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Highest jump in coronavirus cases in last 24-hours, tally touches 873

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In a major cause of concern for the Union and state governments, coronavirus cases saw the biggest jump in the past 24 hours with 149 fresh cases being reported across India.  The Ministry of Health has informed that the total number of coronavirus positive cases in the country has increased to 873 till 9.30 am on Saturday. The figure was 724 till 9.30 am on Friday 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 due to the virus that had increased from 13 on Thursday to 17 on Friday has now touched 19 as deaths were more deaths were reported from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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, Maharashtra is the worst affected state with over 180 confirmed cases of the virus followed by the southern state of Kerala that has reported 173 cases. Maharashtra has also reported five deaths due to the virus so far, whereas no deaths have been reported from Kerala.

Karnataka has reported 55 cases of the virus and Telangana and Rajasthan have reported 48 cases each so far followed by Gujarat with 47 cases. Uttar Pradesh has recorded 45 cases. Delhi has reported 39 cases, Punjab 38 cases, Tamil Nadu 29 cases, Haryana 33 cases, and Madhya Pradesh 30 cases. Jammu and Kashmir has reported 18 cases each, West Bengal has 15 cases, Andhra Pradesh has reported 14 cases and Ladakh reported 13 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 five deaths in Maharashtra, three deaths in Gujarat, two deaths in Madhya Pradesh and two deaths in Karnataka, death due to coronavirus has been also reported from Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, 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.