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Covid India toll rises to 16, total cases 694; 80 new cases on Thu

Last updated on: March 26, 2020 23:45 IST

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 16 in the country and 80 fresh cases were reported, taking the tally to 694, the Union health ministry said on Thursday, but asserted that the rate of increase in the positive cases was 'relatively stable' in India.

IMAGE: A policeman gives hand sanitiser to a child as a group of migrant labourers are made to stay under a flyover on the Hapur Road by the administration for their safety, during the complete lockdown in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic, in Ghaziabad, on Thursday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

The Union health ministry officials also said India was at the second stage as there is still no 'hard evidence' to say that there has been community transmission of the fast-spreading coronavirus, remarks which may provide anxious citizens with much needed assurance and hope.

 

As the virus kept extending its footprint, the central and state governments unleashed measures on a war-footing.

IMAGE: A worker with a child on his shoulder walks to his village amid a nationwide complete lockdown, on the NH24 near Delhi-UP Border in Ghaziabad, on Thursday. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

While the Union finance ministry unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package involving free foodgrain and cooking gas to poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens among other benefits, and the health ministry announced that 17 states have started to earmark hospitals for dedicated treatment of COVID-19 patients.

IMAGE: A police person baton charges a commuter, who had come out of his house during Day 2 of the nationwide lockdown, in Nagaon, Assam, on Thursday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Addressing a media briefing on the COVID-19 situation, health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said, 'there is still no hard evidence to say there has been community transmission of coronavirus in India' and assured that the country was geared to tackle the coronavirus challenge.

IMAGE: A policewoman provides grocery items to a poor family at a slum in Patiala. Photograph: PTI Photo

While the numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing, 'there appears to be relatively a stable trend or even little bit reduction in the rate at which they are increasing', Agarwal said.

"This, however, does not establish a clear trend. We are hopeful that by following social distancing policy, conducting a proper contact tracing and by ensuring all people at home quarantine are monitored, we will be able to combat the disease," he said.

IMAGE: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee distributes masks during her visit to various markets in Kolkata. Photograph: PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, in a desperate measure to contain the spread of the virus.

Globally, the death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 21,293 with more than 471,518 cases reported in over 170 countries and territories, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

IMAGE: UP Police personnel spray hand sanitiser on a commuter's palms at NH-24 in Ghaziabad. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

As per the ministry data, out of 16 COVID deaths in the country, Maharashtra reported three deaths, Gujarat three, Karnataka two, while Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh reported one death each.

Jammu and Kashmir also reported its first COVID-19 fatality.

IMAGE: Police personnel ask citizens to wear mask during the second day of the lockdown in Bengaluru. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 633, while 44 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated, the ministry said, adding the total number of 694 cases also includes 47 foreign nationals.

IMAGE: Volunteers of Siddhivinayak Temple Trust distribute food and bottled water to police and traffic police personnel deployed on duty during Day-2 of the lockdown, at Mahim in Mumbai, on Thursday. Photograph: Kunal Patil/PTI Photo

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases so far at 124, including three foreign nationals, followed by Kerala, where the number of cases has climbed up to 118, including eight foreign nationals, according to the ministry data.

The number of cases in Telangana has gone up to 44, including 10 foreigners.

IMAGE: Workers spray disinfectants on a street, during day-2 of a nationwide lockdown, in Mamallapuram. Photograph: PTI Photo

Karnataka has reported 55 COVID-19 cases, while the number of cases in Gujarat has climbed to 43, including a foreigner.

The number of cases in Rajasthan has increased to 41, including two foreigners.

Uttar Pradesh has reported 41 cases, including a foreigner, while the number of positive cases in Delhi has gone up to 36, including a foreigner.

IMAGE: People queue standing in circles drawn to maintain safe distance as they wait to buy grocery items during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of Coronavirus disease in Kolkata. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Punjab has reported 33 cases, while 30 COVID-19 cases have so far been detected in Haryana, including 14 foreigners.

The number of cases has climbed to 26 Tamil Nadu, including six foreigners. Madhya Pradesh has recorded 20 cases, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir 13 each, Andhra Pradesh has reported 11 cases each, while West Bengal has 10 COVID-19 patients.

Chandigarh has reported seven cases, Bihar and Chhatisgarh have registered six cases each while Uttarakhand has five, including a foreigner.

 

IMAGE: A woman covering her face with a mask walks in a crowded market place, as nationwide lockdown continues over highly contagious novel coronavirus in New Delhi. Photograph: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

Himachal Pradesh have reported three cases each, while two cases have been detected in Odisha.

Goa has reported three coronavirus cases.

Earlier, the ministry had wrongly attributed 33 cases to the coastal state. Subsequently, the figure was revised.

IMAGE: Members of Sakhi Mandal working long hours to stitch face masks in Ranchi. Photograph: ANI Photo

Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar, Mizoram and Manipur have reported one case each.

According to experts, there are four stages of the infection -- stage 1 or imported and sporadic cases :When only those who have travelled to virus-hit countries test positive, stage 2 or local transmission: When the source of the transmission is known and can be located, usually with ones close to the patient such as family or people s/he have come in contact with.

IMAGE: Security personnel sanitise their hands during the nationwide lockdown in Guwahati. Photograph: ANI Photo

Those who test positive at this stage are those who have a history of travel to affected countries or are in close contact with those who have.

Stage 3 or community transmission :When the source of the infection cannot be located.

This happens when a patient tests positive despite no exposure to an infected person nor any history of travelling to an infected country.

Many countries, including Italy and Spain have reported such cases and stage 4 : When the disease is termed an epidemic, or an outbreak so severe with no clear end point for the ongoing transmission.

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