A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 90 more coronavirus positive cases were reported in India, taking the total number of cases to 606 on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the number of cases was 519.
The death toll due to the virus increased to 10 with another fatality being reported from Maharashtra, according to official data.
Madhya Pradesh reported its first coronavirus death, a woman who succumbed to viral infection, an official was quoted by PTI as saying.
However, in what may be seen as some reassuring news, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal told CNN-News18 that no community transmission of the novel coronavirus has been reported in India yet.
Civil defense volunteers on a scooter ask people to go inside their houses during a lockdown to control coronavirus spread in New Delhi. AP
In its updated figures at 6.45 pm on Wednesday, the ministry stated that Maharashtra has reported three deaths and one death each was reported from Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, and Himachal Pradesh.
The ministry said Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases so far at 128, including three foreign nationals, followed by Kerala which has recorded 109 cases, including eight foreign nationals.
Karnataka has reported 41 cases of coronavirus patients, while cases in Gujarat rose to 38, including one foreigner.
Cases in Uttar Pradesh rose to 37, including a foreigner. The number of cases in Rajasthan increased to 36, including two foreigners, while the positive cases in Telangana stood at 35, including 10 foreigners.
Cases in Delhi rose to 31, including one foreigner.
Punjab reported 29 cases while In Haryana, there are 28 cases, including 14 foreigners.
Madhya Pradesh recorded 14 cases, Ladakh has 13, while Tamil Nadu has reported 18 cases, including two foreigners.
West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have nine cases each.
Chandigarh, as well as Jammu and Kashmir, have reported seven cases each so far.
Uttarakhand has four cases, including one foreigner. Bihar also has four cases.
There are three cases in Himachal Pradesh while there are two cases in Odisha. Puducherry, Mizoram, Manipur, and Chhattisgarh have reported a case each.
People in white coats like God, says Modi
Narendra Modi, noting reports of doctors facing discrimination for treating coronavirus patients in several parts of the country, said that he is very pained with the discriminatory behaviour against the staff of essential services. Warning against discrimination, he said that “people in white coats and doctors are like God right now, they are protecting us”.
“I appeal to all the citizens, if you notice any incident where professionals, such as doctors and nurses, are ill-treated then you should take an initiative to make such people (those who are ill-treating healthcare professionals) understand that they are wrong. I have told Home Ministry and DGPs to take strict action against those who are not supporting or not co-operating with doctors, nurses and other professionals who are serving us in this critical time,” Modi said in his address to the citizens of Varanasi on Wednesday.
संकट की इस घड़ी में अस्पतालों में सफेद कपड़ों में दिख रहे डॉक्टर-नर्स, ईश्वर का ही रूप हैं। खुद को खतरे में डालकर ये हमें बचा रहे हैं।
इनके साथ बुरा बर्ताव होता दिखे तो आप वहां जाकर लोगों को समझाएं।
डॉक्टर, नर्स, मेडिकल स्टाफ जिंदगी बचाते हैं और हम उनका ऋण कभी नहीं उतार सकते। pic.twitter.com/XGTKx1V2yA
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 25, 2020
In a similar vein, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Some landlords are threatening to evict doctors/nurses from their houses. They’re saying they’ll (medical personnel) spread the coronavirus. It won’t be tolerated. God forbid, if someone gets infected from your house then they, and no one else, will come to your rescue….”
States announce relief measures for underprivileged
Newly sworn-in Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday announced an aid of Rs 1,000 for labourers in the unorganised sector.
He also announced that beneficiaries of the social security pension scheme, widow pension, old-age pension and destitute pension schemes will get two months’ pension in advance.
Labourers in the unorganised sector will be given financial assistance of Rs 1,000 each through the Sannirman Karmkar Mandal, said Chouhan who took over as chief minister two days ago.
Further, an advance of Rs 2,000 per family would be provided to members of the Shariya, Baiga, and Bhariya tribal communities, he said.
As schools are closed, some 65.91 lakh students do not get mid-day meals at school. Therefore, Rs 155 would be transferred into the bank account of each primary school student and Rs 232 in the account of each middle-school student, adding up to an aid of total of Rs 156.15 crore, he said.
The Kerala government is planning to come up with ‘community kitchen’ to cater food to the needy, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The state is also going to come up with 1,000 restaurants that will provide home delivery of food at a subsidised rate.
Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, the Kerala chief minister said that the local self government institutions would ensure the supply of food items to those affected by the lockdown so that there is no starvation in the state.
“We expect people to cooperate and stay where they are as suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They should not violate the conditions enforced during the quarantine,” he said.
The state cabinet had decided to come out with the Kerala Epidemic Disease Ordinance 2020.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister tweeted, “Kerala has taken extensive measures to ensure that no one will starve during the lockdown. Will be implemented through Local Self Governments, ward-level committees, and volunteer.”
Pakistan suspends domestic flights
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Pakistan, the government suspended all domestic flight operations until 2 April to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after the country reported nearly 1,000 cases from the COVID-19 infection, authorities said on Wednesday.
The nationwide tally of the COVID-19 patients has soared to 990 with 410 cases in Sindh; 110 in Balochistan; 296 in Punjab; 78 in K-P; 80 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 15 in Islamabad; and one in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, The Express Tribune reported.
The National Disaster Management Authority has said that so far seven people have died due to the novel coronavirus and 18 recovered.
Meanwhile, Spain deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. “She had tested negative in previous tests, the statement said, but doctors didn’t think those provided conclusive data. Calvo is receiving medical treatment and progressing favorably, the statement said. She’s in quarantine at a hospital,” CNN reported.
Spain recorded the world’s second-highest tally of coronavirus deaths after 738 more reportedly died on Wednesday, the country’s deadliest toll in one day, according to AP.
With 3,434 coronavirus patients dead, Spain surpassed China’s death toll of 3,285. Italy still has the most deaths of any nation in the world with 6,820. Infections in Spain also rose 20 percent from a day earlier to 47,610.
Meanwhile, in Britain, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The palace says he has mild symptoms.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Mar 26, 2020 00:26:51 IST
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