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‘Rate of spread has slowed relatively’

Safety zones:A Corporation worker marking waiting spaces at a wholesale vegetable market in Coimbatore on Thursday to ensure that buyers maintain distance.M. PERIASAMY

Safety zones:A Corporation worker marking waiting spaces at a wholesale vegetable market in Coimbatore on Thursday to ensure that buyers maintain distance.M. PERIASAMY  

COVID-19 toll touches 16; 694 cases

With 16 deaths and 694 COVID-19 positive cases, India is now showing a relatively slower spread of COVID-19 infection rate, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Luv Agarwal said on Thursday. But he added, “We cannot be relaxed about restrictions put in place to contain the virus.”

Reports from the States put the number of deaths at 18 with Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir each reporting a fatality. The total number of positive cases stood at 712 — Kerala had the highest number at 137, followed by 125 in Maharashtra and 52 in Karnataka.

Briefing the press, Mr. Agarwal said while these trends were not definitive indications of a reduction, the measures including social distancing, contact tracing and quarantine were important deterrents to the spread of the virus and could even enable India to keep community transmission away or delay it.

He added that measures had been put in place through the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, to educate doctors online about care of patients to ensure uniform treatment availability.

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