Coronavirus Updates: World-Renowned Chef Floyd Cardoz Dies; AIIMS Sets Up A Task Force; COVID-19 Cases In Maharashtra Go Up To 124, And More…

World-renowned chef Floyd Cardoz died Wednesday in New Jersey at age 59. Cardoz had tested positive for coronavirus. “It is with deep sorrow that we inform you of the passing away of Chef Floyd Cardoz,” according to a statement from Hunger Inc. Hospitality, where Cardoz was the culinary director. Cardoz tested positive for Covid-19 on March 18 and was being treated for it at Mountainside Medical Center in New Jersey, the statement said.

Researchers in the UK have designed a portable smartphone-based coronavirus testing kit which they say can provide results for COVD-19 in just 50 minutes after taking a throat swab. Most current tests take 24-48 hours to provide results because they need to be sent to labs, noted the researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, who created the test to be rolled out to test National Health Service (NHS) staff in two weeks. The new molecular test could be used to process 16 samples at a time — or up to 384 samples if using a lab-based detection machine, they said.

The AIIMS has set up a task force to develop a management protocol for COVID-19 and has constituted several committees to be able to respond to challenges which may emerge in the coming days due to the rising number of infection.  According to an office memorandum issued on Thursday, the committees which have been constituted for coordination of various activities related to management of patients in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic include resource management committee, human resource committee, diagnostic management committee and medical management committee. Medical management sub-committees constituted for various patient care areas identified for managing COVID-19 patients will estimate requirement of materials, machines, manpower and diagnostic backup, which will be needed to provide care to the patients and take care of health care workers in these areas. A

With people across the country confined to their homes due to the 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, the National Book Trust (NBT) is providing its select and best-selling titles for free download to encourage reading during the period. As part of the #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks initiative, over 100 books are available for download from the NBT website, an autonomous body under the HRD Ministry. “Available in Hindi, English, Asamiya, Bangla, Guajarati, Malayalam, Odia, Marathi, Kokborok, Mizo, Bodo, Nepali, Tamil, Punjabi, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu and Sanskrit, the books cover all genres of fiction, biography, popular science, teacher’s handbook, and majorly books for children and young adults,” a senior HRD Ministry official said. 

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra has gone up to 124 as two more persons tested coronavirus positive on Thursday, health officials said. “Both are from Mumbai city. We are finding out if they have any travel history,” an official said. Till Tuesday, 2,988 people were admitted to isolation wards of hospitals since January 18, while 932 persons were in hospital quarantine for suspected exposure to the virus. As many as 14,502 people were put under home quarantine, officials said.

An elderly man tested positive for the coronavirus in West Bengal, 10th case of the deadly viral disease in the state, health officials said on Thursday. The 66-year-old from Nayabad in Kolkata had no history of travelling abroad or outside the state. He had recently attended a wedding in Midnapore and might have come in contact with a person infected with the virus. He is undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of a private hospital and his family kept in home isolation under police protection, sources said. The state has reported 10 COVID 19 cases so far of which one died.

China has reported no new local coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, but the number of imported COVID-19 cases sharply rose to 67 in a day after the deadly virus was brought under control in its epicentre Wuhan, health officials said on Thursday. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday, while no new domestically transmitted cases of coronavirus were reported on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday, 67 new confirmed cases were recorded, up from 47 a day earlier, all of which were imported. Also, although epicentres Hubei province and its capital Wuhan have been reporting zero cases for a while, death toll there continued to rise. 

A former FBI agent who mysteriously vanished in 2007 died in Iranian custody, his family has concluded, saying US intelligence had made them give up 13 years of hope. President Donald Trump did not confirm Bob Levinson’s death, saying that Iran had not communicated any news on the former agent, who would have turned 72 this month. But Levinson’s family said on Wednesday that it had learned that he was dead, although it gave no information on how or when. “We recently received information from US officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody,” the family said in a statement. 

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