Coronavirus India Updates:  Cases Near 82,000; Over 2,600 Dead
A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past shuttered stores in a near-empty Connaught Place during a partial lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Coronavirus India Updates: Cases Near 82,000; Over 2,600 Dead

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Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India crossed 81,000 with over 2,600 dead, with just two days left for the third lockdown to end.

India added nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases over 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry’s 8:00 a.m. update on May 15. The total number of cases in India stands at 81,970. This includes 27,920 people who’ve recovered and 2,649 deaths. The ministry said that 70 percent of all deaths so far have been because of comorbidity.

Authorities have now reported more than 3,500 fresh cases for five straight days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on May 12 announced a lockdown 4.0 which will be substantially different from the ones seen from March 24. Details of this lockdown, however, are still awaited.

Modi had previously asked all state chief ministers to submit a plan on how to reopen their states, and mentioned in his speech on Tuesday that details of the latest lockdown will be revealed before May 18.

Also read: Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Measures For Farmers, Migrant Workers

Global Update

U.S. cases rose 1.6 percent from the day before to 1.4 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That was below the average daily increase of 1.8 percent over the past week. Deaths rose to 85,066. Italy registered an increase of new cases and the most daily fatalities in seven days on Thursday, as the government prepares to further ease a lockdown starting May 18, with shops as well as bars and restaurants expected to reopen on a regional basis.

There have been more than 4.4 million conformed coronavirus cases across the world and deaths have topped 3,01,000.

Track all the news updates on the coronavirus situation in India here:

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World Bank Earmarks $1 Billion To Protect India’s Poorest From Covid-19

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Rajiv Bajaj Expects A Tsumani Of A Curve Once Lockdown Lifts

The lockdown has been poorly planned and executed, Rajiv Bajaj said in an interview to Mojo, explaining that the government should have focused on the elderly and the vulnerable instead of putting everyone under lockdown together.

“When we unlock, closer to the monsoon, we are going to expose everybody all at the same time and I’m afraid that we are going to have a tsunami of a curve.”

Also read: Lockdown Extension Talks ‘Piecemeal, Arbitrary And Erratic’, Rajiv Bajaj Tells Mojo Story

India Must Gear Up To Face Community Transmission Of Covid-19: Health Expert

India must gear up to face the possibility of community spread of the Covid-19, a prominent health expert said on Friday, cautioning that there could be more widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus due to easing of the lockdown.

On some experts suggesting that there is already community transmission (stage 3) of the virus in the country, President of Public Health Foundation of India, Prof. K Srinath Reddy maintained that it is a matter of definition. If one looks at the spread to people without history of travel or history of contact, certainly there are several such cases, he said. "But most of them are concentrated around the original points of entry of the foreign travellers or the travel routes of their contacts. So, these people who are describing it as stage 2 still are saying this is traceable local transmission, it is not unpredictable community transmission, he told PTI.

Therefore, we are avoiding the term community transmission. It is a matter of definitions and language; we need not debate that really, Reddy, who formerly headed the Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said.

He said it should be recognised that community transmission has occurred in virtually every country which experienced this pandemic in a major form and India should also be prepared for it and act as though it is happening and take all precautionary containment measures. There is not only risk but actually threat of community transmission, said Reddy, who presently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard.

According to him, nations in South East Asia, including Malaysia, and India in particular, have kept the Covid-19 death rates per million of the population low compared to countries where the pandemic broke out around the same time. He said the low death rate in India could be the benefit of multiple factors such as younger age group, more rural population, temperature and climatic conditions as well as the benefits the containment measures which preceded lockdown, and then got much more consolidated with the lockdown.

"Its quite possible that all of these factors have been helpful and we have seen that benefit, Reddy said. But we need to continue to consolidate that.

There are some risk factors, when the lockdown opens there will be much greater mobility of people, there could be more widespread transmission of the virus, so we have to maintain as much as possible physical distancing, continue practices like wearing masks and hand-washing as precautionary measures, he said. Things are going to be difficult in overcrowded areas, especially slum areas. We will have to try and provide as much facilities as possible, particularly for elderly people and to people with co-morbidities, whether they can be provided temporary shelters elsewhere with good social cares.

Source: PTI

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