Coronavirus India Roundup April 21: 47 more deaths, rapid testing kits faulty, 813 containment zones in Mumbai
According to the Health Ministry, 3,260 people have recovered overall with an encouraging 705 patients declared cured just yesterday.
India saw the largest rise in deaths yesterday, with 47 mortalities on Monday. The death toll has now reached 603 and cumulative cases are 18,985. A total of 1,336 new cases were confirmed yesterday but testing has been steadily increasing as well, with over 35,800 tests conducted on Monday. According to the Health Ministry, 3,260 people have recovered overall with an encouraging 705 patients declared cured just yesterday.
The government launched a website called COVID Warriors that lists over 1.24 crore healthcare professionals and volunteers across 20 categories.
The current global situation is suggesting that even after May 3, some sort of physical distancing will be required, and the release from the lockdown will have to be gradual so as not to cause a flurry of cases.
Mumbai, the worst affected city in India so far, has over 3,000 confirmed cases. The number of containment zones in the city has reached 813 as of April 20.
Government launches COVID India Seva, a Twitter service
Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister, launched a twitter handle with the username '@CovidIndiaSeva' today. It is an e-governance tool that will allow users from India and abroad to post queries about the pandemic and will be a reliable source for information.
The queries will be fed to an algorithm in the backend that will crunch the data and classify it into groups; public health experts will then go through the queries and respond to them. For general FAQs, real-time answers will be provided as well.
Rajasthan discontinues the use of rapid test kits soon after acquiring them
The much-awaited rapid test kits that arrived last week have proven to be a bitter disappointment. Rajasthan health officials said they had an accuracy rate of 5.4% - they were marketed as being 90% accurate. After testing just 168 cases, health officials wrote to ICMR about their findings. Rapid testing was not meant for diagnosis but for epidemiological purposes, but with such severe limitations, they will do more harm than good.
In the press conference today, Dr Gangakhedkar of the ICMR told states to hold back on using the rapid test kits as the nodal agency will investigate them.
Sanitation worker at Lok Sabha and family member of a staffer at Rashtrapati Bhavan test positive
A relative of a staff member at the President’s House tested positive, following which over 100 families within the estate are self-isolating. According to officials, there are no confirmed cases within the inner cabinet of the Ministry, but the estate has been sealed off and essential services will be delivered directly.
Additionally, a sanitation worker from Lok Sabha also tested positive - officials have quarantined his house and those who came in contact with him have been tested as well. The results are awaited.
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The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.31 percent. It has been less than 3 percent for 34 consecutive days, the health ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.24 percent
The ICMR head, however, added a caveat that for such a step to be considered, it must be ensured that school teachers and other support staff members are vaccinated