Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: The Union Health ministry in a statement on Wednesday said that the testing capacity had increased with the number of testing labs rising to 924 across the country. 'The announcement came as India's coronavirus case count reached over 3.54 lakh today,' News18 reported.
Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Union Health ministry in a statement on Wednesday said that the testing capacity had increased with the number of testing labs rising to 924 across the country. "The announcement came as India's coronavirus case count reached over 3.54 lakh today," News18 reported.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday reportedly asked the Centre for coronavirus treatment drugs remdesivir and tocilizumab "in large quantity and at reasonable rate", News18 reported.
State health minister Rajesh Tope was quoted by the report as saying "that the state also wants the Centre to provide additional 500 ventilators for the treatment of coronavirus patients".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the second round of meetings with chief ministers, on Wednesday reiterated that the number of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 till now is more than the number of active cases in the country.
He added, "Also, at present, ventilator and ICU care are needed for very few patients across the country. We have been able to fight #COVID19 and control its spread because of the timely measures taken by us."
In the meeting with chief ministers on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that "with increase in number of corona patients,expansion of health infrastructure should be our utmost priority".
"This will happen when each corona patient will get proper treatment, for this we'll have to emphasize on testing so that we can test,trace and isolate infected person," he added.
"Just 3 months back, there was shortage of PPE kitsand diagnostic kits across the world. In India too, we had a very limited stock because we were completely dependent on imports. But today, more than 1 crore PPE kits and equal number of N95 masks have reached the states," he said.
Aam Aadmi Party leaders Atishi and Akshay Marathe have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, News18 reported on Wednesday. Both of the leaders are in home isolation currently.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to consider scraping of remaining papers of board exams and to allot marks on the basis of internal assessment.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asked CBSE to take instructions and inform by 23 June (Tuesday).
The Court was hearing a petition by a parent Amit Bathla seeking scrapping of exams in the present situation.CBSE has planned to conduct the examinations for remaining papers between 1-15 July.
Andhra Pradesh registered 351 new COVID-19 infections for the first time in single day, taking the state's total confirmed cases to 7,071 on Wednesday, Times of India reported.
Two more deaths in Andhra Pradesh take COVID-19 fatalities in the state to 90 on Wednesday, the Times of India report further added. The two casualties were reported in Kurnool and Guntur districts.
The Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi government on Wednesday for threatening and suspension of doctors, nurses and health worker for bringing to public knowledge the state of healthcare in Delhi hospitals.
"Don't shoot the messenger; don't threaten doctors and health workers; support them," the apex court told the state government.
During a hearing on a plea for waiver of interest during the loan moratorium period on Tuesday, the Centre told the Supreme Court that waiving it off completely won’t be easy for banks as even they have to pay interest to depositors. The court defers consideration of waiver of interest on interest for EMIs during the six-month moratorium on loan repayment till August first week, reports Bar & Bench.
Doctors and healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients should not be denied quarantine facilities, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday. The apex courrt was hearing a petition filed by Dr Arushi Jain for separate facilities and timely salaries for COVID-19 frontline health workers, including doctors and other related staff.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Centre to issue direction to all states under Section of Disaster Management Act for timely payment of salaries to doctors and healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may not attend the virtual meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the coronavirus pandemic with the chief ministers on Wednesday after the state was not allowed a spot as a speaker, reports said.
The Prime Minister has been holding consultations with the chief ministers from Tuesday as the country gradually emerges out of lockdown in the backdrop of the rising number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the country.
The COVID-19 toll in India inched towards 12,000 on Wednesday after 2,003 patients lost their lives to the viral infection in the past 24 hours. This takes the mortality rate of the nation to 3.36 percent.
India's overall recoveries exceeded the total active coronavirus cases on Wednesday after 1,86,935 patients were cured of the infectious disease. Of the total 3,54,065 confirmed cases, there are 1,55,227 active cases, according to the health ministry.
With 2,003 fatalities in the past 24 hours, India's COVID-19 toll jumped to 11,903 on Wednesday, according to the latest data released by the health ministry. The total number of confirmed cases crossed 3.54 lakh after 10,974 more people tested positive.
In a major breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19, low-cost, anti-inflammatory steroid, Dexamethasone, has emerged as the possible life-saving drug to help cure the coronavirus patients.
The results of the UK-based 'recovery' trial published on Tuesday described the drug as highly-effective on reducing mortality rate, especially on patients requiring the ventilator support to treat severe respiratory complications.
The COVID-19 toll in the National Capital was revised from 1,400 to 1,837 on Tuesday, according to a heath bulletin released by the Delhi government.
The city reported 1,859 new cases, taking the total to 44,688; Whereas, 520 patients recovered, taking the total to 16,500. There are now 242 containment zones in the city, the bulletin added.
India registered 10,667 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the nationwide tally to 3,43,091 on Tuesday, while the toll rose to 9,900 with 380 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting with the chief ministers and Lt Governors of 21 states and Union Territories (UTs). Laying stress on both lives and livelihoods, the prime minister said that the economy has begun to show green shoots as the country emerges from the coronavirus lockdown but urged people not to lower their guard against the lethal virus.
The meeting came as the country completed two weeks on the Unlock plan under which restrictions have been eased in most areas, except in containment zones.
Maharashtra accounts for highest deaths, infections
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose 3,43,091 as the country registered over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday while the toll rose to 9,900 with 380 new fatalities, according to the Union Health ministry data updated at 8 am.
