India reported 896 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, an evening update from Health Ministry said. This is the highest one-day spike the country has witnessed so far. On Thursday evening, the total number of cases were at 5,865 while on Friday evening the number mounted to 6,761.
The number of deaths topped the 200-mark as the fatalities rose to 206. 37 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours.
Since last week, the Health Ministry has observed a staggering rise daily in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the country — nearly 500-plus cases daily with a few exceptions where the number has gone below 400 cases — a pattern, which indicates a worrying trend even after solid implementation of the nationwide lockdown and sealing of hotspots. Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu are the three-most affected parts of the country. Delhi and Tami Nadu saw their numbers rising due to the number of people who tested positive after attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in the national capital.
Maharashtra is the most affected state with 1,364 positive cases and 97 fatalities so far, followed by Delhi with 898 cases and 13 deaths. Tamil Nadu is the third most affected state with 834 cases and 8 deaths.
Despite this steep rise in numbers, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data suggest the rate of positive cases is between 3-5% from the samples tested so far.
On Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said since Wednesday, 540 cases of coronavirus infection have sbeen reported and 17 deaths have occurred due to the deadly infection.
On Sunday, the number of confirmed cases shot up to 693. Last week, more than 500 coronavirus cases were registered for four consecutive days, even as the government announced a massive ramp-up in the testing facilities.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported 773 new cases in the past twenty four hours, which was the previous highest number of cases in a single day.
The Union Health Ministry on Friday said the infection rate from coronavirus is not huge according to the samples collected and there is no community transmission in the country so far.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Health Ministry, said there is no community transmission of the coronavirus viral infection, thus people should not panic.
He said the infection rate from coronavirus is not huge, for example out of 16,000 tests in a day, only 0.2 per cent cases have tested positive. As many as 146 government labs are testing samples for COVID-19 and 67 private labs have been given approval to conduct the test, said the health ministry.
The ministry official said in January this year, they began with just one lab then scaled it up to 15 labs. “We have done upscaling to 2.5 labs in a day so far”, said Agarwal.
On the availability of the Hydroxychloroquine, Agarwal said there is a stock of more than 3 crore tablets in the country, and the required projection of consumption is nearly 1 crore tablets.
“The stock is sufficient for the month-end requirement”, said Agarwal citing the MEA decision to export surplus medicine.
The country will be under a 21-day lockdown until 14 April, which was imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
States like Odisha and Punjab have extended the lockdown till 30 April and 1 May respectively.
With inputs from IANS