Coronavirus cases rise to 258 in India: Health Ministry

The total number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 258, the health ministry has confirmed.

Maximum cases have been reported from Maharashtra followed by Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with Chief Ministers of all states via Video Conferencing to discuss measures to combat COVID-19.

He said that the threat of the pandemic is common for all states and underscored the need of Centre and all States working together.

Modi said that while participation of citizens is necessary to combat the challenge, but panic needs to be avoided. He added that given the global context of spread of the virus in various countries, constant vigilance is of paramount importance.

He said that the next 3-4 weeks are crucial in efforts to contain the spread of the virus, and the most important measure for containment is ‘social distancing’. He requested the Chief Ministers

PM Modi talked about the urgent need of capacity building of healthcare workers and augmentation of healthcare infrastructure. He suggested that the Chief Ministers should do video conference with trade bodies in their states to prevent black marketing and undue price rise. He urged them to use soft power of persuasion as well as legal provisions, wherever necessary.

Prime Minister said that the COVID-19 Economic Task Force set up by Government of India will formulate the strategy to devise suitable approach to effectively tackle the economic challenge. He urged the Chief Ministers to ensure that all necessary steps are taken and all advisories are adhered to in order to ensure the safety of citizens in the country at large. No stone should be left unturned in our common endeavors to fight COVID-19.

Meanwhile, a staffer in the team of US Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first White House personnel to have been infected by the disease.