COVID-19: ICMR says 206 cases in India, contradicts health min numbers

The Union health ministry put the tally to 195 after registering 22 fresh cases of coronavirus

World Health Organisation, Coronavirus, Coronavirus outbreak
The ICMR has established a fast-track mechanism for validation of non-US FDA EUA/CE IVD approved kits at ICMR NIV Pune.

There are 206 COVID-19 cases in India, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Friday (March 20) even as the Union health ministry put the tally to 195 after registering 22 fresh cases of the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has killed nearly 10,000 people globally.

Meanwhile, a 69-year-old Italian tourist who had “recovered” from the novel coronavirus died at a private hospital in Jaipur after suffering a massive cardiac arrest late on Thursday night, SMS Medical College principal Sudhir Bhandari said.

Interactive: Know the coronavirus stats here

According to ICMR data updated on March 20, a total of 206 individuals have been found positive among “suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases”. “A total of 14,376 samples from 13,486 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2 as on March 20,” ICMR added.

The Union health ministry data of 195 included 32 foreign nationals — 17 from Italy, three from the Philippines, two from the UK, one each belonging to Canada, Indonesia and Singapore. The figure also includes four deaths reported from Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra so far.

“The total number of active COVID 2019 cases across India stands at 171 so far,” the ministry said, adding that 20 others have been cured/discharged/migrated while four have died.

Delhi has, so far, reported 17 positive cases which includes one foreigner, while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 19 cases, including one foreigner. Maharashtra has 47 cases, including three foreigners, while Kerala has recorded 28 cases which include two foreign nationals.

Related news: Mumbai, Pune offices shut till March 31 due to COVID-19 outbreak

Karnataka has 15 coronavirus patients. The number of cases in Ladakh rose to 10 and Jammu and Kashmir four. Telangana has reported 16 cases which include nine foreigners. Rajasthan has also reported seven cases including that of two foreigners. Tamil Nadu has three cases so far while Andhra Pradesh has two. In Haryana, there are 17 cases, which include 14 foreigners.

As coronavirus continued its upward trajectory across the country, the Centre and the state governments faced double-barrel challenge — strengthening its check and prevention mechanism, to contain the spread of the virus and addressing public panic leading to hoarding essential items. Despite appeals to not hoard items, long lines were seen at grocery stores, pharmacies and other outlets selling other essential stuff, throwing the caution of social distancing to the wind.

Meanwhile, Traderss body, CAIT said its members across India will keep their establishments shut on Sunday in response to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a self-imposed janata curfew.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said all the malls in the national capital will be closed in view of COVID-19 threat, except for grocery, pharmacy and vegetable stores in them.

Related news: Italian tourist who ‘recovered’ from coronavirus dies in Jaipur hospital

The Delhi government also issued an advisory for the private sector to allow their employees to work from home till March, and asked people, particulary senior citizens, pregnant women and those affected with hypertension and diabetes, to remain at home.

With a Punjab woman, who had tested positive for the coronavirus, fleeing from the hospital and subsequently booked for doing so, Union minister G Kishan Reddy urged family members to not resist the government move to test and quarantine people returning from countries battling coronavirus.

Sporting and Bollywood fraternity also tried their bit in creating awareness with India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli and his actor wife Anushka Sharma issue a joint appeal for self-isolation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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