(TibetanReview.net, Apr19’20) – As China announced Apr 18 that the risk rating for the whole of Wuhan City, the original epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019, had been downgraded to low, the infections and deaths across the rest of the world keeps increasing by nearly a hundred thousand and by tens of thousands respectively each day. The data on Apr 19 from WHO and other sources show that there were now a total of 2,331,652 infections and 155,689 deaths across the world while a total of 599,906 had recovered. In India, the daily rises in the numbers of infections and deaths continue to be high, leaving little room for the relaxation of lockdown restrictions after Apr 20 otherwise promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Health Ministry data as of Apr 19 at 8AM show that the cumulative total of infections in the country had touched 15,712 and the deaths 507, representing increase by 1,334 and 27 respectively during the preceding 24 hours. These numbers are somewhat smaller than data compiled by other sources, including the widely cited source Johns Hopkins University.
Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected state with 3,651 (+328) infections, followed by Delhi with 1,893 (+186) infections, Madhya Pradesh with 1,407 (+97) infections, Gujarat with 1,376 (+277) infections, Tamil Nadu with 1,372 (+49) infections, Rajasthan with 1,351 (+122) infections, Uttar Pradesh with 969 (+120) infections, Telangana with 809 (+43) infections, Andhra Pradesh with 603 (+31) infections, Kerala with 400 (+4) infections, Karnataka with 384 (+25) infections, Jammu & Kashmir with 341 (+13) infections, West Bengal with 310 (+23) infections, Haryana with 225 (+0) infections, and Punjab with 202 (+0) infections.
Other badly hit states/Union Territories were Bihar, 86 (+3); Odisha, 61 (+1); Uttarakhand, 42 (+2); Himachal Pradesh, 39 (+3); Chattisgarh, 36 (+0), Assam, 35 (+0); Jharkhand, 34 (+1), Chandigarh, 23 (+2); Ladakh, 18 (+0); Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 14 (+2); and Meghalaya 11 (+2).
Besides, Puducherry (7), Goa (7), Manipur (2), Tripura (2), Mizoram (1), and Arunachal Pradesh (1) and had reported cases. One case in Nagaland was transferred to Assam.
Maharashtra also had the most number of deaths at 211 (+10), followed by Madhya Pradesh, 70 (+1); Gujarat, 53 (+12); Delhi, 42 (+0); Telangana, 18 (+0); Tamil Nadu 15 (+0); Andhra Pradesh, 15 (+1); Punjab, 13 (+0); Karnataka, 14 (+1); Uttar Pradesh, 14 (+0); West Bengal, 12 (+2); Rajasthan, 11 (+0); Jammu & Kashmir, 5 (+0); Haryana, 3 (+0), Kerala, 3 (+0); Jharkhand, 2 (+0); and Bihar 2 (+0). Besides Odisha, HP, Meghalaya, and Assam had 1 death each. (Source: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/)
Around 30% of the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in India were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in mid-March at Nizamuddin Markaz in New Delhi, timesofindia.com Apr 19 cited India’s health ministry as saying Apr 18, underlining how the event had contributed significantly to the caseload of 23 states that included those with high burden of the infection. The religious congregation, held in defiance of official notices against holding group activities, accounted for 80% of the cases in Tamil Nadu, 79% of the cases in Telangana, 63% of the cases in Delhi, and 61% of the cases in Andhra Pradesh.
In Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Apr 19 that the lockdown-related restrictions will not be relaxed after Apr 20, pointing out that the number of positive cases was on the rise in the city and lifting prohibitions on economic activities may worsen the situation. He has added that the decision will be reviewed a week after that.
In Himachal Pradesh two new cases were reported from Hamirpur and one from Solan, taking the state’s cumulative total to 39. Una accounts for the highest number of cases at 16, followed by Solan at 9, Chamba at 6, Kangra at 5, Hamirpur at 2, and Sirmaur at 1. Of them 22 remain active. Besides, a total of 6,739 were under surveillance while 4,800 had completed their 28-day quarantine. The samples tested totaled 2,240.
At least 23 of the state’s cases were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in March in Delhi.
Worryingly, about 80 per cent of the positive cases in Kangra and Chamba districts were asymptomatic, reported tribuneindia.com Apr 18.
At present, the state government is testing only people who come from outside and have symptoms similar to that of coronavirus infection; fever is considered as a major symptom, the report added.
Chances of curfew being relaxed after Apr 20 seems unlikely with four new cases being detected within two days, including two from Hamirpur which had been corona-free, reported tribuneindia.com Apr 19.
Hamirpur has now been sealed since the two cases from it had no travel or contact history.