The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 606 on Wednesday as authorities beefed up preparedness to fight the pandemic with a chain of hospitals of the Army ordnance factories and central paramilitary forces earmarking over 2,000 beds for isolation and treatment of people affected by COVID-19.
In addition, the Hamirpur district administration in Himachal Pradesh took over all the ten hostels with 2,000 rooms of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) for creating an isolation centre, an official said in Shimla.
A 2,200-bed state-run hospital in Kolkata has stopped admitting new patients who are suffering from other diseases and was discharging patients whose condition had improved as part of efforts to create a dedicated isolation centre, another official said in Kolkata.
Addressing people of his constituency in Varanasi via a video link, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that social distancing and staying indoors were the only way out and the best option to deal with coronavirus.
“Around one lakh people infected with coronavirus are recovering, this also needs to be highlighted,” he said.
“People should focus on how deadly this virus is. This disease doesn't discriminate between rich and poor," the prime minister said, a day after he announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to try halt the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown came into effect from midnight.
The all India tally, however, did not take into account one death each reported on Wednesday by state officials in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. The deaths were the first casualties from the viral infection for the two states.
An 85-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with coronavirus died on Wednesday, the Gujarat health department said. It was the second COVID-19 death in the state, it added.
“One coronavirus positive patient, female, 85 years, died in Ahmedabad today. She had travelled abroad, and after developing symptoms of COVID-19, she was admitted at civil hospital on March 22,” the department said in a tweet.
A 65-year-old woman succumbed to coronavirus at a government hospital in Indore becoming the first case of COVID-19 death in Madhya Pradesh, officials said.
The woman, who had no history of travelling abroad in recent times, originally hailed from neighbouring Ujjain and was undergoing treatment at the government-run M Y Hospital in Indore.
A 54-year-old man infected with the coronavirus died at a hospital in Madurai in the early hours of Wednesday, Tamil Nadu's first recorded death due to the disease, state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said.
The man had a medical history of prolonged illness with uncontrolled diabetes, he added.
*Delhi reports five new cases in 24 hours, number of cases rises to 35
*Tamil Nadu reports three new cases; tally goes up to 28
*Madhya Pradesh reports six new cases; total goes up to 15. Journalist from Bhopal among new patients
*Chandigarh: Two more test positive; tally now at 3
*Uttar Pradesh: One more tests positive, count rises to 38
*Gujarat: COVID-19 cases at 39; over 1 cr tracked under surveillance programme
*Rajasthan: Six fresh cases, total goes up to 38
*Telangana: number of cases rises to 41
*Mizoram: 50-year-old man tests positive; 2nd case in Northeast
*Karnataka: Ten more cases, total rises to 51
*Punjab: Two more test positive, total cases rise to 31
*Kashmir: Four more test positive, taking the number of cases to 11
*Andhra Pradesh reports two more positive cases
*Gujarat govt to provide food items free to six million poor families
*HC directs MEA to ensure safety of Indian students stranded in Kazakhstan
*No newspaper delivery in Mumbai till March 31
*Suspension of railway services to be extended till April 14
*Iran announces 143 new deaths, toll crosses 2,000
*US reports over 60,000 cases, 827 dead
*Coronavirus cases in Russia reach 658 after biggest daily rise
*Spain overtakes China virus toll with 3,434 deaths
*Pakistan suspends domestic flights as cases cross 1,000
*South Africa’s coronavirus cases rise sharply to 709
*Libya reports first case
*Microsoft will get out of COVID-19 crisis ’pretty strong’: Satya Nadella
*Coronavirus toll rises to five in Bangladesh, no new case of infection in 24 hours
*Palestinians report first death
*Nepal reports third positive case