Coronavirus updates March 14: Positive cases rise to 84 as Centre declares COVID-19 a ‘notified disaster’

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The number of positive coronavirus cases in India rose to 84 on Saturday with a new case being confirmed in New Delhi. The patient was among those admitted at the Manesar facility on Wednesday after being evacuated from coronavirus-hit Italy. He was later shifted to Safdarjung late night on Friday.

India also recorded the second death due to the novel coronavirus pandemic after a 68-year-old woman from West Delhi died at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. This comes a day after a 76-year-old man, who died on his way from Hyderabad to his hometown Kalaburagi (Karnataka) Tuesday, was confirmed to have tested positive.

With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health Research and the Indian Council of Medical Research (DHR-ICMR) will now take over a thousand samples of influenza- or pneumonia-like illnesses from patients without any travel history or contact with infected persons to rule out community transmission of coronavirus.

A network of 65 laboratories will now test 20 samples each week — 10 of influenza-like illnesses and 10 of severe acute respiratory infection — for Covid-19. Senior ICMR scientist Nivedita Gupta on Friday said the exercise was being done to document if community transmission was happening in any region of the country.

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