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India COVID-19 Updates, April 28: Doubling rate of COVID-19 cases now stands at 10.2 days, says Health Ministry

The Health Ministry Tuesday said the plasma therapy for COVID-19 is one of the therapies being experimented with but there is no evidence for its use as a treatment.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | April 28, 2020 12:08:37 pm
The number of active coronavirus cases in the country stood at 21,632 along with 6,868 recoveries. Express photo by Partha Paul.

Coronavirus India Updates: The nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus infections crossed 29,000 on Tuesday with more than 1,000 death, according to Union Health Ministry. While the number of active cases stood at 22,010 there have been 7,027 recoveries so far.

Meanwhile, at his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 situation, Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that in the last 24 hours, 1,543 new cases of the coronavirus were detected in the country, of which 684 cases were cured. The recovery rate is now at 23.3 per cent with 7,027 people recovered so far, he added. He also said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched a national-level study to check the efficacy of the plasma therapy, but till this study is completed and a robust scientific proof is available, this therapy should be used only for research or trial purpose.

So far, Maharashtra also has the highest death toll in the country with 369 deaths. This is followed by Gujarat(162), Madhya Pradesh (110), Delhi (54), Rajasthan (46) and Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh at 31 each, Telangana(26), Tamil Nadu (24) while West Bengal and Karnataka have reported 20 deaths each, Punjab (18), J&K (7), Kerala(4), Jharkhand and Haryana (3 each), Bihar(2) while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the Health Ministry’s data.

The highest number of confirmed cases in the country are also from Maharashtra at 8,590 followed by Gujarat at 3,548, Delhi at 3,108, Rajasthan at 2,262, Madhya Pradesh at 2,168, Uttar Pradesh at 1,955 and Tamil Nadu at 1,937.

Covid-19 severely impacting global economy: Jaishankar at BRICS meet

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) had an important role to play in shaping global economic and political architecture.

At a video conference of the foreign ministers of BRICS, Jaishankar said, “Covid-19 is not only posing great risk to health, well-being of humanity but is also severely impacting global economy.”

Stressing on mutual cooperation in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Jaishankar said, “We need to provide support to businesses to tide over Covid-19 crisis and ensure livelihoods are not lost.”

The BRICS represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world population and having a combined GDP of $16.6 trillion.

ADB approves $1.5 bn loan to India to help fund its fight against Covid-19

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday approved USD 1.5 billion loan to India to help fund its fight against coronavirus pandemic. The loan has been sanctioned in order to support immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable sections.

ADP President Masatsugu Asakawa said that the bank is fully committed to supporting the Indian government in its response to this unprecedented challenge. “The quick-disbursing fund is part of a larger package of support that ADB will provide in close coordination with the government and other development partners.

COVID-19 recovery rate in India improves to 23.3 percent: Health Ministry

The Health Ministry Tuesday said the plasma therapy for COVID-19 is one of the therapies being experimented with but there is no evidence for its use as a treatment. Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said the use of this therapy without adequate safeguards can be life-threatening.

He also said that in the last 24 hours, 1,543 new cases of the coronavirus were detected in the country, of which 684 cases were cured. The recovery rate is now at 23.3 per cent, he added.

Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases now stands at 10.2 days.

Dharavi sees highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases

Mumbai’s Dharavi slum recorded its highest single day jump in positive COVID-19 cases as 42 new cases were recorded on Tuesday, taking the overall count from the area to 330.

CRPF man dies due to COVID-19 in Delhi in first such case among CAPFs

A 55-year-old Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel died on Tuesday due to coronavirus infection, officials said. This is the first death due to the pandemic among the about 10 lakh personnel strong Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) or the paramilitary forces that function under the Union Home Ministry for upkeep of internal security and border guarding.

A doctor responds to Covid-19 queries at a health centre in Delhi. (Express photo/Prem Nath Pandey)

The sub-inspector (SI) rank official was admitted to the Safdarjung hospital a few days back after being detected positive for the virus. “The 55-year-old personnel died on Tuesday due to COVID-19 infection. He was posted with the 31st battalion of the force based in Delhi,” a senior official said.

