New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The number of COVID-19 cases in the country on Wednesday evening surged to 606, including ten deaths, a health ministry official said as quoted by PTI. The total number of active cases of novel coronavirus in India stood at 553. 

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also chaired a GoM meeting to assess the ongoing situation amid rising cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The health ministry officials assured that the government is making efforts to ensure N-95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) are available in adequate numbers to help the medical fraternity in their job. The officials also added that 29 private laboratories with more than 16,000 sample collection centres have been registered so far for testing of the virus.

"PPEs and masks have some imported components. There are disruptions with respect to import of certain items. The government is trying to address the issue," the official told PTI.

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Officials also informed that the ministry of home affairs (MHA) is monitoring the lockdown through a control room.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, the health ministry had stated the second death reported in Delhi was COVID-19 negative, bringing down the death toll to nine in India.

When questioned about the aboveve, the official said, "Second reconfirmatory test of Delhi patient who died on Tuesday, came negative and so we reduced the death toll," as quoted by PTI.

Earlier on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. He said is that social distancing is the only option to deal with the disease, which spreads rapidly. In a televised address to the nation, PM Modi said that it is important to break the chain of the disease and experts have said that at least 21 days are needed for it.

The ongoing lockdown would last till April 14.

(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal