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Coronavirus India updates: Death toll rises to 242 as cases cross 7,500 mark

Coronavirus India updates: Death toll rises to 242 as cases cross 7,500 mark

Coronavirus (COVID-19): A total of 1035 positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and 40 deaths have been detected in the last 24 hours taking the total number of overall cases to 7,529 in India, the Union Health Ministry said in its latest briefing on Saturday. Most states, as per government sources, have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the nationwide lockdown beyond April 14 for two more weeks. "The central government is considering this request," government sources said following the meeting between the PM and chief ministers via video conferencing.

Emphasising on the impact of the lockdown, the health ministry further said that after restrictions were imposed, the growth rate of infections is down to 29 per cent. It would have been 45,000 without lockdown and would have been 2,00,000 without any measures," a health ministry official stated.

The total number of confirmed cases due to the novel coronavirus rose to 7,527, including 652 recoveries and 242 deaths. The highest number of infections have been reported from Maharashtra (1,666), followed by Tamil Nadu (911), and New Delhi (903). Maharashtra has also reported the highest number of deaths (110) till date. Madhya Pradesh has the second largest share of deaths (33), followed by Gujarat (19).

Arvind Kejriwal says PM has taken 'correct decision to extend lockdown'

Immediately after Prime Minister's video conference with chief ministers of all states ended, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said "PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown".

"PM has taken correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India's position is better than many developed countries only because we have started lockdown early. IF it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is important to extend it," he wrote on Twitter.

However, no official confirmation has come from the central government on this regard as of yet.

Odisha and Punjab governments have already taken a decision to extend restrictions in the two states till April 30 and May 1, respectively. Few other states and Union Territories like Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal were also on board with the decision to extend the lockdown till month end.

Maharashtra govt extends lockdown till April 30

With Maharashtra being the worst affected state in India with 1,666 infections as of Saturday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced an extension of the lockdown till April 30. "In this next lockdown, the restrictions will be relaxed in some places but it will be made more stringent in some other places," Thackeray said at a press briefing.

Meanwhile, the state Health Department reported 92 new cases of coronavirus today, taking the total number of infections in the state to 1,666. Mumbai reported 72 of the total 92 new cases, followed by Malegaon (5), Thane (4), and Aurangabad (2). Pune reported one new case.

Amid rising number of cases and deaths due to coronavirus in the state, Pune district administration has urged private hospital doctors to help formulate a "treatment protocol". District collector Naval Kishore Ram said the administration was working on a treatment protocol for COVID-19 patients and conducting an assessment of casualties so far, PTI reported.

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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