Coronavirus India Roundup April 16: Delhi to begin plasma trials, Indore under strictest lockdown, 30,000 tests conducted in a day

According to the ICMR, 2.9 lakh tests have been conducted, with over 30,000 conducted yesterday.

Myupchar April 16, 2020 20:39:42 IST
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Coronavirus India Roundup April 16: Delhi to begin plasma trials, Indore under strictest lockdown, 30,000 tests conducted in a day

According to the latest press briefing by the Health Ministry, the country now has 12,380 cases, 941 of which were reported yesterday. The death toll is now 414, with 37 deaths in the last 24 hours, as well as 183 recoveries reported in the same timespan. 

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry added that 325 districts in the country have no active cases. According to the ICMR, 2.9 lakh tests have been conducted, with over 30,000 conducted yesterday. Further, two types of rapid action kits have arrived which will be used for epidemiological purposes - meaning to understand the nature of the pandemic in the country.

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Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

Plasma trials to begin in the capital 

As of April 16, there are 57 containment zones in the capital city.

A private hospital in Delhi, Max Healthcare, Saket became the first to try plasma therapy in India. Plasma therapy involves separating antibodies from a recovered patient's blood and giving them to the patient in hopes of improving the symptoms in severe COVID-19 cases. It is currently being tried for two severe cases, belonging to the same family.

Earlier today, Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi shared that plasma transfusion trials would be starting soon in the capital after having received permission to do so from the central government. 

Food delivery man tests positive, 72 families quarantined

A 19-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 after falling sick on Sunday. He was involved in food delivery for a pizza shop in South Delhi and had delivered meals to 72 families in the two weeks before falling sick. 

The young man has been admitted to RML hospital and the restaurant has temporarily closed operations. He had also come in contact with 17 other men involved with deliveries who have also been quarantined as a precaution. 

The development stokes fears as millions across the country are dependent on deliveries. Zomato released a statement on Twitter saying that the delivery man had executed some orders from the company as well, but it is not clear if he was infected when he made the deliveries. The company added that all safety methods are employed and restaurant partners are monitored, but untoward incidents like this are unfortunately inevitable. According to Zomato, all the other delivery executives from the restaurant have tested negative. 

Additionally, as per media reports, 68 doctor, nurses and staff of government hospital have also been put under home-quarantine following the death of a 25-year-old patient who is a suspected case of COVID-19

Lockdown measures to be eased after 20th April; states to decide which districts get more flexibility 

The central government yesterday released guidelines on the gradual opening of certain industries and activities effective April 20th. Largely, activities in rural areas such as food processing, tea and coffee plantations, construction and manufacturing outside municipalities have been approved to resume. The agriculture sector and activities associated with it have also been included in the list as have manufacturing in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and e-commerce businesses. 

The caveat is that the state will have the final say in whether districts get the green light; in containment zones or areas with recently reported cases, strict lockdowns will continue with only essential services allowed to run. While states’ have been given a degree of autonomy, they are still required to impose containment measures in hotspots as determined by the centre. 

For establishments that are allowed to work, workers will be allowed at 50% capacity in shifts with staggered lunch breaks. Regular disinfection of the premises is required as well.

Indore: Home to ‘country’s strictest lockdown’

Indore has 544 confirmed cases of COVID-19 , 117 of which were confirmed yesterday, along with 37 deaths. The city has the highest mortality rate in the country and has been criticized for its lax initial response in containing the outbreak. 

The city has since stepped up and placed its citizens in a strict lockdown, with no one allowed to go outside even for essential services. Instead, essentials like food and water are delivered right to people’s doorsteps, with health officials conducting door to door checks to isolate those who display symptoms. As many as 45,000 people were screened on Tuesday itself. Drones are being used to spray disinfectant, and garbage collected from high-risk areas is being incinerated. The police will soon launch an app that will use GPS to track the movements of those who have been quarantined.  

There is only one testing facility in the city - tests have been sent to Delhi to manage the increase in traffic. Three private facilities are waiting to get approval from the ICMR to assist in carrying out tests.

For more information, read our article on What to do in case of a COVID-19 confirmation in your society.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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