India reports 55 new coronavirus cases, taking total to 415
A view of the usually busy Connaught Place area in New Delhi during the 'Janata Curfew' on March 22, 2020.IANS

India reports 55 new coronavirus cases, taking total to 415

New Delhi, March 23, 2020

India today reported 55 new coronavirus cases since last night, taking the total number of infected persons across the country to 415 so far, even as a full or partial lockdown was put in place in various states to contain the spread of the global pandemic that has claimed more than 13,000 lives worldwide.

In India, seven people have died due to the virus so far -- two in Maharashtra and one each in Karnataka, Delhi, Punjab, Bihar and Gujarat.

"Total number of confirmed cases so far in the country as on 23 March 2020 at 10.30 AM including foreign nationals is 415," the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on its website. State- and District-wise details are awaited, it added.

Earlier this morning, the Ministry had given out details of 30 new cases, which had taken the total of confirmed cases to 390 from 360 last night.

Of those 30 new cases, 15 are in Kerala, four in Telangana, three each in Rajasthan and West Bengal, two each in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, and one in Uttar Pradesh.

Of those 390 cases, Maharashtra and Kerala accounted for the highest number with 67 each, followed by 29 in Delhi, 28 in Uttar Pradesh, 27 in Rajasthan, 26 each in Karnataka and Telangana, 21 each in Haryana and Punjab, 18 in Gujarat, 13 in Ladakh, nine in Tamil Nadu, seven in West Bengal, six in Madhya Pradesh, five each in Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh, four in Jammu & Kashmir, three in Uttarakhand, two each in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha, and one each in Chhattisgarh and Puducherry.

Of the 390, as many as 349 are Indians and 41 are foreigners. The number included the seven deaths as well as 24 people who have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.

Meanwhile, many cities and towns across India wore a deserted look as total or partial lockdowns have been declared in various states in a bid to contain the spread of the virus by breaking the transmission chain.

Delhi, Rajasthan and Telangana are among the states that have ordered a complete lockdown, though essential services are exempted.

Yesterday, all of India observed a "People's Curfew" and stayed indoors in response to a call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Of the 24 persons who have recovered since late January, five are in Delhi, three each are in Kerala and Rajasthan; nine in Uttar Pradesh; two in Karnataka and one each in Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Of them, one foreign national has returned to his country.

As the number of new cases continues to rise, a sense of urgency has come in and the Central Government, the State Governments, local bodies, corporates and other organisations have taken a slew of measures to prevent the spread of the virus through social distancing and other means.

In a major decision, the Indian Railways on Sunday cancelled all passenger trains in the country, including suburban rail services, till midnight on March 31. Goods trains will, however, be exempted.

Similarly, the Government has also decided to close down metro rail services on all operational networks across the country till March 31.

At a meeting with Chief Secretaries of all States to review the situation, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, it was also decided that Inter State passenger transport will also be suspended till the end of this month.

The Centre has advised State Governments to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19.

The State Governments may expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation. It was noted that several State Governments have already issued orders in this regard, an official press release said.

Many offices have asked their employees to work from home, schools and colleges are closed, cinemas, shopping malls and other such places where people gather have been shut down, and cultural and sporting events have been cancelled.

The Government has advised senior citizens and children below ten years of age to remain indoors and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a broadcast to the nation last night, urged people, except those performing essential services, to stay at home.

International flights to India have been banned, and within India airlines have reduced services.

States have also been advised to minimise travel by buses and other means of public transport.

NNN

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