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Coronavirus updates: 359 active cases and 7 deaths in India, complete lockdown in several states

To contain the spread of the coronavirus, several state governments have announced a complete lockdown till March 31.

But the World Health Organisation (WHO) says lockdown is not enough to defeat coronavirus. There is also a need for public health measures to avoid a resurgence of the virus later on.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : March 23, 2020 1:54 PM IST

Despite drastic restrictions to fight the new coronavirus, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in India. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has reached almost 400-mark. As per the health ministry website, there are currently 359 active COVID-19 cases and 23 cured/discharged cases. The virus has killed seven people two in Maharashtra, and one each in Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka and Punjab.

To contain the spread of the coronavirus, several state governments have announced a complete lockdown till March 31. The states going into lockdown till March 31 include Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry and Uttarakhand.

Excluding essential services, all government offices, educational institutes, business establishments, private offices, malls, shops, factories, godowns and public transport will remain closed in these areas.

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Will lockdowns be enough to defeat coronavirus? No, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Here's what a WHO expert says about complete lockdown

WHO's top emergency expert Mike Ryan said countries can't simply lock down their societies to defeat coronavirus. The focus now should be on finding those who have the virus and their contacts and isolate them - Ryan said in an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

He also stressed on the need for public health measures to avoid a resurgence of the virus later on. Ryan added that without strong public health measures, these lockdowns can even worsen the situation. He fears that when this movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the disease will jump back up.

Once the transmission is suppressed, 'we have to go after the virus'- Ryan said.

When asked about how long it would take for a coronavirus vaccine to become available, he said at least a year. This is because the scientists first need to make sure that it's absolutely safe. He assured that the vaccines will come but advised people to do what needs to be done now.

While several vaccines are in development, only one had begun trials in the United States.

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