Coronavirus India Roundup, April 24: Doubling rate improves to 10 days, Maharashtra sees over 750 cases in a day
Coronavirus India Roundup April 24: Doubling rate improves to 10 days, Maharashtra sees over 750 cases in a day According to the Health Ministry’s latest press briefing, 1684 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative total to 23,077 COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to the Health Ministry’s latest press briefing, 1684 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours taking the cumulative total to 23,077 COVID-19 cases in the country. The total death toll is now 718. The government also said that the doubling rate has further increased to 10 days, suggesting that the disease is being contained.
Here are major developments from around the country.
Various clinical trials underway in the country
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has expressed interest in studying favipiravir, a Japanese drug developed for treating various strains of influenza. The antiviral drug is under clinical trials throughout the world after initial in-vitro tests had shown activity against the novel coronavirus. According to the Indian Express, favipiravir has been synthesized in the country and, once approved, will be tested in clinical trials. If the initial results are encouraging, bigger studies will be attempted.
Renewed interest in the BCG vaccine — which is used for TB prevention — grew after studies showed that countries where it is widespread, have fewer COVID-19 cases. The Serum Institute of India in Pune has developed a newer version of the vaccine which has been approved by DCGI for clinical trials. BCG is supposed to boost overall immunity of the body and is, therefore, being considered as a tool against the novel virus.
A total of 6,000 participants will be selected (focused on healthcare workers and close contacts of those who test positive). Swab tests will be conducted to check if they are negative before the vaccine is administered; the purpose of the trial is to see if it ends up boosting overall immunity or not.
Efforts to help migrants reach home
The UP CM Yogi Adityanath said that migrant workers stranded in other states would be brought back in a phased manner. Migrants would have had to have undergone 14 days of quarantine in facilities where they are stranded. Local authorities have been asked to prepare a list of migrants who have been tested, and to devise ways in which to bring them back.
This comes after Maharasthra CM Uddhav Thackeray appealed to the centre to plan special trains to bring migrants trapped in the state back to their homes. Thackeray said that around six lakh migrants are stranded in the state and suffering without their families.
Various states see record rise in cases on Thursday
Maharashtra confirmed 778 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the greatest spike in any Indian state so far. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh saw a record 80 new cases as well, Gujarat saw over 200 and the national capital saw 128 new ones.
Mumbai is of special concern; 500 of the new cases were confirmed in the metropolis. Many involved with relief measures also contributed to the rise in cases; Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad along with three employees of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) also tested positive. The state will get 75,000 rapid tests to get a better understanding of the situation, and will also give hydroxychloroquine preventively to those in the slums of Dharavi.
For more information, read our article on WHO Solidarity Project to find a treatment for COVID-19.
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