Wednesday, April 21

Day 9 of 21-day lockdown, Covid-19 cases near 2,000 in India: Key developments


India reported 437 new Covid-19 cases between March 31 and April 1. The Covid-19 death toll in India climbed to 50 on Thursday, the health ministry stated. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country to now stands at 1965 including 1764 active cases, 150 recoveries and 50 deaths.

While Maharashtra and Kerala continue to be the worst affected states by coronavirus, cases are on a rapid rise in Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

The headquarters of a religious group in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area has now emerged as the single-biggest source of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections in the country. On Wednesday, State governments identified nearly 8,700 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin and deployed a large posse of police, intelligence officers and anti-terror personnel to trace anyone who attended the event.

On Thursday, the country entered the ninth day of the 21-day Covid-19 lockdown.

Here are the key developments:

1. Three more Covid-19 cases have been reported in Maharashtra – two from Pune and one from Buldhana, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 338, Maharashtra Health Department said on Thursday evening.

2. Giani Nirmal Singh, former Hazoori Ragi of Golden Temple in Amritsar, who had tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, died away at around 4:30 am on Thursday. The 67-year-old was a Padma Shri awardee.

3. Tamil Nadu on Wednesday recorded a spike of over 110 fresh cases of Covid-19 all of whom had attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious conference held in the densely populated area of Nizamuddin in New Delhi in the middle of March. This is the highest number of new cases recorded in Tamil Nadu in a single day so far.

4. The railways is setting up isolation and quarantine facilities with 80,000 beds for positive and suspected cases of the disease, the government said on Wednesday.

5. From Thursday, Delhi’s Nizamuddin will see health workers from the integrated diseases surveillance programme start going door-to-door as they seek to track and contain cases of Covid-19.

6. The Mata Vaishno Devi shrine near Jammu, where the rush of devotees peaks during the ongoing nine-day long Navratri festival, has almost been deserted in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board suffered a loss of around Rs 4 crores this Navratri.

7. Railways is scrambling to provide information regarding thousands of passengers who travelled on five trains with people who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, many of whom have tested positive. All these trains began from Delhi between March 13 and March 19.

8. The Centre is in the process of issuing a comprehensive, indicative list of what constitutes essential commodities and services to all states and union territories to iron out supply chain disruptions caused by the lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

9. The government is working to increase the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) with the textiles ministry roping in domestic companies to ramp up supply of coveralls and N95 masks, crucial for healthcare workers against Covid-19, an official said on Wednesday.

10. The Indian government has decided to accept contributions from abroad for the Prime Minister’s Citizen Relief and Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund which has been launched to battle the Covid-19 outbreak and similar emergencies in the future.