COVID-19 India Roundup: 547 new cases, Odisha extends lockdown till 30th April, over 1,000 cops in Bhopal isolated
According to the latest press briefing by the Health Ministry, 473 people who had COVID-19 have recovered and been discharged.
According to the latest press briefing by the Health Ministry, 473 people who had COVID-19 have recovered and been discharged. In the previous 24 hours, 547 cases and 17 deaths were reported, taking cumulative cases to 5,734 and deaths to 166. According to ICMR on April 9, 1.3 lakh tests have been conducted, of which over 13,000 were conducted the day before.
In a major development, the government of Odisha extended the lockdown until the 30th of April and said schools will reopen on the 17th of June. The CM, Naveen Patnaik said the priority of the government remains the health and safety of the people and added that he will urge the central government to extend the national lockdown as well. So far, Odisha has reported 42 cases and 1 death. The state has reportedly ordered 1 lakh rapid testing kits to get a sense of the spread of the disease.
Genome sequencing carried out by the Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, has suggested that the virus that is causing COVID-19 in India is similar to the variety seen in China, adding to prior findings that the virus is not substantially evolving.
The centre is expected to make a decision about the lockdown on the 11th of April after a video discussion with CMs of each state - so far, the understanding is that states and districts are recommending extended restrictions, at least in places with high caseloads, and a staggered exit from the lockdown.
Delhi's SHIELD Plan
Arvind Kejriwal shared a plan for containment called SHIELD which entails the following:
- S: Sealing of immediate areas or surroundings
- H: Home quarantine of all the people living in the area
- I: Isolation of people who have been in contact with confirmed cases
- E: Essentials to be supplied
- L: Local sanitisation of the area
- D: Door to door health checks to be conducted in the area
Pooled testing may be conducted in districts with no cases
Over 430 districts have reported no cases so far, however, to understand the true scope of infection, pool testing will be conducted. Pool testing involves checking multiple samples together with one test rather than individually. Using data from the Aarogya Setu app and intelligence from the ground, districts will be chosen where the exercise will be conducted using PCR testing. These steps are being taken to ease the transition from lockdown in areas considered to have low caseloads.
Following orders from the Supreme Court telling the Centre to provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to doctors and health workers across the country, the Health Ministry, during the daily press briefing, said that orders for 1.7 crore PPE kits have been placed and are already being received. Further, an order for 40,000 ventilators has been placed as well.
About 3,250 out of 5,000 coaches have been converted into hospital beds by the Indian Railways so far. The organization has also produced around 6 lakh face masks and 40,000 litres of sanitizer.
To ensure the flow of supplies, the centre also asked states to adopt the Essential Commodities Act which will help enhance production, cap prices and prevent hoarding. The Health Ministry has also constituted a high-level team to coordinate on plans for containment, hospital preparedness and ventilator management with states. These teams have been sent to Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
The Central Government has also approved a Rs 15,000 crore COVID-19 Emergency Response and Preparedness Package. According to the government press release, Rs 7,774 crore of this package will be utilized in the shorter term, and the rest in one to four years. The package is to be used for developing diagnostic and dedicated treatment facilities for COVID-19 , centralised procurement of devices and drugs and for strengthening national and state health infrastructure. The Prime Minister had first hinted at this Rs 15,000 crore fund on 24 March, while announcing the 21-day countrywide lockdown.
Over 1,000 police officers in Bhopal moved to hotels and lodges to isolate
After 11 police personnel and five people associated with them tested positive for the novel coronavirus , over 1,000 members of the Bhopal police force have been moved to hotels and lodges to prevent further transmission.
It is suspected some officers contracted the infection in Jahangirabad district when tracing members of the Tablighi Jamaat. Over 300 samples have been sent for testing, and the results are awaited.
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