Coronavirus live updates on 31st March: Railways ready to modify 20,000 coaches to accommodate 3.2 lakh beds for isolation needs


The Covid-19 cases in India are rising rapidly. Government has announced lockdown till 14th April to stop the spread of infection. Also, the government is taking all preventive measures to suppress the coronavirus in India.

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19:21 IST: Railways ready to modify 20,000 coaches to accommodate 3.2 lakh beds for isolation needs
To help the government in its effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, Indian Railways said it would be prepared 20,000 coaches which can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh beds for isolation needs.

would be prepared to modify 20,000 coaches into quarantine and isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country. “As part of COVID-19 preparedness, it has been decided by Indian Railways that it would be prepared to modify 20000 coaches into quarantine and isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country. In this connection, consultations were held with Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical Department of various Zonal Railways, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/ isolation coaches,” an official statement said.
“These modified 20,000 coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs. Work on modification of 5,000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine and isolation coaches has already started,” it added.

These 5,000 coaches would be having the capacity to accommodate up to 80,000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation.
The Zonal Railways have been advised to plan for the said modifications immediately and inform the date of readiness of these rakes to Railway Board.
According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 1,251.

18:58 IST: Two coronavirus patients recover, discharged from AIIMS Raipur
wo coronavirus positive patients were discharged from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur after they tested negative for the disease.
“Two patients – 68-year-old and another 33-year-old – were found negative in coronavirus test during last four days. They were admitted in dedicated coronavirus ward at AIIMS Raipur recently. After rigorous medication and isolation as per ICMR protocol, they responded well to their treatment,” a medical bulletin issued by AIIMS Raipur said. “VRD lab in Microbiology Department found their two consecutive tests negative and they were discharged as per the ICMR guidelines. Other four patients admitted in AIIMS are also in stable condition,” it added.

18:38 IST: 89 active coronavirus cases in Delhi, no community transmission so far: Kejriwal
There are 89 known cases of COVID-19 in Delhi right now, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday while asserting that there is no community transmission of the deadly virus so far in the national capital and the local transmission is also under control.
“There are a total of 97 coronavirus cases including five who are cured and has been discharged from the hospital and two deaths. There are 89 cases right now. One patient is on the ventilator and two are on oxygen support. The condition of 86 patients is stable,” Kejriwal said in a press conference here. “In 97 cases, 24 cases are from (Tablighi Jamaat) Markaz, 41 cases of foreign travel and 22 cases are the family members of those who returned from abroad. Investigation of 10 cases is underway. Local transmission is under control and there is no community transmission so far. Coronavirus cases have gone up. The numbers might increase if people from Markaz test positive,” he said.

18:26 IST: MEA has identified suppliers to increase availability of logistic items in battle against coronavirus: Health Ministry
The Ministry of External Affairs has identified suppliers from South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam to increase the availability of logistic items needed in the battle against coronavirus, Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

“Ministry of External Affairs has identified suppliers from South Korea, Turkey and Vietnam to increase the availability of logistic items in the country,” said Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at a media briefing here. He said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working with local manufacturers to increase the supply of N95 masks.
“A science and technology-empowered committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Dr Vinod Paul, member of NITI Aayog and Professor K Vijay Raghavan, principal scientific adviser to Prime Minister,” Aggarwal said.

“This committee will coordinate with scientific agencies, scientists, industries and regulatory bodies,” he said, adding that scientists from the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), DRDO and All India Institute of Science are part of the committee.

17:46 IST: BHU researchers patent new COVID-19 test kit
Researchers at Banaras Hindu University’s Department of Molecular and Human Genetics on Tuesday said that they have invented a new coronavirus test kit that can give “accurate results in 5-6 hours”.
They have filed for a patent but it is still a long way to go before the test kit is approved for commercial production. “We have used the RTPCR method — which has been used as the screening method for COVID-19 worldwide — as our base in order to target the sequence. We have designed primers that target the particular sequence which is only present in COVID-19,” the department’s Associate Professor Dr. Geeta Rai told ANI.
She added that the COVID-19 sequence was not found in any other viruses like SARS. “We are hopeful that when testing is being done, it only detects the COVID-19 sequence and it would reduce the chances of getting a false positive,” she explained.
The ideation began in early March and the patent was filed at the Indian Patent Office on Friday. “Our aim was to ensure that small diagnostic labs can purchase the device and are hopeful that the costing of the test is also low,” said Rai.

17:01 IST: Twenty villages of Kashmir division declared as red zone
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday declared 20 villages of Kashmir division as ‘red zone’.
“20 villages including Parray Mohala Hajin, Chandergeer Hajin, Batagund Hajin in Bandipora district, Gudoora, Chandgam, Pinglena, Parigam, Abhama, Sangerwani and Khaigam in Pulwama district, Waskura in Ganderbal, Sedew, and Ramnagri in Shopian district have been declared as red zones,” said Department of Information and Public Relations, J-K, in a tweet. In Srinagar district, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Lal Bazar, Eidgah and Shalteng villages have been declared as red zones.
“Chadoora in Budgam district of Kashmir division has also been declared as red zone,” another tweet said.

