The number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 21,700 on Thursday with an increase of 1,229 new cases in the last 24 hours. Further, 4,325 patients have been cured, discharged or migrated, said the Union Health Ministry.
According to the Health Ministry, there are 16,689 COVID-19 active cases inclusive of the total number of cases in the country. 686 patients have died due to the deadly virus.
The growth curve of COVID-19 has been flattened in the country but it is difficult to tell when it will reach its peak, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday.
While addressing a press conference, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR said, “It is very difficult to tell that peak in COVID-19 cases will arrive by May 3 or when it will come. But it is very stable. The positivity rate has been 4.5 per cent throughout, one can say we have been able to flatten the curve. However, difficult to predict it (peak).”
According to the Health ministry’s data, Maharashtra is on the top of the list with most COVID-19 cases, 5,652 cases of which 789 patients have recovered and 269 patients succumbing to coronavirus.
Gujarat and Delhi are second and third on the list respectively with Gujarat having 2407 cases of which 179 patients have recovered and 103 deaths. Meanwhile, in Delhi, the tally stands at 2248 cases of which 724 patients have recovered and 49 patients have died from COVID-19.
Rajasthan’s tally stands at 1,890 cases with 230 patients cured while 27 deaths have been reported as of Thursday.
Madhya Pradesh has 1695 cases of which 148 patients have recovered and 81 deaths reported. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, stands with 1629 cases of which 662 patients have recovered and 18 have died due to the deadly virus.
India has been able to cut transmission, minimise spread and consistently ramp up COVID-19 testing in the last 30 days of lockdown, said Centre on Thursday.
“In last 30 days of lockdown, we have been able to cut transmission, minimise spread, consistently ramp up our testing and utilize this time to prepare ourselves for future,” said CK Mishra, Environment Secretary and Chairman of Empowered Group-2 which has been mandated with the availability of hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities for COVID-19.
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Thursday made an appeal to the people to not stigmatise the patients who have recovered from COVID-19 as it is creating problems in the society.
“I would like to appeal to everyone that we should look at how we can support the families and patients who have had COVID-19 rather than stigmatise them and not accept them in the society,” said Guleria.
“Majority of the patients are coming alright and coming out and these are actually are symbols of hope that they have had COVID-19 and have come out and yet we have stigmatised them to a large extent. It is creating a panic; it is creating problems as far as society is concerned,” he added.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Sujrewala on Thursday said the fight against the coronavirus will not be fought at the Centre but in every nook and corner of the country.
“The fight against the coronavirus will not be fought at the Centre but in every nook and corner of the country. The Centre has to lead this fight but this fight needs to be fought by all the States,” said Sujrewala during a press briefing.
He said that every State expects a financial package from the Centre. With regard to the State’s share in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected by the Centre, he said that the Centre has not released the State’s share.
AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Thursday informed that the use of convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patient has started at various centres in the country.
“At various centres, we have now started using convalescent plasma that is the blood of COVID-19 patients who have recovered. A large number of patients who have become alright, have come forward and have volunteered to donate their blood,” said Guleria.
“We are also looking at new drugs for the treatment, and various other repurposed drugs, which are already available in our country, are also being looked as treatment strategies,” he added.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson Punya Salila Srivastava on Thursday clarified that in-house caregivers of senior citizens and prepaid mobile recharge utilities are exempted from lockdown restrictions.
She also informed that the food processing units in urban areas have also been exempted from the restrictions and the Ministry has also allowed activities related to import and export of horticulture produce.
“To ensure the availability of essentials, food processing units in urban areas such as milk processing units, bread factories and flour mills have also been exempted,” said Srivastava during a press conference.
Here’s a quick read on the COVID-19 related updates:
1. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved rapid testing kits from South Korea for Andhra Pradesh. The tests will be continued using these kits as per the protocol, said a government official.
As many as 14,423 tests were conducted out of which 11,543 tests were conducted in red zone areas in Andhra Pradesh using rapid testing kits.
2. Haryana government on Thursday announced an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh each for journalists who are reporting in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The state government has decided to provide insurance of Rs 10 lakh each to all journalists who are reporting during coronavirus pandemic,” Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in a statement.
3. Following up on his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting a 3-pronged strategy to bail out states from the COVID-19 crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has now urged his counterparts in all the states to pursue the matter with the Centre.
Singh has written to the Chief Ministers of all the states to also write to Prime Minister, urging him to consider the suggestions he had made to combat the crisis.
4. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for developing a mobile lab for conducting COVID-19 screening.
“Inaugurated the first of its kind mobile lab named Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) developed by @DRDO_India in record time to speed up COVID-19 screening and R&D activities. This mobile lab has the screening capacity of more than 1000 samples daily,” the Defence Minister said in a tweet.
5. Some 400 migrant workers, who have been stranded due to the nationwide lockdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak, have taken shelter at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas Ashram in Bhati Mines in New Delhi.
The ashram, with the help of local administration, has made arrangements of their stay, including food.
Beds are arranged for these migrant workers under huge sheds taking social distancing into consideration.
6. A family in Delhi’s Dwarka is making face shields using 3D printing machines and corona helmets and donating them to the frontline warriors in the fight against coronavirus.
The family of Abhinav Singhal helps in making these face shields which are donated to several offices including those of police.
7. India’s largest carrier IndiGo has decided to pay full salary for the month of April to the majority of its employees.
In an e-mail to its employees on Thursday, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said: “In deference to our government’s wishes of not reducing pay during the lockdown, we have decided not to implement the previously announced pay cuts during the month of April.”
“However, your Excom members and SVPs have volunteered to take pay cuts this month. For everyone else, you can expect your April salaries to be paid without the pay cuts,” said Dutta.
8. Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology here has developed a magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction kit for PCR and LAMP tests for COVID-19, and has also applied for a patent.
9. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday felicitated frontline COVID-19 warriors by giving them letters of appreciation and said that the country will triumph over the virus.
“We are felicitating doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police, bank and government employees for their hard work during COVID-19,” Javadekar said while speaking to media.
10. The ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on Uttarakhand’s small businesses, whose losses now amount to Rs 9,000 crores, said an Indian Industries Association (IIA) official on Thursday.