The trooper, who hailed from Barpeta district in Assam, was suffering from co-morbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension, he said.

J&K begins massive health audit of 1.3 crore residents

In a major drive to contain Covid-19 before the lockdown ends on May 3, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has started conducting a health audit of its 1.3 crore residents.

With 45,000 field-level officials, including 3,000 doctors from Covid clinics, going door to door, the massive exercise is the first across the country, official sources said. The Union Territory has surveyed about five lakh households comprising nearly 25 lakh people in the past five days, sources added.

This exercise is being conducted on orders from Lt Governor G C Murmu, who asked to replicate the successful pilot survey of five hotspots in Jammu spread over to 29 electoral booths earlier this month, a senior official said.

NITI Aayog sealed for 48 hours after staffer tests positive 

The NITI Aayog building in New Delhi has been sealed for a period of 48 hours after “a director level officer working at the NITI Bhavan” tested positive, a senior official said Tuesday. 

“A director level officer working at NITI Bhavan has been tested positive for COVID-19. Today at 9 am, he got his report, and then he informed authorities,” Alok Kumar adviser at NITI Aayog said,PTI reported.  “We are following necessary protocol and the health ministry has been informed and all the due processes will be followed. So, we are closed for 48 hours,” Kumar added.

Later, NITI Aayog in a tweet shared the information and said that “disinfection and sanitisation of the building are underway. Contacts of the single COVID-19 positive person have been asked to go on self-quarantine”

How states responded post the PM-CMs video meet

PM CMs video conference lockdown extension, Meghalaya lockdown extension,India lockdown extension, Prime minister Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Uddhav Thackeray (Maharashtra), E K Palaniswami (Tamil Nadu), Conard Sangma (Meghalaya) Trivendram Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand) and Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), indian express news, coronavirus news, coronavirus news, coronavirus india, coronaviru cases PM Narendra Modi interacting with the CMs during the video meet today.

Most states post the video meet with the Prime Minister indicated the continuation of lockdown post 3 May while emphasising that they would follow the centre’s lead on the matter.

West Bengal has accused the centre for being unclear of and sending mixed signals in terms of relaxation measures. “We are in favour of the lockdown. But the Centre on one hand emphasises on this, and on other hand, issues orders to open shops. If you open shops, how will you enforce the lockdown?” Banerjee said.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani called for a “phased” lifting of the lockdown, “citing the interests of small and medium entrepreneurs and labourers”. He said at the video-conference that most of the deaths in the state were due to co-morbidities.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar urged the government to remove the uncertainty around dates of competitive examinations.

Punjab sought the Centre’s permission for reopening of small shops, businesses and industries in all areas except containment zones

Andhra Pradesh sought for a relaxation with CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy declaring 80% of the state as a virus free green zone. However, Jagan did not say if the state would lift restrictions after May 3.

Maharashtra, the worst affected coronavrius state said that it would continue the lockdown.

Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, exposed to the migrant crisis, emphasised the need for a clear set of guidelines to deal with the same.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar sought directions on the issue of its students stuck in Kota and other places, as well as on migrant labourers, while leaving a decision on extension of the lockdown to the Centre.

Read| Coronavirus numbers explained: Telangana shows a dip in numbers

Patients with very mild symptoms of coronavirus can opt for home isolation: Health ministry issues guidelines

Patients with mild coronavirus symptoms can now stay in home isolation, according to the new guidelines by the Health Ministry. As per the new guidelines, medical officers can recommend home isolation to those patients who have been clinically categorised as a very mild case or pre-symptomatic case, provided they have the requisite self-isolation facility at their residence so as to avoid contact with other family members.

The guidelines also adds that the patient should regularly inform his health status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams. The caretaker and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication according to the protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.

Tripura gets first mobile Covid-19 testing van in northeast, CM says will cut down PPE wastage

As part of an initiative to undertake rapid random community testing for coronavirus in the state, Tripura got its first mobile Covid-19 testing van, arguably the first-of-its-kind in the northeast region so far. The vehicle – essentially a three-wheeler, heavy-duty auto with a Covid-19 testing kiosk mounted on it – was conceived from the Kerala model of testing where stationary testing kiosks are placed in front of hospitals.