16:49 IST: 227 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths in last 24 hours: Govt
As many as 227 new coronavirus cases and three deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, the Centre said on Tuesday.
A total of 1,251 cases have been reported in the country so far. “227 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, thus, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 1,251 and the number of deaths to 32 in the country,” Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, told media here.
He also said that the three deaths have been reported from Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
“The sudden increase in the number of confirmed cases has been due to delay in informing the authorities,” Aggarwal added.

16:12 IST: Tourism Ministry launches site to help foreign tourists stranded in India amid COVID-19 lockdown
The Ministry of Tourism on Tuesday launched a portal “Stranded in India” for the benefit of foreign tourists who are stranded in the country in the wake of coronavirus lockdown.
The site,, aims to disseminate information regarding services that can be availed by foreign tourists. “Ministry of Tourism has come up with a portal ‘Stranded In India’ to disseminate info regarding services that can be availed by foreign tourists who have been stuck far away from their homeland,” the Tourism Ministry said in a statement.
“Visit, an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, to find the information you may need to stay safe and also travel back home,” the ministry tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country to deal with the spread of the coronavirus, saying that ” social distancing” is the only option to deal with the disease.


15:37 IST: Centre brings key features for ventilators for COVID-19 patients
As ventilators are key life-saving equipment in the fight against coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Union Health Ministry has framed essential features for these machines to be used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. These vital features have been designed in collaboration with the Director-General (Life Sciences), Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

According to health ministry officials: “It has been done to ensure availability of essential and very important medical equipment in the view of COVID-19. These features of ventilators include that the machine should be turbine/compressor based because the installation sites might not have central oxygen lines.”

“Second, the machine should have invasive, non-invasive and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP) features to make them versatile. The ventilator machine should have 200-600 ml tidal volume, lung mechanics display, monitoring of plateau pressure, Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP), Pressure Support Ventilation (PSV), oxygen concentration, lung mechanics/inverse ratio (I:E),” said the official adding that the life-saving equipment should have the continuous working capability of 4-5 days.

The official informed that as of now less than 20 patients of COVID-19 are on ventilator support across the country. “We have nearly 14,000 ventilators dedicated to COVID-19 patients placed at various hospitals nationwide. We have placed more orders for 30,000 ventilators from Bharat Electronics Limited and some automobile manufacture’s like Maruti, TATA and Mahindra are in touch with us to develop ventilators. And they are capable for doing so,” said the official.
Last week, ANI had reported that Agva Healthcare in Noida is developing a prototype of ventilators for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). “Agva Healthcare will build up 10,000 ventilators and orders have been placed for the same,” said the official.
The Central government has also approached some international companies like Hamilton, Mindray and Draeger to supply additional machines. The government has also approached a Chinese supplier for 10,000 ventilators.
So far, India has reported over 1,200 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus and 32 deaths due to the deadly virus.

15:18 IST: Four more COVID-19 cases in Rajasthan, total reaches 93
Four more COVID-19 cases have been reported in Rajasthan, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 93, state Health Department said on Tuesday.
The total number includes 17 of the Indian evacuees from Iran. One case each has been reported from Jhunjhunu, Jaipur, Dungarpur and Ajmer in the state today, according to the Health Department.
As many as 5044 samples have tested negative in the state and 443 samples are under process.

14:49 IST: 17 more test positive for coronavirus, total rises to 44 in Indore
The total number of coronavirus positive cases in Indore rose to 44 after 17 more people tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
“The total number of Coronavirus positive cases rises to 44 in Indore after 17 people tested positive today. Their samples were sent to Bhopal for test two days back,” said Indore’s chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Praveen Jadiya. The movement of migrant labourers has been stopped completely in Madhya Pradesh as the State borders adjoining Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have been sealed in the wake of coronavirus threat.

14:15 IST: Coronavirus cases rises to 98 in Karnataka

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Karnataka rose to 98 on Tuesday, according to the state government. This includes 3 deaths and 6 patients who were cured and discharged, leaving the active cases to 89. Meanwhile, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj S Bommai said that his government has succeeded in tracking more than 24 people in Bengaluru, who attended the Tablighi Jamat event in Delhi held earlier this month.
“Over 24 people, who attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, tracked in Bengaluru. We have quarantined 54 people. 8 people also in Bidar. 1 person found positive in Bidar and we have quarantined him. There are people who attended jamaat from almost all districts of the state,” Bommai told ANI here.
Delhi’s Nizamuddin area emerged as a hotspot after a religious meeting was held at Markaz by the Tableeghi Jamaat earlier this month, and several COVID-19 positive cases have been found among those who attended the gathering.

12:35 IST: Gujarat reports 2 more COVID-19 cases, count rises to 73
Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Gujarat taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 73, said Jayanti Ravi Principal Secretary (Health), Gujarat government on Tuesday. The two positive cases include, a 55-year-old man from Ahmedabad and a woman from Gandhinagar. “Out of the 73 positive cases, two patients require ventilatory care and their condition is critical and rest are in a stable condition. The good news is that five patients have been discharged out of which three people are above the age of 60,” said Jayanti during a press briefing. She further added that there are sufficient number of ventilators in the state.

