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COVID-19 claims third victim in country

Number of cases rises to 137; Centre bans entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia

India reported its third death from the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, with the Union Health Ministry putting the number of positive cases at 137.

The deceased person had a history of travel to Dubai and was being treated in Mumbai, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said at a press conference.

Earlier, a 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi in Karnataka with a travel history to Saudi Arabia and a 68-year-old woman in Delhi, whose son had tested positive, died from the infection.

Fourteen of those who had tested positive have been “cured/discharged” and 24 of those who had tested positive in India were foreigners, the Ministry said. With 23 fresh cases reported across the country in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra continues to top the list at 36, followed by Kerala with 24, Uttar Pradesh at 14 and Karnataka at 11.

However, reports from the States put the number of positive cases at 143, including 41 from Maharashtra. West Bengal reported its first case of an 18-year-old youth, who recently returned from England, and was admitted with symptoms on Tuesday.

Extending travel curbs, the Centre prohibited the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, the Philippines and Malaysia from 3 p.m. on Tuesday and advised the closing of all educational institutions, gyms, museums, cultural and social centres, and theatres. Students were advised to stay at home.

Assisting State govts.

Thirty Additional Secretaries and Joint Secretaries have been deputed to assist State governments in managing the outbreak.

Mr. Agarwal said the government was increasing the number of bed and health care facilities across States and emphasised that there was as yet no “community transmission”, or instances of the virus being found in people who had no travel history abroad since March or links with those who did.

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