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New Delhi, April 7, 2020
India today reported 13 more deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19), raising the toll to 124 and 508 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to 4,789 so far even as the Government was considering suggestions by States and experts to extend the 21-day nationwide lockdown beyond its scheduled end on April 14 till the pandemic is contained.
Of the 13 new deaths, four were reported from Madhya Pradesh, three each from Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from Gujarat, Odisha and Punjab, figures released by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare here this evening showed.
The deaths in Rajasthan and Odisha were the first to be reported from those two states.
Of the total of 124 deaths so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number at 48, followed by 13 each in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, seven each in Delhi, Punjab and Telangana, five in Tamil Nadu, four in Karnataka, three each in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, two each in Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala, and one each in Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
The total number of 4,789 cases includes the 124 deaths and 353 patients who have been cured, which meant there were 4,321 active cases of the virus in the country as of this evening.
Of the total 4,789 cases, Maharashtra accounted for the highest at 868, followed by 621 in Tamil Nadu, 576 in Delhi, 364 in Telangana, 327 in Kerala, 305 in Uttar Pradesh, 288 in Rajasthan, 266 in Andhra Pradesh, 229 in Madhya Pradesh, 175 in Karnataka, 165 in Gujarat, 116 in Jammu & Kashmir, 91 each in Punjab and West Bengal, 90 in Haryana, 42 in Odisha, 32 in Bihar, 31 in Uttarakhand, 26 in Assam, 18 in Chandigarh, 14 in Ladakh, 13 in Himachal Pradesh, 10 each in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Chhattisgarh, seven in Goa, five in Puducherry, four in Jharkhand, two in Manipur and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Tripura.
According to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, as many as 274 districts in the country have reported COVID-19 cases so far.
The Ministry had said yesterday that 76% of the total confirmed cases so far were male and 24% were female. It also said that 47% of the confirmed cases were below 40 years of age, 34% in the 40-60 age group and 19% in the 60+ age group.
Of those who had died, 73% were male and 27% female, the Ministry said. It said 63% of those who had died were in the 60+ age group, 30% in the 40-60 age group and 7% below 40 years of age.
As of now, 86% death cases have exhibited comorbidity related to diabetes, chronic kidney issues, hypertension and heart related problems.
"Although 19% confirmed cases have been reported among the elderly, since 63% deaths have been observed among them, elderly people form a high risk population. Further, though 37% deaths are reported from people below 60 years, approximately, 86% of deaths amongst people with co-morbidities indicate that young people with co-morbidities are also at high risk of COVID-19," the Ministry added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued guidelines for cluster containment and outbreak containment. Technology-led initiatives for undertaking surveillance, monitoring quarantine facilities, tracking the health of suspected patients and their contacts placed under home quarantine, providing up-to-date information to citizens, making predictive analytics using Heat Maps, with real-time tracking of ambulances and disinfection services, virtual training to doctors and healthcare professionals and tele-counselling are being conducted across various districts.
The Ministry has published an updated training resource material and video material for COVID-19 management. It has also issued a Guidance Document on appropriate management of suspect/confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The Ministry said three types of facilities shall be set up for various categories of COVID-19 cases as a mechanism for triaging and decision- making for identification of the appropriate COVID-19 dedicated facility for providing care to COVID-19 patients:
1. COVID Care Center (CCC) :
Mild or very mild cases or COVID suspect cases. Makeshift facilities. These may be set up in hostels, hotels, schools, stadiums, lodges etc., both public and private.
If need be, existing quarantine facilities could also be converted into COVID Care Centres
Necessarily be mapped to one or more Dedicated COVID Health Centres and at least one Dedicated COVID Hospital for referral purpose.
2. Dedicated COVID Health Centre (DCHC):
Shall offer care for all cases that have been clinically assigned as moderate.
These should either be a full hospital or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry/exit/zoning.
These hospitals would have beds with assured oxygen support.
3. Dedicated COVID Hospital (DCH):
Shall offer comprehensive care primarily for those who have been clinically assigned as severe.
Should either be a full hospital or a separate block in a hospital with preferably separate entry and exit.
Fully equipped ICUs, ventilators and beds with assured oxygen support.
Multiple State Governments and experts have requested the Central Government to extend the ongoing 21-day lockdown further and the Narendra Modi government is considering their suggestions, say government sources.
This comes a day after Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao made a strong case for the extension of the ongoing lockdown. Rao had advocated for the extension of the current shutdown saying, "The Centre and all other State Governments have lost revenue during the lockdown period. The only positive outcome of this is that we are able to protect our people."
KCR also cited reports of the Boston Consulting Group survey, which asked for ruthless measures like extension of the lockdown till June.
The government's group of ministers on Tuesday met at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's residence where the issue of post-shutdown scenario came up but no decision was taken on when to end it, said sources who attended the meeting.
Prime Minister Modi is understood to have told Chief Ministers in his last video conference with them that it is a "long drawn battle",something he reiterated on Monday while addressing party cadres on the occasion of the BJP's Foundation Day.
Soon after the CMs conference by Prime Minister, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, from his Twitter account, declared: "The Prime Minister said that the State Government should not lift the lockdown immediately from April 15 but it should happen in phases. Precautions should be taken that there is no crowding."
However, the government hasn't made any assertion so far about whether it is going to extend the current lockdown or not. But government sources have indeed confirmed that the Modi government is considering the requests to extend the shutdown.
The question about how long the extension would be for, if it takes place, is premature, the sources say. Any decision will be taken after the next chief ministers' conference when all the CMs will come back with their own exit plans after forming task forces, as requested by Modi. Also there is a meeting by Modi scheduled with floor leaders of political parties in Parliament which may be used to build a consensus decision rather than an imposed decision.