COVID-19 updates (Updated daily): PM to address nation at 10 am tomorrow | Rapid testing kits from China delayed


[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan and Siddhant Kalra]

India registered its first case of COVID-19 on January 30 in Kerala. Since then, the disease has spread across the world and has acquired the status of a pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The global death toll from the deadly disease has to date surpassed 11,000. In India, fresh cases are on the rise even as the Central and State governments adopt a slew of measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Please stay with us on this page, as we bring you fresh updates daily from around the country on the latest numbers, policies and other key developments in our cities with relation to COVID-19:

April 13, 2020 | Number of cases: 9152 | Number of deaths: 308

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address the nation in a televised speech at 10am on Tuesday. The speech is expected to see the formal announcement of the extension of the nationwide lockdown that has been in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown is expected to be extended until April 30th. A few states such as Punjab, Odisha, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already announced the extension of the lockdown in their respective areas.

Citing the positive impact of one of the strictest lockdowns imposed across the world to contain COVID-19, the Central Government said that there had been no new coronavirus positive cases in 25 districts where a positive case had previously been found. The 25 districts across the country have been coronavirus-free for 14 days. The districts mentioned are spread across 15 states. This is considered as a sign of the illness abating spread in the areas as the incubation period prior to the symptoms affecting individuals has been usually found to be 14 days.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has said that the number of testing kits in the country’s possession is enough to carry out tests for six weeks. The assurance comes after news came in about the Indian government’s difficulty in procuring rapid testing kits from China. A shipment of 500,000 kits that were ordered on March 30th are yet to arrive. Another shipment of rapid testing kits ordered by Tamil Nadu had been diverted to the US, raising questions about the country’s ability to carry out tests as the cases continue to mount. To date, India has conducted 2,06,212 tests. 

In a worrying development, the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Mumbai’s slums, intensifying suspicion that there is community spread of the illness. The largest slum, Dharavi has seen 47 positive COVID-19 cases and five deaths so far. The first case was detected on April 1st. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is conducting door-to-door checks and has screened around 7200 persons of which 82 were referred for testing. Extensive contact tracing of affected individuals is also being carried out. Other slums in Shivaji Nagar, Baiganwadi and Lotus colony have also reported positive cases for COVID-19 in the past two days.

Last updated, April 13th, 7:00 pm

[Previous daily updates]

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.