COVID … Indian toll at 149, hotspots isolated, PM hints at extension of Covid lockdown period

Image credit Indian Railways

NEW DELHI: The total number of Coronavirus cases in India rose to 5,274 and deaths to 149 Wednesday as per figures released by the Union Health Ministry. The scenario across India is steadily worsening, but not in any alarming manner yet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi told leaders of some Opposition parties in Parliament over a video conference on Wednesday that the present lock-down across the nation would need to be extended until end April.

With a view to sustaining the supply chains, the Railways on Wednesday announced schedule for parcel services. Indigo private airline cancelled bookings until end April.

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSIONS: In a stark warning, the 
civic authorities in Mumbai said the 
community transmission of coronavirus 
appears to have started in Mumbai and its adjoining 
areas. Fresh cases are neither immediate contacts of 
patients nor do they have any travel history, officials 
were quoted by the media as saying on Wednesday. 
Mumbai has 525 coronavirus positive cases 
and had 34 deaths. Out of the 34, as many 
as 11 had no pre-history of 
ailments, the reports from  Mumbai said. 

STATES: In Uttar Pradesh, the state government sealed 15 hotspots where Covid infections surged, while the infection toll in the stood at around 350. Nearby Madhya Pradesh reported around 330 covid infections so far. Delhi so far has 577 covid cases. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal sealed 20 coronavirus hotspots in the city on Wednesday. Rajasthan reported 363 cases and Kerala 345 cases. Gujarat reported 180 cases and Karnataka 181 cases so far. Andhra Pradesh reported altogether 329 cases. West Bengal toll stood at 71.

Dharavi slum, in central Mumbai, is a major worry for the state Covid Control Cell. Some 1.5million of the city’s poor stay in the nearly 3sqkm sprawl, once cited as Asia’s largest slum, which is hardly cared by the Brahinmumbai Municipal Corporation as the residents are low-wage migrant workers from other states. About 3,000 of the residents there have been quarantined, and three Covid-related deaths were reported from the slum so far.

Over a thousand people are afflicted with Covid in Maharashtra, which also reported 64 deaths.

Worldwide coronavirus infliction toll stood at close to 83,000 on Wednesday. In US alone, there were 12,700 deaths so far; which included as high as 1,900 deaths in a single day on Tuesday.

Good news from London was that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, admitted to ICU with Covid infection, was responding well to treatment and that doctors said he was clinically stable.

In a new shock to India, American brockerage Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that economic growth in India would fall to a low of 1.6 per cent in the 2020-21 fiscal due to the Covid pandemic. It said Indian policymakers have not been aggressive enough in their response to the covid crisis. It forecast a 95 per cent hit to sectors like recreation, culture; a 70 to 80 per cent hit to hotels and restaurants and 80 per cent hit to education sector. –IHN-NN


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