COVID-19 Cases in India at 1,071, At Least 29 Dead: Health Min
India saw a huge jump in COVID-19 cases over Saturday and Sunday.
The total number of positive cases in India has risen to at least 1,071, according to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry data on Monday, 30 March. While there are at least 942 active cases, 100 have been reported to be cured or discharged.
The death toll has risen to 29, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the central government ordered the sealing of all state and district borders to check community transmission of the deadly virus by migrant workers and asked those having left already to be quarantined for 14 days.
The national capital alone reported 23 fresh positive cases on Sunday, taking its count to 72, while more people tested positive in adjoining Noida, and also in Maharashtra and Bihar, among other states. The new cases included a SpiceJet pilot with no history of international travel, a doctor and a junior commissioned officer in the Indian Army.
The Colonel-rank doctor was serving at the Command Hospital in Kolkata while the JCO was posted to an Army base in Dehradun.
Sources said the Army has traced all those who have come in contact with the two persons quarantined them. The two are understood to have visited an Army facility near the national capital earlier this month.
As the 21-day lockdown entered its 6th day, the exodus of migrant workers from big cities continued unabated, desperate to return to their villages after being left jobless, many of them without food or shelter.
Charitable organisations, volunteers, religious institutions, and government bodies, including Railway Protection Force, fed tens of thousands of people across the nation but many more remained outside the safety net.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast on Sunday, sought the nation's forgiveness for the hardships caused by the stringent nationwide lockdown, saying it was necessary because the country was fighting a battle between life and death.
He, however, expressed confidence that "we will definitely win the battle" against the coronavirus menace and praised the front-line workers in this fight against as well as countless workers delivering the essential services.
The government announced some more exemptions to the lockdown by allowing movement of all goods, irrespective of those being in essential or non-essential categories.
But, a panic-like situation emerged due to mass exodus of migrant workers from various parts of the country, including the national capital, Maharashtra and Kerala, where a large number of people came out of relief camps and demanded being allowed to go to their homes.
A migrant worker reportedly died of heart attack in Uttar Pradesh after walking more than 200 km on way to his hometown in Madhya Pradesh from Delhi.
Hundreds of migrant workers also gathered again near the Anand Vihar terminus near the Delhi-UP border, hoping to board buses to their villages but they were turned back by police. A large number were seen walking in groups on highways and even on railway tracks.
Concerned over such movements causing the risk of a community spread, the Centre asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal all state and district borders and said those having already left be quarantined for 14 days.
The Prime Minister's Office said Modi is interacting with over 200 people on a daily basis to get firsthand feedback on India's fight against the coronavirus crisis. These include phone calls to governors, chief ministers and state health ministers, and also with doctors, nurses, health workers and sanitation staff in various parts of the country.
The PMO also constituted 10 different high-level committees to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce the misery of people as quickly as possible post the 21-day lockdown period.
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