News

Coronavirus cases now doubling every 4.1 days, says government

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 06, 2020 Published on April 05, 2020

Travellers who were quarantined in a hospital for a mandatory period of 14 days following their arrival from abroad, prepare to leave after they were tested negative against COVID-19, during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, in Bengaluru, on Sunday, Apr 5, 2020.

Rapid antibody testing likely from April 9

Novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, which were earlier doubling every 7.4 days, have now started doubling every 4.1 days, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Sunday.

“After the spurt of cases from Tablighi Jamaat, the cases have started doubling at a fast pace since the last few days,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW.

With certain clusters emerging with a large number of cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued a rapid antibody testing advisory. Raman Gangakhedkar, Head of Infectious Diseases, ICMR, said that they are looking at initiating tests by April 9.

The ICMR has validated seven antibody kits by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Mylan Labs, BioMedomics, Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics, Voxtur Bio, Vanguard Diagnostics, HLL Lifecare and CPC Diagnostics. In addition, it has said that any antibody kit approved by European regulator CE-IVD can be used.

“We are awaiting approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to issue approvals and import licence permissions to start selling directly to States,” said a company representative, seeking anonymity.

The DCGI has not yet made public the list of antibody kits that it has approved for sale in India.

According to the ICMR advisory, those in cluster hotspots or in large migration gatherings or evacuee centres who have cough, cold, low-grade fever or sore throat can be subjected to rapid antibody blood tests. If they are positive, they should be referred to a doctor for clinical assessment, hospital treatment or home isolation. In case they are negative, the antibody test should be repeated after 10 days, if confirmatory tests of Real time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) in labs have not been run on the suspect sample. If symptoms worsen, then such cases should be hospitalised, ICMR stated.

India had recorded 3,577 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Sunday evening, of which 275 have recovered and 83 have died. “There have been 472 new cases reported on April 5 as at 4 pm, with over 11 deaths in the last 24 hours,” said Agarwal.

Punya Salila Shrivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, said about 12.5 lakh migrant workers who were stopped from transitioning back to their villages when the 21-day lockdown was initiated, have been sheltered in 28,000 relief camps. Another 13.6 lakh migrant workers are living on factory premises and their owners are taking care of their food and shelter.

On whether the virus is airborne and spreads widely in air, Gangakhedkar said: “We are dependent on a balanced evidence approach. If this was airborne, all family contacts would be positive, and in the hospital all other patients would also be positive.”

 

 

 

Published on April 05, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.