Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing village panchayats across the country via video conference on Panchayati Raj Day, says that the biggest lesson from the coronavirus crisis is self-reliance.

“Covid has created new problems for us. We never even imagined these problems, but this crisis has also given us new lessons to learn. The biggest lesson from this crisis is that we have to become self sufficient. This is the new direction that this crisis has given us. Our villages have to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining,” he said.

At least 14 doctors and nurses have tested positive for coronavirus at a Delhi government hospital in Jahangirpuri, which has emerged as one of the biggest cluster outbreaks in the capital. The total number of infections in Delhi stands at 2,376 while the death toll has increased to 50 as 128 more tested positive on Thursday.

The tally of coronavirus cases in Mumbai, meanwhile, has crossed the 4,000-mark with the addition of 478 new patients on Thursday, while the death toll increased to 168, the city civic body said.

Maharashtra registered 778 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day jump in numbers since the first coronavirus case in the state in the first week of March. Over the last four days alone, the state has registered 2,000 new cases, taking its total to 6,427.

Among those who tested positive was Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad. He was admitted to hospital on Tuesday night, 10 days after he had put himself under home quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus. Sources close to the NCP leader said he was moved to a private hospital after developing fever. A hospital spokesperson said his condition was stable.

After Mumbai, Pune, which remains the second worst-hit in the state, saw five deaths while one death each occurred in Nandurbar, Navi Mumbai and Dhule.

The central government has said that it has been able to “cut coronavirus transmission”, minimise its spread and increase the doubling time of COVID-19 cases in the country during the 30-day period of the nationwide lockdown.

While asserting that the growth of coronavirus cases in the country has been more or less linear and not exponential, it also said testing has been ramped up consistently.

Addressing a daily press conference on the COVID-19 situation in the country, C K Mishra, the chairman of Empowered Group Two, said, “One crucial weapon we employed during the 30-day lockdown period is RT-PCR test to ascertain if one has contracted the disease or not.”

As on March 23, nearly 15,000 tests were done across the country and by April 22 more than 5 lakh tests were conducted, which is about “33 times in 30 days”, he said, adding, “But we are conscious of the fact that this is not enough and we have to continuously ramp up testing in the country and we will do that.”



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