By Cheena Kapoor
NEW DELHI, India (AA) – Despite a complete lockdown in the country, the coronavirus cases in India continued to rise on Thursday.
The second day of the complete lockdown in the country saw a rise of 48 new cases. India had seen the highest surge in infections on Monday, with 99 cases, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a lockdown in the country, confining 1.3 billion people indoors.
According to the U.S.-based John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, India has so far reported nearly 700 COVID-19 cases, and 13 deaths.
On Thursday morning, a doctor from a Delhi government-run clinic, along with his wife and daughter, tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total cases in Delhi to 36. A total of 800 people who came in contact with the doctor have been quarantined for 14 days, said Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain to local media.
“All Mohalla Clinics will remain functional as this is paramount to keep patients away from tertiary hospitals, saving them from infection and travel- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal clarified all doubts in the press conference,” tweeted Kejriwal’s office, after the doctor, from a Mohalla clinic — a Delhi government-run primary health clinic — tested positive in Maujpur area of East Delhi.
Videos circulating on social media showed police using the strictest methods to keep people indoors.
Delhi Police, in its tweet, confirmed that they have been issuing ‘curfew passes’ for the movement of people involved in the essential good and services, the concerned Delhi-based organizations have to get the curfew passes from their respective district police headquarters.
“Single window system installed at Delhi Commissioner of Police Office of Outer North district, Samaypur Badli, for issuing curfew passes,” tweeted DCP of North area.
Leading to measures to ensure the supply of medical textiles, the Textiles Ministry, late Wednesday, announced the setting-up of an Emergency Control Office.
“Government has set up an Emergency Control Room under the Textiles Ministry to monitor production & supply of medical textiles including N95 masks, Body Coveralls and melt-blown fabric, required in connection with COVID-19. Anyone having any issue regarding the supply of these medical textiles may contact officers,” tweeted Smriti Irani, the union minister for textiles.
Modi also asked people to not panic and avoid going into a self-medicating mode.
“When it comes to fighting COVID-19, please do not self-medicate. Consult your doctors and then move ahead,” tweeted Modi.
The government also banned the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine with immediate effect to ensure sufficient availability of the medicine in the domestic market. The Indian Council of Medical Research had recommended its use for treating healthcare workers handling coronavirus cases.
Announcing the lockdown Tuesday, Modi said only essential services such as water, electricity, health services, fire services, groceries, and municipal services will be allowed to operate.
All shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, markets and places of worship will be closed and interstate buses and metros will be suspended. Construction activity will also be halted.
– Global situation
After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 474,200 while the death toll has crossed 21,300 and over 115,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.
Italy, China, Iran, and Spain continue to be the most affected countries.
Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.