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It is to be noted that India took 158 days to reach the first five lakh cases-mark, but just 20 days to record the next five lakh cases. File photo: PTI

COVID-19: Tally at 11 lakh; recovered patients urged to donate plasma

India's tally for the total number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 11-lakh mark on Sunday (July 19), just three days after it crossed the 10 lakh-mark.

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India’s tally for the total number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 11-lakh mark on Sunday (July 19), just three days after it crossed the 10 lakh-mark.

The country reported a record single-day jump of 35,536 COVID-19 cases, pushing its tally to 11,13,400 on Sunday, while the total number of recoveries increased to 6,96,073, according to covid19india.org.

It is to be noted that India took 158 days to reach the first five lakh cases-mark, but just 20 days to record the next five lakh cases.

The death toll due to the disease rose to 27,472 with new 644 fatalities even as 18,416 patients have recuperated in the past 24 hours, the data showed.

The Ministry of Health said the 11 most COVID-19 affected countries in the world — the US, Brazil, Russia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, the UK, Iran, Pakistan, Spain — together reported 8 times more cases and 14 times more deaths than India.

There are 3,89,453 active cases presently in the country. The total number of confirmed cases includes foreigners.

This is the fourth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 30,000.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 1,37,91,869 samples have been tested up to July 18 with 3,58,127 samples being tested on Saturday.

From the states

Of the 644 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 258 are from Maharashtra, 91 from Karnataka, 78 from Tamil Nadu, 56 from Andhra Pradesh, 36 from West Bengal, 31 from Delhi, 38 from Uttar Pradesh, 16 from Gujarat, 15 from Madhya Pradesh, eight from Punjab, and five from Haryana.

Jammu and Kashmir has reported eight fatalities, followed by Telangana with six deaths, Odisha seven, Assam four, Rajasthan and Puducherry three, Bihar, Tripura and Kerala two each, while Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand have registered a fatality each.

Of the total 27,472 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 11,854 fatalities followed by Delhi with 3,628 deaths, Tamil Nadu 2,481, Gujarat 2,126, Karnataka 1,336, Uttar Pradesh 1,146, West Bengal 1,112, Madhya Pradesh 721, and Andhra Pradesh 642.

So far, 556 people have died of COVID-19 in Rajasthan, 409 in Telangana, 349 in Haryana, 254 in Punjab, 244 in Jammu and Kashmir, 179 in Bihar, 119 in Odisha, 62 in Assam, 52 in Uttarakhand, 48 in Jharkhand, and 43 in Kerala.

Puducherry has registered 28 deaths, Chhattisgarh 24, Goa 21, Chandigarh 12, Himachal Pradesh 10, Tripura five, Meghalaya four, Arunachal Pradesh three, while Ladakh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu reported two.

The Health Ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 3,10,455 followed by Tamil Nadu at 1,70,693, Delhi at 1,22,793, Karnataka at 63,772, Gujarat at 47,476, Uttar Pradesh at 49,247, Andhra Pradesh at 49,650, and Telangana at 45,076.

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 42,487 in West Bengal, 29,434 in Rajasthan, 26,164 in Haryana, 26,379 in Bihar, 22,982 in Assam, and 22,600 in Madhya Pradesh.

Odisha has reported 17,437 infections, Jammu and Kashmir 13,899, Kerala 12,481, while Punjab has 10,100 cases.

A total of 5,399 have been infected by the virus in Jharkhand, 5,407 in Chhattisgarh, 4,515 in Uttarakhand, 3,657 in Goa, 2,668 in Tripura, 1,999 in Puducherry, 1,911 in Manipur, 1,521 in Himachal Pradesh, and 1,178 in Ladakh.

Nagaland has recorded 988 COVID-19 cases, Chandigarh 717, Arunachal Pradesh 650, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 690 cases.

Meghalaya has reported 450 cases, Mizoram 284, Sikkim has registered 286 infections so far, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has recorded 203 cases.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR,” the ministry said, adding, state-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

Health Minister urges recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma

Despite India having one of the highest COVID-19 recovery rates, plasma donation by recovered patients is yet to pick up, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday, urging people to come forward to help fight the pandemic.

Vardhan launched a plasma donation campaign at the AIIMS hospital here during an event co-organised by Delhi police, where 26 police personnel who have recovered from COVID-19 volunteered to donate their blood plasma, the health ministry said.

Vardhan said it was “very sad” that a dozen Delhi police personnel died due to the coronavirus but they are “doing a great job” deploying personnel to contain the spread.

Of the volunteers, Om Prakash was donating his plasma for the third time on Sunday. The health minister saluted the contribution of the volunteers by conferring certificates.

Vardhan said these volunteers will inspire others to donate plasma. “Every single donor counts in our journey towards victory over COVID-19 and we need more and more of these plasma warriors to help fight the pandemic till a definitive treatment or vaccine is developed,” he was quoted as saying in a ministry statement.

“As of now convalescent plasma therapy has been approved for compassionate use with various plasma banks being set up to ensure round-the-clock availability. Despite the fact that India has one of the highest cure rates amongst COVID-19 patients, the plasma donations has yet to pick up,” he said.

Remembering the Delhi police’s contribution in the success of Pulse Polio campaign in 1994, Vardhan said tens of thousands of police constables had joined the drive.

“Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients contains protective antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can provide immunity to patients of COVID-19 when transfused. Considering its potential benefit, plasma therapy is provided to those who are not responding to conventional treatment.

“Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19, and has completed 28 days after the completion of treatment or home isolation, is between 18 and 60 years of age with a weight of more than 50 kg is eligible to donate their blood plasma,” the statement said.

The process of donation is completed in one to three hours. Plasma therapy has been mentioned under “investigational therapies” in the Clinical Management Protocols for COVID-19 by the Health Ministry.

(With inputs from agencies)

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