Coronavirus Updates: Ninety-two New Cases And Four Deaths Reported In India; Iran Reports 117 New Virus Deaths, And More…

Ninety-two new cases and four deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported in India since Sunday, the Health Ministry said on Monday while reiterating that there has been no community transmission of the virus as of now. Technically, COVID-19 is still in the local transmission stage in the country as there has been no community transmission as of now, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Luv Aggarwal said. Addressing the daily press briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19 at 4 pm, Agarwal informed that 92 new cases of COVID-19 and four deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking total cases to 1,071 and the number of deaths to 29. Underlining the importance of social distancing, said even one person’s carelessness can lead to spread of this pandemic.

State-owned New India Assurance has been entrusted to provide insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to about 22 lakh health care providers, who are on the frontline of battle against coronavirus. This was part of the Rs 1.70 lakh Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last Thursday. “As announced by Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman on March 26, @NewIndAssurance has issued detailed guidelines for providing insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person for 22.12 lakh health care providers across the country,” a tweet by the Finance Ministry said on Monday. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers and a few others working in hospitals under Central and State governments will be covered under the insurance scheme. Sitharaman had said the insurance cover will be there for three months. In a confirmation letter to the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New India Assurance said, “We confirm that the risk coverage has commenced with immediate effect and the coverage will continue till June 30, 2020.” It also said that the premium payment process has been initiated. The tailor made policy will provide comprehensive personal accident cover, including accidental loss of life on account of contracting COVID-19 pandemic disease, it said. With regard to claim procedure, it said, simple and seamless standard operating procedure (SOP) to be finalised by the insurer, the Department of Financial Services and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it added.

China, which has sent medical teams and supplies to Pakistan where coronavirus cases are increasing steadily, said on Monday that it was building a makeshift hospital there to treat COVID-19 patients. The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan reached 1,664 while the death toll stood at 18, health officials said on Monday, underlining that local transmission of the deadly COVID-19 is increasing.

Measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak will slash German 2020 economic output by 2.8 to 5.4 per cent before a rebound next year, a panel of economists who advise the government said Monday. “The German economy will shrink significantly in 2020,” the so-called “Wise Men” expert panel (SVR) said, with the exact size of the impact “depending on the extent and duration of health policy measures and the subsequent recovery”. Like other economists around the world, the group sketched different scenarios for the virus’ impact on Europe’s top economy depending on whether it follows a “V” shape, with a sharp drop matched by a swift recovery, or a more prolonged “U” in which the rebound takes longer to materialise. Germany’s 83 million people are currently under slightly less strict lockdown conditions than in other European nations like France and Italy, with non-essential excursions outside mostly still allowed. But companies from airline giant Lufthansa to car behemoth Volkswagen have already slashed their operations in response. In their central outlook with activity “normalising over the summer”, the SVR forecast a 2.8 per cent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, followed by a 3.7 per cent expansion next year. But a deeper “V” due to widespread halts in production or a longer period of isolation to slow the virus’ spread could bring a 5.4 per cent slump, followed by growth of 4.9 percent in 2021. In the still-more-damaging “U” scenario, with contact restrictions lasting “beyond the summer” and economic recovery setting in only next year, GDP might fall 4.5 per cent in 2020, but add just 1.0 percent next year, the experts suggested. 

he coronavirus pandemic is expected to dampen economic growth “substantially” in the South Asian region, including India, and though the central banks and governments have responded by providing stimulus, the measures will not come close to offsetting the loss of economic activity, says a report. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said dense living conditions, low hygiene awareness and overburdened healthcare systems make the South Asian region vulnerable to the worst effects of an outbreak. “Chronic underinvestment in healthcare infrastructure and a low number of doctors and hospital beds in relation to the population mean that health systems will not be able to cope with the further toll, exacerbating the spread of the virus and the death rate,” EIU said. India has imposed a three-week long nationwide lockdown, the most far-reaching measure undertaken by any government, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed at least 29 people in the country so far. According to EIU, the preventive measures taken by governments will curtail the movement of people and lead to a demand-side shock, while the closure of factories and businesses will result in a supply-side shock, and the subsequent lay offs will exacerbate the demand shock. The EIU expects countries to provide fiscal and monetary stimulus, although the scope of such measures will vary.

Iran reports 117 new virus deaths, raising total to 2,757 Tehran, Mar 30 (AFP) Iran on Monday reported 117 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the official total number of fatalities to 2,757. Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced the tolls in a news conference and said 3,186 more cases had been confirmed in the past day, raising total infections to 41,495.

Formula One team Mercedes has helped to develop a breathing aid that could keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care and ease some pressure on Britain’s strained health service. Mercedes worked with engineers at the University College London and clinicians at University College London Hospital to adapt and improve a device that bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation. The device, known as continuous positive airway pressure, has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to deliver oxygen to the lungs of coronavirus patients during the pandemic. 

Hollywood star John Krasinski wants to spread some good news by bringing positive stories as the world battles coronavirus pandemic. The actor-director launched ‘Some Good New’ on YouTube, featuring his former “The Office” co-star Steve Carell. Krasinki, whose sequel to “A Quiet Place” has been postponed due to the virus spread, said he wanted to talk about stories that made people feel good or smile and turns out there were plenty that fans had to share with the actor. 

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