Coronavirus oubreak: With 1,463 new cases, total number of COVID-19 rises to 28,380
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday also asserted that not a single rupee was lost on rapid antibody test procurement
As India battles COVID-19, the corona cases on Monday soared to 28,380 with 1,463 new cases and 60 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, as per the data shared by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday evening. The total coronavirus cases in India are inclusive of 6,361 cured and discharged patients, one migrated and 886 deaths. At present, there are 21,132 active COVID-19 cases in the country.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, here on Monday said that 16 districts in the country, which earlier had cases, have not reported any fresh case for the last 28 days. The three new districts, which got added to this list are -- Gondia in Maharashtra, Devangere in Karnataka and Lakhisarai in Bihar. Apart from that, 85 districts in States and Union Territories have not reported any new cases in the last 14 days, he said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has advised the State governments to go for the RT-PCR test, which "detects the virus early and is the best strategy to identify and isolate the individual." The advisory with the subject line -- 'Advisory on Rapid Antibody Blood Tests Regarding' -- states: "ICMR advocates that RT-PCR throat/nasal swab test is the best use for diagnosis of COVID-19. RT-PCR test detects the virus early and is the best strategy to identify and isolate the individual."
"Several states have procured rapid antibody test kits and on their demand, the ICMR has also provided these kits with clear instructions that they are to be used only for surveillance purpose. Some States have raised issues regarding their performance during the testing exercise that they have undertaken." The States have also been advised by the ICMR to stop using these kits procured from the two companies -- Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics -- and return them to be sent back to the suppliers.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday also asserted that not a single rupee was lost on rapid antibody test procurement. "After the receipt of some supplies, the ICMR has again conducted quality checks on these kits in field conditions. Based on the scientific assessment of their performance, the order in question (Wondfo) along with the order in respect of another make found under-performing have been cancelled.
It needs to be stressed that ICMR has not made any payment whatsoever in respect of these supplies. Because of the due process followed (not going for procurement with 100 per cent advance amount), the Government of India does not stand to lose a single rupee," said a press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday while interacting with Chief Ministers via video conference on the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
"Lockdown has yielded positive results as the country has managed to save thousands of lives in the past one and a half months. India's population is comparable to that of the combined population of several countries. The situation in many countries, including India, was almost similar at the start of March. He, however, he warned that the danger of the virus is far from over and constant vigilance is of paramount importance.
During the video conference, various Chief Ministers put forth their views and suggestions to contain the coronavirus and mitigate the resultant woes. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy sought an economic package, saying that majority of the Chief Ministers wanted the continuation of the lockdown after May 3 due to the rise in coronavirus cases in the country.
"Most of the Chief Ministers told the Prime Minister that the lockdown should continue and that some economic activity should be started slowly," he said. "These Chief Ministers were of the view that the way in which cases are increasing, there should be a cautious approach and the Prime Minister should take a call on the basis of their observation. Even most of the BJP-ruled states' CMs said that lockdown should be continued and economic activities should be started slowly," said Narayanasamy.
In a significant move, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde on Monday said that the apex court has given proper directions to the Centre to provide food, shelter, psychological counselling and other basic necessities to the needy people during the lockdown.
"We have given proper directions to the Central government to provide food, shelter, psychological counselling and other basic necessities to the needy people during this COVID-19 lockdown," CJI Bobde told reporters here. He said that the judiciary is doing whatever it can at this time of crisis.
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