Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: ICMR permits Bengaluru doctor to use plasma therapy in treating COVID-19 patients in state, says Karnataka govt

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    Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: An oncologist in Bengaluru has been given permission by the ICMR to use plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state, the government said.

    Karnataka minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “Plasma therapy holds great promise in treating COVID-19 patients and I am happy to inform that ICMR agreed to our request and has given permission for plasma treatment to Dr Vishal Rao, HCG Bangalore Institute of Oncology.”

    At least 25 people, including journalists, working for a Tamil news television channel tested positive for coronavirus here on Tuesday, a health department official said. To a question, the official said the test results of those associated with the television channel were being collated and indicated that the tally of total positives could be ’27.’

    The number of coronavirus cases in Rae Bareli district jumped from two to 35 with several people testing positive after coming in contact with participants at a Tablighi Jamaat congregation, officials said on Tuesday.

    Rajasthan on Tuesday stopped using rapid test kits for coronavirus after receiving invalid and incorrect results for a large number of samples. Health Minister Raghu Sharma said the kits were giving mere five percent correct or valid results and a report has been forwarded to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in this regard.

    Over 100 families residing at the President’s Estate are under self-isolation as a preventive measure after a sanitation worker’s relative tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Tuesday. The relative of the sanitation worker, who is a resident of the estate that houses Rashtrapati Bhavan, has been admitted to a hospital here for treatment, they said.

    Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien asked why the Centre did not send IMCT teams to states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh despite the high number of cases and hotspots there.

    The toll due to coronavirus rose to 77 in Gujarat as six more people succumbed to the disease, a health official said on Tuesday. About 127 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state, taking the tally to 2,066. This figure includes 131 recoveries and deaths so far.

    Delhi has reported a total of 2081 positive cases, out of these 78 cases were found on Monday. The border between Delhi and Ghaziabad has been sealed as a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    472 more COVID-19 cases reported in Maharashtra till 10 am on Tuesday, taking total positive cases in the state to 4,676, reports ANI. Nine more deaths have been reported, taking the total toll in the state to 232, said Public Health of Department, Government of Maharashtra.

    Three cops test positive for COVID-19 at Nabi Karim area in Paharganj, New Delhi. A total of 11 cops are COVID positive now in the central district. Nabi Karim area is one of the 84 containment zones in the National Capital.

    25 hospital staff including 19 nurses tested positive for COVID-19 in Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, said Bomi Bhote, Chief Executive Officer of Ruby Hall Clinic, reports ANI. Meanwhile, according to worldometer, about 1,70,456 people across the globe have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of 21 April.

    The total number confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise steadily in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. Rajasthan has so far reported 1,628 cases. Of these, 205 patients have recovered. The toll in the state stands at 25.

    Five more persons tested positive for novel coronavirus in Odisha on Tuesday, taking the total number of such cases to 79 in the state, a health department official said.

    There are now 18,601 total cases of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in India. Active cases stand at 14,759 and recoveries at 3,251 and deaths at 590.

    US President Donald Trump said on Monday he will be signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

    Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said the rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases in the state has slowed down further to seven days from five days earlier.

    One coronavirus positive case found in Rashtrapati Bhavan, 125 families sent on home quarantine, reports ANI. 125 families advised to remain in self-isolation as mandated by the Health Ministry’s guidelines as a precautionary measure.

    US crude oil jumped more than $20 per barrel on Tuesday but still traded below $0 after plunging into negative territory for the first time in history, dragged down by a supply glut and sagging demand for crude due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The confirmed cases in India rose to 17,656 and the toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 559, while several states sought to contain the ballooning economic cost of the pandemic by easing some lockdown curbs.

    However, some states preferred to maintain strict restrictions, with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka joining Delhi in deciding against any relaxation till 3 May.

    Punjab, which had earlier ruled out any relaxation till 3 May, said some industrial activity may resume in areas other than those identified as high-risk ‘containment zones’.

    No new cases in 59 districts in fortnight, says health ministry

     Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: ICMR permits Bengaluru doctor to use plasma therapy in treating COVID-19 patients in state, says Karnataka govt

    The coronvirus cases in India jumped to 17,656 on Monday. PTI

    According to the Union health ministry, the number of coronavirus positive cases saw a sharp increase of 1,553 between Sunday and Monday, while there has been a recovery rate of about 15 percent.

    In the daily COVID-19 press briefing, health ministry Joint Secretary Law Agarwal said as many as 59 districts across 23 states and Union Territories have not reported a single case in the last 14 days and also asserted that the rate of the number of cases doubling has improved to 7.5 days, from 3.4 days before the lockdown. Last Friday, he had put the rate of doubling of cases at 6.2 days.

    Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Health Ministry officials said 80 percent patients were either asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms but were found to be positive after testing. They also said around 15 percent patients turn into severe cases, while 5 percent turn critical.

    Later, in its 5 pm update, the ministry said the COVID-19 death toll has risen to 559 and the number of cases has risen to 17,656 across the country. Across the country, 2,851 people have been discharged, it said. According to data published on its website, the highest number of cases have been reported in Maharashtra (4,203), followed by Delhi (2,003), Gujarat (1,851), Uttar Pradesh (1,176) and Madhya Pradesh (1,485).

    However, a PTI tally of figures reported by various states and Union Territories, as on 9.15 pm, showed 18,322 confirmed cases, 2,969 recoveries and 590 deaths.

    Maharashtra total reaches 4,666, 53 journalists test positive in Mumbai

    Based on reports coming from state governments, Maharashtra alone has reported 4,666 cases, while Delhi has also crossed 2,000. Gujarat has 1,939 cases, while Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are above 1,500 each, closely followed by Madhya Pradesh with 1,414 cases.

