India: Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 stands at 2301, while 56 deaths till now

Corona Outbreak
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Mumbai: 3‍ April 2020

157 patients have recovered from novel corona virus till today. Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection stands at 2301. Till date 56 deaths have occurred, out of which 12 deaths happened yesterday, stated Shri Luv Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in course of daily press briefing on COVID-19 at New Delhi today.

He further said, 647 positive cases of corona virus infection spanning across 14 states, linked to Tablighi Jamaat, have been found till today. The states are: A & N, Assam, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, J & K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Uttarakhand and U.P.He said, spurt in cases is due to increase from a particular level. Hence, all need to follow social distancing more comprehensively.

The Joint Secretary further informed, around 30 lakh people have downloaded the Arogya Setu app till today. The Government is requesting everyone to download the app since we are dealing with an infectious disease and in this case, one person’s safety is everyone’s safety and vice versa.

Shri Agrawal also informed, Government has launched a portal on eNAM to promote social distancing and sanitary measures at APMCs through which 585 mandis to be connected and farmers will be able to sell their produce without physically visiting the mandis. He stated, DRDO has developed a bio-suit with seam sealing glue for the safety of health professionals fighting COVID-19, which is being tested now. Other R&D organizations, in the country, are also working to augment the fight against Novel Corona Virus.

Union Health Minister has appealed to all to extend all kind of encouragement to our health professionals who are working in challenging circumstances, due to whose efforts 157 people have been cured of the infection, stated the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Shri Agrawal further said, “We have issued an advisory to states regarding online training for health professionals on surveillance, clinical management, isolation facilities, quarantine, psychosocial care, logistics and supply chain management.” AIIMS is imparting trainings on ICU Care and ventilator management, he further said.

Union Home Ministry has asked states to take strict action in cases of security incidents on healthcare professionals and frontline workers, and to ensure safety of medical fraternity. Home Secretary has asked states to ensure staggered disbursement of benefits under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, to provide adequate security in bank branches and to maintain social distancing, stated the representative of Union Home Ministry in the press conference.

She further briefed, Ministry of Home Affairs control room had 7 helplines till date. Two new helplines have now been started -1) 1930 which is All India toll free helpline, and 2) 1944 is a helpline for people of North Eastern Region. All helpline numbers for States and UTs are available on Union Home Ministry’s website.

It was further stated that MHA has blacklisted 960 foreigners, present in India on tourist visas, for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities. Necessary legal action to be taken. Around 360 foreigners who have returned to their countries after attending Tablighi Jamaat meeting are also being blacklisted. MHA has also issued an Addendum to lay down SOPs for transit of foreigners stranded in India and release of quarantined persons after being tested COVID-19 negative. There is no question of deportation at this stage; deportation, as and when done, will be as per Standard Health Protocol, said the Home Ministry spokesperson, in reply to a journalist’s question during the press conference.

There are 182 COVID-19 diagnostic labs in the country now, of which 130 are in Government Sector. Around 8,000 samples tested yesterday, which is the highest till date. Cumulatively, 66,000 samples tested till date, stated ICMR representative in the press conference. He further said, the guidelines for using Rapid Diagnostic Test for COVID-19 is expected to be released by tomorrow. Discussions are being held on how to deploy these tests in high-risk and low-risk areas, in hotspot and non-hotspot areas. He also said, testing is for sole purpose of confidence-building. It is not advisable, especially when testing kits are limited. The focus of sampling is on hot spot areas & areas where higher of cases have been reported. No decision on revising sampling criteria taken as of now, he added.