COVID19: Over 7400 cases, 239 deaths in India; PM likely to address people today

New Delhi: Coronavirus has killed 239 people in India, with 40 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The total number of positive cases detected in the country is now 7,447.

With 1,574 people testing positive for novel coronavirus in it, Maharashtra has the most such cases in India.

The virus was first detected in China in December. A novel virus is one that has not been previously identified in humans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation again to announce his decision on whether the coronavirus lockdown will end on Tuesday. Before the decision, he will meet with Chief Ministers via video conference today.

Globally, the number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus reached one lakh on Friday, as the tally of cases passed 16 lakh, according to a Reuters tally.

In Delhi, the number of COVID-19 hotspots stands at 30, up from 25 on Thursday, where strict containment measures are being taken including a total ban on people leaving their homes.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says more testing is a key step in the fight against the virus and cities like Mumbai have ramped up testing with more testing kits being procured and private labs conducting tests as well.

Random coronavirus tests on patients with severe respiratory diseases are showing that more and more people with no travel or contact history are contracting the virus. Data compiled by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) showed that 38 per cent of such patients, who later tested positive for the virus, had no history of travel.

The ICMR, the nodal body for the fight against the virus, has amped up testing in hotspots identified and sealed in Delhi and several other states. Now people present in the hotspots, whether connected to the patients or not, will be tested if they are showing symptoms of the disease for at least a week, the medical body said.

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