Treat doctors with respect, PM tells people

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 26, 2020 Published on March 25, 2020

Rajpath in New Delhi wears a deserted look during the first day of the 21-day lockdown   -  PTI

As Covid-19 cases cross 600, Modi warns of strict action against ‘miscreants’

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the country, with Covid-19 cases crossing the 600-mark on Wednesday. This is a spike of almost six times from 112 confirmed cases on March 15. Of these, 41 have been cured and nine have died.

Of the 603 cases, 505 (up to 83 per cent) are concentrated in 12 States — Kerala (109), Maharashtra (101), Karnataka (41), Uttar Pradesh (35), Telangana (35), Rajasthan (32), Gujarat (33), Delhi (31), Punjab (29), Haryana (28), Tamil Nadu (18) and Ladakh (13).

Amid reports of societal backlash against healthcare professionals tending to coronavirus patients, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged citizens to intervene and make people who are guilty of such acts of hostility understand that they are wrong.

In his interaction with people of his constituency — Varanasi — via video conferencing on Wednesday, Modi said the Home Ministry and police in all the States would take strict action against those not supporting or co-operating with health professionals who are serving the country at this critical hour.

This was Modi’s first public engagement after he announced a 21-day countrywide lockdown on Tuesday evening. The Delhi government has also ordered stern action against landlords and house owners who fear potential infection and force doctors, paramedical staff and health care personnel to vacate their residences.

Doctors in various States, including Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, have been tweeting about being asked to vacate their homes.

KCR talks tough

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has issued a shoot-at-sight order against people violating the lockdown. Army may be called in to enforce strict compliance, he said.

Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said while 64,000 people had arrived in India from various countries since March 21, only 8,000 have been put under quarantine, while 56,000 are in home isolation.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, in its latest study, has pointed out that even persons with no symptoms can spread the virus unknowingly, as the pathogen can latently incubate in the body for a few weeks before flaring up.

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Published on March 25, 2020
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