Coronavirus India Updates: Total Covid-19 Cases At 6,761, Death Toll At 206

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

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation prepares an isolation centre for Covid-19 patients at the NSCI Dome in Worli, Mumbai, on April 9, 2020. (Photographer: Kunal Patil/PTI)
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation prepares an isolation centre for Covid-19 patients at the NSCI Dome in Worli, Mumbai, on April 9, 2020. (Photographer: Kunal Patil/PTI)

India reported its deadliest day since the Covid-19 outbreak began in the country as infections crossed 6,700 amid a three-week lockdown.

Over the last 24 hours, there have been 37 deaths related to the novel coronavirus, according to the health ministry's website. That's the highest number of fatalities recorded in a single day in India.

The country added 896 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours—the biggest one day increase—taking the total tally to 6761, according to the health ministry's update on Friday evening. This includes 516 people who have recovered and 206 deaths.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi now faces the tough choice extending the lockdown, which has put millions of people out of work, beyond April 14 or not. Modi is set to discuss the extension with chief ministers on Saturday. Ahead of the meet, Odisha has extended the lockdown till April 30, while Punjab has extended it till May 1.

Globally, cases crossed 1.6 million leaving over 96,000 dead. While deaths are now slowing in parts of Europe, they are still accelerating in the U.S., which is on track to overtake Italy’s death toll in the coming days.

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

15,663 Samples Tested Today, 433 Positive: ICMR

15,663 samples were tested today, out of which 433 were positive for Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research said in a release.

There are 6,872 coronavirus cases in India, as of 9 p.m., according to ICMR.

A total of 1,61,330 samples from 1,47,034 individuals have been tested for coronavirus in India. The number of samples is higher because of repeat testing.

Dharavi Records 11 New Covid-19 Cases, Total Tally At 28

Eleven more people tested positive for coronavirus in Dharavi on Friday, taking the tally in one of Asia’s most crowded slums to 28.

Among the 11, three are women. One of them, aged 29, is the wife of a doctor who tested positive earlier in Vaibhav Nagar, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials said.

Read the details of all 28 cases here.

Expert Panel Favour Extending Tamil Nadu Lockdown

A 19 member expert committee constituted by the Tamil Nadu government has recommended to Chief Minister K Palaniswami that the lockdown be extended by two weeks beyond April 14 considering the rise in the number of cases.

Earlier, Palaniswami said a decision on lockdown extension will be taken based on the committee's recommendation. The panel wants the lockdown to be extended by 14 more days.

Source: PTI

Punjab Extends Lockdown Till May 1

The Punjab government on Friday announced to extend the coronavirus lockdown till April 30, becoming the second state after Odisha to do so.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers in Chandigarh.

Punjab has seen a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the past few days, pushing the total count to 132 so far with 11 deaths.

Biggest Spike In India Cases

India added 896 Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 6,671. There have been 37 deaths during the same time.

  • Active cases: 6,039
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 516
  • Deaths: 206

India Has Tested 1.44 Lakh Samples So Far

India has tested 1.44 lakh samples for Covid-19 so far.

On Thursday, over 16,000 tests were done, ICMR said. The testing strategy has also been expanded further to include all symptomatic cases in all the hotspot areas.

No Community Transfer Yet: Health Ministry

The health ministry has reiterated that there is no evidence of community transmission in India yet.

“The rise in number of cases is a cause of concern to us. It is an infectious disease, so we are doing everything to break the chain of transmission,” joint health secretary Lav Agarwal said. “If there is community transmission in the country we will be the first to inform everyone.”

Sufficient Supply Of Anti Malarial Drug HCQ: Health Ministry

India’s health minsitry today assured that the country has enough supply of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine despite exporting it to a number of Covid-19 affected countries.

India has 3.28 crore HCQ tablets available, joint health secretary Lav Agarwal said in a press briefing. "Our projection of HCQ Tablets for domestic market for the next week was 1 crore. This means we have excess tablets as per our projected requirement."

Besides, 2-3 crore tablets are going to be also available for the domestic market, he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs said that India is exporting to foreign countries while keeping the domestic needs in mind. A group of ministers has decided to release the surplus HCQ for export after keeping buffer stock for India, MEA joint secretary Dammu Ravi said.

He added that India is preparing a second and third list of countries to export HCQ.

Prime Minister's Office Reviews Efforts To Tackle Covid-19

A meeting held by the Prime Minister's Office was held on Friday to review efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The PMO was informed about the ramp up in production of personal protective equipment and the detailed testing protocols under which over 1.45 lakh samples have been tested across India.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra chaired the meeting of the empowered groups of officers set up to tackle the challenges arising out of the pandemic.

NGOs and civil society groups are also being mobilised, the meeting was informed.

Mishra suggested that coordination with NGOs at the district level be done to avoid overlaps and ensure an efficacious utilisation of resources. The progress of the welfare measures rolled out through the economic relief package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana was also reviewed, the statement said.

