COVID-19 updates: Antibody testing begins in some Indian states, exit from lockdown may be staggered and more
There are now over a million cases of COVID-19 across the world. At last count, the figure was 1,017,567, including over 53,200 deaths. The rise in cases has been alarming, with instances doubling over the last week. A quarter of the cases are from the US, while half are from Europe. It is widely acknowledged that there are far more cases than have been reported.
Developments in India
As the country enters the 10th day of the lockdown, there has been an increase in the number of cases across the country. The total number of confirmed cases in India has reached 2,567. The Tablighi Jamaat congregation has been linked to a fifth of the cases, with officials across state lines scrambling to track and isolate all those associated with the gathering. Lav Agarwal, the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health, said in a briefing yesterday that over 9,000 people countrywide have been placed in quarantine as a part of these tracing efforts.
Antibody testing may be implemented
Given the rise in cases, ICMR has suggested that antibody tests can be used at the discretion of individual states to determine the degree of outbreaks in hotspots. So far, Kerala has already started using these tests, whereas Tamil Nadu and Chattisgarh have expressed interest as well.
Light a candle this Sunday night
In a recorded video this morning, PM Modi commended the country’s efforts in combating the pandemic and said that other countries were following India’s lead in establishing lockdowns to limit infections. He also requested citizens to light a candle or diya in their homes for 9 minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5. This is to symbolize the resilience and solidarity of the people and to show everyone that they are not alone in this battle.
Possibility of a staggered emergence from the lockdown
In another major development, PM Modi held a video conference with the CMs, and it seems that the idea of a staggered exit from the lockdown is gaining currency. This means that restrictions may be lifted in a phased manner, and low-risk places with fewer cases may be ‘unlocked’ while clusters or hotspots may remain locked down longer.
World Bank pledges $1 billion in support to India
The world bank has pledged USD 1 billion to support the Indian fight against the coronavirus. The assistance aims to build testing capacity, increase the production and supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and add more isolation wards to the healthcare arsenal.
A further 950 people lost their lives to the virus in Spain, and the number of cases increased by 8%. Over 10,000 people have now succumbed to the virus in the country. Officials, however, have said that the 8% increase has been stable for some days suggesting that the virus has peaked and cases will soon begin to come down.
As the virus spreads in the US, which has seen over 6,000 deaths and over 245,000 cases, 6.65 million people applied for unemployment benefits as the economy continues to suffer as well.
Read our Tips on how to protect yourself against COVID-19 infection for more detailed information.
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.
Updated Date: Apr 03, 2020 15:18:01 IST
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