Here are top 10 developments on coronavirus cases in India:
A total of 130 districts across the country are marked as hotspots or Red Zones where strict containment measures are in place to check the spread of COVID-19, according to the government data. 319 districts are marked as Green Zones (least affected by the pandemic) and 284 districts have been identified as Orange Zones. Seven metro cities- Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Pune - are in Red Zones. Over the last two weeks, the number of hotpots have reduced from 170 to 130, according to the data.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Home Minister Amit Shah and others to discuss ways to attract more foreign investment and boost the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Various strategies to bring investments into India in a fast-track mode and to promote Indian domestic sectors were discussed. Detailed discussions were held on guiding states to evolve their strategies and be more proactive in attracting investments," a statement released by the government said.
In Maharashtra - the worst hit state in the country due to coronavirus outbreak - the COVID-19 count crossed the 10,000-mark on Thursday. Mumbai, one of India's worst-affected cities, has reported over 7,000 cases so far. The state has reported over 450 deaths so far linked to the highly infectious illness.
Punjab and Maharashtra recorded the biggest spike in the number of cases on Thursday. Tamil Nadu reported 161 coronavirus cases in a single day on Thursday taking the total tally in the state to 2,323. At least 27 people have died in the state due to COVID-19 and 1,258 have recovered.
Punjab reported the biggest single-day spike with 105 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu has blamed the Maharashtra government for not conducting tests of the pilgrims who were stranded there in Nanded city after many of them tested positive for COVID-19. "Maharashtra government did not help the pilgrims," he said.
In Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government has upped its surveillance measures in containment zones, declaring that instead of once, the screening of all people in these areas will be done thrice in 14 days. The national capital currently has 98 containment zones, 11 of which have a population of over 1 lakh.
Several states in northeast India and southern parts of the country have taken lead in containing COVID-19 spread. The growth rate of coronavirus cases is down to nearly zero in the northeastern states and under 3 per cent per day in Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala and Haryana where cases are taking well over 20 days to double, data from the Union Health Ministry shows. Ten days ago, the rate at which the coronavirus infection was doubling across India was eight days and now it has improved to 14 days.
After Mumbai, Uttrarakhand has decided not to deploy policemen above 55 years of age in COVID-19-hit areas. On Tuesday, Mumbai cops over 55 were asked to stay home after three cops died of coronavirus in the city. In Delhi, a testing centre has been set up exclusively for policemen.
New guidelines to fight COVID-19 which will give considerable relaxations to many districts will come into effect from May 4 when the nationwide lockdown is set to expire, the Union Home Ministry said on Wednesday. Details of the new measures will be communicated in the days to come, the Home Ministry spokesperson said on Twitter.
Worldwide, nearly 33 lakh people have contracted coronavirus so far since China first reported the outbreak; more than 2 lakh, 30 thousand have died. In United States - the epicentre of the pandemic - the number of known infections climbed to well over 1 million; more than 62,000 have died.
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