COVID INDIA … Infections near 7,000 mark, Mumbai presents worst picture;death toll at 206

NEW DELHI: The Covid infections across India neared the 7000-mark on Friday, while the number of deaths due to the pandemic was officially put at 206. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is winning praise for announcing a prompt three-week lock-down of the nation till April 14, will hold a video-conference with chief ministers of various states as to how the nation can carry forward from next week. 

The PM had favoured a staggered easing of the lock-down, when he spoke to the CMs last time a week ago. Some relaxations in lock-down conditions are likely, but the period could be extended by at least two weeks. States like Odisha and Punjab have already extended the lock-down on their own up until the end of this month. The lockdown was on its 17th day on Friday.

The Covid infection numbers are raising in states like Maharashtra—principally Mumbai – as also Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, as also Delhi. Mumbai itself reported over 1,000 cases of infections, out of the over 1,300 cases across the state.

As per the original lockdown directive from the Union government, shops dealing in essential commodities, services like health, sanitation, police, media, agriculture and banking have been exempted from the lockdown. All train services and flights remain cancelled as of now. However, movement of essential goods via rail, as also airlifting of medical supplies etc by air have been taking place during the three-week term.

Kerala, where the first Covid infection was detected from a student who returned from studies in Wuhan in January, has managed to check the spread of virus through strong governmental intervention. The state reported seven covid infections on Friday while the overall figure so far stood at around 360.
Over 16 lakh people across the globe have tested positive for Covid since its eruption in December in China’s Wuhan province.  The death toll from the Covid infection, which mainly causes breathing problems for the elderly and the sick, was put at 96,000 so far. The maximum of the deaths, 15,000, was in the US, mainly in New York, while France has reported over 12,000 deaths. Large-scale deaths were reported from countries like Italy and Spain, as also Germany. 

This, apart from the over 3,500 deaths in China a figure seen by many as suspect and manipulated to tone down the harm the virus spread did to the red country. –IHN-NN

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