Coronavirus | Negligence could lead to reinfection: ICMR

Daily grind: Health workers getting samples ready for rapid antigen testing in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday called for sustained caution against COVID-19 and pointed out that any negligence could lead to reinfection.

“COVID-19 reinfection in India is currently under investigation and we are collecting data on this. As per the knowledge that we have now, we understand that after COVID-19 infection, antibodies stay in the body for anywhere between 3-5 months. If the person gets infected again after 90 days, it is called reinfection,” ICMR Director General Dr. Balram Bhargava said.

Coronavirus | Negligence could lead to reinfection: ICMR

The government, he noted, was also keenly following the Solidarity trial interim report results, which indicated that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalised patients. “The results are interim, not peer reviewed. Debate and discussion are on and we will take the results of these trials into consideration. Alongside, the benefit of blood plasma for COVID-19 patients is under review and debate,” he said at a Health Ministry press conference.

Monitoring Bihar

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, giving an overview of the COVID-19 condition in the country, said a Central team would be deputed to overlook and assist the Bihar government in conducting elections while following the COVID-19 norms.

India was one of the countries with high recoveries and it continued to have one of the lowest fatality rates globally. “The country has reported 587 case fatalities in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 81 per cent is concentrated in 10 States/Union Territories. The deaths are below 600 for the second consecutive day. Maharashtra reported the maximum single-day deaths (125 deaths),” he said.

The country’s new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours had fallen below 50,000 (46,790) for the first time in nearly three months. The new cases were 47,703 on July 28.

‘No oxygen shortage’

Mr. Bhushan said that in the past 10 months since the pandemic began, “India has not faced any medical oxygen shortage and isn’t anticipating any problem in the future. However, several measures, including importing medical oxygen, have been planned. The MHA [Ministry of Home Affairs] has issued directions to ensure free and 24-hour movement of medical oxygen between States/UTs,and the NPPA [National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority] has fixed the maximum price of liquid medical oxygen at ₹15.22 per cu mt. and oxygen [medicinal gas] in cylinder at ₹25.71 per cu mt.”

To ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen, the Central government would help hospitals in setting up plants within their premises, he said.

The Ministry said six States accounted for 64 per cent of the total active cases in the country — Maharashtra 23.28 per cent, Karnataka 14.19, Kerala 12.40, Tamil Nadu 5.09, AndhraPradesh 4.68, West Bengal 4.62 and the rest 35.75 per cent. The most-affected districts in Maharashtra included Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur and Ahmednagar, while Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru, Tumakuru, Hassan and Dakshina Kannada were the most-affected districts in Karnataka. In Kerala, the districts were Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram.

With a high number of patients recovering every day and the sustained fall in the mortality rate, India’s steady trend of dipping active cases continued. The percentage of active cases had fallen below 10 per cent and the total positive cases of the country today were less than 7.5 lakh (7,48,538) and comprised merely 9.85 per cent of the total cases.

The total recovered cases had crossed 67 lakh (67,33,328) and Maharashtra continued to lead, with more than 15,000 single-day recoveries; followed by Karnataka,with more than 8,000 recoveries. Seventy-five per cent of the new confirmed cases were from 10 States and UTs. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala contributed more than 5,000 to the new confirmed cases, the Ministry added.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 4:08:40 PM |

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