Coronavirus India Update, May 18: Total cases cross 96,000, death toll reaches 3,029, ICMR revises testing strategy
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 96,169 and is expected to cross one lakh soon. The total number of active cases is currently 56,316, while 36,823 patients have recovered and been discharged. The novel coronavirus has claimed 3,029 lives in India so far, with Maharashtra being the worst-hit state in the country due to high population density in its hotspots.
With this rise in the confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revised its testing strategy for the country. The revised guidelines, which were released earlier today, indicate that no emergency procedure will be delayed due to lack of testing. All symptomatic patients with influenza-like illnesses (ILI) will be tested, and asymptomatic contacts who are at direct as well as high-risk of infection will be tested between the fifth and 10th day of coming into contact with a confirmed patient. Symptomatic individuals with a history of international travel will, of course, be tested as well.
MHA issues guidelines for lockdown extension, says states can make them stricter
Following the extension of the Indian lockdown until May 31, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released a fresh set of guidelines for all states and union territories to follow. The MHA has highlighted in a press release that these guidelines do have “widespread relaxations” but this does not mean that the states/UTs can “dilute the restrictions” in any way. “They may prohibit certain other activities or impose restrictions, as deemed necessary on the basis of a ground-level analysis of the situation,” the release clarified.
CBSE suggests social distancing, other steps to prevent COVID-19 spread during exams
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced the revised datesheet for class 10 and 12 board exams today. The exams, which had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have now been scheduled for July 2020. CBSE is still to issue thorough guidelines for the execution of these exams, but it has already been made clear that physical distancing norms will have to be followed by all students and invigilators. Parents must ensure that the children are not sick, and students will have to carry sanitizers and wear masks/face covers.
OPPO factory employees in Greater Noida test COVID-19 positive, operations halted
Eight employees of the Chinese smartphone maker OPPO’s Greater Noida factory were found to be positive for COVID-19. The factory had just reopened earlier this month. All operations at the manufacturing company have been suspended, and over 3,000 of its employees are being tested. A spokesperson for OPPO has assured everyone that only those who test negative will be allowed to return to work and all safety protocols will be followed.
For more information, read our article on Mild versus severe symptoms of COVID-19.
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Updated Date: May 18, 2020 19:34:19 IST
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