Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave hint of a "staggered" exit from this lockdown after the 21-day period ends on April 14 whereas the nationwide count of confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus infection has crossed 2,300 with 73 deaths.
A huge congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in the Delhi’s Nizamuddin area this month emerged as the prime hotspot of the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities had stated that almost 9,000 people including the members of the Jamaat and their primary contacts are identified and quarantined throughout the country. Among this also includes 1,306 foreigners are associated with the Jamaat.
The numbers declared by various states, such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi, showed more than 400 positive cases getting reported on Thursday. The total count of confirmed cases has reached to 2,360 and 14 more deaths were reported on Thursday. Majority of the new cases are related to the congregation meet.
The Union Home Ministry reported nationwide count at 53 deaths and 2,069 confirmed cases of infection that includes 55 foreign citizens.
On Friday morning, Prime Minister Modi, shared a video message with people and in the meantime interacted with chief ministers via video conference and have asked them to focus on COVID-19 containment measures such as testing, finding, isolating and quarantine. It is vital to work on a war foothold, identify the hotspots, enfold them and guarantee that the infection does not spread.
An official statement stated that Modi also discussed for communicating a common exit strategy to safeguard "staggered return of the population" as the 21-day nationwide lockdown ends on 14th April. Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that the Prime Minister has advised states to manage the coronavirus epidemic at the district level.
Meanwhile, random attacks on doctors, social workers and police personnel were reported raising concerns over their safety. Seven persons were arrested for the attack on health workers in Madhya Pradeshs Indore city. They had gone to quarantine relatives and associates of a coronavirus patient but were attacked with stones by a wild mob. Two women doctors were injured in this attack. A video of this attack had gone viral on social media.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that those violating laws will be punished with jail term up to two years and with fine.
Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that airlines are allowed to book tickets for flights after 14th April. Resumption of international flights will also be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the countries they are arriving from, after the end of 21-day lockdown.
Air India has got approvals from Indian and Chinese authorities to operate cargo flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong to get medical supplies in the country.
In Maharashtra, 81 more people tested positive during the day, taking the count to 416, while 2 more patients died due to the infection taking the count to 19.
The death of a coronavirus patient from Mumbais Dharavi, which is one of the biggest slums in Asia, has sparked fear and panic of its spread in the extremely congested area. Contact tracing and testing as per protocol has been conducted in the area. Numerous small-scale industries and workshops of leather goods, textiles and pottery operate from this slum that is spread over 613 acres.
Among 1,400 people from Maharashtra who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, 1,300 of them have been found.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that there are 208 coronavirus patients in the capital, out of which 108 were evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz of the Tablighi Jamaat. On Thursday, two people who had attended the congregation died due to coronavirus and warned that the number of positive cases might shoot up in coming days.
The Health Ministry said domestic local manufacturing of N-95 masks has been paced up, whereas orders are placed for more than 1.5 crore personal protective equipments and the supply has already begun.
The opposition party Congress demanded that the government should immediately assign an economic task force to propose short and medium term plans to protect and revive the economy. It also demanded a financial assistance plan to comfort those affected due to lockdown.
More than 9,40,000 people are tested positive globally since the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China in December 2019, and more than 47,000 have lost their lives.
Source: ET Healthworld