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    After COVID-19 infection in Rashtrapati Bhavan, 125 families quarantined

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    125 families staying near the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi have been asked to go into self-isolation, and 100 people working inside have been quarantined after the relative of a employee tested positive for COVID-19, reports emerged.

    The relative of the sanitation worker, who is a resident of the estate that houses Rashtrapati Bhavan, has been admitted to a hospital for treatment. The move comes after the sanitation worker’s mother died of COVID-19 infection a few days back at the B.L. Kapoor hospital. “The mother used to live outside the President’s Estate. After she was tested positive, all her relatives were quarantined and their test was done. The test report came negative,” an official said.

    As per the latest data, 47 deaths and 1,336 new cases have been reported in India in the last 24 hours. India’s total number of COVID-19 positive cases now stand at 18,601.

    Raising hopes in the battle against COVID-19, the government on Monday said infections are now doubling nationwide at a slower pace of 7.5 days and 59 districts have not reported a single case in a fortnight, while several states sought to contain the ballooning economic cost of the pandemic by easing some lockdown curbs.

    However, some states preferred to maintain strict restrictions for fear of losing control, with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka joining Delhi in deciding against any relaxation till May 3. Telangana went a step further by extending the lockdown till May 7.

    Punjab, which had earlier ruled out any relaxation till May 3, said some industrial activity may resume in areas other than those identified as high-risk ‘containment zones’.

    The first set of relaxations from the nationwide lockdown, which came into effect on March 25, kicked in at select places across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Goa among other states, even as several states reported a rising number of cases to take the nationwide tally past 18,000.

    Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and health ministry officials said 80 per cent patients were either asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms but were found to be positive after testing.

    They also said around 15 per cent patients turn into severe cases, while 5 per cent turn critical. But despite the relaxations announced by state authorities, which are mostly limited to non-urban areas, industry executives said most companies have decided to wait for a complete exit from the lockdown as continuing restrictions on goods and people’s movement make it difficult to resume stalled economic activities, which are estimated to have suffered a loss of Rs 7-8 lakh crores already.

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