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Bihar Backs Lockdown Extension But Wants Exemption Of Villages For MNREGA Work: Sources

While Maharashtra and Delhi have suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Covid-19 lockdown should extend, Bihar govt wants phase-wise lockdown, said sources

Bihar

While Maharashtra and Delhi have suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Covid-19 lockdown should extend, Bihar govt wants phase-wise lockdown, said sources on Saturday. After meeting with the PM and other state CMs, sources said that Nitish Kumar is of opinion that villages should be exempted from lockdown so that MNREGA related work can go on in the state. Sources added that Nitish Kumar is supportive of the extension of lockdown beyond April 14 and wants a complete lockdown in all district headquarters including Patna, subdivision headquarters and block headquarters. 

Sources also added that Nitish has cited that infrastructure works in Bihar flood-prone area should be exempted from lockdown as he wants the state to be prepared ahead of monsoon. Earlier sources informed that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has extended their support for lockdown till April 30.

Punjab, Rajasthan, and Odisha have already extended their lockdown.

READ | Punjab cabinet unanimously approves extension of lockdown in state till May 1

Coronavirus cases in Bihar

According to the state health department, there are 60 confirmed in Bihar so far, 17 have recovered while one patient has died. The recovered patients include six from Munger and five from Patna, leaving the two districts with zero active cases as of now. All cases from Munger were traced to the sole deceased patient of the state who passed away on March 21, suffering from renal failure, a day before test results showed he was also COVID-19 positive. Three hospitals in the state, one each at Patna, Bhagalpur and Gaya, have been dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients.

READ | COVID-19: '16,002 tests conducted in one day, only 2% test positive': Health Ministry

Siwan - the hotspot

Siwan district emerged as a hotspot, accounting for 17 of the fresh cases. All belong to Raghunathpur block, which has been sealed by the local administration and from where close to 100 samples were collected and have been sent for testing. The 16 COVID-19 patients from Raghunathpur include a 10-year-old boy, three girls aged between 11 and 12, nine women in the age group of 19 and 50 and two men, aged 19 and 60.

According to Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar, all of them had caught the contagion from a coronavirus patient who had travelled to Oman. Besides, another 36-year-old male from the district, with a travel history to Dubai, tested positive for the virus. The total number of cases from Siwan has now reached 27 - close to half of the statewide aggregate of 58.

Here is a district-wise list of cases in Bihar: 

READ | Coronavirus LIVE Updates

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