Coronavirus killed eight more people in India on Thursday and 88 new cases—the highest in a single day—were confirmed to be carrying the disease on the second day of 21-day long nation-wide lockdown, while the global tally, according to the AFP, also crossed the figure of 500,000 infections and close to 22,000 fatalities.
According to the data released by the health ministry, there are 647 confirmed cases in India, most of them in Maharashtra-121 and Kerala-110, however, the figures released by these states are higher at 130 and 138 respectively.
An analysis by the Medical Education and Drugs Department, Maharashtra says that 54% of the infected cases had travel history to foreign countries, 29% were those who came in contact with the infected while in 11% of the cases, the cause of transmission is awaited and in the remaining 6%, the reason for the infection is inconclusive.
The health ministry said on Thursday that there was no conclusive evidence of the country entering the dangerous community transmissions phase, when the cases start rising exponentially and people without any history of foreign travel or known history of coming in contact with positive cases or suspects start getting infected in large numbers.
The government officials said they were confident that the measures taken so far, including the lockdown, will result in the containment of the outbreak if followed by the communities at large.
A research by the Imperial College, London, says that without any intervention by countries, seven billion people, which is almost the entire population of the world, would have been infected by the virus and around 40 million could have died.
Most of the new cases in India are people who were quarantined and tested after they couldn’t clear airport scanning or are contacts of those infected that were identified through contact-tracing.
The second day of lockdown saw less chaos compared to the first day on Wednesday with the state machinery being able to better regulate the movement of essential services and personnel, who were earlier denied entry at the state borders or stopped at checkpoints within the states. The administration also tried to enforce norms for social distancing in markets and people were discouraged from panic buying with assurances that the shops for groceries, medicines, vegetable and other essentials will not shut down.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced a major relief package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore, aimed largely at redressing the hardship faced by the most vulnerable sections of the society, including the low salaried workforce, construction industry daily wagers and ordinary workers, MGNREGA workers, women, elderly citizens, farmers, health care professionals, ASHA workers etc.
Sitharaman underlined that within 36 hours of the lockdown — Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed a national lockdown for three weeks on Tuesday night — the government had come up with measures to immediately take care of welfare concerns of the poor.
Source : Hindustan Times0