NEWS
30/03/2020 9:23 AM IST | Updated 30/03/2020 6:06 PM IST

Coronavirus Updates: 10 Things You Need To Know Today

The Union health ministry admitted India’s current phase of COVID-19 pandemic was “local transmission and limited community transmission” and then backtracked.

Amit Dave / Reuters
Migrant workers and their families travel in a trailer truck as they return to their villages during a 21-day nationwide lockdown, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, March 29, 2020. 

The number of novel coronavirus cases in India crossed the 1,000-mark over the weekend with the Union health ministry reporting 1071 cases on Monday, of which 942 were active.

What you need to know

1. 92 new cases, 4 deaths in 24 hours

Health secretary Luv Aggarwal said at a press conference on Monday evening that 92 new cases of Covid-19 and four deaths had been reported in the last 24 hours, taking total cases to 1071 and number of deaths to 29 in India.

These are the same numbers the health ministry website showed at 10.30 am on Monday morning.

It is unclear whether the ministry’s number includes the death reported in Pune and in Madhya Pradesh later in the day. 

Tamil Nadu reported 17 new patients while Maharashtra reported 12, taking the state’s total to 215.

2. ‘Limited community transmission’ in India

The Union health ministry admitted India’s current phase of COVID-19 pandemic was “local transmission and limited community transmission”. 

This confirmation came in a document released by the ministry on Sunday on the standard operating procedure for transporting a suspect/confirmed case of COVID-19. 

However, during the press conference on Monday evening, when asked about the use of the term Aggarwal said it was “not used in the context you are thinking” and said that the term was causing confusion and should probably be banned from use in government documents.

“Let us come out of semantics. Allow us to use it as and when needed. It was used in a limited context, in a technical manner,” the health secretary.

“We will be first to let you know if it  happens so that we can get more cooperation and vigilance from the public,” he said.

3. No Covid-19 updates from ICMR anymore

The Indian Council of Medical Research, the medical body at the forefront of fighting the novel coronavirus in the country, said it will no longer release data on the cases.

An official told NDTV’s Arvind Gunasekar that ICMR has been asked to shared the data with the health ministry which will release it twice a day.

4. Supreme Court asks Centre to reply on measure taken for migrant workers

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to file responses to two PILs on steps taken regarding the large-scale migration of daily wage workers and migrant labourers, LiveLaw reported. 

The top court heard a public interest litigation by Rashmi Bansal seeking medical and safety measures for migrant labourers.

The court also heard a PIL filed by lawyer Alakh Alok Shrivastava seeking relief for the workers.

While hearing of the first will continue tomorrow, the second PIL hearing will continue on Wednesday.

A PIL was also filed by two lawyers, Sumit Mehta and Vikrant Narulla, against the Central Government, the Union finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India on Sunday. According to LiveLaw, their petition said the central government and other authorities were unequipped as they did not analyse the effect the national lockdown would have on the well-being of citizens. It asked for basic necessities and medical facilities to be made available to all citizens irrespective of financial status.

5.  Army dismisses rumours about Emergency as “fake”

The Indian Army dismissed rumours of a likely Emergency declaration in mid April, calling it “fake and malicious”. The Army also said clarified that there was no decision on deploying its army personnel, the National Cadet Corps or National Service Scheme to assist the civil administration.

6. No extension of 21-day lockdown, says govt

The Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting tweeted, saying Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba had denied media reports claiming that the government will extend the lockdown.

The current lockdown, which began on March 25, is scheduled to end on April 14.

7. Cases so far in India

Maharashtra has reported the most deaths (6) so far, followed by Gujarat (5), Karnataka (3), and Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Jammu and Kashmir (2 each). Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have reported a death each.

The highest number of confirmed cases have also been reported from Maharashtra with 186 infections so far, followed by Kerala at 182. Karnataka has reported 76 cases till now, while the number of cases has gone up to 66 in Telangana.

8. Migrant workers stranded

The exodus of migrant workers from big cities continued unabated, with people desperate to return to their villages after being left jobless and many of them without food or shelter. The Centre on Sunday asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal all state and district borders and ensure there is not movement across cities and highways.

A government statement said people who had already left were to be quarantined for 14 days.

Hundreds of migrant workers had gathered near the Anand Vihar terminus near the Delhi-UP border, hoping to board buses to their villages but were turned back by police. A large number were seen walking in groups on highways and even on railway tracks, PTI reported.

A migrant worker reportedly died of heart attack in Uttar Pradesh after walking more than 200 kms on way to his hometown in Madhya Pradesh from Delhi.

According to Scroll, deaths of at least 22 migrants have been documented.

9. Govt allows freer movement of goods

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.

10. Global death toll nearly 34,000, US has most number of cases

More than 720,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world and 33,969 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Nearly one-third of the world population is under lockdown to check the spread of this virus. The confirmed infections worldwide has topped 6,67,000. The US tops the list with more than 1,41,136 cases.

Meanwhile, authorities in China’s Wuhan, from where this deadly virus is said to have begun, began steps towards partial re-opening of the city after more than two months of near total isolation for its 11 million people.

(With PTI inputs)