Coronavirus Updates: With Ringing Of Bells, Beating Of Metal Plates And Clapping, People Express Appreciation For Medical And Other Staff; Virus Claims Its First Victim In Gujarat

With ringing of bells, beating of metal plates and clapping, people across the country on Sunday evening expressed appreciation for medical and other staff who are on the frontline of the battle against the Coronavirus. The clanging sounds rang in the air as the clock struck five and people came out in balconies, lawns and terrace following an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show solidarity with doctors, nurses and others involved in providing essential services, as the country observed an unprecedented ‘Janta Curfew’ to check the spread of the virus

Russia on Sunday sent the first of nine military planes which are to take a total of 100 army virus experts and medics to Italy to help fight the coronavirus pandemic there. The Russian defence ministry said the aid mission was agreed by President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. They spoke on the phone Saturday evening, the Kremlin said. The military transport planes arrived overnight at an aerodrome outside Moscow and eight medical teams were ready to fly out with mobile aerosol disinfecting units and medical equipment, the defence ministry said.

With ringing of bells, beating of metal plates and clapping, people across the country on Sunday evening expressed appreciation for medical and other staff who are on the frontline of the battle against the Coronavirus. The clanging sounds rang in the air as the clock struck five and people came out in balconies, lawns and terrace following an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show solidarity with doctors, nurses and others involved in providing essential services, as the country observed an unprecedented ‘Janta Curfew’ to check the spread of the virus.

The Union Health Ministry announced on Sunday that states would be earmarking a certain number of hospitals to exclusively treat COVID-19 patients. At a press conference here, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director Balram Bhargava said a lockdown was the most essential aspect to the break the chain of transmission as of now. The reaction came soon after the Centre and state governments have decided to completely lock down 75 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported.

Coronavirus claimed its first victim in Gujarat on Sunday when a 67-year-old man, who had tested positive for the infection, died at a private hospital here, officials said. The man, with travel history to Delhi and Jaipur, was admitted to a private hospital here on March 17 with several complications related to kidney and asthma. He tested positive for the coronavirus on March 21, officials said. He did not have any travel history to a foreign country.

Cyprus’ health ministry has announced the first novel coronavirus death on the Mediterranean island and said there were 83 cases of infection. The number of COVID-19 cases in the island’s breakaway Turkish Cypriot north has meanwhile risen to 35, including 31 German tourists, with no deaths, officials there said. The eastern Mediterranean island is divided between the internationally-recognised Republic of Cyprus and the northern third under Turkish control. The individual who died in the south was a 70-year-old British man who had contracted the virus from another Briton while being treated at Paphos general hospital’s ICU, said news site Phileleftheros.

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