28/03/2020 2:28 PM IST | Updated 28/03/2020 6:44 PM IST

Coronavirus Cases Rise To 873 In India, Death Toll 19

The total number of 873 cases in the country included 47 foreigners, the data shows.

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People buy medicine from a pharmacy during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Amritsar on March 28, 2020.

New Delhi—A total of 149 new coronavirus cases, including two deaths, have been reported since Friday, taking the overall positive cases in the country to 873, Health Ministry officials said on Saturday.

Lav Agarwal, the Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, said the government is focussing on high disease-burden hotspots and is working in-tandem with states to implement rigourous contact-tracing, community surveillance and containment strategies.

The focus is also on setting up dedicated COVID- 19 hospitals in every state, he said, adding 17 states have so far started work on this.

“We are constantly engaged in discussion with states for earmarking dedicated COVID-19 hospitals,” said Agarwal.

“All patients having severe acute respiratory illness are being tested for COVID-19, An ICMR official said.

A reduction in the viral-load has been observed in COVID- 19 patients who have been given Hydroxychloroquine drug, said Raman R Gangakhedkar, the Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at ICMR.

Deaths have so far been reported from Maharashtra (5), Gujarat (3), Karnataka (2), Madhya Pradesh (2) and one each from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

According to the data, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 775, while 78 people were either cured or discharged and one had migrated.

The total number of 873 cases in the country included 47 foreigners, the data stated.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases so far at 180, including three foreign nationals, followed by Kerala, where the number of cases has climbed to 173, including eight foreign nationals, according to the ministry data.

Karnataka has reported 55 cases, while in Telangana, the number of cases has gone up to 48, including 10 foreigners.

The number of cases in Rajasthan has climbed to 48, including two foreigners, while in Gujarat, it has gone up to 45, including one foreign national.

Uttar Pradesh has reported 45 cases, including a foreigner, while the number of positive cases in Delhi has gone up to 39, including a foreigner.

Punjab has reported 38 cases, while 33 COVID-19 cases have so far been detected in Haryana, including 14 foreigners.

The number of cases has increased to 38 in Tamil Nadu, including six foreigners. Madhya Pradesh has recorded 30 cases, Jammu and Kashmir 18, West Bengal 15, Andhra Pradesh 14 and Ladakh has reported 13 COVID-19 cases.

Bihar has recorded nine cases, Chandigarh seven and Chhattisgarh six. Uttarakhand has five cases, including a foreigner.

Himachal Pradesh and Odisha have reported three cases each.

Two cases have been reported from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Goa has reported three coronavirus cases.

Puducherry, Mizoram and Manipur have reported one case each.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting in an emotional appeal “with folded hands” that unless India’s 130 crore people practise social distancing, the country will lose the war against the coronavirus and slide back 21 years.