Coronavirus  Updates: Total Covid-19 Cases  Rise To 2,069, Death Toll At 53

Coronavirus Updates: Total Covid-19 Cases Rise To 2,069, Death Toll At 53

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Total confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus stand at 2,069 in India as of 6 p.m. today, according to the data made available on the Health Ministry’s website. This includes 155 people discharged and 53 people who succumbed to the respiratory illness.

This marks the end of India's day ninth of the three-week lockdown mandated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which is slated to end on April 14.

The country reported its initial 1,000 cases on March 29 -- nearly two months after reporting its first case. The second thousand have been reported in merely four days.

Globally, coronavirus cases have crossed 937,000 while the death toll stands at 47,000, according to the latest available data.

Track latest news updates and developments on how the coronavirus situation is evolving in India here:

Total Covid-19 Cases Rise To 2,069, Death Toll At 53

Total confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus stand at 2,069 in India as of 6 p.m. today, according to the data made available on the Health Ministry’s website. This includes 155 people discharged and 53 people who succumbed to the respiratory illness.

The country reported its initial 1,000 cases on March 29 -- nearly two months after reporting its first case. The second thousand have been reported in merely four days.

Bione Launches Rapid Covid-19 At-Home Testing Kit

Genetic and microbiome testing firm Bione on Thursday said it has launched a rapid Covid-19 at-home screening test kit that displays accurate results within minutes.

The kit is approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research and will be deployed in the market after proper quality checks and assurance, Bione said in a statement.

The product has been sourced from the company's worldwide CE and FDA approved partners and will be brought to market after stringent quality controls have been ensured.

The company is in the process of getting approval for more United States Food and Drug Administration approved partners, Bione said in a statement.

Bione is well-equipped to supply 20,000 kits per week and intends to build its manufacturing facilities in the coming months to sufficiently cater to the high demand, it added.

"Covid-19 home screening test kit has emerged as a breakthrough product in such unprecedented times. By bringing down the result time, we are looking to make an impact and help India fight Covid-19," Bione CEO Surendra Chikara said.

Bione urges people to undergo a laboratory test if someone shows the symptoms of coronavirus, the statement said.

Source: PTI

Positive Coronavirus Cases In Tamil Nadu Rise To 309

As many as 75 more people tested positive for coronavirus in Tamil Nadu on Thursday and the total count rose to 309, a senior official said and the tally is the second highest in the country.

Of the 75 cases reported today, 74 were returnees from a recent Tablighi Jamat congregation held in Delhi's Nizamuddin West and another was a contact of a person infected earlier, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh told reporters here.

A total of 264 persons who had attended the conference from the State in the national capital have tested positive for the contagion, she said.

Source: PTI

64-Year-Old Coronavirus Patient Recovers, Discharged In Chandigarh

A 64-year-old woman who had tested positive for coronavirus on March 25 was discharged from a hospital in Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district on Thursday following her recovery, a health official said.

She is the third coronavirus patient in the state to be discharged. There are six active cases in the state now.

The woman had returned to Bilaspur from Saudi Arabia on February 10.

Nearly 40 days after her return, she showed symptoms such as coughing and sneezing following which her sample was sent for examination and it came out positive for the virus on March 25, Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr Pramod Mahajan said.

She was being treated at isolation ward of Apollo hospital here. Her fresh samples tested negative following which she was discharged on Thursday afternoon, Dr Mahajan said.

Earlier, of the nine Covid-19 cases reported in the state till Wednesday, a 68-year-old man from Raipur and 33- year-old man from Bhilai were discharged from AIIMS Raipur on March 31.

Source: PTI

Coronavirus Helplines Either Busy Or Unreachable, Complain Users

When over the counter paracetamols did not help abate Delhi-based Ankur Tiwari's low-grade fever, sore throat and breathlessness, he tried calling up the Covid-19 helplines to check if he needed to get tested for the fatal virus, but to no avail.

"The numbers were either busy or did not connect at all. I waited for over half an hour on a single call, but it never connected," Tiwari told PTI.

The two helpline numbers that the 46-year-old teacher had tried calling were — 011-22307145 (Delhi government) and 011-23978046 (central government), both of which he took down from the audio message that plays on the phone before making a call.

"Eventually, I had to go to a local doctor, who has assured me that I have nothing more than seasonal flu," he said.

Tiwari is among the many people who have raised concerns, especially in the last two weeks when the number of positive Covid-19 cases in the country started spiking, about the allegedly non-functional helpline numbers issued by the central and state governments.

As on Thursday, at least 1,965 people in the country are infected with coronavirus while 50 have died due to the disease.

Over a month back, the central and the state governments set up 24X7 helplines to answer people's queries on novel coronavirus, including when, how and where one should get tested in case they have symptoms like coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and vomiting.

City-based journalist Chinki Sinha, who wanted to inform authorities about a positive Covid-19 case in her neighbourhood of Defence Colony, also called the Delhi helpline and received a response similar as Tiwari.

The helpline was busy for over 30 minutes.

"I was calling about the positive case in the neighbourhood and how the guards of the landlords in the colony were sitting without masks. I wanted to ask them to sanitise the area," she said.

Sinha finally tweeted to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal about the problem, to which she hasn't received a response yet.

Many also turned to Twitter to register their complaints on the issue.

Azhar Ullah from Delhi, who wanted to report two suspected COVID-19 cases, also pointed out that neither the state not the central helpline was functional.

"#coronavirus emergency no. are not working 01122307145, 01123978046, 9599507173 i am trying to connect two suspect are their i am from delhi (sic),” he wrote.

Another user Akash Deep shared a screenshot from his phone showing all his outgoing calls to the Delhi helpline number — 011-22307145 as "not connected".

"Sir I called more then 100 times on helpline no. No response no help I am feeling viral if I want to check my self what I can do. What kind of services you provide. #coronavirus," he wrote.

Twitter user Abhimanyu also shared screenshots where six calls made to the health ministry's 24*7 control room —011 23978046 — "didn't connect".

According to the 'Delhi Health Bulletin — COVID-19' released daily by the state government, its coronavirus help desk received and responded to an average of 287 calls per day between March 19-25.

Incidentally, most complaints about the Delhi government helpline involve a single number — 011-22307145, which is the one announced on the audio message before making a phone call, and the list of state helplines that is being circulated on social media.

The average number of calls too increased by over three times after the government activated 10 lines in the Directorate General of Health Services state headquarter control room on March 26.

The average number of calls received and responded to were 823 between March 26-29.

The 10 Delhi helpline numbers are --22391014, 22301028, 22302441, 22307133, 22304568, 22307745, 22307135, 22307145, 22300012, 22300036.

Several attempts to reach out to the Union health ministry about the helpline went unanswered.

People in different states have also complained about not being able to get through helpline numbers issued by both state and central authorities.

In Mumbai, Allisandra D'Abreo tried calling the Maharashtra helpline — 020-26127394, after her 49-year-old mother showed persistent flu-like symptoms including fever, body pain, congestion, coughing and chest pain, but the line was “constantly busy”.

Source: PTI

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