COVID tally touches 13,835, states to get rapid antibody test kits

Five lakh rapid antibody testing kits are being distributed to states for districts with high burden of infection

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The government's repeated stress on social distancing has fallen on deaf ears in several states. Photo: iStock

The Union Health Ministry claimed on Friday (April 17) that India has been doing better than many other countries on the outcome ratio, which is the number of recoveries from coronavirus infection versus the number of deaths. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country currently stands at 13,835, including 452 deaths, according to the ministry.

Doubling rate
The rate at which the number of coronavirus cases in the country was doubling in the last one week was 6.2 days, as against three days before the nationwide lockdown was imposed, said health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal.

Average growth factor
The average growth factor of cases from April 1 has been 1.2, whereas in the preceding two weeks — between March 15 and 31 — it was 2.1. This decline of about 40 per cent was due to increase in testing including that of cases with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI), said the health ministry.

Dedicated COVID-19 centres
About 1,919 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and COVID health centres with a capacity of 1.73 lakh isolation beds and 21,800 ICU beds have been readied across the country till now. A capacity to manufacture 6,000 ventilators each month has been created at scientific institutes.

Rapid antibody testing kits
Five lakh rapid antibody testing kits, which arrived from China on Thursday, are being distributed to states for districts with high burden of infection. The health ministry said RT-PCR kits are being manufactured indigenously.

Genome sequence
Following claims of success in decoding the entire genome sequence of the novel coronavirus and in identifying its three new mutations, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar said the decoding has not been done for the first time.

RBI cuts repo rate
To ensure adequate liquidity in the system to ease the financial stress caused by COVID-19, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das announced a slashing of the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 3.75 per cent.

No increase in school fees
Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has urged private schools to reconsider their decisions on annual fee hike and collecting fee quarterly during the lockdown. He also appealed to states education departments to work towards best interest of schools and parents.

Rescue buses for students
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to send 250 buses to bring back 7,000 students struck in Rajasthan’s Kota. The move comes in the backdrop of the hashtag #sendusbackhome, started by students stranded in the coaching hub, which has been trending on social media for more than two days.

Lockdown defied
Several incidents of people defying the lockdown norms were reported on Friday. In Karnataka, scores of people thronged the Kethaganahalli farmhouse at Bidadi to get a glimpse of the wedding of Nikhil Kumaraswamy, grandson of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and son of former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Ivanka flouts lockdown
US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump along with her husband Jared Kushner defied social distancing norms, and travelled with their children to New Jersey earlier this month for Passover celebrations.

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