New Delhi, March 23 (IndiaToday) – As parts of India go under complete lockdown, new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in several states have taken the total in India over 400, even as all passenger train and inter-state bus services remian suspended till March 31.
Over 30 fresh cases of novel coronavirus cases in the country took India’s tally to 430 on Monday morning with new cases from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. India’s tally also includes the death toll which rose to seven on Sunday after three more coronavirus deaths.
Maharashtra, which has been the worst hit, hasreported 15 new cases, taking the total of positive cases to 89 — highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India so far.
Gujarat reported 11 new cases on Monday, taking the total in the state to 29. The other states which reported new Covid-19 cases include Tamil Nadu (2) and Bihar (1). Two cases were also reported in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida on Monday.
Meanwhile, a man who had tested positive for coronavirus and later recovered from the infection, passed away at a hospital in Mumbai. This is the third death reported from Mumbai in connection with the coronavirus.
Despite the surge in cases in the state, Maharashtra maintains that there has no been no community spread. “I want to make it very clear that we have not entered the community spread phase,” Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told ANI.
As of Sunday, Maharashtra was followed by Kerala at 67 and Delhi (26). Uttar Pradesh recorded 29 cases, Telangana 27, Rajasthan 27 and Haryana 23.
Karnataka’s total number stood at 26 patients, though the state reported a new case on Monday. Punjab saw 21 cases while Gujarat 18. Ladakh reported 13 cases, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal seven each. Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh reported six cases each.
Jammu and Kashmir has reported four cases. Uttarakhand has reported four cases, while Bihar, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh reported two cases each. Puducherry and Chhattisgarh reported one case each.
DEATH TOLL RISES TO 7
The Union Health Ministry on Sunday said one death each was reported from Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
A 38-year-old man with a kidney ailment and recent travel history to Qatar died at AIIMS-Patna and a 67-year-old man died at a hospital in Surat. Another death was reported from Mumbai of a 63-year-old man.
The rest four deaths were reported from Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra and Punjab.
LOCKDOWN IN 80 DISTRICTS
As the virus cases climbed, the central and state governments decided to lock down 80 districts in 17 states and five Union Territories from where Covid-19 cases have been reported to break the chain of transmission, and the Health Ministry said states would earmark hospitals to exclusively treat coronavirus patients.
The districts where lockdown was announced include 10 districts each in Maharashtra and Kerala, six districts each in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, five each in Karnataka and Haryana, three each in Tamil Nadu and Punjab.
The government was also expanding the network of labs for testing samples from suspected cases.
Several states, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, announced a partial or complete lockdown for varying periods. Nagaland said it was imposing an indefinite lockdown from midnight Sunday.
All inter-state buses, passenger trains and metro services have been suspended across the country till March 31. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of chief secretaries of all states and the cabinet secretary and the principal secretary to the prime minister. The authorities suspended all passenger train and inter-state bus services till March 31 in unprecedented steps to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Railways announced it was suspending all passenger services until March 31 and said only goods trains will run during the period. The suspension includes all suburban train services. Trains that commenced their journey prior to 4 am on March 22 will complete their journeys, the Railways said, adding that passengers can claim a full refund for trains cancelled during this period till June 21. The Railways has also ordered closure of all its museums, heritage galleries and heritage parks till April 15.
The extraordinary decisions were taken a day after the Railways reported three incidents (12 positive cases) of people asked to remain in quarantine travelling on trains and amid an exodus of people from urban areas to their home states, raising fears of the virus spreading to the countryside.
LONG BATTLE AHEAD, SAYS PM MODI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the 14-hour-long ‘Janta Curfew’ on Sunday was just the beginning of a long battle against coronavirus outbreak, as he lauded the people for their overwhelming response to his appeal for self-restriction, saying together the countrymen can defeat any challenge.
PM Modi thanked people for expressing gratitude towards those at the forefront of fight against coronavirus. “Today’s Janta Curfew may end at 9.00pm, but this does not mean we start celebrating,” he tweeted. He said that observing the self-imposed curfew should “not be considered as a success” and that “it is the beginning of a long battle.”
“Janta Curfew is beginning of a long battle. Today, the countrymen have proved that they are capable and once they decide they can together take on any challenge,” he said. In an earlier tweet, he had said the country thanked each person who led the fight against the coronavirus. “Many thanks to the countrymen,” Modi wrote. He said that with this “resolve and patience, let’s restrict (social distancing) ourselves as part of this long battle.”