India registered the largest spike in deaths due to COVID-19 on Monday, with 51 being reported in the past 24 hours, the highest since the first case was reported in January.
India’s tally with 905 additional cases has gone up to 9,352 and 324 deaths so far. Over 857 patients have recovered. The 51 deaths reported since Sunday evening include 22 from Maharashtra, seven each from Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, five from Delhi and four from Gujarat.
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The Union Health Ministry, however, on Monday said that implementation of its action plan had started yielding results in 25 districts across 15 States, which had reported cases earlier.
“These districts have no case reported since the last 14 days and constant vigil is being maintained to ensure that no new cases may occur in future,” Joint Secretary ïn the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said at the daily press briefing.
The districts include Gondia in Maharashtra, Rajnandgaon, Durg and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, and Davangere, Kodagu, Tumakuru and Udupi in Karnataka. COVID-19 cases have been reported from 364 of the 736 districts across the country.
Figures from the State Health Departments put the total number of cases at 10,439, with 9,015 active ones. The death toll stood at 358. With 1,957 active cases and 160 deaths, Maharashtra continues to top the list.
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Delhi and Tamil Nadu reported 1,455 and 1,104 active cases respectively.
The Ministry added that Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had reviewed the research efforts for COVID-19 by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) along with the DG, CSIR and 38 CSIR Lab Directors who are working in close partnership with the private sector, PSUs, MSMEs, departments and Ministries.
“We have identified five verticals under which we will be working including digital and molecular surveillance, rapid and economical diagnostic, hospital assistive devices and PPEs; and supply chain and logistics support systems,” Mr. Agarwal said.
The Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases-I, R. Gangakhedkar added that over 2,06,212 tests had been conducted so far. “Of these 14,855 tests took place at 156 government labs and 1,913 tests happened at 69 private labs on Sunday. There is no need to worry…we have enough stocks to conduct tests for six weeks,” he said. Replying to a question of Remdesivir being used as a treatment, Dr. Gangakhedkar said as per some observational studies, the drug seems to have some effect on the reproduction of SARS-CoV-2.