A mobile rapid testing coronavirus van in Tripura. (Source: Debraj Deb)

Through this mobile kiosk, medical experts can collect swab samples from inside a glass encasement, thereby negating the chances of having any physical exposure to the virus. The contraption was designed and provided by Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) Smart City Project and it took barely a lakh to be made.

West Bengal declares 4 districts as red zones

The West Bengal government Monday released a list revealing the red, orange, green and containment zones as the case count in the state stands at 649 according to the health ministry.

Kolkata and four other districts including Howrah, Purba Medinipur and North 24 Parganas have been declared as red zones and 287 areas have been identified as containment zones.

Apart from these 11 districts have been identified as orange zones( South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman, Kalimpong, Nadia, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling,Murshidabad and Malda) and 8 districts are in the green zone( Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakhin Dinajpur, Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram.)

West Bengal till Monday registered 20 COVID-19 deaths, and a total of 633 cases. Of them, 504 are active cases and 109 people have been discharged from hospitals after they recovered.

UP CM aims to create quarantine facility of 10-15 lakh people

UP jobs, UP cancels 1,300 appointments by SP govt, yogi adityanath, BJP government Uttar Pradesh, UP Jal Nigam Department, UP Jal Nigam Department jobs Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (File photo)

UP CM Yogi Adityanath Monday said he instructed officials to create quarantine and shelter homes with the capacity of 15,000 to 25,000 people in every district in order to create an overall facility for quarantining about 10-15 lakh people in the state.

Addressing a review meeting at his official residence, the CM directed officials to prepare an action plan for industrial activities post 3 May while emphasising the need for health and medical education departments to ensure all covid-19 precautions. He stressed the need to ramp up testing facilities.

Read| Yogi Adityanath interview: ‘No dearth of possibilities in UP, we can give immediate employment to 15 lakh people’

Adityanath said, “Those residing in hotspots areas will not go to their workplace as only medical, sanitation and home delivery staff is permitted in hotspots. Every house in a hotspot area should be sanitised.”

The UP Chief Minister said more dedicated COVID hospitals should be made available with an increase in the number of beds and adequate arrangements for the oxygen supply. The Chief Minister also directed officials to restart food grain distribution to the needy from May 1 and also increase the capacity of Level – 1, 2 hospitals and three dedicated COVID hospitals across the state

Delhi reports 190 fresh cases, no deaths for the second consecutive day

The total COVID-19 cases in the national capital Monday have risen to 3,108, with 190 new cases reported along with 877 total recoveries till now. This was the second consecutive day with no deaths reported. Of the total number of 54 fatalities reported till date, 29 of the deceased were aged 60 and above, making over 53 per cent of the total death cases. Fifteen of them were aged between 50-59 and 10 were aged less than 50 years.

  • Two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers engaged in food distribution at Delhi government-run centres also tested positive due to which several loclities where they were distributing food were declared as containment zones. The number of containment zone rose to 99 on Monday.
  • After the Video meet conducted by Prime Minister Modi, officials in Delhi said that they will follow the centre’s guidelines in regards to lockdown extension post 3 May. “The Centre’s guidelines on the lockdown will be followed by the Delhi government,” he added

8 new cases reported in Odisha, infections cross 100

Eight people, including four women, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total number of cases in Odisha to 111, officials said.

A male staff nurse from Koraput is the state’s first health worker to get infected, he was also asymptomatic. The samples of the new patients were collected during the 60-hour complete shutdown imposed in the district from 10 pm of April 23 to 10 am of April 26.

Of the state’s total cases, 73 are active as 37 people have recovered from the disease. A 72-year-old man from Bhubaneswar died due to the disease on April 6. 46 were detected from Khurda district, of which Bhubaneswar is a part, followed by 19 from Jajpur, 16 each from Bhadrak and Balasore, six in Sundargarh, two each in Kendrapara and Kalahandi districts and one each in Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Puri and Koraput.

