NEW DELHI :
The testing labs have been designated by the apex research body in India, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
AT LEAST 111 labs will conduct test for diagnosis of novel coronavirus across the country, the Ministry of Health and Family welfare said on Saturday. Speaking to the media at a press conference Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said, “111 labs across the country will be functional from today.” These testing labs include both Government and private sectors. However the capping the prices of the tests is still under discussion, Agarwal told media. The testing labs have been designated by the apex research body in India, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Agarwal asserted that people should not come for test unless the fit in the testing criteria, defined by the Health Ministry and ICMR. “People should not just come testing for fashion or confidence-building measure. It is very important to understand that testing should be done as per the protocol defined for testing.” In addition to this, Agarwal said “Today 262 people, mostly students from Rome will be kept in quarantine as per our protocol. 1600 Indians and people from other countries were kept in quarantine centres in India.” He also said a total of 14,90,303 passengers have been screened at airport as on Saturday.
Coronavirus cases rise to 315
Mar 21 (PTI)
THE number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 315 on Saturday with 60 persons testing positive as several States went into battle mode to contain the pandemic, announcing partial shutdowns and imposing restrictions on people’s movement and gatherings among a slew of precautionary measures. “Total number of confirmed cases so far in the country as on 21 March including foreign nationals is 315,” the Health Ministry said on late Saturday. A total of 16,911 samples from 16,021 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2as as on March 21, 6 PM, the Indian Council of Medical Research said in a statement. “A total of 315 individuals have been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases,” the ICMR said.
The figure of 315 includes 39 foreign nationals, including 17 from Italy, three from the Philippines, two from the UK, one each from Canada, Indonesia and Singapore. It also includes four deaths -- reported from Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra. The data includes 64 cases in Maharashtra (three foreigners), followed by Kerala at 40, including seven foreign nationals. Delhi has reported 27 positive cases, which include one foreigner, while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 24 cases, including one foreigner. Telangana has reported 21 cases, including 11 foreigners.
Rajasthan has reported 17 cases, including two foreigners. In Haryana, there are 17 cases, which include 14 foreigners. Karnataka has 15 coronavirus patients. Punjab and Ladakh have 13 cases each. Gujarat has seven cases while Jammu and Kashmir has four. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have reported three cases each. Odisha has two cases. Puducherry, Chhattisgarh and Chandigarh have reported one case each. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said 12 more fresh cases of coronavirus were reported on Saturday, taking the State’s tally to 49.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar said three foreign nationals under observation have tested positive and the total number of cases has risen to six. A number of States and Union Territories announced measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. The Delhi government said the novel coronavirus was causing terrible financial stress to the poor and announced that those receiving ration from fair-price shops would get 50 per cent extra for next month. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pension for widows, differently-abled and elderly will be doubled for this month. Urging people to stay indoors, Kejriwal said the Government has not imposed a lockdown in Delhi for now, but would have to do it if the need arises in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. The Chhattisgarh Government ordered closure of all its offices, except those providing essential and emergency services, till March 31.
In Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a “near total” shutdown in five districts and eight other prominent towns for a week from Sunday morning. These districts and towns were identified as over 3,000 residents have returned to these places from abroad in the past few days. The Goa government imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) across the state to prohibit large gatherings. Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said the State Government has also issued an order banning inter-state transport, except for the supply of essential commodities, from Saturday night onwards. Goa shares borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka, where several people have tested positive for coronavirus infection. Private events, including weddings, have also been banned in Goa till further orders.
The Bihar Government ordered shutting down of bus services, restaurants and banquet halls across the state till March 31 while the State Election Commission of Arunachal Pradesh announced that municipal and panchayat elections slated to be held in April-May have been temporarily put on hold. The Nashik administration in Maharashtra banned the sale of liquor from Saturday till further orders in the district invoking the Epidemic Diseases Act and Disaster Management Act. The order to close bars, including those located in five star hotels and resorts, and liquor shops was issued by Collector Suraj Mandhare. The Akola district administration ordered a lockdown between March 22 and 24 during which all establishments except those selling essential items will remain closed.
The move is similar to the sectoral shutdown put in place in Maharashtra’s major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nagpur. In West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee Government ordered all restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, amusement parks, museums and zoos to remain shut till March 31. The order, which aims to prevent all non-essential social gatherings, comes into effect on Sunday morning. The directive also applies to massage parlours and hookah bars, an official said, adding that strict action would be taken in case of any violation. The Jammu and Kashmir administration said all its employees with foreign travel history along with their relatives would have to go for quarantine before resuming their duties.