Coronavirus India updates | November 29, 2020

A health worker conducts a COVID-19 test at Manish Market in South Mumbai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

India has registered a single day rise of 41,810 new COVID-19 cases and 496 fatalities, pushing the country's total caseload to 93.92 lakh and death toll to 1.36, according to the Union Health Ministry.

In the daily bulletin, it said that the active COVID-19 cases in country stand at 4.53 lakh, while 88.02 lakh people have recovered from the disease so far.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the updates:

 

No plans to begin classes in Bengal colleges, varsities immediately: Education Minister

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Sunday said there was no plan to start classes in colleges and universities across the state immediately.

After a virtual meeting with Vice-Chancellors of state universities, the minister said, at present campuses cannot be opened for students due to the pandemic.

“Classes will continue to be held online. The higher education department is of the view, after elicting the opinion of VCs, that classes cannot take place on the campuses in the present situation as the pandemic is still continuing,” Mr. Chatterjee said.

Higher educational institutions can also extend the admission process by another 15 days at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels, the Minister said.

-PTI

 

RT-LAMP: a new technology for detecting COVID-19

The current method for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis is the real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test which detects the presence of viral nucleic acids in nasopharyngeal swab samples.

But it has certain shortcomings. The test requires complex and costly equipment. It requires extensive training for potential users. As the specificity and sensitivity of the test is about 95%, there is a possibility of false negative results. The turnaround time is about 10 hours, so that the result will be available only by the next day. In remote places, the turnaround time further increases depending on the distance the samples need to travel. In short, the RT-PCR does not have the capacity to keep pace with the increasing demand.

With the above-mentioned status of COVID-19 detection ambiguity, there is an urgent need for a better technique for COVID-19 testing. This superior technique is now in India in the form of RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification) technology. This is a one-step nucleic acid amplification method to multiply specific sequences of RNA of the coronavirus. Here, the RNA is first made into cDNA (copy DNA) by the usual reverse transcription. Then, the DNA is amplified by the LAMP technique. Although the LAMP technique has been used in western countries for the past five years or more, the technique is new to the Indian IVD industry.

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Rajasthan

Rajasthan slashes RT-PCR test rate for private labs

The Rajasthan government on Saturday fixed the rate for RT-PCR diagnostic tests for COVID-19 infections conducted by private laboratories at ₹800, slashing it by ₹400. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the rate had been reduced from ₹1,200 to ₹800 following a drop in the prices of test kits.

Mr. Gehlot made the announcement while inaugurating a 70-bed COVID-19 intensive care unit at the Rajasthan University of Health Sciences Hospital here. He said the increase in the number of positive cases was observed during the last few days because of the higher number of tests, while COVID-19 management had proved “very effective”.

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Active cases in Maharashtra inch towards 90,000

Maharashtra reported 5,965 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday as opposed to just 3,937 recoveries.

The total case tally now stands at 18,14,515 with the number of active cases now rising to 89,905. The active cases had dipped to around 75,000 a fortnight ago.

The cumulative recoveries have reached 16,76,564 with the State’s recovery rate decreasing to 92.4%.

As many as 88 deaths were reported (with a reconciliation of 13 previous deaths and 75 reported ton Saturday), taking the total fatalities to 46,986.

 

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 5:59:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-live-updates-november-29-2020/article33204287.ece

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