COVID-19 updates (Updated daily): Speculation increases over lockdown exit | India relaxes ban on drug exports

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN INDIA (updated 7th April 2020)

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March 30, 2020 | Number of cases: 1071 | Number of deaths: 29

Addressing the daily press briefing on COVID updates and action taken, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Lav Agarwal strongly refuted the possibility of community transmission in the country, though it had been indicated by the The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the health ministry on Sunday. Agarwal told mediapersons today that there is only local transmission and any reference to community transmission would only amount to speculation.

On Sunday, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the health ministry on Sunday made a reference to limited community transmission of the illness. The conclusion was based on the tests being conducted by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) amongst cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) where there have been some instances where the source of exposure could not be ascertained. Officials however added that COVID-19 transmission is not out of hand as the numbers of such cases are “not exponential” and that the illness is not spreading rapidly.

In a new strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19 the government is mooting the idea of identification of possible hotspots and clusters where the infection has been found and creation of containment zones. The strategy would involve cordoning off the hotspots and rigorous checks and monitoring of individuals within the containment zones for any symptoms. This exercise will be undertaken on war footing. 

An event at a mosque in Delhi could be the site of an outbreak with many attendees tested for possible transmission. So far 175 attendees of the event have been tested and 2000 have been placed under quarantine. One attendee of the event has died while two more have tested positive for COVID-19. The mosque routinely sees visitors from abroad. Contact tracing has commenced for all attendees of the event as many of them have been found to have visited from all parts of the country.

Last updated, March 30th, 7:00 pm

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