Coronavirus India Updates: Total Covid-19 Cases At 5,865, Death Toll At 169
The total number of Covid-19 infections in India inched closer to the 6,000-mark as the country entered day 16 of the three-week lockdown.
India added 591 new cases over the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 5,865, according to the health ministry’s update. That includes 478 people cured or discharged and 169 dead.
While several state governments have favoured extending the lockdown, a panel headed by the defence minister has recommended a partial lifting of the lockdown on April 15, according to Bloomberg. Odisha, so far, has officially extended the lockdown till April 30.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has ordered that all testing for Covid-19 in India be made free.
Global cases of the coronavirus topped 1.5 million, less than a week after surpassing the 1-million mark. New York, the U.K. and Belgium reported their deadliest days so far. Singapore announced its largest daily increase. More than 88,000 people have died.
Track latest news updates and developments on how the coronavirus situation is evolving in India here:
Government Exempts Duty On Essential Medical Equipment, Testing Kits
The government on Thursday removed customs duty and health cess on ventilators, face and surgical masks, personal protection equipment and Covid-19 test kits with a view to boost availability of these products in the country to fight coronavirus pandemic.
These exemptions will also be applicable on inputs used to manufacture these items. The exemptions will be available till Sept. 30.
Group Of Ministers Meet To Discuss Containment Plan
The Group of Ministers on Covid-19 in a meeting on Thursday discussed the containment and management plans for the novel coronavirus, the government said in a statement.
The group, headed by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, also discussed the actions taken so far by the central and state governments to check the spread of the disease.
The GoM was informed that all districts have been asked to prepare and strengthen their contingency plans to combat the pandemic. Several other measures about strengthening capacity of states, including devoting adequate resources for creating dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, equipping medical institutes with PPE, ventilators and other essential equipment, were also discussed in detail.
Total Cases In Dharavi Rise To 17
Asia’s most crowded slum recorded three deaths from coronavirus in over a week as the highly contagious pathogen spreads rapidly in an environment where people live close together.
A 70-year-old woman, who lived in Kalyanwadi area in Dharavi, died at KEM Hospital on Thursday, said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner in-charge of the G/North Ward in Central Mumbai. “Investigation is in progress to find out the high-risk contacts.”
The tally of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai’s biggest slum has now reached 17, including the three deceased.
As a proactive measure, BMC has set up health camps where positive cases were found as well as in other densely populated areas of Dharavi.
Follow the outbreak in Dharavi here.
Maharashtra Steps Up Lockdown Measures
India has tightened the already strict lockdown measures and enhanced surveillance at many areas that it termed as virus hotspots.
- In areas of Mumbai and Delhi, authorities have sealed settlements, lanes and apartments, allowing in only medical services and those delivering food and essential items.
- In Maharashtra, more than 3,600 squads are working in close to 1,000 containment zones to identify symptomatic patients and help with contact tracing.
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Vashi APMC To Be Partially Closed From Saturday
The vegetable, fruit, onion and potato markets run by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee in Vashi, will remain shut from April 11 until further orders, the Mumbai APMC has said.
This has been done keeping in mind the rising number of Covid-19 cases, Anil Chavan, secretary of Mumbai APMC was quoted as saying in a statement.
Farmers, however, can directly sell their produce to traders in Mumbai and there won’t be any shortage, Chavan said.