India records first coronavirus death

India has recorded its first coronavirus death after a 76-year-old man passed away in Karnataka on March 13, prompting the state government to raise the alert level to a pandemic. The victim hailed from Kalaburgi in Gulbarga district and had been undergoing treatment for Covid 19.Karnataka reported several cases of coronavirus cases over the past few days. On March 12, the Union health ministry had put the total number of Covid 19 cases in the country at 73.Following the death, the Karnataka government has declared the state as pandemic to beef-up control measures and avoid further escalation of the situation, an official said, adding that the Telangana government has also been informed about the patient since he had gone there.

On March 12, fourteen new cases were reported from the states, including nine from Maharashtra. In Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government has also declared Covid-19 as epidemic, and announced the shutting of schools, colleges, and cinema halls till 31 March.Kejriwal said that quarantine facilities were set up in the vacant flats belonging to the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and under-construction hospitals. Sanitization of all public places, including government and private offices and shopping malls, has also been ordered.

“All cinema halls, schools, and colleges will remain close till March 31, except those where exams are being held,” the chief minister said, adding that 500 hospital beds were made available for the treatment of Covid 19 patients.Citing the Ministry of External Affairs, Firstpost reported that it has advised against conducting the IPL 2020 tournament, which is scheduled to begin on March 29, due to coronavirus risk. “I think it is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time,” MEA Additional Secretary Dammu Ravi, nodal officer coordinating the outbreak, was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the central agencies and the states to remain “vigilant” after he was briefed on the March 12 GoM meeting to review the coronavirus situation. “We can break the chain and ensure the safety of all by avoiding large gatherings,” he was quoted as saying.

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