A total of 25,103 samples have been tested by April 26 midnight in eight laboratories, the officials added.

Read| Jharkhand ‘punished’ for following lockdown guidelines as other states flout them: CM Soren

More than 300 Tabighi Jamaat members ready to donate their plasma

Of the over 2,300 people evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz, 1,080 had tested positive for the infection. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Around 350 members of the Tablighi Jamaat, who had come to Delhi to attend its congregation in Nizamuddin Markaz last month and tested positive for coronavirus, have agreed to donate their plasma to treat severely ill patients in the city. So far, 25 of them have donated for plasma therapy.

Of the over 2,300 people evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz, 1,080 had tested positive for the infection. Several of them have now recovered and are being discharged from the hospitals.

Recently, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made an appeal to patients who have successfully recovered from coronavirus to donate their plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients. On April 16, Delhi government received the nod from the ICMR to use plasma therapy.

Kerala BJP chief criticises CM for not participating in PM’s video meet

Kerala BJP state chief K Surendran Monday criticised CM Pinarayi Vijayan for not participating in the video meet conducted by the PM and called it “inappropriate” for Pinarayi to miss the meeting in which the state was represented through Kerala’s Chief Secretary Tom Jose.

“Kerala chief minister said he had attended the last meeting and hence he did not attend today’s meeting. However, most of the chief ministers, who attended the last meeting, had attended Monday’s meeting. While the whole country is fighting the pandemic together, his absence cannot be justified,” Surendran said in a statement

Vijayan, in his daily COVID-19 evaluation press meet, said the Union cabinet secretary had on Sunday informed him that only a few chief ministers will have a chance to speak at the video conference.

Vijayan said the state government had said that the lockdown could be extended partially till May 15.

Maharashtra to send about 100 buses to bring back students stranded in Rajasthan

kota students test, UP coronavirus cases, UP news, Ghazipur news, indian express news Students returning from Kota arrive at a Lucknow shelter home on Monday. (Photo: Vishal Srivastav/Representational)

Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab Monday said that the state government has decided to send about 100 buses to Kota in Rajasthan to bring back nearly 2,000 students stranded there due to the current lockdown. Buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will be sent to Kota in the next two days, Parab said late Monday night.

On return, the students and their parents will undergo medical checkup followed by the mandatory 14-day home quarantine,” a senior official from the Maharashtra disaster management department said.

The Maharashtra government decided to bring back the students following indications that the lockdown may be extended in some of the major cities where the coronavirus situation is yet to come under control. Before Maharashtra, the UP state government had brought students from Kota back to their state.

ICMR puts an end to Rapid testing, at least for now

On Monday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) put an end to the question of rapid tests when it told the states that the newly procured kits for such tests had failed quality checks and should be returned to the suppliers.

A rapid test essentially is a test that takes less time than the 8-9 hours that the standard RT-PCR test result takes. In the Indian context, a rapid test means the serological tests with kits that India had imported from China, which have now failed quality tests.

Kerala was one of the earliest states to announce rapid tests. States like Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh too pushed the ICMR for a direction to follow the “South Korea-China model” of rapid tests, until the ICMR gave in earlier this month.

Congress asks Centre to make details of all COVID-19 procurement public

Government has started on wrong foot on CDS appointment: Congress “We would like to demand from the government that all procurements which have been made… all those transactions must be transparently put in the public space…” Tewari said at a press conference. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

The Congress Monday demanded that details of all the coronavirus-related procurement that have been in the last one month by the government should be made public.

Referring to a company engaged in supply of testing kits, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari alleged that kits imported at Rs 245 each from China were being sold by the same company to ICMR at Rs 600 each and at Rs 400 each to Tamil Nadu government.

“We would like to demand from the government that all procurements which have been made… all those transactions must be transparently put in the public space…” Tewari said at a press conference.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi later tweeted, “that any human being would try & profiteer from the immeasurable suffering of millions of his brothers & sisters, is beyond belief & comprehension. This scam is an insult to every Indian. I urge the PM to act swiftly to bring the corrupt to justice.”

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