Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry. (Photo Credit: ANI)
Stating that the partial lockdown defeats the purpose of breaking the chain of transmission of the deadly novel coronavirus, Union Health Ministry on Monday said that a complete lockdown has been announced in 19 states and union territories. “A complete lockdown has been announced in 19 states and Union Territories (UTs). Some parts of 6 states and union territories have been kept under lockdown,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.
The development comes as a total number of coronavirus confirmed cases has jumped to 415. “415 confirmed cases reported so far, 23 patients discharged, 7 deaths reported - some of them also had co-morbid conditions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has announced that 12 laboratory chains. “12 laboratory chains have been registered and they have started functioning. These 12 have 15,000 collection centres across the country,” ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava said.
ICMR has also recommended Hydroxychloroquine only for a healthcare worker who is treating a coronavirus patient. “Secondly, it's recommended only for persons staying and caring for a household positive patient. They can take that only for prophylaxis, only for prevention,” Bhargava added.
Earlier on Sunday, it was decided to shutdown75 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported. The officials asked all the state governments to ensure that the poor don't face problems in these districts during lockdown.
“In view of the need to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19, it was agreed that there was an urgent need to extend the restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport, including interstate transport buses till March 31,” a Union Home Ministry official said.