Coronavirus cases in India soar to 606
   Date :26-Mar-2020
NEARLY 90 more coronavirus positive cases were reported in India taking the total number of cases to 606 on Wednesday while the number of deaths was 10, according to health ministry data. The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 553 while 43 people have been cured, discharged or migrated. The 606 positive cases includes 43 foreign nationals, the Ministry said. On Tuesday, the number of cases was 519. The death toll due to the virus increased to 10 with another death being reported from Maharashtra, according to the data.
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 122, 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 patients 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. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting in an emotional appeal “with folded hands” that unless India’s 130 crore people practice social distancing, the country will lose the war against coronavirus outbreak and slide back 21 years.
MHA issues fresh guidelines on lockdown exemption
THE Home Ministry on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines covering additional people and services who will be exempted from the 21-day lockdown announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the new guidelines, the ministry said Reserve Bank of India and RBI-regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain and forest staff are exempted from the purview of the lockdown.
Those people handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders are also exempted. Forest offices staff and workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire fighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement, social welfare department staff for operations of homes for children, disabled, senior citizens, destitute women, widows, observation homes and pensions service are also exempted, the guidelines said.
The lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic. After Modi’s announcement, the Home Ministry on Tuesday night issued some guidelines for enforcement of the nationwide lockdown. The guidelines listed several services including Government and private offices that will be out of bounds during the period, while exempting establishments such as hospitals, ration shops, dairies, banks, insurance offices, and print and electronic media. Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce has also been exempted from the purview of the lockdown. “All enforcing authorities to note that these strict restrictions fundamentally relate to movement of people, but not to that of essential goods,” the guidelines issued on Tuesday said. In Wednesday’s guidelines, veterinary hospitals, pharmacies (including Jan Aushadhi Kendra) and pharmaceutical research laboratories, IT vendor for banking operations, banking correspondent and ATM operations and cash management agencies were exempted. Shops for seeds and pesticides data and call centre for government, manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceutical, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates, coal and mineral production, transportation, supply of explosives and activities incidental to mining operations were exempted from the 21-day lockdown. Manufacturing units of packaging material for food items, drugs, pharmaceutical and medical devices, inter-state movement of goods/cargo for inland and exports, cross land border movement of essential goods including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical supplies were also exempted. The guidelines on Tuesday said all educational, training, research, coaching institutions etc., shall remain closed, places of worship shall remain closed. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception. “All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions gatherings shall be barred,” they said.