New Delhi: As the coronavirus cases are on the rise, the Central government on Monday night stated that 30 states and Union Territories have announced complete lockdown as ninth death linked to the contagious virus was reported. Also Read - Coronavirus: Angela Merkel Tests Negative, To Undergo Further Checks
“Thirty states/UTs announce complete lockdown in the entire state/union territory covering 548 districts to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic. Three states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha) announce closure of certain areas. Lakshadweep announces lockdown on certain activities,” the government said in a statement. Also Read - Coronavirus: To Ease Congestion in Jail, Tihar to Release 3,000 Inmates
Announcing further, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in a late-night update, stated that the total number of coronavirus positive cases in the country has gone up to 471. A total of 20,707 samples from 19,817 individuals have been tested so far, the ICMR said. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Hong Kong Bans Foreign Travellers
Here are top developments on the virus that has brought the whole country to complete standstill.
1) The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday night issued a letter to stop all incoming passenger traffic on all 107 immigration check posts (ICPs) which includes all airports ICPs, land ports IPCs, rail ports IPCs, river ports ICPs in view of the spread of COVID-19.
2) The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to nine on Monday after West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh reported a casualty each.
3) As per updates from Health Ministry, Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 74, including three foreigners, followed by Kerala at 67, including seven foreign nationals.
4) Punjab on Monday became the first state in the country to impose curfew in the entire state with no relaxations, and only exempted essential services to prevent the infection.
5) Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked state governments to ensure that rules and regulations of the coronavirus lockdown are enforced as he noted that many people are not taking the measure seriously. “Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request state governments to ensure rules and laws are followed,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
6) Saying that coronavirus is a lifetime challenge, PM Modi spoke to representatives of television news channels through a video-conference and said it needed to be tackled through new and innovative solutions. “The tireless efforts of the reporters, camerapersons and technicians are a great service to the nation. The media should counter pessimism and panic through positive communication. COVID-19 is a lifetime challenge and it needs to be tackled through new and innovative solutions,” Modi said.
7) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that curfew will be imposed from Monday midnight in the state as the fight against coronavirus has reached a turning point. The state has reported 97 cases. “We will not tolerate crowd in public places at any cost. Except in case of an emergency, no one will be allowed to roam on streets. If these guidelines are violated, people will face legal action,” Thackeray said.
8) Addressing a press conference, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government will take strict action against violators. He also said on the first day of the lockdown, it was observed that several people involved in providing essential services reached late to work and faced several hassles.
9) AIIMS also decided to shut down its OPD, including speciality services, all new and follow up patients’ registration, from March 24 till further order as it redirects its resources to control the Covid-19 outbreak. The development comes after the AIIMS had issued a circular postponing all nonessential elective procedures and surgeries and directed for only emergency life-saving surgeries with effect from March 21.
10) The Supreme Court has asked all states and UTs to set up high-level committees to determine class of prisoners who could be released on parole in an effort to decongest prisons to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
11) In another development, priest Pauly Padayatti, Vicar of the Lady of Perpetual Help church at Koodapuzha in Chalakudy in Kerala was arrested and later let off on bail for conducting a mass on Monday morning in which at least 100 people had participated.
12) Meanwhile, the WHO said that airborne spread of COVID-19 has not been reported so far and it is transmitted mostly through respiratory droplets and close contact. “Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19. Based on the information received so far and on our experience with other coronaviruses, COVID-19 appears to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (for instance those produced when a sick person coughs) and close contact. This is why WHO recommends maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene,” the WHO said.
13) On the other hand, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio urged people across the country to be sensitive to all communities and refrain from racial profiling and discrimination in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. “These are extraordinary times and we need to unite to face the challenge under a spirit of oneness,” the chief minister said.