Trying to identify Coronavirus hotspots across India: Health ministry

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry (File Image)

“Six deaths, 106 positive COVID-19 cases reported in last 24 hours from six states. We are trying to identify hot spots,” Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Joint Secretary (Health Department) Lav Agarwal said till now, there are 979 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, including 25 deaths.

R Ganga Ketkar of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) said till Sunday, 34,931 tests were conducted for the contagion. “Capacity utilisation in the ICMR network is around 30 per cent. We have increased the number of laboratories, 113 have been made functional and 47 private laboratories have been given the approval to conduct COVID-19 tests,” he said.

Joint Secretary (Home Affairs-Internal Security) Punya Salila Srivastava said employers must be instructed to give full wages to workers on the due date without any deduction for the closed-down period and landlords cannot charge rent for this period.

She also said the workers cannot be forced to vacate the premises. “The SPs and DMs will be held personally responsible for its strict implementation,” Srivastava said, referring to the orders issued to stop the mass exodus of migrant workers.

She also said that the states were instructed to seal the borders. Agarwal said the ongoing 21-day lockdown has resulted in some behavioural, mental health issues and NIMHANS has launched a toll-free number – 08046110007 – for consultation.

Asked to provide the number of patients presently on ventilator, he said that data was being monitored at the state level.

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