Mishra underlined that data sanctity is important to ensure that the benefits of the welfare measures reach all the beneficiaries.

Source: PTI

Punjab CM Wants Lockdown To Continue, Official Decision In Evening

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus should continue.

He said a decision on whether Punjab will extend the lockdown will be taken at a meeting of the state cabinet later this evening. Addressing a press conference through video conference, Singh said Punjab will allow district-wise relief from lockdown only to farmers to allow them for the harvesting of Rabi crop.

Read the full story here.

Nearly Half Of Mumbai's Cases From Just Four Civic Wards

Almost half of the 775 cases of Covid-19 in Mumbai are from four civic wards, according to data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

These are:

  • G South ward that includes areas like Haji Ali, Mahalaxmi and Worli. (199 cases)
  • E ward that includes areas in and around Byculla. (69 cases)
  • D ward that includes areas like Peddar Road, Grant Road and Tardeo. (61 cases)
  • K West ward that includes Vile Parle, Juhu and Andheri. (51 cases)

The data only includes the regions which come under the BMC.

According to it, Mumbai has added 80 positive cases over the last 24 hours. The biggest jump of 15 cases has come in the G South ward.

Source: BMC
Source: BMC

ICMR Says India May Soon Start Clinical Trial Of Plasma Therapy

India is in the final stages of framing a protocol for conducting clinical trial for convalescent plasma therapy, which uses antibodies from the blood of cured patients, to treat severely-ill Covid-19 patients, a senior ICMR official said.

Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to commence the therapy to treat the critically-ill on a trial basis.

The ICMR is learnt to have given its nod to the state government for the first of its kind project, initiated by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, a top official had said.

The ICMR official on Thursday said they would need approval from Drug Controller General of India before embarking on any clinical trial using the therapy.

He said that it is not currently used or prescribed for patients in India. "We are in the final stages of making a protocol for convalescent plasma therapy and after that we will need approval from the DCGI. As of now it will be used only in clinical trials," he said, adding that the therapy was successful in limited clinical trials in some countries on patients who were in a severe condition or on ventilator support.

Source: PTI

22 More Patients Recover In Maharashtra's Sangli: Jayant Patil

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil on Friday claimed that 22 out of 26 Covid-19 patients in Sangli district were cured of the infection and praised the local administration and citizens for their efforts.

Patil, who is also Sangli's guardian minister, said 25 persons had earlier tested positive for coronavirus in Islampur, while one Covid-19 patient was found in Wadgaon in the district.

Of the 26 Covid-19 patients in the district, 22 had tested negative for the infection, following treatment, he said.

A three-pronged approach of isolation, cluster identification and social distancing was adopted in Islampur to contain the spread, he said, calling it the "Islampur pattern" to defeat the pandemic.

The state NCP president also lavished praise on the people of Islampur and Sangli for ensuring that the experiment of isolation in the district was a "100 percent success".

Source: PTI

Cases Rise To 161 In Haryana

Five people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Haryana, taking the number of cases in the state to 161, as per the state’s bulletin.

Three cases were reported from Ambala and one each from Sonipat and Panchkula, according to the state health department’s bulletin.

At present, there are 141 active Covid-19 cases in the state, while 18 patients have been discharged. The state has recorded two deaths.

The bulletin said as many as 3,496 samples have been tested so far, out of which results of 2,443 came negative.

While the number of positive cases is 161, the report of 892 samples is still pending, it said.

Out of the total coronavirus cases reported in Haryana, 10 are foreign nationals while 64 are from other states, as per the bulletin.

The worst affected districts of the state are Gurugram with 32 Covid-19 cases, Nuh with 38 cases, Palwal with 28 and Faridabad with 28 cases.

Source: PTI

10 Patients In Andaman & Nicobar Islands Recover

Ten persons, who tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from a congregation in Delhi last month, have recovered, officials said on Friday.

All of them returned to Port Blair via Kolkata on March 24, they said.

They have tested negative and will soon be shifted from the GB Pant Hospital, where they are undergoing treatment, to a quarantine facility before being discharged, a health official said.

The quarantine facility has been set up at a hotel in Port Blair, he said, adding that they will have to undergo isolation for another 14 days.

The state's lone Covid-19 patient at present, a woman in her 20s who tested positive earlier this week, is recovering well, officials said.

The woman was on one of the planes that ferried some of the 10 other persons from Kolkata to Port Blair on March 24. She is also undergoing treatment at the GB Pant Hospital.

Officials at the Union Territory, home to several vulnerable tribes, heaved a sigh of relief with the recoveries.

Source: PTI

Gujarat Cases Cross 300-Mark

The number of Covid-19 patients in Gujarat shot up to 308 after 46 new cases, one of them a doctor, were reported during the last 12 hours, said officials on Friday.

Of the 46 new cases reported during the last 12 hours, 17 were from a single locality in Vadodara city, followed by Ahmedabad (11), Rajkot (5), Bharuch (4), Bhavnagar (4), two each from Patan and Kuch, while one case was reported from Gandhinagar, said Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi.

