COVID-19 cases cross 12 lakh, toll nears 30k; cured Delhi cop tests positive again

Across the country, 7,82,606 people have recovered from COVID-19 so far, while there are 4,26,167 active cases at present, data from the health ministry showed

FP Staff July 24, 2020 00:11:49 IST
COVID-19 cases cross 12 lakh, toll nears 30k; cured Delhi cop tests positive again

With a spike of 45,720 cases, India's COVID-19 tally crossed 12 lakh on Thursday, just three days after reaching 11 lakh cases, while the toll
mounted to 29,861 with a record 1,129 fatalities in a day, according to the Union health ministry's data.

However, a development that may be a cause for worry was the relapse of the virus in a Delhi cop, nearly seven weeks after he was cured at care centre in the National Capital.

The coronavirus caseload in the country now stands at 12,38,635 as on Thursday. Of them, 7,82,606 people have recovered so far in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed.

There are 4,26,167 active cases of coronavirus infection presently in the country, the ministry said. On the positive side, around 63.18 percent people have recovered so far.

In another encouraging development, pharmaceutical firm Cipla is all set to launch Favipiravir, developed by the Council of Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR) in a cost-effective process, an official statement said.

However, the pandemic continued to disrupt the sporting calendar, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday postponing this year's qualifying events for two separate tournaments due to the global health crisis.

Testing capacity increased to 4 lakh per day, says ICMR

A total of 1,50,75,369 samples have been tested up to 22 July with 3,50,823 samples being tested on Wednesday, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) officials said.

"One million (10 lakh) tests were done in three days till Wednesday. The testing capacity has been increased to around 4 lakh per day," scientist and media coordinator at ICMR Lokesh Sharma said.

COVID19 cases cross 12 lakh toll nears 30k cured Delhi cop tests positive again

Representational image. ANI

There are 1,290 labs functional in the country which includes 897 government labs and 393 in the private sector.

"From a network of 13 COVID-19 labs in February 2020, the network has now expanded is about 1,300 labs. The expansion of lab network has been paired with calibrated expansion of testing strategy, inclusion of newer testing platforms besides RT-PCR — CBNAAT, TrueNat and Rapid Antigen test.

"All efforts have been made to increase access to testing even at district level. Efforts of ICMR to ramp up testing continue," said Dr Nivedita Gupta, senior scientist and coordinator of Lab Network, ICMR.

Recovered Delhi cop tests positive again

The case of a Delhi policeman having a relapse of the novel coronavirus has baffled experts and the doctors treating him, and has raised the question whether a recovered patient can contract the infection again.

The policeman, 50, had tested positive for the virus in May and was treated at the Indraprastha Apollo hospitals between 15 and 22 May. Thereafter, he had tested negative and resumed duty.

However, on 10 July, he again felt unwell with a fever and dry cough and got himself tested on 13 July.

The report came positive through the rapid antigen test as well as the RT-PCR test, said Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, respiratory and critical care medicine, Apollo Hospitals.

The policeman, who has no other underlying ailment, complained of chest pain on 16 July and was admitted to the hospital, the senior doctor said, adding that he is stable and his vitals are being monitored.

"The first time he was tested for coronavirus, he had no symptoms. There was a camp in the hospital and since his friend got tested, he also got tested and came positive,” he told PTI.

The second time the policeman was tested for antibodies too, but it was found that he did not have the antibodies, he said.

"If it was within a month,” said Dr Chawla, “I would have said that it was a dead virus that was giving a positive result. But that is not the case.”

“The other thing could be that it was a false positive when he was tested the first time. Although it is very rare in RT-PCR test but still it can occur. The third, of course, is reinfection because he did not have antibodies. I have not seen any other such patient," he said.

State-wise cases and deaths

Of the total 29,861 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra tops the tally with 12,556 fatalities followed by Delhi with 3,719 deaths, Tamil Nadu 3,144, Gujarat 2,224, Karnataka 1,519, Uttar Pradesh 1,263, West Bengal 1,221, Andhra Pradesh 823 and Madhya Pradesh 770.

So far, 583 people have died of COVID-19 in Rajasthan, 438 in Telangana, 372 in Haryana, 273 in Jammu and Kashmir, 269 in Punjab, 217 in Bihar, 108 in Odisha, 64 in Assam and Jharkhand each, 57 in Uttarakhand and 45 in Kerala.

Puducherry has registered 31 deaths, Chhattisgarh 29, Goa 28, Chandigarh 13, Himachal Pradesh 11, Tripura 9, Meghalaya 4, Arunachal Pradesh 3, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and Ladakh has reported two fatality each.

The Health Ministry stressed that more than 70 percent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 3,37,607 followed by Tamil Nadu at 1,86,492, Delhi at 1,26,323, Karnataka at 75,833, Andhra Pradesh at 64,713, Uttar Pradesh at 55,588, Gujarat at 51,399 and West Bengal at 49,321.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 49,259 in Telangana, 32,334 in Rajasthan, 30,369 in Bihar, 28,186 in Haryana, 26,772 in Assam and 24,842 in Madhya Pradesh.

Odisha has reported 19,835 infections, Jammu and Kashmir 15,711, Kerala 15,032, while Punjab has 11,301 cases.

A total of 6,485 have been infected by the virus in Jharkhand, 5,968 in Chhattisgarh, 5,300 in Uttarakhand, 4,176 in Goa, 3,449 in Tripura, 2,300 in Puducherry, 2,060 in Manipur, 1,725 in Himachal Pradesh and 1,206 in Ladakh.

Nagaland has recorded 1,084 COVID-19 cases, Arunachal Pradesh 949, Chandigarh 793 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 733 cases.

Meghalaya has reported 514 cases, Sikkim 438 and Mizoram has registered 317 infections so far, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has recorded 221 cases.

ICC postpones two qualifying events

The ICC has postponed September's Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 series to be hosted in Namibia and the U19 Cricket World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 due to take place in August in Tanzania.

The World Cup League 2 series, which was to be hosted in Namibia in September, was part of the qualification for the 2023 World Cup — involving Namibia, Papua New Guinea and the United States, the ICC said in a statement.

The U19 World Cup Regional Qualifier Division 2 in Africa was due to take place in Tanzania between 7 and 14 August, involving Botswana​, Kenya​, Mozambique​, Rwanda​, Sierra Leone and the host country.

The ICC said its priority continues to be to protect the well-being of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community.

"With ongoing international travel restrictions, global health concerns still prominent and on government and public health authority advice in relation to COVID-19, we have decided in partnership with members, to postpone two further qualifying events," ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said.

The ICC on Monday had postponed the T20 Men's World Cup, which was originally scheduled to take place in October-November this year in Australia, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Scientists in Singapore develop rapid COVID-19 antibody test

Scientists have developed a rapid test to detect antibodies in COVID-19 patients that specifically block the novel coronavirus, an advance that may lead to faster methods for estimating the population level infection rate of the disease.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, a rapid test to detect neutralising antibodies — capable of blocking the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 — is urgently needed to facilitate monitoring of infection rates, as well as to determine vaccine efficacy during clinical trials.

In order to facilitate this, the researchers, including those from the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, developed a new assay which is much faster than conventional tests for neutralising antibodies, taking only one or two hours to complete.

They said the new method, validated in two groups of patients who had COVID-19 from Singapore and Nanjing, China, does not require the use of the live virus.

With inputs from PTI

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