Coronavirus live updates | Five States account for 80% of new infections

Three States — Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab account for 76.48% of India’s total active cases currently with the country on Friday reporting 39,726 new COVID-19 cases

“Some states in the country are reporting a surge in the daily new COVID-19 cases. Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh together account 80.63% of the daily new cases,’’ data released by the Health Ministry said.

Sixteen States/Union Territories have not reported any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Bihar braces for second wave of COVID-19

With the COVID-19 numbers gradually rising in Bihar amid apprehensions over a second wave of the pandemic, the State Health Department has cancelled the leave of all doctors and health workers till April 5 with immediate effect.

The order cancels leave of all Medical Officers, Principals, Superintendents, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, and other technicians and assistants.

Health workers on leave have also been asked to report to duty as soon as possible. However, those on maternity and study leave have been excluded from the purview of the order. “The leave of doctors and health workers has been cancelled to maintain special vigil and surveillance to contain the spread of second wave of the pandemic,” said the order issued by Anil Kumar, Joint Secretary, State Health Department.

On March 17, following an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the COVID-19 situation across the country, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that the “situation in the State is under control but we should be careful”.

BBMP moots closure of gyms, party halls, swimming pools

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), worried about the rise in COVID-19 cases, wants the State government to close open air gyms in parks, regular gyms, swimming pools and party or community halls in apartments to stem the spread of the virus. It plans to submit its recommendations, which also include reduced occupancy in theatres, to the State government.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said that five zones – East, West, South, Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli – were reporting more than 100 cases a day. In comparison, the number of cases is fewer in Rajarajeshwarinagar, Dasarahalli and Yelahanka zones.

“In light of the increase in cases, we have already had preliminary discussions with the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare. We will recommend closure of gyms, swimming pools and party/ community halls in apartments, apart from closure of open air gyms in all BBMP parks,” he said.

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