AGENCIES, New Delhi: COVID-19 has killed 239 people in the country, with 40 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of positive coronavirus cases is now 7,447. The highest number of cases has been reported from Maharashtra, with 1,574 people testing positive for the novel coronavirus that was first detected in China in December.
In Tamil Nadu, nearly 911 people have tested positive for coronavirus. In Delhi, 903 people are infected, whereas in Rajasthan, the number stands at 503. Jammu and Kashmir, too, has 207 people positive and in Himachal 28 people are infected.
Meanwhile, at least 10 chief ministers of states including West Bengal, Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, have asked for the lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic to be extended during a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
“I am available 24×7. Any chief minister can speak to me and give suggestions (on COVID-19) anytime. We should stand together shoulder-to-shoulder,” Modi assured the chief ministers, his face partly covered with a cotton scarf, acting as a homemade mask.
Odisha, West Bengal and Punjab have decided to extend the lockdown till April 30. Several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka, have called for lockdown enforcement beyond April 14.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said more testing is the key step in the fight against COVID-19. Mumbai has stepped up testing with more testing kits being procured and private labs conducting tests as well.
The government has also further ramped up its efforts to fight the coronavirus disease by expanding the number of containment zones. People can’t step out, shops and banks have to remain closed, and entry and exit from the clusters have been sealed in these containment zones.
Teams of sanitary workers will spray disinfectants every hour and healthcare and local officials will conduct door-to-door surveys in these apartment blocks to entire neighbourhoods, even parts of an entire district.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also revised its testing strategy, saying everyone with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose in Covid-19 hotspots or cluster areas will now be tested.
Globally, the number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus has reached one lakh.