The government continued to gear up its preparations in the fight against COVID-19 with three-way categorisation of districts as the total number of positive cases mounted to 11,933.
Out of total number of cases, 10,197 are active while 1,344 patients have been "cured/discharged/migrated" and 392 people have died.
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued revised guidelines on Wednesday about the extension of lockdown which also said that wearing of face cover is mandatory in all workplaces and public places.
With 117 new cases, Maharashtra continues to have the largest number of 2,801 COVID-19 positive cases. Of these, Mumbai has 1936 cases followed by Pune with 44, according to the state Health Department. Dharavi area in Mumbai has reported 60 COVID-19 positive cases.
As many as 35 staff members of a Mumbai hospital have tested COVID-19 positive.
Fresh cases have been reported several states including West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
In Indore, the number has gone up to 555 with 117 new cases.
A COVID-19 patient died in Meghalaya while six of his contacts have also tested positive for the infection.
While no case was reported from Gurugram for the sixth consecutive day, the number of cases in Haryana rose to 190.
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal said that Delhi will use plasma technique for treatment on a trial basis to save lives of critical COVID-19 patients.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar administration added seven new areas in the district as hotspots including Sector 50 Noida, Shatabdi Rail Vihar Sector 2 Noida, Eldeco Utopia Sector 93A Noida, Gaur City 14 Avenue Noida Extension, ETA-1 Greater Noida and Kulsera Greater Noida.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a high-level review meeting through video conference with all chief secretaries, health secretaries, DGPs, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners, SPs, CMOs and other officials of States/UTs and held a detailed discussion on a range of issues including large outbreak containment strategies and cluster containment strategies.
Stones were pelted at an ambulance carrying a team of medical personnel and police in UP''s Moradabad, which had gone to escort family members of a person who died of COVID-19 here, to a quarantine facility.
Sharing details regarding the incident, SSP Amit Pathak said, "A COVID-19 positive patient had passed away in Nagphani area. In this regard, the patient''s first contact, his family members, were to be quarantined. A medical team and police team had visited here for the same."
"When the family members came out, a crowd pelted stones. The ambulance and police vehicle got damaged. We are sending the family members to the quarantine centre. The situation is under control now. We will identify the people involved in this incident and strict action will be taken against them," he said.
Addressing the daily regular press briefing, Indian Council of Medical Research''s (ICMR) head scientists Dr Raman R. Gangakhedkar said that according to research in China, it was found that coronavirus might have mutated in bats so as to infect humans.
"There is also a possibility that bats might have transmitted it to pangolins, and from pangolins, it got transmitted to humans," he said.
"We also conducted surveillance. We found that there are two types of bats, and they carried coronavirus which was not capable of affecting humans. It''s rare, maybe once in 1000 years that it gets transmitted from bats to humans," he added.
Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said the districts of the country will be classified into three categories - hotspot districts, non-hotspot districts with cases being reported from there and the green zone districts."
The Home Ministry guidelines said a few relaxations have been given to the movement and operations of some more industries in areas that have not been declared as hotspots or containment zones.
However, precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing masks have to be followed.
The MHA also said that no unchecked movement of people except those maintaining essential services and providing medical care will be permitted from the COVID-19 ''hotspot'' zones.
The ministry emphasized that even the activities allowed under the new guidelines will not be permitted in the ''hotspot'' zones or the areas/clusters with high occurrence of COVID-19 cases.
As per the guidelines, all educational, training, coaching institutions shall remain closed. However, these establishments are expected to maintain the academic schedule through online teaching during the lockdown.
The bank branches and ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations, banking correspondents, ATM operation and cash management agencies will remain functional during the period.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held a high-level meeting through video conferencing with the World Health Organization (WHO) officials on measures to combat COVID-19.
A Health Ministry release said districts have been told to classify hospitals as: COVID Care Centres for mild cases or very mild cases, COVID Health Centres for clinical moderate cases requiring oxygen support and COVID Dedicated Hospitals for severe and critical cases with ventilator support.
Here''s a quick read on the COVID-19 related updates:
1. Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal said that Delhi will use plasma technique for treatment on a trial basis to save lives of critical COVID-19 patients.
2. An FIR was registered here against nine Bangladeshi nationals for allegedly misusing their travel visa by being involved in religious preaching under Tablighi Jamaat and for trying to spread coronavirus, police said on Wednesday.
3. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday launched a COVID-19 portal on its website to disseminate relevant information in relation to the novel coronavirus.
4. The United Kingdom will receive nearly 3 million units of paracetamol from India.
5. Andhra Pradesh government has set up an additional 471 temporary Rythu Bazars, which are government-run vegetable markets where farmers directly sell their produce.
6. OYO Hotels and Homes has decided to open the doors to its hotels and offering free stays to doctors, nurses and other medical first responders who are helping in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) in India.
7. The Jharkhand Police has issued a set of guidelines for promoting "safe usage" of social media by citizens.
8. Delhi High Court on Wednesday extended the suspension of the functioning of the High Court and its subordinate courts till May 3, when the extended lockdown is scheduled to end.
9. Cab aggregator Ola on Wednesday announced its partnership with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to support essential mobility amid the lockdown.
10. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) administration informed that no deductions will be made from the salaries and Resident doctors who wish to contribute to the PM-CARES Fund should voluntarily do so. (ANI)