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Coronavirus latest developments: Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad among 15 ‘high case load’ places, says Kant

NEW DELHI: The death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 937 and the number of cases climbed to 29,974 in the country on Tuesday, according to the Union health ministry. The number of active Covid-19 cases stood at 22,010, while 7,027 people have recovered/migrated, the ministry said.

The Union health ministry added that in the last 28 days, 17 districts have had no new case in India.

Here are the latest updates on coronavirus:

Covid recovery rate improves to 23.3%, says health ministry

With 1,543 new cases in the last 24 hours, the total Covid-19 positive cases in the country now stand at 29,435, according to the Union health ministry. The ministry added that no new case was reported in 17 districts in 28 days in the country.

In the last 24 hours, 684 patients have been found cured which takes our recovery rate to 23.3 per cent.

“This is a progressive increase in the recovery rate,” the ministry added.

Plasma therapy still in the experimental stage: Govt

The Union ministry of health on Tuesday said that the Plasma therapy was still in the experimental stage but there was not enough evidence yet to claim that it could be used as treatment for Covid-19.

“Plasma therapy isn’t a proven therapy. It’s still in experimental stage, right now even the ICMR is doing it as an experiment to identify and do additional understanding of this therapy. Till it is approved, no one should use it, it’ll be harmful to the patients & is illegal,” the ministry added.

Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad among 15 “high case load” places: Amitabh Kant

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has identified 15 places including Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad as “high case load” and said India’s success in battling Covid-19 is dependent on them.

Out of these 15, seven districts show particularly high case volumes, like Hyderabad (Telangana), Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Delhi.

Other high case load places that are “critical” in the battle against Covid-19 include — Vadodara (Gujarat), Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Thane (Maharashtra), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Surat (Gujarat).

ADB approves USD 1.5 bn loan to India to fight Covid-19

The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday said it has approved USD 1.5 billion loan to India to help fund its fight against coronavirus pandemic.

The loan has been sanctioned with a view to support immediate priorities such as disease containment and prevention, as well as social protection for the poor and economically vulnerable sections.

It is fully committed to supporting the Indian government in its response to this unprecedented challenge, said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

NITI Aayog building sealed

The NITI Aayog building in the National Capital has been sealed for 48 hours after a director-level officer tested positive for coronavirus, a senior official said on Tuesday. Today at 9 am, he got his report, and then he informed authorities,” Alok Kumar adviser at NITI Aayog told PTI. He further said that those who came in contact with the person have been asked to go on self-quarantine.

Maharashtra tops list with 27 more deaths

Maharashtra recorded 27 new Covid-19 deaths, its highest single-day toll, followed by Gujarat (11), Rajasthan (9), Madhya Pradesh (7) and West Bengal (2). One death each was reported from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as well.

Bihar, Jharkhand record highest single-day tallies

Bihar and Jharkhand, two states that had managed to keep the infection under control so far, recorded their highest single-day tallies of 68 and 20 new cases, respectively.

Ahmedabad becoming a cause of concern

Ahmedabad too is emerging as a cause of concern as the city’s Covid-19 death rate is 4.7%, much higher than Mumbai’s (3.8%). Ahmedabad also accounts for 67.5% of Gujarat’s total deaths in the pandemic. Nine Covid-19 deaths were reported in Rajasthan, taking the state’s toll to 50. The state also recorded 77 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking its cumulative total to 2,262.

Swab collection a high risk job, says doctor

The process of swab sample collection of a person does not take more than 30 to 40 seconds, but it is a “high risk job”, Dr Pushkar Dahiwal, who collects 80 to 100 swab samples in a day at the government hospital in Aurangabad, told PTI. “We work for three days and then remain self- quarantined for 14 days,” he informed. The nurse and other accompanying staff also need to stay alert as the swab samples are to be sealed immediately and kept in a proper storage facility, he said.

Maha to send 100 buses to bring back students stuck in Kota

The Maharashtra government has decided to send about 100 buses to Kota in Rajasthan to bring back nearly 2,000 students stranded there due to the lockdown, Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab has said. Buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will be sent to Kota in the next two days, Parab said late Monday night. A number of students from Maharashtra have been staying at Kota to take coaching classes for the preparation of various competitive entrance examinations after Class 12.

ICMR asks states to stop using COVID-19 test kits from 2 Chinese firms

The Indian Council of Medical Research on Monday asked the states and union territories to stop using the rapid antibody COVID-19 testing kits procured from China due to “wide variation” in their performance even as the government said not a single rupee will be lost as payments were not made to the Chinese suppliers of the equipment. India procured around five lakh rapid antibody test kits from the two Chinese firms, Guongzhou Wondfo Biotech and Livzon Diagnostics.

UN chief: Extremists using COVID-19 to recruit online youths

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said one of every five young people was not getting an education, training or working, and one of every four was affected by violence or conflict. Guterres told a U.N. Security Council meeting on youth, peace and security that “these frustrations and, frankly, failures to address them by those in power today, fuel declining confidence in political establishments and institutions. When such a cycle takes hold, it is all too easy for extremist groups to exploit the anger and despair, and the risk of radicalization climbs,” he said.

Trump: US coronavirus deaths could reach 70,000

President Donald Trump is projecting that coronavirus deaths in the United States could reach 70,000, but says original projections were much higher as he explained why voters should consider re-electing him in November. Trump has at times this month cited 60,000 as the estimate of how many people would die from COVID-19. Trump was asked during a White House news conference on Monday whether an American president deserved to be re-elected after losing more Americans in six weeks than died in the Vietnam War. Approximately 58,000 U.S. troops were killed during the Vietnam War.

Arab doctor leads Israeli hospital’s anti-virus fight

Israeli Arab doctor Khitam Hussein, 44, has emerged as a prominent member of Israel’s often marginalised Arab community which is now playing an essential role in confronting an unprecedented health crisis. She heads the outbreak response at the Rambam Hospital near Haifa, the largest hospital in northern Israel, and has been working 12-hour days for months. Israel has registered more then 15,000 cases of COVID-19, with 202 deaths. Israeli Arabs are the descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land in 1948, the year the Jewish state declared its independence. They make up around 20 percent of the population and are heavily represented in the medical profession.

(With inputs from agencies)

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