The number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 606 on Wednesday with 10 deaths being recorded across the country, a health ministry official said. The number of active cases is 553. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also chaired a GoM meeting to assess the situation in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. While assuring that the government is making efforts to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) and N-95 masks are available in adequate numbers to help the medical fraternity in their job, health ministry officials said 29 private laboratories with over 16,000 sample collection centres have been registered so far for testing of COVID-19.
Four more persons tested positive for coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, taking the number of cases to 11, a senior official said. “Four new positive cases have been reported from Kashmir. All of them are from Bandipora district,” Bhupinder Singh, Director of National Health Mission and incharge on measures on COVID-19, told reporters here. He said that the new patients had come in contact with a person who had tested positive.
Ugadi, the Telugu New Year Day, was a low-key affair in Telangana as people stayed indoors due to the coronavirus lockdown. In Hyderabad and across Telangana, the government allowed outlets selling essential goods to open during the day time and people bought neem flowers, raw mango, jaggery, pepper powder, coconut, tamarind and salt to mark the traditional Ugadi Pachchadi. All these items denote various phases of life during the year. People drew ‘rangolis’ in front of their homes and decorated their entrance with neem leaves and flowers and later performed pooja.
Kerala’s Ernakulam district, home to a large number of migrant labourers, is making special arrangements, including setting up community kitchens, for their comfortable stay in the district during the 21-day lockdown in view of coronavirus threat. Special camps would be set up in the district for ensuring a healthy and comfortable stay for them, Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas said in a statement here. He said the workers would be given food and community kitchens would be set up for the purpose. The issue of migrant labourers was discussed in a video conference conducted by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday morning, he said.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days to fight COVID-19, the US Embassy in India stated on Wednesday that it is working with the US State Department and with airlines to arrange flights to take Americans back home. Moreover, in a health alert on its website, the embassy mentioned that it is in touch with the Indian government to emphasise the need for hotels to continue to lodge US citizens. On Tuesday, Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown till April 15 in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday asked senior officials to ensure door-to-door delivery of essential commodities to people to help them stay indoors for the success of the nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus. The chief minister gave this instructions in a meeting with senior officials, held to review the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. “The CM held a meeting with senior officials and reviewed the situation arising out of the coronavirus spread and the countrywide lockdown to stem it.