Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: ICMR tells states to stop using rapid antibody testing kits from two Chinese firms after concerns over accuracy

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    Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday issued a revised advisory to state governments regarding the rapid antibody blood tests. ICMR has written to them to stop using Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics kits.

    The Union health ministry said that 1,396 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total confirmed cases to 27,892.

    “20,835 people are under active medical supervision. 381 patients are found cured in past one day. Total number of cured people becomes 6,184. Recovery rate 22.17 percent,” Lav Aggarwal said.

    Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar was on Monday quoted as saying that 231 zones have been removed from the ‘containment zones’ list in the city, which is one of the worst-hit cities in the country.

    “Our containment zones had risen to 1,036. There has been a significant drop in number of containment zones in Mumbai. 231 zones are out of the containment zone list after they didn’t record a single COVID-19 positive patient for last 14 days,” she said.

    As many as 73,735 cases were registered by the Maharashtra Police so far for violating Centre’s lockdown guidelines. Maharashtra continued to remain the worst COVID-hit state with over 8,000 confirmed cases and 342 deaths.

    The State Health Department has said the mortality rate stood at 4.24 percent. On Monday, blood samples of four COVID-19 survivors have tested positive for antibodies. Their plasma will now be used to treat other patients.

    Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy said that most of state CMs during video conferencing suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a “cautious approach” must be taken on lockdown relaxation to curb further spread of coronavirus.

    “Most of the CMs said the way in which cases are increasing, there should be a cautious approach and the prime minister should take a call on basis of observation of CMs. Most of the BJP-ruled states’ CMs said that lockdown should be continued and economic activities be started slowly,” said Narayanasamy.

    Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Centre to initiate measures to kickstart the economy. He suggested that Niti Ayog should come up with transformative ideas to keep the economy moving as the COVID-19 crisis continued.

    “Even if the national lockdown continues, economic activities within the states should be allowed,” said Patnaik.

    Eight more people tested positive for coronavirus in Karnataka on Monday, as per the state health department’s midday report. This takes the total number of COVID-19 positive people in the state to 511.

    The overall figure of 511 also includes 19 deaths. The recovery rate was at 38 percent after 188 COVID-19 patients were cured.

    During the PM COVID-19 revie meet, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that business and trade activities should start in a phased manner, with focus on all precautionary measures. “We should look towards easing people’s life by turning the situation to normal. Economic revival is key to moving forward,” Rawat said at the meeting.

    He also said that Uttarakhand, which is a tourism and pilgrimage destination, has been greatly affected by the lockdown.

    Home Minister Amit Shah, attending the video conferencing meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers, told all the states to be vigilant in enforcing the lockdown and to punish violators.

    West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday tweeted that the state government will make all possible efforts to bring back stranded people stuck in different parts of the country due to lockdown.

    As she attended the COVID-19 review meet with the Prime Minsister Narendra Modi on Monday, Mamata weeted, “I’ve instructed my officers to do the needful. Till the time I’m here, nobody from Bengal should feel helpless. I’m with you in these tough times.”

    The chief minister also said that the travel of stranded students in Kota has already been initiated.

    The Reserve Bank of India on Monday announced a special liquidity facility for mutual funds of Rs 50,000 crores to tackle the crisis.

    “With a view to easing liquidity pressures on mutual funds, it has been decided to open a special liquidity facility for mutual funds of Rs 50,000 crores,” ANI quoted the central bank.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers via video conference on Monday at 10 am on the way ahead in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    They are likely to aspects that could also focus on a graded exit from the ongoing lockdown imposed in view of COVID-19.

    India registered 48 fresh COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, thereby taking the toll to 872 across the nation on Sunday, according to the latest data released by the health ministry.

    With 1,396 more individuals testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the total confirmed cases rose to 27,892. This figure also includes 20,835 active cases.

    The recovery rate in India stood at 22.8 percent after 6,185 COVID-19 patients were cured of the virus.

    With five more individuals testing positive for COVID-19 in Odisha, the total confirmed cases in the state reached 108, as per the information shared by State Health and Family Welfare department website on Monday.

    All the fresh cases were reported in Balasore.

    As many as 2,287 RT PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours and the total number of active cases in the state stood at 72 while the live of one patient was lost due to COVID-19.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers via video conference on Monday morning on the way ahead in the fight against the novel coronavirus, amid indications that the discussions could also focus on a graded exit from the ongoing lockdown.

    This will be the third video conference of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers after the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.

    As India recorded its highest one-day rise of 1,975 coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the country’s fight against COVID-19 is “people-driven” and this is the only way to overcome the pandemic.

    In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ broadcast, Modi said the country is in the middle of a ‘yudh‘ (war) and asserted people have to continue being careful and take precautions.

    The countrywide death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 826 with 47 more fatalities being reported and the number of cases climbed to 26,917 on Sunday, according to the Union Health Ministry. A total of 5,914 people(21.96 percent) have recovered from the infection, it said.

    State-wise figures

    The total number of cases on Sunday went up by 1,975 since the ministry last updated its data on Saturday evening. The previous highest single-day jump of 1,752 was recorded on April 24.

    According to the ministry, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country is from Maharashtra at 7,628. Other states where the cases have crossed one thousand are are Gujarat (3,071), Delhi (2,625), Rajasthan (2,083), Madhya Pradesh (2,096), Uttar Pradesh (1,843), Tamil Nadu(1,821) and Andhra Pradesh(1,097).

