Lockdown extension: All eyes on PM, India reports 35 COVID-19 deaths in last 24 hrs

Lockdown extension: All eyes on PM, India reports 35 COVID-19 deaths in last 24 hrs

Agency News

New Delhi, Apr 14: Amid speculations of an extended lockdown just a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address, the country witnessed the deadliest day on Monday, as death toll rose to 324 with the Novel Coronavirus pandemic claiming 35 lives in the past 24 hours.

With 796 fresh Coronavirus cases, the country's tally mounted to 9,152, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, informed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Nation on Tuesday morning, the last day of 21- day nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Nation at 10 AM on April 14, 2020,' a statement from the Prime Minister's office said.

As per sources, Mr Modi is likely to announce a further extension of the lockdown. In a video-conference of the Prime Minister with Chief Ministers of all states on April 11, an overwhelming consensus was in the favour of extension of the lockdown as the trajectory of Covid cases was not declining. Maharashtra remained worst-affected with 1,985 cases and 149 casualties, followed by Delhi- -1176 cases and 24 deaths and Tamil Nadu--1075 cases and 11 deaths. As the cases are spiking steeply, the Health Ministry shared data to show that more than adequate arrangements were in place. 'In 601 hospitals, over 1 lakh beds are available,' a health official had said.

Highlighting the use of technology in the fight against deadly virus, the health department said the government is using technology for case tracking, management, implementation and monitoring of containment plans. Mr Agarwal said that any person suspected to have been infected, may contact either the central government or the concerned state government helpline numbers and accordingly based on symptoms guidance will be given on the specific situation and dedicated hospitals. He said the government has formed a core strategy group with CSIR based on a detailed review of Covid research, undertaken by the Union Health and S&T Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, wherein 38 CSIR labs are also involved. Gujarat has reported two more deaths and 22 new cases of Novel Coronavirus infection in the last 12 hours, taking the overall number of positive cases in the western state to 538, including 26 deaths and with 47 recoveries so far. (UNI)