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New Delhi, May 14, 2020
India on Thursday reported 134 more deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19), raising the toll to 2,549, and 3,772 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours to take the total so far to 78,003 even as the Government on Wednesday unveiled the first set of financial stimulus measures to help revive the economy that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on Tuesday evening that the special economic package would be worth around Rs 20 lakh crore in all and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined the first tranche of measures at a press conference here on Wednesday, which mainly consisted of measures for relief and credit support related to MSMEs, EPF, NBFCs, housing finance corporations, MFIs, power discoms, contractors and the real estate sector as well as some relief measures in the area of direct taxes.
She is expected to spell out more sets of measures at media conferences today and in the next few days.
The Government is also expected to outline the contours of the next phase of the lockdown, with the third phase due to end on May 17. The lockdown was initially imposed on March 25 for 21 days, then extended for 19 days from April 15 and again by two weeks from March 4.
Meanwhile, figures released by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare this morning showed that Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, accounted for 54 of the 134 new deaths -- the highest so far in a single day in any state, followed by 29 in Gujarat, 20 in Delhi, nine in West Bengal, seven in Madhya Pradesh, four in Rajasthan, three in Tamil Nadu, two each in Karnataka and Telangana, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.
Of the total 2,549 deaths so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest number at 975, followed by 566 in Gujarat, 232 in Madhya Pradesh, 207 in West Bengal, 121 in Rajasthan, 106 in Delhi, 83 in Uttar Pradesh, 64 in Tamil Nadu, 47 in Andhra Pradesh, 34 in Telangana, 33 in Karnataka, 32 in Punjab, 11 each in Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir, seven in Bihar, four in Kerala, three each in Chandigarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, two each in Assam and Himachal Pradesh, and one each in Meghalaya, Puducherry and Uttarakhand.
The total of 78.003 cases includes those who have died as well as 26,235 patients who have recovered, which meant that the number of active cases in the country stood at 49,219 as of this morning, up 1,739 in the past 24 hours. The recovery rate of patients so far is 33.63%.
Of the total of 78,003 cases so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest at 25,922, followed by 9,267 in Gujarat, 9,227 in Tamil Nadu, 7,998 in Delhi, 4,328 in Rajasthan, 4,173 in Madhya Pradesh, 3,729 in Uttar Pradesh, 2,290 in West Bengal, 2,137 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,924 in Punjab, 1,367 in Telangana, 971 in Jammu and Kashmir, 959 in Karnataka, 940 in Bihar, 793 in Haryana, 534 in Kerala, 538 in Odisha, 187 in Chandigarh, 173 in Jharkhand, 155 in Tripura, 80 in Assam, 72 in Uttarakhand, 66 in Himachal Pradesh, 59 in Chhattisgarh, 43 in Ladakh, 33 in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 13 each in Meghalaya and Puducherry, seven in Goa, two in Manipur, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Mizoram.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said more than 70 per cent of the deaths so far were due to co-morbidities.
Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said yesterday that the doubling rate of cases, which was 11 days in the past two weeks, had improved to 12.6 days in the past three days.
He said the fatality rate was 3.2%. He said that, as of Tuesday, 2.75% of the active cases were in intensive care units, 0.37% on ventilators and 1.89% on oxygen support.
Harsh Vardhan highlighted that the testing capacity had increased in the country to 1,00,000 tests per day through 352 Government laboratories and 140 private laboratories. Cumulatively, 18,56,477 tests have been done so far for COVID-19, including 94,708 samples on Tuesday.
The Minister stated that as of now 900 dedicated COVID hospitals with 1,79,882 beds (Isolation beds- 1,60,610 and ICU beds- 19,272) and 2,040 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 1,29,689 beds (Isolation beds- 1,19,340 and ICU beds- 10,349) along with 8,708 quarantine centres and 5,577 COVID Care Centres with 4,93,101 beds are now available to combat COVID-19 in the country.
The Central Government has also provided 78.42 lakh N95 masks and 42.18 lakh Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to the States/ UTs / Central Institutions, he added.