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724 confirmed cases, 17 deaths due to coronavirus in India

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The Ministry of Health has informed that the total number of coronavirus positive cases in the country has increased to 724 till 9.15 am on Friday. The figure was 649 till 10.15 am on Thursday and it is expected to rise rapidly as fresh cases of the deadly virus, especially cases of local transmission, are being reported from across the country.

The death toll has also increased from 13 on Thursday to 17 on Friday as deaths were reported from Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka.

A major cause of concern for the Centre and the state governments is the fact that several cases of local transmissions are being reported, which means that the virus has already entered the native population and is no longer confined to passengers coming from abroad.

As per the state-wise breakup provided by the Health Ministry, Kerala is the worst affected state with over 137 confirmed cases of the virus. The western state has reported 130 cases of the virus so far. It has also reported four deaths due to the virus.

Karnataka has reported 55 cases of the virus and Telangana has reported 45 cases so far followed by Gujarat with 43 cases and Rajasthan with 41 cases. Uttar Pradesh has recorded 40 cases. Delhi has reported 36 cases, Punjab 33 cases, Haryana 30 cases, Tamil Nadu 29 cases, and Madhya Pradesh 20 cases. Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir have reported 13 cases each, Andhra Pradesh has reported 12 cases and West Bengal reported 10 cases.

All other states and union territories have reported confirmed coronavirus cases in single digit.

Notably, like Maharashtra, fresh cases of coronavirus are pouring in in the neighbouring state Gujarat, with several of them being cases of local transmissions—a major cause of concern for the state administration. This apart, Gujarat has also reported three deaths due to the virus—a 67-year-old woman succumbed to the virus in Surat, an 85-year-old woman died in Ahmedabad, and a 70-year-old man died at Bhavnagar.

As far as deaths are concerned, apart from the four deaths in Maharashtra, three deaths in Gujarat and two deaths in Karnataka, death due to coronavirus has been also reported from Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the entire country has been put under lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 21 days starting March 25. During this period, there will be a complete ban on the movement of people outside their homes and no public or private transportation will be available. The government, however, has assured that emergency services such as milk, grocery, vegetables, fruits, medical stores, hospitals, ambulance services, and clinics will continue to function.

Despite the assurance, people were seen indulging in panic buying after PM Modi announced the lockdown. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry informed that 15.24 lakh passengers had been screened at the airports till Tuesday, post which flight services were completely suspended in the country.

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