New Delhi: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday (March 26) said that a total of 649 confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 have been reported in the country, adding there is no hard evidence to say there has been community transmission of the deadly virus in India.
Addressing the press on the coronavirus situation, Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said, "There is still no hard evidence to say there has been community transmission of coronavirus in India," adding "42 fresh coronavirus cases and four deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases stands at 649."
"While the numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing, the rate at which they are increasing appears to be relatively stabilising. However, this is only the initial trend," Lav Aggrawal added.
Denying that the virus spreads through mosquitoes, Agarwal said that India is geared for COVID-19 challenge, adding if "we can maintain 100 per cent social distancing than it will be an effective intervention in breaking chain of coronavirus transmission".
The Health Ministry also said that 17 states have started work on earmarking hospitals for dedicated treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The number of coronavirus cases climbed to 649 in India today and the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry.
The Ministry of External Affairs, however, said that a discussion on travel restrictions has been conducted during a meeting of the Group of Ministers and it will be conveyed to the public soon.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Tuesday midnight. He made an emotional appeal "with folded hands" that unless India's 130 crore people practised social distancing, the country will lose the war against the coronavirus outbreak and slide back 21 years.