Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Updates: The death toll in India rose to 603 Tuesday while the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed the 18,000 mark to reach 18,985. This includes 3,260 people who have been treated and discharged. India has so far tested 4,49,810 samples.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that it would advice the states to not use the rapid test kits for two days after Rajasthan stopped using the kits for delivering inaccurate results. In its daily press briefing, ICMR’s Dr R R Gangakhedkar said, “Too much variations were being reported in results of rapid test kits. In next two days, kits will be tested and validated in the field by our teams. States will be advised not to use these kits for two days. ICMR will give advisory on its use in two days.”
Here are the top developments of the day
India’s Covid-19 recovery rate is 17.48 per cent and 3,252 patients have been cured so far, announced the Union Health Ministry Tuesday. In a routine press briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said 61 additional districts from 23 States/UT have not reported any fresh cases in the last 14 days, adding that 1.24 crore coronavirus warriors and volunteers involved in preventive activities in containment zones and field surveillance.
A family member of a President’s Estate staffer tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, following which the authorities asked 125 people, who had come in contact with the patient, to be under home quarantine. According to a statement from the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the woman who tested positive, had been in touch with a COVID-19 patient who died on April 13.
A housekeeper working with the Lok Sabha secretariat has also tested positive.
A total of 27 journalists who worked with a Tamil TV channel have tested positive for Covid-19 till Tuesday. A senior official representing the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Public Health confirmed that all of them have been isolated in government facilities in Chennai and are receiving treatments. According to the official, the first case from the channel was reported on Monday.
Meanwhile, the managing director of the channel said they couldn’t have prevented this at a time when many reporters were bringing reports from the ground. “At this point, it is our responsibility to cooperate with the state and Centre in measures being taken to fight this pandemic. We will not try to run the channel risking many lives. That will not be appropriate… We promise that we will work along with the government and follow further directions. We will come back soon with the entire strength and more reports,” he said.
PM Modi, President Kovind, Venkaiah Naidu thank civil servants
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday took to Twitter to convey his greetings on the Civil Services Day. He also appreciated their efforts in ensuring India successfully defeats COVID-19. “Today, on Civil Services Day I convey greetings to all Civil Servants and their families. I appreciate their efforts in ensuring India successfully defeats COVID-19. They are working round the clock, assisting those in need and ensuring everyone is healthy,” he tweeted.
Today, on Civil Services Day I convey greetings to all Civil Servants and their families.
I appreciate their efforts in ensuring India successfully defeats COVID-19. They are working round the clock, assisting those in need and ensuring everyone is healthy.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2020
President Kovind tweeted, “In the present times too, the steel frame of our country, the civil service, has shown its strength and resolve in handling COVID-19 situation, with sensitivity and professionalism. Confident that our civil services will continue to serve in the best traditions of public service.” The president greeted present and former civil servants and their families on the occasion. Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu also greeted the civil servants.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said his government will conduct COVID-19 test on mediapersons in the national capital, after 53 scribes tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mumbai. During a special camp organised at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai on April 16 and 17 for COVID-19 testing of scribes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had collected swab samples of 171 mediapersons, including electronic and print media journalists, photographers and cameramen.
Why disinfectant must not be sprayed on humans
It can be harmful. Besides, the act itself is pointless. This is because there is a specific time that the disinfectant takes to act on an area, and as per the disinfection protocol, any place that has been disinfected has to be kept shut overnight. The solution of sodium hypochlorite is unstable and quickly breaks down to release chlorine. Chlorine can have several harmful effects, the Health Ministry said.
A day after six fresh cases were reported in Ghaziabad, the district administration Tuesday restricted all movement at Delhi border, except for emergency and essential services. Passes of anyone not involved in essential service or medical emergency stand suspended, officials said. According to officials, the step is a precautionary measure as inter-district travel can further cause a spike in the daily number of cases.
As many 18 states had a doubling rate much slower than the national average, with Kerala having the slowest doubling rate of 72.2 days. Maharashtra continued to drive up the numbers of Coronavirus patients in India, contributing more than a third of all new cases reported on Tuesday. A total of 1274 new cases were discovered across the country on Tuesday, of which 466 came from Maharashtra. Gujarat was the only other state that reported more than 100 cases on Tuesday. With 196 new positive patients, Gujarat now has a total of 1939 cases, the third highest in the country. Delhi continues to occupy the second place, its 78 new cases on Tuesday, putting its aggregate to 2081.
Important stories from The Indian Express
- From our Explained page: In Kerala, where COVID-19 growth has been much flatter than the national average, Kasaragod stands out with a progressive decline in active cases. What is the Kasargod model, being showcased by the Centre?
- 12-year-old walks 100 km, dies just short of Bijapur home: Officials said the tribal girl died on April 18 due to electrolyte imbalance and exhaustion, having walked for over three days with 13 others, covering over 100 km and dying barely 11 km short of her home in Aded in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. She was the only child to her parents and was working at a farm in Telangana.
- Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to The Indian Express on the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Expressing confidence, Chouhan said Indore — one of the worst affected cities in India — will emerge as a role model in the pandemic.
- Centre steps in to monitor states: After directing Kerala to rectify its lockdown relaxations, the Centre singled out more states — West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh — putting under strain the common exit strategy that the Prime Minister had urged states to help frame in the country’s efforts against COVID-19.
- Friends dig pit as Chennai mobs attack family, stop burial of noted doctor: News that a coronavirus victim’s body was coming for last rites brought residents to two burial grounds in Chennai, with sticks and stones. As they attacked the ambulance drivers and family, the doctors’ colleagues had to ready the pit by scooping mud out with hands.