A 38-year-old man from Bihar becomes the sixth casualty of coronavirus in India. The patient had a history of travelling to Qatar, confirmed a senior official. This is the first death reported from Bihar.

On Saturday, the patient passed away at AIIMS in Patna due to kidney failure, reported news agency ANI. The sample of the deceased person has tested positive for novel coronavirus, said Dr Prabhat Kumar Singh, AIIMS Patna, Bihar.

A 63-year-old coronavirus patient died in Mumbai today, said a health official.

The first casualty of coronavirus infection was reported from Karnataka. The second patient was a 68-year-old woman in Delhi who died at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Third patient with COVID-19 passed away in Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital. Fourth casualty was reported from Punjab.

Also read: Indian Railways cancels all trains till month end as coronavirus cases rise

The total number of coronavirus patients in India climbed to 324, after over 70 cases were reported from various parts of the country on Saturday. Maharashtra is the worst affected state with 63 coronovirus cases.

Originated in China's Wuhan city, the deadly virus claimed nearly 10,000 lives so far. More than 100,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection across the globe.

As the virus continued to spread, Centre and state governments scaled efforts to prevent spread. India is observing a 14-hour-long "Janata curfew" today to practice social distancing exercise. All markets and shops except twill be closed for the day. However, medicine shops are functional today.

"I request that all citizens become part of this nationwide campaign and make the fight against Corona a success," Narendra Modi tweeted.

As COVID-19 cases in the country continued to surge, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revised its strategy to fight the spread. On Saturday, ICMR directed that hospitalised patients with severe acute respiratory illness, shortness of breath and having fever and cough will now be tested for COVID-19 infection.

Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of an infected person should be tested between day 5 and day 14 of coming into contact with the infected person, ICMR said.

There is no evidence of community transmission of the coronavirus infection in India, ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava said on Thursday.

ICMR laid down guidelines for COVID-19 testing in private laboratories in India on Saturday. Centre recommends that the maximum cost for testing sample should not exceed 4,500.

“The National Task Force recommends that the maximum cost for testing sample should not exceed 4,500. This may include 1,500 as a screening test for suspect cases, and an additional 3,000 for confirmation test," said Preeti Sudan, secretary union Health ministry in a letter.

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