Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in India climbed to 8,356, with 909 fresh cases and 34 new deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the data published by the health ministry on Sunday.

Of the total cases in the country, there are 7,367 active cases of COVID-19, 715 individuals have recovered and discharged from the hospital, one person migrated to another country and 273 people succumbed to the disease.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total number of positive cases rising to 1,761. Delhi reported the second-highest number of cases, leaving behind Tamil Nadu for the first time.

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There are 1,069 reported cases in the national capital and 969 in Tamil Nadu, according to the data.

At least 364 people are affected in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh reported 452 cases, Rajasthan reported 700 cases, Telangana reported 504 cases, and Andhra Pradesh reported 381 cases.

Madhya Pradesh has reported 532 cases, Jammu and Kashmir has 207, Punjab has 151 cases, West Bengal has 134, Gujarat 432, Haryana has 177 cases, Bihar 63, Chandigarh has 19, Assam 29, Ladakh has 15 coronavirus cases, said the Health Ministry data.

In Andaman and Nicobar Island, there are at least 11 cases, Uttarakhand has also reported 35 cases, Arunachal Pradesh has 1, Goa has 7 cases, Chhattisgarh has 18, Himachal Pradesh 32, Jharkhand 17 and Manipur have 2 cases, Odisha has 54 cases and Puducherry 7.

Most number of casualties have been reported from Maharashtra - 127 deaths. Other states and UTs that have reported casualties are Andhra Pradesh (6), Bihar (1), Delhi (19), Gujarat (22), Haryana (3), Himachal Pradesh (1), J&k (4), Karnataka (6), Kerala (2), Madhya Pradesh (36), Punjab (11), Tamil Nadu (10), Telangana (9), Uttar Pradesh (5) and West Bengal (5).

Rope in ENT specialists, resident docs to fight COVID-19: Health Ministry to states

The Union health ministry has asked all states and Union Territories to seek the services of ENT specialists and resident doctors to fight coronavirus, saying there is an urgent need of qualified personnel to collect samples for COVID-19 testing.

In a letter addressed to all chief secretaries and principal secretaries (health), the ministry underlined that the country is in the midst of an unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 and one of the key components of the government's strategy to combat it is contact tracing and collection of throat and swab samples of potentially infected persons.

"There is an urgent need of trained and qualified personnel to collect these samples and the number of such persons needs to be augmented significantly," the ministry said in its letter.

"All states/UTs are therefore requested to organise collection of COVID-19 case samples by using the services of ENT specialists and residents," it said.

It has advised officials concerned to issue necessary instructions to the medical institutions to ensure action on these lines so that such samples are taken professionally.

"All medical colleges may be instructed to get in touch with state governments to offer their services. It is requested that necessary action in this regard may be taken urgently under report to this ministry," the letter stated.

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More than 30,000 doctors, including those from Armed Forces Medical Services, have volunteered to help the government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior government official said on Friday.

The government on March 25 had appealed to retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or private doctors to come forward and join the efforts to fight the pandemic.

(With Agency Inputs)