Those who tested positive included a doctor from Ahmedabad who was engaged in the collection of samples for coronavirus testing, she told reporters in Gandhinagar.

The state has had 19 deaths so far.

Source: PTI

Five New Cases In Dharavi

Mumbai’s biggest slum added five new cases of Covid-19 today taking the total to 22 in the area.

A 29-year-old female tested positive from Dharavi Main Road, said Dighavkar. She is the wife of a 35-year-old doctor who had tested positive last week.

Another man from PMGP colony tested positive, Dighavkar said. The age of the patient is not known yet. The other positive cases include a 27-year-old male in Muslim Nagar, a 31-year-old female in Kalyanwadi and a 51-year-old male from Murugan Chawl.

Karnataka Appoints District In-Charge Ministers

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has appointed new district in-charge ministers, who will work towards checking the spread of coronavirus and implementation of relief measures.

According to the government order issued on Thursday, Yediyurappa will be in charge of Bengaluru urban district whereas his Deputy Chief Ministers CN Ashwath Narayan, Laxman Savadi and Govind Karjol will be in charge of Ramanagara, Raichur and Bagalkote respectively.

In all, 25 ministers including the Chief Minister have been assigned one district each.

Source: PTI

Cases In Jammu & Kashmir Climb To 188

Four people have been confirmed positive for Covid-19 in Udhampur district, taking the total number of cases in Jammu & Kashmir to 188, officials said on Friday.

The four are the contacts of a 61-year-old woman who died of coronavirus on Wednesday, they said.

“Ten tests were received in Udhampur. Out of these, four have turned out positive. They are known contacts of a woman who died of coronavirus at GMC Jammu,” District Magistrate, Udhampur, Piyush Singla told PTI.

Source: PTI

Madhya Pradesh Hobbled By Lack Of Ventilators, ICU Beds

As Madhya Pradesh battles rising number of Covid-19 cases, burdening its health infrastructure, government data showed the state has just one ventilator for every 75,000 people and one intensive care unit bed for every 47,000.

However, to the satisfaction of authorities, the availability of hydroxychloroquine, a common anti-malaria drug seen as a potential cure for Covid-19, is around 30 tablets per person, according to an analysis of state government data.

Madhya Pradesh has so far registered 426 coronavirus positive cases and 33 fatalities.

The state, with a population of over 7.5 crore, has 993 ventilators and 1,598 ICU beds in government and private hospitals put together, according to the data as of April 9.

Source: PTI

India Adds 678 New Cases In 24 Hours

India added 678 new Covid-19 infections over the last 24 hours taking the total confirmed cases to 6,412, according to the health ministry's data as of 8:00 a.m.

  • Active cases: 5,709
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 504
  • Deaths: 199

Government Exempts Duty On Essential Medical Equipment, Testing Kits

The government on Thursday removed customs duty and health cess on ventilators, face and surgical masks, personal protection equipment and Covid-19 test kits with a view to boost availability of these products in the country to fight coronavirus pandemic.

These exemptions will also be applicable on inputs used to manufacture these items. The exemptions will be available till Sept. 30.

ICMR Suggests Containment In 36 Districts

ICMR has recommended containment measures in 36 districts across 15 states after it found 40 percent of severe Covid-19 cases emerging from there did not have contact or travel history.

A total of 104 of the 5,911 patients with severe acute respiratory infections tested positive for COVID-19, out of which 40 cases did not report any history of contact with a known case or international travel, according to ICMR study.

The highlighted that Covid-19 containment activities need to be targeted in districts reporting positive cases among SARI patients and stated that intensifying sentinel surveillance for positives among SARI patients may be an efficient tool to effectively use resources towards containment and mitigation efforts, it said.

India Approves Rs 15,000 Crore For Emergency Response

The Indian government has sanctioned the Rs 15,000 crore for responding to Covid-19—an announcement that was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.

The Covid-19 Emergency Response And Health System Preparedness Package has been approved today, joint health secretary Lav Agarwal said in a press briefing. The emergency package is a fully-funded scheme by Centre to provided support to states.

According to a government statement, Rs 7,774 crore of these funds will be used for immediate Covid-19 response. The rest will be provided for medium-term support, between 1-4 years, under a mission-mode approach.

Odisha Extends Lockdown

The government of Odisha has decided to extend the lockdown, which was to end on April 14, till April 30, according to PTI. Schools will remain closed up till June 17.

No Shortage Of PPEs: Health Ministry

India’s health ministry today reiterated that there is no dearth of personal protective equipment in the country.

There is sufficient quantity of PPEs in the country and that has been provided to the states, joint health secretary Lav Agarwal said in a press briefing. “We need to understand that not everyone requires PPE.”

Agarwal said that PPEs are a mix of components including boots, N95 masks, coveralls, and headgear related components. All of these components are only used in high-risk scenarios.

PPEs are used based on risk profiles and have issued guidelines on the same, Agarwal said. Only in emergency rooms, mortuary related activities or where there is a sample being collected, that’s where we require all the components, he said.