Coronavirus India Roundup April 17: 1,007 new cases reported, Health ministry claims 40% drop in growth of new cases
India's doubling rate of COVID-19 has become 6.2 days this past week, markedly better than a doubling rate of 3 days before the lockdown was implemented.
In its latest press briefing, the Health Ministry said that 1,007 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours along with 23 deaths. This takes cumulative cases up to 13,387, and deaths to 437. About 1,749 recoveries have been declared so far.
The 5 lakh tests that were received yesterday are in the process of being distributed, Dr Gangakhedkar of ICMR said. Over 3.19 lakh tests have been conducted as of now, of which over 28,000 were conducted yesterday. The government hopes to step up indigenous production of COVID-19 testing kits - the target is 10 lakh Indian-made rapid test kits by May.
Karnataka saw its biggest jump yet in the number of coronavirus cases on Thursday. Thirty-six new cases were reported on Thursday and then 44 more on Friday, bringing the total to 356. The rising number of cases has prompted the government to start testing those who have symptoms in districts that have no reported cases yet, which is eight districts as of now.
Maharastra has the highest number of cases in India so far at 3,236. Out of these, over 2,000 are in Mumbai. The death toll of the state is at 194. There a small ray of hope though since only 32 new cases were reported today, a huge dip from the 286 of the previous day.
Government adds to the list of services that can be carried out after 20th April
In a bid to pick up the economy and assist the poor, the government had announced a slew of measures earlier this week that would allow certain industries and activities to restart.
The microfinance industry has been included in the list as it provides crucial assistance to the poor and to struggling businesses. Further, various types of construction in rural areas has been allowed as well.
E-commerce websites can sell electronics such as phones and laptops and appliances such as televisions. Stationary can be sold as well.
However, these guidelines are subject to state and local jurisdiction; state governments will determine which districts can lift the restrictions of lockdown. Also, factories can operate at 50% of manpower only, with staggered lunch breaks and shifts.
Health Ministry: 40% drop in growth of new cases
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health said that the doubling rate of COVID-19 in the country has become 6.2 days this past week, markedly better than a doubling rate of 3 days before the lockdown was implemented. He said that these figures have been spearheaded by Kerala, where extensive testing, contact tracing and isolating suspected cases has made a meaningful dent in transmission.
25 Indian nationals abroad have died, and 3,336 are infected
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court was hearing a petition on evacuating Indian nationals from abroad. The apex court rejected appeals and asked people to stay put where they were for now, citing limited resources in the face of COVID-19 .
Reports from yesterday have shown that a total of 25 Indians abroad have died, and 3,336 have been declared COVID-19 positive. The vast majority of those who are infected are in the Middle East and Singapore. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that foreign missions have taken steps to ease the troubles of stranded nationals, and have even asked NRIs to step in to provide some relief.
It appears that no evacuation measures will be undertaken until the government is satisfied that that pandemic is under control in the country.
For more information, read our article on COVID-19 prevention steps every office must take after the lockdown.
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