Coronavirus: India's death toll crosses 200; Maharashtra nears 100-mark
Four days after crossing the 100-mark, India's death toll due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) surged past 200 on Thursday. The total cases also seem to have crossed 6,000, even as India's Health Ministry has confirmed 5,865 cases and 169 deaths. The development comes as Odisha urged the central government to extend the nationwide lockdown, which is supposed to be lifted on April 14.
According to the Union Health Ministry's latest update, by 5 pm on Thursday, India had confirmed 5,865 COVID-19 cases. These include 169 deaths and 5,218 active cases along with 477 cases where the patient was cured or discharged, and one patient who migrated out of India. Independently, officials of several states have confirmed more number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Apart from the 169 deaths confirmed by the Union Health Ministry, India has reported at least 58 other deaths. These deaths were reported from Maharashtra (total deaths: at least 95), Madhya Pradesh (33), Gujarat (17), Delhi (12), Telangana (12), Punjab (10), Rajasthan (7), Karnataka (6), Andhra Pradesh (6), and Jharkhand (1). This takes India's total death toll to at least 227.
The Union Health Ministry listed three deaths in Haryana, however, the state's Thursday bulletin only mentioned two: one each in Rohtak and Karnal. Earlier, a man in Haryana's Ambala had died at PGIMER, Chandigarh. Ambala deaths are listed as zero. Separately, it was earlier reported that Himachal Pradesh had confirmed two deaths, however, the state bulletin mentioned only one death till Thursday.
Quoting the health department, PTI reported Wednesday that the second death in Himachal Pradesh was a 70-year-old Delhi woman—staying at a factory's guest house in Baddi (HP)—who died at PGIMER, Chandigarh on April 2. It's unclear if the death has been assigned to a state since Chandigarh's death toll is officially zero. Regardless, both PGIMER deaths have not been included in NewsBytes' Thursday tally.
Maharashtra Health Department's website, last updated at 6 pm on Thursday, confirmed 1,135 COVID-19 cases and 72 deaths. However, the deaths in Mumbai have risen from 45 (as listed on the website) to 54 and Pune deaths have risen from 10 to 24. These alone take Maharashtra's death toll to 95. A health official also told PTI that Maharashtra's cases have jumped to 1,364.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed that a 70-year-old woman, who had tested positive for COVID-19, died in Mumbai's Dharavi slums. This is the third death in Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, which has also reported 17 cases of COVID-19.
Tamil Nadu on Thursday confirmed 834 COVID-19 cases, including eight deaths and 27 people who recovered. Delhi's cases rose to 720, including 12 deaths and 25 who recovered. Telangana confirmed 471 cases including 45 cured cases and 12 deaths. Madhya Pradesh confirmed 411 COVID-19 cases, including 33 deaths and 25 cured patients. Uttar Pradesh confirmed 410 cases, including four deaths and 31 cured patients.
Till Thursday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) confirmed that India had tested 1.3 lakh samples for COVID-19. The ICMR also allowed testing of "asymptomatic direct/high-risk contacts" between day 5 and 14 since coming into contact with a COVID-19 patient.
The Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said Thursday that they have placed orders for 1.7 crore PPEs (personal protection equipment) and 49,000 ventilators. He also said that the Indian Railways has converted 3,250 coaches into isolation wards and will do the same for a total of 5,000 coaches. Delhi's GB Pant Hospital was removed from the list of designated COVID-19 facilities.
Odisha became the first state to extend the lockdown till April 30 and urged the Centre to do the same. Educational institutions in the state will be shut till June 17. Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan made wearing masks mandatory. Earlier, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, and Odisha had done the same. The Centre sanctioned Rs. 15,000 crore for India's COVID-19 Emergency response fund.
Delhi identified 21 areas as "containment zones" which will be completely sealed and residents will be home quarantined. Essential services will be delivered door-to-door. Madhya Pradesh issued a list of 46 hotspots across 15 districts that will be sealed. Uttarakhand sealed four areas in Dehradun, two in Haridwar, and one in Nainital. The number of containment zones in Mumbai rose to 381 on Thursday.