However, a PTI tally at 9.40 pm based on reports from states and UTs said that the toll from the novel coronavirus reached 10,057 on Tuesday.
India is currently in the eighth position in the global COVID-19 toll while it's the fourth-worst hit globally in terms of confirmed cases.
The number of active cases stands at 1,53,178, while 1,80,012 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, as of Tuesday morning. "Thus, around 52.46 percent patients have recovered so far," an official said.
Of the 380 new deaths reported by the ministry on Tuesday, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 178 fatalities followed by Delhi at 73, Tamil Nadu at 44, Gujarat 28, Haryana 12, West Bengal 10, Rajasthan 9 and Madhya Pradesh 6.
Of the total 9,900 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the highest with 4,128 fatalities followed by Gujarat with 1,505 deaths, Delhi with 1,400, West Bengal with 485, Tamil Nadu with 479, Madhya Pradesh with 465, Uttar Pradesh with 399, Rajasthan with 301 and Telangana with 187 deaths.
Maharashtra has also reported maximum number of cases at 1,10,744 followed by Tamil Nadu at 46,504, Delhi at 42,829, Gujarat at 24,055, Uttar Pradesh at 13,615, Rajasthan at 12,981 and West Bengal at 11,494, according to the health ministry's data updated in the morning.
The figures, however are being reconciled with the ICMR's, the ministry said, adding that 7,684 cases are being reassigned to states.
Economy showing green shoots, says prime minister
In his video interaction with chief ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that while on the one hand health infrastructure should be boosted with emphasis on testing and tracing, on the other hand, economic activity also needed to be increased.
Noting that it is important to review the experiences of "Unlock 1" as the graded exit from the lockdown completes two weeks, he said "timing" is very important to deal with any crisis and decisions taken at the right time have helped a lot in controlling the coronavirus infection in the country.
'Unlock 1' was set in motion on 1 June.
"Today, the recovery rate in India is above 50 percent... Death of anyone from coronavirus is tragic. For us, the death of even one Indian is discomforting. But it is also true that today India is among the countries in the world with the lowest deaths due to coronavirus," Modi said.
"We have worked day and night to save the lives of every Indian," he told the chief ministers and Lt Governors during his sixth interaction with them since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Modi also said that the economy is showing "green shoots" as the country emerges from the coronavirus lockdown and asserted that the fight against the pandemic is a fine example of cooperative federalism where the Centre and the states are working together.
"Rail-road, air-sea, all routes have been opened. But despite this, despite our country being so populous, coronavirus infection in India has not shown the same devastating effect that it has shown in other countries."
However, the prime minister struck a note of caution saying the slightest carelessness, laxity, lack of discipline will weaken all the fight against coronavirus. He asked the participants to continuously keep driving home the fact that danger of the virus is not over yet, and the need to remain vigilant while opening up the economy.
"We always have to keep in mind that the more we can stop coronavirus, the more it will stop growing, the more our economy will open, our offices will open, markets will open, transport will open, and so will new employment opportunities," he said.
On Wednesday, the prime minister is scheduled to interact with chief ministers of 15 states, including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and the LG of Jammu and Kashmir, which are among the worst-hit states.
Testing capacity being continuously ramped up, claims health ministry
In the meantime, the Union health ministry said the capacity for testing COVID-19 is being continuously ramped up and now three lakh samples can be tested each day, as scientists and medical experts pushed for ramping up tests to also cover all asymptomatic cases in the identified red zones and hotspots across the country.
A network of 907 labs — including 659 labs in the government sector and 248 in the private sector — have been established as on date, the ministry said, reiterating that RT-PCR is the gold standard frontline test for diagnosis of COVID-19. RT-PCR is a throat/nasal swab test.
A total of 59,21,069 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far with 1,54,935 samples analysed in the last 24 hours, it said.
Besides, in order to enhance the testing capacity in Delhi, each of the 11 districts shall now have assigned labs for exclusively testing the samples from the respective districts, the ministry said in a statement. The samples from each district are being sent to these labs to ensure timely testing and getting the results without any delay.
Currently, there are 42 labs in Delhi with daily testing capacity of about 17,000 samples.
The ministry also said that as part of efforts to provide reasonable healthcare to COVID-19 patients, some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh have reached an agreement with the private sector.
Amid possibilities of a likely shortage of healthcare infrastructure, the ministry had asked states and UTs to proactively engage with private healthcare providers to facilitate enhanced bed availability and critical care health facilities and to ensure fair and transparent charges for services provided.
"Some states like Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have already taken the initiative. They have negotiated and reached an agreement with the private sector on reasonable rates and arrangements to provide critical care for in-patient COVID-19 admissions," the ministry said in a separate statement.
As part of US President Donald Trump's offer of assistance to New Delhi, the US handed over to India 100 ventilators, valued at about $1.2 million. US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster handed over the first shipment of 100 ventilators to Indian Red Cross Society Secretary General RK Jain at an event at the IRCS national headquarters in Delhi.
Beijing on alert as new cluster emerges
Meanwhile, World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that more than 1,00,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide each day over the past two weeks - mostly in the Americas and South Asia — adding that countries that have controlled the contagion must stay alert to the possibility of resurgence, according to news agency The Associated Press.
He also took note of a new cluster of cases in Beijing, which went more than 50 days without a new case of COVID-19, and said the origin of that new series of cases is under investigation.
Meanwhile in China, Beijing’s city government raised its COVID-19 emergency response level to II from III in light of the fresh outbreak, where 100 cases have been detected in the past few days, Reuters reported quoting state media.
With inputs from agencies