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No proof on effect of summer on COVID-19 spread: Highlights of Health Ministry briefing

Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, said the fatality rate was much lower than the recovery rate in India and claimed there was no evidence on the effect of summer on the spread of the novel coronavirus.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 16, 2020 11:20:11 pm
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In the daily briefing, the Health Ministry said 941 new novel coronavirus cases and 37 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 12,759. The death count stands at 420. Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said the fatality rate was much lower than the recovery rate in India and claimed there was no evidence on the effect of summer on the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Our case fatality rate is 3.3% and percentage of people recovered is 12.02 per cent. Mahe, Patna, Nadia, Pratapgarh, Porbandar, South Goa, Pauri Gadwal, Pilibhit, Rajauri, Vilaspur Durg, Rajnandgaon are districts that have completed 28 days without reporting a single case,” Lav Aggarwal said, adding that at least 325 districts had not reported any cases so far. Follow Coronavirus LIVE UPDATES

The ICMR said the government was carrying out 24 tests for one positive case. “Japan tested 11.7 people per one positive; for Italy the number is 6.7, in US its 5.3; UK its 3.4. Here we do 24 tests for one positive. Can’t say we are testing less,” an ICMR official said.

Highlights of Health Ministry’s briefing on COVID-19:

941 fresh COVID-19 cases, 37 deaths reported in last 24 hours: Health Ministry.

“Action plan made on how to use polio surveillance network alongside WHO for COVID-19.” Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said.

Industries have been asked to focus on ‘Make in India’ for medical supplies.

An ICMR official said that rapid testing kits will not be used for diagnosis but for surveillance, especially in hotspots. “India has received 5 lakh testing kits, including rapid antibody test kits, from two Chinese firms, their sensitivity is over 80 per cent,” ICMR’s R R Gangakhedkar said.

  In the last 24 hours, 30,043 tests were carried out, of which 3,712 were in private labs. “We can test over 78,000 people per day if we work in two shifts,” the ICMR official said.

EXPLAINED: To do rapid tests, or not to

On developing antibodies to fight SARS-CoV2, the ICMR official said: “Not all antibodies are such that they can fight the same infection for life; that’s the case with chicken pox antibody; difficult to say whether presence of antibody against SARS-CoV2 gives immunity for life.”

In 11 states, including Maharashtra, Central teams have been deployed. Two teams were already present in Mumbai and Pune, one more has been sent two days back, the health ministry official informed.

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