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Published On: Sat, Apr 11th, 2020

Centre could be considering 2-week lockdown extension

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modi-1NEW DELHI: The Centre is leaning towards extending the ongoing three-week lockdown announced to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at least till the end of this month, a senior government official said on Tuesday, while also pointing out that several states have suggested backing such a move.
While,The Union health ministry, however, clarified that there was no decision on extending the nationwide lockdown yet, asking people not to speculate.
on April 11 morning, 7,447 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in India, of which 643 had recovered and 239 persons had died. “An increase of 1,035 cases was noted in the past 24 hours, with 40 new deaths,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
According to a statistical analysis by MoHFW, in absence of lockdown but with adequate containment measuresby April 11, there could have been 45,370 cases, about six times more, which could have further spiked to 1.2 lakh cases by April 15.
Modi in his interaction with CMs observed, “Combined effort of the Centre and the States has definitely helped reduce the impact of COVID-19 but since the situation is rapidly evolving, constant vigilance is paramount.”
He also condemned and expressing distress at the instances of attacks on the doctors and medical staff, and at incidents of misbehaviour with students from North-East and Jammu and Kashmir. He underlined that such cases need to be dealt with firmly. He also spoke about the need to curb lockdown violations and ensure that social distancing is followed.
To buttress that the containment strategy was working, Agarwal cited the example of cluster containment approach adopted in Agra. After the first case was detected on February 25, epicentre of the case and hotspots were identified on the map.
Agarwal said that States and centre had identified 1 lakh isolation beds and 11,500 intensive care unit beds till date in 5,086 COVID-19 hospitals.
R Gangakhedkar, head, infectious diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research stated that 1,71,718 samples had been tested for COVID-19 till date through Real Time Polymerase Chain reaction in labs. In the past 24 hours, 146 government labs had tested 14,210 samples and 67 private labs had processed 2,354 samples, he stated.

Meanwhile,Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to extend the nationwide lockdown imposed to control the spread of the novel coronavirus is “correct”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, after a video conference with PM Modi and chief ministers of several other states.
Minutes earlier sources told that the Prime Minister had indicated an extension of the current lockdown, scheduled to end on Tuesday, as the situation is a “matter of concern”.
“Prime Minister has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is important to extend it,” Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
India has over 7,400 confirmed coronavirus cases and has reported 239 deaths; this morning the government indicated that 40 deaths had been reported in a 24-hour period. Delhi has reported 903 cases (third-highest in the country) and 13 deaths.
During the meeting with PM Modi, in which 12 other chief ministers participated, Mr Kejriwal supported extending the lockdown at a national level, saying: “If states decide length of lockdown, then the fight against the coronavirus won’t be effective”.”If the lockdown is eased, all kinds of transport, either rail or road, should not be allowed,” he added.
In the battle to contain the COVID-19 virus in Delhi, Mr Kejriwal’s AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) government has identified 30 “coronavirus hotspots” across the city, in which strict measures are being taken.

This includes a complete ban on people leaving their homes; the government has assured door delivery of essential supplies – groceries, vegetables, etc. – in these areas. The government will conduct door-to-door screening of every house in a containment zone to identify and isolate coronavirus-positive people.

On Friday Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said Dilshad Garden, in the northeast of the city, was the first COVID-19 containment zone to be declared coronavirus-free.

 

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