in a simulated Singapore setting, estimated that quarantine plus workplace measures, while less effective than the combined approach, presented the next best option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 cases.

This was followed by quarantine plus school closure, and then quarantine only, according to the researchers. All intervention scenarios were more effective at reducing cases than no intervention, they said.

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, is the first of its kind to investigate these options for early intervention in Singapore using simulation.

Despite heightened surveillance and isolation of individuals suspected to have COVID-19 and confirmed cases, the risk is ongoing, with the number of cases continuing to increase in Singapore, the researchers said, according to news agency PTI.

Deploy additional fiscal resources, Centre tells states

The Central government has asked states to deploy additional fiscal resources to establish medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics.

Do the right thing, say Rio de Janeiro gangs

Organised crime gangs in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro will enforce a lockdown in the city’s favelas (slums) from 8 pm tonight, chastising the government for not doing the right thing.

Doctors in Warangal city of Telangana forced to vacate homes

According to a report in the Daily Pioneer, doctors in Warangal city of Telangana have been asked to vacate their rented homes. The owners of the houses believe, falsely, that if healthcare workers stay in the houses, they can be more susceptible to the virus. A doctor working in the MGM Hospital said that healthcare workers have been asked to leave without notice.

Death toll in Inda reaches 10

A 65-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 passed away in Mumbai’s Kasturba Gandhi Hospital, taking the total number of deaths in India due to the infection to 10. The man, who had a travel history to the UAE, was admitted to the hospital on Monday and passed away on Tuesday. The state has so far reported four deaths because of the pandemic, the highest in the country.

Reported cases in the state also surged past the 100 mark on Tuesday.

Two test positive in Srinagar

Two more people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection in Srinagar, taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to six, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“Two more cases reported positive in Srinagar. One has confirmed travel history outside India. Full details regarding the second being ascertained,” government spokesman Rohit Kansal said in a tweet.

The first person travelled to Saudi Arabia and other was in Delhi, according to sources.

With the fresh cases, the number of coronavirus positive patients in Srinagar city has gone up to three.

One more confirmed case in MP

The number of COVID-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh went up to eight on Tuesday after a man tested positive in Gwalior. Earlier, six COVID-19 cases were reported from Jabalpur, while a woman was found positive for the viral infection in Bhopal on Sunday.

The man who tested positive on Tuesday is 36 years old and has no travel history. He returned to his home in Gwalior last week from Khajuraho in Chhattarpur district and may have come in contact with some foreign tourists there.

In a related development, the Madhya Pradesh government, through an order, reserved the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre to treat COVID-19 patients.

First COVID-19 case in Northeast: Manipur woman tests positive

In the first case of the coronavirus infection in the Northeast, a 23-year-old woman with travel history to the UK has tested positive. She is currently undergoing treatment at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) hospital in Imphal, reported India Today.

The woman is from Thangmeiband, Imphal West.

On Monday, the Manipur government was among several states which declared a lockdown until March 31 to contain the spread of the virus. Only essential services and people engaged in them will be allowed to function during this period.

According to reports, the government has also set up isolation wards at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and JNIMS to treat COVID-19 patients.

Prayagraj in lockdown on March 24, 2020. Photo: PTI

Kerala appoints 276 doctors to tackle pandemic

The Kerala government has appointed 276 doctors in the health department to strengthen its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the backdrop of rising cases in the state.

The doctors were selected by the state Public Service Commission from the existing rank list and appointed to be the part of the health ministry to fight the coronavirus, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

Kerala is in a state of total lockdown. On Monday, the state reported 28 new cases, the highest on a single day. In total, 99 confirmed cases have been reported in the state, while over 64,000 are under surveillance.

“Appointment has been given to 276 doctors, who were in the rank list of the PSC. The doctors were appointed to carry out the preventive measures and plans prepared by the health department,” Vijayan said.

State health minister K.K. Shailaja said the appointments were made after conducting counselling through video conferencing. “We will also appoint other paramedical staff,” she said in a release.

33 states and UTs in complete lockdown

According to the Press Information Bureau, 33 states and Union Territories are in complete lockdown (since the PIB tweeted, Odisha has announced a complete lockdown). Two states (Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) are in a state of partial lockdown, while Lakshwadeep has announced lockdown on ‘certain activities).

India reports two more deaths on Monday

One person from West Bengal and another from Himachal Pradesh died due to COVID-19 on Monday, pushing the death toll in the country to nine.

The man who died in Kolkata was a railway employee who did not have a travel history to any of the virus-hit countries. According to reports, he had returned to Kolkata from Bilaspur on March 2 and fell ill on March 13.

The man who died in Himachal Pradesh was a Tibetan refugee who had just returned from the US. According to reports, the 69-year-old man died at a private hospital in Kangra district. The man had returned from the US on March 15. He had lived with some relatives in New Delhi until March 21 and then arrived in Kangra.

101 confirmed cases in Maharashtra 

The confirmed cases in Maharashtra surged past 100, with three new cases reported in Pune and one in Satara. The state now has 101 cases, including two people who have died.

No new cases in past 24 hours: Kejriwal

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said no new novel coronavirus case has been reported in the national capital in the past 24 hours. The chief minister said on Twitter that five people infected with COVID-19 have been discharged from hospitals after getting treatment.

“In the last 24 hours, no new case (of coronavirus) has been reported. Five people have been discharged. We should not be happy right now,” he tweeted at 9.59 am.

“The biggest challenge now is to not let the situation go out of control. Need your (people”s) cooperation for this,” Kejriwal added in his tweet in Hindi.

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