12:11 IST: Five new cases of coronavirus reported from Maharashtra
Five new cases of coronavirus have been reported from Maharashtra, according to the state Health Department.
Out of the five new cases, four have been reported from Mumbai and one has been reported from Pune. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state has risen up to 230. India has recorded 1,117 active COVID-19 positive cases. So far, 32 people have died of COVID-19.

11:51 IST: Seven new COVID-19 cases reported in Tamil Nadu
Seven new coronavirus positive cases have been reported in Tamil Nadu, the National Health Mission (NHM) said on Tuesday.
“Tamil Nadu has seven new COVID-19 cases. A 43-year-old male with travel history to Trivandrum, a 28-year-old male coworker of an earlier positive patient at Tiruvannamalai, three male patients at Vilupuram with travel history to history to Delhi, two male patients at Madurai Rajaji, travel history to Delhi. All patients are in isolation and stable,” NHM Tamil Nadu tweeted. India has recorded 1,117 active COVID-19 positive cases so far.

11:35 IST: Man under home isolation commits suicide in Chhattisgrah
A 35-year-old man from Tagapani, Dhamtari, who was put under home isolation by the health department after his return from Tamil Nadu, committed suicide.

He had no symptoms relating to the coronavirus and according to the Manisha Thakur, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) the deceased used to work in Bengaluru and he was currenty staying here at his place. “Reason for suicide unknown. A year ago, he lost his wife and son due to which he used to stay depressed,” Thakur added. India has recorded 1,117 active COVID-19 positive cases as on Monday night.

11:10 IST: 24 coronavirus cases found among those at Nizamuddin congregation: Delhi Health Minister
At least 24 people staying at Markaz building in Nizamuddin area of the national capital have tested positive for coronavirus, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday.
“All of them are being screened. We are not certain of the number but it is estimated that 1500-1700 people had assembled at the Markaz building. 1033 people have been evacuated so far – 334 of them have been sent to the hospital and 700 sent to quarantine centre. Total 24 positive cases have been found so far,” he said while speaking to reporters here. The minister also slammed the organisers of the religious event saying that they have committed a grave crime.

“The event’s organisers committed a grave crime. Disaster Act and Contagious Diseases Act was enforced in Delhi, no assembly of more than 5 people was allowed. Still, they did this. I have written to Lieutenant Governor to take strict action against them. Delhi government has given an order to file an FIR against the organisers,” the Health Minister said.

Earlier, the Delhi government had said: “It has come to our knowledge that administrators of Nizammuddin Markaz violated coronavirus lockdown conditions and now several positive cases have been found. Strong action would be taken against those in charge of this establishment. Delhi government will ask the police to register an FIR against Maulana of Markaz, Nizamuddin.”

10:35 IST: Seven evacuees from Iran test positive for COVID-19, total cases in Rajasthan reach 83
Seven people, who were evacuated from Iran, have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 83, said Rajasthan Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh on Tuesday.
Four new coronavirus cases had earlier been reported today in the State including a 44-year-old man from Jhunjhunu with travel history to Dubai, a 17-year-old girl from Ajmer and a 65-year-old man from Dungarpur, both are contacts of an earlier positive case and a 60-year-old man from Jaipur, according to the Rajasthan Health Department. India has recorded 1,117 active COVID-19 positive cases, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

10:32 IST: UP govt appoints nodal officer in Gautam Buddh Nagar to combat COVID-19
The Uttar Pradesh government has appointed CEO of the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), Narendra Bhooshan, as the officer-in-charge for the district for efforts to control the COVID-19 infection.
According to an order issued by Special Secretary Dhananjay Shukla, Bhooshan has been appointed to take actions related to managing facilities for preventing the spread, and treatment of the infection along with ensuring the supply of essential commodities in the district. All officials of the police, health, administration and others, including those of the NOIDA authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority have been instructed to provide all help necessary to Bhooshan for carrying out his duty.

10:20 IST: One more tests positive for Covid-19 in Andaman and Nicobar
The designated laboratory for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar, RMRC-ICMR, Dollygunj has tested 33 likely COVID-19 cases on March 29, out of which only one was found positive, said Andaman and Nicobar administration.

The total number of cases found positive in the Union Territory stands at 10 out of 99 samples tested till date. Earlier, Chetan Sanghi, Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands had urged people to not panic or believe rumours. He assured them door delivery of groceries and medicines amid total lockdown in the Union Territory.

In a bid to contain COVID-19 spread, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a nationwide 21-day-long lockdown which started from March 25. He urged people to stay home and maintain social distancing to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

09:59 IST: Five more test positive for COVID-19 in Mumbai, total reaches 225
Five fresh coronavirus cases have been reported in Maharashtra taking the total number of positive cases in the State to 225, said Maharashtra Health Department on Tuesday.
Out of the five fresh cases, one has been reported from Mumbai, two from Pune and two from Buldhana. Meanwhile, given the infectious nature of coronavirus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said that if a COVID-19 patient dies, the body will be cremated irrespective of religion.


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