     Coronavirus Outbreak LIVE Updates: ICMR tells states to stop using rapid antibody testing kits from two Chinese firms after concerns over accuracy

    Representational image. AP

    Of the 47 deaths reported since Saturday evening, 22 are from Maharashtra, eight in Rajasthan, seven from Madhya Pradesh, six Gujarat and one each from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu.

    Of the total 824 COVID-19 deaths, Maharashtra accounts for the highest number of 323 fatalities, followed by Gujarat (133), Madhya Pradesh (99), Delhi (54), Andhra Pradesh (31) and Rajasthan (33).

    The death toll reached 27 in Uttar Pradesh, 26 in Telangana, 23 in Tamil Nadu, while Karnataka and West Bengal have reported 18 deaths each, the ministry said.

    Punjab has registered 17 fatalities so far, Jammu and Kashmir six, Kerala four, while Jharkhand and Haryana have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each.

    Bihar has reported two coronavirus deaths, while Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported one fatality each, according to the ministry data.

    Modi asks people to shun complacency

    Amid indications that Modi’s third round of video interaction with the chief ministers on Monday since the COVID-19 outbreak could also focus on a graded exit from the 40-day lockdown, the prime minister asked people to shun any complacency that they will not be infected by coronavirus. The nationwide lockdown is due to end on 3 May.

    He reiterated his advice to people to maintain a distance of two yards from each other to keep healthy.

    Do gaz doori, bahut hai zaroori (Maintain a distance of two yards and keep yourself healthy),” he said.

    “I urge you not to get overconfident. You should in your over-enthusiasm not think that if the coronavirus has not yet reached your city, village, street or office, it is not going to reach now. Never make such a mistake. The experience of the world tells us a lot in this regard,” he said in his 30-minute address.

    Modi referred to a popular Hindi idiom ‘Sawdhani hati, durghatna ghati‘ (accident happens when caution is lowered) to make his point.

    Hailing states, emergency workers and civil society groups for their contribution in combating the pandemic, he said the resolve shown by the people of the country has led to the beginning of a transformation with businesses, offices, educational institutions, medical sector rapidly undergoing new changes.
    With the country under a lockdown since 24 March midnight, he said India’s people-driven battle against the pandemic will be discussed when the world discusses the crisis later.

    “India’s fight against the coronavirus is people-driven in the truest sense of the term. Along with people, government and administration are fighting it as well… This is the only way we can win over the virus,” he said.

    The prime minister said wearing masks will now become a part of a civilised society and also exhorted people to stop spitting in public places, saying it was high time to get rid of this “bad habit” once and for all.

    This will not only boost our basic hygiene standards but also help in preventing the spread of the coronavirus infection, he added.

    Modi also greeted people on Akshaya-Tritiya and noted that the holy month of Ramzan had also begun.

    “We should pray more than ever before so that prior to the celebration of Eid the world is rid of the coronavirus and we celebrate Eid with enthusiasm and gaiety like earlier times,” Modi said, urging people to adhere to guidelines of local administration.

    The prime minister hoped there may be some good news in the fight against the coronavirus during his next ‘Mann ki Baat’ episode, usually the last Sunday of every month. The last Sunday next month falls on 31 May and Eid is likely to fall on 25 May.

    Senior BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the prime minister has asked people to remain steadfast in following the coronavirus guidelines and expressed confidence that the nation will follow the path shown by him.

    ‘Graded’ exit from lockdown may be discussed tomorrow

    Sources in the union government indicated to PTI that besides discussing the way forward in dealing with the pandemic, the prime minister’s discussion with chief ministers could also focus on a “graded” exit from the lockdown.

    The Centre and the state governments have been giving gradual relaxation in various fields and sectors to boost economic activities as also to provide relief to the people.

    But some states like Maharashtra are mulling extending the lockdown beyond 3 May in cities like Mumbai and Pune to ensure that coronavirus cases remain under control.

    The Congress said it hopes the prime minister puts out a comprehensive and holistic plan as regards the exit strategy during his discussions with the chief ministers.

    Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said till the time there is no national plan to deal with disasters or pandemics, states cannot formulate plans to deal with issues post-lockdown.

    Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said that without aggressive testing facilities, India cannot conquer challenges posed by COVID-19.

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged Modi to clear “bottlenecks” and ramp up testing.

    Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said the situation in India is improving as hotspot districts (HSD) are moving towards being non-hotspot districts (NHSD).

    Vardhan gave this assessment after he visited the Trauma Centre of AIIMS in Delhi to take stock of preparedness to overcome COVID-19 and visited various wards in the isolation facility for the infected patients, a statement from the ministry said.

    On 15 April, the Centre had identified a total of 170 districts across the country as COVID-19 hotspots. The districts that have reported either a high number of coronavirus cases or where the rate of doubling time is low are termed as hotspots.

    As many as 207 districts were also classified as non-hotspots whereas the remaining of the total 726 districts fall under the ‘green zones’ category, i.e., they haven’t reported any coronavirus case for the last 28 days before April 15. Non-hotspot areas have also reported positive cases but the number remains limited.

    Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba also had a detailed video conference with all the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of the States/UTs to review the preparedness for COVID-19 response.

    With inputs from PTI

    Updated Date: Apr 27, 2020 17:08:40 IST

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