    Fresh cases reported from various parts of the country included those of police personnel in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, of health workers at various places, journalists in Mumbai and even of prisoners in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.

    In Mumbai, where 3,032 cases have been recorded so far, 53 journalists have contracted the disease, reported Huffpost. Shiv Sena leader and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s health committee member Amey Ghole told the publication that samples of 167 Mumbai journalists had been collected for the test and 53 of these had tested positive. Significantly, most journalists who tested positive did not display any symptoms, according to ANI.

    Gujarat reported 201 new coronavirus positive cases, taking the number of the affected people in the state to 1939, a health official told PTI, adding that most cases were being reported from virus hotspots.

    The Tamil Nadu government said that 43 new coronavirus cases were reported in the state on Monday, taking the total number of cases to 1,520 in the state. Meanwhile, 46 COVID-19 patients were discharged on Monday.

    Some states ease restrictions, Centre rebukes Kerala, West Bengal

    Even as several states reported a rising number of cases, the first set of relaxations from the nationwide lockdown, which came into effect on 25 March, kicked in at select places across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Goa among other states.

    But despite the relaxations announced by state authorities, which are mostly limited to non-urban areas, industry executives said most companies have decided to wait for a complete exit from the lockdown as continuing restrictions on goods and people’s movement make it difficult to resume stalled economic activities, which are estimated to have suffered a loss of Rs 7-8 lakh crores already.

    While attendance at government establishments also increased marginally, there have been no relaxations as such for the public road transport, railway passenger services and flights.

    Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said restrictions on domestic and international flights will be lifted when the government is confident that spread of coronavirus has been controlled, and poses no danger to Indians.

    Goa eased some lockdown restrictions, in line with the central government’s guidelines, as there are currently no active cases i the state after the recovery of its last patient on Sunday. However, leaders there warned against any hurry in declaring the state a ‘green zone’ one or free of the virus.

    Manipur chief minister Biren Singh said that the state has become COVID-19-free. “We have decided to relax coronavirus lockdown in rural areas but the lockdown will continue in Imphal till further orders. Shops of essential goods will open between 8 am and 2 pm in urban areas,” he said.

    Kerala, where the doubling rate of cases is among the best in the country at 72.2 days, also announced a number of relaxations, but had to rescind some after facing the flak from the Centre.

    In a letter to the state government, the Union Home Ministry said Kerala’s decision to open restaurants, allow bus travel in cities and open MSME industries in urban areas amounted to dilution of the lockdown guidelines and also a Supreme Court observation. Later in the day, the state government decided not to allow plying of buses in cities, opening of restaurants and pillion riding on two-wheelers.

    At the daily press briefing, Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava said states have been told that some of them were issuing certain guidelines that amounted to “diluting” the lockdown leading to “severe repercussions to health” of the citizens.

    She said states and UTs can take stricter action than what is mentioned in the guidelines issued by the central government to enforce the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but cannot dilute or weaken them.

    Separately, the home ministry also said the COVID-19 situation is “especially serious” in Mumbai, Pune, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata and a few other places in West Bengal, and warned that violation of lockdown measures risks the spread of the novel coronavirus further. The ministry said six inter-ministerial central teams will visit these identified areas in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Rajasthan within the next three days to make on-the-spot assessment and recommend remedial measures in a report to the Centre.

    In identical orders issued to the four states on Sunday, the home ministry said there have been several incidents of violence against COVID-19 front-line healthcare professionals, complete violation of social distancing norms and movement of vehicles in urban areas.

    The Centre also dispatched a team to asses the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation in West Bengal, which saw its highest ever spike of 54 cases. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Mod where she voiced her displeasure at the state government having been kept in dark about the visit , which she said  violated established protocol.

    Tamil Nadu, Karnataka extend lockdown till 3 May

    Amid rising number of cases, Tamil Nadu government said prohibitory orders and other COVID-19 lockdown curbs will continue till May 3 without any relaxation, while the Karnataka Cabinet decided to promulgate an ordinance, giving it special powers to control the spread of COVID-19. These include provision for protection to front line health workers and making non-cooperation with the government a punishable offence.

    Karnataka has also decided to continue the COVID-19 lockdown measures till 3 May without any relaxation, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said. However, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and the COVID-19 Task Force have been authorised to meet in three or four days to review and take further decisions about any relaxation.

    Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said some relaxation for economic activities has been given from Monday but it is limited, as he asked people not to violate lockdown norms and avoid going out of their homes. In Uttar Pradesh, no relaxation would be given in Lucknow, Agra and Firozabad.

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said limited industrial activities have been allowed in certain areas of the state to restart the wheels of the economy, but this should not be seen as indication that the threat of coronavirus has receded in any way.

    There has been a rise of 835 cases of COVID-19 in Maharashtra in the last 36 hours, but we are relaxing the stringent norms of lockdown to restart the wheels of economy, he said.

    Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state “will not be able” to pay salaries of its employees for May if it does not get financial support from outside.

    Global toll crosses 1.66 lakh

    According to the the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource centre, 1,66,794 people have died due to the viral disease across the world. Italy has reported the highest number of deaths (23,660) while Spain recorded 20,852. However, the USA now has the most number of infections (7,61,991) while the global count has reached 2,432,092.

    However, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us”, while alluding to the Spanish flu of 1918.

    “Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” he said. “Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand,” news agency AP quoted him as saying.

    With inputs from agencies

    Updated Date: Apr 21, 2020 16:05:46 IST

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